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BrookeChaplan

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We all like to take pride in being environmentally-friendly. There’s just something that feels good about being kind to the environment around us. However, it’s nice when that kindness lines up with getting us some extra money as well. Here are some great ways to do your part for the environment while putting some much-needed green into your own wallet.

Scrap Metal Recycling

We’re sure you’ve all seen or heard those commercials about cash for junk cars. The truth is that you can make some good money with the help of scrap metal services. Whether you have an old car you’re looking to get rid of or other extra metal items that are just taking up space in your yard, calling a scrap metal service can help to clean up your space and score you some green as well.

Government Solar Tax Incentives

Solar panels are becoming a popular way to help save energy costs and reduce our carbon footprint. In fact, many towns are implementing solar panel incentives for those who install these systems. The federal government has been on a rally to offer tax incentives to those homeowners and business owners who upgrade their properties to run on solar power. This type of energy also supplies the power grid that you’re connected to with energy. The power company will also pay you for the units of energy that you feed into the power grid. This means a double payday for you, once from the electric company and twice for the tax break.

Reduced Gas Expenditure

When you think about air pollution, one of the first things you may think about is your car. When you drive to and from work every day, your car releases air pollution into the environment. It also costs you money in gas to do so. Instead, you can sign up with a carpool group from your work or local community. This way, you can share the cost of gas. This means that you’ll be paying out less money in your monthly gas expenditure than if you were to drive by yourself each day.

Going green doesn’t have to be a difficult task. This holds especially true when you set yourself up to receive some monetary incentive from doing so. The above are a few great ways to consider going green that will be able to put some green in your pockets. We’re sure you’ll be able to keep coming up with more little ways to change your environmental impact while cashing in.

BrookeChaplan

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Commuting is a tradition that probably dates back practically to the invention of the automobile. Over the decades, though, increased population density, urban sprawl and ever-increasing vehicle ownership have increased commute times substantially. Even worse, they’ve turned commuting into a miserable, environmentally damaging slog for many people. While we all know finding alternative ways of getting to work helps the environment, there are some other benefits.

Improved Health

A daily drive to work doesn’t just seem to damage your health, it actually does damage your health in demonstrable ways. For example, it drives up your blood sugar levels, which increases your chances of developing diabetes. It also drives up your blood pressure. Higher blood pressure puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke.

Commuting can cause chronic backaches, damage sleep quality and reduce cardiovascular health. Simply put, commuting is bad for you. Finding alternatives, such as public transit or riding a bicycle to work, helps offset these negative effects.

Reduced Risk of Accident

There are millions of automobile accidents in the US every year. While many of these accidents are comparatively minor fender-benders, some of them cause serious injuries or death. There is a direct relationship between how much time you spend driving and your chances of getting into an accident.

The less time you spend driving, the fewer chances you have of getting into an accident. As an added bonus, if you don’t get into an accident, you also don’t need to enlist the services of an automobile accident attorney.

Better Sense of Well-Being

In addition to the physical costs associated with commuting, you also face costs to your overall well-being from a daily commute. A commute can create feelings of isolation and increase your stress levels. Both of these factors can cripple your sense of well-being.

Switching from a daily drive to another mode of commuting, such as public transit, walking or biking can actually lead to an overall increase in your sense of well-being. This holds true even when other stressful events happen in your life.

While car ownership and a daily commute might well be part of American culture, it doesn’t follow that commuting is a good thing. In fact, the evidence suggests it’s terrible for your health, mental well-being and overall risk. Giving up the daily drive for public transit, walking or biking is actually good for your health, well-being, and decreases your risks.

BrookeChaplan

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As temperatures warm up in the spring, you can typically expect to see your water bill creep higher. One of the most significant reasons for this is because of extra water usage for lawn care and other exterior purposes. However, there are other reasons why your water bill may be higher during these seasons. Water waste is significant and problematic in many homes in the spring and summer. A closer look reveals how you may be able to rein in your water bills and save a substantial amount of money in the months ahead.

Identify and Repair Leaky Pipes

Once freezing temperatures have abated, any pipes that have ruptured over the winter may begin leaking water. Some of these issues are immediately apparent in the home. However, if the leaks are in your sprinkler system or other exterior pipes, they can be difficult to identify. Schedule plumbing maintenance in early spring to identify and repair these issues. Plumbing maintenance is also a smart way to address toilets that run frequently, slow drips in the bathroom faucet and other issues that can contribute to water waste in the home.

Upgrade Your Sprinkler System

If your sprinkler system is older or basic, it may not be equipped with weather sensors. Advanced systems can detect rain, humidity, temperature and other factors to determine how frequently your lawn requires hydration. This prevents you from wasting water by running a sprinkler when hydration is not yet needed.

Harvest and Use Rainwater

Another effective way to reduce water waste at home and to save money in the process is to invest in a rainwater collection system. By attaching a collection feature, such as a rain barrel, to the downspout on your gutter system, rain that falls onto your roof can be captured. When you need to wash your car, water your garden by hand or use water for other similar outdoor purposes, you can use this free water rather than paying money to tap into the public water supply

When the concept of reducing your water bill originally came to mind, you may have thought about needing to make stressful and inconvenient changes in how you use water. While you could save money by cutting your time in the shower by half, you can see that there are easier ways to save water. Identify how each of these tips may apply to your home, and implement them today to enjoy immediate results.

BrookeChaplan

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If you’re looking to save money and energy, small home improvements can help a lot. Choosing to upgrade your home to make it more energy efficient can help you save on your heating and cooling costs. It may even increase the value of your home. Here are the three most important updates to make to ensure your home is as energy efficient as possible.

Replace Your Appliances

This is probably a more expensive route, but ensuring your home has energy efficient appliances is a good first step. You can start by replacing your old appliances with energy efficient ones when they die. In addition to appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators, heating and cooling systems in homes that are over 15 years old may be in need of an upgrade. While you’re upgrading appliances, you may want to think about a programmable thermostat. This can allow you to regulate the temperature within your home, whether you are there or not.

Add Insulation

You’ll need to decide if the amount of insulation that’s currently in your home is acceptable for the climate you live in or for your personal needs. If your home is poorly insulated, adding an extra layer of insulation can help keep heat inside in the winter or cool down your home in the summer. All this leads to savings in your heating and cooling bills.

Replace or Repair Garage Doors

The garage is one room in your home that typically isn’t insulated very well. Rooms that are attached to or above the garage can suffer as a result. While you could add some layers of insulation to your garage, if you have garage doors that are not energy efficient, the air will enter through the cracks. This leaves the entire wall your garage doors are on without insulation. Installing or repairing garage doors to ensure they are insulated will ensure your home is more efficient, increase home value, and help regulate the temperature within your home.

Energy efficiency in your home is important in ensuring you’re comfortable and not shelling out hundreds of dollars per month in heating and cooling costs. Following these tips will ensure that hot and cold air don’t just escape your home. If you’re not sure where to start with energy efficient home improvements, be sure to consult with a professional contractor. They’ll be able to help you determine what you can do to make your home more efficient and how you should execute the upgrades.

BrookeChaplan

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When spring arrives, a new growing season begins. This is a time when you expect your yard’s dormant vegetation to become rejuvenated. Unfortunately, many people are dismayed to realize that their lawn is not as green and healthy as they hoped. If your lawn is patchy, has brown spots or is showing other signs of trouble, you may use some of these tips to revive your lawn and to get the curb appeal that you desire.

Kill the Weeds

With warm spring temperatures and hydrating rain showers, weeds that were dormant all winter will sprout up quickly. Weeds will crowd out your grass. Eventually, you may have a yard full of weeds rather than healthy grass. You may also have brown or bare spots as a result. There are a few different ways to get rid of weeds. You can pull the weeds out by hand. You can also apply various products to the lawn. For example, some broadleaf weed killers will kill the weeds and not the grass. You may decide to kill all vegetation by applying various household products to the soil. This will give you a blank slate to plant new grass.

Aerate the Soil

If your lawn is looking generally unhealthy, the reason may be because of compacted soil. Soil has a tendency to become more compact over time because of various weather conditions. When it is firmly compacted, water and fresh air will not be able to reach the plant roots as easily. Professional aeration can loosen the soil and ensure that vegetation roots have access to the fresh air and water that they need for optimal health.

Plant Grass Seed or Plugs

Regardless of whether you have decided to start from scratch and use lawn installation services for a brand-new lawn or you simply want to fill in some patches of dirt, bringing new grass into your space may be necessary. To determine the right approach, consider your budget as well as the current state of your lawn. It makes sense to kill weeds and prepare the soil through aeration and even fertilization before planting new grass seed or plugs.

After you take these steps, remember that regular yard maintenance is required to nurture your lawn back to health and to maintain it in a healthy state. This includes regular mowing and edging, watering and fertilization. If you continue to struggle to achieve the beautiful curb appeal that you desire, using professional lawn care services is an excellent idea.

BrookeChaplan

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Installing solar panels and enjoying the benefit of free green energy is a common goal shared by many homeowners. Now that you have decided to finally move forward with this project, you may be eager to get the ball rolling. Some homeowners in your shoes have been dismayed to run into issues when installing solar panels that may have otherwise been prevented with forethought and planning. These are some of the more common solar panel installation problems that may affect your upcoming project.

A Weak Roof

Solar panels may look relatively light, but their appearance is misleading. The actual weight depends on the type of panels that you select, but many roofs have not been designed to withstand the weight of a full set of typical solar panels. You can avoid learning about this problem in the middle of a solar panel installation project by consulting with a roofing contractor ahead of time.

A Roof that Requires Replacement Soon

The solar panel installation process takes time, energy and money, so you understandably want to maximize the benefit of this effort. A typical asphalt shingle roof has a lifespan of approximately 25 years, although there is a considerable variation to this based on weather conditions, maintenance, and many other factors. Installing new solar panels on an older roof that requires replacement soon is not wise. If your roof is close to the end of its life, it makes sense to replace it before installing new panels.

Not Planning for Water Flow

When your roof was constructed, its purpose was to protect the home from exposure to the elements by creating an impermeable barrier. Its design is based on the concept that water will flow downward without hindrance. Solar panels create blockages that your roof was not designed for initially. Consulting with a roofer will help you to determine if any additional steps need to be taken to ensure the integrity of your roof.

As beneficial as solar panel installation can be for the environment and for your budget, it is not without challenges. These are a few common problems that you may run into, and you can see that they pertain to the roof. Because solar panels are mounted to the roof, it makes sense to ensure that your roof is in good condition and can tolerate this installation before beginning the project. Now is a great time to contact a licensed roofer for more information about preparatory steps that may be needed.

BrookeChaplan

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Living in a beautiful historic home may be a dream come true, but this type of living experience can be stressful, expensive and inconvenient in specific ways. For example, unless the home has been recently and thoroughly renovated, it may be generating waste in various ways. This waste may result in higher expenses, environmental concerns and other issues that you understandably want to avoid as much as possible. These are some of the many steps that you may take to reduce waste in your historic home.

Schedule HVAC Maintenance Service

Maintaining a desirable climate indoors in an older home can consume much more energy than may be required in a newer home with an equivalent size. This can place a considerable amount of strain on your heating and cooling system. Over time, this additional strain may result in equipment damage that creates additional inefficiency. A smart idea is to schedule AC and heating system maintenance annually to erase signs of wear and tear for optimal efficiency. This may reduce energy bills and decrease the environmental impact.

Reseal the Doors and Windows

Regardless of whether you live in an older or a newer home, seals around doors and windows can deteriorate rapidly. In fact, most homes need new seals every year or two. If you have not resealed your home’s doors and windows recently, now may be the time to do so. In addition to eliminating unnecessary energy waste, it can help you to stay more comfortable indoors by eliminating drafts. This is a simple and affordable project that you may be able to complete on your own.

Upgrade the Insulation

Another smart way to reduce energy waste and to improve your home’s interior environment is to upgrade insulation. Over time, insulation may deteriorate. It may also become damaged by pests, exposure to water from plumbing leaks and more. Furthermore, insulation that was installed many years ago may not be as effective as new types on the market today. This is a smart, cost-effective to modernize your historic home without impacting its character at all.

The charm of a historic home resides in its layout, architectural detail and even quality materials. While you understandably want to modernize your home so that you can reduce or eliminate unnecessary waste, you do not want to impact its gorgeous design elements. Each of these tips may help you to improve your historic home dramatically. However, you should review your home to assess its specific and most pertinent needs before acting.

 

BrookeChaplan

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Throughout a typical day, you may use several different types of electronic devices regularly. These devices will eventually wear out or break with heavy use, or they may become obsolete as new technology is introduced. While you could toss old electronics into the trash, they would sit in the landfill for centuries because of a slow rate of decomposition. With some devices, harmful pollutants may enter the environment if they are not disposed of properly. With this in mind, you need to find responsible ways to deal with electronic waste.

Research Laws and Regulations

Before you decide how to proceed, spend time reviewing local laws and regulations that may impact your decision. In some areas, specific types of waste cannot legally be tossed away. Laws may specifically dictate how these items must be dealt with, such as through an electronics recycling program. These programs may be offered through local government organizations or waste management providers in some cases.

Consider Donation

If you are retiring electronics that are still in good condition, these items may be useful to other people. The latest technological devices may be important or essential to you, but slightly older devices with moderately outdated technology may suffice for others. Therefore, donating your items to a charitable organization may be an effective and responsible way to get rid of unwanted electronics. You may even enjoy a tax benefit in exchange for your donation. In some cases, selling these items for a small profit may make sense.

Find a Recycling Station

Depending on the type of electronics that you need to get rid of today, you may be able to recycle them. For example, there are kiosks in many stores that accept used smartphones, and they may even give you a small financial benefit if you recycle your devices in this way. Laptop recycling and other similar programs are also available in some areas. If you cannot find a local program, keep in mind that there are several websites that offer these services as well. Because they accept mail-in items, these options may be suitable regardless of where you live.

Tossing your old electronics in the trash may be the most convenient way to deal with unwanted waste, but this is not the most responsible method available. Depending on the type of electronics that you need to get rid of today, consider how each of these smart tips may help you to find a responsible way to do so.

 

BrookeChaplan

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When you think about green home living, things, like reducing energy consumption, recycling and conserving water, may come to mind. However, you cannot overlook the importance of your impact on wastewater as well. While wastewater can be treated, the treatment capabilities in different areas varies. In many cases, phosphorous, nitrates and other pollutants may remain in the treated water in small amounts. This means that the fresh water that enters your home may not be as pure and clean as you may think. By understanding and adjusting your own impact on wastewater, you may be able to do your part to reduce pollution and to lead a greener life at home.

Pollution from Runoff

The two primary impacts that may affect pollution in sewage systems from residential runoff are the amount of runoff that flows off of your property and the chemicals that are in that water. Therefore, avoiding the use of chemicals on your property is essential. This may be accomplished by using natural fertilizers rather than chemical fertilizers. You can also use natural pest control methods rather than harsh chemical products. In addition to avoiding the use of chemical products on your property, you can also use rain collection methods to harvest rainwater and use it beneficially rather than to allow it to run off of your property in large quantities.

Pollution from In-Home Waste

In-home wastewater from flushing the toilet and using the shower, tub and sink drains also should be a focal point. Wastewater treatment plants are designed to treat typical waste from these features, but some people put other things down their pipes and drains that may be more difficult for treatment plants to remove. For example, some people flush unused prescription medications down the toilet or use chemical drain cleaning products. These and other unintended uses of the wastewater system can have a harsh impact on the quality of treated water that re-enters your home later. Disposing of all waste properly and calling a plumber for assistance with clogged drains are helpful steps to improve your green lifestyle at home.

Now that you understand more about the impact that your current lifestyle may be having on the environment through wastewater, you can take proactive steps to improve in these areas. When in doubt about the impact that a certain activity may have on the public water supply, research the activity online. This can help you to make informed decisions that ultimately may promote the health of the environment.

BrookeChaplan

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Poor outdoor air quality is a serious concern because it can have both immediate and long-term effects on your health. It is easy to assume that outdoor air quality would not affect you while indoors, but this is not the case. Outdoor pollutants may enter the home through open doors and windows, smaller or larger gaps in the exterior of the home and more. These pollutants can combine with indoor pollutants to create truly unhealthy air quality in your home. By following these essential tips, you can promote healthier indoor air quality at home.

Service Your HVAC System

Your air conditioning and heating system is designed to circulate air throughout the home. By doing so, it also circulates pollutants. Over time, the components may get filthy, and this can contribute to poor indoor air quality. It may also cause energy inefficiency until you schedule heating and air conditioning repair service. In addition to keeping your HVAC system well-maintained, you should replace the air filters regularly for superior air quality.

Use an Air Purifier

Purifying your air essentially means that you are removing pollutants that ultimately may cause illness or disease. By investing in a high-quality air purifier, you can remove many potentially hazardous elements from your home’s air. Keep in mind that plants are natural air purifiers. In addition to having a purifying device, keeping at least a few houseplants in your home can have positive effects.

Keep the Windows and Doors Closed

While trace pollutants may enter your home through small gaps and fissures throughout the exterior, open doors and windows enable pollutants to stream into the home. You may think that opening doors and windows allows fresh air to enter the home, but the opposite may occur. Keeping doors and windows closed as much as possible is most beneficial for indoor air quality in many cases. Replacing seals around exterior doors and windows is also beneficial.

Because you spend many long hours at home each day, you understandably need this air to be as clean and fresh as possible. Both indoor and outdoor pollutants can be problematic, and their level can increase over time. To improve indoor air quality, it is necessary to prevent outdoor pollutants from entering the home as much as well. It is equally essential to remove pollutants through various purification methods. By taking these steps, you can promote a healthier indoor environment and potentially keep many related health issues at bay.

BrookeChaplan

Now that you have decided to build your dream home, you may have taken bold steps to locate the ideal lot or acreage site to build on. The impressive natural beauty of the land may have drawn you to it and instilled a sense of peace as you walked the lot. Understandably, you want to retain these same natural features that drew you to the land. Each lot and building project are unique, but these are some of the strategies that can be used to preserve the natural features that you have fallen in love with.

Plan around Trees

There are few natural features more beautiful than a centuries-old tree that has lush, healthy branches as well as deep roots and a huge trunk. These heritage trees tell a story of their own, so you understandably want to keep them intact on your land. If space permits, consider designing your home’s layout around the trees. These trees can be a true focal point to the landscape, and they add curb appeal as well as property value. Creating a floorplan and layout that takes the preservation of heritage trees into account is a smart idea.

Build into Cliffs and Ledge

If your lot has a dominant cliff or ledge, you may be able to build right up to the rock wall or even into it in some cases. Rock boring hire is available to help you anchor your property into the rock. By doing so, your home may become a part of the natural beauty. The rock may also act as a natural protective feature, and it could promote energy efficiency. It makes sense take full advantage of cliffs and ledges when they are present on your property.

Hire an Experienced Architect

These are only a few of the many features that you may want to preserve or take advantage of in your floorplan. In some cases, such as if you have a very large estate lot with ample space to lay the home on the land, special effort may not be required to preserve coveted natural features. However, other properties may require bold or monumental efforts in order to achieve your preservation goals. Hiring an experienced architect who has a proven track record of creativity and success in this area is advantageous.

As you see, there are many creative ways to preserve your land’s treasured natural features. Identify the features that are most important to you, and speak with various contractors about the preservation options available.

BrookeChaplan

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In cities across the country and beyond, there is an increasing push to protect the planet from additional harm and hope that some damage can be reversed. Many cities are taking bold steps to be more environmentally-friendly in various ways, and these efforts may inspire you to make positive changes as well. These are some of the more common ways cities are becoming greener.

Water Conservation

There have been several recent news stories about smaller and larger cities around the world running low on fresh water, so water conservation is understandably a hot topic. Many cities are taking bold steps to conserve water, such as by turning water in a sewage system into sanitized, healthy drinking water. Some cities are collecting rainwater to use for landscape watering, enforcing water conservation laws and more.

Recycling Programs

Government recycling programs have been around for decades, but some cities are much more proactive in this area than they have been in the past. For example, many cities now offer curbside recycling service as well as special collection days for appliances and large items. There are recycling programs for Christmas trees and even special warehouses where old building supplies may be donated for use by others. In government buildings, employees may be required to participate in recycling programs.

Energy Reduction

Another common step that cities are taking to go green involves energy consumption. Increasingly, you will find solar panels on government buildings so that the buildings can generate at least some of the electric power that they need. City buses may likewise run on natural gas or even have electric engines. In addition to these steps, there may be a push to reduce energy consumption, such as through an investment in equipment that uses less energy.

These are only some of the many ways that cities today are going green or becoming greener than they already were. As you explore ways to go green at home, you may look at your city’s efforts for inspiration. For example, you can trade in your car for an electric or hybrid vehicle, and you could install solar panels on your home. You may increase your participation in a recycling program and decrease personal use of electricity and water. While you could make drastic changes right away, even making small improvements regularly can have a huge impact on the planet’s health over time. Look for ways that you can decrease your impact on the environment today, and take action soon.

BrookeChaplan

No matter your stance on global warming, everyone can agree that living “green” is a good idea. After all, it’s always good to take care of the environment and save a lot of money in the process. If you’ve gone down the green living path, you may think you’re living just about as efficiently as you can. However, if you haven’t considered your heating system, all those other green living practices could end up negated. Here are a few ways to ensure your heating system is matching the green goals of the rest of your lifestyle.

Filter Woes

Even if you have a newer heating system, a dirty filter will quickly make it largely inefficient. Dirty filters make it much harder for the system to ingest air, causing the blower motor to work harder, resulting in increased electricity usage and extra wear and tear. It’s a good idea to check your filters at least once a month to see if they need to be changed, though if you live in a dusty climate or frequently have your windows open, you may want to check your filter more frequently.

Working Hard

Before the cooler weather really sets in, it’s important to have a professional HVAC company take a look at your heating system to ensure it’s in peak operating condition. Dust and dirt can accumulate on various components throughout your system, causing it to operate less efficiently. In addition, individual components within the system may wear out or stop working altogether, requiring replacement to ensure your system works well.

Empty Spaces

If you have a central heating system, it’s important to ensure that your system is only heating the parts of your home that are actually occupied. Otherwise, you’ll be paying extra money and using extra energy to heat air that will never be enjoyed. You can direct the heat by closing the registers in unused rooms, and then keeping the doors closed to those rooms so the cooler air within them doesn’t cool down the rest of your home.

End of the Road

At some point, even the highest-quality heating systems will need to be replaced. As your system heads toward the end of its life, it will continue to become less efficient, no matter what steps you take. It’s important to have your new system installed by qualified HVAC professionals to ensure that it’s installed properly to ensure it can heat your home efficiently for many years to come. Then, once you have it installed, it’s important to follow the tips above to keep it working at its best.

Keep the Cold Out

The best way to keep your heating system from working too hard is to prevent the heat it produces from escaping your home. This is only possible through proper insulation techniques, from wall and attic insulation to proper caulking around doors and windows. When you combine proper insulation with an efficient heating system, you end up with a powerful combination that will keep you warm and comfortable while allowing you to maintain your green lifestyle.

BrookeChaplan

Many businesses today tout themselves as being green, but they are not always as eco-friendly as they could be. Green businesses have a positive edge in marketing and public relations. Some green efforts, such as installing solar panels on an office building, may offset expenses. However, there is much more involved in going green from a commercial perspective than using solar energy. Active management and regular improvements are required to run a business that is truly eco-friendly, and special attention in these specific areas is required.

The Impact of Logistics

Producing and packaging products as well as getting them to market can create a tremendous amount of pollution and produce unnecessary waste. Actively focusing your attention on improving logistics is essential. This can include investing in communications equipment from companies like altechradio.com and business software specific to your industry. For example, rather than ship your products on diesel trucks, you may use hybrid or electric trucks. This is only one of many ways that you may improve logistics to run your business in a more environmentally-friendly way.

The Production of Eco-Friendly Products

Even when you run a green company, your products may be a major source of pollution. Consider if your products produce waste when they are used by your customers or if they are bad for the environment in any other way. Perhaps they are not usually recycled and wind up in the landfill a few years later. Look for ways to improve your products so that consumers can continue to enjoy their benefits without contributing to pollution and other environmental concerns.

An Improvement in Internal Operations

To run a green company, you also should analyze your company’s regular operations and processes. Look for inefficient processes that may lead to pollution and that may easily be improved. For example, if your workers in the field normally drive around a work area in a motorized vehicle to communicate, simply investing in two-way radios can improve productivity, eliminate unnecessary pollution and conserve energy. Reviewing your current operations and processes regularly is an important first step. Finding these implements can be as easy as searching online for something like “two way radios in NYC” and shopping around locally. Keep in mind that new technologies are being unveiled regularly, and these may help you to continue to improve in this area going forward.

With numerous benefits associated with running a green business, it makes sense to continually work toward improvements in this area. While some companies are content to simply install solar panels, you can see that there are many additional steps that you can take to take your environmentally-friendly business to the next level. A smart idea is to make steady improvements over time as new opportunities become available.

BrookeChaplan

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If you are like most people, your annual home energy cost amounts to a small fortune. However, this is seemingly a necessary expense that you have minimal control over. By taking a closer look at how you use energy at home and how this energy is generated, you may dramatically reduce energy costs on a regular basis. In fact, you may even be able to generate a profit from home energy generation rather than continue to pay expensive utility bills.

Reduce Energy Consumption Dramatically

The first step to take if you want to improve home energy consumption is to alter how it is used. You can make a few behavioral adjustments, such as by turning all lights off when they are not in use and unplugging appliances and electronics when they are not needed. You can also reduce energy consumption at home by upgrading to a new HVAC system and major appliances that have improved energy efficiency ratings. To promote HVAC system efficiency further, schedule energy-efficient door and window installation services, re-seal doors and windows and upgrade insulation throughout the walls and ceiling. These steps require a substantial financial investment, but the net impact on your finances over time may be positive.

Produce Your Own Green Energy

When you follow these steps to reduce energy consumption, you may still be responsible for regular energy bills. To potentially eliminate energy costs going forward, produce your own green energy. Solar energy panels are among the most common ideas, but there are other ideas. For example, wind and geothermal energy may be well-suited for your home as well. Because you may have already taken steps to reduce energy consumption, the home-produced energy may completely cover all of your needs at home. This can eliminate the need to pay an energy bill regularly. Your home may produce so much energy that you are able to sell energy to the local utility provider. By doing so, you can actually receive a small amount of income regularly rather than pay a monthly bill.

You could continue to struggle with high energy costs for years to come, or you can take action to address this problem directly. While it may require a large financial investment to accomplish each goal outlined here, you will notice that each small step that you take has a positive effect on energy consumption and expenses. Now is a great time to take your first steps to improve your home in these thoughtful ways.

BrookeChaplan

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Cranking up the thermostat is one of the most common ways for people to stay warm indoors throughout the winter, but this is also one of the most expensive methods. You may not be able to afford to use your heating system as much as you would like to this winter, or you may not want to spend a fortune unnecessarily. The good news is that there are several effective ways for you to stay warmer at home without relying heavily on your furnace.

Keep Your Heater Well-Maintained

Your heater will use more energy to heat your home when it is not well-maintained. Consider those dirty or worn out components may reduce efficiency, causing your heater to work harder than necessary. Scheduling residential heating maintenance services annually is a wonderful way to improve efficiency and to save money when your heater is running.

Re-Seal Doors and Windows Annually

You may decrease the frequency with which your heater turns on by re-sealing your home’s doors and windows annually. When heated air escapes from cracks in these seals, your heater may need to run more frequently to keep your home warm. This unnecessarily increases heating-related energy costs. In addition, cool air may penetrate through these seals, and this could create draughts that can be uncomfortably chilly. Re-sealing doors and windows is an affordable project that may deliver a great financial return.

Add More Insulation to the Walls and Attic

Another idea is to supplement your home’s existing insulation with an extra layer. Some homes are built with low-quality insulation, so upgrading the insulation may have incredible benefits on energy efficiency and overall comfort in the home. If your home is older, the insulation may have deteriorated or been damaged. Adding more insulation may be essential for superior warmth indoors. Spray-in foam may be particularly effective. While this step requires a significant financial investment, the return over the years can be substantial.

You can see that relying solely on your heater to keep you warm in the winter can be expensive and may not be as effective as it could be. Each of these steps can reduce home heating costs while improving your comfort level indoors. Keep in mind that wearing warmer clothes indoors, burning a fire in the fireplace, sitting underneath a blanket and drinking warm beverages may also have a beneficial impact on your comfort throughout the winter. Consider combining all of these ideas for a comprehensive approach and exceptional results.

BrookeChaplan

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Staying warm throughout the cold winter months would be a serious challenge without the function of your home’s heater. As beneficial as your furnace may be at keeping the chill out of your indoor air, relying heavily on your furnace as a source of heat can create outrageous energy bills throughout the season. The good news is that there are several essential steps that you can take to reduce heating costs while still staying warm and cozy indoors.

Schedule Preventive Maintenance

In order to function as efficiently as possible, your furnace must be well-maintained. However, heavy and frequent use from last winter may have taken a toll on the equipment. Parts may be wearing out or dirty. Hoses may be loose, and other issues may be present. These may all cause the system to work harder than it otherwise would need to. Each fall, schedule service with a licensed HVAC technician. The technician can clean all heating components, replace worn out parts and otherwise restore the system to like-new condition.

Adjust Your Thermostat

Your programmable thermostat may currently be set for summer weather. When you turn the AC off and the heater on, you should adjust the programmable settings accordingly. For example, you may have the AC settings slightly higher in order to avoid draining energy in the warm weather season. If you maintain this higher setting in the winter, your heater will turn on more than necessary.

Seal Doors and Windows

Your HVAC system will also work more efficiently if the doors and windows are properly sealed. These seals are exposed to the elements year-round so they can deteriorate rapidly. Even if you cannot see moisture or sunlight through these features, do not assume that they are not damaged. Tiny leaks throughout the seals can have a major impact on energy costs. Include resealing doors and windows in your regular home maintenance schedule.

In addition to taking these steps, you may also wear an extra layer of clothes in the house or sit under a blanket on the sofa. Drinking warm tea or cocoa can also help you to feel warmer and reduce your reliance on your heater. While each of these tips may only have a modest impact on energy costs, the cumulative effect of all of them can be astounding. You can schedule HVAC service and reseal doors and windows before cold weather arrives, and you can immediately implement the other tips when you turn your heater on for the first time.

BrookeChaplan

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Many people are increasingly concerned about the environment, and they have already taken substantial efforts to change their own lifestyle. For example, many drivers have traded in gas-guzzlers for more fuel-efficient vehicles, and buying organic, locally-sourced foods is increasingly common. You may not realize it, but the local infrastructure in your area also plays a major role in global conservation efforts. These are some of the many ways that your local infrastructure is essential to a healthy planet.

Effective Recycling Programs

Your local municipal services may include a recycling program. Some municipalities provide recycling facilities where you can drop off your items at a convenient time around your own schedule, and they may also have collection bins located around town so that you do not have to drive as far to drop off your items. Other cities have curbside pickup at your home at least once or twice per week. In some cases, participation in recycling programs is mandatory. The effectiveness of these campaigns directly links to pollution on a global scale.

Convenient Public Transportation Options

A considerable amount of pollution is generated through the use of personal vehicles. Public transportation enables local residents to get around town while minimizing the amount of pollution that is generated as a result. Some cities only offer public bus service. Others also have light rail, subways, public-use bikes, public-use motorized scooters and more. Some of these methods also may have an impact on the use of non-renewable fossil fuels as well. These public services also require the help of companies like icunj.us for engineering work that facilitates their transportation plans.

Well-Maintained Public Water System

Fresh water is in short supply in many areas, so keeping the public water supply well-maintained is essential. Consider that a small leak in a water main line may go unnoticed for many months, and this allows a considerable amount of fresh water to be lost. In addition, sewage waste must be well-contained to prevent unnecessary contamination in the environment. Trenchless sewer repair is a one way that wastewater pipes may be repaired, and this method has minimal impact on the local environment. For relevant local information, you can search something like ‘trenchless sewer repair for industrial roads in NJ’ and see what these services entail.

The health of the entire planet may seem to be a much larger issue than you have control over. However, each individual effort, as well as the localized efforts at a citywide level, can play a major role in environmental conservation. Keep in mind that you only have control over your actions, so doing your best to promote a healthy environment is essential. In addition to improving personal efforts, consider being a catalyst for change in your community.

BrookeChaplan

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Making green home improvements makes a lot of sense from a health, comfort and financial perspective. With an increasing emphasis on minimizing the climate crisis and making homes as healthy as possible, homeowners and builders are focusing on increasing the number of features that save energy and promote healthier living.

They Appreciate Faster

While the rate of appreciation for a home’s highly variable, all other things being equal, a green home will appreciate faster than a less energy efficient unit. There are a number of reasons for higher appreciation. Homes with higher efficiency are in greater demand, which is the primary force behind home appreciation. They also have lower energy bills, something that ranks high with many home buyers.

If you live in a neighborhood of older homes and you want to increase the value of your home, make improvements to the insulation, particularly in the attic. If the HVAC system is old, chances are your heating and cooling bills are high. Installing a new one will add value to your home and lowers your heating and cooling costs.

You and your financial consultant can explore how important faster home appreciation is. If you don’t have a consultant, you can search something like ‘NJ individual wealth management’ for your area to find one. Your home is probably your most important asset and when it increases in value faster, so does your net worth.

Green Homes Are Healthier

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is an important part of achieving a green home and the easiest way to achieve good IAQ is by using products that don’t emit harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These gases cause physical symptoms from mild to serious like headaches and sore throats to cancer or neurological system disorders.

There’s a long list of materials used in daily life and for home construction and remodeling that contain VOCs. Fortunately, it’s getting easier to find alternatives that keep IAQ high.

Look for remodeling products labeled as low in VOCs or are VOC-free. Some carry clean air labels, like paint and flooring products. It’s getting easier to find household products that have no to few VOCs. Look for natural cleaners, products without perfumes and candles made from beeswax or soy. Avoid anything made from paraffin.

Some Green home upgrades run at a higher cost than their less environmentally friendly counterparts, so make sure you factor that into your budget. While there is no price you can place on health, you still need to budget well to afford these upgrades. As mentioned above, a financial service provider like rmrwealth.com can be very helpful when planning and executing home improvements.

Ventilation

Homes that have high IAQ may have balanced ventilation systems that pull in as much fresh air as they exhaust. The U.S. EPA has found that indoor air can be much more polluted than the worst outdoor air. The greenest products used for ventilation are heat and energy recovery ventilators. These devices transfer the thermal energy from the outgoing air into the incoming air, which eliminates the cost of heating or cooling outdoor air.

Bottom Line

Anything you can do to make your home greener in the short and long term helps your financial and personal health. You can start by doing something as easy as changing the cleaning products you buy or as challenging as making major improvements to its structure. Whatever it is, it will better your life by making it more comfortable.

BrookeChaplan

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Your AC unit could have a big impact on the quality of air in your office. If you have an AC unit that works properly, it could positively impact your air quality. A system that is faulty or hasn’t been properly maintained might have a negative impact on air quality.

Your AC System Needs to Work

If your AC system is working properly, it should handle the air pollution the right way. The system needs to work to make sure it’s effective and that’s an important part of the way it contributes to the quality of the indoor air.

The Type of AC Matters

Whether you have ducted reverse cycle air conditioning or another type of system can make a huge impact on your air quality. You must have an air conditioning system that works for your building and is able to meet the needs of your office. If you don’t have the right type of system, you might not be getting the best quality air.

Maintenance Is Important

Even if your unit is new or if you feel you’ll know when there is an issue, you still need to have it maintained. Regular maintenance is important because it gives the technician a chance to look at the AC unit and see if there is anything wrong with it. Catching a problem right away can be the difference in a small repair bill and a major overhaul of the whole system.

It Could Still Work Properly

Even if your AC unit is working the right way, it might not be giving you the best quality air in your office. It’s important to make sure that you know what to look for with your unit and you keep track of air quality.

Changes to the AC Could Affect Quality

Any changes that you make to the AC could affect the quality of air that’s put out from the AC. Change the filter regularly, don’t make any changes the AC unit and make sure you know when to have it properly maintained. Any major changes could cause an issue with air quality and could also risk damaging your AC unit in the process.

 

Whether you want to keep your office cool or you want to truly focus on air quality, there are things you can do to make your AC better. The higher efficiency of the system, the better chance you’ll have for increased air quality.

BrookeChaplan

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Many businesses have already adopted green business practices, and some are completely self-sustaining. These businesses may benefit by saving a substantial amount of money regularly. In addition, green practices may have excellent public relations benefits, and they may even bolster your employee retention rate. If you are thinking about making green improvements in your business soon, there are a few of the essential things required to achieve your goal.

A Reasonable Budget

There may be some green steps that your business can take at minimal cost, such as by implementing a recycling program. However, other steps may cost a small fortune, such as the investment and installation of solar panels. Creating a budget is an essential first step. As you prepare a green improvement budget, research tax benefits, rebates and other savings offers available that could decrease the cost of at least some of your improvements.

A Strategic Plan

It is also important to have a strategic plan for the selection and installation or implementation of various green improvements. Keep in mind that some of your updates may be governed by energy or infrastructure law. With this in mind, your strategic plan should be created after a consultation with an experienced lawyer who specializes in this area of the law. Your plan should also take into account your local climate and environment. For example, solar panels may be a great idea for an area with many sunny days each year, but wind energy may be a smarter investment if your business is located in a windy area, such as off of a bay.

Access to Quality Green Energy Service Providers

If your business is located in a major metropolitan area, you likely have convenient access to many green energy service providers, such as those that specialize in solar panel installation services. On the other hand, your business may be located in a more remote area. You could potentially contract with a service provider from farther away to complete installation work. However, the availability of services should be considered as you create a thoughtful plan.

Businesses that have already taken steps to be more environmentally-friendly have enjoyed exceptional benefits. You understandably want to benefit in these ways as well. Because each business has different activities and is located in a unique area, creating a customized plan is essential. Keep in mind that things, like having a remote workforce and investing in electric cars for your fleet, are a few of the many additional steps that you can take to go green.

BrookeChaplan

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For the last several years, the idea of building a tiny home and having a scaled-down living experience has been increasing in popularity across the country. While it may have started out as a unique housing option that inspired curiosity, it now has gained traction and is the preferred way of life for many people regardless of age and other demographic factors. If you have been thinking about taking the plunge and building a tiny home, there has never been a better time than now to get started.

Interest Rates

Interest rates have slowly been rising, and this affects the cost of a new mortgage as well as the cost of credit card debt, car loans and more. Many people choose to live in a tiny home to reduce their debt balances and to save money. The affordability of a tiny home makes it easier to pay off debts and to maintain a debt-free status. While there is never certainty with regards to economic conditions, interest rates may continue to trend upward and make debt an even more burdensome problem.

Creative Options

The most common and traditional tiny home option is to build your own home using lumber, drywall, and other basic housing materials. The result is a tiny home with the façade of a standard home, and this option remains for tiny home enthusiasts. However, creative options are increasingly embraced in the tiny home community. For example, many people have chosen to live in renovated shipping containers to save money, to reduce waste and to enjoy other exceptional benefits.

Friendly Communities

When you build a tiny home, you must decide where to place the home. These homes are somewhat mobile, but they generally should find a permanent place to sit. The primary option years ago was to purchase a piece of land or to place the home on a large estate that a family member owned. Today, there is an increasing number of tiny home communities. If you choose to live in one of these communities, you have the ability to enjoy the neighborhood lifestyle that many people prefer.

Living in a tiny house is not ideal or comfortable for everyone, but it is a growing trend that offers incredible benefits. Regardless of whether you are inspired to live a simpler life, to save money or to reduce your footprint, you can see that now is the ideal time to begin seriously exploring the options and making plans to build your tiny home.

BrookeChaplan

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Waste is a serious issue in our industrialized world. The more convenient we make our every day lives, the more waste we seem to produce. There are better ways to achieve convenience while reducing the amount of waste produced.

Renting Small Equipment

Every industry relies on the use of small equipment. Dollies are used to haul large shipments of boxes or heavy materials. Electronic scales are required to measure the weight of products and materials in several industries. Portable wireless radios help staff members or construction workers communicate quickly and easily to coordinate efforts. When you begin to look for ways to improve your industry by reducing the amount of waste your business produces, consider renting your small equipment in place of purchasing it.

Using rental companies, such as radio equipment rental companies like altechradio.com, allows you to use the equipment required for your business while reducing the amount of waste produced. Since you don’t own the equipment, you’re not responsible for its disposal. Finding rentals is as simple as searching Google for something like “radio equipment rentals in NYC” and looking through the results.

Donate or Compost Old Food

Whether you work in the restaurant industry or you run a construction company with hungry construction workers, you’re going to encounter instances where you’ll be dealing with unsold food or partially eaten leftovers. This will be more prevalent in the restaurant industry, the supermarket industry, and the food processing industry. Thanks to the efforts in France, it is now legal precedent to donate old or unsold food to local food banks to reduce a growing global issue of excessive food waste.

Within the restaurant industry, popular coffee shops have taken the initiative to donate their unsold food to local food banks to reduce the amount of food waste that’s tossed into landfills every day. For food that’s been partially eaten, a compost pile can be started to turn organic food waste into fertile compost for gardens and flower pots. This is a way to return those wasted vitamins and nutrients to the soil in order to grow new food and continue the cycle of life.

Biodegradable Products

To help reduce the amount of waste in landfills and the environmental impact plastic and styrofoam have on the environment, scientists have created a line of biodegradable products that can be used in various industries. These products, once thrown away, will naturally erode from exposure to the elements to leave no toxic residue behind.

If you’re looking to make your business more eco-friendly, start by implementing these forward-thinking improvements. Not only are these improvements friendly to the environment, but they’re also friendly towards your community.

BrookeChaplan

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When you program your thermostat, you reasonably expect the thermostat to maintain the entire home at the desired temperature without hassle at all times. In many homes, however, there may be a significant temperature differential from room to room. This can cause a thermostat to work overtime, which can result in skyrocketing energy bills. If you are having trouble with your home’s thermostat, the problem may not actually be related to this device. Instead, it may be related to various other features throughout the home.

Upgrade Your Home’s Windows

Residential windows are no longer made out of a single thin pane of glass. Instead, they are usually at least double-paned with an insulating gas layer between the panes. They also may have an additional coating to further promote energy efficiency. If you notice draughts in your home, it may be a sign that your windows need to be replaced. Through professional window and glass service from a company like Valley Glass Utility, you can upgrade to new higher-quality windows that offer improved insulating benefits.

Seal Doors and Windows Annually

The type of windows that are installed in your home is not the only factor that can cause draughts and uneven temperatures in the home. When doors and windows are not well-sealed, they can allow external air to flow into the home. The thermostat may seemingly not work efficiently when this happens because it will struggle to maintain the desired temperature while the window and door seals work against it. Resealing the doors and windows is a smart way to save money on electricity related to heating and cooling the home.

Improve Insulation

External air can also penetrate into the home through the walls. Insulation is typically installed between the exterior walls to act as a buffer, but fiberglass insulation can deteriorate, be damaged by pests or simply slouch down in the wall. Fiberglass insulation may need to be replaced periodically. You may also consider using spray-in foam insulation. This type of insulation is more resistant to some types of damage that fiberglass insulation is prone to.

It is easy to assume that climate control issues in the home are caused by a faulty thermostat, but you can see that there are many other factors that play a role in how effectively the thermostat can do its job. A smart idea is to inspect each of these factors closely and consider getting a professional opinion to determine if upgrades or replacements would help you to save money on energy costs going forward.

BrookeChaplan

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If you’re not careful, you can end up wasting a lot of money each day on heating your home. On average, most households in the United States spend roughly $2,200 per year on utility bills. You could reduce your costs by ensuring that you avoid certain wasteful practices that are probably causing your heating bill to skyrocket.

Setting Your Thermostat Wrong

Many people set their thermostat for a bit higher than they really need to. Decreasing the temperature in your home by a couple degrees won’t be that noticeable and it will save you a tremendous amount of money. You should also be sure to program your thermostat so you’re not heating your home excessively when there’s nobody home. Many newer models even go a step further by learning your preferred temperature and defaulting into an energy saving mode during certain times.

Changing Air Filters Infrequently

It’s important to remember to change the air filters in your HVAC system regularly. When your heater runs, the air filter’s job is to pick up particles that flow through it. As time goes on, these particles will begin to build up and clog the air filter. When this happens, the unit has to use a lot more energy to heat your home. A clean air filter ensures that your HVAC system is functioning properly and running efficiently. It’s best to clean air filters regularly and replace them every three months. If you feel like you might forget, be sure to set a reminder to help yourself remember to call a heating repair service.

Poorly Preparing Your Home for Colder Weather

Having a great heating system is one thing, but ensuring the heat stays in your home is another. Before the cold weather hits, you should check for drafts and other problems within your home that might cause heat to escape. For instance, insulating your ceiling can ensure that no heat escapes. This alone will pay for itself in no time, especially if your roof is poorly insulated to begin with. You should also check your windows and doors to ensure all cracks are sealed and no air is leaking through. Heat will escape through these cracks and cause you to use more heat. Additionally, you should ensure that your chimney is sealed appropriately if you aren’t going to be using it. This is another area that heat often escapes from.

Heating your home can be an expensive endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be so costly. Doing these three things during the winter months can lower your heating costs tremendously. If you’re doing these things and your heating system still doesn’t seem to be heating your home efficiently, be sure to contact a heating repair service. They will help you determine whether or not your heater needs to be fixed or replaced completely.

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