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  1. As people become more aware of how important it is to protect the environment, many homeowners have become increasingly concerned with finding pest control methods that are eco-friendly. Along with protecting the environment, these methods are also much safer around pets, children, and wildlife, making them popular with more and more people. If you’re ready to go green with your pest control, here are some ways to do so that will be most beneficial to everyone. Microbial Insecticides Non-toxic to humans and animals, microbial insecticides don’t harm beneficial insects, but do target specific pests and cause them to get very sick. Especially beneficial if you have problems with various types of worms or centipedes, one of the most effective is known simply as BT. When used, pests are usually dead within two days. Insecticidal Soaps Able to be sprayed inside or outside a home, insecticidal soaps are very effective against almost all insects, including earwigs, aphids, bees, ants, and others. Non-toxic to humans as well as most animals, the soaps can be purchased at most garden centers. However, if you want to mix up your own version, mix one teaspoon of dish soap and one teaspoon of cooking oil in a one-quart spray bottle, then fill up the remainder with water. Insecticidal Oil A popular option for ridding a home of spiders, ants, cockroaches, and other pests, insecticidal oil kills the eggs and immature stages of insects, and is non-toxic to most beneficial insects. However, if you’ve got house plants or plants near your home, be careful when spraying, since the oil can cause some leaf damage. Bait Traps Used for everything from flies to mice, bait traps use non-toxic bait formulas to attract pests. Once inside, the pests are then trapped using special non-toxic glues, which are not harmful to pets or children. Available in many different styles, they can be set around on the floor near cabinets or doors to attract mice, or you can use free-standing or wall-mounted traps to capture flies or other flying insects. They are a great way to perform pest control on your own. Now available in designs that resemble pieces of furniture or other home accessories, bait traps are affordable and easy options to rid your home of pests in an eco-friendly fashion. Whether you use one or all of these pest control services in your home, the good news is that you’ll be able to get rid of any and all pests without worrying about harming the environment, your pets, or your kids.
  2. Building a house? If so, we’d like to congratulate you on taking the initiative to create a home for yourself. Now, you need to remember how important proper construction is. A poorly-made house isn’t going to be much of a house or for very long. You need to start from the bottom up. Here are four ways to successfully stabilize your foundation when building a house. Ensure You’re Building in the Right Spot Even if it looks like an area would be ideal for a house based on how much space is available, you can’t be entirely sure. An otherwise perfect home plan can be ruined by one thing: soil. You need to make sure that the soil you’re building on is strong enough to withstand your foundation and the rest of the home. If it isn’t, don’t despair. You can use soil stabilization to successfully make it suitable for building. Surveying Any construction project, whether it’s building a house or a 30-foot skyscraper, requires accuracy in calculations. Before the first brick of slab of cement is put down, there needs to be a clear understanding of what should go where and how much. A professional surveyor will be able to tell you where the foundation needs to be placed. This helps ensure your house is able to be held up as it should be. Work with Professionals When it comes to building a home, there are going to be different construction specialists that you consult with. In addition to the architects who design the home and the builders who see it to completion, there are also surveyors and other roles to be filled. For stabilizing your foundation, you should work with a company who is experienced with soil stabilization and grouting, which is a way of filling in gaps through use of liquid concrete. This helps give further stabilization to your home. Treat the Footings Well Did you know your foundation has a foundation of sorts? It’s underneath the actual foundation and is known as the footings. If your footings aren’t in shape, your foundation and your house, from basement to roof, won’t be either. Make sure that the footings are properly installed and maintained. This means you should do things like seal them, so that they won’t be exposed to moisture. We hope this has given you a great idea of how and why you should stabilize your foundation. When building a house, you want to make sure everything is in order. With proper foundation stabilization, you can start off right.
  3. Going green isn’t just a trend. It is a strategy for moving towards more sustainable ways of living that could help preserve the earth for future generations. To combat things like climate change and deforestation, cleaner and more efficient power sources must be relied on. Below are some clean power sources worth utilizing. Solar The greatest power source in the galaxy is one that often goes under-utilized on Earth. That of course refers to the rays of the sun. Thankfully, installing solar panels on a building is easier and more cost effective than ever. Doing so will lead to significant long term savings. Taking into account the initial investment, a residential solar panel system should save a homeowner $50 a month on utilities. Hydropower Hydropower concerns the use of running water as a fuel source. As you probably know, hydropower harnessed by dams is used to power large swaths of the country. Hydropower technology is also evolving. Hydroelectric power systems that can be used to supplement other power sources in a home are now commercially available. Industrial Electrician Services If you wish to implement a solar power system, hydroelectric system, or some other form of clean alternative energy into your factory or other industrial facility, you should contact an industrial electrician service to help complete the job. Switching to green fuel may have many benefits, but it’s certainly not something a novice should attempt on their own. Wind Wind is another clean power source that once went under-utilized. However, that is beginning to change thanks to large wind turbines sprouting up across America’s heartland. Wind farms made up of these huge turbines can produce enough electricity to power entire communities. They can also do so without adding any pollution to the earth’s atmosphere. Biofuel One of the challenges facing conservationists is the fact that human beings produce so much waste and garbage. However, what if a good portion of that waste could be transformed into a clean fuel source? That is the possibility presented by the advent of biofuel. Creating biofuel involves the transformation of biomass, things that were recently living, into a sustainable fuel source. Today, biofuel technology mostly involves plant waste, but it could someday soon encompass almost all food waste produced by humans. Going green should be a long term goal for all of society. Curbing pollution and stopping climate change will help to ensure that the environment can be enjoyed by future generations. Clean alternative fuel sources can help make a greener future a reality.
  4. The construction industry is recovering after the reduction in sales of houses a few years ago. Construction companies are striving to build structures that are environmentally friendly as well as affordable. Like many other industries the construction sector is under the watchful eye of their communities to go green in an effort to protect and preserve the environment. Planning Stage When a construction company and the clients that they are working with decide to do a project, going green becomes a consideration at this time. If the building is an industrial, institutional, or educational structure, the go green project is determined before the ground is broken. Contractors, engineers, and architects get together to plan , evaluate, and identify the methods and types of materials that will help ensure that the go green process will be environmentally friendly. Going Green Becomes a Normal Business Practice There are certain important factors that are relevant in a going green construction project. They must build sound structures on sustainable sites that are well developed. The structure must have a way of saving water, and it must be energy efficient. Other factors include the quality of the indoor environment, and the materials selected. These considerations are the average things that a construction company would do, just a little more detailed in the go green projects. While going green, the construction company would recycle all waste material throughout the building process. This is a money saving technique in that it eliminates a big clean up job afterwards. The Right Tools and Equipment is a Necessity Before starting on any construction project, it is important that all tools and machinery are top notch working order. Going green takes a forklift that will pick up discarded material and dispose of it in a proper manner. Some companies, like Victory Equipment, know that you shouldn’t take chances with an old fork lift that works on a part time basis. Be an efficient business owner and by a new forklift for your company. This will protect your employees, as well as yourself, from injuries and loss due to forklift accidents and rollovers. Always practice safety first on construction sites. Going green on housing construction projects is becoming a normal practice for the construction industry. The most common benefit of a green home to the consumer is that the home is energy efficient, and that it conserves water. Construction companies can actually cut their budgets by building homes through the go green process.
  5. You want your home to be safe and clean, but you also probably don’t want anyone in your home to be exposed to harsh and toxic substances. Unfortunately, many chemicals in cleaners are not safe. But the good news is that you can just as easily clean your home with simple, homemade green cleaning methods. Sink Scouring What could be less expensive or fresher than using a tried-and-true method to clean your sinks, showers, and tubs? The key ingredient is baking soda, and you can simply sprinkle it on a surface to be cleaned, then add a little water. For enhanced cleaning benefits, add a couple drops of essential oil like tea tree oil or lavender oil. Drain Cleaner Drains in bathroom and kitchen sinks as well as tubs and showers can get dirty and smelly over time. Address that issue by keeping all drains clean. Simply sprinkle some baking soda in the drain, and then pour a bit of vinegar in there. The mixture will fizz some. Let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes or overnight, and then flush it with hot water. Some companies, such as Coastal Plumbing Inc., know that if your drain is having a serious problem, you might want to look into using a drain cleaning service. They will maintain your drain so that it works like new. Countertop and Surface Cleaner It is important to keep the surfaces in your kitchen looking clean. This includes the countertops and refrigerator shelves. This is an easy cleaning issue to address. Get a 32-ounce spray bottle, and fill it almost to the top with water. Then add about 25 drops of grapefruit seed extract. Shake up the bottle. You now have a spray cleaner that has zero chemical odor yet cleans through grease and dirt very effectively. Laundry Powder There is no need to use laundry cleaning products that are filled with chemicals that you have to breathe when you use the products. Instead, opt for green and homemade laundry cleaning methods. One great option is to use washing soda powder along with borax powder for washing clothes in all temperatures in the washer. Use about a tablespoon of each item for a regular-sized load of clothes. When you use homemade and green cleaning methods and products, you have greater peace of mind in knowing that you are not using harmful, harsh chemical products. And a huge bonus is that cleaning becomes much more pleasant and even fun.
  6. In today’s world, concern about the environment is at an all-time high. This is especially true regarding recycling, since communities across America have implemented recycling programs to reduce the garbage going into landfills. As people learn about recycling, it’s becoming very popular. If you’re interested in transforming the planet, here are four practices that can be implemented into your daily life. Recycle Your Aluminum Cans According to Waste Management Corporation, Americans drink one beverage each day from an aluminum can. However, even though the cans are 100 percent recyclable, less than half of those cans are recycled. For cans that are recycled, they can be put back on the shelf as a new can in as little as 60 days, and there are over 10,000 locations across the nation that purchase aluminum, making it very easy to recycle these cans while making a few extra bucks. Corrugated Cardboard With more and more people shopping online these days, households have an endless supply of corrugated cardboard taking up space. Some companies, like Ware Disposal, know just how helpful it can be to the planet when resources are recycled. However, it makes far more sense to take them to a recycling center, where they can be converted into chipboard that’s used to make cereal boxes, paper towels, and copy paper. Car Batteries The most recycled product in the United States, car batteries are a virtual goldmine in recycling circles. With more than half of the battery being made of lead, it can be used to create new car batteries. Along with this, the batteries contain several pounds of plastic, which can be used to create various new products. And finally, the battery’s sulfuric acid can be recycled and used in new batteries, converted to sodium sulfate for use in fertilizers and dyes, or neutralized and purified, enabling it to be released as clean water. Most automotive retailers will accept old batteries, as will recycling companies such as Ware Disposal, which as a zero-waste company handles all facets of solid waste and recycling. Computers With thousands of computers tossed out in the trash every day, it’s vital they be recycled. Containing plastic, metal, and glass, virtually the whole computer can be recycled. And don’t forget peripherals such as keyboards, printers, speakers, and external hard drives, all of which can be recycled as well. By becoming aware of what can be recycled and how doing so can benefit the environment, it will be easier than ever to help transform the planet.
  7. If you're concerned about the state of our environment, there are many easy ways that you can become part of the solution, instead of being part of the problem. One simple area that the environmentally-conscious can focus on is water conservation. The average person in the U.S. uses between 80-100 gallons of water per day, so every drop you save can make a world of difference. To get you started, here are 4 easy ways to conserve water: Turn Off The Water While Brushing Your Teeth After you wet your toothbrush, fill up a glass of water to use for rinsing and then turn off the faucet. Leaving the water running while you brush sends an average of 5 gallons of water right down the drain. You won't be inconvenienced at all, and the water savings add up quickly. Properly Insulate Your Pipes You may already know that proper pipe insulation can save you electricity, but it can also help you conserve water. By maintaining higher water temperature, you'll cut down on the water wasted when you wait for hot water to come out of your faucet or shower. An estimated 280 million gallons of water that have been allowed to cool is wasted every day, so every second counts. Use You Water Meter To Check For Leaks When you know you won't be at home, make a note of the water meter reading before you leave. When you come home, check to see if there's a discrepancy. If there is, you've got a leak somewhere in your home. Leaks can occur in pipe fittings, faucet connections or toilets. If you think you have a leak but have trouble finding it, bring in a professional like L.J. KRUSE COMPANY or someone in your area, to solve the problem. Use Rainwater to Care for Your Garden If you have a large garden or lawn, you're probably using a massive amount of water to care for it. First, plant drought-resistant grass that requires less frequent watering. Next, install a rain catch system connected to your home's gutters. You can choose storage barrels of various sizes to suit your needs, and you will have a renewable supply of water to keep your garden healthy and hydrated. You'll Make an Impact If you take the time to implement these 4 easy water conservation methods, you'll be helping to prevent the waste of one of the Earth's most precious commodities. By giving a little bit of attention to daily habits and usage, every individual can come together to assure that our water supply remains plentiful and accessible to all.
  8. It doesn’t matter how shiny and beautiful your building is inside and out, strong, powerful odors can get trapped inside. It is not only essential that a building look clean, it should also smell clean. There are a number of steps that can be taken to ensure that clean and fresh air is flowing through at all times. Locate the Source of the Odors Far too often people tend to grab cans of deodorizers, candles, incense, and other products to fight bad air odors. The first thing to do is find out the root cause of the odor. Make sure the inside of the building is thoroughly cleaned and deodorized. Bacteria can set up in areas of the building and cause odors to permeate. Two areas in particular that should be checked: bathroom and kitchen. Both areas are cesspools for germs. And both should be thoroughly scrubbed and free of trash, foods and other things that can set up odors. How is Your Building’s Ventilation? The ventilation system can carry odors from place to place. A clogged ventilation system can cause offensive odors to permeate through your building. Call in a professional to make sure your system is running correctly and is free of anything blocking the air. It wouldn’t hurt to call in an environmental air quality consulting service, like Stephenson Environmental Management Australia, to investigate air quality issues. Bad air can cause health concerns. They can perform air tests to find out the source of the problem. Use the Right Cleaning Supplies The building should be cleaned by products that kill the source of the germs, not mask odors. Products like Pine Sol, Lysol and others germ-killers are the best. There are a number of sweet-smelling products on the market that do little to kill bacteria and germs. The simply cover up odors temporarily. Get a good disinfectant and get rid of the source of the problem. What’s Inside the Walls? Do you have dead critters inside your walls? As sickening as it is to believe, sometimes rats, raccoons and other small animals can get inside the walls and die. A professional will have to come in to remove the dead animal and patch up holes to prevent others from coming in. If your building seems to lack fresh air, sometimes enlisting simple steps can fix the problem. If you follow certain steps and the bad air persists, call in an environmental air quality consultant. They can get to the root of the problem.
  9. Companies “going green” is a constantly growing trend that is intended to not only help out the environment but to help employment growth as well. Fortunately, the machining industry has the lead when it comes down to “green” jobs. With the inspiring popularity of machining companies to go eco-friendly, the more jobs appear across the nation. Create “Green” Facilities One of the easiest ways the machining industry can be more eco-conscious is to adopt “green” practices in their facilities. For example, an energy audit can help machining facilities eliminate energy wastefulness that can damage the surrounding environment. Plus, with the audit data, manufacturers can turn to eco-friendly lighting products and automated lighting fixtures that are only used when employees are present in the area. Additionally, inspecting and properly sealing manufacturing buildings from air leaks can help reduce heating and/or cooling costs throughout the year Reduce Waste It’s without a doubt that the machining industry uses raw materials to create new items. However, manufacturing facilities can optimize their eco-friendly side by reusing materials and carefully finding new ways to eliminate waste. Creating better automation and new facility procedures to help reduce waste can help lower the machining industry’s carbon footprint. At the same time, it’s important that facilities to identify and understand where waste occurs and become first responders to preventing it sitting in a landfill, reusing it the best they can. Choose Eco-Friendly Materials Fortunately, most companies are taking part in the new “green revolution,” using as many eco-friendly materials and machining lubricants as much as they can. Some companies, like ETNA Products Inc., realize that the machining industry can take part in this as well. Facilities that start sourcing environmentally-friendly materials from post-consumer waste, renewable agricultural resources, and waste streams can help prevent further damage to the environment. For example, converting materials from natural to a synthetic product can be a great stepping off point. Product Packaging One of the single most common items found in landfills across the world is product packaging. From plastic to styrofoam and paper, these items can mass up and cause toxins to harm the soil and air that we interact with on a daily basis. Fortunately, most manufacturing companies are always looking for new ways to safely package their products more eco-friendly. Adopting recyclable packaging is a great way to for the machining industry to be more eco-conscious. By enacting these four methods, you can turn your machining company into a more eco-friendly one
  10. Reducing electricity usage is not only good for the environment, but it is also good for your wallet. You can cut down on power use at home without going through any major lifestyle changes. Believe it or not, it is still possible to enjoy the comforts of a dishwasher and good lighting while paying less for utilities. Try these four tips for saving power and lowering monthly bills. Upgrade to Efficient Light Bulbs If you still use incandescent light bulbs, make the switch to LED light bulbs. The cost of LED light bulbs has significantly decreased over the past couple of years. LED bulbs emit an extremely minimal amount of heat and convert almost all of their electricity to light. Traditional incandescent bulbs waste most of the electricity, turning it into heat instead of light. LED bulbs will help to keep your home cooler in the summer since they emit less heat. Install Electrical Transfer Switches To save power and lower your electricity bill, install electrical transfer switches. These devices allow you to connect your home to an alternate source of power. Some companies, like Enercon Engineering Inc., know that they could be also used in conjunction with a solar panel array. They could also be used with a wind turbine or another renewable energy source too. You could use an electrical transfer switch with a backup generator too. Power-down Electronics Anything that is plugged in and has an indicator light or digital clock uses power. Some items will draw power while plugged in even if they do not have any lights. This is often referred to as "ghosting." Be sure to power down or completely unplug devices such as computer monitors, televisions, and DVD players when you are not using them. Skip the Drying Cycle Skip the hot dry cycle when using the dishwasher. Just opening the door of the dishwasher after the wash cycle is done will allow the dishes to quickly dry, with no power required. Consider reducing the amount of times you use your clothes dryer. Hang shirts and pants on a clothes rack or clothesline. Save the dryer for delicate items and linens that need the hot air for sanitary purposes. Each of these tips does not require much time or effort to employ. You could make one change at a time to get used to the idea of saving power and add in more tips as each one becomes a habit. After you do all four of these things, you can keep more of your hard-earned money instead of sending it to utility companies.
  11. Every environment needs regular inspection in order to detect a problem as early as possible. Environmental surveys facilitate the process of detecting problems so that experts can come up with a thorough treatment plan. Consider these four ways in which environmental surveys are designed to protect and preserve the Earth and its abundance of natural resources. Evaluate Leaks Environmental surveys help to evaluate, locate and identify the size and scope of leaks. Oil and natural gas pipelines may leak, and the leaks can go undetected if they are in remote areas. A prompt identification of the leak's location and assessment of what is leaking helps the operators of the pipeline to take action and fix the problem. Use an Air Boat for Environmental Surveys Some environments are more challenging than others to survey. When you need to check out a marshy area, an air boat is an ideal means of transportation. Some companies, like Specialized Enviro, know that air boats don’t cause as much disruption to wildlife or native plants. It affords you the opportunity to get views of the water and of the things that are living and growing in the marsh. The boat has plenty of space for your cameras and surveying equipment. Check for Illegal Dumping Illegal dumping is a major environmental concern. Wildlife can get stuck in plastic items or poisoned by dumped fluids. The individuals who do the dumping could be prosecuted under environmental laws. With an environmental survey, environmentalists and property owners can spot illegal dumping of tires, barrels of waste and other materials. Checking for illegal dumping should be performed on a regular basis through air and ground-level surveys. Collecting Samples for Testing During an environmental survey, the surveyors can collect samples and specimens for testing. The samples can provide valuable information about the health of the air, water, and soil in a location. Specimen analysis might include swabbing animals for their DNA, collecting their droppings, or trapping some insects. The laboratory results may show if there are high levels of harmful substances such as arsenic or lead, which could be a result of illegal dumping, runoff or other activities. Environmental surveys combine the use of high-tech laboratory analysis, innovative transportation methods and a great deal of knowledge and expertise from trained professionals. The information from the surveys can be used to identify problems so that scientists can come up with ways to prevent recurrences. Environmental surveys are also helpful for the monitoring of environments and assessment of their changes over time.
  12. Consumers are increasingly looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and patronize companies that are "green." Utility companies can lead the way in the global effort to go greener and do it faster. Utility companies can use these four strategies to reduce resource usage and to make better use of renewable forms of energy. Investing in Renewable Energy One way that utility companies can go green is to make investments in renewable energy. Wind turbines are growing in popularity. Farms of the turbines are popping up all over the country, from the farmlands of Michigan to the Great Plains. Other great sources of renewable energy include solar panels and hydroelectric power. Utility companies could also consider offering incentives to home and business owners generating electricity through renewable energy. Using Pole-mounted Electrical Transformers Pole-mounted electrical transformers allow utility companies to reduce wasted electricity. Most transformers, like those available from Solomon Corporation, are expertly designed, and fully warrantied. Some transformers can even be outfitted with natural lubricants rather than synthetic oils to keep their parts working well for a long duration of time. Installing Smart Utility Meters Installing smart utility meters reduces the amount of resources and manpower that it takes to account for consumer energy usage. The smart meters can give the meter readers the amount of energy used by transmitting a radio signal. This allows the meter readers to use less fuel in order to travel through an area and collect information from the electrical and gas meters. Smart meters can also be Wi-Fi enabled, allowing consumers to monitor their energy usage. Offering Electronic Statements and Bill Payments to Customers Mailing out paper statements and having customers mail them back to pay their bills takes a lot of paper and time. Instead of focusing on paper billing, utility companies can encourage paperless billing and electronic statements. Allow customers to pay their bills online without a convenience fee. Electronic funds transfers are usually quicker than mailing a check, so the utility payment will be deposited within a faster time frame. Each time a utility company does these actions, it can let consumers know what they are doing. These green activities will help to keep consumers happy and satisfied about where their money is going. When consumers have a choice, they are likely to do business with a utility company that is environmentally responsible. Protecting the Earth's resources today by going green helps to ensure the planet's health for the next generation.
  13. Business owners are in a unique position to look out for the environment. You have the capacity to conserve resources, reduce the use of materials and encourage recycling. You can also strive for a greater level of efficiency. These tips will help you to look out for the environment by making upgrades, working with industry professionals and making green purchasing decisions. Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades Manufacturing facilities could lower operational costs and look out for the environment by making energy-efficient upgrades. For example, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems can be upgraded to ultra-efficient systems. Ducts can be sealed and insulated. Walls and roofs can also be insulated. Anti-leak devices can be fitted onto plumbing, and fixtures can be updated with low-flow or dual-flush switches. Working With Air Quality Consulting Services Working with an air quality consulting service could help your manufacturing center to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Professionals, like those at Stephenson Environmental Management Australia, evaluate the quality of the air inside of various facilities. Your business might even qualify for certain incentives to work with an air quality consultant and reduce emissions. Updating With Green Materials Consider updating your facility with green materials when possible. For example, when your warehouse or building needs its roof replaced, consider a living roof made of grass that absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen. These roofs also reduce water runoff. If you need to replace flooring, consider recycled materials that do not off-gas chemicals. Some good options include concrete with reclaimed pieces or recycled glass embedded into the concrete. Switching to Recyclable Materials Consider the sources of the materials used in your manufacturing processes. If possible, purchase materials and supplies that have been recycled or that will be recyclable after you make them. Encourage your customers to recycle your products when they are finished using them. Consider minimizing the packaging associated with your products. You could also strive to use less resources in your manufacturing, such as reusing your scrap materials or cutting down on paper usage for administrative purposes. When your company looks out for the environment, everyone enjoys the benefits. The efforts that you make to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, cut down on waste, reduce energy consumption and curtail the unnecessary use of packaging and other resources can be highlighted to the public, consumers, stockholders and others. Your efforts may also help to lower your operating costs and encourage new customers to support your environmentally-friendly efforts.
  14. One of the biggest costs for businesses is their utilities. It costs a lot of money to heat and cool large spaces, and businesses that run a lot of machinery or electronics use a lot of electricity. Also, many businesses are housed in older buildings that aren't very energy efficient. However, there are ways that businesses can cut their energy bills. Here are four ways commercial facilities can save energy by going green. Change Habits One of the easiest and most inexpensive ways commercial facilities can go green and save energy is by changing the habits of employees. For example, the company might do a building-wide push to have people turn off lights, computers and other electronic devices at the end of the day. This seems like a small change, but it can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year. Make Energy-Efficient Improvements Commercial spaces often are older and may not have energy-efficient features, so if you are willing to make the investment, you can make improvements to your commercial space that will help you go green and save money on energy. Some of the improvements you could make could include changing all the lighting to more energy-efficient types such as compact fluorescent light bulbs, replacing windows, and installing solar panels or a geothermal heating and cooling system. Keep up on Your Maintenance Taking care of the existing systems you have can help your commercial building operate more efficiently and make your business greener. Some companies, like Ragan Mechanical Inc., realize that if you have a boiler system for heating, it needs regular maintenance to operate at its best. The same goes for gas and electrical appliances, manufacturing machinery and any other appliances or machinery you have in your business that use energy. Cut Down on Paper and Packaging One of the ways businesses can go green is to change the way they interact with customers. Two of the most common ways to do this are to cut down on paper and packaging. Encourage your customers to receiving billing statements, receipts, invoices and other correspondence electronically to cut down on paper use. You also can look at overhauling your packaging to use less of it. Not only will these moves make your business greener by producing less waste, they also will save you money. Many businesses see "going green" as an added cost, but it doesn't necessarily have to be. Many energy-efficient improvements fulfill a legitimate business purpose and actually save you money.
  15. You do not have to be a diehard environmentalist to want to do your part in preserving resources for future generations and leaving less of a carbon footprint behind. You may be like many homeowners who have a desire to have your home be more environmentally friendly, but you just do not know how to go about it without it costing a fortune or being inconvenient. Here are some easy ways you and your family can make your home more environmentally friendly. LED Bulbs Incandescent bulbs are going the way of the dinosaur. Except for some specific applications, such as oven bulbs, incandescent bulbs are being phased out. California plans to have them phased out, with exceptions, by 2018. You may have noticed how hard it is to find incandescent bulbs in some hardware departments nowadays. Compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs and LED bulbs only use a fraction of the energy needed to power the hot incandescent bulbs. LED lights use the least amount of electricity. You may have had mixed results using CFL bulbs in the past, but new types are available to provide instant full light and will work in the cold for outdoor fixtures. However, LED bulbs are the best at using less electricity. Swapping all the bulbs you can to LEDs can save money on your electric bill, eliminate the need to change a bulb for many years, and be quite earth friendly in the process. HVAC Upkeep Your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system use the most energy in your home. Furnaces often use natural gas or another fossil fuel along with electricity to run a blower or pump, making the furnace the costliest appliance in your home to run. Your AC system is second. Dirty filters, grime on condenser and evaporator coils, corroded burners, and more can cause electricity to be wasted for air conditioning and fuels used for heating. Some companies, like Classic Air and Heating, know that it is important to at least get an annual inspection service and cleaning performed to keep your furnace and central air conditioning system operating at peak efficiency. You save on energy costs and reduce your carbon footprint, which is helpful to the environment. Recycle There are some areas of the country that do not yet have a weekly pickup day for recyclable materials. Many neighborhoods collect recyclables separately, but some people do not participate in the program and throw away recyclables in the regular trash instead. Many people start by recycling aluminum cans and newspapers. A single recycled aluminum soda can saves the amount of energy required to operate a television for three hours. Even if you start small with just recycling aluminum cans or newspapers, you are making your home more earth friendly. Unplug Chargers and Turn off Lights Those power pack chargers that regenerate the batteries in your tablets, cell phones, and laptops use electricity even when they are not connected to the device they are intended to charge. The amount is small, but there are millions of them plugged in all over the country. Connecting them to a power strip that can be physically shut off with a switch can save energy. Turning off the lights when you leave a room is another easy way to save energy. You should also turn off televisions and other appliances that are not being used. Televisions and monitors still use a little bit of electricity in standby mode, but not as much as when they are operating. Imagine the energy savings if every home in the country participated in even casual energy saving protocols and minimal recycling. You may not be able to get all of your neighbors on the bandwagon of becoming more earth friendly, but you can at least motivate your family to take a personal concern for the natural resources we share in this finite world.