GreenLearner GreenThoughts by Amanda

NEWSPAPERS GET A SECOND LIFE

Do you recycle your newspaper?  Every Sunday, 500,000 trees could be saved if everyone recycled their newspapers.

A few creative companies are giving newspaper a second life.  Check out these artful products:

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GreenLearner GreenThoughts by Amanda

EARTH-CONSCIOUS MOM

I recently attended a green-inspired baby shower.  The food, decorations, and gifts all had a planet-friendly twist. Needless to say, I was inspired to write a GreenLearner GreenThought on the different products out there for those chic Moms who are concerned about our environment.

This planet-friendly Petit Collage Jungle Friends mobile is a modern addition to any baby’s room.  The animals are laser-cut from harvested bamboo.

No more plastic sandwich bags to store snacks for your kids.  These Graze Organic lunch sacks are 100% certified organic cotton, made in the USA, and the best part—they’re reusable.

A Merben mohair throw would look great in any nursery draped over a crib or chair.  Thousands of kilos of yarn samples that would have gone to waste are used to create the colorful fringe.  How resourceful!

These Ross Meneuz 100% organic cotton bodysuits are silk-screened with soy-based inks.

Little Green Radicals makes these quirky and humorous suits.  They are 100% Fair Trade and organic.  The items are stitched in a Fair Trade facility in India with high ethical labor standards that employs 120 women who are either handicapped or economically disadvantaged.

GreenLearner.com is dedicated to helping professionals to study and pass the LEED exam.  GreenLearner offers free LEED GA and AP BD+C practice exams, and we are the first website to offer a free LEED exam simulator.

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GreenLearner GreenThoughts by Amanda

USE “WATERSENSE”

A retro shower head flows roughly 5-6 gallons of water per minute.  If you do the math, a 10-minute shower would send 50-60 gallons of water down the drain!  Modern shower heads now flow less than 2.5 gallons of water per minute, but the water savings quickly becomes obsolete when someone takes a longer shower.  We consume 800% more water per person today compared to 100 years ago, but there are little things we can do everyday to make a difference.

For example, these fun digital shower timers can help the whole family reduce water consumption.  The timers are battery operated, steam proof, shatter proof, and water proof.  They feature an easy-to-program countdown timer that beeps when your shower time is up.  The blue droplet, fluffy cloud, and yellow bird sell for $16.00 at lavishandlime.com.

(Statistic Sources: Thewatergeeks.com, www.epa.gov )

GreenLearner.com is dedicated to helping professionals to study and pass the LEED exam.  GreenLearner offers free LEED GA and AP BD+C practice exams, and we are the first website to offer a free LEED exam simulator.

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GreenLearner March Product Spotlight: Rainwater HOG

GreenLearner is proud to feature Rainwater HOG as our March 2011 spotlight green product.  GreenLearner selects a product monthly based on the interest of our users.

Rainwater HOG was invented and designed by Sally Dominguez—an Australian designer and architectural practitioner.  Simply put, the purpose of this contraption is to collect and store rainwater.  Rainwater can be used in a variety of ways, from watering your garden to taking a shower or bath.  Unlike other products that tend to be bulky and obtrusive, the Rainwater HOG tank has a slim profile allowing it to fit conveniently into the most confined spaces.  Once told by salespeople, a “flat” plastic tank wouldn’t work under decks and patios, Sally was determined to create a vessel that maximized space while still serving its purpose—thus, the Rainwater HOG was born.

The 20” x 9.5” x 71” 100% recyclable tank is adaptable and can be positioned vertically or horizontally.  It holds over 50 gallons of water and weighs 440 pounds when full.  Flexibility is one of its key components.  As your rainwater storage needs change, so can the HOG system.  It can act as a stand-alone unit or be expanded with additional HOGs over time.

With rainwater shortage becoming a major concern, especially in the Southwest, expect the demand for Rainwater HOG to rise.  Many governmental agencies are beginning to realize the benefit of rainwater storage.  Simon Dominguez with Rainwater HOG comments, “There are a number of incentives and rebates offered at the State and County level.  For example, the city of Santa Monica offers a rebate of up to $500 for the installation of a rainwater tank.  As our population continues to grow and the water levels in our traditional water catchment areas reduce, the price of water will continue to rise.   This will also put pressure on water authorities across the country to find an alternative source of water.  The use of rainwater to supplement this problem makes a lot of sense.”

Not only does rainwater reuse relieve the demand on your local water supply, it also will help keep our streams, rivers, and beaches clean.  Simon further explains, “The Rainwater HOG is also a very useful solution to help governments with the very expensive job of stormwater management. Urban runoff, the surface water from our yards, driveways, and streets that flows through storm drains, is the greatest single source of pollution in our water ways. Unlike sewage and discharges from industrial sources, urban runoff cannot always be adequately treated before it reaches the bay and our beaches. By reducing the quantity of runoff by using Rainwater HOGs and improving the quality of runoff, we can lower levels of harmful bacteria, toxins, and other forms of pollutants affecting our oceans and rivers.”

The Rainwater HOG is designed for 20 years of life and is able to withstand extreme temperatures between -20˚F to 140˚F.  For more information, you can contact the company at 888.700.1096.

GreenLearner.com is dedicated to helping professionals to study and pass the LEED exam.  GreenLearner offers free LEED GA and AP BD+C practice exams, and we are the first website to offer a free LEED exam simulator.

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GreenLearner Update

Thanks to the overwhelming positive feedback from our LEED GA practice exams, we have now added LEED AP BD+C practice tests to our exam simulator!  All our questions are crafted by LEED accredited Professionals and designed to help you be confident on test day.  We’ve helped thousands pass on the first try and have dedicated our site to be the best resource available for those studying for the LEED exam.

Thank you to all our users who have shared their experiences with the sustainable products and services featured on our site.

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GreenLearner GreenThoughts by Amanda

WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND

I recently received a karma CARD™ from a dear friend of mine and thought it was a pretty clever product.  It’s a greeting card with an afterlife as a postcard.  The cards are perforated down the middle so the recipient can reuse the card as a postcard.  The back of the card reads, “Good Karma is using 100% post-consumer recycled paper to make this notecard.  Great Karma is sending along the postcard to someone else.”  New Leaf Paper is the creator of these environmentally responsible greeting cards, and they go so far as keeping a running total of how many pounds of greenhouse gasses and solid waste are saved from the product lines on their website.

GreenLearner.com is dedicated to helping professionals to study and pass the LEED exam.  GreenLearner offers free LEED GA practice exams, and we are the first website to offer a free LEED exam simulator.

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GreenLearner GreenThoughts by Amanda

THIRTY BOOKS

What’s the most planet-friendly way to read?  It’s a conundrum that can only be answered in one succinct word—depends.  Each year, the United States book industry uses 30 million trees.  It’s an unsettling number that would make most believe digital books are the obvious answer.  Not so fast.  E-readers come with a high carbon footprint.  For example, the carbon footprint of a Kindle is estimated at 370 pounds of CO2.  On average, a printed book accounts for 8.85 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions.  One would have to purchase 30-40 books over the lifetime of an e-reader just to break even on greenhouse emissions.  Surpassing 30 books is a simple feat for your average bookworm, but to an occasional reader, it could take years to reach this number.  Regardless of the high carbon footprint, e-readers are heating up the market.  Amazon recently announced electronic books now outsell paperbacks on their website.  My thought: if visiting your local library is not an option, assess your reading habits and make the choice that fits best.

(Sources: easy-green-living.org, taintedgreen.org)

GreenLearner.com is dedicated to helping professionals to study and pass the LEED exam.  GreenLearner offers free LEED GA practice exams, and we are the first website to offer a free LEED exam simulator.

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GreenLearner GreenThoughts by Amanda

WHO’S IN THE LEED?

Chicago is the number one city with the most LEED certified buildings—easily outpacing second and third place finishers, Washington D.C. and New York City by 77 buildings.  It’s no surprise, eco-conscious California is leading the country with 1,098 buildings and 3,975 registered buildings on the way.  North Dakota falls last on the state’s list, but with 53 registered buildings in the pipeline, one could assume green fever is picking up in the Midwest.  Get the full report here.

GreenLearner.com is dedicated to helping professionals study and pass the LEED exam.  GreenLearner offers free LEED GA practice exams, and we are the first website to offer a free LEED exam simulator.

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GreenLearner GreenThoughts by Amanda

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY

What are you getting your sweetheart this Valentine’s day?  Whatever your gift may be, it will more than likely be accompanied by a greeting card.  It’s estimated that one billion valentines are sent each year globally, making it the second largest card-sending holiday behind Christmas.  If you laid one billion greeting cards end-to-end, it would wrap around the earth five times! (www.greenlivingtips.com).  Consider buying a card made from recycled paper or better yet, send an e-card.

GreenLearner.com is dedicated to helping professionals study and pass the LEED exam.  GreenLearner offers free LEED GA practice exams, and we are the first website to offer a free LEED exam simulator.


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GreenLearner February Product Spotlight: Tournesol Siteworks

GreenLearner is proud to feature the VGM Modular Living Wall System by Tournesol Siteworks as our February 2011 spotlight green product.  GreenLearner selects a product monthly based on the interest of our users.

Tournesol Siteworks provides complete landscape solutions for the urban environment.  Since 1979, their commercial-grade products have beautified the surroundings of buildings with site furnishings, living walls, green roofs, and container irrigation systems—a product they lead the industry with; however, Tournesol Siteworks isn’t just concerned about the aesthetics.  They are a company focused on green innovation by creating a line of products that are environmentally sound. Many products under their green building components umbrella can contribute to a building’s LEED certification. The VGM Modular Living Wall System is just one of their products that can do just that.

With 100% recycled plastic planting modules and powder-coated hanging rails, the VGM system makes a powerful statement.

Beautiful, eco-friendly, and smart are just a few attributes this product entails.  It gives instant coverage to any vertical surface. Whether you wish to conceal a less attractive area of a building, such as a loading dock, or create impact with a dramatic wall, the VGM wall system gets the job done.  The polypropylene plastic modules are shipped broken down to save on freight costs, then assembled, filled, and planted in a local nursery.  It generally takes 1-3 months before the wall can be hung to allow growing time for the plants.  Because walls generally lend to harsher growing conditions, it’s imperative hardy plants are chosen for the system.  The environment and climate must be taken into consideration.  Christopher Lyon with Tournesol Siteworks further explains, “We believe strongly in local contributions by horticulturalists, designers, and contractors to ensure that a plant used in the system will succeed there.”

What makes their product unique from others?  Christopher with Tournesol Siteworks elaborates, “It features the thickest of soil conditions of any system available, which provides the most insulation, water retention, and support for the largest rootball possible.  Our modules don’t have internal baffles or dividers that restrict healthy root development.  Plants that would not be possible to keep alive in a 3” or 4” soil profile can still thrive in an 8” system.  We believe that if a plant has the ability of living on the wall, it will do better in our system than most.”

Tournesol Siteworks is located in Fremont, California and can be contacted at 800.542.2282 or info@tournesolsiteworks.com.

You can nominate your favorite sustainable product to be featured for our next monthly spotlight by contacting spotlight@greenlearner.com.

GreenLearner.com is dedicated to helping professionals to study and pass the LEED exam.  GreenLearner offers free LEED GA practice exams, and we are the first website to offer a free LEED exam simulator.

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