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Sarah Jones

For eco-conscious homeowners, choosing the right floor is a balancing act of looks, longevity, eco-friendliness and budget. Options used to be thin, but with the market for green goods heating up, there has been an explosion of amazing options. These five flooring choices are the crème de la crème of green building.

1. Ceramic Wood

Hardwood floors are all the rage, but sustainably-produced hardwood is hard to come by. Hardwood enthusiasts have found an unlikely replacement in the form of ceramic tile. Through a process of staining and stamping, ceramic composed of recycled material is made to mimic the texture and color variation of natural wood. Ceramic wood is also easier to care for than hardwood, and the colors will not fade when exposed to sunlight.

2. Wool Carpeting

Wool was one of the first materials to be used to make carpets, and green homeowners are returning to carpets' roots to find eco-friendly flooring choices. Wool carpeting is spun from natural fibers, does not require any of the dangerous chemicals traditional carpets are treated with and can be dyed almost any color. Wool fibers are comfortable and can last for centuries. If someone in your household has a wool allergy, cotton and jute are ideal natural fiber alternatives.

3. Polished Concrete

When you think of concrete, you may think of the dull, uninspiring slab that makes up your garage floor. Banish the thought, for new concrete polishing, staining and stamping techniques have rocketed concrete to gorgeous heights. In addition to concrete polishing, the floor can be given glass inlays and other intriguing details to jazz it up. Concrete is the most durable and easy-to-clean flooring option, and it never needs to be replaced.

4. Recycled Fiber Carpeting

Oceans of plastic bottles, frozen dinner trays and more can be shredded, spun and turned into brand new carpeting. Also known as P.E.T. carpeting, recycled fiber carpet is durable, stain-resistant and is often the most economical choice. P.E.T. carpeting once had a reputation for being scratchy, but the latest weaves are quite soft.

5. Cork

Cork flooring was one of the first green flooring options available, and it has a few unexpected tricks up its sleeve. Cork is a sustainable resource with natural anti-microbial, anti-insect and flame retardant properties. It is surprisingly durable and can be painted or stained like wood.

Whether you choose cork, ceramic or polished concrete flooring, green flooring is more beautiful and affordable than ever. Take advantage of the booming market and make the padding beneath your family's toes a good choice for the environment.

Sarah Jones

Termites can do thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home. If you see them, it's tempting to want to call an exterminator to deal with the infestation quickly. Exterminators use chemicals to kill termites, which isn't great for the environment. Instead of using chemicals, there are organic, eco-friendly ways to deal with termites.

Sodium Borate

This compound is mildly toxic but not detrimental to the environment. Sodium borate kills the termites ability to process food so they will die. It can be dusted around the perimeter of the home to deter termites from entering. It's recommended that the compound is added in the attic, basement and window sills to keep termites from entering the home.

Keep pets and children away from the dust. It shouldn't be ingested by animals or people. The dust can be applied carefully so it's not in an exposed state. Carefully apply the sodium borate along the cracks in between the sills and the wall. In the basement, it can be added in cracks in the wall or along the outside of the home.

Beneficial Nematodes

Nematodes resemble unsegmented worms. There are a few different species of nematodes and most are considered pests that will attack plants and ruin crops. The nematodes that are considered parasites are tiny and will attack tomatoes, lettuce, corn and carrots at the roots. They will cause lesions and distorted leaves in plants like onions and alfalfa. The damage they cause can be extremely widespread and kill off entire farms.

The beneficial nematodes will eat organic matter so they're used in compost. The family of nematodes that eat insects include Heterorhabditidae or Steinernematidae. They can be purchased from home improvement or garden centers. Nematodes thrive in moist, humid environments. It's important to keep the soil damp after applying them.

Before using either option, decide which would benefit your problem and give a solid solution. Sodium borate leaves a light dusting of powder that can produce a mess if not applied correctly. With nematodes, you're introducing a parasitic entity into your yard. Make sure you have the correct type of nematode because the wrong kind can kill plants.

Sarah Jones

A new era of sustainable aeroplanes has begun with the maiden flight of one of the first fully solar-powered aeroplanes. The Solar Impulse 2, flown by German pilot Markus Scherdel, made its first assent from the Payerne Airbase in Switzerland on 2 June 2014. This initial journey marks the first step toward an historic circumnavigation that is set to take place in 2015.

The Solar Impulse 2 is made of carbon fiber and has a wingspan of 72 meters. The aircraft is larger than a Boeing 747. Despite its large size, the craft's weight is equivalent to that of an automobile; this is due, in large part, to the fact that the Solar Impulse 2 does not require fuel. Running entirely on renewable solar energy, the revolutionary craft contains 17,000 solar cells and four electrical motors. The electrical motors are powered by four 21 kilowatt lithium ion batteries. During the day, the solar cells charge the lithium batteries enabling nighttime flight.

For its first flight, German test pilot Markus Schredel flew the plane for over an hour and reached heights of about 1,800 meters. Over the next several months, the Solar Impulse 2 will undergo a series of tests and test flights in order to achieve certification. The goal is for the Solar Impulse 2 to complete a flight around the globe. Such a flight would mark the first time an all solar-powered craft circumnavigates the earth. The proposed flight is slated to take place in 2015. The Solar Impulse 2 will be piloted by Betrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg. Piccard and Borschberg also piloted an earlier version of the Solar Impulse 2-the Solar Impulse. With Piccard and Borschberg at the helm, the Solar Impulse set several records for solar-powered flight. The Solar Impulse was the first solar-powered aeroplane to complete an intercontinental flight. Also, the Solar Impulse holds the records for the longest flight (26 hours) and the greatest distance traveled of any manned solar-powered flight. With the larger and more advanced Solar Impulse 2, Piccard and Borschberg hope to shatter their existing records and usher in an exciting new age in flight.

With the success of the Solar Impulse and the Solar Impulse 2, we may not be very far from a world in which our public airlines and private aircraft charter flights are powered exclusively by renewable energy. In addition to the positive environmental implications, solar-powered airline and aircraft charter fleets stand to provide significant savings due to a decrease in fuel costs. Learn more about private jet from this blog.

Sarah Jones

In today’s world, threats to the environmental state of the nation are a very real issue. In addition, toxins and pollutants seem to be present in every aspect of one’s life. If children are our future, and the environment is crucial to our survival, it only seems fitting that the playground equipment be made in an eco-friendly manner. Washington D.C. has taken a lead in renovating playgrounds to be environmentally friendly.

Eco-friendly playgrounds indicate that the features are made from non-toxic, recycled materials that are in-line with the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s playground safety codes. Here is an example of eco friendly playground equipment. Not only are these playground safer for those children and parents using the playground, these types of playgrounds should also take into account the safety of those building the playground and its features.

One element of such a playground that needs to be thought-out is how much weight the playground equipment needs to hold. It will be helpful to know how old the children who will be playing on the playground are and what their general size is. The playground needs to be age appropriate, with playground features for toddlers being different than features for young children and pre-teens. Perhaps the eco-friendly playground could have two separate sections for the different age groups.

The factors discussed above are true of any playground, eco-friendly or not. What makes a playground eco-friendly? The answer lies in the materials used. The materials need to be all recycled materials. One popular choice for such playground equipment is recycled rubber, either from old tires or the soles of sneakers. These materials need to be checked to make sure that they are non-toxic. Just based on the nature of the texture of rubber, this eco-friendly substitution for plastic or wood will create a safer space where possible falls will be less dangerous for children.

While it is true that the initial cost of such surfacing is more than traditional playgrounds, the upkeep and maintenance will be less over the lifetime of the playground. One should think of eco-friendly playgrounds as an important investment. They are not only a smart financial investment, but they are social and environmental investments as well. The factor of spending more money upfront may be a deterrent to some playground makers, but this extra initial spending is going toward ensuring that our children and environment are safeguarded for many years to come.

Sarah Jones

Landscaping brings to mind pictures of broad fields of grass at country clubs, or intricate raised bed flower gardens over manicured lawns. This type of groundskeeping, while making the environment green, can be anything but green in actual practice - it runs the risk of introducing invasive species, requiring extensive irrigation, or fertilizer run-off, and may be intensely power consumptive in the process.

Making a garden or yard that works with nature is called "green landscaping" and it relies on a few basic principles that, by and large, are common sense. If any of this is too hard to do yourself, considering hiring a professional.

Pick Plants Appropriate To Your Area

Your yard and garden are going to be a home for a mini-ecology. Before you pick your perennials, look at plants that are native to your area, or come from similar climates. If you're in a dry climate, consider xerescaping - using desert plants and shrubs - for your plant cover.

While you're at it, check to make sure that the plants you're planting don't have pollen that people are commonly allergic to.

Work With The Land Not Against It

When you start your yard improvement project, the experts say to have the land surveyed properly. It's expensive, but it's worth it - you can learn a lot about the underlying drainage patterns of the stone and soil under your ground cover, and irrigating so that the water flows with the drainage pattern is better than irrigating against that pattern. A similar principle can be used to plant trees and shrubs as wind-breaks against the prevailing breezes in your part of the world.

While you're at it, it also lets you avoid surprises like abandoned septic tanks or ant colonies under the ground, and can help you site trees and shrubs. Speaking of siting trees, always try to use the trees to provide shade to part of your house - this lets your landscaping cut down on your cooling bills in the summer.

Use Technology Appropriately

While your yard project should focus on the plants and the terrain, you're probably going to need to put in some sort of permanent structure, whether it's a raised planter, a retaining wall, or paving stones for a garden path. You can be green in this area too - use recycled concrete and recycled paving stones where you can to cut back on your carbon dioxide load, and get US fired brickworks; in the US, brick-making kilns are fired off of natural gas, rather than using wood or wood waste or oil.

If your project includes a lighting component, you should also look at solar powered lighting systems - these have matured tremendously in the last three years, and are more robust, have better solar panels and use LED bulbs that last forever.

Sarah Jones

People do not always think of the eco-friendly when it comes to gigantic limousines used by CEOs of large companies or celebrities. The world is becoming increasingly concernend about the environment and what would be left for future generations to come. Whenever people decide to get a limousine hire, they want a limo hire service that is friendly to the environment. Limo hire services
. Eco-friendly limousine hire services are becoming more common.

Factors That Make A Limo Eco-Friendly

* Cleaner fuel
- The fuels that limos use now are the most important factor that is allowing huge limos to have less of an impact on the environment. Flex fuels can be power
. They have superior miles-per-gallon. These limousines are more suitable and emit less greenhouse gases as well.

* Bio-diesel
- There is about 90 percent less greenhouse gases emitted.

* Combo engines
- The hybrid cars made these engines famous. This includes the Prius. A number of limos have these gas/electric engines installed in them. The miles-per-gallon can be lower in these engines with the help of the battery. The battery can also supplies power for the electrical components.

* E85 -
This is also known as ethanol. It generates 60 percent less ozone-forming emissions. It is also renewable.

* Compressed natural gas.
This also has fewer greenhouse gas emission than LPG, diesel, or gas. It is safer to use as well.

Limos That Are Eco-Friendly

* Prius limo
- The hybrid car revolution was led by the Prius. This vehicle helped to start the eco-friendly limo revolution. The idea of making a limo out of a Pirus came from someone from Canada. Many people know this car as the Primo. This limo has six doors and eight seats. This vehicle gets 50 miles-per-gallon. You may be get a limo hire and have a Prius roll up as part of the limousine service.

* Nissan Leaf stretch limo
- The first completely electric limo is the Nissan Leaf. It was built for Emabassy Suites in Franklin, TN. There is an eight person capacity. This vehicle can go for almost 100 miles from one charge.

* Knight XV
- This is an armored limo. It is ideal for a night on the town.

* Chevy Tahoe Hybrid limo
- It was transformed into the first hybrid SUV limo in the world. This limo gets better gas mileage than a Tahoe that is not a hybrid. It is about 80 percent better as well.
Sarah Jones

Green Water?


Water is often taken for granted in a home, but it takes a lot of energy to get water from the source to your kitchen, bathroom, garden and laundry room. Eco-friendly plumbing practices can greatly reduce the cost of getting a good water supply as well as help save water resources. Most of the antiquated and inefficient plumbing fixtures use a lot of water. A plumber can install energy efficient water heaters, shower heads and toilets, but there are a lot more ways to reduce water consumption without changing your lifestyle.

Rain Water Harvesting

For those who have the climate, it’s worth setting up a rain water harvesting system outside their home. Depending on the material of the base that the water runs off, the collected water can be used for flushing toilets, watering the garden, washing the car and other things. Collecting rain water not only reduces your dependence on treated water from reservoirs and rivers, it also reduces erosion and pollution from storm water run-off.

Grey Water Systems

Grey water is the waste water from showers, sinks, laundry, dishwashers and places other than the toilet. It is about 80 per cent of the water that leaves your home. A plumber can install a grey water recycling system, so this water can be funneled into your toilet and other places.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters are becoming more and more popular. These water heaters only heat the water you need. They don’t heat and reheat a whole tank of water day or night whether you use it or not. They reduce energy costs by up to 50 per cent. In some places, there are tax credits given to people who install a tankless water heater. These heaters give hot water on demand, so you don’t need to let the water run for a few minutes waiting for it to turn hot. If you have a conventional water heater, it saves water to catch the water you are waiting to turn hot in a bucket and use it to flush the toilet or to brush your teeth.

Watering the Garden

You may have an enviable lawn or masses of blooming flowers every year and can’t bear the thought of reducing the water you give them. There is a way to keep you garden well watered and cut water use. A large percentage of water that flows through the air from a hose or sprinkler evaporates before it reaches your plants. Drip irrigation will cut water use up to 70 per cent. There are also sensor-based irrigation control technologies that water according to the plants’ requirements and the weather.

Solar Power

You can heat the water in your swimming pool with solar power, and run the pump. There are many garden fixtures such as lighting and fountains that run on solar power.

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