AnitaGinsburg

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  1. When it comes to protecting your home, your roof is the true hero. But if your roof is over 20 years old, it might not be as eco-friendly as you'd like. Thankfully, many roofing materials are now designed to be better for you and the environment. If you're trying to go green, here are four different roofing materials you should consider. Wooden Shingles If you want to make your roof more eco-friendly, there’s no better place to start than by adding wooden shingles. Shingles are the material that covers the exterior of the roof and prevents things from infiltrating the interior. The most common type of shingles you see are asphalt. While these are primarily eco-friendly, asphalt shingles may give off toxic fumes should they be heated. Alternatively, wooden shingles are very durable and can even be any color you want. However, wooden shingles are a bit on the pricey side and require ongoing maintenance. A Metal Roof Metal roofs may be something you’d least expect to be on this list, but the truth is that they are a very eco-friendly roofing option. Metal roofs are incredibly low maintenance and can last as long as 70 years. Additionally, because they reflect sun’s rays instead of absorbing them, you lower your energy usages for heating and cooling. Metal roofs can also come in many different styles, so you can find one to match your home. Keep in mind that metal roofs are one of the most expensive options at your disposal. Metal roofs may also be more susceptible to hail damage as hail can leave it dented. Tile Roofing Tile roofing is another eco-friendly, versatile roofing option. There are many types of tiles to choose from including: Copper Concrete Ceramic Stone Composite Clay Polymer-Sand Metal Each of these tiles come with their own benefits. For example, clay tiles are energy efficient, which means that it’s easier to insulate your home. Depending on the type of tile you choose, you may need to add support to your home. Tiles can weigh more, so you need to have adequate support if you choose to install tile roofing. Solar Panels Lastly, consider solar panels. While they won’t cover the entirety of your roof and you will need a traditional roofing option under the panels, they are a great investment for eco-conscious homeowners. Solar panels absorb sunlight and use it to power your home. Solar panels are one of the most energy efficient materials you can add. However, like everything else that's listed here, they can be expensive. When it comes to making your home eco-friendly, you should never leave your roof out of the equation. It could end up playing the biggest role when it comes to being more eco-friendly. Remember these roofing materials in mind if you decide to replace your roof.
  2. There are many reasons to make a home more energy efficient. It is the socially responsible thing to do, as scientists across the world continue to warn of the dangers of unfettered energy use. It is also financially responsible, since energy bills can constitute a large hit to a monthly budget, especially during the height of either winter or summer. Taking even small steps to curb that energy usage can have a big impact. Below are some of the updates that will provide the most savings. Double Pane Windows Old windows leak both heat and air conditioning, essentially leaking money. While an upgrade is a fairly large initial investment, it is one that will pay for itself many times over. Not only that, but double pane windows more effectively block traffic noise and raise the overall value of the home, making it a smart long-term investment. For homeowners on a tighter budget, energy efficient window treatments can also provide some of the same benefits at a reduced cost. Roof Replacement Another huge source of temperature leakage is an older roof. In summer, roofs can soak up heat and radiate it down towards the home, and in winter the heat you want can escape through any cracks or faults. If your roof is older, roof replacement can help reduce your overall energy usage. When selecting roofing material, asphalt shingles often do not rate well in regards to energy efficiency. Tiles, metal roofs, and materials treated with special reflective coating all perform better. Insulation is also key, providing savings from the inside out. Energy Efficient Light Bulbs One of the least costly upgrades, new light bulbs, is also one of the most immediately effective. LED bulbs are the clear winner in the energy wars. While a little more expensive than their less efficient cousins, the incandescent bulb, they very quickly result in lowered monthly bills. Moreover, not only do LEDs consume less electricity, but they also last years longer than incandescents, making that investment more than worth it. New Air Conditioner An energy-efficient air conditioner is particularly necessary in warm climates, but will result in savings just about anywhere in the country. This is an upgrade that can save you money at tax time as well—certain units qualify for a federal HVAC tax credit, which starts the savings in April before the really hot weather even rolls around. Choosing to do an energy makeover has long lasting benefits to the wallet, the home's value, and the planet. Nor is it difficult to do. Light bulbs, roofs, AC units, and windows all need replacing eventually anyway—choosing energy efficient replacements is just common sense.
  3. One of the biggest challenges facing mankind is the threat posed by pollution and global warming. If this challenge is to be overcome, the biggest contributors to these problems must change course. This certainly includes industry which accounts for a very big portion of the pollution released into the atmosphere. Thankfully, industrial processes can be altered so they are more eco-friendly and sustainable. One way to do this is by retrofitting your company's equipment. Here are a few examples of how to accomplish this. Data Analytics One way you can retrofit your industrial equipment with the environment in mind is to integrate data analytics into its operation. This would involve installing sensors on equipment that transmit data regarding its operation in real time via Wi-Fi or some other kind of internet connection. Powerful data analytics software can then be used to crunch this data so you can have direct insight into how much energy your equipment is using and how much pollution or other negative byproducts are being produced. You can then use this information to make adjustments and increase both the efficiency and sustainability of those industrial processes. SCR Systems SCR is a technical term that stands for Selective Catalytic Reduction. This a system that can be used in equipment and industrial systems to reduce harmful nitrogen oxide, also known as NOx for short. It accomplishes this by creating a chemical reaction known as reduction that transforms NOx into water and tiny amounts of CO₂. It, in essence, removes pollution through this chemical process. An SCR system can be installed on different kinds of equipment, such as SCRs for water tube boilers. Sustainable Energy Sources Another option you could choose to implement is to retrofit your equipment to run on more sustainable energy sources. Options you should give serious consideration include solar energy, ethanol gas, biomass, hydrogen fuel cells and wind power. Determine what options are feasible for your own equipment. Variable Frequency Drives Retrofitting your equipment with variable frequency drives, VFDs for short, is another option that can make your industrial operations more environmentally friendly. A VFD works by varying the level of voltage and frequency supplied to an engine depending on different circumstances. It can help to lower an engine's energy consumption, increase the efficiency of equipment and extend the equipment's lifespan as well. Companies have a responsibility to do what they can to lower their carbon footprint. This is required to fight pollution and preserve the planet for future generations. One way you can do this is by retrofitting your equipment. Consider the four options above as well as others for making your equipment more environmentally friendly.
  4. Something not many people probably have a great fondness for are landfills. However, landfills are actually an important component of human civilization. They give mankind a place to dispose of trash where it will do least harm to the environment, wildlife and people. Certain facts regarding the benefits of landfills may surprise you. Landfills Are a Safer Option In regards to the many different waste management systems that have been implemented by people over the course of human history, the use of landfills is one of the safest in regards to its impact on people and the environment. It is, for one, much safer than incinerating or burning trash. Doing so can release harmful toxins and pollution into the atmosphere. The risks of landfills are comparatively much smaller in magnitude. Landfills Protect People Landfills allow trash to be collected and buried away from places where people live. They help to make communities cleaner and healthier in general. Many of the items found buried in landfills would be harmful if improperly disposed near residential communities. This is especially the case for landfills that have been designated as a superfund site that store harmful industrial waste. If disposed of closer to people instead of in the landfill, these materials would certainly lead to death and disease. Landfills Can Produce Renewable Gas Energy One benefit of landfills you may not be aware of is the fact they can be used to produce gas energy. This is one strategy for transforming trash into something useful. It’s a form of recycling in a way. The kind of gas produced by landfills is primarily composed of methane. This gas can then be burned to produce electricity and power nearby communities. It can also be collected and sold as fuel offsite or even transported by pipe to other areas. This approach is particularly beneficial since methane can become a harmful greenhouse gas if released into the atmosphere. The use of it as a fuel source is an eco-friendly solution. Landfills Don’t Waste Energy Certain methods of disposing of waste require expending a lot of energy. Landfills typically do not. They are located close enough to the communities they service that they do not require a lot of gas to be used to ship the trash there. This is not the case for trash that may need to be transported to far off locations. Even recycling requires a good amount of energy to perform. Overall, landfills perform a very important service for endless communities. They allow trash to be disposed of in a way that greatly lessens its negative impact on people and the environment. In certain cases, landfills can even be used to create renewable energy. They play an important role in modern society.
  5. Many homeowners dread the sweltering summer months because they know that they will have to deal with a huge spike in their energy bills as soon as they turn on their air conditioners. If that sounds like your own situation, then you might want to come up with a comprehensive plan for making your home as energy-efficient as possible. Use Ceiling Fans to Your Advantage Properly using your ceiling fans could have a huge impact on your energy bills as well as your family’s overall comfort. During the summer months, all of your ceiling fans should be spinning counterclockwise at a relatively high speed when someone is in the room. That moving air could make each room feel much cooler, and that means you won’t have to turn your air conditioner as low. Replace Your Insulation Even though modern insulation is designed to last for decades, that material will eventually become damaged. If you have recently checked your home’s insulation and it is torn or matted, then it might be time to add some cellulose to the top or replace it entirely. Blowing in cellulose insulation is a relatively simple upgrade that should take a contractor no more than a few hours to complete. Seal Around Doors and Windows As the seasons change and humidity levels and temperatures fluctuate, your home’s walls and flooring could begin to shift. Over the course of a few seasons, those shifting materials will result in small openings around your windows, vents, and doorways. To seal up the openings, all you are going to need is a caulk gun, a few bottles of all-purpose caulk, and an inexpensive infrared gun or a thermal leak detector. Check around your home for areas that are losing heat, and fill in those holes and cracks. Service or Replace the AC Contacting an air conditioning installation and repair contractor is another simple step that you can take to lower your energy bills during the hottest months of the year. One of those contractors will be able to service your AC so that it continues to run smoothly and efficiently. They can also help you keep an eye out for any signs that your air conditioner might be nearing the end of its lifespan or in need of repairs. Improving your home’s efficiency can be time-consuming, but that hard work is going to pay off. With a few simple changes to your home, you could end up lowering your family’s energy usage. This can also save hundreds a year on your heating and cooling bills.
  6. The summer season is upon us, and it's time to make a plan for cutting back on your energy usage. The average household can spend hundreds of dollars extra each month during the warmer months. There are some easy tips you can incorporate to keep your hard-earned cash in your wallet. Use a Programmable Thermostat A programmable thermostat, or sometimes called a smart thermostat, is a fantastic and energy-efficient tool. You'll be able to program the thermostat to when the house is empty or during sleeping hours. Without the hassle of manually adjusting the thermostat, your home will run more efficiently. Check for Complete Insulation Air that escapes through cracks and other openings in your home makes it more challenging to ventilate. Caulk and weather-stripping are simple and effective to reduce your energy bill during the summer drastically. Check your doors and window frames to fill any holes. You can also have a wall insulation service check out the interiors of your home for the greatest efficiency. Use Your Blinds or Drapes Using blinds or drapes will put a lot less strain on your air conditioner. A good idea is to start to open them up once the sun begins to set. This way, you'll be able to take advantage of the natural sunlight and save money at the same time. Remember the Refrigerator With the warmer temperatures, your refrigerator will need to work harder to cool your food. Dirty refrigerator coils will not allow your refrigerator to diffuse heat properly or run effectively. Give them a thorough cleaning with a stiff brush and a vacuum in the late spring. Also, keep your fridge stocked with food because there will be less space to cool. Use Cold Water for the Laundry Since your kids will be outside playing, you're likely to do a lot more loads of laundry when it is hot out. Wash your clothes on the coldest setting to save a lot of money on your energy bills. A more lukewarm shower is not only refreshing, but it can save money during the hot and humid summer days. Start Unplugging Phone chargers, televisions, and other small electronics use more energy than you think. Unplug them before you hit the hay, and you will be surprised how much lower your energy usage will be. Challenge yourself to lower your energy usage this summer. As the dollars begin to pile up, think about putting that money towards your next summer vacation.
  7. Hardscaping refers to the hard landscaping materials around your yard. These can include your patio, walkways, retaining walls, or any other structure made of wood, stone, or concrete. If you live in a desert environment, maximizing your hardscaping can significantly decrease your water usage. This will not only save you money, but it will also be beneficial to the environment. Save Water and Increase Usability Maximizing your hardscaping will not only reduce your water usage, but it will also increase the usable space you have to enjoy your backyard. For example, an attractive and stylish flagstone patio with a matching stone outdoor kitchen will quickly become one of your family’s favorite places. Best of all, hardscape can create a place for outdoor entertaining, and it serves as an extension of your home’s interior living space. Raised Beds for Better Gardening You can also build raised beds from brick, wood, or concrete. Raised beds are great if you have a bad back or mobility issues, and they’re also great if your yard has poor soil. Many gardeners swear by raised beds, estimating you can double your yield of vegetables. You can also reduce your water use by embedding a drip watering system into the raised beds. Imitation Materials There are a lot of different materials you can use to hardscape, and natural stone and brick are among the most attractive and enduring. However, while concrete may seem boring next to them, you can hire a creative concrete company to add some pizzazz to your backyard. The fact is, concrete can be tinted to nearly any color you like, and it can be stamped with a multitude of patterns. Tinted and stamped concrete can imitate brick, slate, flagstone, and even wood. Boulders and Gravel A Japanese zen garden is a stylized landscape carefully composed of rocks, water features, and gravel along with precisely pruned bushes, moss, and small trees. If you like a modern, minimalist, and sophisticated style, a Japanese-style rock garden could be the hardscape for you. If you’ve ever been to the Southwest, you may have noticed a different style of rock garden. Rock and cactus gardens have long been a staple in places like Arizona, and this idea is adaptable to many regions of the country. Simply arrange boulders and rocks in a natural style, and plant with cactus, succulents and native wildflowers. Fill in between the rocks with gravel. Creative and stylish hardscaping will not only save water, but it will also make your yard a more beautiful and comfortable place for both you and your family.
  8. Living a more eco-friendly lifestyle not only helps you do your part when it comes to sustainability but it can also save you money. Everyone wins when we take care of our local and global ecosystems. Let’s look at seven ways to remodel your home as more eco-friendly. Water Use While the term eco-friendly usually brings to mind your home’s energy consumption, it also means saving water. First of all, fix any plumbing leaks. Don’t let the faucet run while you brush your teeth or shave. Also, install low-flow faucets, toilets, and shower-heads; these can save tens of thousands gallons of water every year for a family of four. Tankless water heaters also can conserve a great deal of energy, as it heats water as needed rather than maintaining a heated tankful of water. Switch to LED Light Bulbs Not only are LED bulbs energy-efficient, but they also last longer. This means that on top of protecting nature, you’re saving money from the energy bill and the cost of frequently replacing bulbs. They’re also less likely to cause a headache or eye strain compared to fluorescent bulbs, which makes your home more enjoyable to be in. This is one of the easiest things you can do around the house. If you’ve been using fluorescents in the kitchen, get rid of those first thing and consider hanging pendant lights instead for more even lighting and a better overall aesthetic. Install a Solar System A solar roof installation, while expensive upfront, can save you a lot of money in the long run. However, many states and local energy companies have rebate programs to defray the cost. On top of that, once enough people in your neighborhood go solar, you can generate so much energy that you’ll be selling it back to the energy companies. Furthermore, a solar system with a home battery bank can keep your home up and running even when the grid goes down. Solar systems are also used by many who want to make their homes self sustainable and therefore emergency-ready at all times. Consider Wind Power If you live in a very windy area, a wind generator could be a good back-up for your solar system. It can supply your home with the power you need at night or when the skies are overcast. This can be especially effective for those living in areas with high winds, such as those near a coast, in high elevation, or areas with few forests to break up the wind. Wind power is yet another useful energy source for those seeking to get their home off the grid in a sustainable way, creating great energy independence. Implement Organic Gardening Practices Your landscaping is the main feature of your home’s curb appeal. Plant your yard with native plants, adapted to the local environment. They’ll need less water and soil amendments. Use natural and organic products to keep your landscaping vibrant and healthy. Not only is this healthier for the local ecosystems, but it also will allow your plants to grow mor vibrantly and easily than foreign plant types. Use Recycled Products for Remodeling You can use recycled metal, stone, brick, plastic, glass, and wood to remodel your home, inside and out. You can even find insulation made from recycled material, such as old cotton clothing. Recycled materials are not only eco-friendly, but they also add tons of character to your home. Other benefits include sturdier material, as recycled material goes through a compacting system that makes it naturally moisture resistant and strong. Using recycled material can be a serious money-saver as well, especially on big projects. If your roof is in need of replacement, or you’re having a home built house, then using recycled materials for your roof installation can seriously bring down the overall costs. Talk to your local contractors about recycled materials that they might have available or if they’d be willing to order out for them. Look to Hemp and Bamboo Hemp and bamboo products are the latest things for an eco-friendly home. These are organic and sustainably produced, and can be transformed into flooring, wall coverings, fabrics, and a lot more. For example, one of the hottest building materials right now is “hempcrete”. It’s good for non-weight bearing walls, it’s easier to work with compared to traditional concrete and it also has insulating properties. There are a variety of materials that nature provides for us to make our homes beautiful without being a danger to the ecosystem. Aim for more natural themes in your home and do some research to find what materials work best for your home projects. With a little effort and some creative thinking, you can find ways to make every part of your home more eco-friendly and sustainable for the environment
  9. As you plan your off-grid homestead, recycling wastewater into usable reclaimed water is something to consider. Doing so will save thousands of gallons of well or rainwater, and reclaimed water can easily be used to irrigate your garden. Steps to reclaim wastewater could include filtering, primary settling, biological treatment, and finally, tertiary treatment. Let’s look at how recycling your wastewater can be accomplished. Primary Settling Your gray water that goes down the drain in the kitchen sink and shower has small particles of food, hair soap, and other contaminants. A primary settling tank is the first place the wastewater goes. Here, those solid contaminants will settle to the bottom. Once settled, the water can be gently siphoned off the top into the next phase of reclamation, a biological treatment tank. Biological Treatment Biological wastewater treatments rely on bacteria and other microorganisms to break down organic waste, such as food particles, hair, and soap. The goal is to create a system in which these microorganisms eat up the pollutants. Biological treatment is divided into aerobic and anaerobic; aerobic is a process using oxygen loving bacteria, while anaerobic uses bacteria that do not need oxygen. Aerobic wastewater treatment is the preferred option, as it works quickly and produces better water quality. However, this method requires a wastewater aerator to make sure there is enough oxygen for the bacteria to thrive. A diffused aeration system, like those offered by VaraCorp, can be used to maximize oxygen while minimizing odors during the treatment process. Tertiary Treatment This is the final step in reclaiming your wastewater for use in your garden, or even as drinking water. Tertiary treatment is done to ensure the water is hygienically safe and free from viruses and bacteria. Ozonation uses ozone (03) to disinfect the water. Then reverse osmosis pushes the water through a semi-permeable membrane, which traps any contaminants and chemicals. Dual media filtration uses two different types of filters, usually sand and very fine granules of anthracite. Finally, advanced oxidation uses hydrogen peroxide and ultraviolet light to create an oxidant that not only disinfects the water, but also breaks down any remaining microorganisms and chemicals. Often, the cost and time required to reclaim wastewater are prohibitive. There are alternatives; for example, if you use biodegradable soaps, gray water from the kitchen and shower can be drained directly into the garden. However, if your homestead is in a very dry area, reclaiming your wastewater is something you should look into.
  10. Going green is becoming more of a priority for many companies around the world. While it might seem like a hassle, making your business as eco-friendly as possible is also going to improve the efficiency of your day-to-day operations and potentially save you a quite bit of money. While you probably won’t be able to completely eradicate your company’s carbon footprint, there are a few simple steps that you can take to reduce your business’s impact on the environment. Keep Your Building Well-Maintained Commercial buildings require quite a bit of maintenance. Often, managers want to minimize the maintenance, but that can end up causing more harm than good in the long run. Machinery, equipment, and systems that aren’t running at peak efficiency can end up requiring more power to do the same amount of work, costing both you and the environment. The occasional service call is going to help you catch any potential problems early so that you can avoid some expensive problems down the road. If you have a boiler room, then you should schedule a burner service call at least once every year. As for the HVAC system, you will need to schedule two service calls a year if you want to steer clear of catastrophic breakdowns and skyrocketing energy bills. Implement a Recycling Policy Many of the materials that your business uses can be recycled multiple times before they are no longer usable. Implementing a strict recycling policy will help you minimize how much waste your company produces each day. At the very least, you should set up recycling bins throughout your business and ask all of your employees to use them. You can also hold recycling days once every few months so that your employees can properly dispose of old office supplies and electronics. Go Paperless In the average office, each worker produces just over two pounds worth of paper and paperboard every single day. Over the course of a year, that adds up to be nearly 10,000 sheets of paper per employee, and most of that material goes straight to the landfill. To reduce those numbers, you can switch over to digital documents whenever possible. That includes options such as digital receipts, paystubs, employee paperwork, and faxes. Reduce Commuting Miles Your employees could be driving hundreds of miles a week to get to work, and that is going to wreak havoc on the environment. That is why many companies are now offering incentives to employees who carpool to work. You can also give some of your employees the option of working from home a few days a week if their jobs can be done remotely. In addition to reducing your overhead costs and improving the efficiency of your company, going green could also boost your brand image. Many consumers love to spend their money at eco-friendly businesses that are attempting to improve the world around them.
  11. Electronics, although useful, don’t last forever. In fact, you’re more likely to replace your electronics than your car. As time goes on, it’s not uncommon for electronics start to lose efficiency until they become useless. Once your electronics start to go up, you may opt to recycle them. However, there are a few things you need to do before you recycle them. Here are three things to do with aging electronics before you recycle them. Wipe the Memory Before even thinking of electronics recycling, the first thing you need to do is erase the memory. Unfortunately, some people often get rid of their old electronics without formatting the system first. If you’re recycling something like an MP3 player, then there’s really no need to wipe the system. However, if the electronic you’re recycling is a phone or a computer, then it’s an absolute must. Phones and computers save every piece of personal and sensitive information through cookies. Recycling one of these devices without wiping the memory clean opens the door for many problems. If the wrong people get ahold of this information, they can steal your identity or hack into your personal accounts. In most cases, formatting the system should be located in the settings or control panel of the device. Take Out the Battery Once you’re done formatting the system’s memory, the next thing you need to do is take out the battery. You may be wondering why removing the battery is relevant. It’s important because old batteries can be hazardous. Old batteries are more prone to damage, which can cause the fluid to leak out. The battery fluid is highly flammable and can also cause explosions. Even if it doesn’t cause those sorts of problems, battery fluid is harmful for the environment, so ensure that they’re disposed of responsibly. Review Your State Laws Last, but not least, make sure to check out the laws of your state. Some areas, like New York City and California, have a rule where it’s illegal to throw away electronics. If you are caught breaking this law, you might have to pay a massive fine. Furthermore, it’s important to stay attentive when disposing of your electronics. You don’t want to accidentally put them in the trash. Look carefully for places that have electronics recycling and dispose of your old electronics there. You can never be too careful when recycling electronics. If you do need to dispose of your electronics, make sure you do it the right way.
  12. We’ve all heard that going solar can save you money by reducing, or eliminating your electric bill. Homeowners can sometimes get a rebate for installing a grid-tied solar system. However, how much do you know about the different types of home solar systems? Grid-tied Solar Systems A grid-tied solar system is tied to the electrical grid maintained by your local utility company. As your solar panels produce energy, it’s sent back to the grid. Your home may not necessarily use the electricity your solar panels produce. Instead, you would get credits for the amount of energy your home produces. A grid-tied solar system is what you’ll generally receive a rebate for installing. That’s because it directly benefits the utility company. It can reduce your electric bill to zero, as long as your panels keep putting out enough energy. The Shortcoming of Grid-tied Solar Systems You may have heard that during natural disasters, although people had solar panels, they still suffered from a power outage. Often, that’s because all of the electricity their solar panels produced was sent to the grid. When the grid went down, their power went out too, despite the panels on their roof. Solar-Plus-Storage System If you want your home to be energy-independent, you need a storage system. That means, you need solar batteries to store the energy your solar panels produce. You can still send power to the grid, and also, store electricity in your batteries in case of a grid-down disaster. A typical car battery won’t do, you’ll need what is called a deep-cycle battery. Deep cycle batteries are designed to be charged and recharged, over and over again. Deep cycle batteries can be lead-acid, like your car battery, or lithium-ion, like in your rechargeable electronics. Most home systems use lithium-ion batteries. They hold a charge longer than lead-acid, as well as a longer life span. However, they’re more expensive. Making Solar-Plus-Storage Work in Your Homeowner The first thing you’ll need to decide is how many solar batteries you will need. You’ll need to calculate the energy use of your home, and then purchase enough batteries to store that amount of energy. Next, you’ll need to decide where to put the batteries; solar batteries can take up quite a bit of room. The garage is a good place to place them. Please do your research, to calculate how much battery you will need, as well as the different types and brands available.
  13. In this era of environmental crisis, we all must do our part to reduce waste. Reducing food waste is something everyone can do to benefit the environment. The sad fact is, more than one third of all the food produced in the word goes to waste, and one billion people could be fed by the food wasted in Western Countries alone. Many people, especially those in heavily urbanized areas, are extremely ignorant when it comes to knowing where their food comes from. In one survey, the majority of urban dwellers did not know that their meat and dairy products came from living animals. Unfortunately, the survey did not query the respondents as to where they did think meat and dairy foods came from, which could give valuable insight on how to improve public perception about food production and consumption. Reducing Retail Food Waste One area of concern with vast room for improvement is retail food waste; the amount of food thrown out by grocery stores and restaurants is tremendous. If you work in a grocery store, you could convince the management to donate unused or out of date food to a food bank. Likewise, if you own, or work in a restaurant, consider purchasing equipment that conserves resources, such as hamburger moulder equipment that measures precise amounts of food so that you don't use more or less than you need. Also, at the end of the day, you could offer prepared, perishable, unsold food to those in need. Eliminating Food Waste at Home There are many ways to reduce or completely eliminate your home food waste. First, don’t buy food you’re not going to eat. Sometimes, for our health, we think we should eat something we really don’t like. Be honest, even if you buy it, you probably won’t eat it. Second, if you have children, be mindful of their portions. Children probably waste more food than adults, simply because they can’t eat a large portion. Many children are also picky eaters, and will refuse to eat food they don’t like. Another way to reduce food waste is to compost; composting involves turning vegetable food waste into healthy garden soil. If you have a yard, consider starting a compost pile. It will not only help to reduce food waste, but it can also be used to grow your own organic vegetables. Another healthy strategy for reducing food waste is to make your own bone broth; rather than throwing out your chicken or beef bones, you can boil them down into an incredibly nutritious broth. This broth can be used in many different healthy recipes. It’s up to us all to take action, and reduce food waste in any way we can. The environment depends on it.
  14. While many of us can easily recycle our paper, glass and plastic waste, recycling electronics and batteries is not as easy. However, recycling these items might be even more important than recycling more common household waste. You may not know this, but both old electronic items and batteries can leach harmful chemicals into the soil and groundwater. Recycling Electronics According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 2.84 million tons of electronics were thrown away in 2017, with little more than 1 million tons recycled. The rest mostly ended up in county landfills. Unfortunately, electronic devices often contain hazardous heavy metals, including barium, lead, silver, chromium, cadmium, and mercury. These can easily leech into the soil and groundwater, poisoning the environment. The good news is, recycled electronics can often be refurbished and resold or donated to people in need. Likewise, some of the valuable metals, such as copper, silver, and gold, can be recovered and reused. Battery Recycling Batteries contain large amounts of toxic heavy metals and chemicals and simply tossing batteries in the trash can easily contaminate the soil pollute the water. The good news is, the Environmental Protection Agency reports that 99.1% of lead-acid vehicle batteries are recycled. This is because when you get a new battery for your vehicle, the auto shop already has a line to recycle all of the old batteries. Unfortunately, batteries from our electronic devices are not responsibly recycled. More often than not, people don’t know how to recycle such batteries and simply toss them. However, many electronics retailers have battery recycling drop-offs, and there are battery recycling services that collect batteries from your business or office. Reclaiming Valuable Metals Both electronics and batteries contain valuable metals that can be recovered. Recovering these metals not only keeps them out of our landfills and our environment, but it also reduces the need for strip mining. It’s a sad fact, but many of the metals used in batteries, such as lithium, are mined in third-world countries, often using child labor. To prevent future shortages of lithium, cobalt, nickel, and other rare earth metals, recycling for lithium batteries is essential. Recycling retrieves not only nickel, cobalt, copper, lithium, and aluminum from old batteries, but also valuable graphite and manganese. The good news is, recycling can recover anywhere from 25% to 95% of the materials from a lithium-ion battery. Putting paper, plastic, and glass out on the curb for recycling is easy. However, with a little bit of forethought, recycling electronics and batteries will take very little effort.
  15. For years now, people have been taking steps to help save the planet in their everyday lives. But the fault of our dying planet lies not within the average individual, but within massive industries. It is time for factories to take action to lessen their environmental impact. Measure Your Carbon Footprint In order to lessen your carbon footprint, first you need to know the size of your carbon footprint. Measure how much damage your factory is doing by taking a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Assessment. From there, you can develop a plan to shrink that footprint. Use Green Technology Ever since the industrial revolution, factories have been using fossil fuels, like coal. These nonrenewable sources are disposed back into the air in the form of greenhouse gasses. It’s time to ditch these outdated processes and embrace technologies such as solar panels, wind energy and LED light bulbs. Factories can seriously benefit by switching to renewable energy sources. Recycle Materials You probably have pieces of scrap steel laying around from previous equipment or projects. Call a scrap metal collector to come and pick up the pieces. Collectors use your waste metal to recycle them into new projects. One of the best ways to protect the environment is to use what we already have. Steel production admits greenhouse gasses into the air and dangerous pollutants into surrounding water sources. But recycling already-made steel leaves a much smaller carbon footprint. Recycling scrap metal also keeps mining away from wildlife, takes less time than extracting new metal, and keeps waste out of our ever-multiplying landfills. Dispose of Waste Responsibly Factories’ haphazard waste disposal has led to the pollution of the surrounding soil and local water sources. As seen in the Flint Water Crisis, contaminated water can cause serious health problems for humans and animals that rely on that water. Sometimes the contaminated water is absorbed into soil where crops are planted. This further spreads the contamination to large supplies of food. Many strategies to reduce and dispose of manufacturing waste have been developed recently. Being more mindful about where your waste goes can lessen damaging effects. Be Adaptable The companies that have survived the longest are the ones that are most willing to adapt to the current times. And currently, people are concerned about the planet. We have wizened about how we impact the environment. And with the rise of the internet, consumers are more aware of than ever before where their products come from and how they are made. Generation Z, in particular, likes to spend their money on products that are ethically made. Change may not always be easy, but it is extremely necessary. Be open-minded about changes. After all, the changes you are making are beneficial for the whole planet.