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RachelleW posted a blog entry in Shades of an Apple Green HomeYou 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.
LizzieWeakley posted a blog entry in Lizzie Weakley's Green BlogAs time rolls on, it is becoming increasingly apparent how much we impact the world around us. Be it the seemingly small choices we make--like what to watch on a Saturday night--or the bigger choices involving a person's livelihood, each decision has a grander importance that goes beyond ourselves; even if we don't realize it. Negative choices as well as positive ones have far reaching impacts that can last for years to come. That's why it is so crucial for households to do their part in reducing the negative impact they can have on our beautiful environment. Softening Water There are many homes that have already made the switch to softened water. An extremely large number of homes still rely on the water treatment implemented by their water company. This leaves people using hard water that is chalk full of minerals, chemicals, and possibly bacteria that can be harmful. Softened water is meant to lessen said harmful elements coming through people's pipes. However, numerous water softeners use salt. The use of salt can generate waste water filled with salt brine and destructive chemicals that are released into the environment. Using softener systems that are salt-free produces a positive reaction for the ecosystem as well as for a healthier home. Tankless Water Heaters Conserving energy is a popular topic nowadays and for good reason. According to plumbers in Spanish Fork, UT at Professional Plumbing Systems, traditional water heaters use a good amount of energy to keep the tank warm all day long. Tankless water heaters cut the cost of energy usage by only heating the water that's being used at a given moment. It's a simple, dollar friendly way to conserve precious energy. Less Electricity It turns out, kicking it old school is not such a bad thing. Using natural lighting instead of constantly relying on electrical luminescence is a better route when it comes to reducing negative environmental impacts. Instead of flipping a switch and staying super incognito inside four walls, open up those blinds. Let the glorious rays of the sun illuminate the rooms that have forgotten what a natural glow looks like. But, if natural sunlight just doesn't cut it, make sure to purchase or install products that are certified as eco-friendly, like Energy Star or Bosch appliances. Change Roofing This may seem like an expensive route to take, but the end result is a great pay off. Many people don't realize that even the material of a home's roof can impact the environment. Replacing standard asphalt shingles with green roofing materials can save energy throughout the seasons and long term financial resources. One of the most eco-friendly rooftops are those made out of recycled shingles. These shingles are constructed out of waste materials like rubber, wood fiber, and plastic. Since these roofs are long lasting, they lessen landfill waste, the need to consume more raw materials, energy costs, and pollution. These are just a handful of ways a home can lend a helpful hand in the fight to preserve our world's health. The choices are simple, and the outcome will far outweigh the cost of making a change. The impact of our actions are hefty. Neglecting the environment could lead to dire consequences for our families and the families we share this thriving planet with.
LizzieWeakley posted a blog entry in Lizzie Weakley's Green BlogEfficient energy is something that the world desperately needs now. Growing populations in many areas of the world have stretched the needs of energy suppliers who often need to struggle to keep up with the demand. For many populations in need, the existing infrastructure cannot keep up with the demands. In other cases, the supply of energy is too expensive for the community. 1. Much of the World Lives Without Electricity Many find it hard to believe, but experts estimate that, by 2035, there will still be one or two billion people living without access to power. Most of these people live in developing countries where economic resources to get electricity are rare. Some of the solutions that people in this situation require use a lot of power making efficiency more important. Professionals need to find a careful balance between meeting demand while keeping the energy sources efficient. 2. Some Places Require Greatly Increased Capacity Although power plants will expand by a relatively small margin, some areas will require a large installed capacity rate. For example, if Sub-Saharan Africa were to increase their capacity to match that of South Africa's, the increase would need to be by 33 percent. Many companies, such as Opportune, work to explore economic solutions where places in need of more power can meet their demands. 3. Greater Efficiency Saves Money Efficient energy has fewer costs for both suppliers and customers, which is a winning situation all around. It is easier to expand energy resources in growing areas when residents have economic choices. In areas where people are receiving electricity for the first time, economical options make the delivery easier. As these communities save money, they will have more to reinvest when they must upgrade their infrastructure. 4. Efficient Options Help the Economy There are many ways in which efficient energy helps boost the economy. People who don't need to spend as much on energy costs can spend more in their local economy. Another advantage of efficient energy is the fact that it encourages further innovations and also encourages job growth to help deliver more energy. This combination is one that has the greatest overall benefit. As the world's population grows, efficient sources will become more necessary. However, there are many power-related resources available to help make energy more efficient as the demand grows. Professionals in the industry are dedicated to working hard to ensure that the growth and efficiency can keep up with the demand.