Innovative solutions for creating healthy, efficient, eco-friendly homes

January 2003

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A Baker's Dozen of Water-Conservation Tips

Park & Co., a Phoenix-based marketing firm, created the Water - Use it Wisely campaign on behalf of several Arizona cities, to develop and reinforce a universal water-conservation ethic. The following water-conserving landscape tips are courtesy of the website at Collect the water you use for rinsing produce or from cleaning your fish tank and reuse it to water houseplants. Use compost when planting to add water-holding organic matter to the soil. Layer organic mulch around plants to reduce evaporation and save hundreds of gallons of water a year.

Keeping Your Whole House in Hot Water

On a cold winter's night, nothing is nicer than a cozy, warm house. If you live in an area of the country that calls for home heating for the better part of three seasons, then hydronic heating can be a very comfortable choice for a new heating system. Yet many people in the United States are not familiar with hydronic heating because, as yet, it still only commands a small percentage of the overall domestic home-heating market. But the market for hydronic heating is warming up, and with good reason.

Tips on Using Grey Water

If you can be choosy about the gray water you recycle on your garden, then use shower and bathtub water first, followed in decreasing order of desirability by water from the bathroom sink, utility sink, washing machine, kitchen sink and dishwasher. Water from the kitchen sink and dishwasher is not desirable because of the larger proportion of grease, food particles and other materials it will contain. If there is no way you can avoid using water from the kitchen sink and dishwasher, try to limit the amount of grease and solid food particles that go down the drain.

Japanese Toilets Flush With Features

The Japanese high-tech market does not just focus on autos, robotics and electronics; they make some pretty darn fancy toilets, too. Many Pacific Rim toilets have more buttons and control panels than TV sets, and heated seats have become the norm.

Stop Guessing About Filter Changes

Even the most attentive homeowner could use a little help remembering to perform routine maintenance and upkeep. Changing the A/C and furnace filters, for instance, are important tasks that can easily slip your mind. But if you attach the FilterTone dirty-filter alarm to your air filters, you'll hear a pleasant tone when it's time for a change. As dirt builds up in air filters, it produces an increase in pressure that triggers the tone.

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