LizzieWeakley

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  1. Solar energy solutions aren’t a brand-new technology, but they have become much more refined, versatile and accessible in recent years. As homes and businesses around the world start incorporating these systems more frequently, many people outside of the industry struggle to separate fact from fiction. Solar power isn’t a perfect solution, but many of reasons that stop people from exploring the technology are little more than myths. The Costs are Too High Minimizing environmental impact is an important factor for many people, but homeowners often have to prioritize the financial impact when making a decision. Unfortunately, there are still many people who believe that any kind of solar solution is going to be too expensive or won’t yield a return on investment quick enough. While every situation and home has different factors that influence overall affordability, solar technology can help homeowners start cutting monthly costs almost immediately. Unreliable Performance Based Weather Another common myth about this technology is that it only works in warm climates or areas with clear skies. Weather patterns can influence the efficiency of solar panels, but you can leverage the technology even in areas prone to cold temperatures and overcast skies. Panels are often a much more reliable power source than modern myth suggests. Panels Reduce Home Value Worrying about the impact of panels on your home’s aesthetic or resale value is a reasonable concern, but it’s ultimately an unfounded one. Modern panels and related technology are a lot more flexible and minimal than older equipment, which gives homeowners more options when it comes to location and presentation. Installed panels can make a home more attractive to buyers and are generally easy to remove if the new owners don’t want them. Installation is Disruptive There’s nothing wrong with embracing a “do it yourself” attitude towards your home’s energy supply system, but there are also plenty of specialized professionals who provide complete installation services. Planning and preparing a home for panels can take some time, but there’s little risk that the actual installation and initialization will be a serious inconvenience for residents. Despite the many myths surrounding domestic solar energy systems, they are becoming a common sight across the United States. Even a minimal system that only provides partial power to the home can yield significant savings in the years ahead. Anyone who takes the time to consult with experts and research their options can find plenty of compelling reasons to incorporate this technology into their home or business.
  2. Since World War II ended, agriculture has dramatically changed. New technologies have caused food productivity to soar. Mechanization, specialization, and increased chemical use hinder farmers from producing lower-priced foods and fiber. Government policies that favor maximized production is a key factor. These developments have many positive effects and reduce the risks associated with farming. But they also have significant costs. Topsoil depletion, air pollution, groundwater contamination, and greenhouse gas emissions only scratch the surface. Also, there is the decline of family farms, neglect of farm laborers' living conditions, and human health threats due to new pathogens. As well, rural communities are being disintegrated due to the concentration of economics in the agricultural and food industries. Over the last four decades, a growing movement has come forth that questions the need for high costs. This movement offers more innovative and reasonable alternatives. This movement is toward sustainable agriculture. It continues to garner increasing acceptance and support in the food production sector. The three main goals of sustainable agriculture are social equity, environmental health, and economic profitability. Although the concept is made up of a wide range of practices, policies, and philosophies, there are a few common principles that define sustainable agriculture. Throughout this movement, practice and science have led to many key farming techniques aimed at sustainability. Crop Rotation and Diversity Maintaining plant variety can be very beneficial. It results in improved pest control and healthier soil. Incorporating intercropping and complex crop rotations are ways of implementing crop diversity. Irrigation Rainwater can be collected or harvested with the use of gravity feed water tanks. Harvesting rainwater helps the environment and saves money. Water from wells, lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, and other sources can also be stored. Cover Crops Clover and hairy vetch are two types of cover crops. Cover crops are planted off-season when an area would be left bare. Planting cover crops allows the soil to be protected and builds soil health by replenishing nutrients, lowering the need to use herbicides, preventing erosion, and keeping weeds at bay. Reduced or No-Till Methods To prevent weed problems and to prepare fields for planting, traditional plowing known as tillage has been used. However, this generally causes massive soil loss. Reduced or no-till methods allow seeds to be directly inserted into undisturbed soil. This reduces erosion and improves soil health. Overall, more diverse and complex agricultural practices have proven to be the most productive and sustainable.
  3. After living in your house for some time, you may realize it looks old and tired. Ideally, this does not mean you move into another new home if you can't. Thus, it needs some little refreshing to look more updated. So, if you have opted to renovate the room, don't perk it up only with modern lifestyle and expensive facilities but eco-friendly ones. Make sure the materials have a unique style but harmless to the environment. Recently thousands of homeowners are going with homes that are not only aesthetically pleasing but with low environmental impact. How do you renovate your house in a stylish and environmentally friendly way? Use bamboo floors You might be wondering what makes bamboo distinguishable from other wood. Well, bamboo is a unique wood on itself that grows faster than other woods, durable and moisture resistant. The percentage of the bamboo population is higher compared to other wood that takes time to grow. To have a bamboo floor, you only need to hire someone with high expertise on how to install it. Use of discarded metal or reclaimed woods Copper recycling and use of salvaged wood for house renovation is one of the most prevalent techniques used by homeowners today. They have been giving homes stylish and contemporary looking. You don't have to worry about durability. Rarely do they rust to hold house beauty for a long time. Recycled woods are becoming popular in home renovations as they are sublimely handsome and environmental sound. Go for solar energy Nowadays, use of the sun has become predominant in most households. This is one of the most potent and renewable sources of energy. Use of the sun as energy will satisfy your heart with guilt-free contentment as collecting power through solar powers is environmentally friendly. So, as little as less than 250$, you can build your home solar power system, which is less expensive compared to electricity bills. Recycled glass Today there is new cell bio glass that looks new, but they are eco friendly. If you want your house to have a new look you can add the recycled glasses in the kitchen and bedroom. They will enhance lighting and vibrant brightness under morning sunshine. Having a green home is one of the most lucrative things to owe in this era. To renovate your house with environmentally friendly materials isn't as difficult as you may think. Try these ideas while renovating your home to have a comfortable life!
  4. Owning a piece of history in the form of a 19th-century home is an incredible way to make history come alive every day. Though the beauty of the architecture of these classic homes can't be matched, that beauty often comes at the price of high utility bills. Though these homes were efficient in their time, the effects of aging have rendered them fairly energy-inefficient. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve the energy-efficiency of your 19th-century home, thus lowering your energy costs. Seal the Gaps One of the biggest areas of energy loss from older homes occurs through the cracks and gaps that form in the home as it settles over the decades. Though this is something you have to deal with in a home of any age, it's especially pronounced in historic homes. It's a good idea to conduct an energy audit of your home to find specific areas where the air inside your home is leaking outside and the air outside your home is leaking in. Filling these gaps and cracks with appropriate materials will greatly increase your home's energy-efficiency. Replace the Windows Though older homes were built with many energy-efficient features that were often better-planned than today's homes, one feature that has vastly improved on today's homes is the windows. Many older homes have single-glazed windows, meaning just one pane of glass stands between the interior of your home and the unconditioned air outside. By replacing your windows with new energy-efficient windows, therefore, you're likely to see a big drop in energy consumption. Plus, many new windows come with UV protection built-in, which can protect the historic furniture and finishes in your home. Replace the Doors Though there's nothing quite like the beauty of an antique door, that doesn't mean it's the best option to keep your energy costs under control. Especially if one or more doors in your home are suffering from rot or some type of termite damage, replacing your doors with new Andersen doors is a great way to save some cash. In addition to being more energy-efficient, new doors tend to be more secure, as their frames are better-reinforced and their construction more focused on potential points of entry. Wrap the Pipes If you've ever been into the basement of your 19th-century home only to be amazed at the network of pipes carrying water throughout your home, it's important to know that these exposed pipes are costing you money. Exposed pipes sitting in uninsulated spaces, especially those carrying hot water, are quick to lose their temperature as they travel through a cold basement. On the other hand, cold water pipes are at risk of freezing if you don't have some form of heat in your basement. Do yourself a favor, then, and wrap all your pipes. This will lessen the work your water heater has to do and prevent any messy burst pipes in your basement. Whether you've lived in your 19th-century home for some time or if you're new to historic-home living, it can seem as though your to-do list is never-ending as you seek to make improvements to your home. By understanding which changes will have the biggest return on investment, though, you can begin to do the work that will transform your home into what you always envisioned. Then, though it may still be far off, the finish line will draw that much closer.
  5. We all come across objects that we have saved, many for years, that we just haven't wanted to throw away. But sometimes the day comes when we look at those things and say to ourselves, “These just have to go. I will never use them again, and I should not hold on to them just because they have fond memories.” If you have to move, that is an optimum time to face this fact as you are trying to downsize what you have to cart to a new location. Why not line your pockets with some unexpected dollars by recycling and letting someone else have the use of those things that are still useable and sought after? Those people searching for such items have some creative ideas for them or have a collection that will be enhanced by the addition of what you have to offer. Some of the categories of possible recycled “clutter” are the following. Electronics Recycling There are R2-certified electronics recycling services who use state-of-the-art equipment to take the proper care of the recycling in an environmentally friendly and secure way while making sure that your data on any electronics is destroyed. That assures you that when you bring old electronics in for recycling, you don't have to worry about your sensitive information getting into the wrong hands. Some of the electronics included are cell phones, computers, tablets, complete laptops, circuit boards, motherboards, TV and monitor boards, CD and DVD and VCR boards, hard drives, processors, CD and floppy drives, CPUs, power supply units, CRT and LCD televisions, CRT and LCD monitors, whole PC towers, copiers, printers, fax machines, and more. Toys We keep seeing articles that ask if we have retained certain toys from our childhoods and, if so, many of them are worth a lot of money. So dig through those old stored boxes of “memories.” Collectors are anxious to find additions to the many different and unusual toys that have come out over the years, and there is an endless search for many of them. Clothing Vintage clothing and items from decades past are all the rage, and many have come back in style. Consignment shops are always on the lookout for clothing in good condition, and you can make yourself some extra dollars by either selling to them outright or putting the items on consignment to reap a portion of the sale prices. Collectibles Multiple items, some unique, are always being sought by collectors, and they will pay a “pretty penny” when they find something to add to their “stash.” Research online for particular objects and see if you want to try to sell your “discoveries” directly to the consumer or go through a middle man who will do the set-up, advertising, and shipping for their part of the purchase price. There are endless possibilities of what is being collected, so if anything is in good condition, it will probably find a new home whether it is jewelry, old records that are now called “vinyls” and are highly searched for and collected, handcrafts, quilts, paintings, beautiful pens, stuffed animals, wooden and metal toys, old dishes and platters, cookie jars, ceramic pieces, figurines and other knickknacks, watches, antique postcards and greeting cards – and the list goes on and on.
  6. With the cost of power continuing to climb, it’s important to find ways to reduce your home’s energy consumption. You should also consider the impact on the environment. Here are four proven ways to save energy and reduce your carbon footprint. Make Use of Your Ceiling Fans Many people use ceiling fans to enhance the appearance of their home’s interior. However, ceiling fans are more than just decorative pieces. They can also reduce energy costs. During the winter, be sure to run your ceilings fans in a clockwise direction. This will help circulate warm air, thus allowing your heating system to operate more efficiently. Meanwhile, reversing the direction of your fans will help blow down cool air in the summer. Install Energy-Efficient Windows Your old windows could be quietly draining your bank account. If you want to save more money in the long run, consider upgrading to energy-efficient windows. This among the best home improvements you can make. These windows are designed with low-E glass, which actually helps reduce frost build up on the outside. Because your rooms will feel much warmer during the winter, you won’t need to dial up the thermostat. Consult with professionals who do Cincinnati window installations or perform similar services in your area. Smart Lighting System Leaving the lights on can definitely lead to a sky-high electrical bill. If you want to curb your energy consumption, upgrade to a smart light switch. This innovative feature links to your smartphone via an app. Whether you’re in your bedroom watching television or out of town for the weekend, you turn the lights on and off with a simple swipe. A smart lighting system is especially ideal for parents who have forgetful kids. Eco-Friendly Showering Long, hot showers can waste a lot of energy. You can save a boatload of cash by simply reducing your shower time to five minutes. It’s also a good idea to get low-flow showerheads, which are affordable and easy to install. Furthermore, be sure to check your hot water heater’s thermostat. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, it should be set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the optimum temperature for energy savings. As you can see, creating a more energy-efficient household doesn’t take a lot of effort. Just a few changes can make a world of difference. Not only can you look forward to a lower monthly energy bill, but you’ll also be doing the planet a big favor.
  7. The costs related to running and maintaining an industrial plant tend to rise every year and even sometimes every quarter. Energy costs are one of the top areas to see the most increases. Simple inflation and business growth are factors. Of course, regulatory and other changes in industrial practices and changes in energy creation can skyrocket energy costs as well. Follow these tips for lowering your industrial plant's energy consumption this year: Improve the Lighting It's time to rethink how light is distributed and handled in the plant. Employees often leave lights on in unused areas. Some plants have older lighting systems that waste power. Wherever possible, bring in natural light, such as via indirect light window shades and overhead skylights. Inspect the lighting systems and replace outdated, low-efficiency parts. For example, install natural light LED bulbs. Also, invest in motion-detection systems that automatically turn off indoor and outdoor lights in empty areas and after hours. Inspect Systems Regularly Since unclean, old and broken systems run inefficiently, it's important to maintain them regularly. Motors and fans in some systems, such as HVAC systems, usually work harder because of overheating caused by debris buildup on parts and air flow issues. Some equipment, such as air compressors and pressure washers, are normal energy wasters and then cause a higher amount of energy loss when malfunctioning. For example, your employees waste energy if they have to work longer with these systems because air or water leaks destabilize needed pressure. Use Energy-Efficient Devices It might seem obvious that energy-efficient devices can help, but many plant administrators forget about or fail to see the long-term benefits of using these cost-saving options. For example, SCRs for water tube boilers not only reduce environmentally harmful NOx emissions, but also operate better and provide greater energy efficiency. Automated outlet devices and whole-system panels can turn off outlets and power to equipment that normally causes an energy drain in idling or standby mode. A programmable thermostat can detect via attached sensors changes in outdoor and indoor temperatures and adjust settings per your specifications. Establish Direct Oversight Continuous energy management is critical to maintaining control over energy usage. Review your current workforce or bring in outside help to administer an energy-efficiency program. Make certain that this program has more than one person working on it so that you have people with different viewpoints assessing the plant and researching and offering ideas. The team should also regularly provide cost-comparison reports that help you to understand short-term, upfront and long-term costs versus overall savings. It's not difficult to use less energy at your industrial plant. The process merely requires creativity, time and patience. It's also important to motivate employees by showing them that energy-efficiency changes are beneficial to everyone. When plant workers are invested in energy loss reduction, these types of changes occur more smoothly. Additionally, invested employees typically offer ideas of their own without prompting through company-wide employee feedback tools.
  8. All your household waste doesn’t have to end up in a landfill. There are many means of managing household waste that are better for the environment and can also be good for your home’s functioning. Here are a few smart eco-friendly options for your household waste. Make Money from Unwanted Items and Materials It’s true that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and you may find people who are interested in buying some of your household waste for recycling purposes. Aluminum and other forms of scrap metal along with paper and plastic can earn you money if they’re recycled. You can also try selling old furniture and electronics that you wish to get rid of instead of disposing them in the trash. Use Waste Items for Arts and Crafts Projects If you have a knack for creating arts and crafts or have kids who need supplies for school projects, utilizing certain items from your household waste can be a smart decision. Empty soda cans and water bottles can be turned into creative planters that act as pots for growing flowers and other household plants. Plastic bottlecaps often work well as additions for handmade beaded curtains. Old newspaper and other wastepaper can also be used for a variety of projects. Find Ways to Reuse Wastewater You may be surprised when you realize exactly how much water for your home goes to waste that could have still gone to good use. A reliable wastewater treatment system can work well for reusing water for purposes of watering your lawn and plants. If you’re looking for ways to reduce the amount of wastewater that you generate, try taking shorter showers and installing water-efficient faucets, toilets and washers. Turn Waste into Compost Food scraps, coffee grounds and nutshells can all be used to make compost to fertilize your soil. You can purchase a composter and put your waste in it so that it can be turned into suitable compost material. Even shredded newspaper, tissues and lint that comes from all-natural material (such as cotton) can make great compost. It’s also possible to formulate compost out of dead leaves and other debris in your yard. Finding ways to manage your household waste in a more environmentally responsible manner can pay dividends when it comes to helping the planet. These clever and simple methods for managing your household waste can also add more convenience to your life
  9. When choosing how to adorn the windows in your home, you may think the only differences between the various options are aesthetic differences. However, different window coverings make a big difference in your home's energy efficiency, as well. Since it's good to save energy however you can, both to save money and help protect the environment, careful consideration should be given to the energy-efficiency of the window coverings you choose. To help you decide, here are a few ways that the choice of window decor affects your home energy use. Curtains There are a wide variety of curtains available, some of which do very little to affect your home's energy use one way or the other. However, certain types of curtains are specifically made to help make your home more energy-efficient. These are sometimes called "thermal curtains" or "black-out curtains." Essentially, these curtains are made from heavier material that makes them nearly impervious to light. Between their light-blocking capabilities that help control sunlight and their heavier fabric that helps keep hot and cold air by the window instead of releasing it into the room, these types of curtains are quite effective at helping you use less energy in your home. Roller Shutters Unlike most types of window coverings, roller shutters are mounted on the exterior of your windows instead of the interior. As such, roller shutters provide an especially effective method of preventing outside air from entering your home. By creating a seal around the window opening, roller shutters essentially act as a third layer of glass, keeping your home nice and comfortable. An added bonus is that roller shutters provide a solid barrier against potential intruders, thus protecting your home from crime in addition to protecting you from discomfort. Blinds Though the nature of blinds, with their multiple slats, means that blinds aren't as effective at temperature control as other window coverings, they can still create a meaningful thermal barrier that helps to maintain the temperature in your home when they are closed. For maximum effectiveness, of course, it's important to shut the slats tightly to minimize the gaps between the slats and help trap the conditioned air inside your home. Window Tinting Window tinting is an especially intriguing window treatment option, as you can still add other layers of window decor on top of this option to create an especially efficient window. The main advantage of window tinting is that it cuts down on the amount of sunlight that can enter a specific room, meaning the sun's rays can't heat up the interior surfaces as quickly, thus keeping the room cooler. If you have windows that get direct sun at any point throughout the day, this can result in significant energy savings over the course of a summer. Though various types of window coverings can help lower your home's energy use, there's no substitute for new windows when it comes to keeping your home comfortable. Therefore, if you can combine new windows with one or more of these other solutions, you'll end up with an especially efficient system that will make a noticeable difference in your energy bills.
  10. Setting up solar panels can often be a complicated process especially if you aren’t sure where to begin. However, with enough research and the right resources, you can make the process much simpler. Some things you will need include adequate sun exposure, a credible installer, a cost-benefit analysis, and knowledge about potential issues. Sun Exposure Sun exposure is incredibly important when it comes to solar panels. Essentially, the more sun exposure your panels receive, the more the batteries will charge. Therefore, you will need to take several factors into consideration. For example, is there a lot of shade in your yard from trees? If so, your solar panels may not perform well. Additionally, you will need to consider your environment. Snow cover and clouds can impact the panels because you will need to frequently remove snow from the panels in order for them to function, and clouds can reduce the amount of sun that reaches the panels. Credible Installer Since installing solar panels can often be a complicated process, an electrical installation company can make the process significantly easier for you. Look for a group that specializes in solar panel installation. Consult with them about your home’s unique qualities and challenges. They will be sure to help you utilize your home to save money and time in the future. Cost-Benefit Analysis It is important to do a cost-benefit analysis when considering solar panels. Installing the panels will require an initial investment, which can sometimes be expensive. However, it will save you money in the long run because you won’t have to pay an electricity bill each month. Additionally, you should carefully consider whether you will rent or purchase a solar panel system. When leasing, you may only be able to keep the system for a certain amount of time. Whereas, if you purchase the system outright, it could potentially last for many years to come if you properly maintenance it. Potential Issues It is important to be aware of various issues that could potentially impact your solar panels. For example, excessive heat can negatively impact solar panel performance. Additionally, excessive wind and rain can degrade the panels over time, and tree branches and leaves can sometimes scratch the surface of the panels, which can lower performance. Solar panel systems typically come with warranties; however, it is important to be mindful of these issues so you can get the most out of your system. Overall, there are many things you will need to research before deciding to purchase solar panels. Typically, this is a great investment because solar panels generate renewable energy that doesn’t damage the environment like other power sources. If you are concerned about your carbon footprint and are able to conduct the proper research, you should be able to make a positive investment for your future and the future of the environment.
  11. Many people don’t realize that homes are becoming more efficient every year, and eco-friendly technology is now being adopted by countless architects, design teams, and contractors. That type of technology is the perfect option for anyone who wants to reduce their carbon footprint while keeping their energy bills as low as possible. Tankless Water Heaters Traditional water heaters are incredibly inefficient because they must constantly keep a large volume of water at a very high temperature. It also takes quite a bit of time to heat up more water once you run out, and that can be problematic for larger families. With a tankless water heater, the water will only be brought up to temperature as it is being used, and that means you will never run out of hot water or waste excess energy. Smart Home Tech Smart home technology has exploded in popularity in recent years, and those gadgets can be used to control almost every facet of a house. Even if you don’t plan on adding smart devices all over your home, you should still consider installing a smart thermostat. That type of device will learn your family’s habits and preferences, and it is going to turn the system off or adjust the settings when no one is home or everyone is sleeping. Solar Panels If you really want to improve the efficiency of your home, then solar panels are going to be a great investment. Putting a solar panel array on your home’s roof could reduce your electrical bills by a significant amount or even allow you to sell some of that energy back to the city. Solar panels can often be installed within a matter of days, and that technology could potentially pay for itself within a few years. High-Efficiency Appliances While your HVAC system is probably responsible for most of your energy consumption, your other appliances are going to use up quite a bit of electricity as well. Household appliances have gotten incredibly efficient within the last decade, and most manufacturers are now designing them to be as eco-friendly as possible. Those who haven’t replaced their appliances in quite some time should at least consider upgrading their washers, dryers, and dishwashers. Many of the construction materials that are used to build homes are changing as well, and some of those materials are extremely good at insulating and have a very small impact on the environment. That includes materials such as recycled steel, bamboo, cork, precast concrete, and plant-based polyurethane.
  12. A house is not just a building - it's a system with inputs and outputs. Maintaining a home takes work, and can generate significant environmental pollution. Environmentally conscious homeowners also face a mismatch between the technology available at the time of their house's construction and what's available now. Fortunately there are many home upgrades that can reduce your house's environmental impact. Water Pollution Water is one of your home's most important inputs and outputs. Whether your water comes from a well or a municipal water supply, you may be concerned with biological hazards, toxins, and excessive hardness in your water. Plus, there's a risk of these pollutants flowing through and affecting not just you but also your downstream environment. In both cases, installing home water treatment systems is a home upgrade that can protect your health, extend the life of your water-using appliances, and reduce the burden on septic systems or municipal water treatment systems. Another benefit is improved taste - staying hydrated with your own tasty tap water is more environmentally friendly than drinking bottled water. If your toilet, washing machine, or dishwasher is nearing the end of its life, choose a more water-efficient replacement. Consider installing low-flow nozzles on sinks and showers. Air Pollution Home heating and indoor air quality are issues whose importance to homeowners has risen in tandem with fuel prices and worries about climate change. There are two major home upgrades that can reduce your home's contribution to air pollution: first, insulating the walls, attic, and foundation of your house, and second, upgrading your heating appliance. Replacing combustion appliances (furnaces, boilers, wood stoves, kerosene heaters, etc.) with electrical heating appliances is ideal; replacing them with more efficient combustion appliances is a close second. But if you pursue these upgrades without first ensuring that your house is properly insulated and air-sealed, you may be throwing your money away. Ground Pollution If you have a yard or a community garden plot, you can use that land as part of your home's waste disposal systems. Upgrade your home by starting a compost pile - diverting your food waste will reduce the strain on our landfills, and by keeping grass clippings and other yard waste out of storm drains, you will also help protect groundwater quality. There are many options for homeowners looking to reduce their environmental impact. To find more information, consult home improvement professionals, national standards organizations, and government resources.
  13. When you are trying to embrace a waste-free lifestyle, you can get overwhelmed by all the information and choices. Luckily, there are some simple tools that can make the transition easier. Reusable Dishes If you are like most people, you probably go through quite a few disposable containers, utensils, and even straws. Avoid that by finding a functional set of reusable plates and utensils that you can carry with you. Look for dishes that are made from sustainably sourced materials like bamboo. Don't stop at your plates, either. Start packing glass containers to bring leftovers home when you eat out. A Composter A large part of what is thrown out can actually be composted safely at home if you know how to get started. Pick a composting system that fits your lifestyle, taking care to find out if there are any restrictions on outdoor compost bins or piles where you live. You can build a nice sized kitchen composter that can even accommodate bones and dairy from a simple plastic bucket and spigot. It will work to start decomposition while giving you copious amounts of free compost tea. Just find a plastic bucket supplier and you are in business. Dish Towels Start paying attention to how many paper towels you toss every day and you will quickly see why reusable dish towels can help decrease your household's trash. There are several ways to go, depending on your personal preferences. Crochet or knitted dishcloths are attractive and durable. They are great for scrubbing dishes, but, if you are going to be cleaning up wet spills or cleaning windows, you'll probably want terry or flannel dishcloths instead. Bulk Soaps This may seem like a silly thing, but just take a moment to think about how much waste is in every single bottle of body wash or cleanser that you use, and you'll see why it is actually important. You can find unwrapped bars of soap at many health and natural food stores and farmer's markets. If you are feeling crafty, try your hand at a DIY soap recipe. There are plenty of choices to meet the condition of your skin and hair, and most use commonly available ingredients you might already have on hand. Maximize Your Impact When shopping for any products, look for durable items that will last in minimal packaging to really cut back on what is tossed out. Also, look to repurpose older items before you throw them away.
  14. The new year is finally here, making it the perfect time for a new resolution. For small business owners, a great resolution is to reduce unnecessary waste. Not only is eliminating excess waste beneficial for cutting costs, it also minimizes the impact on the environment. Since the average person creates four pounds of trash daily, imagine the amount of trash that accumulates from an entire staff? Practicing sustainability helps the environment and saves businesses money. Double-Sided Printing Believe it or not, there are businesses that still use printed sheets. Between constantly paying for paper and replacing ink cartridges, making copies can become extremely expensive. By printing on both sides, there are fewer sheets and materials that need to be purchased and recycled. Donate Excess Goods After realizing there are excess items that can be considered waste, it’s better to donate them rather than throw them away. For instance, if new inventory comes in or a product is discontinued, finding someone who can use those materials is a better way to repurpose them and cut garbage costs. Frequently Train Employees Understanding sustainability is only half the battle. It is important to inform employees of any changes that can make eliminating waste easier. It is important to inform employees on both how and why these precautions are being taken. For instance, if there is a new recycling policy, inform them on why it is beneficial for the business. It is also necessary to have regular meetings to share the triumphs and failures so the team can exchange feedback on how to improve on setbacks. Everyone staying on the same page is a key component of success. Digital Tags For retail businesses, paper tags can become expensive. Instead, using a digital price tag can save money on both paper tags and employees having to tag the items. Research shows that the initial investment in these digital tag machines pay themselves off within two and a half years, which eventually allows for the profits to be spent elsewhere. Digital price tag machines also can be instantly updated with a click of a button, which can display the original and sale price simultaneously. The new year creates new opportunities for small businesses to make a profit. The best way to do so is recycling old products, communicating sustainability tips to employees, and cutting labor costs by using digital tags.
  15. Recycling is more than just a way to help the environment - it's also a fantastic business tool. If you own a business, you might want to look at recycling as a way to thrive in an increasing competitive market. Below are just four methods you can use to help your business through recycling and recycled materials. Sell Scrap and Old Equipment for Recycling If you're looking for a good way to turn your extra materials and old equipment into cash, you'll definitely want to take a look at recycling. While many businesses think that recycling is limited to some extra copper wiring or maybe even some old boxes, the truth is that there are buyers for virtually everything you use. If you want to sell electrical equipment that you no longer need, for example, you'll almost certainly be able to find a buyer who can meet your price. Buy Discount Recycled Materials Recycled materials are often a great alternative to buying new. Not only is doing so is a good way to reduce waste and to help out the environment, but recycled materials also tend to cost a great deal less. If you buy recycled, you'll get all the benefits that you would typically get from buying top-shelf materials without having to deal with the significantly higher price tag. Buying recycled is simply a smart move for any budget-conscious business. Make a Great Public Impression If you look at many of the major corporations around the world, you'll notice that they have very conspicuous green initiatives. While many might do this because they truly care about the planet, the truth is that doing so is just as much a public relations ploy as anything else. If you choose to use recycled materials, do so conspicuously. It will help to get an increasingly environmentally conscious public on your side. Show Investors Resourcefulness Finally, remember that all of these actions tend to look good to investors. Investors who know that you're dedicated to making a good public impression, cutting costs, and creating new revenue streams are also investors who are eager to buy into your business. If you're looking for new ways to bring in partners or to increase the size of your operation, using recycling as a point of pride can be a great choice. Don't be afraid of recycled products or materials. They can save or make you money, but they can also become a cornerstone of your business' reputation. When you're ready to grow, start looking to recycled materials.