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  • Mark Piazzalunga

    DESERTEC project, Sahara Sun could power Europe by 2050

    By Mark Piazzalunga

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

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

    By Megan Bonetti

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

  1. Power crisis has evolved as an alarming issue worldwide. Due to consumption of more power, the non-renewable energy sources are depleting from the world. Scientists are opting for renewable sources to suffice the gap created due to over consumption of power. But, for the excess demand of the high-tech gadgets, equipment and appliances everywhere, the power bills are increasing day by day. To cope up with such situations, the power saver devices are becoming popular. The energy saver units are effective in lowering the power bills and protecting the household devices from sudden power fluctuations.

    The household power saving devices has lately gained significant accolades from consumers in both domestic and commercial sectors. These units are mainly used in homes for saving the power and recycling the unwanted power back to the main motor for further usage. The residential power saving units is small in size and they can be easily fitted with the main motor or the main electric panel of the home. Some of the companies claim that their energy saving units are effective in lowering the power bills up to 40%. Some of the consumers think that the claims of the manufacturers of power saver devices are false. Almost all the homeowners who have to pay a lot in power bills are installing the energy-saving units at their homes to see a change in the electric bills.

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    Many consumers using the power savers explained that the electric bills after installing the devices have the great impact on the power bills. But the reduction of the power bills was not as much as a thought of. There are several serious discussions related to the power saver devices and their effectiveness.

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    Working Principle Of The Power Saver:

    The power saver is an electric unit, which is usually plugged to the main power socket. Just by keeping the power saving units connected with the main motor one can reduce the power bills to a great extent. Some of the manufactures claim that the bills will reduce up to 20-40%. Everybody knows that the electric that is flowing into your homes is not stable in the true sense. There are several power fluctuations and surges in the path. The unstable current flow actually affects the overall functionality of the device. Fluctuating electricity often produces unwanted heat that not only affects the atmosphere but affects the appliances as well. Here, the power saver units make the difference. They protect the electric devices from the sudden electric fluctuations. The energy saving units store the energy inside by the use of the capacitors and releases it later without power spikes and surges. These units keep the appliances cool and extend the lifespan of the appliances as well. These devices also remove the carbon footprints from the environment and make the devices more effective.

    Thus, basically there are several advantages of using the power saver units in homes, rather than disadvantages. They are available in various capacities according to the requirements of the customers.

  2. It is widely seen, these days’ most of the farmers in USA are using humic acid for agricultural purpose that improves soil quality and enhances growth of crop. Humic acid is also called as humus, which is extracted from compressed, ancient plant matter in form of leonardite. A kind of high polymer heterogeneous aromatic material- Leonardite contains hydroxyl, carboxyl, phenolic hydroxyl and various other active groups, which forms a black brown appearance.

    Humic acid is the commercial term for combination of humic and fulvic acid, which are found in naturally occurring deposits. Known to be an ideal additive- humic acid boosts soil bio-activity as well as improves performance of compost fertilizers by speeding up the composting process.

    Great Functions and Benefits of Humic Acid for Agricultural Purpose:

    • Humic acid will help in balancing nutrition and enhances nutrient uptake of soil by combining nutrients and humic acids.
    • Optimize N-nitrogen, P-phosphorous and K-potassium, uptake of crops.
    • Improves soil structure and increases the buffering power of soil.
    • Regulates the pH value of soil by neutralizing both acid and alkaline soils.
    • Proves resilience power of crops to successfully withstand cold, draught, pest and any kind of disease.
    • Beautify appearance of the crops as well as promotes to grow healthier and stronger growth.
    • Helps in stimulating beneficial microbial activity.

    Getting Best Quality Humic Acid Online:

    In order to maintain a sustainable agriculture development, you need to regularize the use of agriculture humic acid by Humic Harvest, which is one of the leading providers and manufacturers (in the USA specialized in WEFHAS certified products) of finest quality humic acid and fulvic acid to farmers at a relatively low price. Our manufactured agriculture humic acid is listed and accepted by OMRI (Organic Material Review Institute in USA) as organic, which rates high its credibility. You can order humic acids in bulk amounts from us at a great price that will help in getting good crop with a minimum investment. You will get a best soil conditioner for your farms by buying humic acid from Humic Harvest that will work as a compliment to the fertilizer and restore soil health, which will be best for your crops.

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

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

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    Image by OpenClipartVectors

    Solar Panel Installers Work With What You Have

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

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

    Solar Panels on Sidewalls

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

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

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

    Solar Panels on Garage and Outbuilding Roofs

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

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

    Solar Panel Ground Installations

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

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

    Eventually, House Designs Will Be Ready for Solar

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

     

     

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    As a nation the Australians have invented a great deal, from the refrigerator to the surf ski. But who would have thought that Australia would also be the home of a car that runs on tap water?

    Well, such was the vision of an amateur engineer who invented a new type of fuel cell that allows almost any car to run on nothing more than water. The revolutionary inventor, known as Joe, envisaged a world where fuel for our cars flowed as freely as water from our taps.

    The invention came about in the 1990s when fuel prices were on a never ending incline . Inventor Joe, frustrated at having to pay high prices for petrol started the process of developing a cheaper alternative. 

    After scouting for some simple parts in a local scrap yard, the Australian experimented on his own car, a V8 Rover, until he eventually invented what was to become known as the ‘Joe Cell’ – an electrolysis cell built from stainless steel pipes that runs on nothing more than H2O.

    During a documentary series Joe revealed he created the configuration by ‘throwing it together in a weird order’ and that he was surprised when he ‘hit the key and the damn thing ran’. According to Joe, the water in the cell needs to be charged but is not consumed and can be affected by a number of factors. 


    Over the past several years, many scientists have invented different versions of water-powered cells. However, unlike the Joe Cell, most of these cells were charged by hydrogen a compound element of water. The Joe Cell, on the other hand, doesn’t involve extracting hydrogen from water, but rather using simple household water.

    Many theories claiming to explain how the Joe Cell works have emerged over the years. Among these is the Orgone energy theory, which attributes the Joe Cell to be an Orgone Accumulator – a device that runs on an omnipresent energy source. While other reports claim the Joe Cell generates a gaseous substance that produces energy when ignited. 

    The lack of scientific verification has meant the Joe Cell has remained highly controversial amongst the scientific community. Some respected scientists have openly condemned the theory as pseudo-science. While some environmentalist groups have herald the Joe Cell as a reputable invention, which could dramatically change the way we consume energy. 

    The Bryon New Energy Charitable Trust have published claims that they have successfully driven a car across Australia on less than two cups of water. The Trust’s founder, Sol Milin, reported to the Bryon Echo Newspaper that the ‘want to find useful power sources for the planet that enables people to power vehicles for free’.  However, the Bryon New Energy Charitable Trust has yet to develop a useful and free source of energy, and in 2012 their reputation was tarnished when Sol Milin was involved in a court case with Dick Smith, founder of the Australian Skeptics

    Due to this uncertainty and scepticism the Joe Cell has become the centre point of many conspiracy theories claiming potential inventors of water powered cells around the world are being intimidated to abandon their research by powerful governments and counter movements. 

    Information for this article was sourced from a posting on the Gumtree blog.

  5. Windows demand repairs and replacements owing to wear and tear with passage of time. They are subjected to harsh climatic conditions that affect their performance over the years. Damaged windows allow in drafts of cold or hot air, water leaks, etc. affecting indoor temperatures and ultimately leading to high energy bills. This can be controlled by paying close attention to the condition of windows and taking adequate action to make sure that they are back in shape. If a close inspection of your windows reveal that they need to be replaced, here are a few facts that you should be clear about before going about it.

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    Replacement does not mean replacing EVERYTHING!

    When replacing a window you ought to know that only the movable parts are replaced and in most cases the frame remains pretty much the same. The glass, the panes, sashes, etc. and other movable parts depending upon the kind of window are replaced for most window repairs and replacements. Also simply restoring the damaged part like a broken or cracked glass, cracked seal, defective pane, etc. can also serve the purpose and render a window as good as new. 

    It is not advisable to rip of the entire window including the frame as this calls for structural changes that take more time and more expensive and involve a bit of brick and mortar reconstruction as well. However, this option can be exercised in case the frames are extremely damaged and only reconstructing the entire thing will help alleviate the problem. 

    Replacing windows is NOT a DIY project

    It is important for all home owners to remember that window replacement is not a Do-it-yourself project and that it needs professional expertise. Trained technicians from most windows and doors companies have the skill and equipment to deal with such conditions in the most professional manner. Trying to mend windows on your own account is wastage of time and other precious resources. 

    Research well before choosing a service provider

    There are many big names of windows and doors companies around and it can be pretty daunting for home owners to choose one. Conducting exhaustive research on each of them and comparing their services as well as prices will help decide whom to choose. Reputed brands are always good to work with but they are more expensive than the rest. Also ask for referrals from friends and neighbors. 

    Ascertain cost of replacement and create budget accordingly

    Replacement of windows can be quite a pricey affair. However this largely depends on which brand you choose, what kind of window you install, whether it is partial or whole replacement, etc. Compare prices of various companies to arrive at an approximate figure and create a provision accordingly.

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  6. Needless to say, upgrading to new energy efficient windows in your home is a sure shot way to control humidity levels inside. What is crucial here is your choice of company that shall do the job for you. You will come across countless such window companies in Edmonton who offer these services and it may be a tough task to choose one. Though most promise excellent window installation services, not all are to be believed despite good prices because most of these disappear when problems arise in the long run. Therefore it is important that you go with a trusted name that shall help you resolve issues well past installation. 

    Improper window and door installation not only affects the energy efficiency of the home but also allows water leakage into the home which can be extremely damaging for the house. For a flawless installation ensure the following:

    • The window installation should make the room air and water tight 
    • It should insulate the room
    • Installation process should not affect the shape and look of the window
    • Procedures like flashing on the exterior and caulking should be done neatly for maximum effectiveness

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    Partial or whole Replacement of windows

    When you feel the need of window replacement in Edmonton, you have two options that of a retrofit or a complete tear out. A retrofit means a window and door installation in the existing frame where the window or door is being replaced. This is a faster as well as cheaper process and may not always create the perfect seal as desired by you. 

    A complete tear out on the other hand is pulling down of the entire door or window along with the frame and installation of the entire unit. This process requires professional expertise and if done appropriately will help create the perfect seal enabling better humidity control inside your home. 

    As a home owner you also need to keep in mind that a certain level of humidity is desirable inside your home even in the cold winter months. You can install a humidifier to keep the levels in check and also if you find condensation on the windows it is sign that humidity is higher than necessary. To control excess humidity, you can adopt a few steps like:

    • Amply ventilate moisture laden areas like bathrooms, wash rooms, kitchen etc. by installing fans and exhausts that vent outside
    • Avoid keeping too many indoor plants
    • Control humidifiers installed at various places in the home

    At the end of the day, all you have to ensure is that your window replacement in Edmonton is done by trusted and experienced people in the business who can insulate and create energy efficient homes for you.

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  7. Explore

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  8. Learn why you should use natural cleaners in your household. There are safe and environment-friendly ways to keep your home cleaner and healthier.produtos-poluicao-casa-4.jpg

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  9. What is condensation?

    The word condensation may remind you of your general science classes back in school! Condensation happens when water vapor comes in contact with a surface whose temperature is lower than its surrounding air. This simple concept causes dew on a hot humid day or rain falling from clouds on a cold day. 

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    Window Condensation

    Window condensation is a commonly occurring phenomenon especially in winter that occurs when external temperatures drop and internal temperatures are warm. The warm water laden air comes in contact with the cold window surface resulting in condensation. This can be caused by faulty window panes or lack of air flow across a window surface that is covered. Whatever be the reason, if this is happening it is sign that your windows need your attention because the surplus moisture will be absorbed by the walls causing mold and mildew. Professional window installation goes a long way in preventing this condition. 

    Managing Window Condensation

    Window condensation can be attributed to several factors, poorly manufactured windows and inefficient sealing being most common of them. It is of utmost importance that the windows and doors are installed and sealed well. Here are a few ways you can avoid window condensation:

    1. Ensure that your home is amply ventilated by switching on ceiling fans and exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens especially when you have hot liquids cooking or hot water running. This shall allow warm air movement preventing it from condensing.
       
    2. Do not set the thermostat at very low levels as colder the air, the lesser is its ability to retain moisture encouraging it to condense and settle on windows and mirrors in your home. 
       
    3. Invest in a hygrometer to measure the humidity levels inside your home that should ideally be between 35%-40%. Also it is wise to install a de-humidifier inside your house to regulate and manage humidity at optimum levels. 
       
    4. If you notice condensation on a window, wipe it with a dry soft cloth to prevent excess moisture leaking into adjoining walls. 
       
    5. Check seal of windows to ensure that there aren't any gaps. Also check for any cracks on glass panes that may cause condensation. If your windows are very old you can also consider replacing them for better heat retention. 

    Flawed manufacturing of windows is often considered a major reason for condensation on your windows. But inability to manage internal humidity is also a cause for the same. So along with checking the condition of your windows, try controlling the moisture inside your home. 

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  10. Vertical walls are one of the latest trends of gardening in the recent days. The concept of using the vertical green walls arises due to the increased pollution in the urban cities. The forest areas are reducing significantly. Most of the people are living in apartments where there is not enough place to make gardens. In such situations, vertical walls create a huge difference. Architects are using the vertical green facades and walls on the living rooms, balconies and cabinets to make the homes green and airy.

    Have you ever waken up in the morning and realized that you are staying in the world of fantasies. You wake up every morning and find yourself in between an exotic forest surrounded with bushes and indigenous plants. Nature freaks love to decorate their homes with vertical green walls and hydroponic installations. They want to incorporate greenery in the interior home décor. It is not just about planting trees and placing some flowering plants on the balconies. It is all about using green landscapes on the walls of the home. The hydroponic installations change your way of living.

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    Make The Living Room A Forest Of Your Imagination:

    You may be dreaming always to reside in between natural beauty of the earth. But due to development and reduction of space, you cannot make your own garden. But your dream can turn into reality. You can install the hydroponic walls on the living room and use herbs and scented plants for decoration. In some places, you can also use flowering plants to create a feeling of the garden. If you want to make an effect of woods, do not forget to plant some bushes in between. To make your living room compliment with the décor, use wooden furniture.

    Let Your Jacuzzi Resemble A Countryside Lake:

    You can install a big vertical wall garden on the wall just beside your favorite lace to relax. To make the place a little phenomenal, fit the tap in a height as it feels like a waterfall coming from the green walls. Having the hydroponic walls beside the Jacuzzi make you feel like you are swimming on a countryside lake. The vertical green walls create a unique sense of purity and relief on the mind and circulate the air. You will definitely feel fresh having the green walls inside your home.

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    Green Gateways:

    Your entry gate is one of the first places that make a great impression in the mind of the guests. Install simple designer hydroponic plants around the enormous gate of your home. You can decorate the gate, according to your wish. You can hang some flowering plants and herbs sideways. 

    Make A Unique Effect In The Balconies:

    Your balcony is one of your favorite places inside your home. You spend your leisure times at the balcony. Change the entire décor of this place by replacing the wall paintings with green walls. You can hang the flowering pots from the ceilings. Apart from using the plants that stand still, climbers and creepers on the walls. The best part is that here the green panels get enough sunshine.

    You can also use the green wall vertical garden in the kitchen, bedrooms, and kid’s room and over the open cabinets. Companies offer various hydroponic installations for the savvy homeowners. Purchase one and make your home a perfect place to breathe.

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

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

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

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

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

     

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

    Airborne Emergency Response to Oil Spills

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

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

    Protei Project

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

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

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

  12. blog-0496886001429555206.jpg

    There are two types of systems that avail the services of handy men to local public. One of them is through the independent operators. These handy men work as per the requirement and have no accountability. The second is through the franchises. These ensure the quality of the work done is good and are accountable since they come with a contract with a company.

    One such example of a franchise is the Sacramento Handyman. Sourcing from the Wikipedia, A team of reporters from the Wall Street Journal did an experiment to find out the efficiency as well as the prices charged among the handy men. They asked handy men around the country to do menial jobs like fixing a leak to putting up a cabinet.

    The results were baffling. The report concluded due to no fix standards and few quality requirements the prices of the work done vary drastically. The differed between two prices was as markedly vast as ten times. While the result also found out that hiring a handymen through a company does not guarantee good quality work.

    While there are services like that of Sacramento Handyman that deliver on their promises, there are franchises that may take up to few weeks to fix a door. The quality of the work done varies significantly and customers have nowhere to take their complaints to since they don’t get their phones answered. Some handy men do the worst of the jobs while there are some who can be vowed on their quality.

    The important tips to keep in mind while looking for a handy men is to get estimates of the prices that will follow beforehand, if possible get a feedback of the work of the handy man, pay with cards so there is a record of the transaction. The Sacramento Handyman process most of their transactions through cards.

    While one can opt to do some fixing jobs around his own house however if a handy man is hired to do menial jobs there are various places in the United States that require the handy men to be listened or insured or both. Many people use the term contractor interchangeably with the handy men. However, there is huge differed between the two.

    While the handy men are considered a jack of all trades, contractors hire more specialized people to do their bidding. Handy men are often employed for small tasks like the following: Jammed Garage door openers Installation of new shelves Heating system tuning Installation of sprinkler system All in all, handy men that are hired via franchises may not come fully assured on quality but it can be propitious to hire them.

    While in some cases, the independent handy men may offer much more lucrative deal than those that come through the franchises. It is important on the behalf of the customer to pay attention to the kind of handy man they are hiring and always collect feedbacks from friends or on internet websites.

    sacramentohandyman.com/

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  14. Custom clearance world is a well known name in the import and the export circles. The special provider is used by the people of the biggest city down under. The service provider and the resource is very special and it is the one to have and use. People all over the county use the resource to the fullest and they provide complete expertise and assistance to the short term and the long term clients which makes them very special and extremely wonderful and the one to have and use. The provider is commonly utilized by the large scale and the small scale traders and the importers and exporters.

    Freight forwarder Sydney makes it happens for the users of the special facility. It offers a wide range of options and solutions to the clients and the customers and these options are the one to have and use. The provider handles LCL and the FCL shipments and it also handles dry cargo and even the more complex wet cargo. The provider also offers chartering assistance to the clients and the customers and such assistance is very useful and extremely wonderful.

    Customs brokers Sydney provider is very useful and special and it is the one to have and use. The people and the professionals employed by the provider are extremely professional and they tend to provide unique and total expertise to the users which are very special and extremely beneficial. The provider offers total long term solutions to the clients and it offers special top of the line short and long term assistance which is the one to have. It is commonly utilized to the fullest by the clients and the customers down under.

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    Whether we’re ready or not to surrender more of our sovereignty to the omnipresent influence of technology in our lives, we will soon face another achievement that will have a profound impact on society, the economy and environment.  Within this decade, driverless cars will cruise into our lives and harness our energy expenditures.  The potential impact on our environment and energy efficiency could be unprecedented.

    Driverless Cars Are More Energy Efficient

    Despite an ongoing debate about the various pros and cons surrounding driverless cars, one aspect of them has gained universal acceptance.  According to researchers, current cars greedily require up to 85% of their total gas just to move the steel of the car, as opposed to moving the person.  The advent of driverless cars will usher in a dramatic decrease human error, and in turn, accidents.  This means smaller cars with less need for steel and accident protection.  Gas savings will be enormous and lessen our dependence on foreign oil.  The way we drive will also greatly increase the amount of gas we save.

    Fuel Economy Revolution

    Although no universal agreement has been reached, many industry insiders widely believe that driverless cars will all communicate wirelessly.  Envision a hive mind controlling smart navigation of car colonies across the nation.  Fuel economy will be improved in a variety of ways due to this vehicle matrix.  According to one estimate, cars will save between 20-30% more gas by drafting.  By communicating wirelessly, cars will be able to drive in packs on expressways and interstates, thus reducing wind resistance.  There are also added benefits in regards to parking and intersections.  The need to drive around the block endlessly looking for a parking spot will be eliminated, as cars will communicate to each other about when and where the first spot is available.  Lastly, it’s suggested that cars will be able to coordinate passing through intersections without stopping, thus saving gas by not idling at stop lights.

    Auto Manufacturers Are Green For Go

    Earlier this year, Audi conducted an open road test on a Tampa expressway with Governor Scott riding along.  Besides Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Infiniti, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo all are actively researching driverless cars and pouring millions into their respective R&D programs.  Driverless cars will likely be seen on the roads by 2020, but may not be common until 2030.  Additionally, they will likely hit the market with hefty price tags, likely restricting their ownership to companies and the affluent.  Regardless, they will radically alter our economy and society, perhaps starting with teamsters, mailmen, package delivery companies and even pizza delivery drivers.  With absolute certainly, the driverless car revolution has arrived, and brings with it profound benefits for our economy and environment.

     

     Bio: Jason Hall is blogger for Budget.com.au

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