Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
  • entries
    146
  • comments
    15
  • views
    21,904

About this blog

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

Entries in this blog

LizzieWeakley

Making eco-conscious choices can be a barrier because they often require serious lifestyle modifications, and that makes it hard to stick with the environmentally friendly choice. Effortless choices are more likely to stick and become part of your lifestyle, routine and daily life. Try these four methods for making effortless environmentally friendly choices daily.

 

Don't Believe Labels


 

Buzzwords related to environmentally conscious choices are used in marketing and product design to get you to buy those organic-reusable bags, bleach-free paper products and countless other products you use on a daily basis. Labels are helpful for choosing eco-conscious products, but they don't always tell the full story. For example, organic cotton is often touted as a better choice over regular cotton, but that is hardly the case. What you aren't told is that organic cotton is one of the most environmentally damaging crops, and it's an especially finicky crop to grow and harvest. Processing organic cotton also uses just as much water as conventional cotton. It's not as eco-friendly as previously thought.

 

Reduce Consumption


 

Everyone gets hung up on recycling, but reducing consumption of new goods is often forgotten about. It's one of the easiest ways to make eco-conscious choices for sustainable living. Instead of buying a new reusable bag, search a thrift store for some or repurpose old t-shirts. Several little choices throughout the day or week can make the biggest impact.

 

Choose Appliance Settings Carefully


 

Appliances, including heating and cooling systems, drain energy on a regular basis. They're necessary to have, but they don't have to be a drain on the grid. Choose settings for your ducted air conditioning carefully in hotter months, and set heat temperatures wisely when it is colder. Take this a step further by doing some research on your home appliances to figure out what is most eco-conscious, and from there, it's effortless.

 

Buy Only What You Need


 

Buying only what is needed is critically important when it comes to food waste, but it also applies to everything else you buy. Bulk food is only a sustainable choice when that food will be consumed before it goes bad. Where it's permitted, taking your own containers to the grocery store can make this lifestyle change effortless.


 

Looking at your choices through the lens of what is sustainable will make it easier for you to make better decisions about how you live. No one is perfect, but daily choices add up to benefit your local environment and beyond.

LizzieWeakley

Learning to take care of the environment outside is something that should be passed down to your children. There’s no one right way to institute this knowledge. Each family will be a bit different in how they show their love for the environment. If you’re not sure where to start, here are four eco-friendly activities that you can do with the family.

Composting

There are many guides out there on how to make compost bins at home. You can make this project as small as a Rubbermaid container or as large as a trash container in your backyard. You and your family can decide on what size compost pile works best for you. Balanced compost piles should have browns, such as wood chips and dead leaves, greens, such as fruit and vegetable scraps and lawn clippings, and water. Aside from that, how you compost is completely up to you and your family. Your family will have fun building your compost area and taking care of it regularly.

Opt for Reusable Items

The convenience of throw-away items tends to get the attention of many families. However, by opting for reusable items that require a little bit of cleaning from time to time, you and your family can do your part to save the environment. The best part about this strategy is that it’s one that you can continue to employ well into the future. Make it a regular activity to find ways to replace throw-away items with reusable ones. Some popular examples are lunch bags, water bottles, and shopping bags.

Replace Incandescent Bulbs

One really cool way to visually show your children how little things can make a difference is changing out the incandescent bulbs in your home. When you replace these with CFL lights, they use significantly less energy. Allow your kids to read the labeling to see how much each CFL bulb is saving in energy costs compared to your old incandescent bulbs.

Teach the Off When Not in Use Policy

Conserving energy and reducing your family’s carbon footprint is as easy as just remembering to turn off items when you’re not using them. This is an important habit to teach your children to help them conserve energy in the future. Start with items like lights and televisions. When they get into the habit of turning those off whenever they’re not using them or when they leave the room, you can move on to bigger things. Next teach them to turn off and unplug appliances and other items once the most-used ones become a habit. Not only will this decrease your family’s carbon footprint, it will safe you on your power bill. Your kid might not appreciate that now, but if they get the habit down, they’ll appreciate it when they’re older and paying the bill.

Teaching your children the importance of being eco-friendly is a priceless trait. While there are many ways to do so, you may find that some tactics work better for your family than others. The above are just four activities you can try out with your family.

LizzieWeakley

There has been a lot of discussion about the climate in recent years, and there is no doubt that doing everything you can to conserve the resources of the planet is the right move. Is it worth it to make the exterior of your home eco-friendly? Yes, it is. It will not only save you a lot of money but will also allow you to contribute towards making this world a better place. Moreover, you can take the opportunity to apply architectural designs that enhance the beauty of your home. The following four tips will help you make your home environmentally friendly.

Go for Green Materials

 

There is no better way to make the exterior of your home environmental friendly than by using green materials. What are green materials? These are materials that are, for the most part, renewable. Examples of these are recycled and reclaimed wood. Normally, they are cheap, not toxic, and can be used to conserve energy. You can use these materials to create a deck for your home. There is no better way to spend an evening than feeling the soft breeze of the summer as you admire the wonders of nature in your backyard made from materials that are in harmony with the planet.

Upgrade Your Energy System

 

Few things are as eco-friendly as a solar power system. The addition of solar panels to your home will not only allow you to energize every bit of it with a renewable source of energy but also save you a ton of cash on your electricity bill. Of course, while the cost of solar panels have dropped over the years, they can still be a bit pricey. If they are out of your price range, you can opt for energy-efficient lights such as LEDs that emit less heat and reduce the consumption of electricity in your home.

Create Natural Soil

 

Why spend money on mulch when you can make your own. Select a small area in your backyard to make a compost pile from food scraps and dead leaves. Turn it often, mix, and after a few months, the components will become a nutrient-rich dark soil mixture. This can be used to grow any vegetation that you want to have in your garden, which will add extra oxygen to the planet.

Implement a New Water System

 

Keeping a luscious garden can be more expensive than you think. Instead of using a sprinkler or water hose, you can reclaim the water with a drainage system that takes rainwater from the roof and deliver it to your lawn or backyard. This allows you to enjoy abundant vegetation without an exorbitant water bill. You may also use septic tanks that prevent contaminants in the wastewater from leaking to groundwater.

There are endless ways to make your home eco-friendly. Using green materials, upgrading your power, making natural soil, and implementing a new water system are a few approaches you can use to save your hard-earned cash, conserve the planet, and remodel your home. Apply at least one of the strategies discussed and show everybody you know the benefits of going green.

LizzieWeakley

The planet needs our help, but we also need to manage to stay warm during the colder winter months. Staying green while staying warm this winter may be easier than you think. Here a few tips to help you get started.

 

Bring Mother Nature Indoors

 

A great to help combat multiple issues during the winter months is by having some indoor plants to keep you company. Not only can plants make living spaces more inviting and pleasant to the eye, but they also have the ability to trap moisture and heat inside your home. You can also find plants that work to keep you cool during the summer months, as well as warmer in the winter months.

 

Use Energy Efficient Appliances

 

The best way to reduce your carbon footprint is by reducing the amount of energy your home is wasting. This can include things such as keeping the heater a few degrees cooler than normal and making sure doors stay shut, but it is more important to ensure you are using the most energy-efficient appliances and heaters. The Energy Star logo is a good way to make sure you are selecting the products that have been tested and proven to be energy efficient.

 

Replace Your Windows

 

A lot of our home’s heat is wasted through our windows. Even when we keep them shut, there is still a lot of air that is seeping through. A great way to maximize your energy efficiency is by replacing your windows with something that is more energy-efficient, such as double glazed windows. These windows put multiple panes of glass into one window with spacers in between. This offers more durability and reduces your heating costs throughout the winter.

 

Buy In-Season Fruits and Vegetables

 

While most of this list is centered on keeping us warm, it is important to remember that our actions can have a greater effect on the world as a whole. When we buy produce that is not in-season, that food must be shipped from other parts of the country or world. This increase in transportation burns more fuels and releases more harmful chemicals into the air. Delicious winter produce to try includes pears, beets, blackberries, and carrots.

 

It is going to take all of us working together to help heal our planet. You can do your part more easily by following these handy tips when the weather starts to turn colder.

LizzieWeakley

Park cleanups are a helpful way to heal the environment and to beautify the community. When planning a successful park cleanup, organizers should consider all the necessary details in order to make the event a success. Hosts of local park cleanups should keep the following information in mind:

Use Eco Trash Bags

When cleaning the park up, it's important to avoid contributing further to polluting the environment with plastic trash bags. As regular trash bags take over 1,000 years to decompose in a landfill, participants in park cleanups should avoid using these bags at all. When cleaning up the park, hosts should provide participants with eco-friendly alternatives like compostable trash bags, These bags are made of organic materials that won’t cause any additional harm to the environment over time.

Rent an Industrial-Sized Dumpster

With over 100 million pounds of garbage found in the nation’s parks every year, hosts of park cleanups need a suitable way to dispose of this garbage. With a dumpster rental of an industrial-sized container, volunteers are able to effectively collect and dispose of trash. Once the cleanup is complete, the dumpster will be picked up and the park will be trash-free.

Highlight Sections with Safe Access

From the trash left by park visitors to debris from trees and plants, navigating a park cleanup can be dangerous if the necessary precautions aren’t taken. It is up to the cleanup’s host to identify the safest sections of the park for volunteers to clean. This way, participants can work in teams to clean the park as efficiently as possible.

Speak with Proper City Authorities

While it is possible to perform a park cleanup with a few people during an informal event, this isn’t the ideal way to plan a park cleanup. For cleanup to have the most impact, interested parties should get in contact with the city government. When planning a community event like a park cleanup, it’s best for the organizers to speak with the proper city authorities beforehand.

As parks are the responsibility of the government, events like cleanups should always be ordained by the authorities in charge. Once the go-ahead is given by the city, it's time to publicize the event and search for volunteers.

Cleanups help to bring the community together as dedicated residents work to keep their local parks beautiful. With these four tips, your next park clean up will be a success.

How to Host a Responsible Park Cleanup.jpg

LizzieWeakley

There are many residential and commercial property owners who extol the virtues of either artificial turf with its complete landscape system or a real grass lawn, and they have good reasons for their strong opinions. However, which type of lawn is best for you? If you’ve got blank patches of yard yearning to breathe green, read on to learn which type of lawn best suits your needs and preferences.

Artificial Turf Benefits

Artificial turf is eco-friendly and has the feel and look of real grass. The ground and drainage are prepared, the material used keeps the artificial blades erect, and there is a special “yarn” that creates the “soft-grass” realistic blades that come in a variety of textures, lengths, designs, and colors. This means that you get a soft, always-green lawn without all the many hassles of real grass and all its upkeep, mowing, fertilizing, weeding, re-seeding, and most importantly, watering. Although expensive, the artificial turf life expectancy could possibly be 15 or 25 years or more, which actually makes it less costly than real grass over its life span.

Artificial Turf Drawbacks

It is often made at least partially with recycled materials, so it is not biodegradable. While it doesn’t have the same watering needs as a real lawn, it cannot be so easily disposed of as a grass lawn. Another drawback is that artificial turf absorbs heat in the direct sun and feels hot when you touch it. The temperature in 80-90 degree weather can actually exceed 160 degrees, making it hazardous in the heat of summer for children and pets. An additional problem for dog owners is that it does not absorb an animal's waste, although liquids can pass through to the ground underneath.

Real Grass Lawn Benefits

Real grass, in the right climate, can make more sense than artificial turf by its entirely organic nature. Grass is bio-degradable and produces oxygen just like any other plant, and when only organic fertilizers are used, it can even be a beneficial snack to help the digestion of cats and dogs alike. While it does retain heat, it does not do so to the degree of artificial turf and is generally safe to walk on as long as there are no hazardous weeds growing with it. Organically sustained grass can also increase the bio-diversity in your neighborhood by providing food and refuge to a variety of animals and insects.

Real Grass Lawn Drawbacks

Immaculately maintained grass lawns come with a cost to the environment and account for one-third of residential water use. Use of toxic fertilizers and weed killers can pollute the groundwater and pose a serious health risk to children and animals that are exposed to it. Mowing, trimming, and blowing with gas and electric power tools also consumes energy and produces air pollution that otherwise wouldn’t be necessary. While a natural lawn can potentially be environmentally sustainable, it’s important to note that it likely will not be soft and green for a majority of the year.

The type of lawn you choose is a personal preference. Both have pros and cons regarding cost, care, and the environment that must be considered on an individual basis. The climate you live in, your home, and your ability to care for and use a lawn of either kind must be considered. You must decide which benefits and drawbacks make the most sense to you and your lifestyle.

Pros and Cons of Artificial Turf vs a Grass Lawn.jpg

LizzieWeakley

Going green has become a major focus for homeowners. Not only does going green decrease your carbon footprint, but it also saves you green (as in dollars). Below are four ways that today’s modern homeowner can help make their home more eco-friendly.

 

Get an Energy Audit

 

By now, nearly every energy provider offers a free home energy audit. If you haven’t had one yet, call your energy provider and they will send someone out to check your power use, AC service and advise you on how to go green and save energy.

 

Go Native with Your Landscaping

 

One of the latest trends in going green is native landscaping. This type of landscaping is tailored to the natural climate rather than the cookie-cutter style of landscaping reminiscent of the ‘50s. This helps homeowners go green by using little to no pesticides, cultivating the natural foliage, relying mostly on natural rainfall rather than consistently using a sprinkler, and allowing natural plants and flowers to thrive. Water is a precious resource, especially in drier climates, and natural landscaping is an excellent way to go green.

 

Consider Solar Panels

While solar panels may not be feasible for every homeowner (depending on the roof layout) it is one of the best ways to go green in your home. Yes, it is an investment. However, you’d be blown away at how much money you can save as well as how much energy. If you’re curious about solar panels, Google has created an ingenious way to check your roof for how many sunlight hours your home received per year called project sunroof. Enter your address and check it out!

 

Get Smart (Home Tech)

 

One of the biggest ways you can decrease your carbon footprint is by letting the latest technology do it for you. Sure, leaving the bathroom light on now and then may not seem like a big deal, but it does solidly increase the size of your home’s carbon footprint (not to mention your energy bill). Smart home tech is specifically designed to help you go green, including turning off lights, controlling the heat and AC, and turning off TVs and radios. Investing in this tech will help you go green and save some green on your energy bill.

 

Going green as a homeowner isn’t just about saving money, it’s about doing your part to be a responsible homeowner and lowering your home’s personal carbon footprint. If every homeowner did their part to be more eco-friendly and have a greener home, imagine the difference that could be made in the overall environment!

LizzieWeakley

Water is a scarce resource in many places around the country. A few cities in drought-stricken areas have implemented watering rations. They give fines to homeowners who violate these regulations, and this has caused many of these homeowners to search for alternative materials for landscaping, ones that help conserve water. You’ll find four of those materials below.

Rocks and Gravel

Rocks come in many sizes and types; you can even buy multi-ton boulders. Nothing drinks less water than a rock, so that’s a plus for the environment, and landscaping stores have truckloads of them in all different sizes, colors, and shapes.

Gravel may not sound like the most beautiful landscaping material, but it works great. You can buy it in different colors and sizes, and maintaining it won’t cost you any water at all.

Drought Resistant Plants

When water’s tight, there’s no better choice of a plant than one that has low water needs. Many of these hearty plants can go weeks without water yet still retain their beauty. When introducing drought-resistant plants to your area, make sure they’re not invasive, or they might cause you some headaches. Also, after planting them, contact someone local that offers residential mulch services to mulch and maintain the mulch around the plants.

Artificial Turf

Artificial turf has come a long way and is no longer the surface of years ago. Today’s various artificial lawns are much softer than those in the past. They are also more heat-resistant today. There has been some controversy surrounding some of the chemicals that make up certain artificial turfs and their risk to human health. The way to avoid this risk is to purchase non-toxic turf.

Concrete Pavement and Pavers

Putting down concrete pavement will cost you some water upfront, but after that, it’s water-free forever. If you have a piece of lawn that’s drinking too much H2O, you might consider throwing a small slab down and turning it into a patio or sitting area.

Concrete pavers don’t need any water at all and come in an array of different sizes, shapes, and colors. They make an excellent replacement for the areas of your yard that are too water-intensive and are easy to install.

The materials listed above may not be the first landscaping choices of many. However, they are a great option if you are wanting and needing to conserve water. Remember, water conservation can lead to a beautiful landscape and a healthier environment.

LizzieWeakley

More people are becoming more environmentally friendly. More of us are realizing how important it is to use various measures for a cleaner, healthier air for our families. And while many eco-friendly measures have been adopted in our homes, we can also implement these practices in our businesses.

Sustainability is often ignored in businesses, and as a result, there are more toxins released in the air which can cause different health ailments, ranging from allergies to even cancer. Because of this, it is vital to implement the sustainability of resources in your business, and the following includes four ways to implement sustainable usage of resources in your business:

Change Your Light Bulbs

 

Changing to LED lighting is great. These lightings utilize much lower energy than regular light bulbs. Also, these bulbs don’t have toxic gases, like mercury, that are contained by fluorescent and incandescent lights. And even though they are more expensive than other bulbs, they last five times longer than other bulbs as well.

Stop Using Plastic Bottles

 

There are millions of plastic waste bottle generated in the US every year even though some of these bottles were recycled. To reduce this ecosystem burden, installing a water filtration system is a good idea for your office. The water will be clean and fresh, and you will save money and time by eliminating the package water buying routine.

Use Green Vendors

 

From septic tanks to recycled paper for your printer, you can do business with reputable companies. Perform your due diligence in researching which companies are serious about their sustainability efforts. Doing this is key to finding the right vendors. Search for businesses that use energy-efficient manufacturing plants and vehicles.

Conserving Human Energy

 

An energetic, healthy staff is more productive and creative. To help keep your team healthy, you can serve healthy snacks at meetings, such as nuts, dark chocolate, and organic fruits and vegetables. You should also maintain a safe, non-toxic environment.

There are more toxins released in the air which can cause different health issues. In some cases, health issues can be dangerous. Nevertheless, we all can join the movement to sustain a healthier environment even at our companies.

Using these sustainable ways will help businesses significantly in this movement. Not only are more homes participating, but businesses are doing their part as well to make a difference.

LizzieWeakley

You already know the importance of recycling paper, aluminum cans, plastic bottles and other common household items. However, you might not be aware of the many other materials that might be around your home that can be recycled. Here are four surprising household items that you can recycle.

Plant Pots

If you’re tempted to discard old plant pots that you no longer need in the trash, you should think again. Most plant pots are made from plastic and other recyclable materials that can be used to make new pots or other items. Many municipal curbside recycling programs allow plant pots to be included in recycle bins for pickup. Another option is to take old pots to a hardware store that accepts them for recycling.

Mattresses

The mattresses that you use on the beds in your home can also be recycled when you’re ready to replace them. Some mattresses contain chemicals that are potentially harmful to the environment, so giving them to a recycler that accepts old mattresses will be a good idea. The springs in mattresses along with old bed frames can be recycled as well.

Refrigerators

Even though it may initially seem easier to have an old refrigerator hauled away to the dump, you should be aware of the chemicals that are found in refrigerators that can negatively impact delicate ecosystems if they’re released into the environment. Many of the metals that refrigerators contain can be given to scrap metal services for recycling. Other components of a refrigerator can be recycled at a recycling center. You’ll want to make sure that any recycler you’re thinking of giving your old refrigerator to removes Freon. If they don’t remove Freon, you’ll need to have a professional remove it first before your refrigerator can be recycled.

Crayons

Coloring crayons that children often use can be recycled by either giving them away to other children who are in need or using old bits to make new crayons. In certain recycling facilities, old crayon bits are divided into smaller pieces and placed in an oven with high heat. The heat from the oven melts the wax into a liquid substance, which is then poured into molds to make new crayons.

There are many ways to do your part for the planet by recycling. Making yourself aware of all the items and other materials around your home that are recyclable can help you adopt better green living habits.

4 Surprising Household Items that You Can Recycle.PNG

LizzieWeakley

Perhaps the most important factor in choosing the insulation for your new home is its ability to reduce energy costs. In the winter, insulation should keep warm air in, and in the summer, it should keep hot air out. Choosing the right insulation can reduce your energy bill by as much as 30 percent.

For decades, most homes were constructed using fiberglass insulation; however, fiberglass can cause many health issues. Whether you’re building a new home or remodeling, consider an eco-friendly insulation alternative to make your home both comfortable and safe.

Consider removing your ceiling insulation and replacing it with one of the following upgraded, eco-friendly options.

Recycled Cotton

 

Since cotton is both natural and a renewable resource, it’s among the most eco-friendly insulation options. Scraps from old blue jeans and other used clothing are shredded and produced into heavy batts that fit between your wall studs just like fiberglass insulation. To make cotton insulation non-flammable, it’s treated with a borate solution. Cotton does not contain harmful formaldehyde and does not cause respiratory problems. Likewise, cotton insulation is a natural insect repellent.

Cork

 

This option is made from the outer bark of cork trees. It’s free of toxins, renewable, biodegradable, and recyclable. It also helps to deaden noise. Cork is among the most versatile materials, and can be used for a wide variety of products. Although cork has been used for more than a century as a building material, it’s eco-friendly value has only recently become widely known.

Cellulose

 

Cellulose insulation is made from recycled paper; it’s toxin-free and safe to install. Modern cellulose insulation is often made from recycled newspaper with an added fire retardant, made from a combination of ammonium sulfate and borate. The insulating performance of loose cellulose insulation compares well to other types of affordable insulation.

Sheep’s Wool

 

Sheep’s wool is a natural fire retardant, and in recent years, the insulating qualities of sheep’s wool have been applied to home construction.

The wool fiber’s outer layers are water-resistant while the inner layers absorb moisture. This insulates your home while preventing condensation within the walls. When you insulate with sheep’s wool, you will save both energy and money in the long run.

There is no right or wrong choice when it comes to green options for insulating your home. Just do your own research, weighing the pros and cons of each type of insulation to find the one that works best for your home.

LizzieWeakley

While your energy usage should go down once the weather starts to cool off, your energy bills might still be much higher than necessary. With a few simple home upgrades and some basic maintenance, you should be able to improve the efficiency of your home while reducing your carbon footprint.

Insufficient Insulation

Many homeowners never even think about their insulation until their electric bills skyrocket. Most insulation should last for at least 15 years, but yours might become damaged before that time. If your insulation is matted or torn, then it needs to be replaced with new batts or blow-in cellulose. Before you invest in new insulation, you must determine the correct R-value for your climate. Using the proper insulation will greatly increase your family’s comfort while minimizing your electric bills.

A Faulty HVAC System

Older HVAC systems tend to be very inefficient, and there may come a point when you need to consider professional HVAC services. An experienced contractor will be able to improve the efficiency of the system and check it for any signs of damage. As a general rule, you should try to schedule a service call with an HVAC contractor at least twice a year. Regular maintenance will increase the lifespan of your HVAC system and help you avoid a catastrophic breakdown.

Old or Damaged Wiring

In addition to being extremely dangerous, damaged wiring can also be a major energy drain. When a wire is damaged, much of the electricity will be turned into heat, and that is highly inefficient. A few of the most common signs of a damaged electrical system include flickering lights, frayed wires, discolored outlets, and a buzzing sound in the walls. Those types of issues should only be taken care of by an experienced electrician who is fully licensed and insured.

Inefficient Windows

When the weather cools down, you want to be sure that your home can trap in warm air. If you have an older house, then you should think about upgrading the windows. Modern windows often have multiple layers of glass and plastic, and that makes them highly efficient. You will also need to make sure that you use heavy curtains that block out cold drafts.

Another step that you can take to improve the efficiency of your home is to reverse all of your ceiling fans during the fall and winter months. When a fan is turning clockwise, it will draw the cool air in the room up and disperse the warm air that is collecting near the ceiling.

4 Drains on Your Energy Bill This Fall and How to Prevent Them.JPG

LizzieWeakley

Some business owners don’t recycle because they’re more focused on using their time to run their businesses and make revenues. They see the process of recycling as a waste of time. Their dumpsters overflow with items that should never go into landfills, including highly recyclable paper products and electronics that contain toxic components that can damage the environment and harm all forms of life. Some business owners do recycle, but they only recycle bulk items like used office paper, old newspapers and cardboard boxes, or they give these and other unwanted items away to recycling firms or junk haulers who provide free disposal.

These business owners fail to realize that almost every broken or used item in a business is a potential money maker:

 

Printer Cartridges

 

Whether you own printers that contain ink or toner, you don’t need to give the cartridges away to keep them out of landfills. Printer and cartridge manufacturers and computer and office supply retailers typically offer businesses a discount or credit toward future cartridge or other purchases in exchange for used ones. The process to acquire raw materials to make cartridges actually costs manufacturers more than recycling empty cartridges for the same purpose. If you want cash for your cartridges, you can also find plenty of refilled cartridge sellers online who buy empty cartridges. They usually offer free shipping as well.

 

Office Tech

 

Ink and toner cartridges aren’t the only office technology that you can recycle for money. You can also find both offline and online buyers through classified ads and local office equipment repair shops who purchase phones, computers, printers, fax machines, copiers, scanners and all other electronics found in an office. If the equipment isn’t too old, they might buy the tech to use in their own offices or for parts. They might resell the equipment or parts to other people, including used equipment resellers and manufacturers. They might also buy the equipment to gain access to precious metals and other materials that they can upcycle into new parts or sell to scrap metal dealers.

 

Scrap Metal

 

Most business sites contain metals in one form or another that can be sold to scrap metal buyers for cash. Beyond office equipment that contains copper, gold, aluminum, steel and other recyclable metals, you can find a wide range of additional objects made with metals. For example, always collect aluminum cans around the office and at any special events that feature beverages in cans. Before you throw out broken chairs or tables that feature steel legs or other metal components, remove the metal and take it to the scrap dealer. If you’re planning a building renovation project, keep in mind that you can also sell old aluminum gutters and roof flashing, copper electrical wires and pipes and stainless steel sinks.

 

Wood Pallets

 

Instead of giving away wood shipping pallets to recyclers or the public, sell them to local manufacturers, pallet brokers and pallet recyclers who pay cash. Manufacturers reuse the pallets for shipments. Pallet brokers resell the pallets or wood. Pallet recyclers recondition the wood and then re-manufacture pallets from it, grind it into mulch, reuse it in other products or sell it to third parties. You might also try selling your wood pallets to members of the public who want to use them in craft projects, but wood pallets are often treated with harsh chemicals to prevent insect damage, disease and mold growth. Don’t sell any pallets this way unless you know that they are untreated and specifically produced with home recycling and safety in mind.

 

There is absolutely no reason that you should ever throw away free money. This is only a small sample of items around your business that you can recycle for cash. There are always people willing to purchase almost anything that a business might sell to them, including furniture, retail product shelves and building materials. You can even find people who buy old cracked or broken planters and pots, sections of sod, cut flowers and other unwanted outdoor items often thrown away after landscape maintenance or renovation. It’s time to add recycling to your revenue stream.

LizzieWeakley

Todays' consumers champion business owners with environmentally-friendly practices. Business owners that haven't made an effort to manage their environmental impact stand to lose customers, fail to meet federal requirements and lose money. Considering making the move to become more eco-minded? Read on for four ways to do just that.

Going Green Improves Sales

With over $40 billion spent annually on green products, businesses that aren't cashing in on being environmentally-friendly are missing out. As consumers are looking to lead healthier lives and purchase more sustainable products, they're searching for the best companies to shop with. By investing in more sustainable products and practices, businesses' bottom lines will benefit as their sales continue to climb.

Eco-Friendly Practices Meet Federal Requirements

Consumers aren't the only ones choosing to put the environment first. In the next few years, more federal requirements will demand business owners to comply with laws that protect the environment. By revamping their businesses now to reduce their impact on the environment in the future, business owners will already be ahead of the game when it comes time for the government to enact these new rules.

For a full understanding of how to meet these regulations, businesses can work with consultation companies that perform Phoenix, AZ ESA inspections. These companies assess a business' ability to meet environmental regulatory compliance. With these services, businesses that are committed to reducing their impact on the environment will be able to better gauge how to do exactly that.

Improved Recycling Efforts Save Money

Businesses that haven't made the effort to promote recycling should start to do so now. Recycling office materials like paper, plastic bags and bottles, office supplies, printer cartridges, and more will help to eliminate their carbon footprint and overall impact on the environment. As they make more of a dedicated effort to recycle, these businesses can take things a step further by going paperless altogether. As most larger companies spend $120 billion annually on printed forms, cutting out the use of paper can have a huge financial impact. Small businesses stand to save money as well by going paperless, discouraging printing, reusing paper, using paperless marketing, and storing all data online.

Sustainable Practices Will Attract a New Demographic

Brands that aren't sustainability-minded often don't realize that choosing to be eco-friendly will make them more attractive to a new demographic: shoppers that only support green companies. Businesses looking to expand their consumer base can do just that by prioritizing sustainable practices. By committing to being eco-friendly, companies will be able to win the support of passionate shoppers that value sustainable products.

Sustainability has a greater effect than most business owners realize. By choosing to better their impact on the environment, business owners help to improve the world at large, better their business practices, comply with federal regulations, and appeal to new customers as well.

Why Businesses Need to Manage Their Impact on the Environment.JPG

LizzieWeakley

If you run a business that needs a new location built or own a company that manages commercial construction projects, there are some ways that you can help ensure the work is done in the most ethical way possible. Sticking to a strong code of ethics throughout the construction project can be good for both you and the world around you. Here are four tips for ethical management of new company construction projects.

Recycle Materials

Many of the materials that are used in construction projects can be recycled. All too often, leftover materials that could have been recycled end up in the trash that goes to landfills and creates additional environmental hazards. Most types of plastics and metals are recyclable. Glass and wood can also be repurposed for future use. Another great way to show environmental responsibility is by purchasing construction materials that are made from recycled products.

Hire Local-Based Labor

Hiring locally instead of bringing in staff members from other cities, states or countries can be better for the local economy and provide more people with jobs. Hiring locally also makes it easier for you to find the most qualified and ethical staff members and run the appropriate background checks on them. Labor Works is just one of many staffing companies that can supply you with the employees you need to complete your construction project.

Go Above and Beyond Safety Measures

In addition to meeting the standard safety measures, you can put in more effort to ensure that everyone at the construction site stays safe. This includes providing extra safety for your construction workers along with any other employees who might be working at the site. A great way to learn about the proper safety measures that you should be taking and the extra things that you can do to keep everyone safe is to read the guidelines set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). 

Use High-Quality, Low-Emission Machinery

There are many types of construction machinery that emit low amounts of pollutants while still being excellent in quality. Other types of machinery often emit more pollutants that can diminish air quality and contribute to more harmful effects of greenhouse gases. Making sure that high-quality, low-emission machinery is used in your construction can help your business reduce its carbon footprint. Tractors, forklifts and generators are just a few types of construction machinery that come in low-emission models.

Ethical construction management is possible with the right planning, equipment and staff. You’re sure to see many benefits when you maintain an ethical commercial construction project.

4 Tips for Ethical Management of New Company Construction Projects.JPG

LizzieWeakley

People are rapidly becoming more environmentally conscious, and most want to see that reflected in the businesses with which they choose to work. If you run a construction business, it's wise from both an environmental and business standpoint to look into ways to become more eco-friendly. Below are a handful of changes you can make that will have a positive impact on the environment. 

Recycle Your Materials

Your first step in becoming eco-friendly has to do not with what you will use, but with what you've already used. Take a look at what you've got left after a job and then determine the best way to deal with that material. In some cases, you can hold onto it and use it for another job. In others, a trip down to the scrap yard or recycling center might be more environmentally friendly. The goal is to avoid throwing away anything that can be reused. 

Use Recycled Products

There are plenty of other companies that are working just as hard as you to be eco-friendly, so why not contribute by using their recycled products? Reclaimed wood, recycled construction materials, and even second-hand materials can be just as good as buying new but they have far less of an environmental impact. Whenever safety and budget allow, make sure that you use recycled materials in your projects. 

Go Energy Efficient

The equipment you use can be a major cause of environmental damage, so take some time to figure out how to reduce that impact. Using equipment that is more energy friendly is great for the environment and it can actually save you money over the course of several jobs. While you might need to make an investment in new, more efficient tools, you'll end up saving money once you look at how much your fuel costs have dropped.

Consult an Expert

Environmental engineers will not only be able to give you a better idea of the environmental impact of your current projects, but they can also help you to figure out ways to be more eco-friendly with future builds. Taking some time to look for environmental consulting can help you to ensure that your plans for environmental responsibility get a professional seal of approval. 

Becoming more ecologically friendly means taking some time to examine your current practices and to figure out what needs to be changed. Adapt where you can, but don't be afraid to try something entirely new if that will make an impact. If you're willing to make radical changes, you can do your part to help the environment.

4 Ways Construction Companies Can Be More Environmentally Responsible.JPG

LizzieWeakley

Contrary to what many people believe, making a home eco-friendly doesn’t need to be a time-consuming or expensive process. The average homeowner could actually save quite a bit of money over the years by going green. Here is a look at three simple steps that you can take to make your household as eco-friendly as possible.

Cut out the Single-Use Products

Single-use plastic products are incredibly bad for the environment, and you might be using dozens of those items every single day without even realizing it. One of the easiest ways to limit your impact on the environment is to remove most of the single-use products from your home. Some of the worst offenders include straws, plastic cutlery, plastic bags, paper coffee cups, single-use water bottles, and plastic bags. While many of those items can be recycled, the recycling process isn’t completely efficient, and some of the materials will never be used again.

Upgrade Your Light Bulbs

Swapping out your light bulbs might not seem like a significant upgrade, but this simple project could end up saving you a few hundred dollars per year. Older CFL bulbs tend to be very inefficient because much of the energy is turned into heat instead of light. LED bulbs, on the other hand, turn almost all of the electricity into visible light. Replacing all of the older CFL bulbs in your home with LED bulbs is going to have a major impact on your monthly energy bills. You might also want to invest in “smart” LED bulbs that can be controlled with an app. With a single tap of your smartphone screen, you will be able to turn off or dim all of your lights.

Install Solar Panels

The solar market is growing at an astonishing rate, and more homeowners are investing in solar panel installation every year. From the moment that your solar system is connected, you are going to notice a drop in your energy bills. Depending on where you live and what type of system you have installed, you might even be able to sell excess electricity back to your energy company. These systems have become quite advanced over the last few years, and they work perfectly in most climates. To help homeowners cover the upfront costs, many states offer financing programs to those who connect their solar systems to the electrical grid.

In addition to these three tips, you should also make sure that your family sticks to eco-friendly habits around your home. That includes limiting the length of your showers, turning off the lights when you leave a room, and unplugging any electronic devices that aren’t being used.

Doing Your Part 3 Ways to Make Your Household More EcoFriendly_pexels_solar panels.JPG

LizzieWeakley

 

Carbon emissions are a significant threat because they contribute to climate change. Climate change causes rising sea levels, extreme weather, and other problems that are currently facing our society. Many governments recognize this impact and are combating carbon emissions as a result. Here are just a few ways that world governments are taking a stand to reduce global emissions.

The Paris Agreement

This landmark decision was organized by the United Nations. It came into effect in December 2015. Simply put, this was a decision to hold governments responsible for reducing climate change. The goal is to keep the global temperature from rising to 2 degrees Celsius (35 degrees Farenheit) during this century. Ideally, it would even be below 1.5 Celsius (34 degrees Farenheit). This would be achieved through pooling together resources and improving technology to reduce industrial emissions. The Agreement will be revisited and updated every 5 years. While the United States has since pulled out of the agreement, other countries continue to stay in and work hard to lower their emissions for the safety of the planet.

Carbon Taxes

A carbon tax brings climate change responsibility closer to home. Carbon tax benefits include involving ordinary citizens in the effort against global warming. Each citizen (and, on a broader scale, industry) would be taxed according to the amount of carbon they produce on a regular basis. New York City is getting in on the game by imposing a "congestion pricing" plan. Taxi rates would go up the longer they sit in traffic. The money would then be returned equally among citizens through dividends, meaning that those who produced the least amount of carbon emissions would profit the greatest in the end. While there are concerns on how this would affect lower-income demographics, those working on the plan continue to change their approach to better suit the needs of modern citizens.

Rewards for Clean Energy Efforts

This financial benefit goes hand-in-hand with carbon taxes. In the United States, as well as other westernized countries, businesses can offset their carbon emissions by purchasing clean energy credits. Incentives include greater reliance on solar energy or wind power. Many rewards can come down on the local level as well. Some states provide tax reductions for installing solar panels. People who use solar panels can "sell" the electricity they generate back to the grid. Doing this gives profit to those individuals and companies who invest in renewable energy sources and works as a strong incentive toward more responsible business practices.

Public Transportation Initiatives

Not all cities are well known for having a good public transportation infrastructure. There are a few that are working to change that. For example, Indianapolis has instituted their Red Line Bus Service. It is a rapid-transit line that runs entirely on electricity. Other initiatives include making Denver, Colorado, a more walkable city by putting in parks. The city also wants to ensure a majority of residents live closer to public transportation in order to cut down on automobile emissions.

Individuals can support their governments in these efforts as well. Installing solar panels in your home and using carbon calculators are great ways to inspire grassroots-level change. Recycling and supporting environmentally-conscious companies can also be a major step in the right direction. Climate change affects us all and it's important to get involved in whatever way we can.

4 Ways Governments are Working to Decrease Global Emissions.JPG

LizzieWeakley

Everyone says that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, but green doesn’t always mean environmentally friendly. Those homeowners who want to be conscious of their impact on the environment can start with their own yard care practices and what they grow. Doing so can ensure that both your yard and the natural landscape beyond stay green and healthy, and here are a few ways you can accomplish that.

Use Native Plants

When you use plant life that is common to the community, it helps provide food and resources for native animals. You can ensure local species survive with trees, shrubs, and plants that offer food and nesting material. Growing native plants also prevents the spread of aggressive foreign plants that could overtake the local native plants in your area. Plus, local plants are easier to grow and care for because they thrive in your climate. If you want a low-maintenance yard, then the garden center can show you which plants are easiest to care for and hardy plants for your climate. 

Feed Pollinators

Bees help pollinate crops and flowers. Martha Stewart says 80 million pounds of pesticides are put on crops and communities across the United States annually. These chemicals kill bees and other animals that are susceptible to small environmental changes and displace others. Something as simple as planting flowers and fruits to provide nectars for pollinators can do a great deal of good in giving your local bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators a place to refuel. Anything that flowers can work, so when you’re considering plants to grow in your yard and garden, keep that in mind.

Plant Trees

You can help the environment by planting trees. Not only do trees help clean the air, but they also offer valuable shelter to birds and animals. Fruit trees especially can be a source of nourishment for the local wildlife. Not only do the flower buds provide nectar for pollinators, as previously mentioned, but they also give fruits and seeds to birds, squirrels, and other animals that are now running out of healthy food sources and shelter. To encourage birds to return to your yard, planting oak trees for shelter is a great idea, and the acorns they grow make for great food for animals. Cardinals and bluebirds are partial to dogwood trees, and pine trees are excellent for most bird species, as well as for animals.

Use Organic Fertilizers

Another tip is to work with gardening centers and landscaping companies that offer organic fertilizers as opposed to the more toxic varieties. These organic fertilizers are safe for pets and any birds, bees, or animals that visit your yard while still creating a green lawn. If you want to attract specific species, then the landscaper can also give you ideas about what bushes or flowers you can plant to attract them to your yard. Make sure that the fertilizers you get work well with your intended plants and lawn, as different plants and regions require different nutrients to thrive properly.

You can make sure your side of the fence is greenest by adding local plants and trees. Organic fertilizer will protect your pets and ensure bees and birds are safe on your property. Whether you are familiar with the area or you want to know more about specific plants, the local garden center or landscape provider can help you discover the right ways to help the Earth in your little corner of the world. 

Is it Greener on Your Side of the Fence How to Keep Your Yard Environmentally Friendly.JPG

LizzieWeakley

While trying to be more environmentally friendly is a commendable goal, a lot of people are wary of making the lifestyle changes it requires. One of the more prominent concerns that people have is the cost required to “go green.” As it turns out, not only can it be affordable to go green, but you can actually profit off of many of the efforts involved. Here are just a few ways that anyone can cash in on environmentally friendly choices.

Tax Incentives

Any time you can write something off on your taxes, it is always a welcome surprise. However, did you know that by purchasing a solar panel system for generating energy for your home comes with a 30% tax credit that you can use as a tax write off? This federal tax incentive has been extended on through 2021. While you can really save on your taxes using this form of alternative energy, you must act before the end of 2021 to take advantage of this government tax break. Using solar energy can also save you money on your utility costs by supplying energy to your home that you don’t have to get through a service. While most people double up by purchasing energy alongside their solar panels, the panels themselves cut down on how much energy you need to buy elsewhere, and many companies will pay you for the excess energy that your solar panels generate.

Trading Cash for Recycling

If you have old appliances or scrap metal laying around, then you might be able to turn these items into cold hard cash. Most scrap metal services will pay you for any metal you can bring to them, including old radiators, appliances, electronics, and so on. While most wires can’t be directly recycled due to their rubber coating, there are places you can sell those, as well, where the rubber coating is stripped and recycled separately from the wire inside. Other recycling services will pay for cartons, recyclable plastic containers, and other materials depending on their specialty. Taking advantage of this is great for the planet and also gives you some extra spending money from what otherwise would just have been trash.

Energy Savings

Going green does more than just earn you cash, however. Eco-friendly lifestyles and behaviors also encourage you to be more efficient with the money that you already have. Replacing energy inefficient appliances, such as your dryer or HVAC system, with energy-efficient models can really help you keep more of your monthly income. This is because energy efficient appliances tend to use less electricity; thus, helping to keep your electric bill at a minimum. Most newer models have been upgraded to meet modern energy efficiency standards, but finding Energy Star rated appliances can take your energy savings one step further.

Saving Water

Whether you are doing laundry in a water-saving washing machine or flushing a water efficient toilet, the amount of water you save matters. While the earth is composed mostly of water, only less than 3-percent of this water is actually drinkable. The rest of the water is salt water and not suitable to use drinking. So, using water-efficient appliances cuts your water bill down and, at the same time, it helps out everyone else by preventing our planet’s drinking water from being used up to quickly. To take your water conservation a step further, you can invest in a greywater recycling plant that can be installed on your property to treat and reuse non-drinking water, or greywater, for your sprinklers, toilet, and other appliances.

While many are wary of the costs of green living, it’s clear that there is more to be gained than lost from making those lifestyle changes. Whether earning cash from recycled items, getting tax incentives from renewable energy solutions, or saving money in utility costs, there are a lot of ways that anyone can gain from protecting the planet. Eco-responsible living is a benefit both to the planet and individuals, and should be highly considered by anyone who wants to live responsibly while making ends meet.

How Literally Anyone Can Profit from Going Green.JPG

LizzieWeakley

When it comes to environmental responsibility, Australians are among the leading citizens who are striving to do their part. Many Australians understand the importance of global conservation and have made efforts to protect the planet’s vital ecosystems. This includes personal life choices as well as enacting eco-friendly governmental policies to protect their local environment. Here are some of the main ways that many Australians are protecting the planet. 

Implementing Strict Pet Travel Laws 

Australia has some of the strictest laws in the world that govern how pets are allowed to travel and which types of species are allowed to enter the country. Many of these laws are intended to prevent foreign species migration that has historically been known to wreak widespread havoc on the country’s crops and ecosystems. Australia even requires all cats and dogs that are brought into the country to have special microchips implanted to show that each pet meets strict health standards. This prevents the spread of parasites and diseases that could be transmitted to their own wild and domestic animals.

Eliminating Plastic Bags 

Numerous Australian companies have worked to eliminate plastic bag usage to help the environment. Unlike other materials, plastic isn’t biodegradable and remains in existence indefinitely. Discarded plastic bags that end up on roadways, in oceans or in other areas where they don’t belong can be deadly for animals that unknowingly ingest them. To try to solve this problem, nationwide efforts in Australia have been made to encourage shoppers to use reusable bags made of cloth and other material so that plastic bags no longer need to be used. Shoppers who opt for single-use plastic bags are often charged an additional fee by stores. 

Switching to Septic Systems 

Instead of using standard sewer lines that contribute to water pollution from human waste, many Australians are having domestic septic tanks installed on their properties. These special tanks are able to clean and conserve water instead of sending it out to the ocean. Once these tanks are full, they can be emptied by professionals with little hassle. This prevents a lot of the problems that come from the traditional sewage systems that dump wastewater into local lakes, rivers, and oceans. This introduces contaminants to different ecosystems, whereas domestic septic tanks treat the water on site and allow for much of the wastewater to even be recycled back into the home for use in lawn sprinklers and toilets.

Installing Solar Panels 

Solar panels offer a great way to get energy from the renewable sources, and large numbers of Australians have had these panels installed on their properties. Solar panels offer a better, greener alternative to getting power from more environmentally hazardous sources such as gas, coal or electricity. People living in the country have also come to love solar energy because of its cost-effectiveness and ability to lower utility bills. Entire communities in Australia have been constructed surrounding the ideals of renewable living, and solar panels play a significant role in powering these communities.

Australians take pride in their efforts to protect the environment. While they, like the rest of the world, aren’t perfect yet, they strive to improve their policies and protect their local and global environment. Other countries can learn from Australia’s conservation efforts and follow suit to make the planet safer for all people, animals and ecosystems.

4 Ways Australians are Protecting the Planet.JPG

LizzieWeakley

Recyclable Materials That Dont Go in the Recycling.JPG

Recycling is a key component of sustainability that allows you to do your part for the environment. It's also a great way to help green companies make more products or services that you like to use. However, not all recyclable materials should go in your standard recycling bins. You'll find a few examples of things that you can recycle in other ways below. 

Cords

This category really applies to any durable material that you can tie into a knot. If it meets these basic criteria, don't recycle it. These types of things are what the industry calls "tanglers." There's a good chance cords will get caught in the recycling machinery and shut down operations while workers get them out. Power cords, in particular, are made entirely of recyclable material, but the outer coating and the metal wire inside cannot be recycled at the same time. The best option is to contact businesses that offer services that will take your complete cords and recycle them properly.

Liquids

It's a bad idea to recycle most liquids the traditional way. Even safe liquids such as juices and milk might contain a mixture of hazardous chemicals or things that might ignite under the right conditions during processing. If you’re looking to recycle a container such as milk jugs, juice cartons, bottles, and other common carriers, it’s important that you rinse out all of the previous liquid before recycling, otherwise, it has to be sorted out and thrown away as contaminated. For more hazardous liquids, such as gasoline or acids, search online to find local community and government programs that handle the safe disposal of these liquids.

Wrappers

Wrappers for chips, candy, and other food items that are sealed usually aren't recyclable. The reason for this is that the bags use several layers of different materials, and we don't yet have the technology to separate and recycle all of them. For now, these should go in the trash along with the other non-recyclables. Even if something is labeled as being made of recycled materials, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it can be recycled again due to this method of layering materials. When in doubt, call the manufacturer or speak to your recycling service for more information.

Food

Large chunks of food make recycling bins and equipment prone to contamination by bacteria and dirty in general. These issues can compound further and make it harder for equipment to recycle everything else. Most recycling services such as Green Bins list explicitly in their accepted materials that they do not accept food waste. You shouldn't recycle large bits of household food. However, this doesn't mean you can't recycle packaging that has some minor food residue still on it. No one expects food packaging to be completely free of leftover residue. We recommend that you compost any larger quantities of food waste. 

The act of recycling can be a multi-part process depending on the materials in question. People working in this industry work hard to process large amounts of recyclable material every day. We can make things easier for them by being aware of what they can and cannot use so that they aren’t forced to halt operations repeatedly for otherwise avoidable sorting of unusable materials. Make sure to do your research and be aware of what your recycling service does and doesn’t take so that you aren’t forcing them to take something that will end up in the landfill anyway.

LizzieWeakley

If you have recently decided to build a home and want to be as eco-friendly as possible, then you should consider using recyclable materials. Many people are surprised to hear that most homes can be built from the ground up with nothing but recyclables, and that practice is great for the environment. Here is a look at four ways that you can use recyclable materials during your home construction. 

4 Ways to Use Recyclable Materials in Your Home Construction.JPG

Glass Tile 
Even though porcelain is a popular building material, the tiles can give off VOCs when they are being cut to size. Glass tiles, on the other hand, are made from old pieces of glass that don’t contain any dangerous toxins or chemicals. Many companies now make these tiles out of old solar panels and windows that have been removed from skyscrapers. 

Ash Concrete 
There are a few different reasons why some constructions companies only use concrete that has been made with fly ash. In addition to being completely recyclable, ash concrete is also very easy to work with. This type of concrete is a great option for buildings that are going to be exposed to extreme temperatures as well. When the temperatures rise and drop throughout the year, traditional concrete could potentially crack. After recycled ash is added to concrete, the final material is much denser and stronger. 

Cypress Pine Flooring 
Investing in second-hand flooring is another great way to adopt recyclable materials into your home construction project. Used cypress pine is sought after by many people because it resists rot and doesn’t harm the environment. Some other good flooring options that you might want to consider include Baltic pine, bamboo, and Oregon timber. All woods used in second-hand flooring are made more durable by the recycling process, making it overall an excellent option for those who want wooden floors that last long and are environmentally sustainable.

Bark Siding 
For many years, tree bark was an unwanted byproduct created by the lumber industry, but that has recently changed. Recycled tree bark is now being used as siding because it is eye-catching, durable, and sustainable. As an added bonus, tree bark is also a great form of insulation. When bark siding is backed by a vapor barrier, it will limit heat transfer throughout your home, and that is going to lower your monthly energy bills. 

Sustainable construction materials are more affordable than ever, and using those materials to build your home is a great way to reduce your impact on the environment. With a little bit of research and some planning, you might be able to design the home of your dreams with nothing more than recyclable building supplies.

LizzieWeakley

How to Make Your Home Safer for the Environment.JPGLiving greener can benefit both you and the environment. One of the best ways to adopt an eco-friendlier lifestyle is by making some modifications around your home that will be better for the ecosystem. Here are four tips to turn your home into a safer setting for the planet. Various appliance and utility options will save you long-run costs, make your home more sustainable to maintain, and help the environment. Here are just four options to get you started on improving your home.

Switch to an Energy-Efficient HVAC System 
Some of the best heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems to be developed in recent years are designed specifically to save energy. The standards for energy efficiency in HVAC systems in general have been raised, making more modern systems more cost effective and more environmentally friendly. Even with the reduction in energy use, your home’s indoor temperatures and air quality will still be regulated properly with the right system. Many of the top-rated HVAC systems nowadays feature programmable thermostats that can be set to turn on and shut off automatically instead of running continuously and wasting energy. 

Build with Recyclable Materials 
If you’re looking for additions to your home or trying to build a new home from scratch, using recyclable materials will put less strain on the planet’s natural resources. CBS News reports that certain homes are made from bricks that consist of glass, clay, and ceramics. Some of the remnants from demolished houses can also be salvaged and used to construct a new home. Recycled steel for the supports are both affordable and eco-friendly, and recycled timber can be used for new floors, cabinets, ceilings, and anywhere that new timber could be used. These recycled materials often are more durable, as well, making them both cheaper to buy and cheaper to maintain, as well as being more environmentally friendly. 

Install a Domestic Sewage System 
Human waste that travels through your pipes into a public sewage system may end up being untreated and released into local rivers or lakes or the ocean. To prevent this problem, you can have a domestic treatment tank installed on your property. For domestic use, miniature sewage system plants are installed underground on your property, safely treating and disposing of your home’s wastes. They are cost-effective, as well, as you only need them cleaned every 3-5 years, and otherwise are their own little ecosystem, using natural bacteria to maintain themselves.

Use Native Plants to Decorate Your Yard 
As lawns and gardens are becoming more lavish, more foreign plants are being introduced to environments that they are either ill-suited to or else could dominate. Seeds from non-native plants can spread to the local environment and create harmful competition for the natural plant life in the area. Not only are native plants safer for the surrounding ecosystem, but they also won’t need as many resources to survive, as they are able to draw from the natural environment around them. Native plants are also likelier to have adapted to surviving local pest infestations and won’t require the use of as many pesticides. Overall, using plants that are native to your area is more cost effective and safer for the surrounding ecosystem than bringing in foreign plants.

While not all aspects of maintaining the environment can be controlled by individual homeowners, there are some small decisions in the construction and maintenance of your home that can majorly impact the environment for better or worse. With the right modifications, you’ll be able to turn your home into a setting that helps promote more longevity for the earth and your family.

LizzieWeakley

Protecting the environment is a high priority for many people today, but a large portion just don’t know where to start. One of the easiest ways to go green is to start recycling at home. Here are a few tips to get you going on this path. 

pexels-photo-1353365.jpeg?auto=compress&

Learn the Rules and Get Organized

First, look into some recycling centers nearby to see what kinds of materials they allow you to bring in. They might have specific rules about what items they will allow and what they will reject. Some facilities might require you to crush bottles and remove the caps, while others won’t care. 

You’ll also need to get some bins and garbage bags for storing and transporting all the goods you plan to recycle. Clear out some space in your garage or backyard for storage. Make sure they are sealed up nice and tight to keep pests from getting into them and making a mess. Don’t be afraid to get creative and make them cute! The better looking your bins are, the more likely you are to have them out where you can see them. This increases the chances that you and your household will remember to separate your waste products appropriately.

Start by Recycling Aluminum Cans and Glass and Plastic Bottles

The easiest items to begin recycling are aluminum cans, plastic bottles and glass bottles. Some facilities will also allow steel cans, such as the ones used for canned food. They might also allow glass jars or other containers. 

You’ll need to separate them, and you might also want to rinse them out to avoid attracting ants and other pests, but that is not always necessary. Most facilities allow you to crush the items, so that can help you condense the space and bring in a lot more items every time you go down to the recycling center. Since many products are sold in containers made of aluminum, glass, or plastic, these are the easiest to start with. Make the decision to start and stick with it. Placing reminders around the house can help you turn recycling into a household habit.

Don’t Forget to Recycle Newspapers and Scrap Metals

Many families go beyond bottles and cans and will also recycle newspapers, paper waste and scrap metals. If you have the available space, then this is another great way to keep those items out of the landfills and recycle them to reduce waste and give them new life. 

Some residential communities have special dumpsters set up at schools or other community centers to receive newspapers and other items to be recycled. This can free up a lot of space at your home and save you from driving all the way out to the recycling center. Check around to see if anything like that is available in your area.

Recycle Wastewater

Many people don’t know that you could be reusing your household waste water. While reducing the amount of solid waste that ends up in landfills is a great way to recycle, it’s not the only option out there. Many families are investing in greywater systems as a way to recycle the water they use at home. Much of that water that goes down the kitchen sink, bathroom sink and shower drains can still be used to water plants and trees outside without damaging them. By using a treatment system like those at Econocycle to help you recycle your household waste water, you can help lower your water usage as well as your utility bills.

Recycling is a great way to reduce waste and protect the environment for future generations. Just start small by recycling some of the items you already use and then build up from there. Once you get started recycling small items at home, you’ll quickly find that you enjoy making an impact and will want to do even more to make a difference in your community.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0