Andrew Newitt

Members
  • Content count

    59
  • Joined

  • Last visited

1 Follower

About Andrew Newitt

  • Rank
    Member

Recent Profile Visitors

4,123 profile views
  1. In the 1970s, China witnessed a growth of its economy and its expansion only continued over the course of the next few decades, accelerating as the years went by. However, China’s massive economic growth has come with a hefty price in the form of vast environmental pollution that followed its rapid expansion. In this article, we are taking a look at the air pollution as the number one problem on the country’s national scale, all the different ideas and strategies that China is employing in order to tackle the problem, as well as the progress it has made in recent years. Declaring war on air pollution Six years have passed since China had faced the much dreaded ‘airpocalypse’ when smog scores exceeded the safety limits up to 35 times in the capital city of Beijing in 2013. After Beijing acknowledged that the situation had escalated to the point of threatening the safety of its citizens and realized that its air pollution problem can no longer be masked, the air pollution crisis it was caught up in was finally recognized by China’s government, who promised to take serious action. Reaching GDP targets wasn’t the only goal the government was trying to attain, as it started placing emphasis on the quality of the growth. The industries that added to the environmental pollution were now discouraged, and so did those that relied on the intensive use of resources. In addition, the factories and plants that didn’t manage to meet the newly-imposed standards were shut down, and the new policy applied to even the largest enterprises, and those who violated these obligations faced penalties. The idea and the strategy A couple of ideas and strategies were employed as a way of dealing with the alarming environmental crisis China found itself in. Li Keqiang, China’s Premier, promised a greener future for the citizens of China, declaring war to pollution the same way he declared war to poverty. As a result of his commitment, urban areas were asked to reduce the concentration of pollutants in the air by ten percent as an attempt to improve the national air quality, while metropolitan areas such as Beijing had an even higher target. The plants had to reduce emissions, while the coal-fueled power plants were prohibited from being constructed. Urban areas saw a drop in vehicle emissions, and coal boilers for residential heating were replaced with gas heating. A number of measures against pollution were introduced as a way of achieving cleaner air, water, and soil, and that’s when the problem of pollution in China finally started to look solvable, and the seemingly dismal look at the future was replaced with the ray of hope for the citizens of China. Waging war on environmental pollution While green policies continue to be applied throughout the country, there are many fronts where China has to wage its war for greener future. While the PM2.5 pollution was managed to be brought down significantly, the ozone gas rose, and the scientists warn about its detrimental effects on human health as well as agricultural yields. The reduction of coal-fueled power continues to be high on the country’s list of priorities, and while the consumption of coal has increased by 3%, China persists in its pursuit to make a switch to gas, nuclear, and renewable power. In its attempt to reduce environmental pollution, China has also made a decision to stop importing waste from other countries and has even made efforts to employ a harsher residential recycling regime. Clearing the air For decades, China has been putting its economic growth before the preservation of the environment. However, it seems that it has made a significant amount of progress since 1995. According to a study published in the Science Advances journal, the pollution that once went hand in hand with the economic growth of the country had begun to decline, which lead to the weakening of this relationship. A number of factors played a significant role in the research, some of them being environmental conditions, living standards in the country, health care, as well as regional differences. The forty-year-long study relied on multiple sources of existing data and showed that, while significant progress has been made, there’s still room for improvement when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions. In its efforts to save the planet and change its status as the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, China has taken drastic measures to improve the national air quality. Its declaration of war on pollution has already started to pay off, while its response to the environmental crisis and implementation of eco-conscious ideas and strategies have opened up the possibility of China establishing itself as a leader in environmental protection and preservation.
  2. As more and more people continue to move to cities, the need for more effective management of resources continues to rise. It is projected that approximately six out of ten people will be populating urban areas by the year 2030, and this calls for major changes in the way that cities function. An increase in the number of city dwellers means an increase in the use of natural resources, and for countries with more developed economies, this means taking a smarter, more sustainable approach to meeting the basic needs of the urban citizens. Here are some of the examples of smart city solutions that are slowly, but surely, shaping the future. Improved traffic flow When it comes to dense urban areas, one of the priorities is finding ways to improve traffic flow. Major cities such as New York make use of electric buses as a means of reducing traffic. Sensors are installed in both buses and at traffic lights, and the way this works is when the bus nears the traffic lights, they either extend the green light so that the bus passes or in case of red light, it changes to green so as to prioritize buses and reduce the time spent commuting. In Oslo, we’re seeing attempts at reducing the carbon footprint of cars. The way they’re cutting down the emissions is they’re banning the circulation of passenger cars as well as reconstructing transportation network. Traffic management for improved air quality Another big issue that urban areas are facing is the low quality of air, especially in densely populated areas. Not only is air pollution having a detrimental effect on the environment, but it’s also responsible for a number of health problems city dwellers are experiencing. One of the ways cities are trying to improve air quality is through efficient traffic management. Copenhagen is one of the cities that are conducting an experiment that has the goal of acquiring data about traffic and air quality at the intersections, and the results they yield should improve traffic management. By closely monitoring the intersections experts are able to establish a connection between air pollution and the regulation of traffic, thus providing a better understanding of health benefits that data-driven traffic management would bring. Public lighting solutions Speaking of the high frequency of people and vehicles in urban areas, public lighting is another aspect of city design that requires a modern approach. Because they operate non-stop, public spaces need to be well-lit at all times, which calls for durable, energy-efficient public lighting solutions that require little to no maintenance. From streets and intersections to metro, airport, and railway stations, a quality LED street lights manufacturer could be the answer to the increased need for optimal visibility and low energy consumption, two important aspects of sustainable public lighting solutions. Once integrated, these installations will enhance the flow of passengers and vehicles while ensuring a smarter, eco-friendlier approach to illuminating public spaces. Smart healthcare system As technology progresses, we’re seeing its effect on a wide range of systems, and healthcare is no exception. This is especially true for Asia, where the healthcare system is witnessing a revolution. HOSPI is one of the innovations in the Changi General Hospital located in Singapore. This transport robot is able to autonomously navigate through the hospital, carrying medications, documents, and specimens, operating throughout four buildings this hospital consists of. Robots are also transforming the healthcare industry of Japan, where robotic nursing care is replacing the need for human nurses, thus saving hospitals’ time and money. Better control of electricity consumption As the electricity expenditure continues to grow, many countries are trying to gain better control over the electrical energy that is being distributed. While this notion is still just a goal for countries in the European Union, Britain has already managed to achieve real-time electricity consumption control. Numerous homes across England, Scotland, and Wales are currently making use of smart meters, and the citizens are given an insight into the light and gas consumption in their household, and the plan is to install these devices in all the homes on the island by the year 2020. While the number of urban citizens continues to rise at a rapid pace, cities are facing an array of challenges brought by urbanization and a significant inflow of people. Improving the quality of life of city dwellers is one of the guiding principles of smart cities, with sustainability as their top priority. These five smart city solutions offer a green, eco-friendly approach to the environment, and are a prime example of what we can expect to see in urban cities of tomorrow.
  3. A household consists of a thousand moving parts. If you count trinkets and paraphernalia into that mix, then the number of constituents is pretty much endless. This is why every home needs reasonable storage solutions, especially if you are prone to hoarding. Thankfully, in the times of eco-friendly trends, there are many storage ideas out there that are truly inventive. If you are thinking about the balance between storage and sustainability, here are the most sensible solutions for your home. Go vertical There are many sensible green home renovation techniques out there, some of which are obscure while others are known around the world as go-to practices that simply work. For example, vertical storage is warehousing 101 and a solution that can virtually save your household should you choose to implement it. Simply speaking, the amount of square footage and resources you can save by going vertical is immense – it is the most logical eco-friendly step. On the one hand, you will invest in the future, on the other, you won’t have to spend money on the additional building. Furthermore, storage that spreads floor to ceiling and across the wall can also serve as an additional layer of sound-heat insulation. Keep the shelving modular Armoires, old cupboards and stylish vintage cabinets are perfectly fine aesthetic choices that are recommended by interior designers around the world for people who want eclectic combos. However, if you are a green thinker, the first question you should ask if whether it’s functional and space-saving? Aesthetics are secondary when you are looking into superb adjustable shelving for the most flexible solutions, though they can look absolutely crisp should you choose well. What you’ll want is a storage option that consists of numerous modular units which can easily be rearranged according to the changes in your interior. This way you’ll have future-proof durability and flexibility. Reused building materials Do you want your sustainable storage units to be built from zero? If you want to keep the process eco-friendly you should consider reused or recycled materials, especially if you require fine wood and stained wooden surfaces in order to keep the storage in sync with the rest of the room’s overall style. Thankfully, it has become so much easier to find retailers that deal in reusable goods, as well as carpenters and other building professionals that have a lot of experience with recycled materials. In addition, you can go with sustainable materials if you want them fresh – for example, cork and bamboo. However, you should keep in mind that these are not as flexible as some less-sustainable variants. Push it out into the garage Do you own a garage, a shed or an exterior storage space of some shape and form? If you do, you might want to consider moving as much as you can out of the house and pushing it into that storage. Typically, this will be a garage wall reserved for storage units. Whether it’s simple pallet racks made out of (recycled) plastic or full-fledged cabinets, keeping most of your clutter out of the house gives you more elbow space to arrange the interior according to your wishes. Plus, it will keep the otherwise cluttered rooms larger. You may also want to bring more sustainable lighting solution in the proximity of your storage so it would become easier to see what hides behind cabinet doors. Of course, only LED or CFL lights should be considered in this case, as they do not only waste less energy but last significantly longer than incandescent bulbs. A cluttered home looks messy, ugly and, let’s be perfectly blunt, downright depressing. If you want to avoid the horror of clutter, you should consider the sustainable storage solutions mentioned above. Implementing at least one of them can make a lot of difference, so you’ll probably want to go all the way with these sensible solutions for your home as soon as you try one method.
  4. Eco-Friendly Home Renovation

    After a while, every home could use some updating and freshening up, whether to match your needs better or simply to make it look more visually appealing. This is especially true if you are happy in your home and are planning on living in it for many more years. Although some eco-friendly renovation projects require quite an investment, you can rest assured that those investments would be worth it. Plus, there are many both affordable and eco-friendly ways to renovate, and here are some you should consider. Buy energy-efficient appliances If you’re planning on replacing your old kitchen appliances, look for those that are energy-efficient. You can recognize them by the Energy Star logo on them. Larger kitchen appliances, like refrigerators, for example, can use quite a lot of energy, which means that they can also cost you a lot and for a long time. This is why investing in energy-efficient appliances – even though it might cost a bit more initially – can save you money in the long run. Donate everything you no longer need If there’s an item that you’re thinking about replacing, and you won’t need it anymore, don’t throw it away. You can always give it to charity, or you might even have a friend who could use it. Moreover, there are many organizations that welcome such items, like Habitat for Humanity, for instance. In short, there are ways not just to be eco-friendly with your unwanted items but to actually give back to the community as well. Use recycled materials Using recycled materials for your renovation, like reclaimed wood, would help reduce waste. Plus, it would preserve nature simply because there would be no need to cut any trees. Plus, there are many salvaged materials that are both durable and visually appealing, so nobody would even notice that your new item is made of recycled materials. For example, bio-glass looks just like any other “new” glass, but it’s completely eco-friendly, which makes it a perfect choice. Renew instead of replacing You don’t need to replace everything in order to upgrade the appearance of your home. For example, instead of buying new kitchen cabinets, you could simply repaint them and replace only the knobs. Plus, even small changes can make a difference; you can switch one wooden cabinet door with a glass door. It would emphasize the items you keep in that cabinet, and it would make your kitchen look much more interesting. Repaint If you’re thinking about repainting your home, make sure to use VOC-free paint. VOC, or volatile organic compounds, are chemicals that can evaporate and harm your health. Also, if you’re planning on repainting your exterior, keep in mind that safety comes first, especially if you’re doing it on your own. Therefore, think about getting some quality scaffolding so you can paint the upper parts of your house without using uncomfortable and unsafe ladders that you’d have to move every few minutes. Moreover, if you can’t afford to repaint your entire exterior, think about repainting just your front door, your house numbers, and perhaps your mailbox. It would spice up the appearance of your home, and it would definitely give it a new feel overall. Insulate If insulation is a part of your renovation project, make sure to choose a high-quality one. The better insulated your home is, the less energy you will use on heating and cooling it. In other words, it would definitely pay off sooner than you might think. Just don’t forget to do your research on the eco-friendly insulation options, since the insulation itself is not the only possible eco-friendly aspect of the project. Make use of the sun Going solar is a great way to make your home more eco-friendly. Besides preserving the environment, using solar energy can also reduce your electricity bill. However, you should know that there are ways to use the power of the sun that don’t include spending money on solar panels. For example, you can plant seasonal trees in your yard, which would block the sunlight in the summer but let it through during winter. Or, you could add smart blinds and heat-reducing films to your windows. Add skylights Another great way to make use of the sun is adding some skylights in order to let more natural light into your home. Of course, you don’t have to install them in every room of your home; you can place them in the most commonly used areas, like your kitchen or living room. Just don’t forget to install automated blinds as well, so you can block the sun when needed. If you place them correctly and use them to the fullest, skylights could also help you reduce the amount of electricity you need. If you’re looking for a way to renovate your home while preserving the environment at the same time, consider some of the above-listed suggestions. You would feel much better about yourself, knowing that you’re making a difference, and you’d save some money in the long run as well.
  5. Air conditioning is one of the crucial components for creating a pleasant, comfortable atmosphere in a commercial environment. However, choosing the right air conditioning system for a specific commercial property is of the utmost importance. Not only will the system be more effective, but it will also provide owners with more savings opportunities. For instance, a single-split air conditioning system is more appropriate for small commercial buildings, such as small offices, cafés and shops, because they cool down and heat up individual areas. On the other hand, a multi-split AC system is more appropriate for restaurants, shops and offices because a single unit can provide heating and cooling for up to nine indoor areas. Finally, VRF (variable refrigerant flow) or VRV (variable refrigerant volume) systems are suitable for medium to large spaces, such as hotels, spacious offices, retail spaces and mixed-use properties, since they can meet complete heating and cooling needs of a large building. 1. Conduct an energy audit The first step in maximising the energy efficiency of your commercial AC system is conducting a comprehensive energy audit. This will provide you with a clear insight into the building’s energy consumption, which will enable you to identify possible areas for improvement. Performing an audit will also help you address certain HVAC problems more efficiently. 2. Learn how your entire HVAC system can affect your savings Your commercial HVAC system can have a crucial impact on your building’s energy consumption. Since it accounts for around 50 percent of your company’s energy consumption, it’s essential that you ensure that your HVAC system runs efficiently. If it’s damaged, aged or improperly installed, it will consume more energy without providing you with the desired results. Proper and regular maintenance, retrofitting and proper installation are key to your HVAC system functioning properly. 3. Have your AC unit regularly serviced AC units need to be regularly checked, properly maintained and repaired in a timely manner. Otherwise, their air filters can become covered with mould and dust, which will hinder their performance. An overlooked damage can lead to more serious problems and drastically increased energy consumptions. Therefore, proper maintenance and regular checks are of the utmost importance for preventing unnecessary costs and increased electricity bills, reducing your energy consumption by up to 40 percent. However, you should always leave this job to experienced professionals, especially in countries like Australia where unlicensed work is strictly prohibited. Namely, professionals for air conditioning in Sydney specialise in commercial AC maintenance and repairs, ensuring that their clients’ units are functioning properly. Thus, you should always hire highly trained and licensed technicians to make sure that the job is done properly, quickly and efficiently. 4. Opt for programmable thermostats and smart technology Maintaining a stable indoor temperature can be quite challenging, especially in spacious commercial buildings. Frequent fluctuations often cause tenants to keep the AC units running at all times, which consumes a lot of energy. Sometimes these units are even left overnight in order to create a comfortable atmosphere that occupants will enjoy. However, by installing programmable thermostats and smart tech features, you can easily solve this problem. They will help you maintain a pleasant indoor temperature by adjusting it depending on the time of day, or the presence or absence of tenants. Certain configurations can also be set up to help you conserve energy. For instance, these high-tech features can turn on air conditioning right before the opening hours. 5. Insulate properly Proper and quality insulation of your commercial space can also help you reduce your energy consumption and create a more comfortable indoor atmosphere. By insulating walls, floors, ceilings and attic, you can prevent heat loss or gain during winter or summer. Consequently, this will reduce the need for your AC system, enabling you to increase your savings in the long run. Improved insulation can help you cut your energy bill by up to 10 percent. 6. Seal the heating and cooling ducts Properly sealing the heating and cooling ducts of your commercial HVAC system is a simple upgrade that can enhance the energy efficiency of the system by around 20 percent. There are different ways to seal the ducts. For instance, blown-in duct sealant or mastic, foil tape can be used for this purpose. They can also be wrapped in insulation for enhanced efficiency. It’s advisable that you tackle the unprotected areas first, such as storage spaces or areas underneath the building. Of course, you can always leave this job to experienced technicians who can apply the most appropriate sealing solutions. After choosing an AC system appropriate for your commercial space, you should apply different measures that will enhance its sustainability and energy efficiency while also providing you with money-saving benefits.
  6. This is some great advice Just don't forget about the lighting. Getting LED light is important you can opt for quality Philips light bulbs and save on enegy.
  7. Benefits of Going Solar in 2018

    Today it’s hard to find reasons against going solar. Between the two most obvious motives – cutting on energy bills and protecting the environment, homeowners can hope for solid solar ROI, increasing their home equity, state tax rebates and investing into the future. What is more, many people are becoming aware that solar panels are a great home upgrade. Whichever your reasons may be, let’s elaborate on the most solid benefits of going solar. Honey, I shrunk the energy bill Adapting your home to run on solar power can either obliterate your energy bill completely or reduce to such an insignificant figure that it becomes just a statistical entry in your budget. How much you’ll be able to save depends on many factors, such as how much energy your home consumes, and the rates you’d otherwise pay to your utility company. If, for example, the electricity rates are high in your area, your savings will be larger since they equal the cost you avoid by going solar. As electricity prices are inevitably going to rise over the years, your savings will continue to grow over the 35+ year lifespan of your solar equipment. So, by installing a solar power system, not only do you reduce your electricity cost, but you make them more predictable, which in return improves your expense forecasting and management. Keeps generating return Let’s face it, a solar panel system is a financial product which is bound to generate annual returns from 10 to more than 30 percent. An average homeowner pays off their solar purchase in seven to eight years and receives a healthy ROI in the form of free electricity for the remainder of the equipment lifespan. What is more, there might be local or state tax programs or rebates in your area that motivate homeowners to adopt solar power. Some utilities have a market where you can sell Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) that your system generates. This additional income will help you get to the even point even faster. Hedge against rising prices If you think about it, by going solar, you also protect yourself about rising utility prices and make your expenses more predictable year after year. Since you are your own energy provider, you can sit back and watch the energy prices rise and fall. For example, if electricity prices continue to rise by three percent each year, you can have an extra $1,200 in your pocket a year from now, provided that you purchase a system that meets 100 percent of your energy needs today. Easy to integrate in your home and unobtrusive, a reliable 5kWp solar system is sufficient for households that want to experience all the benefits of renewable energy without compromising their lifestyle and routines. With these units, living off the grid gets a whole new meaning. Even if you lack funds to pay for a solar energy system up front, you can apply for a solar loan, solar lease, or solar power purchase agreement. We have but one home Many businesses and non-profit organizations go solar because they want to contribute to minimizing environmental issues like climate change and carbon emission-related health problems. There’s not a single reason why individual households shouldn’t follow suit, especially if we know that an average household emits about 20 metric tons of carbon pollutants each year. And while a single home or small business that goes solar barely makes a nick in the pollution mountain, the joint effect of building owners adopting solar systems across the country is guaranteed to make a lasting effect. As the number of residential solar installations grows, we move away from our dependency on fossil fuels and closer to clean energy that rises and sets every day. Solar energy perks, however, are not only benefiting individuals and national economies. Our collective transition to commercially viable solar solutions is one of the most tangible scenarios for cleaner and more sustainable environment.
  8. Benefits of Going Solar in 2018

    Today it’s hard to find reasons against going solar. Between the two most obvious motives – cutting on energy bills and protecting the environment, homeowners can hope for solid solar ROI, increasing their home equity, state tax rebates and investing into the future. What is more, many people are becoming aware that solar panels are a great home upgrade. Whichever your reasons may be, let’s elaborate on the most solid benefits of going solar. Honey, I shrunk the energy bill Adapting your home to run on solar power can either obliterate your energy bill completely or reduce to such an insignificant figure that it becomes just a statistical entry in your budget. How much you’ll be able to save depends on many factors, such as how much energy your home consumes, and the rates you’d otherwise pay to your utility company. If, for example, the electricity rates are high in your area, your savings will be larger since they equal the cost you avoid by going solar. As electricity prices are inevitably going to rise over the years, your savings will continue to grow over the 35+ year lifespan of your solar equipment. So, by installing a solar power system, not only do you reduce your electricity cost, but you make them more predictable, which in return improves your expense forecasting and management. Keeps generating return Let’s face it, a solar panel system is a financial product which is bound to generate annual returns from 10 to more than 30 percent. An average homeowner pays off their solar purchase in seven to eight years and receives a healthy ROI in the form of free electricity for the remainder of the equipment lifespan. What is more, there might be local or state tax programs or rebates in your area that motivate homeowners to adopt solar power. Some utilities have a market where you can sell Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) that your system generates. This additional income will help you get to the even point even faster. Hedge against rising prices If you think about it, by going solar, you also protect yourself about rising utility prices and make your expenses more predictable year after year. Since you are your own energy provider, you can sit back and watch the energy prices rise and fall. For example, if electricity prices continue to rise by three percent each year, you can have an extra $1,200 in your pocket a year from now, provided that you purchase a system that meets 100 percent of your energy needs today. Easy to integrate in your home and unobtrusive, a reliable 5kWp solar system is sufficient for households that want to experience all the benefits of renewable energy without compromising their lifestyle and routines. With these units, living off the grid gets a whole new meaning. Even if you lack funds to pay for a solar energy system up front, you can apply for a solar loan, solar lease, or solar power purchase agreement. We have but one home Many businesses and non-profit organizations go solar because they want to contribute to minimizing environmental issues like climate change and carbon emission-related health problems. There’s not a single reason why individual households shouldn’t follow suit, especially if we know that an average household emits about 20 metric tons of carbon pollutants each year. And while a single home or small business that goes solar barely makes a nick in the pollution mountain, the joint effect of building owners adopting solar systems across the country is guaranteed to make a lasting effect. As the number of residential solar installations grows, we move away from our dependency on fossil fuels and closer to clean energy that rises and sets every day. Solar energy perks, however, are not only benefiting individuals and national economies. Our collective transition to commercially viable solar solutions is one of the most tangible scenarios for cleaner and more sustainable environment.
  9. Once, the use of solar energy seemed like a distant concept of the future. Nowadays, it has become integrated into every aspect of the modern life. While eco-consciousness is expanding, the prices of solar panels are dropping, making this source of sustainable and renewable energy available to everyone. Furthermore, owing to technological advances, there are numerous innovative ways to use solar energy today. Image source: iphoneness.com Solar on the go: wearable electronics Numerous gadgets and electronic devices have become an integral part of the modern life. No one can deny the fact that they facilitate our everyday lives significantly. However, such a reliance on tech devices leads to increased power use worldwide. Fortunately, solar energy can greatly alleviate the pressure put on the environment’s finite resources. Nowadays, an increasing number of devices and gadgets are becoming solar-powered owing to innovative tech features. Solar-powered charges are easy to use, safe for the environment and versatile. Some charges can power various electronic devices, from smartphones and tablets to e-readers. Other devices are also becoming solar-powered, including smart watches, rechargeable flashlights, music speakers, etc. The warmth of the sun Owing to their eco-friendliness and profitability, solar water and space heaters are being increasingly implemented in modern homes. These solar-powered devices are generally affordable and definitely energy-saving. Solar space and water heaters harness natural light and use liquid or air to transfer it into thermal energy. Depending on whether they use natural circulation or pumps, there are passive and active solar heaters. Furthermore, a solar-based thermal energy can be used to heat up pools at a substantially lower price than regular heaters. This technology truly pays off in the long run by reducing a household’s energy use, bringing from five to ten percent return on investment. Image source: choice.com.au Solar on the roof Rooftop solar panels are still one of the most significant and effective upgrades when it comes to green technology. Energy generated by solar panels can be used to power an entire household, leaving homeowners with numerous benefits, including reduced energy use and decreased carbon footprint. In addition, innovative SMA inverters for solar panels have become an essential component, enabling homeowners to monitor and manage their systems and analyze data. Although the initial costs of installing solar panels may be a bit higher, this green upgrade is a long-term investment that can completely eliminate owners’ dependence on the grid. Solar lighting for a true shine As one of the most common uses of solar energy, solar lighting has become a standard in numerous homes. Both interior and exterior lighting can be solar-powered, with outdoor lights being extremely easy to use. Wireless exterior solar lights can be simply placed outdoors because they don’t require any installation. After harnessing sunlight throughout the days, exterior lights can shine through the night. When it comes to interior lighting, it can be connected to solar-powered systems and batteries that generate electricity during the night. Image source: elitesolarsystems.com Solar-based ventilation Ventilation systems and units are a major power consumer, both in residential and commercial buildings. They are used to maintain a pleasant temperature, reduce humidity and eliminate odours. Consequently, they require a substantial amount of energy, which affects both homeowners and the environment. Solar-powered fans, on the other hand, harness sunlight and are easy to install and maintain. Not only do they have a positive impact on the environment, but they are also a cost-effective alternative that can keep any home comfortable. Solar-powered transportation Considering the fact that transportation around the world leads to enormous greenhouse gas emissions, the use of solar energy can truly make a difference in this aspect. While the potential of this technology is still not completely utilised, it’s becoming more and more implemented around the world. Solar cars are one of the most common technologies, especially in Australia, while solar buses are working their magic in China. Recently, even a solar-powered aircraft, called Solar Impulse 2, traveled around the world and across the Pacific. It’s only a matter of time when solar-powered transportation will find a wider application on a global scale. Solar energy is a suitable and renewable source that offers numerous benefits for the modern society, its members, and the environment.
  10. Gardening Tips for Growing Vegetables

    Don't forget to an use organic fertilizer, you'll get healthy great looking plants that are safe to eat
  11. Ever since the Internet was commercialized back in 1990, organizations began to grow rapidly and they started to move their businesses online. However, the rise of technology has also brought enormous energy consumption and slowly but surely, large organizations started causing significant damage to the environment. Nowadays, both small and large organizations are getting more eco-friendly and are putting further effort into keeping the environment safe by utilizing green technology and green hosting solutions for their business operations. Here are a few benefits that eco-friendly hosting solutions can offer to your business. Benefits for your business Going green with technology can greatly benefit your business, regardless of whether you run a small or large business. Reduce energy costs – Green technology offers you the opportunity to reduce energy consumption and also reduce the costs on your energy bills. For instance, energy-efficient lighting such as CFLs and LEDs use 25-80% less energy than standard light bulbs and they can last 3-25 times longer. More customers – Today, consumers are more environmentally aware and they favor businesses that are green over those that aren't. In fact, businesses that utilize green technology will attract more customers. Socially responsible – Business that take care of the environment and are eco-friendly enjoy a good reputation. For example, millennials who are the largest group of consumers nowadays prefer to do business with eco-friendly brands. Green hosting benefits Green cloud services are concerned about the environment and they utilize energy-efficient methods and natural resources to maintain their servers. That's why large organizations such as Google, Microsoft and Apple are opting for green cloud computing and green hosting services. Even smaller business can switch to more green solutions such as cPanel hosting and benefit from eco-friendly cloud computing. Cloud services offer businesses a way of centralizing their servers, which eliminates the need for local data centers that consume a lot of energy. Moreover, cloud-based services offer a lot of benefits to businesses, the only difference is that green cloud computing is done in a more eco-friendly fashion. Benefits for the environment Eco-friendly hosting services not only benefit businesses, but the environment as well. By implementing the energy efficient methods for maintaining servers, green hosting solutions reduce the carbon footprint that companies leave behind and reduce both the energy and resources required to stay operational. Furthermore, green solutions also take care of proper disposal of electronic waste and proper recycling of electronics. Also, green hosting services implement renewable energy and natural resources such as solar power, wind and water to power the servers, which leads to significant decrease in carbon emissions. Eco-friendly hosting solutions enable businesses to operate at lower energy consumptions and reduce the amount of waste they leave behind. In addition, green solutions have a positive impact on businesses by improving their reputation and making them more socially responsible.
  12. In this day and age, the demand for nutritious, wholesome food has never been greater. Organic farms are sprouting across the globe, providing their families and communities with a constant supply of fresh produce. The export market potential is high as well, which means organic farmers have a chance to own a thriving business that transcends the borders of a local community. Starting and running an organic farm business is not a walk in the park, though: one has to grasp many factors such as a business plan, funding, machinery, soil, storage space, etc. This is to say that it is best to plan ahead, tread carefully, and go one step at a time. Identify your goals First off, you need to set emotions aside and get your priorities straight. Do you want to contribute to the environmental movement, launch a highly-profitable business, help the community, or just earn enough money to live on? Define organic farm goals and let them serve as your guiding light. Establish values you are going to uphold, as well as personal objectives. The next, more concrete step is assembling a business along with a first-year plan. These documents will steer your day-to-day hustle and long-term aspirations. Test the waters It all starts with the process of obtaining the land and getting to know it: how big and fertile is it? Bear in mind that in order to receive USDA organic certification, for instance, the land has to be free of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers for a period of three years. Factor in elements such as water availability and access because you need good drainage and good-quality water for irrigation. Make sure you can source the livestock and locate organic seeds and starts. The abundance of small game encourages farmers to raise free-range chicken, cattle, sheep, and pigs. Find your target market Do the market research and identify your target customers. People interested in organic products tend to be more educated, affluent, and environmentally conscious. That is why many organic farms gravitate towards areas around urban centers. In any regard, the proximity of buyers is of the utmost importance. Therefore, see if they are in your neighborhood or whether you would have to dispatch your products miles away? Whatever the answer is, you have to ensure that there is a real need for your products, and ideally, a limited competition. Build storage space Ample storage space plays a vital role as you have to preserve food until the moment it is sold. It also enables you to easily load, unload, and dispatch products. So, assess your storage needs, decide whether you want bulk or bag storage, and build a facility. Be clear on what the exposed peripheral structure area per unit is. Pick building materials carefully and see if you can integrate flexible and innovative solutions. For instance, structural steel dairy sheds are designed to ensure adequate ventilation, efficient management and maximised cow comfort for optimal milk yields. Settle financing To get operations off the ground, one has to address the financial side of things. The investment needed here is higher than with non-organic farms, but if you can help it, avoid borrowing money. In recent years, debt has laid waste to numerous organic farms. It is preferable to start small, but with your own savings piled up. Of course, the decision in this department ultimately depends on your ambitions and whether you aspire to run a family farm, a small-scale operation, or a huge farm that caters to national or international market. Choose your produce Last, but definitely not least, you must decide on what to grow. At this point, you have freedom, but only to an extent. Never lose sight of the feasibility of certain products that you evaluated in the market research stage. Also, remember that farming is hard work. What makes your life easier is growing what you like. Filled with passion, you can get through the toughest of days and overcome any challenges on the road to success. It pays off to invest in marketing your products as well, so don’t skimp on this activity once you set the wheels into motion. Sow the seeds of success Organic farming is a gratifying career choice that holds much promise in today’s market. At the same time, this endeavor is not something you can afford to take lightly. You need to plan for a successful business from the ground up. So, make certain it is realistic and viable, and not just something you dearly dream of. Set your financial house in order. Get the necessary licenses and permits. Design and build your compound. Come up with a continuous flow of goods in the market and reap your rewards.
  13. Our Mother Earth is not doing great lately, and it’s mostly our fault. People have been abusing resources, polluting the environment and giving nothing in return for centuries. Now is our last chance to forget about our old ways and become eco-friendly and sustainable. In order to do so, we don’t need to return to living in caves, but we only need to shift our construction methods to a more eco-friendly path. So, if you also want to help save the planet, here are some of the best ’green’ construction materials with an exciting future. Recycled steel Wooden beams are a thing of the past. Modern builders are rapidly switching to customized recycled steel beams and panels that are more durable (which is especially useful in areas prone to strong winds and earthquakes) and much more eco-friendly. It’s estimated that an average house requires between 40 and 50 trees to build, while a frame from recycled steel only requires a material amount that equals to about 6 scrapped cars. Natural insulation Insulation is also getting more natural. Green insulating foams made of bamboo, kelp, hemp and recycled PET are already used for different types of insulation. Some of these foams offer great moisture resistance, as well as great insulation and almost zero air pollution. Wood and plastic composites If you recycle plastic bags, one of them might end up as a part of your eco-friendly home. Wood and plastic composite lumber is a 50-50 combination of recycled plastic and wood fibers, and it’s a perfect material for deck building or outdoor playgrounds. This material is much more durable than wood alone, but also more rigid than pure plastic. It’s also much less toxic than plastic, and it helps clean out garbage dumps of millions of plastic bags. Rammed earth There’s nothing more Earth-friendly than the earth itself, so many builders are going back to old building techniques of ramming earth. Using this technique, walls can be created from nothing more than tightly tamped down dirt put in wooden forms. Even though this green method of building isn’t exactly an innovation, it certainly is coming back on the construction map. Most construction contractors in Australia are opting for precast rammed earth, handling it requires finding a company that offers crane hire in Sydney, but the final product is truly amazing. Bamboo Bamboo is another old building material that’s becoming more and more popular and for all the right reasons. Bamboo has many properties perfect for modern building, such as strength, light weight and renewability. This practical building material can completely replace heavy, imported materials and provide a good alternative to concrete constructions, especially in areas rich in locally-harvested bamboo. Mycelium Mycelium might sound like something straight out of a sci-fi movie, but actually, it’s nothing more than dry roots of fungi and mushrooms. It’s completely natural since most of the work is done by fungi themselves. Mycelium can grow around and in between other natural materials put in molds, and after the mold air-dries, we get lightweight, strong and natural bricks ready for building. Fire-resistant materials The demand for non-flammable building materials is rising, especially in areas prone to bushfires such as Australia. However, scientists have managed to create a natural fire-resistant insulating material made of fibres of the seagrass called Posidonia Oceanica (also known as Neptune Grass). This seagrass has a very low impact on the environment, is non-flammable, resistant to mold and suitable for both thermal and acoustic insulation. There are also fire-resistant options for building exteriors. Wall coverings made of cost-effective non-combustible cladding systems are lightweight, easy to install and come in a variety of colors. Ferrock This new material is made out of recycled steel dust leftover from the steel industry. It is used to create a building material similar to concrete, but stronger and more eco-friendly. The highlight of this material is its ability to absorb and trap CO2 during the drying process, which makes it not only CO2-efficient but actually CO2-neutral. Low-E windows Low-E windows (the E stands for emissivity) are windows made with a clear coating of metallic oxide which stops the heat from escaping the building in the winter and entering in the summer. The reason this material isn’t used more often is its price. These windows cost 10 to 15% more than regular ones, which pushes away many buyers. However, low-E windows can reduce your heating costs up to 20%, which means they can actually save money. If both construction industry and buyers make a shift towards eco-friendly building materials, we will all have a much brighter and greener future.
  14. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an average American spends almost 90 percent of their life indoors, and most of that time is spent in the living room. People don’t often perceive this as a problem, since they consider their homes to be safe and healthy. The truth is that indoor pollutants are just as dangerous as the outdoor ones (if not more). Luckily, there are ways to make the spaces we live in healthier. Here are some things you can change in your living room that will drastically improve its influence on your health. Check your paint Did you know that the paint on your walls can emit harmful gasses that can find a way into your lungs and eventually harm your health? Before painting your home, you should check whether the paint you want to use contains VOCs (volatile organic compounds). There are some paint colors that have low levels of VOCs, but it is always better to go with the ones that are completely free of these toxins. Clean house equals healthy house Dust on the bookshelves surely looks bad, but there is much more to it. Dust mites are one of the most frequent indoor air-pollutants, and they can trigger allergic reactions or cause even more harm. Regular dusting will keep you and your family safe. Vacuuming (twice a week) is also an important part of the cleaning process, and to avoid just spreading the dust around, it is best to use a steam-based vacuum cleaner. Choose cleaning products carefully Cleaning is important, but if it is done with products that contain chemicals and toxins that can harm you, you are not really doing yourself a favor by using them. With that in mind, you should turn to organic cleaning products or make your own cleaning mixtures by using simple ingredients like vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda. Clear the air Most indoor pollutants settle in the air. Besides addressing the problem at its roots, you should also try to purify the air inside your house. This can be done by introducing houseplants ‒ which are natural air purifiers ‒ and using air-purifying machines with HEPA filters capable of minimizing the harmful particles in the air. Change the lighting Do you feel unhappy and fatigued when spending a lot of time in your living room? Poor lighting might be the reason. Lighting can not only affect your mood but also cause headaches, eyestrain, emotional stress and sometimes even physical illness. If you notice that lighting in your living room is too bright, too low, or too cool, any reliable Sydney electrician can change it completely and adapt it to your space and needs. “Lower” your rugs High pile rugs can do wonders for the décor and introduce a warm texture. However, they are also a perfect habitat for allergens and dust. This issue can’t be resolved even with regular vacuuming. That’s why it is better to compromise and opt for low pile rugs, such as flatweave, which will make it difficult for tiny particles to settle and are also easier to clean. No shoes inside, please The bottom of your outdoor shoes might be the dirtiest and the most germ-affected spot in your home. It is never a good idea to leave them on when entering your living room, unless you want to take all the germs with you. Instead, get a pair of indoor slippers and make a switch between the two at the entryway. By following these tips, you can make your living room much healthier for you and your household members and finally turn it into the safe haven it should be.
  15. No matter what kind of factory you own, dealing with wastewater is of huge importance both for the health of your employees and the environment. Not only this, but any faulty actions regarding your wastewater can earn you different fines and lawsuits, which is definitely something you’d want to avoid. Therefore, this article will tell you more about the importance of wastewater management and possible outcomes if you leave your wastewater untreated. Most common pollutants Your wastewater is a byproduct of your factory's uses and processes, and the pollutants in it tend to vary depending on what the water was exposed to. However, there are certain contaminants that can be found quite often in wastewaters factories have to deal with. Metals are one of the most common pollutants that can be found in them. They are usually present in wastewaters of factories that deal with household piping and manufacturing processes. Other dangerous pollutants are pathogens, which are similar to fungi and lead to various health issues, some of which can even result in death. Other common pollutants include synthetic chemicals, total suspended solids, total dissolved solids, nitrates, and phosphates. No matter which of these pollutants there are in your factory's wastewater, it's very important that you deal with them correctly. Of course, the pollutants in your wastewater have to be identified, and certain measures have to be applied accordingly. Common wastewater treatment options There are numerous ways factories deal with their wastewater. However, your options for dealing with it depend heavily on what your factory is doing. One of the options many factories go for is discharging wastewater into the local municipality. Of course, if you want to do this, you’ll first have to check with your local municipality what kind of regulations regarding wastewater there are in your area. Most municipalities will demand that you clean your wastewater before you discharge it. Another common way of dealing with it is recycling. This means you can actually reuse your wastewater and thus avoid discharging it. Of course, recycling means you'll need special equipment that's going to make it usable again. We are talking about machines such as heat exchangers which enable heat transfer from wastewater to process water you’re going to use. Reasons for treating wastewater With so many pollutants that can be found in wastewater, investing in wastewater management is of great importance. These pollutants can seriously harm people and nature around your factory and that's why wastewater has to be dealt with correctly. Moreover, if wastewater isn't managed properly, it can also affect your process and hurt your products. However, there are wastewater management regulations that have to be met. If you fail to do so, you might be looking at huge fines which are always going to hurt your work. As mentioned above, recycling is one of the most common ways factories deal with their wastewater and there are several reasons why you should consider it. First of all, it’s important to say that even though the earth is 70% water, water isn't an infinite resource as many people believe. Due to the fact that there are so many water-stressed countries around the world, recycling wastewater is a great idea. Also, this means you won't have to finance transportation of your wastewater and you'll lower pollution risks. The bottom line Due to the fact that pollutants which can be found in wastewater can seriously hurt both people and environment, it's absolutely necessary that you invest in your wastewater treatment. Buying wastewater management equipment is a much better option than having to pay huge fines or cause someone serious health issues. In the future, we can only expect to see more technologies designed especially to help factories improve their wastewater management, which means you should keep an eye on new machines you can get for your factory.