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  • Joseph Ramondeli

    Black Friday Promotes Over-Consumption and Waste

    By Joseph Ramondeli

    Black Friday Promotes Over-Consumption and Waste               Every year Thanksgiving weekend is overshadowed by Black Friday and in recent years Cyber Monday as well. Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time when families can get together, even if it’s just for a day or dinner, to talk and reconnect. However every year more American’s are focused on shopping. Stores are now open by 8:00 pm on Thanksgiving Day resulting in people sitting at the dinner table with their families while browsing on their phones for the best deals that they hope to buy in a few hours.  This is just another example of how our modern, technologically advanced society is constantly becoming more materialistic. Aside from Black Friday overshadowing an American holiday and tradition, it is an annual example of how Americans over-consume and by doing so are very wasteful.  A huge fraction of purchased goods during Black Friday and Cyber Monday are things that people don’t need, they are things they think they need. Advertisements and social trends play a big role in the impact of this event (I refuse to call it a holiday) and in our consumption behavior in general.             Companies are tricking and forcing us to buy un-needed goods through the use of planned obsolescence and perceived obsolescence.  Planned obsolescence is disappointing because it refers to how companies purposely make products to only last a few years and by doing so force consumers to by new products from them every couple of years. The most common example of this is electronic devices. Apple creates a new IPhone every year so that once yours break “accidentally” there’s a brand new, more expensive one to purchase as a replacement. Not to mention that such companies stop making old models, forcing you to buy the newest model. On the other hand, perceived obsolescence is promoted by companies but ultimately results from our own social actions. Companies, through advertisements, constantly throw the promotion of new goods in our face. It’s almost impossible to go anywhere or do anything without seeing an advertisement of some sort. These advertisements tend to increase around the holiday season, hence the origin of Black Friday. The main reason such advertisements work is due to the social pressure we put on each other and ourselves. Everyone wants the next new model or brand and once a friend or family member purchases something then we are pressured and attracted to buying it as well. The biggest example of this is the fashion industry, where new trends come and go each season resulting in constant purchasing of new, unnecessary clothing. These companies are clearly getting the better of us based on the success of such events as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.             So why is over-consumption such a bad thing, why should we care if people waste there money on unnecessary goods? It’s simple: overconsumption leads to waste! One of the downfalls to the technological advancements of today’s world is that we create materials that cannot be found in our natural world. This means that when we throw something out in the garbage it will never decompose. Purchasing many of today’s consumer goods is bad enough because most cannot be recycled and will sit in landfills, but over-consumption takes this once step further in that we buy more than we need! We buy new clothes or new phones before our old ones are worn our or broken. By doing so we are creating more waste because we constantly thrown away products that are still functional and contribute the ever-growing amount of waste humanity has created on this planet. In order to help reduce the waste we create of course we should recycle and reuse as much as possible. However, I believe that the creation of waste should be stopped at its source, and that’s our consumer purchasing. Buying less and using goods to there fullest is a sure way to decrease waste. Resisting social pressure and advertisements is key to getting this accomplished. So next year put the phones away and turn the TV off at the dinner table during Thanksgiving, you don’t need them. Joseph Ramondelli  
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  • Mark Piazzalunga

    DESERTEC project, Sahara Sun could power Europe by 2050

    By Mark Piazzalunga

    Sahara desert climate is hot and arid, everybody knows it. So how can this simple and well-known fact become the idea to power a continent like Europe? Let’s start from the principle: renewable energy is the future of energy; we assume that this sentence is true since all facts gets to this point. Second principle: European territory is restricted and allows the construction of a few plants that could use renewable energy. Paradoxically, countries like Africa have renewable sources, particularly solar, in abundance but scarce funds to make the best of these resources. Now find the connection. Is it possible to produce huge amounts of solar energy in Africa and transport them to Europe through energy infrastructures? Apparently yes, according to DESERTEC project developers and supporters. And what is DESERTEC? It’s an initiative of the Club of Rome (a global think tank that has its headquarters in Switzerland) started in 2009. Directly from the official website of the project (Desertec.org): "The DESERTEC concept was developed by a network of politicians, scientists and economists from around the Mediterranean, from which was born the DESERTEC Foundation. Demonstrates a way to provide climate protection, energy security and the development of sustainable energy generation from sites where renewable energy sources are at their most plentiful." In practical terms? Connect renewable energy power plants in Africa to Europe through a network of HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) systems. The Foundation target is to build several renewable power plants of various types (mainly wind, photovoltaic and solar concentration) throughout North Africa. To support the project financially, the Foundation and other 12 companies (including Deutsche Bank, E.ON, RWE and ABB) created an industrial initiative: Dii GmbH. The construction project would continue until 2050 and for that date, the cost is estimated at € 400 billion, which means $ 546,720,000,000, approximately seven times Bill Gates’ fortune. It’s little bit expensive (life on Mars seems cheaper) but the entire network could provide Europe with the 15-20% of electricity that it needs. We must also consider the drastic decrease of pollution, direct effect of the project. This project isn’t just an idea but it seems an accurate and long-term plan. This could be an opportunity to connect two continents and to give them economic opportunities and jobs. There could be some problems like the wars and the instability of some of North Africa countries or how to get all 40 nations to agree to an arrangement for subsidizing the green electricity. There’s also the possibility to build the plants in Europe, just $ 54 billion more, and doing some math it brings to a shocking number: €2 per citizen per year to keep tens of thousands of jobs in Europe -- and to prevent Europe from becoming dependent on foreign countries for its electricity. Well, the project just started and it has the funds to go forward. We can't wait to see the results. Photo from Desertec.org
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  • Megan Bonetti

    Conferencing Climate Change: Teamwork or Tug-of-war?

    By Megan Bonetti

    India. Culture, cows and rubbish. As an Aussie living for a short time in India it is such an intriguing country. Indians love their diverse nation yet they use the streets like rubbish dumps. Even my friends here tell me it’s ok to throw my paddle-pop wrapper out the car window. I can’t… so I just hold it tight and wait till I get home. Growing up in Australia, those ‘emu hunts’ in primary school have willed my littering days away. Yet I suspect that even my household trash bin will just be dumped across the road for the cows to eat or worse still, burnt on the street…for the cows to eat. This is India. Love it or hate it. (#tii) As an Australian social worker volunteering with an NGO in Southern India I witness the large divide between the rich and poor of this incredibly colourful nation. I work with many children whose whole families have had to migrate from various parts of India due to the rapid effects of drought on their land and the significant urbanisation of major cities in the last 10 years. It turns out India has seen a boom in it’s industrial and technological trades a little later than it’s western neighbours and they are loving it. But India’s urban boom is threatened with westerners telling them they have to stop producing and polluting. The earth doesn’t like it. Sorry India…We made our big capitalist bucks, but you don’t get that chance. Just when things are getting good and you’re developing astronomically, your main source of energy is being taken away. It turns out fossil fuels are the cheapest form of energy for the developing world, especially as they try in earnest to develop the same standard of living as we have. So as one the most formidable countries in the developing world, India not only has the pressures of navigating a massive population but also has to figure out how to go green on the cheap. It’s interesting that the Turnbull government has reluctantly agreed on a 5% reduction in carbon emissions in the next five years. “Phew! Glad we got through that one boys.” They wipe their sweaty brows while developing countries are drowning, burning and trying to survive on scant resources. These countries are just trying to make a crust, while Eurocentric nations are slowly turning a baguette into organic multigrain sourdough (and throwing the crusts to their hobby cows). If the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris is truly the last attempt for international cooperation, leaders cannot just show and tell their contribution and sit back with folded arms. But how can mere human individuals promote serious teamwork? This brings me back to the children I work with here in India. Every day their parent’s lives are tied to corrupt building associations. They are bonded labourers—gypsies moving from construction to construction. These families have no hope of returning to their now desolate homeland and are not provided social security measures that protect their livelihood. Then there is India’s neighbour, low-lying Bangladesh, experiencing saltwater intrusion that poisons whole water supplies for entire villages. In our own backyard we see Australian farmers shooting all their cattle only to turn the gun on themselves under the shadow of unprecedented drought. This is human impact. Global warming is not just about penguins and polar bears. Climate change is a social justice issue. We live in a globalised world. The industrial revolution brought us here; and climate change is the consequence. No longer do we just neighbour cities, we neighbour nations. The leaders of Australia must be held accountable to all their neighbours including the ones just trying to keep their head above water. It simply won’t do for wealthy nations, such as Australia, to show the world their own country’s carbon reductions and sit back down. This summit can’t work as a set menu; it has to be a potluck dinner, a time for sharing, understanding and safeguarding. For the sake of our beautiful earth and the many diverse cultures of the human race, this time I hope and pray that the leaders of the world provide a resounding voice for the marginalised. This summit and our government must not stop at figures, but uphold the basic democratic and human rights principles that cradle modern society. The United Nations was created so that man-made and worldwide calamities could no longer grasp our world with such authority. Well, it turns out a world war with Mother Nature is knocking on our doorstep. Will we listen and respond? I hope so.   For more information please visit the below links. They offer great insights into climate change realities and are positive and accessible resources for engaging the conversation. The reality of climate change | David Puttnam | TEDxDublin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBjtO-0tbKU India: Climate Change Impacts http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2013/06/19/india-climate-change-impacts Climate Change and the End of Australia http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/climate-change-and-the-end-of-australia-20111003 The Critical Decade: Climate Change and Health (Australia) http://www.climatecouncil.org.au/uploads/1bb6887d6f8cacd5d844fc30b0857931.pdf GoPro: Climate Change and the Optimistic Future https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sT6jtTtsG_M Paris Climate Conference: COP21 Explained https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-qd8YCaoQ4 Why is the Paris UN climate summit important? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnztR5JllA4 Adam asks new PM Malcolm Turnbull on climate change in Question Time https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqXtKt-Is54 Morgan Freeman's Powerful Climate Change Short Film https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YQIaOldDU8  
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Our community blogs

  1. photovoltaic-533688_1280.jpg

    In our modern day and age, people are more and more concerned about preserving the environment, and rightly so. There are plenty of scientific studies that suggest the planet is facing environmental challenges the likes of which it has never faced before. It has gotten to the point that going green is no longer seen as making a personal statement. It is now more about simply being a responsible person. Luckily, with the advance of technology, it has never been easier to be an environmentally friendly home owner.

     

    Solar Energy

    Solar panel technology has been around for quite some time now. It has never been more affordable than it is now, however. The benefits are pretty obvious to see. By switching out your power source from public energy plants which use up natural resources such as coal and oil, you substantially reduce your carbon footprint.

     

    Solar energy is not only incredibly easy to obtain, but it is also very cost effective in the long run. After all, the sun is free to use. So while the initial cost of solar panels can be scary for a lot of people, be assured that they will more than pay themselves off in due time.

     

    Of course, you don't have to go all-in on solar energy if don't want to or can't afford to. You may not be able to afford enough panels to power the whole home at first. If this is the case then you can still use solar panels to power parts of your house, while relying on conventional power for the rest of the spaces. It is still better than obtaining all of your energy the conventional way and can be upgraded when you have the ability.

     

    Water Efficient Plumbing

    I'm sure that you have seen the water efficient bathroom appliances when you go out to restaurants and other such public places. While the businesses generally say that they installed these appliances in order to be environmentally conscientious, we all know that all they really care about is the bottom line. Yet they still installed them. This should be taken as a cue that water efficient bathrooms are both cheaper and good for the environment.

     

    Nature-Friendly Gardens

    This one really only applies to people with yards, but since that represents a lot of people it is important to mention. Basically, fill up your yard with local plants instead of the standard (water depleting) grass. Not only is it environmentally friendly because you are using native plants that enrich the environment, but it also provides the house with unique curb appeal that everyone will appreciate.

     

    So the point is that making your house a little more eco-friendly is far from difficult. In fact, it has never been easier. If you are building your home, companies like Fischer Homes can often construct the home to work well with these green initiatives. So if you haven't already, consider making a few tweaks to your house in order to ensure that you are doing your part to preserve our environment.

  2. The UK is already behind in their environmental targets, so what could an exit from Europe do to our environment credentials? Some of the EU’s biggest achievements are in the field of environmental conservation, with stringent targets placed on things like recycling and renewable energy. It remains to be seen if the UK’s exit from the EU will simply allow them to take the easy way out and ease up on their targets.

     

    Farming and Fishing

    Two of the the most vocal groups throughout the Brexit campaign were farmers and fishermen. The fishermen had hoped that a vote to leave would mean that they would gain control of their fishing quotas again, but this has proven to be fruitless. An EU memo has revealed that UK fishermen may not win back waters following Brexit, which means the UK will have no further control over fishing stocks.

     

    Farming is also set to be delivered a blow, as British farmers will see the end of EU subsidies. A report by Informa Agribusiness Intelligence estimates that 90% of British farms will collapse without these subsidies and land prices would crash.

     

    Sustainable Energy

    One of the biggest concerns that many people have is that the environment will suffer the most because of a decrease in focus on sustainable energy sources. The good news is, The North Sea Link will go ahead despite Brexit. However, German energy firm Siemens has frozen future investment in wind power following the vote.

     

    STEM Research and Employment

    One of the most obvious impacts of Brexit is that it could prevent key talent in the field of science and technology from choosing the UK as a place to work or study. We’ve already seen a downturn in university-educated professionals making the UK their destination of choice. There has been a scramble in recent months to secure EEA permanent residence for those already in the UK, but some have been asked to leave rather unceremoniously, despite being settled in the UK for a long time.

  3. Propane Efficency Why You Should Use it as a Heating Source.JPG

     

    Whether you plan to heat the house, office or warehouse, using propane is the right choice for your budget and the environment. People using propane vehicles notice the differences when they stop using petroleum and save more money on their rides, according to research by the U.S. Department of Energy. Today, people count on propane as the ideal source of clean energy in homes and buildings.

    Propane is Not a Hazard

    Propane is a colorless, odorless gas that is nontoxic. Whether it's referred to as a natural gas byproduct, liquid or fossil fuel, it is clean and produces far fewer toxins than gasoline. Propane vehicles promote clean cities by releasing fewer smog-causing particles. In your home, a propane heater does not release harmful gases into the air or cause environmental pollution.

    Affordable for All Households

    Homeowners use the Btu formula to compare the costs of heating a home with propane, electricity or natural gas. Determine the amount of power you need before you determine the cost per energy unit.

    Know that propane is a highly energy efficient source that works well throughout the winter. Find air, water, space and tank heaters that are all powered with propane fuel. The heaters vary in volume capacity from 100 to 1,000 gallons.

    Avoid the highest costs of electricity when you have a propane device in its place. There are no electrical cords, so the equipment is portable and convenient to use. The liquid propane tanks are ideal for use in mobile space heaters. Preserve the heat inside of your propane tank with a cover, which is found only through companies like
    Powerblanket.

    A Backup Source of Energy

    Anyone not sure about the reliability of propane should use it as a backup. During a power outage, families do not have to wait for the utility company to restore power, which is a process that could take days or weeks.

    Many homes have standby generators that run on propane or natural gas. The device runs automatically after it detects an outage and continues running for weeks or months later. In case you are away, certain companies have monitoring systems that allow you to monitor the status of a generator remotely.

    Emissions regulations have changed the ways that people look at energy. Now, more of them see propane as the clean, alternative option that works in homes and businesses. They will continue to rely on propane as an important source of heating, comfort and significant energy savings.

  4. Change is the most inevitable thing that occurs at wide range of areas in our day-to-day life. Much has changed from our lifestyles, dressing sense, food habits, mode of transport to even how we offer gifts to other people. Gifting is an important way to celebrate any occasion or event and people are exploring new options to gift their near and dear ones.

    If you are bored from gifting flowers, cakes, greeting cards, chocolates and other stuffs, it is important to go for green gifting with these various lucky plants. Here are the few reasons why people want to buy plants as gifts for their special ones.

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    Plants improve the aesthetic and visual appeal- Everybody loves greenery around their homes as it gives a soothing effect to your mind. Green plants improves the internal environment of your home and adds to the visual appeal in a big way. You can keep them anywhere from your balcony to the stair case, front or back courtyard, pavement areas or any other places of your choice.

    They improve the air quality of your home- To ensure the better air quality in your home and surroundings, it is important to have green plants in abundance. There are various plant varieties such as Spider Plant, Dracaena, Ficus, Snake Plant, Aloe Vera and others that are known to remove various air pollutants such as Benzene, Formaldehyde, Trichloroethylene, Xylene and Ammonia.

    They can help in improving your health, luck and well-being- Nobody wishes a frail health and it will certainly be a great idea if you could gift something that can improve the health of your recipient. If you are short of time, you can visit online plant nursery and check out the numerous plant varieties out there. It is time to replace those traditional gifting ideas with green plants for improving the overall health of your family, friends and well-wishers. You can order lucky plants such as bamboo plant, money plant, basil plant and others for better luck, prosperity and well-being.       

    They can be maintained easily and consume less space- One of the benefits of these green plants is that they don’t require high maintenance and require less space. Any individual without proper knowledge about plants and gardening activities can manage these indoor plants in a seamless manner. So, buy plants online and gift them to your family, friends or special ones without worrying about their maintenance.

    They are a step ahead from the usual gift options- By sending plants to your loved ones instead of chocolates, candies, flowers or cakes, you are actually establishing a new gifting trend. You will also receive much appreciation from your recipients due to your out-of-box idea of gifting green plants and will be emulated by other people quickly.

    So, abandon those old gifting practices and buy plants online that add a new aura to the internal surroundings.

     

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    You don’t have to invest in a hybrid or electric car to make your vehicle greener. Certain driving habits, proper vehicle maintenance and a few small changes or accessories can go a long way to improving a car’s efficiency and reducing its overall carbon footprint. The best news of all is that these green car tips are likely to save you money in the long run by reducing your need for fuel or expensive repairs.

     

    Control Speed

    About 75 percent of a vehicle’s carbon emissions are due to the fuel they burn. There are many ways to reduce a car’s fuel consumption. Two of the easiest ways that require little more than a change in habits is speed and car weight.

    Reducing speed is one of the best ways to improve fuel economy. This is because of some simple physics known as liquid thermodynamics. Basically, as a car moves through the air, it is compressing that air just a little bit. This creates drag that tries to slow the car down. The faster a car is going, the more it compresses the air and the more power it needs to get through that air. No matter how aerodynamic the vehicle is, this air compression increases remarkably at about 60 miles per hour. Those speed limit signs aren’t just a matter of safety. Following them will improved your MPG.

    Consistent speed is also important for mpg. Gasoline engines are extremely inefficient when they are accelerating and work best when they run at a continuous speed. This is one reason that freeway driving tends to result in higher mpg than town driving. Every time you hit the brakes, you are wasting some of the car’s energy. By driving moderately, and avoiding a lot of starting and stopping or fast acceleration, you can improve fuel economy by quite a bit. Safe driving also happens to be better and more efficient driving.

     

    Reduce Weight

    Your car’s weight has a major impact on how much fuel it consumes. Every 100 pounds of weight tends to reduce fuel efficiency by about 2 percent. Stripping off extra racks and cargo containers and emptying out the trunk of unnecessary stuff may have a surprising effect on fuel efficiency. The impact of weight is more noticeable the smaller the engine.

     

    Be Mindful of Your Tires

    The next biggest factor in fuel efficiency is the amount of friction created by your tires. Friction creates drag that requires more energy to overcome. Unless you need heavy-duty tire tread for off-road or harsh weather conditions, it is most beneficial to equip tires with low-resistance tread. This may mean switching your tires seasonally. Equip low-resistance tires in the summer and switch to heavier tread in the winter only when you need it.

    Tire inflation is also a critical factor. As a tire loses pressure, more of the tire is pressed against the roadway, and it creates more drag and friction to overcome. Underinflated tires have other problems as well. The tire is going to wear more quickly and require replacement. If the tire becomes severely underinflated, it is a road hazard that may cause a dangerous blowout or loss of vehicle control.

     

    Regular Maintenance

    For many people, car maintenance is like a pass or fail test. If something breaks completely and the car won’t run or the check engine light comes on, then it’s time to take it in for service. Unfortunately, the truth is that most cars don’t break down completely unless something serious or catastrophic happens. Instead, the car’s systems slowly wear down and become less and less efficient before finally breaking.

    Proper maintenance and tune-ups ensure that a car continues to run in its most efficient state. Problems with the fuel and exhaust system or coolant system may not immediately cause a breakdown or even a check engine light, but they are still causing problems.

    You can help ensure that your engine continues to run efficiently by using fuel additives that clean the engine as it runs. States and companies vary on their laws regarding fuel additives. California tends to regulate more additives, but most states have little to no regulation on additives.

     

    Be Smart with Oil

    Used engine oil is a huge factor in the environmental friendliness of your car. The first step is to only get an oil change when you actually need it. Most synthetic oils are designed to run at least 10,000 miles or 6 months, and the highest qualities may last even longer. Mechanic stickers suggesting oil changes every 4,000 miles or less or just trying to keep their income, wasting oil and your money. The only exception is with non-synthetic oils that have much shorter lives and should probably be avoided anyway.

    When you do change your oil, be sure that it is recycled properly. Most municipalities offer free oil recycling with garbage collection, but the oil must be disposed of properly. It should not be included in regular garbage and it should never, ever be put down the drain or just spilled onto the street. In most areas, improper disposal is illegal and has steep fines.

    Visit car dealerships in St George for more information on your specific car and how it can be made friendlier to the environment. By changing some of your basic habits and keeping your vehicle well-maintained, you can increase your fuel efficiency and reduce your car’s carbon footprint. You even stand to save quite a bit of money in the process.

  6. When you hear about solar panels, you often think of monocrystalline or polycrystalline units. However, with the competition in the solar industry heating up, manufacturers in this sector are banking increasingly on sophisticated technologies to create more innovative products for savvy consumers. Some of the solar firms are now bringing the advanced thin film solar modules in the market that have unique features and higher efficiency as compared to the traditional crystalline panels. If you are one of the thousands of homeowners in Tampa and other sun-bathed cities who are looking for solar solutions for their homes, you must compare the options before installing a system.

    What are Thin Film Solar Panels?

    Also known as thin film photovoltaic cells, thin film solar cells are manufactured using very thin layers of photovoltaic material. Thanks to the cell structure of thin film panels, shade, and high temperature do not have any significant impact on their performance. It offers greater design flexibility for a variety of applications. Their homogenous appearance makes them suitable for a wide variety of exterior home-designs, and it has a shorter energy payback time which provides production and resource savings.

    Types of Thin Film Solar Panels

    There are three types of thin film solar panels available in the market today:
     

    • Amorphous Silicon (a-Si) Solar Cells

      Amorphous silicon solar panels are the first commercially manufactured thin film solar modules. These solar cells use amorphous silicon, which is a non-crystalline form of silicon. An amorphous silicon solar cell contains only a fraction of the amount of active material used in a crystalline silicon cell. The cell structure has a single sequence of p-i-n layers in its simplest form.

      The ability to produce very low power limited the use of amorphous silicon solar cells to small applications such as pocket calculators and other small electronic devices for a long time. However, a few recent innovations have made them fit for use in large applications as well. For example, several companies use a new manufacturing technique called stacking that involves combining several layers of amorphous silicon solar cells. This new production technique can go a long way to achieve higher efficiency rates.
    • Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) Solar Cells

      Till date, cadmium telluride is the only thin film photovoltaic technology to have surpassed crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells in terms of cost-efficiency. These innovative units based on cadmium telluride usually operate with a high degree of efficiency ranging from nine to 11 percent. A simple mixture of cadmium molecules, like cadmium telluride and cadmium sulfide can produce the necessary electric field to convert solar energy into electricity. This simplifies the manufacturing process as compared to producing silicon solar panels by joining two types of doped silicon. Also, cadmium can be found in abundance because it is produced as a by-product of industrial processing of metals like zinc. So, it is cost effective as compared to silicon. 

    • Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIS/CIGS) Solar Cells
       

      CIGS solar cells are more efficient than the other two thin film technologies used for producing solar modules. Also, they provide better heat resistance than silicon solar panels.

    The world is waking up to the immense possibility of solar energy. Why stay behind? Embrace solar solutions if you reside in a city like Tampa which is blessed with yearlong sunshine. You can still go solar even if you are not in a so-called sunny state. Thanks to the new technologies, solar makes a lucrative option no matter where your home is.  So, adopt the green energy and play an active role to change your country’s energy future.

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  7. Canned food has become a new trend in India. People like to buy ready to eat products, because they think they are easier to prepare and tasty too. So, why they should spend time in cooking and related chores? But, it is wrong and they don’t have any idea what they are doing. Yes, there is no doubt that all the info about ingredient is printed on the attractive packing of product and people also read every single detail before buying any item. Thus, unluckily all efforts are useless, because it’s all about the procedure of food processing.

    Check these 5 reasons, why you need to avoid canned food for a healthy lifestyle-

    1. BPA-

    Mostly packed food is covered in the plastic packaging to keep the food fresh. But, the inner layer of plastic packing leaves harmful elements on the food stuff. Plastic contains BPA, which is not suitable for the human body as it won’t make for the consumption of the plastic. The packet of plastic covering contains little but unsafe materials, which are responsible for serious illness, such as cancer, hypertension, obesity, aggression, heart disease etc. 

     

    2. Low quality-

    Let’s admit this truth that if the food is really of the high quality and fresh as described, then obvious the company will sell the product at highest price to make profit. But, big names launch their products at attractive offers and promise to give high quality ingredients. It is a way to mislead the customer and it is a direct fraud. Moreover, shopping malls also rob innocent customers on the name of big billions day to increase their shop and sell the old stored items. So, stop being a fool and say no for the low quality food material. 

    3. Harmful Preservatives-

    After a specific time, all the food materials are going to be decomposed. Preservatives work as a miracle to increase the life of canned food. No doubt that it is a touch stone for the manufacturers, but it causes great harm to human body. Processed foods such as meat items contain exceptionally high amount of preservatives such as sodium, sulfites, etc.

     

    4. Imported canned food-

    Imported canned food is more injurious than the local products. The international suppliers add less nutritious and low quality supplements to gain more. Apart from the quality, these imported products come at the high price. So, why to pay for the bad quality food material?

     

    5. Presence of unhealthy elements -

    Manufacturers add unhealthy supplements and artificial flavors in the food to make it tasty and popular. They do not care about the health of people. And, the word “Natural” is just use to trick a customer. You are not able to differentiate between the natural and artificial flavors and producers know it very well. This is how they make people fool on the name of 100% natural foodstuff.

     

    These reasons are enough for any conscious foodie to make a strong decision for the healthy lifestyle. If you love yourself and your family, then say a strict “NO” to canned food. Take it as a new year’s resolution and adopt a step towards a happy and healthy life.

     

    For More Info: RTI Act 2005 India

     

  8. Everything a person does can have an impact on the environment. Even actions like moving, which rarely get much attention from environmentalists, can make a difference. That means the best way to help the environment is not by making a single massive change, but by trying to make everything a little bit greener. It's particularly useful in the case of moving, since most of the ways to go green can also save time and money.

    Green Ways to Make Your Move More Efficient.PNG

    Shipping Cars

    Cars have a reputation for hurting the environment, but shipping a car doesn't have to make things worse. There are two ways to help the environment when shipping a car, and the choice between them depends on the scale of the move.

    If you are shipping your things by truck, try to use your car instead. If your car can take the place of one of the shipping trucks, then one less vehicle is on the road and burning gas. Shipping the car separately would still consume some fuel, which is also saved by using it for the move.

    If you aren't using trucks to ship your possessions, try to avoid driving. Using a mass freight ship or other option to get the car most of the way to your destination will almost always be more efficient. It may also be cheaper, since the freight company can spread their fuel costs among many customers and because ships and trains tend to be more fuel-efficient than cars. 

    When in doubt, try to minimize the number of vehicles involved in the move. If a car or truck needs to be on the road, use it to carry as many of your things as possible. This saves on fuel, which helps the environment, but it will also reduce your odds of misplacing a box as you move. You can use sites like these for getting a quote to ship a car which will tell you if it’s in your budget to try.

    Salvage Boxes

    Moving means packing, and packing means boxes. Some people purchase boxes for the move, but that wastes money and puts more strain on the environment. The best way to protect nature is to use as few resources as possible, and that means reusing things whenever you can. Most stores will be happy to hand out old shipping boxes to anyone who asks. The boxes are usually getting thrown away anyway, so it doesn't cost them anything to do it. For best results, try to ask at a small grocery store. They get regular shipments and are the most likely to have a lot of boxes on hand. Bubble wrap and packing peanuts are sometimes available as well, but they can be a little bit harder to find for free. The worst that can come from asking is getting a polite refusal, while the best is saving money and protecting nature, so there's no reason not to ask. 

    Downsize

    Most people have a lot of stuff that they never use or even look at. Those objects take up space during the move, and there's often little to reason to bother bringing them to the new home. Looking through all of your possessions before the move and getting rid of the ones that you no longer want or need can be a great way to make things go easily and save resources. The environmental benefits come from reducing the need to ship items. Weighing down a truck will reduce its fuel efficiency, so bringing fewer objects can save a small amount of gas. Leaving enough items behind might mean reducing the number of vehicles involved in the move, which will have a much bigger impact. It also means spending less time packing and unpacking, which will make the moving process much easier to manage. Be sure to donate gently used items, or make them available for people to pick up. That is much better for the environment than throwing them away and having those people buy something completely new, and it can also raise a little bit of money to help with moving expenses. You shouldn't get rid of anything that you want to keep, but there's no better time to get rid of unwanted possessions.

    Moving will always be stressful, and it will always involve some pollution. Even so, using these tips can help to reduce those problems to the greatest extent possible. Even a small change can make a difference, so you should give them a try the next time you move.

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    Population growth, massive urbanization, and increasing consumer demands will cause major changes in future energy production methods. While there’s no question that the energy system must become more sustainable, Monsanto CMS maintains that it also needs to produce more energy to keep up with both technological advances and consumer expectations.

    Biofuels are a logical and cost-effective response to the sustainability question. They don’t emit as much carbon dioxide as fossil fuels, and they are much cheaper than traditional combustibles.

    Although still a controversial subject, biofuels -- together with other alternative energy sources -- can revolutionize the way we power up the world.

     

     

    Biofuels to Revolutionize Clean Energy

    Fermented ethanol is at the heart of producing first-generation biofuels. People have been taking carbon from plants such as corn and sugarcane, and converting it into fuels for thousands of years. Plant carbon was even used to power up the Model T, the car that established a mass market for automobiles. However, biofuels only account for less than 10% of the world’s energy supply.

     

     

    Why?

    Even though biofuels are a great alternative to fossil fuels, earlier versions had their downsides. Ethanol is extracted from plants that are rich in sugar or starches that are heavily used in the food industry or to feed livestock. A sudden increase in demand could cause food prices to skyrocket and availability to be diminished.

    Fortunately, scientists are looking for ways to fix the faults in biofuel production and create alternative energy sources that are clean and efficient.

     

    For instance, companies could produce biofuels without impacting the environment or the world’s population by using cellulosic biomass, instead of starch or corn, to produce ethanol.  In other words, companies could use agricultural waste, algae, and non-food crops and convert them into plant sugars that can be used to fuel the world.

     

    Sure, this task is not without its challenges, but Shell -- one of the biggest oil and gas companies in the world -- might have a solution. A Brazilian subsidiary of Shell started burning leftover sugarcanes to deliver power to its factories. The excess power was pumped into the national Brazilian grid. The electricity sourced by leftover canes supplied around 3% of Brazil’s demand. It’s estimated that this number will grow to 18% in the next three years.

    Brazil is one of the biggest pollution producers in the world. If they manage to implement the use of cellulosic biofuels effectively, they could set an example for the entire world to follow.

     

    Transforming Microbial Methane into Energy

    Cellulosic biofuels aren't the only clean energy alternative that could revolutionize the world’s power sources. Scientists at Stanford University are testing new ways of transforming microbial methane into energy.

    Researchers have set up colonies of microbes that produce methane gas and other compounds. Their goal is to create massive microbial factories that could convert carbon dioxide into renewable energy sources.

    The first step has already been taken. Scientists finally understand how methanogens -- microorganisms usually found in sediments that convert electricity and CO2 into methane -- work, And they proved that methanogens retrieve electrons from solid surfaces.

    This important discovery could help researchers and engineers design electrodes for microbial factories to produce sustainable methane gas.

     

     

    How Artificial Leaves Could Power Up the World

    It’s no longer a secret that plants can generate an outstanding amount of energy. Recent estimates have shown that plants can produce up to 130 terawatts of energy per year while consuming as little as 115 petagrams of carbon. Researchers have been working for years to develop a system that could mimic a plants capacity for producing energy in a more cost-effective way.

    Daniel Nocera and his team at MIT have discovered a way to develop extra-thin solar cells made from silicone and other catalytic materials. One of those materials is a less-expensive replacement for platinum.

    These solar cells don’t generate electricity directly. Instead, they act like electrodes in hydrogen cells; when they are placed in a water container in direct sunlight, they convert hydrogen into energy. Photosynthesis works pretty much the same way.

    In the near future, companies could create artificial leaves that capture sun’s energy to power the world with no CO2 emissions.

    The world is going to need an outstanding amount of energy for everyone to achieve reasonable living standards, but that doesn’t mean we should kill our planet in the process. These alternative solutions have the potential to revolutionize the way we power the world.

  10. As humans, a world without mosquitoes may seem like a little slice of heaven! No more itchy bites, no more stinky mosquito repellent, no more swatting arms and legs trying to get the little buggers before they bite, and no more annoying buzzing around your ears.

    Just imagine how nice it would be to sit around campfires at night without having to worry about being bitten, or taking hikes out in the woods and worrying about having brought along the "bug juice" to ward off the "skeeters." You'll never have to worry about welts on your kids' arms and legs, diseases like Zika, malaria, West Nile virus, and even such things as heartworm in dogs, among others, would become a thing of the past.

    Yes, it certainly would seem like a beautiful world if mosquitoes were just suddenly gone. Or would it be?

    Is There Anything Good About Mosquitoes?

    On the face of it, it certainly doesn't seem like it. Mosquito control products are meant to either keep them away or kill them, and probably no one ever said that a mosquito is their best friend. Mosquito borne diseases kill approximately a million people every year, and if you ask anyone if there was anything good about a mosquito, they would most likely say "No!"

    Mosquitoes Are a Food Source

    You may not know this, but there are many types of birds, mammals, and fish that feed on both mosquitoes and their larvae. Dragonflies, bats, and purple martins eat mosquitoes as a major food source, and they are some of the best natural mosquito control predators around. However, none of them are dependent on mosquitoes for survival. Sure, they will eat them when they can get them, but if there weren't any mosquitoes at all, they would eat something else.

    Yet, there is one ecosystem that almost wholly depends on mosquitoes as a food source, and without them, it would fail. Some migratory birds flying over the Arctic Tundra depend on mosquitoes as a food source to keep them alive during their migration. Without the lowly mosquito, they would not be able to sustain the journey and they would perish.

    So in an ecological sense, certain types of migratory birds that depend on the mosquito for sustenance would become extinct, and that alone is reason enough for the mosquito to exist.

    Mosquitoes Are a Gold Mine

    Here is where the real value of the mosquito comes in, and it's not what you might think.

    Mosquito control by humans is a gigantic source of income for tens of thousands of workers in the pest control business. This does not take into account the factories that produce mosquito repellents, the research into mosquito lifestyle and habitats, and the scientists who study the mosquito, both in a biological sense and as it relates to mosquitoes as pests.

    As you can see, the job force to combat mosquitoes is huge, and from an employment standpoint, mosquitoes support thousands upon thousands of families. Just that fact alone makes mosquitoes a literal gold mine in the business community, so think about that next time you get bitten by one.

    A World Without Mosquitoes

    As far as day-to-day life goes for humans, a world without mosquitoes would be a happier and healthier place. But for those people employed in a mosquito-related industry, such as mosquito control, developing and packaging mosquito repellents, or doing the research for all of the above, their lives would not be as financially rewarding. Couple that with certain types of migratory birds that would starve, and a mosquito-less world doesn't look so appealing after all. 

    The good news is that mosquitoes aren't going anywhere. Even as humans spend billions of dollars each year in mosquito control and eradication, the mosquito population is stable, with no end in sight. Try as humans might to get rid of them, those pesky little mosquitoes are never going away, and that familiar buzzing noise on those hot and humid summer nights are here to stay. 

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    Going green can seem a bit daunting, especially if you don’t know how to apply these principles at home. At first, it might seem like everything is trying to destroy the planet. However, these four tips will help you make the difference that you’re looking to make right from your own home.

    Grill

    One appliance that may use propane or other forms of energy is the grill, but that no longer has to be the case. It might be a good idea to consider a solar-powered grill that will not use up electricity or force you to purchase propane. These grills can fry, bake, boil, and grill by using the power of the sun. This is a tasty way to help the earth!

    Generator

    One way to power your small appliances is by using generators. Solar-powered generators will allow you to use your basic appliances without plugging them up to electricity. Generators do not last too long, but it should provide enough energy throughout the day. This is really what you want since most of the electricity produced by factories ends up releasing unnecessary carbon into the atmosphere.

    Hot Water

    Everyone knows that water heaters work with gas or electricity, but did you know that you can install a solar-powered hot water system? Yes, and it should work just as efficiently as any other hot water appliance would work. It is estimated that about 80 percent of the annual cost associated with hot water can be cut using a solar-powered hot water heater, like those you can get from Degree C Pty Ltd. This also means that electricity use will be down, reducing your carbon footprint.

    Solar Panels

    This is perhaps the most expensive option, but it is one worth mentioning. These panels are installed on the roof of your home by professionals and are meant to provide the house with a sufficient amount of energy. Think of it as installing a large-scale generator that will power up your entire house. The expense is one reason why some do not opt for this choice while others do not want to install these panels above their roof due to several reasons like aesthetics or the stability of the roof. Nevertheless, it is a good option for those who would not mind installing these panels.

    These are just four ways that you can go green by using solar-powered appliances or making additions to your home. There are more ways that you can harness the power of the sun. Do not be afraid to make the switch that will help you save some cash and help the planet

  12. Protecting the planet is a great goal, and everyone is doing just a little more to have a part in ensuring our planet will be here for future generations. While some changes are big and costly, in other ways you can go green with just a few small changes at home. Here are some small changes that can add up to big difference in your overall impact on the environment. 

    1. Learn to Unplug


    Everything, from your computer to your power tools, needs to be unplugged when not in use. Many homeowners do not realize that leaving appliances, electronics and other electrical devices plugged in actually uses energy, even when the device is not in use. Simply being plugged in causes a little bit of electricity to flow to the device then back into the home's circuits, and in that process some energy is lost. Make this easier by plugging most entertainment devices into one power strip, then switch off the group when you head to bed.

    2. Adjust the Fridge


    Many homeowners have their refrigerators and freezers set too cold. Invest in a small fridge thermometer, and test the temperature. The fridge should be between 37 and 40 degrees, with the freezer between 0 and 5. If it's too cold, adjust the temperature higher and save money. 

    3. Bring Reusable Bags


    When you go shopping, bring your own cloth grocery sacks. Your grocery store may actually pay you a few cents for doing so, but the biggest reason to do this is to prevent more plastic bags from ending up in the landfill. Remember, plastic does not decompose, so you are putting everyone at risk when you throw out plastic bags.

    4. Turn off the Tap


    Turn off the tap while brushing teeth. If you brush for two minutes and leave the tap running, your family can waste around 5 gallons of water a day. Turning it of is simple. The same is true for washing dishes. After filling the sink, turn off the tap while you scrub the dishes. 

    Remember, it really is small changes that make a big difference when you're trying to go green. Make these changes, then enjoy the energy savings that come as a result! 

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    Recycling isn't just about tossing your plastic and glass into a blue bin at the end of the week. There are many different ways to limit the amount of waste that you and your family send to the landfill. A few changes to your daily habits could help you reduce your carbon footprint and protect the environment around you.

    Put an End to Water Waste

    A single leaky pipe or running toilet can waste over 200 gallons of water per day. That amount of wasted water will put quite a bit of strain on your local aquifers and other water sources. Homeowners should constantly check their water meters to see if they might have any leaks that are affecting their utility bills. You should also consider updating your plumbing system so that your greywater is reused in your toilets or out on your lawn.

    Read the Labels on Your Electronics

    Electronics can be incredibly devastating to the environment when they are not properly disposed of. Many of them contain harsh chemicals and acids that might not decompose for hundreds of years. If you are unsure of what to do with your old electronics, then you should call your local trash company to see if they have a program to recycle old devices.

    Recycle During Your Larger Projects

    Quite a bit of waste is created during most home renovations. Before starting your next project, you might want to consider renting a dumpster, such as one from Lakeshore Recycling, instead of leaving piles of debris in your yard or filling up your regular trash bin with potentially hazardous materials. This is especially important if your home is more than a few decades old. Many older homes are filled with toxic materials such as lead and asbestos.

    Compost Your Food

    Even though your food products will quickly decompose in a dump, you can actually improve the health of your local plants by composting at home. Compost bins and holes can be filled with a wide variety of leftover materials including egg shells, coffee grounds, bones, fat, and the skin off of fruit. When left for a short period of time, it will turn into a natural fertilizer that is extremely good for your trees, plants, and grass.

    Those who spend more time learning about the recycling process might find out that they can recycle or reuse many of their everyday items. Not only will that help your local environment, but it will also slow down the rate at which manufacturing plants must continue to use natural resources.

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    Selling goods is an art form. You want to produce a quality product so as to attract a loyal customer base, yet you need to minimize production costs whenever and wherever possible. The key is to have a production facility that is both streamlined and simplified in order maximize profits in the long run. Consider the following 4 ideas to accomplish just that.

    Manufacturing Tasks Made Simple

    It is important to simply manufacturing tasks within any production facility in order to increase efficiency. This will ultimately serve to improve not only profit, but customer satisfaction as well. As you walk around your production facility, look critically at any opportunity to simply. Failing to do so will, over time, lead to operational process that become inefficient. Look for ways to implement new technology to cut down on mundane tasks that take a great deal of time and are a poor use of resources.

    Organization Is Key

    If you have not taken the time to organize your production facility lately, you are missing out on a prime opportunity in simplify and streamline the overall process. The longer it takes a worker to locate something that is out of place, the less likely you are ever going to realize maximum efficiency. An organized workspace is critical. Not only does this contribute to safety within the facility, it also serves to ensure that labor costs are kept low and individuals are able to complete more tasks in a limited amount of time.

    Compressed Air and Gas Treatment

    If you are involved in the manufacturing of any product that requires gas as a central component, it is important to have compressed air and gas treatment as a central part to your operations. Some companies, such as MTA Australasia, know that having this centralized and regularly maintained is a way to further simplify and streamline the production process. This should be incorporated into every facility in an effort to maximize productivity and improve overall efficiency.

    Minimize Waste

    Any production facility is bound to have some waste that takes place, but the key is to minimize this as much as possible. This is a process that depends on organization and the ability to constantly monitor processes in order to arrive at a more efficient way of handling the materials on hand. If you find that you are constantly having to order new materials, look for ways to use discarded scraps within the production process itself.

    These are four simple yet effective ways to simplify and streamline facilities. Look to begin them this quarter to achieve the results you have been hoping for.

  15. Green Dwelling 4 Additions To An Environmentally Sound Home.JPG

    Green homes help reduce environmental damage and waste commonly caused by standard home construction and life habits. They also offer homeowners many additional benefits. They can lower utility and grocery bills, improve your home's value and make your overall life better. To reap these benefits and more, consider the following green home additions:

    Composting Room

    Composting bins turn plant-based waste materials from cooking and gardening into nutrient-rich fertilizer. A composting room is an extension of this idea designed to replace the traditional detached "garden shed" with a more efficient setup that allows you easy access to compost and garden supplies throughout the year even during cold weather. Since gases and odors are a byproduct of composting, you only need to run an attached ventilation duct from the enclosed bin to the outside through a wall or the ceiling to make this room work.

    Automatic Systems

    A lot of electricity and water loss occurs because homeowners often forget to turn off manual home systems like indoor and outdoor lights, sprinklers and thermostats. An automatic control system utilizes software and/or sensors to optimize usage. For example, an automatic system with light-detection sensors might turn on outdoor lights at night and then turn them off immediately in the morning or turn off indoor lights that you typically forget to turn off after a certain time at night. 

    Green Roofing

    Homeowners can enjoy flower and vegetable gardens, safeguard the environment and save on heating, cooling and grocery costs without using up nearby land with green roofing. A "green" or "vegetative" roof turns an often unused home area into a garden paradise. The advantages of green roofing go beyond energy efficiency and fresh fruits and vegetables. You also receive greater roof and ceiling leak protection, higher local oxygen contribution and reduced chemical and noise pollution and government tax breaks. 

    Nontoxic Materials

    Many standard home building and furniture materials, such as plastics, formaldehyde-containing fiberboard and adhesives, release toxic gases or break down into toxic dust over time that damage the environment and cause sick buildings syndrome. The "addition" of environmentally-friendly materials that release fewer harmful volatile organic chemicals after the removal of toxic ones can both improve your health and increase the value of your home.

    If your home is not already a green dwelling, it is time to do your part for the environment, yourself and your community. Start with one of these four green additions to improve your world and standard of living.

  16. With rising awareness about the well-being of our planet both sellers and buyers acknowledge the importance of green home features. Living in an eco-friendly house reduces your carbon footprint, limits the exploitation of natural resources and can significantly lower utility bills, but how cost-effective are they and how much value do they add to a home?

     

    If you are interested in ways to increase the value of your home and make it eco-friendly then read on to find out 6 of the best that you can incorporate into your home.

     

    Sustainable insulation

    One of the most important green home upgrades is insulation, as proper insulation – especially in the attic – will ensure that energy is not escaping through the roof. There are many types of insulation to choose from, however blown-in cellulose wall insulation is mostly recommended by home sustainability experts. For reinforced effects, consider upgrading weather stripping around doors and windows.

     

    Solar panels

    Installing solar panels is a huge investment and organizational challenge as it requires you to rethink the infrastructure of the entire house. However, a study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research reveals that home sellers can look at an up to 97 per cent return rate when investing in new energy efficient strategies.

     

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    Energy and water saving appliances

    ENERGY STAR rating is an internationally recognized symbol of energy efficient appliances, which offer significant energy and water savings without compromising performance. Experienced realtors from OpenAgent suggest that replacing old and used appliances such as ovens, fridges, water heaters, TVs and even showerheads significantly improves the appearance of the house and has the power to boost its overall value. This is because potential buyers look for house features that will save them money in the long run. As an added bonus you can wrap your water heater in an insulating blanket or install tankless water heaters that heat water on demand.

     

    Energy-smart windows

    For potential buyers, old single-pane windows can be a big turn off, therefore it can be a good idea to invest in multi-pane windows adjusted to your climate zone. It is said that homeowners can save up to $500 annually by upgrading their windows to high performing models. Low-emissivity glass windows can reduce energy bills and harmful UV rays, as well as improve overall quality of life by cancelling outside noise and beautifying your property. Also, adding in skylights is an efficient way of bringing natural light into the rooms, thus reducing the need for artificial lighting.

     

    Go LED

    You may be surprised, but changing the smallest things can have a huge impact on home energy efficiency. When it comes to lighting, CFLs and LED lights are a must-have, as they are said to consume from 75 to 90 per cent less energy and last 20 times longer than incandescent light bulbs. LED light bulbs also do not heat up as quickly as older models, which helps to keep the house cooler in the summer, reducing the need for air conditioning. Modern dimmer switches and occupancy sensor light switches that turn the light off automatically when someone leaves the room are additional cool features that could boost the appeal of your house.

     

    Thermostats

    One of the simplest ways of adding value to your home is installing programmable thermostats, as almost half of energy bills go towards heating and cooling the house. By installing and programming thermostats wisely, utility bills can be reduced by up to 10 per cent.

     

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    These were our top environmentally-friendly home upgrades that give the best value for money. There is no denying that the real estate market is very competitive, therefore, if you want to sell your house and make significant profit, do make sure to implement these top 6 green and sustainable features to your home.

  17. You might not realise it but some of your electrical appliances can drain a lot of energy and cost you money, even when you are not using them. Here is a guide for you to learn what these appliances are and how you can stop them cranking up the kilowatts:

    • Standby: 34% of the people admit that they leave up to 15 gadgets and appliances turned on at once. Lots of modern devices and appliances have a standby option. TVs, DVD players, microwaves, chargers and even cookers consume a surprising amount of energy when they are on standby or left plugged in. There is lots of other energy draining appliances out there, look out for any lights or digital displays that are still showing even after you have turned your device off. When you go to bed, check the room for any standby lights in the dark. They are the devices still using energy. In order to make sure that your appliance isn’t draining energy and costing you money, switch it off at the wall or unplug it when you have finished using it.

    • Overcharging: About 49% of the people overcharge their gadgets. Even when a gadget is fully charged, if it’s still plugged in, it could still be draining energy. Make sure you don’t overcharge your gadgets and do unplug them once they are fully charged. With some devices overcharging can also lower battery performance and ability to hold a full charge over time. Using a timer is a great way to prevent overcharging while you sleep or manage appliances when you are out.

    • Older appliances and energy efficiency: Unfortunately as appliances get older, they tend to use more energy. If you leave on an older appliance on, it will use a lot more energy as compared to a newer, more energy efficient model. For instance, if you have an older fridge or freezer, this may be draining more energy than you think. As the appliance gets older, sometimes the seal starts to become less effective. A simple way to check this is to place a piece of paper against the seal when you close your fridge or freezer. If it is difficult to remove, then the seal is still working properly. In case it is easy to remove or it falls out then there is a good chance that your appliance is draining more energy than it should. When you are looking to buy a new appliance, keep your eyes peeled for the EU energy efficient label. These range from A+++ to G, with A+++ being the most energy efficient. These labels are now a legal requirement on many large home appliances such as fridges, freezers, washing machines, electric ovens and air conditioners and are a great way to see, at a glance, how energy efficient your new purchase is. Also be on the lookout for offers as some retailers offer cash for old white goods when you replace them with new ones.

    • Detecting energy draining devices: Getting a smart meter or using energy-saving tools can help you see which appliances are still switched on and draining energy.

    For more information, you can call on Eon Contact Number and get in touch with its dedicated team.

     

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  18. The term “carbon footprint” refers to the overall amount of carbon that normal living puts into the environment. It includes all types of greenhouse gases that are produced as a result of various activities. For example, the carbon footprint of driving a vehicle includes not only the emissions it produces as it burns gasoline, but also emissions created in the production and refining of the fuel, as well as emissions that are created from the car’s manufacture and maintenance. A number of carbon footprint calculators are available online. When you begin to understand how many of your normal activities creates emissions that impact the environment, you can begin to alter your lifestyle to improve the health of the planet. Here are just a few simple ways you can begin to reduce your carbon footprint:

     

    1 – Recycle More

    If you find ways to re-use and recycle household items, you can dramatically reduce the amount of carbon that goes into the environment each day to create new ones. Look for products that use recycled materials, reuse rainwater and find another use for items such as plastic containers, so they don’t wind up in landfills as quickly.

     

    2 – Change the Environmental Impact of Your Home

    When caring for your landscaping, be aware that trees and shrubs have a beneficial impact on the environment in many ways and try to maximize their good effects. Plant trees that help to shade the parts of your home that are open to cold winds in winter and blazing sunlight in summer. These efforts can help to reduce your home energy use and reduce your overall carbon footprint. When caring for your landscape plants, use organic fertilizers, like the products found at Nature Safe, that have less of a negative effect on the environment. These compounds can prevent the runoff that causes ecological imbalances in nearby waterways. Organic types help to keep landscape plants healthier over a longer period of time, so you can apply less frequently.

     

    3 – Drive Less and More Efficiently

    Walking helps to improve your health while it reduces the amount of carbon in the environment. Use your feet instead of the car to do neighborhood errands, or get on your bicycle for longer trips. Carpooling can be a good way to reduce the amount of gasoline emissions in the environment. If you must drive, make sure your tires are properly inflated for better mileage.

     

    Reducing the amount of carbon you use for everyday activities is not difficult. It simply requires an awareness of simple techniques that can make a significant impact on the amount of energy used every day.

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    Going green doesn’t only show that your office cares about the environment – in many cases, it also saves you money. With the environment in its current state, businesses everywhere are beginning to develop an eco-conscience. They’re prioritizing the planet by reducing the amount of waste that they generate and relying less on external resources to keep themselves going. This isn’t only for the wealthy elite – even small businesses can implement changes that will have a positive impact on the planet.

    1. Buy Used Furniture

    Used furniture has a lot of charm. Every piece has a personality and unique aesthetic. When you need desks or tables, consider purchasing one that someone has already loved. By using old furniture, you aren’t relying on the production of new furniture. A slightly mismatched office might even feel a little more warm and welcoming. When you can’t find something old and new furniture needs to be purchased, make sure you’re buying from a company that crafts their furniture from sustainable resources.

    2. Upcycle Everything

    Before you throw something away, try to see it as something else. Even cardboard boxes can become something worth much more. With a little elbow grease, cardboard boxes can become things like stylish organizers. It’s a fun and creative project for the workplace that will emphasize the importance of reducing waste and becoming an innovative thinker. Every workplace could benefit from more projects like these.

    3. Rely on Natural Sunlight

    Turn off the lights in your office in the middle of the day. Is it dark and cavernous? If so, it might be time to hit Gumtree for a new office with enough windows. Office equipment requires a lot of electricity, and you can reduce the amount of energy you consume by relying primarily on the sun for light. You may need to flip on the lights when you’re working into the evening or the weather is particularly gloomy, but most workdays won’t require an excess of electricity.

    4. Ditch the Vending Machine

    A lot of waste goes into creating the single serving processed foods usually found in vending machines – not to mention the fact that these machines have a tendency to suck up a lot of electricity. Get rid of your vending machine and replace office snacks with fresh locally sourced fruits and vegetables. Not only are you reducing waste and supporting local farmers, you’re also encouraging your employees to make healthier choices. This is a scenario in which everyone wins, and it’s very easy to implement.

    5. Go Paperless

    Almost all offices are going paperless in modern times. This isn’t just a green initiative – it also saves costs on supplies that constantly need to be replenished. Using document sharing services (like the free Google Docs) to share important memos with employees saves you from having to print 50 copies of the same memo. If your company uses Cloud technology, you can rely on that to keep your important backups safe. Take the things that arrive to you in paper form and scan them, turning them in to searchable PDFs. Recycle the paper you don’t need anymore. There are countless ways to reduce your paper consumption, and many of them will make your office space a little more efficient.

     

    Since an interest in green office environments has skyrocketed, it’s easier than ever to make the transition. There are countless solutions for green office spaces, and equipment suppliers often have green alternatives for the workplace. Before you know it, you’ll be saving money and clearing your conscience.

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  19. This year, we have been thinking a lot about how to be more eco-friendly. We know that we can turn off lights when we leave the room, walk rather than taking the car where possible, and avoid products which use a lot of plastic packaging. But what can we do at Christmas time to be better for the environment? Here are some tips.

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    Shop local

    Every product which is imported, from your presents to your tree to your food on the table, has a carbon footprint. If something has travelled overseas then it needs to either fly or come by truck over a ferry, neither of which are great options. In order to reduce the carbon footprint of your Christmas, you can try to shop locally. This will also help to grow your community and support local businesses, which is a great bonus. While you might not have farms supplying everything in your locale, you can at least choose things which have been produced within your country.

     

    Choose your tree

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    Make sure that you are getting your tree from an eco-friendly source if you are buying a real one. You should be able to check how the tree is grown and whether or not it is done in a sustainable way. If you are going the plastic route, buy a tree for life. Don’t throw it away after one year – plan to keep it for 20 or 30. This will offset the carbon cost of making the tree because of the amount of use that you get out of it. When you do get rid of your tree, try to recycle it or donate it to charity rather than just throwing it in the bin.

     

    Send green

    If you have gifts that must be shipped out, then make sure that you do it the green way with PACK & SEND. They have practices in place which mean that your carbon footprint will be reduced by using their services as opposed to a postal service. Think about the way that you package your gifts, too. Do you really need all those layers of cardboard and bubble wrap, or would a smaller parcel work just as well to protect the gifts?

     

    Change your bulbs

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    Make sure that your fairy lights aren’t draining your electric bill and putting a strain on the environment! Pick out a set with more eco-friendly bulbs and both will be improved. LED fairy lights are a good choice as they take less electricity to run and don’t cause any heat, which makes them less of a fire hazard. It’s also fun to sit with only the lights of the tree in the evening and turn off your main lights, which will save a lot of energy! Try to watch your energy usage in general – could you turn off the television and play board games together, for example?

     

    Remove food waste

    When doing your shopping before Christmas, try to be more realistic about what you actually need to buy. So much food is wasted every year because we make such big feasts which are not actually eaten. When you have vegetable leftovers that can’t be used, try to turn them into compost or feed them to a pet. Eat up leftovers where possible. If you can’t get rid of all of your food, you may be able to find a nearby shelter which takes spare food donations.

     

    It’s easier than you think to have a green Christmas. Just think about reducing waste and shopping local, and the rest will fall into place!

  20. There are numerous renewable solutions for water conservation that are easily implemented by businesses and in residential areas. Five renewable solutions for water conservation include:

    ·         Rainwater Harvesting

    ·         Dedicated residential water containers

    ·         Energy efficient water-saving sprinkler systems

    ·         Water conservation monitoring systems

    ·         Green landscaping initiatives
     

    Rainwater Harvesting

    Harvesting rainwater is not a new idea. It has been around for centuries in rural and urban areas where water supplies tended to be less abundant. The Mayans built their entire agricultural economy on this concept. Rainwater harvesting, as the name implies, is simply rain water collected and reused for farm crops and landscape purposes. Today's rainwater harvesting systems are adapted for commercial, industrial and residential use. 

    Many new structures include a rainwater harvesting system to reduce the cost of municipal water supplied to homes and buildings. Water is collected into rainwater harvesting systems from moisture in humid indoor air and roof and gutters. This water is transferred through a filtration system to an underground storage tank equipped with a pump and an outlet for reuse of collected water. New York City has over 140 of these rainwater harvesting systems.

     

    Dedicated Residential Water Containers
    In many residential areas, homeowners purchase water containers to collect rainwater. This is similar to large municipal water tanks seen in most every town. The difference is the size. Dedicated residential water containers are generally conical or horizontal tank shapes. They hold from 500 to 2400 gallons of collected water and are made from polypropylene or plastic. Some are attached to exterior residential structures or are built indoors in a basement, depending on the sources from which water is collected.
     

    Energy Efficient Water-saving Sprinkler Systems

    An energy efficient sprinkler system is cost-effective and the biggest benefit is a renewable solution to conserve water. Recent developments in technology have improved the efficiency of sprinkler systems in both energy consumption and water usage.  For example, Smart Rain’s Smart Controller can detect weather patterns and turn off sprinklers when precipitation makes watering redundant. The Smart Controller also detects broken sprinkler heads or irrigation lines. This prevents unnecessary waste of water, and can result in 15%-30% savings and possibly tax benefits. For larger water sprinkler needs in farming and large landscaping, drip systems can save 30,000 gallons of water per year or more.
     

    Water Conservation Monitoring Systems
    In many municipalities, water conservation monitoring systems are used to gauge overall water volume conserved through local water saving initiatives. Some of these are "remote" monitoring systems for greater vigilance. 
     

    Green Landscaping Initiatives
    With the growth of the professional landscaping industry, green landscaping initiatives include training in water conservation from one landscaping project to the next to ensure cost-effective, timely residential and commercial landscaping.

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  21. When considering fundraising ideas, there are certainly a wide variety of options available, including everything from car washes to bake sales; just about anything that can be traded, bought or sold can also be used for effective fundraising. However, fundraising bricks are an idea that can be very unique. These bricks can have many different uses in addition to various brick options. This fundraising idea can actually be used to build everything from buildings to planters and walls. It is simply a matter of choosing which option would work best for your fundraising goals.

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    First of all, it's important to keep in mind that these fundraising bricks aren't limited to only traditional clay bricks. Obviously, clay bricks are typically the default choice, but there are other options available that can be used for your fundraising. For example, fundraising bricks can also be made from glass or stone. For some purposes, stone bricks might be a better option, such as when you want to use the bricks to replace bricks in an aging cobblestone street or for a better choice for memorabilia; likewise, glass bricks can be a beautiful choice for dividers or decorative windows. Of course, metal bricks are also available and can be a wonderful option for some situations. In fact, these bricks don't even need to be full-sized bricks in order to be workable. So, when planning a fundraiser with bricks, don't feel like you must be limited to clay bricks.

    Of course, clay bricks certainly have many diverse uses, but it's important to keep in mind that fundraising bricks also offer an excellent selling point when you're trying to raise funds. While everyone likes the opportunity to contribute to some type of community project, they aren't always willing to actually come out and carry bricks, but having a location to place the bricks can help solve the problem that many donors face. They can have their brick placed in a public and prominent location, which can also stoke donor egos. Clearly, if small metal bricks are used for fundraising, a person might want to actually keep it; however, other types of bricks are generally not something that a donor will want to carry with them.

    Fortunately, this means that having somewhere to place the brick is important. A typical solution is to use them to build a wall, but this is certainly not the only thing that they can be used for. Fundraising bricks can be placed in a retaining wall or even used to make a planter. If a group is trying to raise funds to improve a garden area or build a playground, the idea of using the bricks for a retaining wall could be a wonderful solution; the wall will provide an excellent way to surround a structure or keep sand in place. Likewise, a group that is raising money for trees or to decorate an area might find that building planters works great for their purpose. Donors like when they see their gift being used in an interesting way, you might even see a rise in your fundraising results when you keep that point in mind.

    In short, when you use fundraising bricks, you not only have an excellent way to raise funds, but you'll also be able to help build a community. It's also important to remember that donors often like to support creativity, and creative placements of fundraising bricks can help benefit your cause.

  22. It is no secret that going green is today more import than ever. For this reason, many homeowners decide to turn their houses into real environmentally-friendly places. What’s great about this is that by aiding in preserving the nature this way you can also manage to save a lot of money. This is the case because the goals of every cautions homeowner should be using less energy, using less water and recycling. So if you decide to contribute to saving the environment, here are 5 low cost upgrades for your home that can do wonders for both nature and your wallet.

     

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    Add More Insulation

    Insulation is something you should always consider when turning your home green. If there is more insulation in your home, you will be using less energy to keep it warm during the winter and cool during the summer. There are quite a few green insulation materials you ca choose from, with aerogel and cotton being among the most popular options. No matter which material you opt for, you will be guaranteed to use less energy during the whole year. Of course, this will also reduce the cost of your energy bills significantly.

    Replace Old Windows

    We have already mentioned how not letting either hot or cold air escape your home is one of the best things you can do when going green. Another great way to do this is to replace any old windows in your home. If there are any cracks in the window frames or the windows are simply too old, air can escape quite easily through them. If this is the case with your home, you are probably using much more electricity than it is necessary. Therefore, getting new windows should be your no.1 priority.

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    Plant Some Trees

    Of course, you shouldn’t just stick to your house when going green. If there is a lot of place in your backyard planting a new tree is always a good thing to do. And if you want your tree to be even more useful, you should make sure you plant it on the west side of your home. That way, the branches will block the sunbeams during the summer, while in winter, bare branches will help allow infrared radiation that will warm up your home get through. Nuttall oak, red maple and weeping willow are just some of the trees you can opt for.

    Go for Water-Efficient Fixtures

    If you want your home to be more environmentally-friendly, you will also have to think about using less water. Even though turning off the tap when washing your hands and brushing your teeth is always a good thing to do, you should also consider installing some water-efficient fixtures in your bathroom. There are low flow shower heads that are just a perfect option for every green home. Also, there are aerators that maximize the flow rate of your faucets. If there are any leaks make sure you contact a 24 hour plumber in order to minimize the amounts of water that go to waste.

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    Get Solar Panels

    A large number of homeowners also decides to install solar panels when going green. With these, you will be utilizing natural power and minimize your use of electricity. Even though getting solar panels seems like an expensive investment at first, if you are planning long run, these will in fact help you save quite a lot of money. It is also important to mention that in some countries, homeowners who decide to get these receive bonuses and huge tax breaks. Having all of this in mind, getting solar panels is always a great thing to do, both for the environment and your wallet.

    Make sure you do all of these upgrades and you will be guaranteed to contribute quite a lot to preserving the environment. Bear in mind that you can never do too much when going green so keep looking for some further upgrades you can do.

  23.  

     

    It has been calculated that an overwhelming number of over 93 million 159-litre oil barrels are consumed on a daily basis all around the world. By recent estimates, by 2090 world reserves of fossil fuels will be significantly diminished. We will not run out of fuel completely as new reserves will probably be found, however it is important to consider everyday fuel consumption especially if one is working within transportation industry.

     

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    Driving style

    When you take a closer look at driving methods, inspect the routes carefully, and keep an eye on the truck, fuel savings can easily be found. First of all, sudden speed changes such as quickly slowing down or speeding up require the engine to work harder and, as a result, it needs to burn more fuel. In order not to force up the engine excessively, it is a good idea to drive as smoothly as possible and observe speed limits. Another thing is to choose the most convenient and at the same time the shortest route which has the fewest stop lights so that you can drive undisturbed for miles. Considering current fuel prices implementing fuel-saving strategies can also bring huge savings in the financial department, so it is worth to give them a try.

     

    Truck aerodynamics

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    It's no secret that the more weight you carry, the more fuel your truck consumes due to disturbed aerodynamics. An environmentally conscious driver should understand that it is crucial to remove all excess baggage, useless tools, broken or unnecessary parts, and fancy headache racks and go for simple vehicle efficiency upgrades such as wheel-well covers and trailer flaps. Moreover, the tires should always be inflated to recommended PSI as rolling resistance has a huge impact on aerodynamic efficiency as well.

     

    Regular maintenance

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    Not only the way you drive takes its toll on fuel consumption, but it is also the condition of the truck that matters, so if you want to be more eco-friendly driver, remember to conduct regular truck maintenance. Transportation companies and truck rental firms such as Abel do pay special attention to regular inspections. For individuals who struggle with car maintenance it is recommended to install a special reminder manager app or set up recurring calendar notifications. It is crucial to check the oil regularly, add and change it when needed. Also, replacing air filters can significantly cut down fuel consumption and reduce the emission of toxic fumes. Whenever you notice that any part of the truck is not working properly, it is better to inspect it carefully than to cause excessive and, let's be honest, unnecessary increased fuel consumption.

     

    Convenience

    People get accustomed to the good things pretty quickly. However, many drivers forget that seat warmers, fans, defrosters and the AC run on gas, too. And the latter is said to be the biggest fuel-consumer of the pack. Many of these options turn on automatically, so try to monitor them carefully and use only when necessary. Some drivers claim that also frequently opening truck windows disturbs its aerodynamics which can contribute to increased fuel consumption. Of course there are days that resigning from any form of heating or cooling will pose serious health hazards, however it is worth to keep in mind even the smallest channels of fuel waste.

     

    With growing concern about the planet's well-being, no wonder many truck drivers look for ways to minimize the impact their vehicles have on the ecosystem. Millions of trucks cruise the world every day and with efficient driving strategies and implementing simple routines truck drivers can significantly contribute to slowing down the climate change.

  24. Last week a global conference on responsible investment was held in Singapore, China. One could see the leadership staring at us via a video-link to that conference. Chief Economist at the People’s Bank of China, Dr. Ma Jun, stated that China is currently moving to the mandatory report of environmental information by the companies.

    Dr. Ma Jun mentioned that all water, climate, and environmental issues are closely connected with asset allocation risks. This conference, which was held by Principles for Responsible Investment, was listened and watched by over 600 delegates. During the video conference, Dr. Ma Jun talked about how China was waiting for the release of green finance and used government stimulus in order to attract private capital.

    Carbon Trading Scheme

    People’s Bank of China (PBOC) is the financial regulator and the central bank in China. Dr. Ma has got the nickname “Mr. Green Finance” because he is usually driving this agenda. He used to be an economist at Deutsche Bank and joined PBOC only two years ago. Next year China is planning to launch a national carbon trading scheme, which will become the largest trading scheme in the world.

    The economists state that China has passed ahead and left the West behind. China is now investing more in clean technology than the U.K., U.S., and France altogether. At the same time, the U.S. has even failed to launch a national carbon trading market. The day before this conference started, China Central Depository and Clearing Co announced itself a partner of Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI), which is an international, non-for-profit organization. Together they aimed at launching the first Climate-Aligned bond index.

    Obey or Explain

    The recent announcement of China to start the move towards mandatory disclosure of environmental risk has built a lot of momentum in this space. Some of the companies have suggested this is going to be a quiet revolution. It all started in 2014 when Mr. Robins became the head of Climate Change Center and mentioned a joint program on green finance between G20 and investors as his “dream headline” for the next year.

    A lot of stock exchange CEOs joined at the Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative and formally added to the numbers on board. It demanded stable development reporting on an “obey or explain” basis. During the last year, more than 20 stock exchanges decided to provide ESG reporting guidance.

    Generation S

    The credit rating agencies together with senior executives from S&P Global Ratings and Malaysia’s RAM Ratings were also present, talking about social and environmental issues and credit ratings. There were also some investment companies in Singapore, - Arabesque was one of them.

    Small business owners can borrow through loan matching service hile big corporations need to find other ways and attract big investors. George Kell, who is a vice chairman of this investment firm, spoke about the significance to listen to the needs and necessities of the millennials. He even used a special name for them – Generation S – for sustainability.

    Does everybody support the movement for change?

    The managing director of PRI told the delegates that all the work concerning responsible investment is closely connected with rebuilding trust in the whole financial system.  This task is rather challenging, and it requires leadership across geographical boundaries. However, while this movement for change was being held in China, there was something missing.

    Some economists and partners at the conference suggested it was the U.S. David Blood, managing partner in an investment company mentioned that most American people were missing because in the U.S. sustainability is a political agenda.

     

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