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Energy In The UK - How We’re Trying Use Less

As a regular English reader of Keen For Green I’m able to keep up to date with the latest energy news from the US – and I thought it might be interesting for my friends “over the pond” to hear about the situation here in the UK.

The issue of energy is clearly one of the biggest challenges faced by humankind, and in the UK we’re acutely aware of the need to address the issues of overconsumption, and high carbon emissions. The European Union has set out a “practical guide to a prosperous low carbon Europe” known as the Roadmap 2050 project, whilst the British government has also implemented a range of policies designed to increase energy efficiency - including the introduction of smart meters, the Green Deal, the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme and Climate Change Agreements.... read more

Green Road Trip Travel Tips for Your Dog

Although all dogs don't love riding in the car, most will be good sports about it with some TLC and training. Some people medicate pets with sedatives for long journeys. If you travel a lot this can become problematic. Over time your pet might develop a dependency on medication for travel or suffer from side effects. There are much better ways to get the pup excited (and then calm) about riding in the car.

Ease Anxiety Naturally

Well-known dog whisperer Cesar Millan says that dog owners have the power to calm their dogs with their voices, attitudes and body language. If you are calm and pleasant, your dog will be too. If your dog is prone to anxiety and you plan to take a long trip, natural products that use herbs like ginger and lavender ease tension. They work the same way a warm, herbal-infused cup of tea eases human stress. One product, Travel Calm, is a spray mist that sells for about $12 at pet health food stores, and can reduce restlessness and nausea.... read more

Energy Efficient Mortgages: Why We Need It

Admittedly, home financing previously has been one of my fears in life. To live in a home with the pressures of paying month after month is just a dreadful idea for me. But I am very lucky to have worked in a company where I am learning to be financially literate about my home expenses. It's funny, but as I realized that mortgage loans considered to be a very important factor for any homeowner to pursue a home, I have never been more aware of Energy Efficient Mortgages than I do now. With my long-time interest in living a sustainable life, after learning more about EEMs I never hesitated to bring about the idea of sharing it with my fellow homeowners who opt for a green home. 

With all the tips and tricks from every site that we see online, they always give out some pointers on how to make your homes greener, whether you are building a new house, or simply making a few changes to make your home energy efficient to have more savings. With that in mind, after knowing everything, what steps to do, contractors and companies to approach, and probably in which locations to I have buy energy efficient home upgrades, the most important part is always comes down to one thing: money. And what better way than to let you in on one of the hottest financing options to date, the EEM.... read more

Five Gentle and Effective Ways to Get Rid of Garden Pests

Are insects eating more of your garden veggies than you? Before you start dousing your plants with industrial strength insecticide, consider what you might be introducing to your garden soil and, eventually, your stomach.

Originally developed as neurotoxins during World War II, organophosphate insecticides were first used commercially and residentially in the late 1930s. Since then, the use of many of these insecticides, such as DDT, has either been banned or heavily restricted due to its toxicity in creatures such as in fish and birds. As these were eaten by the next animal up in the food chain, the toxicity levels would increase until it started to reach levels that could potentially harm humans. This toxicity scare quickly brought the issue of finding safe yet effective insecticides to the forefront and commercial and hobby gardeners alike have since been experimenting with both new and age-old approaches to insect elimination.... read more

Global Warming 101: Understanding One of Earth's Largest Threats

Is it true? Is the Earth warming? Is there anything to do? With such conflicted reports and opinions, it’s hard to know what to believe. 

Here’s a basic primer on global warming; maybe this can help you understand one of Earth’s biggest threats. 

How is Global Warming Different from Historical Climate Changes? 

Scientists have learned that the Earth consistently goes through climate changes, getting warmer and colder, and has been doing so for thousands and thousands of years. So what is the big deal now? Isn’t it just a normal change or pattern? 

Not really. The difference in the past climate changes and current global warming is that scientists are determining that the warming trend we are currently experiencing is largely due to human effect, instead of a natural effect. ... read more

Go Green and Reuse Your Gift Boxes

People are going green with all aspects of their lives. Work, home and even play time have people more aware of their environment and what they can do to help preserve it. There are a variety of ways you can go green in all you do including your gift giving. You can use many different ways to recycle your gift wrapping options and stay green in all areas of your life. There are several ways you can be eco-friendly with your shopping and here are a few to keep in mind.

First, consider reusing gift bags that have been given to you. Many people use bags as a way to package gifts because they are beautiful and can easily fit any shape packaged. There are a wide variety of designs, themes and colors of bags. You can choose them to even fit a child's birthday party theme. The options are endless. If a bag is given to you and is not damaged in any way, then it is a great idea to use it for your next gift giving item. You can use them for holidays, anniversaries and birthdays alike. They are a wonderful way to go green and accommodate your package no matter how odd the shape may be.


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All About Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEM)

What is an Energy Efficient Mortgage?

Energy efficient mortgages or EEM’s are a type of loan that credits a home based on its current energy efficiency.  In order to be considered energy efficient, a tool, appliance, heating, or cooling system needs to simply use less energy than its basic, and less efficient, counterpart. An EEM gives lenders the power to extend the borrower’s debt-to-income qualifying ratio, which means that they may be able to take out a larger loan for their home. 

Insuring EEM’s

A Federal Housing Association (FHA) EEM provides mortgage insurance to the borrower who is looking to purchase or refinance their home and incorporate the costs of energy efficient improvements into their mortgage. The borrower does not have to qualify for additional money, and is not required to make a down payment on the EEM loan. 

The limitations put on the FHA EEM loan totals can change based on the cost of energy effective improvements a person makes to their home. The maximum amount that can fluctuate is whichever of these options is smallest. The lesser of 5% of: property value, 115% of the average single family home in the area, and Veterans Administration (VA) EEM’s.  The only limitations with VA EEM’s is that they are only available to veterans and qualified military personnel, and the loan cut offs are between $3-6000. ... read more

Create an Energy Efficient Home with the Proper HVAC System

Heating and cooling your home accounts for almost half of the energy your household uses. So it’s no surprise that an energy efficient home remodel can go a long way toward both enhancing your comfort and helping the environment. In addition to conducting an energy audit to learn about the inefficiencies in your home, installing the right HVAC system can help regulate the environmental factors inside your home, like air quality, humidity and temperature. 

Is Your HVAC System Using Too Much Energy? 

When undergoing an energy efficient home remodel, you may wonder about the efficiency of your HVAC unit. If any of the following is true for your home or HVAC unit, the system is probably using too much energy:... read more

Plastic bags contaminating recycling

Plastic bags still seem to be one of the hardest materials to recycle. Although they are made of very easily recyclable materials they can many times be a contaminant in regular recycling. Problems with trying to properly recycle plastic bags is nothing new. Plastic bags have always been one of those commodities that have posed a challenge to collect and recycle. It’s no wonder why so many people would like to see them banned from being used.

 Plastic bags are typically made from one of three basic types: high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), or linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE). The thicker glossier shopping bags from the mall or retail stores are LLDPE, while grocery bags are usually HDPE.

 Today most recycling haulers are seeing plastic bags mixed in with recycling. This is occurring in both single stream and multi stream recycling programs. Plastic bags are being found mixed in both municipal and commercial recycling.... read more

Simple Tree Stump Removal

An unwanted tree is standing in the way of your property project and so, you’ve bravely decided to take it upon yourself to remove it. Consider this the project before the project. To your surprise, you have managed to cut down the tree without damaging your property or injuring anyone, but hold off on your happy dance, because the remaining, firmly-rooted stump will also take some effort to remove.... read more