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

Entries in this blog

LizzieWeakley

Green living is a trend in 2020. However, parts of your home might be holding you back from this goal. Let us take a very close look at four ways your roof can be preventing your home from being eco-friendly.

 

Clogged gutter

 

To start things off, a clogged gutter is not good for the environment. This will accumulate leaves, bird droppings, and other debris and create a mess. Fortunately, it's very easy to unclog a gutter and restore the ecosystem. Moreover, it simply leads to better drainage on top of and around your home.

 

No solar panels

 

Next in line, your roof might not be suitable for solar panels. Roofs that are situated at steep angles can't really feature solar panels that collect the rays of the sun. Alternatively, you may have simply never gotten around to going solar. Either way, it's an obstacle to becoming completely eco-friendly.

 

Aging roof

 

In the grand scheme of things, an aging roof isn't friendly to the environment either. Older roofs are made of hazardous materials that don't mesh well with the greenery around your home. Consider a roof replacement service to switch to a greener roof. They can swap out your old roof for one that is sustainable for years to come. Not only will this be better for the environment, but a new roof looks amazing as well.

 

Eroding tiles

 

Last but not least, eroding tiles are not eco-friendly. Certain tiles don't disintegrate into the ground, and instead you're left with a pile of rubble. It's all about reducing your carbon footprint, and these tiles certainly don't help. Look to replace the tiles in some shape or form.

When all is said and done, these are a couple of ways your roof can be preventing your home from being eco-friendly. The roof is often an unlikely place that should not be overlooked. By addressing your roof, you can finally achieve green living.

LizzieWeakley

Farming is one of the oldest human pursuits. The ability to produce food at home instead of having to stay on the move to find it has enabled the development of human civilization. If you have some land that you want to start using for this time-honored purpose, here are five things that you’ll need.

Basic Fencing

Whether you have livestock on your farm or not, you will probably need some fencing. Crops of all kinds attract wildlife and the occasional escaped animal from other farms. That’s reason enough to build a fence at least around the boundary of your property. If you have cattle, horses, or other animals of your own, you will also need to subdivide their grazing areas for maximum efficiency.

Farming Implements

Unless you expect to plant and care for all your crops by hand, you’ll need some mechanical equipment. Of course, this will start with a tractor of adequate size and horsepower to operate the other things you will use like hay balers, seeding machines, and plows. Use online resources to find used equipment to get you started at a lower cost. Connect with a handy neighbor who can teach you basic maintenance and repair.

Appropriate Clothing

Dressing for the farm isn’t just about looking the part. Heavy boots are to protect your feet and ankles from everything from cow hooves to dropped buckets of feed. Wide-brimmed hats minimize strain on your eyes and protect you from excess UV exposure. Sturdy leather gloves prevent injuries and blisters, and no farmer’s pocket should be without a good knife. You’ll use it more than you ever imagined.

Storage Space

Whether it’s a barn, a shed, or a shop, you need some type of structure to house your equipment, tools, and implements. You may also need additional space to store large amounts of harvested crops like hay. Keeping these valuable assets indoors will improve crop values, extend the useful life of equipment, and reduce the risk of theft. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but you do need a building.

Good Management

The last thing to put in place is a good business system. Tracking your expenses and revenues is vital to any business, even if it’s a farm that you’re just operating for fun. Would it be cheaper to buy grain for your cattle or grow it yourself? The only way to know is to document your finances. You’ll also need this information at tax time.

Farming is a respected and important profession. You can be a part of that, even if you are just dabbling. For it to be a positive experience, though, you’ll need these basic things in place.

LizzieWeakley

The world's natural resources are quickly depleting at an alarming rate, and we are challenged to find ways to do our part to help the environment by reducing our energy consumption. Perhaps you are wondering how you can do your part to help save the environment by reducing energy use and to save money. Here are four repairs to make around your home to reduce energy use.

Leaky Pipe

A leaky pipe in your home can cause devastating damages and is one of the main culprits in high energy consumption. As the water drips or leaks through your plumbing, your water heater is also constantly operating. This means energy is being wasted, and you are paying for it. Repairing the leaky pipe as soon as possible is a must to help reduce energy use.

AC Unit

When it comes to your HVAC system, you probably maintain it by routinely replacing the filters around your home. While this is good practice to help save on costs and energy consumption, a full AC service will further your savings. Consider repairing your AC or HVAC system by replacing the insulation around the coolant pipes. This repair is beneficial as it will absorb a significant amount of heat from the outside air, reducing power consumption while saving you money.

Cracked or Broken Window

Just like a leaky pipe, a cracked or broken window can waste tons of energy which will ultimately affect your energy bill. Even a small crack can allow warm or cold air into your home, causing your AC unit to use more energy. For this reason, repairing any damaged windows around your home is essential to save energy and to save on costs.

Insulating Your Home

Another repair to make around your home is replacing the old and worn out insulation with new insulating material around your doors and windows. Just like repairing damaged windows, this is also a necessary repair to perform in order to keep the air your HVAC system is producing inside your home. Use less energy and save money by keeping inside air in your home while preventing outside air from entering.

These are only to name four essential repairs to make around your home to help reduce your energy use. Remember, repairing leaky pipes, replacing your AC unit's coolant pipe insulation, fixing any damaged windows, and using new insulating material around your doors and windows will help save the environment while saving you money by reducing your energy consumption.

LizzieWeakley

You likely spend a lot of time in your bedroom. It can be difficult to keep your bedroom comfortable. However, there are some things that you can do in order to keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature without straining the HVAC.

Invest in House Plants

There are several ways that house plants can keep your bedroom comfortable. The plants help purify the air, reducing the amount of loose carbon dioxide in your room. Placing plants outside your bedroom window can shade your window from the sun and thereby help in cooling the room itself. Because plants soak in the energy of the sun to use themselves, they provide excellent shade both from heat and UV rays.

Install a Ceiling Fan

Ceiling fans are effective for keeping your home cool. They do not lower the temperature of the room. However, they will make your room more comfortable, which will reduce the need to use a HVAC system. However, it is important to make sure that the blades are turning the right direction. The blades will need to turn counterclockwise. They will disperse cool air. When circulating clockwise, they disperse warm air, which can be helpful in the winter but awful if you’re avoiding summer heat.

Upgrade Your Windows

Older windows have a tendency to let cool air escape. That is why if you have the windows for several years, then it is time for you to get them replaced. It can be expensive to upgrade your windows. However, you will be able to save a lot of money over time. If getting new windows is out of your budget, then you will need to make sure that your windows are sealed. Sealing the windows will prevent the cold air from escaping.

Keep the Doors Open

One of the best things that you can do if you are trying to keep your home cool without a HVAC is to keep the doors open. This will increase the ventilation in the room and allow the HVAC to properly circulate air throughout the house. It will also prevent your home from getting too hot. The closer to your central heating, the more important it is to keep your door open.

Upgrade Your Lightbulbs

The lightbulbs that you use may be keeping your home hotter than it should be. If you have incandescent lightbulbs, then you will need to upgrade them. You can replace them with compact fluorescent lightbulbs or LED lightbulbs. Those lights are not only cooler, but they also use less energy.

You do not have to put a strain on your HVAC system to keep your home comfortable. You can use house plants to keep it comfortable. You can also use a ceiling fan and upgrade or seal your windows. It is also a good idea to keep the doors open. Furthermore, you can upgrade your lighting.

LizzieWeakley
The most common material in your home is wood. Your patio chairs, bed, or even flooring is made up of wood. Like every other industry today, the wood construction industry is shifting towards ethical furniture and the use of sustainable timber. Today, preserving the world’s trees and forests is essential for the survival of the human race. Therefore, buying wood is a bit challenging since you have to know where it is coming from and how it was harvested.
 
What is sustainable timber?
 
Many homeowners do not want to take part in deforestation; hence, they want to avoid the ‘bad’ wood. Sustainable wood is timber from sustainably managed forests. Sustainable wood is renewable as it is grown to prevent damage to wildlife or the ecosystem. Controlled forests last for the long term, meaning they will control carbon emissions for generations to come.
On the other hand, unsustainable sources just cut down the trees leaving bare land, thus leading to full destruction.
 
Why buy sustainable timber?
 
Buying timber from unsustainable sources has some severe effects on their places of origin. Without their knowledge, homeowners who purchase unsustainable timber may promote the hunting of endangered species and abuse human rights in those places. Ninety two percent of the earth’s forests are not adequately protected from destruction. Thus, buying sustainable timber is a way of preserving the future earth’s forests and the coming generations.
 
Which timbers are more sustainable?
 
Timber is usually classified as either softwood or hardwood. Simply because softwoods like pine and fir grow fast, they are sustainable. Buying European timber is a safe choice for homeowners as the EU introduced measures to protect its forests. Today more trees are planted than felled therefore European forests are growing instead of diminishing Here are exotic timbers that you should avoid:
• Ebony
• Teak
• Wenge
• Sapelle
• Murbau
 
How to identify sustainable wood
 
Here is what homeowners need to do to ensure they spend their money on sustainable timber:
 
Buy reclaimed timber: This is the best way of ensuring you are using responsibly sourced wood as no tree is cut down when homeowners buy reclaimed wood. Buying reclaimed wood prevents unnecessary logging. Look for the FSC logo: The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an independent non-governmental organization that promotes responsible management of the earth’s forests. Their certification method provides internationally recognized standards and trademark assurance to homeowners who support responsible forestry. No FSC logo? Inquire more: When homeowners are interested in timber, which is not FSC certified, they should ask questions like the country and region it originated from and the lumber company that harvested it. If the retailers don’t have the answers, they should go ahead and ask their suppliers. This will enable them to know the history of the timber.
For your home renovations and upgrades, visit a supply company like Old World Lumber Company, for a large selection of reclaimed wood perfect for the environmentally aware homeowner.
LizzieWeakley
You can contribute to environmental conservation through the upgrades you install in your home. Eco-friendly installations can also save you a lot of money even though initial costs may be high in some cases. Here are some tips for going green in your home exterior.
Install Solar Panels
 
With solar panels you can generate enough energy to use at home, and in some cases even surplus to sell to the grid. Initial installation is high because it takes a few kilowatts before it can generate significant power levels. Solar panels would be economical to install if you are living in your permanent residence. It takes ages for them to show significant returns. Solar option is probably the greenest and safest you can ever go in energy consumption.
Adopt Green Roofing Technology
 
The idea here is to have a roof that optimizes sunlight, depending on the climate of your location and climate. In hot places, you can adopt a roofing system that reflects away sunlight and cools faster when there is no sunlight. Installing this technology is costly, but it will help you save so much in terms of energy costs, especially with the air conditioning system. Roof repair will also help you make sure you are reducing your energy use and you may even use different materials in your repair. 
 
Some materials for green roofing include:
 
• White tiles
• Using metals as roofing materials
• A living roof, which uses plants that grow on the roof to help in saving water
Consider Using a Natural Fence
 
Do not use lumber in fencing when you can have a line of live trees around your homestead. This live fence can act as a home for fauna and will add to the fresh air supply in your home. It is also less costly than constructing a wall. Besides, you can decide to be more creative and use deciduous trees that shed during winter and flourish in summer. These trees have broad leaves that can act as a shield against sunlight during summer, hence providing a green cooling system. Examples of deciduous trees are:
 
• Oak
• Hickory
• Maple
Adopt Drip Irrigation
 
Drip irrigation is better than sprinklers since water goes into the soil directly. If you use it together with mulching, you achieve a high water-retention rate as opposed to using sprinklers where most of the water goes to waste. 
 
There are many other ways of getting a green exterior in your home. The bottom line is that all of them are a futuristic and prudent saving option. Also, contact home improvement experts for more solutions.
LizzieWeakley
There's little doubt that humanity is adversely affecting the environment with trash. Home remodeling projects produce a lot of old materials that can find their way into landfills and waterways unless homeowners try to recycle or repurpose them. When you're responsible with these materials, you keep harmful chemicals and debris out of the environment. If you've ever wondered how easy it is to extend the life of old materials like bricks, cardboard, concrete, glass, green waste, metal, plastic and timber after you tear them out of your home, consider the following three ways you can quickly make a difference during your next remodel:
 
Make a Donation
 
Plenty of non-profit organizations need construction materials. Talk to representatives at a local school, community center, fire station or church about making a donation of your supplies. Another option: Post online ads on a free recycling network, classified ads site, or free, thrifty or community group on a social networking platform. Always make certain that you're as detailed as possible about the state of the materials to guarantee that recipients understand that there might be broken or irregular pieces.
 
Explore DIY Projects
 
Many homeowners and renters decide to upcycle materials from remodeling projects. Old floorboards that are in good shape can become a patio table or plant stand. Use old windows to build a greenhouse or solar dehydrator. If you have a lot of old tiny tiles, you can find a lot of online guides about using them to create mosaics for wall art, stepping stones and even patio floors. To find a project that matches your materials, perform a keyword search on an online search engine, craft-based app or handmade craft market site.
 
Use a Service
 
When you don't have the time to make a donation or explore your DIY craft dreams, the next option is to simply toss the materials. Yet, you don't have to send them off to a landfill. Hire a company to provide you with skip bins for responsible recycling. Many companies recycle and/or resell old materials that they receive in their skip bins. These firms build relationships with other companies that recycle and reuse these materials as well. Although you pay to rent the bin, you're paying for more than the company hauling away old debris and trash. You're paying for the guarantee that most of the materials will be reused so that they don't become part of the growing global trash problem.
 
At the end of the day, you can be a part of the environmental waste problem or seeking solutions. Many old materials from remodels can even be torn apart and remade into new aggregate materials. For example, old bricks, stones, mortar and concrete can be turned into new construction and even home decor products. The process starts with a homeowner who takes extra steps to protect the environment. By trying one or more of these ideas today, you can get rid of old remodeling waste and help improve the world.
LizzieWeakley
Are you looking at your utility bill and are flabbergasted at the amount? Are you wondering what you can do to reduce energy costs without sacrificing comfort or convenience? If you answered yes, then you may need to upgrade your home appliances. Here is how upgrading your home appliances can reduce your energy consumption to save money.
Refrigerator
Every time you open your refrigerator, a light comes on so you can see the items stored in it. If you have had your refrigerator for more than ten years, then the bulb that is in there is likely contributing to your expensive energy cost. Newer makes and models of refrigerators now use LED lighting technology, providing bright light while reducing energy consumption. This is how upgrading your home appliances will reduce your energy consumption to save money by upgrading to appliances that utilize LED lighting systems.
HVAC System
One of the most used appliances in your home is your HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system. It is also one of the most expensive appliances to operate as it is used throughout the year, cooling your home during the summer and heating it during the winter season. Upgrading your HVAC system can reduce your energy consumption as newer systems were designed to operate efficiently and effectively. This means new techniques and technology are now being used in modern systems to help you reduce energy consumption without sacrificing comfort or convenience.
Washer and Dryer
Upgrading and replacing your washer and dryer is probably something that did not cross your mind, especially if they are still both in working order. However, just like your refrigerator and HVAC system, upgrading your washer and dryer would be advantageous to help you reduce energy consumption and to save money. As with many newer appliances, energy-saving features are now included to maximize and optimize the washing and drying processes.
Stove
Another home appliance that is often used and one that contributes to a high energy bill is your stove. Older stoves were built for only one purpose, and that is to produce heat for you to cook your meal. This means precious heat that your older stove is producing may be escaping because they were not designed with efficiency in mind. This is causing you to consume more energy. Upgrading your stove is how you can lower energy consumption as newer stoves are built and designed to focus heat where you need it the most, preventing it from escaping.
These are only to mention how upgrading your home appliances can reduce your energy consumption. Remember, take advantage of all the benefits newer technology has to offer by upgrading your home appliances to not only reduce energy consumption but to also save you time and money.
LizzieWeakley
Drinkable water is the Earth’s most precious resource. It is essential to life, but often in short supply. And despite what the steady stream coming from our taps suggests, it is a finite resource. It is incumbent on all of us to do what we can to limit our water usage, allowing us to build a sustainable future together. But what can you do to help reduce your usage? What adjustments need to happen? What habits need to change? There are countless little things you can do that add up to make a major difference. These three ideas are a good place to start.

 
Fix Leaks
 
If you have leaky plumbing, then you could be wasting gallons and gallons of water every week without even noticing. A drip here and there might not seem like much, but if it’s constant it can add up to a major source of waste. If you can’t fix the leak yourself, contact a plumber to get the issue taken care of.

 
Don’t Let Faucets Run
 
It’s become perfectly normal behavior to let faucets emit a constant stream of water that we only use occasionally during the completion of a task. Take washing dishes, for example. You most likely leave the faucet running not just while you apply the water to the dish, but also while you scrub, while you dry, and while you place the dish on a drying rack. All that time, unused water is needlessly falling down the drain. If you respected water for the precious resource it is, you’d be a lot more careful. Only turn the faucet on for those moments when you actually need the water. This same mindset can be adopted for brushing teeth, washing your face, and so many other activities.

 
Use an Energy-Star Washing Machine
 
Doing laundry accounts for a huge proportion of a household’s water use. You can greatly diminish your usage just by switching to a more efficient machine. Energy efficient washers also use less energy, meaning they’re an overall slam dunk when it comes to environmental responsibility. You should also steer clear of top-loading washers, which tend to use much more water than their front-loading counterparts.

 
Water gives us life, and we should respect it as a resource. If you want to do your part to avoid wasting water, take the aforementioned tips to heart. When it comes to conservation, a little effort goes a long way.
LizzieWeakley
Is your office cluttered with several items that hinder your productivity? Are you looking for ways to do your part in saving the environment by starting a recycling program at the office? If you answered yes, then you are probably thinking about other items that can be recycled outside of aluminum cans, paper waste, magazines, newspapers, shipping supplies, file folders, and cardboard. Here are 4 overlooked items found in your office that can also be recycled to help you boost productivity while helping the environment.
Electronics
Do you remember that microwave tucked away in one corner of the break room that has been broken for ages? Do you also remember passing by that unrepairable bulky printer in the hallway? Do you remember when someone said the laminator malfunctioned but you forgot about it, until now? The microwave, the printer, and the laminator are all electronic items that can be recycled and are called e-waste. Other e-waste items that can be recycled are fax machines, VCRs, computers, and cellphones.
Light Bulbs
Like a scene from a horror movie, that flickering and buzzing fluorescent light fixture has just been bothering everyone at the office for quite some time. Now it is time to get rid of it. Fluorescent bulbs can also be added to your list of items that can be recycled.
Food
Perhaps someone forgot that they brought their lunch and decided to eat out during their break. Weeks later, their lunch is rotting away in the break room fridge, which is starting to emit a foul smell. Maybe your coworker forgot that they threw a banana peel in their paper wastebasket, and now the office is being invaded by fruit flies. Food waste is another overlooked item that can be recycled.
Keys
Has your office recently changed its locks? Do you now have a set of keys that can no longer be used? Any keys that are made of metal can be recycled. Door keys, file cabinet keys, and office keys are often overlooked office items that can be added to your recycling list.

These are only to mention 4 commonly overlooked items that can be recycled. Perhaps you have done a walkthrough of the office and found an overwhelming amount of items that you can recycle. You have probably just found out that the trash receptacles you currently have will not suffice. Consider a dumpster rental to help you save time and save money when recycling these overlooked recyclable items in your office.
LizzieWeakley
Residential solar panels are more popular than ever, and that type of energy source could save you quite a bit of money in the coming years. If you are still on the fence about having solar panels installed, then you might want to take a look at these four unique things that your new panels will be able to power.
A Residential Well
Those who truly want to live off the grid will need to consider drilling their own residential well. That type of resource might be able to provide your family with fresh water for decades, but you will need to figure out how you are going to power the pump. Attaching the pump and filter to your solar roof is going to save you money and ensure that you have a constant supply of fresh water even during rolling blackouts.
Your Electric Car
There are now millions of electric cars out on the road, and practically every auto manufacturer has released one fully electric vehicle. While charging stations are being built throughout the world at a very fast pace, many people want to be able to charge their vehicles at home. With a solar roof and home charging station, you could essentially drive your electric vehicle for free, and that will result in huge savings.
Water Features
One of the reasons why many people never even consider installing pools, spas, and other water features is because they don’t want a huge increase in their energy bills. Modern water pools and spas tend to have relatively efficient pumps and filtration systems, but they could still increase your energy bills by a significant amount. Your solar roof will be able to offset that new expense so that you can fully enjoy your new water feature.
Sump Pumps
Sump pumps are extremely important safety features, and those devices can greatly reduce your risk of serious water damage. Unfortunately, your sump pumps could turn off entirely if a storm or flood knocks the power out. With a residential solar roof, you can rest assured that your sump pumps will continue to work even if the energy grid goes down.
 
While solar panels can be added to a building at any time, those who are building a home from the ground up should consider including panels in their initial build. Incorporating solar into your home loan will make this type of upgrade very affordable, and you should be able to enjoy the benefits of your new green energy system for many years to come.
LizzieWeakley
Maintaining a large garden is a great way to supply yourself with fresh vegetables and spend plenty of time outdoors. The one problem is that large gardens can get out of control easily if not tended properly. It might take extra effort, or even specialized outside help, but you can make your large garden as beautiful as you dreamed. Here are five ways to make keeping your garden under control simple.

Mulch All Unoccupied Spaces

Weeding is the single most labor-intensive aspect of garden maintenance. Using grass clippings, wood chips or another mulch medium in all the areas around your plants will help to keep weeds down and save you time pulling them by hand. As mulch breaks down, it will also add valuable nutrients back into your soil. This can give your garden a reset, to let you set a regular, manageable schedule for weeding.

Install an Irrigation System

If you have a large enough garden, installing an irrigation system can be worthwhile. Irrigation systems allow you to automate your watering schedule, rather than having to manually water your crops. Keep in mind that this is only a good solution if you’re growing in more or less fixed bed spaces. If you primarily grow vegetables, or want a more controlled garden space, this can be a good idea.

Use Tight Spacings

It’s a common myth that spacing plants farther apart results in higher yields. The reality, though, is that putting your plants closer together can raise your yields and help your crops block out weeds. While you still want to keep enough space to allow for good growth, planting closer together can make your garden much easier to manage. The proper distance will vary from plant to plant, so please look up an individual planting guide for each addition to your garden.

Prune to Avoid Disease

If you’re growing tomatoes or other plants that are prone to fungal infections, strategically pruning the lower limbs to allow for air flow is usually a good idea. Good pruning can also promote fruit production and keep your plants from putting all of their energy into leaves and stalks. Set a regular schedule for pruning. That way you can keep a close eye on what’s developing in your garden.

Harvest on a Schedule

Like watering and weeding, harvesting your vegetables can be labor-intensive in a large garden, even if it is fun. A good way to manage your harvests is to pick on a regular schedule. If you have a pepper patch, for instance, you might decide to harvest your fresh peppers on a particular day each week. This will keep you from trying to harvest from all of your patches each day, which can turn into quite a chore.

By sticking to these five basic principles, you can easily manage even a fairly large home garden. Garden management is all about simplifying the tasks that have to be done to keep your garden healthy. Done properly, good garden maintenance will allow you to have a productive garden without devoting hours of work to it each week.

LizzieWeakley
Apartment living can give you a unique and convenient way of life. Rather than commuting miles out to the suburbs just to get some extra space, living in an urban apartment can keep you close to work, shopping, and recreation. Of course, downtown living carries a lot of the same overhead as its more distant counterpart, with energy costs at the top of the list. Here are some simple ways to reduce your energy expense in an apartment.

Draw the Blinds

In larger apartment buildings, individual units may only have one wall to provide a view of the neighborhood. If it happens to be the same wall that catches late-day sun, the apartment can quickly heat up. That’s good in the winter and bad in the summer. Managing your window blinds will help you get the maximum benefit of winter sun and the minimum impact of summer sun.

Have HVAC Serviced

As a renter, you are probably not in charge of heavier maintenance tasks like changing furnace filters. However, it is in your best interest to make sure it’s being done because you’re the one paying the energy bill. Clean filters use less energy, saving you on energy costs, so make sure the maintenance staff is keeping things current.

Watch Water Waste

Most people are in tune with the need to minimize wasted water just because of the importance of conserving. However, once we’re talking about hot water, there is also an energy cost. Any drippy or inefficient fixture that utilizes hot water is also wasting energy as it wastes water. Make sure every faucet and shower head has low water flow and doesn’t leak. If your unit ever needs a new water heater, encourage the management to look into tankless water heaters for building-wide savings.

Be Balcony-Wise

The need for fresh air is natural, and a great apartment will have some outdoor space for you to enjoy. It’s easy to lose track of the loss of warm and cool air that takes place around those doors. Make sure you are keeping your deck or balcony door closed. If there are gaps in the weatherstripping or other issues with keeping it tight, have the maintenance staff check it out.

Choose Efficient Bulbs

Saving energy is often a matter of investment. Spending a little more to buy efficient LED bulbs can add up to real savings over the long term. As you replace blown bulbs in your apartment, choose efficient models that will pay you back for your initial investment in them with reduced energy costs.

Living close to work and recreation can be a real convenience. With a few simple strategies to save energy, an urban apartment can also be an affordable place to live too.

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
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
Industrial companies have a responsibility to make sure that they do everything that they can to protect the environment. Your boiler can contribute to greenhouse gases. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to make your boiler more eco-friendly.

Insulate the Valves

There are many places that will remove the insulation when they perform maintenance and never put it back. However, you can increase the efficiency of your boiler by insulating the valves. Insulating the valves will reduce heat loss. It will also reduce the risk of burns and increase comfort.

Make Sure That Your Boiler Receives Maintenance

Your boiler requires maintenance just like every other appliance that you have. You will need to have a professional perform maintenance at least once a year. Professionals can ensure that your boiler is working properly. They will also be able to perform a tune-up, which will help your boiler work at its peak.

Use SCRS

You will need to purchase SCRS for water tube boilers. SCRS is short for selective catalytic reduction system. If you use SCRS, then you will be able to control the flow of energy in the boiler. You will also be able to control the way that the energy is dispensed.

There are several other benefits that you can reap from using SCRS. You will be able to reduce carbon emissions. You may also be able to save a lot of money on your utility bill. Furthermore, your boiler may last longer.

Clean the Water Side

If your boiler is leaking, then it will waste a lot of water. That is why you will need to inspect your water heater on a regular basis. You will also need to clean the water side on a regular basis. Hardened water can turn into scale. If scale builds alongside your boiler, then it can cause your boiler to overheat. This can cause your boiler to start leaking. You may end up needing to get expensive repairs.

Boilers can contribute to many of the environmental issues that we have today. However, you can still do your part to make your boiler more eco-friendly. You will need to insulate the valves. You will also need to make sure that your boiler receives regular maintenance. Furthermore, it is a good idea for you to use SCRS and clean the water side on a regular basis.

LizzieWeakley
A home is a special place for everyone after retiring from the troubles of the outside world. Waste production, deforestation, and illegal dumping are the significant causes of pollution in our environments. According to the World Health Organization, some global deaths are as a result of pollutants. Naturally, every human being desires a clean environment. However, the environmental challenges have left many wondering how they can have an eco-friendly and stylish home at this age. Below are tips on how your home can be a haven:
 
Use non-toxic materials
 
Home decoration materials must be critically selected. We have things like paints, carpets, or even blankets that have been known to contain toxic and allergic toxins. These toxins are harmful to humans. Therefore, it is vital to make inquiries before the purchase of any item coming to your home.
 
Growing of House–plants
 
House plants have been known to offer several benefits. They import the natural world into the house and brighten up space. They are a significant enhancement to every photographic opportunity within the home. One can also grow useful plants that are naturally suitable for natural remedies as well as beauty purposes. These houseplants can be placed at either the bookshelves or picture ledges or wall hangings.
 
Use of natural cleaning products
 
Harmful chemicals are the biggest threat to any environment. This is because even after washing them, they go down with water. Later on, this water takes a very long time to be purified before it's safe for consumption. However, the good news is that there are several natural cleaning products. They include citric acid, vinegar, and bicarbonate of soda. These natural products also leave the air fresh.
 
Embrace vintage or retro furniture
 
New furniture contains chemicals that are slowly released to the air for years, leaving toxins in your space. Contrarily, recycled furniture or vintage rarely gives out compounds. The reasons are that vintage items don’t have chemicals while the retro furniture had already emitted the chemicals years ago. Many shops sell these types of furniture.
 
Ventilate
 
Many homes have windows that are energy-efficient, sealing the house well. Sadly, most people rarely open their windows. This means that indoor toxins and chemicals remain trapped inside the house. Lack of fresh air inside the home makes it stinky and uncomfortable.

In addition to these tips, one can buy luxaflex blinds from a blind and shade company. The blinds will give your rooms a perfect balance of light filterings, privacy, and heat control. Once you employ these tips, you will be assured of a toxic-free environment.
LizzieWeakley
Is your home ready for a new roof? Replacing your worn or damaged roof not only keeps your head dry but also presents an opportunity to make your home a little greener. Making sustainable and energy efficient decisions for your new roof can lower your carbon footprint and keep a little more money in your wallet. Here are four eco-friendly roof upgrades to consider for your next roof renovation.

Choose a Cooler Color

If you live in a hot, sunny climate, cooling down your roof can make a big difference in your monthly energy bill. Picking a lighter color that reflects heat and light away from your home is a simple way to make your roof greener that doesn't add any cost to your project. You can also coat your roof in reflective paint or a sheet covering if you don't plan to replace your shingles.

Get a Metal Roof

Metal is another cool roofing option that's also lightweight and durable. Choosing metal can save a lot of money on roof repair because it lasts many times longer than a shingle roof and requires little to no maintenance. With a combination of energy efficiency, longevity, and an affordable initial cost, metal roofing is an all-around great option. Metal is also highly recyclable and sustainable.

Go Natural

Do you prefer a more traditional look? Consider a sustainable, natural material like wood, clay, or slate. For homeowners who prefer a classic cottage style, wood shingles are eco-friendly and last as long as their asphalt counterparts. Clay tiles are another natural option that keeps your home cool and provides a Spanish villa vibe. If it's durability you're seeking, you can't go wrong with long-lasting slate.

Install Solar Panels

One of the most eco-friendly upgrades you can add to your roof is a set of solar panels. Solar panels allow you to generate your own electricity, and some states even pay you for the energy that your panels put back into the grid. If you live in a climate with lots of sun, solar panels can potentially reduce your monthly electricity bill to zero.

Is your budget tight? You can still have an eco-friendly roof on a shoestring by making a few simple upgrades. Adding some extra insulation or choosing light grey over black shingles can significantly lower your home's energy consumption at little to no cost. You can also look for grants and tax incentives to lower the cost of your new sustainable roof.

LizzieWeakley
As long as it's working properly, you probably never give your septic tank much thought. After all, it doesn't exactly have a glamorous job. What it lacks in glamour, though, it makes up for in importance, silently working to remove the waste from your home. What you may not realize is that, in addition to performing a vital task, your septic tank is actually quite environmentally friendly. To help give you a greater appreciation for your septic tank, here are a few ways that septic tanks help the environment.
A Natural Process
Unlike so much in today's world, a septic tank still relies on natural processes to do its job. Using naturally occurring bacteria, your septic tank works hard to break down the waste from your home. This prevents potentially harmful chemicals from being released into the environment, helping to protect the soil and water in your area.
Reduces Pressure on Garbage Dumps
Since it works independently of the city sewer system, your septic tank helps to reduce pressure on your local garbage dump. This is because many sewer-based systems are forced to dispose of the solid waste in the garbage dump because there is too much waste for bacteria to break down naturally. Given the already-crowded conditions at many dumps, anything that can be done to divert waste away from the dump is a welcome advancement for environmental protection.
Diverts Pollution from Oceans
Another advantage of being independent of a public sewer system is that there's no risk of anything you send down the drains in your home ending up in the ocean. City sewage treatment plants do what they can to remove potential pollutants from wastewater. However, most wastewater is only filtered to a certain point before it is sent to rivers and oceans. If you have a septic tank, though, your waste collects in the tank until the tank is full. When the tank is emptied, you can be sure that with your own wastewater treatment system, all of the waste products will be dealt with in an environmentally friendly manner.
Less Electricity Usage
Although it doesn't take any electricity to send wastewater down the drain, when that wastewater arrives at a treatment plant, a lot of electricity is used. When it comes to a septic tank, though, there is no electricity required since everything happens thanks to gravity and chemistry. This helps to reduce your carbon footprint even as you're contributing to the health of the ecosystem around you.
 
Though septic tanks have considerable environmental benefits, they must be properly maintained in order for these benefits to be realized. That means maintaining the health of the bacteria population, avoiding pouring harmful substances down your drains, and having your tanks professionally cleaned and inspected on a regular basis. If you follow those simple steps, though, you will be able to rest easy knowing that your septic tank is helping the environment
LizzieWeakley
The Earth can be harmed the by the actions of people. Human civilization has created pollution and destroyed natural ecosystems and wildlife habitats. It may even lead to worse problems like global warming that could threaten everyone. The one sector of human civilization that contributes the most to this destruction is industry. Thankfully, you can take steps to lower your company’s impact on the planet. Here are some ideas for making your workspace greener.

Implement Renewable Energy

Most factories and other industrial workplaces use a great deal of energy to complete their work. Thankfully, you no longer have to completely rely on energy sources that create pollution or put a great strain on the local power grid. Implementing power produced by solar panels or wind turbines is one option. Choosing fuels that create a lesser impact on the environment like ethanol or natural gas is another good choice.

Recycle Everything You Can

Recycling is something else companies must implement if they want to be greener. Not recycling creates waste that fills up landfills. In certain cases, that waste can even harm animals and human beings. Consider all the different materials that are part of your industrial processes that you can recycle. For example, you may have not considered copper recycling for the copper left over from a certain production process.

Eliminate Paper

Something most companies use is a lot of paper. There’s paper used for correspondence, memos, record keeping, meetings and much more. It’s no longer the 1980’s. Everything that can be expressed in a paper document can be very easily recreated in a digital file. Doing so saves trees and eliminates waste. It can even save a good deal of money over the course of a year. Going paperless is a strategy that works for many businesses.

Perform Efficiency Audits

Not running your factory or other industrial facility as efficiently as possible can also lead to wastefulness. One thing you should do is perform efficiency audits multiple times a year. The data produced can help you find ways to save electricity and fuel and cut down waste. It can make your company greener and help you save a good deal of money simultaneously.

Industrialization has done a lot of harm to the environment. However, this doesn’t have to be the case today. Thanks to improvements in technology and methodology, there are many ways a company can greatly lessen its impact on the environment. The list above is only a starting point.

LizzieWeakley
As a modern business, it's likely that you have a large amount of electronic equipment that helps to keep your business going. As important as this equipment is, it will eventually become too outdated to efficiently meet your needs. When that happens, it's important to dispose of these old electronics in a responsible manner to prevent harm to the environment. To give you direction on what to do, here are a few ways that businesses can properly dispose of broken or old electronic equipment.

Donate Them

Even though the electronics you're getting rid of may not suit your needs, that doesn't mean that they are no longer usable. By donating your electronics, you give them a chance at a second life to fulfill a noble purpose. In some cases, non-profit organizations use old electronics to teach those in need the necessary skills to help them find a new career. However they're used, donating your electronics is far better than throwing them in the trash.

Sell Them

If you've taken especially good care of your electronics, there's a chance that they may still have some value. Since people can find value in unexpected places, attempting to sell your electronics is a great option because it helps to recoup some of your investment. To sell electrical equipment, you can try to sell them separately to individual buyers, or you can use a third-party buying service that will buy large lots of electronics at once.

Repurpose Them

Even if a certain electronic item is no longer usable, its individual components may be able to be used by your business. For example, an old computer may not have a place in your company, but the monitor from that computer can still be repurposed to provide a dual-monitor set up to help increase productivity. Therefore, before you make the move to get rid of your old electronics, it's a good idea to look at them in terms of how they can be used in different ways around your office.

Recycle Them

If there is no longer any use for your old electronics, then it's important that you make an effort to recycle them. Electronics recycling helps keep potentially harmful substances out of landfills and allows the base materials to be reused and made into something new. The key when recycling your electronics is to be sure to use a certified electronics recycler that won't simply ship your electronics overseas, contributing to pollution in other countries.

When you purchase new electronics, it's important to think through your purchases with an eye to the end of their lifecycles. You want to be sure that it's as easy as possible to dispose of your old electronics in a manner that benefits your company and the environment. In many cases, this means buying higher-end electronics initially, as these tend to be constructed in such a way as to make them easier to recycle or resell. In every case, though, know that there are plenty of options available when your electronics no longer meet your needs.

LizzieWeakley
Did you know that the amount of waste generated from construction and demolition is more than double that of household garbage collection? However, you can significantly reduce your next project's carbon footprint by using recyclable materials. Many eco-friendly materials also offer other advantages like exceptional strength and durability. If you're planning to build or remodel, consider these four recyclable materials that can make both your home and the environment stronger.

Bamboo Flooring

You're probably already familiar with bamboo in things like cooking utensils and bath accessories, but did you know that it's also great for hardwood floors? Bamboo flooring is durable, easy to clean and maintain and can be refinished when it gets worn or damaged. Bamboo is also a highly sustainable crop, and bamboo floor tiles can be recycled into composite bamboo, which is often used for high-traffic areas and outdoor applications like decking.

Cork Flooring

If bamboo flooring doesn't strike your fancy, how about cork? Soft and comfortable to walk on, cork is an excellent choice for bedrooms and playrooms. Cork is allergy-friendly and easy to clean, which makes it a great alternative to carpet. Plus, it's one of the most eco-friendly flooring materials on the market because it's not only recyclable but also biodegradable and made from renewable resources.

Metal Roofing

Because of their high value, metals are among the most commonly recycled materials in use today. If you're looking for an eco-friendly roofing option, look no further than metal. A metal roof is easily recyclable, energy efficient and exceptionally durable with a lifespan of up to 70 years. Whether you're building a new home or just remodeling, consider calling your local metal roof installers for a roof that's approved by Mother Nature.

Glass Tiles

Used in a wide variety of consumer products, glass is another material that's commonly recycled. Despite its fragile reputation, glass can be strong and durable in many applications, including floor and wall tiles. Choosing glass tile for your kitchen backsplash or walk-in shower is a great way to lower your home's carbon footprint and raise its aesthetic appeal. Glass tile is also highly customizable because it can be easily cut into different shapes and sizes.

Remember, using recyclable materials is only half the picture when planning an eco-friendly construction project. It's also important to seek out recycled and reclaimed materials whenever possible, and don't forget to choose a waste management company that recycles leftover waste and debris instead of dumping it in a landfill.

LizzieWeakley
Many modern homes offer energy-efficient features that make lowering your energy bill easy. But what about old homes that were built before energy-efficient features? Well, there’s hope for old homes, too. There are updates that can make your old home just as efficient as a modern home.
 
Updating an old home is often as simple or as complicated as you can afford to make it. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, then there are quick-fix changes that you can make. But if money is no object, you can invest in upgrades that take more time and money.
 
Switch to CFL or LED Light Bulbs
 
Incandescent light bulbs are fast becoming a thing of the past. CFL and LED light bulbs cost more than incandescent bulbs. But CFL and LED lights save more money in the long run.
 
An incandescent bulb consumes 60 watts per-hour. A traditional CFL bulb consumes 14 watts per hour. And a typical LED bulb consumes 10 watts per hour. The more watts consumed per hour, the higher your energy bill.
 
Get New Windows
 
It’s likely that your old home has single pane windows. Single pane windows have one layer of glass. They’re thin and known for being drafty. Since there’s only one pane of glass, it’s easier for outside temperatures to affect the temperature inside your home.
 
For an older home, upgrading to double pane windows is an energy-saving move. Double pane windows are made with two panes of glass. And some even have insulating argon gas placed between the panes. Two panes of glass provide more protection from outside temperatures than provided by one pane of glass.
 
Switch to Renewable Energy
 
Solar panels are a source of renewable energy. Solar panel installation services can help you understand the best option for your home for saving energy and money in the long run. 
 
Solar panels convert light from the sun into energy. The energy connects to your home’s electrical grid and is distributed throughout the home. Unless you live in a state that doesn’t get a significant amount of sun year round - such as parts of Alaska - then solar panels are worth considering.
 
An old home doesn’t have to guzzle energy. The tips mentioned in this article can help lower your energy costs without ruining your home.
LizzieWeakley
Green or sustainable landscaping is an excellent way of reducing your carbon footprint. Indeed, such trends use energy-efficient appliances and turf supplies that need little or no water to maintain. In turn, you save lots of gallons of fresh water that can go to other purposes. Then, how do you design your eco-friendly yard? Check out the useful tips below: 
Determine Your Water Needs and Sources
A regular landscaping design may require more water than what is available to keep it alive. Such excessive pumping of water can leave your groundwater with a high concentration of salts and pollutants. In turn, you may have to deal with soil pollution sooner rather than later.
Then, in your design, confirm your soil type and its water retention properties. Next, pick watering techniques that will not deplete the ground of its vital moisture. Such methods include irrigation and rain harvesting. Or, you can use mulches to preserve the existing moisture content.
Live Off Your Vegetable Garden
Did you know that including a garden in your yard generates steady supplies of fresh vegetables that can cut on your monthly food bills? This fun outdoor exercise improves your health by providing you with organic foods and a stress-relieving hobby.
Then, choose a spot near a water source, that has ample sunlight, and is away from foot traffic. Next, pick your seeds or seedlings from plants that are economical to grow. Add adequate compost to the soil. Finally, follow the planting, weeding, pruning, and maintenance schedule as provided by your supplier.
Use Chemical-Free Products
An eco-friendly landscaping design uses little or no harmful chemicals. That way, it makes your yard safe for wildlife and pets. In particular, when you opt for artificial turf supplies, there is no need for weed killers or pesticides. Children get the feel of natural grass that is free of poisonous contaminants.
Consider The Labor Needs for Maintenance
A sustainable yard is effortless to maintain. Such yards feature stone patios, potted plants, mulch beds, and perennial plants. The mulch beds need no mowing. Instead, they provide ready compost for your garden. Still, where you are not a fan of mowing, opt for artificial landscapes instead.
The eco-friendly yard looks fabulous, accentuating your home décor. It taps into the available resources to pull off a durable lawn that is easy to install. And your pets will love it too. Then, work with a reliable home remodeling expert who can give you more ideas to improve your home value.
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.
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