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  • Megan Bonetti

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

    By Megan Bonetti

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

    Black Friday Promotes Over-Consumption and Waste

    By Joseph Ramondeli

    Black Friday Promotes Over-Consumption and Waste               Every year Thanksgiving weekend is overshadowed by Black Friday and in recent years Cyber Monday as well. Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time when families can get together, even if it’s just for a day or dinner, to talk and reconnect. However every year more American’s are focused on shopping. Stores are now open by 8:00 pm on Thanksgiving Day resulting in people sitting at the dinner table with their families while browsing on their phones for the best deals that they hope to buy in a few hours.  This is just another example of how our modern, technologically advanced society is constantly becoming more materialistic. Aside from Black Friday overshadowing an American holiday and tradition, it is an annual example of how Americans over-consume and by doing so are very wasteful.  A huge fraction of purchased goods during Black Friday and Cyber Monday are things that people don’t need, they are things they think they need. Advertisements and social trends play a big role in the impact of this event (I refuse to call it a holiday) and in our consumption behavior in general.             Companies are tricking and forcing us to buy un-needed goods through the use of planned obsolescence and perceived obsolescence.  Planned obsolescence is disappointing because it refers to how companies purposely make products to only last a few years and by doing so force consumers to by new products from them every couple of years. The most common example of this is electronic devices. Apple creates a new IPhone every year so that once yours break “accidentally” there’s a brand new, more expensive one to purchase as a replacement. Not to mention that such companies stop making old models, forcing you to buy the newest model. On the other hand, perceived obsolescence is promoted by companies but ultimately results from our own social actions. Companies, through advertisements, constantly throw the promotion of new goods in our face. It’s almost impossible to go anywhere or do anything without seeing an advertisement of some sort. These advertisements tend to increase around the holiday season, hence the origin of Black Friday. The main reason such advertisements work is due to the social pressure we put on each other and ourselves. Everyone wants the next new model or brand and once a friend or family member purchases something then we are pressured and attracted to buying it as well. The biggest example of this is the fashion industry, where new trends come and go each season resulting in constant purchasing of new, unnecessary clothing. These companies are clearly getting the better of us based on the success of such events as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.             So why is over-consumption such a bad thing, why should we care if people waste there money on unnecessary goods? It’s simple: overconsumption leads to waste! One of the downfalls to the technological advancements of today’s world is that we create materials that cannot be found in our natural world. This means that when we throw something out in the garbage it will never decompose. Purchasing many of today’s consumer goods is bad enough because most cannot be recycled and will sit in landfills, but over-consumption takes this once step further in that we buy more than we need! We buy new clothes or new phones before our old ones are worn our or broken. By doing so we are creating more waste because we constantly thrown away products that are still functional and contribute the ever-growing amount of waste humanity has created on this planet. In order to help reduce the waste we create of course we should recycle and reuse as much as possible. However, I believe that the creation of waste should be stopped at its source, and that’s our consumer purchasing. Buying less and using goods to there fullest is a sure way to decrease waste. Resisting social pressure and advertisements is key to getting this accomplished. So next year put the phones away and turn the TV off at the dinner table during Thanksgiving, you don’t need them. Joseph Ramondelli  
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  • Mark Piazzalunga

    DESERTEC project, Sahara Sun could power Europe by 2050

    By Mark Piazzalunga

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

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

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

    Electric powertrains for trucks

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

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

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

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

    Hydrogen fuel cells                                               

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

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

    3-D printed cars      

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

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

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

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

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    No matter how small your areas is, we have some great ideas for gardening in small areas. Perennial plants works well in small areas as does small shrubs, ground cover plants and some vegetable plants like tomatoes, cucumbers and okra.

     

     

     

     

    If you've got a bit of a green thumb but don't have much space to work with, it's still possible to create lush spreads of garden plants. The key is choosing the right flora for your particular situation. Here are a few excellent choices that will fit into fairly confined spaces and create a welcoming garden environment.
     

    Perennials


    Getting the most from perennials is all about selecting relatively tall flowers with small footprints. Veronicas, peonies, daffodils, hostas and hibiscus are all popular choices for gardeners without much square footage to work with. Daylilies are another solid option if you're looking for maximum color in the minimum amount of space.

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    Berry Plants


    Nothing beats fresh produce plucked from your own backyard. With the right soil in place, berry plants can look great and crank out tons of tasty treats during the summer. Raspberry and blueberry bushes are both fairly dense, easy to care for and give the backyard a particularly verdant look.
     

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    Shrubs


    The great thing about shrubs is that they can serve several purposes at the same time. For starters, they beautify any space and don't require a lot of hand-holding to thrive. Even better, they allow gardeners to build living privacy walls as they see fit. Popular shrubs include cotoneaster, boxwood and wintercreeper.
     

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    Fruit Trees


    You don't need to plant a citrus patch to enjoy fresh fruit and jazz up your small gardening space. A handful of fruit trees can thrive even in confined enclosures. Horticulturalists have created dwarf varieties of nearly every fruit tree available. Grapefruit, mandarin orange, apricot and pear trees are always winners.
     

    Creeping Vines


    Nothing creates an enchanting atmosphere like a slew of creeping vines. The added benefit of vines is that they grow vertically given the right trellis system. Try some coral honeysuckle, moonflower, clematis or trumpet vine to start with. If you're a home brewer, any number of hop strains would be a good call.
     

    Small Footprint, Stunning Looks


    Obviously, avid gardeners with limited real estate have no shortage of options when it comes to plant variety. If you select plants, shrubs and trees that are appropriate for your local climate, you'll be amazed at how well your small-area picks complement your miniature garden.

     

    Author

    Trees For Sale Online Nursery offers state certified low prices garden plants, perennials, ferns, wetland plants, live garden mosses, trees, shrubs and much more at the best prices online. When you buy from the grower, your cutting the middleman out and getting the lowest possible prices on all your landscaping needs. A 57 year old authority in the wholesale nursery grower industry and licensed to ship to all states and 13 foreign countries.
     

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    The industry has evolved so much throughout the history, with new inventions and discoveries changing the course of development of the entire civilization. When ships and boats were the only way of traveling and transporting large amounts of cargo, the ship building industry was one of the most important in the world. When one industry is thriving, it usually includes lots of smaller industries to provide it with the materials, and so the ship building industry encouraged the growth and development of lumber industry as well. Naturally, things changed with the invention of trains, cars, airplanes, and other forms of transportation. This sequel of events goes for every branch of industry, as the civilization is ever changing, opening new horizons, and closing some old doors. The modern industry relies heavily on the industry of energy and the computer industry, which are probably the most important players on the today’s global economy scene, along with the weapons industry. It goes without saying that food industry is a constant in all civilizations, and all societies in history.

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    The electronic industry became a huge player in the 20th century, with the technetronic revolution.  With everything being modernized with the use of electronics, and with the electronic devices being introduced to every aspect of life, it is only natural that that the consumer electronic industry is one of the fastest growing in the world. As soon as the first scientists discovered electricity and found a way to harvest its awesome power, the development of various electrical machines, devices and patents begun. By the middle of the 20th century, almost every household had some kind of an electronic device, and each decade brought more and more electronic appliances and gadgets to our homes. Today, we are sounded by hundreds of electronic devices every day, from the basic ones, to the most complex. All the scientific breakthroughs of the 20th century were made possible by electronic devices, an all the fields of science still rely heavily on the electronic industry, to provide them with the necessary instruments for further development. We live longer, our life quality is much higher, we are far better educated, and we can experience so much more things, all because of electronics.

    The modern electronic industry is mostly based in the East, where the material are easily accessible, the cost of labor is low, and the experts are highly trained and educated. The electronic industry of China is the biggest in the world, and the vast majority off all electronic devices on the market is made in China. Even the devices made in the West are composed of electronic components made in China, like the printed circuit board. A printed circuit board, or a PCB, is an integral piece of every electronic device, and the quality standards of the Chinese PCB manufacturers is the highest in the world. At http://project-pcb.com/ you can find amazing high end printed circuit boards, and even get an immediate online quote on the order, regardless of the quantity and the design of the PCB.

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    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.

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    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. 

  2. 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.

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    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. 

     

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

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

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    Image by OpenClipartVectors

    Solar Panel Installers Work With What You Have

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

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

    Solar Panels on Sidewalls

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

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

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

    Solar Panels on Garage and Outbuilding Roofs

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

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

    Solar Panel Ground Installations

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

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

    Eventually, House Designs Will Be Ready for Solar

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

     

     

  4. Based on the findings of the US Department of Energy (DOE), homeowners shell out $2,000 or more every year to heat their private pools using conventional electricity. If we go by data, there are approximately 800,000 pools in Florida alone, including the above-ground ones.  Although Florida hardly gets cold, you can extend the swimming season by opting for solar pool heating in your Tampa home.  Here are some of the most important reasons to choose the solar option over traditional pool heaters:

    Efficiency

    Solar heaters have the capacity to heat your pool efficiently provided the panels are professionally installed to harness the sun’s free energy. With proper installation, you can expect to raise your pool’s temperature by up to 15 degrees, especially when you experience a nip in the air. During the cooler months, you can consider using solar blankets as well to maintain the water temperature. You can use them when the pool is not in use. The blankets will trap the heat and stop the unnecessary evaporation of water.

    You can also lower the water temperature during the hot summer months if you have a solar pool heater installed. Obviously, you cannot cool the water when the temperature is 90 degrees Fahrenheit. But if you run the heater overnight instead of turning it on during the day, the water circulating will cool by several degrees, making the pool water more comfortable to take a plunge.

    Extended Swimming Season

    A solar pool heater together with covers can extend your swimming season, especially during the summer months from May to October. These pool heaters are designed to adjust the water temperature for a comfortable dip. It depends on the season and the amount of sunlight received.  When the Florida Solar Energy Center monitored pools in the Sunshine State some two decades ago, they found that most of the homeowners enjoyed swimming for approximately 110 days in a year. Eventually, with the advancement of solar equipment and technology, people with private pools could extend the swimming season to about 290 days. It means that you can enjoy a refreshing dip with your family and kids a little longer than you have expected.

    Durable

    Gas heaters with a lifespan of about five years are not as efficient as solar ones. Moreover, they call for a lot of care and maintenance. And it is needless to say that periodic upkeep will add to your pool heating costs further. Solar pool heating systems, on the contrary, come with a 12-year warranty and last for 10-20 years requiring little or no maintenance at all. With your pool’s filtering system and chemical balance working fine, they will last for years to come. Solar panels are designed from high-quality polypropylene. They include an additional 35 percent of the material. Solar pool heaters also have UV stabilizers, making it more durable than conventional heaters.

    Eco-Friendly

    Solar pool heaters are extremely environment-friendly. In fact, you are contributing to the green cause by installing a photovoltaic (PV) system. That’s because the sun’s energy is pure and clean.

    The benefits of solar pool heating in Tampa are hard to ignore. With the significant drop in the prices of equipment over the last few years, installing PV systems is a safe and economical option for homeowners in the city. So, are you ready to take the plunge?

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    Over the years there are a few things in life that I’ve learnt. Over a period of ones life, one can expect to pay taxes, die and have a few laughs along the way. Another thing that is certain in life is that one can expect Americans to love their pick up trucks! Now being from the United Kingdom, I’ve always had a fascination with pick up trucks and why they are such a big pull to our American cousins over the pond. I’ve never quite understood the fascination of them, mainly because there’s not many around where I live. I’ve also got into my mind that pick up trucks are notoriously bad for the environment. Recently though, I did a bit of research online after spotting a pick up on the roads near me, and apparently there’s a new type of pickup truck called the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel which Dodge have created to have minimal impact on the environment. So I did a bit more research and here’s what I found.

     

    What precisely makes it an Eco Truck?

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    It’s simply really. Most trucks that you can name off the top of your head have terrible miles per gallon figures. The EcoDiesel uses very advanced diesel technology that enables it to use the latest biodiesel available. How does this affect the truck? Well it puts out the best miles per gallon of any truck the same size.

    Why do this?

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    Well many people like myself are intrigued by pickup trucks, especially those living outside of the USA, but don’t want to buy them for fear of hurting the environment. This is a really good move by Dodge to cater for those in the USA and abroad who are interested in a pick up but know that many have a negative impact on the world due to fuel and oil consumption. Not many pickups are available to buy in the UK but there’s a reason this one is and it’s because it eco friendly.

    So what are my overall thoughts of this vehicle? Well its great to finally see that a pick up truck is being made which takes the environment into account. If all other truck companies were to take a leaf out of Dodge’s book, the world would be a little less polluted and a better place to live!

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

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

     

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

     

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

    Driverless Cars Are More Energy Efficient

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

    Fuel Economy Revolution

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

    Auto Manufacturers Are Green For Go

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

     

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

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

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

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

  10. Explore

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

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

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    Make The Living Room A Forest Of Your Imagination:

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

    Let Your Jacuzzi Resemble A Countryside Lake:

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

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    Green Gateways:

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

    Make A Unique Effect In The Balconies:

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

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

  12. What is condensation?

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

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    Window Condensation

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

    Managing Window Condensation

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

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

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

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

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