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

July 2003

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The Light of Day

Getting a Grip on Fuel Prices

The internet makes it easy to track energy supply and price trends.It was day three of the latest war in Iraq, and American and British troops had secured the oil fields near Basra. World petroleum prices, which had been driven upward all winter by cold weather, a strike in Venezuela and war speculation, took a sudden tumble in the third week of March.

Winds of Change

Central air conditioning is becoming a standard feature for an increasing percentage of homeowners in the United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2000), 80 percent of U.S. homes have some form of air conditioning.

Something Old, Something New

The recycling circle begins with collecting and processing secondary materials, which then become ingredients in recycled-content products. When consumers choose recycled products, they create a loop that ensures the overall success and value of recycling. Recycled-content products are made from materials that would otherwise have been discarded. Items in this category are made totally or partially from material destined for disposal or recovered from industrial activities - like aluminum soda cans or newspaper.

The Bones of a Home

Like the skeleton of an animal, the frame of a house defines its shape. It also resists hurricane-force winds, snow on the roof and dance parties in the living room. Consider for a moment the skeleton of a bird. Evolution has engineered each bone to be just sufficient for its function. Each is thickened at points of maximum stress and precisely in proportion to that stress. Thicker bones might make for a stronger bird but not a better or more functional bird.

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