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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

Summer Heat How to Get the Most out of Your Air Conditioner.JPG

Making sure that your air conditioning system works properly is probably very important to you and your family during the summer months. If you are concerned about your system or if you want to ensure that it works as effectively as possible, however, you shouldn't worry. Instead, follow these tips to get the most out of your air conditioner when dealing with the summer heat.

Block Out the Sun

First of all, if you have the sun shining into your home on a hot, sunny day, it can make the temperatures rise in the house and can make your air conditioning system work that much harder. To give your air conditioner a fighting chance at keeping your home cool and to reduce your cooling bills, it's a good idea to cover up your windows during the daytime so that you can block the sun out. Luckily, there are plenty of light-blocking shades available on the market that can help.

Have Your Air Conditioner Serviced

If you have not hired a company like A-1 American Services to service your air conditioner yet this year, it's a good idea to do so. By hiring a technician to come out now, you can determine if there are any issues with your system. Then, you can ensure that it's working as it is supposed to. This can help prevent system failures on the hottest days of the year, can help your system last longer and can help you prevent having to pay high repair bills later on.

Change Your Filters Regularly

If you aren't in the habit of changing your HVAC system's air filters each and every month, now is the time to get in the habit of doing so. Failing to change your filters can pose a problem because it can prevent your system from being able to do its job properly. It can also affect your indoor air quality. Luckily, these filters are usually pretty affordable to purchase and are typically pretty easy to change, so swapping them out monthly shouldn't be too much of a challenge.

Set Your Thermostat Properly

Using a programmable thermostat so that you aren't cooling an empty home and setting your system to the right temperature can help your unit run more efficiently. Then, you can keep your home cool without driving up your cooling bills too much. It's also a good idea to leave your system alone once it's programmed rather than adjusting it back and forth if you want to maintain a steady, comfortable temperature.

If you are like most people, you probably really rely on your air conditioning system to keep you and your family nice and cool during the hot summer months. However, you might be concerned that your air conditioner is not really working as it should be. Luckily, following these tips can help you get more out of your system.

 

LizzieWeakley

Summer Cleanup How to Make Your Community Green and Clean Again.JPG

If you want to have a beautiful community, then you should find ways to keep it clean. Unfortunately, there are people who don’t care about taking care of the environment. However, you can overcome the problems associated with having dirty public areas, especially during the summer.

 

Helping a Senior Citizen Clean a Property

There are likely senior citizens who have a lot of trash on a property, but without any help, the items will degrade, creating additional pollution in the groundwater and soil. You can talk to this neighbor about cleaning up a property to meet certain health codes, and you can find volunteers who will remove the piles of trash.

 

Local Park Cleanups

When your community’s local park has become a disaster zone after a public event such as a free concert, it needs a thorough cleanup. Notify the public about a community cleanup at the local park so that it will become an enjoyable place for children to play. Both children and adults can help clean a local park.

 

Remove Trash from Empty Lots

If your community has numerous empty lots where there were once houses or businesses, then the sites can become locations where people dump excess trash. In some cases, paper trash and beverage cans also collect on abandoned properties when there are rainstorms during the spring. Arrange a Saturday morning cleanup of volunteers who can pick up this accumulation of trash so that an entire neighborhood looks better.

 

Clean a Waterway in Your Community

There are individuals who will throw trash into the local waterways, filling up the streams and ponds with old tires, rusty appliances and other items. The trash that collects in waterways will destroy the natural environment. However, you must choose a time when the weather is dry so that you can remove heavy pieces of trash from the water in a lake or river.

 

Create Community Recycling Stations

When you want to encourage recycling in your community, you can teach your neighbors how to sort different types of trash. First, you will need to arrange dumpster rental so that you can separate plastic, glass and paper items. Your neighbors should learn how to clean and prepare trash for proper recycling.

 

What Else Do You Need for a Community Cleanup?

You will need an assortment of supplies while cleaning anything in your community. In addition to trash bags, you should make sure that volunteers wear protective gloves to prevent cuts on the fingers. A volunteer can also use a mechanical grabbing device to pick up trash from the ground.

LizzieWeakley

Stay Cool 5 Ways to Enjoy Energy Efficiency This Summer.JPG

The heat of the summer can start to get you down. You may be relying on your air conditioning to see you through it. This can start to add up for your monthly expenses. Here are some ways that you can stay cool and minimize your electric bill.

 

Eliminate Unnecessary Heat Generation

Cook your food during the cooler parts of the day. Running your oven can heat up your whole house. Either prepare your food ahead of time or invest in cool food options during those really hot days. Do your laundry at night so that you aren’t generating any more heat than is necessary.

 

Service Your Air Conditioner

Have your air conditioner serviced on a yearly basis. Companies like Alabama Climate Control will be able to get your unit in top operating condition. Another thing to keep it running efficiently is to change out the filters each month. An air conditioner that is more efficient can save on the overall energy consumption.

 

Program Your Thermostat

Set your thermostat so that your home doesn’t get too warm. This can cause your unit to be less efficient if it has to work overtime to bring your home down to temperature. You can save some money by setting it to a point that isn’t too cool. Having a programmable thermostat can also make your home more energy efficient.

 

Use Window Treatments to Advantage

Block out those rays from the sun. They will only cause your home to heat up quickly. Open up your windows once the sun has gone down for the day to use some natural air conditioning. Using your windows at night can dramatically reduce your electric bill from the air conditioning.

 

Circulate the Air

Fans are a great way to circulate the cooler air in your home. The point is to keep you comfortable without having to employ more costly measures. Set up window fans so that you can more quickly cool your home at night. Trap that cooler air inside so that your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard during the day.

 

You can enjoy a cooler home that doesn’t eat into your budget just by trying out a few simple things. Be mindful of how much heat you generate in your home each day. Plan ahead accordingly to take the outside temperature into consideration. Use nighttime cooling to enable your home to get back down to the right temperature so that you can stay cool.

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

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

Smart Home How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient.JPG

The earth is currently going through a lot of challenges. This includes global warming, extreme weather, pollution and more. If these challenges are to be overcome, it’s going to require action from everyone. This certainly includes homeowners. There are steps you can take as a homeowner to lessen your impact on the environment. Below are four strategies for making your home more energy efficient.

 

 

Upgrade Your HVAC System

One of the biggest drains on your energy efficiency is your heating, ventilation and cooling system, also known as an HVAC system for short. According to Derek Sawyers Smart Energy Heating & Air, your system should probably be upgraded if it’s older than 15 years. Newer HVAC systems run much more efficiently. This means increased energy efficiency and lower utility bills every month.

 

 

Upgrade Your Light Bulbs

Another idea you should consider to increase your home’s energy efficiency is upgrading your light bulbs. Traditional incandescent light bulbs run very hot. This means they use a lot of energy and also wear out much faster as well. Newer compact fluorescent bulbs, on the other hand, run much cooler when producing the same amount of light as incandescent bulbs. According to the US Department of Energy, compact fluorescent lights use 25 to 35 percent of the energy that incandescent lights do. They last significantly longer as well.

 

 

Upgrade Your Windows

Another source of energy inefficiency in your house could be your windows. Older windows especially tend to leak a lot of air. This means that your furnace will have run much harder to keep your home heated during the winter. It also means your air conditioner will have to work much harder to keep your home cool during the summer. If your windows are significantly old, consider upgrading them to more energy efficient windows.

 

 

Program Your Thermostat

Many people run their HVAC system too often. This wastes energy and results in high utility bills. Instead of running your system all the time, program your thermostat so the heat or air only runs when it’s needed. You, for example, don’t need to run your air conditioner as much when you’re at work and your kids are at school.

 

 

The carbon footprint of homes certainly has an adverse effect on the environment. If everyone took the steps outlined above, however, some of that negative impact could be curbed. Don’t stop here. There are plenty of more strategies you can use to increase your home’s energy efficiency.

LizzieWeakley

Smart Home 5 Features to Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient This Summer.JPG

Keeping your home cool during the summer can be challenging and costly during heat waves. All of that summer heat tends to build up inside your home and make it feel like an oven. You can employ some simple techniques to make your home more comfortable this summer. Another benefit is that you can also make your home more energy efficient.

Service Your HVAC

Your HVAC unit is like any other appliance in your home. If it isn’t cared for properly, it can start to experience problems. Consider using a company like Custom Comfort to give your HVAC unit a checkup. This will ensure that your AC can function in the most energy efficient manner possible when you do decide to use it.

Set Your Thermostat

Allowing your home to become too warm can make your AC less efficient. This is because it has to work that much harder to cool your house down to the proper temperature. Set your thermostat to a more consistent temperature. This will prevent your AC from having to work double time.

Replace Drafty Windows

Warm air leaking into your home can cause the temperature to start to rise. Those drafty windows are letting in a lot of hot air during the summer months. Replace them with more energy efficient models so that you can cut down on the air exchange in your home.

Beef up the Insulation

Add insulation into the attic, crawlspace, and above the garage of your home. You may want to consider adding insulation into your walls if you have an older home. This will increase the overall energy efficiency of your house. You may be surprised at how comfortable your home can be when it’s properly insulated.

Use Natural Cooling Methods

One of the more overlooked solutions to increasing the energy efficiency of your home is to use free methods of cooling it. Open up those new windows at night to let in cool air and release the warm air. You may want to use a window fan to facilitate the air exchange. A fan is much more cost effective than running the AC.

 

There are other ways that you can make your home more energy efficient. Painting it a lighter color or replacing the roof with a lighter shingle also help. Adding landscaping that provides a little bit of cover is another solution. You may want to use several methods so that you can reap the most energy efficiency.

LizzieWeakley

Setting up solar panels can often be a complicated process especially if you aren’t sure where to begin. However, with enough research and the right resources, you can make the process much simpler. Some things you will need include adequate sun exposure, a credible installer, a cost-benefit analysis, and knowledge about potential issues.

Sun Exposure

Sun exposure is incredibly important when it comes to solar panels. Essentially, the more sun exposure your panels receive, the more the batteries will charge. Therefore, you will need to take several factors into consideration. For example, is there a lot of shade in your yard from trees? If so, your solar panels may not perform well. Additionally, you will need to consider your environment. Snow cover and clouds can impact the panels because you will need to frequently remove snow from the panels in order for them to function, and clouds can reduce the amount of sun that reaches the panels.

Credible Installer

Since installing solar panels can often be a complicated process, an electrical installation company can make the process significantly easier for you. Look for a group that specializes in solar panel installation. Consult with them about your home’s unique qualities and challenges. They will be sure to help you utilize your home to save money and time in the future.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

It is important to do a cost-benefit analysis when considering solar panels. Installing the panels will require an initial investment, which can sometimes be expensive. However, it will save you money in the long run because you won’t have to pay an electricity bill each month. Additionally, you should carefully consider whether you will rent or purchase a solar panel system. When leasing, you may only be able to keep the system for a certain amount of time. Whereas, if you purchase the system outright, it could potentially last for many years to come if you properly maintenance it.

Potential Issues

It is important to be aware of various issues that could potentially impact your solar panels. For example, excessive heat can negatively impact solar panel performance. Additionally, excessive wind and rain can degrade the panels over time, and tree branches and leaves can sometimes scratch the surface of the panels, which can lower performance. Solar panel systems typically come with warranties; however, it is important to be mindful of these issues so you can get the most out of your system.

Overall, there are many things you will need to research before deciding to purchase solar panels. Typically, this is a great investment because solar panels generate renewable energy that doesn’t damage the environment like other power sources. If you are concerned about your carbon footprint and are able to conduct the proper research, you should be able to make a positive investment for your future and the future of the environment.

Setting Up Solar Panels Here's 4 Things You Will Need.PNG

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

Being more eco-conscious not only will help you do your part towards sustainability but it can  also save you money. Here are seven easy ways to make your home a more eco-friendly place. 


Mindful Water Use


A truly eco-friendly home means you need to also save water as well as electricity. First, fix any plumbing leaks. Don’t keep the tap running while you shave or brush your teeth. Also, consider installing a low-flow shower-head; they can save a family of four up to 42,260 gallons of water a year.


Maintain Your Cooling and Heating Systems


An inefficient air conditioner or furnace can burn up a lot more energy than you realize. Make sure to keep the filters clean, and change them when necessary. For more complex maintenance, a yearly appointment with a reputable AC repair company is a wise investment towards sustainability.


Switch to LED Light Bulbs


Not only do energy-efficient LED bulbs use less electricity and last longer, but they’re also less likely to trigger eye strain or a headache than fluorescent bulbs.


Use Organic and Natural Cleaning Products


Harmful cleaning chemicals are not only bad for the environment, but they’re also bad for your health. When you wash them down the drain you’re simply flushing them into the environment and water supply. For most ordinary cleaning, natural and organic products made from vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, citric acid and bicarbonate of soda can be used effectively.


Buy Recycled Products


It’s a good thing to purchase recycled products whenever you can. This can be toilet paper and paper towels made from recycled paper, to shopping at thrift stores for lightly used furniture and clothing.


Cook Smart

It’s easy to cook smart, which contributes to an eco-friendly home. Buy organic and sustainably produced food, it’s not only good for the Earth, but it’s also good for your health. Eat more raw foods; not using the oven or stove will save you energy. And once again, eating raw food is good for your health. Avoid products with excessive plastic packaging; for example, coffee pods contribute tons of plastic waste to the environment. Switch back to a drip coffee maker.


Make Your Own Compost


Don’t scrape your leftovers and kitchen scraps into the trash, turn them into compost. Learn about composting, and start a backyard compost pile or get a compost bin for your yard. You can make lots of high-quality fertilizer for your garden for free.

LizzieWeakley

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

Insulation

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

Windows

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

Plumbing

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

Lighting

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

Appliances

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

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

LizzieWeakley

Reducing Emissions Why You Should Heat Your Business with a Boiler System.JPG

Energy is an important component to keep a business running smoothly. No company can operate without energy. The energy used by most businesses emanates from combustion of fossils fuels like coal, natural gas and oil. However, this energy has some harmful effect as it produces greenhouse gases which are harmfully to the surrounding. The most common gas produced by human activities is carbon dioxide. Therefore, it is advisable to use a boiler system to reduce carbon dioxide emission among other advantages which include;

1. Economical

When operating a business one of the factors to consider is the cost. This is done by cost-benefit analysis where you determine the difference between cost and profit gained. A boiler system helps in reducing the cost on energy. It consists of a tank, cylinders, pump and a piping system. These components harness, store and convey energy to where it’s needed in the company. There is less operating cost since the water used is recycled over and over again. On the other hand energy is stored and transported effectively and efficiently with minimal loses.

2. Produces Clean Energy


Everyone loves clean environment and clean energy is one way to ensure the surround is clean. The energy produced by a boiler system is mostly heat which is conveyed in form of steam or hot water through pipes. This means that it is free from dust and other particles hence making it clean. Therefore a boiler system produces environmental friendly energy.

3. Reduce Environmental Hazards

Environmental degradation and dirtying the surround causes many businesses to fall. This is due to the fact that people living around a certain business will be affected by the company’s emissions especially when it is producing energy. These emissions are commonly carbon dioxide produced when burning fossil fuel. Installing a boiler system or renting a mobile one from firms like Nationwide Boiler help reduce these carbon dioxide emissions.

4. Easy to Install

This is facilitated by the fact that boilers appear in different forms. These include; temporary plant boilers and fixed boilers system among others. Therefore, one can get a boiler depending on how long they want to use it.


Boiler systems have advantages compared to other heating system available like furnace. As we have seen above boilers store energy to be used and their raw material which is water is recycled. Also clean energy and environment friendly energy is produced.

LizzieWeakley

Recycling 101 Why we do it and how it Benefits our Environment.JPG

If you are one of those folks shying away from jumping on board the recycling train, this is for you. It's a fact - not everyone wants to recycle. Not everyone wants to wash dirty plastic cups or break down stiff cardboard boxes, either. How about you? Do you think recycling is a waste of time and effort?

Did you know that recycling can help us all actually breathe easier? Think of ten of your friends and two of them have allergies due to air pollution. By using recycled glass items where manufacturing processes are reduced, we are left with a whopping 20% less muck to cloud up our breathing space. That may not sound like a lot. Then again, are two lives or 20% of your friends important enough for people to take advantage of the benefits of recycling? Not just yes; but heck yes!

 

Recycling not only helps clean out your cabinets filled to the brim with old plastic butter containers; it enhances the quality of life for billions of people while salvaging and preserving Mother Earth's greatest assets.

Is Recycling Trendy?

During the entire stretch of the 1900's, U.S. citizens proudly recycled. WWII recycled approximately 1/4 of waste. Prior to WWII, various recycling programs had been established within 70% of U.S. cities. Many folks can remember as children being motivated to recycle soda pop bottles for the $0.05 they could earn in return. Is recycling trendy. Not so much.

Why Recycle?

Most of us understand there is some benefit to recycling. What doesn't necessarily ring loud enough is why we should bother to care. Supporters like
Lakeshore Recycling can provide lots of information about recycling for the home and businesses. We need folks who get the big picture about the benefits that recycling provides for us all.

Recycling participation is a hands-on support system for people and the environment. Compacted landfills take up valuable land space while infusing toxicity under and above ground, negatively affecting natural resources. With over 7 billion people worldwide producing approximately 7.5 pounds of garbage daily, that leaves approximately 54,112,192,470 pounds of waste, that is something we simply cannot ignore.

In conclusion, there is extensive profit to be made on all levels of recycling. Cleaner air and land, healthier minds and bodies, and earning a buck are about as many reasons as we need to step up our recycling game. The recycling train is standing by. Come on! Jump aboard!

LizzieWeakley

Recyclable Materials That Dont Go in the Recycling.JPG

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

Cords

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

Liquids

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

Wrappers

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

Food

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

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

LizzieWeakley

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.

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

Artificial Turf Benefits

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

Artificial Turf Drawbacks

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

Real Grass Lawn Benefits

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

Real Grass Lawn Drawbacks

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

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

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

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Propane Efficency Why You Should Use it as a Heating Source.JPG

 

Whether you plan to heat the house, office or warehouse, using propane is the right choice for your budget and the environment. People using propane vehicles notice the differences when they stop using petroleum and save more money on their rides, according to research by the U.S. Department of Energy. Today, people count on propane as the ideal source of clean energy in homes and buildings.

Propane is Not a Hazard

Propane is a colorless, odorless gas that is nontoxic. Whether it's referred to as a natural gas byproduct, liquid or fossil fuel, it is clean and produces far fewer toxins than gasoline. Propane vehicles promote clean cities by releasing fewer smog-causing particles. In your home, a propane heater does not release harmful gases into the air or cause environmental pollution.

Affordable for All Households

Homeowners use the Btu formula to compare the costs of heating a home with propane, electricity or natural gas. Determine the amount of power you need before you determine the cost per energy unit.

Know that propane is a highly energy efficient source that works well throughout the winter. Find air, water, space and tank heaters that are all powered with propane fuel. The heaters vary in volume capacity from 100 to 1,000 gallons.

Avoid the highest costs of electricity when you have a propane device in its place. There are no electrical cords, so the equipment is portable and convenient to use. The liquid propane tanks are ideal for use in mobile space heaters. Preserve the heat inside of your propane tank with a cover, which is found only through companies like
Powerblanket.

A Backup Source of Energy

Anyone not sure about the reliability of propane should use it as a backup. During a power outage, families do not have to wait for the utility company to restore power, which is a process that could take days or weeks.

Many homes have standby generators that run on propane or natural gas. The device runs automatically after it detects an outage and continues running for weeks or months later. In case you are away, certain companies have monitoring systems that allow you to monitor the status of a generator remotely.

Emissions regulations have changed the ways that people look at energy. Now, more of them see propane as the clean, alternative option that works in homes and businesses. They will continue to rely on propane as an important source of heating, comfort and significant energy savings.

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Powering the World How to Become More Energy Efficient.JPG

 

Creating an energy-efficient environment can benefit you in many ways. It can cut down your electric bill and provide you with the means to claim a tax break in some cases. If you have not yet transformed to living an energy-efficient life, these tips can help you get started.
 

Have Your Insulation Checked

 

The first and quickest way that you can be energy-efficient is by checking the insulation in your home. You contact a professional to have an inspection. If the inspection reveals poor insulation, then you know you need to tighten things up to maximize energy efficiency.
 

Buy Energy Star Household Items

 

The golden rule of energy efficiency is not getting too attached to one's old appliances. Look for the Energy Star logo whenever you shop for any household appliances. Examples of items that you may need to replace are items such as washing machines, clothes washers, refrigerators and the like. The Energy Star symbol is a guarantee that your new device is going to use as little energy as possible to do the job it needs to do.
 

Renovate by Swapping Out Major Equipment

 

You will need to conduct some major upgrades if you want to receive the tax breaks and truly get the most out of your energy efficiency potential. For example, you may want to replace your current boiler with one from a company like Nationwide Boiler.
 

Obtain a Special Energy Measurement Sensor

 

Many people would use less energy if they could get on-demand usage stats. Therefore, you may want to buy a gadget or device that measures the amount of energy that you are consuming on any given day. You can then manipulate the amount of energy that you use. Such devices do exist, although they are probably few and far between.
 

Regularly Maintain Your Appliances

 

Another way that you can ensure that you maintain an energy efficient environment is if you perform regular maintenance on your appliances. For example, you can dust your air conditioner and change the filters so it doesn't have to work harder than normal to cool the room. You can do the same with the heating system, fridge and other appliances. Have a professional come in and provide maintenance to the items that you don't quite understand.


Use the previously mentioned ideas to get yourself started on an efficient path. You can apply the tips to a business or a large-scale project, as well.

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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.

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Plumbing Blunders How Bad Plumbing Can Affect Your Home Efficiency.JPG

 

Many homeowners are focused on improving home efficiency in various ways. Running an efficient home can ultimately save you money and even maintain or improve property value over time. You may think that you have thoroughly covered all of the bases through your property maintenance projects, but there may be one area that you have overlooked. Your home’s plumbing system impacts efficiency in several ways, and you cannot overlook this component if you want to enjoy a truly efficient, well-maintained home. By exploring the reasons why this is true, you may be able to take steps to further improve your home’s efficiency.

Water Waste from Leaking Pipes
Pipes can leak in older and newer homes alike. Many leaks are gushers, and you may be immediately alerted to their presence as water streams through your home. Other leaks, however, are smaller and may be more difficult to identify. For example, you may have a small leak in a pipe in your foundation or in your yard. They may be caused by poor workmanship, poor materials, the home settling naturally and more. You can request a plumbing inspection from a company like Highpoint Plumbing, a group of
plumbers in Heber City, Utah to learn more about the condition of your pipes. These leaks can result in a tremendous amount of costly wasted water, and repairing them is a great way to keep your water bills as low as possible.

High Humidity Levels Impacting the HVAC System
When you have even a small leak or a dripping faucet, the humidity level in the home can go up. Your HVAC system is responsible for maintaining the home at an ideal temperature, but humidity can impact this dramatically. If you have a leak that is causing humidity levels to rise in the home, there is a chance that your HVAC system is not working as efficiently as it could be. When your plumber identifies and fixes small leaks in your pipes, you may notice that your HVAC system functions more efficiently. This can decrease HVAC repair needs, lower usage costs and extend the life of your HVAC system.

Mold Growth Concerns
Any time water and humidity levels are not controlled in the home, the issue of mold becomes a concern. Mold commonly grows in moist, darkened areas that are difficult to find. It can spread considerably in a short period of time, damaging many areas of the home without your knowledge. It also can cause moderate to serious illness or even death in you and your loved ones when exposed to mold spores. If you have been told that you had a water leak or high humidity levels, it is wise to get a professional mold test completed for your home. Mold remediation should begin immediately if you determine mold is growing in your home.

The Issue of Water Quality
Your home’s water heater plays a direct role in water quality in the home. Sediment and other debris in the hot water heater can enter your home’s water supply. In addition, there are times when the sewage line leaks back into the fresh water supply. Both can cause illness or worse. A plumbing inspection can reveal if this is a problem in your home. You may also spot signs of this through foul-smelling or discolored water. These are signs that plumbing repairs are urgently needed.

It is easy to overlook the condition of your plumbing system as long as everything appears to be functioning as needed. However, you can see that hidden issues with your pipes, sewage line and hot water heater can cause serious issues that require urgent attention. These issues can impact your wallet in the form of extra expenses, and they can also affect your health. Consider scheduling a plumbing inspection soon to learn more about the current condition of this vital system and to make repairs as needed. By doing so, you can dramatically improve the efficiency and condition of your home.

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Old Home Improvement 4 Ways Installing New Windows Can Impact Your Energy Bills.JPG

Not only do new windows make your home look and feel updated, they can also do a lot for the energy efficiency of your home. If you upgrade your windows, your home could become more efficient and your bills could get lower.

They Reduce Drafts

Old windows can be drafty especially if they are not installed correctly. New windows reduce the draft and can make it easier for you to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It’s important to recognize that drafty windows can cause huge changes in your electric bills.

Double Panes Are More Efficient

When companies like Valley Glass Utility install new windows, they do so with double panes. This is the standard for replacement windows and new-build windows now. Double panes are more energy efficient because of the way they trap heat inside or cool air inside. They can help reduce your energy bill.

Old Glass Isn’t Insulating

There are not any insulating properties in old glass windows. Along with it being single-paned most of the time, there might also be issues with the way the glass was put into the windows. Even if you have a home that wasn’t built too long ago, the windows may not have all the insulating properties new windows do. It’s important to get new windows so they can act as another barrier against the outside. They need to be able to help your home stay warm or cool while also providing protection from the elements.

Your Home Will Be Easier to Heat

Heating a home with old windows might seem impossible. Since they don’t trap heat like they should and they’re not efficient, you might not be able to have the best heating system in your house. For this reason, many older homes feel like they’re cold all the time. Getting new windows might make it easier for you to heat your home. The right windows will allow your home to heat up and can make it easier for you to take advantage of a great heating system when you were unable to do so in the past because of drafts or other issues in your home.

 

Not only are window replacements a good idea to change the aesthetics of your home but they’re also great for increasing the efficiency. If you want to see drastic changes in your energy bills, upgrading to new windows is the way to go.

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Office Energy Efficiency How Roof Maintenance Can Bring You up a Level.JPG

Keeping your office cool when it needs to be and hot, when it needs to be, is important. You might not know, but your roof can have a huge impact on the energy efficiency of your office. A properly maintained roof will help your office become more energy efficient.

Maintenance Keeps Debris Away

If there is any debris on your roof, it could be hurting the efficiency of your building. In addition to this issue, it could also cause your roof to be at risk of collapse. There are things you can do to ensure your roof doesn’t have debris on it, but regular maintenance will almost always help you keep it away.

You Might Need Parts Replaced

There are some parts of the roof, like shingles, that might need to be replaced regularly. Companies like Melton Industries LLC can help you determine whether or not parts need to be replaced and what you can do about it. If you need to fix your roof, it’s important to hire experts who can fix it the right way.

The Roof Could Not Have Proper Insulation

If your roof has not been regularly maintained, the insulation could be lacking. Proper insulation can help keep your office cool or warm and can make it easier for the entire office to stay comfortable. It’s a good idea to talk with a roof specialist who can find issues with the insulation.

Problems with the Roof Could Affect Heating and Cooling

If there is anything wrong with your roof, your heating and cooling will not work the right way. There could be major problems with the heating and cooling operations if you don’t have regular maintenance on your roof.

Regular Maintenance Is Necessary

Regularly maintaining your roof is a necessary part of your office building. You need to use a professional who can help you understand the right way to maintain your roof. With the help of a professional, you can make sure that your office building is in the best condition possible so it will be able to heat easier.

After you make the right decision to use regular roof maintenance for your office, you’ll notice that your office is much easier to heat and cool. The energy efficiency will increase as a result of roof maintenance and it will help you see there are things you can do to ensure your office building is much easier to handle.

LizzieWeakley

In the past few years, there have been advances in energy efficiency that make investing in efficient appliances and upgrades more cost-effective. The basic principles that help homeowners save energy have been known for a long time, but it is only recently that energy efficient tech has become cheap enough to make the investment worthwhile. This article will discuss some of the best ways to save energy in the home and discuss the recent advances that have made it worthwhile to upgrade the home.

 

New Technology that will Make your Home More Energy Efficient.JPG

Appliances
The
Energy Star standard is more than just a way to point out which brands save energy- it provides detailed information about how much energy an appliance is expected to consume during use. Having an energy efficient refrigerator can save quite a lot of money because the fridge needs to run constantly, so it is always using electricity. Other good candidates for an efficiency upgrade are the air conditioner and light bulbs.


Heat Leakage
The single biggest energy loss comes from heating up the house in the winter and cooling it in the summer. Part of the problem is that heat is leaking out in the winter and in during the summer through cracks and gaps in the house's construction. One of the best ways to counteract this effect is with upgraded door and window frames. Frames without good sealing are prime zones for heat leakage, and closing them up can save a lot in heating and cooling costs. For example,
Gilkey Windows can install heat-efficient windows as an upgrade to older frames that have gaps or poor sealing material.


Smart-Home Systems
A smart home is a system of appliances that are networked together with computer hardware and software. You can control this system by setting up preferences and instructions about when to turn appliances on and off. This can save money by, for example, reducing temperature controls when everyone is asleep or away from the house, and then turning the controls back on when people are about to wake up or return home. That combines comfort with efficient use of the appliances for energy savings that don't need to sacrifice ease of use.

Once you are familiar with the basic principles of energy efficiency, it becomes easy to find places to upgrade your home and save money. It takes an up-front investment in a more efficient improvement, but in the long run the energy savings pay off.

 

LizzieWeakley

Natural Plants, 4 Tips for Starting an Organic Garden.jpegIf you’re looking to start your own garden, there’s a good chance that you want to grow your plants organically without using artificial pesticides or fertilizers.

Organic gardening, however, comes with its own set of challenges that can make it a difficult task for beginners. Here are four expert tips to help you start your own organic garden.

Start Small

Many novice gardeners get ambitious and try to handle a large plot very early on, but it’s best to begin with a small area of land. To start, try growing in an area 50 to 100 square feet wide per member of your family.

This may not seem like much, but you can grow plenty of plants in a small area if you plant densely and care for your plants properly. Beginning gardeners who start with a large plot often end up feeling overwhelmed and quitting, so start small to ease yourself into organic gardening.

Use Quality Soil

If you’re determined to grow your plants organically, it’s important that you use high-quality organic soil. The best way to do this is to incorporate a few inches of compost into the top layers of soil.

Making your own compost is easy so long as you stay dedicated to composting all the natural food products you consume, and quality compost can do wonders for your soil quality and help keep your plants healthy.

Use Organic Fertilizer

Quality fertilizer increases your soil health and crop yields, and even if you decide to grow your garden organically, there are a variety of organic fertilizers available from places like Nature Safe. Reliable organic fertilizer formulas will provide excellent nutrition to your plants and help them grow faster without relying on chemicals or other artificial substances.

Buy Plants When Starting Out

Even if you plan to eventually start your own plants indoors, it’s best to buy most of your plants when starting out, as growing your own plants can be tricky for beginners. You can usually get starter vegetable plants for 25 cents to $3 per plant, which makes buying plants cheaper in many cases than starting your own plants, especially when you consider all the materials needed to use your own plants to start.

By utilizing these four tips, even novice gardeners can start their own organic garden. Gardening can be a fun and rewarding hobby, especially when you know that you’re growing your plants without any artificial chemicals that may be harmful to you, your plants and the environment.

Just remember to start small, buy your plants when starting out and use sufficient compost and fertilizer, and you’ll have a beautiful organic garden in no time.

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Make Your Neighborhood Green 5 Ways You Can Help Clean up Your Community.JPG

 

Is your community a little bit of a mess and want to give back by cleaning it up? Fortunately, there are a wide variety of ways you can work to make your neighborhood green again. Here are a few ways you can clean up your local community, from picking up litter to cleaning up after pets.

Pick up Litter

One of the best ways you can make your neighborhood green again is to pick up litter. Over time, litter tends to start growing on the sidewalks and pathways of your town. However, you can take some time to pick up litter on the weekends to clean up your community. Consider assembling a small team to pick up litter during the weekend to clean up your community more efficiently.

Start a Community Garden

Another way you can make your neighborhood green again is to start a community garden. Talk to your friends and family about planting fresh vegetables and fruits in a garden in your community. Plus, this community will help build lasting friendships, while contributing to a greener community.

Recycle

If you don’t want to pick up litter or start a community garden, consider starting to recycle trash in your home. By using skips, you can ensure that your trash gets reused through recycling. Although recycling might seem like a hassle, recycling waste in your home can lower your carbon emissions and promote a healthier way of tossing trash out. Not to mention, it will help your community as well.

Talk to Your Neighbors

You should talk to your neighbors to keep your neighborhood green. By conversing with your neighbors, you can promote living healthier among your community. Hopefully, with their help, your neighborhood can stay healthier and live greener as a community.

Clean up after Pets

Another way you can keep your community clean is to clean up after pets. Not only does this mean your pets, but others as well. Animal feces can be dangerous to the environment, and other animals as well. By cleaning up pet feces in your community, you can ensure it says green and healthy for everyone in it.

 

There are a number of ways you can work to make your community green again. From picking up litter to cleaning up after pets, here are just a few ways you can clean up your community. Hopefully, with the help of the tips above, you can work to keep your community clean, once and for all.

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