LizzieWeakley

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  1. Ways to reduce water waste is something that every homeowner should consider, to save you money, reduce your carbon footprint, and to maintain your property. Water waste is often something that goes unnoticed for a period of time because it happens in areas where we are not easily able to access. With just a couple adjustments and the help of a plumber, you can easily reduce the water waste in your home. These are a few plumbing upgrades to make in your home for reducing water waste. Install Low Flow Shower Heads Low flow shower heads are easy upgrades to make on your own and affordable too. An average shower uses over fifteen gallons of water, but when you switch to a low flow shower head you end up using about seventy percent less water during the average shower. Reduce the Water Pressure Reducing the water pressure to your household is a great way to reduce the amount of water you use at any one time. Most homeowners are huge fans of high water pressure, which is often used as an indicator of good plumbing. However, by reducing the water pressure you become more conscious of how much water you are using and the amount wasted is significantly reduced. Check for Leaks A huge part of water waste happens out of sight, in areas where we don't even know water is being lost. Check your home and property for water leaks which occur over time as plumbing decays. A plumber is able to perform this role and can end up saving you both money and prevent damage that is being done to your property. Replace Older Appliances and Fixtures Older appliances and fixtures are often sources of leaks and water waste. Not only are these new appliances more energy efficient, but they are better put together and require less resources to operate. Older fixtures are also known to become damaged after time and spring leaks within the mechanisms. Insulate Your Pipes As colder weather sets in, it takes longer for hot water to reach the faucet and this is often made longer when the pipes in your home are not insulated. Insulating your pipes is easy and cheap, and it can mean the difference between a significant or a small amount of water waste occurring every single day. Reducing water waste in your home is much easier than you think and should each of these tips should be reassessed every year.
  2. When it comes to living a sustainable lifestyle, it's the activities you do every day that tend to be more important than the big and impressive things you do. That's why it's important to find ways to make your everyday activities more sustainable. The good news is that making your lifestyle more sustainable doesn't have to cause major inconveniences. In fact, there are many aspects of sustainable living that are more enjoyable than their non-sustainable counterparts. Compost If you have the space, composting is an excellent way to live a sustainable lifestyle. Rather than sending organic waste to the dump, you can keep it on your property and turn it into rich fertilizer for your garden. Even if you live in a city, you can use a desktop composting bin to create smaller amounts of compost that you can use in a window box or herb garden. Buy Products Made From Recycled Materials Recycling is a key component of creating a healthier planet for future generations. In order to support recycling efforts, though, it's important to buy products made from recycled materials as often as possible. Without a solid market for products made from recycled materials, companies will be forced to use virgin materials, which typically have a more significant impact on the environment. You can find ways to buy recycled materials, like dog toys or yarn from a site like bionicyarn.com. Combine Errands Although vehicles make everyday tasks much more convenient, they add a significant amount of pollution to the atmosphere. While the best response to this problem is to buy a car that gets better gas mileage, that isn't always feasible. A more simple solution is to be more careful about planning your errands so that you can reduce the amount you drive, thus reducing your carbon footprint. Collect Rainwater Water is one of the most vital resources in terms of completing everyday activities around your home. Since water is a limited resource, though, it's important to conserve it whenever possible. One great way to overcome this problem is to collect rainwater as it leaves your home's gutters. Using rain collection barrels, you can ensure that you always have water available to water your plants and do other outdoor tasks. This will help lower your water bill and ensure that there's water available for future generations. One reason that people pollute more than they should is that they simply fall into a rut and don't think through their actions. By continuing to do things the way you've always done them, you will likely use more energy and create more pollution than you would if you took some time to observe your actions. By thinking through the things you do every day, you can begin to search for new ways to do these things so that you can help make the world a better place.
  3. You already do your part for the environment by choosing energy-efficient appliances and reusable household goods, but have you considered the environmental footprint of your home's plumbing system? The top four plumbing issues that can wreak havoc on the ecosystem include water wastage, overuse of water, chemical pollution and garbage accumulation from discarded plumbing materials. If you want to green up your pipes, here are four simple ways to counteract these problems. Lower Your Flow One of the easiest and most effective ways to curb water wastage in your home is to install low-flow faucets, showerheads and toilets. Are you worried about getting all the shampoo out of your hair? Today's low-flow technology is miles ahead of those trickling faucets you remember, so you won't even notice the difference. The best part is that reducing water wastage not only helps save the environment but also saves money on your monthly utility bills. Recycle Greywater Overusing water resources is a growing problem, and outdoor usage, such as watering your lawn or garden, accounts for between 30 and 60 percent of household water usage. However, you don't have to say goodbye to your lush lawn if you want to save water. Use water that would have otherwise been discarded to water your grass or garden with a greywater recycling system. Avoid Chemical Drain Cleaners What do you do when your drain is clogged? If you're like most people, you reach for a bottle of drain cleaner. Although drain cleaners can bust up clogs quickly, the harsh chemicals they contain end up in lakes and streams where they can upset the PH balance and poison wildlife. Most plumbers recommend trying natural methods like baking soda or a plastic pipe snake to bust up a clog and calling in the professionals if that doesn't work. Choose Eco-friendly Materials The pipes that carry water to your faucets and fixtures can also cause a problem for Mother Nature when they wear out and get discarded. If you're installing new plumbing, choose materials that are durable and recyclable. Although the price tag is high, you can't do better than copper pipe. Not only does copper last forever, but it's also recyclable and better for your health than plastics, which often contain potentially harmful chemicals like BPA. Remember, keeping your plumbing in good condition is also essential for protecting the ecosystem. Poorly maintained pipes can leak and waste water or contaminate important water sources like groundwater, lakes and streams. Most importantly, be aware of how much water you are using as well as what you are flushing down your drains.
  4. An environmentally friendly car is society’s attempt to reduce air pollution and decrease everyone’s dependence on gasoline. However, buying a brand-new hybrid or electric car is not an option for everyone. Sometimes, it works to compromise by looking at the features that make a car green and the features that don’t make it green. Here are 4 tips to consider as you look for green used vehicles. Compare the Gas Mileage Gas mileage, also known as fuel efficiency, determines how far the car goes without needing to be refueled. This rate is the most important factor to consider when looking at an energy-efficient vehicle. You should not automatically choose the vehicle with the highest mpg ratio, though. You also need to consider other design features, such as the car’s engine, tires, weight and type of oil, that affect its energy efficiency. Compare the Toxic Emissions Rate A great deal of a city’s air, soil and water pollution comes from cars. In major cities, much of the toxic air pollution is caused by vehicle emissions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets Tier 2 and Tier 3 standards to limit the amount of emissions that are released by certain types of vehicle. People who want used vehicles should review the general toxic emissions ratings that are available. Compare Hybrid vs Non-Hybrid Vehicles When people hear of energy-efficient cars, they often hear of hybrids that run on petroleum and electricity. It’s not necessary to buy a hybrid to drive an environmentally friendly car. It is necessary to learn the similarities and differences between hybrid vehicles and non-hybrid electric or gas-powered vehicles. Compare the Repair Rates When buying a green used vehicle, avoid the one that requires a lot of repairs. It may be cheaper, but it consumes more energy than a healthy vehicle. A damaged car emits more toxic gases into the air as it struggles to work properly and becomes overheated. Make sure that your chosen car is built well with a long lifespan, and have it maintained at least once year. Green used car buying is not always straightforward. Sometimes, it takes learning the basics of hybrid and electric vehicles that you’ve heard of but know nothing about. But your efforts of trying to save energy and the environment will pay off in the end. Continue to review the tips and tricks of finding the best deal for your used vehicle.
  5. More people are opting to install a solar panel in their home. A solar panel can help you save a lot of money. However, there are several things that you need to do in order to ensure that you get the most out of your solar panel. Have Your Solar Panel Installed by a Professional You may be able to install your residential solar panel yourself. However, it is best for you to have it installed by a professional. They will be able to safely install your solar panel. Proper placement will also ensure that your solar panel gets maximum sun exposure. Additionally, proper placement will help you protect your property. Sell Your Extra Energy Back Many solar companies have an option to sell back the energy you don’t use. This not only cuts down your energy bill immensely, but it supplies green energy to be recycled for other uses by the company. Once you pay off your solar panels entirely, you’ll be able to completely bank off of your extra solar energy with no offsetting costs. Make the Most of Your Energy Use During the Day Because solar panels can only generate energy during the day, it is best for you to make the most of your energy during the day. For example, it is best for you to charge your appliances during the day. You can also set a timer to where your appliances power down after a certain time. Of course, just because it only absorbs energy during the day doesn’t mean that you won’t have energy at night, as solar panels store the energy they collect for later use. Using your energy during the day, however, will allow for extra storage to be used in the evening so you won’t be using energy while your panels aren’t pulling in more. Clean Your Solar Panels on a Regular Basis Your solar panel will not work as efficiently if it is not clean. That is why you will need to have your solar panels cleaned once every six to 12 months. Bird droppings, debris, and mold can reduce the amount of sunlight that your solar panel receives. You will also need to make sure that trees and not blocking the solar panel. A solar panel can help you save a lot of money on energy. However, in order to get the most out of it, you will need to have it installed by a professional. You should also use one appliance at a time and make the most of your energy during the day. Additionally, you should clean the solar panels regularly.
  6. The amount of energy used in your home can be reduced significantly through energy proofing. This process involves repairing and replacing broken components and sections in your home that cause energy wastage. It may sound easy for a technician, but it can be problematic for untrained homeowners. These are the main repairs around your home that can lead to efficient use of energy: HVAC System Repairs Heating and cooling your home may contribute to the high use of energy. The primary system used in the heating and cooling of a house is the HVAC system. Proper maintenance of the system helps in conserving energy. The main repairs that should be done include cleaning the vents and air ducts, maintaining the thermostat, and lubricating any moving part. Collectively, this will ensure that the system does not use a lot of energy to operate. When the furnace and heat pump have performance issues, they are likely to use a lot of energy. To reduce the wastage of energy, you should replace air filters, seal any leaks in the air ducts, and install a programmable thermostat. You also need to ensure that the heating and cooling system is working optimally. Windows and Doors Repairs As a homeowner, you should ensure that your windows and doors are opening and closing effectively. If the frames of these structures are broken, you may experience high energy bills. They will let cold air into your house during the cold seasons, making your heating and cooling system overwork. You should hire an expert to rectify the broken doors and windows to enhance energy efficiency. Thermostat Repairs Many gadgets at home use a thermostat, which regulates the energy used by a system. When a thermostat is malfunctioning, it stops regulating the energy used by a unit. You should check to ensure that all the thermostats are working effectively. Also, it is imperative to replace manual thermostats with smart thermostats that automatically schedule a system. Siding Repairs The defective sidings of your house can cause energy inefficiency. Therefore, it is advisable to regularly inspect your house to identify gaps in the home's sidings. Leaky sidings may increase energy consumption in your house and lead to high monthly bills. The energy used in your house is influenced by how well energy-consuming systems are working. The repair of each of these systems leads to efficient use of energy. Also, the home must be kept in excellent condition to ensure that airflow is easily regulated.
  7. When many people think about things that they can do to make their homes energy-efficient, they think about their appliances. You can also make your plumbing more energy-efficient. There are several things that you can do to increase the energy efficiency of plumbing. Energy-Saving Water Pipes The type of pipes that you have will determine how energy efficient they are. The right pipes will also improve water pressure, reduce leakage, and minimize heat loss. The best types of pipes for you to buy are PEX pipes or steel pipes. These types of pipes will also last longer. If you are not ready to replace your pipes, then there are still things that you can do to help them save energy. You can add pipe insulators to copper and plastic pipes. The pipe insulators can cut heat loss by 80 percent. Water-Saving Toilets Water-saving toilets are designed to use less water. There are some toilets that use 20 to 60 percent less water than your average toilet. The water-saving toilets work just as well as regular toilets. There are also some toilets that allow you to adjust the amount of water that your toilet uses. Energy-Efficient Water Heater Water heaters have a tendency to use more energy as they get older. Poor insulation can also your water heater to not work as efficiently as it should. If your water heater is over the age of 10, then it is a good idea for you to get a new water heater. New water heaters are not only more energy-efficient, but they also use less water. Additionally, you may want to install a tankless water heater if you live in an apartment or a small home. A tankless water heater only heats water when you need it. This can help you save even more energy and water. Replace Faucets and Showerheads One of the easiest things that you can to make your plumbing more energy efficient is to replace the faucets and showerheads. New faucets and showerheads can reduce water usage by 30 percent. They are also inexpensive and easy to install. Making your plumbing more eco-friendly can help you save a lot of money. You can save money by installing energy-saving water pipes and toilets. You can also install an energy-efficient water heater. Furthermore, you can save a lot of energy by replacing faucets and showerheads.
  8. Did you know that many of the metals used to produce everyday objects are recycled rather than mined from the earth? Collecting and selling scrap metal for recycling is a great way to earn money for hobbyists and professionals alike. Whether you’re looking to make a little extra cash on the side or recycle scrap metal as a full-time job, here are some tips to help you get started. Know Your Metals When it comes to scrap metal, copper is the reigning king. The energy and expense required for copper recycling is much less than creating copper from ore, which makes any existing copper extremely valuable. Precious metals like gold and silver fetch an even higher price than copper, but they are difficult to find in large quantities. Other metals that can earn you a pretty penny include aluminum, brass, iron and steel. Seek Out Sources Now you know what metals to look for, but where do you find them? Construction waste is a great source of scrap copper from plumbing and wiring. You can also find copper wiring inside old electronics and appliances. Check pawn shops, thrift stores and estate sales for precious metal jewelry that can be sold for scrap. One of the most accessible sources of scrap metal is discarded aluminum cans, but you will need a lot of them to earn a significant amount of money. Have a Collection and Storage System The trunk of your car might be sufficient for scrap metal hobbyists, but you’ll need a more sophisticated setup if you’re serious about recycling. Get a truck or van for hauling your scrap around and a warehouse to store it. Use tall shelves and labeled bins to keep everything organized. Find the Best Price After all the effort you put into finding and collecting scrap metal, you don’t want to let it go for nothing. Search around for buyers who can give you the best price for your recyclable metal and keep an eye on the markets because the price of many metals fluctuates over time. Having a good storage system can help you hang onto your scrap until you find the best price. Remember, metal recycling isn’t a get rich quick scheme. It takes a lot of work and perseverance to earn a living with scrap metal, but your efforts will pay off eventually if you stick with it. Don’t forget to keep careful track of your business so you can identify trends and maximize your profits.
  9. Home decor is the latest industry to include sustainable materials. When it comes to home decor, it is generally about aesthetics and less about whether a product or materials are sustainable. But, there are plenty of options that are both beautiful and functional as well as green. Everything from the paint on your walls to the natural stone tiles on your floor can be sourced with sustainability in mind. The ease of finding these products means that you don't even need to make many changes to your personal style or worry about a huge expense in order to easily use sustainable materials. These are a few easy changes to consider and ways in which you can easily make your home more sustainable. Select Furnishings Made From Sustainable Materials Anytime you need to update or redecorate items in your home, focus on options that are made from sustainable materials. Fabrics, wallpaper, cabinetry, flooring, and furniture are all choices that help establish a room and make a great backdrop for smaller decor pieces. More brands continue to offer sustainable options with each year as options become available and consumers show interest in swapping out less earth friendly choices. Choose Quality Over Fast Decor Like fast fashion, decor is available cheap and on trend. Stop buying items that fall into the category of fast decor and instead choose quality pieces that will last a lifetime and can be incorporated into your decor scheme year to year and season to season. Quality pieces will include those that are made from reclaimed wood, covered in organic natural fabrics, sourced from natural stone outcroppings, and from brands that have earth friendly manufacturing processes. Repair and Purchase Second Hand In addition to purchasing quality decor and furnishings, consider purchasing secondhand or repairing those items you already own to breathe life into old items. Along with overbuying fast decor or purchasing pieces that will not last, buying secondhand is a great way to keep items out of the landfill. You can quickly reupholster a chair or couch with sustainable fabric, making it as good as new. Small home furnishings from lamps to shelving to art pieces can be purchased secondhand or repurposed in a way that suits your personal style. DIY projects are also a great way to use up sustainable materials in a way that coordinates with the decor in your home. All of these ideas can help you create the home of your dreams.
  10. Everyone likes to see custom-made wood furniture. You may not realize that an aged door can be removed, taken apart and rebuilt into a brand-new piece of woodwork. You can decorate your entire home with customized pieces. The following are four popular ideas to consider for this craft. Coffee Table Turn your old door into a wooden coffee table. Replace an old coffee table or put it in a room that has no table at all. An old, unattractive door can look like an elegant, polished table if it’s made correctly. And for many people, building a table by hand is more fulfilling than hiring a professional to do all of the work. There are many different types of materials that can be incorporated with wood, such as metal, glass or porcelain. Some tables are made with wooden frames and legs and an elaborate glass centerpiece. In the end, a badly scratched door can be built into a luxurious, polished table. Shelves In some rooms, there can never be enough shelves. Your garage or attic could use more shelves if it’s overflowing with old books, appliances, storage bins, etc. Compared to coffee tables, shelves are easier to create and install. Restored Doors Old doors can be made into brand-new ones with different designs. Install replacement doors that have been freshly sandblasted to remove the scratches and cracks. Have the door polished to prevent new damage and painted a different color. This door will look brand new, even if it’s been used for decades. Bench or Chair People can learn to make furniture by hand using old doors. A bench or chair is not too difficult to make with a few power tools. It’s also interesting to see how one useful creation can transform into another. Build a simple wooden bench for your backyard or a loveseat swing for your front yard. Use the old wood to build a tree house for children. Another option is to build a rocking chair for the living room or bedroom. There are a million items that you can make out of an old door. Start by building items that you use on a regular basis, such as tables and shelves. Then, consider using old doors to craft other items like bedposts, bar tables or picture frames. Know that a door of any age and condition still has value and can be used for good.
  11. Just because the weather is heating up doesn’t mean that you need to accept huge water bills. With a little bit of hard work and a few simple upgrades, you should be able to save a huge amount of water during the sweltering summer months. Adjust Your Irrigation Many people don’t realize just how much water is needed to keep their lawns and plants alive during the hottest months of the year. As soon as the weather starts to warm up, you will need to adjust your sprinkler system so that the water doesn’t evaporate before it is absorbed. In most areas, homeowners should have their sprinklers turn on a few hours before the sun comes so that the ground can become fully saturated. Double-Check for Leaks Slow leaks are another problem that many homeowners struggle with, and this issue could have a huge impact on your water usage. To check for a slow leak, you will need to turn off all of your appliances and faucets and then check the water meter. If the numbers on your water meter continue to move even though no one is using any water, then you probably have a leak. Reuse Your Water You might be surprised to hear that you can actually reuse much of your water as long as it doesn’t have too many contaminants. The average wastewater treatment system is very easy to install, and one of those systems will allow you to use old water to keep your lawn and plants alive. Those types of systems are also perfect for families that would like to grow their own food in a garden or small farm. Collect Rain Even if you don’t live in an area that gets a lot of rain, rain barrels could still be very beneficial. During a single rainstorm, your rain barrels might fill up in a matter of minutes, and that water can be used in many different ways. Before you install any rain barrels, you will need to figure out exactly where all of the water on your roof goes during a rainstorm so that you can collect as much as possible. In addition to these few tips, you should also make sure that your family is being sensible with water usage. That includes steps such as taking shorter showers, turning off faucets when they aren’t needed, and properly using all of the appliances.
  12. Exterior home renovations can be a great way to improve your home's curb appeal. While renovations are an important part of being a homeowner, it's vital to ensure that the renovations you do are completed in an environmentally friendly manner. One way to do this is to use recycled materials for your home exterior renovations instead of buying new materials that utilize natural resources. Mulch One of the easiest ways to incorporate recycled materials into your home's exterior is to use mulch as part of your landscaping. Mulch is made from trees that have been shredded into small pieces. Since mulch will eventually decompose, releasing its nutrients into the soil, adding mulch to your home's exterior is a great way to use recycled materials and create zero waste in the process. Brick If you're replacing your current exterior cladding material with brick, you may think your only option is to head to a brickyard and choose your favorite color. However, recycled bricks are available in many different varieties to help transform the look of your home. Plus, many bricks are crushed when they're removed, resulting in a gravel-like substance that you can use in flower beds and on paths. Wood To create a classic look through your renovation, nothing beats the look of weathered wood. If you can obtain reclaimed barn wood, you can use it to wrap the exterior of your home, resulting in a one-of-a-kind design that will help your house stand out from the crowd. You can also use reclaimed wood to create trellises, benches, pergolas, and much more. Windows For the most part, the windows in your home should be as new as possible so that you don't experience drafts. However, for a signature look, you can use a few recycled windows in strategic locations on your home's exterior. For example, you might choose a stained glass window from a Victorian-era home to highlight a unique architectural feature of your home. Just be sure to caulk and insulate around these windows to negate any energy loss that you may experience due to their construction. In many ways, using recycled materials in your home's exterior renovation is the best way to achieve a unique look. Since many recycled materials are types of materials that are no longer being manufactured, you can avoid having a cookie-cutter home if you seek-out these one-of-a-kind items. With enough patience and a creative eye, you'll be well on your way to creating the home of your dreams
  13. As the world becomes more industrialized, empty lots are growing scarce. This leaves many businesses expanding into the countryside, which can take a toll on the surrounding ecosystem. Despite recent rollbacks of environmental regulations, it's still important to consider the implications of your construction project on nature when you build on undeveloped land. Here are four ways your business should evaluate new construction projects for environmental friendliness. Consider an Alternate Site The first thing you can do to protect the environment when starting a new construction project is to consider alternative sites that pose less of a threat to the ecosystem. Look for lots that have already been developed. Choosing existing construction can also save money if you can recycle the old foundation and materials. If no developed lots are available, evaluate whether utilizing buildings you already own is an option. Consult a Professional If you have considered all your options and have no choice but to build on undeveloped land, it's time to hire a geotechnical engineer to evaluate your building site. From initial soil assessments and geophysical surveys to ground improvement and slope stabilization, a good engineering firm can help design a building project that interferes with the environment as little as possible. Having a professional by your side during the building process makes a big difference in the final project's aesthetic and utility as well as its environmental impact. Reduce Your Footprint You already know that a building's carbon footprint is important, but so is its physical footprint. Make your building compact so that it doesn't intrude on the landscape more than it needs to. Consider building a taller, narrower structure instead of a sprawling compound. You can also maximize space by going below ground with a roomy basement floor that stays unseen above the surface. Blend Into the Ecosystem Another minimally intrusive option is to work your building's design into the surrounding landscape. Construct your building in the side of a hill, tuck it into a dense forest or blend it into a desert oasis with a sandy color scheme. Landscape with hardy native plants to reduce water consumption and use hardscaping features like birdbaths and natural stones to attract wildlife. Remember, keeping the environment in mind when starting a construction project is not only good for Mother Nature but also for your bottom line. Environmentally friendly building designs tend to use less energy and require less upkeep, which can lead to significant savings over time.
  14. Renovating your home is often an invigorating experience. You get all the benefits of a move without having to actually change locations. New features and a fresh design give you a sense of rebirth, and you’ll likely look back at the renovation as a major milestone in your life. Beyond all the personal benefits, renovations are also a great way to make your home more eco-friendly, thereby shrinking your carbon footprint and making you a better global citizen. By incorporating these four “green” elements in your renovation, you’ll make your home a place you can truly be proud of. Solar Panels Scientists and climatologists have spent decades urging humanity to invest in renewable energy and cut down on the use of fossil fuels. There’s no better way to help that process than by installing solar panels in your home. By harvesting energy from the sun, you can power your home and even create surplus energy for the grid. The panels are not only great for the environment, but they’ll also save you a bundle on your monthly utility bills. Use Non-Toxic Materials A renovation requires a lot of materials, and in many projects the components are laden with toxic chemicals. Paints and materials with toxins are as bad for the environment as they are for your health. Luckily, there are plenty of non-toxic options on the market, and you can use them exclusively if you make the effort. If you’re going to do a renovation anyway, you might as well take advantage of the opportunity to rid your home of toxic substances. Use Recycled Materials Every year, countless tons of reusable material are needlessly wasted and replaced by new products. You can fight this trend by using as many recycled materials as possible in your renovation. From decking to tiling, countertops to doors, any number of features can spring from recycled material. Use Local Materials A large percentage of greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation. If you haul in materials from across the country for your renovation, then you are contributing to the problem. By sticking to local products, however, you help cut down on global emissions. A renovation is a great way to do two important things at once: revamp your living space while lessening your home's environmental impact. It's rare that life affords us such great opportunities to serve ourselves and others at the same time. Take advantage by adopting the four eco-friendly elements mentioned above.
  15. Growing your food is enjoyable, rewarding, satisfying, and has many benefits. Besides getting fresh farm produce, growing your food also saves money and limits waste in the garden. Many people utilize the spaces in their homes to set up a garden no matter the size, and the results are breathtaking. However, it needs dedication and the right knowledge for a successful process. Find the Space Finding the perfect spot for gardening doesn’t have to make you sweat. Even with the smallest space in your garden, you can grow your food. Start with a small portion so that you watch out on the progress, and if it goes well, you can add more plants with time. You can also install raised beds or use containers. You don’t need big containers, any small or medium ones will do, but you’ll need to punch holes to create a drainage system. You can start with micro-seedlings, and you’ll need to re-sow them every one or two weeks. Don’t forget to check the seedling package when buying the seeds and go for one with the most. Plan Ahead It would be best if you established your gardening goals. Most plants have their seasons, and you’ll need to find a suitable time before you proceed. Make the right timing within the year to get a good harvest. Mark the dates in the calendar or write down in a diary to stick to the appointed time. Also, create a budget for the seedlings, and determine the quantity that you’d like to plant. Once you have goals, you can go ahead with the process, but you can always make additions if things go well. Know your soil Soil type is a crucial factor to consider when planning to grow your food. Do a simple residential drilling test and determine whether you need to make the soil better and suitable for your desirable crop. If you go ahead without doing a soil test, the crops might grow unhealthy. Mix it No matter the size of your garden, you can mix up seedlings to maximize the available space. It doesn’t stop the growth of the seedlings. You can grow in a couple of containers. You may need to start with a particular seedling before planting the rest. For instance, you can start with beans and mix up vegetables after the germination. Most of the food you buy from grocery stores or supermarkets stay longer before getting to your doorstep. However, you’ll be safe with your garden since you will have fresh produce and will save you the time you would spend going to the grocery store.
  16. Keeping an older car for many years can be great for your budget. As your car ages, you'll be able to pay it off, leaving you with less debt. The problem, though, is that old cars tend to be a little harder on the environment than newer vehicles. By taking a few smart steps, though, you can make your vehicle more environmentally friendly. To help you save the planet, here are a few tips on how to reduce the carbon footprint of your older car. Maintain Your Tires Since your tires are constantly moving, any changes in your tires can have a big effect on your car's fuel economy. By properly maintaining your tires, you can help shrink your vehicle's carbon footprint. One important step is to make sure that your tires are properly inflated at all times. This will help to prevent excess friction that can decrease your fuel economy. Maintain Your Air Conditioner During the summer, there is no larger user of fuel in your vehicle than the air conditioner. It's vital, then, that you keep it properly maintained. If the refrigerant levels are too low, it will cause your air conditioner to work harder, resulting in higher fuel use. When your air conditioner has reached the end of its life, it's important to make plans for a new AC system installation so that you can keep your vehicle cool without having to open your windows, which can increase drag. Change the Oil Your vehicle depends on clean oil to keep all of its internal components properly lubricated. As your engine oil ages, it will begin to lose its effectiveness as it collects microscopic byproducts of combustion. This causes the engine to have to work harder to produce the same amount of power, which causes your fuel consumption to increase. By regularly checking and replacing your oil, you can help your car last longer and ensure it's easy on the environment. Reduce the Weight One simple step you can take to improve your car's fuel economy is to reduce the excess weight that you carry around. If your vehicle has a lot of trash in it or if you're constantly hauling around clothes, toys, or other items, you can make surprising gains in fuel economy by simply leaving these items at home. Just be sure not to remove any essential safety items that you might need if you get stuck on the side of the road. Even cars that are well-maintained eventually expire. If your vehicle is becoming less and less efficient, it's important to know when to put it out of its misery so that your carbon footprint isn't unnecessarily large. Though it can be hard to say goodbye to an older vehicle, it's also exciting to experience the thrill of all the features that a new vehicle has to offer.
  17. Technology has changed the way of doing things in this modern age. The conventional way of doing things was very tiring and full of inconveniences. Over the years, technology has been able to facilitate business transactions, and it is possible to transact online without paperwork. In this piece, we have outlined several ways a business can be able to transact without going through endless paper works. Electronic Payments Electronic payments have made it easier to do business transactions. At the same time, the electronic mode of payment has proven to be more efficient than the conventional way of making payments. For instance, Paypal has made it easier to buy goods that are sold online, without having to be physically present in the store. The platform has incredibly increased the number of sales for businesses. It is because of how convenient buyers find payments to be and how easy it is to make payments. Moreover, the online payment method makes it easy for a business to make payments because of its exceptional payment tracking system. Also, a business can pay its employees directly through their Paypal accounts if they want to avoid paperwork that are associated with bank payments. Furthermore, businesses can also be able to transact through the business to business system where businesses can be able to do b2b payments without involving any paperwork. E-Signing Solutions E-signing solutions, enable you to sign legal payment documents without having to go through the processes of dealing with papers. You can send your documents securely, and get the appropriate signatures quickly and efficiently using the system. It is very efficient because it saves businesses from going to unnecessary meetings to sign off documents. Blockchain Technology Blockchain for business is an efficient way of making business payments because it has a distributed ledger technology. The ledger allows both parties involved in the transaction to view the information simultaneously, which builds trust. Today, businesses also allow their customers to make payments through blockchain technology. The technology uses digital coins such as bitcoins, for instance, in making the transactions. Blockchain has revolutionized how business is done today by eliminating all the paperwork done during transactions. Every person using blockchain has a cryptocurrency wallet. When making payments, all they do is transfer funds from their wallet to the recipient's wallet. It is a fast and convenient way of transacting in business today. Generally, technology has simplified transactions in business today by providing efficient ways of transacting without paper works. Paperless transactions are a growing trend that has facilitated the growth of businesses. Follow this link to learn more about electronic commerce, and how to go paperless doing business transactions.
  18. Green living is a trend in 2020. However, parts of your home might be holding you back from this goal. Let us take a very close look at four ways your roof can be preventing your home from being eco-friendly. Clogged gutter To start things off, a clogged gutter is not good for the environment. This will accumulate leaves, bird droppings, and other debris and create a mess. Fortunately, it's very easy to unclog a gutter and restore the ecosystem. Moreover, it simply leads to better drainage on top of and around your home. No solar panels Next in line, your roof might not be suitable for solar panels. Roofs that are situated at steep angles can't really feature solar panels that collect the rays of the sun. Alternatively, you may have simply never gotten around to going solar. Either way, it's an obstacle to becoming completely eco-friendly. Aging roof In the grand scheme of things, an aging roof isn't friendly to the environment either. Older roofs are made of hazardous materials that don't mesh well with the greenery around your home. Consider a roof replacement service to switch to a greener roof. They can swap out your old roof for one that is sustainable for years to come. Not only will this be better for the environment, but a new roof looks amazing as well. Eroding tiles Last but not least, eroding tiles are not eco-friendly. Certain tiles don't disintegrate into the ground, and instead you're left with a pile of rubble. It's all about reducing your carbon footprint, and these tiles certainly don't help. Look to replace the tiles in some shape or form. When all is said and done, these are a couple of ways your roof can be preventing your home from being eco-friendly. The roof is often an unlikely place that should not be overlooked. By addressing your roof, you can finally achieve green living.
  19. Farming is one of the oldest human pursuits. The ability to produce food at home instead of having to stay on the move to find it has enabled the development of human civilization. If you have some land that you want to start using for this time-honored purpose, here are five things that you’ll need. Basic Fencing Whether you have livestock on your farm or not, you will probably need some fencing. Crops of all kinds attract wildlife and the occasional escaped animal from other farms. That’s reason enough to build a fence at least around the boundary of your property. If you have cattle, horses, or other animals of your own, you will also need to subdivide their grazing areas for maximum efficiency. Farming Implements Unless you expect to plant and care for all your crops by hand, you’ll need some mechanical equipment. Of course, this will start with a tractor of adequate size and horsepower to operate the other things you will use like hay balers, seeding machines, and plows. Use online resources to find used equipment to get you started at a lower cost. Connect with a handy neighbor who can teach you basic maintenance and repair. Appropriate Clothing Dressing for the farm isn’t just about looking the part. Heavy boots are to protect your feet and ankles from everything from cow hooves to dropped buckets of feed. Wide-brimmed hats minimize strain on your eyes and protect you from excess UV exposure. Sturdy leather gloves prevent injuries and blisters, and no farmer’s pocket should be without a good knife. You’ll use it more than you ever imagined. Storage Space Whether it’s a barn, a shed, or a shop, you need some type of structure to house your equipment, tools, and implements. You may also need additional space to store large amounts of harvested crops like hay. Keeping these valuable assets indoors will improve crop values, extend the useful life of equipment, and reduce the risk of theft. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but you do need a building. Good Management The last thing to put in place is a good business system. Tracking your expenses and revenues is vital to any business, even if it’s a farm that you’re just operating for fun. Would it be cheaper to buy grain for your cattle or grow it yourself? The only way to know is to document your finances. You’ll also need this information at tax time. Farming is a respected and important profession. You can be a part of that, even if you are just dabbling. For it to be a positive experience, though, you’ll need these basic things in place.
  20. The world's natural resources are quickly depleting at an alarming rate, and we are challenged to find ways to do our part to help the environment by reducing our energy consumption. Perhaps you are wondering how you can do your part to help save the environment by reducing energy use and to save money. Here are four repairs to make around your home to reduce energy use. Leaky Pipe A leaky pipe in your home can cause devastating damages and is one of the main culprits in high energy consumption. As the water drips or leaks through your plumbing, your water heater is also constantly operating. This means energy is being wasted, and you are paying for it. Repairing the leaky pipe as soon as possible is a must to help reduce energy use. AC Unit When it comes to your HVAC system, you probably maintain it by routinely replacing the filters around your home. While this is good practice to help save on costs and energy consumption, a full AC service will further your savings. Consider repairing your AC or HVAC system by replacing the insulation around the coolant pipes. This repair is beneficial as it will absorb a significant amount of heat from the outside air, reducing power consumption while saving you money. Cracked or Broken Window Just like a leaky pipe, a cracked or broken window can waste tons of energy which will ultimately affect your energy bill. Even a small crack can allow warm or cold air into your home, causing your AC unit to use more energy. For this reason, repairing any damaged windows around your home is essential to save energy and to save on costs. Insulating Your Home Another repair to make around your home is replacing the old and worn out insulation with new insulating material around your doors and windows. Just like repairing damaged windows, this is also a necessary repair to perform in order to keep the air your HVAC system is producing inside your home. Use less energy and save money by keeping inside air in your home while preventing outside air from entering. These are only to name four essential repairs to make around your home to help reduce your energy use. Remember, repairing leaky pipes, replacing your AC unit's coolant pipe insulation, fixing any damaged windows, and using new insulating material around your doors and windows will help save the environment while saving you money by reducing your energy consumption.
  21. You likely spend a lot of time in your bedroom. It can be difficult to keep your bedroom comfortable. However, there are some things that you can do in order to keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature without straining the HVAC. Invest in House Plants There are several ways that house plants can keep your bedroom comfortable. The plants help purify the air, reducing the amount of loose carbon dioxide in your room. Placing plants outside your bedroom window can shade your window from the sun and thereby help in cooling the room itself. Because plants soak in the energy of the sun to use themselves, they provide excellent shade both from heat and UV rays. Install a Ceiling Fan Ceiling fans are effective for keeping your home cool. They do not lower the temperature of the room. However, they will make your room more comfortable, which will reduce the need to use a HVAC system. However, it is important to make sure that the blades are turning the right direction. The blades will need to turn counterclockwise. They will disperse cool air. When circulating clockwise, they disperse warm air, which can be helpful in the winter but awful if you’re avoiding summer heat. Upgrade Your Windows Older windows have a tendency to let cool air escape. That is why if you have the windows for several years, then it is time for you to get them replaced. It can be expensive to upgrade your windows. However, you will be able to save a lot of money over time. If getting new windows is out of your budget, then you will need to make sure that your windows are sealed. Sealing the windows will prevent the cold air from escaping. Keep the Doors Open One of the best things that you can do if you are trying to keep your home cool without a HVAC is to keep the doors open. This will increase the ventilation in the room and allow the HVAC to properly circulate air throughout the house. It will also prevent your home from getting too hot. The closer to your central heating, the more important it is to keep your door open. Upgrade Your Lightbulbs The lightbulbs that you use may be keeping your home hotter than it should be. If you have incandescent lightbulbs, then you will need to upgrade them. You can replace them with compact fluorescent lightbulbs or LED lightbulbs. Those lights are not only cooler, but they also use less energy. You do not have to put a strain on your HVAC system to keep your home comfortable. You can use house plants to keep it comfortable. You can also use a ceiling fan and upgrade or seal your windows. It is also a good idea to keep the doors open. Furthermore, you can upgrade your lighting.
  22. The most common material in your home is wood. Your patio chairs, bed, or even flooring is made up of wood. Like every other industry today, the wood construction industry is shifting towards ethical furniture and the use of sustainable timber. Today, preserving the world’s trees and forests is essential for the survival of the human race. Therefore, buying wood is a bit challenging since you have to know where it is coming from and how it was harvested. What is sustainable timber? Many homeowners do not want to take part in deforestation; hence, they want to avoid the ‘bad’ wood. Sustainable wood is timber from sustainably managed forests. Sustainable wood is renewable as it is grown to prevent damage to wildlife or the ecosystem. Controlled forests last for the long term, meaning they will control carbon emissions for generations to come. On the other hand, unsustainable sources just cut down the trees leaving bare land, thus leading to full destruction. Why buy sustainable timber? Buying timber from unsustainable sources has some severe effects on their places of origin. Without their knowledge, homeowners who purchase unsustainable timber may promote the hunting of endangered species and abuse human rights in those places. Ninety two percent of the earth’s forests are not adequately protected from destruction. Thus, buying sustainable timber is a way of preserving the future earth’s forests and the coming generations. Which timbers are more sustainable? Timber is usually classified as either softwood or hardwood. Simply because softwoods like pine and fir grow fast, they are sustainable. Buying European timber is a safe choice for homeowners as the EU introduced measures to protect its forests. Today more trees are planted than felled therefore European forests are growing instead of diminishing Here are exotic timbers that you should avoid: • Ebony • Teak • Wenge • Sapelle • Murbau How to identify sustainable wood Here is what homeowners need to do to ensure they spend their money on sustainable timber: Buy reclaimed timber: This is the best way of ensuring you are using responsibly sourced wood as no tree is cut down when homeowners buy reclaimed wood. Buying reclaimed wood prevents unnecessary logging. Look for the FSC logo: The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an independent non-governmental organization that promotes responsible management of the earth’s forests. Their certification method provides internationally recognized standards and trademark assurance to homeowners who support responsible forestry. No FSC logo? Inquire more: When homeowners are interested in timber, which is not FSC certified, they should ask questions like the country and region it originated from and the lumber company that harvested it. If the retailers don’t have the answers, they should go ahead and ask their suppliers. This will enable them to know the history of the timber. For your home renovations and upgrades, visit a supply company like Old World Lumber Company, for a large selection of reclaimed wood perfect for the environmentally aware homeowner.
  23. Industrial companies have a responsibility to make sure that they do everything that they can to protect the environment. Your boiler can contribute to greenhouse gases. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to make your boiler more eco-friendly. Insulate the Valves There are many places that will remove the insulation when they perform maintenance and never put it back. However, you can increase the efficiency of your boiler by insulating the valves. Insulating the valves will reduce heat loss. It will also reduce the risk of burns and increase comfort. Make Sure That Your Boiler Receives Maintenance Your boiler requires maintenance just like every other appliance that you have. You will need to have a professional perform maintenance at least once a year. Professionals can ensure that your boiler is working properly. They will also be able to perform a tune-up, which will help your boiler work at its peak. Use SCRS You will need to purchase SCRS for water tube boilers. SCRS is short for selective catalytic reduction system. If you use SCRS, then you will be able to control the flow of energy in the boiler. You will also be able to control the way that the energy is dispensed. There are several other benefits that you can reap from using SCRS. You will be able to reduce carbon emissions. You may also be able to save a lot of money on your utility bill. Furthermore, your boiler may last longer. Clean the Water Side If your boiler is leaking, then it will waste a lot of water. That is why you will need to inspect your water heater on a regular basis. You will also need to clean the water side on a regular basis. Hardened water can turn into scale. If scale builds alongside your boiler, then it can cause your boiler to overheat. This can cause your boiler to start leaking. You may end up needing to get expensive repairs. Boilers can contribute to many of the environmental issues that we have today. However, you can still do your part to make your boiler more eco-friendly. You will need to insulate the valves. You will also need to make sure that your boiler receives regular maintenance. Furthermore, it is a good idea for you to use SCRS and clean the water side on a regular basis.
  24. You can contribute to environmental conservation through the upgrades you install in your home. Eco-friendly installations can also save you a lot of money even though initial costs may be high in some cases. Here are some tips for going green in your home exterior. Install Solar Panels With solar panels you can generate enough energy to use at home, and in some cases even surplus to sell to the grid. Initial installation is high because it takes a few kilowatts before it can generate significant power levels. Solar panels would be economical to install if you are living in your permanent residence. It takes ages for them to show significant returns. Solar option is probably the greenest and safest you can ever go in energy consumption. Adopt Green Roofing Technology The idea here is to have a roof that optimizes sunlight, depending on the climate of your location and climate. In hot places, you can adopt a roofing system that reflects away sunlight and cools faster when there is no sunlight. Installing this technology is costly, but it will help you save so much in terms of energy costs, especially with the air conditioning system. Roof repair will also help you make sure you are reducing your energy use and you may even use different materials in your repair. Some materials for green roofing include: • White tiles • Using metals as roofing materials • A living roof, which uses plants that grow on the roof to help in saving water Consider Using a Natural Fence Do not use lumber in fencing when you can have a line of live trees around your homestead. This live fence can act as a home for fauna and will add to the fresh air supply in your home. It is also less costly than constructing a wall. Besides, you can decide to be more creative and use deciduous trees that shed during winter and flourish in summer. These trees have broad leaves that can act as a shield against sunlight during summer, hence providing a green cooling system. Examples of deciduous trees are: • Oak • Hickory • Maple Adopt Drip Irrigation Drip irrigation is better than sprinklers since water goes into the soil directly. If you use it together with mulching, you achieve a high water-retention rate as opposed to using sprinklers where most of the water goes to waste. There are many other ways of getting a green exterior in your home. The bottom line is that all of them are a futuristic and prudent saving option. Also, contact home improvement experts for more solutions.
  25. A home is a special place for everyone after retiring from the troubles of the outside world. Waste production, deforestation, and illegal dumping are the significant causes of pollution in our environments. According to the World Health Organization, some global deaths are as a result of pollutants. Naturally, every human being desires a clean environment. However, the environmental challenges have left many wondering how they can have an eco-friendly and stylish home at this age. Below are tips on how your home can be a haven: Use non-toxic materials Home decoration materials must be critically selected. We have things like paints, carpets, or even blankets that have been known to contain toxic and allergic toxins. These toxins are harmful to humans. Therefore, it is vital to make inquiries before the purchase of any item coming to your home. Growing of House–plants House plants have been known to offer several benefits. They import the natural world into the house and brighten up space. They are a significant enhancement to every photographic opportunity within the home. One can also grow useful plants that are naturally suitable for natural remedies as well as beauty purposes. These houseplants can be placed at either the bookshelves or picture ledges or wall hangings. Use of natural cleaning products Harmful chemicals are the biggest threat to any environment. This is because even after washing them, they go down with water. Later on, this water takes a very long time to be purified before it's safe for consumption. However, the good news is that there are several natural cleaning products. They include citric acid, vinegar, and bicarbonate of soda. These natural products also leave the air fresh. Embrace vintage or retro furniture New furniture contains chemicals that are slowly released to the air for years, leaving toxins in your space. Contrarily, recycled furniture or vintage rarely gives out compounds. The reasons are that vintage items don’t have chemicals while the retro furniture had already emitted the chemicals years ago. Many shops sell these types of furniture. Ventilate Many homes have windows that are energy-efficient, sealing the house well. Sadly, most people rarely open their windows. This means that indoor toxins and chemicals remain trapped inside the house. Lack of fresh air inside the home makes it stinky and uncomfortable. In addition to these tips, one can buy luxaflex blinds from a blind and shade company. The blinds will give your rooms a perfect balance of light filterings, privacy, and heat control. Once you employ these tips, you will be assured of a toxic-free environment.