Archive for May, 2011

Image credit: Shaylor, used under Creative Commons license.

Dear Pablo: I am considering getting a hot water recirculation pump. They claim to save a lot of water and I am wondering if this makes up for their energy use. Should I get a hot water recirculation pump?

Hot water recirculation pumps are a convenient way to ensure that you have immediate hot water from the tap. These systems slowly pump hot water through your hot water pipes and back to the water heater through either a dedicated line or through the cold water line. Several models are available and some claim to save “10,000 gallons or more of water per year” and “up to 15,000 gallons per year” while using “less energy than a 25 watt light bulb.” First I will examine these claims, then I will contrast the water saved with the energy used, and finally I will discuss some alternatives…. Read the full story on TreeHugger

Image credit: John Kochmanski, used under Creative Commons license.

Dear Pablo: I have seen more and more people running barefoot. Do you think it is better for the environment?

Barefoot running, or running with so-called minimalist shoes, is a growing phenomenon indeed. A strong interest in the reported health benefits of running without conventional running shoes is driving ever more people to leave their sneakers at home. But what environmental benefits may be associated with this movement? What is the environmental impact of millions of people heading out on their local trails and buying new minimalist footwear? According to Craig Throne, Merrell’s VP of Global Marketing, Merrell will sell half a million shoes globally from their barefoot line in 2011. Having sold 2.5 million pairs in 2010, Vibram has a sales target of 4 million of its Five Fingers shoes in 2011. Such large sales volumes may be cause for concern among environmentalists but could this trend actually be better than the alternative: conventional running shoes or people remaining sedentary.
… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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