LizzieWeakley

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  1. Carbon emissions are a significant threat because they contribute to climate change. Climate change causes rising sea levels, extreme weather, and other problems that are currently facing our society. Many governments recognize this impact and are combating carbon emissions as a result. Here are just a few ways that world governments are taking a stand to reduce global emissions. The Paris Agreement This landmark decision was organized by the United Nations. It came into effect in December 2015. Simply put, this was a decision to hold governments responsible for reducing climate change. The goal is to keep the global temperature from rising to 2 degrees Celsius (35 degrees Farenheit) during this century. Ideally, it would even be below 1.5 Celsius (34 degrees Farenheit). This would be achieved through pooling together resources and improving technology to reduce industrial emissions. The Agreement will be revisited and updated every 5 years. While the United States has since pulled out of the agreement, other countries continue to stay in and work hard to lower their emissions for the safety of the planet. Carbon Taxes A carbon tax brings climate change responsibility closer to home. Carbon tax benefits include involving ordinary citizens in the effort against global warming. Each citizen (and, on a broader scale, industry) would be taxed according to the amount of carbon they produce on a regular basis. New York City is getting in on the game by imposing a "congestion pricing" plan. Taxi rates would go up the longer they sit in traffic. The money would then be returned equally among citizens through dividends, meaning that those who produced the least amount of carbon emissions would profit the greatest in the end. While there are concerns on how this would affect lower-income demographics, those working on the plan continue to change their approach to better suit the needs of modern citizens. Rewards for Clean Energy Efforts This financial benefit goes hand-in-hand with carbon taxes. In the United States, as well as other westernized countries, businesses can offset their carbon emissions by purchasing clean energy credits. Incentives include greater reliance on solar energy or wind power. Many rewards can come down on the local level as well. Some states provide tax reductions for installing solar panels. People who use solar panels can "sell" the electricity they generate back to the grid. Doing this gives profit to those individuals and companies who invest in renewable energy sources and works as a strong incentive toward more responsible business practices. Public Transportation Initiatives Not all cities are well known for having a good public transportation infrastructure. There are a few that are working to change that. For example, Indianapolis has instituted their Red Line Bus Service. It is a rapid-transit line that runs entirely on electricity. Other initiatives include making Denver, Colorado, a more walkable city by putting in parks. The city also wants to ensure a majority of residents live closer to public transportation in order to cut down on automobile emissions. Individuals can support their governments in these efforts as well. Installing solar panels in your home and using carbon calculators are great ways to inspire grassroots-level change. Recycling and supporting environmentally-conscious companies can also be a major step in the right direction. Climate change affects us all and it's important to get involved in whatever way we can.
  2. Everyone says that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, but green doesn’t always mean environmentally friendly. Those homeowners who want to be conscious of their impact on the environment can start with their own yard care practices and what they grow. Doing so can ensure that both your yard and the natural landscape beyond stay green and healthy, and here are a few ways you can accomplish that. Use Native Plants When you use plant life that is common to the community, it helps provide food and resources for native animals. You can ensure local species survive with trees, shrubs, and plants that offer food and nesting material. Growing native plants also prevents the spread of aggressive foreign plants that could overtake the local native plants in your area. Plus, local plants are easier to grow and care for because they thrive in your climate. If you want a low-maintenance yard, then the garden center can show you which plants are easiest to care for and hardy plants for your climate. Feed Pollinators Bees help pollinate crops and flowers. Martha Stewart says 80 million pounds of pesticides are put on crops and communities across the United States annually. These chemicals kill bees and other animals that are susceptible to small environmental changes and displace others. Something as simple as planting flowers and fruits to provide nectars for pollinators can do a great deal of good in giving your local bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators a place to refuel. Anything that flowers can work, so when you’re considering plants to grow in your yard and garden, keep that in mind. Plant Trees You can help the environment by planting trees. Not only do trees help clean the air, but they also offer valuable shelter to birds and animals. Fruit trees especially can be a source of nourishment for the local wildlife. Not only do the flower buds provide nectar for pollinators, as previously mentioned, but they also give fruits and seeds to birds, squirrels, and other animals that are now running out of healthy food sources and shelter. To encourage birds to return to your yard, planting oak trees for shelter is a great idea, and the acorns they grow make for great food for animals. Cardinals and bluebirds are partial to dogwood trees, and pine trees are excellent for most bird species, as well as for animals. Use Organic Fertilizers Another tip is to work with gardening centers and landscaping companies that offer organic fertilizers as opposed to the more toxic varieties. These organic fertilizers are safe for pets and any birds, bees, or animals that visit your yard while still creating a green lawn. If you want to attract specific species, then the landscaper can also give you ideas about what bushes or flowers you can plant to attract them to your yard. Make sure that the fertilizers you get work well with your intended plants and lawn, as different plants and regions require different nutrients to thrive properly. You can make sure your side of the fence is greenest by adding local plants and trees. Organic fertilizer will protect your pets and ensure bees and birds are safe on your property. Whether you are familiar with the area or you want to know more about specific plants, the local garden center or landscape provider can help you discover the right ways to help the Earth in your little corner of the world.
  3. While trying to be more environmentally friendly is a commendable goal, a lot of people are wary of making the lifestyle changes it requires. One of the more prominent concerns that people have is the cost required to “go green.” As it turns out, not only can it be affordable to go green, but you can actually profit off of many of the efforts involved. Here are just a few ways that anyone can cash in on environmentally friendly choices. Tax Incentives Any time you can write something off on your taxes, it is always a welcome surprise. However, did you know that by purchasing a solar panel system for generating energy for your home comes with a 30% tax credit that you can use as a tax write off? This federal tax incentive has been extended on through 2021. While you can really save on your taxes using this form of alternative energy, you must act before the end of 2021 to take advantage of this government tax break. Using solar energy can also save you money on your utility costs by supplying energy to your home that you don’t have to get through a service. While most people double up by purchasing energy alongside their solar panels, the panels themselves cut down on how much energy you need to buy elsewhere, and many companies will pay you for the excess energy that your solar panels generate. Trading Cash for Recycling If you have old appliances or scrap metal laying around, then you might be able to turn these items into cold hard cash. Most scrap metal services will pay you for any metal you can bring to them, including old radiators, appliances, electronics, and so on. While most wires can’t be directly recycled due to their rubber coating, there are places you can sell those, as well, where the rubber coating is stripped and recycled separately from the wire inside. Other recycling services will pay for cartons, recyclable plastic containers, and other materials depending on their specialty. Taking advantage of this is great for the planet and also gives you some extra spending money from what otherwise would just have been trash. Energy Savings Going green does more than just earn you cash, however. Eco-friendly lifestyles and behaviors also encourage you to be more efficient with the money that you already have. Replacing energy inefficient appliances, such as your dryer or HVAC system, with energy-efficient models can really help you keep more of your monthly income. This is because energy efficient appliances tend to use less electricity; thus, helping to keep your electric bill at a minimum. Most newer models have been upgraded to meet modern energy efficiency standards, but finding Energy Star rated appliances can take your energy savings one step further. Saving Water Whether you are doing laundry in a water-saving washing machine or flushing a water efficient toilet, the amount of water you save matters. While the earth is composed mostly of water, only less than 3-percent of this water is actually drinkable. The rest of the water is salt water and not suitable to use drinking. So, using water-efficient appliances cuts your water bill down and, at the same time, it helps out everyone else by preventing our planet’s drinking water from being used up to quickly. To take your water conservation a step further, you can invest in a greywater recycling plant that can be installed on your property to treat and reuse non-drinking water, or greywater, for your sprinklers, toilet, and other appliances. While many are wary of the costs of green living, it’s clear that there is more to be gained than lost from making those lifestyle changes. Whether earning cash from recycled items, getting tax incentives from renewable energy solutions, or saving money in utility costs, there are a lot of ways that anyone can gain from protecting the planet. Eco-responsible living is a benefit both to the planet and individuals, and should be highly considered by anyone who wants to live responsibly while making ends meet.
  4. When it comes to environmental responsibility, Australians are among the leading citizens who are striving to do their part. Many Australians understand the importance of global conservation and have made efforts to protect the planet’s vital ecosystems. This includes personal life choices as well as enacting eco-friendly governmental policies to protect their local environment. Here are some of the main ways that many Australians are protecting the planet. Implementing Strict Pet Travel Laws Australia has some of the strictest laws in the world that govern how pets are allowed to travel and which types of species are allowed to enter the country. Many of these laws are intended to prevent foreign species migration that has historically been known to wreak widespread havoc on the country’s crops and ecosystems. Australia even requires all cats and dogs that are brought into the country to have special microchips implanted to show that each pet meets strict health standards. This prevents the spread of parasites and diseases that could be transmitted to their own wild and domestic animals. Eliminating Plastic Bags Numerous Australian companies have worked to eliminate plastic bag usage to help the environment. Unlike other materials, plastic isn’t biodegradable and remains in existence indefinitely. Discarded plastic bags that end up on roadways, in oceans or in other areas where they don’t belong can be deadly for animals that unknowingly ingest them. To try to solve this problem, nationwide efforts in Australia have been made to encourage shoppers to use reusable bags made of cloth and other material so that plastic bags no longer need to be used. Shoppers who opt for single-use plastic bags are often charged an additional fee by stores. Switching to Septic Systems Instead of using standard sewer lines that contribute to water pollution from human waste, many Australians are having domestic septic tanks installed on their properties. These special tanks are able to clean and conserve water instead of sending it out to the ocean. Once these tanks are full, they can be emptied by professionals with little hassle. This prevents a lot of the problems that come from the traditional sewage systems that dump wastewater into local lakes, rivers, and oceans. This introduces contaminants to different ecosystems, whereas domestic septic tanks treat the water on site and allow for much of the wastewater to even be recycled back into the home for use in lawn sprinklers and toilets. Installing Solar Panels Solar panels offer a great way to get energy from the renewable sources, and large numbers of Australians have had these panels installed on their properties. Solar panels offer a better, greener alternative to getting power from more environmentally hazardous sources such as gas, coal or electricity. People living in the country have also come to love solar energy because of its cost-effectiveness and ability to lower utility bills. Entire communities in Australia have been constructed surrounding the ideals of renewable living, and solar panels play a significant role in powering these communities. Australians take pride in their efforts to protect the environment. While they, like the rest of the world, aren’t perfect yet, they strive to improve their policies and protect their local and global environment. Other countries can learn from Australia’s conservation efforts and follow suit to make the planet safer for all people, animals and ecosystems.
  5. Recycling is a key component of sustainability that allows you to do your part for the environment. It's also a great way to help green companies make more products or services that you like to use. However, not all recyclable materials should go in your standard recycling bins. You'll find a few examples of things that you can recycle in other ways below. Cords This category really applies to any durable material that you can tie into a knot. If it meets these basic criteria, don't recycle it. These types of things are what the industry calls "tanglers." There's a good chance cords will get caught in the recycling machinery and shut down operations while workers get them out. Power cords, in particular, are made entirely of recyclable material, but the outer coating and the metal wire inside cannot be recycled at the same time. The best option is to contact businesses that offer services that will take your complete cords and recycle them properly. Liquids It's a bad idea to recycle most liquids the traditional way. Even safe liquids such as juices and milk might contain a mixture of hazardous chemicals or things that might ignite under the right conditions during processing. If you’re looking to recycle a container such as milk jugs, juice cartons, bottles, and other common carriers, it’s important that you rinse out all of the previous liquid before recycling, otherwise, it has to be sorted out and thrown away as contaminated. For more hazardous liquids, such as gasoline or acids, search online to find local community and government programs that handle the safe disposal of these liquids. Wrappers Wrappers for chips, candy, and other food items that are sealed usually aren't recyclable. The reason for this is that the bags use several layers of different materials, and we don't yet have the technology to separate and recycle all of them. For now, these should go in the trash along with the other non-recyclables. Even if something is labeled as being made of recycled materials, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it can be recycled again due to this method of layering materials. When in doubt, call the manufacturer or speak to your recycling service for more information. Food Large chunks of food make recycling bins and equipment prone to contamination by bacteria and dirty in general. These issues can compound further and make it harder for equipment to recycle everything else. Most recycling services such as Green Bins list explicitly in their accepted materials that they do not accept food waste. You shouldn't recycle large bits of household food. However, this doesn't mean you can't recycle packaging that has some minor food residue still on it. No one expects food packaging to be completely free of leftover residue. We recommend that you compost any larger quantities of food waste. The act of recycling can be a multi-part process depending on the materials in question. People working in this industry work hard to process large amounts of recyclable material every day. We can make things easier for them by being aware of what they can and cannot use so that they aren’t forced to halt operations repeatedly for otherwise avoidable sorting of unusable materials. Make sure to do your research and be aware of what your recycling service does and doesn’t take so that you aren’t forcing them to take something that will end up in the landfill anyway.
  6. If you have recently decided to build a home and want to be as eco-friendly as possible, then you should consider using recyclable materials. Many people are surprised to hear that most homes can be built from the ground up with nothing but recyclables, and that practice is great for the environment. Here is a look at four ways that you can use recyclable materials during your home construction. Glass Tile Even though porcelain is a popular building material, the tiles can give off VOCs when they are being cut to size. Glass tiles, on the other hand, are made from old pieces of glass that don’t contain any dangerous toxins or chemicals. Many companies now make these tiles out of old solar panels and windows that have been removed from skyscrapers. Ash Concrete There are a few different reasons why some constructions companies only use concrete that has been made with fly ash. In addition to being completely recyclable, ash concrete is also very easy to work with. This type of concrete is a great option for buildings that are going to be exposed to extreme temperatures as well. When the temperatures rise and drop throughout the year, traditional concrete could potentially crack. After recycled ash is added to concrete, the final material is much denser and stronger. Cypress Pine Flooring Investing in second-hand flooring is another great way to adopt recyclable materials into your home construction project. Used cypress pine is sought after by many people because it resists rot and doesn’t harm the environment. Some other good flooring options that you might want to consider include Baltic pine, bamboo, and Oregon timber. All woods used in second-hand flooring are made more durable by the recycling process, making it overall an excellent option for those who want wooden floors that last long and are environmentally sustainable. Bark Siding For many years, tree bark was an unwanted byproduct created by the lumber industry, but that has recently changed. Recycled tree bark is now being used as siding because it is eye-catching, durable, and sustainable. As an added bonus, tree bark is also a great form of insulation. When bark siding is backed by a vapor barrier, it will limit heat transfer throughout your home, and that is going to lower your monthly energy bills. Sustainable construction materials are more affordable than ever, and using those materials to build your home is a great way to reduce your impact on the environment. With a little bit of research and some planning, you might be able to design the home of your dreams with nothing more than recyclable building supplies.
  7. Living greener can benefit both you and the environment. One of the best ways to adopt an eco-friendlier lifestyle is by making some modifications around your home that will be better for the ecosystem. Here are four tips to turn your home into a safer setting for the planet. Various appliance and utility options will save you long-run costs, make your home more sustainable to maintain, and help the environment. Here are just four options to get you started on improving your home. Switch to an Energy-Efficient HVAC System Some of the best heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems to be developed in recent years are designed specifically to save energy. The standards for energy efficiency in HVAC systems in general have been raised, making more modern systems more cost effective and more environmentally friendly. Even with the reduction in energy use, your home’s indoor temperatures and air quality will still be regulated properly with the right system. Many of the top-rated HVAC systems nowadays feature programmable thermostats that can be set to turn on and shut off automatically instead of running continuously and wasting energy. Build with Recyclable Materials If you’re looking for additions to your home or trying to build a new home from scratch, using recyclable materials will put less strain on the planet’s natural resources. CBS News reports that certain homes are made from bricks that consist of glass, clay, and ceramics. Some of the remnants from demolished houses can also be salvaged and used to construct a new home. Recycled steel for the supports are both affordable and eco-friendly, and recycled timber can be used for new floors, cabinets, ceilings, and anywhere that new timber could be used. These recycled materials often are more durable, as well, making them both cheaper to buy and cheaper to maintain, as well as being more environmentally friendly. Install a Domestic Sewage System Human waste that travels through your pipes into a public sewage system may end up being untreated and released into local rivers or lakes or the ocean. To prevent this problem, you can have a domestic treatment tank installed on your property. For domestic use, miniature sewage system plants are installed underground on your property, safely treating and disposing of your home’s wastes. They are cost-effective, as well, as you only need them cleaned every 3-5 years, and otherwise are their own little ecosystem, using natural bacteria to maintain themselves. Use Native Plants to Decorate Your Yard As lawns and gardens are becoming more lavish, more foreign plants are being introduced to environments that they are either ill-suited to or else could dominate. Seeds from non-native plants can spread to the local environment and create harmful competition for the natural plant life in the area. Not only are native plants safer for the surrounding ecosystem, but they also won’t need as many resources to survive, as they are able to draw from the natural environment around them. Native plants are also likelier to have adapted to surviving local pest infestations and won’t require the use of as many pesticides. Overall, using plants that are native to your area is more cost effective and safer for the surrounding ecosystem than bringing in foreign plants. While not all aspects of maintaining the environment can be controlled by individual homeowners, there are some small decisions in the construction and maintenance of your home that can majorly impact the environment for better or worse. With the right modifications, you’ll be able to turn your home into a setting that helps promote more longevity for the earth and your family.
  8. Protecting the environment is a high priority for many people today, but a large portion just don’t know where to start. One of the easiest ways to go green is to start recycling at home. Here are a few tips to get you going on this path. Learn the Rules and Get Organized First, look into some recycling centers nearby to see what kinds of materials they allow you to bring in. They might have specific rules about what items they will allow and what they will reject. Some facilities might require you to crush bottles and remove the caps, while others won’t care. You’ll also need to get some bins and garbage bags for storing and transporting all the goods you plan to recycle. Clear out some space in your garage or backyard for storage. Make sure they are sealed up nice and tight to keep pests from getting into them and making a mess. Don’t be afraid to get creative and make them cute! The better looking your bins are, the more likely you are to have them out where you can see them. This increases the chances that you and your household will remember to separate your waste products appropriately. Start by Recycling Aluminum Cans and Glass and Plastic Bottles The easiest items to begin recycling are aluminum cans, plastic bottles and glass bottles. Some facilities will also allow steel cans, such as the ones used for canned food. They might also allow glass jars or other containers. You’ll need to separate them, and you might also want to rinse them out to avoid attracting ants and other pests, but that is not always necessary. Most facilities allow you to crush the items, so that can help you condense the space and bring in a lot more items every time you go down to the recycling center. Since many products are sold in containers made of aluminum, glass, or plastic, these are the easiest to start with. Make the decision to start and stick with it. Placing reminders around the house can help you turn recycling into a household habit. Don’t Forget to Recycle Newspapers and Scrap Metals Many families go beyond bottles and cans and will also recycle newspapers, paper waste and scrap metals. If you have the available space, then this is another great way to keep those items out of the landfills and recycle them to reduce waste and give them new life. Some residential communities have special dumpsters set up at schools or other community centers to receive newspapers and other items to be recycled. This can free up a lot of space at your home and save you from driving all the way out to the recycling center. Check around to see if anything like that is available in your area. Recycle Wastewater Many people don’t know that you could be reusing your household waste water. While reducing the amount of solid waste that ends up in landfills is a great way to recycle, it’s not the only option out there. Many families are investing in greywater systems as a way to recycle the water they use at home. Much of that water that goes down the kitchen sink, bathroom sink and shower drains can still be used to water plants and trees outside without damaging them. By using a treatment system like those at Econocycle to help you recycle your household waste water, you can help lower your water usage as well as your utility bills. Recycling is a great way to reduce waste and protect the environment for future generations. Just start small by recycling some of the items you already use and then build up from there. Once you get started recycling small items at home, you’ll quickly find that you enjoy making an impact and will want to do even more to make a difference in your community.
  9. An efficient HVAC system in your home can help keep the temperature more consistent and save you some money. There are a variety of ways that you can go about ensuring its efficiency. Here are some of the tips that you can employ in order to maximize the efficiency of the heating and cooling system in your home. Clear Out Debris Changing out the air filter regularly will help to keep your unit operating at peak efficiency. More air exchange allows the unit to work more efficiently. Another thing that can help is to have your ducts and registers cleared of debris. You want as much of the hot and cool air to be able to get into the living spaces of your home. Adequate air exchange is another consideration, as you want air circulation that can be achieved without creating different temperature climates around the house. Invest In An Efficient Unit Upgrading your older unit will also maximize the efficiency of your home. The energy rating calculates the average energy usage over the course of the year. If you have a poor energy rating, looking into new ac installation companies can help you save money—especially since newer appliances tend to be efficient. It will increase the comfort level in your home and most likely pay for itself in lower energy costs. Use Technology Assistance A programmable thermostat is another way that you can control the temperature in your home. There are even thermostats that learn about your habits, so that they can more closely regulate the temperature. These types of technology assistance programs are becoming popular means and can help you maximize the energy efficiency of your home. Some apps will even let you control the temperature of your home when you're away. Take Precautionary Measures There are the standard means that you can maximize your energy efficiency. These include things like using environmental options to help regulate the temperature in your home. Opening up the windows at night when it's hot or blocking out the sun are some of the ways that you can reduce your cooling costs. You don't have to run your HVAC system all of the time when there are free methods to maintain your comfort. Take control of your HVAC system so that you can become more energy conscious. Another bonus of increasing your energy efficiency is saving some cash. Use these tips to keep you started down a more energy efficient path.
  10. Not only do new windows make your home look and feel updated, they can also do a lot for the energy efficiency of your home. If you upgrade your windows, your home could become more efficient and your bills could get lower. They Reduce Drafts Old windows can be drafty especially if they are not installed correctly. New windows reduce the draft and can make it easier for you to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It’s important to recognize that drafty windows can cause huge changes in your electric bills. Double Panes Are More Efficient When companies like Valley Glass Utility install new windows, they do so with double panes. This is the standard for replacement windows and new-build windows now. Double panes are more energy efficient because of the way they trap heat inside or cool air inside. They can help reduce your energy bill. Old Glass Isn’t Insulating There are not any insulating properties in old glass windows. Along with it being single-paned most of the time, there might also be issues with the way the glass was put into the windows. Even if you have a home that wasn’t built too long ago, the windows may not have all the insulating properties new windows do. It’s important to get new windows so they can act as another barrier against the outside. They need to be able to help your home stay warm or cool while also providing protection from the elements. Your Home Will Be Easier to Heat Heating a home with old windows might seem impossible. Since they don’t trap heat like they should and they’re not efficient, you might not be able to have the best heating system in your house. For this reason, many older homes feel like they’re cold all the time. Getting new windows might make it easier for you to heat your home. The right windows will allow your home to heat up and can make it easier for you to take advantage of a great heating system when you were unable to do so in the past because of drafts or other issues in your home. Not only are window replacements a good idea to change the aesthetics of your home but they’re also great for increasing the efficiency. If you want to see drastic changes in your energy bills, upgrading to new windows is the way to go.
  11. The amount you pay for energy can directly affect your profits. This is especially true if you own a small or medium-sized business because of the way the profit structures work. If you want to lower your energy bills, you can start out with focusing on the efficiency of your business. There are different things you can do to protect your business from huge spikes in energy usage! Fix Your Lighting Lights can be one of the biggest draws on energy. Harsh fluorescent lighting isn’t just hated by employees all around the country, it’s also expensive to use! You can switch your lights out for LEDs that are just as illuminating as their fluorescent counterparts. You will get more life from the LED bulbs too. Consider Your Climate Control Whether you have air conditioning in your office or not, it’s important to make sure the climate control works the right way. Using a system like a ducted reverse cycle air conditioning is a great way to make sure you’re getting the most out of the energy you use. Find a system that’s energy efficient and use it the correct way to get the most out of it. Use the Right Equipment Computers, printers and other office tools can use a lot of energy. You may want to switch your computers out for ones that are energy efficient. There are other things you can do to ensure you are saving energy with your computers and other equipment. It might be a good idea to make these changes so you don’t have to worry about the issues that come from having energy-draining computers and other equipment. Encourage Employees Get all your employees involved with energy efficiency. Encourage your employees to make small steps with you so they can help make the office more energy efficient. It may be a good idea to create small rewards so employees have something to work for when they’re taking steps toward a more efficient office. Make Small Upgrades Making huge changes all at one time will have a big impact on your office, but it can be costly and complicated. If you want to make sure you’re doing the best job possible at making your office more energy efficient, make small changes. By making your office more efficient, you’re setting yourself up for a better profit margin. The more energy efficient your office is, the more you’ll save on energy bills.
  12. Due to the stress that using oil, coal, and other resources has on the environment, finding ways to incorporate renewable energy solutions is very important. Today, there are many great renewable energy options, including solar and wind technology. Overall, there are five states in the United States that are continuing to make renewable energy investments a priority. Maine The state of Maine continues to be a leader when it comes to renewable energy. A very impressive 75% of the state's energy comes from some form of renewable energy. The state has a strong mix of hydroelectricity plants, biomass uses, and wind energy plants. All of these help to contribute towards the overall strong levels of renewable energy, which continues to make Maine one of the greenest states in the country. Montana Traditionally, Montana has been very well known for its high level of coal production. While five percent of the country's coal comes from this state, Montana has continued to invest in other renewal energy solutions as well. Today, the state continues to invest in hydroelectric plants that are able to use water to produce electricity. Nebraska While it is not normally considered an environmentally-friendly state, Nebraska has taken many steps to improve its reliance on renewable energy. Overall, more than 20% of the total energy used in Nebraska comes from renewable sources. This state has a huge amount of wind-energy production and also is a leading producer of ethanol. Washington Located in the northwest, the state of Washington is the national leader in hydroelectricity. Overall, more than 2 million households across the state are connected to energy produced by a few different dams. Even more impressive is that the state actually creates a surplus of energy, which they then sell to some neighboring states and even some parts of Canada. Oregon Oregon continues to be a leader when it comes to renewable energy production. This state does produce some hydroelectricity, but is also well known for producing a lot of wind energy. Overall, Oregon has more than 2,000 turbines that produce the most wind energy in the country. Oregon is also continuing to look for additional ways to invest in renewal and solar energy projects. Overall, all of these states are looking for ways to use more and more renewable energy. With help from technologically sound companies, like douglaselectrical.com, many other states can make headway on this hot-button issue. If more states are willing to make these types of investments, it could help to solve many current and future environmental challenges that we are having.
  13. Having a man cave is a great way to make your family life better. It gives you privacy and a place to be a guy without interruptions. However, it can also be an energy hog. From televisions to sound systems and more, you need a way to make your man cave more energy efficient so it doesn’t break the budget. Here are five great ideas to get your started. Lighting Your man cave might have a variety of specialty lighting. Some of it is for mood, while some of it is for being able to see well. This is true whether you plan on gaming with the guys, doing your own projects, or simply wanting a bright space. However, you should consider switching to more energy efficient bulbs that output the same amount of light without using up all of your electricity. Sound You don’t need to break the bank to get a better sound system. When you invest a little more, you are buying a better efficiency ratio while not sacrificing the sound quality. This means you can enjoy surround sound and integration of your phone, computer, and tv while loving the whole experience and especially the reduction of electricity costs that it brings. Doors and Windows Doors and windows are one of the main parts of your home that leak energy like crazy. Something from a provider that offers better sealing and energy efficiency like Edelen Door can do the trick of giving a beautiful entry without the leakage that occurs in most doors and windows in homes all around the country. Solar Power Installing solar panels on your roof is not for everybody. However, it can be a great way to make things more efficient. Not only are they green technology, but they pay you back year over year. Insulation Your walls in your garage are not very energy efficient. This is, unless of course, you have the proper insulation. Investing a little more in insulation now will save you a lot in the long run. When it comes to having your man cave in the garage, it is something that you can cherish for a long time to come. However, you don’t want to make the mistake of paying for more energy than you need to. Then, your getaway simply becomes another huge bill to pay at the end of the month. So save your wallet by using the simple tips above to get more energy efficiency out of your manly space.
  14. There are advantages and disadvantages to having a tankless water heater. The main advantage is that your home can be more energy efficient. There are also other benefits that you might want to consider. Here are some of the reasons that investing in a tankless water heater is better for your home. Less Overall Waste A water heater that has to hold your hot water in reserve is wasting a lot of energy in doing so. This is because it has to run frequently in order to maintain the temperature of the water, even when you aren’t using it. When you stop to consider the environmental impact that having an appliance constantly running has, the overall waste is significant. No Tepid Water You may have a problem in your home with running out of hot water on those busy mornings. This is because once you’ve depleted your supply of hot water in the tank, it takes time to reheat the water that’s refilling the tank. A tankless water heater is more of an on-demand type of system. What this means is that it heats the water as you’re using it. This makes it more efficient, and therefore, less wasteful. Lower Energy Bills By far, one of the greatest benefits to a tankless water heater is that your energy bills can be reduced. On the flip side, there is a larger upfront invest in the purchase and installation of the tankless system. Many homeowners find that the initial costs will pay for themselves with lower energy bills and the longer lasting lifespan of the tankless water heater itself. If you’re interested in installing a tankless water heater in your home, look into using a company like Ez Flow Plumbing to help you with this project. Reduced Floor Space Another benefit is that you can reduce the amount of floor space that’s required by using a tankless water heater. This can prove to be beneficial if you’re short of extra space in your home. A tankless water heater also tends to be safer. This is because there’s less of a chance of the tank becoming damaged or degraded. In some instances, a damaged water heater could present a safety hazard for your home and your family. Increased energy efficiency is only one aspect of a tankless water heater. There are numerous other benefits that you may not have taken into account. Consider these reasons when deciding if this is the right choice for you.
  15. Recycling scrap metal shouldn’t have to be a fulltime job. There are lots of different resources available in which you can dispose of unwanted metal. Here are some of the best practices that you can use in order to recycling your scrap metal and be kind to the environment. Understand Metal Types The type of metal that you’re looking to recycle will dictate the means in which you can recycle it. Ferrous and nonferrous materials are sometimes required to be recycled by a different means. You can check the type of metal that you have by using a magnet to see if it sticks to them. Nonferrous metals are more likely to generate a profit since they tend to be rarer and in higher demand. Use Curbside Where Possible Some communities offer curbside recycling programs. This is one way that you can get rid of those smaller items that would fit into a bin. In some cities, you can dispose of old appliances in a similar manner. Call your local recycling collection agency to determine the best means of recycling your old scrap metal. This may help to alleviate some of the metal that you have lying around. Look into a Scrapyard For larger items or even large quantities of scrap metal, you may need to look into using a scrapyard. Scrap metal services are a good way in which to unburden yourself of that extra scrap metal lying around your home or the job site. Many of these sites will sort out the different types of metal for you to ensure that it can be properly recycled. This not only benefits you, but it also benefits the environment. Generate Some Revenue In some areas, you can sell your old scrap metal to a resale lot. Some of the more valuable types of metals will include copper and aluminum. These types of materials can often be found in plumbing fixtures, old electronics, and gutters. You can have your old scrap metal generate a little bit of profit for you by taking it somewhere that accepts this type of material. The area in which you live will dictate the best method of recycling your scrap metal. You may have to think outside of the box a little bit in order to get rid of some of your larger pieces of metal in the most eco-friendly manner possible. Use these tips to get you started recycling your scrap metal around the house.
  16. Being a green office is more than just good for the environment. You can save your business some money be investing in these green and clean solutions. Here are some tips to get you started on making a greener workplace. Limit Your Paper Consumption Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to print out your emails. This practice is not only wasteful, but time consuming. The whole point of moving to an electronic, paperless system is supposed to be that you use less resources. This means that there’s less overall waste in the workplace. This is good because you have to purchase less paper as well as being a greener and cleaner solution for your workplace. Invest in Recycling Encourage your employer to invest in a recycling program at your company. The only difference is the type of can that items are discarded into by employees. This has the benefit of being better for the environment and making everyone feel good at the company. When you stop to consider the costs of disposing of all the waste that’s generated at a business, recycling just makes economic as well as ecological sense. You may be able to reduce the monthly cost on your garbage bill. Promote Green Solutions Start up a program in which employees use reusable cups for both water and coffee while at the office. This will also reduce the amount of waste that’s generated in the workplace. Another solution is to invest in greener cleaning products. These types of cleaners generally produce less air pollution and residual chemicals on surfaces. This is a good thing if you have employees that suffer from asthma and other types of lung conditions. Install Proper Filtration The second part of developing a cleaner work environment is to have proper air filtration that removes or eliminates the amount of contaminants in the environment. There are a variety of kinds of products that can be used to achieve cleaner air in the workplace. Employees that work in a healthier environment are less likely to take as many sick days during the year. This can start to add up to a real savings for the company. There are lots of ways that you can promote a cleaner and greener workplace. Look around you so that you can decide the best course of action when it comes to becoming more eco-friendly. There may even be tax incentives that you can take advantage of in your endeavors.
  17. Solar energy has become more popular in recent years because of its many advantages. Instead of getting power from electricity or gas, solar energy comes directly from the sun and can provide your home with adequate power. Here are five of the main reasons why you should consider switching to solar energy. Less Expensive Even though you’ll probably need to invest a large amount of money to have your solar equipment installed, solar energy will likely end up saving you a lot of money in the long run. Gas and electricity are more expensive power sources, and switching to solar energy can reduce your utility bills dramatically. Since the power comes from the sun, no additional expense is needed to harvest the energy other than the money that you put into your own equipment. Incentives and Tax Breaks Some states also offer incentives and tax breaks to people who choose solar power. This is done as a way to encourage and reward people for using renewable energy. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, a policy known as the solar investment tax credit (ITC) allows you to claim a deduction on your federal taxes. Better for the Environment Solar energy is considered to be a much cleaner power source because it doesn’t harm air quality or emit other pollutants that can harm the land and water. You won’t be releasing carbon emissions into the air and increasing your carbon footprint when you switch to solar energy. Since solar energy is renewable, you’ll be putting less strain on the planet’s resources when you use it. Increased Home Value The resale value of your home will likely increase significantly when you use solar energy. Your solar panels will give your home a more modern look and make your property an attractive investment for potential buyers who want to save money on energy costs. A solar panel installation company can install equipment in a way that will look aesthetically appealing for your home and possibly attract more prospective buyers. Job Creation You can even do your part to help your local economy by creating more jobs when you use solar energy. Other people in your community may be enticed to switch to solar energy, and this may increase the number of jobs by putting more demand on the industry. Many solar energy positions are highly specialized and can’t be outsourced, which can also help the American economy. You’ll be doing something good for yourself and the world around you when you choose solar energy. Switching to solar energy will be one of the wisest investments that you’ll make for your home.
  18. The earth is currently going through a lot of challenges. This includes global warming, extreme weather, pollution and more. If these challenges are to be overcome, it’s going to require action from everyone. This certainly includes homeowners. There are steps you can take as a homeowner to lessen your impact on the environment. Below are four strategies for making your home more energy efficient. Upgrade Your HVAC System One of the biggest drains on your energy efficiency is your heating, ventilation and cooling system, also known as an HVAC system for short. According to Derek Sawyers Smart Energy Heating & Air, your system should probably be upgraded if it’s older than 15 years. Newer HVAC systems run much more efficiently. This means increased energy efficiency and lower utility bills every month. Upgrade Your Light Bulbs Another idea you should consider to increase your home’s energy efficiency is upgrading your light bulbs. Traditional incandescent light bulbs run very hot. This means they use a lot of energy and also wear out much faster as well. Newer compact fluorescent bulbs, on the other hand, run much cooler when producing the same amount of light as incandescent bulbs. According to the US Department of Energy, compact fluorescent lights use 25 to 35 percent of the energy that incandescent lights do. They last significantly longer as well. Upgrade Your Windows Another source of energy inefficiency in your house could be your windows. Older windows especially tend to leak a lot of air. This means that your furnace will have run much harder to keep your home heated during the winter. It also means your air conditioner will have to work much harder to keep your home cool during the summer. If your windows are significantly old, consider upgrading them to more energy efficient windows. Program Your Thermostat Many people run their HVAC system too often. This wastes energy and results in high utility bills. Instead of running your system all the time, program your thermostat so the heat or air only runs when it’s needed. You, for example, don’t need to run your air conditioner as much when you’re at work and your kids are at school. The carbon footprint of homes certainly has an adverse effect on the environment. If everyone took the steps outlined above, however, some of that negative impact could be curbed. Don’t stop here. There are plenty of more strategies you can use to increase your home’s energy efficiency.
  19. There are lots of perks to installing more energy efficient windows in your home. Some of the benefits provide more of a cost incentive than others. Here are just a few of the reasons that having more energy efficient windows will be good for your home. Lower Heating and Cooling Bills One of the best benefits that you can receive from a monetary standpoint from new windows is that your heating and cooling bills can be lower. New windows tend to be more energy efficient. This means that you’ll most likely notice less drafts around your house. Older windows often allowed air to enter and exit your home freely. This meant that it was costing you more to maintain the temperature in your home. Maintained Home Comfort Newer windows are better at warding off temperature fluctuations in your home. What this means for you is that you can more easily maintain a consistent temperature throughout your home. A comfortable home is more of a luxury when it comes to the costs associated with installing more energy efficient windows. Look into using a company like Edelen Door and Window to help you through the process. Decreased Sound Pollution You may be surprised to learn that energy efficient windows can also make your home quieter. This is because they’re better sealed and tend to be better at dampening the sound. That means that not only does less sound enter your home, but less sounds will leave your home as well. You don’t have to worry about the neighbors complaining about your loud movie night with the family. Protected Home Finishes One of the new features on energy efficient windows is that they provide better shielding from solar radiation. You can even add an extra layer of shielding to reduce solar radiation from entering your home. It’s the solar radiation that can cause your flooring to become discolored over time. This is even more apparent if you have wood flooring in your home. Areas that are protected from the sun tend to be lighter in color than those that are exposed to the sun. There are of course the better known reasons that installing energy efficient windows is the right choice for your home. Consider some of these lesser known perks if you’re torn about whether to spend the money on new windows right now. Your home is an investment, but you should also enjoy living in your home for years to come.
  20. If you want to have a beautiful community, then you should find ways to keep it clean. Unfortunately, there are people who don’t care about taking care of the environment. However, you can overcome the problems associated with having dirty public areas, especially during the summer. Helping a Senior Citizen Clean a Property There are likely senior citizens who have a lot of trash on a property, but without any help, the items will degrade, creating additional pollution in the groundwater and soil. You can talk to this neighbor about cleaning up a property to meet certain health codes, and you can find volunteers who will remove the piles of trash. Local Park Cleanups When your community’s local park has become a disaster zone after a public event such as a free concert, it needs a thorough cleanup. Notify the public about a community cleanup at the local park so that it will become an enjoyable place for children to play. Both children and adults can help clean a local park. Remove Trash from Empty Lots If your community has numerous empty lots where there were once houses or businesses, then the sites can become locations where people dump excess trash. In some cases, paper trash and beverage cans also collect on abandoned properties when there are rainstorms during the spring. Arrange a Saturday morning cleanup of volunteers who can pick up this accumulation of trash so that an entire neighborhood looks better. Clean a Waterway in Your Community There are individuals who will throw trash into the local waterways, filling up the streams and ponds with old tires, rusty appliances and other items. The trash that collects in waterways will destroy the natural environment. However, you must choose a time when the weather is dry so that you can remove heavy pieces of trash from the water in a lake or river. Create Community Recycling Stations When you want to encourage recycling in your community, you can teach your neighbors how to sort different types of trash. First, you will need to arrange dumpster rental so that you can separate plastic, glass and paper items. Your neighbors should learn how to clean and prepare trash for proper recycling. What Else Do You Need for a Community Cleanup? You will need an assortment of supplies while cleaning anything in your community. In addition to trash bags, you should make sure that volunteers wear protective gloves to prevent cuts on the fingers. A volunteer can also use a mechanical grabbing device to pick up trash from the ground.
  21. When you want to save money while using your home’s furnace this winter, you must make sure that the climate-control equipment is operating efficiently. In some cases, you can fix a heating system on your own with a do-it-yourself repair, but alternatively, there are times when you should contact a professional heating and cooling technician. Here are five ways to make sure that a building’s heating system is operating efficiently. Learn More from a Professional Technician You can read a heating and cooling company’s website to learn more about furnace repair. Companies such as Logan A/C & Heat Services Inc., often have informative blogs that will help you determine why a furnace costs too much to operate. When you notice that your heating bills are increasing, read the information at the blog to troubleshoot the problems with your furnace. Change the Furnace’s Furnace Each Month It is essential to change a furnace’s filter once a month to have clean air, but this will also help the warm air to circulate optimally through your home. Make sure to understand the correct size of filters for your heating system. When you are shopping for filters, buy extra to have throughout the winter to avoid any trips to a home improvement store during a snowstorm. Clean Your Home’s Venting System Every Week In addition to mopping floors and vacuuming carpets, you should clean your home’s venting system each week. Use a dust wand to reach inside the vents to remove cobwebs and household dust that collects inside the items. You may also need to wash the vent covers to remove a buildup of debris that prevents proper airflow. Verify that a Home’s Windows Are Closed Walk through your home to check all of its windows are closed completely. If the windows have latches, then make sure that the items are turned in the correct direction to seal out cold drafts that can lead to a colder home. When the caulking around the window frames are degraded, use liquid caulking to fill the openings to make your home’s furnace more efficient. Make Sure that a Home’s Vents Aren’t Blocked It is important to uncover all of your home’s vents by removing any furniture that is in front of the items. You should also make sure that long draperies or rugs aren’t covering the vents in each room. If you have piles of clutter covering the vents on the floor or walls, then you should clean your home. Is the Furnace Making Strange Noises? When a furnace is making strange grinding or squealing noises, this indicates that the equipment requires lubrication or a new part. Without a fast repair, you might spend more money on your monthly heating bills because the furnace is not operating optimally. Working on a furnace’s mechanisms and components is complicated, so calling a knowledgeable technician is the best plan for fixing your home’s heating equipment.
  22. The warehouse environment can be really hard to be energy efficient. If you’re running a warehouse, it’s so important to focus on energy efficiency so you don’t have to worry about all the issues that could come from overheating and wasting energy. Think of Electric Usage If there are areas in your warehouse that would benefit from lowering the usage on them, take advantage of that! There are so many ways you can lower your energy usage just be thinking about what you’re using it for and what you’re doing that’s causing you to use more energy. It’s a good idea to always keep energy usage in mind. Upgrade Machinery If Necessary By upgrading your machinery, you can save a lot of energy. The chances are you probably need to upgrade different machines anyways. Many new systems come with features that make them easier on energy. They could actually boost the efficiency of your warehouse overall instead of just helping you save on the energy you use to run it. Check Your Cooling System If you use a cooling system in your warehouse, the chances are it might not be up to date. If you haven’t done regular maintenance or if the system is simply old, you might need to do something about that. Using a company like MTA Australasia can help you determine whether the cooling is working or if it’s just sucking out all the energy you have for the warehouse. Recruit Employees to Help Get your employees on board with your energy efficiency goal. If you recruit employees to help you lower your energy usage, it might help you save energy and money in the long run. By doing this, you’ll make sure you’re helping yourself run a company that is successful. Take Small Steps at First Don’t get overwhelmed with your own energy efficiency goals. Just taking small steps toward a more efficient warehouse can help you save a lot of energy. It’s a good idea to always keep this in mind when you’re starting out with energy efficiency. If you know what you want to do, figure out a plan to take small steps to get there. Energy efficiency should be an important part of any warehouse. By focusing on what you need to do with your warehouse to make it more energy efficient, you can save yourself a lot of trouble that could come from not having an energy efficient warehouse.
  23. Keeping your office cool when it needs to be and hot, when it needs to be, is important. You might not know, but your roof can have a huge impact on the energy efficiency of your office. A properly maintained roof will help your office become more energy efficient. Maintenance Keeps Debris Away If there is any debris on your roof, it could be hurting the efficiency of your building. In addition to this issue, it could also cause your roof to be at risk of collapse. There are things you can do to ensure your roof doesn’t have debris on it, but regular maintenance will almost always help you keep it away. You Might Need Parts Replaced There are some parts of the roof, like shingles, that might need to be replaced regularly. Companies like Melton Industries LLC can help you determine whether or not parts need to be replaced and what you can do about it. If you need to fix your roof, it’s important to hire experts who can fix it the right way. The Roof Could Not Have Proper Insulation If your roof has not been regularly maintained, the insulation could be lacking. Proper insulation can help keep your office cool or warm and can make it easier for the entire office to stay comfortable. It’s a good idea to talk with a roof specialist who can find issues with the insulation. Problems with the Roof Could Affect Heating and Cooling If there is anything wrong with your roof, your heating and cooling will not work the right way. There could be major problems with the heating and cooling operations if you don’t have regular maintenance on your roof. Regular Maintenance Is Necessary Regularly maintaining your roof is a necessary part of your office building. You need to use a professional who can help you understand the right way to maintain your roof. With the help of a professional, you can make sure that your office building is in the best condition possible so it will be able to heat easier. After you make the right decision to use regular roof maintenance for your office, you’ll notice that your office is much easier to heat and cool. The energy efficiency will increase as a result of roof maintenance and it will help you see there are things you can do to ensure your office building is much easier to handle.
  24. The warehouse is a very important element of the supply chain for nearly any company that produces a tangible product. However, a lot of money can also be lost with how businesses maintain their warehouses. Part of this loss comes from a lack of energy efficiency. This inefficiency can also have a negative impact on the environment. With this in mind, below are some strategies you can use to keep your warehouse operations more energy efficient. Update Warehouse Lighting One of the biggest expenses and energy wasters for warehouses is lighting. Heating and lighting together account for 64 percent of energy use in most warehouses. Investigate different strategies for bringing lighting costs down. Implement more cost efficient choices like LED and T5 lighting. Also add motion sensors so lighting is only activated when it’s needed. If your warehouse is automated, you may not need to run the lights at all. Update Warehouse Heating Heating costs also take up a large portion of warehouse expense. Old furnaces and boilers do not run very well. They expend a lot of energy to heat a huge space like a warehouse very slowly. You should consider updating to a more energy efficient choice such as a fire tube steam boiler. Such a boiler can provide more energy efficiency compared to other boiler designs thanks to the use of many small tubes that provide more surface area to be heated for the same amount of boiler volume. Check Windows and Doors Temperature control is a big expense for warehouses. If a warehouse is not kept at a specific temperature, it may result in the spoilage of the goods stored within. Energy use for heat and air conditioning to maintain those temperatures in such a big space can be substantial. One way to lower the burden of your heating and cooling system is to check windows and doors in the warehouse to see if there are any gaps allowing cool or warm air to escape. Installing things like weather stripping may fix the problem. Overall, you may not be aware of all the many different ways your warehouse is wasting energy. This can impact the environment as well as your bottom line. Make sure to perform efficiency audits on a routine basis to assess if there are any steps you can take to increase your warehouse’s energy efficiency. You may be oblivious to some of the lead causes of your warehouse’s energy inefficiency.
  25. The price of electricity seems to be going up every year. Energy usage is a variable cost that the vast majority of Americans are responsible for. The cost of energy can vary by region, time of year, and how the electricity is generated. There are a few ways that homeowners and renters can take charge of their electricity use. We will go over some of the best ways to do so in this article. Reduce Your Total Energy Usage In order to reduce your monthly payments to the energy company, you must reduce your total energy usage. This will ensure that you are less dependent on outside energy if you decide to make the switch to self-generation. A good way to cut your energy use is to install a smart system. This system will help you to monitor your energy use and find out where you are expending the most electricity. A smart system can also self-manage and turn off lights, thermostats, etc. When not being used. Replacing older appliances can also go a long way towards reducing energy use. Many states and even the federal government offer rebates and discounts for people who opt to replace their old, inefficient appliances with more energy efficient versions. The power reductions are nice and many people take advantage of these programs to get an upgraded unit at a subsidized price. Invest in a Solar System Upwards of 80 percent of the United States is currently considered viable for solar power, and that number is growing. The cost of solar panels, installation and maintenance has dropped over the past decade, largely due to consolidation at the top of the market and emerging technologies. Solar panel installation is now as common as a satellite dish or roofing job. A solar system has never been cheaper to install, or more efficient at generating and storing power. The only way to truly take charge of your electricity usage is to become independent of the grid. Solar power allows you to use sunlight to generate power for your home instead of drawing from the grid. In some states you can even send energy back into the grid for a payment or credit towards your next bill. If you want to become truly energy independent solar power is your best bet. The sun showers our planet with massive amounts of energy 24/7, it makes good ecological and financial sense to use that energy to become less dependent on the grid.