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Found 72 results

  1. If you or your family members have trouble breathing when you're outside or even inside your home, then you might want to think about the local environment. The air that you breathe can affect almost every aspect of the body. It can even affect your moods and how you feel on a daily basis. Keep in mind that it's not just one thing in the environment that impacts the health. It's a culmination of variables that you need to be aware of so that you can take care of your family. Here are just a few things that you need to take into consideration: Air Quality When you go outside, you might sense a heavy feeling in the air. This is a sign of poor air quality for the day. Everything from high humidity to smog and pollution from local businesses and cars can create a poor air quality. One of the things that you can do to help this situation is to carpool or use public transportation instead of driving every day to work, especially in the summer when air alerts are higher. Staying Hydrated If you have water through a city or county supply, then you probably know that there are times when the water can taste more like chemicals than tap water. Some areas add chemicals to the supply to filter out bacteria and other items that might be unhealthy. A wastewater treatment plant often filters the supply before it's delivered to homes, but there are times that contaminations still get through. If you feel like any contamination is getting through, though, you should contact your city to make sure that the water source is going through proper and efficient waste and water treatment. Meanwhile, you can boil water that you think is unhealthy or contact your local government office to make a complaint. Don’t hesitate, however, to keep looking into the issue and researching more info about it. What You Eat Some people might not think that the food that you eat is a part of the environment, but where do you think that you get the meat, vegetables and fruits that you consume? If there are pesticides or bacteria or any other items that interfere with the food that you eat, it can make you sick. There are even times when these contaminants can cause death. This is why you want to clean the foods that you prepare and shop from local farmers as much as possible. Trash Compacting When you walk along the streets and sidewalks in your town, you can sometimes see litter along the way. Some towns have more trash on the ground than others. Living in a town that doesn't seem to care about the appearance can take its toll on your mental health and make you want to move if it gets too bad. Do your part by picking up trash that you see and putting it in a proper disposal. The environment can do more harm than good for the body and mind if there are negative aspects. There are groups that you can join to positively change the environment so that it's healthier for you and the family. If necessary, stay inside as much as possible on days that just aren't ideal to be outside.
  2. 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.
  3. Green homes help reduce environmental damage and waste commonly caused by standard home construction and life habits. They also offer homeowners many additional benefits. They can lower utility and grocery bills, improve your home's value and make your overall life better. To reap these benefits and more, consider the following green home additions: Composting Room Composting bins turn plant-based waste materials from cooking and gardening into nutrient-rich fertilizer. A composting room is an extension of this idea designed to replace the traditional detached "garden shed" with a more efficient setup that allows you easy access to compost and garden supplies throughout the year even during cold weather. Since gases and odors are a byproduct of composting, you only need to run an attached ventilation duct from the enclosed bin to the outside through a wall or the ceiling to make this room work. Automatic Systems A lot of electricity and water loss occurs because homeowners often forget to turn off manual home systems like indoor and outdoor lights, sprinklers and thermostats. An automatic control system utilizes software and/or sensors to optimize usage. For example, an automatic system with light-detection sensors might turn on outdoor lights at night and then turn them off immediately in the morning or turn off indoor lights that you typically forget to turn off after a certain time at night. Green Roofing Homeowners can enjoy flower and vegetable gardens, safeguard the environment and save on heating, cooling and grocery costs without using up nearby land with green roofing. A "green" or "vegetative" roof turns an often unused home area into a garden paradise. The advantages of green roofing go beyond energy efficiency and fresh fruits and vegetables. You also receive greater roof and ceiling leak protection, higher local oxygen contribution and reduced chemical and noise pollution and government tax breaks. Nontoxic Materials Many standard home building and furniture materials, such as plastics, formaldehyde-containing fiberboard and adhesives, release toxic gases or break down into toxic dust over time that damage the environment and cause sick buildings syndrome. The "addition" of environmentally-friendly materials that release fewer harmful volatile organic chemicals after the removal of toxic ones can both improve your health and increase the value of your home. If your home is not already a green dwelling, it is time to do your part for the environment, yourself and your community. Start with one of these four green additions to improve your world and standard of living.
  4. Recycling as a family can be beneficial and fun. Being able to teach children about the benefits of the practice instills good habits and provides a science lesson they never expected. Here are seven reasons why it is important to start recycling as a family. We Can Cut Down on the Production of Cans According to the charity, Wheels for Wishes, there are approximately 105,784 aluminum cans being recycled in the United States every single minute. Unfortunately, 350,000 brand new cans are produced from new aluminum every minute as well. This lends to pollution and unnecessary use of resources. Recycled Cans Have a Quick Turnaround As seen above, there are a large number of can produced. The recycled should be hitting a one to one ratio because there would be little to know waste because recycled cans be back shelves and filled with product in 60 days. Disposal of Recyclable Trash for Large Families Small and large families need a smarter and better way to dispose of recyclable waste to keep their homes and property clean, especially if they have children. Large jugs and copious amounts of cans take up space, but with the right disposal receptacles, families can stay cleaner and more organized while contributing to the environment. Getting large or specialized recycling receptacles is easier than ever now. For example, many outlets for waste disposal like Lakeshore Recycling have become environmental conscientious. These kind of businesses offer a variety of products that have made recycling easy because most cities now include separate waste hauls for recycled goods. Families Can Decrease Air Pollution for Their Children and Grandchildren Saving the planet for future generation is one of the things an environmentally aware family focuses on. Many different materials offer long-term environmental positives. For example, for every ton of paper recycled, air pollution decreases by 60 pounds. Families Can Do Their Part to Improve the United States' Environmental Standing Although the air quality might be leaps and bounds better than China, the United States is the world's number one producer of garbage, despite being just four percent of the global population. Establishing good recycling habits in the home can improve the country's standing in the world. Recycling PET Plastic Can Decrease the Price of the Next Family Car Recycled PET plastics go to build new parts for a variety of domestic and military vehicles. They can be turned into truck liners, fan shrouds, wheel liners and many other parts. The Economy Has Been Rough The Penny Hoarder is a treasure trove of information about how to find collection plants and what items yield cash. There are a lot of different items the collection plants will offer money for, such as electronics, car batteries, copper, scrap metal and aluminum. Aluminum is the most available to families and it considered the most valuable for city services to pick up. Since families have to pay the city for water, sewer and trash services, why not make the money for the bill by recycling cans at a plant instead of throwing them away? The seven reasons listed above are packed full of useful for information and make a strong case for recycling. Doing it as a family passes a good habit on to children, and they will pass it on and expand on it. Recycling as a family will help shape a better planet for future generations.
  5. A public administration degree includes a bachelor's, master's or doctorate degree awarded by an accredited university, college or business school. These programs prepare a person to work for a non-profit organization or in government at the local, state or national level. Earning one of these degrees involves building skills in politics, management, accounting, urban planning and environmental sciences. With a public administration masters, you may be able to put your skills to use for saving the environment. Sound Management of Funds for Environmental Projects Public administrators are held accountable for the transparency of funds used on all types of projects. Their accounting skills and ability to communicate in writing and orally will help them to employ sound management of funds for environmental projects. They will be able to create cost benefit analyses to show that environmentally friendly projects are a better investment for the long-term. They can also show how changes such as green roofs and proper insulation help to save money on a short-term basis. Green Urban Planning Green urban planning is already important and will only increase in civic priorities due to increases in urban populations. According to the World Health Organization, urban populations will grow by 1.84% per year between 2015 and 2020, which is faster than that of rural communities. Large city populations mean that it is important to build energy-efficient buildings to accommodate the growing number of people. Infrastructure such as mass transit will also need to be included. Public administrators have the attention to detail and planning skills to make these changes happen. Management of Environmentally Friendly Non-profit Agencies Public administrators learn management skills, interpersonal communications and human relations skills during their time in college or at the university. These skills can help them to find jobs at non-profit organizations and agencies that are related to the protection of the environment. The courses that public administration candidates take in politics and government will also help them to navigate through the complexities of city zoning, state government lobbying and federal agencies that create the laws around environmental protection. The leadership, analytical and communications skills that you learn while earning a public administration degree can help you to work with different groups and promote environmental awareness with every aspect of a project. If you choose to earn a graduate degree, you may even be able to become the leader of your organization and help to further the cause of environmentally friendly cities, buildings and projects.
  6. A new UN study concludes that the future of companies around the globe will depend on their ability to cope with the coming consequences of climate change. Food, mining, transport, finance, and tourism industries especially will be impacted by extreme weather, the rising cost of natural resources, and a reduction in biodiversity. Companies that haven't put emphasis on reducing their environmental impact should do so now. Here are three important ways companies can get started. Smart Houses, Smart Business "Smart" homes are a new trend in technology and should be applied to more commercial enterprises. A smart building is equipped with interconnected, Wi-Fi-enabled devices that can work together to reduce energy demands. Sensors and pre-programmed devices can automatically perform important steps like turning off lights when there's no activity, turning off printers and computers at the end of the workday, or turning down AC at night or on weekends. These are small things that busy humans often forget, but automating them throughout a large facility can lead to substantial energy reduction - and cost savings - over time. A "Green" Culture A company can also reduce its environmental impact by implementing and encouraging environmentally friendly practices with its staff. This can include reducing paper use, using recycled products and materials, using permanent cups and utensils rather than disposable ones, and encouraging plants for better atmosphere and air quality. You can also find technology from companies like Stephenson Environmental Management Australia to monitor and control air contaminants. This makes for a healthier, more productive workforce while eliminating pollutants. Renewable energy infrastructures Businesses can save more money over the long term and reduce their environmental impact by integrating renewable energy sources wherever possible. Solar and wind farms can generate enough power to meet office needs. They could even be over-sized to create surplus power that can be sold back to the grid under Australia's feed-in tariffs, thus reducing the energy needs of the surrounding community. Excess solar energy could also be used to charge batteries at night that could power a data center for hours during the day. Public response is almost invariably favorable toward environmentally conscious companies, thus adding to company brand and appeal. There are some initial costs to adopting green technologies and products, but it makes perfect business sense over the long term. And as the UN study suggests, companies that "go green" sooner will benefit more later.
  7. We all know we must have water in order to survive. Many people do not question the safety of the water that comes out of their tap. According to the US Geological Survey, approximately 15% of individuals use private well water for their drinking water source. But is such water safe? We will look at 3 ways to ensure your well water is safe for consumption. Pay Attention to Warning Signs Many well system owners rely upon their wells for drinking water and water for cooking and cleaning without thinking twice about whether or not the water is safe and clean to drink. There are some warning signs that should lead well water owners to consider the possibility that their well system needs to be tested. Some of those warning signs include: Bad taste or unusual smell Stains or residue in clothes or fixtures Water is not clear, it is cloudy Plumbing fixtures corrode faster than expected Family members with severe GI issues Educate Yourself on Maintaining Your Private Well Water System Many well system owners are not aware that water testing should be conducted on a regular basis and especially if any of the warning signs of possible contamination are present. If you are the owner of a private well water system, an easy place to begin to educate yourself about how to maintain a safe well is to use the resources of the Water Systems Council. This nonprofit has an excellent website where well owners can find a local resource to have their well water tested (usually through a division of the state’s department of health and environmental safety. Obtain Annual Testing Many water well owners are not aware that the Environmental Protection Agency recommends annual testing of private wells for what are called ‘indicator organisms’ as well as nitrate. The presence of the indicator organisms often predicts the presence of other dangerous organisms such as Giardia or E coli. The EPA also recommends additional testing be conducted every 5-10 years. The price of individual tests differs from state to state. If you own a private well, you want to do everything you can to ensure that your family has access to safe drinking water that is free from contaminants. Remember: pay attention to warning signs of possible contamination, educate yourself on testing and maintenance that should be conducted to ensure that your well is free from dangerous contaminants, and obtain recommended testing of your well water from a reliable local source.
  8. Drones and their Environmental Impact

    Drones have always been into a limited field of army and defence but slowly and steadily it has entered the mainstream. Now these smart bots are being used everywhere from conservation to photography, the uses of these drones have widened its horizon. But there are pros and cons attached, let’s take a walkthrough of how the drones have affected the environmental factors, and are this camera robot a threat or it’s just a mere robotic machine flying in the air. Drones and their Uses – Well if we have a strong understanding of how drones are being used, it gets easy to conclude on the pros and cons. The Defence system proved the monitoring abilities of this machine when further this camera bot was used, the spectacular aerial images opened new horizons for its usage. Now photographers and videographers are among the avid buyers of this gadget. The continuous use of aerial photography and monitoring opened gates for new ways of conservation and protection. The wildlife, agriculture and energy projects have started using drones. The more it is being used in different sectors the debate over the pros and cons have begun, so let’s have a look, how are these drones impacting the environment. Agriculture – The farmers have started relying on the robotic vehicles in order to collect information and take actions accordingly. When a drone identifies a type of weed growing in a specific area that area is then sprayed with a pesticide that helps in unnecessary usage of pesticides in the field. Wildlife - Monitoring and keeping a check on the wildlife animals and plants is now an easy business. Now at very cheap costs and with almost no manual task-force wildlife conservation tasks can be taken care of. Energy Plants – Maintaining big machinery, how to check if they are functioning properly, what are the areas that got affected and so forth. But with this little camera vehicle, almost all are problems being solved. Pros Low Cost – If used effectively then this vehicle will be a cheaper option than other alternatives. Accuracy – Unlike the old and traditional ways of surveillance, drones are accurate and require minimal staff. They are quiet and vigilant machines that give an accurate information. Longer Operational Hours – Humans can be saved from continuous long work duties because these flying vehicles will enable to look/spy/watch for longer hours. Life Saving- Spying or keeping an eye becomes an easy affair via losing any life. Aerial mapping & Monitoring – These little vehicles are best for aerial photography and videography, they are ideal and with a 5 kg drone you can easily fly for several hours and get exquisite images. Disaster Relief – In difficult times, drones act as saviours and are perfect for surveillance and providing aid to the affected zones and the people. Wildlife Protection – This little vehicle is able to capture pictures and videos of hard reach areas, which plays a crucial role in conserving the environment. Sustainable Agriculture – UAV’s are now more precision agricultural instruments and are at a quick speed replacing a lot of old school methods. It is now becoming an invaluable tool for farmers. Cons Limited Abilities - Yes, no matter how much we talk about them, some manual actions are always needed to give directions to these gadgets. Easy to operate – The easy operations of the drones are making it an accessible mode, which will be a concern ion near future. Drone Strikes – Drone strikes and munitions are sad to be harmful to public health because of their chemical content. As we look towards the advances of the growing usage of drones and affordable prices we are sure to see more of these flying machines. There are cons but better benefits quick deploy, clear images and with upcoming technological advances, we can see a win-win situation for these UAVs.
  9. Do you have any idea how many cigarette butts are littered in Australia each year? Billions. Those small things, combined together, have some serious impact on the environment around us. Let’s see how. For starters the cigarette smoke contains about 4000 chemicals, and every second the butt is alight those toxins are released in the environment. Another problem, that carelessly flicked cigarettes cause, are fires. But the true problem is caused by the material the butts are made from. The filters are made from cellulose acetate which causes a lot of problems, when not disposed properly. Now imagine what happens with all those billions of cigarette butts, when it starts raining for instance. They are washed off the streets and alleys to the nearest water reservoir or even worse the ocean, where the toxins from the filters poison the water. And that could be deadly for the marine life. And do you know how long does it take for one cigarette butt to break down entirely – up to 12 months. But in water that period is much longer – it could take up to 5 year. Can you imagine that?! And each year new cigarette butts are added to the pile, again and again. Cigarette butts could be mistakenly eaten by some of the sea animals, there are cases when cigarette butts are being found in the stomach system of birds and fishes. The chemicals contain in the cigarette filter ( lead and cadmium) could leach in the water. There are plenty more ways in which the cigarette butts affect the nature. What can you do in order to prevent all that from happening and preserve the environment. According to Paul's cleaning team in Melbourne, there's nothing easier that leading a green lifestyle. Dispose the cigarette butts the proper way not by flicking them wherever you like. Use ashtrays. It’s only a small step, but if everyone take it you will see how big impact it could have.
  10. Running a business means making a lot of important decisions on a daily basis. However, one thing many business owners tend to not think about is how they’re heating their office. One choice that has many benefits that you should certainly consider during the colder months of the year is heating your office with propane. It Helps the Environment When people think of eco-friendly fuel sources, propane does not usually come to mind. However, it is a green alternative fuel recognized by the government. One reason why is because it escapes as a gas and doesn’t leave any physical residue as pollution. Propane exhaust also creates 70 percent less smog and hydrocarbons than burning gasoline does. It is far less toxic than other carbon based fuels. It’s Economical Another great thing about using propane to heat your office is that it can help slash your overhead expenses. You should be aware that propane is far cheaper when used to heat a building than electricity is. In fact, the cost savings can be as much as 50 percent. Propane water heaters are a much better deal than electric. You can also insure that you save even more money by wrapping your propane water heater in a Powerblanket. This added insulation will prevent heat loss and increase the efficiency of your heating system. It’s Convenient One great thing about propane is that it does not require a lot of maintenance. One propane tank can last for as long as 40 years. It’s a long term solution, and the investment can begin to pay off quite decently versus other more expensive heating options. It’s Dependable Once you install your propane powered heating system into your office, it should provide consistent heat for decades. Other heating sources may not be as dependable. For example, if you depend on electricity to heat your office, you could be prone to losing heat during power outages. Power outages, of course, are common in the winter when harsh weather destroys power lines. With a propane tank, your office will still be heated even during an outage. It’s dependable and provides some safety for your employees if an outage were to occur. There are many benefits to using propane to heat your office during cold winter months. It’s cheap, environmentally friendly, convenient and dependable energy. If you are moving to a new office, consider installing a propane tank to provide the energy you need. Converting your current heating system to propane may be an excellent idea as well.
  11. In new estimates released this week, the United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO) reports that in 2012 around 7 million people died – one in eight of total global deaths – as a result of air pollution exposure. This finding more than doubles previous estimates and confirms that air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk. Reducing air pollution could save millions of lives. In particular, the new data reveal a stronger link between both indoor and outdoor air pollution exposure and cardiovascular diseases, such as strokes and ischaemic heart disease, as well as between air pollution and cancer. This is in addition to air pollution’s role in the development of respiratory diseases, including acute respiratory infections and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. The new estimates are not only based on more knowledge about the diseases caused by air pollution, but also upon better assessment of human exposure to air pollutants through the use of improved measurements and technology. This has enabled scientists to make a more detailed analysis of health risks from a wider demographic spread that now includes rural as well as urban areas. Regionally, low- and middle-income countries in the WHO South-East Asia and Western Pacific Regions had the largest air pollution-related burden in 2012, with a total of 3.3 million deaths linked to indoor air pollution and 2.6 million deaths related to outdoor air pollution. Dr Flavia Bustreo, WHO Assistant Director-General Family, Women and Children’s Health, said: “Cleaning up the air we breathe prevents noncommunicable diseases as well as reduces disease risks among women and vulnerable groups, including children and the elderly. Poor women and children pay a heavy price from indoor air pollution since they spend more time at home breathing in smoke and soot from leaky coal and wood cook stoves.” Included in the assessment is a breakdown of deaths attributed to specific diseases, underlining that the vast majority of air pollution deaths are due to cardiovascular diseases as follows: Outdoor air pollution-caused deaths – breakdown by disease: 40% – ischaemic heart disease; 40% – stroke; 11% – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); 6% – lung cancer; and 3% – acute lower respiratory infections in children. Indoor air pollution-caused deaths – breakdown by disease: 34% – stroke; 26% – ischaemic heart disease; 22% – COPD; 12% – acute lower respiratory infections in children; 6% – lung cancer. The new estimates are based on the latest WHO mortality data from 2012 as well as evidence of health risks from air pollution exposures. Estimates of people’s exposure to outdoor air pollution in different parts of the world were formulated through a new global data mapping. This incorporated satellite data, ground-level monitoring measurements and data on pollution emissions from key sources, as well as modelling of how pollution drifts in the air. Risks factors greater than expected Dr Maria Neira, Director of WHO’s Department for Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health, says: “The risks from air pollution are now far greater than previously thought or understood, particularly for heart disease and strokes. Few risks have a greater impact on global health today than air pollution; the evidence signals the need for concerted action to clean up the air we all breathe.” After analysing the risk factors and taking into account revisions in methodology, WHO estimates indoor air pollution was linked to 4.3 million deaths in 2012 in households cooking over coal, wood and biomass stoves. The new estimate is explained by better information about pollution exposures among the estimated 2.9 billion people living in homes using wood, coal or dung as their primary cooking fuel, as well as evidence about air pollution’s role in the development of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and cancers. In the case of outdoor air pollution, WHO estimates there were 3.7 million deaths in 2012 from urban and rural sources worldwide. Many people are exposed to both indoor and outdoor air pollution. Due to this overlap, mortality attributed to the two sources cannot simply be added together, hence the total estimate of around 7 million deaths in 2012.
  12. You've probably noticed the growing popularity of solar panels, as they've become less expensive and more refined in the past few years. And although many of your neighbors may be sprucing up their roofs with solar panels, is it really worth the switch for your wallet and the environment? Here are some of the pros and cons of solar power systems to help you decide if making the switch is right for you. Pros No Greenhouse Gas Emissions The process of obtaining and using solar energy does not result in any chemical by-products. No gases, smokes, or any other potentially harmful substances are released, making solar energy a healthier option for your family and the environment. Tax Credits and Cash Rebates In a nutshell, there are a lot of people who want you to switch over to solar energy. The federal government, state governments, and several utility companies are willing to reward those who install solar power systems. The federal government will match dollar-for-dollar 30 percent of the cost of your system as a tax credit, and several state governments also offer tax credits to those who install solar energy systems. Not to mention the savings on your monthly power bill, and the possibility of selling your SREC (solar renewable energy certificates) to make an extra few hundred or thousand dollars each year. No Ongoing Energy Costs The great thing about solar energy is that it’s literally available to anyone, anywhere. So once you have a way to harness and use solar energy, you don’t have to keep paying for it. Other than the initial costs of installing a system, as well as some light maintenance, you won’t have to pay anything for the energy. Can Function off the Grid An especially appealing feature for those who live in rural areas is the possibility of using solar power to power buildings and structures that would otherwise require expensive power line installation, or that experience frequent power outages. Not Influenced by Politics Since no particular country or person can own the sun or its energy, you don’t have to worry about costs fluctuating because of politics or the conditions of international relations. Cons It Doesn't Work at Night Your house will still be connected to the main power grid when your solar energy system cannot generate enough electricity, like at night when the sun has gone down. Solar Panels are Large In order to make the switch to solar energy, you have to be willing to sacrifice the consistent look of your roof. Solar panels are just big and bulky. The more-efficient silicon crystalline wafer solar panels are particularly thick and large. New, thinner panels have been developed, but these are not as efficient as the larger crystalline wafer solar panels. It's not Very Efficient As mentioned above, solar energy is not consistent because the sun is not always available. Solar panels in general have about a 20 percent efficiency rate, which measures how much of the sun’s energy the panels are able to convert into usable electricity. Efficiency is improving, and considering the cost on the environment and other factors of using traditional fossil fuels for energy, many people dub even 20 percent a raging success. If you’re considering making the switch to solar energy, get a free quote and learn more about the process.
  13. There are some business practices that are obviously bad for the environment, such as mailing out unsolicited advertisements and giving away disposable, branded bottles of water. However, some green practices aren't so immediately obvious. If you're looking for ways to reduce the negative environmental impact your business has on the planet, there are plenty of options that may work for your company. Reduce the Paper You Use Even recycled paper has a huge impact on the environment. Instead of printing the company newsletter, email it to everyone. Instead of printing out fat bundles of materials for meetings and promotional events, put everything online. With the proliferation of cloud computing and document sharing, there is little need for the vast majority of printed materials. Reuse Your Paper Any paper that is used can be run through a shredder, crumpled and used as eco-friendly packing materials. Instead of paying for packing peanuts or plastic bubble wrap, using shredded paper gives you nearly free packing material and reduces the amount of waste your company produces. Encourage Distance Learning Encouraging your employees to continue their educations is great, but the never-ending procession of textbooks, commuting to and from class and climate control in enormous lecture halls makes online learning a much more Earth-friendly option. For example, a student earning their online civil engineering master’s degree may have all of their books and materials made available online, with no commuting necessary. Give Out Company Mugs The amount of plastic bottles and paper cups used by a company in just one day can be staggering. Give every employee a spill-resistant mug and then remove all the disposable options from the building. Not only is this a boon for the planet, it will save you a ton of money over the course of time. Consider Green Cleaning Supplies For most sectors of business, there is absolutely no reason to be using ammonia, bleach and other contaminants for cleaning. There are plenty of green options available that clean just as well without resorting to harsh pollutants. If you have a cleaning service, inquire about green products. Green products also have the added attraction of being less-irritating to those with allergies or sensitive skin, which in turn could improve productivity and employee happiness. There are plenty of small ways companies can reduce their negative impact on the environment. Carefully consider these strategies to reduce waste and be kind to the planet at the same time.
  14. It may surprise many business owners that there are many simple tips they can use to get a company on a greener track. Usually, the impetus to consider going green occurs when there is proof that eco-friendly methods are also more economically advantageous. The first step to get your company looking a little greener is to start with a plan and to learn your most local resources for basic assistance and information to make your plan more efficient and cost-effective. Tips to a Greener Track You probably already think about how much waste comes out of your company. Disposing of waste may incur unnecessary costs and is a huge burden for some types of industries. It is important to begin your plan by studying where, when, and how waste occurs within your company. For example in small offices, paper waste is usually a major source of unnecessary costs. This can be avoided by redesigning the office system so that less paper is used. This will also provide the added benefit of less problems with paper dust and paper mites. Look at how much food waste comes out of company provided lunches and see if a potluck or different catering service might be a better option. Saving Energy With the numerous advancements in using more modern energy, all businesses need to rethink their energy use. In a business with minimal hours of operation, install a programmable thermostat to save on the cost of energy and by association, contribute to a greener environment. Spend time reviewing energy upgrades from your local energy company. This offers a greener solution and lowers your energy costs. Companies like Lumo Energy can help you compare different electricity and gas packages so you’ll know if you really are saving money. Simple Tips for a Greener Track In most cases, businesses can encourage their employees to choose the newest, greenest products for home and business use. Purchase recycled paper and paper products like recycled coffee filters for business coffee makers. Use recycled paper towels and toilet tissue in company bathrooms. Opt for liquid soap made from natural ingredients rather than synthetics. There are many other small tips you can use as well so research well to see what work for your business. Recycling Recycling is a major step forward to put your company on a greener track. Many items in companies today are recyclable. This includes plastics, glass, aluminum, and colored and printed materials. Create a regular schedule of recycling for your company by engaging the services of a local recycling facility. Most of these facilities offer pickup services. The fastest way to implement a recycling program in your company is to provide recycling receptacles that are readily accessible at various locations within the building. Employees quickly adapt to recycling programs in your company when they have quick access for disposal of the most frequently used items. Helping your company go green really doesn’t have to be a huge paradigm shift, or even very expensive. Simply use what you have and the local resources available to make better overall choices and make more energy saving possible.
  15. Owning a home means sometimes your place will get fairly messy. You need a routine cleaning schedule to ensure the general protection of your home and family and maintenance to keep things preserved. As a greater emphasis has been placed on being environmentally friendly, people have begun to understand the need for a greener way to clean. Countless products exist that make this task simple, and most of the ingredients are probably already in your home. Here are some simple ways to get your house spiffy and still be kind to the earth. Craft an All-Purpose Cleaner The name of these ingredients speak for themselves by being safe to use on virtually anything, but there is also a multitude of ingredients that can be used in these cleaners, and each of them serves a different purpose. A common mixture includes mixing 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda with a drop of liquid soap and two cups of hot water. This mixture only takes on the odor of the soap and works to abate growing bacteria, caked on dirt, and is a great way to clean bathroom stains. The base of this cleaner allows for the incorporation of other important green items, like vinegar, as the acidity of the liquid kills all types of bacteria, ultimately making it ideal for kitchens and bathrooms. One Simple Fruit with Endless Possibilities Whether they are squeezed to make a drink, used to leave a house smelling fresh, or made into a heavy-duty cleaner, lemons are always a good idea. The acidity of a lemon works as a bleaching agent which makes it ideal for laundry, washing white surfaces and breaking down areas that collect a lot of germs like kitchen counters. Squeezing two lemons into a spray bottle with one tablespoon of baking soda makes for a profound, eco-friendly bleach. If you desire the fragrance to be more potent, though, consider reducing the baking soda to 1/2 tablespoon. Aside from mimicking a bleach, lemons are rich with citrus flavonoids which are powerful components that fight free radicals from entering the body. When used in rooms of the home where germs are the most concentrated, this cleaner guarantees a home free of sickness, disease, and even insects. Invest in an Energy Efficient Vacuum Cleaner Sometimes sweeping is not sufficient enough to rid your floor of debris and a broom is unable to reach every corner of a room. As a result, investing in a quality vacuum is essential to keep things truly dirt free. Some of the best Central Vacuum models are quiet, save energy, and have the ability to reuse the bags. The necessary power does the trick without straining valuable natural resources. For the Living Room: Corn Meal and Olive Oil People with children understand that spills are part of everyday life, but few cleaners exist that will remove the mess without harming playing children or pets. From the carpet to furniture, a natural, non-toxic cleaner is needed; this is where corn meal and olive oil are able to work their magic. Olive oil rubbed on a rag acts as a powerful furniture polish that will leave tables, chairs, and wood floors looking brand new. Corn meal on the other hand, acts as a powerful absorption tool that effortlessly lifts spills off of carpets and other fabrics. In sum, green cleaners are not only beneficial for the environment and the safety of your home and family, but work wonders on a household budget. All of the ingredients used in green cleaning are often already in the pantry or fridge and if they are not, they are easily attainable at stores throughout the world.
  16. Going green seems to be on all our minds these days. Recycling, saving energy, and living frugally are all becoming more a part of daily life. Your car can play a big part in the environment as well. According to experts, green cars benefit anyone concerned about the environment. Each automobile has highly unique technologies that increase performance without producing air pollution. Here are some of the top rated on the market today! 2016 Chevy Volt The technology in the 2016 Chevy Volt is very efficient because it helps the vehicle travel up to 53 miles on one charge. If the car has a full tank of gas and a complete charge, it can commute nearly 420 miles down a highway. When the Chevy Volt is operational, two unique motors with electrical components work together to save energy. Both engines also give the automobile extra power and plenty of torque. If you need a car that has an app, the 2016 Volt is a great choice. The software helps busy families because it has buttons that lock and unlock doors and icons for the lights. 2016 Toyota Prius The Toyota Prius is worth considering if your family wants a car that has some futuristic elements. In the cabin, you’ll find a convenient console with a touch screen that is useful during a variety of driving situations. For example, throughout a long road trip, the panel provides information about the vehicle’s ECO saving technology. Toyota engineers care about safety so the new Prius was built with a number of technologies that prevent accidents on the road. If you’d like to park strategically and safely without polluting the environment, Toyota’s Enhanced Parking Support technology will benefit you. The system has a sonar that can detect various objects, such as lampposts, bikes, and walls. If the technology senses a possible collision, it will produce an alert, slow down the engine, and press the brakes. Intelligent Parking Assist is also equipped with the 2016 Prius. This technology moves the steering wheel automatically and guides the car into a parking space. 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hyundai has a highly skilled technology team that develops tools for every one of their automobiles. The company’s smart phone app works on Android devices and when the application is used, it recognizes voice commands and compiles of a lot important information. If you drive this green vehicle to a grocery store or shopping mall, the process of packing various bags in the truck won’t be a hassle. Thank to Hyundai’s Smart Trunk technology, you can put groceries into the storage area effortlessly without using a key. The trunk opens automatically whenever the sensor in the car detects a trigger, which is found in the key. Commuting in the new Sonata is an enjoyable experience because the car has a convenient cruise control system with advanced capabilities. Hyundai engineers put a senor in a strategic location so that the car can automatically detect other vehicles in nearby lanes. When another car gets too close, the system will reduce the Sonata’s speed. In dangerous situations, the technology will increase safety by bringing the vehicle to a complete stop. 2016 Audi A3 The 2016 Audi A3 is an award-winning vehicle that has a number of beneficial safety and performance features. You may want to buy this car if you need transportation that’s dependable, classy, and green. In the cabin, passengers can access many of the car’s tools by using a unique scroll wheel. The technology controls the navigation system, telephone, and radio. 2016 Honda Civic Families enjoy riding in the 2016 Honda Civic since it has many eco-friendly features and heated seats. The EX-T trim gives consumers three heat levels that increase comfort in the front of the cabin. The Touring trim includes a system that produces heat in the back of the cabin as well. Going green is important in the car you choose as well as your everyday life. Each of these cars is a great choice for saving energy and getting the best in technology. An auto body shop in Summit County or local paint shop can make the exterior just as flashy as well. Don’t forget to research which features will be best for your family as you do your shopping.
  17. There's no question that the earth is important. It's where we live, work, and raise our families. Sometimes issues like pollution and environmental responsibility seem too big to address. After all, we are talking about the entire world! The best that you can do to address these issues is to begin on your local level. Check out these five ways that you can encourage environmental safety and responsibility in your community. Education Education is crucial to the beginning of any environmental program. You should be sure to teach your own family how to be responsible, as well as share ideas and materials with your local schools and universities. Most importantly, educate yourself on what you can do every day to make a difference. Start or Join a Program Education doesn't stop in schools. If your town doesn't already have a recycling program in place, be prepared to present ideas to local councils. If you starting clean-up programs seems out of reach, research programs nearby. It may be possible to make share arrangements with county recycling agencies or to cut deals with local businesses for time and funding. Group Up Whether you take your family to the beach or attend community festivals, take advantage of groups! The best way to help the environment is to set an example. If you see trash while you are out on a hike or on the beach, pick it up and encourage your family to follow suit. Also, ask your city council to provide both trash and recycle bins for big events. When presented with options, people will usually do the right thing. Encourage Corporate Responsibility You are able to make choices about where the money you earn goes. Do your best to spend your money locally and with environmentally responsible companies. You can learn more about a company's environmental programs by visiting their websites. For example, a good website for this would be The Freo Group. By spending your money at responsible businesses, you are encouraging good behavior and setting an example for your community that can spread rapidly. Use Your Influence Do you own a business, head a book club, or organize extracurricular programs? Use the groups you are already a part of to spread awareness. One person can do much more than you would think. By encouraging good environmental behavior and sharing information with others, your community can improve by leaps and bounds!
  18. Sustainable living is becoming more popular over time. Plenty of people are trying to reduce their ecological footprint by doing things such as eating less meat, composting food waste and using reusable shopping bags. While all of these things are great, creating a greener community will increase the effects of these efforts. Here are five ways to get your community to live greener lifestyles. Eat Local Transporting food thousands of miles increases emission output into the air. This increases pollution, and experts tell us that this effects our climate. Purchasing local also keeps resources in the area and benefits local farmers. Create a community garden! This is a great way to get family and children involved in a project benefiting the residents and environment. Recycling Everyone knows our trash output is too high. Trash sits in landfills for decades before composing, if it ever does decompose. Communities need to have multiple recycling drop off points, and have a skip bin in each location from their local waste management company. Electronics often end up in the landfills as well. This is the improper way to dispose of old and broken electronics. Set up drop off points so residents have a safe way to get rid of these items. Transportation A large portion of the pollution in our air is caused by transportation. Reducing this will clean up the community. Here are some ways to help. Organize a carpool group. Have a walk-to-school program. This decreases emissions and provides exercise times for children. Petition for bike lanes on the roads. Encourage Political Participation Everyone has a voice that should be heard. Creativity is one of the things needed to create greener communities. Getting involved in local politics can make these visions come to life. This is also a great way to get the residents involved. Let them know about local butchers or farmers so they know where to purchase food products. People will participate if they know how. Volunteering People who volunteer their time can help create preserve and aid the land. Organize a group of people who are willing to take time and pick up litter along the roads. This is a great way to get children involved as well. Cleaning up the area and streams is beneficial to the land and animals as well. There are so many ways to get involved in the community. The first step is spread awareness and encourage a discussion on methods to better the community.
  19. For millions and billions of years, our beautiful green planet has been able to fend for itself. Everything it was intertwined with was completely natural and the environment was capable of dealing with it on its own. However, then came the man and learned to synthesize things that could not be so easily decomposed in nature, like plastics, for example. Unlike plastics, there are some worse things out there, things that not only stay within the natural cycle forever, but also pollute it to its very core. Most people, by now probably think of pesticides, but they are not all that causes these problems. What most people don’t know is that pharmaceuticals are also ruining the environment. Lake Michigan Survey Scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee did a recent survey to see if the concentration of pharmaceutical products in Lake Michigan can be considered as significant. Even though their primary hypothesis was that the amount of these chemicals won’t be that high, because the dilatation in such vast quantities of water would be quick, this was not the case. Out of 54 chemicals they looked for, 27 were found. To make things even more curious, according to Rebecca Klaper, the most surprising turn of events was that the most common drug they found was metformin, which is a diabetes drug. Funny thing is that it was something they weren’t even looking for. Danger to Wildlife and Humans Alike A 2014 global review of pharmaceuticals in the environment, claims that the pollution of the environment can also be caused by both human and veterinary pharmaceuticals. The research also found that 631 out of 713 pharmaceuticals tested were found well above their detection limits, which is the alarming statistic at very least. Unfortunately, while things like car and industry caused pollution, get every single TV and newspaper spotlight, pharmaceutical hazards to ecosystem are something that is rarely talked about. Furthermore, monitoring and controlling their presence in the environment is at the moment completely inadequate. How Does It Get Out There? There are three mayor ways for pharmaceuticals to get into the environment. The first one is through human or animal excrement. The second one is through improper disposal and the third and the last one is through industrial negligence. Namely, some manufacturing facilities were accused in the past of releasing active ingredients into the nearby waterways. The worst thing is this kind of conduct can sometimes have unforeseen consequences . Why Now? Well, even though these legal drugs are on the height of their popularity for several decades now, there has never been so many people on the planet before. According to the 2013 survey, there were 7.125 billion people in the world and this number is rapidly rising. When compared to 3.687 billion in 1970, you can see just how quickly the world population increases. By some estimates, today on earth there is 9% of all people who ever lived and this means that there is more (much more) people on medication then there ever was before. As the number rises, it is only the matter of time, when all of this will reach its critical mass. Being Part of the Solution Even though some afflictions are particularly hard, there are situations where natural remedy would be just as effective. This is the truth all major pharmaceutical companies are trying to hide and which is why people like Rick Simpson are unjustly considered to be, in his own words, a medical terrorist. His idea that cannabis THC can be used as a cure for cancer , has raised a lot of controversy, for mostly financial reasons. Both government and major corporations hide behind ethical and moral rhetorics for why cannabis should remain illegal, while they allow the consumption of some far more dangerous substances. Conclusion: In this era of free and public knowledge, there are more lies, conspiracies and hypocrisy then there ever was before. This is why you need to rely on your own wit and resourcefulness when looking for the truth. Always look for facts, and don’t settle for excuses. Finally, remember to always try and find a natural solution to your problem, since this is always a safe bet. Even if it doesn’t help (although it probably will), at least it won’t make things worse for you or the environment. When looked upon from this perspective, this is definitely not a small thing. Everyone should carry their own weight!
  20. 6 Different Waste Disposal Methods

    Dealing with waste is one of the present-day challenges that modern societies face. In the constant battle with tones and tones of waste, modern methods have to be developed in order to provide adequate solutions. Waste disposal methods take many forms, some of which more popular than others. Which one is used depends on a variety of factors, such as technological advancement and present features in the location where waste removal takes place. Here are few of the top techniques used for waste disposal: Filling a landfill - undoubtedly the most largely used method today. In essence, the method is all about burying waste in land, which is where the name comes from. Usually, a pretreatment is executed before actually burying the waste. This features eliminating the dangers and odours of the waste. The main drawback of the method is that it comes with a certain free land requirement. That is exactly why the method is becoming less and less popular, as available land is little, the method of waste clearance is being reconsidered on a global scale. Incineration - burning the waste at high temperatures in specialized facilities is another method of waste disposal. As a result, solid waste is reduced to gas and residue, which is 20-30% less than the original volume. In that lies the main benefit of this method and the reason why it is largely preferred in countries that have no available space for landfills. Recycling - converting products of waste into usable materials is the essence of recycling. It is a method, which helps preserve raw materials and energy and in that way provides great benefits. As a very positive side effect, recycling also helps prevent air and water pollution and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Recycling should be a top priority not only for waste collection companies, but also households. Resource recovery - the process of extracting useful components and parts of discarded waste is known as resource recovery. The collected materials are then used either in the creation of new products, or are alternatively converted into heat, fuel or electricity. Composting - composting is a bio-degradation process, which is applicable for waste of organic nature only. Think plants and kitchen waste that can easily become nutrients and food for your garden. The process is eco-friendly and preferred in organic gardens, as it provides a supply of nutrients at any time. A place to store the compost long enough so that microbes can decompose it is required. Plasma gasification - this method is similar to incineration in that plasma torches operating at over 10 000 degrees F turn liquid and solid waste into synthesis gas. The molecular bonds of the waste collection going through this method of disposal are broken. The benefit is that through this method renewable energy can be created, all while destroying dangerous materials. These are the most popular methods for waste disposal currently used worldwide. Each holds drawbacks and benefits, which should be considered before being implemented.
  21. There are very few things in life that we can be 100 percent sure of. One of these things is the fact that the sun will rise every single day. Because of this and as a result of increasing energy prices, more people are opting to rely partially or solely on solar energy. The following are a few reasons why. The Sun Will Come out Tomorrow The honest truth is that if the sun does not come out tomorrow, the world will have a lot bigger problems to face than finding inexpensive environmentally friendly energy. However, scientists believe that the sun will continue to shine for at least another 5 billion years. That’s more than enough time for you to recoup any amount of money you invest in installing solar panels. Additionally, enough sun reaches the United States every single day to provide power for the entire country for 10 years. This means that there is literally no limit to what could potentially be done with solar energy. Solar Technology is No Longer in Its Infancy Although many talk about solar energy as if it were a future tech, the truth is that solar systems have been in use since the 70's. And many of the solar energy systems that were installed 40 plus years ago are still working today. Over the past four decades there have been a number of technological improvements that have increased the reliability and energy production capability of solar panels. Solar panels have very few moving parts. They don’t need a lot of maintenance. They are simple to install. And the technology behind them gets better every single day. Solar Technology Saves You Money Investing in solar technology for your home and business makes financial sense. Solar energy lowers your energy bill every month. Additionally, in some states tax incentives are given to homes that use solar energy. And while the practice is diminishing, some utility companies will pay homeowners for the extra electricity they produce. As the price of solar technology continues to plummet and the cost of fossil fuels rise, using solar energy makes more financial sense every day. Solar Energy is Good for the Environment Conventional power relies on processes that damage the environment. Even so-called clean forms of energy like wind energy and hydraulic energy can have a negative impact on the environment where they are located. Solar energy does not produce harmful emissions. It is a truly clean source of energy. Solar Energy Can be Used All Day Long When it comes to discussing solar power panels, companies like Legend Solar that specialize in providing solar panels in the Utah area, are educating the public on the difference between solar energy myths and the reality. Many mistakenly believe that solar power only functions if the sun is out. The truth is that even if a person has solar panels installed in their home, most of the time they are still connected to the city’s energy grid. The only difference is that during the daytime, when they’re not at home, their solar panels are collecting electricity, and this electricity is being pushed back to the electric grid. The result is that the electric meters on their home actually spin backward. In the evening time, if they do need to pull electricity from the grid, they are using credit energy that they’ve earned throughout the day. The neat thing about this credit energy is that it never expires. Solar energy is the wave of the future. By investing in solar energy now, you put yourself in a position to be ahead of the curve. You save money, you protect the environment, and you help make the planet you live on a better and safer place for everyone.
  22. It seems inevitable that pollution and temperature levels around the world will increase with growing populations, mass consumption, and related industrial processes. The environmental toll will do more than impact wildlife though. Humans can expect more diseases, food and water shortages, and conflict over habitable land. Business owners have the means to lessen the negative impact that their companies have on the environment. Utilize the following earth-friendly shipping processes to help safeguard everyone's future and make your systems work a little better. Streamline Processes Whether you ship packages or raw materials, any process that forces you to waste energy adds to the ever growing amount of damage to the environment and climate change. Streamline your entire shipping process so you're wasting less electricity, clean water, and fuel. Identify areas where work might be slowing down and come up with a few solutions to speed up common practices. Ship Smarter Most consumers hate big retail shipping boxes filled with more air and packing materials than products. Instead of generating waste, invest in materials that provide better protection in smaller spaces and ship products in boxes that are only slightly larger than product packages. Upgrade Transportation If you are shipping anything using diesel-fueled trucks, it is time to invest in new or used semi-trucks powered by environmentally-friendly or renewable alternative fuels, such as vegetable oil and electricity. If you plan to stick to fossil fuels, invest in designs that cut down on tailpipe emissions. You can ask sellers like Arrow Truck Sales what models they might recommend for better mileage and gas economy. Additionally, try to only run your trucks when they have full loads so they are not pouring pollutants into the air for light shipments. Use Recyclables Make certain you use recyclable materials and previously recycled materials as much as possible throughout your shipping process, including recycled cardboard boxes, packing materials, invoices, and shipping labels. When you replace equipment or parts, ship the old elements back to manufacturers. Metal, plastic and e-waste recycling centers re-purpose the materials or have used equipment or parts repaired so they can be resold. Choose Wisely Some common shipping tools are incredibly cheap, but fail to degrade in landfills, come from environmentally unfriendly manufacturing origins, or waste precious resources. Use products labeled "biodegradable”, "environmentally-friendly", or "green" such as biodegradable packing peanuts and environmentally-friendly lubricants and adhesives whenever possible. Although many of these changes seem expensive and labor intensive, any business can achieve these types of results by making the changes through carefully planned out steps over a two to five year period. Some changes like switching to recyclables can be made even sooner. Make your shipments a little more earth-friendly by implementing some of these changes today!
  23. With so many cars, machines, and chemicals involved in our everyday lives it's no wonder that the earth is starting to show signs of distress. And not only is Earth sending up red flags, but our wallets are weeping in despair because our mechanized, chemical rich lifestyles are expensive. But what can be done about it? Here are some great tips to keep both your budget, and Mother Earth happy. Tip #1: Distilled Vinegar Common household cleaners are expensive and chocked full of harsh chemicals that destroy the earth. Distilled vinegar is an unsung hero in the cleaning world. It's cheap, natural and a powerful disinfectant. Put it in a spray bottle or soak a rag in it to clean glass, tile, counter tops, walls, grout and more. Improve its smell and cleaning effects by adding lemon juice, and/or baking soda. These natural products are, cheap, earth-friendly, hypoallergenic and totally safe to use around your kids and pets. Tip #2: Conserve Water There is only so much water in the world and your water bill could be draining your wallet every month. Cut down on water usage and expenses by either purchasing a low-water toilet or by simply filling a water bottle with rocks or sand and putting it in your toilet tank. This will cut back on how much water your tank uses to flush the toilet saving you money, and saving the world one flush at a time. Tip #3: Go Solar Power and gas bills are astronomically expensive and excessive usage damages the earth. With an upfront investment you can convert to solar power-- saving money in the long run and doing Mother Nature a little favor. Companies like Degree C Pty Ltd offer solar powered alternatives for hot water systems. These typically last longer than traditional designs. Cut your gas bill every month and reduce the amount of natural gas harvested by letting solar power your home. It’s easy to think the little changes you make won’t make a difference in the grand scheme of things, but it’s the simple steps that can often make the biggest impact. Going green can be the most cost effective change you make. Reduce waste, cut harsh chemicals, and lower your power and water bills by using these easy tips. You’ll watch your wallet get fatter as your carbon footprint gets smaller.
  24. Nowhere is the phrase, "start them young and early", more appropriately applied than when referring to teaching kids about recycling, sustainability, and being good stewards of this planet. Hopefully they'll be learning about it at school, but the burden falls on parents to assume most of their responsibility and teach youngsters how to keep their environment green. Early Childhood Training Beginning as early as three years old, let kids see you set the example first. In other words, verbalize out loud what it is you're doing as you're doing it. For instance, as you drop a plastic bottle in the blue bin, you might say something like, "This is a plastic bottle, and plastic things always go into this blue container." Doing so can teach them how to sort items and how to dispose of them in their proper place. You might even have them scribble a sign to hang over the proper bins that read, Plastics Here! or Papers Here! You can also have children tape a small plastic jar to the blue bin acquainting with plastic materials. To further involve younger aged children, begin a reward system of giving out little sticker stars with a prize like a sourdough pretzel goes to the child with the most stars. As they grow older, you may substitute little stars for returning bottles, and encourage them to keep the change. Make a Game Of it At this environmental protection government (EPA) website, you'll find imaginative, interactive games to stimulate young minds in the vision for protecting their environment. The Dumptown Game actually makes your child into a city manager with critical decision-making activities that engage municipal residents in their own waste management and waste reduction at-home programs. Use games and prizes to make learning and treating the environment right fun and educational. Young Children to Teens Having learned the basics of colors and plastics, your next job as a parent would be teaching them about composting. Easily done by setting up a separate bin for discarded tea bags, grass cuttings, veggie peelings, coffee grounds, egg shells, toilet paper rolls, and paper towels, this cuts down not only on the waste, but saves you money on fertilizer supplies as well. It all comes down to example. Set the stage for how your home runs and try to make a habit of throwing natural waste into the compost pile, using safe fertilizers like Nature Safe on your lawn, and routinely picking up trash and debris from your yard and local parks. When kids see you doing the right thing, they will naturally follow. Reusing Usable Items As many items can be reused for other purposes, make your kids aware that a peanut butter jar, for instance, can be transformed into a coin bank once it's been washed clean first. Empty tissue boxes are great for storing grocery plastic bags and a small plastic bag can be used in the family car as a trash bin. If you visit your local waste management, you'll see what your municipality recommends as far as dumping and recycling materials go. However, all initiatives really must begin at home by educating the children early.
  25. Creating a garden or flowerbed that can come back for a season or two is a talent that requires not only a green thumb but soil and compost rich in nutrients and minerals. For the gardener who wishes to create their own compost, the process is easy and can save money on mulch or other store bought soils. Creating Compost When creating a compost pile, choose a spot in the yard that will not be disturbed by animals or children. This spot should be near the waterspout, but not so close it gets washed away. It should be relatively dry, unless there is rain and it would be ideal if there were shade in this spot as well. It will keep the compost pile cool while completing the decomposition process. Some gardeners choose to create their compost in a wooden box to keep it separated from the dirt. The box makes stirring the compost easier because it is in a separate container. Compost Materials Once the spot and container for the compost is chosen and built, choose the materials that will be placed into the compost pile. Typically, these include any unused fruits, peels, vegetable left overs, lawn clippings, dry dead leaves, any tree waste, like branches and twigs, and leftover coffee beans. Some gardeners use the remains of stalks and husks to help with the decomposition. After all the materials are placed into the container, water is used to wet everything. Then the compost pile is left alone to decompose. Optional Covering Covering the compost pile is also a good idea. It will keep bugs and other animals out of the pile and will allow the water to keep the waste moist enough to continue the decomposition throughout the year. A tarp, which can be purchased at any farm or garden online store, can be used to keep the pile exactly the way the gardener wishes. It will also help keep the smell of the decomposition in the container and not disturbing the gardener. Time Frame The decomposition of the materials depends upon how much heat and water is used in the pile. It can take anywhere from three months to a few years for the pile to decompose. If the decomposition of the pile is needed quickly, placing a few items into the box will start the process, allowing the gardener to have some compost when they need it. You can also find products like fertilizers that can speed the process up at places like Nature Safe. Creating a compost pile does not need to be difficult or overly-complicated. Using these easy steps will help create compost that will nurture a garden for several seasons.