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The Hidden Cost of Household Gadgets

Gadgets

It’s a gadgetized world. Chances are, you use or interact with dozens of different gadgets every day. We don’t even notice anymore much of the time as the concept of living without them has become a distant memory.

There is a cost. Despite the fact that these household gadgets are more affordable and accessible than ever before, we are creating a tremendous strain on our power grid (and our wallets) that many may not notice. We add surge protectors to our wall sockets in an effort to plug in our ever-growing inventory of gadgets. We often run these gadgets non-stop. It all adds up.

To put it into perspective, we look to our green friends at 1bog to break down exactly what is happening, what the costs associated with gadgetizing are, and we look at different ways to prevent the over-consumption of energy.

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Get Ready For Earth Day With New Facebook App

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With Earth Day just one day away, many people are thinking about different ways that they can show their support for the environment. And a new Facebook app, called A Billion Acts of Green, lets users do just that.

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last update: January 28, 2015

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Denny’s Experimenting With Energy Efficient Air Conditioning

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The Denny's restaurant chain is testing out a new technology that could mean big savings and less energy use.

Called Cool-N-Save, the tech comes from Greenway Design and is a system that's mechanically added to existing air conditioners to help reduce energy consumption. Each system is custom made and Greenway claims it can reduce energy use by up to 30 percent.

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Plastic Bottles Used To Build School In The Philippines

Recycled plastic bottles have become many things, like other plastic bottles, bags made from recycled post-consumer plastic, and a variety of other products. The town of San Pablo in the Philippines had other ideas for recycling the bottles and have even built a new school using them.

Residents of the city helped gather thousands of plastic bottles which was later bonded together using a natural building material to form a school.

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Energy:

Wind Turbines Are Good For Crops Too

Wind turbines have been in the news a lot lately, especially as the push for alternative forms of energy increases. New news coming from a report from PhysOrg says that wind turbines are not only good for producing energy, they're also good for crops, too.


"We're confident that wind turbines do produce measurable effects on the microclimate near crops," Ames Laboratory associate and agricultural meteorology expert Gene Takle said. "In this case, we anticipate turbines' effects are good in the spring and fall because they would keep the crop a little warmer and help prevent a frost. Wind turbines could possibly ward off early fall frosts and extend the growing season."

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Military Considering Solar Powered Tents

The U.S. Military is finally looking into solar technology for it's essential gear. It's about time. They're creating solar powered tents that utilize flexible photovoltaics and have already been in use in Afganistan.

"They are ideal for charging up batteries, making sure your [communications], night vision goggles and computers are powered up. You don't want a generator on top of a mountain, and you don't want to have to bring fuel to a generator or haul batteries," Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment, explained.

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Nissan Leaf Makes Debut In San Francisco

The very first Nissan Leaf has finally made its debut after being delivered to San Francisco resident and entrepreneur, Olivier Chalouhi. What a lucky guy?!

Though Nissan hasn't planned for a nationwide launch until 2012, we'll likely see Leaf's popping up all over the country.

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Tubeless Toilet Paper Reduces Trash

Toilet paper has pretty much looked the same for the last few decades. About the only thing that has changed has been improvements in softness and durability. These improvements in softness and durability add more paper, which in turn adds more waste. However, now thanks to Kimberly-Clark, there's a new line of toilet paper that reduces waste by getting rid of the roll.

You know the cardboard tube that's left when you finish a roll of toilet paper? Well, it's time to say goodbye. Kimberly-Clark's newest green innovation, the elimination of the tube, eliminates potential waste and it means that the last piece which has generally been unusable due to the glues they use to adhere it to the roll will now be... usable.

The company estimates that over 17 billion toilet paper tubes are produced in the U.S. every year which adds up to 160 billion tons of trash. Since almost no one thinks to recycle them, the tubes have been a huge avoidable source of waste for years. Now without the tube, Kimberly-Clark is expecting the onset of a drastic reduction in global waste due to toilet paper tubes.

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