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Andrew Newitt

We’re in the process of poisoning our planet. Luckily, people are becoming aware of this, which is the very reason behind the term ‘ecological awareness’. Plants and factories, however, have a bad reputation in this department, because they really are one of the main culprits for global pollution. Fortunately, the manufacturing process is slowly becoming eco-friendly and if you want to make your own plant as green as possible, you can start with these five tips.

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1.      Know Your Facility

The first step towards “greening” your manufacturing plant is finding out how much energy it is actually using. The final goal here is, of course, reducing the overall usage. You are probably aware of some rough estimates with regards to how big a number is in question and, without a doubt, you know exactly which pieces of technology are the main culprits; we’re talking boilers, heaters, conveyor belts, electric motors, air compressors, chillers and the like. Without a proper energy audit, however, you’re going to miss out on key data, which, if presented before you, will fill you in on the exact items and processes that need to be closely monitored and probably tweaked or replaced.

2.      Renewable Energy

For some reason, factory owners don’t hold renewable energy in highest regard, probably because the whole thing sounds too good to be true and owing to the fact that plants do need a ton of electricity. Renewable energy, however, is very misunderstood; in fact, you are probably underestimating the power of nature. For example, while all of us know all about solar power, wind, heat and even rain can also be used to generate enough energy to keep things functioning. Using a combination of at least two of the mentioned means of powering up your plant is the way to go – count on the fact that one element will experience downtime caused by nature.

3.      Use Recycled Materials

Sure, everyone is worried about the environment, but factory owners tend to worry even more about their business. This is exactly why many still don’t use recycled materials – for some reason, they think that this will affect their end product’s quality. Well, this simply is not true. Don’t be reluctant about implementing recycled materials and make sure that you get your raw materials from a trusted vendor that makes them by recycling old items.

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4.      Water

As time goes by, the technology around us is evolving into “green”. Unfortunately, many simply choose to take this for granted and unreasonably consider any energy-reducing piece of equipment an unworthy investment. It is important that you realize that a ton of equipment in your factory uses way more energy than it really needs. Our advice is to start with water – regardless of what branch your manufacturing business is in, it relies on our planet’s most important liquid for a huge number of uses – from cleaning and production purposes to building and plant room infrastructure processes, water is simply everywhere. This is why equipping your plant with industrial UV water treatment systems is so important – they can be implemented into any water application that requires disinfection. By installing UV disinfection system, your plant can recycle and reuse industrial waste waters, thus reducing water usage and costs associated with wastewater discharge.

5.      Connect

Looking for likeminded manufacturing businesses (in terms of environmental consciousness) is very useful and even more important, and this is why you need to connect – fighting against the tide of nature-poisoning businesses is best done as a part of a movement. Connect and look for inspiration – IKEA is the leader in the field of using sustainable forestry and clean energy, so look up to them!

Preserving our environment from impact of its biggest pollutant is of absolute essence and it is you, as a manufacturing plant owner, who can make a difference. Use these five ways to make your factory as eco-friendly as possible and don’t forget to follow the latest green trends!

Andrew Newitt

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The year 2017 might as well be be the right one for you to make your home more energy-efficient. The first step in deciding which home improvements you should consider is hiring a non-profit or professional specialist who will assess your energy consumption, detect issues contributing to energy loss, and recommend measures to achieve greater efficiency. Here are some home improvements that will help you reduce energy costs while keeping your home green and your energy sustainable.

Upgrading Home Weatherization

Gaps and cracks in your home’s thermal envelope can significantly increase your heating and cooling costs and dealing with them should come first. Such places will be unavailable for fixing once you install insulation. Even when optimal air sealing and insulation is achieved, you should not forget about regular maintenance of your heating and ventilation systems to ensure their maximum efficiency. Sometimes, a full replacement of currently used devices should also be considered.

Window Replacement

Choosing the right frame and glazing for your specific circumstances and climate when replacing your windows will improve the overall energy-efficiency of your home. Wood frames may be the most expensive solution, but they provide the best insulation and curb appeal. On the downside, they are not an ideal solution for humid climates and they require regular maintenance and repainting. Double paned Low-E glass windows with a vinyl frame are a budget-friendly alternative that doesn’t require maintenance and repainting.

Roof Optimization

A cool roof will keep the heat away from homes by reflecting it. To achieve its benefits, you can coat your existing roof with reflective materials, but this can just be a short-term solution as it requires reapplication after a certain time which depends on the roof type. Also, most liquid coatings work best with certain types of roofs, such as membrane-based and metal roofs. They can be applied to asphalt shingles as well, although they tend to chip and crack with age, which may also be an environmental concern. In this case, complete re-roofing might be considered. If you decide to go for it, choose metal. It may be an expensive roof material, but it pays off in the long run due to its significant benefits such as durability and low maintenance. Choosing the right solution for your roof may be difficult. If you would rather leave all these decisions and work to a professional, be sure it is someone who is insured with valid contractor bonds to guarantee project completion and financial compensation if anything doesn’t go as planned.

Introducing Alternative Energy Sources

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Think of introducing alternative energy sources as a supplement to your existing ones. Many homes today enhance or even substitute traditional sources of energy with solar panels installed on their roofs. The benefits are numerous: lower energy costs, decreased use of fossil fuels, use of renewable energy, etc. Where applicable, consider other renewable energy sources such as wind. Wind generators use the same concept as wind turbines, but on a smaller scale suitable for home use. Wind energy can also be stored for later with batteries. Consider these sources as an addition to primary energy sources and optimize them by using them for specific tasks, such as solar water heating.

Using a Rainwater Collector

Many communities around the world have used rainwater for different purposes, ranging from garden watering to drinking when proper water cleaning processes are involved. Even in cases when main or reticulated water supplies are available, properly collected and stored rainwater is a safe, cost-effective and sustainable water source. A water collection system will be especially worth the investment if you have considerable irrigation needs, experience frequent droughts or need to control drainage problems on your property.

Make it Green

These home improvements will help you save money, enable optimal temperature levels all year round and increase your indoor air quality. Making the most out of natural resources available to you will make your home more energy-efficient and green.

Andrew Newitt

It is no secret that going green is today more import than ever. For this reason, many homeowners decide to turn their houses into real environmentally-friendly places. What’s great about this is that by aiding in preserving the nature this way you can also manage to save a lot of money. This is the case because the goals of every cautions homeowner should be using less energy, using less water and recycling. So if you decide to contribute to saving the environment, here are 5 low cost upgrades for your home that can do wonders for both nature and your wallet.

 

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Add More Insulation

Insulation is something you should always consider when turning your home green. If there is more insulation in your home, you will be using less energy to keep it warm during the winter and cool during the summer. There are quite a few green insulation materials you ca choose from, with aerogel and cotton being among the most popular options. No matter which material you opt for, you will be guaranteed to use less energy during the whole year. Of course, this will also reduce the cost of your energy bills significantly.

Replace Old Windows

We have already mentioned how not letting either hot or cold air escape your home is one of the best things you can do when going green. Another great way to do this is to replace any old windows in your home. If there are any cracks in the window frames or the windows are simply too old, air can escape quite easily through them. If this is the case with your home, you are probably using much more electricity than it is necessary. Therefore, getting new windows should be your no.1 priority.

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Plant Some Trees

Of course, you shouldn’t just stick to your house when going green. If there is a lot of place in your backyard planting a new tree is always a good thing to do. And if you want your tree to be even more useful, you should make sure you plant it on the west side of your home. That way, the branches will block the sunbeams during the summer, while in winter, bare branches will help allow infrared radiation that will warm up your home get through. Nuttall oak, red maple and weeping willow are just some of the trees you can opt for.

Go for Water-Efficient Fixtures

If you want your home to be more environmentally-friendly, you will also have to think about using less water. Even though turning off the tap when washing your hands and brushing your teeth is always a good thing to do, you should also consider installing some water-efficient fixtures in your bathroom. There are low flow shower heads that are just a perfect option for every green home. Also, there are aerators that maximize the flow rate of your faucets. If there are any leaks make sure you contact a 24 hour plumber in order to minimize the amounts of water that go to waste.

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Get Solar Panels

A large number of homeowners also decides to install solar panels when going green. With these, you will be utilizing natural power and minimize your use of electricity. Even though getting solar panels seems like an expensive investment at first, if you are planning long run, these will in fact help you save quite a lot of money. It is also important to mention that in some countries, homeowners who decide to get these receive bonuses and huge tax breaks. Having all of this in mind, getting solar panels is always a great thing to do, both for the environment and your wallet.

Make sure you do all of these upgrades and you will be guaranteed to contribute quite a lot to preserving the environment. Bear in mind that you can never do too much when going green so keep looking for some further upgrades you can do.

Andrew Newitt

Running an unsanitary home is a known cause of many complications and allergies are one of the most common ones. Cleaning a home with non-toxic materials, however, should be of utmost importance and priority – not only do toxic chemicals poison the environment, but can also be quite damaging for your own health, as well. This article will guide you through the main points of non-toxic home cleaning and care, towards an allergy-free home.

Cleaning by Room

Although it is vital that you keep each room clean and, therefore, healthy, different rooms require different cleaning approaches and means to reducing allergens.

  • Bedroom – Your bed is a perfect home ground for mites and allergens, so taking care of your bed cleaning should be done at least twice a week and vacuuming on a daily basis if you are prone to allergies. Encasing your pillows, mattresses and box springs in cover that are dust-mite-proof is also recommended.

  • Living Room – The room where you spend most of your personal time naturally needs a lot of cleaning. Perform dusting and vacuuming at least every other day in order to keep the allergies at bay and pay special attention to allergens’ breeding grounds, such as curtains. If you are especially prone to allergies, think about removing your carpeting and opt for hardwood or linoleum flooring. Given the fact that dust is the most common cause of allergies, think about browsing through air purifiers for your living room – these are great ways to fight dust and make your air fresh and clean.

  • Kitchen – Not only is keeping your food clean a key factor in maintaining your health, but the kitchen can also turn quite filthy, unless cleaned regularly. Make sure you wash your dishes on a daily basis – mold and food debris shouldn’t stay untended to for more than a couple of hours. Think about installing a vented exhaust fan, in order to remove cooking fumes and reduce mold-causing moisture.

  • Bathroom – Now perhaps the biggest problem with bathrooms is the mold – unless you have tiles installed on your shower walls and next to your bathtub, you are bound to experience mold on your walls, which is a known cause of health problems. When it comes to bathroom flooring, use tile, vinyl or linoleum to make cleaning easier. Additionally, an exhaust fan will reduce moisture greatly, after steaming baths and showers.

  • Basement – Although this is the least frequently visited room within your house, it is likely to turn into a cesspool of germs if not cleaned regularly. Water-damaged carpeting should be removed and the foundation and stairwells checked for any sources of leak-caused water damage. When it comes to your clothes dryer, make sure that the moisture is vented outside. The biggest problem with basements is clutter, so properly arranging your stored items is of essence, in order to avoid health hazards

Your Home in General

When it comes to the general cleaning overview of your house, it is essential that you establish a weekly cleaning routine. This is not to say that a bit of cleaning on a daily basis shouldn’t be performed, but that you should thoroughly clean your home at least once a week. Pro tip: if you aren’t a smoker, be strict about your non-smoking policy within the walls of your house


Keeping your house clean is vital for keeping the allergies at bay, even if you don’t have any significant allergen problems. These, however, aren’t the only health hazard an unclean home might cause, so exercising proper cleaning is vital, even if you do not suffer from allergies.

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Andrew Newitt

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Going green has been a growing trend in the world for many years as more and more people become aware of the negative consequences of using chemical-heavy products. Women, in particular, are seeking alternative, natural and healthier solutions to their everyday problems. Following this trend, even the cosmetics industry has made organic skin care and beauty products a standard. Because choosing these products shows that we are responsible and make smart choices not just for ourselves but for the environment as well.

If you’re still indecisive about making the switch to organic makeup, here are a few reasons why you should go for it.

1. It’s safe for your health

Unlike conventional cosmetics, organic beauty products contain natural ingredients that have not been chemically treated in any way. They don’t contain synthetic additives, like artificial pigments, fragrances, preservatives, etc. Consequently, they cause far less undesired reactions and are considered to be truly hypo-allergenic. This makes them perfect for all skin types. Even the most sensitive ones.

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However, bear in mind that skin care and makeup ingredients are only loosely regulated and are considered to be harmless, until proven otherwise. Besides, a cosmetic product may contain as little as 1% of organic ingredients and still be labelled ‘natural’ or ‘organic’. And our skin is like a sponge, which absorbs everything that you apply to it. If you put on conventional makeup every day, the toxins from it will accumulate in your body over time and this may lead to serious health repercussions. For your own safety, always pay attention to the ingredients list and make sure that at least 95% of them are certified.

2. It’s eco-friendly

Synthetically produced beauty products are packed with chemicals. When they’re used, these chemicals are released into the environment and pollute the air, water, and soil. On the other hand, natural makeup and skincare products are a result of environmentally sound manufacturing – from organically farmed ingredients, to biodegradable packaging (not all of them, though, so look for that three chasing arrows sign on the container before making a purchase). For all the above reasons, they release much less pollutants into the environment both while produced and while used.

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Another reason to switch to organic makeup is the fact that it’s never tested on animals. Even the big-box brands including organic options into their offer as proof of their social responsibility. Be a responsible consumer and show that you care for Mother Earth by switching to organic products.

3. It’s nutrient-rich

Another feature that has become a standard in cosmetics industry is dual-purpose makeup. It serves both to beautify you and nurture your skin. Of course, organic makeup is unrivalled here, since it contains only the good stuff and none of the aggressive ingredients found in the conventional products.

Vitamins A, B, D and E are some of the main nutrients that keep your skin youthful and fresh-looking. Let’s not forget vitamin C, which has superb sun-shielding properties and provides a very strong anti-aging effect. Argan oil is also often used, especially in lipsticks, as an excellent moisturizer for chapped lips. Green tea extract soothes irritated skin, liquid foundations may contain maracuja oil or shea butter, which are known for their anti-oxidant properties and help you get smoother skin.

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Although not the most important aspect, there’s also the financial benefit of switching to organic makeup. Some people argue that organic products are much pricier than the conventional ones. But with this nutrient-packed makeup you will need much less skincare products and your wallet will thank you for that.

Andrew Newitt

Luckily for all of us environmentally savvy consumers, designers constantly keep coming with new eco-friendly flooring materials. So now there is a vast of flooring materials we can choose from when decorating our homes. Here is a list of both new and old flooring solutions green homeowners can turn to.

 

Cork

 

Cork is one of the relatively newer flooring materials and is a great option for eco-friendly homes. It is harvested from the bark of cork oak trees. A great thing about it is that no trees have to be cut in order to get this material. Bark grows back every three years and that is what makes it a perfect renewable source for flooring materials. Cork flooring has anti-microbial properties which can help you in reducing allergens in your home. It is also fire retardant and it can act as a as a natural insect repellent as well. Because of the many colors you can choose from and its durability, cork is a great option for almost all rooms.

 

Wool Carpet

 

People have been using carpet floorings for quite a long time now. Still, many toxins and volatile organic compounds are used in its production which made it a bad choice for the green homeowners. Luckily, now we can find some eco-friendly options as well. Carpet floors made out of wool are something you can go with. Wool is a natural resource that can be a perfect option for flooring. It can be dyed in any color and then be woven into a carpet. It is very durable and soft to walk on.

 

Reclaimed Hardwood

 

Some of the most beautiful floorings are made out of hardwood. Still, hardwood is not considered an eco-friendly due to the deforestation concerns. But there are the ways you can use hardwood and still make your home eco-friendly. Reclaimed hardwood is a perfect option if you want to do so. Such flooring is made out of wood that has been cut down long, long time ago for some other purposes. Reclaimed hardwood can be a great choice for beach cottages and some older homes.

 

Marble

 

Marble is another great material you can choose. Made out of natural materials, marble tiles can be a perfect option for your bathroom or kitchen. You can also get a marble fireplace which will help you use less electricity and go perfect with your marble flooring. Marble tiles can also be a great solution for outdoor flooring and pool coping. It is quite durable and easy to clean material. Marble will also give your home that natural look you were hoping for.

 

With today’s technology and a designers’ imagination we now have many eco-friendly materials to choose from. But not only that these materials are green but they do not cost much as well. So today environmentally savvy consumers can have a perfectly green home without spending much money. Consider these flooring options and make sure you choose other home features that are nature-friendly as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andrew Newitt

Running a profitable business is extremely important but it is not the most important thing in the world. Just think of it this way, what good is all the wealth in the world if we ruin our planet in the process. However, the best thing lies in cognition that eco-friendly business and profitable business are not in contrast. In fact most of the planet-friendly practices are also friendly towards your budget. With this in mind, there is lot to be gained by going green and here are some tips and tricks on how to do so.

 

  • Power Saving Appliances

First step you need to do in order to significantly improve eco friendliness of your business is revolutionize your power management system. On this front, whatever is good for your budget is good for the planet as well so one could safely call this state of things a win-win scenario. By investing a bit into low spending appliances, you are bound to make a difference. Now, word investment terrifies some people but, observing things in this fashion is pretty short-sighted. Keep in mind that you will need to buy these appliances only once, but they will continue to save your money for ages to come. In a manner of speaking, given enough time, these appliances pay themselves off.

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  • Replacing Your Bulbs

One more thing you can do in your eco-friendly endeavors is replace all your traditional light bulbs with LED ones. Seeing how this can slightly reduce your power bills this is another small victory for both your business and the environment. The most important thing here is to be realistic and know what to expect from such a change. If you aim to buy a new car off of this saved money you will be quite disappointed, but if you plan to make nothing more than a noticeable difference you will do just fine.

  • Recycling Paper

Next pressing matter that requires your full and undivided attention is the issue of pollution. Namely, it is estimated that an average office worker prints over 10,000 sheets of paper annually. Alarming as this figure may seem, there is a way to remedy the effects of this devastating statistic. First of all, you can switch from regular paper to recycled one. There is no difference in quality whatsoever and plus sides of buying the latter one are that it is both cheaper and endorses recycling endeavors.

  • Printer Ink

Still, taking care of your paper needs is not the only pressing matter here. You need to do something about your ink spending as well. Seeing how 10,000 sheets per one member of your staff is not a figure one should take lightly, you need to look for the best deal on printer ink that you can find. Another planet friendly thing to do would be to refill your own ink cartridges. Even though it may sound complicated, this process is actually quite. All you will need is some basic gear like rubber gloves, one syringe and some old newspaper to place underneath.

  • Changing The Commute

Finally, you can also make a difference by changing your commute to work and urging your staff to do the same. Carpooling or using a public transportation are vast improvements over driving to work. Furthermore, for those not lacking in spirit and stamina, cycling or walking to work are even better since they are free, healthy and completely green means of commute.

In the end, raising your awareness about any of these things is equally as important so make sure to preach the word amongst your employees. By managing to introduce some or all of these changes you will leave a better world to our descendants. One more way in which all of this helps is that these practices will make your business labeled green which is something that both your clients and partners are going to appreciate.

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Andrew Newitt

Green marketing is a strategy many companies today choose to adopt. A big number of consumers want to take part in preserving the environment and this creates a great opportunity for smaller businesses to promote themselves as environmentally conscious. This strategy has proved to be quite effective and it has even created a couple of “green” brands over the years. It does not matter if a company’s products or services are connected with saving the environment, declaring it eco-friendly will always attract you some customers. If you want to do this, be sure to try out the following green marketing tactics.

Choose the right logo

If you have already decided to make your company eco-friendly, it is the right time to make it clear for your customers. Mentioning it on your flyers or commercials may not be enough. What you can do is use a green element while designing a logo for your company. First of all, you should actually make your logo green. This color is associated with nature and freshness. Also any natural elements you use in your logo design will only make your customers sympathize with the company even more. So make sure that your customers know your company is eco-friendly from the very first moment they notice it.

Use recycled paper

Using the recycled paper is one of the best ways to show people that your business is eco-friendly. So use the recycled paper when printing flyers or posters and make sure no one goes without noticing it. Have a sign somewhere on it that says you have opted for recycled paper. Do the same thing with your business cards. No trees will be cut down so you can promote your business and the customers will know how to appreciate this. You can also encourage them to use recycled paper as well.

Organize donations and charities

This is another great way to make sure customers are aware your business is pays some effort into preserving the environment. Organizing a charity event like planting new trees or collecting garbage shows that your company cares and promotes your name as well. It won’t cost you too much to organize something like this, but it will definitely pay off. Another thing you can do is make donations. Take a percentage of your latest sales and make a donation to an environmental organization. This is a great way to assure your customers you actually do what you are preaching.

Give eco-friendly promotional material

It is no secret that promotional material is a great way to attract new customers. It is even more effective when that material is eco-friendly. Not only that your customers will be getting something form you but they will also have the feeling of taking part in helping the environment. What you can do is give them pens that are made completely out of recycled materials, for example cardboard barrel pens. You can also use bags as a way of promoting your business. Instead of giving your customers plastic bags which take much time to decompose you can give them printed non-woven bags which are a great way to send the positive message about your business.

All of these tactics will actually make some difference and help preserving the nature. So not only will you be doing the right thing but you will also gain more attention from the consumers who are always more than happy to do business with eco-friendly companies.

 

Andrew Newitt

Even though some farmers who grow their plants in conventional way say that organic agriculture does not have more environmental benefits, facts speak for themselves. The Organic Trade Association claims that if all farmers in the United States switched to organic productions, we would stop around 500 million pounds of dangerous pesticides from entering the environment each year. This would have a major impact on all aspects of the environment, and here it is how.

Water

 

Many practices of conventional agriculture require extensive use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides that pollute underwater. This is a major issue in many agricultural areas. In organic agriculture no synthetic fertilizers are used. Instead of these, organic farms rely on the use of natural fertilizers such as compost, animal manure or green manure. Besides enhancing soil structure this also increases water infiltration. Organic systems that are managed properly have better nutrient retentive abilities and reduce the pollution of underwater. In some countries like France and Germany, where underwater pollution is a big issue, the use of organic materials is encouraged as a restorative measure.

Climate

 

In conventional agriculture, many fossil fuels are used. Not only are they used on farms but also in the production of pesticides and fertilizers. These all contribute to the greenhouse effect and global warming. On the other hand, organic agriculture does not have negative impact on the climate. The use of renewable energy that is encouraged in organic agriculture actually mitigates global warming. These practices reduce the use of fossil fuels and provide carbon sequestration in the soil. Organic agriculture thus strengthens agro-ecosystems and helps farmers learn how to confront and challenge changes that appear in the climate.

Soil

 

Some of the most important organic agricultural practices are crop rotations, crop covers and inter-cropping all of which help build the soil. This does not only improve its formation and structure but also encourages flora and fauna and helps build a more solid structure. These practices also help control the soil erosion. It is less exposed to the erosive forces and its productivity is increased. Even though organic agriculture relies heavily on the use of renewable resources, sometimes it is necessary to supplement organic soils with some other resources such as calcium, magnesium or potassium.

GMOs

 

GMOs are one of the most discussed issues of today. Even though the GMOs’ impact on environment and health is not yet entirely understood, their use is not permitted in organic agriculture. Still, since a big number of farmers that deal with convention agriculture use GMOs the organic farms won’t be able to ensure that their products have not GMO free. This will happen because of the GMOs are transmitted into our environment through air (by pollen for example).

Biodiversity

 

Without the use of dangerous pesticides and fertilizers the soil is able to attract more species of plants and animals to it. The use of renewable resources actually creates a healthier gene pool which makes a perfect home for some re-colonizing species. Some of these species are pest-predators or pollinators and their presence is of great importance. Organic agriculture also offers farmers to grow certain plants with improved flavor and aroma. For example, when growing cannabis not only that these are improved but with some strains its potency is increased as well. Be sure to learn more about strains if you plan to start an organic garden.

It is obvious that organic agriculture has many benefits for our environment. So if you are thinking about starting a garden, deciding on organic farm would be a great option. Be sure to grow plants which are perfect for this type of garden.

Andrew Newitt

 

Greening up your home so that you can live in a more eco-friendly environment can be perfect not only so that you can protect Mother Nature, but because you can also save up money in the long run. Remember that a lot of green solutions will require work from your part, but, it will be worth it, as it will usually repay itself over time.

Insulate your home to lessen heat loss

 

Many homes have creaks and holes which we are not even aware of, and they can be what is letting heat out during colder weather. Moreover, if you insulated your whole house, with green insulation solutions of course, you can make sure that you have completely sealed your home. On the other hand, when you are in the middle of this project, be sure to check for any entrances pests could be using, so that you seal it off immediately.

Be careful which curtains you use

Most modern curtains can be made from organic material so that they can last longer and that you have an easier time cleaning them as well. But, pay attention to which curtains you are going to hang, because a thermal one can help you in preventing heat loss, and you will have to use less energy to keep your home nice and toasty. A relatively small investment to keep your home warm and to cut down on energy consumption.

Heat your own water

Although it is possible to use alternative power sources to heat your home, it is often best to install a solar power unit. This way you will drastically cut down on energy dependence, and you will be able to heat your own water, which can be as high as half your energy consumption otherwise. Do not be afraid of the initial investment, as over time, it will handsomely pay itself off. Though, remember to take good care of the solar panels, so that they can last for years.

Use reclaimed wood

 

When it is time to change your flooring, be sure to use reclaimed wood, as it is not from freshly cut down trees, but rather from recycling. It will be easy to remodel it into something new, and because it will be reworked, durability and versatility will be an option as well. Keep in mind that by opting for reclaimed wood, you are helping preserving your environment. Moreover, your only concern once you get it will be proper maintenance to keep the wood looking good.

Recycled fire in your home

Going green in your home does not mean that you should give up on some things you enjoyed before. Having a fireplace is still possible, and all you have to is get eco fire glass by Blazing Glass. The material will burn for longer, give off more heat, and because it is eco-material, there will be zero pollution to worry about. And after a long hard day of work, you will be able to sit down with your family, get some hot cocoa and enjoy the fire.

 

 

You should update your home every time you get a chance, so that you can really green up your life. However, be sure to handle changes step-by-step, so that you do not spend a lot of money at once, and that you have the chance to look into every little detail. You will have to invest a bit initially, and you will have to put in effort to make it all work, but in the long run, you will have a cozy and green home to enjoy.  

Andrew Newitt

In the time of recession, many young people are turning to self-employment options. Among dozens of next-year-millionaire-making business ideas, those that base their income on the land are often unjustly underestimated. One of such business ventures that is also a good investment is growing nut trees. In a nutshell, this article describes all the requirements and benefits of having a private nut plantation.

Why nuts?

Nuts are nutritious, and with the popularity of organic food and healthy lifestyle, a handful of nuts is a part of every weight loss diet. They are not a kind of food that spoils easily, so the storage is less demanding than for example peaches or strawberries.

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Apart from this, nut trees are very resistant and need minimal maintenance. People say that you plant nut trees for your children and grandchildren. However, today’s agronomy has produced grafted trees that start bearing fruit as early as one year after planting.

Before you plant

There are a couple of things that you need to make clear before your go out and buy several scores of nut trees. Not all nut species are suitable for any climate and soil type. Consult an agronomist on what nuts to grow on your patch of land. Secondly, you need to consider how much space you have and how much space each tree needs. You should also consider what pests and diseases are prevalent in your region.

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Dealing with pests

If you are planning to grow your 5 acres of nut trees close to a woodland, your biggest problems will be squirrels. They are mainly interested in nut kernels while they are still green in their dough-like stage. In July and August, squirrels are magnetically drawn to these trees, removing the kernels for their winter storage. However, if you set a dog or two to run loose among the trees, the furry pests will take their business elsewhere. Cats are even better guardians as they will actively climb tree trees and chase them off.   

Harvesting

Once you plant the trees, harvesting is the period that will take the most of your time and effort. You need to gather, prepare and preserve the nuts. The degree of human labor will depend on your willing to invest into machinery. Unless you have a trained brown bear, you will definitely need a small tractor with a trunk shaker attachment. In order to make your tractor and other farming machinery completely autonomous, you should invest in a sturdy polyethylene Rapid Spray diesel tank, so you always have a steady supply of safely stored fuel at your farm.

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Preparing and storing

When you pick the nuts from the ground you need to dump them in a water tank. Diseased, damaged and old nuts will float at the surface. To prevent molds and improve the fruit flavor and texture, you need to dry the nuts until moisture content drops below 10%. You can do this by spreading them in a single layer in a cool but dry and ventilated place so the air can circulate freely about them. You can tell that the nuts have dried when the kernels began to rattle in their shells and can snap on bending. The process takes from one to three weeks. When they dry, you need to store them in a cool place.   

Although all nut species are resilient and easy to grow, you should stick to one that grows best in your neck of the woods. After all, a nut farm is an investment and legacy that will last for generations. 

Andrew Newitt
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Cars with electric powering options are becoming more and more present, but they are still far from being as present as their internal combustion powered counterparts. In theory, as well as in most of the practice, they provide amazing fuel efficiency, allow you to enjoy instant torque delivery and keep the world cleaner. They seem far better than petrol cars. So, why aren’t they in the lead?

Well, the technology is still in its baby years. The batteries are heavy, they take up loads of space and they still don’t provide the electric cars with the range that would satisfy buyers. There are cars which are emerging as breakthrough models, such as the Tesla S, but they are vastly expensive. It is not that they are not worth the price, but vast majority of buyers can’t afford to buy a car whose price is well into six figures, so we can’t really expect them to be a common sight just yet. In order for the electrics to take the lead, certain conditions need to be fulfilled.

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Still, there is a solution why we are waiting. Hybrids! They employ standard internal combustion engines, so they allow us to fill them up with fuel and drive normally, but they also make use of the new technologies, combining it with an electric motor, thus improving fuel efficiency, range and performance. Speaking of the performance, even ultimate supercars such as the McLaren P1 and the LaFerrari are employing hybrid powerplants.

So, which are the best ones for 2015?

Well, they need to be relatively reasonably priced, so the P1 and the LaFerrari are out of the list for the same reason the Tesla S is. These are the cars that you can buy and use as everyday means of transportation.

BMW i3

For the people who are familiar with the industry, including the i3 in this list is no surprise. The famous German manufacturer is well known for their prowess, and they are bound to release respectable cars. The i3 is a whole new concept for BMW. It is a four-door car with compact dimensions, but loads of interior space. Plus, the design is very futuristic.

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The i3 is powered by an electric motor, but you can also opt for the range extender version which makes use of a small 2-cylinder engine serving as a generator of energy for the battery. The range goes from about 130 km to about as double as much for the range extender option. The top speed is limited to 150 km/h, which is more than enough for a city car and the acceleration to 100 km/h takes about 8 seconds. The i3 already has its markets, with the UK and Norway buyers being particularly interested in it, so it has been tested on the road. And it works just fine.

Mercedes C-Class Hybrid

If you are worried that a whole new approach to the i3 is a bit too much, an even more revered manufacturer has provided you with more conventional, but still very modern hybrid cars. Although you can opt for the top of the range and ultimately plush S-Class Hybrid, we have chosen to present you with a more reasonable buying option in the form of the C-Class, since the S-Class is a fairly expensive car.

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The C-Class C 300 BlueTEC Hybrid, as it is called, is a regular, tested and venerated C-Class car with a modern hybrid powering options. It packs a 2.1 l diesel with 201 hp and a 27 hp electric motor which give it the acceleration to 100 km/h in just 6.4 seconds. Additionally, you can get the fuel efficiency of about 3.6 l/100 km, which is amazing for a car of this class and performance. However, bear in mind that the C-Class Hybrid is still mostly powered by the diesel engine and that the electric motor is only there to help. It reduces the consumption and increases low-rev torque, providing better driving response, but the C-Class is still a conventional car with improved efficiency. On the plus side, it is not an all new car like the i3, so buyers might feel more confident buying a proven piece of equipment.

Another perk with the C-Class is the possibility of numerous additional equipment options, including the air suspension. There is no way Mercedes would gamble their reputation by making a gimmick out of a several-decades-present C-Class. It is a good car.

Volkswagen Golf GTE

A car which offers less than the Merc, but also costs significantly less. Comparing these two hybrids is like comparing the standard Golf and C-Class. The C-Class is better, but the Golf is still amazing and probably a better value for money.

Its fuel efficiency is rated at about 1.5 l/100 km and it has an option of electric-only driving for about 45 km, which is more than most drivers will ever need in a city. When all of the horses are unleashed, it gives the top speed of 222 km/h with the acceleration to 100 km/h of just 7.6 seconds. Almost as good as the infamous GTI.

As with any Golf and most German cars, you get amazing build quality and reliability, and the balanced Golf chassis inspires confidence and provides loads of driving fun.

Toyota Prius

If the previous cars on the list were new for you, you can educate yourself by finding loads of high-quality content online, but the Prius is almost a household name. It might be called the first common hybrid car in the world and it can already boast with several generations, which is amazing knowing that most other hybrid or electric cars are still concepts.

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The current model has improved range, lowered emissions and better fuel efficiency reaching the equivalent of 2.6 l/100 km. The electric-only range is also increased to about 20 km and the top speed in no fuel burning mode is at 100 km/h. It is more expensive than the Golf (but significantly cheaper than the Mercedes) and it includes loads of comfort perks as standard.

Andrew Newitt
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If you have a business that deals with transportation of goods, and you have to deal with warehouses, you know the importance of pallets. Pallets are used for storing, handling and transporting loads with a fork lift. There are plastic and wooden pallets and while you may feel that you should stick to the basics and make sure that you have the good old wood pallets, here are some of the reasons why you should reconsider your decision.

Cost

At first, it may seem that wooden pallets are cheaper than the plastic ones, but that is not true in the long run. Wooden pallets can be sold after use and some may even find other uses like furniture or something to use in a garden, but the plastic pallets can be used many more times and they are much more durable. Therefore, by paying more in advance, you are actually saving money in the long run by opting for plastic pallets.

Handling

There are many things that you need to take care of when you have wooden pallets. You need to use chemicals to treat them and that are not always welcome near the freight that you may be using. You need to clean them and dry them before usage. Even then, you have splinters, broken or crooked pallets and many other problems. With plastic pallets, it is enough to hose them down or wipe them and they are as good as new. They are also very durable and they don’t change shape.

Manipulation

Another good thing is that it is easier to manipulate plastic pallets by hand and by machines. By hand, because there are no splinters and they are much lighter than the wooden pallets and by machines because they are designed in such a way that they can be taken and lifted from many angles and they are lighter and that means that the machine won’t be overburdened and can take more of the actual cargo. This saves time and reduces the costs significantly in terms of fuel saving.

Stability

Another good side of plastic pallets is the fact that they are far more stable than wooden ones, even if they are lighter. By using specific types of production processes and material, what happens is that you get a product that is at the same time light and durable, they are also equally strong at all their parts since the density of the material is the same. They are not influenced by the vermin and moist and they cannot rot as wood can. Therefore, they have 100% stability which is very important.

More and more countries are introducing restrictions for the use of wooden pallets because of the ecological impact they have. They are made by cutting down wood. They are heavy which maximizes the costs and causes more fuel to be used. Vermin can hide and live there and they can be shipped to the countries and places where they can make real ecological disasters. Therefore, it seems that the wooden pallets should be left as interesting and lovely way of making chic furniture instead of in transport.

Andrew Newitt
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The traditional construction tools used to be noisy and non-eco-friendly. Even if these power tools made our construction jobs easier, they used to be terrible air and noise polluters. Fortunately, lately the things have started to change in the construction industry in accord with the general attention on environmentally friendly products. Among the latest developments in the construction industry nowadays are the greener tools.

Many homeowners are choosing these green tools in order to stop stressing the power grid and to lower their electricity usage. For some others the motivation to choose greener tools is their environmental consciousness that push them to find ways to cut down on oil and gas from a desire to stop burning through the planet’s energy resources. Still others are motivated by a simple desire to not to smell and breathe the toxic and unpleasant fumes that some construction tools produce.

We will take a look in this article at some popular green construction tools that are easier on the environment, nose, ears, and even the wallet, and rely on cleaner energy.

Rechargeable chain saw

For the big wood cutting jobs are usually used chain saws. Their fuel based on oil and gas mixture is so pollutant that many chain saw emissions break some state laws on pollution emission. The electric chain saw was developed as a greener alternative. You can even use an electric chain saw indoors, unlike a fuel-powered chain saw, since it doesn't produce any fumes. Other advantages to an electric chain saw are that it tends to be less noisy and lighter, and you don't worry about running out of gas before completed the task.

Another alternative to a fuel-powered chain saw is a rechargeable chain saw. There are chain saws on the market that comes with interchangeable nickel-cadmium batteries or with an 18-volt lithium-ion battery. These are less noisy and lighter than gas chain saws and also offer the advantage of a convenient cordless design. Today's rechargeable chain saw designs provide enough cutting power for most of the jobs and they are friendlier to the environment.

Rechargeable drill

There are many construction tools that have adopted this design lately. For example, you can choose a rechargeable drill that comes with an attached LED light that focuses on your work area. These cordless tools are not only incredibly easy to handle due to their lightweight design, but also provide you with more flexibility and the liberty to work far from a power source.

Certainly, working with a power drill makes your job easier than using a hand drill. However, the power cord can stay in your way and make your task awkward if you need to stretch it into the backyard or across your garage. The rechargeable and cordless drill solves this issue and frees you from the annoying cord. It is also a greener tool because is using far less energy while still packing enough power.

Bottom line

You can also find nowadays complete kits with green construction tools that are rechargeable and cordless. Some even come with interchangeable backup batteries to ensure you won’t run out of power in the middle of your job. The higher battery amp-hours or Ah, the longest use of the tool you can enjoy. The higher amp-hours mean you can use the tool more hours between two consecutive charges.

Andrew Newitt

Excessive production of various products and overdoing with loads of both necessary and unnecessary items lead to a huge global pollution problem, which we are already experiencing and which will become even harsher in the next few decades. Consumerism and aggressive marketing campaigns which persuade us to buy a new mobile or tablet every couple of years push the world into a never-ending whirlpool of tons of garbage that is nod easily disposable. Ecology and industrial design meet at this spot, since industrial design should try and use as many reusable materials as possible to save natural resources. Here are some strategies how ecology and industrial design can intertwine and make a joint effort to contribute to the environment preservation process.

Industrial ecology and ecological design

These two fields of research have a strong bond and a lot of overlapping in the process of industrial design. Industrial ecology refers to applying eco-friendly strategies and techniques in the process of industrial production. On the other hand, ecological design seeks for optimal design methods that do not harm the environment. Industrial design based on these two interdisciplinary scientific branches tends to help the global efforts to overcome the environmental problems. The basic concepts that industrial design borrows from these two scientific fields are production sustainability and the flow of materials. Materials or products that have already been used and thrown away should be reused or recycled whenever it is possible to do so. By applying this strategy, we lower the expenses for the overall industrial production and also cut the costs on the material-gaining side, as well. That way companies do not have to spend money on transporting oil producing plastic from scratch, for instance, but the old plastic can be recycled. The role of local authorities is also very important here, since they have to ensure conditions for collecting old materials to make them ready for the recycling process.

Products made of recycled materials

As the pressure on the environment is increasing, many businesses are looking for sustainable solutions in their development. A lot of governments give subsidies to green-friendly companies, which is why many industrial design companies are moving forward to using recyclable materials, especially plastic and glass. Plastic is particularly interesting when it comes to industrial design and possible green solutions. This material is made from oil and it is not bio-degradable. The fact that plastic is made from oil means that the production of plastic is not environmentally-friendly, since it includes oil drilling and other procedure connected with oil. The non-organic quality of plastic makes it extremely harmful for the environment. When all these facts are taken into consideration, the best ecological option for products made of plastic is manufacturing plastic products from recycled plastic. By doing this, we save the natural world from the damage plastic might cause to it.

Going green when manufacturing new product requires a larger initial investment. However, over the next period, you will have less trouble with some other expenses that non-green businesses have. That is why investing in eco-friendly industrial design means securing the future of your company and taking care of the environment.

Andrew Newitt

Every occasion that can be turned green should be organized that way. As the ecosystem of the Earth is becoming even more fragile, turning from ruined to devastated, every individual has to take great care of his or her every step. Ecological way of thinking and behavior cannot be incidental, but has to become an effective and constant attitude in everyday situations. While every individual should follow the rules of separating different kinds of garbage for recycling and putting away garbage into different containers, companies have to have an even more serious approach. Since large businesses usually take a lot from the local community and the environment, they should have the awareness that their role is an extremely important once, similar to that of teachers in front of pupils. They should set an example and make ordinary people follow them. To start with, let's have a look at how corporate events can be organized in an eco-friendly way.

Decrease expenses

Many large companies organize different corporate events. Sometimes these events are annual dinners or cocktail parties for their partners. Some other occasions include companies' anniversaries or celebrations of particular business ventures. The collision of such events and ecology emerges when companies decide to rent huge halls or hotel lobbies to accommodate all the invitees. That usually leads to higher electricity expenditure and other sorts of waste of energy. What is more, many companies find the Christmas very convenient for such parties. But temperatures are usually low at that time, which increases the overall costs.

Use facilities you already have

Although CEOs of these companies might claim that they have budget surplus that can be used for financing all the features of such an event, it would be much smarter and responsible to use the facilities you already have. You can turn large halls inside your companies into beautiful celebration spots. Balloons and decorative lighting are some of the tools to make the space look nice and event-friendly.

Furthermore, many companies have some lounge areas indoors and outdoors. You can only protect the food buffet with an event marquee and the rest of the area can be just equipped with chairs and tables and maybe an improvised little stage for the band. Instead of hiring a real electric band, you can go for an acoustic string quartet and save money in that part, as well.

Weather as eco tool

When organizing a corporate event, try to choose the period of year when the weather is nice and the part of the day when people can just stay a few hours longer after work. Organizing a corporate event on a sunny day, in the garden area of the company will cut the organization costs significantly.

CEOs should also think about making the work day on which the event or party is taking place shorter so that employees do not have to come again to the office. Through such a decision, you will save fuel and time for your employees, which is again a benefit for the company, as well.

By taking all the steps expressed in this text, you corporate event will be original, eco-friendly and company-supporting one. When everything stays inside the company, it means that the company takes care of its employees and its surroundings, as well.

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