Walmart Announces Emission Reduction Plan; Can They Achieve Sustainability?

On February 25, Walmart announced their emissions reduction initiative and promised to to eliminate 20 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions from life cycle of products they sell around world by 2015.  This announcement is a big one, considering Walmart’s supply chain contributes to 90% of the company’s carbon footprint and has more than 3,000 stores in the U.S. and almost 1,300 International operations.

Walmart CEO Mike Duke said, “We will be a leader in retail, because we will be first to take a look at the supply chain on a global scale.”  Walmart’s CEO also called for a comprehensive legislative policy that addresses energy, energy security, the country’s competitiveness as well as reducing pollution.  He continued,  “Our GHG goal will be measurable and will be done in partnership with our suppliers.”

Walmart has been making significant strides in over sustainability for the company including initiatives such as solar energy sources on stores, obtaining power from wind-based electricity, refilling laundry detergent bottles instead of new packaging, eliminating plastic bags and offering sustainable food and goods.  However, there is some debate as to whether Walmart will ever be able to call themselves leaders in corporate sustainability.  Widely known for their questionable labor practices, Walmart faces harsh criticism from labor groups (for good reason) and constantly faces threats of unionization from many store workers.

From the People’s Voice.org:

With over $400 billion in sales and about 2.1 million employees, Wal-Mart is the world’s largest retailer and private employer, and number three globally in the 2009 Fortune 500 rankings behind Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon.

On December 16, 2009, NLC reported that “Wal-Mart’s Punitive Policies Drive Employees to Work Sick – Everyone comes to work sick.”

A deli section worker in a Pennsylvania company supercenter said:

“Everyone comes to work sick,” including employees handling food. In the deli section, “plenty of girls come coughing their brains out, but can’t go home because of points (unless they’re) coughing too loudly (in which case they) switch you to another department. Since you can’t take days off,” she kept working. Her cough worsened, and she ended up hospitalized with pneumonia.

“You can’t stay home, and God forbid if you have to leave early.” For being hospitalized, she got a demerit, lost eight hours pay, and was required to take a leave of absence. Being sick, deli section work was hard because it’s a “hot area,” requiring in and out visits to a freezer to get meat.

Walmart has a long list of unfair labor practices, including

  • half of their employees get no health insurance, and those with it pay a large percentage of the cost and receive too little; and
  • The company has a long, disturbing record of worker abuse, including forced overtime, some off-the-clock, illegal child and undocumented worker labor, and relentless union-busting; as a result, Wal-Mart faces numerous suits over unpaid overtime, denial of meal and rest breaks, manipulating time and wage records to cut costs, employing minors during school hours, and the largest ever class action discrimination lawsuit, involving over 1.5 million present and former female employees, paid less and promoted less often than their male counterparts.

In December 2008, Wal-Mart agreed to pay at least $352 million and up to $640 million to settle 63 federal and state class-action lawsuits from present and former employees over pay and other issues. According to Professor Paul Secunda of Marquette’s School of Law, the company settled to avoid an even worse defeat, including what unionization might cost.

Overall, Wal-Mart treats employees punitively. They’re overworked, underpaid, (many below the federal poverty line), denied benefits, discriminated against, punished for the slightest infraction, and treated like wage slaves.

We have to remember that in order to be sustainable, a company must take into account people, the planet and profits – Walmart is arguably neglecting the first pretty severely.  Building a happy, healthy community and paying a living wage are the very bare minimum of what should be required for a company whose profits are recorded at over $400 billion and climbing.

Carbon emission reduction is noteworthy as are sustainable global supply chain initiatives – but Walmart has a long way to go before they can consider themselves sustainable.

Posted by: Ashley / follow me on Twitter

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Teaching Green: 100 Tips, Tools, & Resources for Every Kind of Classroom

Incorporating ways to help the environment into your lessons is not only good for the planet, but offers plenty of hands-on activities, lessons, and projects for students. So whether you are teaching a kindergarten class or a college-level seminar, whether you are teaching science or language arts, you will find a wealth of tips, tools, and resources below to make your job easier.

Resources for K-12 Educators

Teachers will find these resources helpful for creating lessons and projects that are informative and fun.

1.TeachingGreen. This site offers tons of resources, information, programs, and more to help you teaching about going green.

2.Go Green in the Classroom: 5 Eco-Friendly Teaching Units. Find five projects here that can help your students learn about going green.

3.Classroom Earth. High school teachers will want to check out this site that is designed to help them integrate environmental content in their lesson plans–no matter what subject they teach.

4.ESA Educator Resources. The Ecological Society of America provides resources for K-12 teachers.

5.Society for Conservation Biology. The education section of this resource offers tips on presenting conservation to K-12 students, resources for teaching conservation biology, textbook recommendations, additional links, and more.

6.The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education. This company sells materials and services to help K-12 schools incorporate sustainability into their curriculum.

7.Facing the Future. This site offers a mix of free and for-fee resources to help educators bring green teaching into the classroom.

8.Roots and Shoots. This organization is a part of the Jane Goodall Institute and facilitates young people getting involved in programs to help communities and the environment.

9.The U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development. The national listserv for K-12 educators is one of the many resources available from this organization that is dedicated to sustainability education.

10.Ecological Footprint Teacher’s Manual. Download a copy of this manual as well as teachers’ lesson plans they developed around this manual.

11.Project WILD. Project WILD provides wildlife conservation programs for K-12 teachers and students.

12.Project WET. This group helps educators and parents teach children about water and the need for its conservation.

Resources for K-12 Students

Students can get in on the action on their own when they visit these informative sites.

13.Kids Links Teaching Green. Go here for a listing of several sites that provide children of all ages a chance to learn about or participate in going green.

14.AIRNow. Visit the learning center here to find resources teaching about air quality and pollution for both younger and older students as well as for teachers.

15.A Walk in the Woods. Aimed at 3rd through 5th grade, this site takes kids on a virtual trip through the woods and also provides teacher’s guides.

16.I Buy Different. This site helps educate students to make smart choices when it comes to making purchases and how these purchases affect the Earth.

17.Adventures with Bobby Bigfoot. Students can take this quiz to learn how they can reduce their carbon footprint, and teachers have access to teacher’s guides.

18.EcoKids. Kids and teachers each have a section on this site that focuses on environmental education for students.

19.Ology. The American Museum of Natural History presents this site that guides students through biodiversity lessons in a number of different “ologies” such as anthropology and archaeology.

20.Environmental Education for Kids. Also known as EEK!, this site provides 4th through 8th graders with lots of information about the Earth and the plants and animals that live on it.

21.Environmental Kids Club. This comprehensive site offers games, information, activities, and much more for elementary-aged students.

22.EPA Student Center. This is the sister site of Environmental Kids Club, but provides activities and information appropriate for middle school students.

23.High School Environmental Center. The third of the EPA sites, this one is geared to high school students.

24.Home Tour. This virtual home tour from the EPA educates on common chemicals found around the house and which ones are toxic.

College Resources

Both instructors and students will find plenty of resources here to learn about ways they can make a difference for the environment.

25.National Teach-In. High school and college-level instructors and students are invited to participate in this nationwide discussion about global warming.

26.Second Nature. This organization works to promote teaching and practicing sustainability in higher education. Find book recommendations, links to articles, papers, and speeches, fact sheets, and more.

27.Society of Building Science Educators. This group of educators at the college level provide teaching resources, a newsletter, and more to help educators teach sustainable building and design practices.

28.Greening Across the Chemistry Curriculum. While a bit dated, this site offers several college-level chemistry teaching modules that are designed to modify existing courses to make them more eco-friendly.

29.Communicating Ecosystem Services. Use the toolkits here to help spread the word about the importance of healthy ecosystems.

30.Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. This organization works to help higher education institutions to lead the way in sustainability. Get plenty of resources and information here.

31.Assessing Energy’s Footprint and Carbon Emissions. Adapt this free module for teaching your class about energy use and carbon emissions from fossil fuel combustion.

32.Teaching Sustainable Product Design. Read through this study summary to discover how a class at Loughborough University in the UK was conducted.

Green Organizations

These organizations make it their mission to help educate others about ways to make a difference when it comes to sustainability efforts. You are sure to find tons of information and resources among these pages.

33.World Wildlife Fund. Learn about endangered species, climate science, and much more from this well-regarded organization.

34.New American Dream. This site educates people as to the impact their purchasing makes on both people around the world and the environment. Learn to make purchases that help rather than hinder.

35.National Wildlife Federation. Learn about wildlife in America, how to protect the animals, and how climate changes affect wildlife. They also have a section just for kids.

36.National Geographic Society. One of the first big proponents of conservation and a long-time supporter of education, National Geographic provides an incredible amount of resources for those wanting to teach about science, nature, and going green. They also have a section dedicated specifically to educators.

37.Natural Resources Defense Council. This organization educates and promotes global changes in several areas, including clean energy, wildlife protection, global warming, and ocean protection.

38.The Nature Conservancy. This site provides articles, maps, information, and a blog that all focus on ways to protect and preserve nature.

39.Fuel Economy. Sponsored by the EPA, this site has everything from a fuel economy guide to comparisons between different vehicles to tips on ways to save gas. With cars being so vital to the transportation in America, this site has plenty to offer for those educators wanting to open students’ eyes.

40.The Earth Organization. This South African group supports creative and responsible care of the Earth and offers lots of resources for adults and children.

41.National Coalition for Marine Conservation. The conservation of ocean fish and their habitat is the focus of this group. Read news and publications or get in on the action to help make important changes.

42.ClimateScienceWatch. This non-profit works to educate the public and oversee the government to ensure they use climate science research findings in the best possible way.

43.Earth Day Network. It’s Earth Day everyday with this group. Visit this site to find tons of resources, programs, and material that you can use in the classroom.

Green Tips for K-12 Educators

Teachers can implement these tips to go green in the classroom and help students learn about going green themselves.

44.PowerPoint projects. Instead of having students make posters for their projects, have them create PowerPoint presentations that can be shown in class. Even young students can make simple presentations.

45.Field trips. Take field trips to places like a recycling center or a nature preserve to help students see first-hand how conservation works.

46.Current events. Teach current events that include topics focusing on the environment. Encourage students to follow events on their own.

47.Go outside. Take lessons outside any time you can use the real world as a teaching aid. Students respond to the hands-on approach with a better grasp of the lesson.

48.Debate. Encourage students to choose green debate topics and host a debate.

49.Read. Read books about the environment. This list is a great place to find books to share with your class.

50.Community garden. Have students plant a community garden on your school grounds.

51.Worm bin. Have the class make a worm bin. Throw scraps of food from snacks to feed the worms and get rich compost that can be used in your community garden.

52.Recycled projects. Have students create fun recycled or upcycled projects.

53.Cell phone and toner drive. Hold a drive to collect old cell phones and toner cartridges. These can be recycled rather than finding their way into landfills.

Green Tips for College Educators

Lead by example when you implement these methods for going green in your college classroom.

54.Syllabus. Print your syllabus on the board or send it via email rather than printing it on paper.

55.Electronic textbooks. Assign electronic textbooks to students rather than printed textbooks.

56.No hardcopies. Require students to turn in electronic copies of all assignments rather than hard copies.

57.Virtual guest speakers. When you invite a guest speaker to your class, have them join your class via videoconferencing rather than driving to campus.

58.Encourage volunteering for the environment. Offer extra points to students who volunteer in green projects relevant to your subject matter.

59.Take green challenges. Organize your campus so that it can participate in green challenges such as the Green Power Partnership, Environmental Challenge International, or the College and University Green Power Challenge for collegiate athletic conferences.

60.Incorporate sustainability. Redesign your classes so that sustainability is a part of what you are teaching like this professor did.

61.Assign sustainability. Have writing students design a teaching module that can be used by other instructors for teaching sustainability.

Online Games and Tools

Students and teachers alike can use these tools and play these serious games to enhance learning about the environment and ways to help.

62.Ecological Footprint Quiz. This quiz shows how you compare when it comes to your carbon footprint and is designed so it can be used as a quiz in the classroom.

63.EE Week Carbon Footprint Calculator. This carbon footprint calculator is designed especially for youth to be able to determine their carbon footprint.

64.Travel Calculator. Start with your mode of transportation, then enter your starting point and destination or exact mileage of travel to determine how much carbon dioxide you are contributing to the environment for each trip you make.

65.Event Calculator. Use this tool to measure the ecological impact of a specific special event.

66.PowerUp. Students can play this game to save Planet Helios from ecological disaster. The game is adaptable for students with learning disabilities, visual impairments, and fine motor difficulties.

67.WolfQuest. This science-based game helps students learn what it’s like to live life as a wolf in Yellowstone National Park and is appropriate for 4th grade and up.

68.ElectroCity. Middle-school aged students can mange cities and towns in this game that teaches about energy, sustainability, and more.

69.Global Warming Interactive. This multi-user educational game teaches high school students about the political, economic, and scientific impact decisions have on climate change.

70.LogiCity. Designed for people 25 and under, this 3D game has players working to reduce an average resident’s carbon footprint, even traveling to the future to see the impact of one person’s actions.

Green Lectures

Share these lectures with your students to discover what others are saying and doing to promote the green movement.

71.Michael Pollen gives a plant’s-eye view. Michael Pollan lectures on seeing the world from a plant’s perspective as he discusses the relationship between agriculture and people.

72.Sustaining Life: Biodiversity and Human Health. In this lecture given by Eric Chivian, find out why humans can no longer afford to view themselves as separate from the natural world and how it impacts health.

73.Connecting Corals and Climate Change. This assistant professor at Georgia Institute of Technology talks about corals and what they indicate about climate change.

74.Is Global Warming Impacting North Atlantic Right Whales?. The highly-endangered right whales are being impacted by global warming. Find out what implications this has on the rest of the world.

75.Hopeful Future: Alternative Energy and Transportation. Roger Saillant shares his thoughts on why America should be hopeful about the future of alternative energy.

76.Learning from the Past: Sustainable Life with Renewable Energy. See what the Shakers have to teach modern people about renewable energy and sustainability.

77.Dr. Wangari Maathai’s Unabridged Lecture at Concordia University, Sep. 28, 2009. Skip the first 18 minutes if you want to jump straight to this lecture given by this world-renowned activist as she discusses her vision of change for environmental conservation.

78.Sea Turtles as Sentinels of Ecological Health: Linking Sea to Shore. Using sea turtles as an example, Dr. Alonso Aguirre examines the the connection between the health of animals and the health of their ecosystem.

79.Louise Fresco on feeding the whole world. Watch as Fresco explains how mass-produced bread can help feed the world while also leaving a role for traditionally made breads in the world diet.

80.Dan Barber’s foie gras parable. Barber gives a lesson in sustainability in this speech about a farm in Spain that humanely raises geese for some of the most delicious foie gras in the world.

81.Mark Bittman on what’s wrong with what we eat. Bittman takes a look at how Americans eat, what’s wrong with it, and how it puts the Earth at risk in this lecture.

82.Janine Benyus: 12 sustainable design ideas from nature. Sustainable designs that are inspired by nature is the focus of this lecture given by Benyus.

83.This Land: Development in America. Learn about the negative effects of urban sprawl on the environment in this lecture.

84.Alex Steffen sees a sustainable future. Steffen warns of the risks to the environment with the Western lifestyle spreading around the world.

85.Why We Can’t Leave the Planet to the Environmentalists. Michael Shellenberger, a political strategist, discusses current climate change policy how to make green energy both affordable and accessible.

Open Courseware Classes

High school and college classes can adapt the lessons and videos available through these free courses to supplement their own classes.

86.Tropical Ecology and Conservation. Former students from Tufts University made a trip to Costa Rica to study tropical ecology and conservation and share their experience with this free course.

87.Training Course on Mangroves and Biodiversity. Study the mangrove ecosystems and learn about threats to them and sustainability management options. in this class offered through United Nations University.

88.Conservation and biodiversity. Listen to this podcast to find out about the ecological communities in Honduras and Indonesia as well as the concept of conservation bio-geography.

89.Seminar in Environmental Science. Learn about current research going on in the field of environmental science when you take this free course from MIT.

90.Strange Bedfellows: Science and Environmental Policy. Study the relationship between science and politics in reference to setting environmental policies.

91.Environmental engineering. This class is designed for school children and their teachers to learn about the type of work done by environmental engineers.

92.Ecologies of Construction. Learn how the choices are made for selecting materials and energy involved in new construction.

93.Sustainable Design and Technology Research Workshop. This architecture class at MIT examines the issues of sustainability and asks students will propose their own solutions.

94.Introduction to Environmental Policy and Planning. Learn the basics about environmental planning techniques and strategies.

95.Introduction to Environmental History. From the time of Columbus to the present day, see how cultures have impacted the environment and learn about the biological consequences.

96.Energy and Environment in American History: 1705 – 2005. This course teaches the history of how America became the largest consumer of energy in the world and takes a look at possible paths for the future.

97.Environmental Conflict and Social Change. Look at real-world examples of the relationship between humans and natural environments against a backdrop of environmental conflicts.

98.Environmental Philosophy. Take this course at Notre Dame to explore the current environmental crisis and potential solutions.

99.Environmental Ethics. Contemporary environmental ethics is the topic of this course from Capilano University.

100.How Risky is Breathing? Statistical Methods in Air Pollution Risk Estimation. This instructor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health leads students in a study of the health effects of air pollution by examining the results of national-level research.

onlinedegreeprograms.org

RIEDC Calls to Develop RI’s Green Economy

The RI Economic Development Corporation just released the 20-page “Roadmap for Advancing the Green Economy in Rhode Island”. The report identified four  acceleration initiatives to foster the development of the green economy: making the manufacturing industry energy efficient; constructing more energy efficient homes; cultivating the innovation of green technologies; and creating a hub for the wind farm industry.

According the the report, the state will need to overcome limited capital for businesses looking to capitalize on the green economy and a work force poorly trained to lead RI into a greener future.

To overcome the financing problem, the report recommends increasing the R.I. Industrial-Recreation Building Authority’s loan guarantee program to $80 million from $20 million; adding $5 million to the EDC’s Small Business Loan Fund to increase its funding to $18 million; doubling the R.I. Renewable Energy Fund to $5 million; and returning the nonprofit Slater Technology Fund’s annual appropriation to $3 million from the current $1 million.

As a small business owner I found the recommendation that the state appoint a statewide small business innovation research liaison to help link Rhode Island companies find federal financing opportunities of crticial importance. Making the transtion to sustainable practices requires education, resources and new skills; funding to help companies gain the tools they need will accelarate this transition.

To entice manufacturers and other businesses to adopt green technologies, the roadmap suggests that the state create incentives such as grants or tax credits to shorten the return on investment period. The report also recommends creating a fund to pay higher education and research-oriented companies to develop wind power technology and components.

The roadmap calls for the state’s public colleges to create certificate and undergraduate programs in energy efficiency. URI is in a strong position to host a Center of Excellence in Advanced Green Manufacturing. The report calls for the establishment of a Green Workforce Research and Innovation Lab that would vet ideas such as integrating a green curriculum into the public schools or creating public sector jobs to temporarily “hold” trained workers until private jobs are created. The institute would also offer fellowships for green research, develop internships and educate regulators. All of these efforts would significantly advance Rhode Islander’s access to green education, training and life long opportunities.

The roadmap supports a plan to bring 4 percent of all residential, commercial and public buildings into compliance with broadly accepted energy efficiency guidelines each year. And it supports the R.I. State Building Commission’s goal to have 90 percent of all new or renovated buildings meet the standards by 2017.

Where the money will come from  in a time of budget deficits to successfully implement this raodmap is not outlined, so I feel like this is only the start; RI needs a green economybut we need a solid financial plan to give businesses the resources they need and we need education and training to help Rhode Islanders prepare for their future.

posted by KDL | Twitter

Credit Card Applications a bit too much.

During this recession we have all been advised to not use our credit cards, we have been told many times how things will be changing and credit cards will be increasing percentage rates.  So we are all on alert, our radar is on and our shield is up high.  The idea of no interest no payments are part of history and replaced with minimum payments.  It makes sense we should be paying the minimum or we really shouldn’t have the card.  Paying no minimum is what has helped destroy this economy, thank you credit card companies for your thoughtless actions and disgusting tactics!

The temptation of Zero interest is appealing, especially when it is on transfers or if you are REALLY in need of a new pair of shoes.  However like I mentioned before we are all shying away, it’s a no can do so please stop sending me those incredibly nicely packaged credit card applications that fill up my already overflowing mail box.

If this sounds like your house, there is a way to opt out and I suggest everyone do it unless you reuse the large abundance of paper in these envelops as wrapping paper or of some other useful action.  We all need to end unsolicited mail; all you need to do to opt out of pre screened credit card offers is visit this site .  And just to make your life easier and the ringing of your house phone less frequent get on the “do not call list”.

The amount of energy wasted, time spent and paper used improperly is outrageous when many of us toss it right into the recycling bins without even opening them up.  Help put an end to killing trees for such a ridicules purpose.  If we need a credit card, don’t worry most of us apply on-line anyway!

Posted by: Kate Kiselka, follow me on Twitter

Eco-superheros Moving Boxes Man and Boxy expose the “recycling” industry by preventing box abuse and promoting box reuse.

Los Angeles, CA January 1st, 2010 — Enter Boxy and Moving Boxes Man, part human, part box, these “cardborgs” have built a website that offers gently-used shipping boxes sold in moving kits with 1-3 day free delivery, nationwide.

Watch their YouTube eco-mmerical here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sj3LcKF8zRc 

They’ve joined the Used Cardboard Boxes, Inc network which has revolutionized the moving and shipping box industries. It supplies high-quality used boxes for moving, packing, shipping, and storage to both consumers and businesses. They’re helping eliminate the need for “dumpster diving” or “box begging” for abused boxes that may be damaged or unsanitary.

How Used Cardboard Boxes works:

• a new box is created by any given box manufacturing company

• the box is purchased and gently used once to ship packaged parts or products from a supplier to a manufacturer or distributor

• after the part or product has been unpacked, the box is gently flattened and stacked on a pallet

• when the pallet is fully stacked, it’s either loaded on a truck and sent to another supplier or distributor that purchased boxes wholesale or,

• the boxes are sorted into moving boxes sizes and packed into moving kits, which can be ordered online

• the moving kits are picked up by a UPS truck and delivered for free anywhere in the continental U.S. to retail customers

This new model for box reuse makes it possible for eco- and cost-conscious consumers and companies to have a viable alternative to the agonizing price of new boxes and the anxiety of trying to scrounge used boxes from grocery stores or classified ads.

 This process is environmental education in action and promoted through several “eco-mmercials” posted on the GoGreenMovingBoxes.com YouTube channel. They’ve posted fun and informative videos that help educate consumers about the reality behind the cardboard industry using “eco-super-hero” characters “Boxy” and “Moving Boxes Man”.

 Recycling is a feel-good word… as it should be… but what’s often forgotten is that a lot of what’s recycled can, and should be, re-used. Recycling is costly, a source of pollution and requires water, energy, fuel, chemicals and other inputs.

 Here are a few stats to put the cardboard industry into perspective:

 • The EPA reports that the US commercial sector generates more cardboard than any other material in the nation.

• Over $40 billion in cardboard boxes are produced in the U.S. each year.

• The EPA estimates that 14% of all municipal solid waste is made of cardboard containers.

• Approximately 43 million Americans move each year.

 Most cardboard is recycled, however very few boxes are used more than once. The typical shortened life-cycle of a box means dropping a box’s value from dollars to pennies. With GoGreenMovingBoxes.com and the Used Cardboard Boxes, Inc network, the value of the box is sustained. This allows cycles of reuse to occur and reoccur within the US, thus saving the nation’s trees, sustaining jobs and providing consumers and companies with a green low-cost alternative to new boxes.

 GoGreenMovingBoxes.com, also has a business-to-business offering where companies can buy boxes in truckload quantities for shipping. Alternatively, if a company has pallets of reusable boxes it wants to sell for more than what the recycler pays, it can enter box dimensions, quantity, and location to be evaluated for purchase.

 Contact:

Ben Lawson

http://www.gogreenmovingboxes.com/

818-275-1094

Sales@GoGreenMovingBoxes.com

Safety should be key in purchasing new appliances

A survey by Underwriters Laboratories found out that most homeowners look for energy efficiency when purchasing new home appliances.  More than half look for energy efficiency as one of the top two things they look for, ranking safety not so high.  My only defense as one of these homeowners purchasing a lot of new appliances is it wasn’t even a thought in my mind that they might not be safe!

 Looking for the UL mark on the packaging is helpful when purchasing new energy efficient appliances for your home.  That mark will give you the relief that the product has undergone rigorous safety testing, and is free of any safety hazards. 

Cost and Energy savings are the two top factors when purchasing a new appliance for homeowners but safety should really be a top priority, what good is the appliance if it causes damage to the home or person? 

The 300 million dollar rebate program that encourages homeowners to buy energy efficient appliances will be a great time for people buying energy efficient appliances to make sure they meet safety standards before purchasing them for their home. 

If you are not replacing your appliances you should double check your connections and all of your appliances as a whole to make sure they are running how they should. 

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) has designed a website, www.ul.com/appliancesafety .com  to help consumers learn more about the Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program and to help them understand appliance safety as well.  This website will also allow consumer to learn when the rebate program starts in their state, also which appliances will qualify for rebates as well as how much each appliance will get towards the rebate.  The website will also help you determine if you need a new appliance or if the one you currently have is fine.  It also has some great tips on how to keep you’re a[appliance working like new. 

Posted by: Kate Kiselka, follow me on twitter