The Green "Family" Scene
October, 2009 - Issue #60
Here's proof that taking good care of your family is also mighty kind to the environment (and your wallet!).

Fistful of Green: Tax Relief for the Rest of Us
Finally, more than just car companies, banks and Wall Street are getting a break. President Obama signed a new federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allowing tax credits for consumers who purchase energy-efficient heating and cooling products for their homes. Certain products qualify for a tax credit equal to 30 percent of their installed cost, up to a maximum credit of $1,500. With the energy savings in a new installation, it's a great time to look at a replacement.Available from GW Richardson Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. 295-0115.

Plastic is in the Past
Unless you've lived under a (fake plastic) rock lately, you know that bottled water has been bumped from drinkable fashion accessory to, well, really really far below that. Stories about tainted water, leaching plastic chemicals and the horrific effect on the environment make carrying a plastic bottle of water decidedly unposh. Much more hip is the "return to tap" movement, obviously promoted by people born without taste buds. The environmentally-sound but still delicious alternative to bottled is the Remington Pure system that gives SCV homeowners safe, delicious water whenever they need it. Remington Pure uses three NanoOsmosis water-purification membranes, catalysts and absorption technologies that screen out harmful chemicals with a compact system that fits right under the kitchen sink. A simple attractive spout sits sink side, and dispensing clean water is as easy as pushing a little lever. You'll pay a flat rate of $19.95 a month for all the pure water you can drink. Available from Remington Pure 257-9400.

Close the Blinds on High Energy Costs
Besides aesthetic value, shutters can provide real savings to your wallet and the environment. Quality shutters tightly fit together when closed, providing superior insulation. You'll see a marked improvement of your heating and cooling bills after shutters are installed, which means that less energy is also being expended. You'll also save on elbow grease; The CountryView Shutter, with its clean, upscale design, fits any decor and is easier to care for than any other window treatment, requiring virtually no maintenance - only periodic dusting to retain its lustrous, buttery-smooth finish. Available from CountryView Shutters, Blinds & Shades 254-2908.

Go "Soft" on your Water and the Environment
Many SCV residents believe that soft water is a necessary luxury; anyone who's suffered through a few latherless hair washings using our incredibly "hard" water will agree. Still, softeners have been banned here. The only way to get your hands on the good stuff is through an exchange tank service. The local pros at Guaranteed Water Systems have an affordable, convenient - and green - solution. With tanks nearly three times larger than the competition, the company only has to visit homes once a month, saving time and fuel. With their new Valencia plant, they avoid hauling tanks from The Valley (which cuts down on gas emissions) and they never discharge brine waste into the environment. And once your soft water system is up and running, you'll be using a lot less resources. Soft water heats easier in the water heater, helping them last longer. Because your water is clean, you can use nearly 75 percent less products, detergent - and - shampoo. Available through Guaranteed Water Systems, Inc. 259-4343.
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