5 Kitchen Trends for 2016-17

If you are planning to renovate your Kitchen this year, then it would be good to know what the latest kitchen trend is. You don’t want your kitchen to be lagging behind in style and décor, do you? So here are a few of the latest kitchen trends which you can use to renovate your own kitchen.

Popular color for Kitchen cabinets

This year a lot of bright colors will be in and all the wooden cabinets will become old and useless if you are planning to style your kitchen with them. As per the recommendations from our friend at KitchenGuyd, you can choose fresh colors like Equator Yellow or Bali Hai Blue or if you are really into bright colors, then you can try any bright color ranging from white to gray to dark pastel colors.

But make sure that you give them a mild edge so that they look both comfortable and classy at the same time. You will also need to get matching equipment and furniture to suit your colorful kitchen design.

Popular color for Kitchen cabinets

Adding a little greenery

One of the best ways to style your modern kitchen would be to introduce a lot of green plants and pots in your kitchen. It would add a little freshness and liveliness to your kitchen and it would look great with your colorful kitchen too. In fact, you could create your one whole wall with greenery which would give a really soothing composition to your kitchen.

Adding a Kitchen Island

Another great addition to your kitchen would be a center kitchen island. It is a great way to keep your kitchen space organized and will look both trendy and neat in the center space. It will also provide you with more storage space and with the latest handles and designs; it could really modernize your kitchen and make it look classier.

Adding a Kitchen Island

Use of decorative tiles

You can also give your kitchen a contemporary look by adding a few decorative tiles in your kitchen. You could add these tiles on the floor or the wall or the kitchen cabinets but make sure you choose a pattern which matches the overall color of the kitchen. These decorative tiles are a great way to exude a refreshing and contemporary look to your kitchen while looking creative and fun too. One piece of advice, make sure you don’t use such tiles with a wooden decoration as it would certainly turn your kitchen into a disaster then.

Black is the new in color

Black is definitely going to be the most popular and trendy color this year. Imagine your cabinets black in color, it will certainly add a wow factor to your kitchen. If you are planning to turn your kitchen into an uber cool zone and want it to look next level classy and chic, then you should definitely try the black color in your kitchen. Get a matching set of chairs and accessories and add a little black, classy island kitchen in the center and your kitchen would be the epitome of coolness. You can watch the below video for more creative learning.

Some Indoor Garden Kits for Any Herb Lover Which They Can Use At Home

Indoor gardening has become quite popular as more people have interested in growing their own gardens but don’t have enough space outside their house to do so. Since we all live in cities now where it is difficult to find a little open land in front of the house and tend to stay in flats mostly, indoor gardening is the perfect way to grow our own small garden without fighting for the garden space.

Here are the 5 indoor garden kits which can help you to grow your own herb garden:

  • Miracle-Gro Aerogarden

One of the most well-known indoor garden kit which comes in several sizes and can be placed on a desktop or a kitchen. Aerogarden bounty are easy to maintain and help in producing amazing plants for a long time. They are a hydroponic garden and only require you to add water and the fertilizer. It includes LED lights which help your plants to grow efficiently and quickly.

  • Sunblaster Tabletop Garden light

Although this is not a complete garden kit, it is all you need when you have your own potted herb plants. You can just place your herb plants indoors where you want to grow them and add this grow light to help them in their growth. You can also adjust its top and find several sizes available for your garden. What makes this a great kit is that you can use any seed for planting and use your own pots and it will provide you with the proper light to help them grow.

  • Jiffy Indoor Herb Tea Garden

A great way to grow your own herbal tea garden, this kit provides you with 12 types of seed of a variety of herbs like rosemary, peppermint, and so on. You need to plant the seeds in the seed pellet where it expands to become the soil and can grow your plants with ease. You just need grow lights to help in the growth of these delicious tea herbs. If you don’t have the grow light, you can just use the sunlight.

  • Pail Herb Garden

An amazing cute and handy herb garden which includes a ceramic pail which takes care of the growing medium, organic seed mix of basic and chives, and other garden items, you just need to add a little water to it and make sure it gets the proper amount of sunlight. It is a great way to keep your kids interested in gardening too and it looks completely adorable.

  • Earthbox Mini Garden Kit

A great indoor garden kit which is easy to use and offers you strong pants and can be easily recycled. You just need to refill this kit and replant and you can grow more plants quickly. This garden provides a nice aesthetic value to your home and is easy to maintain too. This mini garden kit allows you to grow your herbs against a wall and all of them are kept in different pockets which ensure they all get an adequate amount of nutrients. Each kit includes 9 pockets and has a water tray. If you wanted a vertical garden, then this is the one for you.

How Much Does It Cost To Run A Pellet Smoker?

You might feel that using a pellet smoker will cost you less than other heating equipment in winter but that is not true. Although it is one of the most efficient ways to cook during winters, the initial cost and the fuel prices tend to make a pellet smoker an expensive commodity than other heating equipment. Wondering what all costs are involved in a pellet smoker?

Initial Cost

Although the initial cost of running a pellet smoker doesn’t include the installation cost but it is important to consider it if you are planning to use any savings money for getting this smoker. A pellet smoker tends to cost a lot and usually lies in a range of $1500 to $3000 which tends to go up if the installation is included and comes out to be something around $3500 to $4000. On the other hand, a wood-burning stove and a natural gas furnace also cost you around $3200 for the initial piece and $4200 with the installation of the piece. This makes you wonder if buying a pellet smoker is really the right thing to do. If you are planning to go for a cheap pellet smokers under $600, then it might be worth the cost but if you are planning to buy a high-end pellet smoker, then you are not really saving your money.

Fuel Cost

The next thing to consider when buying a pellet smoker is the fuel cost. A pellet smoker uses wood pellets which cost around $250 per ton and a wood-burning stove uses a cord of wood which costs around $200 per ton. Although pellets cost more and produce only 75% of the amount of energy that the same amount of cord of wood produces, it is found to be more efficient which makes both the fuel costs almost equal. You need to keep in mind though that every home uses 7.3 tons of wood pellets or 6.3 tons of cord of woods and since a pellet smoker uses electricity, you need to keep in mind the electricity cost too. Your monthly electricity bill for a stove comes out to be around $9 but with a pellet smoker, it will be more due to various features like fans, controls, feeder system and so on.

Cost per BTU

The next thing to do to determine the proper cost of pellet stove heat would be to compare it with other fuels in terms of energy output. Since a ton of pellet woods cost around $250 and give you an efficiency of 85%, a pellet stove will cost you around $18 but if it gives an efficiency of 75%, it will cost you more than %20. Although the cost per BTU for a pellet smoker is less, there are still so many costs to think about before you end up buying a smoker for yourself.

So, make sure that you consider all the above-mentioned costs and only go for a heating equipment which won’t cause you a ton of money.

Building on What is Best About Our Small Town Communities

Poolesville Green promotes the appreciation, conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, chiefly energy and water, in and around the town of Poolesville Maryland, including Dickerson, Barnesville, Boyds and Darnestown. Through our work, we hope to build on what is best about our small town communities.

All About Solar Power

Is Solar Energy right for you? On January 28, Lee Erickson and Mark Prebilic hosted a What’s It all About, Solar Energy get-together. Brendan Reed of Standard Solar, a Rockville-based company, led a discussion on how solar power works, incentives and financing options for installing solar power, the financial benefits of installing solar power, and how utilities apply net-metering and the use of Solar Renewable Energy Credits in Maryland. In the United States, household electricity generated from burning fossil fuel is responsible for about 24% of total carbon emissions. Users of solar power not only save money, but they help reduce carbon emissions.

Home Improvement Holiday Party

Want to do a home improvement project in a sustainable, and affordable manner? As part of Poolesville Green’s What’s It All About Series, Joyce Breiner hosted a Holiday Home Improvement Party on December 17th to share ideas about sustainable home improvement projects. Guests were able to see, touch, and experience various product examples provided by Amicus Green, a building supply center located in Kensington, MD that is dedicated to green products and expert support. Some of the green and stylish products that Amicus Green displayed at the party were CFC and LED light bulbs, tiles, carpets, wooden flooring, adhesives and paints. Steve Goldberg of Hearthside Home and Garden in Poolesville also displayed some a table made from reclaimed wood and provide some samples of reclaimed wood flooring from area homes. Green products used in home improvement projects are safe and healthy and minimize negative effects on the environment.

Lighting and the Environment

Perhaps you’ve heard. In 2007, President Bush signed a federal energy bill that established new energy-efficiency standards for light bulbs. Soon those highly inefficient 40, 60, 75, and 100 watt bulbs will be relics of the past.

So what does this mean for all of us? To find out, over 20 people attended What’s It All About – Lighting on November 7th at Brightwell Crossing’s model home on Elgin Road. Erin Speck, Illuminating Engineering Society member & LEED Accredited Pro, talked about:

  • New packaging labels.
  • Which light bulbs to buy for the amount of light needed, where it is needed?
  • Which light bulbs are going away and how soon?
  • Which light bulbs are safest for my household?
  • Which light bulbs are safest for the environment?

Check out Erin’s power point for answers to these questions. (One take home message – start buying the next generation of LEDs, which will come out in about six months. But read the label first — make sure your getting the right type of light for your needs!)

What’s It All About?

Don’t miss out on future get-togethers as part of our series, What’s It All About? Sign up for our newsletter today. Upcoming events include a December house party on undertaking home improvement projects in a sustainable manner. Check out our calendar for more details. We are also working to put together renewable energy house tours. More information is coming soon.

County Unveils Efficiency Rebate Program

Stop wasting money! Montgomery County is offering energy efficiency rebates of up to $3,000 to applicants that undertake certain energy efficiency upgrades to their homes. For more information, visitMontgomery County Energy Efficiency Funding.

What is the Deal on Climate Change?

Are you interested in climate change issues, but confused by all the political posturing? Check out some of these links for information on what we believe will be one of the most important issues of our lifetimes.

Here is a link to a You Tube video, How It All Ends, by a high school teacher that offers a risk management approach to climate change, where no one has to be right or wrong. With almost 1,000,000 views as on November 2010, it is compelling, funny and light hearted.

Check out NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies Surface Temperature Analysis web page. 2010 has tied with 2005 as the warmest year on record. 2010 produced the warmest November in spite of a European cold spell and a strong La Nina.

Poolesville Green Projects

Energy Innovators

Poolesville Green worked with students in Poolesville High School’s Global Ecology Program and in Montgomery College on films that examine efforts by innovating residents of Upper Montgomery County to reduce energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions in their homes, small businesses, and automobiles. Check out our new Energy page for updates and information.

Launch Party Draws a Big Turn Out

Our launch party was a great success. Over 50 people came to Cuigini’s on May 6th to learn about Poolesville Green and to network with other area residents who are interested in environmental issues. Poolesville Green’s Executive Director, Tim Whitehouse, Deputy Director, Joyce Breiner, Commissioner Eddie Kuhlman, State Senator and Majority Leader Rob Garagiola and Council Members Craig Rice and George Leventhal, and Bethesda Green’s Executive Director Dave Feldman gave brief remarks. Thanks to the Senator Garagiola and Council Member Valerie Ervin for the wonderful certificates in recognition of our work. Most of all, thank you to everyone who came. It was great fun, and we enjoyed hearing about your wonderful ideas for future events.

Poolesville Green’s projects work to promote energy efficiency, sustainable building practices, cars of the future, water conservation, and recycling. As a new organization that relies on volunteers, let us know your ideas for projects and how you would like to get involved!

Electronics Recycling Drop-off Event

Thanks to all who brought out their old or unwanted electronics for recycling on April 10, 2011. The Montgomery County Division of Solid Waste reported a steady turn out during the event and said the participation by the community was much better than a similar event held 2 years ago. Poolesville Green helped spread the word.

Is Your Yard a Water Quality Hero? Rainscapes Workshop!

Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Poolesville area gardeners held a rainscapes workshop on March 19, 2011 to demonstrate how making a few changes in your home or business’€™s landscaping can improve the water quality of the whole county. Check out our new Water page for updates and information.

Promoting Energy Audits

Poolesville Green held a house party on January 21 where Jim McKenna of Green Step Today demonstrated the basics of a home energy audit, and discussed with local residents the utility, county, state and federal programs available to them that encourage home weatherization projects. Check out the new Energy page for updates and information.

Poolesville Green: Water

Consider participating in the Rainscapes Rewards Program

Don’t miss out on Montgomery County’s RainScapes Rewards Program. The program allows property owners to turn their yards into living sponges by absorbing rainfall into the ground. The program provides property owners with rebates for installing environmentally friendly landscaping. Specific programs are available for raingardens, conservation landscaping, tree canopies, permeable pavers, green roofs, rain barrels and cisterns, and dry wells.

These efforts are particularly important in this area of Montgomery County. Poolesville relies on an aquifer for its drinking water, and its creeks, streams and rivers flow into the Chesapeake Bay. Water that runs into storm drains does not recharge our aquifer adequately, often carrying with it pesticides, fertilizers, soil and debris. Simple changes can beautify your lawn, increase our town’s water supply, and help improve the quality of our local surface waters.

Protect Your Groundwater Day

September 13th was Protect Your Groundwater Day. Because Poolesville and many surrounding areas get their water from an aquifer, protecting our water supply is critical to region’s future. Improper use of fertilizers, animal manures, herbicides, insecticides, and pesticides will cost us all. Learn more at National Groundwater Association