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(2) Adeno-associated virus: non-integrated virus vectors have a lot to offer.
Adeno-associated virus is a type of single-stranded linear DNA-deficient virus with a genomic DNA of less than 5Kb, no envelope, and a bare icosahedral particle. Adeno-associated viruses (AAV) cannot be replicated independently. Only in the presence of helper viruses, such as adenovirus, herpes simplex virus, etc., AAV can replicate, infect and lyse host cells, otherwise only lysogenic latent infections can be established (infected host cells and latent, but not lyse host cells).
Compared with the first- and second-generation of retroviruses, the advantages of adeno-associated viruses are mainly reflected in the two aspects:
- Genomic non-integration: Adeno-associated viruses, like lentiviruses, can infect both dividing and non-dividing cells, but the adeno-associated virus genome carrying the gene of interest enters the host cell and is not inserted into the genome of the host cell and is stably present in the host cell (some types of wild-type adeno-associated virus genomes are inserted into the host genome) in the form of free DNA, and synthesize normal proteins for a long time to achieve treatment of the disease. Due to the "non-integration of the genome", the adeno-associated virus vector does not cause insertional mutations in the host cell genome, thereby improving the safety of gene therapy.
- Tissue targeting: at present, scientists have discovered more than a dozen of adeno-associated virus subtypes. Different subtypes have different affinities for different tissue cells, thus partially solving the problem of viral vector tissue cell targeting. For example, the most commonly used serum type 2 adeno-associated virus (AAV2) has high affinity for skeletal muscle cells, neurons, smooth muscle cells, and hepatocytes.
In addition to the common problems of viral vector virus toxicity, immunogenicity, and expression level of the target gene, the adeno-associated virus also has problems such as small target gene fragments and easy dilution of the target gene.
The portable gene fragment of interest is small: the capacity of the retrovirus carrying the gene of interest is usually around 8 Kb, while the adeno-associated virus is only 4.5 Kb.
The target gene is easily diluted: the adeno-associated virus genome is present in the host cell as free DNA and is not inserted into the host genome. Therefore, when the host cell undergoes division and proliferation, the "compensation gene" introduced by the viral vector does not follow the DNA replication of host. When the host cell divides into two daughter cells, the number of genes of interest is also diluted and eventually lost. Therefore, the adeno-associated virus has an obvious advantage in infecting long-term non-dividing cells or cells with fewer divisions.
- Non-viral vector: another way for genetic modification
In any case, the virus vector will have potential risks. Therefore, in recent years, scientists have tried to use the non-viral vector to transport the target gene to the patient's cells, which can be roughly divided into physical methods and chemical methods. Wherein, the physical methods are represented by microinjection, gene gun, electrical transduction, etc., and chemical methods are represented by liposome methods, nanoparticles, and the like.
Compared with viral vectors, non-viral vectors have the advantage of low cytotoxicity and weak immunogenicity; at the same time, the production process of non-viral vectors is more standardized than viral vectors, so mass production is much easier. However, the major drawback of non-viral vectors is the low transfection efficiency, which is to say, it is still difficult to use the non-viral vector to introduce the target gene into the cell to be as efficient as the viral vector, and unlike the viral vector, the applicable cell type is limited. At present, the non-viral vector technology is still being optimized. After the technology is further matured, its application range is expected to be expanded.
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Electricity is one of the most important resources for homes. It makes rooms bright, enables people to eat a warm meal, keeps them warm (and cold also) and allows people to access their entertainment. Overall it is fair to conclude that life without electricity will become really difficult.
Electricity is the most significant blessings that science has given to mankind. Meanwhile, it is also important to understand that it could be harmful handled inappropriately. In fact, studies show that most of the residential electrical accidents occur due to the ignorance of basic electrical knowledge and carelessness while handling different electrical devices and systems.
Continue reading to know about some of the most effective electrical safety tips that you should follow to reduce the chance of residential electrical accidents.
#1 Don’t Mix Water and Electricity
Water is known as an excellent conductor of electricity. You will easily become the path of electricity if you touch water that touches electricity. In that case, you will become electricity’s path to the ground.
Individuals are also recommended to keep all of their electrical appliances away from water. Meanwhile, they also need to ensure that their hands are dry when using appliances. It will help you to prevent electrical accidents.
#2 Don’t Overload Outlets
If you plug in too many devices into one outlet, it might cause overloading and end up in an electrical accident. It is important to understand that every outlet is designed to manage a certain amount of current. However, many people often use extension cords to pull maximum power from one outlet. In this way, they manage to use several electrical items at the same time from one single outlet.
If the outlet gets overloaded, it will cause several problems with the breaker box. In extreme cases, it might also spark and start a fire. So finally it is fair to conclude that if you end up overloading outlets, then it might set your house on fire. So avoid doing this and stay safe.
#3 Use Fire Extinguishers
People mainly use water to put the fire off. But when it comes to electric fire, individuals are always recommended to use water for putting it off because it conducts electricity. Due to this reason, individuals are always recommended to use a fire-retardant chemical fire extinguisher to put off the electric fire. So get yourself a fire extinguisher first and use it in your hour of need.
These are the tips that individuals need to follow to avoid electrical accidents. Many people also try to fix electrical problems on their own. If you try to do something like this without any proper knowledge, it might also cause you an accident.
Due to this reason, individuals are always recommended to hire a professional Point Cook electrician as well as from the other areas according to their preference. Professional electricians help their clients to fix all of their electrical issues and also protect them and their family from different types of potential electrical problems.
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Installing solar panels is going to lower your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint, but this renovation can be a major investment. That is why you should spend some time researching all of your options before you sign any paperwork or begin the installation process.
Look at Incentives
Many homeowners don’t realize that this upgrade could have a huge impact on their taxes. With the federal solar tax credit, you can deduct 30 percent of the installation costs from your federal taxes. Depending on where you live, your state or county might offer a tax credit or incentive package as well. You can also contact your electric company to see if they have an energy buyback plan for customers who have solar panels.
Don’t Go Straight to the Cheapest Contractor
It might be tempting to go with the cheapest solar contractor you can find, but that could end up costing you quite a bit of money in the long run. Solar power installation is a very complicated process, and you want to be absolutely sure that the job gets done correctly. Improperly installed solar panels could lead to severe structural damage during a storm, and your insurance might not cover that damage. Working with a reputable and experienced solar contractor is going to give you peace of mind in the coming years.
Consider Your Financing Options
There are many different ways to pay for new solar panels. Some solar power companies have financing packages, but you probably won’t own your solar panels for 15 or 20 years if you choose that option. You can also head to a specialty lender who offers custom solar power loans. With that financing option, you will be the sole owner of your solar power system. Depending on how long you have owned your home, taking out a home equity loan might be a good choice as well.
The efficiency of your solar power system is going to depend on a wide variety of factors, and that is why you should schedule multiple consultations with different companies. During those consultations, the contractors are going to figure out where the solar panels should be placed and how many panels you need. They can also look at your energy bills and tell you exactly how much money you are going to save every month.
In addition to these four tips, you should also make sure that electricity isn’t being wasted inside your home. Old light bulbs and damaged appliances are incredibly inefficient, and your solar panels won’t save you as much money if you don’t address those issues first.
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Renewable energy companies have been in a tough situation for more than twenty years (since the beginning of renewables' sector). Two fires, two enemies to fight, the first is the entire fossil fuels' sector, the second is the internal competition in its own sector. The first is a strong, old and rich institution, with thousands of billion of dollars and has exponents like Shell, BP, Total, Exxon and Chevron. The second is also strong and in a long-term can monopolize the entire energy market, it's the internal competition in renewable energy sector, where companies double their profits in less than a year (like First Solar or SunPower) and hydroelectric sector growth rises every year of 3.1%.
The slow but inevitable ascent of renewables in the energy market can't be stopped although it can be delayed and this delay can represent a high environmental price and the Earth (and also us) will pay it. We're talking about the deadly consequences of climate change, triggered by an abudance of fossil fuels usage. It's vital, for our lives and for our environment, that fossil fuels leave the market in the fastest way as possible and to do that alternatives are required, strong alternatives. To improve and strengthen remewable energy market one of the two enemies must be fought: fossil fuels (already happening) and internal competition. How can renewable energy companies overpass this obstacle and become a strong, united market? Joint ventures.
Someone already thought about that, like Solar Power Inc. The company, which 71% is owned by China's LDK Solar Co., has formed a partnership with Wircon GmbH to build projects in the U.K. The joint venture intends to own and sell the projects it develops in the U.K., Roseville, California-based Solar Power said today in a statement. The company initially intends to build about 55 megawatts of capacity. This will go to reach U.K. goal of the 30% of the country's power from renewable sources by 2020. In Japan the lack of land territory brought Kyocera Corp. and Century Tokyo Leasing Corp. to build two solar power stations designed to float on the surface of reservoirs.
I've mentioned it already before but it's here again: DESERTEC project, building renewable power plants in territories with an abundance of solar and wind energy and connecting three continents with energy infrastructures. The consortium which administrates the project is one of the biggest companies union in the world. The Dii GmbH is composed by E.ON, ABB, Siemens, Enel Green Power, Terna, State Grid Croporation of China, Deutsche Bank, Flagsol, Abengoa Solar, Schott Solar and RWE. This consortium administrates more than $500 billion and operates in three continents.
Another consortium focused on energy infrastructures is Medgrid (focused more on Middle East) and formed by Abengoa, GDF Suez, EDF and other companies. Between the many examples of joint ventures in the world there's the cooperation between First Solar and BELECTRIC for the construction of PV power plants or 3SUN, the biggest solar power joint venture in Europe including Enel Green Power, Sharp and STMicroelectronics.
Joint ventures help new companies to invest in foreign countries and strengthen relationships between companies increasing the profits and the total capacity of renewable energy power plants all over the world. But if we want to accelerate the process the number of joint ventures and consortia have to double. The final target? A global renewble energy network, connecting all the companies of the sector. In fact, a renewable energy OPEC doesn't exist, it must be created. In a world where everything is connected it's unthinkable that renewable energy companies are isolated and under the pressure of fossil fuels companies. Like oil is transported from Middle East to the U.S. so renewable energy must be an international fuel to power a clean and green future.
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Todays' consumers champion business owners with environmentally-friendly practices. Business owners that haven't made an effort to manage their environmental impact stand to lose customers, fail to meet federal requirements and lose money. Considering making the move to become more eco-minded? Read on for four ways to do just that.
Going Green Improves Sales
With over $40 billion spent annually on green products, businesses that aren't cashing in on being environmentally-friendly are missing out. As consumers are looking to lead healthier lives and purchase more sustainable products, they're searching for the best companies to shop with. By investing in more sustainable products and practices, businesses' bottom lines will benefit as their sales continue to climb.
Eco-Friendly Practices Meet Federal Requirements
Consumers aren't the only ones choosing to put the environment first. In the next few years, more federal requirements will demand business owners to comply with laws that protect the environment. By revamping their businesses now to reduce their impact on the environment in the future, business owners will already be ahead of the game when it comes time for the government to enact these new rules.
For a full understanding of how to meet these regulations, businesses can work with consultation companies that perform Phoenix, AZ ESA inspections. These companies assess a business' ability to meet environmental regulatory compliance. With these services, businesses that are committed to reducing their impact on the environment will be able to better gauge how to do exactly that.
Improved Recycling Efforts Save Money
Businesses that haven't made the effort to promote recycling should start to do so now. Recycling office materials like paper, plastic bags and bottles, office supplies, printer cartridges, and more will help to eliminate their carbon footprint and overall impact on the environment. As they make more of a dedicated effort to recycle, these businesses can take things a step further by going paperless altogether. As most larger companies spend $120 billion annually on printed forms, cutting out the use of paper can have a huge financial impact. Small businesses stand to save money as well by going paperless, discouraging printing, reusing paper, using paperless marketing, and storing all data online.
Sustainable Practices Will Attract a New Demographic
Brands that aren't sustainability-minded often don't realize that choosing to be eco-friendly will make them more attractive to a new demographic: shoppers that only support green companies. Businesses looking to expand their consumer base can do just that by prioritizing sustainable practices. By committing to being eco-friendly, companies will be able to win the support of passionate shoppers that value sustainable products.
Sustainability has a greater effect than most business owners realize. By choosing to better their impact on the environment, business owners help to improve the world at large, better their business practices, comply with federal regulations, and appeal to new customers as well.
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It is time for humanity to bid farewell to one of its oldest friends -- petroleum based energy. Surely, it has served us well over the course of centuries, but it has become too great a source of political turmoil and adverse environmental effects. It is high-time that humanity found a suitable alternative.
But of course it’s all easier said than done -- the break-up is going to be anything but pretty. Oil has been used by humans since ancient times, with one of the earliest documented references to it made by ancient Greek historian Herodotus. In the olden days, oil was primarily used in medications. In the area that is now Western Pennsylvania, for instance, Seneca Indians collected oil from natural springs and used it in many medicines. The first oil well was drilled in that region by Edwin Drake in 1859, was 69 feet deep and produced 15 barrels a day. The area quickly boomed and the modern oil industry was born. Later, Texas and Oklahoma became the centers of US oil production, and then following World War II, the Middle East became a major oil supplier for the US. In Texas today, there are also concerns about deregulation, and of course petroleum remains the backbone of the economy and main source of energy in Humble, Texas and other oil towns, but thinking long-term, getting away from oil is a major concern.
In the 18th Century, oil became commonly used as a fuel was for various lighting apparatuses, thus replacing the animal, vegetable and coal oils that had been used previously. It also came to be used in furnaces. Its biggest use, however, came with the development of the automobile in 1886. Today, almost all forms of locomotion -- cars, trucks, buses, trains, ships and airplanes -- are fueled by oil, diesel or gasoline. Fuel oil has also been burned to produce electricity, although coal was traditionally used for this purpose.
Traditionally helpful, oil is now more of a hinderance than anything else, considering its devastating ecological and political consequences. Humanity has developed a dangerous dependency on oil and other fossil fuels. In order to keep thriving as a society humanity needs to consider alternative fuels that are renewable, and thus, more sustainable. Researchers and scientists are actively pursuing several alternatives, with front-runners including: hydropower, solar power, and geothermal power.
Hydropower uses water to generate electricity. Water is the most common renewable source of energy in the United States today. The kinetic energy of falling or running water can be used to generate power via turbines, which rotate axles when water rotates the blades or propellers of a turbine. The axle has a coil which is placed between the magnets. The coil and magnets work together using electromagnetic induction to convert the kinetic energy of flowing water into electrical energy.
It is a fascinating process which has been around far longer than the modern applications of oil. In early Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt, water power was used in irrigation, starting in the 4th millenium BC. Water clocks had been in use since the early 2nd millenium BC. Despite the amazing benefits of hydropower, it fell out of favor during the late 20th century due to the disruptive ecological and social effects of large amounts of water control. Hydropower is enjoying a slight comeback in 2013 as international institutions try to find solutions to economic development that avoid emitting substantial quantities of carbon to the atmosphere.
Solar power harnesses sunlight and converts it into electrical power. There are a couple of ways that this can be accomplished. Energy from sunlight can either be converted into electricity directly using photovoltaics, or indirectly using concentrated solar power. Concentrated solar power systems use lenses and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. Photovoltaics convert light into electric current using the photoelectric effect. Both have been used in large commercial solar power plants since the 1980s. With solar power becoming more and more ubiquitous, it is clear that this form of renewable energy is quickly becoming one of the most viable alternatives.
Geothermal energy is another resource which humanity has been utilizing for much longer than oil. During Paleolithic times, the hot springs were used for bathing, and in ancient Rome it was used for space heating. Today it is better put to use for electricity generation. Among the many renewable power options out there geothermal power is one of the most cost effective, environmentally friendly, and reliable. Its major drawback is its limitation in terms of location. Historically it has been limited to areas near tectonic plate boundaries. Recent technology has been able to expand the range of use somewhat. Forecasts for the future of geothermal power depend on assumptions about technology, energy prices, subsidies, and interest rates.
Alternative and renewable energy sources offer a means of producing energy that reduce the amount of pollution that is typically a by-product of more conventional energy sources. Renewable and alternative energy sources promise to be a low cost, effective and safe way to power the industrial and residential needs of the modern world. And we must always bear in mind that there are several variables to consider; with each region of the world possessing different resource advantages and greater or lesser access to the materials needed to make use of these sources of power, the best source of alternative energy needs to be considered on a case-by-case basis. With new advances and breakthroughs into renewable technology, the opportunities to make use of it are only increasing. Renewable energy is playing an increasingly important role in our lives, the future promises to be one that will see even greater use of these power sources.
Your home’s features and condition play a major role on the impact you make on the planet. Many people assume that they need to make huge, expensive home improvements to create a green living environment. While installing solar panels and a rainwater collection and purification system are some of the many expensive projects that you could invest in, proper home maintenance can have a beneficial impact as well. These are some of the maintenance tasks to complete regularly to create a greener home environment.
Schedule HVAC Service Regularly
Living without an HVAC service would be miserable for most people. While this system understandably uses a significant amount of energy, it may currently be using more than it needs to. For example, when the system is dirty or developing signs of damage, the equipment may run more frequently or for longer periods of time than it otherwise would. This directly wastes energy and creates pollution in the process. When you schedule regular HVAC maintenance service, the components will be clean so that the system can work efficiently. In addition, developing repair issues can be identified and addressed quickly before they become major issues.
Maintain Your Plumbing Features
Fresh water is in short supply, so water conservation is a primary concern. In some homes, hidden water leaks waste tons of water before they are identified and repaired. In other homes, a huge leak spews hundreds of gallons of water or more into the home in a very short period of time. While not all leaks can be prevented, you can take steps to prevent some of these issues. For example, you can reduce your water pressure to minimize strain on the pipes. You can also invest in a water softener and reinforce pipe joints.
Re-Seal Doors and Windows Periodically
Energy loss also occurs through damaged window and door seals. These seals tend to deteriorate rapidly, and they may need to be replaced at least once per year. By doing so, you can keep climate-controlled air in the home and help your HVAC system to work more efficiently. You may also consider installing solar film over your windows for additional benefit.
Each of these maintenance tasks should be included in your regular home care schedule. However, it is easy to overlook or delay working on them. Now that you know that they affect your property’s condition as well as your impact on the environment, you can see that these tasks deserve your regular attention.
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Under en presskonferens på Gotland meddelande klimat- och miljöminister Åsa Romson att Ojnare blir ett naturskyddsområde – vilket troligtvis sätter stopp för den planerade stenbrytningen i området.
Klimat- och miljöminister Åsa Romson meddelade i förmiddags att regeringen kommer att utnämna området kring Bästeträsk till ett Natura-2000 område. Beslutet betyder att det blir näst intill omöjligt för bolagen Nordkalk och SMA Mineral att få tillstånd till storskalig stenbrytning i området då de i sådana fall måste förhålla sig till betydligt tuffare lagar.
– Området kring Bästeträsk är ett världsunikt och omistligt naturområde. Dagens beslut visar att regeringen tar skyddet av Sveriges natur på stort allvar, säger Åsa Romson i ett pressmeddelande.
Beslutet är början på slutet för den långvariga och segslitna domstolsprocess kring Ojnareskogen som har pågått i tio år och ställt miljöintressen – främst en oro över stenbrytningens påverkan på Gotlands grundvatten – mot nya industrijobb.
Världsnaturfonden WWF, som tillsammans med andra miljöorganisationer har arbetat länge för att stoppa planerna på kalkstensbrytning i Ojnare, välkomnar regeringens beslut.
– För WWF är det självklart att detta unika område ska skyddas både för sin unika natur och dess betydelse för vattenförsörjning för både människor, djur och natur. Vi hoppas nu att Naturvårdsverket och Länsstyrelsen går vidare och gör nationalpark av området som planerat, säger Håkan Wirtén, generalsekreterare på WWF.
Men på Nordkalk och SMA Mineral är man idag besvikna på regeringens beslut.
– Jobben, det gotländska samhället och nordisk industri kommer också konkret att lida av detta beslut, säger Nordkalks VD Jarkko Kaplin i ett pressmeddelande.
– Jag känner djupt för de medarbetare och entreprenörer som vi tvingats varsla. Jobb växer ju inte på träd på Gotland som alla vet, säger Daniel Juvél, vd för SMA Mineral, i en kommentar till SVT Nyheter.
Regeringen meddelade samtidigt att ett näringslivspaket för Gotland om 100 miljoner kronor ska tas fram i samråd med regionen, näringslivet och facket.
– Regeringen anser att det är viktigt att Gotland fortsatt har en livskraftig industri och näringsliv. Därför kommer vi tillsammans med regionen att ta fram ett näringslivspaket som särskilt fokuserar på framtida industriell utveckling, säger Åsa Romson.
Förslag på nya Natura 2000-områden:
Regeringen föreslår följande nya områden på Gotland att ingå i Natura 2000-nätverket: Bruten, Stenstugu skog, Jusarve skog, Hajdhagen, Sajgs, Sigfride, Suderbys hällar, Kyllahajdar, Ormhällar-Bromyr, Pärkhagen, Stora Vikers, Stadshagen, Slättflis, Törrvesklint och Jungfrun.
Områden som föreslås utökas: Bungenäs, Asunden, Herrgårdsklint, Fide prästänge, Hässle klint, Bojsvätar, Storsund, Uppstaig, Danbo och Bästeträsk (inklusive området vid Ojnare).
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My family and I recently moved from Darwin to Caulfield, a Melbourne suburb in Victoria. I wanted to be close to my job, I work as an acupuncturist in one Melbourne clinic; and my wife and I were beginning a new phase of our lives with the birth of our third child. Of course the question of what to use for energy source came up during the planning stages.
We wanted to minimise the cost of heating for our home. With energy rates going up, standard baseboard heating for the cold and wet winters in Caulfield would leave a dent in our ability to support the growing family. We also didn't want to depend on carbon-spewing brown coal that the majority of Victoria households use.
So my wife and I did a little bit of research and consulted our builders. With their help, we came to our final decision, that the best option for our home would be geothermal heating. Our builders told us that Victoria has a rich source of from several natural underground geothermal bores and other artificial ones. Some have been used to power towns, but direct heating to homes is also available from several companies that are developing Sedimentary Geothermal Systems (from existing reservoirs) and Engineered Geothermal Systems (artificially created reservoirs).
The System Installation
Once we'd decided we were going with geothermal water for heating, the construction guys helped us with getting the permits. If you're a landholder, you will need to obtain an Exploration Permit from the authorities if you want to extract geothermal energy from land that belongs to the Crown. The company that installs your system should also have an Extraction License.
Our builders were a great help throughout the process. They also got us in touch with a company that had already installed 20 such geothermal units in Victoria in the last 10 years and were licensed to use the technology.
Next, the building process had already begun and it was time for the pipelines to be laid. Our land had the perfect layout to let us easily bury the plastic tubing about 1.8 meters to 2.4 meters into the ground. Ours is a typical horizontal system. But you can also install a vertical system, in which the pipes are laid through holes that are about 40 meters to 60 meters deep. A mixture of antifreeze and water is circulated through the system and the home is heated. The building company helped us through each step of the way, explaining our options and being completely transparent all throughout. (Thanks guys!)
While the initial cost is a little hefty, at around $20,000, I believe the operational costs more than make up for it. We've been using ours for a while and each month I pay only $200 towards energy costs monthly. That is at least half of any other major household energy source. The initial capital will certainly pay back down the line in 10 or 20 years when energy becomes more expensive.
The Advantages of Geothermal Heating
The direct heat obtained from geothermal energy can be used for heating water, forced air conditioning and for hydronic slab heating, among other things. The technology uses the fact that the hot water in underground reservoirs remains within a constant range of temperatures. Heat is transferred from these reservoirs to the house with a very high efficiency.
We've been using our two 14 kW heat pumps for a while now with their two fan coil units. They heat water to about 40 degrees C for our domestic hot water and the floor heating. Inside our home the temperature is a comfortable 22 to 24 degrees C, but we can change cooling or heating requirements.
Our heating providers worked with the builders and gave us a choice between indoor and outdoor units. We chose an indoor one, as no ventilation is required. The system is very safe to use and incredibly quiet as well, so I'm immensely pleased with it. It remains to be seen if it is the same a few years down the line!
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Our members regularly publish good and interesting blog posts here in our community. And we often feature some of the best posts. Featured blog posts gets highly visible on both the Green Blog frontpage and the Community Blogs page, as well as next to all our regular environment news. Simply put: if your blog post gets featured it will be seen by a lot of people.
We tend to feature posts that are topical, interesting and thought-provoking. Here are some friendly tips on how you can make your post even better, and more likely to get featured:
We cannot stress this enough. References are important! Add links to news sites, Wikipedia entries, blog posts, etc., that supports the claims you make in your blog post.
Everyone likes photos! So add an Entry image on your next blog post. You can also upload and add individual images as well as photo albums to your blog post using our Green Blog Gallery.
Label you post with a category and tags, tags, and more tags! Different categories for your posts are also useful. While you can use several tags that are relevant to your blog post's content, we recommend you to only use one category per post.
Good luck and maybe we'll feature your blog post next time! :)
Maintaining a house is a great responsibility, and that list of chores only builds up when you have a garden to take care of as well. However, like with anything else, you only need some practice until you create a routine that can fit into your regular daily schedule. In order to help you get this done faster and more efficiently, I created the next five steps which I’m sure you’ll find helpful.
Regular Mowing Is a Must
If you want to get anything done, you need to have a clean slate. This is why you need to start with cleaning your lawn thoroughly, especially if it has been covered with snow until recently. After you get rid of all that clutter, it’s mowing time! If you want your grass consistency to be tick and healthy, you should set your blade on 2 cm, and maintain that height for a while. Afterwards, you may lower it down a bit if you want to deal with mowing less often, but you should leave it at 2 cm at least for a month. When you’re done with mowing, you’ll want to apply a layer of moss and some weed killer.
Don’t Forget about Constant Watering
If you don’t pay attention to watering, all previous efforts will be in vain. There’s another shortcut here – if you want your chores regarding gardening to be minimized, and you still want to create a peaceful environment that you can relax in, you should water your lawn once per week, but water it deep. By investing some additional time into making small holes that are only a couple of inches deep, you’ll enable your grass to breathe properly, and your watering treatment will definitely be more efficient.
Deal with Pests on Time
The minute you start noticing holes in your yard or if your plants get damaged with no reason whatsoever, you obviously have a pest problem. Now, it’s quite important to deal with them as soon as possible – right after you determine which unwanted species is invading your home. If you don’t, you’ll just give them more time to multiply and develop, which will directly affect your overall billing to increase. So, don’t waste any time and call an experienced professional to deal with your problem.
Flowerbeds or Garden Pots?
This is the next dilemma that needs to be solved. Flowerbeds are recommended for larger gardens, because then you can fit your outdoors furniture and other garden items as well. However, if you only frame your garden with flowerbeds or make neat lines on the surface, it’ll work for a smaller garden. On the other hand, remodeling your garden afterwards may take too much time, which is exactly why I prefer pots. It may take some time to transfer from flowerbeds to pots, but I’m sure you’ll find it more practical, no matter if you plan on using your garden for vegetables or flowers only. There’s an appropriate size of outdoor planters for any type of plant you might have in mind, so you don’t have to worry about that.
Enjoy Your Summer Hideout!
The only thing left is to pick out your outdoors furniture set. The size of your garden is the most important factor here, obviously. If you’re dealing with a smaller one, you should definitely go with a set that’s lighter, and that’s simple to storage. Besides, it doesn’t have to be a set at all – make things interesting and pick out different pieces in order to create a set of your own! When it comes to large gardens, the only thing to worry about is your budget, perhaps. You should also consider building a summer house, or some kind of storing facility, where you can place all your gardening tools.
Although it might seem like it, this won’t take too much of your time after you’re done with heavy work. One last piece of advice – make some plans and sketches before you start rearranging your garden, so you know exactly what you’re doing. I’m sure it will look amazing!
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If you have recently decided to install solar panels, then you need to start thinking about some ways that you can make the most out of that technology. Even though modern solar panels require very little maintenance, quite a bit can be done to improve their efficiency and prevent unnecessary damage. Here is a look at a few tips and tricks that will take your solar energy system to the next level.
Feed Less Energy Back Into the Grid
Using the energy as it is being produced is going to reduce waste and lower your overall bills. That is why many experts suggest using high-consumption devices during the middle of the day. That includes your dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer. You should also consider upgrading to an electric water heater to further improve the efficiency of your home and reduce your monthly expenses.
Install a Backup Battery
In addition to being more affordable than ever, residential lithium batteries are also exceedingly efficient. With a high-quality battery system, you might be able to use almost 100 percent of the energy that your solar panels produce. If your local power company increases the cost of electricity during certain hours of the day, then you can simply switch over to the battery during those hours and save some money. Installing a backup battery is a relatively simple project, and an experienced contractor should be able to finish the job in a single day.
Maintain the Panels Themselves
As a general rule, you should carefully inspect all of your solar panels at least two or three times a week. You want to be absolutely sure that the panels aren’t caked in mud, covered in leaves, or under thick branches. Depending on where you live, you might need to clean the panels once or twice a month as well. Most dirty panels can easily be cleaned with a hose, but you might need to use a sponge and some warm water with a little bit of soap in it if there is quite a bit of grime.
Upgrade Your Roof
Before your panels are installed, you should consider contacting a company such as Landmark Roofing to upgrade your roof. A roofing company can replace your old tiles with metal sheets and improve the angle of the roof itself. In most locations, solar panels work best when the roof is between 30 and 45 degrees. Panels that are perfectly flat will be exposed to sunlight for longer stretches of time, but the energy production is going to be much lower.
Once your panels have been installed, you need to keep a close eye on your energy consumption each and every day. Sudden changes to your input or output could be the result of a serious issue that needs to be addressed.
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Who would have thought that from the simplest and the most basic things would pave the way to the introduction of much more comprehensive and convenient concepts of machines and equipment that most often than not, help people in accommodating their day-to-day routines ensuring the best outputs later on?
Construction, with the advancement of technology, has incredibly experienced staggering developments aiming to improve quality of lives.
Starting from the drawing up of blueprints up to acquiring environmentally and healthy designs of infrastructures, it has now been touched by technology and innovation.
If one would care to look deeper into this, they’ would be surely introduced to the concept of LEED certification.
The LEED Certification Concept
LEED, which basically stands for Leadership Energy and Environment Design, is a certification program for third-party clients. This initiative has started in the year 2000 by the US Green Building Council or USGCB aiming to offer standards and concepts for designs, operations and the overall construction of high performance buildings tailored to the specifics of the environment.
The LEED encompasses a whole lot more objectives as opposed to what it may seem since it does not only focus on ensuring that buildings are designed with compatibility to the health of the environment but also for business and company owners to have an infrastructure that is profitable.
Ask why profitability? Well, that is simply because acquiring the LEED certification would allow one to have the means and the knowledge to practically and successfully cut down the operational costs from the ever increasing bills for electric and water consumption.
Yes, as you have realized by now, any kind of infrastructure is often packaged with all sorts of machines that consume a lot more energy and water than you can imagine. This then equates to overwhelming energy and water bills that cut a huge chunk from the company’s earnings.
With the great performance of buildings that have acquired this certification, LEEDhas been awarded with points thus acknowledging its edge for sustainability and energy efficiency. Going Green with LEED and Its Notable Advantages
At the surface, one could simply read that acquiring certification would help in cost cutting of utility bills. However, looking closer into it would surface more convenience and advantage than just simply lowering your operational costs.
With such certification, one could simply achieve and experience the following benefits:
- Ensured cooled and heated infrastructures as needed with minimal energy usage
- Tested to minimized duct-work and envelope leakage
- Minimized indoor and outdoor water usage
- Predicted to only utilize approximately 30% to 60% less energy compared to other established buildings without the LEED Certification.
- Recycling materials that can be used for building constructions
- Supplying power and energy via renewable and unharmful methods
- Reduced and minimized environmental impacts during construction as well as maintenance as with this certification emission of greenhouse gases and other substances and elements that often occur with just the traditional design of buildings
The LEED Tiers
Since we have already tackled about the basics of LEED, let us get to more detailed and important elements about it such as the Tiers. There are 4 known tiers of the certification. This tiers indicate the increasing sustainability of building practices among clients.
The first tier is the Certified equating to 40 to 49 points, the Silver for 50 to 59 points, the Gold for 60 to 79 points and the platinum, which pertains to 80 points and above.
While it is true that the higher levels of LEED can be quite challenging to achieve, there are still efforts that one could do to achieve it. After all, nobody knew before that we could have things we have right now, right?
Achieving higher levels would surely provide one with much overwhelming benefits, which they could later on take advantage.
An example of which is a high LEED certification level making a great selling point that are often used by corporations to court environmentally aware and conscious consumers as well as investors toward their business.
Aside from this, it has also been noted that there are respective incentives in the form of local and federal tax benefits or other subsidies that are made available for high level certified LEED infrastructures. Some Well Known Buildings with LEED Certification
To give you more facts about the incredibility of this program, let us make a quick list of some of the known buildings that are certified with LEED. One of the latest most buzzing names when it comes to this is the Serbian IT park. Its known as the first infrastructure which is certified with LEED in the region.
This has greatly affected their operations making the management more productive while having the means to save money and to have a healthy and comfortable workplace for the whole team.
Another LEED certified building is the Hearst Tower in New York City. With its continued efforts to live green, this building has now gained Gold level with over 90% of its steel used for structure that came from recycled durable materials.
David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh is known, on the other hand, as a gold and platinum level holder being the first convention center in the globe to acquire the LEED.
The Connecticut avenue building in Washington D.C. also has a LEED platinum status and is known as the first redeveloped office building on the US East Coast to acquire the LEED certification.
University of Texas at Dallas, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens as well as the Yale University are proud infrastructures having the LEED certification, which they acquired through thick and strict efforts to go green and live a practical and energy-efficient office lifestyle.
Be among them now and start making a lot of profits than you can imagine without posing harm to the environment. LEED Certification would also enable you to provide the best working environment to your clients, partners as well as business investors pushing them to be more productive.
Invest in this venture now and harvest the fruitful and unimaginable benefits it could provide, not just to you but to the people and the community surrounding you as well.
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- Ensured cooled and heated infrastructures as needed with minimal energy usage
Fox facts ! Learn about our flame haired friends. Foxes are a common site in the British countryside and gardens this is a fantastic infographic that helps educate us about these amazing animals. Also touches on the fact they are used across culture. Thanks DrVegas who have a fantastic fox based game 'Foxin Wins!'.
Amazon is one of the largest online retailers in the world. With an estimated net worth of nearly $20 billion dollars, this massive portal has changed the ways in which online shopping occurs. It is therefore understandable that the recent announcement of Amazon entering into the Australian marketplace and the intention to use Melbourne as their base for operations has turned quite a few heads. Why is this movement so important and what could it potentially mean for the average Melbourne business? Let's take a closer look at the answers to both of these questions, as the face of the retail industry could be forever transformed.
The Potential Winners
The answer to the first question, primarily depends upon the type of business. For example, it is predicted that online sellers within Melbourne will reap the greatest number of benefits. As they will soon be presented with an entirely new venue to digitally promote their items, their overall ROI should dramatically increase.
This same observation can be made for international sellers who have been looking to tap into the lucrative Australian marketplace. As they can ship their products directly to the consumer, these sellers will likely enjoy a greater amount of business. However, we should keep in mind that this relationship will partially depend upon the strength of the Australian dollar in relation with other major currencies such as the pound and the euro.
The Possible Losers
The bad news is that traditional retailers might not fare so well. When Amazon does indeed enter into the Australian marketplace, consumers may opt for cheaper goods from international sources as opposed to purchasing similar items from a local business. This is particularly the case in terms of Melbourne-based electronics firms, as Amazon has always had a strong market share within this industry. The only possible trade-off is that those businesses which are able to translate their operations into the e-commerce sector will likely enjoy success over time. Still, these predictions have yet to materialise.
The Employment Sector
Many are rightfully concerned as to whether the introduction of Amazon will bolster or deflate the job market. Robert Bruce, Amazon’s director of operations for Australia attempts to alleviate concerns stating “Over time, we will bring thousands of new jobs to Australia and millions of dollars of investment as well as opening up the opportunity for thousands of Australian businesses to sell at home and abroad through Amazon Marketplace.”
Those businesses within Melbourne (and throughout the entire country) which are able to adapt to the online retail community could very well see their businesses expand at a rapid pace.
Thanks to the new warehouse to be located in Dandenong East, local trades such as sales, customer service, HR, Operations Managers and warehouse operatives will all be in high demand.
However, the verdict is still out as to whether traditional retail businesses will be forced to downsize.
The Real Estate Impact
We should also expect to see some changes within the real estate market. As The Financial Review highlights, dropping brick-and-mortar sales may impact the number of commercial leases being renewed throughout Melbourne. However, there is a potential bright side as well. Businesses centred around the field of e-commerce could very well experience increased sales. Thus, they might require more office space to store and ship goods to the end user. This will particularly impact the Melbourne metropolitan area thanks to the looming presence of a truly gargantuan Amazon warehouse.
The entrance of this giant online retailer into the Australian marketplace will certainly shake things up a bit. However, few analysts are surprised at such a move and it only makes sense in a world increasingly defined by digital purchases. The main question is how Melbourne businesses will adapt to this shift and if they will be able to capitalise upon such a profound move into the future.
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In 2018, the cost of work-related illness and injuries reached around $70 billion, according to the Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index. Workplace injuries can cost businesses more than $15 billion a year, and considering that the employers are the ones that pay all these expenses, appropriate workplace safety measures are necessary.
The Health and Safety Regulations require all companies to have an effective health and safety program that prevents and minimises injuries and illness in the workplace. As a business manager or owner, it’s your role to maintain and even improve your employees’ health and safety. Depending on the hazards your company exposes your employees to, and on the size of the space, the content of the health and safety program can vary. While a small business can list its safety and health policy in a couple of pages, a large enterprise would need numerous chapters to inform its workers on the rules and regulations they have to follow.
The following guidelines are created to help you improve your health and safety program.
Inspect the workplace
If your employees work with tools and equipment, you should hire a professional to check them periodically. It’s crucial all of them to be well maintained for your workers to operate their job safe. All storage areas should be inspected regularly to ensure that they are organised according to an established policy. Teach people how to stack the boxes safely, and verify if they respect your instructions. By training your employees on how to lift heavy loads, you help them prevent injuries. All fire exits should be clearly marked so the workers have no issues in finding them.
Use labels and signs to communicate information because they are simple and effective means to help people to avoid hazard and understand safety procedures. They can work as reminders and warnings at the workplace.
It’s important for the workplace to be clean to avoid accidents. A messy space is difficult to clean but it’s perfect for potential dangers to hide. Check the workspace to ensure that is always organised, clean and there are no tangled cords.
Educate your employees
Training is essential to minimise workplace injury risk. When you hire new employees, it’s important to provide training to teach them the rules they have to respect when completing certain tasks. You should also provide written instructions they can check when they have questions related to certain operations. It’s advisable to collaborate with a company specialised in creating workplace safety programs because they have experience in providing training to workers from different industries.
Once training is complete, you should supervise the workers to make sure they are following the instructions properly when they perform work-related tasks. Keep in mind that it’s necessary to facilitate correct training for your workers, to keep them safe and to protect your business from liability accusations.
Depending on the nature of operations your employees have to complete, you may have to offer them protective equipment. Make sure you are investing in safety clothing like footwear, gloves, hats and goggles. Take the necessary steps to check if the protection gear properly fits the workers.
Verify the floors and staircases state
Floor debris is the main cause of workplace falls, so you should regularly check if the floors are clean. When working with fluids or other substances that can leak on the floor, it’s important to have a team specialised in effectively removing them to prevent accidents. Sometimes, a small spot of oil can lead to slips that cause fractures and become a potential non-conformance problem. A solution is to cover the floor with an absorbent, it will remove the leaks effectively and it will keep your workers safe.
Sometimes the staircases can become a resting place for goods and packages, but if this is the case, they can pose a danger to employees’ safety. You should work with your team to find a solution to store all the supplies and boxes in the warehouse, and to keep the staircases clean and tidy. A box can easily become a tripping hazard when placed close to an entrance or on stairs. In addition, all workspaces should feature properly lighten stairs and signage to prevent accidents. Your building should also have outdoor stairwells to ensure quick exit in case of fire.
Organise regular meetings
Meet periodically with your team and analyse the health and safety program upgrades. Encourage them to communicate their opinions and to address questions. Regular meetings should focus on subjects that enhance workplace safety. Train your workers on the measures they have to take in case of injury or hazards.
Reviewing the health and safety rules is an essential prevention measure, so when something happens they are trained on how to respond effectively.
Install first-aid kits at reach
Your workspace should be fully stocked with complete first-aid kits. Sometimes a simple first-aid kit can make the difference when it comes to work-related accidents. You should train your team to treat even the smallest scratch they get while they are performing certain actions to prevent infections or other health problems.
First-aid kits should be installed even in office areas because cuts and falls are common in these spaces.
Hire an occupational therapist to enhance workplace ergonomics. it will help you create a more comfortable work environment for your employees. They will identify the areas that require upgrades, and will make recommendations on the changes you should bring.
Some accidents do not result in serious injuries, but you should not ignore them. You should investigate all accidents to understand what led to those particular situations and what measures you should adopt to prevent them. Ask a professional company to come and asses the accident risk your employees are exposed to. They will assess the hazards and will create a program that will help you keep your workers safe.
And last but not least, it’s important to keep records of all the accidents, treatments and inspections. This information will help you work on your procedures and improve them.
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If you’re anything like me, your hunt for perfect Christmas gifts for your friends and family must have started weeks ago. I like to put in a lot of thought into my gifts, so I can make them as meaningful as possible and you’ll agree with me that last minute scramble for gifts is not the best way to do it.
But that’s just me. I know there are a whole lot of people out there who thrive on the pressure of last minute shopping. They not only manage to buy gifts at the last moment, but are able to do a fine job of it too. Kudos to them!
Anyway, my point is not to talk about merits and demerits of your shopping behavior. This post is to appeal to the environmentalist in you to consider gifting your loved ones Eco-friendly Christmas presents this year.
Why gift green?
Gifting is one of the most endearing Christmas traditions. As a kid, I remember waking up early Christmas morning to find my stocking filled with goodies and bright colored gift boxes piled under the tree. The sweet anticipation of finding what’s inside has stayed with me for all these years.
Young or old, we all love giving and receiving gifts on Christmas. Imagine how you’d feel when you get or give a gift that gives back. That’s exactly what Eco-friendly gifts do – they give back to the environment because they've been made using green practices and/or materials. Eco-friendly gifts can truly make Christmas extra special for you and the people you love.
And don’t worry, green gifting doesn't mean you’re stuck with buying things like solar panels or energy efficient light bulbs (I know that’s an exaggeration, but I am trying to make a point here). There are a wide variety of Eco-friendly gifts that are both stylish and sophisticated and the best part is that you’ll find them in all budgets. Here are some Eco-friendly gift ideas I found interesting:
Organic Wine: Who doesn't like a fine bottle of wine? A bottle of wine corked open and shared with loved ones to mark a special occasion makes the whole thing even more memorable. Gifting someone a bottle of wine is as classy as it can get, but gifting someone organic wine takes it to a whole new level altogether.
Vegan cosmetics: All of us have heard horror stories about our everyday makeup containing ingredients that are derived from animals. What’s more horrifying is the practice of testing these cosmetics on innocent animals. Vegan cosmetics are an effort to offer natural, eco-friendly, and cruelty free cosmetics to people who care about animals and the environment. There are a whole range of brands that offer this line of cosmetics for the compassionate buyer.
E-books: The romantics still swear by the joys of holding a paper book in their hands when they read. As much as I like the idea of turning the pages to a book, the environmentalist in me just can’t ignore the fact that many trees are felled to make that book. That’s why I switched to the more Eco-friendly e-books when the option arrived. A lot of online booksellers such as ebooks.com have now made it possible to gift e-book vouchers for devices like Kindle and iPad.
Recycled jewelry: A woman can never have too much jewelry. Take it from one who loves her jewelry, has loads of it, and still never misses an opportunity to buy some more. If you’re stuck for ideas on what to buy for the women in your life, jewelry is your answer. You just cannot go wrong with it. However, make sure that you buy jewelry made from recycled precious metals. That’s the only way to fight dirty gold mining practices.
Awakening tour: Okay, this one is for the parents who want to introduce their children to the concept of recycling and awaken their environmental consciousness. In addition to all the goodies and expensive gifts you intend to shower your kids with this Christmas, bring them on a tour to a recycling facility where they can see for themselves how waste is turned into useful material. It will probably take a couple of hours of your Holiday time, but will leave a lasting impression on them.
You can check with private recyclers like SIMS Metal Management if they give a tour of their facilities. From NYC to Richmond, Virginia, SIMS Metal Management owns recycling facilities in many parts of the country.
These are just a few Eco-friendly gift ideas. Invest some more time and you’ll be able to find thousands of such ideas to make your Christmas more special, more memorable, and more meaningful. Let’s shop, then!
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For eco-conscious homeowners, choosing the right floor is a balancing act of looks, longevity, eco-friendliness and budget. Options used to be thin, but with the market for green goods heating up, there has been an explosion of amazing options. These five flooring choices are the crème de la crème of green building.
1. Ceramic Wood
Hardwood floors are all the rage, but sustainably-produced hardwood is hard to come by. Hardwood enthusiasts have found an unlikely replacement in the form of ceramic tile. Through a process of staining and stamping, ceramic composed of recycled material is made to mimic the texture and color variation of natural wood. Ceramic wood is also easier to care for than hardwood, and the colors will not fade when exposed to sunlight.
2. Wool Carpeting
Wool was one of the first materials to be used to make carpets, and green homeowners are returning to carpets' roots to find eco-friendly flooring choices. Wool carpeting is spun from natural fibers, does not require any of the dangerous chemicals traditional carpets are treated with and can be dyed almost any color. Wool fibers are comfortable and can last for centuries. If someone in your household has a wool allergy, cotton and jute are ideal natural fiber alternatives.
3. Polished Concrete
When you think of concrete, you may think of the dull, uninspiring slab that makes up your garage floor. Banish the thought, for new concrete polishing, staining and stamping techniques have rocketed concrete to gorgeous heights. In addition to concrete polishing, the floor can be given glass inlays and other intriguing details to jazz it up. Concrete is the most durable and easy-to-clean flooring option, and it never needs to be replaced.
4. Recycled Fiber Carpeting
Oceans of plastic bottles, frozen dinner trays and more can be shredded, spun and turned into brand new carpeting. Also known as P.E.T. carpeting, recycled fiber carpet is durable, stain-resistant and is often the most economical choice. P.E.T. carpeting once had a reputation for being scratchy, but the latest weaves are quite soft.
Cork flooring was one of the first green flooring options available, and it has a few unexpected tricks up its sleeve. Cork is a sustainable resource with natural anti-microbial, anti-insect and flame retardant properties. It is surprisingly durable and can be painted or stained like wood.
Whether you choose cork, ceramic or polished concrete flooring, green flooring is more beautiful and affordable than ever. Take advantage of the booming market and make the padding beneath your family's toes a good choice for the environment.
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Owning an older home can be a wonderful way to enjoy some unique character that simply can’t be found in a newer home. At the same time, it’s rare to find an older home that can operate as efficiently as a newer home, specifically in the area of water conservation. Fortunately, though, while you might not be able to implement every last water-saving device, there are several great and easy ways to save water in your older home.
If you have an older home, it’s likely that it’s equipped with older plumbing fixtures, as well. Unfortunately, these older fixtures do very little to conserve water. In order to save water, then, you can replace these fixtures, whether it’s a shower head, bathroom faucet, or kitchen faucet, with low-flow models to start seeing savings right away. Just be sure your home’s plumbing can adapt to these newer fixtures, as many have special water pressure requirements that your home may not be equipped for.
The materials in pipes of any kind inevitably break down over time due to the different substances found in water. Over time, this can lead to leaky pipes, which can waste a lot of water. If your water bill is higher than expected, or if you have a visible leak somewhere, it’s important to call a plumber to complete these plumbing repairs as soon as possible to ensure the water doesn’t cause any damage and you don’t waste any money.
If local ordinances allow, collecting rainwater can be a great way to reduce your water bill. Especially if you can’t install a water-saving irrigation system due to the older construction, collecting rainwater allows you to keep your landscaping well-watered without having to depend on the city water supply. Plus, diverting rainwater in this way helps prevent erosion on your property since the water is being prevented from continuing on to the sewer.
Install a New Toilet
In addition to new plumbing fixtures, a new toilet can be a great water-saving investment for your older home. If your toilet has been around since before 1994, it’s using almost two gallons more per flush than a modern toilet. If you consider how many times a day you use the bathroom, that can add up quickly. Installing a new toilet is a fairly easy and quick process that will more than pay for itself over time.
Be Water Smart
Whether your home is old or new, you can save water using other methods, as well. Turning off the water while brushing your teeth, taking shorter showers, and watering your lawn in the morning or evening to prevent evaporation are all great ways to save water. Ultimately, it’s important to treat water as a precious resource that is worth working to save. With a few easy fixes, it’s an effort that is totally accessible
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A household consists of a thousand moving parts. If you count trinkets and paraphernalia into that mix, then the number of constituents is pretty much endless. This is why every home needs reasonable storage solutions, especially if you are prone to hoarding. Thankfully, in the times of eco-friendly trends, there are many storage ideas out there that are truly inventive. If you are thinking about the balance between storage and sustainability, here are the most sensible solutions for your home.
There are many sensible green home renovation techniques out there, some of which are obscure while others are known around the world as go-to practices that simply work. For example, vertical storage is warehousing 101 and a solution that can virtually save your household should you choose to implement it. Simply speaking, the amount of square footage and resources you can save by going vertical is immense – it is the most logical eco-friendly step. On the one hand, you will invest in the future, on the other, you won’t have to spend money on the additional building. Furthermore, storage that spreads floor to ceiling and across the wall can also serve as an additional layer of sound-heat insulation.
Keep the shelving modular
Armoires, old cupboards and stylish vintage cabinets are perfectly fine aesthetic choices that are recommended by interior designers around the world for people who want eclectic combos. However, if you are a green thinker, the first question you should ask if whether it’s functional and space-saving? Aesthetics are secondary when you are looking into superb adjustable shelving for the most flexible solutions, though they can look absolutely crisp should you choose well. What you’ll want is a storage option that consists of numerous modular units which can easily be rearranged according to the changes in your interior. This way you’ll have future-proof durability and flexibility.
Reused building materials
Do you want your sustainable storage units to be built from zero? If you want to keep the process eco-friendly you should consider reused or recycled materials, especially if you require fine wood and stained wooden surfaces in order to keep the storage in sync with the rest of the room’s overall style. Thankfully, it has become so much easier to find retailers that deal in reusable goods, as well as carpenters and other building professionals that have a lot of experience with recycled materials. In addition, you can go with sustainable materials if you want them fresh – for example, cork and bamboo. However, you should keep in mind that these are not as flexible as some less-sustainable variants.
Push it out into the garage
Do you own a garage, a shed or an exterior storage space of some shape and form? If you do, you might want to consider moving as much as you can out of the house and pushing it into that storage. Typically, this will be a garage wall reserved for storage units. Whether it’s simple pallet racks made out of (recycled) plastic or full-fledged cabinets, keeping most of your clutter out of the house gives you more elbow space to arrange the interior according to your wishes. Plus, it will keep the otherwise cluttered rooms larger. You may also want to bring more sustainable lighting solution in the proximity of your storage so it would become easier to see what hides behind cabinet doors. Of course, only LED or CFL lights should be considered in this case, as they do not only waste less energy but last significantly longer than incandescent bulbs.
A cluttered home looks messy, ugly and, let’s be perfectly blunt, downright depressing. If you want to avoid the horror of clutter, you should consider the sustainable storage solutions mentioned above. Implementing at least one of them can make a lot of difference, so you’ll probably want to go all the way with these sensible solutions for your home as soon as you try one method.
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With so many housing developments today, forests are slowly dying. Forest serves as the natural habitat to a lot of animal species. What will happen if the forests are gone? First possibility is that animals will dwell with human in cities or towns. Can you imagine sleeping soundly then you realize that a python is next to you? Or a big bear is sitting in your veranda? Second possibility is that wild animals will die, which eventually affects the food chain.
Dead forest is sure to have negative impact to the next generation. There will be no more forest to hike or trek.Lush green environment will become limited. Needless to say, many other detrimental effects will likely happen. This is why it is critical to help save the forest. In our own little ways, there are things we can do. If you cut trees, be sure to replace it new seedlings. For instance if you want to cut 1 old tree, you should plant 5 new trees. If all people share the same mission, our forest will stay until the next generation and the next.
Image from sxc.hu
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It’s almost that time of year again- cue the mince pies, tinsel, personalised gifts, chirpy carolling, and most importantly, the endless string of decorated Christmas trees.
But at what a cost? In an age where we have the appropriate knowledge and technology to investigate the real impact of nationwide gorging and extravagance, shouldn’t we care about what the festive season does to our environment?
Hundreds of thousands of Christmas trees are cut down each year, each to fulfil their destinies of being draped in tinsel, adorned with the angel or star of your choice, and housing the piles of gifts kids each year. Many opt for an artificial festive symbol instead, all with the misconception that Christmas trees are leading to deforestation and further negative environmental impacts. In actual fact, Gary Chastegner, professor of plant pathology at Washington State University has stated that "most Christmas trees are grown as crop and replanted, so it is really no different than harvesting corn". Chastagner goes on to explain that a natural reseeding takes place in forests, and permits are distributed in areas where the trees need to be thinned.
The National Christmas Tree Association have stressed that using real pine and fir trees is actually a more green thing to do than purchasing an artificial Christmas tree for your living room. According to research, most fake Christmas trees are only used for 6-9 years and then disposed of. Keeping the plastic tree for longer than this period would eventually be thrown away into a landfill. These trees, unlike real trees, are not recyclable or biodegradable. In addition to this, in 2010, The New York Times reported that fake trees usually contain a harmful chemical called polyvinyl chloride or PVC. Essentially, just manufacturing these trees can be harmful to the environment.
Recent years have introduced the most ethical choice of all. You can now ‘rent’ your Christmas tree for the festive period. This means that you can choose the Christmas tree of your choice, which comes with its own sustainable root system. This tree is delivered to your door (which saves you time and money on travelling to purchase the tree yourself), and then picked up at a date which suits you, early in the New Year. The tree is then returned to the soil, and grown on for the new year.
If you really are trying to limit your carbon footprint this Christmas, don’t let your efforts stop at your choice of tree. Make sure you opt for LED fairy lights for example. These new style lights help save energy and money. What is more, their relatively cool heat will make your tree less of a fire hazard too.
This may sound like stating the obvious, but don’t forget to recycle after you’re done with celebrating for the year. Figures suggest that a mere 10% of Christmas trees are recycled for wood chipping and compost each year in the UK. In our capital alone, almost 1 million trees are just thrown away each January.
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Keeping your neighborhood clean can be good for aesthetic purposes. It can also be good for keeping the planet happy and safe for all for generations and generations to come. If you want to do your part in helping the planet, you should think about setting up a trash cleanup project in your community.
Set a Great Example
If you want your neighbors to follow suit, you should begin by setting a great example. Pick up trash around your neighborhood in the middle of the day when other people can easily see you. You may just motivate others to do the same exact thing. If people ask you what you’re doing, tell them proudly.
Reach out to Your Neighbors
Don’t hesitate to reach out to neighbors who are friendly and cooperative. You may want to call or email them to ask them if they’d be interested in joining forces with you in your cleanup effort. They may not be able to resist taking part. If you make your cleanup project sound fun and interesting, it may encourage more and more people to team up with you.
Post a Listing on the Internet
Word gets around rapidly on the Internet. If you want to spread the word about your neighborhood cleanup effort, you can choose to post a free listing on a classified website. Look for a classified website that caters to your specific neighborhood. It’s critical to mention your community name in the header for the listing, too. If people learn about your project on the Internet, it may persuade them to reach out to you to lend a helping hand.
Rent a Dumpster
You can simplify your neighborhood garbage cleanup project by getting your hands on a sizable dumpster for disposal purposes. There are trustworthy companies that offer durable skips for rent. If you rent a roomy dumpster or two, you can get rid of significant levels of garbage. This can spare you a lot of frustration. Dumpsters can make doing away with trash straightforward and speedy.
Trash and a gorgeous planet simply do not go hand in hand. If you want your neighborhood to be immaculate and lovely, then you need to prioritize cleanup work. You can make prioritizing a clean community a lot easier by getting help from other people who live near you. Remember, doing things in groups can be fun. It can also be a lot more efficient.
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Eco-friendly changing of your habits
Every person counts. This is not only the case when it comes to elections, but when it comes to something far more serious, like saving the planet we live on. Whenever you think you are just one person and your deeds don’t really count much, think about this: “Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.” Like Ghandi put it, if you chose to think differently today, you can influence the others tomorrow, and maybe it’s your destiny to eventually make a crucial change. After all, it’s in your best interest.
Try to imagine yourself riding an eco-friendly car. If you’re not in situation to invest into one right now, consider switching to compressed natural gas. It is way cheaper and it will save your environment from bad vehicle emissions. Also, you can walk more or ride a bike. This way, not only will you be in better shape, but you will also save money.
The world is energy deficient. Making enough energy for all people directly affects of pollution. Unfortunately, people are not aware of the fact that turning off even one lamp can be significant. Turn around while reading this and check if we were right. At least one device is unnecessarily turned on, we’re betting on it. Take first step in order to help your planet and turn it off. Were we wrong? Congratulations. You already have a high level of conciseness. So what else you can do to save the energy loss? You can switch to LED lights or even consider making your own energy investing in solar panels.
This is another way to act ‘green’ and keep earning money. Different materials have different recycling prices. For instance, metals like aluminum and copper are the most expensive. Glass is a lot cheaper while paper and plastic are the cheapest. If you have huge amounts of these materials and don’t know what to do with them, here’s an opportunity to get rid of it – recycle! However, if you will still be needing it but you have nowhere to keep it, consider investing in container shelters.
Cultivation of organic food
Did you ever consider planting some agro cultures in your own garden? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to harvest a cabbage, carrots or radishes that you grown? Eating more organic vegetables and less meat will make you feel healthier, stronger and happier. But, it’s even better thing to know that you’ve help your planet by saving energy for its production. Therefore, you increased pollution too.
Become and stay ‘green’
If you’re involved in media or politics use your influence to contribute to the better future of our planet. It will only take a few minutes from your day, but to someone else it would mean a lot. Remember that you owe it to your kids, because they are stay on Earth, after you’ll gone. Imagine a place where you would like to leave your offspring, and fight for it.
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Nature around us ought to be one of the things nearest to everybody's heart as it is the exceptionally thing that permits us to live, manages us, and keeps us alive. The nature fulfills all our needs as much as possible; it gives us the assets for our eating, dressing needs, and in addition empowers us to fabricate all the astounding things we develop. In such an era of modernization, when it is clear that nature is enduring our filthy deeds to destroy the sanctity of environment, and is beginning to demonstrate the strain of so much pollution and contamination, it ought to be our duty to do our best to ebb the harm by any possible means.
Efforts on Individual Level
Individuals may say to themselves, what would they be able to do? I am only one individual; I cannot do anything to protect the environment. Let it happen, as it may; it is the disposition that must be disheartened to interfere on your way. Each individual can do his effort in protecting environment by recycling, switching off lights and other electrical gadgets when they are not in use and additionally by opting not to use his car when it is just to travel a short distance. Individuals today can also switch to renewable energy sources that fulfill the daily power needs. This practice saves the non-renewable resources and the environment alike. More understanding of this can be obtained from sources like EnergyProvidersNewYork.com. Such little efforts from most of the people would have an immense effect on the quality of environment, causing an immediate and constructive outcome on the nature.
Use Environment friendly Power Resources
The increase in the utilization of environment friendly power sources, i.e., renewable forms of energies is an extremely positive sign and it has been established that these advancements do work. They accordingly decrease our dependency up to some extent on the traditional power resources, such as coal, oil, gas, and atomic energies. In supporting these renewable forms of energies, we are helping the planet to partially overcome the harm done till date.
There are numerous systems and means by which we can help nature. One of these techniques is minimizing the utilization of pesticides that are unsafe for the environment which also cause harm to numerous types of natural lives. In addition to this, nature preservation and saving its sanctity is crucial, as it permits those species or creatures that are most badly affected by pollution to recuperate and conceivably, survive. The best example, for instance is, Amazon rainforest, where severe deforestation is bringing about irreversible harm to a great number of animal varieties. If we do not do something soon for the preservation of their natural habitat, we will begin to see the eradication of a wide range of creatures.
This earth is of most extreme significance to every one of us and everybody should be made mindful of, how important it is that they should take the time to do something for the betterment of our earth, nature, and environment.
Stephen Heyer is a specialist on environment protection issues and suggests using clean sources of energy with carbon credits. He also advises using the services offered by EnergyProvidersNewYork.com for minimizing the harm caused to our environment.
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