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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
    • 2 comments
    • 4,515 views
  • 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  
    • 0 comments
    • 1,967 views
  • 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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    • 2,017 views

Our community blogs

  1. 07-healthy-snack-ideas-fruit-kebab.jpg

    We all get a craving for junk now and gain. There is something about that extra sweetness or extra saltiness, that grabs the attention of most taste buds.

    But, we also all agree that these foods are rarely good for us - except briefly on an emotional level. Here are my three favourite alternatives to everyday junk food.

    Organic Coconut Water vs Soda

    Most people would agree that soda is probably not the best thirst quencher when it comes to beverages.

    Not only that, sodas contain an abnormal amount of refined sugar, additives, and flavourings that our bodies do not process very well.

    A much more beneficial drink to opt for would be organic coconut water. 

    This energising drink which is native to the tropics is loaded with electrolytes, natural sugars, amino acids, lauric acid (immune boosting nutrient also found in breast milk), mineral salts and vitamins.

    Also, unlike soda, coconut water is very hydrating, contains very little calories – excellent for those watching their weight – and yet is very filling.

    Organic Dried Fruit vs. Candy

    Due to the removal or drying of the natural water content, dried fruits such as raisins, cranberries, dates, figs and prunes are great concentrated sources of energy, fibre and iron – a mineral that helps to prevent anaemia.

    TITLE-Boxing-Club-Healthy-Desserts-for-V

    Unlike, traditional candy and confectionary, organic dried fruit is often high in natural sugars, making it a great energy snack that is easy for the body to digest, and a wonderful addition to trail mixes, granola bars and cereals. The best part is that it is a fat-free natural food.

    Organic Cocoa vs. Commercial Chocolate

    Organic, raw, dark cocoa (also known as cacao) is a true health-giving super food.

    Not to be confused with the traditional commercial brands of chocolate products such as bars and hot chocolate; which contain high amounts of refined sugars, saturated fat, artificial additives and chemicals.

    Inspiral have a good explanation on the differences between Cacao and Conventional Chocolate.

    In its natural organic state cacao is dubbed as one of the super foods with the highest amounts of antioxidants, which are needed to fight free radicals and oxidative damage to cells.

    This may even offer protection against some types of cancer and slow down the ageing process. Unfortunately, as tempting as the commercial chocolate bars may be, they don’t offer these same benefits.
    Lastly, studies have shown that minerals such as potassium, magnesium and copper, which are found in high concentrations in dark chocolate, can help to prevent type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

    It’s easy to enjoy too: blend the powder or nibs in a smoothie, make hot chocolate or make raw, delicious non-bake treats.

    With all these healthful benefits to be had why wouldn’t you indulge in this amazing plant food?

  2. Intus Windows announces new super energy efficient wood window line!

    New Intus line Premier 78 Alu Mira Advance was presented in the end of September at DesignDC Expo in Washington, DC

    Intus Windows, manufacturer of top-of-the-line high performance windows is proud to announce their newest energy efficient window; the Premier 78 Alu Mira Advanced. These triple pane wood windows are Passive House suitable and are a great choice for anyone looking to install energy efficient PH type windows but at a very competitive price. The high-tech windows feature beautiful pine wood frames with a high-density composite foam material that is integrated into the window frame. This design increases the window efficiency and provides a thermal break in the frame profile. According to Intus managing director Aurimas Sabulis, “This window started with a focus on energy efficiency but has grown into much more. The Premier 78 Alu Mira Advanced provides a beautiful wood window with the highest values at competitive price.” The Premier 78 Alu Mira Advanced window debuted at the September 2013 DesignDC Expo in Washington, DC.

    It all starts by utilizing sustainable timber from German and Austrian forestry and then introducing a high-density composite foam material into the wood window frame. This was crucial in order to create a window frame that had a thermal break to limit the transfer of outside heat or cold. The triple pane glass has a a U-Value of 0.088 (Btu/hr/ft²/F)* and when combined with the insulated wood frame produces a window assembly with a U-Value of 0.14 (Btu/hr/ft²/F) or an R-Value of R-7. The triple pane windows are filled with argon gas for improved thermal performance and can accommodate 56mm thick glazing. Triple gasket weather-stripping creates superb air tightness. The warm edge spacers increase the glass surface temperature and reduce condensation on the glass. The hybrid spacers insulate the pane edges so as to reduce heat transfer through the window. Numerous SHGC options are available based on your climate and design goals.

    The aluminum clad exterior frames can be finished in an array of colors from the RAL color selection chart and provides for a very durable exterior finish. An extrusion is installed to allow both the wood and aluminum to thermally expand and contract independently of each other. The pine wood frames can be finished in either water based or lacquer finishes. Different hardware choices are also available as the windows are customized to your specific order.

    So whether you are designing to achieve Passive House standards or just trying to build an energy efficient building, the new Premier 78 Alu Mira Advanced from Intus Windows is an excellent choice in your window selection. In addition to that window, Intus also offers Premier 78 Alu Mira Advanced lift and slide, folding, entry and balcony doors. You may also consider uPVC and all aluminum window, door and curtain wall lines offered by Intus to fit all budgets and applications including commercial, residential and industrial. Intus Windows will continue to pioneer high-performing energy efficient windows and doors. Intus Windows can be reached at 1888-380-9940 or info@intuswindows.com.

    *All values and calculations are based on EU standards: EN 10077, EN 673, EN 410 and other references; CE Mark, DIN Standards – Construction Materials and Building (European Standards), DIN 1027/12208 – Windows and Doors – Water Tightness, DIN 1026/12207 – Windows and Doors – Air Permeability, DIN 12211/12210 – Windows and Doors – Resistance to Wind Load, DIN 1191/12400 – Windows and Pedestrian Doors – Mechanical Durability, DIN EN ISO 10077 – Thermal Performance and other.

    ###

    For more information press:

    http://intuswindows.com/intus-windows-announces-new-super-energy-efficient-wood-window-line/

  3. Document-Shredder.jpg

    Canadian information privacy and data handling laws require business owners to protect the personal information of their clients and employees (1). Shredding documents on a regular basis and properly destroying outdated electronic equipment are key steps in the data handling cycle. Every business should have a data destruction plan in place as part of their corporate security strategy. One surprising benefit of this type of service too is that you can support your company’s green initiatives by having all of your shredded waste and destroyed electronics recycled.

    There are several ways to destroy sensitive information. Options include in-house, off-site and mobile shredders. Professional document destruction companies will customize a plan designed around the needs of your company. You never have to worry about paying for services that you do not use. When you try to shred documents in house it is your responsibility to maintain the equipment and find the staff hours to complete the job. Off-site shredding is a service that transports your documents from your location to a permanent shredder. Mobile shredders will come to your location mounted on a truck and destroy data right at your place of business. Cost and effectiveness are the top two reasons why more companies favour mobile paper destruction. Every company must prioritize the protection of personal data. If information falls into the wrong hands, there is little doubt there will be serious repercussions.

    13005074.jpg

    Destruction of documentation is not restricted solely to the destruction of paper documents. It also includes the elimination of x-rays, computer discs, USB drives, hard drives and other electronic data devices. When you choose to use mobile shredding services, documents remain in a locked bin until the shedder truck arrives. You accompany your records to the truck where you watch as shredder eliminates them. Shredding at your place of business eliminates the possibility of lost documents in case of an accident. When the process is complete you receive a Document of Destruction that is dated and stamped by the shredding company.

    You are probably wondering how data destruction possibly supports green initiatives in business. Well data shredding and electronic destruction are surprisingly green processes. A seasoned and professional destruction company like Absolute Destruction takes pride in first completely destroying each document or hard drive and then by taking the raw materials and recycling them. When you engage in responsible data destruction “significant savings are realized in the use of water, energy, landfill space and reduction in pollution” (2). Reading up on environmental options and how material can be repurposed is possible by visiting http://absolutedestruction.ca. It is a fact that for every metric tonne (1000 kg) of paper shredded and recycled 17 trees are saved (3).

    Although there are ways of taking care of the basics of document shredding and hard drive destruction on your own, the risks involved with doing the tasks improperly outweigh the cost of hiring a professional document shredding service to ensure that data is handled properly. If you are located in the GTA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Toronto_Area) and are in search of information about document shredding you should contact the experienced team at Absolute Destruction. Your customers and employees deserve the best protection of personal data that you can give them. You will discover that mobile shredders are cost-effective, easy, and secure. When you consider that you are being green at the same time as meeting security standards and acting as a responsible employer it is hard to imagine why you wouldn’t hire a document destruction company.

    References:

    1. http://www.priv.gc.ca/index_e.asp

    Authority Site:

    1. Recycling Council of Ontario: http://www.rco.on.ca/

  4. If there's one thing without which modern society would seize to exist, it's oil. (Well, living without Internet will also positively suck, but that's a whole different story right here.) Realistically speaking, for the time being, despite the billions of dollars that are being put into the development of green technologies, oil remains essential to the proper functioning of our lives. Oil supplies our factories and makes our means of transportation move, it helps trade, makes manufacturing and transportation of goods, including food and medicines, possible. All in all, we need oil to survive.

    But the huge dDrill_baby.thumb.png.62b68800f3da2d75f8femand for oil we've experienced since the Second Industrial Revolution comes at a great cost for the planet and respectively, for the entire human kind. Each year we drill about 14 trillion liters of oil. That alone has tremendous environmental consequences which are next to impossible to be countered because, hey, "Drill, baby, drill!".

    But there's another negative side of oil consumption, and it's the fact that during transportation a significant quantity of oil is spilled, thereby destroying entire ecosystems, polluting the habitat of all kinds of plant and animal species.

    And because oil is mostly transported across oceans, this is where most spills occur. The results are both immediate and long-term, so looking for ways to eliminate the spill and counter its effect is crucial for the preservation of Earth's oceans.

    But cleaning something so vast as an ocean is not an easy task. Luckily, technology has evolved and continues to rapidly do so to such an extent that we might already have a working solution to the issue – drones.

     

    We've seen drones being deployed in various places, efficiently handling all kinds of situations. Recently a startup in the Netherlands even introduced a project which aims to develop a fully functional house cleaning drone. So if the technology could be utilized for the needs of home cleaning, it's only natural for it to be used in the quest of preserving our oceans.

    Airborne Emergency Response to Oil Spills

    Here's where AEROS (Airborne Emergency Response to Oil Spills) comes into play. Essentially, AEROS is an unmanned, robotic system which locates oils spills and deploys robots and inflatable booms at spill sites by an airplane. Once in the water, the booms inflate themselves and surround the spill. Then the unmanned robots start purging the water.

    The water-cleansing robots suck the contaminated water in and spin it inside. The swirl that forms leaves the oil at the center and then collects it in a special bladder, while it pushes the pure water outside. Each robot has an incredible capacity, filtrating over 7000 litres per minute. And the oil that is recovered, up to 90% of the spill, is later collected from the bladders and can be later sold as an additional stream of revenue. Just in comparison, the methods that is being used by far could only filtrate and recover about 5% of the oil.

    Protei Project

    Protei.thumb.jpeg.792153d247ad127c173cf0The Protei Project is another promising startup which aims to counter oil spills. The people behind this large-scale international project have developed a shape-shifting sailing robots which will patrol the oceans, clean up oil spills and collect plastic waste.

    The autonomous robots will essentially sail upwind, using the power of the wind, and pull a long boom-tail which will absorbs oil. What makes the Protei boat prototypes so innovative is their hulls which are flexible and are made to move left and right like a fish. That movement allows the drone boat to utilize the power of the wind to the fullest and never lose power, easily pulling the heavy boom tail.

    Large oil spills like the Deep Water Horizon in the Mexican Gulf don't happen too often, but when they do, the effects to the environment are catastrophic. And as I already mentioned, at that point in time it's impossible for oil companies to cease oil transportation, however, they can use technology to contain the spills and counter the negative impact of the spills. For now the technology is not market-ready, but with some backing it will be there we we most need it.

  5. blog-0883291001425653817.jpg

    In today’s economy if you want to raise a family you need to learn how to do it on a budget, and that isn’t always easy. There are a number of different ways of living on a budget with your family, but the most effective ways are simply to save money wherever possible. This might be in the form of buying lower cost products, reducing spending on non-essentials and even recycling and repurposing items you already own so that you aren’t spending money on new items.

    Some families have proved that while it can be very difficult in the beginning recycling almost everything your family uses is possible and it is effective, not only in helping you save money but also in helping the environment.

    There are a number of more simple ways that you can start; simple things like teaching children about identifying recyclables and where to put them are a great start, given that just getting children to put their recyclables into the correct containers instead of the refuse bins can reduce your overall refuse on a weekly basis considerably.

    Other options include; keeping some recyclables for crafts. It doesn’t matter whether you just hang on to the empty toilet roll tubes and cereal boxes to make children’s activities later or you go all out to ensure that there are a lot of materials to work with when the time comes for getting crafty. You can make something with just about anything; old clothes, paper, card, boxes, tins, bottles – everything can be used – particularly when the creativity of children is involved, so you should have no trouble keeping aside some of your everyday items and making use of them. Particularly if you also happen to have been looking for a way to keep children entertained.

    Don’t have kids? No problem – do you have pets? I keep rats and dogs, and puppies and rodents alike love a cardboard box or an empty toilet roll tube to chew on and play with. My dogs have had a cardboard box bed cave for two months now and it’s still there! A free cardboard box that has lasted two months, they sleep in and play with. I’ve bought them toys and proper dog beds for small fortunes that haven’t lasted anywhere near that long. Paper can also be great, you can put down in place of puppy pads while house training, put it under water bowls to reduce spills (particularly if you have dogs that play in their water) and can be shredded to make bedding, great for rodents a similar cage pets.

    No pets either? No worries – you can use that stuff on your own too! Create things; make rugs out of old cloths, rags, patches for damaged clothes, make new clothes and accessories out of your old clothes. Get as thrifty as you like – and you can even get yourself involved in some online competitions for thrifty creations if you’re looking for a bit of incentive. Use old plastic containers to make jugs, dustpans, collection pots and just about anything else that you think you might come to have a use for. You would be amazed with how much of your stuff can be repurposed – and it’s okay if you don’t repurpose it because you can recycle it.

    Just to get you started – on this blog we all like to see some recycling going on; so I want to know what you recycled today! What was it, what did you do with it?

    Today I gathered up all the boxes and toilet roll tubes around my house and used them to make a castle / fort for my rats to play in – very entertaining!

    Kate Critchlow

    I am currently writing for R+R Packaging, and their blog has some great recycling ideas for you to try at home, and more scheduled for the coming weeks and months - keep an eye our for those!

  6. Hazardous waste can come in various forms, and it’s not always easy to manage them, much less regulate their disposal. However, the need for proper hazardous waste management has become more and more apparent over the past couple of years, as the imminent threat of global warming has made its presence felt more clearly. But what exactly are we dealing with when it comes to hazardous waste?

    What is hazardous waste?
    Waste that poses a threat to the environment and to human health is considered as hazardous, and they commonly exhibit either one or all of these traits: toxicity, ignitability, corrosivity, and reactivity. They can also be infectious, such as those coming from healthcare facilities, or radioactive. Hazardous waste can come in solid, liquid, sludge, and even gaseous states.

    What should be done with them?
    In an ideal world, all waste products could be recycled and utilized in some other industry. However, the reality is that the world is hardly an ideal setting, and recycling normally isn’t the end point of hazardous waste. Depending on how hazardous waste was created (either by physical, chemical, thermal, or even biological means), treatment and disposal may also vary. For example, certain organic wastes like those from the petroleum industry can be applied with biological treatment, such as landfarming, in which hazardous waste is mixed carefully with surface soil on a designated and suitable area of land. Microbes can be added to metabolize the waste, thus causing it to stabilize. On the other hand, physical treatment involves solidifying, concentrating, or reducing the volume of hazardous waste. 

    Who is responsible for hazardous waste management?
    Hazardous waste management should be the responsibility of everyone. A combined effort is needed from everyone involved in producing, handling, and disposing of the hazardous waste. Each institution that deals with such waste – like healthcare facilities and industrial companies – should follow the standard regulations on handling hazardous waste, and have a set protocol in place. Employees and workers who find themselves at risk for exposure to such waste, or handle them directly, should be trained on how to properly deal with them. The 40-hour HAZWOPER training should be required for such employees. 

    Whether you work in a facility that creates these hazardous waste, or are part of the cleanup crew to ensure their containment, it is important to understand the impact that such waste has on our lives.  Hazardous waste is inevitable in today’s society, but with proper management, we can ensure that its impact on environmental and human health is contained.

  7. In order to avoid a future water world (the movie was a dud, I think the scenario would be even worse in real life) or something even more catastrophic, one of the industries that has got to shape up is the automotive industry.

    We’re looking at an industry driving a huge portion of fossil fuel extraction. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, fossil fuelled vehicles are responsible for 27% of greenhouse gas emissions. Yes, you gear-heads and old- school mechanics will miss your cherished internal combustion engines (ICE). But who says you can’t keep working on the old ones? Who says you can’t convert them to run on biodiesel? After all, the old roadster will be worth plenty in the future as a relic, but it’ll be worth even more running around on clean fuel. Just think. There will only be so many (if any) like it.

    The auto industry, including the trucking industry, is shaping up to an extent, just slowly. I’ll get into why I mentioned the trucking industry soon. Most of us blogger kids like to think about all the super-neat new tech we might use ourselves. Smart, web-savvy autonomous cars, pure EV’s that glow in the dark, hybrids that run on beet juice—well, that last one I pulled out of thin air (I don’t think it’s unreasonable), but you get the idea. This post, though, is about five innovations that could make a real difference in the horsepower-driven world.

    Electric powertrains for trucks

    The sexy blogs aren’t publishing a lot of stuff about this, because it doesn’t sound that sexy. But right now, the commercial trucking industry is staring down the barrel of regulations designed to cut emissions from trucks we rely on a great deal. They deliver your mail, they pick up your garbage, and until they turn into drones, the class 7 and 8 ones drive 80% of the freight in America to any city with a supermarket. At the same time, according to the EPA, freight semi-trucks are super-inefficient, spewing two-thirds of the GHGs (Greenhouse Gases) commercial trucks spew.

    So, Obama decided commercial trucks in general need to clean up their act. By 2027 they will have to cut GHGs by a combined total of 44%. Phase 1, which began this year, mandates a 20% cut. Phase 2, which begins its mandate in 2021, requires a 24% cut.

    If Wrightspeed's powertrains have anything to say about it, the cuts will be easy to accomplish and will save fleets money in the long run, too. Ian Wright co-founded Tesla then split off to start Wrightspeed. His Route powertrains are a plug-in innovation incorporating an electric engine and transmission that fleet operators can retrofit to their trucks. They can just slap it on the old rig to hopefully achieve results like the Isuzu NPR achieved.

    According to breakingenergy.comthe Isuzu NPR delivery truck went from 12 mpg in the city to 44 mpg—a 300% improvement. Let’s hope fleets will shell out the $200,000 for those type of results sooner than later.

    Hydrogen fuel cells                                               

    Right now hydrogen-powered cars aren’t the big sellers in the green car market because of the price. There aren’t enough fueling stations, and the cost of creating the technology fuels a high price tag. But according to the New York Timesmajor manufacturer Hyundai is sinking more effort into these cars, creating the possibility for another fuel-saving alternative on the market in a decade. It’s not exactly a revolution, but the Times reports the price for a hydrogen-powered Hyundai has dropped from $124,000 to $76,000 in Korea.

    Having another green car option on the market is important because it will drive prices for extant technologies down, and it will create further competition for technological advancement. Once Hyundai is infiltrating the market with hydrogen-powered cars—cars that emit absolutely no GHGs and run on the most plentiful element in the universe, hydrogen—majors like Honda and Toyota will have to answer back. They’ll have to give us more inexpensive alternatives to the ICE in order to stay afloat.

    3-D printed cars      

    This one may seem pretty far off, but why not consider the possibility of 3-D printed cars? Imagine cutting down on all the emissions car manufacturers themselves create and rolling a new vehicle directly out of your own garage. That’s exactly what Chandler, Arizona-based Local Motors 

    has been working on. It started with a competition called Project Redacted. After announcing the winner of the competition, the tech company/electric car manufacturer announced they will begin a new project with three universities to delve deeper into making 3-D printed cars a reality. Not only will these cars be DIY, the design Local Motors will be working on is for an electric, autonomous vehicle

    That this is even on the table speaks to the amazing capabilities of 3-D printers to create objects out of metals and other substances besides plastics and polymers—this technology is progressing at an incredible rate.

    One could imagine a time when the infamously restrictive policies of auto manufacturers are obliterated by this type of tech. For years, manufacturers have had the technology to create cars that run for hundreds of thousands of miles longer than what we have now. They’ve also had the technology to improve the gas-mileage cars can get to an equally mind-blowing extent. Once making cars becomes a more democratic pursuit, and there are more environmentally-friendly options on the market, the gas-guzzlers of today will be just as much dinosaurs as the gas that fuels them.

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    Mining industry is thriving for decades but it is facing a vacuum in the technical and managerial talent pool. Keeping in mind this particular aspect, this is going to be a big opportunity for the future business leaders and find the professional help of assignment writing service to get the most out of the opportunity.

    Business schools are introducing specialized degrees in a rapid rate but the marriage of finance and mining is nothing new. The Mining Industry is one of the most crucial and demanding sector of global economy and an MBA specialization in this industry will help to develop and groom the prospective leaders of business industry.

    A decade and a half have passed since the commencement of specialized MBA degree in mining sector, still it’s a scarce skill – holder of an executive MBA for the mining industry. A cohort of senior mining executives is at the threshold of imminent retirement, while some mega projects are wasting billions of dollars of investment due to poor execution suggest a lack of management skills in a large part of the sector.

    The silver line that can be derived from the above issue is that a great opportunity is waiting for those who want to make it large in the mining industry. It is the time to determine that they have everything in their kit of management knowledge as the retiring managers indicate a large demand for the MBA talents in the mining.

    Prospects for the MBAs in the Mining Industry

    There are many listed mining companies around the world but very few people are willing to progress into a senior position. In order to manage these companies and the industry as a whole the specialized program in Mining Management is going to play a vital role to fill the gap in the talent pool.

    The global mining employers are looking for managers who do have financial trainings or strategic concepts, or accountants with fundamental knowledge of the practical side of mining.

    More than a lack of managerial talent, the mining industry is facing failure due to the lack of support from local communities and governments. And this is largely the reason that the industry is undergoing malicious reputation globally. The present MBA programs in mining management are designed in such a way that the concept of ‘global citizenship’ is going to be the key factor.

    It is ironical that the rise of the specialized MBA program in the mining industry is happening at the epoch of the decline of the mining sector. With the recession in merchandise for the past two years, the future of this MBA program is still hopeful. Instead of the procyclical tendency of the MBA market, those who are planning to pursue an MBA in mining industry, the future is shining bright for them. And for the professional assignment writing troubles, you will always find a trusted online writing service partner ready to help you with their enormous range of management writing aids.

  9. Airless-Tyres.thumb.jpg.1a9234f2786318f4

     

    The concept of airless tires has been around for ages, in fact, Michelin has been developing this concept since 2005. It is only just recently that airless tires have become a readily available to the average consumer. Hankook recently announced that their airless tires should “hit the market very, very soon.” So, what exactly is an airless tire? Also known as non-pneumatic tires, airless tires are those not supported by air pressure. While they are usually used in certain lawnmowers and golf carts, airless tires are now being created for regular vehicles as well.

     

    Previously, there have been certain disadvantages associated with airless tires. For one, these provide much less suspension than regular pneumatic tires. Also, they lead to a lot of heat buildup. However, with developing technologies, these disadvantages have been severely minimized. Currently the benefits of using the modified airless tires far outweigh the disadvantages. Bridgestone’s airless tires, that are currently being developed, sport a unique spoke structure that is easily able to support passenger vehicles. Perhaps the largest advantage of these airless tires is that they are environmentally friendly, made with 100 % recyclable material. According to Bridgestone, “No part of a non-pneumatic tire ever needs to go in the garbage, which goes hand-in-hand with Bridgestone’s effort to create a “cradle-to-cradle” system in which all tires are first recycled and then factory-refashioned into new tires.”

     

    Furthermore, these tires promise reduced carbon emissions. You might wonder how tires can play an active part in reducing emissions. Well, a significant part of energy loss that comes from tires rolling resistance is due to changes in the shape of regular tires as they roll. Airless tires seem to promise a much simpler structure, leading to fewer changes in shape and thus reducing emissions. In terms of production too, Hankook, another airless tire brand claims that the production of these tires is halved from the production of normal pneumatic tires. This means that the footprint left behind due to trie production is also lessened, further supporting the sustainability and eco-conscious aspect of these tires.

    From a practical standpoint too, airless tires nullify the possibility of flat tires. This makes sense, as these tires cannot leak since there is really no air to be leaked! This means that drivers won’t have to worry about running over a sharp object, and tire change frequency will be visibly reduced.

     

    All in all, airless tires are a revolutionary concept in auto-production. With increased functionality and a much more positive impact on the environment, we are excited for these tires to hit the market, and soon become the accepted norm!

     

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    One of the world's oldest car maker DAT-GO, which is going to launch its small and compact hatchback in the Indian car market as well as in the South African market in the end of the next year. The car will be known as Datsun Go. It is a perfect four-wheeler for the developing countries because the company is going to launch it with a very limited price range. Since, it is a very small in its dimensions and that is why the hatchback is also perfect for the small city roads. The company has decided to keep the Datsun Go price range below Rs. 4 lakh (Ex-showroom, New Delhi), which is quite affordable for the middle class. But this price tag is not announced by the company but it is expected because it is prepared on the platform of Nissan Micra and this car is available at the same price range approximately.

    The officials of Datsun cars have said that the engine specifications of this small and stylish hatchback is almost same as Micra, which is loaded with a 1.2-litre petrol engine with a displacement of 1198cc. This engine is expected to churn out the maximum power of 67bhp along with the maximum torque of 104Nm, which is quite good. At the same time, the engine is very impressive, and that is why it is capable to return a very healthy mileage of 18 kmpl, when it is driven under the standard conditions. At the same time, the acceleration and pick up is also very nice because of its top speed of 150-160 kmpl, which is quite good for the hatchback segment. This power packed engine quality is capable to deliver a very decent performance with its manual transmission.

    This small and brilliant compact car is expected to come with a lot of good and impressive features, which can easily attract the buyers. Since, the car comes with a very low price, that is why the Datsun Go features are not going to be very luxurious but it is for sure that it has all such features, which make it standard and safe. In this respect, we can say that this is going to be loaded with all basic features such as an air-conditioner with a heater, music system, comfortable seats with proper arrangements and many other such things, which make it perfect for the buyers.

    Apart from these, the company is going to bless this with a lot of safety aspects too, which can easily protect the passengers as well as the car. The Datsun Go pictures depend upon its exterior, which has unveiled by the company recently. The front part of the vehicle is very good and loaded with a lot of striking features. The list of inviting aspects includes, grille with a lot of chrome, body coloured bumper with head light cluster and a pair of fog-lamps, which are well- designed and helpful in enhancing the visibility of the driver during the bad weather conditions. All these things make this compact car perfect and also affordable.

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    Smartphones and portable digital assistants play a significant role in our daily lives, in the fulfillment of our businesses, communications, and entertainment needs. However, these gadgets carry some negative impacts on our beloved planet. By frequently charging our mobile devices, we are vehemently exhausting our non-renewable energy. The moment we upgrade to the latest trendy tech pieces, our existing handsets will just contribute to the proliferation of electronic wastes on our landfills. As part of our environmental awareness, the best option we have is to opt for greener devices. If not 100% ecological, at least it’s made up of non-toxic substances, complies with the international energy standards, and biodegradable packaging. For this entry, we’ll give you the indicators that a smartphone is not eco-friendly.

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    Low Quality Battery Life

    If your smartphone doesn't last a day of operation despite of moderate usage, it isn't a green gadget. By using this type of phone, you’ll be spending more electricity on a day-to-day basis. But, since mobile devices these days are feature-packed, it’s not really surprising if you need to recharge your juice more than twice a day, with continuous voice calling, web browsing, and music playback. According to Verizon, at least your phone should include an “energy-efficient charger that knows when the phone is fully charged and automatically reduces the draw of electricity.”

    Contains Toxic Materials

    Nature-inspired cellular phones doesn't have harmful elements inside. It shouldn't have mercury, PVCs (polyvinyl chloride) and BFRs (brominated flame retardants). These substances when released to the environment upon disposal becomes contaminants. PVCs are commonly found in plastic phones, since it’s the element used to create cheap mobile casing. BFRs, on the other hand, are agents used to inhibit fire production caused by gadget overheating. Check your mobile documentation if they used toxins such as arsenic, cadmium, and polybrominated biphenyls as these are harmful elements not only to the environment but also to the user.

    Doesn't Have A Biodegradable Packaging

    A mobile device that comes with a 100% biodegradable packaging is a green one. If your phone comes with a plastic packaging, its company doesn't have a green initiative. These containers when not recycled, will just add up to the pile of non-biodegradable garbage in landfills. It takes them thousands of years to decompose. On the other hand, paper boxes decay faster upon disposal, and doesn't bring any further harm to our planet.

    Doesn’t Comply With International Energy Standards

    Greenpeace released a greener electronics guide, which states that all items should comply with the international energy standards. These items were approved since they don’t emit too much greenhouse gas and proven to be power-efficient. They also have minimum levels of radiation. If your phone’s documentation or packaging doesn't boast of an Energy Star Logo, then it’s because the gadget didn't comply with the requirements provided by the firm.

    Shorter Product Warranty

    A nature-inspired product should last for a long period of time and this is an important criterion that you should consider when purchasing any electronic device. Gadgets that have a longer product warranty have longer life span, since it doesn’t break easily, which means less reason to change a device. In opposite, products with shorter cycle are usually made of cheaper materials such as plastic that cannot be sent to recycling facilities to create a new one.

    These are some of the pointers that you should seriously consider when purchasing a mobile device, as part of your environmental awareness. Electronic wastes, according to a 2013 EPA report, have predominantly reached an alarming rate of almost 2.4 million tons in the United States alone. By owning a green product, in a small way, we are battling against the deterioration of our beloved Earth. What other criteria should we look for in a green smartphone?

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    Sookie Lioncourt is a British tech writer who is fascinated on technological innovations. She is a self-confessed environmental advocate. Some of her influences are Al Gore and Greenpeace. She loves covering green initiatives of various companies. Follow her on Twitter and connect with Sookie via LinkedIn

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    As we people constantly try to find new eco-friendly alternatives to protect the planet, we changed many parts of our daily lives to do so. The electricity and industry branches of the world economies strive to reduce the effect known as global warming. With many new technologies introduced the percentage of bad emissions produced is less than five years ago. However, there are many things left to be considered.

    One of them is the transportation sector. It produces around a third of the CO2 emissions in our atmosphere. One of the best alternatives to the old fuel-powered internal combustion engines is the electrical motor. It doesn't use petrol, gasoline or diesel. This means it produces no emissions that affect the nature. With its range of between 250 and 400 kilometres and the new charging stations introduced around different countries, the electrical car can challenge the petrol powered means of transportation.

    The popular opinion of the electric cars has changed throughout the years, but since the middle of the 90s, they've started getting recognition once again. With this on hand there are a lot of debates whether or not Australian government or in fact any other government should promote buying electric cars by lowering the taxes or should the taxes be the same as any other type of vehicle. To this day this question remains controversial.

    Electric cars need to be charged and there are several ways to do so. One is via a normal socket and the re-charge time varies depending on how much power it provides. At a charge station it is much faster and a full charge of your car battery may take around one hour. The re-charge time is a major disadvantage to the electrical motor. Electric cars emit no carbon dioxide or any other type of a gas. Needless to say this is one of the reasons why they are considered better and more eco-friendly by the consumers. Although electric cars don't affect the atmosphere, industries produce electricity by burning fossil fuels, which means they do release CO2 indirectly.

    Another great trend among DIY enthusiasts is transforming their old vehicles to electric. The process is easy and can be done from people who have knowledge of electric motors. The popular belief is that electric cars are less safe than a normal car. This, of course, is not true as an electric car has all the safety features (like bumpers, safety glass etc.) that a normal car has. In case of an accident though, an electric car is safer due to the lack of spilling fuel. However, aside these advantages the electric cars have a more sophisticated . This proves as a disadvantage because a more complex configuration is more prominent to malfunction.

    The electrical cars have many advantages and disadvantages. In Australia, many local businesses have decided to turn to electrical cars to help them with their transportation. A representative from Paul's Landscaping Melbourne - an Australian based landscaping and landscape design company comments: "Our new electrical cars have helped a lot with the development of our business. Since we are a local company, we have routes which we follow. With an electric car and the right planning of our route, we finish the job in no time and with not paying a single cent for gas."

    So there you have it. To conclude our discussion - the electrical car is perfect for short distances. Regardless of the all advantages specified, this technology has yet to improve and is still far behind the fuel-powered cars. However, in the past few years another great technological break-through has set foot on the market - the hybrid. This system uses both an electric motor and a gas powered motor to set the vehicle in motion. Even though it is not perfectly eco-friendly, this technology reduces the amount of emissions while keeping the comfort and the power of a normal car.

  12. Engineered or activated water is increasingly taking place in the cleaning industry. It has three major types, which are used for cleaning -- ozone, hypochlorous acid and water electrolysis. Despite the fact that none of these have been recognized as a disinfectant, they are good sanitizers, perfect for cleaning glass and other surfaces. The main thing here is that these activated water solutions help minimize the use of harmful chemicals, thus protecting yours and your children’s health. Many cleaning businesses have adopted the usage of natural, bio detergents, but this technology is on a next level.

     

    The fact that cleaning industries can take advantage of the engineered water technology is not a recent finding. The large machines, needed to put into operation this innovative technology, have been around for many years, but customers weren’t happy with their size and price.

     

    Recently, technologies have evolved and now even the small, hand-held devices can activate water for cleaning purposes. The rising public awareness of sustainability and global warming issues determines this technology as a great step towards providing eco cleaning services at a very decent price.

     

    Еngineered water is obtained through electrolysis, which causes nearly undetectable pH and other changes in its chemical composition. Еlectrolysis is a process which uses electricity to break down water molecules into positively and negatively charged water ions. When you apply water in electrolyzed form to a certain area, the charged ions attach to dirt particles and lift them off the surface. More information about the process you may find in this interesting article.

     

    Activated water products and devices are mostly used in educational establishments, retail and healthcare facilities, commercial buildings and owner-occupied properties. Many building service contractors also embraced the idea. What drives the increase in activated water usage is that this technology provides a great value for little money. The usual cleaning chemicals require high costs for production, transportation and storage. In our case, these costs do not exist for the reason that engineered water can be produced on site.

     

  13. Going green in your home does not mean you have to sacrifice luxury. There are plenty of green home products on the market that provide the same extravagance as their less green relatives.

    In the bathroom:

    There are hundreds of different kinds of environmental friendly bathroom products on the market, include a wide variety of candles. Some of them are made of beeswax or soy, and some are made of odd materials like vegetable wax. A lot of these candles provide relaxation and stress relief through the use of essential oils and extracts.

    Also for the bathroom are organic towels and cotton exfoliating gloves. All of these items offer just as much, if not more of the comfort that similar, traditional, non-green items would.

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    Health and beauty:

    Among the green bathroom items commonly offered, there are also many different health and beauty products on the market. There are natural body washes, body butters, lip balms, salves, and foot cream. Ingredients in these products range from peppermint to aloe vera to lavender, and almost all of these products come in biodegradable containers. A majority of these items are just as luxurious as comparable environmentally harmful health and beauty products.

    For the bedroom:

    There are a variety of different green materials used for pieces in the bedroom. Some of the most popular examples are pillowcases and shams made out of bamboo, blankets made out of wool, and throws made out of fair-trade organic cotton. Among these items, there are also dressers and bed frames made out of sustainable resources such as maple.

    Energy:

    Many sources of renewable energy are available for purchase for the green home. Some of these products include LED lights, solar powered lights, and eco friendly solar powered holiday lights. There are also sun tunnel skylights that add natural light to your home and also provide heat. Crank lanterns and flashlights that charge by being shaken are examples of products that require no battery but work just as well as ones powered by battery.

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    image credit: WB Homes

    Outside:

    A lot of the most useful products that are offered for green homes are for the outdoors. There are things like rain conserving barrels in a variety of materials and shapes, water filters for hoses that utilize the filtering powering of sand, and hoses made out of 50% recycled plastic. These sorts of items allow you to get the most out of natural resources and live a healthier and greener lifestyle.

    For the Kitchen:

    There are lots of green products available for the purpose of storing and transporting foods. Some examples of these items are compostable bamboo trays, soup containers, sandwich bags, and cling wrap. Many of these will work just as well as like, less-green products, but will not create all of the harmful waste. There are also plenty of kitchen cleaners that are non-toxic and environmentally friendly.

    Having a green home doesn’t mean you have to live any differently. There are alternatives for nearly every product you already use everyday that are much more environmentally friendly and sometimes, even better than the original. In most cases, going green will not even force you to change your lifestyle. There are actually many benefits, including better health and lower energy bills.

  14. Montevideo, Uruguay, December 12, 2015

    German cleantech company Spirea GmbH, together with its local partner ERGO SRL have announced the completion of a pilot solar photovoltaic system of 5kWp for company Farolur S.A. in Laguna del Sauce, Maldonado, Uruguay.

    The project consists of the installation of 20 photovoltaic panels in the dairy farm and production complex of Farolur, located in the department of Maldonado (Ruta 12 Km 10, paraje Los Ceibos). The panels are connected to the network of UTE and will produce more than 6.000 kWh of green electricity per year, providing a clean energy source for use of the farm’s baby cow breeding and milking operations. Production exceeding consumption is not expected, but if any, it will be fed into the network of UTE under the micro-generation framework in Uruguay.

    The project is part of the worldwide “dena Renewable Energy Solutions Program” coordinated by Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena) - the German Energy Agency - and co-financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) within the “renewables – Made in Germany” initiative. German government has been actively supporting the world-wide dissemination of cutting-edge German renewable energy technology and know-how since 2002. The transfer of renewable energy expertise, the promotion of foreign trade and the facilitation of international development cooperation are part of the initiative.

    Supported by dena, the cleantech specialists at Spirea have chosen the agro-industrial complex Farolur S.A., owner of the diary product brand "Talar" for this project for its ecological commitment and self-sustaining business strategy.

    While the small solar plant is far from supplying the total energy need of Farolur, it is an important first step towards powering the agro-industrial complex with 100% green energy. It also allows the company to test the solar technology on a small scale and establish benchmarks for future expansion of the system.

    Dr. Utz Hoeser, Senior Partner at Spirea said: "Working with an environmentally responsible client such as Farolur has been a great pleasure to us. The company has a keen interest in clean technology and made strong commitments to the project from the very beginning. Dr. Yolanda Crujeira and her team at Farolur are continuously seeking excellence in both end products and production process, and consider clean energy as an important part of Talar’s quality process. Beyond financial and economic benefits that can be realized for corporate owner of a well-designed commercial PV system, we believe that the biggest value of this project is contributing to Farolur’s vision of powering the farm with 100% clean energy."

    About Spirea GmbH: Spirea Advisors is an independent cleantech consultant based in Berlin, Germany. The young boutique focuses on facilitating cleantech investment and cooperation around the globe. Since its establishment in 2011, Spirea has completed various successful projects across Asia, Middle East and Latin America. Spirea is the key implementation partner of the solar PV system at Farolur under the dena-RES-Project 2014/2015, and is positioned to play an active role in the Uruguayan cleantech market. www.spirea.de

    About Talar / Farolur S.A.: Farolur is an agro-industrial complex engaged in the production of dairy products of the highest quality for the domestic consumption and export supply. Unites tradition in the craftsmanship of dairy products, a modern production system that meets the most demanding national and international standards in this industry has been established. The farm produces with the mode "full-cycle" so that the traceability of the final product can be monitored from the crops that feed the cows. The natural balance of the eco system is one of the permanent concerns of the Talar brand: producing its own energy, returning nutrients to the land, returning water to its natural cycle, recycling wastes, sewage and emission without impacting the environment. Another continuous effort at Talar is ensuring welfare of all animals: a balanced nutrition and professional cares, providing cows with a quiet life without stress, resulting in better milk products. www.marcatalar.com

    About ERGO SRL: ERGO is a Company founded and managed by specialists in energy efficiency and renewable energies. In this field, ERGO is specialized in turnkey photovoltaic projects and assessing clients in electricity generation projects of all kinds. www.ergo.com.uy

    About dena: The Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena) - the German Energy Agency - is Germany's centre of expertise for energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and intelligent energy systems. dena's aim is to ensure that energy is used in both a national and international context as efficiently, safely and economically as possible with the least possible impact on climate. dena is working with stakeholders from the worlds of politics and business and from society at large to achieve this aim. Shareholders in dena are the Federal Republic of Germany, KfW Bankengruppe, Allianz SE, Deutsche Bank AG and DZ BANK AG. www.dena.de

  15. The foundation of your home, is, by no surprise, the most important aspect of it. While others may argue, the fact that your entire house depends on the integrity of your foundation means that any damage that might occur to it, can be drastic. Since your entire house literally sits on top of this concrete base, any little mistake in its design means that the problems will increase as you go up. Ensuring you protect your foundation will mean longevity and hassle-free home maintenance. Here are ways you can protect your home’s foundation.

    What is the Foundation?

    To begin with, for those who are unaware, the foundation of your home is made from a combination of materials, with the most common being made from poured concrete or concrete block, and a poured concrete footing system. With the majority of North American homes being built this way, it’s safe to assume that your house was also. During the construction process, it is vital that the foundation is poured and dried at level. Any dips or slants will cause structural problems throughout the rest of the house, making it a headache to fix and to sell.

    Ways to Protect Your Foundation

    Now that you are enlightened on what your home’s foundation actually is, here are some ways in which to ensure it is protected, and remains its integrity and strength.

    1. Make Sure the Ground Slopes Away: Keeping water away from the foundation of your home is critical in ensuring it stays dry and protected. Ensuring your backyard or front yard are sloped away from the house will enable runoff water to flow away from the house, instead of towards. If it is sloped towards, water will likely seep into the foundation, causing flooding in your basement and structural damage to the concrete base. If the ground is sloping towards, you’ll have to either call a professional (depending on the severity) to level out the ground, or fill in the areas with dirt yourself, if it’s not too difficult.  

    2. Clean Out Your Gutters: While generally keeping your gutters clean is a good habit for good water runoff, it’s especially important to ensure the water from rain and other precipitation doesn’t get backlogged and then seep into your house. Ensure they are pitched correctly so that they water flow is away from your home, and clean them at least twice a year to remove any buildup that can cause clogs.

    3. Inspect Your Downspouts: As with your gutters, make sure your downspouts don’t have any leaks or holes present. Also, make sure they are pointing away from the foundation of your house, rather than just next to it.

    4. Monitor the Foliage: Especially during the fall, leaves, trees, and foliage tend to shed everywhere. Managing plants and vines that are up against your home is helpful in ensuring they don’t have an active part in trapping moisture and dampness against your home when they are wet. Try not to plant any trees near your foundation either, as they can soak up the moisture that prevents the foundation from cracking.

    5. Water your Foundation: While this may seem contrary to what we’ve been saying about keeping water away from your foundation, no moisture at all can result in cracking and shrinking in the spoil of your foundation. Giving it a good soaking during the summer at periodical intervals will help prevent this from happening.

    Warning Signs You Have a Problem:

    While you may have implemented these preventative measures, if there is a problem with your foundation, you should be able to see warning signs pretty clearly. Here’s what to look out for:

     

    1. If you see pooling occur, especially after a rainstorm, this is a good indication that something isn’t right. Water gathering in pools around the foundation of your home means the ground isn’t level and water is seeping towards the base. Hiring a professional to both level the ground and pump the water away from the house is most likely the best course of action here.

    2. Water leaks don’t always show up easily, so looking out for water stains on the walls or ceiling is a good way to tell if anything is wrong with the house. You might notice it as well with discoloured baseboards or musty smells.

    3. Inspecting the perimeter of your home will let you know if there is a problem. If you see cracks or breakage, this is not a good sign. Making sure the siding, whether it’s brick, wood, vinyl or metal, is at least six inches above the bottom of the foundation is helpful, because often times, dirt and debris can make its way in there and shrink the clearance area. This provides a place for moisture to invade. If possible, power wash and clean away this dirt and buildup to improve the clearance.

  16. Even in 2016, people still need the extra push to get them to do the right thing. As a business owner and employer, you have a specific advantage in ways to help them! Here's some ways to get your employees as excited as you are about saving the world around you!

     

    1) Offer Them Prizes!

    There's nothing more immediately incentivizing as compensation for doing good. That said, giving candy bars or soda to those who choose to recycle a certain amount, carpool, or ride their bikes to work isn't a bad place to start. What you want is for people to start doing the right thing. However, for someone to actually become interested in making a life change, it isn't so easy. See, immediate incentives help in the moment, but how can you encourage them to make the same choices outside of the office that they're making for prizes inside of it?

     

    2) Educate them!

    A useful idea is to offer free classes to anyone who will take them on things like climate change, saving energy using breakroom and office equipment wisely, and even ballpark subjects like bike safety. If you don’t think classes would work, try monthly newsletters or pamphlets. They could be incredibly informational, or even more brief (this, for example, is a good amount of information). Every little bit counts!

     

    3) Group Events!

    Group activities are motivating to people. Organizing groups of employees to clean up litter in a nearby park is what I first think of when talking about group environmentalism, but it’s not the only way. I would recommend staying away from protests as you want your business to have a good reputation, however to each their own.


    Any more recommendations? Let me know in the comments.

  17. Today is the International Coffee Day. If you start every single day with the cup of aromatic brown drink, you are one of the millions that are celebrating today. Drinking coffee is not just a habit, it’s a ritual. What’s more pleasant than making a big cup of good coffee with milk (or without) and drinking it in bed while reading a book or a magazine?

    “Let’s have a cup of coffee". I’m sure you all get excited when you hear that. It means not just drinking coffee, but also meeting a friend, sharing some stories and emotions.

    Except of the emotional delight here are 5 more benefits of drinking coffee:

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    It contains a lot of antioxidants

    An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules, so if you want your body to function properly, it’s good to make sure you provide yourself enough of it. Some fruits and vegetables are rich of antioxidants. Coffee too. So, it you have concerns that your coffee addiction is bad for your health… well, that’s not 100% true.

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    It helps you concentrate

    You get up at 8 o’clock in the morning at your first thought is “coffee, please”, you are not the only one. In fact, drinking coffee is not only an usual morning habit. It’s proven that coffee actually helps you not only to wake up, but also to stay focused. So, if you have a list of important tasks to do today, make yourself a cup of excellent coffee. If you have to learn for an important exam, coffee will help you stay concentrated. It gives you energie too - if you are moving home, for, example, have a cup of coffee first... or call professional removalists in Melbourne to do the job for you.

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    It boosts metabolism

    There are few health benefits of drinking coffee in the morning and one of them is that it boosts metabolism. So, don’t miss your mug of coffee, guys. A glass of warm water before you have breakfast helps too.

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    It’s a great reason to meet friends

    “Let’s go for a coffee” is one of the most common used invitations when you want to meet somebody. We always serve our guest a cup of coffee after the meal, too. In some societies drinking coffee is a whole ritual. There are special ways of making it and serving it in Turkey, for example. In some offices people enjoy drinking coffee together and talking about the weekend or their free time for a while before we start dealing with the daily tasks.

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    Some more reasons why coffee is actually great for your health

    A fact that you may don’t know about drinking coffee is that it can lossen the symptoms of Parkinson disease!

    If you are a woman, coffee could reduce your chances of getting skin cancer.

    Coffee can make you more intelligent and it keeps your brain in great condition.

    It reduces the risk of getting Type 2 diabetes.

  18. Going green is a trend that isn’t going away anytime soon. More and more people are incorporating a lot of great green initiatives into their daily life to make a difference for their planet. Many people think, in fact, that there is not much more they can do to go green.

    Even though it seems like there is not much the average person can do, there are a lot of new an uncommon ways to save the planet and its resources. Anyone can try to add these practices into their daily lives. Here are six new ways to go green you haven’t tried yet.

    Get a better energy provider

    Every year there are more and better options for green energy from some of the most popular companies in the business. Everyone should reevaluate their options and compare energy rates every year to make sure they are getting the best price for the best, cleanest energy they can get to their home.

    Make your own green products

    There are a lot of good options for green products on the market today. However, many of these products are quite expensive and most still use a lot of valuable resources in the manufacturing process. Instead, try doing some DIY to make homemade products, trying out everything from cleaning products to beauty products.

    Ditch all plastic

    A lot of plastic is used and wasted in the world every day. This is a major issue that many people cannot seem to get away from. Though using no plastic whatsoever may not be possible every day, everyone can make big changes to use less plastic regularly, like switching to paper or reusable bags at the supermarket, as a most basic example.

    Try CO2 dry cleaning

    There is a new dry cleaning method that is hitting most major chains around the world. This method uses cleaner practices that create no carbon dioxide to keep the air clean and everyone’s clothes clean as well. This is still a new method, so make sure to ask the local businesses if they are able to get it at their establishment.

    Make the home smarter

    Smart homes used to be just a futuristic fantasy. Today, smart homes are becoming a very real possibility to many people, to some extent. Everyone can make their home smarter by helping it use the least amount of energy every day automatically. A couple basic changes to make are installing an automatic thermostat and a universal power controls to help the home use less energy without home owners having to even lift a finger.

    6_New_Ways_to_Go_Green_You_Havent_Tried_

    Find a new way to use animals to benefit the planet

    Though many people reduce their consumption of animal products already to reduce pollution, there are other ways to use animals to the benefit of the planet. Many people are opting to let animals, like goats and sheep, to mow down their grass. This may sound bizarre, but it is a practice that more people are getting on board with. 

     

  19. We live in an increasingly eco-conscious world, where both home-owners and brands are driven to create a prosperous natural environment. This is even true in major metropolises and cosmopolitan hubs such as the U.S., where nearly 40% of all consumers now make purchasing decisions based on the use of sustainable materials and processes.

    There is no doubt that brands and business-owners are leading this drive, however, as the rising prevalence of corporate social responsibility (CSR) continues to compel them. This is empowering consumers to live more sustainable and Eco-friendly lifestyles, while also serving as a template for others to follow.

    3 Lessons that Home-owners can Learn from Leading Brands

    With this in mind, let’s take a look at three of the major lessons that home-owners can learn from businesses and brands when creating an Eco-friendly living environment: -

    Think in terms of ROI when creating a sustainable home

    One of the biggest issues facing home-owners is a lack of forward planning, which makes it extremely difficult to create a budget and execute potentially costly Eco modifications around the home. Many may even be deterred by the cost, regardless of the long-term benefits or whether they have the financial resources to complete the project. This is where savvy entrepreneurs would consider the ROI of a specific modification, measuring this against the potential ecological benefits before making an informed decision.

    There are energy reduction specialists that can help you to calculate the cost and ROI of Eco-friendly modifications, so before to consult with these in addition to amending your existing mind-set.

    Create a culture of Awareness among those involved

    This is perhaps the most pertinent lesson that can be learned by business owners, quite simply because long-term environmental gains cannot be made without a culture of awareness. Just as businesses strive to educate their employees on the importance of sustainability and equip them with the tools to work in a socially responsible way, home-owners must empower fellow residents to maintain a cost-effective and energy-efficient home.

    This can be achieved by spending time with residents and educating them on how sustainable living can contribute to an improved natural environment. Start by involving fellow residents and family members in the project, creating enthusiasm and a genuine sense of accomplishment in the process.

    Pay Attention to small and seemingly insignificant details

    Businesses and corporate ventures have a huge advantage when looking to implement Eco-friendly measures, simply because they can delegate specific tasks while maintaining a strategic overview of costs and goals. This makes it far easier to pay careful attention to small and seemingly insignificant details, which in turn can help individuals to manage costs accordingly. While home-owners may lack this level of human resources, they can at least recognise the importance of detail and how it underpins any successful modification project.

    In terms of home-modification, this applies to executing small and affordable measures before investing in solar panel. More specifically, you should ensure that your home as interior insulation, which is cheap to install and helps structures to retain heat during the winter. Similarly, you should also look to address any gaps that adorn the walls or doorways, using basic polyfilla or draft excluders. Statistics suggest that this reduces energy loss by 20%, which translates into tremendous efficiency and significant savings.

  20. 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.

  21. When the topic of solar energy for homeowners is discussed, it often concentrates almost entirely on the cost of installation and the amount of money that can be saved on electricity bills. Both those topics are important, but they’re entirely about the financial side of solar energy. There are also many practical topics about a solar installation that must be worked out before the homeowner can enjoy the carefree benefits of harvesting energy from the sun. The number one topic for any solar installer will always be the location on the house where the solar panels will be located.

    Some of the limitations on the number of places on a home that solar panels can be installed are obvious. If the available sunlight is blocked by nearby structures or trees, part of the roof will be unsuitable for a solar panel array. Most housing in the United States was built without any consideration for the possible effectiveness of passive solar gain, never mind an active solar collection plan.

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    Image by OpenClipartVectors

    Solar Panel Installers Work With What You Have

    Most houses are built from plans taken from a catalog that doesn’t take into account the direction that the house will face when compared to a compass heading. The house has a front façade that is designed to face the street, and the random direction of the way the street is laid out governs the orientation of the house. When a solar company like SunBugSolar.com is hired to design and install panels to supply solar energy for homeowners, they have to work around what is in place.

    Luckily for homeowners, solar installations can be placed effectively in many different locations on a home while still delivering big savings on energy bills every month. If the roof on your home isn’t well suited for a solar panel array for any reason, there are many alternate locations that will work almost as well. Here’s a short list of alternatives to conventional roof locations for solar panels:

    Solar Panels on Sidewalls

    If your south-facing roof surface is unsuitable for a solar array, the south-facing building façade is often the next place an installer will look for a location for your panels. Solar panels work best when they face the southern sky, but they also work better when they’re angled properly to catch the most rays. Panels that are laid obliquely to the sun’s rays collect less energy. That’s why sloped roofs generally make the best locations for solar panels. Roofs on single-family homes are almost always pitched to shed rain and snow away from the house. While the angle of the roof will vary depending on the kind of house design that is used, it’s always preferable to laying the panels on a flat surface.

    In a way, vertical sidewalls are the opposite of a flat roof when considerations of the angle of the sun’s rays are taken into account. Sidewalls still have the problem with amount of rays hitting the panels at an oblique angle, but they are at 90 degrees compared to a flat roof. Installations on a flat roof will usually be made with the panels angled toward the sun. This is accomplished by putting the panels on racks, with the end of the rack pointing south or southeast lower than the end that is facing north. Every degree of incline is useful to lower the angle of the panel in relation to the sun.

    When panels are installed on a house’s sidewall, the bottom edge of the panel can be tilted out on brackets in much the same way. More of the suns rays will hit the panel at as close to perpendicular as possible, increasing the yield of the panel overall.

    Solar Panels on Garage and Outbuilding Roofs

    The electrical service panel in your home will no doubt be the nerve center for your new solar installation as well. It’s natural to think that the main house is the only appropriate place for solar energy for homeowners to consider, but there’s no reason why a garage or other outbuilding can’t serve as an appropriate location for a solar array.

    It doesn’t really matter if the garage is attached to the house or freestanding to make it a candidate for a solar upgrade. If the orientation of the structure and the pitch of the roof make it a superior place for solar collection, there’s no reason that the service panel for the solar collector can’t be located inside an outbuilding. The service wires for the collected electricity can be buried in a conduit between the outbuilding and the main house, in the same way newly constructed houses have the electrical service run without stringing wires from a telephone pole. In some installations, this might also be desirable because no part of the new solar installation will affect the existing house itself.

    Solar Panel Ground Installations

    If the house roof is not suitable for a solar array, but you have a great deal of unobstructed area around the house, the solar panels can be mounted on the ground on racks. This has many advantages. The panels can be installed, cleaned, monitored, and repaired without ever leaving the ground. This is much safer and more convenient than roof locations.

    Because the solar array is designed from scratch, and isn’t dependent on the existing structure, it can be aimed at the point of the compass that will collect the most sunlight. The angle of the panels can also be easily configured to collect even more sunlight. It’s generally easier to add on to a ground-based solar array, and the total installation can be expanded past anything even the largest roof can offer.

    Eventually, House Designs Will Be Ready for Solar

    As solar panel installations become more common, home designers will inevitably begin to alter their plans with an eye towards integrating solar arrays. Architects and builders have integrated a great deal of technology into houses in the last two centuries, including things we take for granted like indoor plumbing, electrical service and fixtures, phone lines, and cable and Internet service. There’s no reason that houses can’t be designed to accommodate solar energy for homeowners like any other technology. Until then, solar installers will continue to use ingenuity to work around the existing designs.

     

     

  22. wind-turbine-2218457_640.jpg

     

    So you want a home that's cool in the summer and warm in the winter, but you're sick and tired of paying ridiculous monthly energy bills. You look around and wonder if there's any way to keep your home comfortable, while not giving the utility company another dime. What options do you have for changing the temperature of your home's air while staying "off the grid?" Actually, more options than you probably think.

     

    Let the Outside In

    If the idea of high utility bills and constant maintenance don't sound like your idea of a relaxing summer, consider opening some windows to drop the temperature in your home. The key here is to allow air to flow through your home, as moving air feels much more refreshing on the skin than standing air. So, open up windows on the front and rear of your home, as wide as you can, and enjoy nature's free air conditioning.

     

    Go Old-Fashioned

    If the thought of chopping wood and wearing flannel get you fired up, consider heating your home the old-fashioned way, with a wood-burning fireplace. Though requiring more effort than a traditional furnace, a fireplace can efficiently warm the common areas of your home, supplemented by heavy blankets in bedrooms. Additionally, if you can access an inexpensive wood supply, you will have constant heat all winter for a fraction of the cost.

     

    Go Hi-Tech

    Solar is another option when considering going off the grid, though it has a high initial cost of investment. While many panels would be needed to adequately power an HVAC system, using smaller heating and cooling units, supplemented by other heating and cooling methods on this list, could allow you to meet your entire power need. Not to mention, many utilities and local governments offer substantial rebates for significant solar investment, resulting in a shorter time for you to recoup your initial cost.

     

    Go Down Under

    Geothermal systems can also be a practical component of off-the-grid living. These systems use pipes buried deep in the ground to take advantage of the more constant temperatures found at that depth. Always more refreshing than the surface in the summer, and warmer than the surface in winter, a decent-sized installation will enhance the effectiveness of other methods you use to reduce your utility bills. In more temperate climates, you may be able to rely solely on a geothermal system for all your heating and cooling needs.

     

    Charge It Up

    A large rechargeable battery, while not creating any energy of its own, is still a critical component to employ in an off-the-grid system. Large batteries store excess energy from other off-the-grid sources for many days, meaning that they can power heating and cooling appliances for a substantial amount of time. If you're planning on going completely off-the-grid, but don't want to change your lifestyle more than you have to, a battery is essential.


     

    Whether you choose to go off-the-grid only some or go all the way, off-the-grid heating and cooling methods can save you a vast amount of money, over time. Knowing the right techniques to integrate for your home and using them effectively will ensure that you have the best results, and are the envy of your friends and family when you tell them how you kissed the energy company goodbye.

     

    Resources

    Telegraph

    Classic Air

    Texas Fireframe

    House Logic

    HowStuffWorks

  23. Whether it is a largescale construction for businesses, government offices or residences embracing green energy is the current trend. Integrating sophisticated technologies that are energy efficient with the use of green construction works and recycled materials have become a mainstay now. These measures in addition to increasing energy efficiency form sustainable designs and effective solutions for homes and businesses. 

    The need for such solutions has become imperative, as the normal heating and cooling solutions used at present lead to a very high level of CO2 emissions. For instance, the air conditioning used in automobiles consumes about 5 percent of the vehicle fuel and is responsible for CO2 emissions that go over 2 million tonnes in the UK alone. To effectively check the harmful emissions and improve energy efficiency, here are some of the top three heating and cooling technologies in use now.

    Geothermal solution

    The central core of the earth has an endless supply of steam and hot water, and the temperature increases as you go deeper. But this limitless supply can be tapped without digging too far, using geo thermal systems. The systems use energy underneath the earth surface to cool and heat any type of industrial warehouse, building or domestic homes.

    While direct tapping is possible, heat pumps are used by the geo thermal systems, which recycle the heat extracted from the geo thermal wells present underground. In winter, the fluids in the pumps absorb the heat underneath and warm the air above, while in summer the reverse happens resulting in cool air. Using pre- insulated pipes for district heating and cooling is another simple, but effective way to boost energy efficiency, as they prevent thermal leaks from the pipes reducing heating costs considerably.

    Solar energy

    Solar panels have become a regular fixture in many commercial and residential properties. The photovoltaic materials present in the panels convert sunlight into power for heating, cooling and lighting in buildings. While installing the panels is expensive, the money saved in the energy bills over the years is more than the expense incurred making it a highly viable option.  Cheaper alternatives also exist in harnessing solar power. Air, water, or liquid absorbs sunlight via a collector, which transfers the heat to a storage system or building directly.

    Biomass

    Biomass is a natural and sustainable energy form that is considerably cheaper, when compared to propane, oil, or natural gas. The biomass systems in use now release minimal pollutants and burn in a clean way making them a highly desirable largescale heating and cooling solution. The amount of carbon dioxide produced by biomass is very less and is comparable to the carbon dioxide level released by a plant. Using biomass can save you a huge amount on the power bills and keep the environment safe too.

    The heightening concern regarding the impact of harmful greenhouse gas emissions has forced the world to look at green energy measures. From improving energy efficiency with proper insulation to using renewable and environment-friendly fuels several solutions have been tried out with varying degrees of success. Research is still underway to find more such sustainable energy solutions, which are cost efficient and feasible for all.

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  24. There are a lot of factors to consider when selecting a roofing contractor for a roof installation. It goes without saying that you want a roofer with plenty of experience. It’s also important that you select a roofer with a good reputation in your community and a proven track record of doing high quality work. Of course, the quoted price also has to be taken into consideration. One factor that many homeowners overlook when choosing a contractor is the roofer’s warranty.

    Don’t rely solely on the manufacturer’s warranty When you have a new roof installed, the roofing materials come with a warranty from the manufacturer. This protects you in the event the roofing materials fail prematurely. But sometimes, a problem with the installation itself can cause the roof to fail sooner than it should. Many manufacturer’s warranties will stipulate that a problem in the first two years isn’t covered. When the problem is with the installation, the manufacturer’s warranty won’t be any help. In this situation, you hope that the roofer will stand by their work and fix the problem.

    Check the fine print

    Any reputable roofer will offer some kind of warranty on their work, but not all warranties are equal. When selecting a roofer, it isn’t enough to just ask if the roofer offers a warranty, you need to pay attention to the details and read the fine print when comparing roofing warranties. There’s a big difference between a warranty that promises to “fix all defects” and a warranty that says it will “keep the roof watertight.” Pay attention to the language used and be wary of warranties that use exclusive language to limit what the roofer will fix. Also see how long the roofer’s warranty is. Some will offer free repairs for the first couple of years and a discounted rate thereafter.

    Other considerations

    Even the most generous warranties can be voided if you don’t properly care for the roof. If you never have your roof inspected, or if you don’t clean out the rain gutters and allow debris to accumulate in the roof valleys, you can’t expect the roofer to honor a warranty since a lack of roof maintenance could be to blame for roofing problems.

    To be safe, only work with a roofing contractor who has a brick and mortar location in the area. If you have a fly­by­night roofer or storm chaser install your roof, there’s a good chance they won’t be available to make repairs down the road. A local roofer with a good reputation in your community, however, will be there to honor a warranty should it be needed.

    Home improvement news brought to you by bartonroof.com

    Source: everybodyneedsaroof.com/News/Details/2040

     

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