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Green Products

Top Three Most Economical Cars in 2011

When buying an economical new car, you want to make sure that you choose an affordable model that matches your budget. Economical, however, means more than just the car’s sale price. You should also think about other factors that affect the long-term cost of the vehicle, such as the price of fuel, repairs and insurance for the car. These are three of 2011’s most economical cars that can help you save money long after you drive off the lot.

2011 Cars with Top Fuel Economy

You never know whether a gallon will cost you $3 or $5. You can count on one thing, though: economic trends show that fuel prices will continue to grow over the next decade. That means you need to think about fuel efficiency when choosing an economical car.

For just $18,000, the Honda Insight Hybrid offers an economical choice with excellent fuel efficiency. This hybrid gets 43 MPG on the highway and, even more impressive, 40 MPG in the city. Oddly enough, this isn’t the most popular car on the market. With such a low ticket price, though, it’s a steal for anyone who can spot a good deal.

The Honda Civic Hybrid offers the same fuel efficiency (Highway MPG 43, City MPG 40), but it costs about $24,000. If you can afford to spend the extra money, this is a wonder car that handles well and looks great. Given that the Insight costs $6,000 less, though, it’s clearly more economical.

Repair Costs for 2011 Cars

Hybrids can help you save money on fuel, but a lot of mechanics don’t have training to repair them. That often means higher repair and maintenance costs that can add up over time, making your good deal a little less impressive.

Honda comes through again with the Honda CR-Z. This sporty car runs on gasoline, making it easier to fix in most garages. Plus, the CR-Z sells for under $20,000. It also has good fuel efficiency with 39 MPG on the highway and 35 MPG in the city.

 

Insurance for 2011 Cars

 

Shopping for auto insurance can help you find an affordable option that matches your budget. Ask insurance companies to give you price quotes before you buy a car. That way, you can include the insurance costs in the total price of the vehicle, helping you choose the one that is truly most affordable.

 

Generally, insurance for sporty cars costs more than policies for cars that emphasize safety features.

After considering these factors, which 2011 car will you choose? Does it make sense for you to spend a little more money buying a car if it means saving in the long run?

7 Essential Items for Your Wedding Registry

Registering for your wedding gifts can be one of the best parts of planning your wedding. There are so many different items you’ll see and love, and you and your fiancé will have to pick which items are best for you. Do your homework and determine what you both want from these seven categories of essential wedding registry
1. China Set

Whether it’s for everyday use or dinner parties, your china will make a lot of appearances. You’ll want to select your favorite pattern for your dishware and determine what types you’ll really need, such as dinner, salad, and dessert plates; salad bowls; serving sets; and mugs. Make sure you don’t register for too many or too few.

2. Glassware

Glasses are another kitchen necessity. Look around to find the pattern of glassware you both like and determine what types you’ll need. Your decisions should be based on your needs. For example, don’t buy martini glasses if neither one of you drinks martinis.

3. Silverware

No dinner set is complete without silverware. By picking a basic set in your favorite pattern, you’re guaranteed to have all the utensils you’ll need for everyday use and special occasions, including serving spoons. Consider a set that comes in a nice storage case to keep it looking good for years to come.

4. Cookware

Now that you’ve selected your dinnerware, it’s time to select your cookware. A basic set will include pots and pans; mixing bowls and spoons; measuring cups; and bakeware. Select these items carefully based on the amount of cooking and baking you’ll actually do.

5. Bed Set

Now that your kitchen is set up, it’s time to work on the bedroom. Look through all of the bedding patterns until you find the one you like the best. Pick out a complete set with a comforter, bed skirt, complete sheet set and pillow shams. The whole set together will make your bedroom the beautiful retreat you want it to be. If you’d like, choose two sets so you can change them when the mood calls for it.

6. Bath Sets

The bathrooms are another key place in your home you’ll want to set up. Select a bath mat, soap dispenser, garbage can, shower curtain, toothbrush holder and any decorative or organizational pieces you might desire.  Get these items for each bathroom in your home, and make sure every piece matches the color scheme or theme you choose for each bathroom.

7. Towels13

Towels are needed for both your bathrooms and kitchen. Select a few different colors and patterns and register for several of each. You’ll want bath and hand towels as well as wash cloths for the master bath and guest bathrooms and dish towels and cloths for your kitchen.

These seven sets are the essential items you’ll want to register for to set up your home after your wedding. For more ideas on other items you can add to your list, check out home goods on eBay.

Choosing the Right Light: Going Green

It’s the dull cast of shadows, a tedious flicker: an incandescent light waits above you, offering weak wattage, forcing you to squint in the darkness of your cubicle. You’ve complained of this treatment before, demanded that your manager replace the offensive bulb. He refused, however — citing price deductions and energy costs. No alternatives existed, you were told.

You were misinformed.

Incandescent light too often defines offices: offering yellow-tinged shimmers and low results. These also carve out hefty utility bills, generating thousands of dollars each year with their ineffective conductivity. They simply don’t work.

Their counterparts, however, do — with compact fluorescent lighting (typically named CFL) offering better brightness, stronger savings and an environmental philosophy.

These items are efficient. A single 14-watt bulb offers more distinct lighting than an average 60-watt incandescent item, as well as requiring less energy. Their design ensures that they redirect electricity effectively, often reducing output by 13 percent. This allows utility bills to lessen — with $40.00 saved on average per year — and also decreases the need for power.

Such effects impact the entire office, offering greater functionality without demanding dollars. And CFL bulbs boast lifespans that are 13 times longer than traditional incandescent lighting. This offers less waste and reduces mercury levels (as all lights have forms of that chemical in them).

The advantages of the CFL option can’t be denied. They allow businesses to embrace conservation while also encouraging productivity — enabling cubicles to seem less like caves and more like welcoming environments.

A New Refrigerator Can Save You Money

When refrigerators get older their parts begin to lose their functionality – this in turn starts to cost you m ore and more each year on your energy bill. Aside from saving your pocket book a couple hundred dollars each year, using energy efficient appliances can also help conserve the environment. Here a few of the top reasons why buying a new refrigerator is in the best interest of your family.

  1. Older machines don’t function properly. Time wears down anything that is mechanical – and your kitchen appliances certainly are not exempt from this rule. Coils will weaken and bolts will loosen over time, both of which create an avenue for energy to be sucked from the rest of your house and into your refrigerator.
  2. Newer models have built in energy saving parts. The majority of newer models feature less parts as a whole which is very beneficial to you as a consumer – the less parts your fridge has the less parts that can wear down and break.
  3. A new refrigerator won’t break down at an inconvenient time. Older appliances always seem to break at the worst moment, especially when money is tight.

The best part about ditching your older model and purchasing a new refrigerator is that you don’t even have to throw away the old one. You can always donate it to charity or sell it in a yard sale so that someone else can get some use out of it before it is completely dead. Even though keeping your old fridge isn’t in your best interest anymore when it comes to energy savings it can still help a less fortunate family that can’t afford a newer one yet.

Top 3 Appliances That Are Draining Your Wallet

Most people do not realize how much money their outdated appliances are actually costing them. However, the higher price tag becomes very apparent if you lay the entire year out by appliance. Here are a few of the top household items that are sucking more energy than they really should be.

  1. Your old, soon-to-be broken refrigerator. None of the older refrigerators are energy conscious – most of them just have too many bulky, unnecessary parts to be efficient. Couple that with outdated coils and loose wires and you get a higher monthly energy statement.
  2. The toaster that you leave plugged in. A toaster serves no other function than toasting various bread items – so why is it necessary to leave it on 24/7? It’s not! If you are really serious about conserving energy you should try to get into the habit of unplugging it after you are finished with your morning toast.
  3. All the electronics in your living room. There is no reason to leave all the game systems and TV’s hooked up – especially when you are not even planning on using them until next week. Try to remember to unplug them after each game or movie that you finish so that you get into the habit before they cost you too much on your energy bill.

Fortunately, it is very easy to fix the above problems. In fact, it can be as easy as just unplugging them when you are not using them! However, the majority of people do not even know that they should do that. If you decide to replace any of your older appliances there are quite a few places that you can take them – you may even be able to earn some cash!

Where to Get Rid of Old Appliances

Old appliances have the potential to cost you hundreds of dollars every year because they are no longer energy efficient as they age. However, you don’t have to simply leave them on the curb if they are weighing down your wallet. Here are a few of the top places that you can get rid of your old appliances at.

  1. Local thrift stores and second hand shops. While many thrift stores don’t take the majority of older appliances that walk through their doors, most second hand and consignment shops will. If nothing else, you can donate them to charity organization so that they are still put to good use. Use your hp laptops to find different organizations locally that are in need of and accepting donations.
  2. A yard sale held during the weekend. You don’t necessarily have to hold the sale during the weekend, but generally these are the days that yield the highest amount of traffic. The important part about offering your old appliances in a yard sale is to remember not to over price them – no one is going to be interested in purchasing a 10 year old washer for more than $20, regardless of the amount you initially paid for it.
  3. Place a classified ad in the paper. Local newspapers often have a classified section that is completely dedicated to the sale of used items. If your area has one this can be a great place to get rid of a few old appliances assuming that they still function well! However, just like a yard sale, you can’t expect to make very much money if you go this route.

If you can’t find someone else that can use your old appliances you can always take them apart and redeem some of the metal scraps for some cash. It won’t be a lot of money but it can at least buy a rental movie at the end of the day! You could even make a family tradition out of it.

Shopping Practices that Help the Environment

Consumers can do their part to help the environment, simply by establishing a few new habits. With global warming and the need for energy conservation as commonly heard mantras, you can make a difference by making a few changes when you shop.

Buy New Light Bulbs

One of the simplest things that you can do is to buy a different kind of light bulb when your existing ones burn out. Compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs use much less energy than your standard light bulb. They also last longer. You don’t have to buy light bulbs as often and you will have the gratification of knowing that you are saving money and helping the environment.

Change to Purer Cleaning Supplies

Another thing you can do is to avoid purchasing cleaning products that are packed with toxic chemicals. These chemicals get flushed down the sink or the toilet. It takes energy and time to detoxify the water of these chemicals. Read product labels and choose cleaning supplies that are made with natural ingredients.

Choose Paper Over Plastic

When given the choice at the supermarket, choose paper over plastic. Plastic bags can be reused but they are not recyclable. Paper can be easily recycled. You have probably seen the images of the birds accidentally tangled up in plastic bags, unable to spread their wings. The fewer plastic bags you use, the better it will be for the environment as a whole.

Shop in an Organized Manner to Save Gas

To avoid going to the store daily, make a list and try to shop once or twice a week. You will save on fuel. If the grocery store is far from your home, set up a weekly carpool to the store with your neighbor. When shopping for a variety of items in several different stores, coordinate your trips so that you can do all of your shopping at one time. Also, shop online to save on fuel.  By visiting sites like JRDunn.com for jewelry or other online businesses, you can save money on fuel and have the items sent directly to your front door.

What Makes Furniture Green

The concept of green furniture is a new one. Most people go through life without making a connection between the couch they sit on and global warming. However, a connection exists.

Reasons to Buy Green Furniture

There are many reasons to buy green furniture. For starters, the materials from which furniture is made can be toxic to the environment. Certain materials contain chemicals. Also, many types of furniture are bulky and disposing of them just clogs up landfills. In addition, transporting furniture uses up a great deal of fuel. For all of these reasons, buying green furniture is a good idea.

Green Furniture Practices

Green furniture can fall into a variety of categories. For example, when it’s time to replace your living room set, you might visit a used furniture store to see if they have items you can reuse. This way you are not buying brand new furniture, which takes up energy to be made and uses up fuel to be transported from the manufacturer to the vendor.

Once you’ve done that, you have a decision to make about your existing living room set. If you have someone haul it off to a landfill, you are piling on more garbage in already packed landfills. A green furniture practice here would be putting an ad online to see if anyone wants to buy your living room set. It may seem like junk to you, but for a college student with limited funds, it might be exactly what he needs.

Buying Green Furniture

When buying green furniture, in addition to the used variety, you can choose from refurbished pieces. Some companies make furniture out of recycled materials. When you buy their products, you prevent excessive cutting down of trees and production of furniture from scratch. You want to also make sure that they are not creating the furniture materials with certain chemicals that pollute the environment.

How Photovoltaic Technology Can Help Your Business

Photovoltaic technology is a term thrown around by scientists, a term that can be intimidating to the average individual. In its simplest sense, this technology takes sunlight and converts it into electricity. Photovoltaic technology has powered anything from space satellites to wristwatches.

Install Solar Panels on Your Commercial Building

If you want to make the most of the sun in powering your small or large commercial building, you might consider installing solar panels. To power a small office building you will need about 20 or more solar panels. Experts who install these panels know that they should be installed on the south side of your building to harness the sun’s energy. There are also devices that track the movement of the sun, increasing the amount of sunlight captured. If you have a very large commercial building, you will probably need hundreds of solar panels.

The Benefits of Powering Your Office With Solar Panels

Installing solar panels that convert the sun’s energy into electricity saves you money. Of course, this type of energy usage makes the most sense if you are geographically located in a sunny region. Through using solar power as an electricity source, you have the satisfaction of knowing that you are not polluting the planet. When using power sources requiring oil, there are the issues of greenhouse gases and potential oil spills. Using the sun alleviates all of those concerns.

Consumers who use solar power also note that they must deal with lower levels of maintenance. Once the solar panels are installed, there are no electrical wires or parts requiring maintenance. In addition, if your office is located in a remote location, you don’t have to be concerned with running electrical wires to connect with a central grid.

Using photovoltaic technology to power your business is smart and good for the environment. A commercial building that conserves energy is also attractive to buyers should you decide to sell one day.