Andrew Newitt

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  1. There are a number of reasons to repurpose your farm for sustainable farming, one of them being increased efficiency and decreased upkeep and production costs. But beyond that, sustainable farming entails the simple premise of introducing environmentally-friendly practices and techniques that will not only preserve the nature, animal welfare and the surrounding ecosystem, it will also aid in the battle against global warming by cutting down on greenhouse gases emission and energy and water consumption. The benefits are numerous to switching to sustainable farming, and here is how you can do it safely and effectively. Assess the natural resources One of the key elements of sustainability is giving back to nature as much as you are taking from it, if not a bit more. Given the fact that agriculture is the leading consumer of fresh water in the world, it’s very important to asses where your natural resources are coming from and what you can do to minimize their consumption. One of the things you can do is change the way you use water for irrigation purposes and introduce an eco-friendly irrigation system such as rain water harvesting. Additionally, you want to minimize the negative impact of energy consumption and the burning of fossil fuels by implementing a solar, wind-powered or other renewable energy source to power you farm which will in turn result in decreased operational expenses, among other, eco-friendly benefits. Adopt a green mindset If you want to minimize expenses, save the environment and boost productivity, you need to think of areas where you can implement a recycling practice. This means using recyclable materials, investing in quality reusable tools and equipment as well as reducing and optimizing the consumption of resources. Also, implement some smart ideas such as attracting animals that are beneficial to your operation, like birds, ladybugs and bats that will feed on insects but not on the crops. Introduce managed grazing, the practice of rotating the grazing areas of livestock - this will reduce erosion, help with soil fertilization, and control weed growth. Assess and feed the soil Soil structure, acidity and care are your most important factors that will determine the growth of plants and the health and quality of livestock. Therefore it’s imperative to check the soil for its fertility, differences in acidity that suit different types of plants and animals and finally, to determine the best upkeep practices. These are very delicate tasks and they are performed by professional geotechnical engineering consultants that specialize in soil assessment, management and green waste removal practices. Speaking of waste removal, sustainable farming means cutting down on waste production and eliminating waste accumulation and transportation of non-recyclable materials to landfills, by implementing recyclable, reusable and renewable practices across the farming operation. Managing the soil properly will mean the difference between healthy, sustainable agriculture and a red light from the governing bodies. Some of the best practices include managing soil distribution. This means that you should limit and eliminate any practices that might disrupt the health of the soil, such as excessive fertilizer or pesticide use, improper use of inputs, compacting and tiling. Secondly, diversify your crops and plant crops throughout the year. Biodiversity feeds the soil with more nutrients and helps control weed growth and the spread of disease. Additionally, you can help feed the underground root network by growing living roots, as root sugars give the necessary organisms to the soil in order to promote plant growth and nutrient distribution. In conclusion Sustainable farming is not a taxing chore, it’s an investment for the future. With its eco-friendly practices and renewable production methods, sustainable farms are able to not only preserve the surrounding ecosystem and reduce the harmful footprint humans leave on the planet, but also bring healthier products to the consumers and minimize costs for the farmer.
  2. Waste management has become a serious issue in the world ever since the rise of industrialization and the population boom that started in the 20th century. With over 7 billion people across the globe producing waste within their homes, companies and communities, a need arises to educate people and promote waste management in order to battle the effects of global warming and decrease the harmful effect that waste production has on the environment. Assess the amount of waste you produce Start your waste management plan by writing down the amount of waste your household, company or project produces on a monthly basis. You can categorize waste into different types such as scraps, human waste, water waste, energy waste and natural materials. Additionally, remember to note the trash produced by excavation and building crews, if you are running a renovation project. Every waste management situation will have different parameters, so make sure to observe all crucial elements in waste production. When managing waste in your company, you will have to account for the amount of waste that every employee produces and that will include water, energy and material waste. After you’ve assessed the amount of produced waste, you can divide it into recyclables, reusable materials and refuse. Recyclable waste is usually consisted of flyers, clothes, bottles, plastic and paper, among other. Refuse materials are mainly consisted of kitchen and industrial waste in the form of old cleaning supplies, cords, bulbs and electrical trash, and is best reduced to a minimum by limiting consumption and opting for more durable, long-lasting items, such as switching from regular lighting to LED lighting, etc. Lastly, reusable “waste” can be anything you can make use of for a prolonged period of time, such as partially printed paper, delivery boxes, jars and paper bags. Set up an action plan Once you are finished with categorizing and have assessed the amount of waste, you’ll need a concrete plan of action for each type of waste. Note that waste disposal is not cheap and it’s always better to prevent waste accumulation and production than to deal with excessive amounts of it every month. Along with being better for your budget, prevention is eco-friendly as you are reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emission and waste production. You can limit the amount of resources you use that later become refuse and use only the reusable and recyclable materials. Instead of constantly changing traditional light bulbs that consume and waste vast amounts of energy, switch to LED lighting that preserves the energy and lasts longer. In addition to saving energy, it will also cost you less. Further, in order to reduce water waste, make sure that all water sources are only used when necessary and fix every leakage. Opt for water-saving appliances like washing machines, dishwashers and refrigerators that are energy-friendly. Recycling is fairly easy - you just need to love nature enough. Make sure to divide your recyclables into different bags and learn the schedule of your neighborhood’s recyclable waste pickups. Finally, you can move onto planning your refuse waste management. Trash is bound to accumulate at some point, and after you’ve implemented all the new rules of reusing and recycling, it’s time to get rid of the trash you are left with. Start by noting the means you will use to dispose of your trash by assessing the cost, choosing removal crews and types of vehicles they have depending on the amount of waste you’re dealing with. Waste can often be difficult to classify, and in order to avoid hitting a roadblock in your disposal efforts, make sure to consult with environmental experts about proper waste classification. Lastly, draw up concrete goals for you waste reduction project. You’ll need a realistic set of goals if you want to make your waste management plan work. You can define these by assessing the percentage of trash you want to reduce over a period of time, all the while increasing the use of recyclable and reusable materials. Waste management is no easy task as it requires planning, preparation, time and effort, but with these guidelines you will be able to create a concrete plan of action to boost your waste management efforts and make the process as quick and efficient as possible.
  3. We’re in the process of poisoning our planet. Luckily, people are becoming aware of this, which is the very reason behind the term ‘ecological awareness’. Plants and factories, however, have a bad reputation in this department, because they really are one of the main culprits for global pollution. Fortunately, the manufacturing process is slowly becoming eco-friendly and if you want to make your own plant as green as possible, you can start with these five tips. 1. Know Your Facility The first step towards “greening” your manufacturing plant is finding out how much energy it is actually using. The final goal here is, of course, reducing the overall usage. You are probably aware of some rough estimates with regards to how big a number is in question and, without a doubt, you know exactly which pieces of technology are the main culprits; we’re talking boilers, heaters, conveyor belts, electric motors, air compressors, chillers and the like. Without a proper energy audit, however, you’re going to miss out on key data, which, if presented before you, will fill you in on the exact items and processes that need to be closely monitored and probably tweaked or replaced. 2. Renewable Energy For some reason, factory owners don’t hold renewable energy in highest regard, probably because the whole thing sounds too good to be true and owing to the fact that plants do need a ton of electricity. Renewable energy, however, is very misunderstood; in fact, you are probably underestimating the power of nature. For example, while all of us know all about solar power, wind, heat and even rain can also be used to generate enough energy to keep things functioning. Using a combination of at least two of the mentioned means of powering up your plant is the way to go – count on the fact that one element will experience downtime caused by nature. 3. Use Recycled Materials Sure, everyone is worried about the environment, but factory owners tend to worry even more about their business. This is exactly why many still don’t use recycled materials – for some reason, they think that this will affect their end product’s quality. Well, this simply is not true. Don’t be reluctant about implementing recycled materials and make sure that you get your raw materials from a trusted vendor that makes them by recycling old items. 4. Water As time goes by, the technology around us is evolving into “green”. Unfortunately, many simply choose to take this for granted and unreasonably consider any energy-reducing piece of equipment an unworthy investment. It is important that you realize that a ton of equipment in your factory uses way more energy than it really needs. Our advice is to start with water – regardless of what branch your manufacturing business is in, it relies on our planet’s most important liquid for a huge number of uses – from cleaning and production purposes to building and plant room infrastructure processes, water is simply everywhere. This is why equipping your plant with industrial UV water treatment systems is so important – they can be implemented into any water application that requires disinfection. By installing UV disinfection system, your plant can recycle and reuse industrial waste waters, thus reducing water usage and costs associated with wastewater discharge. 5. Connect Looking for likeminded manufacturing businesses (in terms of environmental consciousness) is very useful and even more important, and this is why you need to connect – fighting against the tide of nature-poisoning businesses is best done as a part of a movement. Connect and look for inspiration – IKEA is the leader in the field of using sustainable forestry and clean energy, so look up to them! Preserving our environment from impact of its biggest pollutant is of absolute essence and it is you, as a manufacturing plant owner, who can make a difference. Use these five ways to make your factory as eco-friendly as possible and don’t forget to follow the latest green trends!
  4. The year 2017 might as well be be the right one for you to make your home more energy-efficient. The first step in deciding which home improvements you should consider is hiring a non-profit or professional specialist who will assess your energy consumption, detect issues contributing to energy loss, and recommend measures to achieve greater efficiency. Here are some home improvements that will help you reduce energy costs while keeping your home green and your energy sustainable. Upgrading Home Weatherization Gaps and cracks in your home’s thermal envelope can significantly increase your heating and cooling costs and dealing with them should come first. Such places will be unavailable for fixing once you install insulation. Even when optimal air sealing and insulation is achieved, you should not forget about regular maintenance of your heating and ventilation systems to ensure their maximum efficiency. Sometimes, a full replacement of currently used devices should also be considered. Window Replacement Choosing the right frame and glazing for your specific circumstances and climate when replacing your windows will improve the overall energy-efficiency of your home. Wood frames may be the most expensive solution, but they provide the best insulation and curb appeal. On the downside, they are not an ideal solution for humid climates and they require regular maintenance and repainting. Double paned Low-E glass windows with a vinyl frame are a budget-friendly alternative that doesn’t require maintenance and repainting. Roof Optimization A cool roof will keep the heat away from homes by reflecting it. To achieve its benefits, you can coat your existing roof with reflective materials, but this can just be a short-term solution as it requires reapplication after a certain time which depends on the roof type. Also, most liquid coatings work best with certain types of roofs, such as membrane-based and metal roofs. They can be applied to asphalt shingles as well, although they tend to chip and crack with age, which may also be an environmental concern. In this case, complete re-roofing might be considered. If you decide to go for it, choose metal. It may be an expensive roof material, but it pays off in the long run due to its significant benefits such as durability and low maintenance. Choosing the right solution for your roof may be difficult. If you would rather leave all these decisions and work to a professional, be sure it is someone who is insured with valid contractor bonds to guarantee project completion and financial compensation if anything doesn’t go as planned. Introducing Alternative Energy Sources Think of introducing alternative energy sources as a supplement to your existing ones. Many homes today enhance or even substitute traditional sources of energy with solar panels installed on their roofs. The benefits are numerous: lower energy costs, decreased use of fossil fuels, use of renewable energy, etc. Where applicable, consider other renewable energy sources such as wind. Wind generators use the same concept as wind turbines, but on a smaller scale suitable for home use. Wind energy can also be stored for later with batteries. Consider these sources as an addition to primary energy sources and optimize them by using them for specific tasks, such as solar water heating. Using a Rainwater Collector Many communities around the world have used rainwater for different purposes, ranging from garden watering to drinking when proper water cleaning processes are involved. Even in cases when main or reticulated water supplies are available, properly collected and stored rainwater is a safe, cost-effective and sustainable water source. A water collection system will be especially worth the investment if you have considerable irrigation needs, experience frequent droughts or need to control drainage problems on your property. Make it Green These home improvements will help you save money, enable optimal temperature levels all year round and increase your indoor air quality. Making the most out of natural resources available to you will make your home more energy-efficient and green.
  5. It is no secret that going green is today more import than ever. For this reason, many homeowners decide to turn their houses into real environmentally-friendly places. What’s great about this is that by aiding in preserving the nature this way you can also manage to save a lot of money. This is the case because the goals of every cautions homeowner should be using less energy, using less water and recycling. So if you decide to contribute to saving the environment, here are 5 low cost upgrades for your home that can do wonders for both nature and your wallet. Add More Insulation Insulation is something you should always consider when turning your home green. If there is more insulation in your home, you will be using less energy to keep it warm during the winter and cool during the summer. There are quite a few green insulation materials you ca choose from, with aerogel and cotton being among the most popular options. No matter which material you opt for, you will be guaranteed to use less energy during the whole year. Of course, this will also reduce the cost of your energy bills significantly. Replace Old Windows We have already mentioned how not letting either hot or cold air escape your home is one of the best things you can do when going green. Another great way to do this is to replace any old windows in your home. If there are any cracks in the window frames or the windows are simply too old, air can escape quite easily through them. If this is the case with your home, you are probably using much more electricity than it is necessary. Therefore, getting new windows should be your no.1 priority. Plant Some Trees Of course, you shouldn’t just stick to your house when going green. If there is a lot of place in your backyard planting a new tree is always a good thing to do. And if you want your tree to be even more useful, you should make sure you plant it on the west side of your home. That way, the branches will block the sunbeams during the summer, while in winter, bare branches will help allow infrared radiation that will warm up your home get through. Nuttall oak, red maple and weeping willow are just some of the trees you can opt for. Go for Water-Efficient Fixtures If you want your home to be more environmentally-friendly, you will also have to think about using less water. Even though turning off the tap when washing your hands and brushing your teeth is always a good thing to do, you should also consider installing some water-efficient fixtures in your bathroom. There are low flow shower heads that are just a perfect option for every green home. Also, there are aerators that maximize the flow rate of your faucets. If there are any leaks make sure you contact a 24 hour plumber in order to minimize the amounts of water that go to waste. Get Solar Panels A large number of homeowners also decides to install solar panels when going green. With these, you will be utilizing natural power and minimize your use of electricity. Even though getting solar panels seems like an expensive investment at first, if you are planning long run, these will in fact help you save quite a lot of money. It is also important to mention that in some countries, homeowners who decide to get these receive bonuses and huge tax breaks. Having all of this in mind, getting solar panels is always a great thing to do, both for the environment and your wallet. Make sure you do all of these upgrades and you will be guaranteed to contribute quite a lot to preserving the environment. Bear in mind that you can never do too much when going green so keep looking for some further upgrades you can do.
  6. Running an unsanitary home is a known cause of many complications and allergies are one of the most common ones. Cleaning a home with non-toxic materials, however, should be of utmost importance and priority – not only do toxic chemicals poison the environment, but can also be quite damaging for your own health, as well. This article will guide you through the main points of non-toxic home cleaning and care, towards an allergy-free home. Cleaning by Room Although it is vital that you keep each room clean and, therefore, healthy, different rooms require different cleaning approaches and means to reducing allergens. Bedroom – Your bed is a perfect home ground for mites and allergens, so taking care of your bed cleaning should be done at least twice a week and vacuuming on a daily basis if you are prone to allergies. Encasing your pillows, mattresses and box springs in cover that are dust-mite-proof is also recommended. Living Room – The room where you spend most of your personal time naturally needs a lot of cleaning. Perform dusting and vacuuming at least every other day in order to keep the allergies at bay and pay special attention to allergens’ breeding grounds, such as curtains. If you are especially prone to allergies, think about removing your carpeting and opt for hardwood or linoleum flooring. Given the fact that dust is the most common cause of allergies, think about browsing through air purifiers for your living room – these are great ways to fight dust and make your air fresh and clean. Kitchen – Not only is keeping your food clean a key factor in maintaining your health, but the kitchen can also turn quite filthy, unless cleaned regularly. Make sure you wash your dishes on a daily basis – mold and food debris shouldn’t stay untended to for more than a couple of hours. Think about installing a vented exhaust fan, in order to remove cooking fumes and reduce mold-causing moisture. Bathroom – Now perhaps the biggest problem with bathrooms is the mold – unless you have tiles installed on your shower walls and next to your bathtub, you are bound to experience mold on your walls, which is a known cause of health problems. When it comes to bathroom flooring, use tile, vinyl or linoleum to make cleaning easier. Additionally, an exhaust fan will reduce moisture greatly, after steaming baths and showers. Basement – Although this is the least frequently visited room within your house, it is likely to turn into a cesspool of germs if not cleaned regularly. Water-damaged carpeting should be removed and the foundation and stairwells checked for any sources of leak-caused water damage. When it comes to your clothes dryer, make sure that the moisture is vented outside. The biggest problem with basements is clutter, so properly arranging your stored items is of essence, in order to avoid health hazards Your Home in General When it comes to the general cleaning overview of your house, it is essential that you establish a weekly cleaning routine. This is not to say that a bit of cleaning on a daily basis shouldn’t be performed, but that you should thoroughly clean your home at least once a week. Pro tip: if you aren’t a smoker, be strict about your non-smoking policy within the walls of your house Keeping your house clean is vital for keeping the allergies at bay, even if you don’t have any significant allergen problems. These, however, aren’t the only health hazard an unclean home might cause, so exercising proper cleaning is vital, even if you do not suffer from allergies.
  7. Going green has been a growing trend in the world for many years as more and more people become aware of the negative consequences of using chemical-heavy products. Women, in particular, are seeking alternative, natural and healthier solutions to their everyday problems. Following this trend, even the cosmetics industry has made organic skin care and beauty products a standard. Because choosing these products shows that we are responsible and make smart choices not just for ourselves but for the environment as well. If you’re still indecisive about making the switch to organic makeup, here are a few reasons why you should go for it. 1. It’s safe for your health Unlike conventional cosmetics, organic beauty products contain natural ingredients that have not been chemically treated in any way. They don’t contain synthetic additives, like artificial pigments, fragrances, preservatives, etc. Consequently, they cause far less undesired reactions and are considered to be truly hypo-allergenic. This makes them perfect for all skin types. Even the most sensitive ones. However, bear in mind that skin care and makeup ingredients are only loosely regulated and are considered to be harmless, until proven otherwise. Besides, a cosmetic product may contain as little as 1% of organic ingredients and still be labelled ‘natural’ or ‘organic’. And our skin is like a sponge, which absorbs everything that you apply to it. If you put on conventional makeup every day, the toxins from it will accumulate in your body over time and this may lead to serious health repercussions. For your own safety, always pay attention to the ingredients list and make sure that at least 95% of them are certified. 2. It’s eco-friendly Synthetically produced beauty products are packed with chemicals. When they’re used, these chemicals are released into the environment and pollute the air, water, and soil. On the other hand, natural makeup and skincare products are a result of environmentally sound manufacturing – from organically farmed ingredients, to biodegradable packaging (not all of them, though, so look for that three chasing arrows sign on the container before making a purchase). For all the above reasons, they release much less pollutants into the environment both while produced and while used. Another reason to switch to organic makeup is the fact that it’s never tested on animals. Even the big-box brands including organic options into their offer as proof of their social responsibility. Be a responsible consumer and show that you care for Mother Earth by switching to organic products. 3. It’s nutrient-rich Another feature that has become a standard in cosmetics industry is dual-purpose makeup. It serves both to beautify you and nurture your skin. Of course, organic makeup is unrivalled here, since it contains only the good stuff and none of the aggressive ingredients found in the conventional products. Vitamins A, B, D and E are some of the main nutrients that keep your skin youthful and fresh-looking. Let’s not forget vitamin C, which has superb sun-shielding properties and provides a very strong anti-aging effect. Argan oil is also often used, especially in lipsticks, as an excellent moisturizer for chapped lips. Green tea extract soothes irritated skin, liquid foundations may contain maracuja oil or shea butter, which are known for their anti-oxidant properties and help you get smoother skin. Although not the most important aspect, there’s also the financial benefit of switching to organic makeup. Some people argue that organic products are much pricier than the conventional ones. But with this nutrient-packed makeup you will need much less skincare products and your wallet will thank you for that.
  8. Luckily for all of us environmentally savvy consumers, designers constantly keep coming with new eco-friendly flooring materials. So now there is a vast of flooring materials we can choose from when decorating our homes. Here is a list of both new and old flooring solutions green homeowners can turn to. Cork Cork is one of the relatively newer flooring materials and is a great option for eco-friendly homes. It is harvested from the bark of cork oak trees. A great thing about it is that no trees have to be cut in order to get this material. Bark grows back every three years and that is what makes it a perfect renewable source for flooring materials. Cork flooring has anti-microbial properties which can help you in reducing allergens in your home. It is also fire retardant and it can act as a as a natural insect repellent as well. Because of the many colors you can choose from and its durability, cork is a great option for almost all rooms. Wool Carpet People have been using carpet floorings for quite a long time now. Still, many toxins and volatile organic compounds are used in its production which made it a bad choice for the green homeowners. Luckily, now we can find some eco-friendly options as well. Carpet floors made out of wool are something you can go with. Wool is a natural resource that can be a perfect option for flooring. It can be dyed in any color and then be woven into a carpet. It is very durable and soft to walk on. Reclaimed Hardwood Some of the most beautiful floorings are made out of hardwood. Still, hardwood is not considered an eco-friendly due to the deforestation concerns. But there are the ways you can use hardwood and still make your home eco-friendly. Reclaimed hardwood is a perfect option if you want to do so. Such flooring is made out of wood that has been cut down long, long time ago for some other purposes. Reclaimed hardwood can be a great choice for beach cottages and some older homes. Marble Marble is another great material you can choose. Made out of natural materials, marble tiles can be a perfect option for your bathroom or kitchen. You can also get a marble fireplace which will help you use less electricity and go perfect with your marble flooring. Marble tiles can also be a great solution for outdoor flooring and pool coping. It is quite durable and easy to clean material. Marble will also give your home that natural look you were hoping for. With today’s technology and a designers’ imagination we now have many eco-friendly materials to choose from. But not only that these materials are green but they do not cost much as well. So today environmentally savvy consumers can have a perfectly green home without spending much money. Consider these flooring options and make sure you choose other home features that are nature-friendly as well.
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