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Helping to make our society more green and energy independent one blog post at a time

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LizzieWeakley

Travertine, quartz, and limestone are some of the stunning natural elements you can use to provide texture and depth to your home design. Placing these materials in the kitchen can make the space more gorgeous. It can also add value to your home. Here are four ways you can incorporate natural stone in your kitchen.

Floor Designs

Using natural tiles on the floor is an excellent way to restyle your home. These materials come in a wide range of designs, colors, and prices. If you are on a budget, then you can get creative with the use of a limited supply of materials. You can create a border around the room. A rug design on the floor is appealing and captivating. Mosaic tiles provide infinite options, and you can choose to use mesh screens or single tiles.

Accent Walls

Natural stone tiles are fantastic mediums for walls. Instead of doing an entire room in stone, an accent piece will provide plenty of appeal. You can do a full wall, or you may want to frame a piece of art like a statue. Another idea is to use the wall to create a strong textural difference, like flat paint or wallpaper contrasting with dramatic limestone.

Fireplaces

Every hearth needs an incredible surround. From natural marble to beautiful quartz tiles, you can put a few layers in front of the fireplace. You may prefer to use these materials to create a background for the piece. Either design can provide a seamless transition from one room to the next. The tiles can also enhance a focal point like the fireplace.

Counters and Islands

Using quartz or marble on the counters is a brilliant way to increase the value of the home. These materials are durable and hold up to a lot of use with the right maintenance program. You may also want to use a stone tile surround for your island. You can use the tiles to make a color change or to add a three-dimensional effect to the kitchen.

Your home will be amazing when you add natural tiles to your kitchen. These items add equity. They may make your house feel more welcoming. Guests and family will enjoy talking about the changes and making new memories surrounding the new features in your favorite gathering space. Even when you have a small amount to spend, you can use natural stone to create accent pieces or areas that will improve the look and feel of your home.

LizzieWeakley

Making your home more energy efficient is important for a couple of reasons. For one thing, it significantly reduces your utility bills, and all those monthly savings will be a major boost to your budget. Also, with environmental catastrophe predicted by most climatologists, you can feel good about doing your part to stave off disaster and improve the health of the planet. With so much to gain, striving for energy efficiency is a no-brainer. But how does one go about it? Energy-efficient appliances often spring to mind, but replacing them can be pricey. Luckily, there are plenty of smaller steps you can take to maximize your home efficiency. Here are five ideas.


 

Turn Down the Heat

 

A toasty home can be nice, but it also uses up a town of energy. Get your household in the habit of wearing sweaters in the house, and then turn that thermostat down a few degrees. Before you know it, you’ll be accustomed to the cooler temperature (and the lower utility bills).


 

Replace or Seal Your Windows

 

Old, drafty windows let cold air into your home, which in turn makes your heating system work harder and burn more energy to get the interior air back to the temperature you want. New, energy-efficient windows are the best bet, but sealing currant windows is also a useful step to take.


 

Install LED Light Bulbs

 

Incandescent bulbs, for generations the industry standard, are significantly less efficient than their LED equivalents. To replace the old bulbs with more efficient ones is a cheap, easy way to lower your house’s energy use.


 

Wash Clothes With Cold Water

 

If you use warm water to wash your clothes, then the heating of that water accounts for up to ninety percent of the energy that the machine uses. With a simple flip of a switch, you can make your washer significantly more efficient. If your washing machine is using too much hot water, call a washer and dryer repair company to make sure you aren’t using an unnecessary amount of water. 


 

Unplug Chargers

 

Unused chargers use just as much, if not more, electricity as when you have a device connected to them. If you leave your charger plugged into the wall, you are needlessly wasting energy. It can be a tough habit to break, but it does a world of good.


 

Energy efficiency is as good for your bank account as it is for the planet, and can be achieved even without replacing all your appliances. Take the steps mentioned above to make your home as energy efficient as it can be.

LizzieWeakley

A computer doesn’t last forever. Even if your computer still technically works many years later, you may want to get rid of it anyways. Newer computers are faster, store far more data and are more capable of better running programs, games, and videos. However, after you have decided to upgrade, what should you do with your old computer parts? Instead of just chucking them in the trash, you can recycle them. Here are some tips that can show you how.

Selling Your Old Parts

One option you have for recycling is to actually sell your old parts on an aftermarket. eBay, for example, is an excellent choice. Craig’s List is another. There may also be some online and local independent electronics dealers you can investigate. You shouldn’t expect to receive much in exchange if the part in question has been used a good deal, but it is a form of recycling that involves some amount of compensation.

Self-Recycling

Alternatively, you could choose to self-recycle. This involves repurposing an old part for a different use for you or your family. For example, you could repurpose an old personal computer as a home server with a little work. With a few extra components, you could also transform an old monitor into an extra television.

Using an Electronics Recycling Service

You may simply want to dispose of your old computer parts entirely. Don’t just put them in the garbage or in a regular recycling container. Instead, bring them to a professional electronics recycling service that will actually break down the materials so they can be reused. Things that can be recycled by such a service include motherboards, processors, hard drives, disc drives, RAM, power supplies, monitors and more.

Removing Your Personal Data

However, before you hand over a computer, hard drive or other component that can store personal data, you should make sure to first wipe that data, so it does not get into the wrong hands. It could be used to steal your identity. Certain recyclers will offer to wipe the data for you. However, you can also wipe it yourself with downloadable programs that can overwrite data multiple times so it can never be accessed again.

Overall, recycling is the responsible thing to do. This is especially true for computer components and electronics that can harm the environment if not recycled properly. Consider your different options for unloading your computer parts in a responsible manner.

LizzieWeakley

 

Garbage littering the world's oceans is a serious problem. Some trash, such as plastic, will never decompose, posing a grave risk to all types of marine wildlife. The best solution to this problem is to collect as much marine trash as possible and then put it to good use. To give better insight into the possibilities for solving this issue, here are four clever uses for recycled marine trash.

Eco-Friendly Packaging

One of the most versatile uses for marine trash is to recycle it into packaging for various types of products. Plastic is an ideal material to use in packaging for dish detergent, nail polish remover, shampoo, and hundreds of other substances that are used every day. This versatility helps to sustain demand for marine plastic, meaning that there will be continued incentive to remove the trash from the world's waterways.

Yarn

Turning yesterday's discarded soda rings into tomorrow's clothing might not seem like the most obvious use of recycled marine trash. Creating thread that has a recycled plastic core helps to lower the costs for clothing manufacturers while helping to keep the environment clean. The yarn or thread can be bound by any number of materials, creating beautiful fabrics that are indistinguishable from fabrics made with more traditional thread. You can learn more about products like this at bionicyarn.com and other websites.

Shoes

You may not know it, but there are many parts of the average shoe that require plastic in some form or another. Fortunately for the world's waterways, the source of this plastic can be recycled plastic that was previously causing an environmental hazard. Plastics in shoes help to keep weight down and help to keep them more durable, both of which are qualities that consumers are seeking.

Sunglasses

Plastic is an ideal material for sunglasses because it is lightweight and flexible. Rather than using virgin plastic for their eyewear, some companies have begun using recycled marine plastic to form their frames. Since sunglasses are often discarded before the end of their useful life due to changing tastes, this is a great way to clean up the environment and help make users more mindful about their consumption. Plus, consumers get bragging rights that their glasses are truly one-of-a-kind.

 

Just as important as using recycled marine trash is working hard to ensure that the trash doesn't return to the ocean after it finishes its second life. That's why careful attention needs to be given to creating a closed cycle that will encourage consumers to dispose of waste properly. If these suggestions are adhered to, the amount of trash in the world's oceans will finally decrease, once and for all

LizzieWeakley

Americans spend $130 billion each year on wasted energy. Energy wastage not only takes a bite of out of your wallet but also harms the environment by producing unnecessary greenhouse gasses and pollution. If you're concerned that your home is an energy pit, here are four telltale signs that you're using too much.

Your Bills Are Too High

The first and most obvious sign that your home is wasting energy is that your monthly utility bills are higher than they should be. Many power companies include a chart on your bill or through their website that shows how your home's energy usage stacks up against the average and against homes similar to yours. If your utility provider doesn't offer this service, give them a call or compare your bill to neighbors with similarly sized homes.

You Wait for Hot Water

If you're like most homeowners, you turn on your shower or sink faucet and wait for ice-cold water to warm up. All those gallons of water going down the drain add up over time, but there are two effective solutions. One option is to hire a plumber with water heater installation experience to swap out your old tank for a new tankless model, which is the most efficient type of water heater on the market. An easier and less expensive solution is to install a recirculating pump in your existing unit.

Your HVAC Runs Constantly

The hum of your HVAC unit means your home is staying comfortably warm or cool, but it shouldn't be running all the time. If you almost never hear silence from your heating or cooling system, that means the unit is having trouble keeping up and constantly using energy. You may need to replace the unit with a larger one or improve your home's insulation. You can also consider a more efficient type of unit like a heat pump system.

You Have Energy Vampires

What's scarier than a blood-sucking monster? An energy-sucking appliance. You may not realize that your coffee maker, television or toaster is sucking power even when the off switch is flipped. Slay these energy vampires by unplugging them when not in use or use power strips that you can switch off to cut the electricity supply.

Remember, your home isn't the only source of wasted energy in your life. Consumer products are also a large contributor, so choose low-waste materials like recycled products, paper and cardboard over those that use more energy to produce.

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LizzieWeakley

Recently, sustainable shopping has become more popular. Consumers are now looking for businesses that care about the environment and their impact on the planet more than ever. Consumers are currently looking for ways to become more eco-conscious in their own lives, which includes the way they purchase products. Here are ways to make sure you are buying the most sustainable products possible. 

 

High Quality

 

Investing in high-quality products means you will be less likely to need to replace that item in the near future. This leads to higher sustainability. Through this, you will be using less materials and be requiring less energy to manufacture the product. Thrifting high-quality pieces of clothing or furniture can be a great move toward sustainability as well. However, if thrifting isn’t your thing or you are having trouble finding the right products, making new high-quality purchases is the next best thing. 

 

Sustainable Materials

 

Today, more businesses are becoming mindful of the materials they use for their products. A great way to ensure you are consuming products made from sustainable materials is to look for ones made with recycled materials. This is becoming a more popular option. There are many options available for clothing and accessories made with recycled bottles or even recovered plastic from the ocean. Companies, like BionicYarn.com, are making this possible. 

 

Locally Made

 

The less a product needs to travel to get to your home, the more sustainable it will be. Less travel cuts down on carbon emissions and leads to a better impact on the environment. Now is a great time to start supporting small, local businesses. A great way to do this is to visit farmer’s markets in your area for local food and handmade goods. 

 

Ethical Manufacturing

 

Green manufacturing processes are more important than ever right now. It shows how responsible a business is when it comes to doing their part for the environment. Treatment of  factory workers also plays a role in flourishing the economy and leading toward general sustainability. Look for businesses that offer transparency about their production practices. Only support those that act responsibly and are doing what they can to minimize their environmental and economic impact. 


 

Transitioning to a sustainable lifestyle can seem overwhelming in a world full of consumerism. However, each individual doing their part can make large strides in improving climate change and the environment.

LizzieWeakley

Starting your own garden is an excellent pastime that can provide you with an abundance of fresh produce, but this type of project is easier said than done. If you want to make sure that your first crop is successful, then you will need to put in a little bit of work before you plant your first seedlings.

Choosing the Best Location

Many new gardeners don’t realize just how important it is to spend some time figuring out exactly where they are going to be putting their new plants. Moving your garden from one side of the yard to the other could have a huge impact on which plants are going to survive and what type of yield you are going to get. As a general rule, a garden needs to get plenty of early morning sunlight so that newer plants thrive. You should also have easy access to a hose or some other source of water.

Demo

Another step that you need to take well before you start your garden is demoing the area where you will be planting. Demoing for a garden is going to involve removing any existing foliage, pulling up the grass, and getting all of the larger rocks out of the soil. If you aren’t interested in pulling up grass and sifting the soil, then you might want to consider building or buying a few raised beds.

Collect Your Supplies

Larger gardens require quite a few landscaping supplies, and you should collect all of the equipment and products that you are going to need at least a few weeks prior to planting. The type of supplies that you get will depend on a few different factors, and that includes how much demo work needs to be carried out, what the local climate is like, and which types of plants you are going to grow. At the very least, you are probably going to want a garden hose, a drip hose, a trowel, some pots in various sizes, and a good pair of gloves.

Get Rid of Pests

Pests could wreak havoc on your garden if you don’t come up with a plan for eradicating them. Scheduling preventative pest control services is a great start, but you might also want to install some type of netting or fencing to keep out birds, gophers, and squirrels. You can also contact a pest control expert and ask what types of insects you should be prepared for.

After you have planted your first batch of seeds and seedlings, you should check up on your garden at least once or twice a day. A single pest or broken sprinkler could eradicate your crop and waste all of your hard work.

LizzieWeakley

From reducing your carbon footprint to eliminating toxins, running an environmentally sound household is within easy reach. Just as recycling and other day-to-day actions impact us all, home improvements offer advantages to both your family and the earth. If your goal is to go green, the following tips will help you cut heating and cooling costs while lessening negative environmental effects.

Inspect Your Home for Leaks

Don’t let heated or cooled air escape. Inspect your home for areas where leaks can occur. The most effective form of inspection is a blower door test, usually performed as part of an energy audit. For this test, a technician attaches a heavy-duty fan to an exterior door. The fan pulls air from your home to lower indoor air pressure. Higher outdoor air pressure forces air into holes, crevices, or other unwanted openings. If you’d rather do the inspecting yourself, visually check outside for gaps at corners, around the mail slot, at the line where your foundation touches the brick or siding, or in any place where two types of materials meet.

Decrease Drafts

Replace weather stripping to prevent leaks at exterior doorways. Caulk is perfect for preventing air loss around windows, but it also serves a purpose in other areas of your home. Caulking is also ideal for stopping air leaks around plumbing and wiring. Draft snakes reduce outside air entry, making your heating and cooling efforts more effective. For a longer-term solution, consider installing draft-stopping double-paned windows. New siding can also boost HVAC efficiency, especially when combined with new insulation. Durable siding backed by high-quality insulation protects your home from extreme temperatures and other harsh weather conditions. Research the best type of siding for your climate for keeping your home well insulated. In addition to resisting weather damage and preventing air loss, these two products work together to ensure your family’s comfort.

Prevent Leaks via Unused Appliances

Just as unplugging unused devices reduces power usage, covering or closing certain appliances while not in use is an easy way to reduce air loss. Exhaust fans, fireplace flue dampers and range hoods are just some examples of places where air can escape. Whether you purchase a cover for your exhaust fan or install an inflatable chimney balloon, take control of energy usage and costs by reducing opportunities for air to escape. In the hot summer months, you might want to reduce use of your oven as well. If you must use it, don’t leave it on for any amount of time after. Don’t let it heat up for too long either. This will prevent unnecessary heat from circulating around your home. 

Your home is your castle, but it doesn’t have to be drafty or low-functioning. Cut the effects of air loss by inspecting your home and making necessary adjustments. Even the most simple changes can make a huge difference. You’ll experience lower power bills and increased comfort while lessening your negative impact on the environment.

LizzieWeakley

Increasing operational efficiency and lowering the output of emissions are goals that companies across all industries have in common. Developing optimal strategies for controlling costs and limiting environmental impact is both a challenge and opportunity, so it’s something companies need to embrace rather than avoid. Not all of these strategies are appropriate for every business, but most companies can find numerous simple and surefire ways to improve their operations.

Make the Most of Materials

Reducing resource consumption and learning how to reuse or recycle materials whenever possible is essential for streamlining operations and ensuring environmentally responsible operations. Business leaders need to consider every aspect of their production process when looking for opportunities for efficiency, including onsite resource management, supply chains and product packaging.

Rethink Policies and Procedures

Just as companies examine and redesign the way they use materials, they also need to think about the workplace and operational policies that they have in place. Enshrining safe and efficient practices as workplace policy is a step in the right direction. However, educating employees about the importance of lowering emissions and how they can help the company reach this goal is also necessary for achieving meaningful results.

Optimize Industrial Boilers

Manufacturing, extraction and other industrial environments often rely on boilers for part of their production process. Whether these machines are permanent fixtures in a workplace or just a temporary augmentation, learning how to optimize and use them responsibly can make a big difference in long-term emission generation. Installing a rectifier or SCRS for water tube boilers can give companies more control over their boiler’s performance and can significantly reduce emissions associated with combustion.

Stay Ahead of the Curve

While many companies have taken their own initiative to minimize their environmental impact, all commercial operators also have to think about mandatory requirements enforced by national and local laws. Staying ahead of the curve means reading new research, exploring fresh ideas and preparing for possible legislation even before it has passed. Looking at potential future requirements as a milestone for internal efficiency can help companies avoid racing against a deadline in the future.

Efficiency and emissions reduction don’t always go hand-in-hand, but most business can take advantage of various opportunities to improve both of these areas simultaneously. Cutting down on waste should always be a priority, as this strategy often yields sheer benefits across the board. Business owners should always consider all the optional available and think about the impact of industry rules or regulations before coming to their decision.

LizzieWeakley

One of the first expenses that new homeowners incur is their energy bills. Unless the house has just been built, there are usually several ways to reduce energy costs. And, even if owners do live in a new residence, there are measures that they can take to minimize their energy bills, some of which are quite simple. The solution is not just turning out lights in rooms that are not in use.

Idle Electronics

For one thing, there is a great amount of electricity used by idle electronics. Many people leave their computers, phones, and other devices on when they could shut them off and conserve much energy. For, the electricity consumed by idle electronics in the United States is equivalent to the electricity generated by as many as 50 power plants. This idle time costs households from $165-400 per year. Using power strips for the electronics can save money when owners turn off the strips that end idle time.

Repairs to the Home

Often the benefits of heating and air conditioning systems are minimalized by several areas of the home. Doors and windows can allow drafts if not sealed well as together windows and doors account for 20-25% of energy loss. The addition of storm windows is helpful in reducing energy costs. Repairing ceilings, wall vents and floors, too, can eliminate nearly 30% of energy loss. Closing off wall outlets not in use also helps reduce about 10% of air leaks. In addition, replacing old heating and air conditioning systems with a heat pump reduces the energy usage and expense in a home because heat pumps transfer heat from one site to another. For instance, it uses the outside air to produce cool temperatures inside and vice versa. Thus, a heat pump is capable of both heating and cooling the interior of a home.

Ductwork and Roof Repair

Another important repair that can be made to conserve energy is on the ductwork of the home. This ductwork should be well-insulated as should other areas such as exterior and interior walls, floors above crawl spaces, attics, cathedral ceilings and the roof. Windows need to be caulked and sealed as do doors. Of course, roof repair is essential to containing heat in cold weather since heat rises. A well-constructed roof also prevents water damage and mold from invading the home. Roofing companies provide many types of asphalt composition shingles, stone-coated steel and metal roofs.

LizzieWeakley

Installing solar panels is one of the best ways homeowners can live more sustainably. While there are several upfront costs with switching to solar energy, the ROI for solar panels makes this investment well worth it. Read on to learn how installing solar panels can save money as you help to take down big oil companies.

Cut Down on Electrical Bills

One of the most significant ways you'll benefit from installing solar powers is by reducing your electric bill. These panels make it possible for homeowners to stop relying on utility companies as this switch to solar power will ultimately save 50% a month on electricity. With solar panels on your home, you’ll be able to harness the sun’s energy to power your house, as long as the sun is out.

In the event that the sun isn’t present, you’ll be able to use electricity from your utility company. While this backup electricity comes at a cost, using the sun to power your home is free.

Save on Maintenance

Many homeowners are frequently charged by their utility company for maintenance fees or costly repairs. Relying on the sun as a power source makes it easy to skip out on these expenses. Once your panels are installed, you’re much less likely to encounter maintenance issues. With this in mind, you can easily consider the cost of installing your panels as a one-time fee for free power.

Enjoy Steady Electric Costs

It isn’t uncommon for homeowners to pay more during peak seasons like summer and winter. Whenever you’re using more electricity to heat or cool your home, relying on a utility company will cause your electric bill to skyrocket. Similarly, the utility companies themselves are vulnerable to the fluctuating natural gas, oil, and coal markets, leading to even more unpredictable pricing.

If you’d prefer to deal with steady electric costs, consider investing in panels. By using the sun as your power source, you'll protect yourself from being susceptible to fluctuating electricity costs.

Take Advantage of Tax Credits

Tax credits are another way many homeowners benefit from using solar energy. Many states offer individuals that rely on sustainable energy sources clean energy grants and SRECs or Solar Renewable Energy Credits. These credits are an incentive for homeowners to install panels as they will cover up to 30% of the installation costs.

Solar energy is a great way for homeowners to live sustainably as they avoid contributing to the wasteful practices of big oil companies. As you learn more about solar panels, keep these four benefits in mind.

LizzieWeakley

Installing solar panels is one of the best ways homeowners can live more sustainably. While there are several upfront costs with switching to solar energy, the ROI for solar panels makes this investment well worth it. Read on to learn how installing solar panels can save money as you help to take down big oil companies.

Cut Down on Electrical Bills

One of the most significant ways you'll benefit from installing solar powers is by reducing your electric bill. These panels make it possible for homeowners to stop relying on utility companies as this switch to solar power will ultimately save 50% a month on electricity. With solar panels on your home, you’ll be able to harness the sun’s energy to power your house, as long as the sun is out.

In the event that the sun isn’t present, you’ll be able to use electricity from your utility company. While this backup electricity comes at a cost, using the sun to power your home is free.

Save on Maintenance

Many homeowners are frequently charged by their utility company for maintenance fees or costly repairs. Relying on the sun as a power source makes it easy to skip out on these expenses. Once your panels are installed, you’re much less likely to encounter maintenance issues. With this in mind, you can easily consider the cost of installing your panels as a one-time fee for free power.

Enjoy Steady Electric Costs

It isn’t uncommon for homeowners to pay more during peak seasons like summer and winter. Whenever you’re using more electricity to heat or cool your home, relying on a utility company will cause your electric bill to skyrocket. Similarly, the utility companies themselves are vulnerable to the fluctuating natural gas, oil, and coal markets, leading to even more unpredictable pricing.

If you’d prefer to deal with steady electric costs, consider investing in panels. By using the sun as your power source, you'll protect yourself from being susceptible to fluctuating electricity costs.

Take Advantage of Tax Credits

Tax credits are another way many homeowners benefit from using solar energy. Many states offer individuals that rely on sustainable energy sources clean energy grants and SRECs or Solar Renewable Energy Credits. These credits are an incentive for homeowners to install panels as they will cover up to 30% of the installation costs.

Solar energy is a great way for homeowners to live sustainably as they avoid contributing to the wasteful practices of big oil companies. As you learn more about solar panels, keep these four benefits in mind.

LizzieWeakley

Overfishing has become a major concern among environmentalists. All fisheries are aware of illegal, wasteful fishing practices that are putting the local fish populations at the risk of being depleted. Alaska is one of many regions that has strict fishing regulations. People who consume fish should do their part to eat more sustainably.

Don’t Eat Endangered Fish

Do not eat fish species that are on the endangered list. It’s easy to find this list by doing a simple search online or visiting the Marine Conservation Society’s website. Environmental organizations provide lists of fish to avoid and to eat on a regular basis.

Eat More Sustainable Fish

Eat more fish that are sustainable, meaning they are in abundant supply. Sardines are a plentiful, fast-growing species that are found in many locations in Europe and North America. Alaskan salmon, clams, oysters, tuna, mussels and mackerel are caught responsibly by modern fishermen. Prepare meals that are more sustainable like a salmon or tuna recipe, and save the rare, exotic fish for special occasions.

Buy Local or Seasonal Fish

Buy fish that is caught and sold by local fishermen. They are more likely to use smaller nets and use less destructive fishing techniques. Buy less of the kind that is overfished in the oceans, caught in large nets and shipped over long distances. Also, buy fish that are available only during certain times of the year.

Buy Organic Fish

Organic fish is grown, caught and sold in its natural state without pesticides or harmful chemicals. Organic fish products have a long list of stringent requirements that they must pass before being labeled as organic. Organic fishing is not as common as traditional fishing that includes the use of longline nets. Buying organic fish is another conscious method of preserving different fish species.

Read the Label

Know the origins of your fish by reading the label. Some fish have sustainable labels. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has blue labels that indicate which wild fish and seafood products are certified to meet their standards of sustainability.

Everyone enjoys seafood from tuna to Alaskan salmon. However, not everyone practices safe, environmentally conservative fishing techniques. When they go out into the ocean, they take out more than they can put back into the water. Many fishermen and fisheries are taking up the practice of eco-fishing. People who love seafood are encouraged to eat sustainably to protect the wildlife in the oceans, rivers and lakes.

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LizzieWeakley

Pollution and waste have bombarded the planet. We are now tasked with finding effective solutions to help reduce their effects without sacrificing comfort. You are probably at home thinking about how you can help the environment while also lowering your energy bills. Here are 5 repairs to make in your home to help you save money, reduce your environmental impact, and live a greener life.

Insulation

Weather stripping, caulking, and sealing your home's openings can help you save money and reduce your environmental impact. How? Repairing your home's insulation will maintain the home's temperature. This means less energy consumption, which translates to saving money while reducing your environmental impact.

Windows

Just like insulation, repairing your home's windows can also help you lower your energy bills while reducing your environmental impact. Cracks and chips on your windows can leak out cool or warm air, causing your HVAC system to continuously operate. This means consuming more energy, which leads to a higher energy bill.

Plumbing

Water is a natural resource that is quickly depleting. Making necessary maintenance repairs to your plumbing like pump repairs can help reduce your water consumption while also lowering your environmental impact. For instance, a broken water pump can leak significant amounts of valuable water in and around your property, causing both damage and waste. So, to help reduce your environmental impact, consider preventive maintenance repairs to your home's plumbing.

Lighting

Look up. Do you see that light above you? Is it emitting a lot of heat? If it is, then it may perhaps be an incandescent bulb. Another way to reduce your environmental impact and lower your energy bill is by repairing or replacing the incandescent bulbs around your home with LED lighting. LED bulbs or lighting are more efficient and cost-effective than incandescent bulbs. So, use LED lighting to save money and to save the environment.

Appliances

Maybe there are a few appliances in your home that are beginning to show their age. Perhaps your washer or dishwasher seems to use more water during a cycle. Maybe your dryer is taking a little longer to dry your clothes. If your appliances are no longer operating efficiently, then having them repaired would be beneficial to help you reduce your energy bills and energy consumption while also lowering your environmental impact.

These are only to name 5 repairs to make in your home to help you save money and reduce your environmental impact. Along with these, reuse, recycle, upcycle, and use sustainable materials to do your part in saving the environment.

LizzieWeakley

A sustainable venture has tremendous benefits, such as enhancing productivity and attracting more customers. For this reason, you can ensure that you adhere to the environmental law practice by safeguarding nature. This way, you will conserve and not waste resources in your business.

 

Recycle Products

 

It is prudent to recycle items such as electronics, paper products, fluorescent bulbs, and supplies to sustain the environment. If you can reuse some things, it will be the best approach to minimize wastage. You need to analyze the items fists so that you can decide if they are fit for recycling.

 

Utilize Green Energy

 

Sometimes it is better to harness other sources of energy such as solar to minimize electricity bills. What’s more, you need energy-efficient bulbs that will conserve the power as well. This way, you can cut down on the excessive use of energy at work. Ensure that you switch off lights that are not essential at night.

 

Repair Water Leakages

 

When water leaks from pipes in your business, it causes both health and financial harm. On that account, you need to look for a plumber who can repair faucets, sewer lines, and water lines as well. The expert should also assess running toilets and remedy the situation as quickly as possible.

 

Dispose of Hazardous Waste Properly

 

If your organization deals with toxic substances, you need to follow the right safety standard while getting rid of the waste. Alternatively, you can contact a disposal company that knows how to handle the unwanted stuff. This way, everyone will be safe, and your employees will not get exposed to harmful items.

 

Train Employees

 

Your employees are the best people who should know about protecting the environment at all costs. On that account, you need to equip them with skills and knowledge on how they can practice sustainability. You can also ask for some ideas from them as they have concepts on how to go about it. It should be a collaborative effort so that everyone can play their part in maintaining eco-friendly standards. Your business will thrive, and you will cut on bills that come at the end of the month.


 

Ultimately, it is prudent to manage resources so that natural phenomena can be at peace. Resources will not strain or suffer from depletion since your venture is striving to protect them. For this reason, you can reduce wastage by switching to green power and fixing water leakages. The other approach is recycling and discarding waste using the correct means.

LizzieWeakley

 

It's finally time for that home renovation that you've been dreaming about for a while. There are many exciting things that are about to happen, but planning ahead of time for every aspect of the journey is a necessity. If you’re already doing your renovation with sustainable materials, you may be wondering how else you can be environmentally friendly and eco-conscious for this project. When it comes to getting rid of the old stuff that you’re going to be tearing out, there are five ways you can recycle and do your part during your re-build.

Donate Old Appliances

 

If you're doing a kitchen or a laundry room renovation, then you're likely going to be updating your appliances. If you're not interested in trying to go through the process of selling them, you should consider donating them. There are many second-hand stores that would greatly appreciate your donation. Additionally, many charitable organizations focus on providing housing for people in desperate situations, like refugees, victims of domestic abuse, and people transitioning from homelessness. Realize that these donations can actually be tax-deductible if you get a receipt from the nonprofit organization you donate them to.

 

Keep Your Building Waste Materials In Separate Piles

 

Before you can really go about recycling your waste building materials, you need to have them organized. These materials can include the old materials that you removed during your renovation and the excess of new materials that were used to build. Sort out your items into piles such as metals, ceramics, pipes, drywall, and textiles.

 

Get On-Site Dumpers Or Pickup Service

 

There's a couple of options when it comes to disposing of your recyclables. You can opt for transporting them to your local recycling center yourself. You can have your building contractor take care of the recycling. Or, if you are doing the renovation yourself and don’t have the means for transporting the recycling, you can get a dumpster rental delivered to your home that is specifically designed just for recyclable products. Either way, it's best to have your method of recycling sorted out ahead of time.

 

Contact Local Organizations Ahead Of Time

 

There are countless local organizations that deal with recycling residential building materials. Some of the most common are the Freecycle Network and Habitat For Humanity. It's best to contact some of your local organizations before undergoing your renovation to determine what recyclables they'll take and if they can pick them up or not.

 

Consider Using The Materials In Other Areas Of Your Home

 

The final tip is to consider if any of the waste materials from your home renovation can be used in other areas of your home. Many homeowners right now are using old materials from their home to integrate a beautifully unique landscape. Things like old tires and old tubes are being converted into potting areas for flowers. This requires a bit of creativity and a knack for design, but the possibilities are endless when you look around you.

 

A home renovation can produce lots of waste materials. Many of these materials can be easily recycled by you or a neighboring organization. It's best to consider the five tips above to ensure that you do your part to reduce your carbon footprint.

LizzieWeakley

If you’re like most business owners, you’re always on the lookout for ways to save your business money. Maybe you’ve even wondered if there is a way to reduce your company’s carbon footprint. Fortunately, there are materials that allow you to meet both your savings and your environmental goals. They are recycled materials. Here’s a look at four of them.

Recycled Timber

Recycled timber usually comes from sources, like factories, bridges, demolished buildings and so forth. Companies use this material to make flooring, decking, benches, shutters and more. However, construction companies can also use them to building frames for homes, staircases or retaining walls. This is a very versatile material that looks beautiful.

Bionic Yarn

Bionic Yarn is a material that’s made from plastic waste materials from the world’s oceans. It has been woven into a sturdy yet lightweight yarn that can be used for a number of purposes. Businesses that manufacture automobile interiors, clothing, footwear, housewares, (including decorative objects, like pillows or curtains) and luggage and bags have used this yarn to create some stunning pieces. In all actuality, the list of Bionic Yarn’s uses extends even beyond what’s touched on here.

Recycled Plastics

According to Readers Digest, the uses for recycled plastic run the gamut. Companies use recycled plastics to make beauty product containers or plant holders. Other companies use it to create decking materials. Still other manufacturers create toys made from 100% recycled plastics.

Recycled Metal

The construction industry utilizes scrap metal quite a lot for projects, like bridges and roads. It also plays a big role in transportation and automobile manufacturing. Some appliances makers turn to recycled metal as well to create their wares. These and other types of businesses use this resource because it’s cheaper than most “new” metal. In fact, it’s so useful and economical that some people in the industry have suggested that all metal products should be designed so that they can be recycled easily.

Using recycled material is a cheap and efficient way that many businesses save money on their manufacturing costs. It’s clear that just about anything you need to manufacture can be made from materials found in the scrap yard so to speak. It has also been shown that the recycling industry creates more than 1.25 million jobs. All in all, using recycled materials in your manufacturing allows you to meet your business and environmental goals in one fell swoop.

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LizzieWeakley

Solar energy solutions aren’t a brand-new technology, but they have become much more refined, versatile and accessible in recent years. As homes and businesses around the world start incorporating these systems more frequently, many people outside of the industry struggle to separate fact from fiction. Solar power isn’t a perfect solution, but many of reasons that stop people from exploring the technology are little more than myths.

The Costs are Too High

Minimizing environmental impact is an important factor for many people, but homeowners often have to prioritize the financial impact when making a decision. Unfortunately, there are still many people who believe that any kind of solar solution is going to be too expensive or won’t yield a return on investment quick enough. While every situation and home has different factors that influence overall affordability, solar technology can help homeowners start cutting monthly costs almost immediately.

Unreliable Performance Based Weather

Another common myth about this technology is that it only works in warm climates or areas with clear skies. Weather patterns can influence the efficiency of solar panels, but you can leverage the technology even in areas prone to cold temperatures and overcast skies. Panels are often a much more reliable power source than modern myth suggests.

Panels Reduce Home Value

Worrying about the impact of panels on your home’s aesthetic or resale value is a reasonable concern, but it’s ultimately an unfounded one. Modern panels and related technology are a lot more flexible and minimal than older equipment, which gives homeowners more options when it comes to location and presentation. Installed panels can make a home more attractive to buyers and are generally easy to remove if the new owners don’t want them.

Installation is Disruptive

There’s nothing wrong with embracing a “do it yourself” attitude towards your home’s energy supply system, but there are also plenty of specialized professionals who provide complete installation services. Planning and preparing a home for panels can take some time, but there’s little risk that the actual installation and initialization will be a serious inconvenience for residents.

Despite the many myths surrounding domestic solar energy systems, they are becoming a common sight across the United States. Even a minimal system that only provides partial power to the home can yield significant savings in the years ahead. Anyone who takes the time to consult with experts and research their options can find plenty of compelling reasons to incorporate this technology into their home or business.

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LizzieWeakley

Since World War II ended, agriculture has dramatically changed. New technologies have caused food productivity to soar. Mechanization, specialization, and increased chemical use hinder farmers from producing lower-priced foods and fiber. Government policies that favor maximized production is a key factor.

 

These developments have many positive effects and reduce the risks associated with farming. But they also have significant costs. Topsoil depletion, air pollution, groundwater contamination, and greenhouse gas emissions only scratch the surface. Also, there is the decline of family farms, neglect of farm laborers' living conditions, and human health threats due to new pathogens. As well, rural communities are being disintegrated due to the concentration of economics in the agricultural and food industries.

 

Over the last four decades, a growing movement has come forth that questions the need for high costs. This movement offers more innovative and reasonable alternatives. This movement is toward sustainable agriculture. It continues to garner increasing acceptance and support in the food production sector. The three main goals of sustainable agriculture are social equity, environmental health, and economic profitability. Although the concept is made up of a wide range of practices, policies, and philosophies, there are a few common principles that define sustainable agriculture.

 

Throughout this movement, practice and science have led to many key farming techniques aimed at sustainability.

 

Crop Rotation and Diversity

 

Maintaining plant variety can be very beneficial. It results in improved pest control and healthier soil. Incorporating intercropping and complex crop rotations are ways of implementing crop diversity.

 

Irrigation

 

Rainwater can be collected or harvested with the use of gravity feed water tanks. Harvesting rainwater helps the environment and saves money. Water from wells, lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, and other sources can also be stored.

 

Cover Crops

 

Clover and hairy vetch are two types of cover crops. Cover crops are planted off-season when an area would be left bare. Planting cover crops allows the soil to be protected and builds soil health by replenishing nutrients, lowering the need to use herbicides, preventing erosion, and keeping weeds at bay.

 

Reduced or No-Till Methods

 

To prevent weed problems and to prepare fields for planting, traditional plowing known as tillage has been used. However, this generally causes massive soil loss. Reduced or no-till methods allow seeds to be directly inserted into undisturbed soil. This reduces erosion and improves soil health.

 

Overall, more diverse and complex agricultural practices have proven to be the most productive and sustainable.

LizzieWeakley


After living in your house for some time, you may realize it looks old and tired. Ideally, this does not mean you move into another new home if you can't. Thus, it needs some little refreshing to look more updated. So, if you have opted to renovate the room, don't perk it up only with modern lifestyle and expensive facilities but eco-friendly ones. Make sure the materials have a unique style but harmless to the environment. Recently thousands of homeowners are going with homes that are not only aesthetically pleasing but with low environmental impact.

 

How do you renovate your house in a stylish and environmentally friendly way?

 

Use bamboo floors

 

You might be wondering what makes bamboo distinguishable from other wood. Well, bamboo is a unique wood on itself that grows faster than other woods, durable and moisture resistant. The percentage of the bamboo population is higher compared to other wood that takes time to grow. To have a bamboo floor, you only need to hire someone with high expertise on how to install it.

 

Use of discarded metal or reclaimed woods

 

Copper recycling and use of salvaged wood for house renovation is one of the most prevalent techniques used by homeowners today. They have been giving homes stylish and contemporary looking. You don't have to worry about durability. Rarely do they rust to hold house beauty for a long time. Recycled woods are becoming popular in home renovations as they are sublimely handsome and environmental sound.

 

Go for solar energy

 

Nowadays, use of the sun has become predominant in most households. This is one of the most potent and renewable sources of energy. Use of the sun as energy will satisfy your heart with guilt-free contentment as collecting power through solar powers is environmentally friendly. So, as little as less than 250$, you can build your home solar power system, which is less expensive compared to electricity bills.

 

Recycled glass

 

Today there is new cell bio glass that looks new, but they are eco friendly. If you want your house to have a new look you can add the recycled glasses in the kitchen and bedroom. They will enhance lighting and vibrant brightness under morning sunshine.

 

Having a green home is one of the most lucrative things to owe in this era. To renovate your house with environmentally friendly materials isn't as difficult as you may think. Try these ideas while renovating your home to have a comfortable life!

LizzieWeakley

 

Owning a piece of history in the form of a 19th-century home is an incredible way to make history come alive every day. Though the beauty of the architecture of these classic homes can't be matched, that beauty often comes at the price of high utility bills.

 

Though these homes were efficient in their time, the effects of aging have rendered them fairly energy-inefficient. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve the energy-efficiency of your 19th-century home, thus lowering your energy costs.

 

Seal the Gaps

One of the biggest areas of energy loss from older homes occurs through the cracks and gaps that form in the home as it settles over the decades. Though this is something you have to deal with in a home of any age, it's especially pronounced in historic homes.

 

It's a good idea to conduct an energy audit of your home to find specific areas where the air inside your home is leaking outside and the air outside your home is leaking in. Filling these gaps and cracks with appropriate materials will greatly increase your home's energy-efficiency.

 

Replace the Windows

Though older homes were built with many energy-efficient features that were often better-planned than today's homes, one feature that has vastly improved on today's homes is the windows. Many older homes have single-glazed windows, meaning just one pane of glass stands between the interior of your home and the unconditioned air outside.

 

By replacing your windows with new energy-efficient windows, therefore, you're likely to see a big drop in energy consumption. Plus, many new windows come with UV protection built-in, which can protect the historic furniture and finishes in your home.

 

Replace the Doors

Though there's nothing quite like the beauty of an antique door, that doesn't mean it's the best option to keep your energy costs under control. Especially if one or more doors in your home are suffering from rot or some type of termite damage, replacing your doors with new Andersen doors is a great way to save some cash. In addition to being more energy-efficient, new doors tend to be more secure, as their frames are better-reinforced and their construction more focused on potential points of entry.

 

Wrap the Pipes

If you've ever been into the basement of your 19th-century home only to be amazed at the network of pipes carrying water throughout your home, it's important to know that these exposed pipes are costing you money. Exposed pipes sitting in uninsulated spaces, especially those carrying hot water, are quick to lose their temperature as they travel through a cold basement.

 

On the other hand, cold water pipes are at risk of freezing if you don't have some form of heat in your basement. Do yourself a favor, then, and wrap all your pipes. This will lessen the work your water heater has to do and prevent any messy burst pipes in your basement.

 

Whether you've lived in your 19th-century home for some time or if you're new to historic-home living, it can seem as though your to-do list is never-ending as you seek to make improvements to your home. By understanding which changes will have the biggest return on investment, though, you can begin to do the work that will transform your home into what you always envisioned. Then, though it may still be far off, the finish line will draw that much closer.

LizzieWeakley

We all come across objects that we have saved, many for years, that we just haven't wanted to throw away. But sometimes the day comes when we look at those things and say to ourselves, “These just have to go. I will never use them again, and I should not hold on to them just because they have fond memories.” If you have to move, that is an optimum time to face this fact as you are trying to downsize what you have to cart to a new location.

Why not line your pockets with some unexpected dollars by recycling and letting someone else have the use of those things that are still useable and sought after? Those people searching for such items have some creative ideas for them or have a collection that will be enhanced by the addition of what you have to offer. Some of the categories of possible recycled “clutter” are the following.

Electronics Recycling

There are R2-certified electronics recycling services who use state-of-the-art equipment to take the proper care of the recycling in an environmentally friendly and secure way while making sure that your data on any electronics is destroyed. That assures you that when you bring old electronics in for recycling, you don't have to worry about your sensitive information getting into the wrong hands.

Some of the electronics included are cell phones, computers, tablets, complete laptops, circuit boards, motherboards, TV and monitor boards, CD and DVD and VCR boards, hard drives, processors, CD and floppy drives, CPUs, power supply units, CRT and LCD televisions, CRT and LCD monitors, whole PC towers, copiers, printers, fax machines, and more.

Toys

We keep seeing articles that ask if we have retained certain toys from our childhoods and, if so, many of them are worth a lot of money. So dig through those old stored boxes of “memories.” Collectors are anxious to find additions to the many different and unusual toys that have come out over the years, and there is an endless search for many of them.

Clothing

Vintage clothing and items from decades past are all the rage, and many have come back in style. Consignment shops are always on the lookout for clothing in good condition, and you can make yourself some extra dollars by either selling to them outright or putting the items on consignment to reap a portion of the sale prices.

Collectibles

Multiple items, some unique, are always being sought by collectors, and they will pay a “pretty penny” when they find something to add to their “stash.” Research online for particular objects and see if you want to try to sell your “discoveries” directly to the consumer or go through a middle man who will do the set-up, advertising, and shipping for their part of the purchase price.

There are endless possibilities of what is being collected, so if anything is in good condition, it will probably find a new home whether it is jewelry, old records that are now called “vinyls” and are highly searched for and collected, handcrafts, quilts, paintings, beautiful pens, stuffed animals, wooden and metal toys, old dishes and platters, cookie jars, ceramic pieces, figurines and other knickknacks, watches, antique postcards and greeting cards – and the list goes on and on.

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LizzieWeakley

With the cost of power continuing to climb, it’s important to find ways to reduce your home’s energy consumption. You should also consider the impact on the environment. Here are four proven ways to save energy and reduce your carbon footprint.

Make Use of Your Ceiling Fans

Many people use ceiling fans to enhance the appearance of their home’s interior. However, ceiling fans are more than just decorative pieces. They can also reduce energy costs. During the winter, be sure to run your ceilings fans in a clockwise direction. This will help circulate warm air, thus allowing your heating system to operate more efficiently. Meanwhile, reversing the direction of your fans will help blow down cool air in the summer.

Install Energy-Efficient Windows

Your old windows could be quietly draining your bank account. If you want to save more money in the long run, consider upgrading to energy-efficient windows. This among the best home improvements you can make. These windows are designed with low-E glass, which actually helps reduce frost build up on the outside. Because your rooms will feel much warmer during the winter, you won’t need to dial up the thermostat. Consult with professionals who do Cincinnati window installations or perform similar services in your area.

Smart Lighting System

Leaving the lights on can definitely lead to a sky-high electrical bill. If you want to curb your energy consumption, upgrade to a smart light switch. This innovative feature links to your smartphone via an app. Whether you’re in your bedroom watching television or out of town for the weekend, you turn the lights on and off with a simple swipe. A smart lighting system is especially ideal for parents who have forgetful kids.

Eco-Friendly Showering

Long, hot showers can waste a lot of energy. You can save a boatload of cash by simply reducing your shower time to five minutes. It’s also a good idea to get low-flow showerheads, which are affordable and easy to install. Furthermore, be sure to check your hot water heater’s thermostat. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, it should be set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the optimum temperature for energy savings.

As you can see, creating a more energy-efficient household doesn’t take a lot of effort. Just a few changes can make a world of difference. Not only can you look forward to a lower monthly energy bill, but you’ll also be doing the planet a big favor.

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LizzieWeakley

The costs related to running and maintaining an industrial plant tend to rise every year and even sometimes every quarter. Energy costs are one of the top areas to see the most increases. Simple inflation and business growth are factors. Of course, regulatory and other changes in industrial practices and changes in energy creation can skyrocket energy costs as well. Follow these tips for lowering your industrial plant's energy consumption this year:

 

Improve the Lighting

 

It's time to rethink how light is distributed and handled in the plant. Employees often leave lights on in unused areas. Some plants have older lighting systems that waste power. Wherever possible, bring in natural light, such as via indirect light window shades and overhead skylights. Inspect the lighting systems and replace outdated, low-efficiency parts. For example, install natural light LED bulbs. Also, invest in motion-detection systems that automatically turn off indoor and outdoor lights in empty areas and after hours.

 

Inspect Systems Regularly

 

Since unclean, old and broken systems run inefficiently, it's important to maintain them regularly. Motors and fans in some systems, such as HVAC systems, usually work harder because of overheating caused by debris buildup on parts and air flow issues. Some equipment, such as air compressors and pressure washers, are normal energy wasters and then cause a higher amount of energy loss when malfunctioning. For example, your employees waste energy if they have to work longer with these systems because air or water leaks destabilize needed pressure.

 

Use Energy-Efficient Devices

 

It might seem obvious that energy-efficient devices can help, but many plant administrators forget about or fail to see the long-term benefits of using these cost-saving options. For example, SCRs for water tube boilers not only reduce environmentally harmful NOx emissions, but also operate better and provide greater energy efficiency. Automated outlet devices and whole-system panels can turn off outlets and power to equipment that normally causes an energy drain in idling or standby mode. A programmable thermostat can detect via attached sensors changes in outdoor and indoor temperatures and adjust settings per your specifications.

 

Establish Direct Oversight

 

Continuous energy management is critical to maintaining control over energy usage. Review your current workforce or bring in outside help to administer an energy-efficiency program. Make certain that this program has more than one person working on it so that you have people with different viewpoints assessing the plant and researching and offering ideas. The team should also regularly provide cost-comparison reports that help you to understand short-term, upfront and long-term costs versus overall savings.

 

It's not difficult to use less energy at your industrial plant. The process merely requires creativity, time and patience. It's also important to motivate employees by showing them that energy-efficiency changes are beneficial to everyone. When plant workers are invested in energy loss reduction, these types of changes occur more smoothly. Additionally, invested employees typically offer ideas of their own without prompting through company-wide employee feedback tools.

LizzieWeakley

All your household waste doesn’t have to end up in a landfill. There are many means of managing household waste that are better for the environment and can also be good for your home’s functioning. Here are a few smart eco-friendly options for your household waste.

Make Money from Unwanted Items and Materials

It’s true that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and you may find people who are interested in buying some of your household waste for recycling purposes. Aluminum and other forms of scrap metal along with paper and plastic can earn you money if they’re recycled. You can also try selling old furniture and electronics that you wish to get rid of instead of disposing them in the trash.

Use Waste Items for Arts and Crafts Projects

If you have a knack for creating arts and crafts or have kids who need supplies for school projects, utilizing certain items from your household waste can be a smart decision. Empty soda cans and water bottles can be turned into creative planters that act as pots for growing flowers and other household plants. Plastic bottlecaps often work well as additions for handmade beaded curtains. Old newspaper and other wastepaper can also be used for a variety of projects.

Find Ways to Reuse Wastewater

You may be surprised when you realize exactly how much water for your home goes to waste that could have still gone to good use. A reliable wastewater treatment system can work well for reusing water for purposes of watering your lawn and plants. If you’re looking for ways to reduce the amount of wastewater that you generate, try taking shorter showers and installing water-efficient faucets, toilets and washers.

Turn Waste into Compost

Food scraps, coffee grounds and nutshells can all be used to make compost to fertilize your soil. You can purchase a composter and put your waste in it so that it can be turned into suitable compost material. Even shredded newspaper, tissues and lint that comes from all-natural material (such as cotton) can make great compost. It’s also possible to formulate compost out of dead leaves and other debris in your yard.

Finding ways to manage your household waste in a more environmentally responsible manner can pay dividends when it comes to helping the planet. These clever and simple methods for managing your household waste can also add more convenience to your life

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