Posts made in December, 2011


Gift Idea: Organic Baskets.


Posted By on Dec 6, 2011

Many people who have family that live far away send gift baskets such as fruit baskets, cheese and cracker baskets or assorted nuts as holiday gifts.  Businesses sometimes send these types of gifts as thank you’s to important clients and associates.  Organic Baskets is a site that has a wide assortment of gift baskets to choose from.  The Mendocino Organic Chocolate and Nuts basket is my favorite!

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We can only hypothesize about Team Massachusetts’ decision to “go modular,” as we were not privy to the discussions that were had.  However, by understanding the goal of the Solar Decathlon Competition and the modular process, we can imagine a probable scenario of topics that were discussed to help make this decision.

“The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.” U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon website.  In other words, the goal for each Solar Decathlon team is to build the most affordable, “greenest” home they can design.  Team Massachusetts needed to find a builder that was “green aware,” and had the capacity to build in a very specific timeframe.  Modular construction was a clear choice.

Modular construction is by nature more efficient than site construction:

  1. Materials are shipped to one central location, the modular home plant, versus multiple building sites stretching across several states.
  2. Construction “scraps” can be used throughout several homes.  Example: the scrap of sheetrock left after drywalling the larger rooms in a home can be used in closets in multiple homes.  Short pieces of lumber can be used as blocking.  This material would be tossed into the dumpster at a site construction project because the cost and hassle of storing and transporting to a different site isn’t worth it.
  3. Employees of a modular home manufacturer typically live within a 1/2 hr drive of the plant.  Site construction company employees may live an hour or more from the current building site.  In today’s building market builders may travel hundreds of miles each day to where the work is.
  4. Due to the construction process, the typical modular home proves to be a tighter building envelope allowing less air infiltration when compared to their site built counterpart.
  5. Due to the controlled environment of the building process, products such as Icynene are easily applied at manufacturers that offer such products.
  6. The modular process is extremely time efficient when compared to site construction.  During the construction of a modular home all components of the home come together as as quickly as possible.  As soon as the framing is up, the electrical & plumping can be started.  The exterior sheathing can be installed before, during, or after the drywall is installed.  With a site built home, the entire building envelop should be weather tight before any interior work is even started.

These six examples of the efficiency of the modular home process clearly define why Team Massachusetts chose to build using the modular process.

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Gift Idea: Have a cuppa tea…


Posted By on Dec 5, 2011

If you are cold, tea will warm you.  If you are too heated, it will cool you.  If you are depressed, it will cheer you.  If you are excited, it will calm you.  ~Gladstone, 1865

Surprisingly enough the above quote is true.  Tea is meant to be enjoyed “sip by sip” not “gulp by gulp.”  For many, an afternoon spent with a good book and a pot of tea, is an afternoon to relish.

For the tea drinker in your life a gift from The Republic of Tea would be great anytime of the year.  During the holiday season, they have special Holiday Teas and gift sets.  The Republic of Tea also has a selection of organic products, a collection of Kosher teas, fair trade certified products, a new collection of Rainforest Alliance products, as well as teas that benefit several national charities.  If you are buying for someone who doesn’t drink tea, or you aren’t sure what type of tea to purchase, I recommend the Tea of the Day Cube.  The Republic of Tea also has gift certificates.

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Holiday Event: Santa Sunday


Posted By on Dec 2, 2011

Looking for something to do this weekend.  Consider checking out Santa Sunday at Sunday River.  Sunday December 4th is the date for the annual Santa Sunday at Sunday River.  Santa Sunday is a fundraiser for Bethel Rotary Club.  The Rotary Club uses the funds to provide gifts for the area’s needy children.

Registrations for Santas are already closed.  This means there will be 250 Santa Claus’ on the slopes of Sunday River this Sunday!  Check it out: Santa Sunday.

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Give the gift of rest…


Posted By on Dec 2, 2011

My mother has been suffering from a stiff neck for about a week now.  Her comment to me last night was “I saw a pillow while Christmas shopping last week that was $125.  I couldn’t believe someone would pay that for a pillow!  The next morning I woke up with a stiff neck.  I guess I should have bought the pillow.”

This got me thinking.  Very few people spend the money on themselves for a supportive pillow.  This makes a pillow a perfect gift.  In keeping with the green theme, I found Lifekind ~ Organic and Naturally Safer.  This company specializes in organic bedding.  They have many pillow styles and materials to choose from.  If you are unsure of what kind of “sleeper” the recipient is, Lifekind offers gift certificates.

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