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International Environmental Issues and Green Business

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HannahWhittenly

Sun Sensations 4 Ways to Go Green with Solar Energy at Home.jpg

Going green can seem a bit daunting, especially if you don’t know how to apply these principles at home. At first, it might seem like everything is trying to destroy the planet. However, these four tips will help you make the difference that you’re looking to make right from your own home.

Grill

One appliance that may use propane or other forms of energy is the grill, but that no longer has to be the case. It might be a good idea to consider a solar-powered grill that will not use up electricity or force you to purchase propane. These grills can fry, bake, boil, and grill by using the power of the sun. This is a tasty way to help the earth!

Generator

One way to power your small appliances is by using generators. Solar-powered generators will allow you to use your basic appliances without plugging them up to electricity. Generators do not last too long, but it should provide enough energy throughout the day. This is really what you want since most of the electricity produced by factories ends up releasing unnecessary carbon into the atmosphere.

Hot Water

Everyone knows that water heaters work with gas or electricity, but did you know that you can install a solar-powered hot water system? Yes, and it should work just as efficiently as any other hot water appliance would work. It is estimated that about 80 percent of the annual cost associated with hot water can be cut using a solar-powered hot water heater, like those you can get from Degree C Pty Ltd. This also means that electricity use will be down, reducing your carbon footprint.

Solar Panels

This is perhaps the most expensive option, but it is one worth mentioning. These panels are installed on the roof of your home by professionals and are meant to provide the house with a sufficient amount of energy. Think of it as installing a large-scale generator that will power up your entire house. The expense is one reason why some do not opt for this choice while others do not want to install these panels above their roof due to several reasons like aesthetics or the stability of the roof. Nevertheless, it is a good option for those who would not mind installing these panels.

These are just four ways that you can go green by using solar-powered appliances or making additions to your home. There are more ways that you can harness the power of the sun. Do not be afraid to make the switch that will help you save some cash and help the planet

HannahWhittenly

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More often than not, pest control methods involve toxic chemicals and other substances harmful to people and the environment. However, this is not the only solution to keeping unwanted pests away from farms and gardens. With some ingenuity and exploitation of nature, there are safe ways to effectively remove pests, and they can actually be quite a bit cheaper as well. Here are four effective methods to try.

 

 

Prevention

One of the easiest ways to avoid pest damage to plants is to prevent them from coming in the first place. In order to create a strong, pest-repellent environment,

             Keep soil healthy and rich with nutrients. Try adding compost and mulch

             Remove infected, or weak plants. Pests target these plants more often

             Keep up with weeding. These are breeding grounds for many insects

             Interplant your crops. Pests generally are specific to a plant and this will lessen their impact

 

Traps

Another method to get rid of pests is to trap them in the same way you catch mice. For many insects, putting flypaper in your fields or garden is enough to catch a great deal of them. Other traps include using pheromones to attract insects to a sticky substance they get caught in. Barrier paper may also be used to protect seedlings from insects until they are strong enough to resist them.

 

Other Insects

Insects, not considered pests, can be introduced into fields and gardens as a natural way to combat these pests. Introducing natural predators can help control and possibly eliminate many garden pests. Ladybugs are a very common option. They attack aphids and mites. A praying mantis is another option, and they will eat most any pest.

 

Non-Toxic Remedies

Another safe pest control technique is to spray plants, as you would with pesticides. However, these recipes involve safe, natural ingredients that will not harm your plants or the environment. Depending on the pests, you will need to use different mixtures. Here are some examples:

             A mix of vegetable oil and mild soap will kill a variety of insects like aphids and mites

             Neem oil, extracted from the neem tree, is another option that kills a broad spectrum on pests

             A spray made from a tablespoon of chile powder in a quart of water with mild soap will also kill a broad range of pests

 

These are only a few of the ways to prevent and eliminate pests without using toxic chemicals and pesticides. Whether you have a small garden or a large farm, these techniques can help you control pests in a safe way. When you use quality products from places like Central Farm and Garden on your farm or lawn and garden, you have to protect them in the most safe and efficient ways. Just be sure to take the time to look into a lot of different products so that you can find the best possible options for you.

HannahWhittenly

Think You Are Green 4 Things That Everyone Does That Arent Eco Friendly.jpg

Your actions will always have a huge impact on the local environment and the world as a whole. That is why it is so important for everyone to continue looking for ways they can become as eco-friendly as possible. Here is a closer look at some of the common ways people are wasteful and what can be done to change those habits.

Eating Too Much Meat

According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the livestock industry is responsible for 51 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. Even if you are not ready to give up meat completely, you should try to buy local chicken and pork. These animals produce less waste than cows, and they are also easier to transport.

Trashing Recyclables

Very few people realize just how much of their trash can actually be recycled. Every item that you send to the landfill could sit there for hundreds of years, and that is why you should familiarize yourself with all of the products and materials that can be recycled. Many waste disposal companies, such as Ware Disposal, now offer residential recycling services for products such as laptops, batteries, old smartphones, coffee grounds, egg shells, and rotten produce.

Leaving Electronics Plugged In

Another common mistake that you might be making is leaving your electronics plugged in even when you are not using them. Just because these devices appear to be turned off does not mean they aren't drawing a current. Attaching all of your electronics to power strips in each room and then turning the strips off whenever you leave the house or go to bed is a great way to get rid of these phantom loads.

Leaving the Water On

The average family wastes thousands of gallons of clean water every year in their showers, baths, sinks, dishwashers, and washing machines. In addition to installing low-flow fixtures, you should also want to invest in high-efficiency appliances. To conserve even more water, homeowners can inspect their plumbing systems once or twice a year to find any leaks. Not only will this allow you cut back on your water consumption, but you might even lower your utility bills by quite a bit.

You will never able to completely eradicate your carbon footprint, but that doesn't mean your efforts are being wasted. Every small change you make for the better will have a lasting impact on the world for generations to come.

HannahWhittenly

The Infected World How Land Contamination Affects All of Us.jpeg

Land contamination affects us all in many different ways. The pollution that results from urbanization, industrial activities and waste disposal can have detrimental effects on human health as well as the ecosystem as a whole.

Health Hazards

Pollution has long been linked to certain health problems in humans, but you may be surprised to learn about some of the less obvious problems that are caused by pollution. The Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics states that the pollution from land that gets into drinking water sources is linked to bladder, kidney and stomach cancers when consumed by humans. Land contamination may also cause you to develop skin and respiratory infections.

Diminished Food Supply

Contaminants that get into the soil can also prevent certain crops from growing, and this can greatly diminish the food supply. According to Conserve Energy Future, widespread famine may result in areas where massive crops die off because of pollution. Farmers who use hazardous pesticides on their crops may further contribute to this problem. Furthermore, land contamination is known to kill animals before they are able to grow strong and healthy enough to be slaughtered for their meat.

Less Suitable Land for Living

Heavily contaminated land is unsuitable for humans, and this can make it impossible to develop new communities to accommodate the world’s growing population. The lack of suitable land for development can cause existing urban areas to become overcrowded. An article published by the Daily Mail states that cities with high population densities often experience increased poverty and pollution. To tell whether or not the land you are living on is suitable, make sure to have specialists from a service like Geotech Testing who are capable of giving environmental assessments.

What We Can Do

The problem of contaminated land may never be fully resolved, but there are things that we can do as a society to reduce some of the effects. Recycling certain household goods is one of the easiest ways to limit the waste that ends up in landfills and negatively impacts the land. Relying on organic farming instead of using methods that involve the use of hazardous pesticides can also reduce land contamination. Using solar energy and other greener energy sources to power homes and businesses is another way to combat this problem. Land contamination can be further lessened by disposing oil and other liquid chemicals safely instead of dumping them down drains or onto the ground.

If widespread land contamination is allowed to continue, it could negatively affect many generations to come. Fortunately, there are steps that we can take to limit this problem and build a better society for everyone

HannahWhittenly

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As recycling technology has improved over the past decade, it has led to some confusion regarding what can and cannot be recycled. Can you throw plastic bags in the recycling bin? Do you have to wash out jars and bottles before recycling? What about Styrofoam and used paper towels? These tips can help you better understand what is recyclable and what should be tossed into the trash.

Plastic Bags

Although most recycling facilities have the ability to recycle plastic bags, most prefer that they not be included in a recycling container other than those designed for plastic bags. Bags can wrap around and jam recycling equipment and they can contaminate paper bales, according to some recycling companies. Instead of tossing them into your recycling bin, take them to specialized locations for recycling. Many grocery and department stores now have bins available for plastic bag recycling.

Plastic Bottle Caps

Although caps and plastic bottles are made from different types of plastic, both are recyclable. Keep the cap on the bottle as a loose cap can slip through the sorting lines at a recycling facility and end up in the trash accidentally. Separated caps are also difficult to spot as the recyclable material is sorted going into the machinery.

Styrofoam

In most cases, Styrofoam is still not recyclable. Styrofoam, which is actually expanded polystyrene, can be contaminated easily. Since recycling facilities do not deep clean the items they process, dirt can be embedded into the recycling material. Styrofoam is also a petroleum product, making it flammable and difficult to break down. However, some recycling companies do have special Styrofoam recycling technology, so you should check with your recycling center to know if they accept Styrofoam.

Although people don’t tend to have a ton of Styrofoam piling up, they are more likely to accumulate a ton of it when they are moving or renovating. This is because it is in the packing supplies or in the boxes of new appliances. If you ever find yourself in this situation and cannot find a place to recycle it, make sure that you get a trash bin from a company like Kingston Skips that specializes in disposing of different types of rubbish so that you can make sure that it is properly taken care of.

Pizza Boxes

Most people believe that pizza boxes, which often have the recyclable symbol imprinted on them, can be tossed into the recycling bin. However, most programs do not accept pizza boxes due to the food and grease that can accumulate on the box. In fact, most food containers that contain greasy foods are not recyclable, such as Chinese take-out boxes. Because materials are not cleaned at the recycling center, you should rinse food residue from jars and bottles as much as possible. The jar or bottle does not have to be spotless, but most of the food left on the inside should be rinsed. Used napkins and paper towels are not recyclable for the same reasons.

Juice and Milk Cartons

Although juice and milk cartons are mostly made of paper, they often have a thin coating on the outside. In addition, some juice containers have an aluminum foil lining to keep the juice fresher. Although all three of those items are recyclable, it can be difficult for the center to separate them. Check with your recycling center to be sure that they have the equipment available to separate the different components from juice and milk cartons.

Recycling is one of the best ways to protect the environment. By understanding what is and is not recyclable, you will not only make it easier on those who must collect and process recyclable items, you can also make adjustments in your daily life, avoiding those items that are not recyclable in order to reduce landfill waste.

HannahWhittenly

Green living is finally starting to move from the fringes and into the main stream. More and more people are starting to understand that if we don't make changes, our future generations won't have a planet left to call home. One huge step we can take is to ditch the gas guzzling SUV sitting in the driveway. Here are 4 reasons you should invest in a green family car.

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Because PZEV Cars Are Good For The Air We Breathe

 

 

What is PZEV you ask? That stands for Partial Zero-Emissions Vehicle, which means that a car has zero emissions that evaporate from its fuel system. The reason it's considered partial is because it's not utilizing a different technology. These cars are surprisingly easy to find you could even look at the St. George Subaru Dealership in Utah! All you have to do is some research and price checking and you should be able to find the best possible green car for you and your family in no time.

 

Can You Say Tax Incentive

You can get money back when you buy a hybrid. According to IRS.gov, you can get as much as $2,000 back when you buy a new clean-fuel car. Don't worry if you've recently bought a green car and didn't take the deduction. The IRS allows you to take the deduction on an amended return. The general rule of thumb is that you can file an amended return up to three years after the original return was filed. You do have to file the longer 1040 Form as opposed to one of the shorter forms, but for $2,000, the longer form is worth it!

 

Green Cars Drive Just Like Conventional Cars

Believe it or not, but a green car can go from 0 to 60 just as fast as your gas guzzler. The ride is smooth and the engine is quiet, and no you don't have to plug it in. The design of the car creates a seamless transition between electric and gasoline, so when your electric motor is engaged it acts as a generator that powers the batteries as you drive. Hybrid cars use the same type of gasoline as conventional cars so you don't need to worry about paying more or trying to find a special gas station.

 

Save On Gas

 

With gas prices averaging above $2.00 per gallon, the idea of having to spend more money on gas just to buy a new car is terrifying. With a green car, you can put those fears to rest. Green cars can actually save you money on gas. The fuel efficiency in a hybrid car will allow you to drive more than 600 miles between filling the tank. Of course, every car has a slightly different average miles per gallon rate, but regardless of which green car you choose, you could be looking at a savings of around $700 per year! Any one with kids knows an extra $700 could go a long way. The Environmental Protection Agency created a chart so you can quickly see the MPG's you can expect and compare the potential savings.

 

Whether your goal is to live a completely green life, or you just want to get the best car you can for your family, a green car is where it's at. The expense for a green car is comparable to a conventional car, the gas mileage is tremendously better and the benefit to the environment is undeniable. By 2025, all cars sold in America will have the PZEV technology in keeping with the EPA's vehicle emissions and fuel standards program. This is proof that the green technology is not just a passing phase, it's the future.

HannahWhittenly

Home Improvement Help 7 Ways To Make Your House More Energy Efficient.jpg

Taking care of a home can be expensive. Help cut your home's maintenance costs with these 7 tips to make your home more energy efficient.

                                                            

Decrease Water Heater Temperature

It may be necessary to crank your water heater temperature up during the winter, but during the summer, you may notice you can get by with a much lower hot water temperature. Experiment with lower temperatures and see what is comfortable for you while still saving you a little money. You may not be able to tell the difference, and it'll be a big savings on your power bill.

 

Replace or Caulk Old Windows

Old windows can be a frequent cause of increased utility bills. Gaps and cracks can let air conditioning out, and let cold winter breezes in. Put caulk adhesive in the cracks to seal up what you can. You could also consider replacing your old windows with new, energy efficient windows. There are many different styles of windows to choose from, like bay windows, casement windows, and awning windows. If you're replacing windows, you might as well choose a window style that will increase the value of your home. New windows can take years off of a home, and can brighten and refresh your curb appeal. Hire a realtor and figure out how much new windows will affect the value of your home. Realtors are experts in determining home improvement projects that produce high returns for sellers. Consider hiring a realtor to help you determine if new windows could improve the value of your home.

 

Change Air Filters Regularly

Make sure you are buying air filters for your HVAC unit that are properly sized, and that you're changing them frequently. Leaving dirty filters in place can put a strain on your HVAC unit, and cause more expense in the future.

 

Invest in a Programmable Thermostat

Don't pay money to heat or cool your home when nobody's there. Invest in a programmable thermostat that can adjust the temperatures based on the time of day. Set the thermostat to bump the heater down a few degrees when you know you'll be gone, and have it turn back up before you get home.

 

Increase the Insulation in Your Attic

In a lot of homes, there is blown-in insulation in the attic space of your home. Over time, this can get compacted, and lose some of its R-value. Blow more insulation into your attic to help your home maintain your desired temperature.

 

Buy Energy Efficient Appliances

Modern appliances are required by the government to operate within certain parameters, which use considerably less water and power than appliances built even just a few years ago. Consider replacing one of your older appliances with a newer one. Shop around, comparing the yellow utility usage tags to be sure you get the most efficient one available.

 

Use Power Efficiently

Pay attention to your power usage, especially during peak months. Turn off lights, and unplug items you're not using. Many things use power even when you don't think they are. A good way to identify how many items are using power is to look around at night and see how many glowing lights you see. These items are still using power even in the middle of the night. Unplug items that are unnecessary.

 

Keeping a home maintained can be an expensive and costly prospect. There are many easy ways to keep your home using energy more efficiently. The experts from Statewide Energy Solutions suggest replacing old windows, radiant barriers, AC & Duct Sealing, sealing plugs, light switches, doors, and plumbing and pipe entrances.  Following the tips discussed can keep your energy costs down and help make your home more environmentally friendly and energy efficient.

HannahWhittenly

8005812472_d999f4bb6b_o.jpgMany Americans might have long assumed that as the richest country in the world, at least measured in terms of private wealth, the United States also has the best drinking water. While the Flint water crisis may have disabused many of that notion, it still seems reasonable to assume that most municipalities have good drinking water. However, there are other countries with water that may be superior.

Switzerland

The tap water in Switzerland is so good that it is considered to be superior to the mineral water sold in the country. This makes sense; after all, Switzerland is a land of mountains, and mountain streams are often associated with pure water. While it can be safe to drink directly from some of these natural water sources in Switzerland, it is the strict regulations around drinking water in the country that have led to its superior quality.

Canada

A town in British Columbia has won the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting competition multiple times, and water throughout the country is of a high quality. In Toronto, the drinking water is tested every four hours, and the water is high quality throughout the country. In the US, the responsibility of testing water is often up to individual citizens to contact services, like Johnson Water Conditioning, that analyze water to help better it. Of course, your own municipality may have its water treated and tested, but they are probably not as vigilant as Toronto and that’s why many need to seek out such services themselves.

New Zealand

The tap water in Auckland, New Zealand's capital city, is so safe that it can often be used in place of distilled water. Throughout the country, regulations are high. There is little water pollution throughout the country, and some of the aquifers are so deep in the ground that the resultant water does not need to be treated.

Austria

Like Switzerland, Austria has high mountains and many pristine bodies of water. The water in Vienna comes directly from areas in the Alps with no industry and a very low population. Throughout Austria, the water is high quality and tastes delicious.

Luxembourg

Around 66 percent of the tap water in Luxembourg comes from underground aquifers, and this means high-quality water. Luxembourg also has very strict standards around its pumping stations and in the areas where the water travels to those stations underground.

Providing fresh water for an entire country is a huge undertaking, and any country might run into a contamination problem under the right circumstances. For example, Auckland had to treat its water after a major earthquake. But starting with a good supply of clean water and having strict regulations in place along with high-quality technology are all important in providing the best water in the world to citizens and visitors.

HannahWhittenly

Learning earth-friendly habits at a young age can set your kids up for a lifetime of environmental awareness and a healthy mindset. As a parent you help your kids understand the world around them, and teaching them to care for it and to be considerate of their surroundings is a great way to help them in their future. Help them understand the concept of earth-friendly habits using these activities and other ideas. 

Teaching Green How to Introduce More Earth-Friendly Habits to Your Kids.PNG

Go Camping
Instill a love of nature in your kids by going camping on a regular basis. Maybe you encourage scouting trips or go as a family every summer. During your camping trips, talk about how litter and garbage can make plants and animals sick, and how to build fires by only using dead, fallen wood. This is a great opportunity to explore wildlife, talk about taking care of nature, and living green. 

Visit a Recycling Center
Take your kids on a field trip to your local
Main Street Fibers recycling center. Teach them about recycling and how it helps the Earth stay healthy. After your trip, go home and show them how to sort recyclables and discuss reducing, reusing and recycling. 

Make Recycled Art
Show your kids that reusing materials can be a great way to help the environment, and a wonderful way to create artwork or new useful containers. There are many art projects that can be created using plastic shopping bags, string, wire coat hangers, and more. Your kids will have a blast, and will learn about reusing materials to keep them out of landfills. 

Plant a Garden
Give your kid a spot in your backyard, or a window planter where they can grow their own plants. Talk with them about how plants help produce clean oxygen, and how planting an organic garden can help plants stay healthy and happy. Giving them their own spot in the garden and making it their responsibility not only teaches them a useful skill, it can also help them learn to love taking care of the Earth. Praise them for jobs well done, and your kids will learn to
love the sense of accomplishment they get with each new vegetable or herb. 

Adopt a Public Place
Find a park or other public land that is victim to a lot of litter. Make this place your family's spot to go and clean up together. Your kids will have fun taking care of a public place, and they will develop a passion against litter and harmful dumping. 

Teaching your kids Earth-friendly habits now can help them see the importance of taking care of the Earth in which we live. Use these great activities to help your kids understand the value of their contributions to the health of the Earth, and that living green can really make a difference. 

HannahWhittenly

You don't need to make the biggest adjustments to your life or even spend a lot of money to live a greener lifestyle. There are tons of little and simple things that you and your family can do for cheap or even for free. It really is amazing how much of a difference just your family can make when it comes to saving the environment. Here are six simple ways you and your family can contribute to a healthier environment.

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Bring Your Own Grocery Bags

Many grocery stores bag your items in either plastic or paper bags, which are not the best options for saving the environment. Bringing your own reusable grocery bags is a much better choice, especially since some retailers pay you for every plastic bag you don't use. This may seem like such a simple little thing, but it can really be worthwhile.

 

Brewing Morning Coffee

If you and other members of your family like to drink coffee in the morning, make sure you're buying brands with a USDA Organic certified label, for this ensures that it was grown with natural substances and by sustainable standards. Not only is this good for the environment, but it can be good for you too! It is definitely worth a try!

 

Unplug Devices You Aren't Using

Electronics like your fully charged laptop, printer, the kids' video game consoles, and the TV should truly be turned off when not in use. If they are plugged into a power strip, the whole group of devices can be switched off during the evening so you can prevent electricity still being drawn through them. This can really help save you a lot of energy and a lot of money.

 

Avoid Plastic Bottles, Invest in a Water Filter

Plastic bottles are one of the biggest threats towards our ecosystem, especially in our oceans. Instead of spending money on packs of water bottles, consider investing in a water filter for your home which in turn can save you hundreds of dollars and reduce the use of plastic.

 

 

Here's an Idea, Switch to Energy-Saving Lightbulbs

Standard bulbs can suck up a lot of energy making your electricity bills horrendous. Energy-Star rated CFL lightbulbs use 75% less energy so they last up to 10 times longer than regular bulbs. You'll surely see a reduction in your electricity bill and your wallet will thank you.

 

 

Water Saving Shower Heads and Less Shower Time

Certain showerheads come with a water flow reducing switch which is ideal for the environment particularly if you have members of your household who like to take long showers. To avoid high water bills, consider implementing a shower time limit where each member should try only showering for 5-10 minutes, also turning off the water when they are applying body wash or shaving.

 

How Can You Start?

A common first step to families living greener is recycling, and with the help of services like Main Street Fibers, you’ll be on your road to recycling in no time! There are tons of great companies and resources out there for you to help you and your family figure out the best possible green living plan for you. This is definitely not something that has to be a lot of work or super overwhelming. If you do your research and utilize the right resources you should be able to really start making a difference in no time.

HannahWhittenly

Composting is the perfect way to replenish your garden with natural minerals and nutrients. It allows you to not only give back to the Earth, but to fertilize your garden without adding all those harmful chemicals. Here are some tips to help you get started. 
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What Not To Compost
What you don’t add to your compost pile is just as important as what you should add. One of the biggest things you want to avoid placing into your compost pile are fruit peels. Orange peels, banana peels, and peach peels may contain pesticides. Because it can be difficult to tell if any pesticides are on them, you should leave them out of your compost pile. Additionally, you want to avoid any meat, bones, or fish. These can attract pests and cause your compost to smell. 

Green Material
When composting, you need a balance of
green and brown material. Green material consists of grass clippings, table scraps, and manure. The nitrogen you need for your compost is found in the green material. If you do choose to add grass clippings to your compost pile, it is important you make sure there are no chemicals on the grass clippings. This can cause your plants to become diseased. 

Brown Material
Just as you need green material in your compost, you also need brown material. Brown materials often include paper products, straw, wood chips, ash, and hay. Make sure there is no ink on your paper products when placing them into your compost pile. Brown materials are important because they contain carbon and make the soil more nutrient rich.  

Healthy Balance
Now that you know what types of products and materials can be composted, it is important to understand the mixture of these two. Because all products decompose at a different rate, you want to make sure you have an even weight of brown materials and green materials. While storing your compost, you want to keep the green materials on the bottom and a layer of brown material on the top to keep the flies and insects away. It also helps control the odor surrounding the compost. You can also visit your local
Central Farm and Garden store to get some soil to help mix in with your compost if needed. 

As the landfills fill up with recyclable materials, it is important to do your part in making the environment better. As you do this, you are also helping to condition your soil and help your plants grow healthier.

HannahWhittenly

Many people want a pool on their property. It is a great investment for year-round fun as well as property value. As you consider incorporating one into your landscape, you may be thinking about the environmental issues as well as sustainability associated with it. Is is possible to have a pool that is eco-friendly? With the right knowledge and tips you can make an existing pool better for the environment overall.

 

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Solar Pool Heater

 

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, using solar pool heating is a very cost-effective method of using solar energy. This may require a high initial investment, though. Depending on the climate, a solar pool heater will pay for itself in a short period of time. This is accomplished by lower energy costs. In some situations, a pool may require more heating than a solar heater can provide. In this case, a pool owner can choose to combine their solar heater with a convention pool heater which will still make their energy use lower.

 

Eco-Friendly Landscaping

 

Many owners are pleased to discover how they choose to landscape around their pool impacts the environment as well. Having plants nearby can help. Experts recommend the use of plants that are low-maintenance and can survive under drought conditions. It's also important to use plants native to where the pool is located. Trees and shrubs, when used correctly, can act as windbreaks and offer shade. This will decrease the evaporation of the pool's water, as well as its heating requirements.

 

Reduce Chlorine

 

Some pools are designed to use plants and not chemicals to sanitize the water and others are able to decrease or eliminate the use of standard chlorine. There are pool sanitation methods that involve ozone as well as salt water as well. Pool professionals at Bullfrog Spas recommend owners be consistent when it comes to keeping their pool clean. This will decrease the need for any extra needs for chemical sanitation.

 

Ozone & Salt

 

An ozone sterilization system is designed to eliminate bacteria in a pool using electricity. It eliminates swimming pool contaminants by releasing oxygen atoms. These atoms will join with any foreign substance in the pool, such as bacteria and algae, and remove them. Salt can be used to sanitize pools as well. The salt turns into a hypochlorous acid and eliminates any algae or bacteria.

 

Variable Speed Pool Pump

Experienced pool professionals tell their clients that pool pumps use even more energy than their pool's heater. It is recommended that pool owners use a variable speed pool pump. They are very popular when constructing new pools or renovating an existing pool. What makes them so efficient is their ability to only use as much energy as is needed to accomplish a certain task.

 

Energy Efficient Lighting

 

A pool owner has many different lighting options. Many of them are able to use much less energy than incandescent lighting. A very popular choice is LED lighting. Pool owners like this lighting because it is stylish as well as efficient. Solar lighting is excellent for illuminating pathways to the pool or around it as well.

 

Automated Pool Systems

 

These systems are designed to only run the water features or a pool's heater when necessary. An automated system will save you money by reducing energy costs. This type of automation also makes it easier to make certain the pool is properly maintained.

 

Hot Tubs & Spas

 

Sanitizers can be used to clean hot tubs and spas. The most popular ones are bromine and chlorine. There is also an effective treatment that is non-chlorine known as spa shock. You can find more information for a hot tub water care guide at professional sites as well.

 

It is possible to maintain a pool, spa, or hot tub with methods that are safe to use and friendly to the environment. Researching what method works best you’re your situation can pay off in reduced energy costs as well as having an eco-friendly pool that doesn’t ruin the environment.

HannahWhittenly

Going green seems to be on all our minds these days. Recycling, saving energy, and living frugally are all becoming more a part of daily life. Your car can play a big part in the environment as well. According to experts, green cars benefit anyone concerned about the environment. Each automobile has highly unique technologies that increase performance without producing air pollution. Here are some of the top rated on the market today!

2016 Chevy Volt
The technology in the 2016 Chevy Volt is very efficient because it helps the vehicle travel up to 53 miles on one charge. If the car has a full tank of gas and a complete charge, it can commute nearly
420 miles down a highway. When the Chevy Volt is operational, two unique motors with electrical components work together to save energy. Both engines also give the automobile extra power and plenty of torque. If you need a car that has an app, the 2016 Volt is a great choice. The software helps busy families because it has buttons that lock and unlock doors and icons for the lights.

2016 Toyota Prius
The Toyota Prius is worth considering if your family wants a car that has some futuristic elements. In the cabin, you’ll find a convenient console with a touch screen that is useful during a variety of driving situations. For example, throughout a long road trip, the panel provides information about the vehicle’s ECO saving technology. Toyota engineers care about safety so the new Prius was built with a number of technologies that prevent accidents on the road. If you’d like to park strategically and safely without polluting the environment, Toyota’s Enhanced Parking Support technology will benefit you. The system has a sonar that can detect various objects, such as lampposts, bikes, and walls. If the technology senses a possible collision, it will produce an alert, slow down the engine, and press the brakes. Intelligent Parking Assist is also equipped with the 2016 Prius. This technology moves the steering wheel automatically and guides the car into a parking space.

2016 Hyundai Sonata
Hyundai has a highly skilled technology team that develops tools for every one of their automobiles. The company’s smart phone app works on Android devices and when the application is used, it recognizes voice commands and compiles of a lot important information. If you drive this green vehicle to a grocery store or shopping mall, the process of packing various bags in the truck won’t be a hassle. Thank to Hyundai’s Smart Trunk technology, you can put groceries into the storage area effortlessly without using a key. The
trunk opens automatically whenever the sensor in the car detects a trigger, which is found in the key.
Commuting in the new Sonata is an enjoyable experience because the car has a convenient cruise control system with advanced capabilities. Hyundai engineers put a senor in a strategic location so that the car can automatically detect other vehicles in nearby lanes. When another car gets too close, the system will reduce the Sonata’s speed. In dangerous situations, the technology will increase safety by bringing the vehicle to a complete stop.

2016 Audi A3
The 2016 Audi A3 is an award-winning vehicle that has a number of beneficial safety and performance features. You may want to buy this car if you need transportation that’s dependable, classy, and green. In the cabin, passengers can access many of the car’s tools by using a unique scroll wheel. The technology controls the navigation system, telephone, and radio.

2016 Honda Civic
Families enjoy riding in the 2016 Honda Civic since it has many eco-friendly features and heated seats. The EX-T trim gives consumers three heat levels that increase comfort in the front of the cabin. The Touring trim includes a system that produces heat in the back of the cabin as well.

Going green is important in the car you choose as well as your everyday life. Each of these cars is a great choice for saving energy and getting the best in technology. An
auto body shop in Summit County or local paint shop can make the exterior just as flashy as well. Don’t forget to research which features will be best for your family as you do your shopping.

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HannahWhittenly

It is impossible to live without heating and cooling your house throughout the year. However, energy costs are usually one of the biggest expenses in a home every year, but you can drastically reduce this expense by making your home more energy-efficient. If you take the time to make these four changes to your home, then you will have no problem cutting down on your energy bills in your newly efficient home.

 

Install New Windows

If you have not replaced the windows in your home recently, then there is a very good chance that they are not energy efficient. Old windows naturally start to get leaky cracks over time, which allows unwanted air to enter and leave the house. If you have old leaky windows, then you will have to spend more on energy costs to keep the house at your desired temperature. New energy efficient windows will ensure that this will never happen again.

 

Replace Pilot Light On Your Propane Furnace

A propane furnace is a great way to heat the house because it is much more energy efficient than an electric heater. While you are already saving money on your heating costs, there is a way to make your propane furnace even more energy efficient by replacing the pilot light on the furnace with an electric igniter. You will be required to ignite the electric igniter every time you want the furnace to run, but this will come with a lot of savings when compared to an always-on pilot light. You also can use products such as a Powerblanket to help keep your propane tanks energy efficient and even more effective. It is amazing how many tools are out there to help you with things like this.

 

Add Insulation

You can never have too much insulation in your home. The insulation traps the outside air and keeps it from entering the home to make sure your home remains a comfortable temperature throughout the year without spending a fortune on energy costs. Insulation is much more effective when added upstairs and in the attic.

 

Seal Up The Ducts

Air ducts carry the hot or cold air throughout the house to help maintain your desired temperature. Over time, these ducts will start to let more and more air escape through leaks and cracks. This air will never get to its intended destination in the house, so you will be forced to keep the heater or air conditioner running longer than necessary. Using duct sealant on your air ducts is the only way to ensure that all of the hot or cold air is being properly circulated throughout the house.

 

There is no need to waste money on energy costs when it so easy to make your home more efficient. It may require a little extra work around the house, but you will be happy you followed these four tips after you see the results.

HannahWhittenly

There has never been a better time to go green with marketing than right now. Long gone are the days of bulky newsletters and flyers. Once you choose the right online marketing platform, your presence will be instantly accessible to whoever owns a computer or a smartphone. Here are 5 of the most effective green marketing models that can help you reach all of your business goals.

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Social Media

Let’s start with the easiest and most common platform. Social media. Social media is a huge deal and is a really great way to draw attention to your business. You want to be sure that you can be found on Instagram, SnapChat, Facebook, Tumblr, StumbleUpon, Flickr, and Twitter and just about any other social media site you can find. Joining these sites will grant you immense opportunities to expose your logo and interact directly with your clients.

 

Keep in mind, that each of these social media outlets can be used for different purposes. For example:

·         Instagram can be used for "behind the scene" action photos.

·         Facebook is best for ongoing posts of what the company is currently doing. Be sure to write spectacular social media updates in order to draw the most attention.

·         SnapChat is great for mini alert videos.

·         StumbleUpon is superb for exposing your newest blog posts in a way that users will share them with one another.

·         Twitter allows for quick customer interaction at 140 characters or less.

·         Tumblr and Flickr can be your company photo albums.

 

There is no limit to what you can do, at a very cheap price, if not for free. Be everywhere!

 

Community Outreach

Go out in the community representing your business or brand by participating in socially responsible events. Examples include:

·         5Ks- from entities such as the American Heart Association, Relay for Life, and World AIDS day.

·         charity events

·         school fundraisers

·         blood drives

·         LGBTQ celebrations

·         military support events

 

To be there as a brand, wearing your logos, symbolizes support and active involvement. This can also give you an opportunity to spread the word about the business you believe in and really get involved with your community.

 

TV, News Sponsorship, Local, and Satellite Radio Advertisement

Yup! These things are still around! Use them! Contact your local news station and ask how you can purchase space time to show your logo during the nightly news. You can also buy a sponsorship that can mention your brand or company at that time. Just Think: "Tonight's community highlight brought to you by [YOUR BRAND]." No need for commercials. Just have relevant sources, such as the news, acknowledge that you have a presence in the community and in the media.

 

Guest Blogging Services

Guest blogging is a really great way to boost your business. It helps get your company’s name out there in a fast and respectable manner. Sites such as multifuse.com/guest-blogging-services/ offer great content marketing advice and services such as guest blogging. Places like this are great ways to find experts at keyword rankings, SEO, and those tricky techie variables that can be the “makers or breakers” of your online exposure. Finding these experts and getting help with guest blogging can really be a huge benefit for you. The more your brand is exposed, the better results you’ll get. This means more leads to bring traffic into your website. This can also translate into profits, likes, more free influence, and even strengthening your online credibility.

 

Press Releases

Press releases cause the same effect in the public as a “Breaking News” announcement. They are legit, give you a lot of credibility, and show that you are very serious about what you are merchandising. A press release is proportionally effective to the format and wording used. Make sure that you adopt effective and concise language, or else hire a content marketing agency to do it for you.

 

Go for it! Nothing is an obstacle in a world where online presence is everything. Put your brand out there, and enjoy the beauty of "influencing."

HannahWhittenly

The success of any business is determined by the quality of the products and services it offers. Another key factor includes having suitable prices that meet client and customer requirements. Businesses need to set up strategic plans on how they can improve performance in order to succeed in the long run. Improving a company’s efficiency does not necessarily reduce operational costs, but it can motivate employees to perform even better and do wonders to help your overall bottom line.

Engage Your Employees
Create a conducive working
environment for your employees. This involves fair and respectful treatment and open communication or an open-door policy. Taking time to lay a foundation that motivates and rewards your employees’ contributions will augur well with the success of the business. It shows your workers you care about them personally and can motivate them to do better in daily tasks. It is important to engage your employees so as to create better working relationships. Don’t let anyone fall behind and keep up with an evolving and employee-directed culture.

Set Benchmark Goals and Measurements
Most businesses use the acronym SMART to set expectations and goals that are timely, specific, realistic, measurable, and achievable. Apply this in every department. Then, create standard criteria to use in supervising the implementation of this strategy. The department goals may vary in each case. For example, the goal of customer service operations may be 100 percent customer satisfaction. For receivable accounts, and increase collection rate by 20 percent in six months. The IT department might focus on fully incorporating inventory management programs and point of sale systems in the coming year. Change your goals annually, and keep employees and departments accountable for what they are supposed to provide.

An Ongoing Monitoring Plan
Ensure all employees are engaged in process monitoring. Managers can analyze reports, conduct service level reviews, and divide current working processes. On the other hand, lower level employees can give information on current workflow and carry out quality testing. Organize frequent department and whole company meetings to check results to assess whether process change is required or not.

Improve Management and Production 
An improvement in business management always leads to an improvement in overall production efficiency. To stay ahead of your competition, perform a daily oversight of your business. Diligent managers can quickly address inefficiencies to reduce waste and loss. They also recognize and put policies in place to boost production in the entire organization. 
Communicate effectively with your employees. This can be achieved by holding interdepartmental meetings either on the phone or in person. Inquire about the personnel and material supply issues that reduce production from department managers. For example, you might rent
Arrow Truck Sales trucks for smaller deliveries that are needed at certain clients businesses sooner. This way you are helping speed up shipping processes and eliminating common bumps in the road for clients.

Attend to problems with major impacts on the company’s production ability. Guide the management team to employ policies that reduce downtime and boost efficiency and compensate managers who increase production in their departments. Encourage managers to work in unity when solving problems and inform other workers of the successful techniques used by one manager. Endorse productive managers to higher positions of authority and eliminate practices that do not benefit the production process. Involve department managers when formulating attainable goals for your company. Encourage company managers to maintain good relations with clients and suppliers as well because most production issues are external.

 

Take the time to improve your company’s efficiency by starting at all levels. Look at where improvements can be made and go in increments and small goals. When you have a good plan in place the rest will be easy.

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HannahWhittenly

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Eco-tourism is one of the fastest growing travel industry segments. Thirty years ago it was in its infancy, but now has blossomed into a dynamic way for people to connect with the nature, environment, and people around them. It’s already changing the way we travel by providing motivation to tread lightly, to respect other cultures, and to respect the diversity of our entire ecosystem. Eco-tourism will continue changing the way we travel in the future.

 

More Culturally Sustainable Travel

Eco-tourism is leading the push for more culturally sustainable travel. More and more travelers want to be in touch with local people when they travel. The era of group tours to a foreign country, where tourists are shuttled from tourist place to tourist place, is fast becoming outdated. Eco-tourism is about interacting with the local environment and that includes the local people. Culturally sustainable travel means visiting local places of interest. It means finding out how local people live. It might also include volunteering alongside local people. It means sharing meals and developing friendships.

People like making a conscious decision on how their travel dollars are spent. Tourism accounts for 10% of global GDP and, in many countries, it is one of the top industries. Local spending provides opportunities for the locals.

 

More Local, Environmentally-Friendly Foods

Local food is one of the most important changes that eco-tourism is causing in the world of travel. Travelers are embracing local foods. They seek out the new and the different. TV shows exist to show people the foods eaten in different countries around the world. The food that the locals eat typically seems more connected to the local environment than the food found at the local McDonald’s. Tourist restaurants recognize the changes, and they are filling the market niche.

Alongside local foods, people are concerned what is going into their bodies. They want environmentally-conscious foods, and if they are locally grown, even better. This change can be seen in the hotels and airlines. When offering foods, they are attempting to source locally and are touting the quality of the ingredients.

 

More Nature-Based Activities

Eco-tourism is bringing about more tourism that embraces the local environment rather than exploiting it. People want to participate in activities that make them a part of the environment. This might mean hiking, sightseeing, bird watching, white water rafting, mountain climbing, rappelling, or going down a zip line. Eco-tourism growth has pushed many resorts to offer these activities.

Alongside the nature experience, many eco-tourists want to leave the environment in a better condition than it was before. Some complete projects like beach cleanings while others just look for reassurances that their participation will lead to a better local environment. Some resorts have begun programs that inform guests on how they are helping the environment and local economy through their stays. Eco-tourism is pushing this trend to happen more and more often.

 

Smaller Travel Carbon Footprint

The global aviation industry accounts for 2% of all global carbon emissions. Airlines understand that global warming is affecting our environment and are working to reduce their carbon emissions. American Airlines, for examples, is working to make all of their planes more energy efficient.

The smaller carbon footprint is also found in eco-friendly hotels. While big hotels are normally not thought of as eco-tourism destinations, these establishments understand that today’s environmentally conscious travelers want and are embracing initiatives to use less energy and use environmentally friendly cleaning supplies. They find that reducing energy use is not only good for the environment but also good for the bottom line. A hotel attempting to go greener can take the first step by going paperless and using a hotel engine to handle bookings and reservations. This can reduce the amount of paper used and discarded in the reservation process. Other hotels may find that offering power-saving accommodation options to guests can go a long way towards reducing energy usage.

 

Increases in travel technology means that eco-friendly travel is easier than ever. They can help people reduce their own travel carbon footprint. Travel technology means that people can book hotels and airlines that help them spend travel dollars in the most environmentally friendly way possible.

Companies are embracing eco-tourism principles as it becomes an ever larger piece of the travel industry. Tourism related businesses are using a smaller carbon footprint, becoming more culturally sustainable, embracing local foods, and providing more nature-based activities. Expect that this trend will continue.

HannahWhittenly

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Carbon pollution is quickly taking a toll on the entire planet. Reducing your carbon footprint can go a long way towards helping preserve our precious environment. These are five quick and easy changes you can make to your daily life that will help you reduce your carbon footprint and save money at the same time.

 

Unplug Unused Electronics

Electronics use a small amount of electricity, even when they are turned off and plugged into the wall. The only way to eliminate this unneeded waste of electricity is by unplugging all of your electronics immediately after you stop using them. It may seem like a hassle to plug your television in every time you want to watch something, but saving the environment makes it well worth the extra effort.

 

Reduce the Use of Your Car

Gasoline-fueled cars emit carbon dioxide into the air every time you drive. Reducing the amount of time you drive your car is the only way to stop this toxic gas from entering our breathing air. Car pools and public transportation are both great ways to cut down on your driving.

 

Purchase Energy-Efficient Appliances and Electronics

The large appliances and electronics in your home account for a large percentage of your energy usage. Replacing these old items with new energy-efficient appliances and electronics is the perfect way to cut your carbon footprint. All energy-efficient items will be clearly marked at the store.

 

Plant a Tree in Your Yard

Planting a tree lets you reduce your carbon footprint by giving back to the environment. The oxygen omitted by the tree will absorb carbon dioxide from the breathing air. If you plant the tree in the right spot in your yard, then it can even cut down on your energy use in the future by providing shade for your home.

 

Change Your Light Bulbs

Not too many think about their light bulbs, but they play a vital part in reducing your carbon footprint. Swapping out one light bulb for a compact fluorescent bulb (CFL) will save a significant amount of carbon dioxide pollution over its lifetime. According to an expert from Electricity Match, CFLs use about 70% less energy per lumen compared to incandescent lamps. You use the lights in your home every day, so you will want to have these energy-efficient bulbs installed in every light fixture.

 

There is absolutely no reason to keep polluting the air when it is so easy to reduce your carbon footprint. Undergoing the small inconvenience of making these five changes is the only way to make sure the planet is preserved for future generations.

HannahWhittenly

If you want to increase your recycling efforts to be more earth-friendly, you’ll need to make some changes at home. Having an earth-friendly house is an admirable goal, but getting there can be a challenge especially when trying to change daily habits. Follow these tips to improve your family’s recycling of paper, metal, and plastic items to reduce the amount of trash that goes into landfills
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Think before You Shop
While shopping for food and other h
ousehold goods for a family, think about what you are buying to avoid creating waste. Rather than using the store’s plastic or paper bags, bring along your own durable canvas totes to carry merchandise back home. In addition, don’t buy products that have a lot of packaging to avoid creating more trash from plastic wrappers and cardboard containers.

Fill Your Own Water Bottles
Instead of buying huge multi packs of bottled water, invest in several reusable metal or plastic bottles to fill at home. A reusable water bottle is easy to carry with you to work or school and can be filled up at any drinking fountain when you are out and about. If you want to have cleaner water to pour into these bottles, then install a water purification system onto your kitchen’s water faucet. This tip can keep you from adding hundreds of plastic bottles to a landfill each month. 

Don’t Waste Paper
You probably waste a lot of paper in your home without realizing it, but you can break this habit easily. Avoid paper waste by making a few changes such as buying washable cleaning cloths to dust furniture and clean windows. Rather than using paper napkins during meals, buy cloth napkins to wash each week as well. Use the internet as a news source and cancel your subscription to the local paper.

Buy a Can Crusher
Empty metal beverage and food cans require a lot of space in a home, but there are inexpensive metal can crushers you can use to reduce space in your recycling containers. With one of these devices, you can smash a soft drink or soup can flat before placing it in a recycling bin inside a garage. Make sure to rinse the remnants of food or liquids from metal containers before smashing the items. Instead of needing to carry several bins of metal to a recycling facility, you will only have one. Check to see the value of certain cans at places like
Main Street Fibers to see if you can even make money with your recycling efforts.

Re purpose Items 
There are numerous ways to increase your recycling efforts, including contacting your utility companies and banks to stop mailing paper bills or statements. You can also find ways to purpose items such as using metal cans as flowerpots or making bird feeders from plastic milk jugs. Think of your trash as another item you can use around the house or garden.

Recycling is a great goal to have and any family can improve and increase their efforts at home. Use these ideas to get started changing your daily habits and making your whole house more green.

 

HannahWhittenly

Seems like everyone these days is trying to become a little greener. You probably already recycle and if you’re lucky, maybe have even upgraded to a hybrid car. But what can you do for your home? There is certainly an environmental benefit of conserving energy and resources and can help the earth stay clean, but in the end it also saves you money to improve your energy at home. There are small things you can start doing today and more long-term solutions that you can plan for in the near future to make your living space much greener and more wallet-friendly. 
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Close Doors
Any rooms or spaces in your home that you use on a minimal basis do not need to be consistently heated or cooled. Any spare rooms or even closets that you can close off means less space that you are using energy to heat or cool. Just by simply closing a door or two, you can cut down on
heating or cooling costs depending on the season.

Use Curtains
In the wintertime as soon as the sun is up, open your curtains. Free heat! It will come in through your windows and warm your space so your heater is not working as hard. Likewise, in the hotter months, draw the shades during the warmer hours of the day so you keep the sun out and cool air in. This will decrease the use of central air and any air conditioning units that have a built in thermostat. 

Insulate
It's pretty simple to do at least temporary insulation around your home. Quick weather stripping around doors and plastic covering over unused windows are quick and easy insulating jobs that take minimal time and money. Less obvious insulating options are things like using a propane tank
Powerblanket and insulating any indoor duct systems. 

Lighten Up
If you are building a house, or planning to replace your existing roof, choose a lighter color shingle for your roof. It's one of the things that many people don't think of, but darker colors attract sunlight which in turn attract heat which makes for a much more difficult time cooling your home in the hotter seasons. This is a more long-term solution, but can really make a difference in how much energy you spend.

Tree Time 
Obviously, planting a tree at all is a long-term commitment and although you can get fairly mature trees, it takes time for most to reach the point of maturity to offer shade. But it's one of the greenest ways to add shade to your home in a natural and beautiful way. Try deciduous trees for great results, and see if you can add bushes for added shade as well.

Install Smart Systems 
Many new homes come equipped with smart systems for everything, but you can start installing these same systems in your home especially for energy purposes. The easiest solution is a thermostat you can control from your smart phone to regulate temperature and energy use of your heating or cooling system even when you're not home. 

There are countless small and innovative ways to maximize your energy resourcefulness in your home. Some you can easily start today, and many you can start planning today. Either way, make a plan to have a greener dream home.

HannahWhittenly

It seems inevitable that pollution and temperature levels around the world will increase with growing populations, mass consumption, and related industrial processes. The environmental toll will do more than impact wildlife though. Humans can expect more diseases, food and water shortages, and conflict over habitable land. 
Business owners have the means to lessen the negative impact that their companies have on the environment. Utilize the following earth-friendly shipping processes to help safeguard everyone's future and make your systems work a little better.

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Streamline Processes
Whether you ship
packages or raw materials, any process that forces you to waste energy adds to the ever growing amount of damage to the environment and climate change. Streamline your entire shipping process so you're wasting less electricity, clean water, and fuel. Identify areas where work might be slowing down and come up with a few solutions to speed up common practices.

Ship Smarter
Most consumers hate big retail shipping boxes filled with more air and packing materials than products. Instead of generating waste, invest in materials that provide better protection in smaller spaces and ship products in boxes that are only slightly larger than product packages. 

Upgrade Transportation
If you are shipping anything using diesel-fueled trucks, it is time to invest in new or used semi-trucks powered by environmentally-friendly or renewable alternative fuels, such as vegetable oil and electricity. If you plan to stick to fossil fuels, invest in designs that cut down on tailpipe emissions. You can ask sellers like
Arrow Truck Sales what models they might recommend for better mileage and gas economy. Additionally, try to only run your trucks when they have full loads so they are not pouring pollutants into the air for light shipments.

Use Recyclables
Make certain you use recyclable materials and previously recycled materials as much as possible throughout your shipping process, including recycled cardboard boxes, packing materials, invoices, and shipping labels. When you replace equipment or parts, ship the old elements back to manufacturers. Metal, plastic and e-waste recycling centers re-purpose the materials or have used equipment or parts repaired so they can be resold.

Choose Wisely
Some common shipping tools are incredibly cheap, but fail to degrade in landfills, come from environmentally unfriendly manufacturing origins, or waste precious resources. Use products labeled "biodegradable”, "environmentally-friendly", or "green" such as biodegradable packing peanuts and environmentally-friendly lubricants and adhesives whenever possible. 

Although many of these changes seem expensive and labor intensive, any business can achieve these types of results by making the changes through carefully planned out steps over a two to five year period. Some changes like switching to recyclables can be made even sooner. Make your shipments a little more earth-friendly by implementing some of these changes today!

 

HannahWhittenly

Nowhere is the phrase, "start them young and early", more appropriately applied than when referring to teaching kids about recycling, sustainability, and being good stewards of this planet. Hopefully they'll be learning about it at school, but the burden falls on parents to assume most of their responsibility and teach youngsters how to keep their environment green.
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Early Childhood Training
Beginning as early as three years old, let kids see you set the example first. In other words, verbalize out loud what it is you're doing as you're doing it. For instance, as you drop a plastic bottle in the blue bin, you might say something like, "This is a plastic bottle, and plastic things always go into this blue container." Doing so can teach them how to sort items and how to dispose of them in their proper place. You might even have them scribble a sign to hang over the proper bins that read, Plastics Here! or Papers Here!
You can also have children tape a small plastic jar to the blue bin acquainting with plastic materials. To further involve younger aged children, begin a reward system of giving out little sticker stars with a prize like a sourdough pretzel goes to the child with the most stars. As they grow older, you may substitute little stars for returning bottles, and encourage them to keep the change.

Make a Game Of it
At this environmental protection
government (EPA) website, you'll find imaginative, interactive games to stimulate young minds in the vision for protecting their environment. The Dumptown Game actually makes your child into a city manager with critical decision-making activities that engage municipal residents in their own waste management and waste reduction at-home programs. Use games and prizes to make learning and treating the environment right fun and educational.

Young Children to Teens
Having learned the basics of colors and plastics, your next job as a parent would be teaching them about composting. Easily done by setting up a separate bin for discarded tea bags, grass cuttings, veggie peelings, coffee grounds, egg shells, toilet paper rolls, and paper towels, this cuts down not only on the waste, but saves you money on fertilizer supplies as well. 
It all comes down to example. Set the stage for how your home runs and try to make a habit of throwing natural waste into the compost pile, using safe fertilizers like
Nature Safe on your lawn, and routinely picking up trash and debris from your yard and local parks. When kids see you doing the right thing, they will naturally follow.

Reusing Usable Items
As many items can be reused for other purposes, make your kids aware that a peanut butter jar, for instance, can be transformed into a coin bank once it's been washed clean first. Empty tissue boxes are great for storing grocery plastic bags and a small plastic bag can be used in the family car as a trash bin.

If you visit your local waste management, you'll see what your municipality recommends as far as dumping and recycling materials go. However, all initiatives really must begin at home by educating the children early.

HannahWhittenly

Creating a garden or flowerbed that can come back for a season or two is a talent that requires not only a green thumb but soil and compost rich in nutrients and minerals. For the gardener who wishes to create their own compost, the process is easy and can save money on mulch or other store bought soils.
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Creating Compost
When
creating a compost pile, choose a spot in the yard that will not be disturbed by animals or children. This spot should be near the waterspout, but not so close it gets washed away. It should be relatively dry, unless there is rain and it would be ideal if there were shade in this spot as well. It will keep the compost pile cool while completing the decomposition process. Some gardeners choose to create their compost in a wooden box to keep it separated from the dirt. The box makes stirring the compost easier because it is in a separate container.

Compost Materials
Once the spot and container for the compost is chosen and built, choose the materials that will be placed into the compost pile. Typically, these include any unused fruits, peels, vegetable left overs, lawn clippings, dry dead leaves, any tree waste, like branches and twigs, and leftover coffee beans. Some gardeners use the remains of stalks and husks to help with the decomposition. After all the materials are placed into the container, water is used to wet everything. Then the compost pile is left alone to decompose.

Optional Covering
Covering the compost pile is also a good idea. It will keep bugs and other animals out of the pile and will allow the water to keep the waste moist enough to continue the decomposition throughout the year. A tarp, which can be purchased at any farm or garden online store, can be used to keep the pile exactly the way the gardener wishes. It will also help keep the smell of the decomposition in the container and not disturbing the gardener.

Time Frame
The decomposition of the materials depends upon how much heat and water is used in the pile. It can take anywhere from three months to a few years for the pile to decompose. If the decomposition of the pile is needed quickly, placing a few items into the box will start the process, allowing the gardener to have some compost when they need it. You can also find products like fertilizers that can speed the process up at places like
Nature Safe.

Creating a compost pile does not need to be difficult or overly-complicated. Using these easy steps will help create compost that will nurture a garden for several seasons.

HannahWhittenly

Factory farming is responsible for 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions. This is due to the resource intensive feeding, slaughtering, processing, and transporting involved in the process. This has led many to reach for an alternative to conventional meat, and it may seem surprising that many are choosing to raise their own livestock at home, however if you look at the specifics of the process you may find that it’s not such an outlandish option.
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Why it is a Green Alternative
By keeping the process as small and local as it gets, you can enjoy high quality, ethical meat while negating many of the sources of emissions associated with factory farmed meat. The transportation of both the livestock’s food and the meat itself are cut out of the process, as are the emissions produced by the large farm equipment that industrial producers rely on. Furthermore you can monitor what, if any, antibiotics and hormones are used, making healthier meat that uses less resources.

What You Need
Obviously this is not the right option if you live in a small apartment. You need at least 1.5 acres per cow for
adequate grazing, or the ability to supplement with oats or hay. While you can get by without any expensive farm equipment it may be helpful to have a riding mower for keeping your pasture manageable and a trailer for transporting your livestock. Of course you will also need a sturdy fence and padlock to keep your livestock safe and a large freezer for keeping the resulting meat. It can be ideal though if you have a lot of acres to maintain, and don’t want to spend money on landscaping or a lot of yard upkeep.

The Cost
There are numerous costs associated with raising livestock, not all of which are upfront. You will need to pay for the livestock itself, any farm equipment you find necessary, supplemental food, veterinarian costs, slaughter, and processing the meat. You can always save money at places like
Central Farm and Garden on pasture alfalfa and grass as well. Overall it is difficult to give an estimate for the total cost of raising a cow from birth to slaughter as it varies widely, but most agree that the cost would exceed the market value of the meat due to economies of scale. However, the increased quality of the meat and the peace of mind from knowing that the animal was raised humanely, and sustainably is a huge non-monetary reward for raising livestock at home.

Alternatives
If you don’t have the space or ability to raise your own livestock, there are other options. You can invest in a share of an animal raised on another person’s property, and receive a portion of the meat. You can also buy your meat from small livestock farmers directly at farmers markets or their farm. Most are happy to answer any questions you may have on their practices. If you have room and time, chickens might be a more sustainable option as well since they provide not only meat, but eggs.

If you decide raise your own meat you’re in for a
rewarding and eco-friendly experience, but it is important to conduct a lot of research before you begin, both for your own sanity and for the health of the animal. However, all this effort is worth it to enjoy high quality meat with fewer environmental costs.

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When you consider that household cleaners are the number-one cause of poisoning in children, it’s important you’re vigilant about which products you use to clean your kitchen. This room is probably the most important, since you prepare food and spend the most time here, especially with kids. What’s more, the toxic chemicals in household cleaners are about three times more likely to cause cancer than air pollution. If you’re anything like the average home in the U.S., which has more than 1,000 different chemicals in it, it’s time to clean up – the safe and green way. 

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All-Purpose Kitchen Cleaner
There are plenty of all-purpose cleaners on the market that will take care of tough stains while being hard on your health. For a green all-purpose kitchen cleaner, combine two tablespoons of vinegar, a teaspoon of borax or baking soda, and two cups of hot water in a spray bottle. Shake it, and then add a quarter-cup of liquid soap. Spray your counters and appliances, and wipe clean. 

Dish Soap
When purchasing a dish soap for your kitchen, stick to detergents that are non-phosphate. To make your own detergent, purchase a bar of plain castile soap, place it in a bag and add water in a ratio of one part soap to four parts water - by height. Let it sit for five days, adding 10 to 15 drops of your favorite essential oils like lemon, orange, and lavender for even more disinfecting power. 

Drain Cleaner
To clean your drain without losing cells in your brain, pour a half-cup of baking soda down it followed by a half-cup of vinegar. Let it bubble for about 15 minutes and pour a pot of boiling water over it. It's that easy!

Oven Cleaner
Typicaly oven cleaners often include some of the harshest chemicals to your health. Have you ever used one and once you smelled the fumes, literally choked? That's a clear sign that whatever is in that cleaner shouldn't be around you or in your home. To clean your oven safely, generously sprinkle water over the bottom of it. Cover the water with baking soda, leave overnight and wipe clean. 
TIP: Ovens are notoriously hard to clean if they're spills are abandoned. To help, sprinkle salt on spills immediately while the oven is still warm. When the oven cools down, scrape the area and wipe it clean. 

Stain Removal
If you're unable to lift the stains with the green all-purpose kitchen cleaning solution that you've made, try sprinkling the surface with salt and squeezing lime or lemon juice over it. Let it sit for a few hours and then rub it out. 

Pest Problems
With a clean kitchen, you'll keep the critters away. But if you do have a pest problem, investing in an organic pest service instead of a traditional one is also important if you want to save you and your family's health. Examples like Greenleaf Organic Pest Management specialize in “low-impact” solutions to get rid of bugs easily and safely.

What green cleaning solutions do you rely on to keep your kitchen and home clean?

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