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  • Mark Piazzalunga

    DESERTEC project, Sahara Sun could power Europe by 2050

    By Mark Piazzalunga

    Sahara desert climate is hot and arid, everybody knows it. So how can this simple and well-known fact become the idea to power a continent like Europe? Let’s start from the principle: renewable energy is the future of energy; we assume that this sentence is true since all facts gets to this point. Second principle: European territory is restricted and allows the construction of a few plants that could use renewable energy. Paradoxically, countries like Africa have renewable sources, particularly solar, in abundance but scarce funds to make the best of these resources. Now find the connection. Is it possible to produce huge amounts of solar energy in Africa and transport them to Europe through energy infrastructures? Apparently yes, according to DESERTEC project developers and supporters. And what is DESERTEC? It’s an initiative of the Club of Rome (a global think tank that has its headquarters in Switzerland) started in 2009. Directly from the official website of the project (Desertec.org): "The DESERTEC concept was developed by a network of politicians, scientists and economists from around the Mediterranean, from which was born the DESERTEC Foundation. Demonstrates a way to provide climate protection, energy security and the development of sustainable energy generation from sites where renewable energy sources are at their most plentiful." In practical terms? Connect renewable energy power plants in Africa to Europe through a network of HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) systems. The Foundation target is to build several renewable power plants of various types (mainly wind, photovoltaic and solar concentration) throughout North Africa. To support the project financially, the Foundation and other 12 companies (including Deutsche Bank, E.ON, RWE and ABB) created an industrial initiative: Dii GmbH. The construction project would continue until 2050 and for that date, the cost is estimated at € 400 billion, which means $ 546,720,000,000, approximately seven times Bill Gates’ fortune. It’s little bit expensive (life on Mars seems cheaper) but the entire network could provide Europe with the 15-20% of electricity that it needs. We must also consider the drastic decrease of pollution, direct effect of the project. This project isn’t just an idea but it seems an accurate and long-term plan. This could be an opportunity to connect two continents and to give them economic opportunities and jobs. There could be some problems like the wars and the instability of some of North Africa countries or how to get all 40 nations to agree to an arrangement for subsidizing the green electricity. There’s also the possibility to build the plants in Europe, just $ 54 billion more, and doing some math it brings to a shocking number: €2 per citizen per year to keep tens of thousands of jobs in Europe -- and to prevent Europe from becoming dependent on foreign countries for its electricity. Well, the project just started and it has the funds to go forward. We can't wait to see the results. Photo from Desertec.org
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    • 3,256 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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    • 725 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
    • 850 views

Our community blogs

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    Business owners are in a unique position to look out for the environment. You have the capacity to conserve resources, reduce the use of materials and encourage recycling. You can also strive for a greater level of efficiency. These tips will help you to look out for the environment by making upgrades, working with industry professionals and making green purchasing decisions.

    Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades

    Manufacturing facilities could lower operational costs and look out for the environment by making energy-efficient upgrades. For example, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems can be upgraded to ultra-efficient systems. Ducts can be sealed and insulated. Walls and roofs can also be insulated. Anti-leak devices can be fitted onto plumbing, and fixtures can be updated with low-flow or dual-flush switches.

    Working With Air Quality Consulting Services

    Working with an air quality consulting service could help your manufacturing center to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Professionals, like those at Stephenson Environmental Management Australia, evaluate the quality of the air inside of various facilities. Your business might even qualify for certain incentives to work with an air quality consultant and reduce emissions.

    Updating With Green Materials

    Consider updating your facility with green materials when possible. For example, when your warehouse or building needs its roof replaced, consider a living roof made of grass that absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen. These roofs also reduce water runoff. If you need to replace flooring, consider recycled materials that do not off-gas chemicals. Some good options include concrete with reclaimed pieces or recycled glass embedded into the concrete.

    Switching to Recyclable Materials

    Consider the sources of the materials used in your manufacturing processes. If possible, purchase materials and supplies that have been recycled or that will be recyclable after you make them. Encourage your customers to recycle your products when they are finished using them. Consider minimizing the packaging associated with your products. You could also strive to use less resources in your manufacturing, such as reusing your scrap materials or cutting down on paper usage for administrative purposes.

    When your company looks out for the environment, everyone enjoys the benefits. The efforts that you make to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, cut down on waste, reduce energy consumption and curtail the unnecessary use of packaging and other resources can be highlighted to the public, consumers, stockholders and others. Your efforts may also help to lower your operating costs and encourage new customers to support your environmentally-friendly efforts.

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    Everybody knows that California is one of the biggest producers of agricultural products in North America. In fact, despite having been in a drought situation for five years in a row, the agriculture industry generated record revenues in 2014, and employments levels reached a record high.

     

    But that’s short-term stuff. Experts and concerned voices of the general public have been asking what are the long-term effects of such a long drought? Despite the crisis having been officially declared at an end on April 7th, the legacy of California’s water crisis can already be felt across industries, from the agricultural sector to the state’s symbolic golf courses, as well as in both urban and rural areas. As a result, water conservation practices continue to play an important role in the state, as there is no doubt that there will be more droughts in store. It’s just a matter of when.

     

    Drought agriculture

    Despite the drought being declared “over”, the state’s ecological and economic future continue to remain at risk. Sustainability is a particular issue at hand. Record agricultural revenues and employment records invariably come at a cost when a region happens to be suffering from long-term drought. If the state has fared relatively well thus far, it is only because farmers have resorted to pumping up astounding amounts of groundwater – a practice that most certainly has a deadline drawn by Mother Nature.

     

    Pumping groundwater has already caused visible effects across the state. Rural areas in particular have been hit hard as households that are dependent on wells have been left without water. Meanwhile, parts of the state have begun to sink at increasingly rapid rates from over pumping. Up to 18 native fish species and water-bird populations are also at risk of total extinction or decline.

     

    All in all, it is clear that the agricultural sector’s attempt to thrive despite a drought has wreaked havoc on the environment. Unfortunately, a lack of data makes it difficult to propose regulations that could deal with disastrous over-pumping. Though the latest drought is technically over, if harmful watering practices continue, there may not even be a habitable California in the future for there to be a legacy left behind at all.

     

    A culture of conservation

    The frequency and duration of California’s droughts has led to the development of a culture of conservation in recent years. Regulations developed since the last disastrous drought have resulted in water conservation practices becoming the default behaviour of many Californians. Studies have conducted in order to identify how much energy is saved as a result of water conservation practices, in addition to evaluating the impact of conservation culture on municipal water treatment plant operations.  

     

    This water conservation culture is extremely important given that rural and urban areas are often at risk of destruction due to wildfires. A disproportionately large number of wildfires have occurred in California over the drought years, permanently damaging the ecosystem and destroying lives in the process.

     

    As such, conservation strategies also involve advocating for better forest management practices, which could potentially save lives and the ecosystem with proper execution. This includes both suppressing existing fires and preparing for potential fires in the off-season. That said, recent cuts to the Department of the Interior amount to $1.5 billion. Vaguely worded promises to responsibly budget the wildfire suppression program make it difficult to say just how this already underfunded initiative will be able to contribute to safeguarding California in a meaningful manner in the years to come.

     

    Golfing goes green

    The negative effect of droughts on California’s legacy can also be seen on the state’s iconic golfing greens. While dead grass is perhaps less important than a raging wildfire, the fact remains that golf courses have been an important part of the state’s identity. Continued droughts could do lasting harm to this particular aspect of Californian culture.

     

    With Californian golf courses using close to 300 million gallons of water a year, there is no question as to why Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive 25 percent water reduction order across the state, with special attention given to golf courses. However, up to three-quarters of the state’s golf courses have been using high-tech, responsive sprinklers that are water-efficient for many years. Another one-third of golf courses are watered specifically only using reclaimed, non-potable water.

     

    Unfortunately, a certain number of regions have been lackluster in their efforts to champion conservation culture. Some regions have implemented far more aggressive water-reduction measures than others, meaning that conservation efforts vary from golf course to golf course and that the burden is not shared equally.

     

    Ultimately, golf greens will matter very little to California if the state continues to suffer from serious long-term droughts as it has over the past five years. No amount of water reduction orders or last-ditch efforts to pump out groundwater will be able to save the region if widespread agricultural practices don’t change and conservation efforts aren’t stepped up a notch. An increase in wildfires during drought periods will also continue to pose another major risk to Californian homes and businesses. It remains to be seen how President Trump’s new budgets will affect the current state of affairs – and just what will become of California’s legacy.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Thank you for your desire to adopt a green lifestyle! Our Earth isn't getting any younger. While some environmental damage is reversible, lethal diseases and animal extinction are not. Here are five home services increasingly turning green.

     

    Landscaping

    Eco-friendly commercial landscapers use methods that save water, eliminate harmful chemicals, protect wildlife, and reduce pollution of soil, water, and air. They also minimize maintenance.

     

    Water Conservation

    Fountains and waterfalls are refreshing landscape elements. Landscapers install fixtures that recycle water. In plantings, crews group vegetation with similar water needs into separate zones. They also use drought-resistant native vegetation. Having adapted to local conditions, these plants require less water and care. Ground covers, in particular, reduce evaporation from bare soil.

    Landscapers also save water by installing automatic sprinklers with rain sensors. Controller devices further adjust watering according to the seasons. Or a landscaper can manually adjust a sprinkler system every other month. To minimize water loss through evaporation, technicians program sprinklers to activate in the early morning.

    Alternatively, you can have a landscaper replace natural grass with synthetic turf. Quality artificial turf has the same lush appearance and soft texture of live grass. Plus, you avoid the maintenance requirements of aerating, watering, mowing, fertilizing, weeding, and edging grass.

    If you keep a garden, landscapers can install a drip irrigation system. Water droplets ooze through perforated hoses, directing water to plant roots. Overhead sprinkling wastes water by delivering it to plant surfaces, where it quickly evaporates.

    Spreading mulch over bare soil conserves water, inhibits weeds, and reduces erosion. A landscaper can offer you several mulch options, such as wood chips, bark, gravel, coconut fiber, and recycled tires. Eco-conscious landscapers source wood mulch from pruned branches and bark.

    Eco-friendly landscapers also help the environment in the following ways:

    • Pest Control. Native plants are more resistant to pests than foreign species, reducing the need for pesticides. They also attract beneficial insects and birds that eat harmful bugs. Eco-conscious landscapers use organic insect oils to kill pests in their young stages. Natural systemic soil drenches target pests, leaving the ecosystem unharmed. Plus, they only need to be applied once yearly.

    • Fertilization. Chemical fertilizers are high in phosphorus which leaches into groundwater, lakes, and streams. Phosphorus is toxic to aquatic life. Phosphate-free fertilizers eliminate this risk. Organic fertilizers release slowly and last longer than chemicals. They activate soil microbes, fighting off disease and improving soil health. One type of organic fertilizer used is untreated, composted grass clippings.

     

    Pest Control

    Pest control companies like American Pest Control Inc are taking a holistic approach to eradicating insects, using nontoxic chemicals and practices. Employing a dual strategy, they address both infestations and their causes.

    • Pheromone Traps. Pheromones are compounds insects secrete, by which they communicate. Synthetic versions of these chemicals are applied to lures, drawing pests into sticky traps.

    • Fly Lights. These devices use ultraviolet light to attract flying pests to a glue board. On sophisticated models, you can vary the UV output, from 25 to 100 watts.

    • Sticky Boards. These traps have adhesive surfaces to which crawling insects stick. Technicians place sticky boards in hot spots where pests congregate.

    • Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs). These synthetic proteins thwart or inhibit insect life cycles. Since pests don't reach maturity, they can't reproduce. IGRs are specific to insect species. For example, one designed for fleas prevents eggs and larvae from reaching adulthood. A roach IGR makes it impossible for the bug to shed its exoskeleton, a necessary stage in development.

    • Repellents. Natural dusts contain pyrethrum flowers and silica. When pests contact these substances, their bodies desiccate. Repellents target ants, silverfish, fleas, cockroaches, and bedbugs.

    • Sanitation. The goal is to hamper insects' access to food and water. Try to clean up spills promptly, keep lids on trash containers, and regularly remove garbage from your property. Also, eliminate sources of standing water, and repair roof and plumbing leaks.

    • Maintenance. Ensure that screens fit tightly and windows and doors are securely shut. Weather stripping helps. Close cracks in your home's exterior with weather-resistant sealant.

     

    Carpet Cleaning

    Companies typically use toxic chemicals, releasing fumes and leaving residues. Since we're exposed to them through our noses, mouths, skin, and eyes, they enter our bloodstreams. Side effects include dizziness, nausea, and fatigue.

    Some solvents are potentially carcinogenic for the kidneys, liver, and central nervous system. Additionally, rinse water with poisonous chemicals is dumped into drains, killing our soil, streams, rivers, and oceans.

    Eco-conscious carpet cleaners use natural products, such as extracts of grapefruit, lemon, and orange. Carbonating bubbles lift soil from carpets. These products are free of noxious chemicals, making them safer for people and pets. Commercial operators also use them to clean rugs and upholstery. Natural carpet cleaners effectively eliminate pet odors, dust mites, spots, dirt, and grime. Safe products are green-certified by The Carpet and Rug Institute.

     

    Home Construction

    Each year, producing concrete releases tons of carbon emissions into the Earth's atmosphere. One reason is that processing the limestone needed involves heating it to 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit. Mining virgin sand and gravel for concrete depletes riverbeds, beaches, and land quarries.

    Eco-friendly building contractors swap concrete for sustainable building materials. They can incorporate them into your cabinets, counters, floors, walls, insulation, and roof. You may be familiar with some products, such as reclaimed lumber, recycled glass, and re-purposed plastic. However, exciting options now in use may be new to you.

    • Straw Bales. Compressed straw forms interior walls. It can stand in for concrete, plaster, wood, fiberglass, stone, and the mineral rock gypsum. When sealed, straw bales are highly insulating.

    • Rammed Earth. Mechanical tampers compact soil inside wooden forms, creating strong exterior walls.

    • HempCrete. Hemp fibers are reinforced with lime, yielding blocks with the strength of concrete. Being lightweight, less energy is needed to transport them to home sites.

    • Bamboo. This woody grass is stronger than concrete and brick. Since it grows so rapidly, bamboo is an easily-renewed building resource. Most commercial bamboo comes from China, where it's cultivated without chemicals. Bamboo is used for house frames and floors.

    • Mycelium. Mushroom and fungus roots are trained to grow around pulverized straw in molds. The resultant lightweight, durable material is then cut into blocks.

    • Ferrock. This material is made from waste steel dust and recycled glass. When hardening, the iron within steel absorbs atmospheric carbon dioxide. Silica from glass further reinforces iron. The resultant product has more compressive strength than concrete. For this reason, ferrock is nicknamed "green cement" and "carbon dioxide sponge." Ferrock also resists cracking. It has more "flexural strength," the ability to withstand stress before bending and breaking. Ferrock saves steel dust and glass bottles from ending up in landfills. By trapping atmospheric carbon dioxide, less is available to create a warming greenhouse effect. Here you can learn more about why ferrock rocks!

    • AshCrete. This product consists of 97 percent recycled materials. One of them is fly ash, a residue of coal-burning power plants. Traditionally, most fly ash ends up in landfills. However, when mixed with lime and water, the resulting compound is a tough alternative to cement.

    • Carbon Concrete. This thermoplastic is made from a byproduct of oil refining. It's primarily used in flooring.

     

    Housecleaning

    A reputable housecleaning service employs well-trained, experienced, industry-certified technicians. They use state-of-the-art equipment that can handle large-scale, difficult jobs. Examples are cleaning your ductwork, scrubbing baseboards, and polishing windows.

    A green cleaning service fosters a healthy home environment. You aren't exposed to toxic chemicals in the air or on surfaces. There's less risk of developing respiratory illness. Eco-friendly cleaners reduce smog-producing gases. Green-certified products contain benign, effective natural ingredients that are safe for people and pets.

    When comparison shopping for a green cleaning contractor, look for proof that employees are bonded and insured. Trustworthy companies have extensive screening procedures, including criminal checks and drug testing. Ask for references from clients the companies serve. Also preferable is a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.

    Additionally, choose a company with green certification, such as that awarded by Green Seal. Products should be free of phosphates and phthalates. Vacuums should have HEPA filters and be endorsed by The Carpet and Rug Institute and American Lung Association. Housecleaning employees should also use dual-chamber buckets and microfiber cloths and mops.

     

    The Green Bandwagon

    Our world needs more eco-conscious people like you! Now you know even more about home services for green pest control, landscaping, carpet cleaning, construction, and housecleaning. Share your knowledge with neighbors, family, and friends. Get them on the bandwagon to keep greening efforts moving!

  4. Metal recycling can be a process complex and the majority of people have no idea what it implies. The first thing you should know is that the process includes sorting metals according to their quality and type. It is important to pay more attention to recycling nowadays, because metals are versatile and essential to a large number of industries. They can be used in the manufacturing industry to create airplanes, cars trucks, railways and ships. Also, metals are used to create domestic items as crockery and cutlery, and sometimes they are used even in packaging.  Moreover, what is amazing about metal is that they can be recycled and their properties will not be altered in the process. Usually people recycle steel and aluminum, but this does not mean that the other ones cannot be included in the process. However metals as brass, silver and gold are too valuable to be recycled, and people take good care of them.

    Metal recycling - steps to follow 1.jpg

    Why should people recycle more?

    Metals are valuable materials because they can be recycled multiple times without losing their properties. The process of metal recycling in Toronto can bring you a lot of money, and this should motivate you collect every metal item you have around the house. In addition to this benefit, it is important to recycle metal, because we have to protect the environment. If people recycle metals, they help at the preservation of natural resources, because recycling requires less energy than to manufacture products from new metals. Also recycling emits less harmful gases as carbon dioxide. And where you count that recycling creates jobs, so it is important to pay it the required attention.

    Collecting the metals

    The most important step in the process of recycling is to collect them. You will have to carefully collect every item made from metal and place them in the right container. Make sure you place them in the especially designed containers, because other way they may lose their properties. Also, you have the possibility to take the collected metals to the local scrap yard, because you will receive money for the quantity you have collected. Every one of the metals is paid differently, so make sure to check the prices before.

    Sorting the metals

    When you collect a large quantity of metals, you have to take some time to sort them. In this way, you will see which one of the items is recyclable and which one is not. The quality of the metal objects is very important in the process, because a high quality recycled object will lead to the manufacture of a good quality item. Every one of the metal parts you will take to the crap center will be checked for its qualitative features.

    Processing and melting

    The next step in the process of recycling the metals is to shred them. This action is essential to promote the melting process, because in this way it is required less energy. Steel is melted under the form of blocks and aluminum as small sheets. A large furnace will be used to melt the shredded metals. According to the type of metal, a special furnace will be used. The amount of energy used to melt the metals is lower than the one of extracting and manufacturing metals from the virgin ores. The size of the furnace will influence the amount of energy and time. The process may take from a couple of minutes to multiple hours.

    Purification

    Once the metals are melted they have to be purified. Depending on the type of metal, various methods can be used. One of the methods used during this process is electrolysis. Some types of metals are passed under magnetic systems for separating the metals. This process is important because the manufacturers have to make sure that the final product is free of impurities.

    Metals you can recycle

    If you want to collect the metals around your house, it is important to know what types are recyclable. Metals are categorized as non-ferrous and ferrous, the last type features combinations of carbon with iron. Some of the ferrous metals are cast iron, wrought iron, carbon steel and alloy steel. From the category of non-ferrous metals, we can list tin, zinc, lead, copper, and aluminum. You should know that precious metals are non-ferrous metals. They include palladium, iridium, silver, gold and platinum.

    Metal recycling should receive the needed attention, because it has the potential to offer multiple business opportunities. In case, you want to find more details about this subject, you can find multiple online guides. With their help, you will understand better the factors that influence the scrap metal industry, and what opportunities you can have.

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  5. As a homeowner, one of the most satisfying parts of owning your home is having a beautiful yard to take care of. Owning your own piece of land is something to take pride in. While having beautiful landscaping on your property is a sign of elegance and grace, it can also be quite damaging to the environment and at times dangerous. It is important to make sure you are creating a beautiful landscape that will be safe for your family and guest as well as being eco-friendly. Here are four ways to safely landscape your yard while protecting the environment.

     

    Use Native Plants To Help Save On Water

    It is no mystery that we are facing a shortage of water in many different places in our country. This is especially true in states like California. There are some very strict rules that apply to residents of these dry states when it comes to watering your lawns. When trying to protect the environment, it is important to incorporate native plants that will help you save on water.

     

    Do Not Create Attractive Nuisances In Your Landscaping

    You need to be careful what types of attractive nuisances you are bringing into your landscaping. While a natural rock wall may be fun your children to use during the summer, neighborhood children could injure themselves on this attractive nuisance which would result in a nasty lawsuit. Even with stairs that are harder to use in your yard, you could have a slip and fall case on your hands that could otherwise be easily avoided.

     

    Plant Shade-Giving Trees To Cut Down On Cooling Costs During The Summer

    Everyone loves beautiful trees in their yard. These trees can help to protect the environment and your savings account. You can greatly cut down on the amount of energy you spend during the summer cooling your house if you have a tree shading a large part of your property. This one-time investment of planting a large tree in your yard could save you thousands of dollars in cooling costs over the years.

     

    Use Electric Landscaping Tools

    Electric power tools are becoming more and more popular as the years go on. While an extension cord might seem like a hassle at first, you will find that it becomes easier to use one of these electric landscaping tools after you have gotten the swing of things. These electric landscaping tools will also help you to do your part when in protecting our environment.

     

    There are many ways that you can landscape your yard to be better for the environment and just as beautiful for your home. Above we discussed four tips to help you landscape your yard more easily. Be sure to plant native plants, think about safety risks, plant trees to cut on heating costs, and use efficient tools. You may also be able to find extra tax write offs for protecting the environment, depending on how green you go with your landscaping and home. Be sure to talk to a tax fraud attorney if you have any questions about what you can and can't claim.

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  6. More Than Just Vinegar Top Spring Cleaning Tips for the Eco-Friendly Naturalist.jpg

    Spring weather has a tendency to motivate us to straighten our yards or do a major cleaning in the house. Not only are cobwebs noticeable in the corners but every speck of dirt in your home is visible In fact, now is the time to open the doors and windows, let the house air out and do some major spring cleaning.

    If you are reluctant to bring out the harsh and toxic chemicals, there are more Eco friendly options. In addition, many of the green solutions actually do a great job disinfecting and cleaning. For instance, one of the best natural cleaners is vinegar. In truth, it is almost the only cleaner you really need. Vinegar is a multi-purpose product that can be used for laundry, getting rid of bugs, as a disinfectant, an antibacterial and as a cleaner.

    As a Disinfectant

    Most disinfectants are quite toxic such as bleach (chlorine), ammonia and hydrochloric acid. In truth, these cleaning agents are not the best to have around, especially if you have children.

    Thankfully, vinegar is an excellent alternative as a disinfectant. Not only is it a safer but it is also much cheaper. Plus if the smell of vinegar bothers you, just add a little bit of your favorite essential oil to the mix. The ideal solution for a disinfectant is half water and half vinegar. Just remember, the more you dilute the solution the weaker disinfectant you will have. Add the mixture to a spray bottle to make cleaning easier.

    For Cleaning Windows

    Vinegar and water is one of best solutions for cleaning windows. Not only does the vinegar cut through dirt and grime but it leaves your glass shiny. A basic solution would be one part water and one part vinegar. The mixture can also be made ahead of time. If your windows are brand new, like those from Gilkey Windows, then it’s important to make sure that you clean your windows regularly to keep them looking new.

    An All-Purpose Cleaner

    The recipe for an all-purpose cleaner is similar to the disinfectant except it is diluted. Add 1 ½ cups water, ½ cup vinegar, 2 teaspoons lemon juice and 3-5 drop of essential oils such as orange or lemon to a spray bottle. Use for cleaning around the house like the walls, counter-tops, blinds, door knobs and other surfaces.

    Floor Cleaner

    Vinegar is one of the best floor cleaners around. It disinfects, cleans and cuts through grime. In addition, vinegar leaves a nice shine to your floor without being slippery like some floor cleaners. In a large bucket, add ½ gallon of warm water and 1/3 to ½ cup of vinegar. Soak a sponge or mop with the solution making sure to wring out any excess water. Clean the floor and rinse the mop when needed. Allow to dry.

    Vinegar has numerous other uses for the household like getting rid of stubborn odors in a room, , cleaning the toilet, removing stickers from the wall and for cleaning various metals such as copper, brass, silver and pewter.

  7. Not that there are many households that actually support solar energy, we could all use a little education on the matter. Once solar energy benefits become available, i.e. known to the broader public, the chance to actually switch to solar will be getting bigger by the second.

    Solar energy is one of the best ways to ensure you have plenty of energy, without investing too much or causing harm to your immediate environment. Besides being an affordable alternative, there are many more benefits you should review before upgrading your home to solar power.

    If you’ve been considering switching to solar energy, these are just a few facts you should be aware of:

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    Cheap Energy

    Solar energy is a renewable energy source, which means you only need the sun to ensure you’ve got enough energy for your daily chores (run appliances, gadgets, etc.). Luckily, the Aussies have plenty of sunny days, which means your battery will be filled and ready at any time.

    Low Investments

    Although it might seem you have to pay a lot at once, over time, your rig will allow you to save some money. Furthermore, there’s a low payback period for those who wish to take out a loan on it. Reports from 2016 show that Australians are hooked on solar energy and aren’t afraid to upgrade. It’s a smart – AND CLEAN - investment, after all, so we totally understand the rush!

    Become Sustainable

    With a government incentive to help you get started, your home is bound to become more sustainable over time. Since the energy crisis in southern Australia, it’s become even more attractive to get your solar panels. Plus, you will be giving a bit back to nature and the government as well. Actually, feeling like you are contributing on a global scale is pretty great, don’t you think?

    Increasing Your Home’s Value

    No matter how long you plan on staying in your current home, there’s a chance that you might sell it sooner or later. Adding solar panels will only increase its value, especially if you install other upgrades to make it better. Think of it as a long-term investment that will make your home better.

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    Easy to Scale

    Sometimes it’s rather hard to plan how much energy you will need for your home, and with solar energy, you’re not at the mercy of an existing gridline. Since you can get solar panels from Sydney, transport costs won’t be too expensive either. This is why the best thing to do is explore your options before you purchase and opt for the best quality possible.

    Predictability

    No matter how much you want to make energy usage calculable, it’s impossible in most cases. However, with a professionally installed solar energy system, you will be able to predict exactly how much you have to pay, every month. Without any hidden costs. Phenomenal AND cost-effective!

    Reliability

    The only bad side of solar energy is when you don’t have enough sunny days, which you have plenty of in the great Outback. This is exactly why Australia is investing in one of the world’s biggest solar energy farm, with a huge battery to back up everything. Over time, it will help alleviate the ongoing energy crisis.

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    New Jobs

    Besides helping your own home become better, the solar energy industry allows for more people to find jobs. With a bigger demand from year to year, it comes as no surprise that there’ll be a shortage of workers soon enough.

    Steady Electricity Prices

    You cannot stop prices from rising, and no matter what you do, you have to go with the changes, i.e. pay whatever it is they tell us we need to pay. Still, with more alternative energy to help the system out, it is possible to keep a steady price range.

    Opening up New Markets

    With the chance to improve your environment and open up new jobs, it’s only a matter of time before the solar energy business expands even more. Australia is already becoming a major force in solar battery sales, and it doesn’t seem it is about to slow down at all. With new battery technologies being developed, the market will become ever more profitable.

     

  8. Ever since people started realising the need of keeping the environment clean and healthy, that’s when the concept of using reusable shopping bags came into existence. There was a time when people used to use paper bags for carrying their essentials, but then came plastic bags. Well, now people do understand the dangers plastic bags bring with them, hence efforts are being made to cease their usage. The best solution to both of these varieties is these bags. Yes, canvas shopping bags do rectify all the flaws posed by paper and plastic bag, and undoubtedly these bags are here to stay. These bags are durable, sturdy, and capable enough to bear heavy weights. Here is why you should use these bags.

    Because Canvas Bags are Eco-Friendly

    Canvas bags are loaded with several benefits. Not that these bags are long-lasting and durable, these do not harm the environment as well. How? The answer is quite straightforward and simple. These bags can be used for a long period of time, unlike plastic and paper bags. In this way, lesser amount of waste is produced. And that is not where the benefits of these bags end, these are biodegradable as well, so no need to regret if you get bored with one of your previously favorite canvas shopping bags. But do keep in mind that you need to use these bags for quite a long period of time in order to recompense their extensive carbon footprint and hazard to the environment.

    With the increasing demand, canvas bags bulk are available in various stores of the market. To give a tough competition to paper and plastic bags, these bags are available in different variants and hues. Ladies are often seen flaunting their beautiful canvas bags on the streets. So, what are you waiting for? Grab one for yourself today to keep the environment clean, green, and healthy.

  9. Home Energy Efficiency How to Stay Cool in Your Home and Save Money This Summer.JPG

    The summer season is rapidly approaching, which means we will start to experience hot weather very soon. Staying cool inside your house is one of the best ways to beat the intense summer heat, but it can also lead to high energy bills. These are the four best ways to stay cool in your home this summer without spending a lot of money on energy bills.

    Install an Energy-Efficient Air Conditioner

    Purchasing and installing a new energy-efficient air conditioner may seem like a big expense, but it will actually save you money in the long run. An energy-efficient air conditioner will be able to cool your home to your desired temperature without drastically raising your monthly energy bills. An AC unit similar to the ones offered by
    Seliga Heating and Cooling will ensure you never have to suffer in your own home just to save a few dollars.

    Use Your Ceiling Fans

    Ceiling fans are great in the summer because they can increase your comfort level by a few degrees without using much energy. A ceiling fan is able to provide a cooling effect by circulating the air in a room. While they are not powerful enough to cool an entire room on their own, they can cut down on your usage of the air conditioner. Make sure to limit your energy consumption by turning off the ceiling fan when you leave the room.

    Block the Sun with Shades and Curtains

    If you want to keep your house cool during the summer, then you need to do everything you can to keep the sun out. You may be tempted to open the shades and curtains for some natural light, but this will only make the house hotter. Blocking the sun with shades and curtains may create a dark atmosphere, but it is a completely free way to cut down on your cooling bills.

    Program the Thermostat

    There is absolutely no reason to cool your home when you are not there. Programming the thermostat to your work schedule is a great way to cut down on your energy bills without having to sit in a hot house. The programmable thermostat will prevent the AC unit from running during the day, but it will turn back on to cool the house to your desired temperature before you return from work.


    Summer is a beautiful time of the year, but it also brings unbearable heat to most of the country. There is no reason to sweat in your home this summer when it so easy to avoid. Just follow these four tips and you can cool the house without ruining your budget.

     

  10. photovoltaic-2138994_1280.jpg

    Solar power is the fastest-growing renewable energy source in the U.S., increasing more than 23 times in the last eight years, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. As demand has grown and the technology has improved, the price of solar power has fallen. Are you uncertain about how solar power works? Here's a quick guide to the basics.

     

    Solar Panels

    When sunlight hits certain materials known as semiconductors, the materials convert the light energy to an electrical current. Solar panels that use this technology are photovoltaic (PV) panels. Within the panel are cells containing crystals. Most residential systems contain silicon crystals, like the silicon chips in a computer. Each cell produces only a small amount of power, but they're connected in series which collect their output.

    The cells are sandwiched between protective layers of glass or plastic. Panels are built to withstand hail, wind, and lightning strikes. Several panels together make an array. Because the system is modular, it can be designed to meet any electrical load.

     

    Mounting Structures

    Most residential solar systems are mounted on a south-facing roof. Panels can also be placed on a rack set on the ground. The panels are angled for maximum sun exposure at that latitude. Tracker systems follow the sun across the sky but are more expensive and need more maintenance.

     

    Inverter

    PV panels produce direct current. An inverter converts DC current to the AC current needed for household appliances. The inverter has a display showing how much power the array is producing. Some inverters can be monitored remotely via the Internet.

     

    Electrical Meter

    The meter connects the PV system to the local electrical grid. If the system is producing more power than the house needs, the meter will run backward. At night or when the panel isn't in service, the meter will show normal electrical demand.

    Because the house is drawing at least part of its electricity from the panels, homeowners can see significant savings on their utility bills. They will still have to pay a monthly connection fee to the utility.

    If the power goes out, most solar systems will shut down even if the sun is shining. This is to protect line workers.

     

    Storage

    The sun doesn't always shine. Battery systems can save electricity for use at night or in bad weather, and can be put on systems on- and off-grid. Lead-acid batteries are the most common. Lithium-ion batteries have recently come on the market. Storage systems can help utilities reduce their peak demand since the house will draw from its batteries before it needs power from the grid.

     

    Site

    PV panels will produce some electricity even in low light, but they need full sun for best performance. The ideal solar energy site has full exposure to the south, east, and west. Large trees, buildings, or hillsides that shade the site may make it unsuitable for a solar installation.

     

    Life Expectancy

    Solar panels are designed to last at least 25 years. They gradually lose efficiency, but should still be generating more than 80 percent of their original output at that point. Inverters need to be replaced more often.

     

    Installation

    More often than not, professional services and electricians are called to install solar panels and integrate them into electrical systems. While this is the safest option, it’s not impossible to set up without help. For a DIY installation, most will find parts and pieces from hardware stores or specialty electrical suppliers like Enercon Engineering Inc that professionals frequent for solar installations.

     

    Depending on local regulations, solar systems may need permits and have zoning restrictions. Some utilities limit how much solar power they'll accept from customers. They also vary in how large a credit they give customers for the solar power they produce.

    Depending on the state, solar systems may qualify for tax and other incentives. Check with your utility and your state's energy department.

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  11. Your vehicle is part of your livelihood, but it can also be detrimental to the environment. When you forgo routine maintenance or auto repairs that your vehicle needs, you might be burning damaging fuel that pollutes the atmosphere. Burning cleaner fuel from your car is quite easy to do; even if you drive a diesel vehicle.

    In Canada, greenhouse gas emissions are a grave concern. Luckily, between 2005 and 2012, the country saw a decrease by 5.1 per cent in emissions despite the economic development. Now it is time to do your part by burning cleaner fuel and reducing your vehicle’s impact on the environment.

    Useful Green Tips for Burning Cleaner Fuel

    There are numerous ways you can reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. One way is to keep up with your vehicle maintenance. Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres offers auto repair in Vancouver and its surrounding cities that can help improve your vehicle’s performance and “green” quotient.

    Here are just a few ways you can make your vehicle more eco-friendly in 2017:

    1.       Adjust Your Driving Technique – Do you find that you are going through a full tank of gas too quickly? Then your driving technique might need an adjustment. Avoid the sudden stops and starts, and always follow the speed limit. It will improve your mileage per litre, and reduce emissions.

    2.       Tune Your Vehicle - Tune-ups and maintenance keep your car clean. You will burn less gas, reduce emissions, and save yourself the hassles of vehicle breakdowns later.  Therefore, it is a win-win for everyone involved.

    3.       Carpool - If you cannot afford an upgrade to a hybrid or eco-friendly car, consider carpooling with friends to school or co-workers to the office. Try just one shared trip per week, and then see if you can increase it to every time you need to travel to work.

    4.       Keep the AC Down - During the summer, you might want to turn up your AC, but using your air conditioner forces heavier emissions. Try cracking the windows open or using a windshield shade when you park your car to keep it cool.

    Benefits of a Well-Tuned Vehicle: Book Your Auto Repair in Vancouver and Surrounding Cities

    Did you know that with regular auto maintenance, such as oil changes, air filter changes, and tune-ups, you can increase your mileage per litre by 25 percent? At Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres, we want to help you make a positive impact.  That is why we offer a variety of services that help you maintain your vehicle’s eco-friendliness, but save you money too. When your car is well maintained, you get better gas mileage and reduce the likelihood of a costly repair later.

    Find a location near you and book your appointment for a repair or maintenance with the expert technicians at Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centre. Have questions? Talk to our auto repair experts by calling a location near you.

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    Recent Entries

    Having a garden in your own backyard can be a highly rewarding notion. You can either make a beautiful flower-garden and use it as your own private little oasis or you can grow vegetables in it. The latter method allows you to produce organic food for you and your family and save some money along the way. Whatever your choice may be, the key to making your gardening efforts more efficient mostly lies in how diligent you are when it comes to its maintenance. One of the huge items on this list is the question of watering. Most domestic watering methods are inefficient and waste too much water, however there are a few ways you can make this both effective, environment friendly and inexpensive.

    1.      Drip Irrigation

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    Image source: Flickr

    It would simply be unfair to start this list with any other method, seeing how it is the pinnacle of both simplicity and frugality. All you need for this to work is a hose long enough, that you will strategically deploy all across your garden. After this, you need to poke tiny holes in this hose (as small as possible) so that it starts dripping in all the right places once you turn the tap on. As for the tap itself, it is in your best interest to open it as little as possible, because too much water will create pressure that will probably destroy the whole system.

    2.      Using the Bucket.

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    The greatest problem with the previous idea is that it relies on tap being constantly open. Instead of it, some people decide to use a bucket or a barrel filled with water with a tiny hose attached to it. This bucket would have to be elevated on a platform of any kind (even things such as stone, chair or an old tree stump will do the trick) in order to allow the flow even to the water at the bottom of the bucket. Another advantage of this method, which shouldn’t be overlooked, is that it allows you to use gathered rainwater, which makes your efforts planet-friendlier (not to mention more money-saving).

    3.      A Plastic Bottle System

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    Another course of action you could take (perhaps even simpler than the drip irrigation one) is the so called plastic bottle irrigation. All you need to do here is take a large plastic bottle and poke few holes at its bottom. After this, you need to bury its lower half into the ground and fill the bottle with water. This way, it will gradually release water. When you take a closer look at it, this system is cheaper in the long run since it uses a finite amount of water, instead of relying on the tap that never ends running.

    4.      PVC Drip Irrigation

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    A PVC drip irrigation method is an ingenious and simple project, which can be made for as little as $50 and is specifically designed to minimize your water spending. Here, all you will need are some PVC pipes (both 3/4″ and 1/2″), end caps, elbows, connector tees, ball valves, some PVC cement, pipe straps and some screws to attach them. All of these, are standard and can be found in any hardware store. As for the tools you will need, a simple hammer, nails and a drill will do. Now, assembling it is a bit tricky, but those determined to go through with it can find an in-depth-tutorial here.

    5.      Getting Serious

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    Even though most of the above mentioned methods did usually cost under $10 to make, there is no reason why inexpensive should serve as a synonymous for next to nothing. For just a bit more, you could get some plastic ground stakes, tee connectors, micro sprayers and even some retractable hose reels. In this way, you can make a sprinkler system, almost authentic to those that can be seen in stores and ensure that your garden is always taken care of properly.

    In Conclusion

    Keeping your garden safe during the summer is a vital task, but it is also something you need to start worrying about on time. Even though you don’t have to go out right away and start working on the system, it would be smart to at least start doing some research on which of these methods would suit your needs, and those of your garden, the best. The prices of all the above mentioned are fairly low, especially when considered with the prices of commercial DIY systems. You should also keep in mind that this project is not something you will do every year. Overall, undertaking such an effort is always more than worth it.

  12. Recently, Florida witnessed two very powerful solar inclusions. Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center completed in 2010 and Jacksonville Solar Project completed in 2013 can together power 12,400 Florida homes. While many in Tampa are considering installing solar panels for their homes and commercial spaces, the one sector that often goes unnoticed is health. Did you know that hospitals across the nation are quietly joining the solar revolution by embracing the sun’s energy? In Central Florida, for instance, James A. Haley VA Medical Center has started its $20 million project to go solar. This is only a reflection of the trend that you may notice in many other parts of the country. Across the US, more and more hospitals are switching to solar to cut costs and reduce their carbon footprint. Boulder Community Hospital Foothills Campus in Boulder, Colorado, Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Laguna Honda Replacement Hospital and Rehabilitation Center in San Francisco, California and The Patrick H. Dollard Discovery Health Center in Harris, New York are some of the green hospitals in the US that have taken a lead role in environment stewardship by embracing solar.
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    So what makes solar such a viable solution for the healthcare sector? Below are some of the major reasons:

    Embracing Solar Makes a Sound Business Sense

    In any given economy, hospitals are among the greatest energy consumers of all institutions. Rooftop solar panels help healthcare facilities meet their energy requirements in a cost-effective way. As compared to the rates of conventional resources, solar energy is way more affordable. Most importantly, as opposed to fossil-fuel-based electricity, whose price surges by leaps and bounds every year, the cost of generating solar energy tends to drop with each passing year.  A plunge in the energy expenditure will translate into substantial annual savings for hospitals which, in turn, can be utilized for providing better services to patients. Moreover, solar PV systems can open up an additional stream of income for hospitals, too. They can make some extra earning by selling excess electricity to their local grid via Feed-in Tariffs.

    Solar Provides the Ultimate Solution for Power Back- Up Woes

    Hospitals need a round-the-clock undisrupted power supply to carry on with their critical operations. Be it for running the basic equipment like fan, light, refrigerators, and air conditioning systems or operating surgical and other critical medical devices, hospitals consume a lot of electricity on a day-to-day basis.  But what happens in the case of a power outage? Shortage in power supply may bring the entire system to a grinding halt. Investing in an in-house solar plant can enable hospitals to deal with such emergencies. In fact, the cost of power backup can be brought down virtually to zero by running hospitals on solar. This saving, in turn, helps hospitals to improve their bottom lines. As opposed to noisy, fume-spewing diesel generators, solar electricity is clean and green and thus helps maintain a peaceful environment within the premise.

     Solar Opens Up Access to Government Funds

    Across the country, different types of financial incentives are available at the national, state, and local levels that hospitals can avail for installing solar panels on their premises. For example, in California, the state's Energy Commission provides financing for hospitals through low-interest loans for feasibility studies and the installation of energy-saving measures under its Energy Efficiency Financing Program. In many other states, funds are available in a variety of forms including grants, tax credits, loans, and more.

    Many Tampa homes have opted for solar panels for residential use. The good news is that solar for hospitals are also catching up fast. This is an inspiring trend which will hopefully help many more people to embrace solar in their daily lives.

  13. flowers-to-gurgaon

    Flowers are meant to make any celebrations truly amazing and magnificent. You can send flowers to Gurgaon online or in any other place to give a unique look and feel to any celebration. The company is known to deliver fresh fragrant flowers to its customers for occasions like birthday, marriage anniversary, office promotion, farewell and other events. Customers have the freedom to choose any flower types based on their preference and the type of occasion.

    The company has the stockpile of blooming fragrant flowers that are available in multiple colours, floral arrangements and bouquet styles. Customers can choose the flowers such as roses, tulips, sunflowers, daisies, lilies and other varieties that can be delivered anywhere in India and other countries with the support of its express delivery services.

    Avail the flower delivery in Gurgaon, Noida, Delhi and other cities of India and abroad in a time bound manner. Speaking for the development, the company officials reiterated that “Flowers are a part of every other celebration and the company is working to deliver them anywhere to its customers in India and other countries through its express shipping services”. Get the desired flowers at the doorstep from a wide coverage network of express delivery services.

    The company is committed to deliver fresh fragrant flowers to its customers in a time bound manner. It can offer the best flowers that will reach the destination without getting wilted. Customers don’t need to search for any florist shop as people can send flowers to Gurgaon online with this online florist shop.

    So, avail the flower delivery in Gurgaon and other places in India or abroad through the time bound express delivery services.

    A well-known name in the domains of sending online flowers, cakes and gifts delivery to make every occasion truly memorable. The company is capable to deliver the orders anywhere in India and overseas through its reliable express delivery services.

  14. Over the next 20 years, it is estimated that we will reach our maximum capacity for oil consumption. Furthermore, as the global production of oil decreases – and demand continues to increase – the construction industry is going to need to consider how it can be sustainable and function in a world that will need to be more environmentally friendly.

    Used within manufacturing processes throughout the Western world, the construction industry depends upon cheap crude oil. Within the UK alone, the construction industry accounts for 50% of all carbon emissions – produced by machinery, production and other building techniques.

    Regarding the long-term effects of pollution and our planet, as well as the way construction techniques can damage the environment, the industry as a whole is beginning to change and recognise how it can rectify its problems when it comes to the consumption of oil. In the US last year alone, eco-friendly construction firms found that revenues had reached $245 billion, marking a positive step forward and change in light of the ever-changing needs of our planet.

    Construction techniques
    If the design of a proposed structure is to be ecologically sound, then three things needs to be considered before the structure is built.

    First, materials should always try and be locally sourced. If they aren’t, have they been renewed or can they be renewed and recycled in the future?
    The second thing to consider is whether energy used to build the structure is being wasted. During the construction process, energy can be wasted when machines are overused and overworked, wasting expendable energy. On the flip side, Nifty Lift boom lifts are designed so that they do not waste expendable energy during the construction process. This is because they use a hybrid motor, so while the electric engine is being used, 0% emissions are produced so that the diesel engine is never overworked or overused onsite.

    Thirdly, when used as insulation, recycled paper – as opposed to more expensive alternatives – can be used during the construction of roofing. As opposed to incurring the cost of roofing insulation required for that job, recycled paper can be used as it saves time and money. It also counters the requirement to wait for insulation specifically needed for the onsite construction job. Sourced from sustainably managed forests, timber should be used that doesn’t negatively impact the environment. Reclaimed wood should also be used where possible, rather than chopping down a tree.
    The main benefits of eco-friendly construction.

    Accounting for 80% of a building’s total running costs over its lifetime, operation and maintenance account for a significant proportion of total costs. If those constructing these structures aim to implement green energy initiatives, the operating costs of using water and energy can be decreased by a third.

    After construction, how daylight is used in the structure should be considered to decrease artificial lighting costs. This is because vitamin D can help to improve the ‘indoor environment quality’ of a building, which can benefit all of the occupants within it.

    Ultimately, if these processes are utilised by construction firms in the US and throughout the world, then this will help to radically decrease the rate of climate change. This is of course the end goal of any green construction firm aiming to become greener, economically conscious and more efficient.

    Sources:
    http://www.sustainablebuild.co.uk/ecofriendlyconstructionmethodsmaterials.html
    http://www.nationwideconstruction.us/eco-friendly-construction-8-advantages-of-green-building/
    http://www.inc.com/best-industries/issie-lapowsky/green-construction.html
    http://www.sustainablebuild.co.uk/ecofriendlyconstruction.html
    http://www.innovationsforthebuiltenvironment.co.uk/
    http://www.livingbeyondgreen.com/development-construction/

  15. Humanity’s effect on the environment is pretty high up on our list of things to worry about. Rarely a week goes by without some new information about the increased rate at which Polar ice caps are melting or waste is piling up or natural disasters are occurring. So what can we do to help prevent irreversible damage to our planet?

    Making your life more sustainable is easier than you think. Just by taking your own bags to the grocery store, cycling rather than driving the odd journey and thinking more carefully about the energy you use, you could greatly reduce your own impact on the natural world.

    These seven great iPhone apps are designed to give you a helping hand when starting a more sustainable life:

    SolarChecker
    Solar panels can reduce your energy costs and provide a cleaner form of power. This app can help you to decide whether solar panels at home is a good idea. The app can measure solar radiation in different areas around your home and tell you whether investing in solar energy is right for you.

    JouleBug
    JouleBug offers a social way to go green. You win points and badges for the various sustainable activities you engage in throughout the day. That could be cycling to work or using a reusable coffee mug. You can take green inspiration from friends and compete with them to be the most environmentally friendly. This app also allows you to see how much you are saving in energy bills by being more careful with how you use your gas and electricity.

    Carma Carpooling
    If you have no other option but to drive to work, make your journey less damaging to the environment by carpooling. This app helps you to find neighbours looking to share a ride and reduce carbon emissions, traffic jams and your own costs in the process.

    HowGood
    Shop more consciously with HowGood. The app allows you to input a grocery item and discover details about its manufacturing process, the way it sources ingredients, its treatment of workers and the waste it produces. Each item is given a HowGood score that acts as an indicator of the item’s social and environmental impact, helping you to make informed shopping decisions on the go.

    Your Garden At Home
    This is a great app for those wanting to grow their own food at home and reduce the carbon impact of growing and transporting produce across the world. The app offers information on different plant varieties, advises you on when to grow and harvest them and how to take care of them.

    PaperKarma
    If your heart sinks at all the junk mail you get coming through your letterbox, PaperKarma could be the answer. The app allows you to take a photograph of any junk mail you receive. Once submitted to PaperKarma, the app will contact the various mailing companies and take your name off their mailing lists.

    Recyclemore
    This app helps you to find the nearest recycling centres for your recyclable waste products. Whether you’re looking to get rid of batteries, clothes, appliances or garden waste, this app can help you to find the right place to take it.

    Going green is made that bit easier with these great iPhone apps. And if you really want to live more sustainably, you should ask yourself if you really need that latest iPhone upgrade. Discarded electronics are piling up in landfills around the world and tons of emissions are produced by manufacturing new ones. Buying second hand and unlocking the handset is a great way to reduce your carbon impact.

     

     

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  16. As geoengineer promoters enter Trump organization, arranges progress to shower sun-reflecting chemicals into environment 

    A ring around the sun, is seen over Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Friday, May 17, 2002. The corona is an uncommon impact on the sun brought on by a layer of ice precious stones in the environment refracting light from the sun. Photo: Lou Toman/AP 

    Harvard engineers who launched the world's greatest sun oriented geoengineering research program may get a hazardous lift from Donald Trump, ecological associations are cautioning. 

    Under the Trump organization, excitement has all the earmarks of being developing for the dubious innovation of solar geo-designing, which expects to splash sulfate particles into the air to mirror the sun's radiation back to space and diminishing the temperature of Earth. 

    At some point in 2018, Harvard engineers David Keith and Frank Keutsch plan to test showering from a high-height expand over Arizona, keeping in mind the end goal to survey the dangers and advantages of arrangement on a bigger scale. 

    Keith crossed out a similar planned experiment in New Mexico in 2012, however reported he was prepared for field testing at a geoengineering discussion in Washington on Friday. 

    "The setting for talking about sunlight based geoengineering research has changed considerably since we arranged and subsidized this gathering almost one year back," a discussion instructions paper noted. 

    While geoengineering got little support under Obama, abnormal state authorities inside the Trump administration have been long-term advocates for planetary-scale control of Earth frameworks. 

    Donald Trump's initial 100 days as president – day by day refreshes 

    Perused more 

    David Schnare, a modeler of Trump's Environmental Protection Agency move, has campaigned the US government and vouched for Senate for elected support for geoengineering. 

    He has required a multi-stage plan to reserve research and lead certifiable testing inside year and a half, send gigantic stratospheric splashing three years after, and keep showering for a century, a term geoengineers accept would be important to dial back the planet's temperature. 

    Geoengineers contend that such strategies would be a cheap approach to diminish an unnatural weather change, yet researchers have warned it could have calamitous results for the Earth's climate frameworks. 

    Logical demonstrating has shown that stratospheric splashing could definitely shorten precipitation all through Asia, Africa and South America, bringing on serious dry spells and debilitating nourishment supply for billions of individuals. 

    "Obviously parts of the Trump organization are extremely eager to open the way to heedless plans as keith David, and may well have unobtrusively given the gesture to outside analyses," said Silvia Riberio, with innovation guard dog ETC Group. "Worryingly, geoengineering may develop as this present organization's favored way to deal with a worldwide temperature alteration. In their view, constructing a major lovely mass of sulfate in the sky could be an immaculate reason to permit uncontrolled fossil fuel extraction. We should be focussing on radical outflows cuts, not risky and vile technofixes." 

    A White House provide details regarding environmental change research submitted to Congress in January required the first run through ever for research into geoengineering. 

    Inside Republican positions, previous House speaker and Trump partner Newt Gingrich was one of the first to begin freely supporting for geoengineering. 

    "Geoengineering holds forward the guarantee of tending to an unnatural weather change attentiveness toward only a couple of billion dollars a year," he said in 2008, preceding propelling a geoengineering unit while he ran the conservative research organization American Economic Enterprise. "We would have a choice to address an Earth-wide temperature boost by remunerating logical advancement. Bring on American resourcefulness. Stop the green pig." 

    US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has additionally seemed to bolster geoengineering, portraying environmental change as a "building issue." ExxonMobil's subsidizing of the atmosphere refusal industry is under investigation by lawyer commanders in the United States, yet it's less outstanding that ExxonMobil researchers under Tillerson's rule as CEO were driving designers of geo-building innovations like carbon dioxide evacuation. 

    Gotten some information about answers for environmental change at an ExxonMobil shareholder meeting in 2015, Tillerson said that an "arrangement B has dependably been grounded in our convictions around the proceeded with development of innovation and built arrangements." 

    "We are not unalterably dedicated to doing the test," said David Keith on Friday. "We're going not far off of doing that, yet relying upon what a counseling panel says and what we realize in fact we're positively ready to stop. Our long haul objective is to construct a practical exertion in sun based geoengineering research that permits us to say more in regards to ways it may really give open advantage." 

    Faultfinders like Riberio call attention to that the individuals who don't trust in human-initiated environmental change may even now bolster geoengineering, which can be exhibited as a strategy to manage the results of a warming planet without halting the consuming of fossil powers. 

    The Harvard test may contradict a ban on geoengineering embraced in 2010 by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, which was reaffirmed in December in Mexico. The United States is one of only a handful couple of nations to not approve the UN tradition, making a potential escape clause for tests. 

    The examination's site in Tucson, Arizona may likewise summon issues of jurisdictional debate with Mexico – stratospheric winds can explode to 200 miles for each hour, and the outskirt is just 75 miles away. 

    Other geoengineering tests like cloud whitening may proceed in the United States, and also tries bolstered by the administrations of China and Russia, however both are signatories to the UN ban. 

    sanjay baghela author at dissertation proposal writing

     

     

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

     

    Farming and Fishing

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

     

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

     

    Sustainable Energy

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

     

    STEM Research and Employment

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

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

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

    Air purifying plants.jpg

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

    1. BPA-

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

     

    2. Low quality-

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

    3. Harmful Preservatives-

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

     

    4. Imported canned food-

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

     

    5. Presence of unhealthy elements -

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

     

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

     

    For More Info: RTI Act 2005 India

     

  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. biofuel.jpg

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

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

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

     

     

    Biofuels to Revolutionize Clean Energy

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

     

     

    Why?

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

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

     

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

     

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

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

     

    Transforming Microbial Methane into Energy

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

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

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

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

     

     

    How Artificial Leaves Could Power Up the World

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Is There Anything Good About Mosquitoes?

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

    Mosquitoes Are a Food Source

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

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

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

    Mosquitoes Are a Gold Mine

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

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

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

    A World Without Mosquitoes

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

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

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

    1. Learn to Unplug


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

    2. Adjust the Fridge


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

    3. Bring Reusable Bags


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

    4. Turn off the Tap


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

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

    7- green-blog.PNG

  24. Making Earth Green Again How Recycling Improves the Quality of Life Worldwide.jpg

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

    Put an End to Water Waste

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

    Read the Labels on Your Electronics

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

    Recycle During Your Larger Projects

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

    Compost Your Food

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

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

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