Ozone Generators, Snake Oil of the Modern Age

Perhaps this goes to show that there will always be snake oil vendors.   For years, we’ve been sold on the idea that Ozone generators are a good thing, that they promote and create healthy air within our homes, remove odors, etc.  The manufacturers of ozone generators even go so far as to point out that it’s just as nature does with lightning strikes and thunderstorms.  This notion resonated with us. After all, isn’t there a hole in the ozone layer?  So more ozone is a good thing… right?  Up in the stratosphere, protecting our planet, it is.  Down here where we breathe, though, it’s actually flat out dangerous.

That last statement bears repeating: Ozone generators in our homes are dangerous.  Ozone is, chemically speaking, O3 — three oxygen atoms bound together.  It’s made by electricity passing through the air.  So what’s wrong with that?  Our bodies aremade to breathe O2, not O3.  O3 (Ozone) can make our throats sore and damage our lungs.  The same properities of ozone which can cause certain smells, bacteria and mold to be affected, those same properties also affect tissues within our bodies, and not in a good way.

There’s a long list of data to support what’s being presented here.  Research performed by both the U.S. and Canadian governments,  as well as others, all agrees with this.  Ozone up there is a good idea.  Down here, it’s a bad thing.  Even in a best case scenario, even “safe” levels of ozone will to little or nothing to provide helpful benefits.  Once the concentration is high enough to be killing off harmful or offensive aspects, it has become dangerous to our health.  There is no practical effective way to use an Ozone generator safely in your home.

Ion generators, preferably those which generate both positive and negative ions, do have a desireable effect, in that they help to knock down airborn particulates.  How much so?  There are too many variables to answer that, but the best bet is still to use air filters to remove allergens, to filter out dirt and dust particles.  It would seem that HEPA filters are still the best means of cleaning the air that we breathe.

Why are the manufacturers allowed to make the claims if they’re not true?   Apparently the government is not empowerede to regulate Ozone generators.  Or perhaps someone got a major payoff.  But if you check a bit online, you’ll find the EPA’s statement on the subject.  (Or you could follow the link we just provided here.)

If you’ve bought yourself some snake oil recently, you may want to return it.  If you cannot, it’s best to dismantle or crush it before disposing of it.  Normally we’d not be keen on adding such things to a landfill, but there are far too many people who remain unaware of the dangers of this.  Donating it to Goodwill or some similar organization just spreads the snake oil to some other unsuspecting person.   When disposing of an ozone generator, it’s best to follow the Golden Rule and make certain that no one else ever uses the thing again.

What can we do about the hole in the ozone?  Most dangerous aerosol sprays are gone, and the dangerous freon is unlawful to discharge intentionally.  Stop using combustion engines.  That’s the single best thing we can do for ourselves and our planet.

Get Rid on Ants – Roaches: Do It Yourself Pest Control

Pests such as ants and roaches can drive a person mad. Almost everyone has dealt with them at one time or another. An inviting environment for a pest is usually a dirty one, but what a pest considers dirty is really not that dirty, unless you really look. Under furniture, cracks in the kitchen between the wall and floor, anywhere tiny food particles can be brushed into and not seen.

Ants and roaches eat organic, decomposing matter, which usually means germs. Roaches are especially good at spreading germs and disease. As they walk through, over, and in decomposing matter, germs will get stuck to their legs. From there they can spread the germs to where else they decide to go, which is usually everywhere they can. Ants are not as bad but equally as annoying and equally as evasive.

What makes matters worse is that sometimes the pest don’t even need food to invade your home, they want water. A leaky pipe under the counter, your pet’s water bowl, and even water sitting in the tub after a bath is all a pest such as an ant and roach will need to gather up their close family and distant relatives and have a party in your house!In most cases you don’t need to call a professional exterminator, there are plenty of options for ‘do it yourself pest control’.

Before the Invasion – If you know roaches and ants are in your area but have yet to see any, a gel or chalk such as Combat® Source Kill Max Roach Killing Gel, Black Flag Ant and Roach Killing Chalk, and Grant’s Kills Ants & Roaches Bait Syringe can be used as the first line of defense in the smallest of cracks and crevices where they might squeeze into your home. The gel and chalk kills by contact or when ingested. Setting baits around the outside of the house is also very smart. Grant’s Kills Ants and Spiders Granules and Grants Ant Stakes will kill the pests before they enter your home.

During the Invasion – Once ants and roaches are in the home, fast acting and effective measures are needed to attract and kill the ants and roaches. Keep the home as clean as possible and set bait as their only source of food. Combat® Source Kill Max Small Roach Baits, Grants Kills Ants Bait Stations attracts and kills the ants and roaches as well as letting them take the food back to infect the rest of the nest creating a domino effect. The combination of bait and gel is designed for complete cockroach elimination and prevention. For immediate action, Bengal Roach Spray is a quick solution.

Video: How to Prevent Ants From Getting in House

For those with pets and children, Safer Brand Ant & Roach Killer, Poison-Free Aerosol Spray works just was well using an organic formula.There are many solutions for the ‘do it yourself pest control’ crowd, it just depends on how toxic you want to get. As the saying goes, “Pick your poison!”

Going Green – Fake Green Has Asthma Sufferers Seeing Red!

At first glance, it seemed like asthma inhalers were going Green by changing out the CHC propulsion for the live-saving drug to a more atmosphere-friendly prompulsion agent. As it turns out, though, the biggest green in the whole thing is the dollars they’re now milking asthma sufferers and insurance companies for. The new propellant isn’t going to make that big of a difference in the environment, but does make the inhaler more prone to clogging.

The drug, called Albuterol helps asthma sufferers from suffering an attack which could be deadly. The medicine needs a propellant to work and, as of January 1, 2009, they’re going to be using a “more eco-friendly” chemical, HFA. The announcement was initially made because doctors wanted patients to expect a different taste and feel. University Health System physician Fred Campbell claims there is little resistance to the change, but it seems he’s not really paying attention.

The kicker? The new propellant raises the price from $5-10 to anywhere between $30-$60 each. That’s a pretty massive increase as it is. Now apply that to 20 million and you can see just how in the green the manufacturers are about to become. We’re all for things that are Going Green — but that Green is supposed to be going into the environment, not a drug company’s pockets.

Going Green-Energy efficient lighting solutions

energy-lighting.jpgLighting up your home is an area where a very large difference can be made when it comes to conserving energy.  There are a few extremely simple technological advances which offer us a whole host of new options for making our lighting efforts much more energy efficient.  Energy-efficient lighting is much more cost effective, so by using energy-efficient lighting you will be saving money in energy costs as well as protecting the environment by utilizing renewable sources of energy.  Many of these technological advances have been around for many years, but so many people have not become aware of them that they are not being used to their full potential yet.

Dimmer Switches – Dimmer switches have been around for quite some time, possibly since the early 1960s.  Newer and more modern incarnations of these simple gadgets include side dimmers and touch dimmers.  Side dimmer switches have a knob that can be slid next to a standard light switch.  The touch dimmer on the other hand, is used by tapping or touching to achieve at least three or four brightness setting levels.

Motion Sensors or Timers – You can reduce energy consumption in a simple way by utilizing motion sensors and timers.  These limit the amount of time that your lights are on, which saves a great deal of money and energy simultaneously.  Timers are great for outdoor use, as they can be programmed to come on after sunset, or to turn off at sunrise.  Motion sensors are also great for office buildings, public restrooms and other applications where the light only comes on when someone is in the room.

LED – LED lighting may be the best lighting option for the future of energy-conservation, because LED lights have an extremely low level of power consumption, using as much as 90-percent less power than a normal light would.  By reducing your costs of running electricity, you will be saving money and energy while using a bright light source that consumes a lot less energy than your original lighting did.  The electricity consumption of LED lights is so low, that you could power a string of lights at least half a mile long for less electricity than to power a single light bulb.

If you do not want to switch to LED lighting, at least consider replacing your older fixtures with Energy Star qualified lighting fixtures, or replacing your incandescent bulbs with energy-saving compact fluorescents.  There are so many simple changes that you can make, each creating a big change for your energy bill, and the environment.

Going Green for the Holidays

All across the country, environmentally friendly folk are looking for ways to be conscientious this holiday season. Being a responsible Green citizen isn’t really difficult, and it may actually save you money while reducing our carbon footprint. Here are a few suggestions. Got others? Please, add them with a comment!

#1 Buy Local. When we’re searching for gifts, we’re usually after something especially for that person. Sure, an Asian-made electronic game system or component may seem like the safe bet, but putting just a little extra time and thought into the process of choosing a gift may find you making a big difference to the environment. When possible, buy things that are made locally, or don’t have to be shipped very far. This reduces the carbon footprint, the amount of poisonous carbon dioxide we put into the air. Buying locally also supports our home area financially. Both are great reasons to buy local.

#2 That gift-wrapping paper can be recycled — right there at home! Rather than stuffing it all into plastic garbage bags and hauling it to the trash, think of ways to reuse it. Substitute wrapping paper for newspaper or peanuts when you’re packing goods to be shipped. Some papers may be able to be used as compost or mulch for your garden. Lining drawers with the larger pieces. Of course, it never hurts to buy paper that comes from recycled sources either. You might even try using left-over fabric as a wrapping material. Christmas cards can be made into ornaments

#3 Do your shopping and browsing around online. It costs less than driving and opening and closing doors, and is a lot easier and less stressful, too! During the holidays, even buying online can be more fuel-efficient, as the carriers’ drivers are already out delivering nearby you. If you DO go to the stores to shop, remember to bring your own bags with you. Reusing is recycling, too!

#4 If you must have a tree, buy a real, pesticide and paint free one — or better yet, buy a live tree and move it outdoors when the season is over.  The artificial trees are made of plastics, and that’s one of those petroleum products that we just can’t afford to continue to endorse.

#5 If there’s someone in your world who hasn’t yet gone to digital cameras, cut down on the use of papers and toxic chemicals by getting them a digital camera. At the very least, use your digital camera, and email pictures (or links to the album) to everyone later. While we’re at it, how about giving gifts that encourage others to go Green as well?

With just a little thought, your holidays can be merry and Green – and isn’t that a lot better than just bright? Spread the word while you spread the cheer! Help your friends and family with their Going Green for the holidays!

Got other suggestions? Leave us a comment; Post ‘em here!