Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Go to www.ridofittoronto.com   and book your  pick up, to free yourself of all your unwanted items. Our crews will remove almost anything from anywhere on your property and dispose of it for you.
 1-800 RID-OF-IT Toronto offers prompt and reliable junk removal services for both residential and commercial clients. Your time is important, and it is our job to make rubbish removal easy for you. With our flexible appointment times, you can plan your day accordingly. It's that simple.
Call today and GET 1-800 RID-OF-IT (1-800-743-6348) or book online at www.ridofittoronto.com
(offer not valid with any other promotion or coupon must be 1/4 load or more not valid on Bin Rentals)
Solar Energy, part two

Politics - Darkening solar energy ambitions

Although approved by the senate, a Florida bill giving tax breaks to businesses who install solar panels is not likely to come before voters. Roof top solar is viewed as a threat to the electrical utilities. If the vote came to the average Floridian, the vote would be 90 per cent for solar initiatives. Rallies are planned to protest. Business men have already voted with their feet and taken solar technology to warmer receptions and out of the sunshine state.

Over three million dollars has already been spent on campaign contributions in this election cycle so far by the utilities. What does this mean to the environmentally conscious home owner? Well, ask Robin Speronis. She has been charged with living off the grid, illegal under the International Property and Maintenance Code. After a year and a half keeping house with a camp stove, rain water and solar energy, she has to hook back up to the big utilities grid.

In contrast, two young students living in London, Ontario became somewhat of a "cause célèbre" when they spent the summer under similar conditions. I am sure they did not make it over the interminable Ontario winter, but they got local TV and newspaper coverage for their experiment.

Let us hope that Florida politicians don't take this issue as seriously as in close by Texas. Swat teams were sent in to intimidate the Garden of Eden Community, holding members at gunpoint and putting them in handcuffs. Apparently there were no laws against off grid life, and no drugs or guns were found. At the end of the day, they enforced a few city code violations and assorted traffic violations. Not exactly good use of manpower or tax payer funds!

Sunshine in the Sunshine State, A Squandered Resource?

Despite a promising start in the thirties when solar water heaters graced many subdivision homes, Florida has a dismal record in their use of solar power. It does sound hopeful to write that they have three solar plants up and running for the last three years and a world's first next generation solar plant that is connected to a conventional plan, but more should be done.
Their  record lags way behind states with grey skies, such as New Jersey and Massachusetts. Fifty billion dollars a year leaves Florida to purchase coal, natural gas, and gasoline. Discouraging elements are changes in solar models, federal tax credits and a state with a record of rejecting renewable energy plans. Utility companies are the only ones that can sell power, solar companies can only sell at wholesale rates to utilities. Add to the picture electricity rates lower than in the North and the huge start up costs associated with solar power, and you have dismal results.
Solar companies are now considering leasing equipment to businesses. We can only hope that this trend will catch on and include residential customers.
Many thousands of Floridians live in RVs or some type of manufactured home. It takes only a short ride anywhere in the state to see the many trailer parks. Go across an overpass and the flat, white roofs seem to stretch right across the horizon. An ideal spot for solar installations. As boomers join the older snowbirds, a solar option will become more and more appealing. The demand peaks in the summer for the necessary air conditioning, but winter needs often include running a heater for a few hours a day.
Florida's Governor, Rick Scott, is fighting for his political life in the upcoming elections. One of his recent campaign statements bragged about a good record in protecting the environment. Would that this were so; journalists quickly punched holes in this assertion by hauling out the record of the many cutbacks taken while he was in office. A well thought out plan for the state with 86 per cent of America's sunshine would go along way to ensure his reelection.

The Magic Behind Decorating a Home for under $1,500!

Reduce! Reuse! Repurpose!

Taking a leap into the Sunshine State after many years of RVing, this couple from Cleveland, Ohio have settled very comfortably in a double wide manufactured home. It is in a quiet, neat park just west of Tampa.
Their new home had great bones but was decorated in dark colours and traditional, stuffy furniture.
So they literally drenched everything in white; walls, cabinets and furniture to display an eclectic collection of finds. This allowed Cheryl a clear canvas to express her personality.
Then came the hunt. Culling collectives from their winter home, they added finds from the roadside, thrift shops, Habitat for Humanity, and a local hotel liquidator.
Creative Art from Recycled Materials

The new buzz word - upcycling!

At the Fine Arts Festival in Tarpon Springs, it was apparent that the selection committee was impressed by artists using recycled materials. Upcycling was the aim of many participants; silver spoons appeared in jewellery, driftwood in carvings, barnboard in framing for stained glass, lake glass shards in pendants, and on it went.

The miniature creatures created Melissa Menzer were intriguing. She uses pieces of jewelry from the 1920's and 1930's, wiring them onto each bird or animal by hand.

For a truly whimsical use of recycled paper, bottles and cans, check out Joyce Curvin's website at www.joycecurvin.com. Her collection of almost life-size dogs, cats and birds are adorable. All in bright colours, they amuse and remind us the cartoons of our childhood. Somehow she makes the paper mâché exteriors look like clay.

A nice way to browse a way a warm Sunday morning in Florida.