BrookeChaplan

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  1. When we want to help the environment, it’s important to make the most of every opportunity. One major opportunity to live a greener life is to upgrade to a new green-tech car. Unfortunately, a car like this may currently be out of your price range. The good news is that there is plenty you can do to upgrade and change your lifestyle that will let you get a newer, greener car as soon as possible. Here are a few ways to upgrade to a new green tech car. Make Room in Your Budget If your budget is stretched to the max, it’s time for a budget review. Building margin into your budget will allow you to set some money aside each month until you finally have enough for a down payment on your dream car. If you look hard enough, you’ll likely find plenty of fat that you can trim. Just keep your end goal in mind, and you’ll be surprised at how much you’re willing to change. Sell Your Current Car If you’re almost over the hump when it comes to being able to afford a new car, all that you may need to do is sell your current car. If your car has seen better days, there are still companies that offer cash for junk cars to help give you the financial jolt you need to succeed. You can also try selling your vehicle yourself, although that may take longer, which would delay your timeline for getting a new car. Look for Rebates Since you’re interested in an eco-friendly car, you may find that your local or state government has rebates to help you offset the cost of your new car. Since cities and states benefit when their citizens produce less pollution, there is a vested interest in steering people toward cars that sip instead of guzzle gas. Seek A Loan Although not everyone can obtain a car loan, these types of loans are far easier to obtain than more restrictive loans such as mortgages. As long as you have the money to make the monthly payments during the term of the loan, then this could be your best option. Typically, you’ll want to check with local lenders to get their rates before you head to the dealership, as this will provide the most options to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Take Care of It Once you finally have the means to pay for your new car, it’s important that you take good care of it. After all, you don’t want your financial investment to end in financial ruin because your car breaks down after only a few years. For most vehicles, though, as long as you give them care on the proper schedule, you can expect to get several years and tens of thousands of miles of use before it’s time for a replacement.
  2. Conducting business in an environmentally friendly way is becoming increasingly important for consumers. Environmental safety refers to practices that create a safe workplace and that have as little impact as possible on the world at large. As a company owner or manager, finding ways to avoid environmental hazards with your business is not just a sound ethical choice. Many prospective clients appreciate a company that shows care and consideration for the environment. Some of your customers may be happy to reward your efforts with regular orders or requests for your services. Here are just a few ways to avoid creating environmental hazards with your business. Use Appropriate Storage and Labels Some businesses have to deal with dangerous, toxic chemicals in their daily operations. There are already guidelines in place that you can use to educate workers about the potential dangers of the chemicals you might use or move. Proper labels on storage tanks are a basic yet essential part of the regulations here. It is also important to make sure that any employees that need to handle these things will have access to the appropriate protective gear. Consider a Specialist Agency As a company owner or manager, you probably familiarized yourself with standard safety regulations for your industry when you were getting the business up and running. However, you might not be aware of all the technical details that go into environmental safety in the workplace. Think about using an outside source or environmental safety company like Element Building Sciences to help you. They can assist your workers in the testing of materials, proper health and safety training, or preparations for a disaster. Don’t Forget Unseen Issues Not every potential problem that could pose a threat is obvious. If workers need to spend long hours around extreme heat, cold, or loud noises, there is potential for damage without coming into contact with anything dangerous. Many workers find out over time that some of these conditions have caused great harm. This often results in worker’s injuries that require large payouts in compensation. Check for less visible threats to protect yourself and your employees. Guard Against Personal Hazards Personal hazards can be similar to some of the unseen ones. However, there is a greater focus on manual labor that could directly affect a worker as part of his or her job. A heavy load that isn’t labeled properly or tools that malfunction could cause serious personal injuries that make a workplace environment unsafe. These are some of the most common workplace hazards, and proper training is a big part of avoiding them. The prevention of environmental hazards inside and out of a workplace is becoming a more crucial step in the success of any company today. In addition to helping you gain loyal customers and repeat business, it’s also a requirement by law. Using some of these tips, you can comply with OSHA standards and create a safe, welcoming workplace for your employees.
  3. There’s nothing quite like a thick, green lawn to represent the arrival of summer. Unfortunately, keeping a lawn perfectly green requires a major investment of resources that makes this American institution quite harmful to the environment. Fortunately, there are options other than grass that you can use for your home’s exterior. To figure out where to begin, here are a few ideas for eco-friendly alternatives to a water-wasting lawn. Moss The green, fuzzy plant that often appears by itself in shady spots around your home can make a great alternative to the grass you have to work so hard to cultivate. Moss helps to prevent erosion, can thrive without much upkeep, and can stand up to light foot traffic. Given that it can retain its green color far more easily than grass, you won’t have to invest nearly as many natural resources to keep your lawn looking great. Stone Stone isn’t merely a lawn covering for yards in desert locations. As a low-maintenance option, nothing beats a stone lawn, no matter where you live. By using crushed stone as a foundation and dressing it up with natural stone tiles, you can create a fun and functional yard that requires no water, no fertilizer, and, when installed correctly, very few pesticides. Artificial Turf If you don’t want to sacrifice the look of a perfectly green lawn, then artificial turf might be a great option for you. Since it’s pre-manicured, you won’t have to use any water, fertilizer, or pesticides. You also won’t have to cut your grass or fill in any bare spots that often occur. Newer artificial turf is designed to last for a long time and is great at preventing erosion while providing excellent drainage. Plus, it can be easily shaped to fit in any space, making it uniquely versatile. Grow Wild While it may not ever make it on the cover of a magazine, there is something to be said for the beauty of a wild lawn. By letting your lawn grow with whatever seeds happen to be dropped by birds and other animals, you provide a great habitat for wildlife to thrive. Plus, since most natural lawns tend to grow an abundance of clover, you will help to provide an excellent food source for the local bee population. Aside from regular cuts to keep growth under control, a wild lawn is an eco-friendly and easy-to-maintain option. Think of the Future If you live in a suburban area, it can be tempting to try and “keep up with the Joneses” when it comes to your lawn. However, following this route is typically a short-sighted approach that doesn’t consider the long-term implications of this major investment of resources. By considering the future of the environment, you can make a small contribution to its health by opting for one of these eco-friendly lawn options.
  4. It’s no secret that garbage dumps are filling up faster than ever. Therefore, it’s important to do all you can to divert as much away from landfills as you can. One crucial part of this is ensuring that large appliances are recycled instead of thrown away. If you’re not sure how to do this, here are a few tips on how to recycle large appliances like water heaters. Check with Your City Many cities, understanding the need to save space at landfills, have a very robust appliance recycling program in place. If this is true of your city, all you have to do is schedule a time to have your old appliance hauled away and then let representatives from the city do all the hard work. In some cases, you may even be eligible for a rebate for your old appliance, which can make recycling a win-win situation. Haul it to a Scrapyard Most appliances contain a decent amount of metal. This fact makes them attractive to scrapyards that take this metal and recycle it for future use. Typically, you are eligible for payment based on the weight of appliances that you bring to the recycling facility. Just be sure to ask about harmful chemical disposal to be sure the facility you choose won’t put the environment at further risk. Easy in and Out If an appliance requiring professional installation stops working, then you can usually count on the installation company to haul away your old appliance when your new one is installed. For example, when you need a new gas water heater installation, it’s important to let your water heater installers disconnect your old water heater to prevent any gas or water leaks and then let them haul the old water heater away. They will be well-versed on where to take your old water heater to ensure it stays out of the landfill. Put it Out By the Curb Most cities have people who make at least part of their income by collecting scrap metal and taking it to the scrapyard. If you have someone like this in your neighborhood, then recycling your old appliances is as simple as setting them by the curb. If your street isn’t well-traveled, it’s usually a good idea to post about your appliance on a neighborhood group so that scrappers know there’s something available for them to haul away. Donate It In some cases, your old appliances may still have some life left in them. If that’s the case, rather than recycling your appliances, you can donate them to someone in need. Even if your appliances aren’t the most efficient or aesthetically pleasing, they can mean the world to someone who doesn’t have the money to buy their own appliances. This approach allows you to make space for new appliances while helping someone in need.
  5. If you are interested in helping the environment, it is important to recycle your steel items. This way, old or damaged items can be given a new life as a different product. It is an easy way to start living a green lifestyle in your home. Are you interested in creating a healthier environment? Here are four ways steel can be recycled and reused to save the planet. Home Goods There are many steel service centers that turn scrap metal into home goods. You may find furniture and fixtures that are made of recycled steel. The steel may also be reused as a material for your roof. Are you looking to invest in artwork and other decorative pieces for your home? You can look into items that are made of recycled steel. Recycled steel gives these pieces a new life while adding a modern touch to your home. Food Packaging When you drop your scrap steel and metal off at a steel service center, you are donating materials that can be used for food packaging. The materials are used to make aluminum cans for food and beverages, and you may even find reusable steel canisters and bowls made of recycled steel. You can also rest assured that the materials are cleaned and sanitized as needed to ensure they are safe to use on food. Manufactured Products Steel and metal can also be reused as new products altogether, such as stainless steel appliances. The steel items you drop off at a service center today may also become a part of the plumbing, construction or automobile industry tomorrow. Companies that use recycled steel are not adding as much smoke or chemicals into the environment. At-Home Uses You can also find your own way to reuse steel items around the house. Instead of throwing out a tin coffee or tea canister, reuse it as a planter for your indoor garden. A tin canister also makes a great pencil or pen holder on your desk, or you can use it to hold spare change or craft supplies. If you cannot reuse these items at home, be sure to look into steel service centers in your area. If you want to create a healthier environment for everyone, it is important to take the steps to reduce your carbon footprint. You can do your part in saving the planet by dropping off your unwanted steel items at a local service center to be recycled and reused.
  6. It’s hard to pick out any single part of your home as the most significant or important when it comes to reducing carbon footprint, but roofing is definitely high on the list. The design, materials and condition of your roof are all decisive factors in determining its impact on your overall energy efficiency. Whether you are choosing a roof for a new home or just looking at ways to replace your current one, you should always consider efficiency alongside installation cost, maintenance needs and aesthetics. Insulate to Cut Waste One of the most important ways that roofing can mitigate environmental impact is by conserving indoor air temperature. Shielding the home from the hot or cold weather outside with solid layers of insulation significantly reduces heating and air conditioning energy use. Homes in climates with the potential for extreme seasonal temperatures may also benefit from specially designed roofing materials that further insulate the structure. Reduce Sunlight Absorption Homes that have significant sunlight exposure, particularly large or taller buildings, can absorb vast amounts of heat throughout each day. The color of the roof materials plays a significant role in determining how much heat is retained, so owners should consider using white or another bright color to reflect more natural heat away from the structure. Consider Solar Panels You don’t need to decide on solar panels during initial roof installation, but interest in this option may warrant making some design modifications to better accommodate panels in the future. Adding solar panels to your home may not supply all of your energy needs, but they can start chipping away at monthly energy expenses and reduce your carbon footprint almost immediately. Modern panels are durable, affordable and reliable in many types of climates, so they are an option every homeowner should think about. Choose Sustainable Materials How roofing influences your home’s operating efficiency isn’t the only factor to consider when evaluating environmental impact. The production of materials and design of roofing components also impacts the environment, which prompts some homeowners to prioritize a sustainable manufacturing process. Metal roofs typically have a low carbon footprint and can be recycled or repurposed when discarded. Understanding all of the ways that a home increases carbon footprint can take a long time, so it’s a goal best approached in achievable steps. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make meaningful changes that have a tangible impact on energy efficiency and domestic environmental responsibility.
  7. Whether you are renovating your home or building a new commercial office from the ground up, you will probably have to deal with at least a few hazardous materials. Instead of tossing those materials in the garbage bins, you might want to come up with a comprehensive disposal plan so that you don’t have to deal with any fines or fees. Conduct Some Research Well before your next major project, you should spend a little bit of time researching your local laws and codes regarding hazardous and environmentally unfriendly materials. It is important to realize that there are many different household items that are extremely bad for the environment if they get placed in a landfill. You will also need to be particularly careful if you are renovating an older building that might be filled with asbestos or some other toxic materials. Start Separating Materials Once you have done a little bit of research, you can then begin the process of separating all of the materials that you will be getting rid of. Creating multiple piles is going to make your life much easier when it comes time to figure out exactly how you are going to get rid of all the junk. You might also want to invest in a short-term storage unit for any possessions that you need to protect. Contact Your Local Waste Disposal Company For some of the environmentally unfriendly materials that are in your home, you might want to work with your local waste disposal company. Many of those organizations schedule regular hazardous material disposal days where they will take some of your items for free. They might even allow you to schedule a bulk drop-off for a small fee. Call in the Professionals After you have gotten rid of as much of the junk as possible, you should then consider waste management for hire. One of those companies should be able to drop off one or more bins near your project so that you can fill it up at your own speed. As soon as the bin is full, they can pick up all of the materials and take them to the proper disposal site. When working with any type of hazardous or toxic materials, you must always wear high-quality safety equipment. Wearing a good respirator, a pair of goggles, and a protective suit will greatly reduce your risk of developing serious health problems down the line.
  8. Industries that choose to utilize waterjet cutting technology are doing their part for the environment. This is because this type of technology creates less waste than traditional cutting methods. Here are just a few of the industries that are employing waterjet cutting for streamlined efficiency. Mining Operations There’s less wasted raw mining materials when you use waterjet cutting in mining. This is because the waterjet is more efficient at cutting what you want from the earth without having to drill holes to get it started. Another benefit is the fact that the water can be recycled without having to constantly add more to the system and flood out your mining site. Aerospace Applications Metal fragments created during the manufacturing process can generate a lot of waste. In the aerospace industry, all of this waste would cut into your bottom-line. This is because the types of metals that are used in the aerospace industry tend to be very expensive and harder to manufacture. Less waste in an expensive industry is good for everyone because you can create more products from the same amount of material. Metal Fabrication Metal fabrication encompasses a wide range of manufacturing environments. This includes things like custom made moulding blades. These types of blades are critical for other industries, such as woodcutting or even more specialized manufacturing environments. Another good thing about waterjet cutting is that it’s more accurate in its degree of precision for the types of blades that you can fabricate. Automotive Industry The automotive industry uses waterjet cutting technology for the bodies of their vehicles. This precise method of cutting means that it’s more reproducible so that you can get the exact same car no matter where it’s manufactured. Another good thing about waterjet cutting is that it doesn’t introduce warping during the cutting process because it doesn’t produce the same amount of heat. Electronics Manufacturing Electronics tend to be more fragile in nature. This industry is perfect for the use of pure waterjet cutting technology because you can control the amount of water pressure that’s being used. The environmental benefit is that you can use less water overall. Due to the nature of the process, the water is only in contact with the final product for a short amount of time to reduce waste. There are lots of other industries that are seeing waterjet cutting technology as a good move for the future. Consider these benefits the next time you want to find the right method to manufacture your products.
  9. It is an unfortunate fact that many homeowners are damaging the environment without even realizing it. In addition to efficiency issues that could potentially be wasting quite a bit of energy, your home might also be filled with a variety of harmful toxins. You may be surprised to realize that your house is killing the environment, but do not fear! There are some simple steps you can take to have a more eco-friendly home. Here is a quick look at some of the most common ways that many homes hurt the environment and a few steps that can be taken to address those issues. Inefficient or Damaged HVAC System In the average home, the heating and cooling system is responsible for most of the energy consumption. That is just one of the reasons why you must make sure that your HVAC system remains well-maintained and is working at maximum efficiency at all times. In addition to having the entire system serviced at least twice a year, you must also immediately contact an air conditioning repair specialist if you ever notice any unusual problems. Some of the most common signs of a damaged HVAC system include skyrocketing energy bills, unusual noises, different temperatures in every room, and unpleasant smells coming from the vents. Toxic Building Materials While most modern homes must adhere to very strict environmental regulations, many older homes were built with highly toxic materials. If your home is more than a decade or two old, then you might want to spend some time figuring out if there are any dangerous materials in the walls or roof. To locate those materials, you can contact a home inspector who will look over every inch of your property. It might be tempting to get rid of those materials on your home, but you should call a company that specializes in removing those contaminants if any are found. Dangerous Cleaning Supplies One of the easiest ways to make your home more eco-friendly is to remove all of the dangerous cleaning supplies that are in your cupboards. Even many of the seemingly safe cleaning supplies are filled with harsh chemicals or CFCs. To safely get rid of those products, you can call your local waste management company to see if they have a hazardous materials drop-off site. While you can find safe cleaning products at most stores, many people are now making their own cleaners with harmless ingredients, such as baking soda, white vinegar, and lemon juice. In addition to taking care of these few problems, you should also make sure that you practice eco-friendly habits at home. Taking shorter showers, turning off unused electronics, and other minor changes to your daily habits could end up having a huge impact on the environment.
  10. Almost half of the lakes in the United States are polluted to the point that they are considered unsafe for swimming, fishing and supporting marine life. Keeping the lakes clean is a great way to help the planet. Use these tips to help clean up local lakes around the country. Use Less Salt in the Winter While salting sidewalks and roadways helps melt snow that can cause icy accidents to occur, it is also becoming a big problem in lakes. The chloride from the salt eventually makes its way to lakes and rivers. This chloride builds up in lakes and aquifers, killing marine ecosystems. Use only as much salt as necessary to melt the ice and let local officials know that you support efforts to reduce salt usage on highways and roadways. Use Natural Pesticides and Herbicides Pesticides and herbicides used to keep bugs and weeds out of gardens leech into the ground and make its way into the water that goes into the lakes. Pesticides and herbicides are high in phosphorous and nitrogen that pollute lakes and kill wildlife. Natural pesticides and herbicides can help reduce dangerous levels in the water. Biological nutrient removal also aids in the reduction of phosphorus and nitrogen in lake water. Switch to Non-toxic Tackle Those who enjoy fishing may want to look at their tackle. Toxic tackle, such as lead jigs and sinkers, leach lead into the water. Additionally, waterfowl such as trumpeter swans and loons pick at the tackle that is left on the sides of the lake or in the water. These animals may contract lead poisoning and die, which disrupts the entire ecosystem of the lake. Pack it In, Pack it Out There is nothing that makes summer memories like spending a warm day on the boat out on the lake. Keep water clean by making sure nothing is left around the lake or dumped into the lake after a day of fun. Trash, leftover food and supplies that are brought to the lake need to be disposed of properly at home. These items pollute the lake and harm fish and wildlife that live around the water. Keeping the lakes clean is the responsibility of everyone. Lakes are the biggest reservoirs of water in the country. Making the lakes clean keeps the water that everyone drinks free from pollutants and dangerous chemicals. Clean water means a healthier, happier life for everyone.
  11. Taking advantage of water, one of the planet’s most precious resources, it’s important for boating companies to be aware of how it protects the environment as a whole. One way for your company to do this is to work to reduce its carbon footprint. Changes, both small and large, are necessary to ensure a sustainable future for this vital industry. No matter the size of your company, even incremental steps are important as you work with fellow owners to preserve a beautiful and safe world for generations to come. Here are a few changes you can make to help get you started. "> Move to Digital Records Many boating companies, especially smaller outfits, are not known for their outstanding technological prowess. This is a shame, though, as companies can reap ecological and economic benefits by moving to digital records and paperwork. By keeping contracts and records digitized, you minimize the need for paper records, resulting in fewer trees used and a smaller carbon footprint. Bonus points here if you’re able to power these digital solutions using renewable energy. Clean Regularly Water in general and saltwater specifically are not kind to the many components of your company’s fleet. Over time, this exposure can lead to the necessary replacement of these components to ensure proper operation of your fleet, moving forward. Unfortunately, replacing components, as necessary as it is, also increases your company’s carbon footprint as energy is required to create the new components. That’s why regular cleaning and maintenance of your existing fleet is crucial, as this will help everything from propellers to onboard electronics to hulls to last longer, thus ensuring you don’t have to replace components or entire watercraft nearly as often. Buy Quality In tandem with taking care of what you already have, it’s important to be careful about what you purchase when you do have to buy something new for your fleet. Substandard components could lead to a quick degradation in quality, regardless of how much time you spend on maintenance and cleaning. In the case of consumables like batteries, this relentless replacement cycle will cause your carbon footprint to quickly balloon out of control. By purchasing high-quality marine batteries and other components that are specifically designed for use on the water, however, you ensure that each component will provide many years of service. Alternative Energy One of the biggest contributors to your company’s carbon footprint is greenhouse gas emissions from the fuel you burn to power your boats. That’s why any investment you can make in alternative energy can have such a dramatic effect on your carbon footprint. One major source of energy that’s available in most seaborne contexts is wind. Though a fully wind-powered option likely isn’t practical for your particular needs, even small sails can trim your fuel use fairly dramatically. In the same way that a hybrid car helps to reduce emissions even though it still uses a traditional gasoline engine, a “hybrid boat” can help to reduce emissions whether you use a standard marine engine or opt for a more efficient model. Nothing is Futile As foreshadowed at the beginning of this article, the most important idea to remember as you seek to reduce your carbon footprint is that every little change matters. Though it may not seem like you can make much of a difference through small changes on your small fleet, when you combine these changes with the changes of other fleets, it quickly turns into a big impact that can truly make a dramatic difference. Therefore, work hard to do the best you can, trusting that it will serve as inspiration for others to follow suit.
  12. Many companies are opting to go with greener solutions that are working to save energy and money. The first place to start is to conduct an audit of your energy usage so that you can devise a solid strategy for moving forward. Here are some of the areas in which you can focus your efforts and become a greener company. Programmable Features For most office and manufacturing floor environments, the HVAC system is the most wasteful part of the business. The constant heating and cooling can start to wear into your overhead costs. It’s also not good for the environment to be wasteful with your energy usage. One solution involves having your HVAC system serviced on a regular basis and changing out your filtration system. A properly maintained system is more likely to be efficient. How you go about controlling the temperature plays a large part in your overall usage. Programmable thermostats that aren’t near windows and additional sources of heat will help to maintain the temperature while not being influenced by these outside factors. Alternative Energy Sources There are lots of ways that you can go about becoming green. You may want to consider installing solar panels on your roof. This may help you to generate some of the power that you require for your manufacturing activities. Another solution is to purchase and install a . Using the steam to provide your equipment with the energy that’s required can make your whole process more efficient. You may find that you don’t require your solar panels or other forms of alternative energy to produce as much in order to keep your operations going. Geothermal heating solutions may be another option to reduce energy consumption. Resource Usage Reduction Changing out your sources of lighting to LED versions work to reduce the amount of energy that your business consumes. Installing motion sensors on your lighting systems will also help to reduce waste. Another thing to consider is the use of printed materials. Going with more electronic forms of communication works to save you money and reduces the amount of waste that your company generates. You won’t have to worry so much about recycling if you don’t have to discard as much material. Installing programing that reduces manufacturing waste will also prevent rework issues and can help you with your energy reduction goals. Manufacturing processes have changed so that they can be more efficient. Use these strategies to up your energy efficiency rating and take your company into a greener era.
  13. Keeping your home tidy, neat, and clean can be facilitated by removing household junk and waste routinely rather than to keep it sitting around indefinitely. However, waste can build up quickly, so you may want to line up a few tactics for reducing much of the trash that continues to accumulate on a daily basis. Recycle Many communities provide free recycle bins for household use, along with free curb pickup a couple times each month. This is a great way to help protect the environment and get rid of daily throwaways so they don’t stack up in your garage or trash can. You can also recycle old clothing and unused furniture to thrift stores or consignment shops by dropping things off on the designated days. To make some extra cash, recycle worn tires, scrap metal, and collected papers at the local recycling centers. Compost Food scraps, coffee grounds, and biodegradable organics can be used to compost a flower garden or vegetable garden in your backyard. Gather leftovers and sort them according to various composting needs. Layer them as directed in a compost guide to enhance the fertilization and productivity of your outdoor garden areas. Removal For large items you want to dispose of, like a garage full of rapidly-accumulating trash that includes containers, bottles, cans, discarded electronics, broken equipment and appliances, and just about anything else that has been stacked up or boxed for pickup, check into dumpster rental for a week or two. You might be able to share the dumpster space and cost with a neighbor. In addition to daily disposables, renting a dumpster is a great time to clean out the attic, the basement, the garage, and the shed to get rid of things you will never use again. Your home will feel much more open and accessible when you eliminate all the stuff that keeps building up and being ignored or stored in places that can be used for other things of value. Buy Less If you are tossing away too many takeout Styrofoam or plastic containers or getting rid of shoes or clothes you’ve only worn a few times, it may be time to review your budget and start making cuts. Not only will you be able to reduce spending, but you may also be able to reduce waste along with increasing available space and storage areas. No one likes unwanted waste sitting around the house. Consider these ways of reducing trash while enhancing your lifestyle as a bonus.
  14. Having a home garden can be a great hobby. You can enjoy beautiful flowers and tasty vegetables throughout the year. If you’re considering trying to make your garden more green, here are four great eco-friendly tips that you can employ this year. Install a Rain Barrel One of the best ways to help be eco-friendly while saving yourself some green in the process is using rainwater to water your garden. By installing a simple rain barrel to collect the drainage from the gutters in your home, you can have freely accessible water to feed your garden. All you’ll need is a watering can and you’ll be set. If you don’t have access to rainwater from gutters, strategically place a few barrels around your yard to collect free falling rain. Use Compost Soil One of the best things you can do for your garden is to use compost soil. This natural soil is enriched with various nutrients that your average soil could be lacking. If you don’t know anybody that has a compost where you can get soil from, don’t be afraid to start your own. There are many guides on how to compost online that you can refer to in order to get started. We’re sure you’ll be super happy with your harvest when you use composted soil over regular soil. Install Bird Feeders This one may have you thinking a little bit, but let us explain. Birds are natural predators for grub worms, snails, and other insects that can be harmful to your plants. By installing bird feeders near your garden, these birds will act as a natural protector for your plants. This will help to reduce your need for insecticide. Choose Your Plant Pairings Wisely Just the process of picking out the right plants that complement each other can do wonders for reducing your need for natural growth simulators and insecticides. For example, marigolds are well-known for deterring unwanted soil-based and flying insects. They make a great pair for plant varieties that are commonly preyed by these types of insects. Hosta, also known as a plantain lily, is a nice tall plant that helps to offer shade to those plants which are shorter. Being a more eco-friendly gardener doesn’t have to be a difficult transition. By simply learning tactics like the ones above, you’ll be well on your way to making the transition. The more eco-friendly habits that you can get used to, the more helpful you’ll be to the environment around you.
  15. Having solar panels installed at your home is a great first step towards being more energy-efficient. It can really help to cut down on your energy costs as well. Here are four of our best tips to help ensure you get the most out of your home solar panels things year. Keep Them Clean This can sound like a very simple feat. However, keeping up with regular maintenance can sometimes be tricky. When it comes to your solar panels, they need to remain clean to work effectively. When debris gets stuck on top of the solar panels, it can prevent them from in-taking the UV light. This will make your panels less effective at manufacturing solar energy. Cut Down Shading Branches For your solar panels to work at their optimal state, you need to have them in the direct sunlight. When your trees mature, the branches will grow further out, and they can create shading over the panels. You should take a look at your shrubbery every few weeks and trim any branches that are shading your panels. This will help to assure they stay effective throughout the day. Ensure They Stay Cool Your solar panels have semiconductors inside of them that transfer the UV rays into usable solar energy. As the semiconductors heat up, they become less efficient at their job. Therefore, it’s important to consider ways to keep your solar panels cool throughout the day. The most effective is to have at least a seven-inch cushion between your roof and the panels. This allows for proper circulation that cools down the panels throughout the daytime. Ensure Your Batteries Are Efficient You can do everything possible to make your solar panels as efficient as can be. However, you must consider where the energy is going. Your system doesn’t use all the solar energy as it’s created by your solar panels. Rather, your system stores unused energy in batteries. If your batteries are outdated or ineffective, it can really wreak havoc on the amount of solar energy that your system maintains for your use. You should be updating your batteries and ensuring they’re just as optimal as your system to get the most out of it. Installing solar panels is a great first step towards being greener. Getting your system to run effectively should be one of your top concerns. The more effective your system is, the less you’ll have to spend on energy costs each month.