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Archive for Sponsored Post

April 5th, 2016

How to Make the Switch to Clean Energy With MyDomino (Giveaway: Nest Programmable Thermostat!)

How to Make the Switch to Clean Energy & MyDomino Nest Giveaway! Groovy Green Livin

 This is a sponsored post created in collaboration with MyDomino. I did receive compensation. All opinions are my own.

When you hear the phrase “clean energy” what do you think?  Clean energy is heat and electricity produced from renewable resources such as solar, wind and water. This form of energy generates little or no pollution or emissions when used. When our electricity comes from clean energy sources we avoid the carbon dioxide emissions that would have come from burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, or natural gas. What a simple way to help prevent climate change!

Over the past few years we’ve been making small changes in our home to help reduce our carbon footprint. A few years ago we installed a tankless hot water heater (which I love). This water heater only provides hot water when needed and is therefore much more energy efficient than a standard storage hot water tank.

We also installed a Nest Programmable Thermostat and it doesn’t disappoint (*enter below to win your own Nest valued at $249!).  Nest learns the temperatures you like and programs itself in about a week. It automatically turns itself down when nobody’s home to help you save energy. With the Nest app, you can change the temperature, check energy history and get an alert if your home is too hot or cold.

I have a long bucket list of simple energy efficient upgrades I’d like to make at home, but I never seem to get to them….until now.

What is MyDomino?

How to Make the Switch to Clean Energy & MyDomino Nest Giveaway! Groovy Green Livin
When I was contacted by MyDomino I had no idea what the company was all about. After doing a bit of research I soon discovered that it’s a pretty cool service that helps consumers make environmentally friendly choices in their own home. They help with everything from getting and comparing solar quotes to finding the right electric car to picking the right LED light bulbs for your home.

Here’s how it works*:

Sign up to speak with the MyDomino Energy Concierge service.

  1. Visit MyDomino.com. Click “Get Started” and submit your information.
  2. Your concierge will schedule a 15 minute phone call with you to discuss energy saving options.
  3. After your call you will receive a dashboard where you can purchase products and track your actions.
  4. MyDomino concierges are available to answer questions about their vetted products or about new clean energy projects you undertake, such as a solar installation or purchase of an electric vehicle.

I made an appointment and ended up speaking with a very knowledgeable concierge from MyDomino. During our short call I quickly discovered that MyDomino concierges are not pushy salespeople and do not work on commission. What I love most about MyDomino is how personalized their service is. They spend the time getting to know you and then make energy saving suggestions specific to your situation. During my consultation we ended up talking about adding solar to my home, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a while.

If you’re wondering how MyDomino makes money they make a small referral fee from vendor products and services purchased through their site.

After my telephone consultation, I was sent an Energy Savings Plan tailored to my needs. The plan included several actions that I was able to take right away to start saving energy and money (switch to LED lights, wash laundry in cold water). On my personalized dashboard I was able to click on the suggestions and read additional articles filled with helpful information about energy savings possibilities.

MyDomino is a gem. Their service is so simple to use. Everything is laid out neatly and it’s easy to choose what energy saving actions will work for you and your family. There’s no pressure to do anything-it’s really up to you to decide what makes sense.

*MyDomino Nest Programmable Thermostat Giveaway (value $249)!

Now for the good stuff! The kind folks at MyDomino have  offered one Groovy Green Livin reader a Nest programmable thermostat. How cool is that?! There’s a two step process for entry (make an appointment and a short phone call with an Energy concierge) and you must enter by April 15, 2016.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE. Good luck!

CONGRATULATIONS TO SARAH L!


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.



Disclaimer: I’m working in partnership with MyDomino for this post and I am compensated for my work. I also received a Nest programmable thermostat to test out. The opinions and thoughts contained in this post are 100% mine. I only work with companies I support and think you, my readers, will like. 

January 15th, 2016

10 Ways to Use the Sun at Home

How to Use the Sun at Home Groovy Green Livin

Here comes the sun

As I looked outside my office window this morning and saw a light dusting of snow I was forced to squint and close the wood slat shades. The sun was beaming in, filling my entire work space with radiant sunlight. Even during the winter months the sunshine is a welcome addition to any snow-filled day. Sometimes I forget how truly lucky we are to have an infinite energy resource. The sun.

While climate change conversations continue to swirl during the months leading up to the presidential election it’s crucial to remember that more than 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from energy-related sources.

The sun really comes into play when we become serious about tackling the issue of climate change. Low-carbon energy sources like solar and wind are essential.  Annie said it best: “The sun will come out tomorrow.” Solar energy is where it’s at since the sun’s going to be around for a long, long time.

Solar energy is simply the light and heat that come from the sun and it’s in demand. Over the last year, the solar industry added jobs twelve times faster than the rest of the economy, even more than the jobs created by the oil and gas extraction and pipeline sectors combined.

There are a few simple ways that we can harness the sun’s energy around our homes.

Install Solar Panels

Installing solar panels are one way to use the suns energy in our own homes. Making electricity with solar panels uses 91% less CO2 pollution than using natural gas, and 96% less CO2 than coal.

Solar Chargers

A few years ago I reviewed the Solar Joos Orange Portable Solar Charger which is designed to charge all personal electronic devices including smart phones, iPads and more. Now there are so many options for solar chargers. What a simple way to use the sun’s energy!

Install a Sky Light

Add a sky light to your home. Sky lights can add extra light and warmth to your home and in turn will reduce your heating and lighting cost.

Solar Blanket for Your Pool

If you own a swimming pool you’re going to want to check this out. This eco-friendly solar blanket increases temperature of the pool water by approx. 3 ~ 5 degrees by capturing the sun’s rays.

Solar Powered Lamp Posts

Time to replace your lamp posts with this Solar-Powered LED Streetlight-Style Outdoor Light. The LED bulbs are charged by the sun and automatically turn on at dusk.

Make a Solar Oven Out of a Pizza Box

This is a fun experiment to try with your kids.

Choose Your Roof Color Wisely

The color of the shingles you choose can have a significant impact on your home’s energy efficiency. Use the sun to your advantage by choosing lighter colors in warmer climates which will reduce heat absorption from the sun. In cooler climates go for darker shingles to help to melt winter snow

Solar Keyboard

I really want to try this Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard. What a clever idea! The keyboard charges itself with any light, including the one on your desk.

Solar Flashlight

It’s time to invest in a flashlight where the battery can be charged with the built in hand crank or the built in solar panel.

Line Dry Clothes

An average dryer cycle uses a tremendous amount of energy and contributes to CO2 emissions. If everyone committed to hanging up one load of laundry outside each week, we would save over a million tonnes of CO2 in a year. Yes, you can dry them outside even in the winter!

Cool fact:

How do you use the sun’s energy at home?


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.



Disclaimer: I’m working in partnership with SolarCity for this post and I am compensated for my work. The opinions and thoughts contained in this post are 100% mine. I only work with companies I support and think you, my readers, will like. 

photo credit: Percée de lumière via photopin (license)

April 14th, 2015

Shop for the Planet This Earth Day at ClimateStore

Shop for the Planet This Earth Day at ClimateStore Groovy Green Livin

Earth Day is quickly approaching and it’s time to kick off the celebration. April 22nd is the big day. There are fun events planned everywhere. Here in Boston there’s truly something for everyone. 

Although there’s a designated “Earth Day”, I think we can all agree that the earth needs more than one day to heal. Let this one day serve as a catalyst to get the do-gooder in each of us up and running for the remaining 364 days of the year. Remember:

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. ~Anonymous

Earth Day at ClimateStore

As you know, I’m one of 8 bloggers working with ClimateStore as part of their newly launched Ambassador Program. You can check us all out HERE. This program was created by ClimateStore to help get the message out about climate change, and more importantly, to increase the awareness surrounding our own ability to lower our carbon footprint. ClimateStore was founded in 2013 and is building a national brand where consumers can learn about climate change, make an action plan, and find products to reduce their carbon impact.

What a perfect fit for Earth Day.

Happy anniversary to ClimateStore.com! Their online shop opened for business one year ago.

In honor of Earth Day and their exciting anniversary, ClimateStore has teamed up with Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF).

While living in the US it’s  easy to forget that there are millions of people in other parts of the world that have no access to power. SELF, based in Washington D.C., is a nonprofit whose mission is to implement solar energy solutions to assist the 1.5 billion people living in energy poverty with their economic, educational, health care and agricultural development. SELF does this by conducting small solar installations in places with a specific need. For example, after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, SELF solar installations helped power eight health centers.

Shop for the Planet This Earth Day at ClimateStore Groovy Green Livin

In honor of Earth Day ClimateStore will be donating 10% of proceeds from all purchases made during Earth Week (April 20 – 27) to the Solar Electric Lighting Fund. Your Earth Week purchases through ClimateStore.com help support SELF projects in more than 6 countries.

This Earth Day initiative, which ClimateStore has dubbed #10forSolar, gives consumers an opportunity to shop for themselves while donating to an amazing cause at no extra cost. 10% of the proceeds for every purchase will provide solar power!

Use #10forSolar on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to show your support.

Head on over to ClimateStore  and take a look at some of their new products. They’re constantly adding more to their site. I just ordered these small, round pots for my son to start seeds for our garden. Shhhh it’s a surprise.

How are you celebrating Earth Day this year?

 


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


Disclaimer: I work in partnership with ClimateStore as a blogger ambassador and I am compensated for my work . The opinions and thoughts contained in this post are 100% mine. I only work with companies I support and think you, my readers, will like. 

 

 

 

 

March 27th, 2015

10 Things I Love About the ClimateStore

 

What I Love About climatestore Groovy Green Livin

I have some really exciting partnerships lined up for 2015. Stay tuned-I’ll be sharing the full list with you shortly. What I’ve really been noticing this year is the number of brands who are truly committed to protecting our families and the planet. They get it. No greenwashing, no gimmicks, just the real deal. They want to educate, encourage discussion, and find solutions, while selling a product or products in the process. I’m OK with that. A winning combination in my eyes.

ClimateStore Background

ClimatStore has stepped up to the plate in this category.

They are the real deal-working hard to make it fun and easy for families to learn about climate change and to find energy efficient and sustainably made products that will help them reduce their carbon footprint.

Check out the 10 things I love about ClimateStore

  1. I’m one of 8 bloggers in their newly launched Ambassador Program. There are plenty of familiar faces (some of my fave green bloggers!). You can check us all out HERE. I’m incredibly honored to be a part of such a remarkable team. This program was created by ClimateStore to help get the message out about climate change, and more importantly, to increase awareness surrounding our own ability to lower our carbon footprint. How amazing is that?!
  2. The company launched with about 250 carbon lowering products. These include energy efficient lighting, water saving devices, smart home technology, home décor, laundry items, travel gear, educational materials, and accessories. Each product is evaluated to identify exactly how it reduces carbon emissions, including the production, use, and disposal phases of the product’s lifecycle.
  3. ClimateStore uses a simple carbon footprint icon system. They review all their products for carbon impact and award icons to those that produce fewer greenhouse gases (GHGs) in either the production, use and/or disposal phases of their lifecycle. For example this Stainless Steel Compost Kitchen Caddy.
  4. The site isn’t only about selling products. There’s a large educational component. There are summaries of the latest climate science and impacts, the importance of acting now, content and activities for children, and frequently asked questions.
  5. You can set up your very own personal action plan. They start with easy achievable actions, such as taking shorter showers, and then move on to steps that lead to larger reductions that will be even more rewarding.
  6. ClimateStore is local! They’re practically in my backyard, based in Massachusetts. When given the opportunity, I try to support local businesses rather than the big box stores.
  7. They offer carbon neutral shipping on all orders. ClimateStore purchases verified carbon offsets cover its entire operational carbon footprint.
  8. They have sustainability partnerships. ClimateStore supports environmental non-profits as a 1% for the Planet Partner. They donate 1% of their revenues to support non-profits with missions to mitigate climate change.
  9. The ClimateStore website is powered by renewable energy. Their website is hosted by GreenGeeks, a web hosting service that is 100% powered by renewable wind power.
  10. Office recycling. Currently, the ClimateStore office recycles more than half of their office waste.

Check out the ClimateStore site. There are plenty of great products and a lot of important climate change information. I’d love to know what you think.

 


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


Disclaimer: I work in partnership with ClimateStore as a blogger ambassador and I am compensated for my work . The opinions and thoughts contained in this post are 100% mine. I only work with companies I support and think you, my readers, will like. 

Polar bear photo credit Hugh Rose of Hugh Rose Photography.

January 8th, 2015

How to Keep Your Car in Tip Top Shape During the Winter

How to Keep Your Car in Tip Top Shape During the Winter Groovy Green Livin

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and I am receiving compensation. As always, all opinions are my own.

It’s official. Winter has arrived in Boston. Today I’m in my office with a fire blazing, a hot cup of tea and multiple layers of clothing. You would think having grown up in Wisconsin the cold would be no big deal, but I can’t shake the chill.

This morning the cold almost got the best of my car. When I tried to start it the ignition didn’t turn over immediately. After a few “coughs” it finally started.

Thankfully there are a few simple tips to make sure your car is ready for the winter months ahead.

  1. A clean car is your first line of defense against winter.  While the winter season typically takes a toll on your car, proper maintenance can go a long way to preserving your investment.   Getting a new wash and a fresh coat of wax before the temperature starts to fluctuate can be your first line of defense against winter elements like ice, salt, sand and slush. Vehicular corrosion also occurs most quickly when temperatures rise and then fall below freezing.  Try to find a WaterSavers® Car Wash in your area. These car washes typically use only 40 gallons (151.5 liters) or less of fresh water per car wash.
  1. Rotate your tires. Most people know they should get their oil changed every 3,000 miles, but many forget their tires need maintenance as well. Tires should be rotated before winter and then again every 6,000 miles.
  1. Add some winter weight to your oil. Changing your oil and filter is especially important during the winter. Drivers who live in a colder climate should consider changing to heavier, winter-weight oil during the winter months. 
  1. Take care of your wiper blades. Your windshield wiper blades are your first line of defense when the snow starts to fly. Make sure your wiper blades are in good, working order and replace them if you have doubts. It’s better to make this change now instead of finding out your blades aren’t working when you really need them. 
  1. Take your car in for a tune-up. Any noises, pings or sluggish starts you currently notice will only intensify as the temperature drops. It’s best to get your vehicle in for a tune-up as soon as possible to get any issues addressed. 
  1. Give your steering some power. Check your powering steering fluid each month, and make sure the car is warmed up before you do so. If you find the level is low, look for leaks in the hoses or pump. Low power steering fluid will make your car more difficult to steer, which is something you’ll want to avoid as the roads get slick. 
  1. Protect yourself from carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide leaks are dangerous at any time, but they are especially deadly during the winter when you will be driving your vehicle with the windows closed. Have your exhaust system checked to make sure no leak exists. 
  1. Apply the brakes. Besides the seatbelt, your car’s brakes are its most important safety feature. This is especially true in the winter when slippery conditions can make stopping difficult. Before the first snow fall, bring your car to an experienced mechanic to verify that your brakes are ready for the season.

How do prepare your car for the winter?

photo credit: PommeGranny via photopin cc

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by  International Car Wash Association (ICA). All opinions are my own. For more information on sponsored posts, read here.

November 5th, 2014

Softcup Menstrual Cup Review

 

Groovy Green Livin Softcup

Disclaimer: This post was created in partnership with Softcup. I did receive compensation. All opinions are my own.

Softcup has come in and out  of my life over the past few years and I have to admit that I’m glad it’s back again.

Softcup is a menstrual cup. Never heard of a menstrual cup? Softcup is a flexible cup, worn internally around your cervix (do you know where your cervix is?), that collects rather than absorbs menstrual flow. It replaces the need for tampons and pads if used properly.

I can feel all the cringing as you’re reading this. Stick with me-this is important on so many levels.

There are actually two Softcup options:

  1. Disposable which can be worn for up to 12 hours and is then discarded, and
  2. Reusable which can be worn for up to 12 hours and reused throughout one menstrual cycle.

I’m a fan of the reusable option.

Personal Benefits of SoftCup

Groovy Green Livin Softcup

I’ve put Softcup to the test during a workout and while downhill skiing. It can be worn during any activity including sports, swimming and while sleeping.

I started using a reusable Softcup a few years ago and the journey has been interesting. There were times when I went back to my organic tampons for no reason other than they were close by. But I keep returning to my reusable Softcup. It took a few cycles to get it right, but it’s so worth it. This month I’m feeling completely comfortable and can finally say that I have successfully greened my period.

Once Softcup is inserted properly you really can’t feel it. This isn’t the case with tampons-we always know when they’re around. Also, Softcup isn’t linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) and does not cause dryness or irritation.

Softcup doesn’t contain latex, silicone, phthalates, BPA, PVC or dioxins.

Environmental Benefits of Softcup

Fifty to 70 percent of American women use tampons. A typical woman can use anywhere between 8,000 to 17,000 tampons in her lifetime. The number varies quite a bit since every woman is unique and her cycle is different. The average woman throws away up to 300 pounds of feminine hygiene related products in a lifetime. That’s a tremendous amount of waste. Then there’s the plastic wrapper around the tampon box or pads and the paper or plastic packaging around every box and individual tampon or pad. I haven’t even mentioned the cardboard or plastic applicator. So much waste.

The process to make each and every tampon and pad also involves a lot of waste. The cotton alone is resource intensive as the farming of cotton requires large amounts of water, pesticides and fertilizer.

A final added Softcup bonus: For every box of Softcup you buy, Softcup will donate a reusable cup to a woman or girl in Africa. You can find out more about Project Dignity HERE.

Phew. You made it! Are you hooked or at least open to giving Softcup a try (or passing the info on to any women in your life)?

 


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


 Disclosure: I received product and compensation from SoftCup for this post, but the opinions are my own. 

July 28th, 2014

Calling All College Students! Head Back to School with Zipcar

Groovy Green Livin College Zipcar

 This post was created in partnership with Zipcar. I did receive compensation. All opinions are my own.

Whether you have kids in college or not, the back-to-school college buzz is hard to miss. It’s happening right now. Walk into any big box store over the next few months and I can promise you that you’ll be bombarded with all the “necessities” for dorm living coming at you in every color imaginable.

Thankfully my kids are a few years away from college. I don’t think I could handle an empty nest anytime soon. Right now I’m having enough trouble dealing with a few weeks of overnight camp.

When I was in college having a car on campus wasn’t an option. The university I went to was car friendly, but parking spots were hard to come by.

At that time college transportation options were few-buy a car, use a bike, a scooter, public transportation (which didn’t get you most places) or walk.

I ended up getting a scooter, something like the one pictured below. I hope I didn’t look like this guy when I was riding.

Groovy Green Livin College Zipcar

Having a scooter was such a cool ride. Parking was a breeze. Pull up and park at any bike rack.

Times have changed and now even scooter parking spots are hard to come by. Plus the cost of the scooter and insurance isn’t cheap.

Thankfully if you’re headed to college today there are many more sustainable options for transportation.

What is Zipcar?

Have you noticed the Zipcar symbol on cars zipping around town? Groovy Green Livin Zipcar For those of you aren’t familiar with Zipcar, it’s a car sharing service.

Car sharing programs like Zipcar are an important component of a sustainable transportation network on university campuses where parking is often in high demand.  

Each Zipcar can meet the needs of between 40 and 60 students, faculty and staff,  helping to make parking on campus a little more manageable. And at a time when campuses have been forced to ration parking spots, offering Zipcar is a great way to give people an option.

Zipping around College Campus: What is Zipcar for Universities?

This is where mom and dad with a kid or two headed off to college should really tune in.

Zipcar for Universities is all about the convenience of having a car without the hassles of having a car on campus. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

Zipcar pioneered the use of car sharing on college campuses.  They first partnered with MIT and then Harvard.  Now Zipcar is on over 350 colleges and university campuses across North America.  It’s easy to check if your school is on the list

Discount for You Through Zipcar’s Alliance with Ford University

Zipcar has an alliance with Ford Motor Company that enables them to offer $10 off the $35 annual membership fee for the first 100,000 new university members who sign up, plus $1 off the Zipcar hourly rate for the first 1 million hours of use on any of the new Ford vehicles at participating colleges and universities.  

Here’s How Zipcar works

After paying the annual fee of $25 you’re ready to roll. Zipcar charges by the hour for use of a Zipcar. No car ownership required! No car payments, no gas payments and no costly car insurance.

Zipcar for Sustainability

Traffic on campus creates significant pollution and emissions. Many schools have programs like transit passes, bike lockers, ride sharing and others that get people to campus without a car. Zipcar gives these people access to a car on campus without needing to drive one to campus. This helps reduce the carbon footprint and increase air quality.

This combination of benefits – cost savings, convenience and fun for students along with practical and cost saving options for universities is what is driving the expansion of Zipcar on campuses across the country.

Using Zipcar while at school is an eco-friendly and financially sound option.  

Using a Zipcar is simple: Grab a Zipcar near campus and use it for an hour or day. Gas and insurance included. Join Zipcar and get $10 off the first-year membership.

TO JOIN: First check if your school has a Zipcar program HERE then click HERE  to join.

Have you tried Zipcar? I’d love to hear what you think.

Groovy Green Livin ZipcarDisclosure: I’ve been chosen as an official Zipcar influencer. I’m incredibly honored to be given this opportunity since I believe in what Zipcar is doing.  This post was created in partnership with Zipcar. I did receive compensation and there are affiliate links which help support this blog. All opinions are my own.

photo credit: James Alby via photopin cc

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About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney, mom of three and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. Come along with me as I work hard to make the world a little safer for each of us.

Click HERE to contact Lori

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