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Ways You Can Retrofit Your Existing Industrial Equipment to Be More Environmentally Friendly.jpg

One of the biggest challenges facing mankind is the threat posed by pollution and global warming. If this challenge is to be overcome, the biggest contributors to these problems must change course. This certainly includes industry which accounts for a very big portion of the pollution released into the atmosphere. Thankfully, industrial processes can be altered so they are more eco-friendly and sustainable. One way to do this is by retrofitting your company's equipment. Here are a few examples of how to accomplish this.

Data Analytics

One way you can retrofit your industrial equipment with the environment in mind is to integrate data analytics into its operation. This would involve installing sensors on equipment that transmit data regarding its operation in real time via Wi-Fi or some other kind of internet connection. Powerful data analytics software can then be used to crunch this data so you can have direct insight into how much energy your equipment is using and how much pollution or other negative byproducts are being produced. You can then use this information to make adjustments and increase both the efficiency and sustainability of those industrial processes.

SCR Systems

SCR is a technical term that stands for Selective Catalytic Reduction. This a system that can be used in equipment and industrial systems to reduce harmful nitrogen oxide, also known as NOx for short. It accomplishes this by creating a chemical reaction known as reduction that transforms NOx into water and tiny amounts of CO₂. It, in essence, removes pollution through this chemical process. An SCR system can be installed on different kinds of equipment, such as SCRs for water tube boilers.

Sustainable Energy Sources

Another option you could choose to implement is to retrofit your equipment to run on more sustainable energy sources. Options you should give serious consideration include solar energy, ethanol gas, biomass, hydrogen fuel cells and wind power. Determine what options are feasible for your own equipment.

Variable Frequency Drives

Retrofitting your equipment with variable frequency drives, VFDs for short, is another option that can make your industrial operations more environmentally friendly. A VFD works by varying the level of voltage and frequency supplied to an engine depending on different circumstances. It can help to lower an engine's energy consumption, increase the efficiency of equipment and extend the equipment's lifespan as well.

Companies have a responsibility to do what they can to lower their carbon footprint. This is required to fight pollution and preserve the planet for future generations. One way you can do this is by retrofitting your equipment. Consider the four options above as well as others for making your equipment more environmentally friendly.



A Dirty Business How Landfills Work to Protect the Earth From Contaminants.jpg

Something not many people probably have a great fondness for are landfills. However, landfills are actually an important component of human civilization. They give mankind a place to dispose of trash where it will do least harm to the environment, wildlife and people. Certain facts regarding the benefits of landfills may surprise you.

Landfills Are a Safer Option

In regards to the many different waste management systems that have been implemented by people over the course of human history, the use of landfills is one of the safest in regards to its impact on people and the environment. It is, for one, much safer than incinerating or burning trash. Doing so can release harmful toxins and pollution into the atmosphere. The risks of landfills are comparatively much smaller in magnitude.

Landfills Protect People

Landfills allow trash to be collected and buried away from places where people live. They help to make communities cleaner and healthier in general. Many of the items found buried in landfills would be harmful if improperly disposed near residential communities. This is especially the case for landfills that have been designated as a superfund site that store harmful industrial waste. If disposed of closer to people instead of in the landfill, these materials would certainly lead to death and disease.

Landfills Can Produce Renewable Gas Energy

One benefit of landfills you may not be aware of is the fact they can be used to produce gas energy. This is one strategy for transforming trash into something useful. It’s a form of recycling in a way. The kind of gas produced by landfills is primarily composed of methane. This gas can then be burned to produce electricity and power nearby communities. It can also be collected and sold as fuel offsite or even transported by pipe to other areas. This approach is particularly beneficial since methane can become a harmful greenhouse gas if released into the atmosphere. The use of it as a fuel source is an eco-friendly solution.

Landfills Don’t Waste Energy

Certain methods of disposing of waste require expending a lot of energy. Landfills typically do not. They are located close enough to the communities they service that they do not require a lot of gas to be used to ship the trash there. This is not the case for trash that may need to be transported to far off locations. Even recycling requires a good amount of energy to perform.

Overall, landfills perform a very important service for endless communities. They allow trash to be disposed of in a way that greatly lessens its negative impact on people and the environment. In certain cases, landfills can even be used to create renewable energy. They play an important role in modern society.


How to Cut Down Your Energy Usage While Cooling Your Home.jpg

Many homeowners dread the sweltering summer months because they know that they will have to deal with a huge spike in their energy bills as soon as they turn on their air conditioners. If that sounds like your own situation, then you might want to come up with a comprehensive plan for making your home as energy-efficient as possible.

Use Ceiling Fans to Your Advantage

Properly using your ceiling fans could have a huge impact on your energy bills as well as your family’s overall comfort. During the summer months, all of your ceiling fans should be spinning counterclockwise at a relatively high speed when someone is in the room. That moving air could make each room feel much cooler, and that means you won’t have to turn your air conditioner as low.

Replace Your Insulation

Even though modern insulation is designed to last for decades, that material will eventually become damaged. If you have recently checked your home’s insulation and it is torn or matted, then it might be time to add some cellulose to the top or replace it entirely. Blowing in cellulose insulation is a relatively simple upgrade that should take a contractor no more than a few hours to complete.

Seal Around Doors and Windows

As the seasons change and humidity levels and temperatures fluctuate, your home’s walls and flooring could begin to shift. Over the course of a few seasons, those shifting materials will result in small openings around your windows, vents, and doorways. To seal up the openings, all you are going to need is a caulk gun, a few bottles of all-purpose caulk, and an inexpensive infrared gun or a thermal leak detector. Check around your home for areas that are losing heat, and fill in those holes and cracks.

Service or Replace the AC

Contacting an air conditioning installation and repair contractor is another simple step that you can take to lower your energy bills during the hottest months of the year. One of those contractors will be able to service your AC so that it continues to run smoothly and efficiently. They can also help you keep an eye out for any signs that your air conditioner might be nearing the end of its lifespan or in need of repairs.

Improving your home’s efficiency can be time-consuming, but that hard work is going to pay off. With a few simple changes to your home, you could end up lowering your family’s energy usage. This can also save hundreds a year on your heating and cooling bills.



Often Overlooked Basics That Will Help You Lower Your Energy Usage This Summer.jpg

The summer season is upon us, and it's time to make a plan for cutting back on your energy usage. The average household can spend hundreds of dollars extra each month during the warmer months. There are some easy tips you can incorporate to keep your hard-earned cash in your wallet.

Use a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat, or sometimes called a smart thermostat, is a fantastic and energy-efficient tool. You'll be able to program the thermostat to when the house is empty or during sleeping hours. Without the hassle of manually adjusting the thermostat, your home will run more efficiently.

Check for Complete Insulation

Air that escapes through cracks and other openings in your home makes it more challenging to ventilate. Caulk and weather-stripping are simple and effective to reduce your energy bill during the summer drastically. Check your doors and window frames to fill any holes. You can also have a wall insulation service check out the interiors of your home for the greatest efficiency.

Use Your Blinds or Drapes

Using blinds or drapes will put a lot less strain on your air conditioner. A good idea is to start to open them up once the sun begins to set. This way, you'll be able to take advantage of the natural sunlight and save money at the same time.

Remember the Refrigerator

With the warmer temperatures, your refrigerator will need to work harder to cool your food. Dirty refrigerator coils will not allow your refrigerator to diffuse heat properly or run effectively. Give them a thorough cleaning with a stiff brush and a vacuum in the late spring. Also, keep your fridge stocked with food because there will be less space to cool.

Use Cold Water for the Laundry

Since your kids will be outside playing, you're likely to do a lot more loads of laundry when it is hot out. Wash your clothes on the coldest setting to save a lot of money on your energy bills. A more lukewarm shower is not only refreshing, but it can save money during the hot and humid summer days.

Start Unplugging

Phone chargers, televisions, and other small electronics use more energy than you think. Unplug them before you hit the hay, and you will be surprised how much lower your energy usage will be.

Challenge yourself to lower your energy usage this summer. As the dollars begin to pile up, think about putting that money towards your next summer vacation.



Stylishly Maximizing Your Hardscaping to Minimize Water Waste.jpg

Hardscaping refers to the hard landscaping materials around your yard. These can include your patio, walkways, retaining walls, or any other structure made of wood, stone, or concrete. If you live in a desert environment, maximizing your hardscaping can significantly decrease your water usage. This will not only save you money, but it will also be beneficial to the environment.

Save Water and Increase Usability

Maximizing your hardscaping will not only reduce your water usage, but it will also increase the usable space you have to enjoy your backyard. For example, an attractive and stylish flagstone patio with a matching stone outdoor kitchen will quickly become one of your family’s favorite places. Best of all, hardscape can create a place for outdoor entertaining, and it serves as an extension of your home’s interior living space.

Raised Beds for Better Gardening

You can also build raised beds from brick, wood, or concrete. Raised beds are great if you have a bad back or mobility issues, and they’re also great if your yard has poor soil. Many gardeners swear by raised beds, estimating you can double your yield of vegetables. You can also reduce your water use by embedding a drip watering system into the raised beds.

Imitation Materials

There are a lot of different materials you can use to hardscape, and natural stone and brick are among the most attractive and enduring. However, while concrete may seem boring next to them, you can hire a creative concrete company to add some pizzazz to your backyard. The fact is, concrete can be tinted to nearly any color you like, and it can be stamped with a multitude of patterns. Tinted and stamped concrete can imitate brick, slate, flagstone, and even wood.

Boulders and Gravel

A Japanese zen garden is a stylized landscape carefully composed of rocks, water features, and gravel along with precisely pruned bushes, moss, and small trees. If you like a modern, minimalist, and sophisticated style, a Japanese-style rock garden could be the hardscape for you.

If you’ve ever been to the Southwest, you may have noticed a different style of rock garden. Rock and cactus gardens have long been a staple in places like Arizona, and this idea is adaptable to many regions of the country. Simply arrange boulders and rocks in a natural style, and plant with cactus, succulents and native wildflowers. Fill in between the rocks with gravel.

Creative and stylish hardscaping will not only save water, but it will also make your yard a more beautiful and comfortable place for both you and your family.



7 Sustainable Remodeling Ideas to Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly.jpg

Living a more eco-friendly lifestyle not only helps you do your part when it comes to sustainability but it can also save you money. Everyone wins when we take care of our local and global ecosystems. Let’s look at seven ways to remodel your home as more eco-friendly.

Water Use

While the term eco-friendly usually brings to mind your home’s energy consumption, it also means saving water. First of all, fix any plumbing leaks. Don’t let the faucet run while you brush your teeth or shave. Also, install low-flow faucets, toilets, and shower-heads; these can save tens of thousands gallons of water every year for a family of four. Tankless water heaters also can conserve a great deal of energy, as it heats water as needed rather than maintaining a heated tankful of water.

Switch to LED Light Bulbs

Not only are LED bulbs energy-efficient, but they also last longer. This means that on top of protecting nature, you’re saving money from the energy bill and the cost of frequently replacing bulbs. They’re also less likely to cause a headache or eye strain compared to fluorescent bulbs, which makes your home more enjoyable to be in. This is one of the easiest things you can do around the house. If you’ve been using fluorescents in the kitchen, get rid of those first thing and consider hanging pendant lights instead for more even lighting and a better overall aesthetic.

Install a Solar System

A solar roof installation, while expensive upfront, can save you a lot of money in the long run. However, many states and local energy companies have rebate programs to defray the cost. On top of that, once enough people in your neighborhood go solar, you can generate so much energy that you’ll be selling it back to the energy companies. Furthermore, a solar system with a home battery bank can keep your home up and running even when the grid goes down. Solar systems are also used by many who want to make their homes self sustainable and therefore emergency-ready at all times.

Consider Wind Power

If you live in a very windy area, a wind generator could be a good back-up for your solar system. It can supply your home with the power you need at night or when the skies are overcast. This can be especially effective for those living in areas with high winds, such as those near a coast, in high elevation, or areas with few forests to break up the wind. Wind power is yet another useful energy source for those seeking to get their home off the grid in a sustainable way, creating great energy independence.

Implement Organic Gardening Practices

Your landscaping is the main feature of your home’s curb appeal. Plant your yard with native plants, adapted to the local environment. They’ll need less water and soil amendments. Use natural and organic products to keep your landscaping vibrant and healthy. Not only is this healthier for the local ecosystems, but it also will allow your plants to grow mor vibrantly and easily than foreign plant types.

Use Recycled Products for Remodeling

You can use recycled metal, stone, brick, plastic, glass, and wood to remodel your home, inside and out. You can even find insulation made from recycled material, such as old cotton clothing. Recycled materials are not only eco-friendly, but they also add tons of character to your home. Other benefits include sturdier material, as recycled material goes through a compacting system that makes it naturally moisture resistant and strong. 

Using recycled material can be a serious money-saver as well, especially on big projects. If your roof is in need of replacement, or you’re having a home built house, then using recycled materials for your roof installation can seriously bring down the overall costs. Talk to your local contractors about recycled materials that they might have available or if they’d be willing to order out for them.

Look to Hemp and Bamboo

Hemp and bamboo products are the latest things for an eco-friendly home. These are organic and sustainably produced, and can be transformed into flooring, wall coverings, fabrics, and a lot more. For example, one of the hottest building materials right now is “hempcrete”. It’s good for non-weight bearing walls, it’s easier to work with compared to traditional concrete and it also has insulating properties.

There are a variety of materials that nature provides for us to make our homes beautiful without being a danger to the ecosystem. Aim for more natural themes in your home and do some research to find what materials work best for your home projects. With a little effort and some creative thinking, you can find ways to make every part of your home more eco-friendly and sustainable for the environment


Treatments That Recycle Wastewater Into Usable Reclaimed Water.jpg

As you plan your off-grid homestead, recycling wastewater into usable reclaimed water is something to consider. Doing so will save thousands of gallons of well or rainwater, and reclaimed water can easily be used to irrigate your garden. Steps to reclaim wastewater could include filtering, primary settling, biological treatment, and finally, tertiary treatment. Let’s look at how recycling your wastewater can be accomplished.

Primary Settling

Your gray water that goes down the drain in the kitchen sink and shower has small particles of food, hair soap, and other contaminants. A primary settling tank is the first place the wastewater goes. Here, those solid contaminants will settle to the bottom. Once settled, the water can be gently siphoned off the top into the next phase of reclamation, a biological treatment tank.

Biological Treatment

Biological wastewater treatments rely on bacteria and other microorganisms to break down organic waste, such as food particles, hair, and soap. The goal is to create a system in which these microorganisms eat up the pollutants.

Biological treatment is divided into aerobic and anaerobic; aerobic is a process using oxygen loving bacteria, while anaerobic uses bacteria that do not need oxygen. Aerobic wastewater treatment is the preferred option, as it works quickly and produces better water quality. However, this method requires a wastewater aerator to make sure there is enough oxygen for the bacteria to thrive. A diffused aeration system, like those offered by VaraCorp, can be used to maximize oxygen while minimizing odors during the treatment process.

Tertiary Treatment

This is the final step in reclaiming your wastewater for use in your garden, or even as drinking water. Tertiary treatment is done to ensure the water is hygienically safe and free from viruses and bacteria.

Ozonation uses ozone (03) to disinfect the water. Then reverse osmosis pushes the water through a semi-permeable membrane, which traps any contaminants and chemicals.

Dual media filtration uses two different types of filters, usually sand and very fine granules of anthracite. Finally, advanced oxidation uses hydrogen peroxide and ultraviolet light to create an oxidant that not only disinfects the water, but also breaks down any remaining microorganisms and chemicals.

Often, the cost and time required to reclaim wastewater are prohibitive. There are alternatives; for example, if you use biodegradable soaps, gray water from the kitchen and shower can be drained directly into the garden. However, if your homestead is in a very dry area, reclaiming your wastewater is something you should look into.


Clean Up the Company 4 Ways to Make Your Organization Environmentally Friendly.JPG

Going green is becoming more of a priority for many companies around the world. While it might seem like a hassle, making your business as eco-friendly as possible is also going to improve the efficiency of your day-to-day operations and potentially save you a quite bit of money. While you probably won’t be able to completely eradicate your company’s carbon footprint, there are a few simple steps that you can take to reduce your business’s impact on the environment.

Keep Your Building Well-Maintained

Commercial buildings require quite a bit of maintenance. Often, managers want to minimize the maintenance, but that can end up causing more harm than good in the long run. Machinery, equipment, and systems that aren’t running at peak efficiency can end up requiring more power to do the same amount of work, costing both you and the environment.

The occasional service call is going to help you catch any potential problems early so that you can avoid some expensive problems down the road. If you have a boiler room, then you should schedule a burner service call at least once every year. As for the HVAC system, you will need to schedule two service calls a year if you want to steer clear of catastrophic breakdowns and skyrocketing energy bills.

Implement a Recycling Policy

Many of the materials that your business uses can be recycled multiple times before they are no longer usable. Implementing a strict recycling policy will help you minimize how much waste your company produces each day. At the very least, you should set up recycling bins throughout your business and ask all of your employees to use them. You can also hold recycling days once every few months so that your employees can properly dispose of old office supplies and electronics.

Go Paperless

In the average office, each worker produces just over two pounds worth of paper and paperboard every single day. Over the course of a year, that adds up to be nearly 10,000 sheets of paper per employee, and most of that material goes straight to the landfill. To reduce those numbers, you can switch over to digital documents whenever possible. That includes options such as digital receipts, paystubs, employee paperwork, and faxes.

Reduce Commuting Miles

Your employees could be driving hundreds of miles a week to get to work, and that is going to wreak havoc on the environment. That is why many companies are now offering incentives to employees who carpool to work. You can also give some of your employees the option of working from home a few days a week if their jobs can be done remotely.

In addition to reducing your overhead costs and improving the efficiency of your company, going green could also boost your brand image. Many consumers love to spend their money at eco-friendly businesses that are attempting to improve the world around them.


3 Things to Do with Aging Electronics Before You Recycle Them.JPG

Electronics, although useful, don’t last forever. In fact, you’re more likely to replace your electronics than your car. As time goes on, it’s not uncommon for electronics start to lose efficiency until they become useless.

Once your electronics start to go up, you may opt to recycle them. However, there are a few things you need to do before you recycle them. Here are three things to do with aging electronics before you recycle them.

Wipe the Memory

Before even thinking of electronics recycling, the first thing you need to do is erase the memory. Unfortunately, some people often get rid of their old electronics without formatting the system first. If you’re recycling something like an MP3 player, then there’s really no need to wipe the system.

However, if the electronic you’re recycling is a phone or a computer, then it’s an absolute must. Phones and computers save every piece of personal and sensitive information through cookies. Recycling one of these devices without wiping the memory clean opens the door for many problems.

If the wrong people get ahold of this information, they can steal your identity or hack into your personal accounts. In most cases, formatting the system should be located in the settings or control panel of the device.

Take Out the Battery

Once you’re done formatting the system’s memory, the next thing you need to do is take out the battery. You may be wondering why removing the battery is relevant. It’s important because old batteries can be hazardous.

Old batteries are more prone to damage, which can cause the fluid to leak out. The battery fluid is highly flammable and can also cause explosions. Even if it doesn’t cause those sorts of problems, battery fluid is harmful for the environment, so ensure that they’re disposed of responsibly.

Review Your State Laws

Last, but not least, make sure to check out the laws of your state. Some areas, like New York City and California, have a rule where it’s illegal to throw away electronics. If you are caught breaking this law, you might have to pay a massive fine.

Furthermore, it’s important to stay attentive when disposing of your electronics. You don’t want to accidentally put them in the trash. Look carefully for places that have electronics recycling and dispose of your old electronics there.

You can never be too careful when recycling electronics. If you do need to dispose of your electronics, make sure you do it the right way.


How to Make a Solar Plus Storage System Work for Your Home.JPG

We’ve all heard that going solar can save you money by reducing, or eliminating your electric bill. Homeowners can sometimes get a rebate for installing a grid-tied solar system. However, how much do you know about the different types of home solar systems?

Grid-tied Solar Systems

A grid-tied solar system is tied to the electrical grid maintained by your local utility company. As your solar panels produce energy, it’s sent back to the grid. Your home may not necessarily use the electricity your solar panels produce. Instead, you would get credits for the amount of energy your home produces. A grid-tied solar system is what you’ll generally receive a rebate for installing. That’s because it directly benefits the utility company. It can reduce your electric bill to zero, as long as your panels keep putting out enough energy.

The Shortcoming of Grid-tied Solar Systems

You may have heard that during natural disasters, although people had solar panels, they still suffered from a power outage. Often, that’s because all of the electricity their solar panels produced was sent to the grid. When the grid went down, their power went out too, despite the panels on their roof.

Solar-Plus-Storage System

If you want your home to be energy-independent, you need a storage system. That means, you need solar batteries to store the energy your solar panels produce. You can still send power to the grid, and also, store electricity in your batteries in case of a grid-down disaster.

A typical car battery won’t do, you’ll need what is called a deep-cycle battery. Deep cycle batteries are designed to be charged and recharged, over and over again. Deep cycle batteries can be lead-acid, like your car battery, or lithium-ion, like in your rechargeable electronics. Most home systems use lithium-ion batteries. They hold a charge longer than lead-acid, as well as a longer life span. However, they’re more expensive.

Making Solar-Plus-Storage Work in Your Homeowner

The first thing you’ll need to decide is how many solar batteries you will need. You’ll need to calculate the energy use of your home, and then purchase enough batteries to store that amount of energy. Next, you’ll need to decide where to put the batteries; solar batteries can take up quite a bit of room. The garage is a good place to place them.

Please do your research, to calculate how much battery you will need, as well as the different types and brands available.


Why We Need to Reduce Food Waste Immediately—And How We Can Do It.JPG

In this era of environmental crisis, we all must do our part to reduce waste. Reducing food waste is something everyone can do to benefit the environment.

The sad fact is, more than one third of all the food produced in the word goes to waste, and one billion people could be fed by the food wasted in Western Countries alone.

Many people, especially those in heavily urbanized areas, are extremely ignorant when it comes to knowing where their food comes from. In one survey, the majority of urban dwellers did not know that their meat and dairy products came from living animals. Unfortunately, the survey did not query the respondents as to where they did think meat and dairy foods came from, which could give valuable insight on how to improve public perception about food production and consumption.

Reducing Retail Food Waste

One area of concern with vast room for improvement is retail food waste; the amount of food thrown out by grocery stores and restaurants is tremendous. If you work in a grocery store, you could convince the management to donate unused or out of date food to a food bank.

Likewise, if you own, or work in a restaurant, consider purchasing equipment that conserves resources, such as hamburger moulder equipment that measures precise amounts of food so that you don't use more or less than you need. Also, at the end of the day, you could offer prepared, perishable, unsold food to those in need.

Eliminating Food Waste at Home

There are many ways to reduce or completely eliminate your home food waste. First, don’t buy food you’re not going to eat. Sometimes, for our health, we think we should eat something we really don’t like. Be honest, even if you buy it, you probably won’t eat it.

Second, if you have children, be mindful of their portions. Children probably waste more food than adults, simply because they can’t eat a large portion. Many children are also picky eaters, and will refuse to eat food they don’t like.

Another way to reduce food waste is to compost; composting involves turning vegetable food waste into healthy garden soil. If you have a yard, consider starting a compost pile. It will not only help to reduce food waste, but it can also be used to grow your own organic vegetables.

Another healthy strategy for reducing food waste is to make your own bone broth; rather than throwing out your chicken or beef bones, you can boil them down into an incredibly nutritious broth. This broth can be used in many different healthy recipes.

It’s up to us all to take action, and reduce food waste in any way we can. The environment depends on it.



You Can Keep More Than Paper Plastic and Glass Out of Landfills.JPG

While many of us can easily recycle our paper, glass and plastic waste, recycling electronics and batteries is not as easy. However, recycling these items might be even more important than recycling more common household waste. You may not know this, but both old electronic items and batteries can leach harmful chemicals into the soil and groundwater.

Recycling Electronics

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 2.84 million tons of electronics were thrown away in 2017, with little more than 1 million tons recycled. The rest mostly ended up in county landfills.

Unfortunately, electronic devices often contain hazardous heavy metals, including barium, lead, silver, chromium, cadmium, and mercury. These can easily leech into the soil and groundwater, poisoning the environment.

The good news is, recycled electronics can often be refurbished and resold or donated to people in need. Likewise, some of the valuable metals, such as copper, silver, and gold, can be recovered and reused.

Battery Recycling

Batteries contain large amounts of toxic heavy metals and chemicals and simply tossing batteries in the trash can easily contaminate the soil pollute the water. The good news is, the Environmental Protection Agency reports that 99.1% of lead-acid vehicle batteries are recycled. This is because when you get a new battery for your vehicle, the auto shop already has a line to recycle all of the old batteries.

Unfortunately, batteries from our electronic devices are not responsibly recycled. More often than not, people don’t know how to recycle such batteries and simply toss them. However, many electronics retailers have battery recycling drop-offs, and there are battery recycling services that collect batteries from your business or office.

Reclaiming Valuable Metals

Both electronics and batteries contain valuable metals that can be recovered. Recovering these metals not only keeps them out of our landfills and our environment, but it also reduces the need for strip mining. It’s a sad fact, but many of the metals used in batteries, such as lithium, are mined in third-world countries, often using child labor.

To prevent future shortages of lithium, cobalt, nickel, and other rare earth metals, recycling for lithium batteries is essential. Recycling retrieves not only nickel, cobalt, copper, lithium, and aluminum from old batteries, but also valuable graphite and manganese. The good news is, recycling can recover anywhere from 25% to 95% of the materials from a lithium-ion battery.

Putting paper, plastic, and glass out on the curb for recycling is easy. However, with a little bit of forethought, recycling electronics and batteries will take very little effort.


5 Ways Your Factory Can Lessen Its Environmental Impact.JPG

For years now, people have been taking steps to help save the planet in their everyday lives. But the fault of our dying planet lies not within the average individual, but within massive industries. It is time for factories to take action to lessen their environmental impact.

Measure Your Carbon Footprint

In order to lessen your carbon footprint, first you need to know the size of your carbon footprint. Measure how much damage your factory is doing by taking a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Assessment. From there, you can develop a plan to shrink that footprint.

Use Green Technology

Ever since the industrial revolution, factories have been using fossil fuels, like coal. These nonrenewable sources are disposed back into the air in the form of greenhouse gasses. It’s time to ditch these outdated processes and embrace technologies such as solar panels, wind energy and LED light bulbs. Factories can seriously benefit by switching to renewable energy sources.

Recycle Materials

You probably have pieces of scrap steel laying around from previous equipment or projects. Call a scrap metal collector to come and pick up the pieces. Collectors use your waste metal to recycle them into new projects. One of the best ways to protect the environment is to use what we already have.

Steel production admits greenhouse gasses into the air and dangerous pollutants into surrounding water sources. But recycling already-made steel leaves a much smaller carbon footprint. Recycling scrap metal also keeps mining away from wildlife, takes less time than extracting new metal, and keeps waste out of our ever-multiplying landfills.

Dispose of Waste Responsibly

Factories’ haphazard waste disposal has led to the pollution of the surrounding soil and local water sources. As seen in the Flint Water Crisis, contaminated water can cause serious health problems for humans and animals that rely on that water. Sometimes the contaminated water is absorbed into soil where crops are planted. This further spreads the contamination to large supplies of food. Many strategies to reduce and dispose of manufacturing waste have been developed recently. Being more mindful about where your waste goes can lessen damaging effects.

Be Adaptable

The companies that have survived the longest are the ones that are most willing to adapt to the current times. And currently, people are concerned about the planet. We have wizened about how we impact the environment. And with the rise of the internet, consumers are more aware of than ever before where their products come from and how they are made. Generation Z, in particular, likes to spend their money on products that are ethically made.

Change may not always be easy, but it is extremely necessary. Be open-minded about changes. After all, the changes you are making are beneficial for the whole planet.


4 Tips to Improve the Efficiency of Your Solar Panels in the Winter.JPG

If you’ve invested in solar panels for your home, then you’ve made the first step toward reducing your energy bill. When your solar panels work effectively, they produce energy for your home to use throughout the day. To ensure that your panels are working at their optimum throughout the winter months, here are four common practices you’ll want to implement.

Clear Off Excess Snow

When you get a snowstorm, you should go out and clear off your panels. This will allow them to get direct sunlight sooner than waiting for the sun to melt the snow. There are various special squeegees out there that can assist you in removing the excess snow from your panels without damaging them. You must take precautions when using any tool to remove the snow from your solar panels as you don’t want to damage the panels while doing so.

Mind Your Battery Bank

Your solar energy system has a battery bank that must be maintained properly throughout the winter months to store your solar power. In most cases, you should have these batteries installed indoors to keep them free from the outdoor elements. However, some homeowners have their batteries installed outdoors. If this is your scenario, be sure that your batteries are properly insulated for the cold winter months.

Assess Your Panel Angle

During the winter months, the sun is at a lower angle than in the summer months. For your panels to be as effective as possible, they should be directly facing the sun. In the wintertime, this is going to be about 15 degrees. Many adjustable racks will easily allow you to alter the angling degree of your solar panels so that you can make them as efficient as possible depending on the path of the sun.

Wash Them Regularly

The winter snow can bring a lot of debris to your solar panels. That debris gets stuck on and creates a dirty layer that can hinder the performance of your panels. Do yourself a favor and wash your solar panels regularly throughout the winter months. This way, they stay free from debris and work effectively.

Having solar panels installed at your home can be a great way to reduce your wintertime energy costs. However, you want to ensure that you’re getting the most of your solar system throughout the wintertime. The above are four practices that you should be implementing when winter rolls around.


Solar power is not a new concept. Ever since ancient times, people have used skylights and windows to light their homes, used passive solar collectors such as stone or cement to warm chilly nights, and located rain barrels in sunny areas to heat water for bathing. More recently, technology has produced new and efficient ways to collect, store, and use solar energy to power individual homes and businesses. Solar energy has many benefits. Here are five of the best.


Lower Utility Bills

A solar system can begin lowering your power bills the day it is installed. Even a small system will take a solid bite out of your electric bill, and a properly sized and installed system can provide nearly three quarters of your home’s power. That is free energy that no one can make you pay for. Solar photovoltaic systems can last as long as 30 years or more and typically pay for themselves within 5-10 years if you live in a state that offers rebates or credits for solar power installation. Even if your state does not participate, the federal government has generous programs that help offset the cost of a new solar power system.


Increased Home Value

Solar power is one of a small set of home improvements that can actually raise your home’s value by more than its own cost. Additionally, a solar system will make your home more attractive to potential home buyers, giving you a distinct advantage over other sellers even in a tight housing market. To sweeten the deal even further, most states will not increase your property taxes when you install a solar power system even though your home’s property valuation will almost certainly go up. Check out Legend Solar for more information about solar power in Utah.


Clean, Effort-Free Energy

Solar panels require little to no maintenance because they have no mechanical parts to break down. Once your system is installed, there is not much for you to do but sit back and enjoy the security of knowing that you will have environmentally responsible, quiet, free energy for many years to come.


Independence from the Power Company

For years, you have been at the mercy of the power company’s whims. If they decided to raise rates, you paid more of your hard-earned money. If they took days or weeks to restore power after an outage, you waited patiently for their employees to get around to your neighborhood. With solar power, your electric bill can be reduced to a fraction of what you pay now. Even better, many states now allow you to save the excess energy your system provides during peak hours and use that energy later. A large number of states even allow you to sell your extra power to the power company. These strategies can result in a zero balance on your utility bill month after month.



Solar energy is an incredibly abundant resource. Solar does no damage to the earth or its inhabitants. It is the ultimate in renewable resources. When you choose solar power, you are not just providing a more solid financial future for you and your children, you are also preserving the earth and its limited resources for your children and grandchildren.


Thanks to modern solar technology, you can now harness the sun’s power to an extent that was unimaginable throughout most of history. Installing a solar photovoltaic system is more than just a wise financial decision. It is also an investment in your own future and the future of all humans.


You don’t have to sacrifice convenience or live off the grid to help the environment. Just by switching to environmentally-friendly products, you can make a significant difference. Here are tips to help you make the transition.

Cleaning the Green Way

Many cleaning products contain harsh chemicals. The good news is that it is easier than you think to avoid these. A paste of water and baking soda, for example, can be used when you need a slightly abrasive cleaner to clean countertops or filthy pots and pans. White vinegar makes an excellent glass cleaner and it can also be used to dissolve soap scum. If homemade cleaners are not enough, you can find a variety of green cleaners at many grocery stores. Switching from the old cleaners to eco-friendly products is usually a seamless process and you won’t sacrifice a clean home.

Using Non-Toxic Pet Products

Using non-toxic pet products benefits both the environment and your pet. Like other cleaning products, pet hygiene products often contain harmful chemicals that end up in the water supply. Even pet shampoos can contain ingredients that interfere with nature’s delicate balance. By switching your pet’s skin care products to natural ones like Roxy’s Remedies, which contain only environmentally-friendly ingredients, you reduce the negative impact on the environment. Some ways to reduce fleas include vacuuming pet bedding and using vet-approved topical products that are absorbed into the skin instead of sprayed on the coat. Avoid flea foggers, flea carpet sprays and similar items that contain harsh pesticides.

Reducing Single-Use Plastics

Plastic water bottles and other single-use plastic items stick around long after they are thrown away. It isn’t enough to try to recycle these things because the recycling process itself uses energy. A better step to take is to eliminate these items and switch to reusable containers. Use stainless steel water bottles in place of disposable water bottles, and use canvass totes to replace plastic shopping bags. Pack the kids’ sandwiches in hard-sided plastic sandwich holders to avoid disposable plastic sandwich bags.

Lighting Efficiently

Efficient lighting like LED and CFL bulbs help reduce energy usage. However, you can employ other methods in addition to buying energy efficient bulbs for your home. Installing dimmer switches, for example, allows you to adjust lighting according to need and eliminates some energy waste.

Using Energy-Efficient Appliances

Energy consumption increases your carbon footprint. Each time you upgrade to energy-efficient appliances, you reduce your energy consumption. Whenever you buy new appliances, such as air conditioners or washing machines, for your home make sure you choose the energy-efficient option.

As your home becomes more environmentally-friendly, you might also notice side benefits such as lower utility bills. You can also be assured that as you reduce your use of toxic products, you are reducing their impact on your health and not just the environment. Switching to greener products just makes sense.


A good year to work on reducing your toxic gas and carbon dioxide emissions is this year. As a manufacturer, reducing your negative mark on the environment is good for the environment and good for business. You never know how much far your efforts will go if you do not try. Learn about at least five ways that manufacturers can reduce their emissions in 2016.


Use of Energy-Efficient Products             

Using energy-efficient products is the easiest way to cut back on emissions. Manufacturers start by listing the appliances that consume the largest amounts of energy, such as a boiler or engine. For every item listed, there is an energy-efficient alternative that exists.


Energy Conservation

Conservation is the use less of a product that consumes a lot of resources. One way that manufacturers conserve energy is to use less of their vehicles. Their employees rely less on vehicles that emit large amounts of toxic gases. They drive less, manufacture fewer products and use fewer factories. To create fewer products, manufacturers rely on recycling and reusing materials that have already been used, such as paper and metal.


Use of Natural Energy

Manufacturers use energy that is derived from natural sources and does not contribute significantly to pollution. This type of energy comes from the sun, the wind and the water. More manufacturers are using solar energy as the technologies become more advanced, such as solar panels. They are working in buildings that are rated according to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.


Catalytic Reduction Systems

Many manufacturers are using catalytic reduction systems that work with the use of chemistry. The process involves inserting urea into the exhaust gas and reducing the emissions of gases into the air.

Find catalytic reduction technologies being used extensively in cars and ships. These systems are installed on commercial boilers and known to reduce most emissions. Many suppliers, like Nationwide Boiler, have both new and reconditioned efficient boilers available.


Progress Monitoring

There is no point in creating a plan if you do not know the results. All sensible manufacturers keep track of the progress they are doing to save the environment. If they buy one new energy-efficient appliance, they at least check the energy bill to see if there is any difference.


Companies are investing in the future by investing in the environment. Manufacturers are building fewer factories, making fewer products and reducing their emissions by more than half. They know that without the environment there is no source of the products they sell in the stores. There are more than enough ways to start making these investments right away.


The infrastructure of a community has been important since the beginning of time in all civilizations. Ancient builders in the Indus Valley created a system of indoor pipes and covered street channel to funnel away waste water. The ancient Romans perfected a transportation infrastructure. In modern times, the United States has developed an aviation infrastructure allowing for efficient global travel. Let's look at five key infrastructure areas.


Communities have to move goods and people from one place to another. Roads play a big role in this endeavor, but road systems must also use bridges and tunnels to get past natural obstacles. In addition to roads, communities use a system of trains and airplanes for transportation. Infrastructure such as airports, runways, train stations and train tracks must be built and maintained.

Solid Waste

Generating trash is part of daily life, but that trash cannot be allowed to pile up lest disease and filth take over. An infrastructure to collect and manage waste is essential in any community. Garbage trucks, recycling plants and landfills all must be acquired and maintained to keep the community running efficiently.

Water and Waste water

Providing clean water to residents and removing used water is an important service. Communities must install sewers, drains and pipes to move water from one location to another. Some areas may find they need systems to contain or maintain the volume in nearby bodies of water. Water transfer systems and dams help to meet this need. Companies such as T. Luckey Sons, Inc. are invaluable in providing repair solutions for projects like this.


Citizens in all communities use energy to power devices in their homes, businesses and daily lives. Transporting that energy safely is a must. Electricity poles and wires connect to virtually every modern structure that exists. In some of those structures, we also find natural gas pipelines. Each system must be designed and maintained by professionals to ensure safety.


In our modern era with its use of computers, smart phones and other digital devices having a telecommunications infrastructure is imperative to keep a community running efficiently. Cables and cell phone towers provide a constant ability to remain connected. This ability to exchange information instantly allows communities and their citizens to make decisions on a moment by moment basis.

Clearly, ensuring the smooth operations of a community requires more than just willing citizens and well-meaning government officials. Every community requires multiple infrastructures to operate efficiently and to provide a safe living environment for everyone.


Our homes are expressions of our personalities and anchors of our place in the world. We innately strive to make them beautiful and fitting to our style. Remarkably though, many of us are so focused on cosmetic appearances, that we overlook things that make a home truly enjoyable. True comfort in a home is directly linked to its functionality. Making smart home improvement choices can reward us with more than surface pride but give us a deep sense of contentment.

A Better View

Consider choosing energy-efficient windows instead of single-paned, uninsulated windows. Environment control becomes much easier and cost-effective to maintain, no matter if in cold or warm climates. Since double and triple pane windows also require sturdier frames, designers are able to create larger areas of glass without compromising structural integrity. Outdoor visibility and natural light become major players in day-to-day life. A feeling of openness is achieved, while maintaining consistent, comfortable temperatures and even lessening the need to flip on a light switch. The right windows from Window Planet can make your home more beautiful and eco-friendly.

Standing Strong

Another element that plays a huge role in the aesthetics of a home is our choice in flooring. Because of its warming effect and hypoallergenic nature, wood is very popular. Among the seemingly endless varieties though, bamboo clearly stands above the rest when considering efficiency, durability and style. Because bamboo grows so quickly, up to three feet in a 24-hours, it is merited with being a top eco-friendly building material. It can tolerate a much broader span of environmental differences than most of it counterparts whether they be wood, stone or tile. Each of which is more sensitive to humidity and temperature changes. This adaptability and today's every increasing selection makes bamboo a winner.

Wooly Warm

As wonderful as bamboo flooring may be, there are those who simply prefer the soft and cushiony feeling of carpet. Instead of committing to installing wall-to-wall carpet, try large area rugs. Wool offers the warmest and most eco-friendly production process and is wonderfully sound reducing. It is a particularly good for those living in colder climates because a wool rug may make a room feel warmer.

A Steady Stream

One area that simply cannot be ignored when creating an efficient yet stylish home, is how we get water. Faucets and shower heads are the jewelry of our kitchens and bathroom, but are also the hardest working fixtures in a house. When the flow of water is inconstant or messy, it is not only annoying but also wasteful. Steady more even water steams that use less water can be achieved with low-flow fixtures that have aerator adapters.

The Best Flow

The mention of water usage automatically brings the massive amounts required for toilets to mind. This is one of the major areas that can be made more efficient. One of the easiest ways to do this is by installing a toilet with an eco-flush system. These use less water for liquid waste but allows for larger amounts when needed for solids. They have been mainstream in Europe for years and have become much more readily available with suppliers in the United States.

Making a home both beautiful and efficient has many pay-offs. Not only will it be a joy to live in, but with just a bit of attention and forethought, it can be functionally and economically efficient as well as beautiful. Ultimately, it is well worth the conscious effort for a better more comfortable home.



Two problems the human race faces today are global warming and pollution. To ensure that the Earth remains habitable for people and animals, changes must occur. Thankfully, some people are taking the initiative to encourage a greener future. Below are six such examples.

1. Farmers Starting Wind Farms

In years past, farmers could only produce income by raising livestock and growing crops. Today, however, farmers all across the Midwest have been farming wind. This is done by giving permits to energy companies to install giant wind mills with high tech wind turbines on their land. This profits both the farmers as well as the environment through the production of clean energy.

2. Environmental Groups Cleaning Up Contamination

Pollution can ravage a local ecosystem and make the area unsafe for humans, plants and animals. Thankfully, pollution can also be reversed. One way to learn how to remove contamination and hazardous waste from a site is by taking a course from National Environmental Trainers. They can teach people how to safely remove contaminants from the environment. Taking this training can teach you how to safely make a site inhabitable again after it has been contaminated.

3. The Auto Industry Moving Away from Carbon Fuel

Currently, nearly all of the large automobile manufacturers are investing in research to make completely electric cars the standard of the future. While hybrid vehicles and electric cars are indeed currently available, they have yet to make a real impact on the market. However, with finer tuned technology and better infrastructure, that will soon change.

4. Recycled Steel Framed Houses

Recently, construction companies that build homes have begun moving away from using wood frames. The wood required to build the frame of a house can mean the loss of up to 50 trees. Instead, metal beams created from recycled steel are being used as a replacement. The steel is, of course, much stronger and sturdier as well.

5. Energy Efficient Smart Appliances

Appliances are becoming increasingly more efficient. Part of this is because of the implementation of smart technology that can allow a home owner to control and program appliances via a WiFi connection. They can be programmed to only run during certain parts of the day and to stop when energy consumption benchmarks have been passed.

6. Fisheries Fighting Extinction

In many areas of the world, certain species of fish are quickly reaching the endangered status. The traditional method of catching many species of fish is probably not sustainable. One way some in the food industry are counteracting this is by starting fisheries on land so that the fish in oceans and lakes can be preserved.

To overcome the problems presented by global warming and pollution, everyone in every sector of society needs to make a change. Thankfully, changes that could lead us to a greener future are in the pipeline.


There has been so much advancement in the world of agriculture that the techniques of yesteryear have almost been put to shame. So many of these use the technology that has been advancing at a whirlwind pace.


One such technology that is available are air and soil sensors. These allow an understanding of the air and soil conditions in a real time setting. Forest, farm, and water conditions would be among the conditions it could tell us as well.

Vertical Farms

Another technology that is being experimented with is the ability to grow vertical farms. These would be farms in skyscrapers or other urban settings, growing on the various levels and up instead of on the ground and out. In this kind of a farm, spacers (IE the little shims that are placed behind something to keep it off a surface) would be useful for keeping the sprinkler systems effective or for keeping a growing table level. Phoenix Specialty uses state-of-the-art technologies and Agriculture Manufacturing process to produce custom components for the industry.

In-Vitro Meat

While this one is being tested and played around with, it has yet to be approved for use in the market: in-vitro meat. This is meat that is essentially grown in a test tube, almost like they show in some science fiction movies. However, the meat is never part of a living animal. The concept might be mainstream and available for public use in the year 2027. It's still in the early stages of experimentation and being perfected.

New Strains Of Plants And Animals

Alongside this concept is the concept of new strains of plants and animals that have been genetically designed to better serve needs. However, this is not going to follow the pattern of GMOs (or genetically modified organisms). These plants and animals would be designed from the ground up. This would be a large advantage due to how much food is not kept intact during the manufacturing process that a lot of modern day food goes through.

Smart Systems

Smart systems for home gardens are another technological advancement that has recently taken place. These consist of stakes that are placed in the ground. They are solar powered. The stakes monitor a variety of different things in the garden like rainfall, ground state, plants, air temperature, and even soil temperature. All of the information is sent to the gardener's smart phone, and the updates allow problems to be addressed as soon as possibly feasible.

However, there are so many other technologies that have been added to the agricultural world. It all varies, but it is all useful in today's world.


It is important to have an efficient home today. Good efficiency will keep your energy bills low and help the environment by conserving resources. Improving the efficiency of any home is not too difficult. There are six ways to get started:

Insulate the Home and Seal Gaps

Start by improving or replacing the insulation in the home. Put in some modern insulation like loose fill. You can insulate attics and the exterior walls. You also want to go around the home and seal any gaps you find using weather-stripping or caulk.

Install and Use Ceiling Fans

A large heating and air conditioning system can waste a significant amount of energy every year. A more energy-efficient solution is to install and use ceiling fans. These fans can make every room feel more comfortable without using a massive amount of energy while running. They can be used in summer and winter depending on the direction of the blades.

Use Occupancy Sensors or Motion Detectors for Lights

Your lights use a good percentage of your electricity. Install occupancy sensors or motion detectors in the most common areas of your home and in hallways. These sensors will turn the lights on and off automatically depending on whether someone is in the area.

Maintain Your Plumbing and Fixtures

Old, corroded or damaged plumbing can make your home less efficient by wasting hundreds or thousands of gallons of water every year. This is true even for the smallest leaks. You will want to call a professional to have any bad plumbing in your home fixed, say the experts at C B Lucas Heating & Air Conditioning. This will make your home much more efficient and could lower your water bills.

Plant Trees to Block Wind and Sun

Plant trees near your home to block sun and wind. Place the trees near windows, but far enough away from the home so it doesn't cause damage. The trees will keep the house cooler in the summer by creating shade.

Install Storm Windows

If you do not want to replace your existing windows, then you can install storm windows to make the home more efficient. Storm windows add an extra layer of insulation. They can keep your home feeling comfortable all year long without the added costs.

You want to focus on efficiency in every part of your house. Do not ignore the small things like a leaking pipe or malfunctioning appliance. Make changes and repairs whenever you can. An efficient home is more economical, comfortable and environmentally friendly.


Maintaining an eco-friendly home will actually provide a family with a number of great benefits. Along with helping to protect the environment, they will also be cutting down on their energy bills and could even improve the value of their property. If going off the grid with a comprehensive solar panel array isn't an option quite yet, then you may want to consider these six actionable tips to lower your home's carbon footprint.

1. Start With an Energy Audit

This is going to be a difficult process for families that are unsure of exactly what is inefficient around their house. Energy audits are carried out by highly-trained specialists that will thoroughly inspect the home in order to find any problematic areas that the current residents could be unaware of. This may include everything from drafts around doors and windows to a faulty thermostat. Audits are often offered at a discount by the town's electricity provider in order to cut back on energy consumption.

2. Slowly Replace Older Incandescent Light Bulbs

No one wants to go through their household and replace every single light bulb they have, but it is not a bad idea to buy high-efficiency bulbs and replace older lights as they begin to go out. Modern compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) cut down on bright glare and can be found in practically every color imaginable. Not only do CFLs cut down on energy consumption, but they often have a lifespan that is three times longer than their incandescent counterparts.

3. Learn the Ideal HVAC Settings

A family may want to enjoy a blast of freezing air whenever they step into their home on a sweltering day, but a few alterations to the thermostat's settings could drastically cut back on energy bills. Every home and area is slightly different, but most households should keep their thermostat at around 78 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer while people are home and 82 degrees when the house is empty. During the winter, the ideal settings are 68 degrees during the day and 58 degrees at night with a few extra blankets on the bed.

4. Stop “Phantom” Electricity Use

Devices throughout a home are often consuming energy even if they don't appear to be on. Everything from phone chargers and coffee makers to laptops and TVs can have a “phantom” draw in which they are pulling small amounts of electricity day and night. One simple way to combat this is to plug these devices into outlets that can be turned on and off with a wall switch. If that is not an option, then you may want to invest in a handful of power strips that can turn off multiple devices at once.

5. Check for Government Tax Rebates

At any time, both the state and federal government may offer a wide variety of rebates when you become more eco-friendly. This often changes by the season, but the most consistent tax rebates are for families that switch old appliances, heaters, and coolers to Energy Star devices. This is also a good time to check for any local waste removal programs to safely dispose of toxic materials such as batteries.

6. Get New Window Treatments

An incredible amount of heat can pass through older windows, and this means a colder house in the winter and warmer house in the summer. Modern window treatments utilize multiple layers of protection in order to provide more insulation. High-efficiency treatments often include a window film, insulated drapes, and recycled materials in order to be as eco-friendly as possible. You can help your home save money by investing in plantation shutters. Not only are they energy-efficient, but they look great in the home as well.

Becoming energy efficient does not necessarily mean that your home needs new and expensive products. Instead, it is smaller changes made over time that will often make the biggest difference.


Global warming is becoming a very serious concern, yet all too many continue with their daily routines without considering ways they can help reduce energy usage. It takes the effort of everyone in order to make a significant difference to preserve our planet for future generations. If you see the present dangers and want to take steps toward fixing the problem, there are five easy ways to reduce energy costs in your home.

1. The Power of the Plug

We have many electronics and appliances that we leave plugged in when not in use. Items such as your television or toaster, for example, are ones we don't consider unplugging. What many fail to realize, however, is that they are still consuming energy. Although the amounts are minimal, they still add up over time. If you are going to be out of the home for an extended period of time, go ahead and pull the plug on the things that won't be in use.

2. In Regards to Your Dishes

If you use a dishwasher, there are a few steps you can take to reduce your usage and overall cost. For starters, take a look at your settings. If you are using the cycle that includes drying, instead allow yours to air-dry naturally. By doing this, you can eliminate a stunning 20 percent usage on the unit. You can also wait until the dishwasher is completely full before starting a new cycle. Take the time to teach your children and other family members how to efficiently load the dishwasher to minimize washing sessions.

3. Your Bulbs

We enjoy a well lit room to boost productivity and allow us to see what we're doing. However, if you are still using incandescent bulbs, you are losing with every electric bill you pay. Compact fluorescent bulbs do cost a little more initially, but they are certainly worth the investment. The actual amount saved varies depending on the size of your home, but, to put this into perspective, if you replaced 15 bulbs in your home, you could expect an approximate savings of $50 per year.

4. Don't Forget Your Filters

It can be easy to forget your hvac system when considering how to save energy. While we understand the benefit of buying a more efficient unit, you may not have the money to invest in one. One thing you can make a habit of doing on a regular basis is replacing your filters. When your filter becomes packed, your hvac unit has to work much harder to ensure proper temperature control. A clean, fresh filter allows your unit to "breathe" easier while also reducing pollutants in your home.

5. Managing Your Thermostats

There are likely certain hours of the day when nobody is home. During this time, you don't need to overuse your heater, but, you also don't want to come home to a cold house. You can now install thermostats that can be controlled online. You have the power anywhere with Internet. Many even have setting you can manage to have the house begin to warm up a set amount of time before you get home to ensure your comfort while keeping your bills low. Take a look at NorthStar Alarm reviews to see how your home can benefit from a smart system that allows you to remotely control power, heat and cooling.

When it comes to worldwide pollution concerns, it can be easy to find your own contribution as minimal. However, with a current population of over seven billion, if everyone would take the time to implement just some of these tips, it would make a tremendous difference. When you take proactive measures to save energy in your home, you can inspire those around you to do the same.


Whether you are just environmentally conscious, or you are just someone who is on a tight budget and hates wasting materials, it's common knowledge that recycling is very important. Fortunately, there are dozens of things you can recycle. However, there are several things that you can re-use that most people aren't aware of. Here are just a few things you may not have known you can recycle:

Athletic Shoes

If you have a pair of shoes that are too beat up to give away to charity or use anymore, do not throw them away. Companies like Nike will happily take in old shoes and recycle them, using them to make sports surfaces all over the country.


If you're like most people, you upgrade your technology from time to time, though you're left with outdated items. Computers contain several harmful chemicals, so most people don't know you can recycle them. However, most major computer factories will take used parts and re-process them. GreenDisk will alos take your unwanted electronics and use them to make new gadgets.


Over time, people can gather scrap metal in their garage from auto updates and home remodels. Copper, brass, stainless steel and aluminum can all be recycled by companies that will buy it from you, such as Federal Metals Inc.


Although mattresses are often refused by charities if they are in too poor condition, many people will gladly take them off your hands. Through programs like Freecylce Network, you can find someone to take that old mattress off your hands.

Wire Clothes Hangers

After numerous visits to the dry cleaners and countless visits to the clothes outlets, chances are that you have an excess of hangers laying around. Fortunately, most of the places that you got them from in the first place are more than willing to take them back, as it saves them money.

Dirty Glass

You don't have to have clean glass to recycle it. Would companies really accept a sticky jelly jar? Fortunately, yes. They will take it an and sanitize it before reusing the jar. Carpets

Most people don't think twice about throwing their old carpets away. However, many carpet manufacturers have recycling programs, so you can just give yours over to the company that you bought it from and see if they will take it. If not, organizations like Carpet America Recovery Effort can help you find someone who will.

There are definitely some recyclable items that will surprise you. From dirty glass to old shoes, they can be reused.

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