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In 2016, scientists announced that the hole in ozone layer has shrunk by 1.7 million square miles and that by the year 2050 it would be completely covered. This piece of good news indicated a huge success and served as clear evidence that through collective effort and sustainable pro-environment legislation, pollution levels could be kept in check. Nevertheless, the shrinkage of the hole in the ozone layer does not mean that climate change and environmental decline halted. Unfortunately, they are at an all time high. The latest findings reveal that Greenland ice is melting at alarming levels and environmental groups point out that wildlife protection should be a given higher priority. In light of the fact that certain world powers have reduced funding for climate change research even downright denied its existence, the average responsible citizen wonders what can be done at a personal level and why such a small effort matters at all. The good news is that it does. If everyone made a few lifestyle changes, the results would be visible in a couple of years. All the overwhelming evidence for environmental decline might be discouraging, but it is never too late to take action and get involved in saving the planet, one small change at a time.  

Reduce the carbon footprint

One of the main causes of global warming is that we emit too many gases responsible for the greenhouse effect. Not only do these decrease air quality, but also lead to a rise in temperature levels. So, what can you do to reduce your carbon footprint?

Energy efficient appliances

Our modern existence relies of electrical appliances and giving them all up would be drastic and unpractical. Fortunately, you don’t have to, because quality standards have changed and there is a huge difference between what our parents used and what we use now. Today’s appliances are made with eco-friendliness in mind and they cause less emissions that older ones. So, if you are still using an old fridge, cooker or heater, consider replacing it with one that has A+ energy efficiency. It works better, consumes less electricity and helps the planet in the long run.

Insulate your home to reduce energy consumption

Paying thousands for high-end appliances is of no help for the planet if they work 24/7. Insulation can help change that. Experts at gni.ca inform homeowners that a well insulated house locks in heat, which increases home comfort and reduces the need for electrical appliances. Uninsulated houses have small cracks around windows and doors, sometimes even in the roof or in the attic and heat exchange occurs through those cracks which might not even be observed with the naked eye. As a result, you can never get the right temperature; it’s too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter, so some kind of HVAC appliance must always be turned on. This increases energy bills and releases many emissions into the air. But, if you insulate your house, this transfer no longer occurs. You can have a comfortable temperature all year round and only turn on appliances every once in a while.

Managing waste and pollution

Waste and pollution are very dangerous for the ecosystem and can cause the extinction of many endangered species. Although you might not be aware, some modern products and habits can increase waste and pollution, so here’s what you can do.

Use less harsh chemicals

Everyday things such as window cleaner and detergent can cause pollution if they are made using toxic or harsh chemicals, so you should try and switch to gentler formulas where possible. eco-friendly products are less readily available, but the search is worth it. If saving the planet is not a good enough incentive, then keep in mind that harsh chemicals are equally harmful for your health. For example, the innocent looking beaded face scrub can end up in the sea and back into our plates if we eat seafood.

Reuse & recycle

The amount of toxic waste that humans produce is incredible and there have never been more awareness campaigns for recycling. Instead of using one trash can for everything, use several smaller ones and sort your trash based on its type. Dispose of waste responsibly and always call your local recycling service to get rid of broken or old appliances. Last, but not least, re-use when possible and encourage the entire family to embrace upcycling rather than consumerism.

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Cynthia Madison

If you ever wondered which are the industries that generate the most waste, this article is for you. Toxic or solid waste, there are several industries which make themselves notorious though such attributes, which nonetheless, affect our health and the environment equally. Our list has some surprising industries, while others are extremely obvious. You can read more below.

Car repair shops

This may surprise many, while others, especially those working in the industry are more than familiar with the matter. Car repair shops and the auto industry, in general, is one of the largest waste-generator in the world. Especially producing incredible amounts of toxic waste – oils, paints, lubricants, not to mention the solid waste of which these are responsible. Old car parts, old vehicles, and various other components, make this industry to win a rightful place in our top. Nonetheless, certain repair shops put enormous efforts into reducing the waste generated, by implementing smart waste-management solutions, like those proposed by Mil-tek a decisive player in the waste management industry. Many auto repair shops put great efforts into minimizing the physical amount of their solid waste, especially plastic waste and use pneumatic barrels for this purpose. This may be the only solution various industries might have in order to become friendlier with the environment.

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Furniture manufacturers

Another surprising entry in our top, furniture manufacturing businesses generate impressive amounts of both toxic and physical waste. In spite of the popular belief that many have, furniture manufacturers don’t use exclusively wood in the process. Some of their raw materials are composites and in order to get those and create the furniture pieces in their portfolios, chemicals are used. Also, solvents are used at a large scale in the industry, which makes it one of the main generators of nitrogen oxides. Also, ignitable waste and paints and a series of environment-damaging chemicals result from the manufacturing process as well. The furniture manufacturing industry is also trying to minimize the impact on the environment, especially when it comes to solid waste. However, further steps have to be taken in order to achieve a sustainable balance.

The cleaning industry

This industry is mainly guilty of an enormous volume of toxic waste, as the products used in the cleaning process are rarely environmental-friendly. Chemicals are a rule of thumb when it comes to this industry, as stubborn stains are usually removed by using a strong mixture that includes high concentrations of acid-based chemicals. As environmental concerns are growing, certain companies turned their attention to more environmental-friendly cleaning solutions and products. Steam cleaning seems to be the preferred option by many players in the industry, nowadays.

The oil and gas industry

This comes naturally, as this industry is generating incredible volumes of solid waste, diverse in characteristics and handling requirements. Many of these are hazardous, but concerning is the fact that this sector is generating yearly more than 4.000 t of solid waste. If the big players in the filed would be more concerned, and would take action, the waste could be diminished at half of this number. Certain solutions are developed in order to minimize solid waste and these are suitable for various industries. Also, the oil and gas industry is generating large volumes of toxic waste. Worth noticing is the fact that some companies in the field put great efforts into finding solutions in terms of recycling part of the waste generated by their enterprises.

The printing and photography industry

Obviously, this is an industry which generates enormous volumes of hazardous substances as a by-product of its activity. While a small number of companies in the field have turned their attention to friendlier inks, the vast majority still uses chemicals and toxic inks. This fact forces them to label appropriately their waste and always dispose of it as hazardous waste. The waste disposal cannot be handled by the company itslef, the vast majority of these companies needing assistance from third-parties in order to manage this part of their activity.

The metal-working industry

The metal-working industry is a big generator of chemical waste, as the processing steps oftentimes include chemicals that are damaging to the environment and human health. For instance, solvents, heavy metals, paint and cyanides are frequently used. However, the companies that specialise in processing metals, are also forced to dispose of their waste by accessing the services of a third-party, specialised in such matters, or implementing themselves an in-house waste management system, based on all the regulations in force.

The waste-generating industries are plenty, and summarizing those is oftentimes difficult. If your company is a manufacturing one, then most certainly it produces more waste than you would like to admit. However, some pragmatic solutions that allow companies to reduce the volume of waste generated are available on the market. Make sure to collaborate with trustworthy suppliers in your journey of becoming more environmental-friendly.

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Cynthia Madison

Considering the worrying state of pollution nowadays, more people should start adopting a greener lifestyle, and contribute to protecting and helping the environment. The power of example gives each person the chance to make a difference, so regardless of how small or big, the actions you take against pollution matter. If you have started to give the topic of environmental concerns more of your thought lately, and have concluded it is time to make some lifestyle changes, receiving a few tips on the subject might come in handy. In order to call yourself an environmental friendly person, an activist against pollution you should start by making some changes with your home and family. These are the things that any person could do, in order to live a green life:

Save energy - replace your traditional heating system with a wood burning stove

In order to lower down your energy consumption, while not compromising on the comfort of your indoor temperature, replacing a traditional heating system with one that uses a renewable source of energy is recommended. A great option in this department are modern wood stoves. These home additions are known for their efficiency in terms of heating, and also give homeowners the possibility to minimize energy consumption and lower their bills with even 50 percent. The installation of a wood burning stove will be a win win situation - you will be opting for a green source of heat, that will allow you to reduce energy consumption, and at the same time you will be saving money. So give this possibility some of your consideration - you will rapidly find an affordable item of this kind just by searching on the internet.

Remember to switch it off!

Besides our heating system, there are numerous appliances found in a household that can consume a lot of energy, and thus create carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Besides buying Fireplace inserts, as mentioned above, there are other ways you can easily reduce your monthly energy consumption. Whether it’s TV left on while nobody is in the room, or a computer plugged in although nobody is using it, if you are like the majority of all other families, leaving appliances switched on probably happens with regularity. Remember to always turn off the light and any other appliance, and make sure to teach your children to do the same. Also, if you are truly dedicated to going green, you can also replace some of your home appliances with those that have reasonable energy ratings.

Replace light bulbs

Traditional light bulbs usually consume a lot of energy, and they can also burn out extremely easily, which is not at all convenient. You have the possibility of replacing these traditional options with LEDs - light emitting dlodes - or with compact fluorescent lamps.  These will save a significant amount of energy at the end of each month, and they are also characterized by a longer life span. You will soon be able to notice your electricity bills decreasing.

Reduce water use

Even if it might seem difficult at first, reducing water usage is something that you should try doing. To help save energy, as well as money, start washing your clothes in cold water, and air dry them naturally instead of using any appliances for this purpose. You can also think about installing aerators on your faucets, which can have a beneficial role. Replacing your shower heads with low flow one is also something that can be advantageous in this department. Take shorter showers, never leave water running when you are not using it, and consider native vegetation for your gardening, because it requires less water consumption. All of these details will add to your new green way of living.  

Travel eco-friendly

Yes, it might be incredibly comfortable to walk out the door, step in your gas-fuelled car and go to work or any other place. Nowadays, people have become addicted to their vehicles, and giving them up seems impossible. However, as you probably know, the production of carbon triggered by traditional vehicles is the one that affects the environment on a daily basis, and while it might seem difficult to actually do something about this issue, you can start with your own family, by minizine the patterns of carbon producing. This means, you should skip on driving and take the bus to work, consider carpooling with other co-workers, or even better, ride your bicycle. If you find it difficult to not travel by car on a daily basis, and if your budget allows you, switching to a hybrid, electric car is also a beneficial option. Traveling eco-friendly remains incredibly important.

Clean green!

Once you open your cleaning supplies cabinet and start reading the description of each product, you will discover how many chemicals they contain. In order to go green by the book, you will need to start cleaning green as well. Stock up natural alternative, ones that have a more pleasant smell. The market stands at your disposal with numerous great options in terms of cleaning supplies, you just have to look for the best ones, and perhaps do a bit of research before actually making a purchase. By making a change in this department, and adopting appropriate recycling habits, you will be making your household even more eco-friendly, and this is after all, the ultimate goal you are trying to achieve.

With today’s aggravating level of pollution, going green is something that any individual should consider doing.  If you have always been the environmental friendly type, and you want to take your principles regarding the subject one level further, adopting a green way of living, and making some changes in your home that can contribute to this goal is recommended. The ideas stated above are only a few of the many ways you can make more eco friendly choices. From installing a better heating source in your home, and thus saving energy, to traveling green, each one of these tips has their own relevance and should be considered.

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Cynthia Madison

Indoor air quality means the condition of the air that you and your family breathe inside your home. This is an important concern because you spend most of your time indoors and you could be exposed to environmental pollutants. Air pollution is largely considered as being outdoors, but the truth is that the air in your house is more contaminated. Indoor air pollutant levels are higher than outdoor levels. Indoor air pollution happens when toxic contaminants and gases infect the air. You shouldn’t assume that that your home environment is completely safe. Considering that Toronto’s environmental pollution is still causing serious health issues, you can’t afford to take any chances. Be sure. There are many ways to tell if the indoor air quality is bad.

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Get in touch with air quality experts

One of the best ways to know if you have poor home air quality is to have it tested. Sure, selecting Toronto air quality experts is a daunting task, but the Internet has made the process a lot simpler. The air quality experts will investigate your indoor air quality, thus being of great help. What the trained professionals do is offer you peace of mind. You will know for sure whether you and your family are living in a healthy indoor environment. Don’t waste your time with test kits. They aren’t reliable, not to mention that they are expensive. You should better invest your money in professional indoor air quality testing. The consultants will be able to detect even the tiniest sources of poor indoor air quality. The best thing you can do is call in the professionals.

Take notice of your allergies

It’s hard not to attribute an allergy episode to a climate change. Yet, you could be having a sensitive reaction to indoor allergens. The change in weather patterns isn’t to blame, but animal dander, dust mite droppings, and mould. They are the ones overwhelming your immune system. If you experience rashes, watery eyes, trouble breathing or you have a runny nose, then chances are that you have poor home air quality. Pay attention to when and where the symptoms appear and disappear. If allergy symptoms occur when you stay at home, you have a problem. But what if you don’t have allergy symptoms at all? Well, take notice of your loved ones. Their sensitivity is a good indicator of indoor air quality.

Investigate the indoor air quality

You can tell if your home has poor air quality by looking for sources of pollution. Know that it’s not easy to identify sources of environmental pollution and that their presence doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a problem. Here are some examples of sources of poor air quality:

·         Damp carpets

·         Old pieces of furniture

·         Heating equipment

·         Building materials

There is nothing more important than the health of your family, so don’t ignore the aforementioned sources of indoor air pollution. Look for these culprits even before you have your home tested.

Look for mould growth

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It’s not uncommon for mould to grow and homes. What is uncommon, on the other hand, is to inhale mould spores. Mould poses threats to the health. Harmful effects of mould include allergic reactions, rashes, coughing, and eczema. But these should be the least of your worries. Exposure to mould leads to infection, respiratory problems, and even cancer. Mould is not as easy to identify as you may think. The fungus is usually hidden from the view, so finding its source can be difficult. Places you need to check are the corners where the walls meet the ceiling, behind appliances, and in the basement.

Consider home improvements and repairs

Home improvements and repairs can affect the indoor air quality. How so? Making updates results in strange things. For instance, if you install a new A/C, you and your family can get sick. The filter retains all kinds of germs and bacteria, so if it isn’t cleaned regularly, it can become dangerous. Other changes that affect the home environment are removal of asbestos and lead-based paint. If you haven’t gotten to cleaning up after such projects, it’s time you did. The last thing you want is to suffer health consequences.

When it comes to determining if you have poor indoor air quality, it is better to get in touch with the experts. Trained professionals are the only ones capable of discovering the gravity of the situation. They can tell you which is the source of the indoor air pollution and how you can deal with the problem. The greatest thing of all is that the solutions provided are neither difficult nor expensive. If you have a reasonable doubt concerning the quality of the indoor air, contact the professionals.

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