OK, I’ll admit it. I love predictions and rumors. Mac rumors are more prevalent than actual Mac products. Here are my predictions for MacWorld 2008…


UPDATE

For some reason, this post was truncated when converting from Wordpress. Gone down the toilet of the interwebs.

To answer to this question, you need to decide what is more important to you.  Carpet and Tile can both be green, if you make the right decisions.

Tile is a great alternative to natural stone.  Most tile is made from locally mined clay, and glazed locally.  If you find a company that produces tile locally, it can be a very green choice.  Also consider tile made from recycled glass, which can be both beautiful and durable.

Try to avoid natural stone unless you know where it came from.  Italian Marble sounds elegant, until you realize how much fuel it takes to float a big rock on a boat from Italy to the U.S.  Then, it just seems silly.  Even locally mined stone can cause environmental impact.  Mines can cause wildlife displacement, disruption of water tables and river flows, and cause other unintended environmental problems.  Do your homework if you want to go with natural stone.  Let your concience guide you on this one.

Carpet is soft and cushy.  It feels warmer and is more comfortable to sit on and walk on.  It also traps dust mites, pet hair, dirt, and mold.  There is also concern that carpet can trap pesticides and herbicides that travel into your home on your shoes, causing a danger to children and pets.  These dangers can be avoided with regular cleanings, but even cleanings can cause their own problems if not done correctly.

If you decide you need carpet, check out PET carpet.  PET (polyethylene terephthalate) carpet is made entirely from recycled 2-litre soda bottles.  The carpet feels soft and cushy, but is stain-resistant, static-proof, and, because it is entirely plastic, doesn’t harbor the mites and mold that cotton or wool carpet can.  It also causes less of an impact to produce, and the dyes used to color it give off fewer VOC (volitile organic compounds) than those used to dy textile carpets.

In the end, it’s a personal decision.  What is important to you?  Is it imperative that you have granite or marble?  Maybe a glass or ceramic tile is better.  Do you need carpet?  Or can you do a solid floor with a couple of throw rugs? Make the choice by balancing research and personal taste, and you will make the decision best suited for you.

As for me, I’m a hard surface floor with throw rugs kind of guy,  but that’s just me.

]I love the NBC show “Las Vegas.” To paraphrase a quote from a recent episode, Greenpeace is more interested in creating heat than shedding light.

For some reason, Greenpeace has devolved over the last few years into a media-hungry propaganda machine, and they have lost a metric ton of credibility along the way. For their latest press junket, they are trashing the enviro-friendliness of the iPhone. Trashing the iPhone is not genuine, it’s more like spreading rumors about the prom queen so people will hate her and pay attention to you

]I love the NBC show “Las Vegas.” To paraphrase a quote from a recent episode, Greenpeace is more interested in creating heat than shedding light.

For some reason, Greenpeace has devolved over the last few years into a media-hungry propaganda machine, and they have lost a metric ton of credibility along the way. For their latest press junket, they are trashing the enviro-friendliness of the iPhone. Trashing the iPhone is not genuine, it’s more like spreading rumors about the prom queen so people will hate her and pay attention to you

Brush Your Teeth, Flush Your Toilet

Yes you can. You can use a device like the Aqus grey-water recycler to conserve and reuse! The Aqus, from Water Saver Technologies, and other systems like it can reuse the water you swish down the drain and use it to flush your toilet.

It sounds gross, I know. But it really works. First, a brief history of gray (or grey? who knows anymore…) water: Gray water is simply water that is dirty and used, but non-toxic. Most sinks and shower drains produce gray water. If the water contains toxic or decidedly un-nice things, like a toilet, it is NOT gray water. Gray water can be cleaned and filtered using relatively low-tech means, so it can be done in your house. In this case, right under your sink.

The Aqus starts by collecting your bathroom sink water into a 5.5 gallon tank under the sink. It’s then filtered first by the water flowing down the drain and over three disinfecting tablets in a chamber. The tablets need to be replaced once a year. Next, and last, the water flows through a screen that catches all the gunk that goes down the drain (like hair, toothpaste, your wife’s engagement ring…) This filter needs to be cleaned once a year, also.

A small 12 volt pump pumps the water from the under-sink tank to the toilet tank. Once in there, the toilet works normally. If the Aqus doesn’t have enough water to fill the tank, it will open a valve to fill the tank from the house supply (the way the toilet tank normally fills)

There are all sorts of safety things going on there, as well. The Aqus has a backflow preventer to keep the gray water in the tank, and not getting back into the house water supply. It also runs on 12 volts, so it’s safe under water.

Using a gray water filter system to fill your toilet tank can save you 600-700 gallons of fresh water a year!

An Energy Star, that is.

Did you know that in 2006, Americans saved over $14 billion and reduced carbon emissions equivalent to taking 25 million cars off the road?

And, we did it all without changing the way we live. If you’re up for a kitchen, bath, media room, or any other type of remodel, be sure to use Energy Star appliances and materials.

The Energy Star program is a series of guidelines and requirements that enable manufacturers to produce products that have less of an impact on the planet. The Energy Star logo started appearing in 1992 on appliances that manufacturers voluntarily modified to meet the efficiency standards of the Energy Star program.

The Energy Star first appeared on computers and computer monitors that would shut themselves off after a period of inactivity. Soon after, refrigerators and water heaters (the most energy inefficient devices in any home) began to meet the strict requirements of the program. Currently, you can actually purchase an Energy Star rated home. That’s right. An entire house certified. All the appliances, all the building materials, all the insulation, windows, doors, HVAC systems, and electronics.

And it’s bigger than that. Think city wide. Some municipalities are jumping on the Energy Star bandwagon, changing traffic lights and streetlights from incandescent to super-bright, low energy LEDs; low emission vehicles for official business, fluorescent lighting, and power management systems for computer networks.

Everyone can do a little, and that will do a lot.