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kerryb

 

 

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The roof of a building should do more than keep the rain out. After all, when properly designed and planned, a roof can also be an energy efficiency power house, thus keeping the building occupants comfortable and saving money at the same time.

 

The options for creating an energy efficient roof, or just improving an existing one, are numerous. This means that homeowners will certainly find one or more options that work for them and their budget.

 

Attic insulation

 

Attics are neglected corners of a home that residents rarely visit; unfortunately, this also means that the insulation in an attic is generally insufficient. Homeowners looking to lower energy bills should check that the insulation in their attic has a high enough R-Value for their climate and that there aren't any gaps. For best results, the attic floor and ceiling should be insulated.

 

Install a cool roof

 

Not all roofs are created equal, and there's almost no match for the cool roof's energy efficiency. Made of a variety of materials, there is always one shared characteristic between cool roofs: a highly reflective surface. Most homeowners don't want to start from scratch on their existing roof, so this option is generally only used in new construction. However, there are additional considerations to remember before installing a cool roof: special care is needed to avoid mould and heating bills will be higher in cold months.

 

Roof paint

 

Homeowners generally only worry about the paint on the walls of their home, but a roof needs to be maintained too. Higher quality product will help your energy efficient roof last longer and look better too. When selecting a new paint, remember, lighter colours reflect more heat, which means less need for cooling costs. Not all roofs are suitable for painting. According to Roofline, painting is suitable for several roof types, including concrete tiles and metal surfaces such as Colorbond.

 

Solar panels

 

Solar energy systems are only getting more popular and, as a result, more affordable. However, they aren't a great option for every home. A specialized contractor should be hired to access the home's exposure and potential problems, like trees that will block the sun. Even where challenges are present, there are some workarounds for homeowners who really want to harness the power of the sun.

 

Green roofs

 

While solar panels aren't exactly considered attractive, green roofs most certainly are. Not every building is fit for a green roof as specific architectural requirements must be met. The possibilities for a green roof, however, are essentially endless: vegetable gardens, small trees, flower beds, etc. As an added benefit, the green roof will be removing carbon dioxide from the air while it's being energy efficient.

 

Avoiding asphalt shingles

 

Asphalt shingle roofs, while by far the most popular option in parts of the world, are also one of the least energy efficient. If shingles, for whatever reason, are the only option, then check out shingles that use a highly reflective surface or have solar panel membranes built in.

Unless homeowners are proactive, odds are that their hard earned cash is literally flowing right out their roof. While the most energy efficient roofs are built from scratch, almost all existing roofs can still be improved with some simple changes. However, homeowners who are lucky enough to be building their own house from scratch should really invest in the most energy efficient roof possible.

 

Image source: Flickr - phototouring

kerryb
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Here's why companies should consider recycled printing materials... even for ads!

For all the talk of the paperless office or moving business "to the cloud," printed material is still fluttering about as much as it ever was. Just about every business has things that simply must be printed, whether it's contracts and forms or banners, flyers, and business cards.

To be sure, trying to reduce your paper consumption by shifting to digital and email is a great way to do your part for the environment. But what is a business to do when, if, and where that simply isn't possible? It turns out you can be eco-friendly even when you're turning out printed matter by the ream... all thanks to recycled printing materials. A few printing services in Sydney are even starting to specialize in producing top-quality results using recycled materials that look as "white" as regular paper despite their "green" pedigree.

Here's what you need to know about making the switch to recycled stock for your paperwork.

The Benefits of Recycled Paper

As obvious as it may seem, too many large companies are still using non-recycled paper for the bulk of their office work. Why is this? Surely they're not intentionally trying to deprive little rain forest birds of a home? Of course they're not, but recycled paper has been surrounded by enough myths it's quite understandable if managers feel intimidated. Let's deflate a few of those myths now.

First. recycled paper has come down in price, a lot. While it used to cost a premium, now buying recycled paper is no more expensive than the regular variety. Often times, it's even cheaper. So yes, you can save the environment and the bottom line at the same time.

Second, modern recycled paper is just as "white" as the ordinary stuff. To be sure some companies seek out the grayish "raw" recycled paper as a marketing tool -- if you're selling to an environmentally conscious market, printing your materials on what is clearly recycled paper gives your firm a credibility boost. But your office supply dealer or printing service in Sydney will be happy to point you at their stock of de-inked recycled paper, which has the same bright white "virgin" look you're used to.

With those myths out of the way, why should you take the time to seek out recycled paper for your printing?

Well, consider the numbers. An incredible 40% of the world's industrial logging output is used for paper production... that means for every five trees that get chainsawed down, two of them are giving their lives so you can have some more forms and memos in your in-tray. Recycled paper helps cut down that number, a lot.

That's just the beginning, however. According to the group Waste Watch, each tonne of recycled paper saves 30,000 litres of water (used to make paper) plus 3000-4000 KWh in electricity. The paper recycling process also significantly cuts down on landfill costs -- the paper from your old flyers is pulped, de-inked, and pressed into paper for your new ones -- or incineration. (As you're probably aware, creating more waste also results in higher taxes down the line for dealing with it. Thus, recycling may cut your tax bill, if only by a little.)

The fact is, modern recycled paper looks just as great and costs just the same as the non-recycled variety. There's simply no reason not to use it, and plenty of excellent reasons to make the switch today!

resources:

http://www.ecogreenoffice.com/

http://www.wastewatch.org.uk/

http://www.print2day.com.au/

kerryb

Greener roads

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In today's world of technology more and more people are going green. The economy has suffered tremendously. Making the importance of electric cars, bikes, and motor scooters more apparent. People today are looking for ways to save money, live cleaner and protect our futures. That's why it's not very surprising when your driving down the road that you may see a motor scooter for sale.

Easy on wallet

Motor scooters are a great way to get around town and save money. The ones that have 50cc engines can get around 95mpg! That is impressive to say the least. Some of the bigger ones get less mileage but can easily handle interstate speeds. Not to mention mpg on the bigger ones is still around 65 mpg. That's still better than almost every hybrid electric car produced currently!

Your options with buying a motor scooter is not much different than buying a car. They come in different sizes, shapes, colors, and prices! One thing you will notice real quick is the price tag. Motor scooters are cheaper transportation, and the initial cost out of pocket to own one is much lower than buying a new car. A three wheel 50cc scooter can be purchased for as little as $1500 hundred dollars new! That is tremendously cheaper than buying a new car. Also, since your going electric your keeping the environment much safer. Include your 75 mpg your getting and you'll be asking yourself," why haven't I bought one yet?"

Maneuver through traffic

If you live in a more urban area then owning a motor scooter is even better. With heavy traffic a motor scooter will make getting around easier in many ways. You will be able to maneuver through traffic easier and not add to the exhaust fumes! Waiting at a gas station won't be as long. Especially, since you won't have to stop. That's unless you want to. Having a motor scooter will give you the ability to live a more sustainable green life. With a scooter being electric you will be able to plug it in and let it charge over night. Then drive it the next day for as cheap as $1.00 or less. No car out there can you drive that cheap and stay green! It's just not possible yet.

Not convince yet at trying one out? Is comfort an issue when you ride in a car?

Don't worry, there are many options for those seriously interested in buying a motor scooter. Suspension upgrades, wheel packages, and all can be purchased to make your motor scooter your proud comfortable green ride.

So you may still be wandering why you should look for a motor scooter for sale? There are many but the most important is the world we live in. If we don't take care of it now it may end up one day not being able to take care of us. Without air to breathe we can't survive. Which makes the importance of using such advancements in technology even more important. Electric cars, hybrids, bikes, and motor scooters are all ways that we can make our lives on earth more fruitful.

kerryb

Are you one of those careless consumers who will replace their electronics every once in a while and doesn't bother to recycle the old hardware properly? The use of electronic products like mobile phones, tablets, computers and printers have increased greatly in the past decade. It is estimated that over 50 million tons of electronic waste are disposed every year. The United States alone disposes more than 30 million computers per year. According to the EPA, only 15% of the e-waste are properly recycled in first world nations. Some of the most hazardous electronics include, LCD monitors, televisions, and printer cartridges. It doesn't mean you don’t have to worry about properly disposing or reusing other type of electronics. But when you are disposing the items that are mentioned above, you should be more diligent.

Let’s take a look at some of the tips to reduce and reuse e-waste.

- Responsibility

Do not buy the newest electronics available in the market unless your current devices aren't useful anymore. We can foresee that when the next iPhone or iPad is released, millions of people are going to dump their current mobile devices and buy the latest gadget. The truth might be quite deplorable but only less than 1 percent of the mobile phones disposed will be recycled this year.

- Participate in manufacturer and retail recycling

If you are tossing your old mobile phones, printer ink cartridges, and computer parts heedlessly into the recycling bin in the hopes it will be recycled properly, think again. You should not drop all your e-wastes in one particular recycle center in your city. For instance there are certain recycle centers who specialize in recycling mobile phone parts and some that specialize in recycling computer parts and printed board. You should check out the list of accredited eWaste online and ascertain who specializes in recycling what.

http://www.dropzone.org.au/

http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/p2/nav/elec_recy_waste.html

http://www.erp-ewaste.co.uk/

You can take part in retail as well as manufacturer recycling programs to ensure that, the electronics that you don’t need anymore will be recycled properly. For instance, if you take part in the Apple’s recycling program, you will be offered a free takeback program when you purchase a new MacBook or iMac. Printer ink retailer like Ink Station work with zero landfill policy and also sell eco-friendly ink cartridges that do not cause much damage to the environment.

- Donate/Sell

Reusing is definitely better than recycling. If you crave for the latest and the newest mobile phones and tablets in the market and can’t restrain you from buying them the very first day, you should at least donate your electronics that are not useful to you anymore. If your electronics is still usable, you can reduce e-waste by giving it to people who can’t afford it or make use of it. If you are not willing to give things away for free, you can sell your electronics on the internet, even if they are not working anymore. You can list your item on websites like eBay and make a quick buck.

- Vestigiality

In biology the term vestigiality means an organ losing most or all its original or ancestral function and take other secondary or tertiary roles. For instance, the appendix in the human body used to play a major role in digesting cellulose when our ancestors were more dependent on vegetation for food than meat. Now the appendix is a vestigial organ and still has immunological roles. Okay, we had gone a bit far with biology, let’s get back to electronics.

The lifespan of several electronics are quite short. When they are not functioning as they used to anymore, they can take some other role. You can turn the display of an old laptop in a digital photo frame (you can find a lot of DIY tutorials to achieve it.) You can take the useful parts from the computer or laptop and use them. If the hard disk on you old laptop or computer is still working, you can remove it and use it as an external hard disk with a cheap $10 casing.

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Old iMacs are obsolete, but they still look gorgeous. Instead of throwing them away, you can use the shell to build an aquarium. There are quite some iMac aquarium creators on the internet that can help you transform you old iMac in to a small 10 gallon aquarium. These are just a few ways to turn your old and obsolete electronics useful, but you get the idea.

Finally bear in mind that whenever you are replacing any electronic device, you should do the necessary so that it will be recycled properly.

kerryb

Green Car Myths

With the increasing concern, people are showing towards the environment, car manufacturers have kept coming up with ways of ensuring energy efficiency. Hybrid cars and electric cars are some of the newest additions to the world of sustainable motoring. Before getting your hybrid, there are some myths you should know about these green cars.

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Image source: Carzoos.com.au

They are not Cost-efficient

The claim that hybrids are too expensive for most motorists is just an excuse made up by those who are resistant to change. Many motorists will gladly part with up to US$500000 get a top-of-the-range luxury vehicle, but when it comes in a hybrid, which is only a fifth of the price. When you do the calculations, the hybrid vehicle will save you a lot on fuel, which will thus bring down its overall running cost, making it a really affordable option.

To Recharge a Hybrid, You Will Need To Connect To a Plug

This is not necessarily the fact, in case, if you look closely, you will see that the hybrid cars will reuse energy. When you step on the brake, the fuel engine will plough back some electrical energy in the battery, thus recharging it. Hybrid batteries will in fact offer an extended mileage without needing recurrent charging as long as the battery is kept at a substantial charge capacity.

They Are For the Liberal Driver

There has been the assumption that it is only the freethinking driver that will enjoy driving such a vehicle. The hybrid vehicle is made with all the drivers in mind. Its functionality and performance is really just the same as any of its conventional counterparts, only that it is more eco-friendly.

They Lack Power

Many people make the assumptions that since green cars are very stingy when it comes to fuel; they will not live up to the performance capacity. Actually, manufacturers have paid a lot of attention to hybrids, and with tons of research have come up with the new powerful hybrids, some of which can easily beat normal cars in terms of power, not to mention energy efficiency.

Hybrids Will End All the World Oil Problems

A really big load is being placed on the hybrids’ backs. Though they save on the fuel that people are using on their vehicles, the rate at which the hybrid cars are being purchased is too low to make any substantial savings. However, if every new car that is purchased were a hybrid, there would be a really considerable saving on the fuel consumed worldwide. In addition, the world oil crisis transcends beyond just usage. There are many other issues regarding management of the oil sector, which bring up the oil crisis.

There are tons of other myths regarding green cars; you only have to know to differentiate fact from fiction by asking your local car dealer. Like we said in the article there are various types and models for each drive, so, before you decide to get one talk with some specialists or with hybrid owner and if available take it on the test drive.