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

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LizzieWeakley

Community Cleanup 5 Ways You Can Help Keep the Environment Green and Clean.JPG

We too often think of the environment as someone else’s problem—automobile manufacturers, oil refineries, and power plants, for example. But we each have a personal responsibility to help keep Mother Nature healthy and happy. We as individuals can contribute to a green, clean environment in more ways than you might expect.

The Last Straw

Did you know plastic straws are one of the most widespread environmental hazards? According to the article “Straws: Why They Seriously Suck,” more than 500 million straws are used daily in the U.S. Alone. They’re not biodegradable, and they can’t be recycled. But you can stop using them at home and/or switch to reusable straws. Carry reusable straws in your glove compartment and forgo the plastic in your next chocolate shake!

Stash Your Trash

The fact that how and where you dispose of your trash matters is an environmental no-brainer. You no doubt dispose of everything from paper to yard waste to bald tires. Dispose of those items the right way, recycling any- and everything you can via environmentally aware service providers like Tri-State Disposal. Many of these vendors will even supply dumpsters to safely dispose of large hauls.

Single out Single Use

Single-use items like sandwich bags and disposable razors represent a huge problem for the environment. You can reduce that problem by a) reusing single-use items, or B) not using them at all. There are, after all, so many sustainable alternatives: cloth shopping bags, ceramic go cups. You can even buy reusable sandwich wraps.

Douse the Old Wood Stove

Wood stoves generate carcinogenic particulate matter that can harm not only your family, but the whole neighborhood. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services lists wood stove smoke as a public health hazard and significant pollutant. The solution? Replace your old stove with an EPA-certified, clean-burning, efficient wood stove designed for complete combustion.

Add Your Plants

On the positive side, you can add to the planet’s environmental health by plugging in trees and native plants. Not only are they pretty, but they help clean the air. Plus, native plants—i.e., those native to your particular area—conserve water and benefit local wildlife.

 

The bottom line is that the environment in which we live is important. It is not just for the health of the area, but for our own personal health as well. We are all responsible to protect and keep the environment clean as much as possible.

LizzieWeakley

How to Make Waste Disposal Environmentally Friendly in Your Community.JPG

 

If you are in charge of waste disposal in your community, you will be responsible for making sure that waste products are disposed of in a manner that is green. Community waste products that are normally safe can become hazardous if they are not managed properly. For example, motor oil is normally safe, but can contaminate drinking water in large quantities. Even products that are not hazardous will fill up landfills.

Renting a Dumpster

When it is time for your community to dispose a lot of waste, it is important to do so in a rented dumpster from a company like
Tri-State Disposal. Disposing of large quantities of waste in any other way would be terrible for the environment and may also be against dumping laws. More dumpsters can be rented as needed when the volume of garbage is larger than expected.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

The best way to make waste more manageable is to follow the three R's: reduce, reuse and recycle. While you cannot force residents of a community to perform these actions, you can remind residents and provide them with tips on how to achieve this ideal. To also ease the burden of disposing of hazardous waste, encourage residents to use safer alternatives. For killing pests, for example, encourage residents to use less toxic pest control methods such as the use of boric acid.

Hazardous Waste Pickup Day

Communities should implement programs in which residents can mail hazardous waste to a facility where the waste can then be disposed of. The hazardous waste should be kept separate from the regular trash. The type of products that need to be disposed of in a particular manner include:

  • Household cleaners

  • Garden chemicals

  • Sharps

  • Mercury

  • Paint

  • Batteries

  • Automotive products


Many of these products can be recycled. Others will need to be sued up and will then no longer need to be disposed of. For example, homeowners who need to dispose of household cleaners could simply give them to a neighbor to be used.

Changing the habits of your community to make it
more eco-conscious can be challenging, but with a little practice, your members of your community will make habits and good recycling practices of their own. Then, your community will reduce the amount of garbage that ends up in landfills and will protect the environment from hazardous waste.

 

LizzieWeakley

 

Air pollution in many cities is caused by emissions that are produced from automobiles. Other issues pollute the environment too, such as household waste. However, if you make a few small changes, your contributions will benefit everyone in your community.



Being and Living Green How Everyone can Help our Environment Become Squeaky Clean.JPG

 

Save Energy

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reported that homeowners can lower carbon emissions by using less energy throughout the day. When families leave their lights on, various energy sources are used at power plants, which rely on fossil fuel. To help clean up the environment, invest in a timer that controls your lights and appliances. By using an energy management tool, your devices will shut off automatically whenever the technology senses inactivity.

Cooling and Heating Considerations

During the winter, keep the thermostat set at a low temperature. In the summer, program the thermostat so that it will raise the temperature whenever you are away from home.

If you have an advanced water heater, adjust the temperature to 120 degrees to lower the energy consumption. To conserve heat, ensure that the insulation in your home meets industry standards.

Disposal Considerations

If possible, try to avoid products that are wrapped in plastic packaging. When packaging material is produced at manufacturing facilities, the production equipment pushes toxic emissions into the air.

You can reduce environmental waste and pollution by recycling cardboard, glass, paper, plastic, and aluminum. Paints, solvents, batteries, and pesticides are highly toxic, so you must give these substances to a local waste management facility.

If you need to remove waste out of a commercial building or a large home, consider using a recycling service like
Lakeshore Recycling. Companies that offer this service deliver containers to various locations.

Drive Less

Since automobiles emit pollution in the atmosphere, you should try carpooling around the city. According to transportation experts, Americans can save about $1,000 a year by carpooling on a regular basis. When traveling short distances, a bike is the best transportation option because it doesn’t produce any harmful emissions.

Boost Your Fuel Economy

The EPA reported that if drivers improve their fuel economy by one percent, carbon dioxide emissions will reduce by one percent as well. To lower fuel consumption, do not accelerate and brake quickly on the road. Also, avoid driving at a high speed on busy freeways.

If you implement these procedures, less air pollution will generate in the environment.

LizzieWeakley

Home Cooling How to Optimize Your AC for Energy Efficiency.JPG

 

A humid hot summer can be utterly miserable sometimes. Even worse, running your air-conditioner may seem too expensive to do a lot of the time. However, with some tweaks to your system, you can make your AC far more energy efficient and cost effective. Below are a few tips you can use.

1. Check Your Air Filters

The filters are what the air passes through to reach the rest of your home. They prevent airborne contaminants from flowing through your air and help protect the health of your family. However, air filters are not designed to last forever. They eventually become clogged, and that can badly affect the efficiency of your system. According to
HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric, checking and replacing your air filters on a regular basis is one of the most important steps to keeping your system running efficiently.

2. Clean the Condenser

The condenser is the part of your outdoor air conditioning unit that transfers heat to outside your home. For your system to have good energy efficiency, you need to keep it clean. Make sure to inspect it especially before you turn on your system for the first time at the beginning of the summer. Remove anything that could obstruct the condenser’s airflow such as leaves, twigs, weeds, dirt, etc. To remove dirt from the unit, you can wash it down with a hose.

3. Make Sure the Air Flow Is Unimpeded

You can think of an air conditioning system as being similar to the circulatory system in the human body. Much like you would not want to impede the flow of blood through a vein, you should not impede the flow of air through your system by blocking vents. Make sure all air vents are open and not blocked by things like furniture and rugs. If they are blocked, your system will have to work much harder to keep your house cool and that will result in higher utility bills.

4. Only Run the System When You Need It

If you want to lower your utility bills and increase your home’s energy efficiency, make sure to only run your air conditioning when you need it. There is no point to running air conditioning in an empty house. Program your thermostat to not run the air conditioning when you are at work.

Overall, try to make sure you provide your
HVAC system with proper routine maintenance and inspect to see if it’s working properly. If your system is well cared for and there is nothing impeding the flow of cool air through your home, your system’s energy efficiency will certainly be increased.

LizzieWeakley

Soil Excavation How it can Help Create a Cleaner, Greener, Better Earth.JPG

 

Soil excavation is a process of digging soil with an aim of cleaning the soil, making trenches for water drainage and infrastructural purposes. The excavated soil may be used for treatment or for disposal in a landfill. Excavation has various advantages as it helps to unravel the harmful debris that could contaminate groundwater and also pollute the soil. Agriculture makes the back born of different economies in the world. Soil fertility is of key importance for plant growth and development. When a soil is contaminated, agriculture is affected negatively and hence affect productivity of a nation.

The excavation process might take long depending with status of the contaminated soil. It may take long if the soil is highly toxic and requires extra safety precaution. It will also take some time to dig a deep, large or below the water. Time will also be consumed if the soil contains a lot of rocks, debris etc. Excavation is a process that involves various stages including;

Identification of contaminated areas: This involves a thorough research of the site by identifying what could have led to soil contamination and testing the soil for impurities.

Choosing the right instrument for exaction: After the soil has been found to be contaminated, right equipment is used to dig the soil. Depending with the purpose of excavation there are different types of excavators. This equipment are mainly leased as they are costly and purchasing them for a single project might not be cost effective. Therefore, various companies offer these hire business e.g. Eastern Plant Hire. The contaminated or unwanted soil is excavated by standardized excavators such as backhoes and excavators track hoes. It all depends on the location of the site e.g. a site surrounded by buildings will require a smaller excavator. Some sites may have soil contaminated in a deeper situation requiring use of long arm excavators which can dig up to one hundred feet below ground. In some cases, soil might be excavated from below the water table which require pumping of water to facilitate dry excavation.

Soil transportation: When the soil is disposed of, it may be loaded directly into a dump truck to the landfill. It is deposited elsewhere for treatment and covered to prevent soil erosion through water, or by the wind. If excavation is aimed at infrastructural purposes, the soil is used to fill holes and landscaped to prevent erosion.

In conclusion, excavation is a soil engineering technique with more benefits such as cleaning the environment for healthy plants and landscaping to make planet earth beautiful.

LizzieWeakley

Greener Business How to Reduce your Negative Impact on the Environment.JPG

 

There are some business practices that are obviously bad for the environment, such as mailing out unsolicited advertisements and giving away disposable, branded bottles of water. However, some green practices aren't so immediately obvious. If you're looking for ways to reduce the negative environmental impact your business has on the planet, there are plenty of options that may work for your company.

Reduce the Paper You Use

Even recycled paper has a huge impact on the environment. Instead of printing the company newsletter, email it to everyone. Instead of printing out fat bundles of materials for meetings and promotional events, put everything online. With the proliferation of cloud computing and document sharing, there is little need for the vast majority of printed materials.

Reuse Your Paper

Any paper that is used can be run through a shredder, crumpled and used as eco-friendly packing materials. Instead of paying for packing peanuts or plastic bubble wrap, using shredded paper gives you nearly free packing material and reduces the amount of waste your company produces.

Encourage Distance Learning

Encouraging your employees to continue their educations is great, but the never-ending procession of textbooks, commuting to and from class and climate control in enormous lecture halls makes online learning a much more Earth-friendly option. For example, a student earning their
online civil engineering master’s degree may have all of their books and materials made available online, with no commuting necessary.

Give Out Company Mugs

The amount of plastic bottles and paper cups used by a company in just one day can be staggering. Give every employee a spill-resistant mug and then remove all the disposable options from the building. Not only is this a boon for the planet, it will save you a ton of money over the course of time.

Consider Green Cleaning Supplies

For most sectors of business, there is absolutely no reason to be using ammonia, bleach and other contaminants for cleaning. There are plenty of green options available that clean just as well without resorting to harsh pollutants. If you have a cleaning service, inquire about green products. Green products also have the added attraction of being less-irritating to those with allergies or sensitive skin, which in turn could improve productivity and employee happiness.

There are plenty of small ways companies can reduce their negative impact on the environment. Carefully consider these strategies to reduce waste and be kind to the planet at the same time.

LizzieWeakley

3 Reasons to Convert Your Office to Propane Heating This Fall and Winter.JPG

 

Propane heating is a smart move for heating your office this fall/winter. It is innovative, and it has a variety of benefits. It is a more "green" choice, it saves money and it is a safe and reliable option compared to electricity. Detailed below are three reasons why you may want to convert to propane heating.

Clean Energy

Propane is on the approved clean fuel list according to the 1990 Clean Air Act. Propane is actually one of the cleanest fossil fuels to burn. Using propane to heat your office space conserves energy while being friendly to the environment. Efforts are continuing to use less gasoline, and propane is the top competitor that the world is turning to. It is readily available and 90% of the propane used in the U.S. is actually produced in the U.S. as well.

Saving Money

Everything in your office that currently runs on electricity can be powered by propane while also being cost effective. Because propane is more effective than electricity, it saves your business money. Heating your business with propane could also mean more affordable maintenance. A propane heater lasts longer and in most cases, is cheaper to repair than an electric furnace. Propane heaters are also very small and do not take up a large amount of space in your office. When using propane in the colder winter months, a Powerblanket can be a great resource to optimize the temperature of the tank to keep it running efficiently.

Safe and Reliable

Despite rumors, using propane to heat your office space, or any space, is very safe! In the event of a leak, propane vaporizes in the air rather than causing a potentially harmful and serious problem for your office space/employees. Using propane is also reliable. You are not at the mercy of the electrical companies. If there happened to be a power outage during the winter months, your office space and employees would continue to be comfortable and able to work, rather than waiting for the power to come back on.

Propane is the smart choice that many businesses and homes are choosing as a heat and power source this winter. It is clean, cost effective and safe. It is readily available and propane heaters come in a variety of different sizes to accommodate very large or small office spaces. As winter approaches, be sure to look at the benefits that heating with propane could offer your business.

LizzieWeakley

The amount of energy-efficient innovations on the market is at an all-time high. This is great news for the homeowners who wish to cut down on electrical costs. Here is how new technology can make your home more efficient.

Home_Improvement_How_New_Innovative_Tech

Rainwater Harvesting System
Investing in a rainwater harvesting system will certainly help you to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. Not only are rain collection systems very inexpensive, but they are also relatively simple to install. The stored rainwater can be used for a variety of different things, including flushing the toilet and washing laundry. Over the course of a year, the system can really save a lot of extra money.

Solar Water Heater
Unfortunately, traditional water heaters can use quite a bit of energy. In comparison, solar water heaters are far more efficient. In as little as two years, the energy savings will actually cover the initial cost of the solar water heater. As sunlight shines down on the solar panels, energy is quickly collected. Contrary to popular belief, the photovoltaic cells can even absorb energy on cloudy days.

Heated Floors
Companies such as
Summerstep actually design in-floor heating systems. After the installation of an in-floor heating system, you will not have to depend totally on a HVAC system to keep your home warm. When the temperatures dip below freezing, many homeowners have to turn up the dial on their thermostat. An in-floor heating system will help to eliminate this energy-draining problem. Children and pets will especially love the extra warmth.

Smart Thermostat
The most advanced thermostats on the market offer incredible energy savings. With the use of high-tech sensors, they can actually adjust the home’s temperature according to the changing weather conditions. These nifty thermostats can also be easily controlled via a mobile phone or computer. If you are asleep under the covers or away from home, a smart thermostat can be programmed to lower the home’s temperature. Research shows that a smart thermostat can drop your electric bill by $100 dollars a month.

Automated Lighting
Many homeowners have already transitioned to LED lighting. However, installing an automated lighting system can further improve your home’s efficiency. Instead of leaving your lights on full blast, an automated dimmer switch allows you to dim the lights to save energy.

Due to the rise in the cost of electricity, homeowners are strongly encouraged to invest in energy-saving technology. All five of these innovations promise to keep your home efficient.

 

 

LizzieWeakley

Making your home eco-friendly doesn't need to be an expensive or time-consuming chore. In fact, most families only need to make a few small changes around their house in order to cut down on their carbon footprint. Here is a look at five simple steps that you can take today to lower energy bills and potentially remove some toxins within your own home.

Switch to Plant-Based Cleaners
There is a long list of unhealthy chemicals sitting under the kitchen sink in most homes. Some of these common cleaners are effective when it comes to removing grime, but they are often quite toxic and can be replaced with much safer products. Next time any of your cleaners are running low, consider switching over to alternatives such as vinegar-based cleaners.

Create a Compost Station
Within many homes, food scraps make up nearly 50 percent of all waste. Instead of letting this go to the landfill, creating a simple compost station is a great way to put leftover scraps to work. A compost station can turn practically any organic material into nutrient-rich compost for a garden or to improve the health of your lawn during the spring.

Air Seal Your Home
Whenever a home is not sealed properly, homeowners are going to be looking at higher energy bills and lower air quality. A simple way to start air sealing a home is to use gaskets and seals from companies like
Phoenix Specialty for ducts and vents. Other areas that may need to be sealed include gaps around doors and old pipes leading into or out of the home.

Give Up Bottled Water
There are few items that have become as problematic for our environment as plastic water bottles. These products are especially difficult to recycle and some even contaminate water with chemicals such as BPAs. Buying a dozen BPA-free bottles, filling them with water, and putting them in the fridge will ensure that your family has constant access to refreshing water without the need for creating more waste.

Stop Dumping and Donate
Almost anything that is used in a home can either be recycled or donated, and taking a little extra time to separate your trash could make quite a difference at a local dump. Some items throughout the home that are easy to donate include clothing, electronics, toys, and old kitchenware.

Homes now consume around 40 percent of all energy within the United States, and families that take the time to make their home more eco-friendly can help make a difference while saving some extra money.

Home Restoration How to Make Your Home Green and Energy Efficient.JPG

LizzieWeakley

The Warehouse Environment How to Become More Energy-Efficient During Summer.JPG

The warehouse environment can be really hard to be energy efficient. If you’re running a warehouse, it’s so important to focus on energy efficiency so you don’t have to worry about all the issues that could come from overheating and wasting energy.

Think of Electric Usage

If there are areas in your warehouse that would benefit from lowering the usage on them, take advantage of that! There are so many ways you can lower your energy usage just be thinking about what you’re using it for and what you’re doing that’s causing you to use more energy. It’s a good idea to always keep energy usage in mind.

Upgrade Machinery If Necessary

By upgrading your machinery, you can save a lot of energy. The chances are you probably need to upgrade different machines anyways. Many new systems come with features that make them easier on energy. They could actually boost the efficiency of your warehouse overall instead of just helping you save on the energy you use to run it.

Check Your Cooling System

If you use a cooling system in your warehouse, the chances are it might not be up to date. If you haven’t done regular maintenance or if the system is simply old, you might need to do something about that. Using a company like MTA Australasia can help you determine whether the cooling is working or if it’s just sucking out all the energy you have for the warehouse.

Recruit Employees to Help

Get your employees on board with your energy efficiency goal. If you recruit employees to help you lower your energy usage, it might help you save energy and money in the long run. By doing this, you’ll make sure you’re helping yourself run a company that is successful.

Take Small Steps at First

Don’t get overwhelmed with your own energy efficiency goals. Just taking small steps toward a more efficient warehouse can help you save a lot of energy. It’s a good idea to always keep this in mind when you’re starting out with energy efficiency. If you know what you want to do, figure out a plan to take small steps to get there.

 

Energy efficiency should be an important part of any warehouse. By focusing on what you need to do with your warehouse to make it more energy efficient, you can save yourself a lot of trouble that could come from not having an energy efficient warehouse.

LizzieWeakley

There are few things that can make a home more inviting and pleasant to be in than a wonderful scent. Of course, everything from the kids' smelly shoes and your pets to grease from cooking and more can impact the smell of your home. Many people go to great lengths to overcome these smells and to improve the odor in their space. For example, it is common to spray air fresheners, to use deodorizers on your carpeting and even to light candles in various rooms in the home. While these are common steps to take, aromatherapy may actually be a healthier solution.

The Toxins in Air Freshening Products
Many air fresheners and other related products contain ingredients that are harmful to the environment as well as to your health. For example, most contain benzene, styrene, formaldehyde and phthalates. Some of these are known carcinogens. Others can increase hormone levels, cause reproductive issues, negatively impact the development of a fetus and more. Different air freshening products contain different levels of these ingredients, and some will opt to use products that have a lower level. However, a better option may be to forgo these products altogether and to opt for aromatherapy instead.

 

How Aromatherapy can Create a Greener and Healthier Home.JPG

What Is Aromatherapy?
While most common household air freshening products use harsh, dangerous chemicals to make your home smell great, aromatherapy can produce the same aromatic results by using natural plant extracts and essential oils. These may be some of the same oils and extracts that you may use in your massage oils and bath products. The practice of aromatherapy describes the combination of art and science that come together to create a harmonizing, pleasant and healthy experience for the mind, body and spirit.
Gary Young is a leading advocate of aromatherapy, and he has authored many books on the topic that go into great detail about his own health experiences with aromatherapy.

How to Use Aromatherapy in Your Home
Aromatherapy may most commonly be thought of in relation to making your home smell good, but there are true health benefits associated with aromatherapy as well. Each oil and various combinations of oils can be used to create different and healthy results for you. They have the ability to affect your mood, improve your physical health and help you to feel more spiritually balanced. Choosing oils is the first step to take to enjoy aromatherapy. You should spend time researching the effects each one may have on you. For example, lavender has qualities that will help you to feel more balanced and soothed. Rosemary can be both invigorating and warming. Sweet orange has uplifting, cheerful properties. These and other oils can be incorporated into your home individually or separately to create the healthy results you desire. While you want to choose a scent or a combination of scents that you find appealing and pleasing, you also should be aware of the impact they can have on your mind, body and spirit.

Everyone wants a home that smells fresh, clean and pleasant, but daily activities and regular use of the home can often produce odors that are unappealing. Using air freshening products that you purchase at a local store can be effective at making your home smell better, but these products are bad for the environment and can have unhealthy effects on you and your family. The
essential oils used in aromatherapy are a better option because they are natural, safe and healthy, and they are also equally as effective at making your home smell great. If you are looking for a great way to improve the odor in your home without creating an unhealthy environment, aromatherapy may be the right solution.

LizzieWeakley

There are many benefits to making your home more energy efficient. It will save you an enormous sum of money in utility bills and will also give you the great feeling of knowing that you are doing your part to protect the environment. Here are seven cutting edge ways to make your home more energy efficient.

Install Solar Panels

Instead of counting on your power company to heat your home, you can harness the natural power of the sun with solar panels. They will substantially increase the comfort level of your home.

Switch to Florescent Light Bulbs

Many homes still use conventional incandescent light bulbs, but you can save a tremendous amount of energy by using florescent bulbs instead. Although florescent bulbs cost more at the store, they save you money in the long run by lasting several times longer than their incandescent counterparts.

Reduce Appliance Use

Cut down on the number of times that you use your dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer. Only use them when you have a full load. If you have any appliances that you do not intend to use for a long period of time, disconnect them.

Install Energy Efficient Windows

Energy efficient windows are an excellent addition to any home. They will reduce drafts, cut down on condensation, improve the temperature of your home, and save you money on your electricity bills. Companies such as
Five Star Windows Inc. offer a wide selection of these types of windows for sale.

Install a High Efficiency Furnace

Conventional furnaces waste valuable energy. Like florescent bulbs, you can spend a little more now in order to save a great deal of money later. High efficiency furnaces use fewer fossil fuels, last longer, and heat your home more effectively.

Get a Low Flow Toilet

Most toilets waste water each and every time that they are flushed. Low flow toilets will save you a massive amount of money on your water bill. You will cut your home's water consumption by thousands of gallons per year.

Add Insulation

Increasing the amount of insulation in your home will trap heat inside, meaning that you won't have to use the heater in order for your home to be comfortable. The attic is an especially important place to add more insulation.

With recent advanced in appliance technology, making your home energy efficient is easier than ever. You will be amazed at how much money you can save by following these tips.

 

LizzieWeakley

Creating an eco-friendly home doesn't just mean switching off lights before heading out of the house or installing Energy Star appliances. Many families just need to change a few common habits in order to cut down on energy consumption. Before carrying out an expensive “green” overhaul of your home, take a look at these 5 mistakes that many families make during the summer without even realizing it.

 

5 Home Energy Efficiecy Fails Everyone Makes in the Summer Time.JPG



1. Using Insulation Rolls and Batts
Checking on insulation should be a yearly habit for everyone, but replacing old insulation with ineffective products is one common mistake that could cost you in the long run. Traditional insulation often comes in pre-fabricated shapes such as rolls and batts, but it is only blown-in and spray foam insulation that will get your attic's nooks and crannies.

2. Skipping an Energy Audit
Most families aren't going to hire professional home energy auditors every single year, but you should never skip it for more than a few years in a row. These technicians are trained to go through almost every component of your property to find any energy inefficiencies. Even if they find just a single problem, an audit will often pay for itself within a few months.

3. Forgetting the AC Tune-Up
An annual tune-up carried out by a company such as
Team Electric is not only going to increase the lifespan of your HVAC system, but it is also going to cut down on monthly utility bills. Just as with any other major component in your home, these systems go through an incredible amount of wear-and-tear and a tune-up often includes changing filters, topping off fluids, lubing moving parts, and checking the accuracy of the thermostat.

4. Allowing Phantom Power Loss
“Phantom” power loss is the name given to the small amount of electricity that devices and appliances consume when they are not actively being used. Everything from laptop chargers to coffee makers could be consuming enough electricity to increase your bills by hundreds every year. Attach these devices to a single power strip and turn them off before bed and when you are leaving for work.

5. Not Setting Your Programmable Thermostat Correctly
A programmable thermostat is one of the single best investments for saving energy around the house, but many families are not using them to their full potential. The ideal settings are 82 degrees Fahrenheit when no one is home and no lower than 78 degrees when family members are in the house. If you tend to forget about changing the settings, consider setting automatic timers on the thermostat.

When all of these common mistakes are remedied, your family could be looking at thousands of dollars in savings during the hottest months of the year.

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

Power Monitoring Solutions How to Make Sure Your Business Stays Energy Efficient.JPG

When it comes to energy efficiency, it can really affect how successful your business is. If you require a lot of heavy equipment, he costs for maintaining them can add up quickly. This can cause you to have to take out extra capital to pay for it, tying up your potential investments. This means you could lose out on opportunities to grow quickly. To avoid this, make sure you’re monitoring your power and keeping your company energy efficient the right solutions.

Dual Phase Converters

When you have heavy duty industrial machinery, you need a way for it to convert its power. A single phase converter doesn’t do as much as a dual phase, meaning you overload the system and grid more. It also becomes more difficult to monitor. By having dual phase power you can have one phase providing electricity while the other measures the change in power distribution and efficiency.

Switchboards

In your control room, you can achieve a lot for your energy efficiency by having a quality monitoring station. Part of this station should include switchboards. Not only do they let you switch different machines on and off, but also send those signals to a central monitoring device.

Flexible Transformers

Having the right transformers can have a big impact on how energy efficient your business is. Items like Rogowski coils offered by Aim Dynamics are an example of coils that allow you to place your equipment anywhere that you need to while enjoy power savings. While the monthly number may seem small in the beginning, transformers can offer advantages that add up over time.

Window Monitoring

Your windows and doors are some of the biggest leaks of energy efficiency that you are going to have in your company’s offices and factories. Place monitoring solutions on them such as Nest that allow you to see how efficient they are. Consider replacing them for more efficient versions if necessary.

Temperature Control

Today’s brick and mortar businesses require a lot more power than they used to. This can be a disadvantage if you are a smaller company just starting out. It can also be difficult to deal with if you would prefer to have other items to invest in for your company’s growth. Free up additional time, resources, and funds spent on traditional power monitoring by looking into the tactics described above. It could be a major positive turning point for you and your business.

LizzieWeakley

5 Reasons Why we Need More Energy Efficient Cars.JPG

 

The federal government is putting a lot of pressure on today’s automakers to produce fuel-saving vehicles. Modern innovations such as cylinder deactivation technology are now being used on a regular basis. Here are five reasons why we need more energy efficient vehicles.

Reduce Pollution
Environmental pollution is the top reason why fuel use needs to be minimized. Research shows that automobiles can certainly taint the air. In heavily populated metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles and New York, up to 90 percent of air pollution comes from vehicle emissions. Meanwhile, China’s thick smog can actually be seen from outer space. As a result of burning gasoline and diesel, the ozone layer has become depleted.

Helps the Economy
It is no secret that fuel can be a major expense. Keep in mind that the average driver travels more than 13,000 miles a year. If you commute on a daily basis, you understand the value of reducing fuel consumption. Cities also spend a lot of tax money on refueling public transport vehicles. By purchasing less fuel, governments will have more money to spend on other things.

Less Dependence on Crude Oil
The overwhelming majority of the crude oil reserves are located in the Middle East. This means that countries such as the United States must import oil. To reduce petroleum use, the U.S. government wants the average car to return at least 45 mpg. By using engine dynamometers, automakers can fine-tune a vehicle’s efficiency without compromising any performance. Companies like
Power Test Inc. also design dynamometers to handle large engines. Trucking companies will be able to dramatically improve the fuel efficiency of their fleet.

Prevent Climate Change
Climate change is a subject that a lot of people tend to overlook. According to scientists, the amount of greenhouse gases released by vehicles has a direct influence on global climate change. Powerful hurricanes and tsunamis have been linked to the changing climate. The advancement of hybrid and electric vehicles can certainly help us to overcome this problem.

Ability to Travel without Breaking the Bank
A lot of Americans love to take road trips. However, the cost of fuel can put a major dent in a person’s budget. When more fuel-efficient vehicles start to hit the market, drivers will be able to travel more often. They can visit their family and friends for a far cheaper cost.

Engineers are working hard to improve fuel efficiency. Hopefully, we will see big improvements in the near future.

 

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.

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LizzieWeakley

Your Well Water Supply How to Keep it Green and Clean.JPG

Well water is not processed in the same way as a municipal water supply. Since there is no water treatment plant, you will have to take action to protect your well water. These four tips can help you to keep your well water supply clean and healthy.

Avoiding Pesticides and Herbicides
Although you will not be able to control what your neighbors do on their property, it is a good idea to avoid using pesticides and herbicides on yours. These chemicals can leach into the groundwater and contaminate your well water supply. Even a low quantity of these chemicals could lead to serious health consequences. If you must use an herbicide or pesticide, look for one that has been extensively tested and shown to be non-toxic.

Well Maintenance and Repairs
Even if the groundwater itself is clean, a malfunctioning well could introduce contaminants. Well pumps require some lubricants in order to pump in sub-freezing temperatures. Improper placement of the lubricant could cause some to contaminate the water. Bacterial, parasitic or viral growth could also occur in the water because of a pump malfunction. Be sure to schedule regular well pump maintenance and repairs.

Testing Your Well Water
Testing your well water is critical for your family's health and safety. The testing process should be done once every one to two years. Keep copies of the results so that you can track any changes over the course of time. Each state has different hazards that may be present in the water. Companies like the
Water Systems Council offer guidance on a state by state basis so that you can determine which types of tests are needed for your location.

Septic Maintenance
Most people with well water also have a septic tank for the processing of waste water. Be sure that your septic tank is located away from the well, preferable downstream from it. Regular septic system maintenance is key to ensuring that none of the raw sewage is able to escape from the pipes or tanks and reach the well. Be sure to schedule a septic tank pumping service about every three years.

A clean and green supply of well water is essential to your health. Keeping contaminants off of your property and scheduling regular maintenance will help to keep the well's pump and your septic system working properly. Regularly testing your water will provide you with the information you need and the peace of mind that comes from knowing your water is safe.

LizzieWeakley

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Although there are many ways to go green, it can be difficult to know how to take the first step. Luckily, there are many small and large scale ways to join the movement for a cleaner environment. Read on for some inspiring ideas about how to take initiative and make the world a greener, cleaner place.

Read and Recycle

Reading is an appealing past time, but buying books can become expensive and there is also the issue of what to do with them post reading. Why not practice recycling and support your local community at the same time? Donate gently used books to your local library and shop for new reading material at your local library's used book store, or at local yard sales. If you do not have a local library, consider setting up a book swap with friends. Instead of everyone having their own magazine subscriptions, set up a magazine trading circuit as well.

Carpool

Gas is expensive and everyone driving independently puts a strain on traffic and the environment. Look into sharing a ride to work or to run errands. Not only will it ease your gas budget and release less pollutants, but it just might make your traveling experiences more enjoyable.

Eat Local

Make it a habit to shop for foods at your local farmer's market or farm stand. The food that you find there is seasonal and fresh, and has not required excess gas and transportation to reach consumers. Consider also eating at small businesses that use local food products, or join a community supported agriculture program.

Pursue an Environmental Career

If you are choosing a career or changing career paths, consider looking into
environmental law degrees. This is a way to impact the world around you by advocating for preservation of natural resources. It is a great choice for individuals interested in jobs that blend science and law.

Set Up Online Bill Payment

Junk mail is annoying and time consuming to pick up and sort through. The excess paper involved is also an environmental strain. Do yourself and the earth a big favor by streamlining and switching to an online bill payment system.

Check Window Caulking

It may seem minor, but deteriorated window caulking can allow warm and cool air to escape your home. This air release causes an increase in energy costs and unnecessary environmental demands. Use energy wisely and keep some extra money in your pocket by taking the time to check window caulking and replace it as needed.

Clean with Non Toxic Products

There is no reason to support chemical heavy cleaning product companies and further pollute the environment. Chances are, your cupboards already contain all the items you need to thoroughly clean your home. Simply check for practical items such as vinegar and baking soda, and get ready for a sparkling non-toxic living space.

Make an earth friendly resolution today and encourage friends and family members to do the same. Choose from a myriad of small and large steps that give the satisfaction of knowing you are doing something beneficial. A greener cleaner environment really is worth the extra effort involved.

LizzieWeakley
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When you are struggling with energy efficiency in your home, you need to make sure that you are managing your air conditioning and heating. These systems use a great deal of energy, and you need to be sure that they are not sapping all the energy in the house. Take the steps below to make sure that your home is as efficient as it can be.

Servicing

You need to have your HVAC system serviced every couple months. Your service technician is going to check all the parts of the system, and they are going to make small repairs using parts from their truck. According to Shorty’s Plumbing & Heating Inc., these small repairs will prevent the problems from getting out of control. Also, they can tell you when it is time to replace your system.

Thermostats

When you are running the heat and air, you must have the units on thermostats. These units are going to allow you to turn the heat and air off when the house hits certain temperatures. These thermostats make it much easier for you to use less energy, and they shut down the system when you are not there to do it yourself. You can keep the house at less comfortable temperatures when you are not home, and you can set the system to change for your own comfort when you get home.

Filters

You need to be sure that you are replacing your filters often. These filters are going to allow you to keep air flowing freely through the system, and the will clean the air for you. When you are cleaning the air as much as possible, you are going to have cleaner air to breathe. You must make sure that you get filters that are going to help you breathe healthily. There are filters that clean hospital operating rooms, and there are standard filters that work in all homes.

Wiring

When you are concerned about how your HVAC system is working, you need to be sure that you are having the wiring checked. An electrician can check the wiring for you, and they can fix the wiring if it is a damaged.

Your home is going to become much more efficient if you are working with professionals who understand how to manage the system. They can help make the system more efficient, and they can show you how to replace your filters so that you get the cleanest air possible.

LizzieWeakley

3 Energy-Efficient Benefits to Having a Tankless Water Heater in your Home.JPG

 

If you're in need of a new water heater for your residence, you may want to consider taking the tankless path. Tankless water heaters are becoming more and more common in homes these days due to their numerous energy-efficient advantages. These types of water heaters can be terrific for households that are serious about using less money.

Tankless Water Heaters Last Long

Tankless water heaters generally have longer lives than their standard water heater counterparts. They also don't cost anywhere near as much money to run. The majority of tankless water heaters out there can stay in good condition for more than two decades. If you want to enjoy reduced energy and running costs for 20 plus years, a tankless water heater in your home can indeed be a wise and energy-efficient option to consider. If you want to get a tankless water heater, a company like
Knights Plumbing & Drain can help you with the installation process.

The Frustration of Standby Heat Loss

Storage water heaters are often linked to drops in standby heat. The H20 in storage water heaters is being heated nonstop. That can lead to wastes of energy at all times, which is referred to as standby heat loss. If you want to avoid the stress of wastes of energy, getting a tankless water heater can be highly beneficial for you. Tankless water heaters are the sole water heaters that don't trigger standby water losses. If you want reduced monthly utility bills and a mind that's totally free of worries about standby water losses, then a tankless water heater can indeed be a good thing for your property.

Power Needs

Tankless water heaters are convenient because they solely require sufficient power to heat the exact amount of H20 you need for the specified time. If you don't like the idea of being wasteful and heating water that you simply don't need for the time-being, a tankless water heater can be a source of immense peace of mind for you. These kinds of water heaters, simply put, only heat what they immediately need. There's no simpler way to put it.

There are truly many exciting
energy-efficient perks that are part of owning a tankless water heater. There are also, however, a number of advantages that don't involve energy efficiency. These go beyond money savings, too. Tankless water heaters can be great for compact residences such as apartments. They don't require anywhere near as much space as other types of water heaters. They also are great because they can always provide you with nice hot water, no matter what.

LizzieWeakley
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Global warming remains one of the biggest threats to humanity. In order to protect our beautiful planet, it is going to take a team effort. Here are some things that you can do to help preserve our planet’s energy and natural resources.

Reduce the amount of time spent in the shower

Taking a long, hot shower can be very relaxing. Unfortunately, this can waste electricity and a lot of precious water. According to experts, you can save more than a $100 a year by simply taking shorter showers. If you are still using a traditional shower head, you should promptly replace it with a low-flow shower head.

Do not allow your vehicle to idle for a long time

Over the years, drivers have developed a habit of allowing their engine to warm up in the morning. However, modern engines do not need a very long warm-up period. Contrary to popular belief, allowing your vehicle to idle for a long duration can actually decrease the life of the engine. Remember, most vehicles will quickly reach the appropriate temperature after being driven for a few miles. Limiting your idle time saves fuel and helps to preserve the environment.

Do not throw your used bottles in the trash

Instead of tossing your used bottles and cans in the trash, start collecting them. Many recycling centers give out cash in exchange for used containers. This is a win-win situation for you and the planet. Over the course of a year, the average consumer can easily collect over $40 worth of recyclable containers.

Consider getting a degree in geology

UF degrees in geology provide graduates with a lot of exciting opportunities. After you graduate from your geology program, you will be able to become a leader in the fight against global warming. Not only will you get the opportunity to work in nature, but you can also educate your friends and family on ways to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Use traditional ways to perform your household tasks

During the warmer months, try to air-dry your clothes as much as possible. If you only need to wash a couple articles of clothing, consider using an old-fashioned washboard. When possible, you should also use a non-electric vacuum to keep your floors clean.

The future of the environment is in our hands. If everyone makes a few changes, we can bring a halt to global warming.

LizzieWeakley

5 Ways to Encourage Environmental Safety and Responsibility in Your Community.JPG

 

There's no question that the earth is important. It's where we live, work, and raise our families. Sometimes issues like pollution and environmental responsibility seem too big to address. After all, we are talking about the entire world! The best that you can do to address these issues is to begin on your local level. Check out these five ways that you can encourage environmental safety and responsibility in your community.

Education
Education is crucial to the beginning of any environmental program. You should be sure to teach your own family how to be responsible, as well as share ideas and materials with your local schools and universities. Most importantly, educate yourself on what you can do every day to make a difference.

Start or Join a Program
Education doesn't stop in schools. If your town doesn't already have a recycling program in place, be prepared to present ideas to local councils. If you starting clean-up programs seems out of reach, research programs nearby. It may be possible to make share arrangements with county recycling agencies or to cut deals with local businesses for time and funding.

Group Up
Whether you take your family to the beach or attend community festivals, take advantage of groups! The best way to help the environment is to set an example. If you see trash while you are out on a hike or on the beach, pick it up and encourage your family to follow suit. Also, ask your city council to provide both trash and recycle bins for big events. When presented with options, people will usually do the right thing.

Encourage Corporate Responsibility
You are able to make choices about where the money you earn goes. Do your best to spend your money locally and with environmentally responsible companies. You can learn more about a company's environmental programs by visiting their websites. For example, a good website for this would be
The Freo Group. By spending your money at responsible businesses, you are encouraging good behavior and setting an example for your community that can spread rapidly.

Use Your Influence
Do you own a business, head a book club, or organize extracurricular programs? Use the groups you are already a part of to spread awareness.


One person can do much more than you would think. By encouraging good environmental behavior and sharing information with others, your community can improve by leaps and bounds!

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

Home Energy Efficiency Why you Should Consider Solar Energy.JPG

 

There are very few things in life that we can be 100 percent sure of. One of these things is the fact that the sun will rise every single day. Because of this and as a result of increasing energy prices, more people are opting to rely partially or solely on solar energy. The following are a few reasons why.

The Sun Will Come out Tomorrow

The honest truth is that if the sun does not come out tomorrow, the world will have a lot bigger problems to face than finding inexpensive environmentally friendly energy. However, scientists believe that the sun will continue to shine for at least another 5 billion years. That’s more than enough time for you to recoup any amount of money you invest in installing solar panels. Additionally, enough sun reaches the United States every single day to provide power for the entire country for 10 years. This means that there is literally no limit to what could potentially be done with solar energy.

Solar Technology is No Longer in Its Infancy

Although many talk about solar energy as if it were a future tech, the truth is that solar systems have been in use since the 70's. And many of the solar energy systems that were installed 40 plus years ago are still working today. Over the past four decades there have been a number of technological improvements that have increased the reliability and energy production capability of solar panels.

Solar panels have very few moving parts. They don’t need a lot of maintenance. They are simple to install. And the technology behind them gets better every single day.

Solar Technology Saves You Money

Investing in solar technology for your home and business makes financial sense. Solar energy lowers your energy bill every month. Additionally, in some states tax incentives are given to homes that use solar energy. And while the practice is diminishing, some utility companies will pay homeowners for the extra electricity they produce. As the price of solar technology continues to plummet and the cost of fossil fuels rise, using solar energy makes more financial sense every day.

Solar Energy is Good for the Environment

Conventional power relies on processes that damage the environment. Even so-called clean forms of energy like wind energy and hydraulic energy can have a negative impact on the environment where they are located. Solar energy does not produce harmful emissions. It is a truly clean source of energy.

Solar Energy Can be Used All Day Long

When it comes to discussing
solar power panels, companies like Legend Solar that specialize in providing solar panels in the Utah area, are educating the public on the difference between solar energy myths and the reality. Many mistakenly believe that solar power only functions if the sun is out.

The truth is that even if a person has solar panels installed in their home, most of the time they are still connected to the city’s energy grid. The only difference is that during the daytime, when they’re not at home, their solar panels are collecting electricity, and this electricity is being pushed back to the electric grid. The result is that the electric meters on their home actually spin backward. In the evening time, if they do need to pull electricity from the grid, they are using credit energy that they’ve earned throughout the day. The neat thing about this credit energy is that it never expires.

Solar energy is the wave of the future. By investing in solar energy now, you put yourself in a position to be ahead of the curve. You save money, you protect the environment, and you help make the planet you live on a better and safer place for everyone.

 

 

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