OG’s Top Ten Ideas for a Green Halloween

Halloween house

Image by Marissa Babin via Flickr

Did you know that this Halloween, we will be throwing out over a billion pounds of pumpkins? That the candles you’re using in the background could expose you to carcinogens like benzene? That you can fashion up some creative costumes and crafts without even leaving your home? Here’s our tip sheet on how to turn your next Halloween green (and save some green while you’re at it).

Read more: Top Ten Ideas


Renewable Energy – Beyond Wind and Solar


Illustration: Different types of renewable energy.

Image via Wikipedia

With the world’s energy needs growing rapidly, can zero-carbon energy options be scaled up enough to make a significant difference? How much of a dent can these alternatives make in the world’s total energy usage over the next half-century? As the MIT Energy Initiative approaches its fifth anniversary next month, this five-part series takes a broad overview of the likely scalable energy candidates.

Colleges are also doing their part by offering classes in: environmental studies, civil engineering and many other green technologies, you can learn more by attending an undergraduate business school near you.

Beyond wind and solar power, a variety of carbon-free sources of energy — notably biofuels, geothermal energy and advanced nuclear power — are seen as possible ways of meeting rising global demand.

Continue Reading:  Harnessing the Earth

Courtesy: David L. Chandler, MIT.org

Green Window Treatment Traits

Guest Post by Tom Vatury

The idea of  “going green” has become such a popular trend, that it can be related to just about every aspect of your life. This includes how you choose window treatments for your home. Many people just see window treatments as decoration or a way to have more privacy, but there are a few things you can look for in shades that make your home more environmentally friendly.

Energy efficiency is the first and most important of these green characteristics. It’s not only good for the environment to have energy efficient window treatments; it’s good for your finances too. Window treatments that are energy efficient can significantly lower your energy bills by insulating your home and providing thermal protection. Some types of window treatments are more effective at reducing heat loss and others are better at stopping heat gain. The climate you live in and the type of material you select are both factors in how energy efficient your window treatment will be.

The R-Value and Shading Coefficient ratings of a window treatment’s material are the best way to determine how energy efficient it is. The R-Value tells you the material’s effectiveness at preventing heat loss and the Shading Coefficient will tell you how much heat is allowed in. So, if you live in a region where temperatures are warmer for most of the year, you want to go with a material that has a low R-Value and high Shading Coefficient. Read more »

Business Energy Greening

Guest Post by Rhian Farnworth

How Your Business can Save Money and Help the Environment

Many small and medium enterprises are faced with a struggle for survival in the current economic climate. This is why some managers overlook ways in which to improve business activities and processes in an environmental context. While managers are understandably preoccupied with matters of profit and loss, what many fail to realize is that business energy greening can help to save money, as noted by energy consultancy firms such as uSwitchforbusiness.

There are numerous ways in which businesses can save money by streamlining activities in an environmental context. Reducing a company’s carbon footprint – the extent to which something emits (directly or indirectly) greenhouse gases into the atmosphere – can be tackled on all fronts. Read more »

Ten Tips for an Eco-Friendly Halloween

Friendly pumpkin

Image via Wikipedia

A greener Halloween? Yes, it can be done.  As you’ve probably figured out from walking into any store this October, Halloween has become a bit of a nightmare for the environment.  These days anything short of an entire yard transformed into a lit-up plastic graveyard or petro-chemical-based spider hatchery has come to be considered un-festive.

And here’s a spooky Halloween fact: Last year alone more than 40 million kids went trick-or-treating. All that adds up to a huge amount of consumerism and waste with ghoulish impacts on our environment and wildlands.

That said, I love Halloween and I sure don’t want to be the neighborhood curmudgeon who shuts herself in and turns off the lights on Halloween night. So I think I’ll balance my guilt by having myself a green Halloween™ . I invite you to join me in any way you can. Here are ten ideas for making your own Halloween green:

Continue Reading: Eco-Friendly Halloween