Summer Eco Tips from Eco-MacGyver

Darren Moore, aka “Eco-MacGyver,” is an innovator in sustainable design and construction and a key Green Wish National board member. In 2006, he founded Ecovations Lifestyles Inc. to support the use of sustainable building practices and lifestyle choices.  Currently Ecovations is creating a solar array system that mimics nature and follows the sun.   Darren is also removing 90% of the lawn at his new house.  Every 2 months, we’ll post his key Eco-Tips to help you  live more green to save natural resources and money!  Below are Darren’s Eco-Tips as we head into the summer of 2013.

  1. In addition to installing bubblers, drip, or root watering systems, if you still must have some lawn and already have a sprinkler system, switch your sprinkler heads over to “Rotary Nozzles.” These create an even flow of water throughout the coverage area and eliminate misting and fogging which allows for more evaporation. They’ll reduce as much as 20% of the water usage AND there are rebates for utility customers.  Click here to read about the programs for those in the Southern California region.  (there are similar programs in other states)
  2. Pull up that turf.   Did you know that native landscapes can save you hundreds of dollars a month and reduce our water usage (which is an energy issue too, oh yeah!)  So, getting rid of that lawn and converting a sprinkler system to drip is another way to get big bucks back from your utility.  Join me in doing this over the summer! (if you don’t have a program like this were you live, ask your city to start one)
  3. Have a pool?   Well, did you know that the pump on your pool could be using as much as 1/3 of your total energy in the home?   Replacing that guy with a new variable speed pump is the way to go.  Look for utility rebates for those also.   In the meantime, change your pump to work at night time and if your utility has lower rates at night you can save on energy costs while rates are lower due to off-peak demand.  Learn more here.
  4. Want to know how much power various appliances are using and what your house uses when you don’t have anything turned on? Pick up an energy meter that you can install inside your house to see, for example, which lighting devices are more efficient.  This is also helpful to see if things are being left on and where you have phantom power loads (such as cell phone charges plugged in without being connected, tv’s and other electronic devices.)  There are many offered on the market. One option is the ONZO smart home energy kit.
  5. Live in an apartment and think that Solar Photovoltaic or Solar electricity isn’t an option for you?   Well, what about a Community Solar installation that you could lease for the whole building through your association or landlord?    If that sounds to tough what about access to power through investing in a solar plant and using your shares where ever you move to as an offset to your energy bill?  Sounds like a  great fit for at least some of the estimated 44% of renters out there in the US. This will help you keep your energy costs lower over time as energy production increases and know that you are generating clean energy for your own needs.  Here’s one community solar project being done in New Mexico.

For questions or comments regarding this article or any other subject feel free to contact Darren at