Blogs

Featured Entries

  • Mark Piazzalunga

    DESERTEC project, Sahara Sun could power Europe by 2050

    By Mark Piazzalunga

    Sahara desert climate is hot and arid, everybody knows it. So how can this simple and well-known fact become the idea to power a continent like Europe? Let’s start from the principle: renewable energy is the future of energy; we assume that this sentence is true since all facts gets to this point. Second principle: European territory is restricted and allows the construction of a few plants that could use renewable energy. Paradoxically, countries like Africa have renewable sources, particularly solar, in abundance but scarce funds to make the best of these resources. Now find the connection. Is it possible to produce huge amounts of solar energy in Africa and transport them to Europe through energy infrastructures? Apparently yes, according to DESERTEC project developers and supporters. And what is DESERTEC? It’s an initiative of the Club of Rome (a global think tank that has its headquarters in Switzerland) started in 2009. Directly from the official website of the project (Desertec.org): "The DESERTEC concept was developed by a network of politicians, scientists and economists from around the Mediterranean, from which was born the DESERTEC Foundation. Demonstrates a way to provide climate protection, energy security and the development of sustainable energy generation from sites where renewable energy sources are at their most plentiful." In practical terms? Connect renewable energy power plants in Africa to Europe through a network of HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) systems. The Foundation target is to build several renewable power plants of various types (mainly wind, photovoltaic and solar concentration) throughout North Africa. To support the project financially, the Foundation and other 12 companies (including Deutsche Bank, E.ON, RWE and ABB) created an industrial initiative: Dii GmbH. The construction project would continue until 2050 and for that date, the cost is estimated at € 400 billion, which means $ 546,720,000,000, approximately seven times Bill Gates’ fortune. It’s little bit expensive (life on Mars seems cheaper) but the entire network could provide Europe with the 15-20% of electricity that it needs. We must also consider the drastic decrease of pollution, direct effect of the project. This project isn’t just an idea but it seems an accurate and long-term plan. This could be an opportunity to connect two continents and to give them economic opportunities and jobs. There could be some problems like the wars and the instability of some of North Africa countries or how to get all 40 nations to agree to an arrangement for subsidizing the green electricity. There’s also the possibility to build the plants in Europe, just $ 54 billion more, and doing some math it brings to a shocking number: €2 per citizen per year to keep tens of thousands of jobs in Europe -- and to prevent Europe from becoming dependent on foreign countries for its electricity. Well, the project just started and it has the funds to go forward. We can't wait to see the results. Photo from Desertec.org
    • 2 comments
    • 4,605 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
    • 2,043 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  
    • 0 comments
    • 2,141 views

Our community blogs

  1. No blog entries yet

  2. wind-turbine-2218457_640.jpg

     

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

     

    Let the Outside In

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

     

    Go Old-Fashioned

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

     

    Go Hi-Tech

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

     

    Go Down Under

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

     

    Charge It Up

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


     

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

     

    Resources

    Telegraph

    Classic Air

    Texas Fireframe

    House Logic

    HowStuffWorks

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

    In the bathroom:

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

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

    Etesian-017.jpg

    Health and beauty:

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

    For the bedroom:

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

    Energy:

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

    Etesian-051.jpg

    image credit: WB Homes

    Outside:

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

    For the Kitchen:

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

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

  5. w7jBwBN.jpg

     

    Eco-landscaping is about making a difference in your yard, the one that results in making surrounding a healthier place that reduces water, soil and air pollution. The advantages of such responsible approach are reasonable savings in time, money and maintenance. The eco-friendly method is growing in popularity for its obvious reasons while creating and designing an eco-friendly landscape is not more complicated than designing a traditional garden. It does take some planning and involves maintenance, but all the efforts invested in a project like that are nothing compared to benefits.

    Planning

    For starters, you will have to make basic analysis and assessment of the yard. Determine the ground thickness by running the water to see how it is draining and where the ground is soaked the most. That way you’ll know where to plant as well as where to place hardscape. Check which areas get most of the sunlight and which ones are in the shade. Decide which area will serve its specific purpose, meaning where you will place a patio, play area or flower beds. This way you’ll know ahead what materials and plants you will be using and what will structure the basis of your eco-friendly yard.

    Downsize the lawn

    Having a smaller lawn means there will be less mowing and you will use less water. Limit your lawn by placing artificial grass or synthetic turf. Create walkways and paving and make sure to use low-maintenance materials like concrete, bark or gravel. You can use permeable pavers to direct rainfall back into the ground. Place gazebos or benches to fill the space in the yard that won’t require any watering.

    Eco-friendly mowing

    Since there will be a lawn that needs mowing, consider using a reel lawn mowers. Although mowing can go a bit slower than with gas or electric mower, reel mowers are true eco-friendly device since they are a perfect example of energy conservation. An alternative to reel mowers are the mowers powered by rechargeable batteries.

    Plant low-maintenance plants

    Consider planting native plants since they are best suited for the environment. Also, try choosing drought-resistant plants because there will be less maintenance while planting them will save water in the long run. To reduce the usage of water, try to group plants with similar water requirements. Plant some ornamental grass, pansies, and marigold. Planting clover is recommendable since it is insect and weed repelling plant.

    Clever landscaping

    Strategically planted trees and shrubs around the house can act as an insulation and save you up to 20% of your heating and cooling costs. One of the best landscape design firms advises planting deciduous trees on the sunny spots next to the house. That way the trees will provide the shade in the summer, while they will allow more sunlight in the cold months. Also, vines can be used to cool some areas.  

    Watering

    To reduce water waste, install drip irrigation system that brings water directly to plants. Watering with automatic irrigation is more effective while the technology allows you to program it the way you want. You can set the system not to release the water while it rains. You can use rainwater, previously conserved in barrels to water the lawn and the flower beds. When watering in the summer, always water in the late evening and early in the morning to avoid evaporation.

    Weed and insect control

    Avoid using chemicals to fight or to control weed, but take some preventive measures like planting in raised beds, preparing the soil, using landscape fabrics and mulching. To get rid of the weed you can use corn gluten or vinegar, only make sure to use it carefully since it a strong herbicide that can harm other plants.  The last stage of fighting the weed is an old-fashion move of pulling the weed from the ground.  As for insects, learn more about companion planting and see how your plants can benefit from it.

    Fertilizing

    Learn to make and use compost and keep the chemical fertilizer away. Composting is the best possible way to keep your ground properly fertilized, aired and watered, while it will significantly reduce the amount of trash that ends up in the landfills. Almost anything can be used for compost, starting from grass clippings and leaves to fallen branches, food scraps, coffee filters, tea bags, newspapers, cardboard, etc.

     

    Going green takes a bit more than these few tips since it extends further on the maintenance and how you care for the environment aside from the yard. Remember to recycle and reuse all the materials and to establish a sustainable eco-system in your home and your yard. Do your research and create an eco-friendly garden that you will enjoy in years that come. An effort toward the healthier environment is worthy of praise so design your garden and be proud.

    • 1
      entry
    • 0
      comments
    • 2226
      views

    Recent Entries

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

    some-rights-reserved-by-photo-giddy1.jpg

    Low Quality Battery Life

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

    Contains Toxic Materials

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

    Doesn't Have A Biodegradable Packaging

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

    Doesn’t Comply With International Energy Standards

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

    Shorter Product Warranty

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

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

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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

  6. blog-0811073001399050445.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  7. 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.

    • 0
      entries
    • 0
      comments
    • 2144
      views

    No blog entries yet

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

     

    1) Offer Them Prizes!

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

     

    2) Educate them!

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

     

    3) Group Events!

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


    Any more recommendations? Let me know in the comments.

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

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

    Get a better energy provider

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

    Make your own green products

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

    Ditch all plastic

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

    Try CO2 dry cleaning

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

    Make the home smarter

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

    6_New_Ways_to_Go_Green_You_Havent_Tried_

    Find a new way to use animals to benefit the planet

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

     

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

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

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

    18577417188584964

    It contains a lot of antioxidants

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

    144678206754409018

    It helps you concentrate

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

    387591111653138327

    It boosts metabolism

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

    442056519648082036

    It’s a great reason to meet friends

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

    516506650986078969

    Some more reasons why coffee is actually great for your health

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

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

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

    It reduces the risk of getting Type 2 diabetes.

  11. 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.

    sun.thumb.png.7664636b34631c3192d7eab4ba

    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.

     

     

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

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

    3 Lessons that Home-owners can Learn from Leading Brands

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

    Think in terms of ROI when creating a sustainable home

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

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

    Create a culture of Awareness among those involved

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

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

    Pay Attention to small and seemingly insignificant details

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

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

  13.  

    Conserving energy is a really big thing. The environment has really been suffering, and we need to something about it. Well, there’s a lot you can do, and starting with your home is the first step taken towards a greener, more economic home, and a healthier world. Energy efficient homes are becoming a real trend in the world, and that’s not without a reason. A lot of funds have been put into creating ideas for more energy efficient funds, and today, we can give you some tips on how to make your home more energy efficient.

    It’s actually quite possible to make your home more energy efficient while keeping the same comfort level, or even increasing the comfort level in the home. Energy efficient building practices can do wonders in that field. When you are building a new home, or you are renovating your current home, you can save a lot of money by going green.

    And even if you are not trying to renovate your home or build a new home, using green power can reduce the energy consumption from fossil fuels even more. The carbon footprint can always be lowered, and it’s the most green thing you can do. Going green is imperative in today’s world, since the world we have is taking a turn for the worse. 

    So, why not save energy, save money, and contribute your little part in saving the world today? Make your home more energy efficient to do just that. 

    But how do you do that? Where do you actually start?

    Try going small. Take the small steps towards achieving the big goal. For example, if the energy bill is really high, try cutting down on it. You can do a lot to reduce that number and actually help save the environment, and save money too

    You should calculate the energy usage per every room in your home, and actually figure out what the cause of that much energy spending is. Maybe you are keeping the lights on too long. Maybe your windows aren’t really sealed well and are costing you a lot of energy. A lot of energy can be lost through windows, and it doesn’t really depends on curtains or blinds, they need to be sealed properly to prevent the endless wasting of energy in your home. 

    Your light bulbs can also be a big waster of energy in your home. Lights bulbs that are outdated or that don’t fit the right power you need will spend a lot more energy than is needed, and will cost you a lot of money and energy, which in turn is not really a good thing for the environment.

    Lastly, you can always consult an expert. If you really don’t have a solid idea on what should you do to make your home more energy efficient, there are people who are in charge of that and can help you with that.

    16961595570_dffb70e40a_b.thumb.jpg.76016

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

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

    Geothermal solution

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

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

    Solar energy

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

    Biomass

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

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

    district-heating-cooling.jpg

    • 1
      entry
    • 0
      comments
    • 2055
      views

    Recent Entries

    There are quite a few lighting options for those who wantto make their homes greener and more environmentally friendly.  We will take a look at some of the best and most commonly used ones and see how they compare to traditional lighting methods.

    CFLs

    Compact Fluorescent Lights, or CFLs, are those twisty light bulbs that give off very bright light. They can actually come in quite a few shapes, but they are most easily recognized in their spiral form. The average CFL will keep working for around 10,000 hours. Compare that to traditional light bulbs (incandescent bulbs), which only last for about 1,000 hours.

    So while the CFL bulbs do cost a bit more, you will easily save money on them over time. CFLs also emit less heat than their incandescent counterparts. So your house will stay cooler, and you will spend less on air conditioning in the summer months.

    The only downside to these is that they do contain mercury, so you have to be careful about how you dispose of them. Many cities have a special program for CFLs, so check with yours to see what is offered as a safe method of disposal.

    LEDs

    Light emitting diodes, more commonly called LEDs, give off light consistently for as long as 40,000 hours. Now they are a bit more expensive than any other light bulb you can get, but they are also the longest lasting. By choosing LEDs, you cut down on the amount of waste going in to the environment and you can save quite a bit of money over time.

    Another benefit of these bulbs is that they use very little energy. Studies show the average LED uses as much as 90% less energy than even a CFL. That can give you some serious energy savings. If you want to save on your energy bill, just changing out your light bulbs can be an effective first step. If you are worried about theinitial cost of these bulbs, you can take comfort in knowing that their cost is slowly declining. They may never reach the very low cost of incandescent bulbs, but they don’t need to in order to save you lots of money.

    Save the Environment through Your Lighting.

    There are other ways you can cut down on energy costs and ensure that your lighting methods are protecting the environment. One of the easiest ways to do that is to use natural lighting as much as possible. By opening windows and curtains instead of turning on a light, you will make your bulbs last longer and save yourself some money on your energy bill. Natural sunlight is also healthier for your skin, eyes and mental state.

    If you have any power strips or wall warts that are plugged into the wall, be sure to unplug them when you aren’t using them. These can become warm even when they are not in use, which means that they are drawing power from your outlets even when you aren’t actively using them. This applies to power bricks for computers, laptops, chargers and video game consoles as well.

    One of the old energy-saving standbys is to turn off lights when you are not using them. But do you know how long you need to be absent from a room to actually make turning off your lights worthwhile? It’s important to know since constantly turning on and off lights depletes their lifespan quickly.

    So if you are using conventional incandescent bulbs, you should turn off the lights every time you leave the room, even if it is just for a few seconds. For CFLs, you can turn off the light if you plan to be absent from the room for more than a few minutes. And for LEDs, you wantto turn them offonly if you plan to be gone more than 15 minutes.  For more information on LED bulbs and lighting visit Led hut.co.uk

    1.png


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

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

    Check the fine print

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

    Other considerations

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

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

    Home improvement news brought to you by bartonroof.com

    Source: everybodyneedsaroof.com/News/Details/2040

     

    • 1
      entry
    • 0
      comments
    • 2034
      views

    Recent Entries

    Choosing a natural gas supplier in Ohio can be an easy decision for the residents of the state to make if they do a little comparison shopping. Selecting an Ohio natural gas supplier is the same as shopping for anything else.The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio allows Ohio residents to choose the provider that is right for them and their household. You want to choose the provider that offers you natural gas at the best price and that provides the best service for you and your family. There are 4 natural gas providers from which Ohio residents can choose.

    Using the Apples to Apples Chart Provided by the PUCO

    The price of natural gas can be obtained from each supplier. As prices fluctuate, you'll need to take into consideration that the quote you get today may change by the beginning of the next week, so ask your the supplier if the price they quote you is a fixed price. Also ask if there is a minimum amount that you will be billed for the month. Inquire about the price of 100 cubic feet and 1000 cubic feet. See if the provier offers budget billing, which means that they will estimate your usage over a 12-month period and bill you by dividing the estimated amount by 12; this may help make paying your natural gas bills for the winter easier on your budget.

    Customer Service

    Make sure that the provider that you are considering has a customer serivce center that can help you with any questions or information that you may need. You might also want to ensure that they have a website that you can use to assist you. Check to see if they offer other services or products that may be useful to you and your family, as well.

    Terms of the Contract

    Enquire to see if there are any termination fees that you will be charged if you choose to discontinue service with the provider that you are using. Some providers will offer a month-to-month contract, some will offer a 12-month contract, some use a yearly contract, while with others it can be up to 3 years. Some natural gas providers will also charge new customers a deposit, and these rates can vary as well. Be sure you know the details of your existing contract if you are considering changing providers to ensure that it will be worth it financially if your expiration date is not close.

    Keep This in Mind

    Having more than one natural gas provider makes the market more competitive, and this means you could get a better price on your gas. However, you have to read the fine print for the details of any cancellation fees and service start up costs with a new provider. Warmer winters can drive the prices of natural gas down, making your decision easier.

    Take advantage of being able to choose from more than one natural gas provider in Ohio by doing your homework and visiting their websites so you have a clear understanding of their terms and prices. You don't have to go with the provider that sends you their direct mail marketing information. Feel free to call and ask all of the questions that you need to so that you can make a smart decision on choosing the best provider for you and your family.

    Ruth Samuels works for a gas company in Ohio. She spends her free time writing to help home owners understand this important industry better. Click here to learn about Ohio gas companies.

  16. 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. 

  17. GO_GREEN.thumb.png.e6f325eb943a55614ebcb

    According to EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), indoor air pollution is one of the top environmental dangers and causes a lot of health confitions as well. Some of the symptoms include fatigue, headache, irritation of the throat and more. If you don't keep your home clean, thus indoor air fresh, the pollution in the house could cause respiratory diseases and even cancer. On the other hand, the labels on most of the cleaning products warn that they are harmful and you should use a protective clothing in order to use them. And here it's the paradox, neither cleaning nor leaving your home full of dirt will help save the planet or your health.

    What Should We Do?

    We can make our own green cleaning products for every room and every spot! It would be efficient as a professional product, but cheaper and better for your health.

    Green Cleaning Cheat Sheet

    What do you need? White vinegar, baking soda, olive oil, essential oils, lemon and borax, although some of the people believe it's dangerous to the health, there isn't any proof of that. What you should know? White vinegar removes mildew, odors, stains and has disinfectant properties. Baking soda is great odor remover and water softener, it's used for cleaning, scouring and scrubbing. Lemon is very effective against most bacteria. Borax is a strong disinfectant, which cleans and deodorises. Here are some DIY green cleaning recipes:

    Mirror, Glass and Window Cleaning

    You need: 1/4 cup of vinegar and 1/4 cup of water;

    How to: Mix the ingredients in a spray bottle and spray onto the surface. Wipe with crumpled newspaper or with a clean cloth.

    Tip 1: For а better smell you can add a few drops of your favourite essential oil.

    Tip 2: It's better not to clean your windows on a sunny day because the mixture could dry too fast and leave unpleasant stains.

    Water Stains

    You need: lemon;

    How to: Slice the lemon into two halves and scrub the stain with the one part;

    Tub Toilet and Sink Cleaning

    You need: baking soda / borax and white vinegar;

    How to: sprinkle some baking soda onto your toilet brush and scrub the grime. For the outside of the toilet surface, apply some white vinegar on a sponge or cloth and wipe off.

    Tip: To disinfect the toilet use borax, instead of baking soda.

    Floor Cleaning

    You need: 1 cup of vinegar and 1-gallon hot water;

    How to: mix them and use the solution to mop the floor. This works for ceramic tile, vinyl and wood floor, as well as linoleum.

    Tip: add a few drops of essential oil for fantastic smell.

    Wooden Furniture Cleaning

    You need: lemon juice and olive oil;

    How to: apply equal parts on a cloth and rub into the wood.

    Countertops and Tiles

    You need: baking soda, white vinegar and water (1:2:4);

    How to: apply the mixture on a sponge and wipe off.

    Carpet Cleaning

    You need: white vinegar and water (1:1);

    How to: spray the dirty area of the carpet with the mixed solution and soak up with a towel.

    Tip: if the stain is still there mix equal parts of white vinegar, salt and borax (the mixture looks like a paste). Rub it into the carpet and leave for two hours. Vacuum after that.

    Cleaning Product For Everything

    You need: 1/4 cup of baking soda, 1/2 cup of white vinegar and 1/2 gallon of water;

    How to: mix the baking soda and the white vinegar into the water and store the solution somewhere safe, in order to use it when it's needed. You can use it for everything: water stains, window washing, countertops, upholstered furniture, etc. You should simply apply the solution on a clean cloth and wipe.

    Tip: For better smell you can add a few drops of your favourite essential oil.

    Air Freshener

    You need: baking soda, lemon juice;

    How to: mix equal parts of both ingredients and put the solution in a dish. That will absorb the odours and it's very useful, especially if you have pets.

    Wall Cleaning

    You need: baking soda;

    How to: apply the baking soda to a sponge, rub and wipe;

    One of the most important things in order to have a clean and fresh home, is to open the windows wide at least twice a day - in the morning and in the evening. The smell in your house will be better through the day and you'll sleep better through the night. If you haven't got enough time to make your own green cleaning products, hire a cleaning company. I recommend you to use a local cleaners, who use non-toxic cleaning detergents. Those types of cleaning products are natural, environmentally-friendly, and safe for humans and pets. Contrary to Kermit The Frog's popular quote: 'It's not easy being green', it actually is that easy. Go green.

     

    • 1
      entry
    • 0
      comments
    • 2000
      views

    Recent Entries

    The adults pride themselves with mature thinking and behavior, but if you take a closer look at some pattern of behavior of some adults, even the ones in charge of leading the society, you will find a lot of childlike decisions and acts. What would a responsible adult tell a child if he insists on throwing all the garbage on the floor of his room, and never cleaning it? Moreover, the child also likes to smoke in his room, and spray the bugs with toxic sprays, without ever opening his window to get some air in. Naturally, an adult person would dramatically react, and demand that the child stops behaving in such a foolish manner, with full right. But what gives an adult the right to criticize the child, if he follows the same patterns of behavior, doing the exact same things, in the only house he will even have, the planet. The pollution of the planet has reached alarming levels, and adults keep acting childish, pretending that everything is ok, and that there is no reason to worry, and refusing to change their habits. With the current tempo of pollution, experts expect that the planet will become inhabitable in less than 400 years from now. That may seem as a lot of time, but compared to the amount of time life has existed on Earth, it is only a second of existence.

                                                                                              saawi9t.png

    One of the biggest issues with pollution, and why we so selfishly decline to change, is that is often a result of progress and industrial development. Even though the progress of the industry and the entire civilization gives us short term benefits, in the long run, we are digging our own grave. The energy sources like oil, natural gas, coal, etc. all result in toxic waste being emitted in the atmosphere, creating ozone layer holes, causing global warming and polar cap melting, and changing the complete climate conditions of the planet. With the resources of these fuels running low, we must ask ourselves is it a good, or a bad thing? Certainly, the economy and the industry would suffer, end the entire civilization would pretty much collapse, but the polluting would stop.

    Fortunately, there are solutions which can provide the necessary energy for the further progress of human civilization, without causing the world to end. Renewable energy sources, like the wind, geothermal power, waves and others are the only way we can make our civilization and industry sustainable. The most efficient and the cleanest method of harvesting renewable energy is through solar power. Solar power uses the sunlight and the radiation of the Sun to create electricity. Already, some environment conscious cities and countries are investing in solar street lights, which save lots of energy, and protect the nature. At http://streetlights-solar.com/ you can find affordable solar power solutions for street, parking lot, airport and other lighting, which will pay itself of in record time. As the sunlight is free, and will probably remain free forever, we can look forward to a bright future, in every sense of the word. 

  18. Remodeling your kitchen is an excellent chance to upgrade it in term of eco-friendliness. You will finally get a chance to separate waste and apply natural cleaning solutions in order to cause the least amount of harm to the environment. The best thing is that these changes will not require a huge amount of money because you can work with what you’ve got and the little you do need to invest is a small investment compared to the benefits you get.

    You will see how a remodeled kitchen will soon turn into a hub of social activity in the house as even the children will want to join the whole ecological hype that their parents became part of. We provide you here with a 5-step checklist that will help you transform your kitchen into an eco-friendly space that will work with Mother Nature, not against it.

    1. The labels have to be green

    recycle-15172_1280.jpg

    Whatever additions you decide to introduce into your kitchen, whether it is something as simple as a new teapot or even a brand new countertop, this product must bear a green label. This means that the product has been subject to testing on how the ingredients of materials for it were produced. A label of the color green usually stands for sustainability, like the Follow to Frog sign and the Forest Stewardship Council stamp that indicates that fruit or timber have been outsourced from regions that care about protecting the local environment.

    2. Cork for flooring

    The bark of the cork tree is used for kitchen flooring as a cheap and efficient replacement for linoleum, hardwood floors, and tiles. It is fairly easy to install, as it is simply glued to the existing surface, like concrete. Once in place, it is coated with acrylic that will ensure cork is waterproof and slip-resistant. Because it has a rather soft texture, it will act as a natal spring that will adjust to the weight of your body, so you can even walk barefoot over it. This can come in handy when children play around the kitchen and if one of them falls down, the cork will cushion the blow.

    3. Plexiglas in the kitchen?

    kitchen-2165756_1280.jpg

    The material you never thought belonged inside the kitchen is Plexiglas. Well, the automotive industry does not have exclusive rights over it as kitchen walls can benefit from it too. A thin layer of Plexiglas over the kitchen tiles impregnates their joints and ensures they are 100% waterproof, so no mold or mildew will ever form. The best thing about Plexiglas, that you can outsource from Plastic Wholesale Online is the fact that it is an eco-friendly material that does not hurt the environment. Basically, anything around the kitchen that needs waterproofing could be treated with Plexiglas in order to decrease the impact on the environment.

    4. Reducing energy consumption

    In terms of reducing the carbon print, you want to make sure your new kitchen is as energy efficient as possible. This is done by introducing green energy through house appliances and the reduction of total energy used. For the latter, a simple change in the type of light bulbs you use can make a huge difference. Replace the incandescent light bulbs with LED ones and just look at your energy consumption going down. As with everything else, when shopping for new appliances look for the Energy Star logo that ensures the manufacturer took great care of energy inefficient.

    5. Composting

    compost-419259_1280.jpg

    The last item on our checklist concerns the way we manage organic waste. Recyclables should go into separate bins but food leftovers should end up outside, not in the trash can but in the garden compost. You can create it in order to decrease the total amount of waste you generate and later use the compost in your garden instead of buying hummus from the local garden center.

     

    Finally, going eco-friendly is more than possible in the kitchen and in every other room in the house. Use our 5-step checklist as the guide during the initial phases of the kitchen remodeling project.

    bookcase-3532950_1280.jpg

  19. blog-0232860001396954985.jpg

    Carbon dioxide pollution is the greatest contributor to the global warming. The top two sources of carbon dioxide pollution are coal-burning power plants (the largest in the U.S.) which emit 2.5 billion tons of CO2 yearly and automobiles which produce 1.5 billion tons of CO2 every year. But did you know that browsing the internet can also produce carbon dioxide emissions?

    According to an Environmental Fellow at Harvard University, Dr. Alexander Wissner-Gross, who researches the environmental impact of computing, every second that someone spends browsing a website produces an estimate amount of 20 milligrams of CO2. Every single activity like sending an email, downloading a song, or video streaming that happens in the web has an impact on the environment. That desktop computer you and you’re family are using whose electricity came from coal power plants is giving carbon emissions equivalent to a sports car!

    Several studies showed that with the increasing demands for energy of computers from manufacturing, utilization and disposal of data and communications technology creates nearly two percent of air pollution which is equal to the amount generated by the whole aviation industry.

    Some researches estimated that in a decade, the internet will be creating 20 percent of the world’s CO2 pollution.

    McAfee, an anti-virus software company, stated that the energy needed in transmitting trillions of spam emails every year is equivalent to the electricity needed to power two million houses in the U.S. and generating the similar amount of CO2 emissions as more than 3 million cars.

    The worst offenders in harming the environment are the data centers whose hundreds to thousands servers are storing everything from emails, company websites, social media photos and videos. Based on the Climate Group and Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) study in 2008, data centers all over the world emitted 76 million tons of CO2 in 2002. This amount may had tripled or more after a decade.

    As millions of people use the Internet each year, the necessity of making an environment-friendly Internet ecosystem is urgent and very important. But how can we achieve this?

    The energy department of WMD hosting agrees that one of the answers is switching to “green” web hosting, know as the eco friendly version of the traditional web hosting.

    energy-saving.jpg

    Web hosting operations need a huge amount of electricity to power web servers and other equipment. To minimize the CO2 emissions, more and more companies are resorting to “green” web hosting – an eco-friendly alternative to the conventional web hosting.

    The main purpose of the mentioned “green” web hosting is to compensate for the CO2 emissions of the data centers in the environment by applying several approaches. Some of these are:

    · Purchasing of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs).

    · Reducing the consumption of energy by using solar power, recycling or eliminating the use of paper.

    · Car pooling.

    · Planting a tree.

    Opting for a this kind of web hosting rests entirely on you. You have seen what CO2 emissions have caused in the environment. It is more expensive than the traditional, yes, but think about the help that you can give not just today but the future generation as well.

  20. ZED's Blog

    • 0
      entries
    • 0
      comments
    • 1963
      views

    No blog entries yet

  • Blog Statistics

    1,162
    Total Blogs
    1,664
    Total Entries