The growth of green building, why ESC’s should care

Even in today’s unstable housing market, demand is growing for green and eco-conscious homes. More than 97,000 homes nationwide have been built and certified by voluntary green building programs since the mid-1990s, according to the National Association of Home Builders, representing a 50 percent increase from NAHB’s 2004 survey. Further, more than half of NAHB’s 235,000 members (representing about 80 percent of homebuilders) reported that they expect to employ at least some green building practices by the end of the year. There are more than 2,000 LEED Certified Projects and 4,000 NAHB Certified projects. With new technologies like energy monitoring and management systems emerging, as well as a growing number of ENERGY STAR and eco-conscious tech solutions available, more installers are going to be faced with installing such systems in green homes. With the February 2009 passing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, homeowners are receiving more tax incentives and rebates on both state and federal levels for installing energy saving or green systems in their homes. As these systems become more affordable and homeowners receive more financial incentives to install them, general contractors will look for sub-contractors who possess experience with green homes. Installing a green tech system can garner valuable LEED points for the homeowner. Of specific interest to custom integrators is that, trough the Innovation and Design (ID) category, energy monitoring and management systems can add LEED points to a home’s application.

Many of customers are thinking about the environment and their impact on it.

Today’s technology products can enhance a customer’s lifestyle; decreasing energy and water usage and increasing environmental sustainability. When integrated to function as part of a home control system operating throughout your home’s living and working spaces, product performance, as well as comfort and convenience, can be enhanced; greater gains in savings can be realized.

Home control systems can help reduce impact on our environment by providing you with local and remote access and control, as well as monitoring of major energy systems in your home, such as heating and cooling, lighting, hot water, your water use and even an entire home’s energy consumption.

Benefits include monitoring your home systems while at work or on travel; returning to a house that’s comfortably cool or warm; turning-off lights in empty rooms; and increasing hot water in anticipation of demand, while decreasing it off peak. Monitoring water use might even reveal problems; protecting a customer against a damaging water leak.

posted by KDL | follow me on Twitter : newscaster

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Reducing and Centralizing Wiring for a LEED Home

When Kimberly and Joe Hageman approached me to work on their Green Life Smart Life project, they told me their goal was to show how green lifestyles and digital lifestyles could happily coexist. Immediately, my mind focused on lighting control and HVAC control, which together account for around 90 percent of the energy consumption in an average home.

Leviton structured wiring boxes

Leviton structured wiring boxes

Traditionally, custom integrators have focused on the ease-of-use and convenience that lighting and HVAC control systems can provide. My thoughts turned to shifting the focus of these subsystems towards enabling energy-efficient operation of lights and climate control.

Kim and Joe agreed, but they wanted to go further: They wanted a green infrastructure, too.

Now here was something I’d never encountered. But it made me realize for the first time that installing a system in a green home isn’t started by making “green” product choices. It starts with the home systems’ design. It requires careful planning and coordination with the homeowner, the architect, the interior designer, and the other trades before a single wire is run.

With full knowledge that a possibly arduous path lay before us, the Hagemans and I set out to devise a green wiring solution.

These were new criteria that I hadn’t worked with before. However, if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the custom business, it’s that you need to be versatile, able to make changes on the fly and, most importantly, be willing to accommodate each project and its unique requirements. This was just another in a long line of curveballs I’d encountered throughout my career, and it’s always rewarding to put the barrel on the ball.

We examined our traditional solution approach, and determined the environmental impacts. This was a highly useful exercise in and of itself, because going forward now I’ll know what impact my most commonly used products and materials would have in a green installation.

We investigated “green” cabling, which uses halogen-free plastic jackets that are still not terribly earth-friendly, but a bit less hostile to the earth all the same. Turns out, the Europeans like it, but you can’t get it in America. Believe me, we looked, and no warehouse we could find carries it.

So our attention turned to another requirement: using as little cable as possible. That meant both fewer cables and the shortest possible runs.

“Fewer cables”, of course, runs counter to the time-honored custom integration strategy of installing more wire than is necessary in order to ostensibly future-proof a system (and to cover your bases in case an unexpected change in the installation arises after the cabling has already been installed). I was lucky in this instance; unlike many clients, Kim and Joe, not only no strangers to tech but also passionate about it, knew pretty well before construction started what they wanted in each room and location. We just ran whatever the expected hardware in each location would require, and nothing more.

Centralized wire runs

Centralized wire runs

We also had another trick up our sleeve: conduit. We ran Carlon® Resi-Gard® to our critical locations and just enough cable through the conduit as we thought we needed. And if we needed to run more cable later, we wouldn’t need to tear open the walls. We could just snake it through the conduit. Essentially, the conduit makes the system inherently future-proof and cuts down on unnecessary use of cable. Additionally, you’re not going to be in a position where you need to cut into drywall later to add wiring. An empty (or semi-empty) pipe is as good as it gets.

Which brings me to my next point about green wiring (and, in fact, any wiring job): Establish your cabling pathways as far ahead of actual construction as you can. In a green home, chances are your client will be thinking about these things further out, since every amount and type of material used in the home can positively or negatively impact its LEED® for Homes (or competitive equivalent) rating. The other tradespeople will appreciate it as well, and you can build more solid relationships and channels of communication with them.

This was especially key in the Green Life Smart Life house in terms of assuring the shortest possible cable runs. Because we were involved so early in the process, we got preferential treatment for locating the head-end of the system. After evaluating the placement of the entertainment systems, we figured out a spot in the basement that would be the shortest distance from all points. As a result, our racks are located directly below the main entertainment area, which is directly below the master bedroom and adjacent to the main utility room where all of the electrical boxes and lighting control system would be housed. Everything shares a common wall.

Usually, we’re the last ones in, we run our cables after all the other trades’ wiring, venting and pipes are installed, and we have to take what we can get in terms of placing our gear. In this case, however: paradise. Because we are professionals and try to be as courteous to the other trades as possible, we made sure our impact was manageable for the other trades.

Another happy circumstance from both a green and an interior design perspective is that we don’t have any local entertainment equipment aside from displays. We centralized content and control in our head-end equipment room. This cuts down on the cabling required and eliminates excess heat generated from typical AV equipment into a finished room (which has dual benefits since we are directing the heat into the generally cool, unfinished utility space and the living spaces do not have to compensate with cooling for the equipment heat).

Lutron lighting control panels, centralized to hub

Lutron lighting control panels, centralized to hub

I was intrigued to find that the most significant impact we were able to make on this project in its course toward a more sustainable guide, was in the planning.  I was truly amazed that when we tallied the completed wire runs, and compared it to both similarly sized homes and similarly sized projects with home control and entertainment systems, we reduced the amount of wire installed on the project by 52%. By thinking about how we could take the most conservative approach, the application of a well thought plan was the most powerful thing we could do.  I was inspired to learn more about the principles of “green” design.  The project itself exposed me to the application process for LEED® accreditation, and through it, the instrumentation and measurement of the gains realized by good design.  Myself, I’ve taken an interest in the process, and l am beginning to appreciate the value that could be held as a building and energy analyst. 

My involvement in the Green Life Smart Life project was a terrific experience because it allowed me to reexamine the way in which we make decisions and re-value the criteria on which our projects and process are based. It’s certainly affected our typical project. Going forward, what I learned on this project will inform all of my future installations—and not just the green ones. This was a highly rewarding exercise and I’m happy to share what I learned with the custom integration community. Our last step, we are going to submit this plan for a LEED-H Innovation and Design point. This has no precedent so it has to be evaluated, but we will let you know the findings.

By Jeff Mitchell, Robert Saglio Audio Video and Lead Integrator for Green Life Smart Life. Jeff is a CEDIA certified installer and a member of the CEA TechHome. He has been with Robert Saglio AV for more than ten years.  Follow Jeff on Twitter : @audiojeff

 

CleanWell All-Natural Sanitizers

Have you ever wondered what exactly is in the cleaning products you use on yourself and your family? Have you ever wondered what that “freshly clean” smell is? Think its good for you? Truth is that smell is often the chemicals used in cleaning products. Yes, you clean yourself and your children with chemicals. While some are ok with that, CleanWell wasn’t and set out to change it.

CleanWell’s Facts:

  • Kills 99.99% of harmful germs on contact. Including MRSA, E.Coli and Salmonella
  • Safe for Kids, no ingestion risk
  • Made with a revolutionary green technology that is a patented blend of essential oils lab-proven to kill 99.99% of germs. A safe and all-natural germ killer with no toxic chemicals
  • Free of toxic chemicals such as Triclosan, Benzalkonium, Chloride, and Alcohol
  • 100% biodegradable, which means it breaks down quickly and completely without upsetting the natural balance of the ecosystem
  • Certified cruelty-free. Not tested on animals

According to the company’s website, CleanWell is made from plants which are readily available and rapidly renewable resources – no pesticides or fertilizer are used, and there are no petrochemicals or toxic byproducts resulting from the harvest or distillation. Choosing products Powered by CleanWell means fewer toxic chemicals will be manufactured, exposed to your family, and discharged into the environment.

CleanWell makes a variety of products, including: an all-natural hand sanitizer, pocket wipes, and hand soap. To find a store near you, visit the company’s store finder.

I have yet to try out these products. Have any of you?

Posted by: Lauren

GE, Whirlpool, Others Launch Smart Green Grid Initiative

 

 

Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE: WHR) and a number of other companies announced the creation of a new collaborative effort aimed at demonstrating the role of smart grid technologies and practices in the achievement of climate change goals.

Called the Smart Green Grid Initiative (SGGI), the effort will include educational events at the upcoming climate change meetings in Copenhagen. SGGI has been approved by the United Nations to be an official smart grid delegation to the Copenhagen meetings. SGGI will also be sponsoring educational events in the U.S. in the weeks preceding the meetings in Copenhagen.

Supporters of the Smart Green Grid Initiative include National Grid (NYSE: NGG), Southern Company (NYSE: SO), AEP (NYSE: AEP), Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), LG Electronics (LGERF.PK),Landis + Gyr, Echelon (Nasdaq: ELON), Tendril, Ice Energy, Enspiria, eMeter and Itron (Nasdaq: ITRI).

“We need to help the world understand the real potential for Smart Grid technologies to help slow climate change,” said Bob Gilligan, vice president of GE Energy’s Transmission and Distribution business. “Smart Grid solutions are often viewed primarily for their efficiency and cost savings, but every kilowatt saved is also a carbon savings. Add the potential carbon benefits we get through easier integration of more renewable energy, like wind and solar, and the Smart Grid can have a major effect on the carbon impact of our energy infrastructure.”

For example, with a key component of climate change policies being increased use of renewable energy, SGGI said it will try to help parties understand and manage its variable and intermittent nature. It will try to demonstrate that demand response and energy storage solutions can dynamically complement renewable resources–and avoid the building of new fossil-fuel power plants to fill the availability gaps and peak needs.

“Another important area is energy efficiency,” said Dan Delurey, Chairman of the Smart Green Grid Initiative. “Today, it is important to view energy efficiency in a more holistic and dynamic way than in the past. New technologies and applications mean that energy efficiency can mean more than just replacing one device with a newer, more efficient one. It can include providing new information to the consumer that they have simply never had before. Research has shown that electricity customers with energy usage information become more energy efficient overall–by upwards of 15%. The Smart Grid may help make energy efficiency sustainable and institutionalized in business and society.”

The Demand Response and Smart Grid Coalition and the Demand Response Coordinating Committee, the leading groups in the U.S. focused on promoting the development of the Smart Grid and smart grid practices like Demand Response, also will be supporting SGGI.

Website: www.smartgreengrid.org

KDL | follow me on Twitter: newscaster

 

DOE Announces Recipients of Smart Grid Stimulus Fund

ARCADIA, FLORIDA – Speaking at Florida Power and Light’s (FPL) DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center, President Barack Obama today announced the largest single energy grid modernization investment in U.S. history, funding a broad range of technologies that will spur the nation’s transition to a smarter, stronger, more efficient and reliable electric system.  The end result will promote energy-saving choices for consumers, increase efficiency, and foster the growth of renewable energy sources like wind and solar.

The $3.4 billion in grant awards are part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, and will be matched by industry funding for a total public-private investment worth over $8 billion.  Applicants state that the projects will create tens of thousands of jobs, and consumers in 49 states will benefit from these investments in a stronger, more reliable grid. Full listings of the grant awards by category and state are available HERE and HERE.  A map of the awards is available HERE.

An analysis by the Electric Power Research Institute estimates that the implementation of smart grid technologies could reduce electricity use by more than 4 percent by 2030.  That would mean a savings of $20.4 billion for businesses and consumers around the country, and $1.6 billion for Florida alone — or $56 in utility savings for every man, woman and child in Florida.

One-hundred private companies, utilities, manufacturers, cities and other partners received the Smart Grid Investment Grant awards today, including FPL, which will use its $200 million in funding to install over 2.5 million smart meters and other technologies that will cut energy costs for its customers.  In the coming days, Cabinet Members and Administration officials will fan out to awardee sites across the country to discuss how this investment will create jobs, improve the reliability and efficiency of the electrical grid, and help bring clean energy sources from high-production states to those with less renewable generating capacity.  The awards announced today represent the largest group of Recovery Act awards ever made in a single day and the largest batch of Recovery Act clean energy grant awards to-date.

Today’s announcement includes:

  • Empowering Consumers to Save Energy and Cut Utility Bills — $1 billion. These investments will create the infrastructure and expand access to smart meters and customer systems so that consumers will be able to access dynamic pricing information and have the ability to save money by programming smart appliances and equipment to run when rates are lowest.  This will help reduce energy bills for everyone by helping drive down “peak demand” and limiting the need for “stand-by” power plants – the most expensive power generation there is.
  • Making Electricity Distribution and Transmission More Efficient — $400 million. The Administration is funding several grid modernization projects across the country that will significantly reduce the amount of power that is wasted from the time it is produced at a power plant to the time it gets to your house.  By deploying digital monitoring devices and increasing grid automation, these awards will increase the efficiency, reliability and security of the system, and will help link up renewable energy resources with the electric grid.  This will make it easier for a wind farm in Montana to instantaneously pick up the slack when the wind stops blowing in Missouri or a cloud rolls over a solar array in Arizona.
  • Integrating and Crosscutting Across Different “Smart” Components of a Smart Grid — $2 billion. Much like electronic banking, the Smart Grid is not the sum total of its components but how those components work together.  The Administration is funding a range of projects that will incorporate these various components into one system or cut across various project areas – including smart meters, smart thermostats and appliances, syncrophasors, automated substations, plug in hybrid electric vehicles, renewable energy sources, etc.
  • Building a Smart Grid Manufacturing Industry — $25 million. These investments will help expand our manufacturing base of companies that can produce the smart meters, smart appliances, synchrophasors, smart transformers, and other components for smart grid systems in the United States and around the world – representing a significant and growing export opportunity for our country and new jobs for American workers.

The combined effect of the investments announced today, when the projects are fully implemented, will:

  • Create tens of thousands of jobs across the country.  These jobs include high paying career opportunities for smart meter manufacturing workers; engineering technicians, electricians and equipment installers; IT system designers and cyber security specialists; data entry clerks and database administrators; business and power system analysts; and others.
  • Leverage more than $4.7 billion in private investment to match the federal investment.
  • Make the grid more reliable, reducing power outages that cost American consumers $150 billion a year — about $500 for every man, woman and child in the United States.
  • Install more than 850 sensors – called ‘Phasor Measurement Units’ – that will cover 100 percent of the U.S. electric grid and make it possible for grid operators to better monitor grid conditions and prevent minor disturbances in the electrical system from cascading into local or regional power outages or blackouts.  This monitoring ability will also help the grid to incorporate large blocks of intermittent renewable energy, like wind and solar power, to take advantage of clean energy resources when they are available and make adjustments when they’re not.
  • Install more than 200,000 smart transformers that will make it possible for power companies to replace units before they fail thus saving money and reducing power outages.
  • Install almost 700 automated substations, representing about 5 percent of the nation’s total that will make it possible for power companies to respond faster and more effectively to restore service when bad weather knocks down power lines or causes electricity disruptions.
  • Power companies today typically do not know there has been a power outage until a customer calls to report it. With these smart grid devices, power companies will have the tools they need for better outage prevention and faster response to make repairs when outages do occur.
  • Empower consumers to cut their electricity bills.  The Recovery Act combined with private investment will put us on pace to deploy more than 40 million smart meters in American homes and businesses over the next few years that will help consumers cut their utility bills.
  • Install more than 1 million in-home displays, 170,000 smart thermostats, and 175,000 other load control devices to enable consumers to reduce their energy use.  Funding will also help expand the market for smart washers, dryers, and dishwashers, so that American consumers can further control their energy use and lower their electricity bills.
  • Put us on a path to get 20 percent or more of our energy from renewable sources by 2020.
  • Reduce peak electricity demand by more than 1400 MW, which is the equivalent of several larger power plants and can save ratepayers more than $1.5 billion in capital costs and help lower utility bills.  Since peak electricity is the most expensive energy – and requires the use of standby power generation plants – the economic and environmental savings for even a small reduction are significant.  In fact, some of the power plants for meeting peak demand operate for only a few hundred hours a year, which means the power they generate can be 5-10 times more expensive than the average price per kilowatt hour paid by most consumers.

The Ten Benefits of Lighting Control

1. It’s Cheaper to Build a Dimmer than a Power Plant

The baseline benefit of incorporating lighting control in a built environment stems from the disparity in efficiency between the conservation and creation of energy. Intuitively, it makes sense that it would take less energy to conserve one watt of energy than to generate one watt of energy. Fortunately, we don’t have to rely on intuition. Dr. Ian Rowbottom, an energy expert and inventor of direct current dimming, performed an economic analysis of this very question. He goes through a great deal of detail, and explains down to the penny how much more efficient dimming is than power generation.

Disclaimer: This particular white paper was sponsored by Lutron, and is based on test data from Lutron equipment. Because of this, actual energy savings for other dimmers may be more or less than the savings shown here.

The summary of Dr. Rowbottom’s findings is this: it is 4 to 22 times more efficient to conserve energy using dimming than to generate energy via a power plant.

Comparison of Dimming Costs with Power Generation Costs

Dimmer Savings

For a deeper look into the analysis, you can read the full white paper from Dr. Rowbottom below:

2. LEED Certification

Incorporating a lighting control system in a building can contribute up to 37 out of 110 possible LEED points for a building. Below is a rundown of the ways lighting control can help you obtain LEED Certification.
Credit: Lutron Electronics, Inc.

LEED

For a deeper look into how this point structure is broken down, you can read the full LEED report here:
Credit: Lutron Electronics, Inc.

3. Smart Meters Mean Real-time Energy Feedback

Lighting control systems are going to be a crucial part of our evolving smart power grid. With the advent of smart meters, which are power meters that provide real-time feedback of energy usage, we will be able to control energy consumption during peak hours. In a home, for example, during peak hours the system could dim the lighting down to 80% throughout the house. This would maintain functionality while saving money and conserving energy usage. More importantly, because the lighting is part of a system, this can be accomplished automatically, without user input. A house or commercial building is no longer a mindless energy drain on the power grid, but a self-regulating node on the smart grid.

Smart meters are being rolled out all over the world. In some cases, they are run as small beta tests first, but in some cases, the rollout is fast and comprehensive. An independent consulting group is mapping the smart grid rollout, which you can see below.
The legend is as follows:
Red = Electricity
Green = Gas
Blue = Water
Triangle = Trial or Pilot Test
Circle = Project

View Smart Metering Projects Map in a larger map

Reducing Electricity Usage also Reduces the Carbon Footprint
While reducing electricity consumption does reduce the drain on our power grid, it also reduces a building’s carbon footprint. Lutron has a useful energy calculator tool which calculates how much carbon dioxide is removed from the air based on your building’s energy savings. For example, dimming lights in one room 30% prevents about 1800lb of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

For more info you can check out their energy calculator here:
Lutron Energy Savings Calculator

5. Dimming Reduces Recurring Monthly Overhead

From a purely bottom-line standpoint, dimming reduces monthly overhead costs. One dimmer dimmed to 30% can save about $500 over 5 years. With, say 20 dimmers, that’s $10,000 of savings in 5 years. That’s a significant reduction in overhead costs.

6. Scheduling Makes Lighting Effortless

Whether it’s putting your home on Vacation mode or setting your restaurant to change lighting scenes automatically throughout the day, scheduling takes the effort out of elegant, efficient lighting.
For residential applications, scheduling means the homeowner can leave home knowing that the house will operate according to their schedule.
Scheduling’s real power is in commercial applications, though. As most commercial buildings operate on a regularly intervaled schedule, the lighting can match that schedule automatically. Lights can come on in the morning, adjust throughout the day, then shut off in the evenings. This also ensures repeatability, which is the next benefit.

7. Repeatability Standardizes Complex Lighting Scenes

Complex Lighting
It takes a great deal of finesse to adjust the lighting in a multi-zone room to obtain a specific feel. Whether it’s setting just the right scene in a homeowner’s dining room or creating the right atmosphere in a museum, lighting adjustments are not something that should be made manually every day.
Lighting control systems remember the settings needed for any given scene and recall it at the push of a button.
In commercial applications, this is particularly necessary. Customers need to experience consistent lighting every time they visit, and the repeatability of a lighting control system ensures that.

8. Energy Management at the Push of One Button

Single-ButtonIt may seem obvious, but it wasn’t too long ago that homes had wall banks of dimmers and switches controlling multi-zone rooms. With the advent of keypad interfaces, lighting control systems have brought in a whole new level of sophistication. Instead of moving the side of your hand along a wall of switches, it just takes one button press. That one button press can control everything from one zone of light to an entire home. Coming next are programmable touchscreens with customizable graphics. You heard it here first.

9. Excellent Lighting = Excellent Productivity

While there has been no scientific study done on lighting’s effect on productivity, Dr. Rowbottom has written an interesting white paper which combines educated guessing with common sense. He arrives at the conclusion that a lighting control system will pay for itself in seven months, based solely on an increase in employee productivity. It makes for a good read, and I’ll let you decide for yourself. Here’s his white paper below.

10. Ambience Means Happier People

This fits together with #9 above, but affects the user on a personal level. While happier people are typically more productive, being happy can be an end in itself. Well-designed lighting scenes have been known to evoke moods , and can uplift or relax the body. Entire certification programs are set up strictly to teach professionals how to properly design lighting that creates a specific atmosphere.
This is why lighting control is so important, even at the basic, personal well-being level. It’s the lighting control system that makes the magic happen. The combination of dimming, pinpoint control, and repeatability means a homeowner can recreate exactly the ambience they wish every time.

Guest Post by Bill Trammel, Writer for Lighting Control Pros

What to do with hand-me-downs?

Levi Strauss & Co. and Goodwill’s partnered to create A Care Tag for Our Planet, a new initiative  that aims to put billions of pounds of unwanted clothing to good use instead of into landfill.  Beginning in January 2010, the Levi’s brand will be the first major retailer to include messaging on product care tags that encourages people to donate unwanted clothing.

“As a company built on values, we have long worked to promote sustainability in how we make our products and run our operations,” said John Anderson, president and chief executive officer of Levi Strauss & Co. “This initiative uses our global voice to empower hundreds of millions of consumers around the world to join us by providing simple and actionable ways to help care for our planet.”

A Care Tag for Our Planet is Goodwill’s first partnership of its kind designed to increase the life cycle of clothing and textiles to address the approximately 23.8 billion pounds that end up in U.S. landfills each year,” said Goodwill Industries International CEO and President Jim Gibbons.  “As the ‘Original Recycler,’ 166 community-based Goodwills in the United States and Canada collectively divert more than 1.5 billion pounds of clothing and textiles every year from landfill by recovering the value in people’s unwanted material goods. In addition to funding community-based services, these landfill diversion programs create job-training opportunities for more than 1.5 million people a year.”

“We’re launching with the Levi’s brand as a founding partner because it’s an iconic brand with the ability to make an immediate impact with consumers,” said Goodwill of San Francisco CEO and President Deborah Alvarez-Rodriguez. “Our collective goal is to extend the idea of Care Tags beyond washing, drying and ironing—to encouraging consumers to donate these clothes when no longer needed. By doing so, millions of pounds will be diverted from landfill and thousands of lives will be transformed by the power of work in the Bay Area and across the country.”

The new care tags will be available in Levi’s ® retail and wholesale operations the U.S. beginning in January 2010 and the regional and global tags will appear in clothes in Fall 2010.  The Levi’s brand and Goodwill will also spread the word to consumers through online viral campaigns and in retail store communications.

This partnership was reached through shared values held by each organization: Levi Strauss & Co.’s goal to reduce the environmental impact of its products and Goodwill’s commitment to help communities recycle usable items while helping those in need.  To determine where even greater environmental improvements could be made, the company studied every stage in the life cycle of a typical pair of 501 jeans. The findings indicated that one of the greatest opportunities for reducing climate change and water impact happens after consumers take their jeans home.  That’s why, in addition to asking consumers to donate used clothing to keep it out of landfills, Levi’s is encouraging consumers to wash less, wash in cold water and line dry when possible— all of which together reduces your climate impact from washing and drying your Levi’s jeans by more than 50 percent.

Will you particpate? I am a big line dryer, especially in the summer months (winter here means clothes freeze on the line) and locally I donate to our Johnnycake Center and Big Sisters of RI. With two growing kids, every year we have bags of clothes that either get handed down to friends’ kids or donated.

posted by KDL } follow me on Twitter : newscaster