4 Good Reasons to Drink Filtered Water

drinking water

Ahhh filtered water. That feeling you get on a hot day when it quenches your seemingly unquenchable thirst. Cold. Refreshing. It’s a beautiful thing.

When we say you should drink filtered water, we aren’t necessarily talking about the fancy stuff from Fiji in plastic bottles. Or the even more bougie glass-bottled Voss. When we say filtered water, we mean filtered out of the tap. This can be accomplished using an under sink filter (such as a reverse osmosis water filter), a countertop filter (like a Berkey), or even a simple Brita pitcher that you keep in your fridge.

Here at Planet Restart, we’re big advocates of filtered water, and we wanted to use this post as an opportunity to encourage our readers to drink more of it. Here are 4 good reasons to choose filtered over tap or bottled water.

Reason #1: It tastes better.

Tap water contains chlorine, which is used to kill harmful microbes that exist in unfiltered water. The problem with chlorine (and its derivatives) is that it adds a very unpleasant taste. If you’ve ever been to a restaurant and asked for ice water, chances are, you received tap (unless it’s a restaurant that has filtered.) If you drink filtered water at home, the difference in the taste becomes even more noticeable when you drink tap water while out of the house. It’s not very good, which makes it even less likely to quench your thirst. You’ll also probably drink less of it, which leaves its hydrating effects to be desired.

Reason #2: It’s healthier.

Not only does chlorine not taste very good. It’s toxic in large amounts. While most tap water contains negligible amounts, the compounded effect of tiny amounts over a long period of time is no bueno. Tap water may also contain additional toxic contaminants and carcinogens, like lead, sulphur, or fluoride, all of which wreak havoc on your body and health.

Reason #3: It’s better for the environment.

Compared to bottled water, filtered water is a much greener option. Many water filter manufacturers also offer recycling programs, so that you can recycle the plastic that filters are made of. When you take advantage of those, you’re contributing to the health of our environment and keeping plastic bottles out of our landfills. Good for you!

Reason #4: It’s less expensive than bottled.

Using a filter to remove contaminants from your water is a win-win, both for the environment, and for your wallet! The cost of bottled water adds up to an enormous amount over time. (It also takes up valuable space in your refrigerator and pantry, and if you’re a foodie like me, that’s no good.) If you have the budget to invest in a good filter, you’ll save your health, you’ll save your bank account, and you’ll save the planet.

Do you prefer tap, bottled, or filtered water? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

8 Ways to Save on Your Water Bill During the Summer

running water faucet

In the heat of summer, your water bill can get pretty high. Between watering the lawn, doing laundry, flushing toilets, and drinking more H2O, you could be spending $100 or more on this one utility.

It’s important to try and conserve water though, especially during a drought. Using too much of this precious resource could wreak havoc on an entire region or country. Can you imagine what it would be like to have a ration our water sources? We have already had to do that in some places because the drought numbers are so high. (California, I’m looking at you!)

Luckily, there are some handy tricks to help you conserve water, and in doing so, you’ll save money as well. We contacted our local water and sewer plant to ask them for recommendations, and here’s what they told us:

  1. “If it’s yellow, let it mellow…” Perhaps you’ve heard this saying and its counterpart: “If it’s brown, flush it down.” Not flushing the toilet everytime you use the restroom is a great way to conserve water by the gallons.
  2. Use your dishwasher. Washing dishes by hand wastes a TON of water. If you want to save on water costs, load up your dishwasher every day or every other day with as many dishes as will fit (and still get cleaned). You may spend more on dishwashing liquid, but when you see your water bill, you’ll know it’s worth it.
  3. Aerate your lawn in the spring. Aeration will help your lawn breathe better and soak up the water as well as any treatments you use on it. They say to aerate your lawn once a year (in the fall), but I’m a big fan of doing it in the springtime as well.
  4. Use a shower filter. This will reduce the flow of water through your shower head and help you conserve more. Speaking of which…
  5. Take shorter showers! Standing under that shower stream for 20 minutes a day is killing your pockets! You may also want to consider taking baths instead.
  6. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth. Many people keep their sink running while brushing their teeth, and that’s a BIG no-no if you’re trying to reduce your water bill. You only need to run the water when it’s time to rinse. Instill this good habit in your children as well.
  7. Buy bottled or gallon water. I don’t usually advocate this, as it’s not great for the environment, and it can actually deplete our water resources faster. But if you are looking to save on your home’s water bill, then it may be something to consider, even if just for the summer season. You can go back to drinking filtered water in the fall.
  8. Don’t wash your car. Surely you can go a few months without washing your car. If you can’t, then we suggest going to a car wash instead of doing it at home where you’re likely to waste a lot of water using the hose.

Solar Power: Is it Really Worth It?

solar panels on roof of house

Perhaps you’ve had a solar power company contact you recently and attempt to sell you on solar panels for your roof. You’re wondering if it’s really worth the investment. Will it save you money in the short-term? What are the long-term benefits and risks? These are all valid questions and should be considered before you decide to pull the plug on your home’s current regular source of electricity.

We interviewed an electrical contractor in Greenville SC to get the scoop on solar, and he gave us a few pros and cons. Keep reading to learn the benefits and disadvantages of solar energy.

The Benefits of Solar Panels

It’s a money-saver. How much money depends on a number of factors, all of which are unique to your situation. Whether you have an unshaded roof, and whether you decide to get a lease or a loan, will depend on how much ROI you’ll really get from a solar power project. Either way, you’ll still need other clean sources of energy for those times when the sun’s not shining. As we all know, the sun doesn’t shine 24/7 so keep that in mind when making your decision.

It’s better for the environment. Cutting carbon emissions is crucial for protecting our environment, which is constantly affected by global warming. Solar power is key to doing this; it also cuts down on environmental pollution and helps to preserve our freshwater resources, both of which are key players in conventional electricity generation. (Check out this post for more info.)

It’s a reliable source of energy. If a terrorist were to attack our power grid, the more solar power distribution we have, the better off we’re going to be as a nation. We all know the sun will continue to rise and set despite global warfare, so using the sun as a source of energy helps ensure our security in the event of a major disaster.

It helps to create more jobs. The manpower required to produce and install solar panels means more jobs and more money for middle-class workers. This is less true for coal, natural gas, or nuclear power, which relies on selling fuel—the profit from which largely ends up in the hands of a few big corporations. If you want to distribute wealth more equally, opt for solar power and encourage your neighbors to do the same.

If you’re mainly concerned about saving money, and you want to know how much you’ll save over time, check out this solar savings estimator.

Now for the cons…

Disadvantages of Solar Power

It’s hard to really think of disadvantages of solar power. I’d say the benefits outweigh the risks, especially when it comes to saving money long-term. But here are a few things to consider before you install solar panels on your home or office building.

It’s more expensive than wind power. Wind and solar kind of go hand-in-hand, and since we all need multiple sources of clean energy to keep the lights on, you may want to look at both as an option for your home or business, instead of just one. Check out this post to learn more about wind power.

Solar energy becomes a challenge at night. And nighttime is when most of us are looking to turn on the lights and use electricity for things like cooking and running water. This is why, as we mentioned, it’s important to mix up your energy sources so you always have a way to keep things running no matter what time of day it is.

How to Find a Good Electrician


If you’re searching the web for an electrician in your area, it can be challenging to find a company that is reputable and will provide you with an affordable, clean source of electricity. Electrical companies have a monopoly on this highly essential resource, and often, you must utilize a specific local company to service your main daily power source, as there aren’t many who can provide it. However, if you’re looking for someone to install or rewire the electricity in your home or place of business, you’ll want to make sure you find a well-qualified, experienced professional.

But how do you determine whether a company is right for the job? The first thing you’ll want to do is search for a provider in your area. So, for example, if you live in Greenville, South Carolina, you might type “electrician greenville sc” into Google and see what pops up.

Once you have some results, use the criteria below to determine which provider is best for the job you’re looking to fulfill.

#1. Longstanding Business. How long has this company been around? Are their electrical technicians qualified? Do they have all of the necessary certifications and experience required to perform electrical jobs in the are? Learn as much as you can about their experience and qualifications before you decide to hire.

Usually the longer the company has been around, the higher up it will appear on a search results page. That’s because Google tends to rank older, more authoritative websites above newer websites with little content. If the company you search for turns up in the #1 spot, there’s a good chance it’s been around for a while.

#2. Good Reputation. Read some reviews on Google, Yelp, Angie’s List, homeadvisor, and other reputable review sites. Be aware that many reviews can be faked, but you can usually tell if they are sincere or not. Real reviews tend to tell more elaborate stories about the customer experience and will sometimes even name the person or people at the business (especially if it’s a small business).

#3. Good Customer Service. How can you tell this if you’re not a customer yet? Simple. Call them up to request a quote, and see how they treat you on the phone. If they answer the phone right, that’s a good sign. But you can get an even better idea of their service level when you initiate a conversation. Ask them questions about their business, tell them your needs, and see what kind of phone service you get and how eager they are to receive your business. If they seem lackadaisical toward you as a potential customer, they may either be too busy to take on another project, or they aren’t great at customer service. Either way, you’ll probably want to avoid them.

Locating a good electrician doesn’t have to be hard, especially in this day and age where virtually everything can be found online. You can also ask your neighbors and friends on social media for recommendations. Following these steps will ensure a good experience all around.

Save the Environment and Your Health by Using Natural Cleaners

selection of multipurpose cleaners on a shelf

Lots of people use a huge selection of chemical-laden house cleaners as well as items around the home every day.

Just what they may not understand is that a lot of these chemicals could be ruining their well-being and health when breathed in. Aside from the inhalation aspect, skin irritations usually happen when coming into contact with numerous chemical cleaners.

Lots of disinfectants consist of phenol (aka carbolic acid) or cresol. These could attack the main nerve system, liver, kidneys, spleen, and also pancreas.

How could generating a lot of chemicals to your home environment be good for your health and also cleanliness? They could exterminate the bacteria, sure, yet people are progressively going to kill themselves off also, if they continue this way. Lots of people aim to keep their houses a completely germ-free environment, however if we keep our homes so germ-free, then our immune systems do not need to work as hard, and we risk deteriorating our immune system.

Another chemical-laden (and one of one of the most alarmingly poisonous of all) family product is oven cleaner. I have actually never directly utilized the stuff, as I remember the fumes from when my mom utilized it when I was a youngster, which alone was enough to put me off permanently! Numerous oven cleaners release fumes which may affect the respiratory system, as well as contain ammonia and lye, which are bad for the skin. I choose to use baking soda as well as water, which is sprinkled just inside the stove and left over night. In the morning an excellent scrub finishes it off like a champ. It does a fantastic job. Likewise, you don’t obtain any type of chemical deposit odor the next time you make use of the oven.

Many artificial air fresheners launch agents that are nerve-deadening, which can hinder your sense of smell. Organic aromatherapy oils would be a much more secure bet.

In a time when breathing health problems such as asthma are at an all-time high, we need to be planning for a much more all-natural and gentle way of keeping our residences tidy.

Using all-natural, non-toxic cleansing agents & products in and around the house is the very best support against dirt and also grime, while maintaining our bodies to be healthy and balanced, sympathizing with the environment, as well as not testing on pets. Everyone’s a champion.

Many firms declare their items are ‘all-natural’ however it’s ideal to inspect the labels, as they could only consist of a couple of all-natural active ingredients but are still being loaded with chemicals.

Buying from a prominent moral, cruelty-free service is the very best means to go. Then, not only must their products be organic, safe and non-toxic, they need to also be environmentally-friendly and not tested on pets.

Using the Sun to Produce Electricity

When politicians start discussing renewable energy, you recognize we have issues. Solar energy is a substantial renewable resource and right here is a review of exactly how the modern technology has actually developed.

Solar energy is simply energy produced by utilizing the sun. It comes in lots of forms consisting of electrical power manufacturing through panels, residence heating through passive systems and also mobile packets for powering tools like laptop computers as well as recreational vehicles to point out just a couple of platforms.

Historically, sunlight has been used by mankind to create warmth ever since we initially created structures. Without electricity, mankind quickly learned how to orient frameworks to absorb the heat of the sun during the day and store it in ceramic or mud products much like a blacktop parking lot will emit warmth after the sun has dropped. Early Greek structures point to a usage of this solar approach as do Egyptian structures.

The production of power using sunshine is a phenomena seen more recently. In 1901, Nicolas Tesla was the initial individual to receive a license related to solar electrical power, but he called it radiant heating. He sought a license for a device to capture the radiant heat, however absolutely nothing much came of the development.

In 1904, some unknown physicist called Albert Einstein released a paper on the prospective power manufacturing from sunshine. In 1913, William Coblentz obtained the very first patent for a solar battery, but he might never make it work. In 1916, Robert Millikan was the very first to produce electrical energy with the cell. For the next forty years or so, no one made much progression because the cells were extremely inefficient at transforming sunshine to power.

In the 1950s, Bell Labs got entailed with NASA. Bell was hired for creating a solar platform to power spacecrafts once they were in orbit. The solar industry would certainly never coincide.

Gerald L. Pearson, Daryl M. Chapin, and also Calvin S. Fuller began researching different locations associated with solar, however not energetic parts of the NASA project. By good luck, they fulfilled and exchanged ideas. While their individual tasks were failings, their integrated initiatives created a much more reliable cell making use of crystallized silicon to convert sunlight into power. The efficiency rate of the cells was approximately 6 percent, a marked renovation over previous modern technology. In 1958, NASA introduced the Vanguard Spacecraft, which was powered by photovoltaic panels.

In the following years, solar innovation grew in jumps and bounds. Solar panels today are about 15 percent effective, but are a size much smaller than they make use of. A lot more importantly, firms are deserting the panel platform and bringing out incredible brand-new products. The very first are tiles that look specifically like regular roofing system shingles and do therefore. Nanotechnology is also providing impressive possibilities with quantum dots, which solar panels are, essentially, on the quantum degree. At some point, these dots will certainly be integrated in things such as paint. Yes, the paint on the wall surfaces of buildings and residences will at some point also generate all the electrical energy needed for the frameworks.

Man has utilized the electrical power of the sun for warmth for a very long time. Only currently, nonetheless, are we beginning to master the modern technology to turn it into large quantities of totally free electricity.

Every Day Should Be Earth Day

Roosevelt quote

I know that earth day is every year on April 22nd. While it is a good thing, earth day should be every day. It should be in everyone’s best interest to want to protect the planet. Most people don’t want to hear about this, but keeping the earth clean is everyone’s job. There are many things you can do to be a part of preserving the earth so that it lasts a very long time.

Recycle and Reuse

Whether you are eating at home or dining out, recycle everything that you can. If you are out and about, and you can’t find any containers for your recyclable items, you should take them home and put them in your recycle bins. I was so thankful when I stopped using plastic bags and began using biodegradable plastic bags. Not only are they sturdier, but they can be used over and over again for many reasons, such as doogie poop bags and wrapping items when you are packing them for a move or putting them in storage.

A much better alternative even still is a reusable bag. In recent times, I have gotten so many free that I keep one with me in my car at all times. It not only helps to save stores from having to give me a bag each time, but it helps to keep a plastic bag overflow out of my home.

Get Up

I know this is a foreign concept in today’s society, like when a phone was attached to the wall or sat on an end table, and people talked at home. Or, when music was on a thing called an album or 8-track/cassette tape. There were times when people actually walked to where they needed to be. I, for the life of me, don’t understand why folks will drive to a post office to mail a letter when the post office is just a block or two away. Walking to save gas and keep the air free of fumes doesn’t only protect the earth; it is also good exercise.

The Air in There: Home Air Quality

indoor air pollution risks

It is a little-known reality that the air inside your home is dirtier compared to the air outside it. Whatever you do– the number of home windows you open or whatever– this will certainly always hold true. This holds true just because of the amount of hiding locations that your house has for dust and other particles, while at the very same time having a limited quantity of escape paths for the bits.

To relieve this trouble, you may want to think about getting an air purifier. This will certainly be helpful to you if you have allergies or breathing problems that can be intensified by dirt or other fragments such as pollen, as an air cleaner can eliminate most of them from the air for you. If you smoke, you should definitely consider an air purifier, as all the contaminants in the smoke will develop in your house’s air gradually, making it extremely undesirable to breathe your interior air.

Air purifiers come in various types, each operating in different means. One of the most prominent filters is a sort of fiber floor covering that goes inside a frame, and could swiftly eliminate 99.97% of pollutants from the air– this is called a HEPA filter. However, these highly efficient filters can be expensive, particularly as they have to be replaced on a regular basis at a high cost each time.

If you just want your air to be cleaner, yet not always completely clean, you may consider a cheaper filter, or an air purifier or air filter, every one of which are terms used to describe inexpensive air cleaners. These gadgets might just get rid of 99% of particles from the air, but for most users, that will be enough. It deserves giving a more affordable filter a try before you go all-out and purchase the priciest one, as you may be getting much more compared to what you actually need.

Easy Tips to Help You Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

recycle bins

Americans throw out more than 700 billion pounds of paper, glass, plastic, timber, food, metal, garments, electronics and various other refuse each year.

The issue of handling mountains of waste may seem frustrating, however keep in mind there are easy means for people to make a difference every day.

Old habits might be hard to overcome, like forgetting to reuse a soft drink can or newspaper, but fortunately there are numerous basic means to minimize waste, from getting concentrated household products to getting items in bulk.

This article offers some pointers to help customers reduce, reuse as well as recyle waste:

Keep it loose. Purchase screwdrivers, nails as well as various other hardware in loose bins. At the food store, pick food that is not in packaged containers.

Bring your own bag. Reuse bags and containers. Maintain a supply of bags available for future trips, or take your very own canvas carryall to the grocery store.

Take into consideration concentrated cleaning agents. Concentrated products usually need much less packaging, resulting in less energy to deliver to the store and also less plastic to recycle. All tiny & mighty is a brand-new concentrated laundry detergent (one 32-ounce container cleanses as numerous tons as the normal 100-ounce container). Along with much less product packaging, the formula includes 74 percent much less water compared to a routine cleaning agent.

Prefer to reuse. Reach for reusable products such as fabric paper napkins, sponges or dishcloths rather than paper towels.

Recharge as well as renew. Use rechargeable batteries and reuse old batteries in order to help lower rubbish and also keep hazardous metals out of the landfills.

Buy smart. Try to find durable, energy-saving appliances with the Energy Star tag as well as electronic equipment with great guarantees.

Become crafty. Reuse scrap paper and envelopes. Save as well as recycle bows, tissue paper, gift boxes and wrapping paper. Conserve cardboard boxes, colored paper, egg containers and other products for arts and crafts projects.

Think thrifty. Donate garments to charity companies or market the items in consignment stores, fairs, expositions or yard sales. Also, share secondhand garments with relatives as well as neighbors.

Many items can be used over and over.  Our friends at Charlotte Concrete Design have taken it upon themselves to be a company that wastes no resource.  If all companies, large and small, would band together in this effort, we would see a huge difference in our environment in no time.

Save the Environment With Solar Power

You’ve most likely heard a lot about solar power and how efficient it is. Over the last few years, there have been numerous moves to see how effectively we can use solar energy in an attempt to alleviate the energy crisis that the world faces. So, how does utilizing solar energy fit into the bigger picture of safeguarding our environment? Even little changes in our lifestyle can go a long way toward conserving our environment.

Solar energy is a renewable energy source.

The sun provides us a great source of renewable energy; it’s been around for over four billion years and is most likely to remain for at least another five billion years and continue to provide us with a stable stream of energy. So, besides the fact that solar power exists in abundance, individuals who are environmentally mindful will find that utilizing solar power is an outstanding way to assist in safeguarding the environment.

Unlike other nonrenewable fuel sources, which contaminate the environment, the availability of solar power is not determined by the oil market, and therefore not subject to the negative influence of politics and greedy capitalists.

On the other hand, solar energy is a clean, eco-friendly resource and a really sensible alternative to fossil fuels, which contaminate our water, air, and land, pose a risk to our health, and substantially contribute to global warming. This makes it a particularly attractive energy source when compared to other types.

Solar energy changed into thermal (or heat) energy can be utilized to:

  • Prepare food utilizing solar cookers
  • Heat water in houses, office buildings, or pools
  • Heat closed areas like greenhouses, homes or other structures

Solar energy can likewise be converted to electricity using:

  • Photovoltaic devices or “solar batteries”, which transform sunshine into electrical energy. These systems are typically utilized in locations without any routine electrical power supply. Some typical devices that are often powered by these solar batteries include: street lights, road signs, and gadgets like watches or calculators.
  • Solar energy plants. These are electricity-creating plants that use thermal energy acquired from the sun’s radiation to heat liquids, which in turn become steam and rotate the turbines of a generator to produce electricity.

How does using solar energy save our planet?

First off, switching to solar power would assist in cutting down our reliance on organic fuels. This in itself is a big conserver, as it reduces hydrocarbons and emissions, which means fresher, cleaner air. Additional results we’d see include: slowing down the global warming epidemic, reduced acid rain, the elimination of smog… the list can go on and on; however, let me elaborate on some of the better understood environmental benefits.

Reduced air contamination

The most typically evident advantage of using solar energy is decreased air pollution. As we lower the quantity of fossil fuels being charred and switch instead to solar power, there is a significant reduction in the amount of contamination produced. Solar electrification in some places also reduces our reliance on the electrical power grid and generators that operate on petrol or diesel.

Offset greenhouse gases

Solar battery (PV systems) create electricity with absolutely no (CO2) emissions. This, in turn, plays a considerable part in lowering greenhouse gases. Apparently, research studies reveal that around six tons of carbon emissions are offset by using a single solar battery over a duration of twenty-five years.

Conserved energy

The world over, and particularly the developing nations, have begun to advocate for the preservation and usage of solar electrical energy through a number of preservation programs, which help save power in metropolitan areas through city lighting, as well as industrial and commercial requirements. Solar plants and other forms of decentralized solar-produced energy are used to serve the standard power consumption needs in the majority of developing locations.

Reduced reliance on dry cell batteries

Individuals in numerous nations around the globe rely greatly on the use of small dry-cell batteries for numerous gizmos, like flashlights and radios. These batteries are mostly composed of lead acid and other products that can be hazardous to us. When the batteries are not disposed of correctly, they begin leaking, causing toxic chemicals to seep into the environment and pollute the surrounding soil, air, or water. By switching over to solar energy, we experience a reduced reliance on dry cell batteries, and therefore all problems associated with their disposal.

Low expense energy alternative

Using solar energy in your home substantially decreases the requirement for dependence on gas or electricity. Speaking from my own experience with a Charlotte roofing company, solar panels placed on your rooftop gather the solar energy and store them away in batteries for later use. This power can be used to turn on lights in the evenings or when it is dark. Solar energy can be utilized to heat water that and even your home, once more offering considerable savings on those fronts. Solar cooking ovens might be utilized throughout the day for baking and cooking meals.

The use of solar energy, a fresh, clean, totally free and plentiful source of renewable energy will, over time, decrease our dependence on other sources of energy that aren’t as good for our environment. If you want to positively impact the world we live in, using solar energy is a wonderful way to contribute.