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Found 82 results

  1. A good well is a priceless part of off-the-grid living, and maintaining one can be surprisingly easy. However, first-time well owners may find that there is a bit of a learning curve. Unfortunately, mistakes can be costly if they damage the well or cause contamination. Here are three simple ways to avoid those troubles and keep your well running smoothly. Keep An Eye On The Calendar Regular water testing is an important part of maintaining a healthy well. In most places, an annual test for bacteria and other contaminants is enough. Check with your local health department when working out a maintenance schedule, however, because some areas may have specific risks that require more frequent testing. During this annual check, it’s also a good idea to give your system a routine flush with chlorine as a preventative measure, as well as checking the flow rate to make sure your system is working as well as possible. Watch For Changes Most of the time, wells run just fine with just a little preventative maintenance. However, even properly maintained wells can develop contamination issues for reasons ranging from failing equipment to flooding from major storms. If you notice any changes in your water quality, schedule another water test immediately, and consider drinking bottled water while you wait for the results. These changes can include cloudy or discolored water, new odors or a strange taste. Changes in the rate of the water flow can also be a sign of trouble. Pumps may become sluggish or inefficient before they break down completely, or a broken pipe may be causing you to lose water pressure without totally disabling the system. Know When To Call The Professionals The average homeowner can handle some minor maintenance, but for most issues it’s best to call in qualified professionals, like those at Taylor Heating Inc. Wells are more complicated than they seem, so a problem that would be minor and easy to fix for an experienced technician may turn into a major headache for a homeowner. Inexperienced people also may accidentally introduce dangerous bacteria into the system while doing something as simple as removing the well cap. Wells are a major investment, so it’s important to take the time to keep yours running smoothly. Preventative maintenance may seem like an unnecessary expense, but it can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. By scheduling routine testing and treatments, addressing any potential problems and finding qualified professionals to work with, your well can last a lifetime.
  2. A guide to personal loan for environment

    In UK personal loan among the masses is in huge demand. The personal loan helps to turn your dreams into reality. As the name suggests personal loan is a loan taken for personal reasons. And the best part about the personal loan is that you do not have to reveal the reason for which you’re taking the loan, not even to the bank or financial institutions offering you personal loan. A personal loan could be of varied reasons like marriage, honeymoon, purchasing luxurious items etc. The repayment of personal loan varies from minimum 1 month to 7 years or as per the terms of the contract. There are many companies offering online personal loans UK. The best thing about a personal loan is that you do not need to have a guarantor for the loan. Many institutions also offer loan to people with bad credit. There are two documents which you need to show to avail personal loan. 1. Pan card/driving license or passport as proof of identity 2. Electricity bill/house tax bill/ telephone bill, bank statement for proof of address of the house. Types of personal loan 1. Car finance personal loan: if you’re in urgent need of a car or wish to have the latest model of the car, then you can avail car finance personal loan. This loan is a boon for those who live in a rural area, where public transport is scarce. 2. Home improvement personal loan: if you wish to repair your home, or want to have latest design furniture, you can avail this loan. By taking this loan, you can add value to your house. You can also build multiple stories with the help of this loan. 3. Debt consolidation personal loan: when you take a loan to pay off other installments of other loans, it is called debt consolidation. You can take a personal loan to pay off every other installment. However, it is advisable to seek debt counselor advice before consolidating your debt. Types of interest rates on personal loan The terms upon which you will receive loan will depend a lot upon your credit score. Some financial institutions offer instant personal loan but these loans generally have a high rate of interest. A person with bad credit history may get a personal loan at the high-interest rate. Generally speaking there are two kinds of interest rates: a fixed interest rate is the one whose interest rate remains the same throughout the loan period. A variable interest rate remains to change depending upon the market situation. It is advisable to take the personal loan on a fixed interest rate.
  3. If you're constantly surrounded by clutter in your life, you're bound to be stressed and anxious. Believe it or not, but the best way to get a personal jump start in your life is to clean up and declutter. Getting rid of the old to make way for the new, revamping a space in your room, and picking a new healthy habit to adopt can help you cleanse your life so that you're happier and healthier. Amazingly enough, your mission to improve you can help the environment in the process. Here are 3 ways to clean up your life all while helping reduce your carbon footprint: Reduce Your Reliance on Cars Do you jump in the car to go around the block to pick up milk? One way to cleanse your life is to start adopting healthier habits. Instead of getting in a car and contributing to greenhouse emissions problems, you can start cycling or walking more. You don't have to be reliant on a car every time you need to leave your home. By getting physical, you can improve your physical and emotional well-being and exude energy all while you minimize your environmental impact. Donate Your Car to Help Others and the Environment If you don't need your car any longer, donating your car, to businesses like Action Donation Services, could make a huge impact. As a donor, you can help a family in need or help the environment in the process. By giving a foundation with a cause your old car, you can get environmentally unfriendly cars off the road and turn the old steel body into steel that's used in the production of new cars, buildings, elevators, airport hangars, and more. Who knew that car donation made such an impact? Grow Your Own Green Thumb Did you know that American food travels an average of 1500 to 2500 miles from farm to table? Transporting meats and other farm goods to local grocery stores aren't cheap. It required packaging and fuel that can all damage the environment. If you want to help cleanse your body and reduce your carbon footprint, grow a green thumb. By growing your own produce, you can benefit from a body cleanse. You don't have to worry about what pesticides are used at local produce farms and you can reduce worldwide pollution. Not only can you grow delicious greens, you can even sit outside and enjoy your backyard garden when you need to de-stress. Cleansing your life now can certainly help lead to a cleaner environment in the future. If just a fraction of Americans adopt the same small habits that you're adopting, it can make a major difference. Make these changes for a positive impact on your well-being and a positive impact on the globe.
  4. If you are concerned with your carbon footprint, there are things that you and your family can do to reduce it. The good news is that many of these ideas will not significantly alter your lifestyle. Therefore, you can do good for the Earth without having to go without the things that you want or need. Recycle Whenever Possible That plastic soda bottle or milk carton is likely eligible to be recycled. The same goes for the cardboard box that your cereal came in or the soup can that you just made dinner from. In lieu of putting those objects in your recycling bin, you can use them as flower pots or fill them with soapy water to use as a fly or pest trap. Find Ways to Limit Your Water Use There are many ways to limit your water usage such as washing your dishes only once a day or by taking shorter showers. You can also save water by watering your lawn once or twice a week instead of once or twice a day. Tightening loose pipes or making sure that the hose is completely turned off may also conserve water. Install Appliances That are Friendly to the Environment Appliances that have an Energy Star rating are ones worth having in your home because they use less energy. The only way to earn this label is to pass a government inspection, and there is no way for a company to buy its product onto the list. You should also look for central air units from Cape Fear Air Conditioning & Heating Co. Inc. or a similar company that have a higher SEER rating than what you have in your house. The higher the rating, the more efficient the item is. Carpool Whenever Possible Instead of having each member of the family using their own car, a family can carpool and save on gas and other emissions. It may also be a good idea to walk or bike to school or work if you live close enough. Using public transportation such as a bus or subway may also be an effective way to reduce the emissions created by your family's driving habits. If you are concerned with how society is treating the environment, you should lead the charge for change by example. By demonstrating the changes that you have made, it could inspire others to follow your lead. Over time, this could cause entire communities or even entire parts of the country to follow through on the momentum that you have helped to create.
  5. Many homeowners pay a small fortune in utility bills each month. This can be financially burdensome, and it also may be a sign that your home or lifestyle is not as green as it could be. With a closer look at some of the top green tips you can follow around the house, you may be able to make your space more environmentally-friendly and save a significant amount of money in the process. Use Low-Flow Water Features The scarcity of fresh water is a top concern for many environmentally-conscious people. Low-flow water features, such as toilets, faucets and showerheads, can be installed in your home to help you conserve water. These are specially-designed features that use less water without requiring you to adjust your water usage behavior. For example, a low-flow toilet may use half the water or less with each flush that an older model may use. Harvest Rain Water Another great idea to consider is to use gutters, such as those from Unique Home Solutions, and a rain barrel to harvest rain water. This water can be stored and used for landscaping water. It can also be purified on-site and used inside your home. For example, you may use it to wash your clothes or for toilet purposes. You may notice a dramatic decrease in your water bill each month, and you can enjoy the benefit of knowing that you are not taking water away from the public water supply through your usage. Adjust Your Thermostat Maintaining an ideal climate inside the home can be an energy drain, and this is particularly true during peak summer and winter months when your HVAC system may function most frequently. Adjust your thermostat so that your home’s interior is cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer. Use blankets, clothing, ceiling fans and more to control your comfort level without relying so heavily on your HVAC system. Upgrade Your Windows Another excellent step to take is to upgrade your windows. If you live in an older home, your windows may not be well-sealed, and they also may not be good insulators. Modern windows may be more energy efficient, and they can help you to maintain a comfortable climate inside the home without relying on regular use of your HVAC unit. These are only a few of the green tips you can follow to save money on energy bills regularly. Now is a great time to begin implementing these and other ideas you may have to improve your home.
  6. Whether you are a builder, a developer, or a homeowner and want to construct something that can potentially affect the environment, you will have to hire an environmental consultant. If you don’t know what can affect the environment, then let us quickly give you all the ins and outs. Constructing man-made ponds, building near wildlife habitats, tinkering with water sources, building on questionable soil, etc. can all affect the environment in numerous ways. That is why your local government has made the laws that are there to protect the environment from exploits. The only way to be certain that you are running the whole operation according to environmental regulations is to get an assessment from an environmental consultant. So, what are the traits of a professional environmental consultant? To answer that question, we have created this list of tips to find the right environmental consulting company for your job, so let’s just jump into it. Know your project Before you even start looking for a consulting company, make sure you are completely familiar with the project you are working on and what the final product will look like. An environmental consultant will make sure that everything is done according to the laws and regulations of your state, but it will be your job to set the goals and prepare for everything. For example, some environmental regulations will make you step out of your budget, so it will be your job to compensate for that. That is why knowing your limitations and knowing your project plays a crucial role. Evaluate the consulting company As with every business, there are some bad apples, some companies that don’t do their work properly. If environmental consulting is a completely new thing for you, it will be hard to tell apart the good ones from the bad ones. However, we have some advice for you. First, look at their previous experience. You can learn a lot about a company just by looking at whom they have worked with before. Second, look at their previous projects. Some companies don’t have enough experience with large-scale projects. Lastly, contact their old clients to see if everything checks out. It is one thing to read praise on their website, but if previous clients don’t tell the same story, it is usually a sign of trouble. To give you an example of an outstanding environmental consulting company, we recommend visiting the EnviroX Consulting website. They tick all boxes that we have previously mentioned and offer transparency from the get-go. Create a contract Once you find a suitable consulting company, the next step is to create and negotiate a contract. Go through everything thoroughly, from start to finish. Describe in detail what their work will consist of. Ask for warranties, in case some task isn’t completed. Also, negotiate the price. Expenses pile up easily, so knowing the estimated cost will help you plan your budget. Lastly, set the beginning and end date. With jobs like these, it is important to create a deadline, otherwise, you risk blowing up your budget and messing up the whole operation. Make sure that all the boxes are checked We have one last advice for you, and that is to check the work after it is done. Sometimes people overlook details and then there are companies that just look for ways to cut corners. To make sure that everything from the contract is completed, carefully go through it and inspect the finished project. Unfortunately, that is the only way. And that is all that you need to know when hiring an environmental consulting company. As you can see, it is not rocket science, but you will have to be thorough with your research, so you don’t end up hiring an inexperienced company.
  7. Between the increased heat and the extra freedom that kids get from being out of school, summer is the season where water usage is most likely to increase. Because increased use of anything can result in an equal increase in the chance of contracting an illness, among other hazards and issues, we present a trio of safeguards against the potential contamination of your water supply. Be Environmentally Aware Be mindful of what you use when washing things like your house or your car outside, the chemicals in substances like car-washing soap can seep into the ground and contaminate the water table by commingling with groundwater. The same goes for being careless with bleach when cleaning around the bathtub or allowing oil leaking from your car to seep down into an outdoor drain. Research the chemicals in the things you use that could potentially worsen the quality of your water and adjust your supplies accordingly. Install a Water Conditioning System There are a variety of minerals and chemicals that can wreak havoc with your water system and what you use it for. Left unchecked, these minerals can reduce the flow of your water, become problematically rich in sulfur, iron or manganese and "harden" the overall quality of your water. Fortunately, a reliable water conditioning system can assuage worries of these problems. You can get in contact with a company like Johnson Water Conditioning to find out what is best for your home and water. Maintain Your Pool An untreated swimming pool is a haven for algae and other contaminants to not only develop but thrive. Make sure to regularly check the pH level of your swimming pool, with readings between 7.2 and 7.8 being ideal conditions for swimming. Also, remember that scrubbing the submerged tile on a weekly basis is a good way to reducing the potential for algae to bloom and that there are different types of filters. When "opening" your pool for a new season, it is important to remember that the preparatory work involved can sometimes require up to a week of balancing things out before it is safe to swim. While your local sanitation plant handles the lion's share of stopping water contamination, every person can affect those efforts by their choices made near, or involving, water. Consider installing a water conditioning system to avoid hard water or as a defense against using chemical-saturated water. Pool owners should treat their pools like a low-maintenance pet; while the upkeep isn't much, it must still be done to avoid illness.
  8. Construction business in known to have a great effect on many aspects of our life and environment protection is most certainly one of them. For example, the US Green Building Council (USGBC) estimates that almost one third of raw material consumption and approximately the same percentage of greenhouse gas emissions are directly related to this field of industry. When you add the fact that more than 10% of potable water use is also closely connected with construction business, it becomes quite clear why companies from all over the world are looking into the ways to make their business more sustainable and environment friendly. Regardless of your specialization, both commercial and residential construction can really benefit from more sustainable processes. It can actually be your unique selling proposition that your customers will recognize and decide to hire you, particularly because the awareness of the importance of going green rises constantly. If your company manages to create such a market advantage, it will be recording much better results, while at the same time being responsible and respectful towards the environment. Whether existing public and commercial buildings are renovated and retrofitted or new ones are built, the use of environmentally responsible and energy efficient materials and technologies will create many benefits. Let’s have a look at some of them. Increased revenue It’s been projected that green and sustainable building revenue will continue to grow at this rate and pass $300 billion by the end of this year. The number of people employed in this industry is also continuing to grow and so is the demand for green building projects. That is an excellent opportunity for your company to increase its revenue if you are able to meet the requirements of the market. When you look at sustainable homes and buildings, you may not be able to notice the difference between them and traditional facilities. Still, specialized designs and materials that decrease the negative impact on environment will provide many advantages to those using the spaces constructed in this way. In order to be able to achieve this goal, you need to gather a team of motivated and skilled architects, construction engineers, suppliers of materials and equipment as well as experts in construction waste removal. Managing to create such a team will significantly increase your chances of boosting your revenue. Bigger budgets Truth be told, it’s not cheap to create sustainable homes and buildings, since you need to be ready to splash out more initially. Experience has shown that green construction projects are up to 10 percent more expensive than traditional construction projects. Naturally, the exact costs depend on many factors, such as design, materials, schedule and location, but clients need to be ready to spend more up-front. Still, they can full expect their investment to pay off soon through lower electricity and water bills, maintenance fees and increased resale value of the property. Also, some countries offer special tax incentives, which stimulate sustainable construction and, depending on your location, this could be another significant saving. Needless to say, such tax credits come with numerous rules and requirements, but every knowledgeable contractor or construction company should know what is necessary. This is also another service you can offer to your clients – advisory and consulting services. Remodelling and retrofitting This is another area that has become much more popular recently. People are using the opportunity to have their existing facilities remodelled and retrofitted in a way that will bring about all the benefits of a green building. Companies which focus only on new buildings are missing out on great opportunities to convert and improve facilities with tradition and history into much more environment-friendly places and to make more profit. More and more homeowners are remodelling their homes using eco-friendly materials and energy-efficient appliances, smart designs and other features of green living. Again, the initial investment, which can be substantial, is usually very quickly paid off through lower bills, maintenance fee and increased resale value of the property. Final remarks With more and more companies and construction managers doing everything they can to become certified in sustainable construction, you need to make sure you don’t fall behind, since this is undoubtedly an industry on the rise and its seems that the growth is here to stay for a while. Failing to respond to the modern-day demand might see you without job sooner than you think. The increasingly strict rules and regulations that impose requirements related to construction and environment protection are serving as a filter that separates those who are ready and capable to adapt from those who haven’t succeeded or even tried to adapt their business to the new circumstances.
  9. Today, more people are incorporating green designs and technologies into their homes, and for very good reasons. It provides a safer environment for your family, saves on energy costs, and helps to cut back on contaminants that wind up in the environment. Here are some ways to make sure your home isn't a part of the problem. 1. Energy Audits An energy audit can tell you where and how your electricity is being wasted, whether it's poor insulation or inefficient appliances. Better energy efficiency means less demand and less environmental damage from utility companies, not to mention saving you money. You can get an auditor fairly cheaply, perhaps even from your own electric company. Savings over the long term will more than justify any cost. 2. Maintain Your Heating and Cooling System If your HVAC system hasn't been inspected or replaced in years, it may be wasting energy. Old systems won't run as efficiently as newer models. Even if it's new, verify that it's properly sized for your living space. Inadequate systems have to work harder, while oversized systems draw more power than you need. Also be sure to replace filters, inspect for gaps, and clean ducts periodically so the air flow isn't impeded. 3. Have a Strategy If you don't have any kind of green policy at all in your home, you may be doing more damage than you ever realized. There are a lot of green ideas you can use even on a limited budget. Start recycling, using new energy-efficient lightbulbs, and get in the habit of conserving water and electricity. You could compost yard waste to avoid buying and using chemical-laced fertilizers. At your next home remodel, plan on using recycled or green products. 4. Fresh Water Conserving fresh water is also important to the community and life in general. If you're connected to municipal water lines, water quality is your local government's responsibility. But if you have your own well, it's important that the water is tested periodically by a company like Water Systems Council. Contaminants can be introduced through seepage and rain runoff from the surrounding soil, which may include chemicals like pesticides or industrial byproducts, as well as natural pollutants like radon, nitrates, arsenic, and animal waste. If you have a well as your water source, it's essential to ensure that the water is safe and clean. Every home needs maintenance and the occasional update. If you want to minimize any damage to the environment, try making green practices a part of your lifestyle.
  10. As a homeowner, one of the most satisfying parts of owning your home is having a beautiful yard to take care of. Owning your own piece of land is something to take pride in. While having beautiful landscaping on your property is a sign of elegance and grace, it can also be quite damaging to the environment and at times dangerous. It is important to make sure you are creating a beautiful landscape that will be safe for your family and guest as well as being eco-friendly. Here are four ways to safely landscape your yard while protecting the environment. Use Native Plants To Help Save On Water It is no mystery that we are facing a shortage of water in many different places in our country. This is especially true in states like California. There are some very strict rules that apply to residents of these dry states when it comes to watering your lawns. When trying to protect the environment, it is important to incorporate native plants that will help you save on water. Do Not Create Attractive Nuisances In Your Landscaping You need to be careful what types of attractive nuisances you are bringing into your landscaping. While a natural rock wall may be fun your children to use during the summer, neighborhood children could injure themselves on this attractive nuisance which would result in a nasty lawsuit. Even with stairs that are harder to use in your yard, you could have a slip and fall case on your hands that could otherwise be easily avoided. Plant Shade-Giving Trees To Cut Down On Cooling Costs During The Summer Everyone loves beautiful trees in their yard. These trees can help to protect the environment and your savings account. You can greatly cut down on the amount of energy you spend during the summer cooling your house if you have a tree shading a large part of your property. This one-time investment of planting a large tree in your yard could save you thousands of dollars in cooling costs over the years. Use Electric Landscaping Tools Electric power tools are becoming more and more popular as the years go on. While an extension cord might seem like a hassle at first, you will find that it becomes easier to use one of these electric landscaping tools after you have gotten the swing of things. These electric landscaping tools will also help you to do your part when in protecting our environment. There are many ways that you can landscape your yard to be better for the environment and just as beautiful for your home. Above we discussed four tips to help you landscape your yard more easily. Be sure to plant native plants, think about safety risks, plant trees to cut on heating costs, and use efficient tools. You may also be able to find extra tax write offs for protecting the environment, depending on how green you go with your landscaping and home. Be sure to talk to a tax fraud attorney if you have any questions about what you can and can't claim.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. The latest ecological disaster has left Colorado's Animas River a sickly orange and yellow, after an accident on Aug. 5 sent at least three million gallons of mine waste gushing into the water. The spewage came from the abandoned Gold King Mine, and occurred when an EPA mining safety team used equipment to - ironically enough - reduce pollution emanating from the disused site. Now the sludge is spreading, and it reached New Mexico on Aug. 10, flowing from the Animas into the San Juan River there, as officials struggled to gain control of the situation. The wastewater contains toxic heavy metals including lead, which can harm fetal development and cause vision impairment and kidney disease, and arsenic, which at high levels could cause paralysis, blindness, and cancer. The contamination was apparently the very thing EPA workers were attempting to treat before inadvertently unleashing it upon the environment. "The project was intended to pump and treat the water and reduce metals pollution flowing out of the [Gold King] Mine," EPA spokesman Rich Mylott confirmed. There has been no drinking water contamination, because utilities shut down their intake valves in time to prevent the plume from reaching their systems. Farmers also closed the gates on their irrigation ditches to preserve their crops. But the same could not be said for the wildlife that will surely be adversely affected, including local fish; the EPA has warned boaters and anglers to stay far away from the water for this reason. Meanwhile, New Mexico health officials were outraged that the EPA did not tell them about the plume until a day after it reached the cities of Aztec and Bloomfield, causing a last-minute scramble to cut off the river's access to water treatment plants in those areas. As it is, the EPA has released very little information, and virtually nothing in the way of updates, concerning New Mexico's share of the problem. "We're having a real problem getting the EPA to tell us what's in this stuff," said Don Cooper, emergency manager for San Juan County. "We're just kind of shooting in the dark and telling people to stay away from it." Though EPA officials are reportedly continuing to conduct tests to determine the health and environmental impacts of their mistake, nothing has yet been said about a cleanup. In fact, it would seem that experts are hoping for the situation to resolve itself; the agency's coordinator Craig Myers said, "It's hard to know what's going to happen [to the Animas River] as more river flows join it. It is diluting. The sludge of contaminants is going to be settling out in places." But for affected residents and concerned environmentalists, pollution, sadly, is more readily available than answers. What is apparent is that the EPA's initial estimate of the amount of spillage - one million gallons - has proven to be wrong, as the U.S. Geological Survey has clarified that the incident sent at least two million gallons more into the Animas. Kim Stevens, director of advocacy group Environment Colorado, remarked, "This is a really devastating spill. We've been hearing from rafting companies and other businesses that rely on the river that if they can't get their clients out on the river in the next couple of days, they may have to shut down their doors." And then, of course, there's the impact to the livelihoods of fishermen to consider. She added, "The fish population is especially very sensitive to water contamination, and we really won't be able to see what the impacts are until all of the pollution has run its course. Time will tell." The poisoned water also runs through sensitive indigenous peoples' territory, and the Navajo Nation people have said they will not stand for the toxification of their land. Nation president Russell Begaye stated, "They're not going to get away with this. The EPA was right in the middle of the disaster and we intend to make sure the Navajo Nation recovers every dollar it spends cleaning up this mess and every dollar it loses as a result of injuries to our precious natural resources." And things are only going to get worse, at least in the short term, because the next stop on the mine waste's tainted tour is Utah. The orange and yellow wastewater is still wending its way through the San Juan River, which eventually joins Lake Powell over in the Beehive State. Officials in the adjacent town of Montezuma are making preparations by shutting off water pumps there, and the same is being done in the neighboring town of Aneth. Trouble, of a most toxic variety, is most certainly brewing. "There are people who want to know, 'Okay, what's going to happen now? Are you going to fix this?' " said Michele Truby-Tillen, a spokesperson for New Mexico's San Juan County Office of Emergency Management. And above all, she said, as health concerns worsen, one question nags at the backs of people's minds: "How are we going to protect our families?"
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.