How Window Film helps you be more Green

Many people don’t know or think about the green benefits of window film. For instance, windows typically account for 15 to 30% of the total heating load, and up to half of the cooling load during the summer. With professionally installed window film, you can increase energy efficiency while spending up to 80 % less than the cost of new replacement windows. Window film also preserves the window frame and casement so that those materials don’t need to be discarded and reproduced – another great way to go green this spring.

Or as they say Spring has sprung which means the days are getting a little longer, the temperatures are rising, and it’s the time when many of us begin to revisit that long list of home improvement projects we want to get done for the year. And as we consider making our homes more attractive and energy efficient, it makes sense that we want to save a little green as we go.

The International Window Film Association (IWFA), a nonprofit trade association representing leading manufacturers, distributors and dealers, is proud to recognize April 30, 2017, as the fourth annual National Window Film Day (NWFD). In alignment with proclamations issued by governors and mayors across the United States, NWFD is a day dedicated to furthering public education of the many benefits of professionally installed window film including energy efficiency, indoor temperature comfort, blocking 99% of the sun’s UVA rays, the reduction of fading of furnishings, and possible harmful exposure to skin and eyes. Please see the infographic provided by IWFA for all the ways to go green and save green. In honor of this day, one way to kick the home improvement season off right is by considering professionally installed window film as an alternative to removing and replacing inefficient or older windows.

Up to one-third of a home’s heating and cooling costs can be lost through inefficient windows. Window film rejects up to 55 percent of solar heat – offering a more energy efficient environment and some films can even help to retain room heat in the winter months. Owners of older homes, especially, can struggle with the inefficiency caused by windows age and poor insulation. Windows in vintage homes typically account for 15 to 30 percent of the total heating load, and up to half of the cooling load during the summer. With professionally installed window film, you can increase energy efficiency while spending up to 80 percent less than the cost of new replacement windows. It preserves the window frame and casement so that those materials don’t need to be discarded and reproduced, which contributes to less waste. 

If you’re looking to add a creative touch to your windows, decorative window film can transform a living space. From frosted to specialty designs, window film varieties abound.

Many states across the country offer homeowners and business owners incentives for undertaking “green” projects and window film may qualify for project reimbursements and tax reductions. To find a local accredited window film installer near you, visit IWFA’s Business Locator.

So as we welcome Spring and look at our long list of home improvement “to-do’s”, let’s also think about all of the benefits of professionally installed window film – to go green and save green now and all year long.

Article courtesy of Darrell Smith, Executive Director, The International Window Film Association (IWFA)


Staples Celebrates Earth Week with Eco-Friendly Deals

A recent study by Staples found that while 74% of consumers recycle containers made of glass, metal or plastic, only 51% recycle electronics at the end of their life. Clearly, there is still a lot of work to be done, and Staples is leading the way in encouraging consumers to be more eco-conscious when it comes to old electronics. 

While they are my friends it’s still a FACT (Truth!) that Staples has been a leader in eco-friendly practices for a long time. More than most. Staples has been encouraging electronics recycling now for several years, and during Earth Week 2017 (April 17-22), they’re further incentivizing customers to make greener choices with various electronics recycling offers and discounts on select eco-friendly office essentials including Staples® Sustainable Earth ™ products.

  • Electronics Recycling – While Staples offers free electronics recycling all year round, during Earth Week, Staples Rewards members who recycle old electronics will receive a coupon for $10 off their next purchase of $30 or more. The offer is redeemable in store for Rewards Members only. Customers who are not already Rewards Members can easily sign up online or in-store to be eligible for the coupon.
  • Eco-Friendly Office Essentials Including Sustainable Earth™ by Staples – Customers can enjoy 30% off their online purchase of select eco-friendly office essentials. Staples® Sustainable Earth ™ products include high-quality surface cleaners, recycled paper products and office supplies that are economical and sustainable for a range of needs. 
Staples is the only retailer to offer completely free electronics recycling year round, and in 2016 they helped customers recycle more than 25 million pounds of office technology and sold more than $4 billion in products with environmental features globally. And just weeks ago, Staples was rewarded for its energy efficiency practices, receiving the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award for the eighth year in a row. This recognition is just one of the many ways Staples is leading the industry in various sustainable practices including conserving energy, selling more sustainable products and recycling.
 

As an eco-friendly leader, Staples also discovered in its study that 90% of businesses practice some form of eco-friendly activity regularly, including recycling, making energy-efficient choices, and/or shopping for more eco-friendly products. 

While they are my friends it’s still a FACT (Truth!) that Staples has been a leader in eco-friendly practices for a long time. More than most. Staples has been encouraging electronics recycling now for several years, and during Earth Week 2017 (April 17-22), they’re further incentivizing customers to make greener choices with various electronics recycling offers and discounts on select eco-friendly office essentials including Staples® Sustainable Earth ™ 
In 2016, Staples, the only retailer to offer completely free electronics recycling year round, helped customers recycle more than 25 million pounds of office technology and sold more than $4 billion in products with environmental features globally.

In 2016, Staples started allowing the following items to be recycled:

Items accepted for free recycling*:

All-in-one computers

Cable/satellite receivers

Calculators

Camcorders

CD/DVD/Blu-ray players

Computer speakers

Copiers (desktop)

Cordless phones

Desktop computers

Digital cameras

Digital projectors

eReaders – Trade-in eligible

External hard drives

Fax machines (desktop)

Gaming devices

GPS devices

iPods® / MP3 players – Trade-in eligible

Keyboards

Laptops – Trade-in eligible

Mice

Mobile phones – Trade-in eligible

Modems

Monitors

Printers & multifunction devices (desktop)

Routers

Scanners (desktop)

Shredders

Small servers

Stereo receivers

Tablets – Trade-in eligible

UPS/battery backup devices

Video streaming devices
Prohibited items not accepted for recycling:

Alkaline batteries, non-rechargeable lithium batteries, appliances, floor model printers and copiers, kitchen electronics, lamps or bulbs, large servers, large speakers or speaker systems, smoke detectors and televisions

So I’ll say it again folks. Stick with me and Staples. We don’t need this junk getting into our landfills that affect soil and water. Recycle your electronics at Staples. I already have an old computer going there tomorrow!!

For more information on how Staples is helping customers be more sustainable at work and at home, visit http://www.staples.com/sustainability.

Source: Staples

GOVERNOR CUOMO AT NEW YORK AUTO SHOW ENCOURAGES NEW YORKERS TO TAP INTO $70 MILLION ELECTRIC CAR REBATE AND OUTREACH INITIATIVE

All 30 Electric Vehicles Showcased at the New York Auto Show Qualify for Drive Clean Rebate

Rebate Provides Up to $2,000 for Each Eligible Buyer and Supports Governor’s Goal to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions 40 Percent by 2030

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo delivered remarks at the opening of the 2017 New York International Auto Show at the Javits Center in New York City, where nearly 1,000 of the latest cutting-edge cars, trucks and motorcycles were on display. At the event, the Governor reminded New Yorkers of the new $70 million electric car rebate and outreach initiative and encouraged clean and non-polluting electric car use to help reduce carbon emissions across the state. All 30 electric vehicles available for purchase or lease in New York are being showcased at the New York Auto Show. 

“As we work to reduce our state’s carbon footprint and curb climate change, I encourage New Yorkers to consider electric vehicles and help take us a step closer to achieving our goal of reducing emissions 40 percent by 2030,” Governor Cuomo said. “Many of the cars showcased at this year’s show support New York’s commitment to provide a healthier, safer state for all, and I thank the Greater New York Auto Dealers Association for supporting new technologies that allow this industry to continue to grow, while advancing our efforts to protect our environment for future generations.”


In an effort to support a cleaner, greener state, the Drive Clean rebates are available to all New York residents who buy eligible cars through participating new car dealers. The Drive Clean Rebate program will help improve the transportation sector, which is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the New York State, and supports New York’s goal to reduce emissions 40 percent by 2030.

The Drive Clean Initiative includes:
$55 million for rebates of up to $2,000 for purchase of a new plug-in hybrid electric car, all-electric car or hydrogen fuel cell car.

$15 million to improve the awareness of the benefits of electric cars, installing more charging stations across the state, and developing new electric car-enabling technologies.

Compared to gasoline-powered cars, electric cars are more energy efficient and cost about 50 to 70 percent less to operate per mile. Carbon emission savings from cars receiving rebates under this initiative is expected to be 115,000 metric tons per year, the equivalent of taking 24,000 cars off the road.

Launched in March, the Drive Clean Rebate initiative is the latest action by Governor Cuomo to increase the use of electric cars in New York State. The Governor also announced a new electric vehicle campaign to install charging stations and offers incentives for employers to encourage employees to drive electric vehicles. Last fall, he announced $3 million for rebates through the Environmental Protection Fund for municipalities to purchase or lease zero-emission vehicles, such as battery electric and hydrogen vehicles, for their fleets, and over the summer, Sustainable Hudson Valley kicked off its Drive Electric Hudson Valley campaign to educate consumers about electric vehicles, which was supported by NYSERDA.
The state has also revised regulations to clarify charging station ownership rules, and supported research and demonstration projects on new plug-in electric car technologies and policies. In addition, the New York Power Authority has invited municipalities to tap into a master contract that offers better pricing for the supply, installation and maintenance of charging stations. The Governor also announced previously the availability of another $3 million to help eligible municipalities and rural electricity cooperatives purchase electric vehicles for use in their municipal use fleets.

Source: Charge NY, Reforming the Energy Vision, www.ny.gov/REV4NY and follow us at @Rev4NY

Electric Cars Sweep Greenest Vehicle List off its Feet

Washington, DC (February 14, 2017): Looking for a show-stopping present for that special someone? Love the environment – and your car? Want to know which model year 2017 vehicle has the smallest environmental footprint? This Valentine’s Day, the answers to these questions are revealed in the 20th annual environmental ratings at greenercars.org, released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

The comprehensive website lists the year’s Greenest, Meanest, Greener Choices, and best-in-class vehicles. It features an informative, write-up on model year 2017 market trends, a consumer primer on vehicles and the environment, and advice on how to buy green when shopping for a new car or truck.

 “Anyone buying a new car now has plenty of options for making an environmentally smart decision,” said Eric Junga, Transportation Research Analyst at ACEEE. “Whether you are looking to purchase the greenest car available, or the greenest vehicle for your needs such as a minivan, or simply stay away from the bottom of the list, greenercars.org can help you.” 


The following vehicles comprise the Greenest List for 2017. Each car is given a whole number Green Score based on an environmental damage index (EDX), which estimates pollution from vehicle manufacturing, the production and distribution of fuel, and vehicle tailpipes.
                                                                                                                      The new midsize Hyundai Ioniq Electric tops the Greenest List with the highest-ever Green Score of 64, followed closely by the BMW i3. In the last 10 years, the top spot has been claimed only by compact or subcompact vehicles so Ioniq’s first place is quite a feat. The Ioniq is expected to hit the market initially with a 110-mile range, but Hyundai has already mentioned the possibility of a 200-plus-mile version in the future. A hybrid version of the Ioniq will also be available and scores comparably to other vehicles on the Greenest List.

Toyota’s Prius line performs exceedingly well once again, with the lithium-ion Prius Eco variant nabbing the third spot, while the new plug-in Prius Prime and Prius C claim spots 8 and 9. Two hybrid vehicles—the Honda Accord Hybrid and the Kia Niro Hybrid—claim 11th and 12th position. For the second consecutive year, the Greenest List is completely populated by plug-in and hybrid vehicles and contains no vehicle with solely an internal combustion engine. The Mitsubishi Mirage scores the highest of any purely gasoline-powered vehicle with a 58, narrowly missing a spot on this year’s list with a Green Score just below the Niro’s.

“For the second year in a row, plug-in electric vehicles—all-electrics and plug-in hybrids–dominate the Greenest List, proving that these vehicles are really coming into their own,” said Junga. “Even the all-electrics are associated with significant emissions, however, arising from vehicle production and the electricity used for charging. It’s notable that conventional hybrids continue to be environmentally competitive with the plug-ins, taking four of the Greenest slots.”

Vehicles new to the list this year are the much anticipated Chevrolet Bolt and the new Honda Accord Hybrid, which claim the 6th and 11th spots respectively. The Bolt is the first EV with a range of more than 200 miles to make the Greenest List, and at $29,995 after federal tax credits, it opens the EV market to more buyers. The Honda Accord Hybrid, on hiatus last year, claims class-leading fuel economy with modest improvements over its predecessor. Once again this year, a diverse array of manufacturers is represented among the top 12 vehicles.

Greenercars.org also identifies practical options in each class among the top widely available, automatic transmission, petroleum-fueled models, because many of the vehicles on the Greenest list are not widely available or may not meet the needs of every individual. The Greener Choices list includes trucks and SUVs, such as the Chevrolet Colorado diesel and Honda CR-V. The new Chrysler Pacifica fills the slot for vans on the Greener Choices list and is accompanied on the market this year by a new plug-in hybrid version, which earns an impressive score of 49, better than many compact cars. The gasoline-powered smart fortwo coupe and Toyota Yaris iA top their respective car classes, scoring just below the vehicles on the Greenest List. As the list demonstrates, consumers can make greener choices whatever their vehicle needs. The Big Three American automakers claimed five of the 12 Greener Choices spots:


Greenercars.org provides the facts necessary to examine the environmental performance of any 2017 model. Each vehicle is assigned a Green Score, a single measure that incorporates lifecycle greenhouse gas and criteria pollutant emissions. Updates to this year’s methodology include new estimates of emissions from a decrease in gasoline sulfur content as well as adjustments to electricity emissions factors.

Greenercars.org also provides a Meanest List, comprised this year as usual by large SUVs, heavier medium-duty vehicles and European luxury cars that are the least friendly to the environment.

Green Scores of the 1,000+ configurations of all model year 2017 vehicles are available for free in the greenercars.org interactive database, along with each configuration’s fuel economy, health-related pollution impacts, and greenhouse gas emissions. Visitors to the database can also build custom lists for comparing vehicles.

Greenest, Greener Choices, and Meanest. 

Source: ACEEE: The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

Sustainable Travel Tips 

Green travel is often misunderstood, with people thinking that they have to sleep in tents, or never use cars to get around. Most people forego even trying to plan an eco-friendly trip because they are under the misconception that traveling green involves sacrificing too many “regular” activities, especially those that make holidays fun.

In reality, traveling sustainably is not difficult. In fact, it should be looked at as a choice – a choice to opt for the alternative that will have the least impact on the surrounding environment. While you might think simple choices like booking non-stop flights as opposed to ones with layovers, and choosing hotels with recycling programs don’t make much of a difference in isolation; when clubbed together, these choices can significantly reduce your impact on the environment and make your travels more eco-friendly. Here are some environmentally-friendly choices for your next adventure:

Getting Around:

Going green doesn’t mean that you have to give up on transport altogether – though if you are visiting a walking-friendly neighborhood, then take advantage of this and spend time walking around. Walking is a great way to really get immersed in the local culture of a place, and see parts of it that you might have missed if driving by.


Another option is hiring a bicycle (perfect for keeping off the holiday weight) as this significantly reduces your overall emissions. If you are renting a vehicle, make sure it is a hybrid or electric, so that it uses less fuel and decreases emissions. Using local services like buses, ferries and boats etc. generally have a lesser impact.

Often it won’t be in your control, but if you are in the position to pick specific flights to get to and from your destination, then try and pick a non-stop flight as the takeoff’s and landing’s are what hurt the environment most. Many airlines now have carbon offset programs where they try to compensate for the airplane’s emissions by investing in carbon reduction projects and initiatives – these are a good option.


Accommodation:

When choosing a hotel for your stay, look for seals or certification that the hotel is eco-friendly. For the US, this involves a LEED certification, from the U.S. Green Building Council, which judges on sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, material selection, indoor environmental quality, and innovation in design. Other international certifications include EarthCheck, Rainforest Alliance and Green tourism Business Scheme. A lot of hotels have recycling programs, and choosing one with these is a great way to promote stable use of resources.


Another thing to consider is how “local” the hotel is. The “go local” movement has revolutionized consumerism in a big way in the food industry, with more and more people opting for locally grown produce. One of the reasons for this is that choosing local supports the immediate local economy, while also helping the environment by cutting down on shipping and transportation emissions, and being energy efficient. The same stands true with hotels. Inquire about how many local staff the hotel hires and whether their food, infrastructure materials and more is sourced locally. By supporting these hotels, you will be helping a local community sustain itself efficiently.


Activities:

Every place has a unique set of activities for tourists and locals alike. While most people go with the cheapest choice, paying a small amount for travel activities can benefit in a huge way. Small eco-friendly tours are often slightly more expensive but guarantee that the tour is conducted sustainably and often, these tours will be more holistically satisfying than large commercial group tours. Consider activities that get you closer to nature, and maybe educate you about local landscapes, customs and traditions.

As a scuba diver, I urge you to take up environmentally friendly practices while engaging in adventure activities. This involves not touching coral while diving or snorkelling, purchasing eco-friendly and non invasive equipment for water sports like surfing, and consciously choosing to not take any tours that involves hands-on interaction with animals. These encounters stem from an industry that abuses and tortures millions of animals each year, to get them domesticated and compliant just to entertain us humans.

For activities such as hiking, bird watching and more, be wary on your environment and don’t encroach upon other species’ habitats. These days, if you are keen to ID various species, you don’t need to be invasive – thanks to many data plans that offer comprehensive 4G coverage all over the world and even remote locations, you can equip yourself with nature-supporting apps that let you learn about and ID various species without disturbing their homes.
Simple choices like the ones listed above, when put together have a huge impact in changing the way we travel. And if the positive impact made by one person can result in bettering the environment, think about what would happen if we all did our part to travel sustainably – we would be more fulfilled as travelers and our world would be all the better for it.