Curren Environmental Blog

The Truth! Mold in Basements.

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on Jul 29, 2019 10:16:00 AM

One of the most inspected areas for Mold Inspections are basements. Basements are subterranean, meaning basements are under the earth’s surface. It is cooler under the earth’s surface and the soils under the surface holds moisture. Mold growth occurs on organic surfaces such as wood, furniture, and porous items. Mold does not grow on steel or metal unless there are dirt and dust particles, mold can grow on those organic materials.

Moisture can get out of control when not properly managed in subterranean areas, causing mold growth over time on organic surfaces. There are also some one time-events that can happen such as water rising from the ground and into the sub flooring, or leaking through windows, foundations, vents and doorways. Other events such as a pipe bursting and plumbing leaks (hot water heather leak when they fail), if not fixed will cause mold growth.

First and foremost, in any subterranean space a dehumidifier should be running continuously year round. A dehumidifier will reduce and maintain the level of humidity in the air surrounding it. The dehumidifier works by grabbing the moisture in the air and then dumping it into the “tray”. Instead of emptying this tray every day or every other day or never…run a hose from the dehumidifier to an area where the water can be delivered such as sump pump or sink.

Mold needs moisture and organic materials to grow, such as in the basement photo below. This basement had water intrusion, no lid on the sump pump and no working dehumidifier. Water was also coming from all four corners of the basement and was not corrected.

Mold Growth on basement Rafter

Because the water issue was not resolved and there was no dehumidifier, mold growth occurred. Mold growth does not happen overnight, it takes a while for it grow and when it grabs a toehold on organic materials, it will grow in the right conditions fast.

Sump Pump No Lid leads to Mold-1

There are other instances where mold growth occurs because there are no dehumidifiers running.For example, in the picture below, if you look closely, you will see a film on the wood paneling, these are colonies of mold growth. There was no water entry into this basement, mold growth occurred overtime due to the moisture in the air and the organic materials (wood paneling) for mold to grow on.

Mold growth on panneling walls

Mold growth was found on the wood paneling. The basement above was inspected during the summer, which is hot but cooler below the earth’s surface. There was no dehumidifier running and the basement was very humid. In situations such as above, if mold growth is on one side it will be on the other side of the paneling.

Last – don’t do this! All this does is hide the problem, not take care of the problem – it may even cause more!

Does not Prevent Mold Growth-1

Check your basement for any leaks, water intrusions and provide a dehumidification system.If you do not, mold growth will occur, you may not see it now, but trust me, you will soon

Tags: mold inspections, mold assessments

Don't Get Eaten Alive by Mosquitoes!

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on Jun 24, 2019 8:40:00 AM

Mosquitoes are more than just a nuisance, they can carry & spread diseases to pets and humans. Some mosquitoes can fly up to a mile or two or some fly only 100- 200 yards (Asian tiger mosquito). You should be aware of your surroundings and what water is on your property, especially after the heavy rain storms this past week.

The good news is that as a homeowner you can help reduce the mosquito infestation in your own backyard. Curren Environmental’s Mosquito Control & Remediation recommends that you follow the steps below so that you, your friends and family may enjoy your backyard.

  • Corrugated drainpipes off downspouts. Each trough is a potential breeding ground. If you have many feet of drainpipe, consider replacing it with smooth PVC piping. If you can’t do that, just replace them.Corrugated downspout

  • Children’s toys, especially plastic toys that have small areas where water can pool. Keep in mind that the toy itself may be very big, like a bike or a playhouse, but if it has handles or any indentation where water can pool in small amounts, it’s a breeding ground.

  • All containers, such as buckets, pails, water bottles, trash cans (including lids), storage totes, recycling containers, etc. Even if these items are kept upside down, water can often pool in the handles or lips of the container.

  • Tarps that hold water, even just a little, flip and empty them. Dry the tarps before replacing.

  • Plastic chairs, tables and all outside furniture, especially if it is upside down

  • Flowerpots, especially those with a saucer underneath it to catch water.

  • Wheel barrels stored improperly.

  • Anything that can hold small amounts of water. Even large things that hold water, like bird baths, usually have calm areas around the edges where mosquitoes can breed.

If you follow the steps above and remove the breeding grounds to best of your ability you may be able to reduce the number of mosquitoes in your yard.

For more information on Curren Environmental’s Mosquito Control & Remediation please call 856-858-9509 or email at tiffany@currenenvironmental.com.

Tags: mosquito control service, mosquito removal companies

Is There Lead in Your Home?

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on May 15, 2019 11:07:00 AM

Lead is a naturally occurring element that many elementary students learn about in school. Lead became popular in the early 1940’s because it simply made products better. Lead was used to seal jars; lead gave roofs waterproof linings and lead was used in sewer and water pipes so that the pipes would not easily crack. Lead was most popular in paint, as it would quicken the drying process to resist moisture and increase the durability of the paint.

Later, lead was found to be toxic to humans and animals, causing health issues. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that even though there are no known identified safe blood lead level, exposure can seriously harm a child’s health. Exposure in children can lead to damage to the brain, nervous system, slowed growth and development, learning & behavior problems as well as hearing and speech problems. The human bodies simply cannot process metals.

The most common source of lead exposure in children is lead paint. Lead paint was banned in 1978 in the United States.If your house was built prior to 1978 it is highly likely that there is lead paint somewhere, especially on any old cracked, peeling paint windows and door frames. Lead on doors, wood trim and around windows are more prone to deterioration and chipping especially if the wood surface is exposed to direct sunlight. Lead can be dangerous if it is not properly contained. Maintaining painted surfaces with fresh coats of paint will help prevent lead from separating from the painted surface.There are a number of low cost DIY test kits for lead paint .  If you are not sure if you have lead paint, visit Home Depot for a lead paint test kit.

 Lead Paint on Door

How can you avoid lead exposure in your drinking water?

If your home was constructed before 1986 than your water pipes may contain lead. The longer lead sits in your water pipes the more time it has time to accumulate. If you have not used your water for several hours, it is important to flush your pipes in the morning, after school or after work for one to two minutes before drinking or cooking. Never use warm water immediately from the tap for consumption as the heat can help leach the lead from the water piles in the pipes. For more information on lead in drinking water visit the EPA.

If your water has not been tested or treated, look into a test, or they have tests at Home depot as well.

For more information check government websites such as the EPA an CDC or call your local township and government offices and see what assistance they can provide.

The SuperMoon will bring outside brightness on the first day of Spring...more time for outside "Spring" cleaning!

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on Mar 19, 2019 10:35:00 AM

This first day of spring is different than many others. On this Wednesday, March 20th, 2019 it will be a special night for the " SuperMoon". The Sun actually moves in a direct line across the sky and the noonday sun stands at a medium or average height above the southern horizon. Set your clocks at 9:43 PM EDT on March 20th, 2019. This is the third and final "SuperMoon" of 2019. Meaning, the moon's closest point to the earth.

With all the brightness and the reminder of Spring...get the garden tools out, check the lawn mower and prepare your cleaning supplies! Also, check your downspouts and make sure there is proper drainage that slopes the ground away from the foundation of your house or dwelling to ensure no water or moisture gets in to prevent against indoor mold. Mold growth can be a health concern to you and your family. Take the preventative steps and measures to stop mold growth before it can occur.

Curren Mold Remediation

Don't forget about those pesky mosquitoes! They are breeding in all the stagnant water that you have around your home. Admire the SuperMoon's brightness and walk around your property and empty buckets, plant pails and standing water on the first spring night. After the next rain storm do the same, and remember to always empty any standing water. Mosquitoes can complete their life cycle in as little as four days according to the American Mosquito Control Association.

Mosquito control dont's

For more information about Curren Environmental click here.

How much does a mold assessment cost?

Posted by david sulock on Mar 11, 2019 8:31:00 AM

Mold surveys on average can cost $300.00 to $700.00 for a residential dwelling.  Mold inspection costs are contingent on size of the area evaluated and if mold sampling (surface or air sampling) is performed. 

Thorough inspection include not only an experience mold inspector but include infrared evaluation to locate moisture

Infrared mold inspection

 

Commercial mold assessments  can start around $600.00 and go into the thousands of dollars contingent on building size and sampling performed.  Many commercial mold inspection include are sampling to assess overall air quality in the space.   Health concerns driven by employees and tenants in leased spaces dictate compliant rooms where inspection is required.  Vacant commercial spaces that are purchased or have new tenant leases often have mold assessment performed to assess mold risk and as  baseline for overall air quality relative to mold.  In short the longer a space is unoccupied, the greater the likelihood that mold growth will occur.

 

commercial mold assessments

 

When is mold sampling necessary?

Mold sampling is completed to verify that a stained surface is mold or mold air sampling is performed to assess for hidden mold or general air quality. 

The photo below shows stained wood supports and there was a question in the real estate transaction if the staining was or was not mold.   Surface tape sampling was performed.  Ultimately the staining was found to be mold, a red flag in the photo are the cobwebs, insects and mold both need moisture to thrive.

mold inpsection sampling

 

When is air sampling for mold necessary?

Many mold inspections are driven by a concern that water damage occurred in a space (either disclosed or suspected).  When mold is suspected but not visible, air sampling is typically performed.   You might have a newly renovated space, which would clearly conceal any evidence of mold either past or hidden, air sampling is very thorough way to evaluate the space.  Even infrared may have a problem if the water source has been addressed, you moisture meters and infrared cameras no matter how expensive can only find moisture when present.  Often times the water issue is repaired but the mold is not remediated.

The photo below shows air testing inside of a ceiling cavity.   The property was under contract and the buyer found permits for demolition and rebuild of the space above due to a water leak.  This portion of the dwelling which was a walk out room had been deconstructed walls and a sheetrock ceiling (newer with obvious repairs).  Air testing was warranted at s the ceiling could not be visually inspected and the space was going to be finished by the new owner.  Long story short, mold was found above the ceiling and remediation was performed at owner's experience. 

mold inspection

Experienced mold professionals know the basis of any mold growth is that for Mold  spores to grow the surface must be moist  Dry areas will not have mold growth.  Just as a room can have different temperatures so can the room have different humidity levels.   The inside of wall cavities are ideal conditions for mold growth.

mold found a finished wall

 

When do you  perform a mold inspection or mold assessment?

  • When purchasing a home
  • Unexplained musty odors (mold growth off gassing)
  • Spotting on possessions.
  • Experiencing health concerns
  • Water leak in office or home
  • Buying a bank owned home.
  • Buying a home that was flipped.

 

Mold Questions? Click Here

 

Tags: mold inspections, mold survey, mold assessments

What you should know about removing an oil tank.

Posted by David C Sulock on Mar 4, 2019 8:44:00 AM

What you should know about removing an oil tank.

Since the northeast part of the United States was part of the original Thirteen American Colonies  we have a longer history of oil heat than other parts of the country.  You can find oil heat in homes that were built before the mid 1980's going to 1900.  If you have a house circa 1800's or the early 1900's there is almost 100% certainty that oil heat was utilized at some point. Heating oil was stored in either aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) or underground storage tanks (USTs) for heating homes, and other commercial applications. Nearly 100% of oil tanks were constructed with steel, fiberglass wasn't even considered for commercial use until the 1970's and even then commercial use was limited and residential was near nonexistent. Rust never sleeps and all steel will corrode over time, buried tanks will corrode faster than aboveground tanks, thinner tanks faster than thicker tanks. The reduction of sulfur from heating oil to help with clean air actually increases biological activity in a tank and this bacteria can crease corrosive byproducts which can actually corrode a tank from the inside. 

What does removing an oil tank involve

It has been estimated that almost 100% of the buried oil tanks have exceeded their reasonable life span and should be replaced.  (The average warranty on a new tank is 20 years, a great roof has 40 year shingles, so you do the math). How long does an oil tank last?  The number for ASTs nearing retirement is closer to 50% as many of the AST are newer, having replaced older USTs.  Oil tanks are rarely ever replaced and almost never with another UST.  If a UST was replaced with an AST it was probably because there were issues with the UST taking on water or losing product.  To put tank age in perspective:

Home Built in 1980 = 39 year old tank

Home Built in 1970 = 49 year old tank

Home Built in 1960 = 59 year old tank

Home Built in 1950 = 69 year old tank

Compare tank life span to common wear and tear items:

Roof shingles last 20 to 40 years

Hot water heater 20 years on average

 

What you should know about removing an oil tank is that there is a possibility that the tank leaked and any buyer of the property  will want testing performed at time of removal to document that the tank didn't leak.  In short, do not buy a property that had an underground oil tank removed without a report documenting the removal and associated soil testing.

Common questions we get asked about buying a home with an oil tank:

Would I buy a house that:

Had oil tank removed with no soil testing or report, no.

Tank removed, owner has a page of lab day, no report, no.

Tank was filled in place with sand, no soil testing, no.

House has an in use underground oil tank, no 

If you want to know why no was the answer to each question, call our office and speak to a professional  856-858-9509.

For a property owner removing an oil tank, when they speak to firms concerning oil tank removal the possibilities of a leak and necessary soil testing should be discussed and put in writing as leaking tanks can spiral projects costs into the tens of thousands of dollars.  I say this as we get calls from people who had a tank removed and they feel a bait and switch occurred.  They never discussed the tank leaking, hired the cheapest company and after removal the company pointed out the smallest hole in the tank to owner and construction inspector to ensure they tank fails inspection.  What followed next was a $10,000.00 estimate for remediation, that's when our office gets called.

What you should know about removing an oil tank is it is a very complicated process, in particular in New Jersey.  In August of 2018 NJDEP revised regulations requiring 5 soil samples to be obtained from an oil tank that is removed and evidence of a leak is noted.  NJDEP Oil Tank Regulations August 2019  Our office has yet to see any tank removal proposal since August that references these new regulations and the required soil testing.  I know this as we get THE CALL from unhappy tank removal clients and the contracts they signed for tank removal are vague and ignore the steps you have to take if the tank leaks.

1-888-301-1050

Why do NJDEP regulations require you to take five soil samples when a tank leaks?  The soil samples are meant to thoroughly evaluate the tank excavation for oil levels. You see rather than assume the tank leak requires remediation, the NJDEP wants you to test each sidewall and the bottom of the excavation, this allows you to make an informed decision as there are a couple possible outcomes from an oil tank leak, here are a few:

  1. Oil tank leaks you acquire the five post removal soil samples all samples have oil but nothing above permissible limits.  No remediation, financial disaster avoided, although you do have to pay for the testing, NJDEP report and the $400.00 review fee.
  2. Of the five soil samples acquired one is above permissible limits.  This is good and bad news.  Bad news you have to remediate, good news you know WHERE you have to remediate.
  3. Tank leaks and you take no soil samples.  You assume all good as you have no testing data saying you exceed; tank firm assumes all bad and remediation required since they have no testing data saying all good.  The rub here is you the tank removal client is not supposed to know all the ins and outs of the regulations, which were not discussed with you prior o removal.  Even if your oil tank has a 1% of leaking, is it not important the scenario of  a tank leak be explained in writing to you?  If the answer is no, don't read any further.

Curren Environmental has been performing tank removal for over 20 years, in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.  Our office will take the time to discuss your project answering all you questions and discussing the good and the bad.  A common statement we tell clients is we tell you what you don't want to hear, meaning we discuss the downsides meaning the leaking tank situations so you are at the least aware of the possibilities. When you receive a written scope of work from Curren what was discussed is in writing including soil sampling cost and NJDEP reporting if required. If you want a professional opinion, a professional tank removal and most important a professional report documenting the tank removal, call our office.

Oil tank experts

 

 

Tags: oil tank removal, oil tank removal nj, NJDEP HOTS, NJDEP Unregulated heating Oil Tank program

Should I perform a mold inspection?

Posted by david sulock on Feb 25, 2019 9:42:00 AM

Should I get a mold inspection?

 

Mold inspections are commonly performed as part of many  residential real estate transactions.  Mold inspections are typically driven by the buyer as opposed  to a requirement  of the mortgage approval process.  There are three main factors that are attributable to the increase in Mold inspections.   The primary driver is consumers being more educated about mold (thank the internet).  The aging housing stock allows for degraded building infrastructure (deferred maintenance) which provides  opportunities for mold to grow.   the reverse of degraded materials is better building techniques and home improvements that create tighter building envelopes that help retain moisture in the built environment, which in turn fuels mold growth.  

 

The photo below represents deferred maintenance that allowed mold to grow.   To know the exact reason, you would have to speak to one of our environmental managers.

mold inspections are part of the home buying process

 

There are a few situations that should make you look for a mold problem.  Mold inspections should be completed on homes that  have been unoccupied for extended periods of time. If a house has been closed up and unoccupied for months or years, humidity most likely has built up inside and caused mold to grow.  All bank owned properties should have a mold inspection performed due to the humidity concerns mentioned above.  Homes that have been flipped or rehabbed should have a mold inspection performed because these homes have a high probability of growth (Most were bank owned) and we have found that often times the mold has been covered over or ignored by the real estate investor.  Flipped homes should have mold inspections with air testing to search for hidden mold.

 

The piece of furniture in the photo below, has mold growing on it.  The mold manifested itself over a period of weeks after moving into an older rehab home.  Curren found mold behind the newly finished walls and water entry from the foundation wall that was not properly water proofed prior to sheetrock.

mold inspections can find hidden mold

 Home inspections typically do not cover mold inspections and most home inspectors are not experienced with mold.

 

The photo below was flagged for having mold, a part of the photo has mold and  apart is not mold.  Do you know which is which?

IMG_3698-1

 

Mold inspections should be performed on homes where water damage has occurred either one time or when chronic water issues are present.  Basements and crawlspaces are target rich environments for mold growth.

 

1-888-301-1050

 

What affects the cost of a mold inspection?

Two main factors determine the cost of a mold inspection.  Mold inspection costs are based on the time it takes to complete the inspections, simply put larger homes take longer to inspect than smaller homes. If mold testing is needed it will add to the inspection cost as you now have laboratory analysis to pay for and time for the mold professional to interpret the data.

The best mold inspections are professionals that have experience in both mold inspection and remediation.  Finding mold during a mold inspection and following the project through to remediation provides the firm a 360 degree view of the mold problem.  We have completed thousands of mold inspections and remediation and while they all have similarities there are nuisances to each project.  

 Do I need to inspect a  new home for mold? 

New homes should have mold inspection because there is actually a term we use called new home mold.  Mold can grow during the home construction process, the crews working on a new home don't have the experience with mold and accordingly are not aware that growth has occurred.

 

 

residential mold inspections

Tags: Mold Testing, mold inspections, mold survey, mold assessments

Why performing a tank sweep is important when buying a home.

Posted by david sulock on Feb 18, 2019 11:05:23 AM

Why performing a Tank Sweep?

There are many inspections performed when buying a home, and most are cursory visual inspections of the HVAC system, soffits, chimneys, foundation, plumbing, sidewalks, decks, swimming pools, etc.  These building components are commonly evaluated as part of your home inspection.  What is missed by many buyers is the environmental liability aspect of purchasing a home. Environmental can be asbestos, radon, mold, lead paint and oil tanks.  Of all these environmental liabilities, oil tanks represent the biggest risk relative to remedial cost.  A hidden underground oil tank can cost a couple thousands of dollars to a new homeowner if it's not caught during the inspection process.  Worse is when an oil tank leaks, which can lead to costs into the tens of thousands of dollars.

 oil tank scan

When people are on the fence about doing a tank sweep, all I tell them is not to be surprised that when they sell the home in the future and a tank sweep is performed by that buyer.

Over the past 20 years oil tank sweeps, oil tank scans and/or oil tank inspections have become a common part of the home buying process.

Why perform an oil tank sweep?

Oil tanks belong to a property and if you buy a home with an oil tank you bought all the costs associated with the tank, meaning tank removal, soil testing and most expensive remediation (if required). 

The photo below is a remediation of a leaking oil tank.

oil tank leaking-5

Oil heat was popular in the Northeastern United States from the 1930's to the mid 1980's, this time frame encompasses a large part of the homes in the Northeast, meaning chances are the home you are looking to purchase utilized oil heat in the past.  Also homes built before 1930, most likely had oil heat. since coal was phased out as soon  as a homeowner had a chance to switch, since coal required physical feeding the furnace several times a day during the heating season.

More info on Tank Sweeps

 

What percentage of tank sweeps find prior oil heat?

With over 20 years experience with oil tanks, we have crunched the numbers and find an average of about 75% of the tank sweeps find evidence of prior oil heat.  That number should not be that surprising since natural gas really only became popular in the 1970's.

Who pays for a tank sweep?

Buyers typically pay for the tank sweep as it is part of their due diligence.  Due diligence is what a reasonable person would do to investigate a property for problems prior to ownership.

Do property owners ever do tank sweeps?

Most property owners do not perform tank sweeps as they do not want to find an oil tank.

 

The photo below shows a tank found by Curren during a GPR scan.   Home built 1978, sold in 2016, with no  tank sweep.

oil tank sweeps for home purchase

 

Tank scan with Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) or metal detector?

You should use both GPR and a metal detector to be thorough when performing a tank scan or tank sweep. Rely on GPR the most as it is what commercial sites use, metal detectors are more to prove that the object found by GPR is metallic.  Remember, the best equipment is the most expensive, an $800.00 metal detector on Amazon.com should not be relied upon.

 

Tank Sweep Questions?

 

Metal detectors beep if they find iron sand (a real thing), buried pipes, get too close to a metal fence or a structure with metal (yes homes have metal) or simply encounter buried metallic trash.   GPR uses a screen so the geophysical technician can see the graphical image detected by the GPR antenna.     Larger signals are tanks, smaller signals are usually pipes.

Tank sweeps with GPR

Do you need a Ground Penetrating Radar/ Tank Scan?  Call Curren Environmental Today.

1-888-301-1050 

 

Tags: tank leak, OIl Tank Sweeps, tank scans

Who Reports a Tank Leak?

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on Feb 14, 2019 8:15:00 AM

What is the process of the Notification of Requirements when an Underground Oil Tank Leaks (Discharges)?

There are many conflicting concerns regarding who makes the phone call for the notification of discharge to the NJDEP (New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection) when an Underground Oil Tank in the state of New Jersey is found to be leaking.  Is it the homeowner, or contractor who removed the tank?  Could it be the nosy neighbor watching from kitchen window in the next yard over?

Historically, the reporting of a discharge was the responsibility of a knowledgeable party.  Meaning if you knew you were supposed to report a leak, you were the individual who should do it.

 reportable tank leaks

The NJDEP amended and updated their Heating Oil Tank System Remediation Rules on August 6, 2018. According to those rules, "Upon discovery of discharge, the owner shall immediately notify the Department by calling the Department hotline at 1-877-WARNDEP (1-877-927-6337)".  The owner of the property where the underground oil tank is located, and where the leak (discharge) was discovered is legally required to call in the discharge to the NJDEP at time of discovery of the discharge. (7:26F-1.6 Notification Requirements).

There are other processes and concerns as well. That nosy neighbor may be concerned if your property is leaking oil onto theirs which is highly unlikely.  But the NJDEP has rules and regulations and in 7:26C-1.7 Notification and public outreach - "Immediately after discharges commences a person or persons responsible for a discharge who knows or should know of a discharge shall IMMEDIATELY notify the Department".  It is also noted that the person responsible for providing the remediation will notify the NJDEP if any of the of the following is identifiable on the site:

  1. Contamination caused by a discharge that has not been already known to Department
  2. An immediate environmental concern
  3. Contamination, that was previously reported to Department has been determined to have migrated onto the site from another site.

(If the discharge occurred from an historic fill site the person is not required to notify the department regarding b and c above.)

What the NJDEP amended regulations are providing, is the owner of the underground oil tank, if the tank is to discharge oversees making the phone to the NJDEP (New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection) and providing the Department with the proper information regarding their tank and the discharge of the oil into the soil.

So when a property owner finds a leak that has occurred on their property, the leak should be reported by the owner. If you are buying a property and do testing and find contamination the contamination must be made aware to the owner so it can be reported. 

Bottom line discharges are required to be reported, if you know of a discharge and that it is not reported you need to report the discharge. 

Please don't hesitate to call Curren Environmental

1-888-301-1050

 and we will answer any questions you may have regarding your Underground Oil Tanks.

Tags: NJDEP HOTS

Go Green in 2019

Posted by david sulock on Jan 2, 2019 10:41:00 AM

Curren Environmental is a professional environmental consulting firm, follow our top environmentally friendly “Green” changes that you can make to help the environment.

Stop using plastic water bottles.

Plastic from single use water bottles end up in landfills and our bodies of water.  Trillions of pieces of plastic are estimated to be in our oceans.  Fish will consume this plastic and pass it along to humans.

Bottom line: There are many reusable waters bottles you can use to quench your thirst and more than likely your tap water is as pure if not purer than what is in a plastic water bottle.

Islands of Hawaii

Start using your reusable shopping bags.

Clearly when states ban plastic bags or charge a tax to use them you know there is a serious issue.   Consumer use of reusable bags is well below 50%.

Bottom Line:   When you go to the store bring your bags and put you phone in a reusable bag.  You won’t forget your phone when you go into the store and now you won’t forget your reusable bag.

 

LED bulbs are finally affordable. Swap out incandescent bulbs with LEDs

Bottom Line:  LED bulbs use 95% of energy to convert to light so only 5% is wasted.  LED bulbs are on average 80% more efficient that incandescent.  Where can you get an 80% improvement?

LED Light bulb

Use cold or warm water in your laundry.

Laundry detergent manufacturers have reformulated their products to be as efficient in cold and warm water, hot water is not required.     

Bottom line: Hot water consumes energy and is not necessary for cleaning clothing

 

Lock all windows.

Bottom Line: Windows are drafty and most windows that are unlocked allow cold air to infiltrate into your home. Drafty homes cause furnaces to work harder costing you more money.

 

Wrap your hot water heater.

Bottom Line: Layers keep you warm, and although hot water heaters have insulation built in, another layer of insulation will increase the efficiency of your hot water heater, which is used every day.

wrapping the hot water heater