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Content for making or keeping your home as energy efficient as possible. #KeepItGreen

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RachelleW

 

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In today’s world, concern about the environment is at an all-time high. This is especially true regarding recycling, since communities across America have implemented recycling programs to reduce the garbage going into landfills. As people learn about recycling, it’s becoming very popular. If you’re interested in transforming the planet, here are four practices that can be implemented into your daily life.

Recycle Your Aluminum Cans

According to Waste Management Corporation, Americans drink one beverage each day from an aluminum can. However, even though the cans are 100 percent recyclable, less than half of those cans are recycled. For cans that are recycled, they can be put back on the shelf as a new can in as little as 60 days, and there are over 10,000 locations across the nation that purchase aluminum, making it very easy to recycle these cans while making a few extra bucks.

Corrugated Cardboard

With more and more people shopping online these days, households have an endless supply of corrugated cardboard taking up space. Some companies, like Ware Disposal, know just how helpful it can be to the planet when resources are recycled. However, it makes far more sense to take them to a recycling center, where they can be converted into chipboard that’s used to make cereal boxes, paper towels, and copy paper.

Car Batteries

The most recycled product in the United States, car batteries are a virtual goldmine in recycling circles. With more than half of the battery being made of lead, it can be used to create new car batteries. Along with this, the batteries contain several pounds of plastic, which can be used to create various new products. And finally, the battery’s sulfuric acid can be recycled and used in new batteries, converted to sodium sulfate for use in fertilizers and dyes, or neutralized and purified, enabling it to be released as clean water. Most automotive retailers will accept old batteries, as will recycling companies such as Ware Disposal, which as a zero-waste company handles all facets of solid waste and recycling.

Computers

With thousands of computers tossed out in the trash every day, it’s vital they be recycled. Containing plastic, metal, and glass, virtually the whole computer can be recycled. And don’t forget peripherals such as keyboards, printers, speakers, and external hard drives, all of which can be recycled as well.

By becoming aware of what can be recycled and how doing so can benefit the environment, it will be easier than ever to help transform the planet.

 

 

 

RachelleW

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As people become more aware of how important it is to protect the environment, many homeowners have become increasingly concerned with finding pest control methods that are eco-friendly. Along with protecting the environment, these methods are also much safer around pets, children, and wildlife, making them popular with more and more people. If you’re ready to go green with your pest control, here are some ways to do so that will be most beneficial to everyone.

Microbial Insecticides

Non-toxic to humans and animals, microbial insecticides don’t harm beneficial insects, but do target specific pests and cause them to get very sick. Especially beneficial if you have problems with various types of worms or centipedes, one of the most effective is known simply as BT. When used, pests are usually dead within two days.

Insecticidal Soaps

Able to be sprayed inside or outside a home, insecticidal soaps are very effective against almost all insects, including earwigs, aphids, bees, ants, and others. Non-toxic to humans as well as most animals, the soaps can be purchased at most garden centers. However, if you want to mix up your own version, mix one teaspoon of dish soap and one teaspoon of cooking oil in a one-quart spray bottle, then fill up the remainder with water.

Insecticidal Oil

A popular option for ridding a home of spiders, ants, cockroaches, and other pests, insecticidal oil kills the eggs and immature stages of insects, and is non-toxic to most beneficial insects. However, if you’ve got house plants or plants near your home, be careful when spraying, since the oil can cause some leaf damage.

Bait Traps

Used for everything from flies to mice, bait traps use non-toxic bait formulas to attract pests. Once inside, the pests are then trapped using special non-toxic glues, which are not harmful to pets or children. Available in many different styles, they can be set around on the floor near cabinets or doors to attract mice, or you can use free-standing or wall-mounted traps to capture flies or other flying insects. They are a great way to perform pest control on your own. Now available in designs that resemble pieces of furniture or other home accessories, bait traps are affordable and easy options to rid your home of pests in an eco-friendly fashion.

Whether you use one or all of these pest control services in your home, the good news is that you’ll be able to get rid of any and all pests without worrying about harming the environment, your pets, or your kids.

RachelleW

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There’s no arguing that solar energy essentially is the future. Solar energy is becoming markedly more common among people everywhere. There are a number of distinctive solar energy devices that are quickly gaining traction lately, too. If you’re all about depending on the extraordinary power of the sun, you need to know about them.

Solar Lanterns

Solar devices are wonderful for many reasons. Solar lanterns aren’t an exception. These lanterns can come in handy for outdoorsy people who do a lot of camping. They can come in handy for individuals who simply require additional light in times of darkness as well. These lanterns can often give individuals access to eight full hours of high-quality power.

Solar Window Chargers

Solar window chargers can make convenient options for people who lead fast-paced daily lifestyles. They’re nice and compact and therefore easy to get from one spot to another. They remain intact any time you attach them to windows as well. If you’re constantly looking for useful mobile device charging options, these can be a great help.

Solar-Powered Bluetooth Speakers

These are a unique device that many are coming to find are incredibly useful. Solar-powered Bluetooth speakers are yet another big device option these days. If you’re looking to completely charge your Bluetooth speakers, you need to set aside roughly 10 hours. What can be more relaxing than waiting for your speakers to charge while basking in the warm glow of the sun?

Solar Cookers

People can now even bank on solar devices for all kinds of food preparation applications. If you want to depend on the sun to create mouthwatering meals for everyone, you can try using a solar cooker. Solar cookers are also frequently referred to as solar ovens. These tools employ sun energy for food cooking purposes, plain and simple. Why should you think about investing in devices that utilize solar energy? The reasons are plentiful. It doesn’t matter if you go for a solar cooker or for a solar-powered Bluetooth speaker. Solar energy can make your life better in many ways.

This kind of energy, first and foremost, is both renewable and sustainable. Because of that, humans don’t have to think about potential depletion. Solar energy production doesn’t call for a lot of upkeep work. Solar energy is wonderfully quiet as well. It’s simple to see why so many people are fans of it now.

RachelleW

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Once upon a time in America, products were produced and discarded thoughtlessly. But slowly and gradually, people became aware of the metro tons of waste that these items were adding to the planet. Recycling uses a variety of processes to break down the materials in these products, so they can be used again, thereby using fewer of the planet’s resources and using less land for waste storage. Here are some items you probably didn’t know could be recycled for another use.

Metal Items

Various types of metal objects that are used around the home can be recycled into usable metal for a variety of industries. Not only aluminum cans can be recycled, but also appliances, radiators, old fencing, wire, stainless steel parts, and sheet iron can be brought to a local scrap metal services center for processing and resale. Reuse of metal products can help to reduce the impact on the environment for a cleaner and healthier planet.

Phones

If you’ve ever wondered what to do with that old phone, you can send it in to a number of organizations that help individuals, such as battered women, who need to have a ways to communicate for safety, but don’t need the latest phone model to do so. These agencies find a beneficial way to utilize the cellphones that would otherwise end up as plastic parts and toxic materials in landfills.

Old CDs

CDs were once all the rage in music enjoyment, but they are now obsolete. If you find a box of old CDs in your basement or closet, you may wonder what to do with these round discs of plastic that also contain contaminants like polycarbonate and aluminum. These items can be taken to an e-waste site in your community to be processed and recycled into usable products.

Porcelain Fixtures

Although you may not think about what happens to old porcelain toilets and sinks, the fact is, they have to go somewhere when they break or are replaced. Instead of filling up the local landfill, these items can be pulverized down for use in sidewalk and road materials. It’s a great way to re-use materials instead of have them hanging around as waste.

Companies use a vast amount of the Earth’s resources to make the products we use every day. By recycling these products when they are no longer useful, we can preserve the resources future generations will need. If you are one of the many people concerned about the health of the planet and the use of natural resources, you can help to reduce the impact of human habitation on the Earth by recycling these common items.

 

RachelleW

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You've probably noticed the growing popularity of solar panels, as they've become less expensive and more refined in the past few years. And although many of your neighbors may be sprucing up their roofs with solar panels, is it really worth the switch for your wallet and the environment?

Here are some of the pros and cons of solar power systems to help you decide if making the switch is right for you.

Pros

 

  • No Greenhouse Gas Emissions

     

The process of obtaining and using solar energy does not result in any chemical by-products. No gases, smokes, or any other potentially harmful substances are released, making solar energy a healthier option for your family and the environment.

  • Tax Credits and Cash Rebates

     

In a nutshell, there are a lot of people who want you to switch over to solar energy. The federal government, state governments, and several utility companies are willing to reward those who install solar power systems. The federal government will match dollar-for-dollar 30 percent of the cost of your system as a tax credit, and several state governments also offer tax credits to those who install solar energy systems. Not to mention the savings on your monthly power bill, and the possibility of selling your SREC (solar renewable energy certificates) to make an extra few hundred or thousand dollars each year.

  • No Ongoing Energy Costs

     

The great thing about solar energy is that it’s literally available to anyone, anywhere. So once you have a way to harness and use solar energy, you don’t have to keep paying for it. Other than the initial costs of installing a system, as well as some light maintenance, you won’t have to pay anything for the energy.

  • Can Function off the Grid

     

An especially appealing feature for those who live in rural areas is the possibility of using solar power to power buildings and structures that would otherwise require expensive power line installation, or that experience frequent power outages.

  • Not Influenced by Politics

     

Since no particular country or person can own the sun or its energy, you don’t have to worry about costs fluctuating because of politics or the conditions of international relations.

Cons

 

  • It Doesn't Work at Night

     

Your house will still be connected to the main power grid when your solar energy system cannot generate enough electricity, like at night when the sun has gone down.

  • Solar Panels are Large

     

In order to make the switch to solar energy, you have to be willing to sacrifice the consistent look of your roof. Solar panels are just big and bulky. The more-efficient silicon crystalline wafer solar panels are particularly thick and large. New, thinner panels have been developed, but these are not as efficient as the larger crystalline wafer solar panels.

  • It's not Very Efficient

     

As mentioned above, solar energy is not consistent because the sun is not always available. Solar panels in general have about a 20 percent efficiency rate, which measures how much of the sun’s energy the panels are able to convert into usable electricity. Efficiency is improving, and considering the cost on the environment and other factors of using traditional fossil fuels for energy, many people dub even 20 percent a raging success.

If you’re considering making the switch to solar energy, get a free quote and learn more about the process.

 

RachelleW

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One of the biggest issues facing the world over the next couple of years is the environment. There are a lot of studies that show just how much the environment is impacted by human policies around the world. Although developing nations were thought to be the source of a lot of issues, now many first world countries like the Unites States have a larger carbon footprint than “smaller” countries. Here are several keys for creating a greener global economy.

Technology

The only thing that prevents the world from being completely green is technology. Nations and companies do not use green energy more simply because it costs more, and of course, no one cares about anything but money. By investing more in technology, these costs will come down over time as it becomes more available to other people. Anyone who wants to look at implementing this in their company or country needs to lay-out a long term investment plan. The more success with technology, the easier it will be to convert to renewable energy.

Government Incentives

There are some countries around the world that give tax incentives to companies or people that make investments into renewable energy. This is a good idea for several reasons. First of all, it increases the number of people who use renewable sources of energy. Another big reason for this is that it creates a demand in the market for renewable sources of energy. As this demand increases, consumers will drive technology growth in the area. This is a very good long term strategy to increase the amount of renewable energy that is used in any specific area. Over the long term, this can go a long way in helping people who want to see more renewable energy used.

Natural Gas Delivery

Natural gas is a cleaner burning fuel that many people support. Having a delivery service for natural gas will reduce the worldwide demand for oil and increase support for the cleaner natural gas. Some companies, like Nationwide Boiler, have equipment that’s designed and packaged so that it can easily be delivered to job sites. Companies and governments should be much more willing to support natural gas by using it more regularly, till it becomes commonplace in business and industry.

More Education

Educating people on the importance of renewable energy is important as well. There are a lot of people who think that education is preventing many people from understand how important renewable energy is to the future. There is a huge political struggle in many areas of the world for control over oil. Having more renewable energy options is the best way to grow the economy over the long term. As people figure this out, they will drive market demand for innovations in this area.

Green energy is an important issue over the next few decades. As more energy is used around the world, it is essential to understand how to grow renewable energy sources for people to use over the long term.

RachelleW

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Making your home more energy efficient should start with you examining your usage level. Once you’ve identified the areas that need improvement, you can start the process. Here are some ways that you can wire your home for maximum energy efficiency.

Invest in Heating and Cooling Solutions

Almost half of your home’s total energy consumption is a result of heating and cooling. Look at ways that you can reduce your total usage. The first place to start may be upgrading your older models to more energy efficient ones. Take a look at the efficiency of your ducting system. You may be wasting a lot of heat and air in unused spaces. Use drapes and other window covers to your advantage. Block out the sun during the summer and the cold air during the winter. Use your windows to heat and cool your home when you’re able.

Purchase Energy Efficient Appliances

Approximately a third of your energy usage comes from your appliances. If you replaced your old appliances with ones that used less energy, you could reduce your overall consumption. Install switches that will turn off the power to an appliance that isn’t in use. Consider doing this for items like a coffee maker, a dishwasher, or your stove. Check the door insulation on your refrigerator. This appliance shouldn’t need to run all of the time.

Upgrade Your Wiring

Older wires in your home may make the electricity that’s running through them less efficient. This is because that as the wires age, they become less safe and more prone to shorting out. Upgrade the electrical wiring in your home so that you can get the most out of your electrical system. You want to have peace of mind knowing that your wiring isn’t going to spark on electrical fire. Have more circuits installed so that they aren’t constantly tripping.

Install Sensors

There are lots of gadgets on the market that can help to make your home more energy efficient. Installing motion sensors and automatic shutoff switches to your lights is one way to reduce your usage. Many of these devices are hardwired into your current electrical system. There are also smart power strips that will cut off the power to items that aren’t in use. Consider using this for your portable charging devices. It’s unlikely that your cell phone and laptop need to be hooked up to the charger all the time.

The home of the future is one in which technology is used to reduce your total consumption. Upgrade your home so that you can cash in on the maximum amount of energy efficiency available.

RachelleW

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Building a house? If so, we’d like to congratulate you on taking the initiative to create a home for yourself. Now, you need to remember how important proper construction is. A poorly-made house isn’t going to be much of a house or for very long. You need to start from the bottom up. Here are four ways to successfully stabilize your foundation when building a house.

Ensure You’re Building in the Right Spot

Even if it looks like an area would be ideal for a house based on how much space is available, you can’t be entirely sure. An otherwise perfect home plan can be ruined by one thing: soil. You need to make sure that the soil you’re building on is strong enough to withstand your foundation and the rest of the home. If it isn’t, don’t despair. You can use soil stabilization to successfully make it suitable for building.

Surveying

Any construction project, whether it’s building a house or a 30-foot skyscraper, requires accuracy in calculations. Before the first brick of slab of cement is put down, there needs to be a clear understanding of what should go where and how much. A professional surveyor will be able to tell you where the foundation needs to be placed. This helps ensure your house is able to be held up as it should be.

Work with Professionals

When it comes to building a home, there are going to be different construction specialists that you consult with. In addition to the architects who design the home and the builders who see it to completion, there are also surveyors and other roles to be filled. For stabilizing your foundation, you should work with a company who is experienced with soil stabilization and grouting, which is a way of filling in gaps through use of liquid concrete. This helps give further stabilization to your home.

Treat the Footings Well

Did you know your foundation has a foundation of sorts? It’s underneath the actual foundation and is known as the footings. If your footings aren’t in shape, your foundation and your house, from basement to roof, won’t be either. Make sure that the footings are properly installed and maintained. This means you should do things like seal them, so that they won’t be exposed to moisture.

We hope this has given you a great idea of how and why you should stabilize your foundation. When building a house, you want to make sure everything is in order. With proper foundation stabilization, you can start off right.

RachelleW

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Electricity expenses can add up swiftly. That’s why the wisest people are the ones who go above and beyond to minimize their monthly electricity bills. If you want to be in that illustrious category, you should rely on natural light in your residential space as much as possible. Doing so can be terrific for your bank account.

Get a Skylight

Skylights can welcome significant amounts of natural lighting into homes. If you want to live in a home that’s full of gorgeous natural lighting, you need to purchase a skylight right away. Skylights are available in all kinds of styles. They can be pretty economical, too. People who are working with restricted space frequently gravitate to sun tunnel skylights.

Tackle a Wall Painting Project

Walls that are darker tend to soak up lighting from the outdoors. You can easily combat that by painting your home walls a much paler color. It can be especially effective to paint using a color that emulates sunlight. Try off-white or white. Remember, though, to avoid excessive yellowness in any off-white paint shade you select. The presence of yellow in dimmer environments can often contribute to a feeling of drabness.

Install Custom Shutters

Custom shutters empower people who want to be able to manage home lighting levels. If you want stunning natural light to be all around you, companies like The Louver Shop, know that the assistance of customized shutters can be invaluable. Look for shutters that are known for strong filtration of light. Custom shutters are good for a big reason that has nothing to do with natural lighting as well. If you get custom shutters, you can receive window treatments that reflect your personality and preferences to a T.

Bring a Sizable Mirror into Your Home

You can relish the pleasures of natural lighting in your home by investing in a sizable mirror. Mirrors have chic and fashionable appearances. They don’t usually cost much, either. If you’re looking to strengthen your home’s natural lighting access, buying and putting up a mirror can help you do so. Put a big mirror on a wall that looks toward windows. This can be a quick way to brighten up your home interior.

Natural light can give you energy. It can make you feel like anything and everything is possible, too. Being in a dark setting all day long can take a toll on anyone. Don’t forget that employing natural light can even make your electricity bills more manageable.

RachelleW

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When you are concerned about the environment, you will want to recycle scrap metal to reduce the waste that can damage the earth’s water, soil and air. Not only can you save the environment by reducing metal waste, but also, it is possible to earn cash from certain types of metals. Here is what you need to know about scrapping metal correctly to follow the recycling guidelines.

Learn How to Disassemble Recyclable Materials

It is important to understand how to take items apart to get to the metal, and you will need tools and protective equipment. Some types of objects are combined with plastic, glass or other materials, so you will need to remove screws, nails, and other fasteners to reach the metals. You will need an assortment of tools to take items apart properly, but you should also use caution by wearing thick gloves and goggles. Remember that anything that used electricity can carry a charge in the wires, so make sure to turn off the appliance or electronic so that the power drains from it before you attempt to break it down.

Understand How to Sort Scrap Metal

You should sort scrap metal into different types, and this can take practice. It is important to sort scrap metal into steel, aluminum, tin, brass, or iron. Place the different varieties of metal into plastic containers with lids to keep moisture and soil from reaching the items. If the metals are already dirty, then you will need to clean the items completely to remove glue or oil.

Contact Your Local Scrap Metal Service

Make sure to contact your local scrap metal service to learn about its special guidelines concerning recycling. The manager may have certain rules about the types of metals that are accepted along with the payment guidelines. You can also learn when various scrap metal services are open, and in some cases, the company will pick up large amounts of metal from your home or business so that you don’t need to transport it yourself.

Keep Thieves Away from Your Scrap Metal

If you are collecting a lot of scrap metal, then thieves may try to steal it from your property or vehicle. Some types of scrap metal are valuable, and if you have tons of it, then thieves will seek a way to steal it to sell it themselves. It is important to keep your scrap metal containers in a location where it isn’t easy for thieves to see or steal the items.

The price of scrap metal fluctuates on a daily basis, so you can make the most money while protecting the environment by storing your containers of different metals until the price increases. However, the most important aspect of recycling scrap metal is that you are protecting the environment from additional waste.

RachelleW

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Construction can be a wasteful industry. There are so many different types of materials leftover on a job site. Here are some ways that you can recycle building materials to reduce the amount that is wasted.

Sell Your Leftovers as Salvage

What may seem like waste to you, can be useful for someone else. Consider setting those leftover pieces of lumber and other debris aside. There may be a salvage yard in your area that would want these items. Call around to see if you can get some money back on these supplies. Another solution is to put it out front and offer it to other people in the neighborhood. You won’t make any profit for it, but it can help to reduce the amount of waste that enters the landfill.

Partner with a Construction Recycler

Many areas have construction recycling companies. They may be willing to take your scraps off of your hands. This can save you some money on disposing of your waste. Some types of lumber may be able to be chipped up and turned into something else. Pairing with these recyclers is more cost effective than hauling everything to the dump. You may be able to get a cheaper rate for good quality scraps over just garbage.

Use Construction Cleanup to Your Advantage

Part of any construction site involves a lot of cleanup and preparation. You may want to hire a construction cleanup company, like Alliance Demolition Services Inc., so that you can focus on finishing your project. Ask them to sort out the materials so that items may be returned or sold as salvage. This may reduce the amount of construction waste that needs to go into the landfill. Construction cleanup also gets the site ready to look finished or to be landscaped.

Reuse Waste for Future Projects

If you have the space to store leftover materials, you may be able to use them for a future project. Lumber is one of the most versatile supplies leftover from any construction site. So much of this gets discarded. Separating out what it usable from what isn’t may save you some money on having to purchase similar items again. Just make sure that your storage yard provides some protection for your supplies so that they don’t get destroyed by the weather.

It’s everyone’s responsibility to reduce the amount to waste that enters the landfill. You can do your part by being smart with your leftover building materials.

RachelleW

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Recycling your yard waste is good for the environment. You don’t want to send things to the landfill that still have value. Here are some ways that you can recycle and reuse your tree trimmings.

Think about Composting Solutions

A compost pile is a great way to create your own fertilizer. Yard waste, grass clipping, and food waste from the kitchen are perfect for the compost pile. There’s no need for you to spend money on fertilizers for your flower beds when you can make your own. There are several ways that you can start a compost pile. You can purchase a special composting bin, or you can cordon off an area of your yard for it. Just add your waste to this pile when it’s created.

Create Bark Chips or Mulch

A chipper is another way that you can create bark chips or mulch for your landscaping needs. If you don’t own one, consider using a tree services to help with your landscaping needs. Ask that they save the chips for you to use in your flower beds. This may cut down on some of the costs associated with the haul away of the debris. Put your tree trimmings to work for you so that you can save on having to purchase mulch.

Use Branches Strategically

Consider using those tree branches to create separations between your flower beds and the rest of your yard. You may be able to construct a little wall instead of purchasing blocks or some other type of divider. This is an industrious way to create something that’s completely unique for your yard. You can always add more branches as the old ones start to break down. Another solution is to cut the branches into chunks and use them as a part of your landscaping.

Have an Outdoor Fire Pit

Instead of purchasing wood to burn in your outdoor fire pit, consider your tree trimmings as a free source of firewood. You can stack up the extra trimmings in a dry place for later. This will give them a chance to dry out a little. Wet wood generates smoke when it’s burned. This may be what you’re looking for if you want to drive away those mosquitos from your outdoor gatherings. If not, let the wood dry out for a few weeks before trying to burn it.

Recycling as much as possible is the way to go. Some cities have a program in which you can recycle your yard waste and have it turned into compost for others to use.

RachelleW

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Keeping your neighborhood clean can be good for aesthetic purposes. It can also be good for keeping the planet happy and safe for all for generations and generations to come. If you want to do your part in helping the planet, you should think about setting up a trash cleanup project in your community.

Set a Great Example

If you want your neighbors to follow suit, you should begin by setting a great example. Pick up trash around your neighborhood in the middle of the day when other people can easily see you. You may just motivate others to do the same exact thing. If people ask you what you’re doing, tell them proudly.

Reach out to Your Neighbors

Don’t hesitate to reach out to neighbors who are friendly and cooperative. You may want to call or email them to ask them if they’d be interested in joining forces with you in your cleanup effort. They may not be able to resist taking part. If you make your cleanup project sound fun and interesting, it may encourage more and more people to team up with you.

Post a Listing on the Internet

Word gets around rapidly on the Internet. If you want to spread the word about your neighborhood cleanup effort, you can choose to post a free listing on a classified website. Look for a classified website that caters to your specific neighborhood. It’s critical to mention your community name in the header for the listing, too. If people learn about your project on the Internet, it may persuade them to reach out to you to lend a helping hand.

Rent a Dumpster

You can simplify your neighborhood garbage cleanup project by getting your hands on a sizable dumpster for disposal purposes. There are trustworthy companies that offer durable skips for rent. If you rent a roomy dumpster or two, you can get rid of significant levels of garbage. This can spare you a lot of frustration. Dumpsters can make doing away with trash straightforward and speedy.

Trash and a gorgeous planet simply do not go hand in hand. If you want your neighborhood to be immaculate and lovely, then you need to prioritize cleanup work. You can make prioritizing a clean community a lot easier by getting help from other people who live near you. Remember, doing things in groups can be fun. It can also be a lot more efficient.

RachelleW

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The construction industry is recovering after the reduction in sales of houses a few years ago. Construction companies are striving to build structures that are environmentally friendly as well as affordable. Like many other industries the construction sector is under the watchful eye of their communities to go green in an effort to protect and preserve the environment.

Planning Stage

When a construction company and the clients that they are working with decide to do a project, going green becomes a consideration at this time. If the building is an industrial, institutional, or educational structure, the go green project is determined before the ground is broken. Contractors, engineers, and architects get together to plan , evaluate, and identify the methods and types of materials that will help ensure that the go green process will be environmentally friendly.

Going Green Becomes a Normal Business Practice

There are certain important factors that are relevant in a going green construction project. They must build sound structures on sustainable sites that are well developed. The structure must have a way of saving water, and it must be energy efficient. Other factors include the quality of the indoor environment, and the materials selected. These considerations are the average things that a construction company would do, just a little more detailed in the go green projects. While going green, the construction company would recycle all waste material throughout the building process. This is a money saving technique in that it eliminates a big clean up job afterwards.

The Right Tools and Equipment is a Necessity

Before starting on any construction project, it is important that all tools and machinery are top notch working order. Going green takes a forklift that will pick up discarded material and dispose of it in a proper manner. Some companies, like Victory Equipment, know that you shouldn’t take chances with an old fork lift that works on a part time basis. Be an efficient business owner and by a new forklift for your company. This will protect your employees, as well as yourself, from injuries and loss due to forklift accidents and rollovers. Always practice safety first on construction sites.

Going green on housing construction projects is becoming a normal practice for the construction industry. The most common benefit of a green home to the consumer is that the home is energy efficient, and that it conserves water. Construction companies can actually cut their budgets by building homes through the go green process.

RachelleW

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To prevent your energy bills from getting too out of control, it’s important to make your home more energy efficient. Below, we’ll be going over a few ways you can go “green” and start knocking down your energy bills year-round.

Purchase Energy Star Products

Buying Energy Star products can help you save a lot of money in the long run. These include stoves, AC units, refrigerators, and washers that are approved by the EPA. This is because Energy Star products require nearly 50 percent less energy than regular appliances. So, if you’re in need of a new appliance any time soon, you should consider investing in Energy Star products. Some of these products might be a little more expensive than their competitors, but they save you more money in the long run. 

Lower Your Lighting Use

It’s a smart choice to keep your lights off if you’re not using them. Fortunately, in today’s modern world, you only need to flip a switch to do so. You should also consider investing in smart lightbulbs that can be controlled, via turned on and off, by your smartphone. However, you can also implement motion sensors in your home to turn the lights in your home on and off based on movements in your house. Other additional things like smart home automation can help you save even more energy. Being able to control every system in your home at the touch of a button on your smartphone makes this incredibly convenient.

Maintain Your HVAC System

You’d be surprised how much a regular tune-up on your HVAC system can do. Doing so can help save you money by avoiding costly repairs in the future. In fact, maintaining your HVAC system can help the heating and cooling in your home work much more efficiently. Some companies, such as Pacific Heating and Cooling, know that having an efficient HVAC system means a lot. Also, keep in mind that replacing your HVAC system can cost upwards of $8,000 if you don’t maintain it properly. This is a cost that is easily sidestepped, so take the time to always maintain yours.

Keep Your Windows Sealed

Keeping the windows in your home sealed can help lower your heating and electric bills year-round. If you notice a draft around your windows, we recommend weather-stripping your frames to help avoid heat from escaping. If you notice cracks or holes in your walls, we suggest using caulk to fill the spaces and prevent your home from developing drafts. Believe it or not, lowering the temperature of your water heater can end up saving you money in the long run. In fact, your heating water can make up 30 percent of your energy costs. Plus, lowering the temperature of your water heater by a few degrees can save you hundreds of dollars a year.

Insulate Your Attic

Properly insulating your attic can help prevent drafts in your home and lower the cost of your energy bills throughout the year. Although the cost to insulate your attic depends on the size of it, the cost is usually no more than $2,000. This may seem like a large investment at first, but your ROI will be larger than you think.

Now that it’s the middle of winter, home energy bills are higher than ever. This is why it’s so important to take preventative measures to lower the overall cost of your energy bills. Hopefully, with the help of this guide, you can get a few ideas on starting to lower your utility bills and invest in Energy Start products to prevent your energy bills from getting out of hand.

RachelleW

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Even if you aren’t ready to spend a significant amount of money on renovations, there might be a handful of smaller upgrades that will make your home much more efficient. Carrying out a few of these projects could end up saving you hundreds of dollars a month on your electric, water, and gas bills. Here is a quick look at four steps that you can take to improve your home’s efficiency and reduce your carbon footprint.

Install Low-Flow Fixtures

In the average American home, showers account for just over 17 percent of all indoor water use. Installing low-flow showerheads throughout your home could reduce how much water your family uses by thousands of gallons a year. There are also hundreds of low-flow products for kitchen taps, bathroom faucets, toilets, and outdoor spigots. These devices are easy to install, affordable, and extremely effective.

Switch to Tankless Water Heaters

Traditional water heaters keep huge basins of water warm at all times, and that is very inefficient. If you have a larger family or use multiple fixtures at the same time, then it might take 15 minutes or longer for the fresh water to heat up once the basin has been emptied. Tankless water heaters use just a fraction of the electricity because they only heat up water as it is being used. Smaller tankless water heaters can be installed in strategic areas throughout a home or you can invest in a larger unit for the entire household.

Update Your Windows

Quite a bit of heat transfer takes place through a home’s windows, and that can wreak havoc on your energy bills. Modern energy-efficient windows are designed to prevent as much heat transfer as possible while still letting in plenty of sunlight. These windows also have a much tighter fit with the nearby walls to prevent unnecessary drafts. When combined with thick drapes, you might be able to reduce your energy bills during the coldest months of the year by a substantial amount.

Upgrade Your HVAC System

Working with a contractor who can help you optimize your HVAC system is another great way to reduce your carbon footprint. In most states, indoor temperature control accounts for around 48 percent of the average home’s energy consumption. Some companies, like Derek Sawyers Heating and Air Conditioning, know how important it is to maintain your HVAC system. In addition to upgrading your HVAC system as it gets older, one of these contractors can also help you carry out seasonal maintenance. This will keep your furnace and air conditioner running smoothly.

One of the best ways to track your progress on this journey is to schedule regular home energy audits. An inspector can carefully look over your property to determine where improvements need to be made and what upgrades will have the greatest return on investment.

RachelleW

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When designing buildings and homes, you need to take into consideration their impact to the environment. This means that each project needs to be carefully planned in order to reduce the amount of damage inflicted on the landscape. Here are some of the ways that structural engineering can be cleaner and greener overall.

Invest in Design Efforts

The size, shape, and position of the structure needs to be taken into account for how it fits within the landscape. This means that hills and other features need to be considered during the design process. Many engineers know that the number of windows that face the sunny side could impact the energy consumption of the structure. The type of insulation that is required may be different depending on the climate and the overall positioning of the building. You need to take all of these things into account when drafting the design.

Use Reclaimed Products

Recycled products are more eco-friendly than purchasing all new products. You can add many of these elements to give the building a more unique appearance. Many job sites will discard pieces of wood that are still usable for another project. The only thing that would be needed in this case is for you to find a place to store all of these leftover supplies. Discarding large quantities of usable items makes it more expensive for each project that is completed.

Integrate Sustainability

You can use products that release less chemicals to increase the sustainability of the structure. One example of this is in using less cement based products for the foundation. This can be done by using products that are more carbon-based. These could be recycled products or even aggregates that reduce the overall carbon footprint of a new structure. Designing and planning for these things in advance will make the project greener.

Install Green Areas

One of the biggest problem with the construction of newer buildings is that they tend to lack green space. This can present of problem when it comes to water drainage issues. If it’s left uncorrected, it can lead to erosion or even flooding concerns. Drainage basins and other green spaces can help to alleviate this problem. You can plan out courtyards and other unique green space features of the structure to save on energy consumption.

The design portion of any structure is the most important part of making sure that the structure employs green methods. You can combine several elements to ensure that it’s as green and clean as possible.

RachelleW

 

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It doesn’t matter how shiny and beautiful your building is inside and out, strong, powerful odors can get trapped inside. It is not only essential that a building look clean, it should also smell clean. There are a number of steps that can be taken to ensure that clean and fresh air is flowing through at all times.

Locate the Source of the Odors

Far too often people tend to grab cans of deodorizers, candles, incense, and other products to fight bad air odors. The first thing to do is find out the root cause of the odor. Make sure the inside of the building is thoroughly cleaned and deodorized. Bacteria can set up in areas of the building and cause odors to permeate. Two areas in particular that should be checked: bathroom and kitchen. Both areas are cesspools for germs. And both should be thoroughly scrubbed and free of trash, foods and other things that can set up odors.

How is Your Building’s Ventilation?

The ventilation system can carry odors from place to place. A clogged ventilation system can cause offensive odors to permeate through your building. Call in a professional to make sure your system is running correctly and is free of anything blocking the air. It wouldn’t hurt to call in an environmental air quality consulting service, like Stephenson Environmental Management Australia, to investigate air quality issues. Bad air can cause health concerns. They can perform air tests to find out the source of the problem.

Use the Right Cleaning Supplies

The building should be cleaned by products that kill the source of the germs, not mask odors. Products like Pine Sol, Lysol and others germ-killers are the best. There are a number of sweet-smelling products on the market that do little to kill bacteria and germs. The simply cover up odors temporarily. Get a good disinfectant and get rid of the source of the problem.

What’s Inside the Walls?

Do you have dead critters inside your walls? As sickening as it is to believe, sometimes rats, raccoons and other small animals can get inside the walls and die. A professional will have to come in to remove the dead animal and patch up holes to prevent others from coming in.

If your building seems to lack fresh air, sometimes enlisting simple steps can fix the problem. If you follow certain steps and the bad air persists, call in an environmental air quality consultant. They can get to the root of the problem.

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Every environment needs regular inspection in order to detect a problem as early as possible. Environmental surveys facilitate the process of detecting problems so that experts can come up with a thorough treatment plan. Consider these four ways in which environmental surveys are designed to protect and preserve the Earth and its abundance of natural resources.

Evaluate Leaks

Environmental surveys help to evaluate, locate and identify the size and scope of leaks. Oil and natural gas pipelines may leak, and the leaks can go undetected if they are in remote areas. A prompt identification of the leak's location and assessment of what is leaking helps the operators of the pipeline to take action and fix the problem.

Use an Air Boat for Environmental Surveys

Some environments are more challenging than others to survey. When you need to check out a marshy area, an air boat is an ideal means of transportation. Some companies, like Specialized Enviro, know that air boats don’t cause as much disruption to wildlife or native plants. It affords you the opportunity to get views of the water and of the things that are living and growing in the marsh. The boat has plenty of space for your cameras and surveying equipment.

Check for Illegal Dumping

Illegal dumping is a major environmental concern. Wildlife can get stuck in plastic items or poisoned by dumped fluids. The individuals who do the dumping could be prosecuted under environmental laws. With an environmental survey, environmentalists and property owners can spot illegal dumping of tires, barrels of waste and other materials. Checking for illegal dumping should be performed on a regular basis through air and ground-level surveys.

Collecting Samples for Testing

During an environmental survey, the surveyors can collect samples and specimens for testing. The samples can provide valuable information about the health of the air, water, and soil in a location. Specimen analysis might include swabbing animals for their DNA, collecting their droppings, or trapping some insects. The laboratory results may show if there are high levels of harmful substances such as arsenic or lead, which could be a result of illegal dumping, runoff or other activities.

Environmental surveys combine the use of high-tech laboratory analysis, innovative transportation methods and a great deal of knowledge and expertise from trained professionals. The information from the surveys can be used to identify problems so that scientists can come up with ways to prevent recurrences. Environmental surveys are also helpful for the monitoring of environments and assessment of their changes over time.

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Unfortunately, one of the largest sources of pollution in industry is chemical manufacturing. The byproducts of chemical manufacturing processes are often very harmful to humans, plants and animals. Once released, this pollution can keep affecting the environment for many decades into the future. However, if a strong effort is made to lower the risks of chemical manufacturing for both living things and the environment at large, this problem can be solved. Below are a few ways how.

Move Towards a Philosophy of Green Chemistry

Overall, one thing manufacturers should do is move towards a philosophy of “green chemistry.” This simply means being much more mindful of the effects chemicals can have on animals, people and ecosystems during every part of the chemical manufacturing process. The goal here is achieving sustainability and minimizing all environmental impacts. Doing so can also have other benefits as well. Increased efficiency in the production process leads to lower costs.

Do a Rethink of Your Entire Production Process

Overall, becoming greener means having to reexamine past decisions that weren’t viewed with ecological sustainability in mind. There are probably adjustments you can make to how you use chemicals that can both decrease environmental impact and increase efficiency. For example, many companies, like Powerblanket, know that improving the flow of viscous materials keep expensive chemicals from freezing. Such a design improvement can lessen the possibility of environmental contamination and save money related to waste simultaneously.

Consider Green Alternatives

Many companies in different industries simply use the same chemicals in their production processes that they have used for decades. Many of these chemicals will always be hazardous to the environment and living things. While attempts are made to store, handle and dispose of them properly, mistakes are still often made. Instead, you might want to start considering alternatives that won’t have the same kind of environmental impact. In fact, a nonprofit group, Clean Production Action, was set up specifically to help companies select less hazardous chemicals for their manufacturing processes.

Obtain an Environmental Impact Assessment

One way to determine what kind of impact your chemical manufacturing is having on the Earth is to have an environmental impact assessment performed by an independent third party. This can give you a clear view of exactly how your company affects the surrounding environment and what you can do to mitigate that impact.

Chemicals will still probably be a very important party of industrial manufacturing years into the future. However, that doesn’t mean the use of chemicals has to create pollution. Consider less hazardous alternatives, new technology and alterations to your production process that can make your company more environmentally friendly.

RachelleW

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You do not have to be a diehard environmentalist to want to do your part in preserving resources for future generations and leaving less of a carbon footprint behind. You may be like many homeowners who have a desire to have your home be more environmentally friendly, but you just do not know how to go about it without it costing a fortune or being inconvenient. Here are some easy ways you and your family can make your home more environmentally friendly.

LED Bulbs

Incandescent bulbs are going the way of the dinosaur. Except for some specific applications, such as oven bulbs, incandescent bulbs are being phased out. California plans to have them phased out, with exceptions, by 2018. You may have noticed how hard it is to find incandescent bulbs in some hardware departments nowadays. Compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs and LED bulbs only use a fraction of the energy needed to power the hot incandescent bulbs. LED lights use the least amount of electricity. You may have had mixed results using CFL bulbs in the past, but new types are available to provide instant full light and will work in the cold for outdoor fixtures. However, LED bulbs are the best at using less electricity. Swapping all the bulbs you can to LEDs can save money on your electric bill, eliminate the need to change a bulb for many years, and be quite earth friendly in the process.

HVAC Upkeep

Your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system use the most energy in your home. Furnaces often use natural gas or another fossil fuel along with electricity to run a blower or pump, making the furnace the costliest appliance in your home to run. Your AC system is second. Dirty filters, grime on condenser and evaporator coils, corroded burners, and more can cause electricity to be wasted for air conditioning and fuels used for heating. Some companies, like Classic Air and Heating, know that it is important to at least get an annual inspection service and cleaning performed to keep your furnace and central air conditioning system operating at peak efficiency. You save on energy costs and reduce your carbon footprint, which is helpful to the environment.

Recycle

There are some areas of the country that do not yet have a weekly pickup day for recyclable materials. Many neighborhoods collect recyclables separately, but some people do not participate in the program and throw away recyclables in the regular trash instead. Many people start by recycling aluminum cans and newspapers. A single recycled aluminum soda can saves the amount of energy required to operate a television for three hours. Even if you start small with just recycling aluminum cans or newspapers, you are making your home more earth friendly.

Unplug Chargers and Turn off Lights

Those power pack chargers that regenerate the batteries in your tablets, cell phones, and laptops use electricity even when they are not connected to the device they are intended to charge. The amount is small, but there are millions of them plugged in all over the country. Connecting them to a power strip that can be physically shut off with a switch can save energy. Turning off the lights when you leave a room is another easy way to save energy. You should also turn off televisions and other appliances that are not being used. Televisions and monitors still use a little bit of electricity in standby mode, but not as much as when they are operating.

Imagine the energy savings if every home in the country participated in even casual energy saving protocols and minimal recycling. You may not be able to get all of your neighbors on the bandwagon of becoming more earth friendly, but you can at least motivate your family to take a personal concern for the natural resources we share in this finite world.

RachelleW

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A new HVAC system can be a major investment, but this is one upgrade worth considering. Depending on the local climate and age of your current system, a new system could potentially pay for itself in just four or five years. Here is a closer look at just a few of the benefits of modern HVAC systems.

They Maintain Consistent Pressure

Just because newer units are more powerful doesn’t mean that they draw extra energy. The ducts inside your home are designed to handle a certain amount of pressure, and any changes to that pressure will reduce the overall efficiency of the system. A modern HVAC system, like those available from Derek Sawyers Smart Energy Heating & Air, is going to keep the pressure inside your ducts extremely consistent. That means every room in your home will stay close to the same temperature. Older units tend to create pressure fluctuations that wreak havoc on energy consumption.

More Accurate Thermostats

Studies are now showing us that smart thermostats can save you up to $180 a year. In addition to being more accurate, they can also be controlled remotely. If you accidentally leave the system on during the day, you can quickly turn it off with a mobile app or web portal. Some of these thermostats also link to multiple sensors throughout the home to get a more accurate reading of the indoor temperature.

Higher SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) Ratings

Within the last decade, the SEER ratings of many HVAC systems have skyrocketed. A higher SEER rating basically means that the HVAC system produces more cool air and uses less electricity. HVAC systems that are more than 15 years usually have a SEER rating below six. Some of the leading HVAC systems that have come out in the last few years have a SEER rating of 14 or higher. Newer systems also produce more heat with less electricity during the coldest months of the year.

Improved Fittings

Older air conditioners, condensers, blowers, and furnaces can pull away from their fittings, and that will result in an incredible amount of heat transfer. When modern energy-efficient units are installed, all of the fittings will perfectly mate with one another. The HVAC contractor can also use products such as all-purpose caulking and weather-stripping to further insulate the system. Reducing the amount of air that escapes will result in lower energy bills.

If you would like to save even more money, then you might want to consider improving your home’s insulation. Blow-in insulation, weather strips, and window dressings will all reduce the amount of heat transfer that takes place inside your home, and that could save you quite a bit every month.

RachelleW

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In the recent past, doing your part to save the environment meant recycling plastic containers, buying organic vegetables and using canvas tote bags. Today, there are more ways to live green than ever before. In fact, a few simple changes can help you create a greener, healthier home. Here are five decorating ideas to consider.

Marry Your Interior and Exterior Home

One of the easiest ways to green up your home is to blur the lines between the interior and exterior living spaces. Opening your doors and windows is one way to bring the outdoors inside. If you are planning a home renovation, consider installing a window wall that opens an entire room to the outdoors. Screens allow you to let in fresh air while keeping the bugs and other pests outside.

Install Energy-Efficient Lighting Fixtures

The right lighting fixtures can give your home an aesthetic appeal that is eco-friendly and functional. Old fixtures use a lot of energy, which can drive up your electricity bills. Replace them with energy-saving fixtures, such as those with
Energy Star certification, or even solar-powered models. Replace your standard, incandescent bulbs with energy-saving alternatives such as light-emitting diodes (LED) or compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs.

Decorate With Indoor and Outdoor Plants

Nothing says green living like live plants. Besides adding beauty to your home, plants from places like
Green Smart Decor provide a relaxing outdoor hobby and help reduce indoor air pollution. Choose low-light, low-water houseplants for indoor decorating, and water them with rainwater or water you would otherwise discard. Outdoors, use the right soil and appropriate fertilizers, and water your plants frequently to keep the soil from drying out.

Beautify Your Home With Reclaimed Water

While luscious greenery is a great way to green your home and lawn, it comes at the price of high energy bills. If you are renovating your home or designing a new one, consider installing reclaimed water solutions. For example, try drainage systems that use rainwater to feed your lawn and outdoor landscaping.

Save Water With Artificial Leaf Panels

Artificial leaf panels are a good way to green your home without adding to your water bills. In addition to their easy installation and natural appearance, polyurethane panels provide ultraviolet (UV) protection and noise insulation. They are also weather-resistant, pest-free and unattractive to pets. Green Smart Décor offers a variety of panel options including ficus and ivy.

"Going green" does not have to mean "going expensive" with solar panels or bamboo flooring. Simple changes like the ones above can make your home a greener, safer, healthier place to live. Begin with small steps and make a commitment to change your habits over time.

RachelleW

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Business owners are in a unique position to look out for the environment. You have the capacity to conserve resources, reduce the use of materials and encourage recycling. You can also strive for a greater level of efficiency. These tips will help you to look out for the environment by making upgrades, working with industry professionals and making green purchasing decisions.

Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades

Manufacturing facilities could lower operational costs and look out for the environment by making energy-efficient upgrades. For example, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems can be upgraded to ultra-efficient systems. Ducts can be sealed and insulated. Walls and roofs can also be insulated. Anti-leak devices can be fitted onto plumbing, and fixtures can be updated with low-flow or dual-flush switches.

Working With Air Quality Consulting Services

Working with an air quality consulting service could help your manufacturing center to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Professionals, like those at Stephenson Environmental Management Australia, evaluate the quality of the air inside of various facilities. Your business might even qualify for certain incentives to work with an air quality consultant and reduce emissions.

Updating With Green Materials

Consider updating your facility with green materials when possible. For example, when your warehouse or building needs its roof replaced, consider a living roof made of grass that absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen. These roofs also reduce water runoff. If you need to replace flooring, consider recycled materials that do not off-gas chemicals. Some good options include concrete with reclaimed pieces or recycled glass embedded into the concrete.

Switching to Recyclable Materials

Consider the sources of the materials used in your manufacturing processes. If possible, purchase materials and supplies that have been recycled or that will be recyclable after you make them. Encourage your customers to recycle your products when they are finished using them. Consider minimizing the packaging associated with your products. You could also strive to use less resources in your manufacturing, such as reusing your scrap materials or cutting down on paper usage for administrative purposes.

When your company looks out for the environment, everyone enjoys the benefits. The efforts that you make to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, cut down on waste, reduce energy consumption and curtail the unnecessary use of packaging and other resources can be highlighted to the public, consumers, stockholders and others. Your efforts may also help to lower your operating costs and encourage new customers to support your environmentally-friendly efforts.

RachelleW

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If you’ve noticed that your walls are sounding hollow and have seen wings around your home, you might be dealing with termites. These notorious pests feed off cellulose, commonly found in wood. As a homeowner, you need to deal with these pests as soon as possible, but in a practical manner. These pest control tips will help you take care of termites in as a green of a manner as possible.

Use Cardboard

You can’t eliminate every termite this way, but you can certainly reduce their population in your home. Put out strips of cardboard and wait for them to come to it. Since cardboard contains their sought-after cellulose, it shouldn’t take long for them to fall for this trap. Don’t just throw them and the cardboard in the trash. Instead, burn it so that you know they’re disposed of.

Use Solar Power

Termites often cause damage without you seeing them. That’s because they are sunlight resistant. However, if you put your wood furniture outside in the sun, they’ll have no choice but to follow it. When exposed to all this heat, they’re going to fry. Just make sure you bring your furniture back instead before the elements damage it.

Hire Pest Control

Getting rid of termites all by yourself is a noble goal, but it’s not easily achievable. Even if you are able to kill 99% of them, that remaining 1% can quickly repopulate. That’s why an esteemed pest control company should be called. Look up exterminators, like EMCO Pest Control, in your area and see what sort of tactics they have for dealing with termites. It’s worth it to know that you and your home are safe.

Freeze Them

Termites might not like heat, but they don’t do much better with the cold. Find a large freezer to stick your wood furniture into for several days. When you take it out, the termites should be effectively frozen and unable to cause further damage to your home. Depending on how much wood furniture you have, this could take several trips to the freezer, so be patient.

Dealing with termites can be stressful, but your stress will only increase if you ignore the problem. By tackling the problem head-on, you can stop them before they really cause significant damage to your home. By following these tips, you can make it so that termites are only a temporary setback.

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