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  • Mark Piazzalunga

    DESERTEC project, Sahara Sun could power Europe by 2050

    By Mark Piazzalunga

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

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

    By Megan Bonetti

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

    Black Friday Promotes Over-Consumption and Waste

    By Joseph Ramondeli

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

    At the end of 2013, the wind farms installed in more than 85 countries had a combined generating capacity of 318,000 megawatts, which would be enough to meet the residential electricity needs of the European Union’s 506 million people. New data from the Global Wind Energy Council show that wind developers built 35,000 megawatts of new generating capacity worldwide in 2013. This was down from 45,000 megawatts installed in 2012—marking only the second time in 25 years that installed capacity increased by less than it did the year before.

    The principal reason for the decline in new capacity was a more than 90 percent drop in U.S. wind farm installations from a record 13,000 megawatts in 2012. Although the United States has the second-highest wind power capacity in the world—some 61,000 megawatts—a lack of long-term policy planning has led to several such boom-and-bust cycles.

    Despite the dearth of new capacity, there were many bright spots for U.S. wind power in 2013. Wind accounted for at least 12 percent of the electricity generated in nine states, including Iowa (27 percent) and South Dakota (26 percent). Iowa will get another boost from a $1.9 billion deal announced in December 2013: Warren Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy Company purchased Siemens turbines totaling more than 1,000 megawatts, all destined for Iowa wind projects. When complete in 2015, these wind farms will likely bring the wind share of electricity in Iowa to at least 33 percent.

    Wind’s contribution to the grid is also growing in Texas, the U.S. wind capacity leader with 12,400 megawatts. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas reports that wind farms produced nearly 10 percent of the electricity delivered to its 24 million customers in 2013. And with the early-2014 completion of state-funded transmission projects linking windy West Texas and the Panhandle to population centers to the east, Texas can accommodate even more clean electricity on the grid. The state has 7,000 megawatts of new wind power capacity under construction, more than half of the 12,000 megawatts currently being built nationwide.

    China has led the world in installed capacity since surpassing the United States in 2010. In contrast to the drop in U.S. installations in 2013, China’s wind construction accelerated—adding 16,000 megawatts to reach a total 91,000 megawatts. Wind further solidified its role as the number three electricity source in China (behind coal and hydropower), out-generating nuclear power by an impressive 22 percent. The National Energy Administration aims to make wind-generated electricity cost-competitive with coal by 2020. (See data.)

    As in Texas and many other places around the world, some of China’s best wind resources are found far from major cities where electricity demand is high. High-voltage transmission lines now under construction will connect wind-rich provinces in the north and west with more populous ones in the central and eastern provinces. For example, one project linking remote Xinjiang province to the 4 million people in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, was completed in early 2014. Infrastructure projects such as this one will be critical in reaching the official Chinese goal of 200,000 megawatts of grid-connected wind capacity by 2020.

    India, the country with the fifth-highest amount of installed capacity, added 1,700 megawatts in 2013 to cross the 20,000 megawatt threshold. Although this was 25 percent less new capacity than in 2012, India is poised to grow its wind power base dramatically in the coming years. In January 2014, the government announced a National Wind Energy Mission—in the spirit of the country’s National Solar Mission—to be launched mid-year. By beefing up the grid and using incentives to attract investment to wind hotspots, the program aims to hit 100,000 megawatts of wind within eight years.

    Development is picking up elsewhere in Asia as well. In Pakistan, wind power capacity doubled to 100 megawatts in 2013 and will double again when two 50-megawatt projects go online in 2014. Thailand also doubled its wind capacity in 2013, reaching 220 megawatts. And the Philippines has seven projects due for completion in 2014 that will expand wind capacity there 13-fold to 450 megawatts.

    Before China’s recent surge, Europe was the leading wind power region. Germany, which added 3,200 megawatts in 2013, ranks third worldwide in total capacity, with 34,000 megawatts. Four of its northern states regularly get half or more of their electricity from wind farms.

    When it comes to wind’s contribution to national electricity needs, European countries top the leaderboard. Denmark gets one third of its electricity from wind, well on its way to a target of 50 percent by 2020. Portugal, Lithuania, Spain, and Ireland come in at around 20 percent each. In fact, wind came within a percentage point of beating nuclear power for the title of Spain’s number one electricity source in 2013. And Germany, Europe’s largest economy, obtained 8 percent of its electricity from wind farms.

    While some of the larger European wind power markets, including Spain, Italy, and France, have slowed down, smaller players are speeding up. Poland and Romania each expanded their wind power capacity by 36 percent in 2013, to 3,400 and 2,600 megawatts, respectively. And in Turkey, even though the approval process for projects is slow, wind capacity grew by 28 percent to nearly 3,000 megawatts.

    One region with enormous wind potential but little development so far is Latin America. Brazil, best known for getting 80 percent of its electricity from large hydropower, hosts the most wind power capacity in the region—now close to 3,500 megawatts after a 950-megawatt addition in 2013. At government auctions, wind companies have won more than half of all contracts to sell electricity since 2011, according to Bloomberg data. Some 10,000 megawatts of wind may be installed in Brazil between 2014 and 2019. Mexico, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay also added wind power in 2013.

    In all of Africa, just one project added capacity in 2013. The final 90 megawatts of Ethiopia’s 120-megawatt Ashegoda Wind Farm went into operation, more than doubling the country’s wind capacity to 170 megawatts. South Africa has 2,100 megawatts of wind power in the pipeline, including 750 megawatts to be added in 2014 alone.

    Offshore projects account for just over 2 percent of the wind capacity installed worldwide. Having hit a seventh straight annual installation record in 2013, however, offshore wind is growing fast. More than half of the 7,100 megawatts of offshore capacity belongs to the United Kingdom, which installed 730 megawatts in its waters in 2013. Denmark, Germany, and Belgium each added at least 190 megawatts to their totals, while China added 39 megawatts. Both Vietnam and Spain added offshore wind capacity for the first time, as did the United States, although the U.S. project was one very small demonstration turbine off the coast of Maine.

    Offshore wind is still one of the more expensive electricity generating technologies, but onshore wind is often highly competitive with coal, natural gas, and nuclear power in areas with strong wind resources. And costs continue to fall as wind manufacturers steadily improve turbine efficiency, harnessing more wind per machine. In the United States, the average price of wind-generated electricity has dropped 40 percent since 2009.

    After a slower year in 2013, world wind installations will bounce back in 2014, perhaps to a new record—the Global Wind Energy Council sees the potential for 47,000 megawatts. Roughly half of the total will be built in China and the United States (around three times more in the former than in the latter). This is good news for the wind business, for electricity consumers, and for people who value cleaner air and water. But increasingly dire scientific warnings about the consequences of climate change mean that the world will need to accelerate the shift to carbon-free, renewable sources of energy even more so in the years to come.

    Copyright © 2014 Earth Policy Institute

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    When most people envision a landfill, the images that most likely come to mind are those of great heaps and mountains of garbage with a steady stream of dump trucks running day and night and piling more and more on top of what is already existing. While, part of this image may be accurate, the modern landfill is quite different. With people becoming more aware on a daily basis of the impact their actions have on the earth, even landfills are being designed with conservation and sustainability in mind.

    The Environmental Protection Agency summarizes modern landfills as "well-engineered facilities that are located, designed, operated, and monitored to ensure compliance with federal regulations." In order to ensure that these regulations are being followed in modern landfills there are various protocols in place.

    One of the first things considered in the planning of a landfill is location. They must be built in a suitable geographic location, away from wetlands, faults, or any restricted areas. Once a location is chosen some sort of liner must be laid in place to prevent any contamination of groundwater and underlying soil. One of the more popular liners currently being used is a geosynthetic liner. These liners are made up of a very thin layer of clay sandwiched between two layers of some sort of geotextile. These are durable and more efficient to install than the more traditional clay liners. A geosynthetic liner is also highly popular in areas with significantly varying temperatures. They stand up well to freeze and thaw cycles. Many modern landfills also consist of some sort of leachate collection and removal system. This is installed on top of the liner and acts to remove sludge and other harmful leachate from the landfill for treatment and removal.

    Modern landfills have a much smaller impact on the environment than landfills of the past. Once in place, operating practices are strictly monitored. Periodically, the waste is covered with a layer of compact soil. This helps to protect public health by minimizing odor, insects, and rodents. There are also scheduled ground water checks to ensure that nothing harmful from the landfill has leached into the groundwater. When it does come time for the landfill to close, there are strict protocols in place to continue to protect the environment and help to provide long term care for the closed landfill areas, making our earth a better and cleaner place for all.

  3. Do you have any idea how many cigarette butts are littered in Australia each year? Billions. Those small things, combined together, have some serious impact on the environment around us. Let’s see how. For starters the cigarette smoke contains about 4000 chemicals, and every second the butt is alight those toxins are released in the environment. Another problem, that carelessly flicked cigarettes cause, are fires. But the true problem is caused by the material the butts are made from. The filters are made from cellulose acetate which causes a lot of problems, when not disposed properly.

    Now imagine what happens with all those billions of cigarette butts, when it starts raining for instance. They are washed off the streets and alleys to the nearest water reservoir or even worse the ocean, where the toxins from the filters poison the water. And that could be deadly for the marine life.

    And do you know how long does it take for one cigarette butt to break down entirely – up to 12 months. But in water that period is much longer – it could take up to 5 year. Can you imagine that?! And each year new cigarette butts are added to the pile, again and again.

    Cigarette butts could be mistakenly eaten by some of the sea animals, there are cases when cigarette butts are being found in the stomach system of birds and fishes. The chemicals contain in the cigarette filter ( lead and cadmium) could leach in the water. There are plenty more ways in which the cigarette butts affect the nature.

    What can you do in order to prevent all that from happening and preserve the environment. According to Paul's cleaning team in Melbourne, there's nothing easier that leading a green lifestyle. Dispose the cigarette butts the proper way not by flicking them wherever you like. Use ashtrays. It’s only a small step, but if everyone take it you will see how big impact it could have.

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  4. Just about everyone has at least a few things in their home that are difficult to recycle, with some of the hardest things being old CDs and DVDs, mattresses, and household hazardous waste. These are also things that for the most part cannot simply be thrown in the trash. CDs and DVDs are made of plastic and do not break down in landfills, mattresses are simply too big just to throw in the trash, and household hazardous wastes are too dangerous to carelessly throw away. Fortunately, it is still possible to recycle these items; it will just take a little extra work.

    Recycling CD's and DVD's

    With the rise of streaming video and downloadable music, CD and DVD use has been steadily declining. This will soon lead to a surplus of obsolete compact discs that need to be dealt with. Unfortunately, these discs simply cannot be mixed in with the rest of a home's recyclable plastic. CDs and DVDs are made from type 7 plastic, the most toxic kind of plastic available. Type 7 plastics contain polylactides and polycarbonates, some of which are too toxic for the average recycling center to handle.

    Instead of simply being thrown in the trash, old CDs and DVDs should be sent to the CD Recycling Center of America. There is no charge for this recycling service, although the center does accept cash donations.

    Recycling Mattresses

    Although it is illegal to just leave a used mattress on the street corner, it's understandable why so many people do exactly that. There aren't many opportunities to recycle an old mattress, and most donation centers won't take mattresses unless they are brand new. Still, there are some options available when it comes to recycling old mattresses. A mattress that is still in decent condition can be offered for free on Craigslist or similar sites, and there are some recycling centers that can disassemble a mattress and reuse the majority of its components. Some people even opt to do this themselves; it's much easier to recycle pieces of springs and fabric than it is to find a way to reuse an entire mattress.

    Recycling Household Hazardous Waste

    No matter how "green" a family may be, they will still probably use some toxic household products. Unused paint, chemical cleaners can leach toxic materials into the soil or groundwater if they go into a landfill or down the drain. These should never be thrown in the trash, but they can be dropped off at certain recycling centers that accept hazardous materials. Some services even offer to pick up household toxic materials from homes for a small fee. There are such centers and services in most major cities, and they can be found with a Google search.

    Sources:

    http://www.fasthaul.com/ecoblog/2014/10/21/recycling-cds-dvds-what-to-do/

    http://www.sfenvironment.org/article/toxic-products-disposal/toxics-product-disposal-for-residents

    http://www.fasthaul.com/ecoblog/2015/03/09/what-to-do-recycling-mattresses/

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    Environmental disasters take many forms, with some of the more common ones being oil spills, air pollution, water contamination, and landfill issues. Though these disasters can be massive in scope and environmentally devastating, innovative companies have developed amazing solutions. Here's a quick look at some of the solutions in use today.

    Cleaning Up Oil Spills with Microbes

    Microbes have a purpose: they feed on dead and decaying organisms. This natural process cleans our environment and returns nutrients to the earth. Microbes are now being used to clean up oil in a process known as bioremediation. In some forms of bioremediation, microorganisms are added to the spill; in others, nutrients are added to the area with the goal of growing existing bacterial populations (Source: "How Microbes Clean Up Our Environmental Messes", Popular Mechanics).

    In another form of oil spill remediation, a solution made from plant-based materials is used to penetrate and break hydrocarbons into smaller, bite-sized units which are more readily consumed by bacteria.

    Tackling China's Air Pollution Problem at the Source

    As China has become more prosperous, its air pollution problem has grown increasingly worse. A new catalytic converter by ACAT Global, Advanced Clean Air Technologies may be part of the answer. Cars in China account for nearly 80 percent of China's emissions, making them an excellent target for improvement. This catalytic converter has been shown to reduce a car's particulate matter emissions by 44 percent. ACAT Global makes catalytic converters for cars, heavy equipment, diesel engines, boats, and motorcycles.

    Using Electrolyzed Water to Clean and Disinfect

    Imagine spraying water from a spray bottle and zapping germs with just water, salt, and a slight electrical charge. Believe it or not, water electrolyzed with a low-level of electricity can do just that. Electrolyzed water systems are being used to clean dairy equipment, decontaminate some foods, and disinfect surfaces. Though intriguing, this technology is still fairly expensive.

    Harnessing the Power of Landfills

    What if you could capture landfill gas emissions and convert them to energy? This technology solves two problems (containing undesirable emissions and capturing energy), and it is in use today. For example, anaerobic digesters are used to decompose green, animal, and food wastes. From there, the energy is converted by fuel cells. Thermal conversion is another technology used to convert organic and inorganic wastes into various compounds and basic molecules which can then be used for other purposes (Source: "Emerging Technologies", CalRecycle).

    Oil spills, air pollution, water contamination, and landfill emissions aren't going to go away in the near future. We can't ignore these potential problems. Fortunately, many innovative companies have been focusing on them.

    Sources:

    "How Microbes Clean Up Our Environmental Messes", Popular Mechanics, http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/environment/waste/how-microbes-will-clean-up-our-messes

    "Emerging Technologies", CalRecycle, http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/swfacilities/TechServices/EmergingTech/default.htm

    "Oil & Fuel Spill Remediation", E&B Green Solutions, http://www.ebgreensolutions.com/applications/oil-fuel-spill-remediation

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    The innovative approach to achieving project goals, allows its clients to get the results they are looking for achieve their sustainable business goals and also minimize compliance, and ongoing monitoring costs.

    Today’s ever changing economic landscape continually forces companies to start looking at new ways to do business to achieve their goals, while keeping their costs to a minimum. This is today’s reality in operating within a global economy, and surviving among tough competitors.

    Also the recent developments in expanding technology, and making it accessible, and approachable, have allowed companies to further explore new ways of doing business. Ways that were not possible just a few years ago.

    “Our model track record in serving public and private clients and providing responsible services and our knowledge of regulatory environmental regulations help our clients meet their particular challenges, whether in capital works delivery, or in environmental compliance and monitoring.” Project Specialist, Julia Scott said in an interview. “We also specialize in providing project management services to client to achieve their results on their capital works projects.”

    “We provide a no obligation consultative session to each of our perspective clients to assess their needs, and in order to find out all the specific details and about their project. Once we all are clear on their specific project criteria, we will put together an approach to achieve their deliverables. We also provide free support to our client on their facility and production until they actually achieve their results and receive their approval.” Scott said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In the bathroom:

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

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

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    Health and beauty:

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

    For the bedroom:

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

    Energy:

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

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    image credit: WB Homes

    Outside:

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

    For the Kitchen:

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

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

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    Building and construction waste removal has become a very expensive part of the building industry, due to targets and taxes set by governments and agencies with regards the reduction of waste making its way to landfill sites across the country. Waste material can be generated during renovations, new construction and demolition of buildings, roads and other structural items. They include bricks, concrete, soil, masonry, rock, wood, paving material, glass, plastic, aluminium, tree stumps and much, much more. Some of these materials can be re-used or recycled while others are considered hazardous and need to be disposed of responsibly.

    There are two ways a construction company can reduce their builders waste removal costs and that is by re-using and reprocessing materials on site or by purchasing recycled materials or products as opposed to using more expensive new items. There are also a few simple questions that need to be addressed. How will waste materials that cannot be re-used be stored until disposal or is there an outside agency that can make use of them? Is there adequate time for sourcing the appropriate materials and will there be enough available? Can any demolition or excavation materials be re-used on site?

    Let's look at a few of the ways money can be saved by re-using and recycling building materials:

    • Re-using excavation materials on site - Delivery of bulky materials, often from a great distance can be very expensive, especially when compared with the cost of re-using what is already available on site. Some of the ways this could be done are improving the soil quality by adding compost, stabilising soils with hydraulic binders or by ensuring the cut and fill balance is accurate.
    • Processing material left after demolition on site - Equipment can be hired that will crush material into usable aggregates that can be applied for filling, capping, sub-base layers or hardscaping needs during the construction process.
    • Purchasing recycled aggregates - it may be cost effective to purchase materials that have been recycled if there are not the facilities available on site to recycle.
    • Remediating contaminated soil - it is often preferential and cost-saving to correct excavated soil rather than importing new and disposal of the old.
    • Some of the most typical items that can be re-used are: plumbing fixtures, doors, cupboards, windows, air conditioning equipment, fireplaces and other stonework. Once cleaned up and retreated they can be given a new lease of life.
    • Materials that can be recycled, either on site or off include metal, wood, asphalt, paving slabs, concrete, roofing materials, corrugated cardboard and plasterboard.

    Recycling and reusing building materials not only provides a cost saving on building waste removal, for the construction company. It reduces greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants by reducing the need for the extraction of raw materials and there is no need for shipping costs. It conserves the space in landfill sites. Because fewer raw materials are required energy is saved and environmental impacts reduced. New employment opportunities are created in recycling industries and money is saved by construction companies. All in all recycling and re-using building materials is win win all round.

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    For eco-conscious homeowners, choosing the right floor is a balancing act of looks, longevity, eco-friendliness and budget. Options used to be thin, but with the market for green goods heating up, there has been an explosion of amazing options. These five flooring choices are the crème de la crème of green building.

    1. Ceramic Wood

    Hardwood floors are all the rage, but sustainably-produced hardwood is hard to come by. Hardwood enthusiasts have found an unlikely replacement in the form of ceramic tile. Through a process of staining and stamping, ceramic composed of recycled material is made to mimic the texture and color variation of natural wood. Ceramic wood is also easier to care for than hardwood, and the colors will not fade when exposed to sunlight.

    2. Wool Carpeting

    Wool was one of the first materials to be used to make carpets, and green homeowners are returning to carpets' roots to find eco-friendly flooring choices. Wool carpeting is spun from natural fibers, does not require any of the dangerous chemicals traditional carpets are treated with and can be dyed almost any color. Wool fibers are comfortable and can last for centuries. If someone in your household has a wool allergy, cotton and jute are ideal natural fiber alternatives.

    3. Polished Concrete

    When you think of concrete, you may think of the dull, uninspiring slab that makes up your garage floor. Banish the thought, for new concrete polishing, staining and stamping techniques have rocketed concrete to gorgeous heights. In addition to concrete polishing, the floor can be given glass inlays and other intriguing details to jazz it up. Concrete is the most durable and easy-to-clean flooring option, and it never needs to be replaced.

    4. Recycled Fiber Carpeting

    Oceans of plastic bottles, frozen dinner trays and more can be shredded, spun and turned into brand new carpeting. Also known as P.E.T. carpeting, recycled fiber carpet is durable, stain-resistant and is often the most economical choice. P.E.T. carpeting once had a reputation for being scratchy, but the latest weaves are quite soft.

    5. Cork

    Cork flooring was one of the first green flooring options available, and it has a few unexpected tricks up its sleeve. Cork is a sustainable resource with natural anti-microbial, anti-insect and flame retardant properties. It is surprisingly durable and can be painted or stained like wood.

    Whether you choose cork, ceramic or polished concrete flooring, green flooring is more beautiful and affordable than ever. Take advantage of the booming market and make the padding beneath your family's toes a good choice for the environment.

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    The refrigerator is the most energy consuming appliance in the kitchen. It works night and day, 24/7/365 and without it in optimum condition your food and beverages would spoil.

    It is an essential part of staying alive and making sure your hard earned money isn't wasted on spoiled food. That being said, to keep the refrigerator going calls for lots of energy but there are ways to conserve on energy usage with your refrigerator. All it really calls for is some simple common sense and light maintenance.

    First of all, keep the coils clean. Use a vacuum cleaner to keep dust and debris from building up. That will allow the unit to operate at peak efficiency and not overheat.

    Next, place the fridge with enough room around it, perhaps a couple of inches minimum so that air can flow around it and the unit can pull in that cool air and expel the warm air. This avoids buildup of dust and debris and won't strain the mechanism.

    Don't put hot foods in the fridge. It makes it work harder. Instead, let foods cool on the counter or stove to room temperature and then put them in.

    Leave space around foods regarding the walls of the fridge. A good inch is fine. This allows for the cool air to get around the foods and beverages and cool them faster and more efficiently.

    If you can, place the refrigerator near a wall that is facing the outside. Cool walls allow for cooler operation unless you live in a very warm or hot climate.

    The same goes for warm or hot appliances. Don't place the refrigerator near these devices. It strains the usage.

    Try an energy efficient light bulb inside. There are plenty of them on the market so you can easily find one that fits the fridge.

    Keep the freezing compartment defrosted. Do this regularly as needed. Too much ice in there will put a strain on things. It also means that you'll have more room to store things as well. Ice buildup is not a good thing.

    Don't leave the door to the fridge open too long. You'll defeat the purpose of it. Keep it closed even when pulling out several items.

    These and other common sense actions will mean your unit will work at optimum levels and not put too much a drain on your energy resources. Keeping the proper refrigerator maintenance means the unit will last long after its warranty and you'll get service your hard earned dollar deserves.

  10. A hot summer day or night is the perfect time to turn on the air conditioner to keep the family cool. However, what do you do if you are concerned with keeping your family comfortable while also protecting the environment? Here are some tips that you can use to achieve both goals at the same time.

    Use Geothermal Heating Sources

    A geothermal heat pump can keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. During the summer months, heat is drawn from your home via the pump and returned to the Earth. There is little to no energy needed to draw the heat out, and you can then draw the heat back into your home during the winter.

    Consider Using Natural Gas

    Natural gas is one of the cleanest burning fuels that humanity has. Using it to power your air conditioning unit or other energy producing equipment can help you save money, use less energy and protect the environment. You can find out if natural gas power is available before you buy or install your air conditioner unit.

    Use Controls And Timers To Keep The Air Conditioner From Running Nonstop

    A good way to preserve the environment is to ensure that your air conditioner is not running when you are not home. During the air conditioning installation, the people who are putting the air conditioner unit in should be able to teach you how to use it properly. Setting a timer or programming the unit to shut off when the air inside cools sufficiently avoids excessive use of your air conditioner. If you have a large house, you can use a system of fans to move cool air throughout the house.

    Keep The Ducts Clean At All Times

    If you have central air, it is important that your ducts are free from dust and other debris. Blocked ducts make it harder for your air conditioner to work as it should. This means increased energy usage and the unnecessary use of fossil fuels to keep your home cool.

    After the air conditioning installation is complete, you should have your unit checked at least twice a year to ensure that it is running properly. If you have window units, you should make sure that drain pans are emptied and each unit is properly stored during the winter to ensure maximum energy efficiency from each unit.

    It is important that your air conditioner uses as little energy as possible. Using geothermal energy sources, keeping the air conditioner off when you are not home and checking the air conditioning system periodically are all great ways to achieve that goal. The best part is that you can save money on your energy bills while you are saving the environment.

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    Everybody loves a clean house, but not everybody likes to clean. You don't have to be a cleaning freak to keep your home clean and tidy, though. All you need is to learn how to keep everything under control. Tackle small messes before they grow bigger and get your family in the routine of helping you out by performing certain chores right away. Check out some of the habits that you should acquire for a cleaner house.

    Take off your shoes. Shoes are a very convenient way for dust and dirty to enter your home. So, in order to prevent this, make sure you and your family get into the habit of taking their shoes as soon as they enter the house. Forget what you see on movies where everybody is walking around the house with their shoes on - they don't have to clean anything afterwards, but you will have to if you enter with your muddy sneakers.

    Regular vacuum sessions. You don't have to clean thoroughly everyday, but it is a good idea to vacuum high-traffic areas in the house every two days or so. Pay special attention to the carpets and doormats because they are the ones get dirty the fastest. Also mop the kitchen floor too in order to remove any crumbs, stains and other residues.

    Don't forget the windows. You would be surprised how many people neglect their windows. However, a regular cleaning can save you plenty of time and effort in the long run. So instead of washing your windows only once every year, trusted window cleaners from Sydney suggest doing so every 3-4 months.

    The fridge is another place which should be maintained systematically. Before you put the groceries you've just bought, do a quick check up of the current food in the fridge. Throw away everything that has expired, smells funny or it's getting mouldy. In this way you will not only free up some space, but you will also avoid having your refrigerator smelling horrendously. Just make sure you also give it a quick swipe with some glass cleaner for disinfecting the area.

    Dealing with the bathroom. Keep a small squeegee in the bathroom and get your family in the habit of using it after they finish bathing. Wiping down the walls regularly will prevent the build up of soap scum and will keep the mould away. And while you are in the bathroom, it is also a good idea to start cleaning the sink daily. Use baby wipes to remove hair and toothpaste stains or mascara drips.

    Finally, sprinkle some baking soda in the rubbish bin, add a cup of distilled vinegar and half a lemon (or orange). Let it sit for about 20 minutes and then rinse. The vinegar is a natural disinfectant and the lemons will provide you with exotic scent.

  12. For many years, kitchens have been just as a places to prepare meals. However, things have changed drastically and many people now recognize the importance of kitchens, especially when it comes to energy conservation. It is no wonder that many homeowners are now considering different helpful ways in making the kitchen more eco friendly. The aim is to make it energy efficient while at the same time taking away the unnecessary strain from the environment.

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    There are many ideas that could be helpful in making your kitchen eco-friendly and the amazing thing is that you do not have to spend a lot of money to achieve this. However, the most important thing to note is that such kind of a kitchen has many benefits and will not only help reduce the impact of global warming but also help you save money in return. Here are some ideas on how to make eco friendly kitchen.

    Eco-friendly cleaning

    Traditionally, cleaning in the kitchen has been dominated by toxic products that are not only harmful to our health but also to the environment. However, today you can opt for friendlier non toxic green cleaning products that do not contain things such as phosphate. These products unlike their predecessors are biodegradable and are capable of giving you a clean shine when used for all different kinds of kitchen cleaning. You will find simple products such as baking soda, lemon and vinegar to be a very good example of eco-friendly kitchen cleaning products.

    Kitchen tools and accessories

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    Another great way to make eco friendly kitchen is to install tools and accessories that are made of recyclable materials. For example, it will help to opt for stainless steel sink and faucet since this material is 100 percent recyclable and therefore makes for a very good idea if you intend to make a green kitchen. The same should extend to other fittings such as countertops, cabinets and flooring where renewable and sustainable materials are available and which can help in making your kitchen eco-friendly. Materials such as bamboo and cork are increasingly growing in popularity among many homeowners when it comes to flooring options and it will be good to consider them as well.

    Energy-efficient appliances

    You can replace your already existing appliances such as refrigerator, oven or dishwasher with new models that meet government guidelines on energy efficiency. This needs not be a tough change to make as many appliances available in the market come with Federal Energy Star Rating. Having such in your kitchen means you will have increased efficiency while at the same time cutting on the cost of operation which translates well as a wise eco-friendly move. Make sure to keep your refrigerator fully stocked as opposed to keeping it half full as this will help you use less energy.

    Energy-efficient lighting system

    Kitchen lighting can be so eco-unfriendly if you do not pay some attention to your usage. As you consider how to make eco friendly kitchen, it will be good to embrace the use of sunlight during the day and combine this with light colored materials and installations including cabinets and countertops. These will help maximize the light streaming into the kitchen from outside thus making it unnecessary to use the bulbs during the day. You should also replace energy consuming incandescent bulbs and instead opt for LED lighting which is energy efficient.

    There are many other ideas you should consider while making your kitchen eco friendly and these will range from eating green, garbage disposal and even painting. Some of these ideas could be costly to implement but the good news is that within a short time you will be able to see the positive effects associated with this move.

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    When it comes to taking care of your roof, nothing is as low maintenance as a metal roof. They are impervious to pests and rot. You don't have to worry about damaged shingles. When installed properly, a metal roof can last upwards of 30 years. Despite the durability of metal roofs however, there are still things you need to do to take care of your metal roof to get the maximum lifespan out of it.

    General roof maintenance tips

    Roofing experts recommend that your roof be inspected twice a year regardless of the type of roof you have. Your roof should be inspected just before the winter weather hits and again once it has passed. These regular inspections identify possible problems before they are serious. Catching them early prolongs the life of your roof and saves your home from serious damage. It's also a good idea to check your roof after every major storm. If you've had hail, heavy rain, or strong winds recently, it's a good idea to just do a walk-around to make sure everything looks sound.

    Problems with metal roofs

    As already stated, metal roofs are relatively easy to maintain, but there are some issues to watch for particularly with metal roofs. Unlike other roofing materials, metal roofs can expand and contract with large fluctuations in temperature. This expanding and contracting can cause problems with the sealant that is used to keep water from getting between the sheets of metal. These sealants are elastic and should last for some time but it is something to watch for, especially if you live in a climate with extreme temperatures. You may have to have the sealant replaced a couple of times during the lifespan of your roof. The expanding and contracting of your metal roof can also cause screws to come loose. Periodically have your roof checked to make sure that the screws are tightly fastened.

    Cleaning your metal roof

    It's important to keep your metal roof clean, and not just for appearance's sake. Allowing dirt and debris to accumulate on your roof can cause water to become trapped on your roof where it can cause corrosion. At least once a year you should clean your roof. Make sure your clear your roof of dirt, leaves, branches, and other debris. Pay extra attention to valleys where leaves and other debris accumulate. Don't forget to clear out your rain gutters as well. Water that backs up in your rain gutters can get beneath your roof and into your home. If you're going to a solution, make sure it's a biodegradable cleaner.

    By properly maintaining your metal roof, it will serve you for many years.

    Home improvement news brought to you by bartonroof.com

    Source: realtybiznews.com/home-maintenance-tips-taking-care-of-your-metal-roof/98725032/

    :) :) :)

  13. Home owners can save money with green building and make a positive impact on the environment. This is especially in terms of power, water and gas consumption. By making the necessary and simple green upgrades, homeowners can tremendously reduce the amounts of gas, electricity and water required to run their homes.

    To Harvest Rain Water

    While constructing your home, it will be prudent to consider having a system for harvesting rainwater installed. It will both provide more water for your utilisation and enable you cut back on those massive water bills. This system will harvest water during rains and store it in water tanks that can be above or below the ground level. However, for tanks that are below the ground you will have to incur more in pumping expenses.

    This water is then transferred through pipes to washrooms and cold water machine taps. This consequently means that you can use nature's free water for your domestic needs such as for washing machines and in toilets. It saves reduces your expenses and is an eco-friendly process in its entirety.

    Eco-friendly Water Heating Systems

    Technological advancements have now made it possible to utilise the atmospheres heat to directly and efficiently heat your water. You will literally not have to make any effort and your power bills will be on a steep descent. Heat pump water systems absorb the heat from the atmosphere and surrounding. They then multiply this heat numerous times.

    This is similar to the refrigeration technology, hence one can relate. This heat energy is then transferred into the stored water. Highly efficient, eco-friendly and quiet in its operation. To ensure full time operation, they come equipped with back-up electric boosters. It is just as efficient as the solar hot water heating system but doesn't require the panels.

    Better Light Distribution at Lower cost

    This is what energy efficient globes offer. Moreover, they are efficient and have a long life. One can use them in place of the standard incandescent light for both brighter and better light distribution. In addition, they have a longer life in comparison and utilise less power, thus enabling you tone down your energy bills.

    Utilise the Free and Clean Solar Energy

    Photovoltaic panels, commonly referred to as solar panels, when installed obtain the sun's energy and convert it to electrical energy. They can be installed on various locations but the most optimal is where there is maximum exposure to direct sunlight; hence many households have them put up on the roof. The conversion of solar to electrical energy is completely pollution free.

    What's more, the sun is a renewable source of energy. Put simply, installation of the panels is the only cost you will incur. Yet you will be assured of a constant supply of electricity. It reduces your energy bills significantly and being pollution free, does not harm the environment. Moreover, you can utilise it for your demand and sell back some power to the grid.

    All these, and more, incentive can assist home owners in making their homes green. The initial cost should not be a deterrent. Many home builders, like Boutique Homes, Green Home Building, Pulte Homes and many more, offer this "green" deal when building your house. This is as, over time, with all the savings that will be made on the monthly bills, the upgrades will quickly pay for themselves. In addition, the eco-friendly upgrades increase the value of a home. They are the sound investment every homeowner should make.

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    Pinterest is a fairly new global sensation that has become a marketing tool used by several companies. Millions of pins promote companies around the world, and many of them are successful at bringing in business. Until now, it has been difficult for companies to determine whether or not their pin advertisements actually bring them business, but according to TechCrunch, Pinterest is preparing to launch a new marketing program that can track business that comes straight from pins on Pinterest. This new program will let companies know which pins are the most appealing to their customers, which products are the most popular, and which pins drive the most sales. So how do companies become part of this new program?

    So far only a few third-party marketing companies have been selected to try out the new program. While Pinterest intends on having its own free analytical marketing program for all companies, third-party marketing companies currently help keep track of consumer data, and therefore Pinterest has decided to first team up with them to see if the new program will actually be successful. The marketing technology companies involved with the new program are Salesforce (Exact Target Marketing Cloud), Hootsuite, Spredfast, Percolate, Piqora, Curalate and Tailwind. If businesses currently use these third-party marketing companies, they are able to test out the new Pinterest marketing program. If the new program proves successful, Pinterest will then open up the program to all companies, and each company will be able to customize the way they market using Pinterest.

    One of Pinterest’s major goals is to promote business for companies. In order to achieve their goal, it is not only important for companies to see how much revenue is generated through their Pinterest advertisements, but for Pinterest to see those results as well. Through this data, Pinterest will be able to see which terms are searched for most frequently, helping companies know how to phrase their ads. Pinterest wants to be able to help companies see which marketing tactics are most successful. The more companies who use Pinterest to market will also bring in more Pinterest activity from consumers, making Pinterest a successful site.

    Benefits of marketing through Pinterest

    Companies like Target and Wal-Mart have put Pinterest to use in their stores. Special items are tagged as “most popular on Pinterest,” ultimately drawing in consumers who are frequent Pinterest users. The familiar Pinterest logo is enough to attract any Pinterest user roaming through the store. This also shows companies that there is a way, though it might be difficult, to currently track how successful Pinterest advertisements actually are. It is no secret that Pinterest is a successful marketing tool. Even though receiving actual marketing data might be a challenge at this time, companies should start taking advantage of the free marketing through Pinterest. Eventually it will be possible to see exact consumer data from Pinterest, but even until then companies have access to this free and popular marketing tool.

    Mobile Technology News brought to you by businesstexter.com

    Source: techcrunch.com/2014/05/20/pinterest-rolls-out-a-new-business-insights-api-to-select-marketing-technology-companies/

  14. Lawn mowers are arguably the most common gardening tools found in the shed of every house with a garden. Professional landscapers use also use them, even if they prefer high-performance models and their units are therefore more powerful. Many different types of mowing machines exist, but we all know the major ones: push, rotary, riding mowers. Although you probably use and store them the right way, you should still perform a few additional tasks regularly. Some of them may be annoying - but in turn, your equipment will be in top working condition throughout the year.

    Sharpen The Blades

    First of all, how to tell if blades are dull? The easiest way is to look at the grass after trimming and see if you're getting a clean cut. If the area top looks whiter then usual – it's a sure sign that blades need to be sharpened. If you don't do so on time you will end up with a bad-looking lawn and eventually a lack of balance that slowly damages the whole engine because of the strong vibrations. So, these are the steps for the most common (rotary) type:

    • Make sure there is almost no fuel in the tank, so that nothing will be spilled when you tip the machine to the side.
    • Take out/disconnect the spark plug for security reasons.
    • Use a wrench to unscrew the nut and take the blade off the mower.
    • Set the blade firmly in the vise and sharpen it as you go from the outer edge towards the center. Keep the existing angle while working or, if it's really damaged badly, try to go around 30 degrees.
    • Once you're finished, check the blade for balance. Remove some more metal where/if necessary – you need to make sure that no side is heavier than the other.

    Keep in mind that reel blades are not recommended to be sharpened at home.

    Engine Care

    Not much to do here, fortunately. It's best to follow manufacturer's instructions if you have them handy. If not, just be sure to change the oil after every 20-25 hours of mowing. Also, clean up air filter/s together with the oil refill.

    Cleaning

    If you have a push-type mower, grab a putty knife and scrape off parched grass clippings and other dirt. Wash down the whole unit with the garden hose. Experts in residential landscaping from Sydney remind that you should always lubricate visible metal parts (including the blades) right after the rinsing, once the surface is completely dry.

    For electrical models – clean up all areas surrounding the openings and get rid of grass and other particles found on the cooling fans to prevent excessive heating of the engine. You are allowed to apply a mix of hot water and household dish-washing liquid on the external surface if it's very dirty, then let it dry naturally. Tip your landscaping tool to one side in order to remove the grass stuck to the bottom – use a power nozzle if you need to.

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    Becoming Environmentally Conscious

    As you might have known, air pollution threatens the livelihood of both humans and the environment every day. According to the EPA, “680 to 1,700 premature deaths have resulted in heart or lung disease,” which may be attributed to hazardous air pollutants linked to cancer. Continual exposure to the toxic environment has decreased the longevity of the average human life. Fortunately, many parts of the United States are fully dedicated to becoming environmentally conscious and want to provide a sustainable lifestyle for everybody to enjoy.

    There are several criteria for becoming an eco-friendly state, which includes usage of renewable resources, effective recycling and management of waste, access to organic/local food, green transportation methods, air and water quality, and land dedicated to quality green space, such as parks and recreational areas. By meeting this criteria, carbon footprint decreases dramatically.

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    Vermont: The Road to Becoming Environmentally Conscious

    Vermont is considered the number one most environmentally conscious state in the United States. Being the second least populous state, Vermont is devoted to providing healthier living for their limited number of residents. It has the lowest carbon footprint and the fewest carcinogenic toxins, helping to provide that well-known, crisp, mountain air. This is due to policies that promote renewable and alternative energy, recycling, and many local food choices.

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    Living the Vermont Lifestyle

    Vermont promotes healthy living by providing plenty of outdoor leisure activities. There are many areas in the state that allow swimming, biking, horseback riding, boating, golfing, and walking – many of them throughout Vermont’s vast mountain ranges. Quechee Lakes is an example of healthy Vermont-style living, located just south of Burlington. It’s a community that provides outdoor activities for all residents around the area.

    It is also home to one of the best skiing locations in the country. Burlington, which is Vermont’s main hub, has a growing business community that attracts many friendly entrepreneurs, delicious local restaurants, and a lively nightlife.

    Vermont is also very family-friendly. Many leisure activities are kid-friendly, and include public parks, walking trails, rock climbing, and fishing.

    Conclusions

    Being environmentally friendly is no easy task, but is becoming necessary to sustain a practical level of health. If you want this type of risk-free environment, Vermont is the perfect place to enjoy both a healthy lifestyle and an eco-friendly environment. Start making the change today!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Kate Critchlow

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

  17. First and foremost, knowing exactly what organic wine is, is the key to making it properly.

    Grapes grown organically are the first thing required for making of organic wine. When a certain fruit or vegetable is grown organically it means there were no pesticides and/or chemicals involved in its growing. Many manufacturers of wine tend to break the rules of organic. It certainly pays off more to include some manipulating in wine-making, just to have it last longer and taste better. But since you have decided to make wine yourself, we don’t question your aspiration to get that organic wine just right, in a proper way.

    So, what you first need to do is gather supplies. Naturally, this sounds like a logical step to take and you are wondering why do we even mention it. Well, because more often than not beginners in wine making tend to omit certain things which then leads to the wine getting ruined by bacteria or bugs. To avoid that, gather these supplies:

    - An airlock

    - A 1-gallon carboy (a glass container with a small neck)

    - Clean wine bottles with corks or screw caps

    - A 2-gallon crock or glass jar

    - A thin plastic tube to be used for siphoning

    - Campden tablets (optional)

    Once you have all this, the games of wine making can begin! For the record, wine can be made of any type of fruit. So, if you want to experiment and try something unusual choose something else rather than berries and grapes. The most important thing is to choose fruit at the peak of its flavor.

    Cleaning the fruit

    Washing the fruit is easy - clean it of any dirt and/or rotten parts. Remove the leaves. Rinse it thoroughly. Done!

    You’d think everyone is cleaning the fruit before doing anything with it, right? Well, not really. Some wine-makers like not to wash the fruit before crushing it. Given that fruit has natural yeasts on its skin, wine can be made with using only the yeast from the fruit's skin and the air. The negative aspect of not washing the fruit is that wild yeast get to grow and they are likely to produce foul flavors. While, when you wash the fruit you can control the taste and adjust it to you liking.

    Crushing the fruit

    Crushing the fruit is done with your hands or a potato masher. All you should do is squeeze the fruit so that it releases its juices. You should repeat the process of until the crock you have previously put washed grapes in is filled with 1/2 inches of the top with fruit juice. If there isn’t enough fruit and juice, top it off with filtered water.

    To kill bacteria and wild yeast, add a a Campden tablet. It will release sulfur dioxide into the mixture which will effectively kill wild yeast and bacteria. If you’d rather not use a tablet, you can alternatively pour 2 cups of boiling water over the fruit.

    Also, when using water, avoid tap as it contains additives and it will affect the taste of your wine. Make it your business to use filtered or spring water only.

    Add honey for sweetness of your organic wine. Limiting honey to two cups will give your wine not so sweet a taste. You can, of course, add more if you like your wine sweeter. If you don’t like honey, you can add (brown) sugar instead of honey.

    After this is done, it’s time you added the yeast! Stir it into the mixture with a long-handled spoon.

    Fermenting the Wine

    To keep bugs out of the crock, cover it with something firm yet such a fabric that will allow air to flow in. Perfect cloth would a t-shirt or a stretch cloth. Just make sure you secure it in place with a large rubber band. The covered crock should be placed in a warm area overnight, with a temperature around 70 degrees. The day after you have made the mixture, you should follow the process of stirring it thoroughly.

    The stirring should go on for 4 days:

    - 1st day - stir every 4 hours or so- other 3 days - a few times per day

    You’ll know fermentation process when you see it - as the yeast moves into action, the mixture should start bubbling. This will lead to delicious wine.

    Three days after it begins, the bubbling will slow down which is a sign it’s time to strain and siphon the liquid.

    - Siphon the liquid into your carboy for longer-term storage

    - Affix the airlock to the opening to prevent oxygen from coming in and spoiling your wine while allowing for the release of gas

    Let the wine age for nine months. If you are in a rush to try it, then leave it for at least one month.

  18. photo-1474631245212-32dc3c8310c6?ixlib=r

    Energy consumption without a doubt is a hot topic in this day and age. It’s been a big topic for quite some time now, too, and with good reason. People are becoming more and more thoughtful with regard to their approaches to energy use. If you want to minimize your consumption of energy in a big way, there are all sorts of intelligent things that you can try right now.

    Unplug, Unplug, Unplug

    Unplugging may seem like a simple thing. It can actually be a game-changing strategy for people who are passionate about decreasing their energy consumption substantially, however. If you want to do the planet a massive favor, you should take the time to unplug your household appliances any time you do not require them. Doing so only takes a couple of seconds or so.

    Learn All About Electric Water Heating

    Electric water heating is often the answer for people who want to lower energy consumption dramatically. You can work with a capable electrician who can point you into the right direction regarding electric water heater selection. Try to find out about electric water heaters that are known for superior energy efficiency. Your electrician should be able to provide you with fantastic recommendations.

    Take Advantage of the Gift of Daylight

    Lighting should be one of your focal points. If you want to take charge of your use of energy, you should contemplate your lighting strategy at home in great detail. It can be a wonderful idea to buy lighting products that are associated with energy efficiency. It can be just as wonderful an idea to prioritize daylight. Skylights and windows make taking advantage of daylight a possibility. They’re both highly energy-efficient as well.

    Invest in Residential Insulation

    Residential insulation can go an incredibly long way for all households that are keen on the concept of lowering energy consumption significantly. If you insulate your living space well, then you can stop the frustrating loss of heat from taking place. Basement, attic and wall insulation can all do a lot to lower wintertime electricity use dramatically. Don’t forget that insulation can even aid you in times of higher temperatures.

    People these days have more concerns about the world than ever before. If you’re in that camp, then you don’t have to feel helpless in any sense. If you want to aid the planet, you can do your part by minimizing your energy consumption.

  19. Environment.jpg

    Exercise is crucial for children, especially in these times when a majority of American kids are either overweight or obese. Athletic practices, sports, even pick-up games provide kids with not only fresh air, but also an opportunity to exercise their muscles. All these activities require space, but not all playgrounds are safe considering the rising costs of maintenance sports grounds. There is nothing more important than safety when it comes to children.

    Parents always display a great attention to detail when selecting toys, beds, and furniture for their children. But when it comes to playing areas no one ever takes a look at the ground. Most injuries on playgrounds occur as a result of a fall on abrasive surfaces which are hard and plain unsafe. With synthetic grass you can have a consistent playground surface anywhere!

    The technology has improved a lot and synthetic grass now looks just like natural grass, but without the hassles of a natural grass. The best part is that maintaining a synthetic lawn is simple. If leaves or tree waste accumulates on the surface you simply use a blower to get rid of them. A thorough cleaning can be done with a water hose.

    Because artificial turf fields are so much more durable than grass, they give much higher playability and allow for broader access. They can be played on at all times of the year. In times when playing fields are scarce, they give youth sports organizations the space to practice that they otherwise might not have had. The problem of spring and fall rains which result in the cancellation of so many games and practices can be avoided. One muddy field will no longer ruin the rest of your season.

    Field Test

    A synthetic grass surface should make the ball bounce in a way similar to that on a natural grass field. Once the sports field is installed multiple tests are performed to ensure a level surface, in addition to analyzing the ball roll and ball bounce measurements. Governing organizations of several sports including soccer, rugby and hockey require field tests to be performed before the field is approved for use.

    Use of Synthetic Turf

    There are more than 8,000 synthetic grass sports fields currently being used throughout the US, in 2012 more than 1,000 fields were installed in American schools, colleges, parks and professional sports stadiums. Since 2003, over 70 FIFA U-17 and U-20 World Cup matches have been played on synthetic turf soccer fields. Faux grass is a popular solution for other sports such as field hockey, baseball, tennis, lacrosse and rugby. It makes for a perfect practice field all year round and ensures the sportspersons are well trained.

    Synthetic turf soccer pitches have taken off quite well in England and the US. This has spurred many artificial lawn manufacturers to research on creating a better and more refined product. But there are definitely many compelling arguments for using synthetic grass for sporting purposes.

    Why Synthetic Grass

    • It makes for a longer playing season and keeps the ground level
    • There are enormously decreased maintenance costs; the turf lasts up to 15 years and requires minimal care
    • There is no need to water it
    • There is no need for fertilizers, so none can get into the sub-soil water bodies
    • There is no fear of mud or grass stains
    • Cushioned surface allows for minimal injuries during falls
    • Dramatically improves water conservation by allowing water to run-off and collect where required

    Artificial Turf Improves Performance of Sportsmen

    Let’s take the case of the football team at Salesian High School, Richmond, California. Located in a city with one of the country’s highest murder rates, the students at Salesian High focused their efforts on academics. The conditions of their grass field were so poor that the soccer and football teams were on a three-year notice to be shut down. This changed when the school raised funds to install a synthetic turf field.

    They came back from the brink of closure to defeat a team branded nigh unbeatable, with players twice its size. It was Salesian’s first game on their brand new synthetic grass field. The field is now being hailed as the ‘Real Field of Dreams’.

    Safety First

    Artificial turf is designed to look like grass, where green ‘blades’ of dyed polyethylene or nylon are glued to fabric backing. In order to give the surface some cushion, unlike the original fields that were as hard as concrete, “infill” is laid down to function as the dirt and to help the strands stay upright. This infill is usually made of tire crumb – ground up recycled car and truck tires. The result is a pristine looking surface that requires little maintenance.

    In contact sports such as rugby and soccer, it is imperative for the synthetic grass surfaces to be soft and cushioned so as to reduce the likelihood of players getting injured. Impact injuries are reduced thanks to cushioned synthetic grass surfaces.

    There is no doubt that the introduction of artificial playing surfaces has changed the way many games are played around the world. This has been specifically felt in football, tennis, soccer and cricket. However, do not consider that installing a synthetic playing field is the end of your problems. There is a certain amount of maintenance that is involved in keeping the field up to the standards of the game.

    Synthetic grass is the perfect surface to play sports on as it reduces the amount of injuries and improves the performance of the players. Just make sure that nobody spits a wad of chewing-gum on your turf, that’ll be one thing no one would want to clean up.

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    According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), many roofing contractors aren't taking the necessary safety precautions when working on top of roofs. Complaints against roofing contractors for unsafe practices are more common than they used to be and OSHA, along with the Better Business Bureau and various roofing associations is working to correct the problem.

    Just how dangerous is roofing?

    Nearly a third of all fall related deaths in the construction industry occur from the rooftop. Contrary to popular belief, this isn't usually due to inexperience (though it is sometimes the case). Even the most experienced roofers can fall when the work environment is unsafe. Uneven sheathing, a sudden gust of wind, loose roofing materials, tools lying about, and wet surfaces all commonly lead to falls resulting in serious injury or death. Even a bee sting or some other on-the-job injury can distract a roofer causing them to fail. Many of these work place hazards, such as leaving tools where a person might stumble on them, are the result of human error. Others, such as sudden gusts of wind, are completely outside the worker's control. However, with the proper safety measures in place, even these types of hazards are less likely to result in a fall.

    What this means for roofers

    According to OSHA, while the cost of providing the property safety equipment to all roofers could be a setback to roofing contractors, that cost is nothing compared to the worth of a human life. OSHA urges that roofing contractors make sure to train all of their workers in the use of safety equipment and to make sure that equipment is being used every second that they are working on a roof. Also make sure that each roofer has proper footwear that will protect them from slipping and from injury that could lead to a fall.

    What this means for homeowners

    Homeowners also need to be concerned about the danger of a roofer falling while on-the-job. First off, they need to make sure that any roofing contractor they hire has the necessary insurance to cover such injuries. Otherwise, the homeowner could be liable for an injury. Even with insurance, however, no homeowner wants to feel responsible that a serious injury or death occurred from his/her rooftop. It's important when hiring a contractor to ask about safety measures. Homeowners shouldn't be afraid to ask about what safety equipment and what safety measures will be used on the job. As the saying goes, it's better to be safe than sorry.

    Home improvement news brought to you by bartonroof.com

    Source: safety.blr.com/workplace-safety-news/construction-safety/fall-protection-construction/OSHA-says-Denver-contractors-are-falling-down-on-f/

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