Monday, October 27, 2008

Green Myths

Going green is a huge global topic. But what is real and what is false? Here are some common misconceptions that you might fight surprising.

Planting trees does not stop global warming

Forests have three effects on our climate. They cool the air through evaportranspiration; they reduce air pollutants like CO2 and their dense leaves help warm the planet. Although all of these are beneficial, recent studies have shown that to maximize these effects, it is merely dependant on where the trees exist. Planting trees in forests around the equator helps the planet much more then planting trees in other places because they absorb more CO2 there. The father away trees are from the equator, the less heat is trapped thereby causing higher temperatures. So if you are going to support a tree growing charity or organization grow make sure you pick one that plants in the right location

Hybrid Vehicles are Better then Non-Hybrid

Although hybrids do save you money on gas they do have their own costs. For instance, the amount of energy it takes to make a new hybrid is well over 1000 gallons of gas. Also some cars actually get better gas consumption then some hybrids out there today. If you really want to save money try riding a bike

Always Buy Organic

Buying organic food is a big craze these days. People swear they can taste the difference in quality but consider some of these things first before buying organic. The benefits of organic food are only good when not trucked shipped or flown. The greater the distance, the more energy is used and the more pollution is produced. This offsets much for the initial point. If you really want to go green, go to farmers markets or community supported agriculture to get your produce rather then the supermarket.

Energy conversation and energy efficient are the same.

They are not. Energy conservation is any activity that uses less energy like turning out the lights when you leave a room. Energy efficient is technology that lets you do the same thing but use less energy. Try purchasing energy star products or other items look for energy efficient light bulbs to really make a difference.

When appliances are off they don’t use power.

This is false. There is a phenomenon called vampire power that causes power to fluctuate even when it is no in use. Televisions, air conditioners and cell phone chargers still suck power even when off. This is because many electronics often use an internal clock. Try unplugging them after use to really see a change in your electric bill

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Friday, October 03, 2008

The Fall of Sharper Image’s Ionic Breeze Ushers in a New Age of Air Purifiers

When Air Purifiers burst onto the scene, Sharper Image’s Ionic Breeze quickly became a household name and alerted people with the importance of air purifiers. After a couple of rough years and a flurry of controversy about the its actual effectiveness, the Ionic Breeze began to fade from the public's mind. However, the importance of air purifiers began to grow. New technology, smaller and more energy efficient machines began to permeate the market. While the Sharper Image might have made air purifiers “cool”, other companies made them work and have been taking the time to educate the public about these important tools.

2007 has showed that Air Purifiers are no longer just a “niche” market. They have had over 511.2 million dollars in sale alone. The internet is the leading source of sales and information about air purifiers. Consumers go online to discover vital information about new technology, trends and consumer reports. Vendors have also learned from Sharper Image by making information readily available to potential buyers, to help educate them about the importance and difference between the various types of air purifiers.

Air purifiers offer plenty of options to get desired effects. A fallout from Sharper Image’s Ionic Breeze, is the effectiveness of HEPA technology. HEPA filters can remove 99.97% of airborne materials down to the 0.3-micrometer. These filters are often used in hospitals for their effectiveness. It is important to make sure to purchase a true HEPA product and not on labeled “HEPA-type”, “HEPA-like” or “99% HEPA” as they do not perform effectively when compared to HEPA.

Other market trends include the rise of portable air cleaners. These are great for rooms outside the home whether in offices or dorm rooms. Perhaps one of the reason of the gain in popularity is that people are not content to have clean air merely at home. They realize it is important to keep air clean where germs have the largest area to spread. Companies have taken this opportunity to add different styles, shapes and colors to their models letting consumers pick portable air purifiers for that suit them best. Air Sanitizers are adding to the variety of air purifiers.

Of, course companies have decided to offer “green” air purifiers designed specifically to be eco-friendly and energy efficient. An Energy Star Label goes a surprisingly long way to reassure customers that they are purchasing an energy efficient product that will save them money on their electric bill.

Outside of creating more effective air purifiers, companies have been including additional features on air purifiers like change-filter indicators and sensors or automatic fan control to detect air quality. Vornado Air Circulation Systems marketing director Mark Zarich has this to say. “Most of us are trying to establish a path for consumers to believe in after the Ionic Breeze fell…Consumers want to have a healthier home environment.”

By no means is the air purifier dead, after the Ionic Breeze. Studies have shown that customers still crave them, they only wish a more information and more variety. You can expect that as time goes on air purifiers will offer more options, be even more effective and have new designs that you will never have to hide in the room.

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