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Found 127 results

  1. Making your home more energy efficient can reduce your carbon footprint. There are some simple changes that you can make to be more efficient in your home. For a larger impact, use these solutions to make your home more green. Energy Star Appliances Appliances are scored on their annual anticipated energy usage. The Energy Star Program is run by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA looks at all models that are on the market and determines their total energy consumption. It is a completely unbiased analysis designed to aid the consumer in making a purchasing decision. Consider replacing your older appliances with ones that have a higher rating. Not only will you be helping to reduce carbon emissions, but you will be saving money on your electric bill. New Windows Older windows allow more air leakage than newer models. This is especially true if your home has single pane windows. Even windows that have aluminum frames and older vinyl windows can become less efficient over time. This is due to the seals on the windows breaking down with exposure to the elements. Not all windows are created equal. New windows are rated for certain climates. There are even varieties available that offer triple pane windows. This reduces the amount of air lost and helps with noise control. Upgrade Your Heating or Cooling System Even with routine maintenance on your AC or furnace, the parts can break with the passage of time. It may be time to consider upgrading to a more energy efficient model, like those you might get from a provider such as Cape Fear Air Conditioning & Heating Co., Inc. Something to take into consideration is the amount of usage of your system. You need to size your unit correctly based on the amount of square footage in your home. Sometimes it may even be prudent to oversize your unit if it sees heavy usage. This will allow the unit to run less while maintaining the desired temperature. Install Solar Panels For the most extreme solution for going green, solar panels are it. This is not a solution for everyone. It can be costly. There are government rebates that can be utilized to help offset the expense. Your home also needs to have a certain amount of roof square footage and sunlight exposure. With the installation of solar panels, your home can generate its own electricity. The surplus can then be sold back to the power company. This can also help to offset the major upfront expense for the installation of the solar panels. Energy efficiency in your home can be a huge expense. There are programs that can help with mitigating the cost. Consider these solutions for making your home more environmentally friendly.
  2. Organic waste refers to those waste materials that can decompose. It usually comes from either plants or animals. When disposed of, it will naturally decompose through bacterial activity. Therefore, it is a better form of waste compared to other non-biodegradable forms such as plastics. Because of its degradable nature, organic waste leads to a greener environment through several ways: Reduce Water Pollution When well-composted, organic waste reduces the need to use synthetic fertilizers and pesticides on the soil when farming. Using those fertilizers and chemicals normally leads to contamination of underground water when chemicals seep deep into the underground water levels. Flowing water also carries these chemicals into water bodies such as rivers which ends up causing pollution to our water bodies. Reduce the Effects of Global Warming When organic waste is put in landfills, it produces methane gas which is 21 times worse than carbon dioxide in its contribution to global warming. Since organic waste is not normally disposed in landfills, less methane gas is produced and this has a reduced impact on global warming. SF Gate Home Guides insists that organic waste must never be dumped in the landfills but must be composted, which not only reduces global warming but also is a big nutritional benefit to the soil. Improves Aesthetic Value When the organic waste is put in the appropriately marked green trash cans, such as those provided by Ware Disposal, it improves the aesthetic value of the environment. It makes it look neat and clean. It also reduces the probability of the waste getting into contact with, for example, children, which prevents potential infections. Improves Soil Structure Compost manure, which is formed by organic waste, helps to improve the soil structure and composition in a great way. It increases the ability of the soil to hold water in a way where it can be easily accessed by the roots of plants which as a result reduces the need for irrigation. It also adds microbial organisms to the soil such as insects and earthworms. Better soil leads to healthy plants which are important in the environmental cycles such as the nitrogen cycle. Organic waste, therefore, has a big benefit to the environment. It is always important to separate the organic from the inorganic waste when disposing and ensure that as you take the inorganic to the landfill, the organic waste should form compost manure. In this way, you will be able to realize the full impact organic waste has to the environment. It is also very economical to dispose and will, therefore, save you some money.
  3. When you look at the windows in your home, you might see everything from streaks to fingerprints. You can get window cleaners at retail stores that will clean the glass. Another option is to make your own cleaner with products that you probably already have in your home to clean your windows without spending a lot of money. Vinegar and Water A simple DIY cleaner uses white vinegar and water. Combine two cups of water with half a cup of vinegar in a bucket. You can add a squeeze or two of lemon if you want the mixture scented. Use a sponge or cloth to wipe the cleaner on the windows. Rinse with water, and wipe the windows dry with a clean cloth. Apple cider vinegar can also be used and offers a better smell than white vinegar. Rubbing Alcohol If you want to remove a large number of streaks of prints from the windows, then combine rubbing alcohol with warm water. A cup of each liquid is enough to clean the windows. You can use a cloth or even newspaper that you roll into a ball to clean the windows. Sometimes your windows can get so badly stained that seemingly no amount of effort will clean them, or the glass may have scrapes or cracks that are unfixable. In these cases, Valley Glass Utility or a similar provider in your particular locale can help you install completely new windows. Baking Soda Combine about three teaspoons of baking soda with a cup of water and a cup of vinegar in a bucket. The baking soda will offer an added component that will help to lift the dirt from the windows. It’s important to clean the windows with the solution as soon as you add the baking soda so that it works on the surface instead of letting it linger in the bucket. Corn Starch If you don’t want to use products that have a strong scent, then combine cornstarch with about a teaspoon of vinegar instead of a larger amount and two cups of water. This will create a paste that you rub on the windows. Let the paste sit for about 10 minutes before wiping the windows clean with water and a cloth. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to clean your home. Use a few products from your cabinets to make glass cleaner that will leave your windows sparkling. Large amounts can be made at one time and kept in a spray bottle to use later.
  4. Getting your family and home ready for an emergency doesn’t need to be bad for the environment. In fact, many homeowners are surprised to hear that “prepping” can actually reduce their carbon footprint when done correctly. Here are some eco-friendly tips that will help you get your family ready for emergencies such as storms, floods, and power outages. Buy Supplies That You Are Going To Use Anyways Many of the food products that are put in survival kits aren’t designed to be very tasty. The point of an emergency ration is to be as lightweight as possible while still providing you with enough calories to survive. Instead of buying bland survival food, you can stock up on nonperishables that your family will end up eating anyways. Most experts agree that families should have a good mixture of canned and dried foods that will last for at least a year. That includes dehydrated fruit, cereal, canned vegetables, canned meats, nuts, rice, and pasta. Invest In Second-Hand Gear Even though emergency gear can be expensive, there is a large second-hand market for most of these items. Those who spend a little extra time searching for supplies might be able to stock their entire home with second-hand items that have never even been taken out of their packages. In addition to scouring the internet for deals, you can also take a look at local military surplus stores in your town. Buying brand new flashlights, first aid kits, and other emergency supplies is only going to send more unused items to the dump. Make Your Home Self-Sufficient Making your home as self-sufficient as possible is good for the environment and a great way to prepare for emergencies. The first step in this process is to make sure that your home has an alternate source of energy, like a standby generator from Anderson Water Systems. If a natural catastrophe causes rolling blackouts, then you will be able to take your entire home off the grid so that electricity can get to hospitals and other emergency organizations. Those who live in a colder climate should also consider investing in a secondary heating source such as a wood furnace. Having a well-stocked home and comprehensive plan for emergencies will keep your family safe during these terrible events. With some research and a little bit of planning, you can make sure that your emergency preparations have almost no impact on your neighbors and the environment around you.
  5. More and more people are worried about the planet, which is probably why many are making eco-friendly choices when making purchases. For one, more people are hunting for eco-friendly cars that they can feel good about. The only problem is that trying to get a car that won't kill the planet can be a little overwhelming, but the following tips may help. 1. Consider Fuel Switching to an eco-friendly car could mean switching to more eco-friendly fuel. The options that you have include biodiesel, diesel, and electric. You want to make sure you know where your charging or fueling stations are before you choose a car that runs on either of these fuels. You do not want to find out that your nearest charging station is an hour away. 2. Focus on Needs You cannot forget your needs when purchasing an eco-friendly vehicle. More car manufacturers are creating eco-friendly cars, so there are several options for you. You need to think about cargo space, towing capabilities, passenger space, and even off-road capabilities. In essence, you need to make sure that your eco-friendly car fits your lifestyle. 3. A Good Selection It is easy to focus on the details of the car and overlook the importance of the dealership. You need to find a car dealership such as Young Automotive Group that has enough cars for you to choose from. A large selection is definitely a good sign, but you should also meet with some of the salespeople to ensure that they are knowledgeable about eco-friendly cars. 4. Look for Certification The next thing you might want to do is check the EPA certification on the car. The EPA grades eco-friendly cars using the SmartWay Certification program, which should allow you to choose the most eco-friendly car that you can buy. You can go to the EPA's site directly to see the vehicles that are currently graded, or you can talk to your car dealership salesperson about the choices that are available in their car lot. These are just some tips that could help you find a car that will make your life easier without killing the planet. Remember, several vehicles do not run on eco-friendly fuels but are still eco-friendly because they give you more miles per gallon than ever before. These types of vehicles should also be a possibility just in case you live in an area without many eco-friendly re-fueling or charging options.
  6. If you’re like most people, you want to live and work in the cleanest, healthiest environment possible. One of the most significant factors in maintaining a comfortable space is by improving your indoor air quality.To help everyone fine-tune their indoor air conditions here are five tips for you. Follow Your HVAC Maintenance Schedule—Your HVAC System is essentially the Control Center for your comfort. Air Conditioning Units last from 10 to 15 years, so getting regular maintenance helps assure that it operates at peak performance when the heat and humidity rises. Additionally, scheduled maintenance helps with early detection of operational issues so you can avoid expensive repairs later. Ductless or Mini-Split AC Units—Ductless and Mini-Split Air Conditioning Units are a convenient and cost-effective way to add cooling capabilities to older homes without traditional ductwork, as well as apartments and workspaces with little or no access to air conditioning. The absence of access to ducts no longer has to be a reason to be uncomfortable and suffer in the sweltering heat. Ductless AC Units from companies like All American Air & Electric, Inc. are affordable, flexible, and can be customized to maximize the air comfort and quality in your home or office. Duct Cleaning—in homes and buildings that use Forced Air Heating and Cooling, ducts play a significant factor in determining overall air quality. Ducts are notorious for collecting dirt, dust, and dander, allergens, and irritants which degrade indoor air quality. Reduce the accumulation all of these contaminants to breathe easier. A UV Light System—for those who are serious about optimizing their indoor air quality, a Continuous Air Purification System (CAPS) offers an ongoing mechanism for air purification using UV light treatment technology. All air gets filtered. Microscopic contaminants including spores, viruses, and other bacteria are trapped, so they don’t get circulated. Portable Air Treatment Systems Investing in a high-quality area air treatment system is an affordable option. They offer an alternative for cleansing the air without making a significant investment. These systems remove odors, bacteria, dust, and dander in the immediate area they’re used. Air quality is something that everyone should be concerned with since it directly affects your health and wellbeing. Regardless of your budget, there are steps you can take to decrease the dust, dander, germs, and irritants that get dispersed throughout your home or office, which result in improved air quality.
  7. Energy conservation has become an essential part of doing business. The American Council for Energy Efficiency states that office equipment has some of the highest electricity consumption rates at 7% of the total commercial electric power. Businesses must, therefore, find ways to minimize the amount of energy utilized to not only save money but also reduce carbon footprint. Many opportunities exist for entrepreneurs to drive their companies towards green business. Equipment Use Your enterprise can save energy by switching to laptops instead of desktops. Computers are necessary in every office building, but that doesn’t mean you can’t minimize the amount of power they use. Laptops consume less power than desktops plus they don’t have to be plugged in all the time. For other office equipment like photocopiers, printers and POS systems, always buy energy-rated products. Provide proper maintenance to ensure that all devices are running optimally for maximum efficiency. Installing energy efficient lighting fixtures is effective as well. Occupant sensors can help turn lights off and on, which eliminates wastage. Green Company Culture It’s not enough to have energy efficient light bulbs and proper insulation in your commercial premises, the people who work there must do more to build an eco-friendly business. Adopt a corporate culture that encourages energy conservation in every form like going paperless. Employees can use emails, phones plus other messaging apps for communication and apply electronic signature for important documents. Workers should take advantage of the power management settings on computers to save power when machines are idle. Reducing office waste is another concept that can help your enterprise develop a more eco-friendly culture. Energy Efficient Buildings For a company that owns a building, LEED certification is one way to turn the entity eco-friendly. Commercial property owners are steadily moving towards green construction by using materials, designs, and operations that are sustainable. A good number of business premises are now LEED certified, and your enterprise can rent space in one. The Green Globes rating system is another recognized standard that you can use to gauge the sustainability of your commercial building. Industrial businesses can also do their part by implementing environmentally friendly solutions in their operations such as green transformers from a provider like Solomon Corporation. From offices to factories to hotels, business owners can earn Energy Star status and ensure that their premises conserve energy as much as possible. Everyone has a responsibility to save energy and company management can implement various ways for individuals to pitch in. Simple actions like unplugging laptops and phones once they charge can help your company with its energy efficiency efforts.
  8. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an average American spends almost 90 percent of their life indoors, and most of that time is spent in the living room. People don’t often perceive this as a problem, since they consider their homes to be safe and healthy. The truth is that indoor pollutants are just as dangerous as the outdoor ones (if not more). Luckily, there are ways to make the spaces we live in healthier. Here are some things you can change in your living room that will drastically improve its influence on your health. Check your paint Did you know that the paint on your walls can emit harmful gasses that can find a way into your lungs and eventually harm your health? Before painting your home, you should check whether the paint you want to use contains VOCs (volatile organic compounds). There are some paint colors that have low levels of VOCs, but it is always better to go with the ones that are completely free of these toxins. Clean house equals healthy house Dust on the bookshelves surely looks bad, but there is much more to it. Dust mites are one of the most frequent indoor air-pollutants, and they can trigger allergic reactions or cause even more harm. Regular dusting will keep you and your family safe. Vacuuming (twice a week) is also an important part of the cleaning process, and to avoid just spreading the dust around, it is best to use a steam-based vacuum cleaner. Choose cleaning products carefully Cleaning is important, but if it is done with products that contain chemicals and toxins that can harm you, you are not really doing yourself a favor by using them. With that in mind, you should turn to organic cleaning products or make your own cleaning mixtures by using simple ingredients like vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda. Clear the air Most indoor pollutants settle in the air. Besides addressing the problem at its roots, you should also try to purify the air inside your house. This can be done by introducing houseplants ‒ which are natural air purifiers ‒ and using air-purifying machines with HEPA filters capable of minimizing the harmful particles in the air. Change the lighting Do you feel unhappy and fatigued when spending a lot of time in your living room? Poor lighting might be the reason. Lighting can not only affect your mood but also cause headaches, eyestrain, emotional stress and sometimes even physical illness. If you notice that lighting in your living room is too bright, too low, or too cool, any reliable Sydney electrician can change it completely and adapt it to your space and needs. “Lower” your rugs High pile rugs can do wonders for the décor and introduce a warm texture. However, they are also a perfect habitat for allergens and dust. This issue can’t be resolved even with regular vacuuming. That’s why it is better to compromise and opt for low pile rugs, such as flatweave, which will make it difficult for tiny particles to settle and are also easier to clean. No shoes inside, please The bottom of your outdoor shoes might be the dirtiest and the most germ-affected spot in your home. It is never a good idea to leave them on when entering your living room, unless you want to take all the germs with you. Instead, get a pair of indoor slippers and make a switch between the two at the entryway. By following these tips, you can make your living room much healthier for you and your household members and finally turn it into the safe haven it should be.
  9. Image Source: Pexels According to The US Census Bureau, the current population in the United States includes more than 323 million people, with over 70% of those people living in dense urban environments. As the US population is steadily growing at a rate of about 0.7% annually, it is expected that our society will increasingly rely on population-dense cities to continue providing a quality standard of living. To accommodate this changing future, it is crucial that our society adequately plan to accommodate this ever-growing population, and prepare to integrate that growing population into our existing cities. There are three key areas of focus that, if improved today, will facilitate this critical integration in the future. Infrastructure Development and Investment Developing urban infrastructure is the single most valuable investment that can be made for future generations. To accommodate growing populations, high-density housing buildings can be constructed, which allow increasing numbers of people to live in the same geographic footprint of an existing city. However, increasing numbers of people living in one area demands advanced water treatment solutions to manage increasing quantities of wastewater. There are many people exploring the disadvantages of current wastewater treatment options and proposes new possible solutions for future exploration. Finally, improving mass transportation choices to serve the growing population will enable cities to keep high numbers of people moving without choking surface streets in an endless gridlock of personal vehicles. Integration of Emerging Technologies If population growth is trend that is viewed as unending, so too is advancing technology. As our technology continues to improve, it is important that we begin integrating smart devices into the daily management of our society. One of the most critical areas where technology can improve efficiency is in the field of food production. Already, shrinking numbers of farmers are responsible for producing increasing quantities of food to support our expanding population, and the continual integration of new technologies into their daily work can ensure that their harvest is able to keep pace with the population growth rate in coming years. Education of Future Generations While our reliance on sound infrastructure and advancing technology is a critical factor in our ability to adapt to population growth, it is impossible to understate the importance of human intelligence in that struggle. Specifically, future growing generations will need to have the education and skills to meet the increasing need for data analytics, health care delivery, and ethical business management. There are many educational programs, like this mba online no gmat, This type of education program is a perfect example of how investing in the critical thinking skills of the future generation of leaders will foster the human intelligence needed to manage our growing population. As our population continues to grow and is expected to continue doing so, our ability to integrate those increasing numbers of people into our society will be dependent upon the investment we make in the future. Investing in infrastructure development and advanced technology integration can provide the tangible resources needed to house and feed increasingly dense population centers. Most importantly, investing in the education of our future leaders will ensure that critical thinking and human intelligence will always be available to solve the future problems those growing populations will encounter. By recognizing the trend in population growth and properly planning to integrate larger numbers of people into our society we can maintain a quality standard of living and give our future generations the tools they need adapt to their changing world.
  10. Image Source: Pexels Decluttering your home can be a cathartic process, but many people don’t notice just how much waste they really have until they start going through each of their rooms. You could end up dealing with dozens of bags of electronics, batteries, lawn chemicals, cleaning supplies, and other items that are hazardous to the environment. As you are planning this project, you should think about some ways that you can clean up and straighten your home without sending too many items to the landfill. Search For Valuables Before you consider any other options, you might first want to sift through all of your items and see if there is anything worth selling. Even if you donate or recycle most of your belongings, there could be a few pieces that are actually quite valuable. Old smartphones, consoles, video games, movies, books, and computers can easily be sold online or to local dealers. Some companies even send you prepaid packages to ship your electronics to them. Donate Another great option is to offer your unused belongings to a local donation center, like Action Donation Services. In addition to household items, many of these organizations accept cars, motorcycles, RVs, boats, and other vehicles. Depending on where you live and which organizations you go through, you might even be able to use your donations as a tax write-off. Some companies also allow you to choose which non-profit is going to benefit from your donations. Find A Hazardous Disposal Center Many homeowners don’t realize that it is actually illegal to throw away certain household items. Even though most trash companies carefully inspect and sort all of the refuse that they receive, you could be fined if they notice any dangerous or toxic materials. Some of the materials that need to be kept out of the trash include batteries, prescription drugs, certain electronics, paint, motor oil, tires, and lawn chemicals. Plan A Garage Sale A large percentage of your items won’t be worth much money, but that doesn’t mean they need to go to the landfill. Scheduling a garage sale is a simple way to get rid of quite a few things in a short period of time. If you want to attract more visitors to your yard sale, then you should consider having a multi-family sale with some of your friends and neighbors. Most local magazines and newspapers offer free or affordable ad space as well. Cleaning your home doesn’t need to be an exhausting project that results in hundreds of pounds of waste being sent to your landfill. You most likely live near dozens of different organizations that will help you get rid of your possessions in an eco-friendly manner. At the very least, you must make sure that all of the hazardous materials in your home are disposed of in a safe and legal manner.
  11. Improving your home’s energy efficiency not only saves you money, it increases your comfort year-round. These five tips offer durable ways to lower the amount of energy it takes to cool and heat it. Some are do-it-yourself projects, while others require the help of a specialized contractor. Energy Recovery Ventilator These affordable HVAC appliances exchange stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air without increasing energy costs. The energy recovery ventilator (ERV) traps the energy in the outgoing air and puts it into the incoming air. ERVs also remove humidity from the incoming air, which lightens the cooling load in the summer. Window Sealing Kits Unless you have thermal or Energy Star windows, you could be losing a good deal of heat to the outdoors during the winter. Clear plastic window sealing kits are available from home centers and online stores. They don’t interfere with the view and block air leaks and thermal transfer to the outdoors. Air Leaks and Ice Dams The air leaks from the ceilings into the attic reduce energy efficiency, and for the most part, they’re easy to seal with caulk and expanding foam. Besides the heated air that escapes into the attic into the winter, air leaks from the ceilings cause ice dams in the winter. Once you’ve sealed the air leakage, check over the integrity of the gutters. If they’re clogged or broken, rain or snowmelt won’t be able to drain quickly, which could also trigger ice dams. Companies like Innovations Siding & Windows can inspect your gutters and siding to make sure your home will withstand the damage that moisture causes to the attic or the envelope. Shade Screens Popular in the southern states for their ability to block solar heat on south- and west-facing windows, shade screens are effective in any climate. Screening materials are available online or at home centers. Some eliminate 90 percent of the heat entering through the glass. They don’t block the view and most homeowners take them down in the fall to take advantage of solar passive heating. Solar Cooking Cooking outdoors with a solar cooker on a hot sunny day requires no fuel. Solar cooking is an inexpensive and effective way to harness the power of the sun to cut energy consumption and produce delicious food. Bottom Line These suggestions will help you deal with the climate unique to this area. They won’t break the bank, and even if you need an expert, are easy to execute and will last for years.
  12. When you think of green energy your mind probably jumps to solar, wind or emerging hydrogen power, but you may not have considered that propane and its cousin natural gas, are also among of the greenest energy sources available to homeowners. Clean Burning While propane is essentially a fossil fuel, derived from natural gas or petroleum, it burns much cleaner than other fossil fuels. It emits roughly half the greenhouse gases compared to coal or oil and it doesn’t emit as many harmful compounds or toxins, such as sulfur dioxide and CO2. This reduces the prevalence of smog and the occurrence of environmental problems such as acid rain, which is caused by high concentrations of pollutants from gas and coal. May Be Cleaner and Cheaper Than Electricity There is some research to support the argument that natural gas is actually cheaper and more efficient alternative to electricity for some applications. This is one reason that many homes have mostly gas-powered appliances if possible. Having more homes with gas powered appliances reduces electric bills and helps to ease the strain on the power grid. While many people consider electricity to be clean, that really depends on how the electricity is generated. Electricity produced by a coal power plant, for example, is going to be exceptionally dirty and inefficient. Electricity produced from solar, wind or hydroelectric is going to be cleaner than any other source of power, including natural gas or propane. That said, power from truly clean sources accounts for a very small percentage of the electricity generated in the United States. Even in pioneering states like California, renewable energy sources account for only about 25 percent of total energy generation. In most areas of the country, that number is far lower. Taking United States energy production as a whole, 30 percent of electricity is generated by dirty coal, 20 percent generated by nuclear and only 15 percent generated by renewables. Interestingly enough, natural gas accounts for the largest share of electricity production in the US, at 34 percent. Using natural gas directly can help shift the focus away from dirty sources like coal and questionable sources like nuclear. It is worthwhile for you to consider where your power comes from to decide if using natural gas or propane in your home will be a greener choice. Off the Grid One tremendous advantage of propane is that it can be used off the grid. In areas where electricity is difficult, expensive or just plain impossible to supply, propane can serve as an excellent substitute. Propane tank installation in Mason is relatively simple and gives you a reliable supply of propane for your use without reliance on the municipal grid or supply. Even if you don’t use propane consistently, it is an excellent emergency power source for cooking, water heating or even to power a home-based generator. Propane is Efficient Efficiency is a key element of the environmental friendliness of any fuel. In this case, using propane directly is very efficient compared to most other types of power. For example, a coal power plant converts only about 38 percent of the energy found in coal to electricity. This means that not only is coal exceptionally dirty to begin with, it is also extremely inefficient. When propane is used directly, basically 100 percent of the energy goes toward the intended use because there is no conversion of energy. Natural Gas May Become Renewable While natural gas used currently in the United States is not renewable and is derived from fossil fuel, there is the possibility that natural gas and propane could be harvested from renewable sources in the near future. Likely candidates are landfills and water treatment plants. Decomposing organic matter releases tremendous amounts of natural gas, which is released into the atmosphere. If this natural gas could successfully contained and harvested, it would present an excellent source of renewable fuel. The natural gas could then be used directly or refined into other fuels like propane and hydrogen. Demand will primarily affect how much attention this technology receives. As more homeowners switch to propane or natural gas, the demand will increase and entice more companies to invest in the technology and infrastructure to harvest it from renewable sources. As a homeowner, you have an important part to play in the green energy future and the infrastructure that will support it.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Generating energy to power our homes and businesses, especially in the United States, is an expensive task, both economically and environmentally. The best way to produce that power is the topic of many research studies that seek to keep the process of energy production as efficient as possible. Solar power is quickly becoming a more reliable, affordable, and cleaner way to power your home. The Old Way of Generating Power Most energy produced in the US today is produced by coal- or natural gas-powered plants. These are fossil fuels, which emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when burned. This is the number one cause of climate change. Producing energy produced by fossil fuels is a dying industry. Jobs in this industry are historically some of the most dangerous jobs you can have. Each year it employs fewer and fewer people. The Greener Cleaner Way to Power Your Home Solar energy is at the beginning of a revolution. Just as coal powered the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th Centuries, solar along with other renewable sources will power the 21st Century. The price of making and installing solar panels drops 20% every time the world capacity for solar power doubles. This means that each year, more and more people can afford to install solar panels on their homes and end up selling energy back to the grid. Companies like Renogy are making solar power accessible and portable for more and more people all the time. The true cost to the environment of using solar power is more than you might think. Sure, when the panels are installed and energy is being produced, there is no carbon by-product. Creating the panels, transporting them, and installing them does generate carbon. Solar panels are made of silicone which has a high melting temperature. The power used to create the panels themselves immediately puts the solar panel into a "carbon debt". Presently, when a new solar panel is produced, it pays off its carbon debt in two years, then continues to produce completely clean energy for decades to come. The current manufacturer's warranty on solar panels is 25 years. After that time, the panels may produce energy less efficiently. Powering your home with solar energy is a responsible choice for the planet. It can also mean real savings on your utility bills. If you are thinking about making a difference, you should think again about solar.
  16. Nowadays with the ongoing concerns about our environment becoming more and more polluted from carbon dioxide emissions from cars, planes, and power plants and other human activities, it is more important than ever before that companies reduce their carbon footprint and actively do things to protect our climate. Courier companies are now stepping up to do something about this! This short article and guide will examine what exactly courier companies are doing to help the planet to be more sustainable for future generations. Specifically it will refer to DHL, UPS and FedEx. We often think in terms of cheapest this cheapest that, where can I get the best deal? Naturally then it would follow suit that the cheapest international courier service is a good fit. However I would like to point out that the cheapest service may not be the most environmentally friendly. So if climate change and a reduction of co2 emissions are things that are important to you and you value a sustainable future then perhaps it would be better to do some further research before selecting a domestic or international courier. Leading green courier services include, DHL worldwide, who are implementing more environmental technology to ensure a greener planet. In Manhattan DHL have released a ‘green fleet’ of delivery vehicles, this is a direct reflection of their environmental strategy and ultimately shows proper action being taken. DHL goal is to reduce their carbon efficiency worldwide by thirty percent by 2020. Their eighty vehicle green fleet is using fifty hybrid trucks, and thirty battery powered vans. I suggest that you specifically research the type of vehicles that will be used by a specific courier service like UPS, FedEx etc. for moving your shipment on a specific route for example sending a courier to Australia. FedEx state on their website, that they plan to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by twenty percent by 2020. They also mention that they are going to expand their on-site renewable energy usage, although they are not specific as to how this will be achieved. Regarding UPS, and their environmental protection; they have a shipping option called UPS carbon neutral shipping option which is a greater environmentally friendly option, UPS plan to also use more renewable fuels. In 2015 UPS added 1750 vehicles which has the newest technology to further reduce its carbon footprint. Aside from this UPS plan to plant 15 million trees by December 21st 2020. Hopefully as they all modernise their fleets they will be using more green vehicles to achieve their reduced emission targets.
  17. What Is Sustainable Building?

    The sustainable building trend is not just good for the planet, but for the economy — green construction is expected to account for 3.3 million jobs in the U.S. alone by 2018, a 143.5 percent increase over 2015. Green construction involves the design, construction and/or operation of buildings in ways that reduce any harmful impact on the environment and/or on human health. Some of these include reducing the carbon footprint of manufacture, preserving air and water quality, minimizing toxic emissions, and increasing energy efficiency in building operations. Sustainable building also can be economically beneficial. Using green materials and practices often benefits local economies, and the focus on energy efficiency frequently results in significant savings for property owners. The following infographic was created by Accurate Perforating Company and highlights 10 green building materials to consider for your next green building project. green-building-materials.pdf
  18. More than 1 million U.S. homes now sport solar panels on the roof. That number is expected to double in the next two years as the cost of solar continues to decline and solar awareness continues to rise. While making the shift to solar is good for the environment, that’s not the only reason to invest in solar technology. Here are just a few of the many benefits homeowners can realize by going solar. 5 Reasons So Many Homeowners Are Going Solar 1. Solar is a good investment. While the exact ROI for solar varies according to location and other factors, research indicates that in most states it makes financial sense to go solar. Specifically, solar brings a better return than a five-year CD in 86 percent of states. If you live in one of the top 13 states for solar, you’ll actually do better with your solar panels than you would by investing in the S&P 500. 2. Solar is reliable. With any technology comes the potential for failure, but solar bucks the trend by being one of the least likely of your home’s systems to break down. While solar panels are typically warranted for 25 years, 90 percent of them last 30 years or longer. One report showed that many 40-year-old panels are still generating power at 80 percent of their efficiency. In addition, a residential solar system typically has no moving parts, and almost never needs repair. 3. Solar is security. Concerned about power grid security, future energy price hikes, and/or the escalating effects of global climate change on the weather? Installing a solar system with battery backup is an excellent way to ensure that you will always have the power you need at a price you can afford. 4. Solar protects our planet. Sunshine is a clean, renewable energy source that does not contribute to global climate change. While all manufacture has an impact on the environment, solar panels create far more energy in their lifetime than is consumed by making them. In fact, an average 4 KW solar power system offsets nearly 200,000 pounds of carbon dioxide in its first 25 years. It would take planting more than 2,000 trees to equal that amount of carbon offset. 5. Solar is hot — and that’s cool. Who doesn’t like to be the cool kid on the block? Solar is an undeniably hot and trendy technology, so why not add a system to your roof and enjoy witnessing the “panel envy” of your neighbors and friends? How to Go Solar at Home According to Google’s Project Sunroof, nearly four out of five U.S. homes have enough unshaded area to install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. So when you’re ready for a larger investment in your home (similar to what you would pay for a kitchen remodel or home addition), chances are good that solar will pay off for you. That said, PV panels aren’t the only way to go solar in your home. Here are more ideas, at a variety of price points for any budget: • Solar water heater — A typical solar water heating system saves 50-80 percent on monthly water heating costs, even in a cloudy climate. • Solar landscape lighting — Solar outdoor lighting doesn’t just save electricity. It’s also safer and reduces maintenance because you won’t have to run power lines outside. • Solar chargers — A solar phone charger lets you charge your phone from anywhere, even on a hiking trip or in a boat! • Solar Christmas lights — Solar LED holiday lights are convenient to set up, and can save you up to $10 for every 300 hours they’re lit. These are just a few of the many benefits you can realize by going solar at home. Check out this infographic to discover even more compelling reasons why so many Americans these days are choosing to add solar to their homes. Ryan McNeill is the president of Renewable Energy Corporation, one of the largest residential solar energy companies in the mid-Atlantic region. It is committed to providing homeowners with high-quality, American-made solar panels and solar energy products.
  19. One of the biggest costs for businesses is their utilities. It costs a lot of money to heat and cool large spaces, and businesses that run a lot of machinery or electronics use a lot of electricity. Also, many businesses are housed in older buildings that aren't very energy efficient. However, there are ways that businesses can cut their energy bills. Here are four ways commercial facilities can save energy by going green. Change Habits One of the easiest and most inexpensive ways commercial facilities can go green and save energy is by changing the habits of employees. For example, the company might do a building-wide push to have people turn off lights, computers and other electronic devices at the end of the day. This seems like a small change, but it can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year. Make Energy-Efficient Improvements Commercial spaces often are older and may not have energy-efficient features, so if you are willing to make the investment, you can make improvements to your commercial space that will help you go green and save money on energy. Some of the improvements you could make could include changing all the lighting to more energy-efficient types such as compact fluorescent light bulbs, replacing windows, and installing solar panels or a geothermal heating and cooling system. Keep up on Your Maintenance Taking care of the existing systems you have can help your commercial building operate more efficiently and make your business greener. Some companies, like Ragan Mechanical Inc., realize that if you have a boiler system for heating, it needs regular maintenance to operate at its best. The same goes for gas and electrical appliances, manufacturing machinery and any other appliances or machinery you have in your business that use energy. Cut Down on Paper and Packaging One of the ways businesses can go green is to change the way they interact with customers. Two of the most common ways to do this are to cut down on paper and packaging. Encourage your customers to receiving billing statements, receipts, invoices and other correspondence electronically to cut down on paper use. You also can look at overhauling your packaging to use less of it. Not only will these moves make your business greener by producing less waste, they also will save you money. Many businesses see "going green" as an added cost, but it doesn't necessarily have to be. Many energy-efficient improvements fulfill a legitimate business purpose and actually save you money.
  20. It is certainly a golden era for those looking to buy green vehicles. The prevalence of hybrids and fully electric cars are slowly dominating the vehicle market, with even conventional cars borrowing some of the technology. In this ranking of the top five, there are several important aspects to consider. These cars make the cut because of their fuel efficiency, limited or no reliance on fossil fuel and decent utility. This list is also a ranked list, so the first car is the top choice and the fifth car is the least desirable. Toyota Prius Prime It simply doesn't get better than this brand new addition to the Prius family. While it may be surprising that a pure electric doesn't take the top spot on this list, Toyota has managed to strike the best balance between utility and efficiency in its plug-in electric hybrid design. The Prime, which is truly deserving of the name, has been heralded as the most efficient car in the country. It boasts over 600 miles total range on a mere 11 gallons of fuel. It's decent 25-mile electric battery serves well for the majority of commutes and daily driving without sacrificing the car's efficiency with too much dead weight. The Prime allows a driver to go gas free for much of their time, while still giving them amazing flexibility for long trips, and enough cargo and passenger space to be comfortable all while maintaining a basically unbeatable 133 EMPGs of efficiency. To top it all off, it is decently priced at below $30,000, which beats out much of the competition for plug-in hybrids. The math simply doesn't get any better. Tesla Model S Those choosing to get a pure electric vehicle need look no further than the Tesla Model S. While it bears an extravagant price tag as its main detracting feature, the Tesla shows what fully electric cars need to be if they are to ever become a mainstream item. The Tesla boasts almost twice the range of most pure electrics while having a rapid charge ability that makes it usable even for long road trips. The car is overall less efficient than the Prime, down to about 102 EMPGs. Assuming an owner's power comes from clean sources, the Model S may be the cleanest car in the country. It gets knocked down to second place mainly because of its $70,000+ price tag and its lower overall efficiency. Nissan Leaf Nissan's attempt at making an affordable all-electric has worked for many drivers across the country. The name clearly indicates the car's attempt to be greener than the average vehicle, and the car does succeed in that admirably. It actually has more efficiency than the Tesla at about 115–120 EMPGs combined, edging up to 124 in-town only. The greatest detraction of the Leaf is the same that afflicts all affordable pure-electrics. They simply don't have the range and utility of a conventional car, not even close. The newest models of Leaf have managed to push their maximum range over the 100 mile mark, barely, but that is only in the hands of a very conservative driver in town. The car works great as a commuter vehicle, but it simply doesn't have the ability to function on longer trips. This dramatically hurts its score because its utility value necessitates an owner having another, conventional, car for longer trips, defeating the purpose of buying the green car to begin with. Smart Car (Electric Coupe) As one of the pioneers of the all-electric vehicle market. The smart car has been the butt of many jokes about electric cars and their lack of usefulness or driving pleasure. The smart car has become the icon of what it takes to be an efficient and affordable electric car, and the picture isn't exactly pretty. The smart car does just what it intends to do, however. It manages 107 EMPGs and is overall a very efficient electric with a price tag cheaper than even a gas-powered compact. This efficiency, however, comes at a steep cost to utility. The car takes the idea of compact to a new level. It can barely accommodate two people comfortably and has basically no cargo space. It also has a measly 60–70 mile maximum range, so it is completely unusable for longer trips. Most drivers will need to take the money they save buying a smart car and invest in a second car to get anywhere with. It is saved from the lowest ranking only because of its affordability and efficiency. You can't get a pure-electric for less. Chevy Volt It is interesting that a plug-in electric takes both the top and the bottom spot on this ranking, which shows that minor changes in how the technology is approached can have a major impact. In many ways, the Volt works just like the Prime. It even boasts over twice the electric range, which may appeal to some drivers. The modern version of the Volt functions more like a true hybrid. This is in contrast to the early models, which took a different approach to the technology and killed the car's gas efficiency completely. The early model Volts wouldn't have even made this list. Lowered efficiency is the main detractor of the Volt. Despite functioning almost exactly like the Prime, it barely manages to get over 100 EMPGs, with a considerably lower gas efficiency. The Volt is bigger, heavier and less focused on efficiency compared to the Prime. The larger and heavier battery that gives its primary advantage, is also its greatest detractor. All that extra dead weight really hurts once the battery is empty. In an effort to give drivers greater electric range and a bump in performance, Chevy has built a plug-in hybrid that, while still very useful and popular, just doesn't promise to save the planet quite as well as the Prius Prime. There are many options out there when shopping for a green fuel-efficient car. It's important to select a vehicle that works well for your particular driving situation and habits because even a green pure-electric doesn't do any good if you're hardly ever able to use it
  21. 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.
  22. Decision makers at many conventional power and associated equipment vendor companies who rely on fossil fuels to generate public energy have started to recognize that green technologies aren't going away any time soon. They also understand that a lot of the technologies and business practices utilized by green energy suppliers produce energy in cost-efficient ways that can both protect the environment and generate revenues. As a result, they are incorporating green ideas into their business models. For example, these companies: Reuse Parts And Materials Instead of using entirely brand new parts, businesses like Solomon Corporation, a company that produces pole mounted transformers, create usable parts by rebuilding old ones and giving them a second life. These companies are also creating parts and equipment with a mix of unused raw and recycled materials. Invest In Byproduct Filtration These traditional power companies know that they can't continue to allow airborne byproducts to contaminate local environments. For example, they have invested in high-end filtration systems that reduce fine particulates in the air that occur when burning coal. They have also invested in a wide variety of systems that decrease the level of toxic emissions from coal-burning power generation that typically contain mercury, arsenic, nickel and acidic gases. Create Protected Wildlife Habitats Traditional energy generation decision makers have also seen how byproduct storage accidents can ruin local ecosystems. Instead of dealing with toxic spills and millions of dollars of combined fines and clean-up costs, they work diligently to make certain that multi-level contamination prevention measures exist. They also invest in environmental protection programs near their plants and set up small protected habitats near their corporate headquarters. Purchase Consumer Solar Energy Lastly, since solar power and whole home backup batteries can eventually remove homeowners completely off the public power grid, traditional energy providers have tried to find methods for retaining their customers that benefit everyone in the long run. One of these practices involves the purchase of the surplus solar energy generated by some home and business owners. Consumers who sell this energy enjoy a little extra cash or an electric utility bill credit each month. A conventional energy supplier or equipment vendor doesn't need to close its doors and shutter its windows to make way for green energy. It can still produce energy for the masses and transition into the modern age by mixing old ways with these surprising cleaner green technologies and practices.
  23. Becoming more energy efficient isn't just about preserving the environment. It can also provide substantial savings on your monthly power bills. You may have decided it's too much trouble, or costs money for greener technologies. There are really a number of simple, affordable things you can do. Here are four ways to start saving energy. Efficient Kitchens Kitchens are one of the most energy-intensive areas. You can save power by cooking more than one meal at the same time, so that tomorrow's dinner only has to be warmed up. When cooking meals or desserts in cold weather, let the heat circulate to the rest of the house to reduce the burden on home heating. Wash the dishes on warm instead of hot, and avoid pre-rinsing dishes that don't need it. Don't cook small pans on big burners, or vice-versa. Heat and AC HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems shouldn't be turned on if you don't need them. Even slight adjustments could be wasting money over the course of a day. Put on a sweatshirt instead of turning up the heat, or a pair of shorts instead of turning up the AC. It's also important to have your AC system checked by a professional, such as those from Cape Fear Air Conditioning & Heating Co., Inc. before peak summer temperatures. Inefficient operation or clogged ducts forces the AC to work harder and wastes electricity. Efficient Cleaning Saving energy with household chores just takes a little effort and common sense. Don't use warm water where cold will do, or hot water where warm will get the job done. Try to use appliances like washers, dryers, and dishwashers at full capacity in order to avoid wasted electricity. Consider hanging up your laundry rather than using the dryer, or removing it before it's fully dry. Use dust mops and brooms instead of dragging out the vacuum cleaner. Energy-Efficient Homes Fans and dehumidifiers can help to reduce AC costs. Letting in the sunshine will reduce heating and lighting expenses. Additional insulation and sealing of window or door gaps will help save money on both. Also add insulation around your hot water heater and hot water lines. Get everyone in the household into the habit of turning off anything that isn't being used. Consider solar-powered lights for the exterior. Saving electricity is just a matter of a little proactive planning and developing good habits. Start with the easy and affordable solutions. In time, you might be ready to move up to solar panels or smart thermostats to save even more.
  24. With big renovations come big changes. What better way to change your home after renovating your basement than to go green (or at least greener)? Below are three ingenious ways to have a greener home after renovating your basement, and the best part is they're all extremely affordable. There's no need to go far out of pocket after you've just overhauled a section of your home. Use Green Chemicals When most people think of going green, they think of large scale things. Natural energies such as solar power and cars that run off of cleaner burning fuels are usually at the forefront of 'going green'. However, there are many small things you can do to help green up your home. One of those things is to use green chemicals when you clean your home. They're usually easier on plumbing, definitely better for the environment, and recently there's been a lot of talk that they're substantially healthier for your family. Switch To Eco-Friendly Air Filters Having pure, clean air is important. This is especially true for anyone with pets or children or anyone who lives in the city. But air filters have to be changed often. They create a lot of waste, and a lot of models are made out of plastic, which is hard for the environment to break down once it quits working. While there's no 'perfect' air filter, finding a more eco-friendly air filter is a great idea. Look for one that doesn't need to have its filter changed as often, one that is made out of materials that can break down, or one that doesn't have parts that need to be changed out at all. Ditch The Clutter And Recycle This is duel-ended but well worth the effort. How often have you put boxes away in your attic or basement only to forget about them? You inevitably have to go clean it out, and half the stuff is ruined due to pests, mold, or other unforeseen problems? You end up tossing so much stuff out. Using a storage unit, like Sentry Mini-Storage Inc, to store your stuff ensures that you get to keep your keepsakes safe and help to cut down on the amount of garbage you're throwing out. Similarly, while a lot of areas charge extra for a recycle bin, it's great to have one around. It helps to eliminate trash in landfills and is better for the environment. These are only three of the many things you can do to help make your home a greener one. Choose from any of the tips we listed above, or do some research of your own to help you figure out ways you can be more green.
  25. You may be surprised to hear that private homes account for over 40 percent of all energy consumed within the United States. If you are ready to cut back on your family's energy consumption and start saving on monthly bills, then take a look at these five affordable upgrades with an excellent return on investment. Tankless Water Heaters An older water heater can be one of the biggest energy consumers in a home because they keep an entire tank of water hot at all times. Tankless water heaters (on-demand water heaters) only heat water as it is needed, and this means lower gas or electricity bills and a home that never runs out of hot water. Light Tubes Everyone should upgrade to compact fluorescent lights at some point, but another simple way to save on lighting is to have light tubes installed. These simple tubes can fit around important structural components of a home and provide light to any room. Window Treatments Anyone with windows that are more than a decade old should consider upgrading their treatments to improve the insulation of their home. Studies show that older residential window treatments cost the American public $35 billion a year. Newer treatments will provide a home with additional layers of insulation to keep UV rays out during the summer and warm air in during the winter. Foam Roofing Older roofs are another major problem when it comes to energy efficiency. Foam roofing, available from places like Armstrong Installation Service, is nearly 500 percent more efficient than traditional roofs and provides much better protection from moisture. This relatively new technology works on a variety of roof types including flat and sloped roofs. This foam can also be sprayed around solar panels and other structural components. Trees Planting a few perennial trees will not only improve the appearance of your property, but it could also cut down on your HVAC bills during the summer. Placing these trees near windows will allow them to act as a windbreak as well as shade those areas from the sun. Having an energy efficient home no longer means that you and your family must do without modern amenities. Often all it takes is a few simple upgrades to make serious improvements with your home's carbon footprint. This includes utilizing new technology such as tankless water heaters, wall insulation, and new window treatments.