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  1. Construction can be a wasteful industry. There are so many different types of materials leftover on a job site. Here are some ways that you can recycle building materials to reduce the amount that is wasted. Sell Your Leftovers as Salvage What may seem like waste to you, can be useful for someone else. Consider setting those leftover pieces of lumber and other debris aside. There may be a salvage yard in your area that would want these items. Call around to see if you can get some money back on these supplies. Another solution is to put it out front and offer it to other people in the neighborhood. You won’t make any profit for it, but it can help to reduce the amount of waste that enters the landfill. Partner with a Construction Recycler Many areas have construction recycling companies. They may be willing to take your scraps off of your hands. This can save you some money on disposing of your waste. Some types of lumber may be able to be chipped up and turned into something else. Pairing with these recyclers is more cost effective than hauling everything to the dump. You may be able to get a cheaper rate for good quality scraps over just garbage. Use Construction Cleanup to Your Advantage Part of any construction site involves a lot of cleanup and preparation. You may want to hire a construction cleanup company, like Alliance Demolition Services Inc., so that you can focus on finishing your project. Ask them to sort out the materials so that items may be returned or sold as salvage. This may reduce the amount of construction waste that needs to go into the landfill. Construction cleanup also gets the site ready to look finished or to be landscaped. Reuse Waste for Future Projects If you have the space to store leftover materials, you may be able to use them for a future project. Lumber is one of the most versatile supplies leftover from any construction site. So much of this gets discarded. Separating out what it usable from what isn’t may save you some money on having to purchase similar items again. Just make sure that your storage yard provides some protection for your supplies so that they don’t get destroyed by the weather. It’s everyone’s responsibility to reduce the amount to waste that enters the landfill. You can do your part by being smart with your leftover building materials.
  2. Two problems the human race faces today are global warming and pollution. To ensure that the Earth remains habitable for people and animals, changes must occur. Thankfully, some people are taking the initiative to encourage a greener future. Below are six such examples. 1. Farmers Starting Wind Farms In years past, farmers could only produce income by raising livestock and growing crops. Today, however, farmers all across the Midwest have been farming wind. This is done by giving permits to energy companies to install giant wind mills with high tech wind turbines on their land. This profits both the farmers as well as the environment through the production of clean energy. 2. Environmental Groups Cleaning Up Contamination Pollution can ravage a local ecosystem and make the area unsafe for humans, plants and animals. Thankfully, pollution can also be reversed. One way to learn how to remove contamination and hazardous waste from a site is by taking a course from National Environmental Trainers. They can teach people how to safely remove contaminants from the environment. Taking this training can teach you how to safely make a site inhabitable again after it has been contaminated. 3. The Auto Industry Moving Away from Carbon Fuel Currently, nearly all of the large automobile manufacturers are investing in research to make completely electric cars the standard of the future. While hybrid vehicles and electric cars are indeed currently available, they have yet to make a real impact on the market. However, with finer tuned technology and better infrastructure, that will soon change. 4. Recycled Steel Framed Houses Recently, construction companies that build homes have begun moving away from using wood frames. The wood required to build the frame of a house can mean the loss of up to 50 trees. Instead, metal beams created from recycled steel are being used as a replacement. The steel is, of course, much stronger and sturdier as well. 5. Energy Efficient Smart Appliances Appliances are becoming increasingly more efficient. Part of this is because of the implementation of smart technology that can allow a home owner to control and program appliances via a WiFi connection. They can be programmed to only run during certain parts of the day and to stop when energy consumption benchmarks have been passed. 6. Fisheries Fighting Extinction In many areas of the world, certain species of fish are quickly reaching the endangered status. The traditional method of catching many species of fish is probably not sustainable. One way some in the food industry are counteracting this is by starting fisheries on land so that the fish in oceans and lakes can be preserved. To overcome the problems presented by global warming and pollution, everyone in every sector of society needs to make a change. Thankfully, changes that could lead us to a greener future are in the pipeline.
  3. Essential oils have long been used by mankind to treat a wide range of skin ailments and stomach problems, as well as to clean and improve the smell of a home. Recently, essential oils have received positive press in the media, and this has attracted more and more people to them. Yet, since there are many people who are not completely familiar with their use, there are some questions that arise. What Are Essential Oils and How Do They Work? All essential oils come from plants. The oil is extracted from the plant using a wide range of methods, most commonly distillation and expression. In order to be classified as an essential oil, the oil must have the chemical properties of the plant it is extracted from as well as the aromatic properties of that plant. Essential oils work because they are made up of tiny molecules that can easily be absorbed in the body through the skin. These molecules then interact with the body and depending on the plant that they are derived from can kill bacteria, kill viruses, help the body eliminate toxins, as well as provide a wide range of other cures. How Are Essential Oils Used? Most essential oils are used for topical applications. They are often placed on the skin either on the palm, temples, or on the sole of the feet. Since the skin is permeable, the oils are absorbed into the skin, providing different benefits. Some oils are inhaled. This is done by adding a few drops of the oil into a humidifier, putting them in a diffuser, boiling them in water, or by simply smelling the bottle. Some even choose to ingest essential oils, but more research should be done before deciding if this is appropriate for all oils. How Is the Quality of Essential Oils Determined? There are no governmental guidelines determining the potency level of essential oils. The quality is going to be determined on how pure the oil is, if it is directly from the plant, or if it has been adulterated with other sources. Additionally, its integrity, that is if the oils are extracted from a single type of plant or if they are a mixture from different plant species, is an important quality. Every company will define what quality means. Essential oil enthusiasts like Gary Young, founder and CEO of Young Living Essential Oils, have decided to create their own organic farms and distilleries to make sure that the essential oils they use are pure. The quality of the essential oil a person gets will depend on the price they pay for them and the person or company they buy them from. How Effective Are Essential Oils? There are people who have strong opinions about this. There are some individuals who believe that essential oils are the magical cure-all for everything, be it physical or mental. Others do not share this belief. It is a proven fact that essential oils have been used on every corner of the globe by billions of individuals over thousands of years, and these individuals attest to their effectiveness. And it is a fact that all pharmaceutical medicines are based on organic chemistry, including the chemical makeup of some organic oils. What Are the Top Five Oils One Should Consider Purchasing? Some of the more popular oils include lemon, peppermint, frankincense, eucalyptus, and tea tree. It is recommended that people learn about the oils before using them. Once they understand how the oil works and once they see how it makes them feel, then they can increase the amount they use. Essential oils have been providing relief to mankind for many years. It is recommended that a person takes their time and do their research prior to selecting essential oils in order to find the ones that are the most reliable and useful for their situation.
  4. With so many housing developments today, forests are slowly dying. Forest serves as the natural habitat to a lot of animal species. What will happen if the forests are gone? First possibility is that animals will dwell with human in cities or towns. Can you imagine sleeping soundly then you realize that a python is next to you? Or a big bear is sitting in your veranda? Second possibility is that wild animals will die, which eventually affects the food chain. Dead forest is sure to have negative impact to the next generation. There will be no more forest to hike or trek.Lush green environment will become limited. Needless to say, many other detrimental effects will likely happen. This is why it is critical to help save the forest. In our own little ways, there are things we can do. If you cut trees, be sure to replace it new seedlings. For instance if you want to cut 1 old tree, you should plant 5 new trees. If all people share the same mission, our forest will stay until the next generation and the next. Image from
  5. New Technologies: Space-Based Solar Power

    In the previous post I mentioned space-based solar power (if you prefer SBSP) as the future of photovoltaic. Does it seem too fictional? DOE (Department of Energy) thinks it's not. The first time space-based solar power was mentioned was in a novel of Isaac Asimov. Now it has become a possible alternative for the future. Let's hear what DOE has to say: every hour, more solar energy reaches the Earth than humans use in an entire year and 30% of energy is reflected back into space. Solar panels collect a high intensity uninterrupted solar radiation, thanks to huge mirrors they reflect it to the satellite that transform it into energy and then send it to the Earth as either a microwave or a laser beam. Obviously in space there aren't cloud and day and night, so space solar panels are able to capture and transmit substantially more solar energy than solar panels on Earth. SBSP presents more options: the two most commonly discussed designs for SBSP are a large, deeper space microwave transmitting satellite and a smaller, nearer laser transmitting satellite. Microwave transmitting satellites Microwave transmitting satellites orbit Earth in geostationary orbit (GEO), about 35,000 km above Earth’s surface. Designs for microwave transmitting satellites are massive, with solar reflectors spanning up to 3 km and weighing over 80,000 metric tons. The long wavelength of the microwave requires a long antenna, and allows power to be beamed through the Earth’s atmosphere, rain or shine, at safe, low intensity levels hardly stronger than the midday sun. The estimated cost of launching, assembling and operating a microwave-equipped GEO satellite is in the tens of billions of dollars. High price but it worth it. On Earth, the rectenna used for collecting the microwave beam would be anywhere between 3 and 10 km in diameter, a huge area of land, and a challenge to purchase and develop. Laser Transmitting Satellites Laser transmitting satellites orbit in low Earth orbit (LEO) at about 400 km above the Earth’s surface. This satellite, with its 10 metric tons, is just a fraction of microwave one and is cheaper too; a laser-equipped SBSP satellite would cost nearly $500 million to launch and operate. It would be possible to launch the entire self-assembling satellite in a single rocket, drastically reducing the cost and time to production. At its smaller size, there is a correspondingly lower capacity of about 1 to 10 megawatts per satellite. Therefore, this satellite would be best as part of a fleet of similar satellites, used together. A huge cost, a huge work and it seems an impossible and useless project, someone would say. It's true: a lot of money and work but fifty years ago who would have thought that today 20% of global energy comes from the Sun, the wind and the water? If we continue to repeat that something it's impossible we'll never reach our targets so we have to believe and to support these ideas that can become real facts that will improve our world. For more information go to Photo from NASA.