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May 2009


Eco-Friendly Travel Costs

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Green travel When making lodging and vehicle choices while traveling, new studies show that more than 50 percent of all U.S. adults say they would be more likely to select airlines, rental car companies or hotels that use and offer environmentally-friendly products, processes and options.

However, according to the latest Travel Horizons study conducted by the Travel Industry Association (TIA) and Ypartnership, while more than 50 percent of travelers advocate environmental responsibility, only 14 percent of respondents said their actual travel selections are influenced by a providers efforts to preserve and protect the environment.

Additionally, only a mere 13 percent reported they would be willing to pay higher rates or fares to use suppliers who demonstrate environmental responsibility. Although, 56 percent did report they would consider paying more.

It just goes to show the great strides both travelers and the travel industry are making in eco-friendly efforts.

For more sustainable travel tips visit Earth Tones.


Tips for Buying a Used Hybrid

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Prius Shopping for a car is never an easy task especially if it is a hybrid, but don't worry you don't have to spend a fortune to get the hybrid you want. There are plenty of quality hybrids that have made their rounds once before, all you have to do is consider a few key factors before your purchase.

Just like any used car run a vehicle history report, such as those offered by CarFax. Reports like these can give you valuable insight into how many different owners the hybrid car has had as well as alert you to any reported accidents involving the particular car. Look for certified pre-owned vehicles if buying from a dealer or have it inspected by an auto shop

A low mileage used hybrid car is generally better than a high mileage used hybrid car. So far hybrid cars have been as reliable as their non-hybrid counterparts, and when there have been problems, manufacturers have set things right.

One of the biggest concerns relating to buying a used hybrid car is the hybrid battery. Each hybrid car manufacturer has different warranties for their hybrid components; batteries can be expensive when the warranty is up so ask about extending the warranty.

Click here for more information on buying a used hybrid.


Best Ways to Recycle Properly

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Recycling We all know the importance of recycling, but to make the most of your eco-friendly habit the most affective way to recycle depends on what you buy. All it takes is a little precycling by taking a minute to consider the products and packaging you’re using, eliminating any extra waste beforehand and purchasing recyclable products. Here are a few things to do:

  • Don't take bags when making a small purchase
  • Use a reusable cloth or string bag when shopping, not plastic or paper
  • Use sponges instead of paper towels, and cloth napkins instead of paper
  • Look for containers that can be reused or at least recycled (glass and aluminum). Reusable containers are an even better way of recycling.
  • Don't buy single use, throw-away products (such as razors, plastic utensils, paper plates, etc.) - look for ones that can be used repetitively.
  • Buy fruits and vegetables, grains, pastas and any loose items without packaging (especially avoid styrofoam and plastic packaging)
  • Don't buy plastic

Click here to read more sustainability tips on Earth Tones.


Proximity Hotel Offers a Variety of Eco-Friendly Amenities

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Greenhotel-prox1 Built to use 40% less energy and 30% less water than a similar hotel, the Proximity Hotel in Greensboro, NC offers sustainable practices, custom-designed furnishings, commissioned art and innovative design in 147-room luxury hotel and its adjacent restaurant.

Proximity Hotel’s sustainable design follows the guidelines of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. With the goal to attain Platinum Certification, Proximity features ultra efficient materials, the latest in building technology, North America’s first installation of the Otis Gen2 elevator that generates electricity as it descends, restoration of 700 linear feet of a stream and 100 solar rooftop panels that heat enough hot water to supply 100 homes.

While many of the 70-plus energy and health enhancements will not be outwardly visible to guests, visitors are sure to notice the oversized windows providing abundant natural light and great amounts of fresh air.

Guests will enjoy flavorful food, custom-designed furniture and original h room. The hotel features 7,000 square feet of private event space, a fitness studio, outdoor swimming pool, and a guest living room on each floor. Proximity’s oversized guest rooms and suites have 50 square-foot windows, custom furnishings, high definition television and Magi beds.

For more information visit Proximity Hotel.

Click here for more eco-friendly travel tips.


Best Fuel Efficient SUV's : Saturn Vue Hybrid Review

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Saturn vue 2 mode hybrid You could call the new Saturn Vue "Greenline" V-6 Hybrid a vision of the future. This fuel-stingy vehicle  promises to win over buyers agonizing over fill-up costs and who need an SUV with a little more power.

Saturn claims bragging rights for having the "world's most fuel efficient" V-6 SUV, with the all-new 2009 Saturn Vue 2 Mode Hybrid combining both power and fuel efficiency about 50 percent better than the non-hybrid V-6.

Vue buyers who opt for the new version can expect some tangible rewards including about a 500 mile range on a single tank of regular fuel. Its towing capacity should be around 3,500 pounds — for more serious trailering than a small open utility cart.

Click here for more green car reviews.


Eco-Friendly Jewelry Makes a Fabulous Mother's Day Gift

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Recycled Sterling Silver Necklace Make your mom feel extra special this Sunday with jewelry that is not only friendly on the eyes, but friendly to the environment as well. Jaszy’s Jewelry is a great online boutique where you can find unique pieces that are made using Fair Trade resources and recycled materials; and Jaszy gives a portion of the proceeds back to protect the environment. Now fashion can serve a cause for today's earth-friendly woman. Your mom will feel extra special when she knows the beautiful necklace you give her is more than just a gift.  


Click here for more eco-friendly resources.


Stay Sustainable at the Post Ranch Inn

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Ecolodge-pic-post Sustainability is hot in the travel sphere right now; and to get a taste of the green life, why not try this stellar eco-lodge, located right in America's back yard?

Lying among the ridges of the Ventana Mountains at the edge of the Pacific Ocean, the tiny community of Big Suris home to the Post Ranch Inn. Offering stunning views of the ocean and surrounding mountains, Big Sur pampers guests with wood-burning fireplaces, king-sized beds, indoor spa tubs and more. What travelers won’t find, however, are TVs or alarm clocks.

Here, emphasis is placed on the beauty of nature and fragile ecosystem that acts as an amenity within itself. Begin the day with yoga and end with a lesson in astronomy; opportunities are as endless as the area’s shockingly starry sky.

Click here for more information on the greatest green hotels.


What to Look For in an Energy Efficient Home

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ESNWRedEnvelope If you just happen to be in the market to buy or build a new home, make sure it is energy efficient by looking for eco-friendly features when planning any renovations.

If your home is ENERGY STAR qualified it is at least 15 percent more energy efficient. Any home three stories or less can earn the ENERGY STAR label if it is verified to meet the EPA’s guidelines for energy efficiency. This includes site-constructed homes; system built and log homes, or existing homes. Here are some features you can check out in your current or new home to make sure it can be energy efficient.

1. Effective insulation in walls, floors and attics

2. High-performance windows help keep heat in during the winter months and out during summer.

3. Tight construction and ducts improves comfort and indoor air quality while reducing utility bills.

Learn more about ENERGY STAR qualifications from the EPA.


Click here to get more of the latest environmentally-progressive information.


New Car Review: 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid

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Ford-EscapeHyBrid Ford's hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) off the Escape CUV has a new 153-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that drinks gasoline plus a battery-powered electric motor to make this vehicle an eco-friendly consumer favorite. The electric plant can propel the wagon or work with the gas engine to deliver a power boost like the kick of a V6. An electronic control module manages energy produced by the two plants and sends it directly to the front wheels — or to all four wheels for the AWD version. 


Read more hybrid reviews at Planet Driven.


Improve Sustainability in the Workplace

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Corporate Responsibility Corporate buildings create an enormous ecological footprint by consuming more than 45 percent of commercial energy resources. However, UK-based Planon has developed a concept called Green Workplace Economics, which centers on gaining profit through cost savings while simultaneously improving environmental sustainability.

Many corporations are pressured to identify immediate cost savings in the face of a major economic crisis and an enormous environmental challenge. The new Green Workplace Economics concept answers those challenges with three factors: Eliminate waste, Align Need, Improve agility.

The goal is to help corporations effectively manage the increasing workforce flexibility and in turn create a smarter, efficient workplace to reduce costs and simultaneously improve the sustainability footprint.

(Source: Planon Ltd.)