Go Green This Football Season!

Go Green This Football Season!

Football is the most watched sport in the U.S., and football season is everyone’s favorite time of the year. If you’re a football fanatic, your television is on all day Sunday & Monday night and now even Thursdays & Saturdays. To get the most out of your football experience you watch every game on your home entertainment system featuring your big screen TV, surround sound speakers and DVR. However, when you’re not watching your favorite team driving towards the end zone, the electronics in your entertainment system are using wasteful “vampire power”. While plugged into the wall or a standard surge protector all of your electronics use energy, even when they are not turned on, wasting energy and money. With the BITS Limited Entertainment Center Smart Strip (LCG6) you can enjoy your favorite game without worrying about wasting energy or money.

The Entertainment Center Smart Strip has ten color coded outlets that work together, auto switching your devices on and off automatically to save you money on your electronic bills. The 6,000 Joules surge protection provided by the LCG6 will keep your equipment safe from even the harshest power spikes. The Entertainment Center Smart Strip features a Cable/Satellite-wire and Ethernet cable and Phone/Fax line Surge Protection offering premium protection for all entertainment system devices. With the conveniently-spaced outlets and automatic switching, the Smart Strip is an eco-friendly addition to your home entertainment system. So this football season you can enjoy every fumble, tackle and interception without worrying about the environment or your energy bill. That’s what we would consider a touchdown!

Winter Prep & Mother Nature

Gearing Up For Old Man Winter While Saving Mother Nature

That fall chill is in the air and before you know it winter will be here. There are a few things you can do to prepare for Old Man Winter that can also help save Mother Nature. Check out some tips from the EPA on how you can keep your home warm, save energy and help the environment!

  1. Keep it Clean – A dirty air filter can increase your energy costs and lead to early equipment failure. Clean or change the air filter in your heating and cooling system monthly. Some filters only need to be changed every 3 months. Also, have your equipment checked seasonally to make sure it’s operating efficiently and safely – check-ups can identify problems early. Dirt and neglect are the #1 causes of system failure.

  2. Bundle Up Your Home – Hidden gaps and cracks in a home can add up to as much airflow as an open window. The more heat that escapes, the more cold air enters, causing your system to work harder and use more energy. Home Sealing can improve your home “envelope” – the outer walls, ceiling, windows and floors – and can save up to 10 percent in energy costs. Start by sealing air leaks and adding insulation-pay special attention to your attic and basement, where the biggest gaps and cracks are often found. If replacing windows, choose ENERGY STAR qualified ones.

  3. Tighten Your Ducts – If you have a forced air furnace or heat pump, then a duct system is responsible for circulating warm air throughout your home. Leaky ducts can reduce your system’s overall efficiency by 20 percent. Sealing your ducts can save up to $140 annually on energy bills and help you consistently heat every room.

  4. Don’t Oversize – If you’re replacing old equipment, make sure your new equipment is properly sized for your home – bigger isn’t always better. An oversized system will cost more to buy and operate and will cycle on and off too frequently, reducing your comfort and leading to early system failures and repair costs. Correct size and proper airflow will ensure that your equipment works efficiently, saves you money, and helps protect our environment.

  5. Cut Un-Needed Power Usage - A Smart Strip is designed to cut the idle power from devices that you are not using but they are still drawing power. Devices like a DVD/VCR player, sound systems, game consoles, computer speakers, monitors, printers, etc..., all consume power when your not using them. Why pay for it when the cheap and easy purchase of a Smart Strip will save you the idle energy. The best part is that the Smart Strip does it without you having to change anything about how you currently use your entertainment devices!

You can check out more tips from the EPA on staying warm and saving energy this winter while protecting the environment here, http://www.epa.gov/naturalevents/fightfrost.html.

The SUG7 Wireless USB Surge Protector Has Arrived!

Announcing the New Wireless USB Surge Protector

The SUG7

SUG7_w_remote.jpg
The SUG7!
Click the above price box to add to your cart.

We are proud to add yet another energy saving surge protector to our family. The SUG7 Smart Strip surge protector is a wireless USB Surge Protector that will also SAVE you ENERGY and MONEY! This unit was designed to provide multiple alternate control methods all while being easy to use and energy efficient. What truly sets the SUG7 apart from the other Smart Strips is the fact that there is no 'Control' outlet. Instead the SUG7 uses a wireless link to the remote you see in the picture.

On this remote there is only one button. To use the SUG7 you would simply press that button and the devices that are connected to the Smart Strip's 'Energy Saver' outlets would either receive power or have it removed depending on the current state. Additionally you could use a computer as the 'Control' device by simply plugging the remote into a USB port on the computer. This way when the computer is turned on and power is sent to the USB ports the Smart Strip will get a signal from the remote and supply power to the 'Controlled' devices. When the computer goes to sleep or is turned off again the remote sends a signal to the Smart Strip letting it know to turn off.

The USB functionality will work for most computers however there are some computers that, because of their settings/programming, do not cut power to their USB ports when they sleep. For most windows machines this is just a setting that can be changed. For Apple products you may need additional software, Apple's DeepSleep is what we recommend, to automatically cut the power to the USB ports when the computer sleeps. The great thing about the SUG7 is that even if you have an Apple computer you do not need to use the USB method of control for this Smart Strip because you can simply use the button that is on the remote!

Our other models, while still useful, have their limitations but the SUG7 Smart Strip wireless USB surge protector is in a class of its own! With the standard Smart Strip models we could save you energy on almost every device in your setup except the 'Control' device. If you have ever owned a Smart Strip then you know before you had to select one of your devices to use as the 'Control' device. This would usually be the main device like your TV or computer because those devices are usually the best choice because of how the Smart Strips work. Your TV or computer also usually happens to be the device that draws the most idle power in any given setup. So some people found a way around that. Others just accepted it because they were still saving more using a Smart Strip than if they didn't use one. Since the SUG7 is controlled by the remote you don't need one of your items to be the 'Control' device. In an entertainment setup you could plug the TV, game systems, VCR/DVD players, sound systems, etc. into the 'Energy Saver' outlets and just use the remote to allow power to go to them when you are ready to use them.

Some people might be saying, "Now isn't this just like hitting the switch on the power strip every time?" Well, yes. However, the major difference here is that the "switch" is wireless. So you can be sitting on your couch or in your favorite chair with the strip hidden behind the entertainment center and just hit that button and you will KNOW that those devices are disconnected from power!

With the new SUG7 Smart Strip wireless USB surge protector's increased functionality the Smart Strip product line is more complete. If you would like more information please visit the item details page here or just click the image and if you require more information feel free to get in touch with us through any one of the many ways to contact us.

Greener Operations

At Bits Limited we are striving to be green in our everyday operations. Here is where we will list all of the things that makes us greener. If you have any suggestions or comments please feel free to shoot us a line here.

Recycling

One of the best ways we help to be greener is by recycling our OWN products. This means if you have a Smart Strip that needs to be recycled because it can't be used anymore or even if you just don't want it anymore, rather than throwing it away so it rots in a landfill for years to come, we will buy the old unit from you and take care of recycling it. Everything that can be reused is being reused in our refurbished/environmentally friendly Smart Strips.

SCG5 Recycle Image

This is our inter office recycling. We, just like everyone, use many items on a daily basis that can be recycled. Our main items are aluminum cans, cardboard and plastic drinking utensils (usually from outside of our offices). All of this is collected and is taken weekly to a local recycling facility. As you will see below, any paper recycling is used for packaging material.

Recycling Cans

Reduce CO2 Emissions/Energy Use

We have a few ways we reduce our CO2 emissions that range from using our own Smart Strips for EVERY computer in the office to having an energy efficient coffee maker.

One of the co-owners of Bits Limited, Bruce Barton, will be visiting our warehouse soon to install a geothermal heating and cooling system to our warehouse to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and cut our power consumption. Pictures of the instillation will be posted when that takes place.

Biking FedEx

This is one of our employees taking our FedEx package to the FedEx drop-off location so we don't have them using a truck to pick up one package. Although this is not an everyday thing when it can be done this way it is.

Being Eco-Friendly

Another way we are trying to be green is by using Eco-Friendly supplies. The printer in our office uses soy based inks and the paper we print on is at minimum 50% recycled. We do our own office cleaning and to do it we use green cleaning chemicals. Another way we are Eco-Friendly is by having most of our documentation and paperwork in digital format. Even if our customers need information or documentation on our products they can usually get it from our website.

Packaging Material

This is our packaging material. We only use recycled material to pack our boxes and we try to stay away from plastic material for packaging. Sometimes using plastic for packaging material is unavoidable because that is what we have received from incoming shipments so we reuse it. This material can then be reused by the recipient to ship another package if they need to. The best part of this is all of the material is either our recyclable waste or someone else's recyclable waste.

Wrapped Pallet

We never buy plastic for packaging except for the plastic wrap that we use to wrap our pallets to keep them together for shipping. We try not to throw away anything that can be used again.

Water Conservation

To do our part and help to save water we employ a few different methods. One way we help to save on water usage is by having low-flow taps on our sinks and a dual-flush system for our toilet. This helps by reducing the amount of water used while washing hands or doing the dishes and of course when we use the restroom only a small amount of water is used to flush the toilet. We also have in house kitchen utensils that we use so we are not buying "throw away" dishes.

Water Filtration System

As for drinking water we do not use any companies like Zephyrhills to supply us with drinking water but instead we have a gravity water filtration system. That way the water we do drink is made clean for us and we are not using the plastic containers from the water distribution companies. This also helps with greenhouse gases because there is no delivery truck bringing us our water when we can get it from the tap at the same quality for less than the cost of the other means.

The BITS Sustainability Model

The BITS sustainability model, defined.

Sustainability Without Compromise
Image Credits:
Windmills within BITS corporate sustainability montage
"Sustain-Ability" within BITS sustainable business montage (light bulb plant growers)
"Amazing Earth" within BITS sustainable business montage
Art Credit: Don Forrester

Core tasks:

  • Constant re-evaluation of our business methods.
  • Reducing first-use materials.
  • Researching source materials.
  • Controlling our waste output.
  • Reusing resources whenever possible
  • Taking advantage of our municipal recycling facilities.

What this means in real-world terms:

  • We recycle. ALL office trash, with minimal exception, is separated by paper/glass/metal/plastic and we make sure it goes to a service that recycles properly.
  • We reuse. Office scraps become packing material. Boxes are saved and used for various projects. Most important of all -- pay attention if you're a Smart Strip owner -- we have a takeback program for our products, offering free shipping; repairing the products if possible and reselling at cost or at a slight loss.
  • We never just throw away Smart Strip parts, or any of our product parts. We reuse them, store them or destroy them in an environmentally responsible manner.
  • All office lights are CFLs or LEDs. Even our shop torches. We have a few incandescents for product development testing purposes only.
  • Overall paper usage is at least 70% post-consumer waste.
  • All ink is soy-based. Both in-office and in the printers we hire.
  • Our energy use is, of course, heavily managed. Computers and lights turned off, central air is on a timer and there are Smart Strips everywhere. Yes, we definitely use our own products.
  • We vet our material sources. If they're from another country such as China, we go there firsthand and make certain the workers are treated fairly. While it's not necessarily sustainable, it matters to us.

What we've got planned for the future:

  • Geothermal energy - simply running water through an underground pipe can conserve up to 40% of our warehouse energy usage in our estimates. Bruce Barton has already done studies on his home (digging some DEEP holes to do it) and is prepared to build the system for our warehouse.
  • Solar panels - we don't have those yet. We plan to eventually; Bruce is looking into it.
  • We're open to suggestions. Have one?
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