Solar On White House is Example of Failing to LEAD BY EXAMPLE-Rescinded

Though I have never had to remove a post for my comments I will say that I happily rescind my thoughts on this post.  Because the President has allowed solar to be installed on the White House.  This is: “Leading by Example or Practicing what you Preach” 

Now if only more members of the House and Senate will follow these examples just maybe we can turn the tables on: Climate Change, Economic Issues that are Troubling our Great Nation, Combatting Big Oil and Big Coal, and the various other issues plauging our country.

See the Latest Blog Post here:


SOLAR: Shadow of Carter eclipses White House solar panel push

Environment and Energy Daily
September 14, 2010

Emily Yehle, E&E reporter
For the low monthly price of $537, Barack and Michelle Obama could be enjoying the benefits of solar energy, transforming the White House roof with 76 futuristic panels that would cut their electricity bill by 80 percent.
At least that is the very rough estimate drawn up by Sungevity, a solar power company that has joined forces with and other nonprofits to campaign for solar panels on the White House roof. In their eyes, it is a win-win: The White House becomes a more efficient household, and the president sends a symbolic message to the country.
But last week, White House officials essentially shot down the idea, telling co-founder Bill McKibben that they would deliberate about future possibilities and releasing a vague statement on Obama’s commitment to renewable energy. The rebuff left lots of room for interpretation: Why, exactly, is Obama, the champion of climate change legislation and strong environmental regulation, so averse to the idea?
Could it be Jimmy Carter?
Carter was the first and only president to put solar panels on the White House, installing a set in 1979 and extolling them as the way of the future. Six years later, the Reagan administration removed the panels for now-forgotten reasons.
That history has become a cornerstone of the recent solar campaign, with McKibben hauling a Carter solar panel to the White House last week. But Carter’s solar achievements may be beside the point; as midterm elections approach, Obama politically probably would not touch anything related to Carter with a 10-foot pole.
“It’s one thing after the midterms to compare yourself to Bill Clinton, the comeback kid,” said Stuart Rothenberg, editor of the Rothenberg Political Report, a nonpartisan tip sheet. “It’s another thing to compare yourself to someone who was, as president, a failure.”
Other theories exist as to why the White House is so touchy about solar panels. Some say the panels would not be effective enough to justify installing them; others blame it on bureaucracy. The New York Times’ Andrew Revkin hypothesized that putting solar panels on the roof would come up against difficult security hurdles in a post-9/11 world.
McKibben — whose group’s name reflects its goal of decreasing carbon dioxide to 350 parts per million in the atmosphere — said White House officials “wouldn’t give us a reason” for their apprehension.
“They said only that the WH had ‘a deliberate process’ for deciding, but while it may be deliberate it’s also a little obscure since they wouldn’t tell us what it was,” he said in an e-mail.
As for the touchy Carter connection, McKibben
“If we’d spent the last 30 years doing this, then China probably wouldn’t own the industry,” he said. “But frankly we weren’t thinking in election terms — our whole campaign is just predicated on telling the truth as we see it, starting with the number 350 at its core.”
Danny Kennedy, the founder of Sungevity, said Obama seemed warm to the idea when he met him in April at the Earth Day celebration in the White House Rose Garden.
“He said, ‘Oh I love that idea. How do we make that happen?” Kennedy recalled, adding that he has been in touch with government officials several times since, but to little avail. “If they don’t move soon, I feel like we kind of need to look for other leadership and people who will be willing to get with the program.”
But both McKibben and Kennedy concede that the panels would be largely symbolic — and that they are really hoping for changes in regulation and policy that will help the struggling solar industry.
Still, the Obamas might be missing out on those stylish black panels that have become a “status symbol” in California, according to Kennedy. Sungevity is even willing to throw in the $107,000 for parts and labor.
“It’s kind of like: When are you going to act, when are you going to walk the talk?” Kennedy said. “And when are you going to say it starts at home?”
Copyright 2010 Environment and Energy Publishing, LLC
Environment and Energy Daily

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Scott’s Contracting


Report: US Senates In-Action Costs 1.9 Million Jobs

Report: U.S. Senate's Inaction on Climate/Energy Bill Costing U.S. 1.9 Million Jobs, Including 600,000 in 10 States With Worst Unemployment Topping 10 Percent

PR Newswire
September 14, 2010

With U.S. Falling Behind by Over $200 Million a Day in Clean Energy Investments, China is Clear Winner Due to Senate's Failure; More Than Half a Million Jobs Forfeited in 10 States With 10 Percent Unemployment or Higher; Analysis Highlights Impact of Senate's Failure on 20 States: AR, CA, FL, IL, IN, MA, ME, MN, MO, MS, MT, NH, NJ, NV, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, and VA.

WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — China and other leading nations have gained more than $11 billion in job-creating clean-energy investments – with the U.S. losing an estimated $208 million every day – since the U.S. Senate abandoned comprehensive clean energy legislation in late July, according to a new analysis from Small Business Majority, Main Street Alliance, American Businesses for Clean Energy and We Can Lead.

The analysis shows that, if left unremedied, the Senate's failure to act will cost the United States 1.9 million jobs – including 600,000 in the 10 states with joblessness in excess of 10 percent. The report documents that, in the nearly two months since the Senate failed to act, clean energy investments already have started shifting away from the United States to China and other nations.

Other key findings include the following:

Nearly 600,000 of the unrealized jobs were lost where they are now needed most — the 10 states with unemployment rates over 10 percent: Nevada (17,000 jobs); California (226,000); Rhode Island (8,000); Florida (78,000); South Carolina (36,000); Mississippi (19,000); Oregon (26,000); Indiana (45,000); Ohio (61,000); and Illinois (68,000).Even states with lower unemployment levels lost hundreds of thousands of urgently needed new jobs, including more than 300,000 jobs in the following states: Arkansas (25,000); Maine (12,000); Massachusetts (40,000); Minnesota (38,000); Missouri (29,000); Montana (13,000); New Hampshire (7,000); New Jersey (11,000); Pennsylvania (78,000); and Virginia (50,000).The lost jobs forfeited by the U.S. Senate include major categories of employment that could have put Americans to work immediately with little or no additional training or education – since a large portion of clean energy jobs require widely-held skills that millions of Americans already have. The Senate's failure to take action will have even wider negative economic consequences on American families, including Americans missing out on an increase to annual household income of up to $1,175 per year, and a boost to America's gross domestic product (GDP) of up to $111 billion – with these huge economic benefits flowing across all 50 states.

American Businesses for Clean Energy Spokesperson Chris Van Atten said: "The clean energy race will go on with or without the United States. It will not wait if federal lawmakers decide to sit out the next year, three years or a decade. In the near term, the prospects for new jobs and other economic benefits from clean energy remain on the table. The U.S. Senate has already cost the United States billions of dollars in job-creating clean energy and climate-related investments. The question must be asked: How much further behind China and the rest of the world will the Senate allow America to fall in the global clean energy race?"

Small Business Majority Founder and CEO John Arensmeyer said: "Opinion polling of small business owners we conducted confirms widespread support for a comprehensive climate and clean energy bill. In this tough economy, small business owners are doing their part to reduce energy costs, invest in new technologies and create jobs, but they can't do it alone. They need the Senate to act quickly and pass clean energy policies that will reignite economic growth and put millions back to work."

Main Street Alliance Field Coordinator Jason Collette said: "These are jobs that can't be outsourced and will provide the foundation for a small business customer base and healthy local economies. There is no excuse in this tough economy for the Senate's failure to act and its failure to create these jobs."

Speaking for We Can Lead, Tim Greeff, political director, Clean Economy Network, said: "Business leaders across the United States are in a global race to lead the clean energy economy. The Senate's failure to enact comprehensive climate and energy policy has left American businesses at a competitive disadvantage, which grows with each day that we delay enacting meaningful policies that will create millions of American jobs and put Americans back to work."

Thousands of U.S. businesses – including small firms in all 50 states – have gone on record as supporting comprehensive climate and clean energy legislation as the best way to maintain American competitiveness with China and other nations, and to help kick start the struggling the U.S. economy. For more information, go to and

CONTACT: Alex Grodin, (571) 344-0085 or

EDITOR'S NOTE: A streaming audio replay of the news event will be available on the Web at as of 6 p.m. EDT on September 14, 2010.


American Businesses for Clean Energy (ABCE) is an initiative to demonstrate large and small business support for Congressional enactment of clean energy and climate legislation that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. ABCE's goal is to create a single place on the web where individual companies and business organizations can register their support for Congressional action, and to demonstrate the depth and breadth of business support for this legislation.

Small Business Majority is a small business advocacy group founded and run by small business owners to focus on solving some of the biggest problems facing small businesses today. The small business community is vast, diverse and dynamic. It includes 6 million small employers with 43 million employees and 22 million self-employed people, with varying political points of view. But they have at least one critical thing in common: Together, these entrepreneurs and other small business owners create jobs, innovate and grow the economy.

The Main Street Alliance is a national network of state-based small business coalitions. The Alliance creates opportunities for small business owners to speak for ourselves, advancing public policies that are good for our businesses, our employees, and the communities we serve.

We Can Lead is a nationwide coalition of more than 1,000 business leaders – innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, manufacturers and energy providers – who support comprehensive, forward-looking energy and climate policies in the United States which will catalyze and grow a portfolio of new and existing energy sources, create new American jobs and end our boom/bust energy cycles. The network includes small and medium sized companies to large-scale energy providers, Fortune 500 companies and leading consumer-facing brands.

SOURCE Small Business Majority, Main Street Alliance, We Can Lead, and American Businesses for Clean Energy

Copyright 2010 PR Newswire Association LLCAll Rights Reserved
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Scott's Contracting

New Inverter Manufacturing Facility in Arizona=American Jobs

American Renewable Energy Manufacturing Jobs for American Renewable Energy Producing Systems UPDATE: Power-One Opens New Inverter Manufacturing Facility in Arizona

News Bites US Markets
September 10, 2010

[Today's Company Release] CAMARILLO, Calif., Sept. 9, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Power-One, Inc. (Nasdaq:PWER), a leading provider of renewable energy and energy-efficient power conversion and power management solutions, announced today that it will open its new manufacturing facility in Phoenix, Arizona. The Power-One Phoenix facility will produce its industry-leading photovoltaic and wind inverters, including single phase (2-6KW) and three phase string inverters, and NEMA 3R 250KW, 300KW and 400KW central inverters. In the future, for wind applications, the product range will include 2.5 MW inverters.

Production will commence in October 2010 and the facility is anticipated to support more than 350 new jobs in Arizona and throughout the United States. The new manufacturing plant will reach an annual inverter production capacity of 1.0 GW by mid 2011.

"Power-One is pleased to announce the opening of its new renewable energy manufacturing facility in Phoenix," said Richard Thompson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Power-One. "We are excited to bring our field-proven products to the United States and Canadian markets, as we see tremendous growth opportunities in North America."

Power-One has been able to expand capacity with the recent commencement of Canadian manufacturing and the expansion of its European plant, which will result in global capacity to annually produce more than 4.0 GW of inverters by year-end 2010. In addition, Power-One plans to launch Chinese production in the fourth quarter with products specifically designed for the requirements of Asian markets.

"The worldwide market for inverters continues to grow at a rapid pace, and we are positioning Power-One to meet global customer demand," said Dr. Alex Levran who serves as president of Renewable Energy Solutions, a division of Power-One. "The launch of the Arizona factory, in addition to our growth overseas, will enable us to continue on our strong growth trajectory."

To learn more about Power-One and its products and services, please visit www. Power-One. com.

Article Continues:

Scott's Contracting

China rejects US trade complaint over clean energy

Associated Press Financial Wire
September 15, 2010

China rejected a U.S. union's trade complaint over Beijing's support for clean energy industries and said Wednesday such criticism is hypocritical at a time when China is under pressure to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The Sept. 9 complaint by the United Steelworkers said Chinese producers of wind and solar equipment receive improper subsidies in violation of Beijing's free-trade commitments. The Obama administration has 45 days to decide whether to launch an investigation that could lead to cases being filed against China before the WTO.

"The policies issued by China fit World Trade Organization rules," said Commerce Ministry spokesman Yao Jian.

"We hope the U.S. government will reject this request and protect the good economic and trade relationship of the two sides," Yao said.

The communist government sees clean energy as both a way to reduce China's surging need for imported oil and gas and as a promising source of economic growth and jobs.

"You cannot on the one side demand that China shoulder the responsibility of energy saving and cutting emissions while on the other side you criticize China's clean energy policy. It is contradictory," Yao said.

Foreign producers of wind equipment complain they are shut out of power projects financed by China's central government. But the United States and other governments have yet to pursue a formal trade case against Beijing.

Scott's Contracting

Clean air belongs to us

Build Green
Scotty, Scotts Contracting

— On Thu, 9/16/10, Dave Boundy, Repower America <> wrote:

From: Dave Boundy, Repower America <>
Subject: Clean air belongs to us
Date: Thursday, September 16, 2010, 1:53 PM

Repower America

Dear Scotts Contracting,

We share a simple but powerful belief: Clean air belongs to all of us.

But right now, big oil, dirty coal and their allies in Congress are busy acting like the air belongs to them. They’ve renewed their multi-million dollar assault on the Clean Air Act — a piece of legislation that has successfully protected public health and the environment by keeping big polluters in check for four decades.

We need more people to get involved and stop them from gutting this crucial law.

That’s why Alec Baldwin, Kris Kristofferson and thousands of supporters are taking part in a new video to help spread the word about our fight to protect clean air.

Watch the new Clean Air Act video today and share it with your friends and family.

Clean air belongs to us -- watch the video

This week marks the 40th anniversary of this crucial law — a day to celebrate 40 years of progress. But if the fossil fuel industry gets its way, we will be helpless to stop polluters from dumping hundreds of thousands of tons of greenhouse gases into the air each year, as if it were an open sewer.

And that’s exactly what they want: a toothless Clean Air Act, a misinformed public and a bottom line that stays fat and secure while the planet chokes on their harmful pollution.

This new video is our rallying cry. It’s a declaration that we won’t stay quiet while we lose our last, best line of defense against big polluters.

And right now, you can help make sure it will be seen by as many people as possible.

Check out our Clean Air Act video and help us spread its vitally important message.

Clean air isn’t just our right — it’s also the legacy we will leave for future generations. Please get involved and help protect the Clean Air Act for today, tomorrow and all of us.

Thanks for taking action today,

Dave Boundy
Campaign Manager
The Climate Protection Action Fund’s Repower America campaign

Contributions or gifts to the Climate Protection Action Fund are not tax deductible.

Paid for by the Climate Protection Action Fund

Green and Eco Friendly Driveway Info

Q: How to Green my Driveway

Answered by Rick Goyette

September 9, 2010

There are several factors to consider when defining a green driveway. Most often the factors depend heavily on the location, use and exposure of the site.

Here are some tenets which may individually or together define a driveway as green.

  • Permeability
  • Heat Island Effect
  • Materials


The downside to impermeable surfaces such as concrete or asphalt is that they direct storm water to another location (such as the street) which essentially forces the municipal storm drain system to incorporate water that could have been absorbed on your property.

A lengthy discussion of why this is not optimal is beyond the scope of this response. Suffice to say that minimizing your impact on the surrounding municipal stormwater infrastructure will abate the opportunity for flooding, erosion, and transport of chemicals to undesirable locations where the stormwater is released. Therefore one aspect of a green driveway is permeability — more permeability is greener.

A permeable driveway can be created in many ways: pavers, permeable concrete, crushed stone and crushed seashells are the most popular.

Given the fact that you will have to plow, snow-blow, or shovel during the winter months in NJ, crushed stone and seashells probably won't make the cut, but you still have many porous pavement options.

Heat Island Effect

Most people are aware that the temperature during the summer months is higher in city developments than in the rural countryside. While the buildings in the city certainly are a large contributor to this, the paved areas and streets surrounding those structures contribute in large part to the temperature difference.

  • Paved areas absorb heat and radiate it to surrounding areas while the more predominant trees, grass and natural ground coverings in rural areas provide shade and do not absorb heat in the same way.
  • To combat the heat island effect, a green driveway would certainly take into account the overhead vegetative or structural shading and driveway color.

If you’ve spent any amount of time in a blacktop parking lot during the summer, it is obvious that the radiant heat has an impact on temperature and comfort. White concrete or lighter shades of gray have a significant impact on how much heat is absorbed and consequently radiated back into the air.

Consider lighter shades of paving materials and planting trees to help define your green driveway to control the heat island effect.


After consideration of the principles above, it is prudent to discuss some of the materials, their positions in the "green pecking order" and other options given the region and climate of NJ.

Asphalt. While I prefer to avoid a discussion of the definitions of asphalt, tar, or blacktop (that seem to be used interchangeably); I generally place any black paving surface at the bottom of the green pecking order. Aside from the fact that it does not support and in fact violates the green tenets listed above, can something that smells that bad really be green? Levity aside, this material is generally made using byproducts of the petroleum and/or coal industry. Someone could perhaps provide evidence as to why it is a greener option given the re-use of a waste material. However, I still wouldn’t recommend it as a green driveway option.

Concrete.  Despite my argument above, if you are considering a concrete driveway there is a coal byproduct that deepens the shade of green for a driveway install. Flyash is created by burning coal and can be used to strengthen concrete and decrease the carbon footprint of your project. Although the use of flyash will darken the color of your concrete, it could be offset by color additives.

Pavers.  I love the look and feel of a paver driveway when coupled with older architecture. Pavers provide permeability between joints as long as they are not sealed with polymeric sand or another water-sealing product. Consider allowing grass, moss or other groundcover to grow in the joints to prevent erosion and increase permeability. There is a maintenance burden not typically associated with a typical driveway. However, a light-colored paver driveway with vegetative joints and partial overhead shade would be considered a green driveway without question.

Permeable or pervious concrete.  Permeable concrete is installed with voids that allow water a clear path to ground absorption. After seeing a demonstration of the product in which a glass of water traveled through 12 inches of concrete, I was sold. What a great decision — after using it, I was just as delighted.

Permeable concrete

Permeable concrete is my recommendation for your project.   Pervious concrete has a random surface look I associate with the nooks and crannies of a famous English muffin.

  • The voids throughout the concrete provide the opportunity for water to make its way into the ground and provide the same rigidity as normal concrete surfaces. 
  • The product is available in light gray, which ensures that you are also considering the heat island effect.

My first reaction to this product (before using it) focused on its durability and the ability to remove snow without damaging the surface.

If you have similar durability concerns, have a look at this white paper that explains how the rigid nature of pervious concrete makes it less susceptible to damage from snow removal. It will also answer any questions you might have regarding maintenance.

Typically, permeable concrete is difficult to find because it requires certification of the installers. 

Good luck on your project!

For more information:

Read Randy Potter's Q&A "I need to pave my driveway — what material would you suggest?"

Also, read Christian Kienapfel's "We have a 400-foot driveway. Can you suggest a permeable or semi-permeable topping?"

Tagged In: permeable driveway, porous pavement

Scott's Contracting

Fall Home Check Up Guide with Photos

Fall Fix-Ups Checklist for your Home Provided by BHG with additional Notes by: Scotty, Scotts Contracting Green Builder – Renewable Energy Distributor / Installer

The secret to a secure and comfortable home is regular maintenance. From cleaning gutters to fireplace safety, we discuss it all in a list of must-dos for fall.

In many existences: Preventive Maintenance will save you $money$ before costly repairs are needed. Scotts Contracting is available to assist you in your Home Projects-Large or Small.

Clear the Gutters

Falling leaves and evergreen needles can block downspouts and cause rainwater to overflow gutters. Depending on where you live, the coming of winter can mean clogged gutters. This can cause ice dams, which push water under shingles and into your house. Clean gutters after most of the leaves have fallen, and do so by removing the debris with a plastic scoop or with a special curved wand attached to your garden hose. To keep gutters clear for next fall, install mesh or perforated leaf shields. In addition to cleaning gutters, you might need to install insulation in the attic or apply heat tape along the roof edge above the gutters to prevent ice dams.

Additional Note by Scotty: If the Water is not flowing towards the downspouts for any number of reasons this will create a backup of water and debris. The added weight could also dislodge the Gutter and Downspouts from the house. Sometimes the Gutter is completely falls off or the weight creates a sag in the gutter. This in turn creates more of a Blockage Dam with more weight added with each form of Precipitation and added Debris. Both causing damage that could effect more than the Gutters and Downspouts. Since the Gutter attaches to the Fascia of the Home it can be effected also. The Fascia Area / Board of Homes if the First Stop in Attic Infiltration from the Elements.


Inspect Your Gutters

If you live in an area where the winters are full of ice and snow, ensure that gutters are securely attached to the house before winter hits. Check for any loose gutter spikes (8-inch-long nails that secure gutters to the eaves) and replace them with gutter screws, which hold better. Simply remove any loose spikes and drill gutter screws into the same hole.

Rarely is a Gutter Fix this simple mainly because
  • the Gutter Spike which has a diameter of 3/8inch (the Diameter of a Pencil) has generally created a bigger hole than the average screw can be screwed into with any holding power.
  • Many times the gutter screw was not properly installed: Through the Fascia Board and Into the Rafter Tails of the Roofing System. Without the additional strength of the Screws or Nails penetrating the Rafter Tails adequate Strength Loads will not meet the Load Requirements for severe Snow and Ice Loads.
  1. Fix:
  • Remove Nail and Hanger
  • Fill Hole with Silicone-In both the Gutter and Fascia Board. This will stop any water and air filtration into the Soffitt Area of Your Home.
  • Move Gutter Hanger to Correct Location and Install with 2 ½ in or 3 in Screws. ( Ensuring that the Screw Penetrates into the Rafter Tails of the Roofing System.
Apply caulk

Caulk the Cracks

Caulk can help keep out dirt, moisture, sound, and radon gas, and it can improve the general appearance of your home. Caulk before painting for a more finished look. Caulk where masonry meets siding, where pipes or wires enter the house, around window and door frames, and at corner joints formed by siding.


Check the Roof

Inspecting the roof twice a year should become a routine. From the ground, use binoculars to look for missing, loose, or damaged shingles. Then note any leaks from inside, which might include checking your attic. Fall is a good time to replace missing shingles, cement down curled edges, and recaulk where plumbing stacks, cable brackets, or antennae penetrate the roof. If you’re hesitant about scaling the heights, hire a reputable roofer.

Home Exterior

Clean Up Your Exterior

Wash your home’s exterior and windows to start fresh for fall and prevent the growth of mold and mildew that feed on dirt. Make the task easy by renting a pressure washer for $50-$100 per day. Find out exactly how much pressure the washer will exert and whether the surface you plan to wash can withstand it.

Note: While washing your exterior is a Good time to visually inspect for any areas in need of additional attention. Also by Cleaning the Exterior of your home will remove any debris that will attract more debris build-up over the Winter Months.

Insulating Attic Floors

Insulate and Ventilate

Attic Insulation and Attic Energy Solutions (Prior Green Blog Post)

-Attic Insulation-

I’ve put a little information to help assist in explaining ‘Attic Insulation for a Home’. I take a whole house approach to improve a Home’s Energy Reduction Needs. The Attic Area and Attic insulation being just one area.

In the old days we just blew the insulation into the attic. Now, I suggest that any
  • Air Infiltration areas be resolved before adding insulation- Stop the Air (Hot or Cold) From Entering or Leaving a Home.
    • This includes: proper attic ventilation, ceiling protrusions(Light Boxes / Ceiling Fan), access points, mechanical and electric points, Attic Knee Walls, Obtrusions, etc
    • Adding Radiant Barriers for Existing Buildings-in a nutshell this bounces the Exterior Temperature back outside.
    • Attached to the Underneath Side of Existing Rafters
    • Option 1:Double Reflective R-Values range from R-3.7 to R-17
    • Attic Add Insulation to meet Suggested Guidelines
    • When used in conjunction with a Radiant Barrier-Cost of Insulation is reduced and thickness / weight of insulation is reduced.

    • When we come over to perform an estimate. We will inspect for the above mentioned problem areas. Discuss the various solutions. Next, I’ll determine the Materials and Labor Needed to Complete and Fix the Areas Quoted in the Project. I’ll then submit a Project Proposal that will discuss project in detail. Answer any Questions, Explain Procedures, etc.
    Looking forward to meeting you and discussing the ways I can help with Lowering your Energy Bills.

Apply shrink wrap, Use a blow dryer to shrink plastic

Weather-Strip Doors and Windows

Part of your fall buttoning-up should be checking your home’s moving parts. Your goal is to have draft-free windows and doors, and you do that by maintaining or upgrading your weather stripping. All sorts of do-it-yourself materials are available: felt strips, metal-back strips, self-stick foam, and plastic channels. The idea is to ensure that your windows and doors are snug but still operative.


Change Outdoor Light bulbs

If you’ve got an entry light that’s out, replace it before the cold weather sets in. Also, consider changing out your existing incandescent light bulbs with high-efficiency compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) that use less energy and can save you money. (Estimated Change of 20 Light Bulbs to LED is 10% Savings on Electric Bills)

Wrap foam around pipe

Protect Your Plumbing

Even if your pipes have never frozen before, it could happen this winter after you simply lower the thermostat a few degrees or fix a dripping faucet. Inspect the hot and cold supply lines as well as exposed pipes that run along exterior walls in an unheated basement or crawlspace. One way to safeguard them is to wrap electric heat tape around them, but keep in mind that the tape won’t work during power outages. You can also wrap pipes with fiberglass insulation or ready-made pipe jackets.


Fireplace Safety

To many homeowners, fall and winter are seasons to curl up before a cozy fireplace or stove. You can avoid dangers such as chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning by putting safety before snuggling. Here are some tips from the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA):
— Have your chimney checked every year to ensure both your chimney system and venting systems are working properly and safely.
— Burn only well-seasoned hardwoods to reduce buildup of creosote, a flammable compound.

— Install a chimney cap to keep out debris and to prevent birds and animals from nesting.
— Install a carbon monoxide detector to warn you if harmful gases are entering your home — a blocked or damaged chimney can cause this.
— Have your chimney waterproofed to prevent long-term corrosion and masonry damage. Avoid rebuilding old chimneys by replacing damaged clay liners with stainless-steel chimney liner pipes.
Scotts Contracting is available for all the above mentioned home repairs and maintenance needs. Scotty provides detailed free Green Estimates for each and every job quote he provides. or use the following link
Click Here to email Scotty for a Free Green Estimate for your Next Project

Breaking: Gulf Oil Disaster Bird Species Impacts Released. Why the number disparity? Interesting

On Thu, Sep 16, 2010 at 11:23 AM, Help Wildlife Impacted by the BP Oil Spill <no-reply> wrote:


Bulletin from the cause: Help Wildlife Impacted by the BP Oil Spill

Go to Cause

Posted By: National Wildlife Federation
To: Members in Help Wildlife Impacted by the BP Oil Spill

Breaking: Gulf Oil Disaster Bird Species Impacts Released. Why the number disparity? Interesting

For the first time, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) has just released a catalog of bird species impacted by the Gulf oil disaster. The information is being released in the wake of a National Wildlife Federation Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking the data.

Call to Action

Wildlife Promise: Breaking: Gulf Oil Disaster Bird Species Impacts Released

Link: Wildlife Promise: Breaking: Gulf Oil Disaster Bird Species Impacts Released

View Link

Enviros: 1 – Big Polluters: $514 Million

On Wed, Sep 15, 2010 at 2:00 PM, Environmental Defense Action Fund <takeaction> wrote:

Having trouble using links or viewing images? View the web version.

Environmental Defense Fund

Dear Scotts,

smokestack red

Big polluters and K St lobbyists are taking aim on EPA’s power to curb climate emissions under the Clean Air Act—and we urgently need your help to defend it.

Tell your Senators to let EPA do its job.

Good news broke late yesterday that the Senate Appropriations Committee would cancel this week’s mark up of the EPA and Interior Department spending bill, temporarily scuttling plans to vote on a big polluter-supported amendment that would restrict EPA’s plans to limit America’s climate pollution.

This is a short-term victory and we want to thank the tens of thousands of EDF supporters who emailed their Senators and donated to our campaign.

But, this is no time to hang a "Mission Accomplished" banner.

Polluting interests have already spent $514 million to lobby against climate legislation. And we know from recent experience that there is no dirty trick or sleazy tactic they won’t use to block EPA’s plan to cut America’s climate pollution.

Please take this opportunity to email your Senators and make sure they know you will continue to oppose any and all efforts to limit EPA’s efforts to reduce America’s climate pollution or to weaken America’s air pollution laws.

More Background

The EPA is scheduled to begin implementing new climate pollution limits on January 1. This stems from a 2007 Supreme Court ruling declaring that the EPA not only has the authority to regulate carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act, it has the obligation to do so.

Last year, the EPA issued an endangerment finding detailing the threat of global warming to human health. EPA later issued its plans to initiate pollution limits starting with America’s biggest emitters.

When the Senate decided it was not going to vote on a comprehensive climate and energy bill this year, the full attention of the big polluters and their high-priced lobbyists shifted to EPA climate action.

Senators from both sides of the aisle offered legislative proposals to limit EPA authority, including an insidious plan to attach an amendment to must-pass appropriations bills, like the EPA-Interior bill.

This is part of a broader strategy by the big polluters to strike down a wide range of pollution limits. Corporate lobbyists are also pushing to weaken the "boiler rule," which limits emissions of toxic mercury, dioxins, and other hazardous pollutants.

And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has pledged to spend $100 million over the next few years to promote big polluter and other corporate interests. EPA climate action and other pollution limits are among their top targets. We must remain vigilant in the fight.

Please email your Senators today to make sure they know you support EPA climate action and you support America’s clean air laws.

We dodged a bullet this week. With your continued support, we’ll stay on top of this threat.

Thank you for your activism and support,
Environmental Defense Action Fund

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Despite Struggles, Entrepreneurs Find Ways to Give Back

Small-Business Guide

Despite Struggles, Entrepreneurs Find Ways to Give Back

Published: September 15, 2010


The economic slowdown that started in 2008 affected just about every aspect of Gumas Advertising’s business — including the company’s long-time support for charities in the San Francisco area. “In good times, we did not have to scrutinize our charitable giving or employee perks,” said John Gumas, the company’s president. “But in these economic times, we’ve really had to think through what we could afford to give and still be able to make a difference.”

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Michele McDonald for The New York Times

Larry O’Toole founded Gentle Giant, a moving company that collected medical supplies for Haitian earthquake victims.

Quick Tips:

When cash is tight, give time, services or products.

Use the opportunity to build relationships with important contacts and references.

Make sure the charity qualifies for tax-exempt status by reviewing its I.R.S. Form 990.

Create opportunities to allow employees to volunteer time and expertise.

Combine your efforts with other businesses or service organizations to multiply your impact.

Suggested Resources:

The Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance offers advice on philanthropic giving.

The Charity Navigator vets charitable organizations and community foundations.

You’re the Boss

Have you found creative ways to give back? Let us know.


By the end of 2008, some 60 percent of small-business owners like Mr. Gumas reported that the economic downturn had affected their charitable giving, according to a study whose sponsors included The Chronicle of Philanthropy, a newspaper that covers nonprofit organizations. Tough times have compelled small-business owners like Mr. Gumas to rethink long-held business practices. But many are finding creative ways to continue their support for good causes — a practice that can have positive side effects. Here are some suggestions based on the experiences of small-business owners.

GIVE TIME AND SERVICES “We want to give back,” said Larry O’Toole, founder of Gentle Giant, a moving company based in Massachusetts. “That’s an important part of our company culture.”

A depressed housing market has meant less demand for the company’s services, which has forced it to cut back on cash donations. But with more down time, said Stephen Coady, the company’s marketing manager, it has been able to do more pro bono work. In the spring a local real estate agent approached Gentle Giant about collecting donated medical supplies for victims of the Haiti earthquake. Volunteering its trucks and movers, the company collected supplies like crutches, canes, walkers and wheelchairs — filling two large moving vans over the course of two months. Gentle Giant turned the supplies over to Partners in Health, a nonprofit group based in Boston that provides medical services to the poor.

Along with supporting a good cause and bolstering employee spirits, providing the pro bono services enabled the company to build connections with important business contacts, like real estate agents, who are a frequent source of referrals. “We would do this kind of thing anyway,” Mr. Coady said, “but you can also use this time to build relationships that you wouldn’t have time to cultivate when you are busy.”

Small businesses can help nonprofit organizations in a number of ways that may not seem obvious at first, said Christine Marquez-Hudson, the executive director of Mi Casa Resource Center, a nonprofit human services group that helps Latino families in Denver. For instance, Mi Casa called upon a multicultural marketing agency, The Idea Marketing, to create brochures and other marketing materials. When the firm recognized that Mi Casa would also need a cost-effective way to distribute this material, it helped negotiate discounts with one of its suppliers for printing and bulk mail services. “They have the clout and volume of business to get these discounts that we couldn’t get if we approached the vendor directly,” Ms. Marquez-Hudson said.

GIVING AND OUTREACH Trevor Dierdorff, owner of Amnet, an information technology company in Colorado Springs, has continued to support the Humane Society and the local Veterans Day parade, but he said, “we’ve had to be more selective this year.”

Before the recession, Amnet spent money every year to entertain crucial customers on expensive golf outings. The company also contributed time and money to several local charities. When the economic crunch hit, Mr. Dierdorff looked for creative ways to combine these efforts.

He had been making cash donations to a local charity, but this year saw the opportunity to use his donation to become one of the sponsors of the charity’s annual golf tournament. As a result, not only did Amnet gain visibility, but it also received a round in the tournament that Mr. Dierdorff plans to use to entertain clients.

REBUILD EMPLOYEE MORALE While layoffs and shrinking budgets can take a toll on morale, Mr. Gumas said, getting employees involved in pro bono projects can rebuild enthusiasm.

His advertising company has designed marketing brochures, TV commercials, billboards, and print ads for the San Francisco Giants Community Fund, a nonprofit organization that works with underserved youth in the areas of education, health and violence prevention. Mr. Gumas’s employees take part in many of the fund’s events. “It gives us all a rallying point,” he said, “and as tough as things are, we are reminded how lucky we are compared to the next guy.”

Research has shown that the most successful company-run volunteer programs allow employees to select the causes they support, said Dr. Dwight Burlingame, who is director of academic programs for Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy. Nonetheless, he suggests that you make sure your small business organizes these volunteer days on behalf of the employees. The most effective morale builders, he said, were programs “organized by the company, especially where there’s a company match of time or money and the company provides recognition for the volunteers’ efforts.”

TAKE THE TAX BREAK Amnet used to offer a discounted rate on information technology services for nonprofit organizations, a practice that helped the nonprofits without affording Mr. Dierdorff any tax benefits. When the economy worsened, he decided to eliminate the discounted rate for nonprofits. Instead, he now charges the standard rate but then donates the equivalent of the discount back to the organization in cash, which allows him to take the tax deduction.

FIND A PARTNER Joining forces with other organizations can compound your impact. If you belong to a local service club like the Chamber of Commerce, Lions or Rotary, look for ways to partner with them on their outreach efforts.

For example, said Rick Wells, chief executive of the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce in California, if cash is tight, “the local business can volunteer employee time, help with logistics, or donate products and services which can be given away as raffle prizes.” Donating products, he noted, can also help the business clear out excess inventory.

Like so many companies, Dairy Specialists, which designs, builds and supplies commercial dairies in Colorado, has had to trim its work force. But when the decline in revenue put a squeeze on the company’s long-standing college scholarship program, Robert Brown, the company’s chief financial officer, went looking for partners. He found many of the businesses that served the same agricultural community were receptive to donating matching funds. “If you can’t do these things on your own anymore,” Mr. Brown said, “look to some of your bigger business partners to help you.”

REVIEW YOUR STRATEGY “Businesses are bombarded with requests for contributions,” said Sandra Miniutti, vice president of marketing with Charity Navigator, a nonprofit organization that tracks public charities. “It’s important to have some standards in place.”

This is also a good time to review the strategic purpose of your philanthropy, said Scott Hauge, president of CAL Insurance, a San Francisco-based agency. Developing a philanthropy “playbook,” he said, makes it easier for you to stick to your mission and keep it aligned with your business goals.

While many small businesses are learning to do more with less, said Mr. Gumas, giving to good causes will always be the right thing to do. He subscribes to a karmic view of the business cycle. “When you are doing the right things for the right reasons,” he said, “good things will come of it.”

A version of this article appeared in print on September 16, 2010, on page B10 of the New York edition.

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