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Found 215 results

  1. Businesses and homeowners are turning to solar energy to power their lives more than any other time in US history. Factors behind this include the falling cost of solar panels and rebates and incentives offered by the government and utility companies. However, saving money is just one factor that has encouraged people to choose solar power. Other factors include a desire to improve their health and protect the environment by reducing the use of fossil fuels. How Do Solar Panels Work? Solar panels make it possible for photons or particulates of light to release electrons from atoms. This is used to generate a flow of electricity. When you look closely at a solar panel, you see that it is made of several smaller units called photovoltaic cells. When several of these photovoltaic cells are put together, they create one solar panel. How Does Solar Energy Impact the Environment? Solar energy is renewable. It is a clean resource. It reduces harmful emissions that can affect the atmosphere. Since it minimizes greenhouse gases around the world, solar energy has a favorable impact on the environment. Traditionally, energy used in the United States is produced from fossil fuels, including coal and natural gas. The process by which fossil fuels are extracted is expensive and detrimental to the environment. If mankind could capture the sun’s energy for just one hour, you would be able to power the entire planet for one year. Using solar panels is one step toward eliminating mankind’s reliance on fossil fuel for the most consistent and abundant source of energy available. How Solar Energy Impacts Health Solar energy leads to fewer air pollutants. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides, and particulate matter, emissions would drastically drop around the world if everyone adopted solar use. This could lead to a reduction in chronic bronchitis, cardiovascular problems, and respiratory issues. As a side benefit, there would be fewer missed days from work related to these health issues. The Benefits of Solar Energy The benefits of solar energy are easy to see. It can lower your electric bill. Solar energy reduces a person’s or company’s carbon footprint. This improves the health of the building’s occupants and of those around them. The sunlight used to produce solar energy is free and available in abundance. Fossil fuels are quickly running out. Reducing reliance on a finite resource, like fossil fuel, and taking advantage of an infinite power supply, like the sun, has wide-ranging benefits for the planet.
  2. Home decor is the latest industry to include sustainable materials. When it comes to home decor, it is generally about aesthetics and less about whether a product or materials are sustainable. But, there are plenty of options that are both beautiful and functional as well as green. Everything from the paint on your walls to the natural stone tiles on your floor can be sourced with sustainability in mind. The ease of finding these products means that you don't even need to make many changes to your personal style or worry about a huge expense in order to easily use sustainable materials. These are a few easy changes to consider and ways in which you can easily make your home more sustainable. Select Furnishings Made From Sustainable Materials Anytime you need to update or redecorate items in your home, focus on options that are made from sustainable materials. Fabrics, wallpaper, cabinetry, flooring, and furniture are all choices that help establish a room and make a great backdrop for smaller decor pieces. More brands continue to offer sustainable options with each year as options become available and consumers show interest in swapping out less earth friendly choices. Choose Quality Over Fast Decor Like fast fashion, decor is available cheap and on trend. Stop buying items that fall into the category of fast decor and instead choose quality pieces that will last a lifetime and can be incorporated into your decor scheme year to year and season to season. Quality pieces will include those that are made from reclaimed wood, covered in organic natural fabrics, sourced from natural stone outcroppings, and from brands that have earth friendly manufacturing processes. Repair and Purchase Second Hand In addition to purchasing quality decor and furnishings, consider purchasing secondhand or repairing those items you already own to breathe life into old items. Along with overbuying fast decor or purchasing pieces that will not last, buying secondhand is a great way to keep items out of the landfill. You can quickly reupholster a chair or couch with sustainable fabric, making it as good as new. Small home furnishings from lamps to shelving to art pieces can be purchased secondhand or repurposed in a way that suits your personal style. DIY projects are also a great way to use up sustainable materials in a way that coordinates with the decor in your home. All of these ideas can help you create the home of your dreams.
  3. Growing your food is enjoyable, rewarding, satisfying, and has many benefits. Besides getting fresh farm produce, growing your food also saves money and limits waste in the garden. Many people utilize the spaces in their homes to set up a garden no matter the size, and the results are breathtaking. However, it needs dedication and the right knowledge for a successful process. Find the Space Finding the perfect spot for gardening doesn’t have to make you sweat. Even with the smallest space in your garden, you can grow your food. Start with a small portion so that you watch out on the progress, and if it goes well, you can add more plants with time. You can also install raised beds or use containers. You don’t need big containers, any small or medium ones will do, but you’ll need to punch holes to create a drainage system. You can start with micro-seedlings, and you’ll need to re-sow them every one or two weeks. Don’t forget to check the seedling package when buying the seeds and go for one with the most. Plan Ahead It would be best if you established your gardening goals. Most plants have their seasons, and you’ll need to find a suitable time before you proceed. Make the right timing within the year to get a good harvest. Mark the dates in the calendar or write down in a diary to stick to the appointed time. Also, create a budget for the seedlings, and determine the quantity that you’d like to plant. Once you have goals, you can go ahead with the process, but you can always make additions if things go well. Know your soil Soil type is a crucial factor to consider when planning to grow your food. Do a simple residential drilling test and determine whether you need to make the soil better and suitable for your desirable crop. If you go ahead without doing a soil test, the crops might grow unhealthy. Mix it No matter the size of your garden, you can mix up seedlings to maximize the available space. It doesn’t stop the growth of the seedlings. You can grow in a couple of containers. You may need to start with a particular seedling before planting the rest. For instance, you can start with beans and mix up vegetables after the germination. Most of the food you buy from grocery stores or supermarkets stay longer before getting to your doorstep. However, you’ll be safe with your garden since you will have fresh produce and will save you the time you would spend going to the grocery store.
  4. Technology has changed the way of doing things in this modern age. The conventional way of doing things was very tiring and full of inconveniences. Over the years, technology has been able to facilitate business transactions, and it is possible to transact online without paperwork. In this piece, we have outlined several ways a business can be able to transact without going through endless paper works. Electronic Payments Electronic payments have made it easier to do business transactions. At the same time, the electronic mode of payment has proven to be more efficient than the conventional way of making payments. For instance, Paypal has made it easier to buy goods that are sold online, without having to be physically present in the store. The platform has incredibly increased the number of sales for businesses. It is because of how convenient buyers find payments to be and how easy it is to make payments. Moreover, the online payment method makes it easy for a business to make payments because of its exceptional payment tracking system. Also, a business can pay its employees directly through their Paypal accounts if they want to avoid paperwork that are associated with bank payments. Furthermore, businesses can also be able to transact through the business to business system where businesses can be able to do b2b payments without involving any paperwork. E-Signing Solutions E-signing solutions, enable you to sign legal payment documents without having to go through the processes of dealing with papers. You can send your documents securely, and get the appropriate signatures quickly and efficiently using the system. It is very efficient because it saves businesses from going to unnecessary meetings to sign off documents. Blockchain Technology Blockchain for business is an efficient way of making business payments because it has a distributed ledger technology. The ledger allows both parties involved in the transaction to view the information simultaneously, which builds trust. Today, businesses also allow their customers to make payments through blockchain technology. The technology uses digital coins such as bitcoins, for instance, in making the transactions. Blockchain has revolutionized how business is done today by eliminating all the paperwork done during transactions. Every person using blockchain has a cryptocurrency wallet. When making payments, all they do is transfer funds from their wallet to the recipient's wallet. It is a fast and convenient way of transacting in business today. Generally, technology has simplified transactions in business today by providing efficient ways of transacting without paper works. Paperless transactions are a growing trend that has facilitated the growth of businesses. Follow this link to learn more about electronic commerce, and how to go paperless doing business transactions.
  5. Green living is a trend in 2020. However, parts of your home might be holding you back from this goal. Let us take a very close look at four ways your roof can be preventing your home from being eco-friendly. Clogged gutter To start things off, a clogged gutter is not good for the environment. This will accumulate leaves, bird droppings, and other debris and create a mess. Fortunately, it's very easy to unclog a gutter and restore the ecosystem. Moreover, it simply leads to better drainage on top of and around your home. No solar panels Next in line, your roof might not be suitable for solar panels. Roofs that are situated at steep angles can't really feature solar panels that collect the rays of the sun. Alternatively, you may have simply never gotten around to going solar. Either way, it's an obstacle to becoming completely eco-friendly. Aging roof In the grand scheme of things, an aging roof isn't friendly to the environment either. Older roofs are made of hazardous materials that don't mesh well with the greenery around your home. Consider a roof replacement service to switch to a greener roof. They can swap out your old roof for one that is sustainable for years to come. Not only will this be better for the environment, but a new roof looks amazing as well. Eroding tiles Last but not least, eroding tiles are not eco-friendly. Certain tiles don't disintegrate into the ground, and instead you're left with a pile of rubble. It's all about reducing your carbon footprint, and these tiles certainly don't help. Look to replace the tiles in some shape or form. When all is said and done, these are a couple of ways your roof can be preventing your home from being eco-friendly. The roof is often an unlikely place that should not be overlooked. By addressing your roof, you can finally achieve green living.
  6. The most common material in your home is wood. Your patio chairs, bed, or even flooring is made up of wood. Like every other industry today, the wood construction industry is shifting towards ethical furniture and the use of sustainable timber. Today, preserving the world’s trees and forests is essential for the survival of the human race. Therefore, buying wood is a bit challenging since you have to know where it is coming from and how it was harvested. What is sustainable timber? Many homeowners do not want to take part in deforestation; hence, they want to avoid the ‘bad’ wood. Sustainable wood is timber from sustainably managed forests. Sustainable wood is renewable as it is grown to prevent damage to wildlife or the ecosystem. Controlled forests last for the long term, meaning they will control carbon emissions for generations to come. On the other hand, unsustainable sources just cut down the trees leaving bare land, thus leading to full destruction. Why buy sustainable timber? Buying timber from unsustainable sources has some severe effects on their places of origin. Without their knowledge, homeowners who purchase unsustainable timber may promote the hunting of endangered species and abuse human rights in those places. Ninety two percent of the earth’s forests are not adequately protected from destruction. Thus, buying sustainable timber is a way of preserving the future earth’s forests and the coming generations. Which timbers are more sustainable? Timber is usually classified as either softwood or hardwood. Simply because softwoods like pine and fir grow fast, they are sustainable. Buying European timber is a safe choice for homeowners as the EU introduced measures to protect its forests. Today more trees are planted than felled therefore European forests are growing instead of diminishing Here are exotic timbers that you should avoid: • Ebony • Teak • Wenge • Sapelle • Murbau How to identify sustainable wood Here is what homeowners need to do to ensure they spend their money on sustainable timber: Buy reclaimed timber: This is the best way of ensuring you are using responsibly sourced wood as no tree is cut down when homeowners buy reclaimed wood. Buying reclaimed wood prevents unnecessary logging. Look for the FSC logo: The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an independent non-governmental organization that promotes responsible management of the earth’s forests. Their certification method provides internationally recognized standards and trademark assurance to homeowners who support responsible forestry. No FSC logo? Inquire more: When homeowners are interested in timber, which is not FSC certified, they should ask questions like the country and region it originated from and the lumber company that harvested it. If the retailers don’t have the answers, they should go ahead and ask their suppliers. This will enable them to know the history of the timber. For your home renovations and upgrades, visit a supply company like Old World Lumber Company, for a large selection of reclaimed wood perfect for the environmentally aware homeowner.
  7. Top companies in nearly every industry- even those from the fossil fuel industry- have recently agreed on their “environmental commitment” as a new selling point for consumers who are becoming progressively troubled about their individual contributions to the deterioration of our natural environment. Environmental awareness is on the rise, and this is only the beginning. Eco-friendly businesses are rapidly becoming industry leaders, and as more individuals become aware of our terrible environmental state, their popularity will only upsurge. What is green marketing? Green marketing isn’t only a trend that many companies have chosen to adopt but also a way of doing business. The global tension on our environment, combined with a consumer desire to opt for eco-friendly products for a better living, creates new occasions for companies for marketing themselves as environmentally aware. In short, aligning businesses with green practices can be a successful selling point for small businesses, and, in some circumstances, the “green” notion has shaped a new line of service and product prospects for businesses to explore. Whether you’re looking to connect with consumers interested in doing business with green companies or you’re running a business entirely focusing on green services and products, green marketing can be an effective strategy for small companies in their overall marketing strategy. In this article, we’ve gathered some of the most common green marketing ideas for eco-friendly businesses in need to offer green solutions for their customers. Make Sure It’s Right Going green ASAP looks and sounds nice on paper, but it’s really for everyone. How so? Green marketing can be hugely beneficial only if it’s consistent with your business’s values and mission. When green marketing is only something you're relying on to be a part of a trend, you won’t likely gain the benefits from it. Even more, you can expect some backlash from your clients is they suspect you’re promoting it for selfish reasons. That said, before taking necessary steps in adopting Green Marketing, reflect upon the pros and cons to make sure it aligns with the type of service and products you’re trying to promote. Green marketing strategy has to be a realistic business strategy and not just a marketing trick. An honest green marketing strategy and idea is actually to develop real eco-friendly selling points for your business. For instance, a strategy can be marketing that your service has a low energy solution. Therefore, a service or a product that produces less waste or uses less energy than a traditional method can be a great differentiator. Brand with Insignias and Green Logos If your business participates in eco-friendly practices or has green offerings, consider using a variety of logos and insignias for branding and company marketing that represents green. This may include your web page, marketing materials, advertising, business cards, packaging, signage and many more. Examples of logos may include various membership logos or the standard recycling arrow logo and Energy Star Rating logo. Businesses can even design personalized logos as an effective tool in communicating their green contribution and separate them from the competition. Print on Recycled Paper Using recycled paper to conserve resources can be both an effective and easy way to subtly validate your business as environmentally aware. Several printing retailers offer an option to have flyers, business cards, marketing brochures printed on recycled paper that is almost as affordable as the regular paper. If you have a business presentation that is strongly focused on green marketing and environmental issues, then spending a few extra bucks on recycled paper can be a very significant step in a green marketing strategy. Ditch Direct Mailers and Opt For Digital Marketing Newspapers and direct mailers are more wasteful than ever. You can switch a lot of your marketing efforts to digital marketing if you want to leave a lower impact in the environment. That said, the elimination of regular paper use and other materials used for advertising can be a huge step in a zero-waste advertising approach. For instance, social media can be a very effective, fast and inexpensive way to promote your campaigns. The best part about marketing your business on social media is that you can play with a wide range of graphics. Not only that, but digital marketing makes it easier for like-minded groups to share your brand’s backing to their circle. Promote Local Vendors and Eco-friendly Events Promoting and using local suppliers and vendors is a very green practice as you help to reduce the impact of carbon emission on the environment by encouraging local delivery of supplies and products. Doing so, your customers will see that your business not only promotes the local economy, but it also helps reduce carbon emission and gas consumption by using local vendors. Moreover, if you work in the food industry, using and producing with fresh ingredients from your local farmers can also be a great selling point. Operate Efficient Fuel Vehicles Most probably, you’ve heard it before, but the vehicle your business uses for delivery, service and sales can have a great impact on your brand image. When your vehicle travels across your local market, they can leave numerous impressions on your local customers and prospects. That said, operating FlexFuel vehicles for sales or delivery and service cars will not only help your business reduce the gas expenses, but it will make it obvious that your business is also green conscious. Environmental Donations and Charities There are dozens of environmental causes that will worth your time and money. Another green marketing idea is to support those initiatives by taking actions that will serve the local environmental purpose and making donations. You clients can also support the cause via environmental incentives for sale- such as donating a part of a sale to an environmentally friendly organization or even planting trees. But before that, be sure you clearly communicate your green marketing action to your customers to strengthen your eco-friendly business practice. These green marketing strategies are small steps that eco-friendly organizations can take to minimize their carbon footprint and prove to their customers that choosing their business can make a difference in today’s environmental state.
  8. You can contribute to environmental conservation through the upgrades you install in your home. Eco-friendly installations can also save you a lot of money even though initial costs may be high in some cases. Here are some tips for going green in your home exterior. Install Solar Panels With solar panels you can generate enough energy to use at home, and in some cases even surplus to sell to the grid. Initial installation is high because it takes a few kilowatts before it can generate significant power levels. Solar panels would be economical to install if you are living in your permanent residence. It takes ages for them to show significant returns. Solar option is probably the greenest and safest you can ever go in energy consumption. Adopt Green Roofing Technology The idea here is to have a roof that optimizes sunlight, depending on the climate of your location and climate. In hot places, you can adopt a roofing system that reflects away sunlight and cools faster when there is no sunlight. Installing this technology is costly, but it will help you save so much in terms of energy costs, especially with the air conditioning system. Roof repair will also help you make sure you are reducing your energy use and you may even use different materials in your repair. Some materials for green roofing include: • White tiles • Using metals as roofing materials • A living roof, which uses plants that grow on the roof to help in saving water Consider Using a Natural Fence Do not use lumber in fencing when you can have a line of live trees around your homestead. This live fence can act as a home for fauna and will add to the fresh air supply in your home. It is also less costly than constructing a wall. Besides, you can decide to be more creative and use deciduous trees that shed during winter and flourish in summer. These trees have broad leaves that can act as a shield against sunlight during summer, hence providing a green cooling system. Examples of deciduous trees are: • Oak • Hickory • Maple Adopt Drip Irrigation Drip irrigation is better than sprinklers since water goes into the soil directly. If you use it together with mulching, you achieve a high water-retention rate as opposed to using sprinklers where most of the water goes to waste. There are many other ways of getting a green exterior in your home. The bottom line is that all of them are a futuristic and prudent saving option. Also, contact home improvement experts for more solutions.
  9. Are you looking at your utility bill and are flabbergasted at the amount? Are you wondering what you can do to reduce energy costs without sacrificing comfort or convenience? If you answered yes, then you may need to upgrade your home appliances. Here is how upgrading your home appliances can reduce your energy consumption to save money. Refrigerator Every time you open your refrigerator, a light comes on so you can see the items stored in it. If you have had your refrigerator for more than ten years, then the bulb that is in there is likely contributing to your expensive energy cost. Newer makes and models of refrigerators now use LED lighting technology, providing bright light while reducing energy consumption. This is how upgrading your home appliances will reduce your energy consumption to save money by upgrading to appliances that utilize LED lighting systems. HVAC System One of the most used appliances in your home is your HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system. It is also one of the most expensive appliances to operate as it is used throughout the year, cooling your home during the summer and heating it during the winter season. Upgrading your HVAC system can reduce your energy consumption as newer systems were designed to operate efficiently and effectively. This means new techniques and technology are now being used in modern systems to help you reduce energy consumption without sacrificing comfort or convenience. Washer and Dryer Upgrading and replacing your washer and dryer is probably something that did not cross your mind, especially if they are still both in working order. However, just like your refrigerator and HVAC system, upgrading your washer and dryer would be advantageous to help you reduce energy consumption and to save money. As with many newer appliances, energy-saving features are now included to maximize and optimize the washing and drying processes. Stove Another home appliance that is often used and one that contributes to a high energy bill is your stove. Older stoves were built for only one purpose, and that is to produce heat for you to cook your meal. This means precious heat that your older stove is producing may be escaping because they were not designed with efficiency in mind. This is causing you to consume more energy. Upgrading your stove is how you can lower energy consumption as newer stoves are built and designed to focus heat where you need it the most, preventing it from escaping. These are only to mention how upgrading your home appliances can reduce your energy consumption. Remember, take advantage of all the benefits newer technology has to offer by upgrading your home appliances to not only reduce energy consumption but to also save you time and money.
  10. The Earth can be harmed the by the actions of people. Human civilization has created pollution and destroyed natural ecosystems and wildlife habitats. It may even lead to worse problems like global warming that could threaten everyone. The one sector of human civilization that contributes the most to this destruction is industry. Thankfully, you can take steps to lower your company’s impact on the planet. Here are some ideas for making your workspace greener. Implement Renewable Energy Most factories and other industrial workplaces use a great deal of energy to complete their work. Thankfully, you no longer have to completely rely on energy sources that create pollution or put a great strain on the local power grid. Implementing power produced by solar panels or wind turbines is one option. Choosing fuels that create a lesser impact on the environment like ethanol or natural gas is another good choice. Recycle Everything You Can Recycling is something else companies must implement if they want to be greener. Not recycling creates waste that fills up landfills. In certain cases, that waste can even harm animals and human beings. Consider all the different materials that are part of your industrial processes that you can recycle. For example, you may have not considered copper recycling for the copper left over from a certain production process. Eliminate Paper Something most companies use is a lot of paper. There’s paper used for correspondence, memos, record keeping, meetings and much more. It’s no longer the 1980’s. Everything that can be expressed in a paper document can be very easily recreated in a digital file. Doing so saves trees and eliminates waste. It can even save a good deal of money over the course of a year. Going paperless is a strategy that works for many businesses. Perform Efficiency Audits Not running your factory or other industrial facility as efficiently as possible can also lead to wastefulness. One thing you should do is perform efficiency audits multiple times a year. The data produced can help you find ways to save electricity and fuel and cut down waste. It can make your company greener and help you save a good deal of money simultaneously. Industrialization has done a lot of harm to the environment. However, this doesn’t have to be the case today. Thanks to improvements in technology and methodology, there are many ways a company can greatly lessen its impact on the environment. The list above is only a starting point.
  11. If you are interested in helping the environment, it is important to recycle your steel items. This way, old or damaged items can be given a new life as a different product. It is an easy way to start living a green lifestyle in your home. Are you interested in creating a healthier environment? Here are four ways steel can be recycled and reused to save the planet. Home Goods There are many steel service centers that turn scrap metal into home goods. You may find furniture and fixtures that are made of recycled steel. The steel may also be reused as a material for your roof. Are you looking to invest in artwork and other decorative pieces for your home? You can look into items that are made of recycled steel. Recycled steel gives these pieces a new life while adding a modern touch to your home. Food Packaging When you drop your scrap steel and metal off at a steel service center, you are donating materials that can be used for food packaging. The materials are used to make aluminum cans for food and beverages, and you may even find reusable steel canisters and bowls made of recycled steel. You can also rest assured that the materials are cleaned and sanitized as needed to ensure they are safe to use on food. Manufactured Products Steel and metal can also be reused as new products altogether, such as stainless steel appliances. The steel items you drop off at a service center today may also become a part of the plumbing, construction or automobile industry tomorrow. Companies that use recycled steel are not adding as much smoke or chemicals into the environment. At-Home Uses You can also find your own way to reuse steel items around the house. Instead of throwing out a tin coffee or tea canister, reuse it as a planter for your indoor garden. A tin canister also makes a great pencil or pen holder on your desk, or you can use it to hold spare change or craft supplies. If you cannot reuse these items at home, be sure to look into steel service centers in your area. If you want to create a healthier environment for everyone, it is important to take the steps to reduce your carbon footprint. You can do your part in saving the planet by dropping off your unwanted steel items at a local service center to be recycled and reused.
  12. Many modern homes offer energy-efficient features that make lowering your energy bill easy. But what about old homes that were built before energy-efficient features? Well, there’s hope for old homes, too. There are updates that can make your old home just as efficient as a modern home. Updating an old home is often as simple or as complicated as you can afford to make it. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, then there are quick-fix changes that you can make. But if money is no object, you can invest in upgrades that take more time and money. Switch to CFL or LED Light Bulbs Incandescent light bulbs are fast becoming a thing of the past. CFL and LED light bulbs cost more than incandescent bulbs. But CFL and LED lights save more money in the long run. An incandescent bulb consumes 60 watts per-hour. A traditional CFL bulb consumes 14 watts per hour. And a typical LED bulb consumes 10 watts per hour. The more watts consumed per hour, the higher your energy bill. Get New Windows It’s likely that your old home has single pane windows. Single pane windows have one layer of glass. They’re thin and known for being drafty. Since there’s only one pane of glass, it’s easier for outside temperatures to affect the temperature inside your home. For an older home, upgrading to double pane windows is an energy-saving move. Double pane windows are made with two panes of glass. And some even have insulating argon gas placed between the panes. Two panes of glass provide more protection from outside temperatures than provided by one pane of glass. Switch to Renewable Energy Solar panels are a source of renewable energy. Solar panel installation services can help you understand the best option for your home for saving energy and money in the long run. Solar panels convert light from the sun into energy. The energy connects to your home’s electrical grid and is distributed throughout the home. Unless you live in a state that doesn’t get a significant amount of sun year round - such as parts of Alaska - then solar panels are worth considering. An old home doesn’t have to guzzle energy. The tips mentioned in this article can help lower your energy costs without ruining your home.
  13. People feel more and more determined to go green because they are aware it's their role to change the world, they're living in. Pollution and climate change triggered some extreme, tragic events that destroyed both life and nature. From record heat in Europe to floods in the USA and fires in Australia, they are all consequences of human actions. It's shocking to find out that a small choice you make in your everyday life can trigger a chain of reactions and lead the planet a step closer to collapse. The environmental issues the world is experiencing will always be a hot subject due to their ever-changing characteristics. But during the last years, there was registered a shift that showed people are ready to take responsibility for their actions and make changes. 2019 was about sustainability stories that inspired everyone to get involved in a movement they supported in silence until now. Without further introduction, here are some of the most exciting sustainability stories we witnessed in 2019. Greta Thunberg made the climate protest movement explode Before Greta, climate change protesters made a buzz around the idea, but they never managed to draw global attention. When Time Magazine named the young activist their Person of the Year, she was the youngest to get this title, but also one of the most controversial figures. Greta first introduced herself to the public in 2018, and she quickly started a global movement because she was not afraid to speak truth to power and engage her followers in diverse subjects. She used social media as a tool to draw attention to the problems the planet is facing and educate young people in becoming the leaders of the green movement. Her influence is so strong she convinced tens of thousands of Belgian teens to march weekly to the EU headquarters in Brussels. On 15 March 2019, she encouraged people to march in various locations worldwide, and over 15 million participants joined the movement. In September she also drew attention towards the bad choices, world leaders make when she decided to travel by boat to the UN climate meeting and shame the ones who opted for flight solutions. Greta proves that Gen Z young people are more than ready to lead the way in environmental actions and come up with strategies to lower the level of pollution and destruction. Activists pointed out the seriousness of the climate crisis through distressed messages For many years, environmentalists didn't show the accurate results the climate crisis has on the planet because they were afraid the public would find them too depressing. But as the problem evolved and people refused to understand its extent, they had to go with the gloom and doom. When David Wallace Wells published the book The Unhabitable Earth, he made sure the facts he presented will panic the readers and show what really happens if the planet is warming more than it already did. The scientific community weighed in the ups and downs of sharing with the public how harmful the effects of pollution and climate change are. Still, they concluded that it's best people to know the threats that endanger their existence, than living with the misconception Earth will remain a safe planet no matter what their actions are. The Unhabitable Earth showed that the future could bring some apocalyptic scenarios. If humans continue to change the planet's land to adapt to their ever-growing demands without considering the long-term effects, they will threaten global food security and the planet's ability to capture carbon. If they don't lower the amount of trash, they dispose they will endanger ocean life and bring extinction to plants and animals. The only solution to avoid this outcome is to cut emissions. People and companies have started to take notice of their effect on the planet. They are slowly integrating green practices and use social media and the Internet to point how significant change is. Companies use video content to share their measures and inspire the public to follow their example. They use videos to describe the effects specific actions have and recommend solutions. They try to educate their clients through example. Governments joined the green movement Two significant measures marked 2019, the USA created the Green New Deal's legal environment, and the EU's Green Deal listed its circular economy principles. Some people state that these measures are still not enough to improve the environmental landscape, and they are right, but they put the base for other changes that will support change. The new regulations support brands worldwide to adopt green practices. We will list some examples to show that the world is facing towards sustainability. CleanO2 created a device named CARBiNX that traps CO2 emissions and transforms them into potash to make detergents and soap. Lush Cosmetics is another company that uses technology to lower CO2 emissions in their manufacturing processes. Lyft has joined the Green Cities Initiative that encourages companies to switch to electric cars. Companies like Lyft have a significant impact on the environment because they run fleets worldwide and generate emissions higher than other brands. Lyft has started to replace its old cars with eco-friendly alternatives and allows clients to request a green vehicle using the Green Mode feature. IKEA is another worldwide famous brand that adopted the green initiative. They created a project named A Sustainable Everyday that aims to replace single-use plastic items with disposables made from recyclable materials. Considering that plastic is one of the greatest problems the planet is dealing with, any initiative that promotes plastic cut is more than welcomed. The above names prove that government regulations enabled them to adopt bolder decisions and switch to sustainable leadership. It's expected in 2020 that companies can use their political influence and have a more aggressive role in climate policy. Magazines like Vogue already announced they would use their power to reach companies and individuals and lower the footprint of apparel by educating their audiences.
  14. Recently, sustainable shopping has become more popular. Consumers are now looking for businesses that care about the environment and their impact on the planet more than ever. Consumers are currently looking for ways to become more eco-conscious in their own lives, which includes the way they purchase products. Here are ways to make sure you are buying the most sustainable products possible. High Quality Investing in high-quality products means you will be less likely to need to replace that item in the near future. This leads to higher sustainability. Through this, you will be using less materials and be requiring less energy to manufacture the product. Thrifting high-quality pieces of clothing or furniture can be a great move toward sustainability as well. However, if thrifting isn’t your thing or you are having trouble finding the right products, making new high-quality purchases is the next best thing. Sustainable Materials Today, more businesses are becoming mindful of the materials they use for their products. A great way to ensure you are consuming products made from sustainable materials is to look for ones made with recycled materials. This is becoming a more popular option. There are many options available for clothing and accessories made with recycled bottles or even recovered plastic from the ocean. Companies, like BionicYarn.com, are making this possible. Locally Made The less a product needs to travel to get to your home, the more sustainable it will be. Less travel cuts down on carbon emissions and leads to a better impact on the environment. Now is a great time to start supporting small, local businesses. A great way to do this is to visit farmer’s markets in your area for local food and handmade goods. Ethical Manufacturing Green manufacturing processes are more important than ever right now. It shows how responsible a business is when it comes to doing their part for the environment. Treatment of factory workers also plays a role in flourishing the economy and leading toward general sustainability. Look for businesses that offer transparency about their production practices. Only support those that act responsibly and are doing what they can to minimize their environmental and economic impact. Transitioning to a sustainable lifestyle can seem overwhelming in a world full of consumerism. However, each individual doing their part can make large strides in improving climate change and the environment.
  15. Increasing operational efficiency and lowering the output of emissions are goals that companies across all industries have in common. Developing optimal strategies for controlling costs and limiting environmental impact is both a challenge and opportunity, so it’s something companies need to embrace rather than avoid. Not all of these strategies are appropriate for every business, but most companies can find numerous simple and surefire ways to improve their operations. Make the Most of Materials Reducing resource consumption and learning how to reuse or recycle materials whenever possible is essential for streamlining operations and ensuring environmentally responsible operations. Business leaders need to consider every aspect of their production process when looking for opportunities for efficiency, including onsite resource management, supply chains and product packaging. Rethink Policies and Procedures Just as companies examine and redesign the way they use materials, they also need to think about the workplace and operational policies that they have in place. Enshrining safe and efficient practices as workplace policy is a step in the right direction. However, educating employees about the importance of lowering emissions and how they can help the company reach this goal is also necessary for achieving meaningful results. Optimize Industrial Boilers Manufacturing, extraction and other industrial environments often rely on boilers for part of their production process. Whether these machines are permanent fixtures in a workplace or just a temporary augmentation, learning how to optimize and use them responsibly can make a big difference in long-term emission generation. Installing a rectifier or SCRS for water tube boilers can give companies more control over their boiler’s performance and can significantly reduce emissions associated with combustion. Stay Ahead of the Curve While many companies have taken their own initiative to minimize their environmental impact, all commercial operators also have to think about mandatory requirements enforced by national and local laws. Staying ahead of the curve means reading new research, exploring fresh ideas and preparing for possible legislation even before it has passed. Looking at potential future requirements as a milestone for internal efficiency can help companies avoid racing against a deadline in the future. Efficiency and emissions reduction don’t always go hand-in-hand, but most business can take advantage of various opportunities to improve both of these areas simultaneously. Cutting down on waste should always be a priority, as this strategy often yields sheer benefits across the board. Business owners should always consider all the optional available and think about the impact of industry rules or regulations before coming to their decision.
  16. A sustainable venture has tremendous benefits, such as enhancing productivity and attracting more customers. For this reason, you can ensure that you adhere to the environmental law practice by safeguarding nature. This way, you will conserve and not waste resources in your business. Recycle Products It is prudent to recycle items such as electronics, paper products, fluorescent bulbs, and supplies to sustain the environment. If you can reuse some things, it will be the best approach to minimize wastage. You need to analyze the items fists so that you can decide if they are fit for recycling. Utilize Green Energy Sometimes it is better to harness other sources of energy such as solar to minimize electricity bills. What’s more, you need energy-efficient bulbs that will conserve the power as well. This way, you can cut down on the excessive use of energy at work. Ensure that you switch off lights that are not essential at night. Repair Water Leakages When water leaks from pipes in your business, it causes both health and financial harm. On that account, you need to look for a plumber who can repair faucets, sewer lines, and water lines as well. The expert should also assess running toilets and remedy the situation as quickly as possible. Dispose of Hazardous Waste Properly If your organization deals with toxic substances, you need to follow the right safety standard while getting rid of the waste. Alternatively, you can contact a disposal company that knows how to handle the unwanted stuff. This way, everyone will be safe, and your employees will not get exposed to harmful items. Train Employees Your employees are the best people who should know about protecting the environment at all costs. On that account, you need to equip them with skills and knowledge on how they can practice sustainability. You can also ask for some ideas from them as they have concepts on how to go about it. It should be a collaborative effort so that everyone can play their part in maintaining eco-friendly standards. Your business will thrive, and you will cut on bills that come at the end of the month. Ultimately, it is prudent to manage resources so that natural phenomena can be at peace. Resources will not strain or suffer from depletion since your venture is striving to protect them. For this reason, you can reduce wastage by switching to green power and fixing water leakages. The other approach is recycling and discarding waste using the correct means.
  17. Solar energy solutions aren’t a brand-new technology, but they have become much more refined, versatile and accessible in recent years. As homes and businesses around the world start incorporating these systems more frequently, many people outside of the industry struggle to separate fact from fiction. Solar power isn’t a perfect solution, but many of reasons that stop people from exploring the technology are little more than myths. The Costs are Too High Minimizing environmental impact is an important factor for many people, but homeowners often have to prioritize the financial impact when making a decision. Unfortunately, there are still many people who believe that any kind of solar solution is going to be too expensive or won’t yield a return on investment quick enough. While every situation and home has different factors that influence overall affordability, solar technology can help homeowners start cutting monthly costs almost immediately. Unreliable Performance Based Weather Another common myth about this technology is that it only works in warm climates or areas with clear skies. Weather patterns can influence the efficiency of solar panels, but you can leverage the technology even in areas prone to cold temperatures and overcast skies. Panels are often a much more reliable power source than modern myth suggests. Panels Reduce Home Value Worrying about the impact of panels on your home’s aesthetic or resale value is a reasonable concern, but it’s ultimately an unfounded one. Modern panels and related technology are a lot more flexible and minimal than older equipment, which gives homeowners more options when it comes to location and presentation. Installed panels can make a home more attractive to buyers and are generally easy to remove if the new owners don’t want them. Installation is Disruptive There’s nothing wrong with embracing a “do it yourself” attitude towards your home’s energy supply system, but there are also plenty of specialized professionals who provide complete installation services. Planning and preparing a home for panels can take some time, but there’s little risk that the actual installation and initialization will be a serious inconvenience for residents. Despite the many myths surrounding domestic solar energy systems, they are becoming a common sight across the United States. Even a minimal system that only provides partial power to the home can yield significant savings in the years ahead. Anyone who takes the time to consult with experts and research their options can find plenty of compelling reasons to incorporate this technology into their home or business.
  18. Since World War II ended, agriculture has dramatically changed. New technologies have caused food productivity to soar. Mechanization, specialization, and increased chemical use hinder farmers from producing lower-priced foods and fiber. Government policies that favor maximized production is a key factor. These developments have many positive effects and reduce the risks associated with farming. But they also have significant costs. Topsoil depletion, air pollution, groundwater contamination, and greenhouse gas emissions only scratch the surface. Also, there is the decline of family farms, neglect of farm laborers' living conditions, and human health threats due to new pathogens. As well, rural communities are being disintegrated due to the concentration of economics in the agricultural and food industries. Over the last four decades, a growing movement has come forth that questions the need for high costs. This movement offers more innovative and reasonable alternatives. This movement is toward sustainable agriculture. It continues to garner increasing acceptance and support in the food production sector. The three main goals of sustainable agriculture are social equity, environmental health, and economic profitability. Although the concept is made up of a wide range of practices, policies, and philosophies, there are a few common principles that define sustainable agriculture. Throughout this movement, practice and science have led to many key farming techniques aimed at sustainability. Crop Rotation and Diversity Maintaining plant variety can be very beneficial. It results in improved pest control and healthier soil. Incorporating intercropping and complex crop rotations are ways of implementing crop diversity. Irrigation Rainwater can be collected or harvested with the use of gravity feed water tanks. Harvesting rainwater helps the environment and saves money. Water from wells, lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, and other sources can also be stored. Cover Crops Clover and hairy vetch are two types of cover crops. Cover crops are planted off-season when an area would be left bare. Planting cover crops allows the soil to be protected and builds soil health by replenishing nutrients, lowering the need to use herbicides, preventing erosion, and keeping weeds at bay. Reduced or No-Till Methods To prevent weed problems and to prepare fields for planting, traditional plowing known as tillage has been used. However, this generally causes massive soil loss. Reduced or no-till methods allow seeds to be directly inserted into undisturbed soil. This reduces erosion and improves soil health. Overall, more diverse and complex agricultural practices have proven to be the most productive and sustainable.
  19. After living in your house for some time, you may realize it looks old and tired. Ideally, this does not mean you move into another new home if you can't. Thus, it needs some little refreshing to look more updated. So, if you have opted to renovate the room, don't perk it up only with modern lifestyle and expensive facilities but eco-friendly ones. Make sure the materials have a unique style but harmless to the environment. Recently thousands of homeowners are going with homes that are not only aesthetically pleasing but with low environmental impact. How do you renovate your house in a stylish and environmentally friendly way? Use bamboo floors You might be wondering what makes bamboo distinguishable from other wood. Well, bamboo is a unique wood on itself that grows faster than other woods, durable and moisture resistant. The percentage of the bamboo population is higher compared to other wood that takes time to grow. To have a bamboo floor, you only need to hire someone with high expertise on how to install it. Use of discarded metal or reclaimed woods Copper recycling and use of salvaged wood for house renovation is one of the most prevalent techniques used by homeowners today. They have been giving homes stylish and contemporary looking. You don't have to worry about durability. Rarely do they rust to hold house beauty for a long time. Recycled woods are becoming popular in home renovations as they are sublimely handsome and environmental sound. Go for solar energy Nowadays, use of the sun has become predominant in most households. This is one of the most potent and renewable sources of energy. Use of the sun as energy will satisfy your heart with guilt-free contentment as collecting power through solar powers is environmentally friendly. So, as little as less than 250$, you can build your home solar power system, which is less expensive compared to electricity bills. Recycled glass Today there is new cell bio glass that looks new, but they are eco friendly. If you want your house to have a new look you can add the recycled glasses in the kitchen and bedroom. They will enhance lighting and vibrant brightness under morning sunshine. Having a green home is one of the most lucrative things to owe in this era. To renovate your house with environmentally friendly materials isn't as difficult as you may think. Try these ideas while renovating your home to have a comfortable life!
  20. The costs related to running and maintaining an industrial plant tend to rise every year and even sometimes every quarter. Energy costs are one of the top areas to see the most increases. Simple inflation and business growth are factors. Of course, regulatory and other changes in industrial practices and changes in energy creation can skyrocket energy costs as well. Follow these tips for lowering your industrial plant's energy consumption this year: Improve the Lighting It's time to rethink how light is distributed and handled in the plant. Employees often leave lights on in unused areas. Some plants have older lighting systems that waste power. Wherever possible, bring in natural light, such as via indirect light window shades and overhead skylights. Inspect the lighting systems and replace outdated, low-efficiency parts. For example, install natural light LED bulbs. Also, invest in motion-detection systems that automatically turn off indoor and outdoor lights in empty areas and after hours. Inspect Systems Regularly Since unclean, old and broken systems run inefficiently, it's important to maintain them regularly. Motors and fans in some systems, such as HVAC systems, usually work harder because of overheating caused by debris buildup on parts and air flow issues. Some equipment, such as air compressors and pressure washers, are normal energy wasters and then cause a higher amount of energy loss when malfunctioning. For example, your employees waste energy if they have to work longer with these systems because air or water leaks destabilize needed pressure. Use Energy-Efficient Devices It might seem obvious that energy-efficient devices can help, but many plant administrators forget about or fail to see the long-term benefits of using these cost-saving options. For example, SCRs for water tube boilers not only reduce environmentally harmful NOx emissions, but also operate better and provide greater energy efficiency. Automated outlet devices and whole-system panels can turn off outlets and power to equipment that normally causes an energy drain in idling or standby mode. A programmable thermostat can detect via attached sensors changes in outdoor and indoor temperatures and adjust settings per your specifications. Establish Direct Oversight Continuous energy management is critical to maintaining control over energy usage. Review your current workforce or bring in outside help to administer an energy-efficiency program. Make certain that this program has more than one person working on it so that you have people with different viewpoints assessing the plant and researching and offering ideas. The team should also regularly provide cost-comparison reports that help you to understand short-term, upfront and long-term costs versus overall savings. It's not difficult to use less energy at your industrial plant. The process merely requires creativity, time and patience. It's also important to motivate employees by showing them that energy-efficiency changes are beneficial to everyone. When plant workers are invested in energy loss reduction, these types of changes occur more smoothly. Additionally, invested employees typically offer ideas of their own without prompting through company-wide employee feedback tools.
  21. According to NASA, 800 million people are vulnerable to droughts, floods, and other extreme weather events caused by climate change. At the same time, carbon dioxide emissions are at an all-time high and rising temperatures endanger the polar ice cap every year. The time to act is now and everyone from governments to businesses and homeowners needs to make a change and embrace more sustainable alternatives. The measures required to protect the planet are, of course, extensive, and more than one sector needs to go green if we want to see lasting changes. However, some improvements are more impactful than others and one that can definitely benefit the planet and society as a whole is green buildings. The size of the green building market has increased considerably in the past few years and is expected to grow by an additional 10% by 2023. There is overwhelming evidence that building sustainable constructions, both for residential and commercial use, can reduce greenhouse emissions and create better conditions for everyone, while at the same time saving money. At present, North America has the most mature green building market, but the trend is starting to pick up in Europe and Asia as well. Building rating standards are also beginning to change, so that modern developers no longer have to design beautiful buildings that stand out against the urban landscape and offer the latest tech innovations, but also that have a low carbon footprint. Here’s why: Green buildings help the environment In order to understand how green buildings help the environment, first we have to define what makes a building be green. First of all, green buildings stand out through the efficient and responsible use of resources and energy. The materials used for green buildings are sustainable, come from ethical sources (meaning that they don’t contribute to deforestation), they’re non-toxic, and don’t affect air quality. Secondly, their environmental impact was considered every step of the way, from design to implantation. Green buildings use energy efficiently, and often feature elements such as solar panels and smart roofs, which reduce dependence on heating and cooling systems. Green building developers may also use special equipment to add greenery to the roof and increase eco-efficiency. What are the results? Green buildings produce 34% fewer carbon emissions compared to conventional buildings and consume 25% less energy. According to UNEP data, the building sector has the biggest potential to reduce greenhouse emissions than all other sectors and, if the current trend continues, the industry has the potential of saving as much as 84 gigatons of carbon dioxide by 2050. Another 2016 study also found that green buildings could help prevent the rise in global temperatures. At present, almost every country has set up sustainability ratings to help developers design and build greener constructions, and provided data to back up their benefits. For example, buildings that have obtained the Green Star Certification in Australia have been proven to use 50% less potable water compared to other homes, while the buildings that have obtained the LEED certification in the United States consume 35% less energy. Whether you want to build a new home, an office building, or any other commercial construction, complying with these sustainability standards can help you protect the planet. Green buildings are good for the economy The fact that green buildings have a lower carbon footprint is a strong enough reason to consider them. However, that’s not their only benefit. Studies have shown that green buildings are also highly economical, not only because they require fewer resources to make but also consume less energy in the long run. In fact, the average green building saves energy by 50%, helping owners and occupants spend less money on gas and energy bills. On a global scale, green buildings have a huge financial potential. According to the European Commission, sustainable building standards could save up to €410 billion on energy spending. Additionally, each country’s economy can benefit. For instance, Canada’s green building industry alone generated $23.45 billion and created 300,000 jobs in 2014. As for developers, they can benefit too. According to a 2016 study, new green buildings or renovated old ones get a 7% increase in asset value. In other words, everyone benefits. When green buildings started being popular, many feared that they were just a fad and that the costs weren't worth it. Now, it’s clearer than ever that sustainability is not just a trend and that green buildings can pay for themselves in the long run. Green buildings are better for society If environmental and financial benefits weren’t convincing enough, studies have also shown that green buildings also help society as a whole. First of all, green buildings are healthier because they are made with non-toxic materials. As a result, indoor air quality isn’t affected and this reduces the incidence of respiratory conditions such as asthma and allergies. Furthermore, living and working in green buildings with good ventilation have better sleep quality and show better cognitive performance. The latter is particularly relevant for the green office building trend, which more and more corporations are interested in. When they work in a green building with optimal comfort levels, workers are more productive and, since they’re exposed to fewer health risks, take fewer sick days. Green buildings are also better for children’s development, which is why schools all over the world are rushing to renovate old buildings or at least expose kids to more daylight and environmental practices. Last, but not least, there’s also the fact that people are now aware of the importance of sustainability and want to be part of the change. Working in a green office or renting an apartment in a green complex creates a sense of pride and people are happy to contribute to the solution by choosing green buildings over the ones that merely meet the minimum requirements.
  22. A house is not just a building - it's a system with inputs and outputs. Maintaining a home takes work, and can generate significant environmental pollution. Environmentally conscious homeowners also face a mismatch between the technology available at the time of their house's construction and what's available now. Fortunately there are many home upgrades that can reduce your house's environmental impact. Water Pollution Water is one of your home's most important inputs and outputs. Whether your water comes from a well or a municipal water supply, you may be concerned with biological hazards, toxins, and excessive hardness in your water. Plus, there's a risk of these pollutants flowing through and affecting not just you but also your downstream environment. In both cases, installing home water treatment systems is a home upgrade that can protect your health, extend the life of your water-using appliances, and reduce the burden on septic systems or municipal water treatment systems. Another benefit is improved taste - staying hydrated with your own tasty tap water is more environmentally friendly than drinking bottled water. If your toilet, washing machine, or dishwasher is nearing the end of its life, choose a more water-efficient replacement. Consider installing low-flow nozzles on sinks and showers. Air Pollution Home heating and indoor air quality are issues whose importance to homeowners has risen in tandem with fuel prices and worries about climate change. There are two major home upgrades that can reduce your home's contribution to air pollution: first, insulating the walls, attic, and foundation of your house, and second, upgrading your heating appliance. Replacing combustion appliances (furnaces, boilers, wood stoves, kerosene heaters, etc.) with electrical heating appliances is ideal; replacing them with more efficient combustion appliances is a close second. But if you pursue these upgrades without first ensuring that your house is properly insulated and air-sealed, you may be throwing your money away. Ground Pollution If you have a yard or a community garden plot, you can use that land as part of your home's waste disposal systems. Upgrade your home by starting a compost pile - diverting your food waste will reduce the strain on our landfills, and by keeping grass clippings and other yard waste out of storm drains, you will also help protect groundwater quality. There are many options for homeowners looking to reduce their environmental impact. To find more information, consult home improvement professionals, national standards organizations, and government resources.
  23. When you are trying to embrace a waste-free lifestyle, you can get overwhelmed by all the information and choices. Luckily, there are some simple tools that can make the transition easier. Reusable Dishes If you are like most people, you probably go through quite a few disposable containers, utensils, and even straws. Avoid that by finding a functional set of reusable plates and utensils that you can carry with you. Look for dishes that are made from sustainably sourced materials like bamboo. Don't stop at your plates, either. Start packing glass containers to bring leftovers home when you eat out. A Composter A large part of what is thrown out can actually be composted safely at home if you know how to get started. Pick a composting system that fits your lifestyle, taking care to find out if there are any restrictions on outdoor compost bins or piles where you live. You can build a nice sized kitchen composter that can even accommodate bones and dairy from a simple plastic bucket and spigot. It will work to start decomposition while giving you copious amounts of free compost tea. Just find a plastic bucket supplier and you are in business. Dish Towels Start paying attention to how many paper towels you toss every day and you will quickly see why reusable dish towels can help decrease your household's trash. There are several ways to go, depending on your personal preferences. Crochet or knitted dishcloths are attractive and durable. They are great for scrubbing dishes, but, if you are going to be cleaning up wet spills or cleaning windows, you'll probably want terry or flannel dishcloths instead. Bulk Soaps This may seem like a silly thing, but just take a moment to think about how much waste is in every single bottle of body wash or cleanser that you use, and you'll see why it is actually important. You can find unwrapped bars of soap at many health and natural food stores and farmer's markets. If you are feeling crafty, try your hand at a DIY soap recipe. There are plenty of choices to meet the condition of your skin and hair, and most use commonly available ingredients you might already have on hand. Maximize Your Impact When shopping for any products, look for durable items that will last in minimal packaging to really cut back on what is tossed out. Also, look to repurpose older items before you throw them away.
  24. The new year is finally here, making it the perfect time for a new resolution. For small business owners, a great resolution is to reduce unnecessary waste. Not only is eliminating excess waste beneficial for cutting costs, it also minimizes the impact on the environment. Since the average person creates four pounds of trash daily, imagine the amount of trash that accumulates from an entire staff? Practicing sustainability helps the environment and saves businesses money. Double-Sided Printing Believe it or not, there are businesses that still use printed sheets. Between constantly paying for paper and replacing ink cartridges, making copies can become extremely expensive. By printing on both sides, there are fewer sheets and materials that need to be purchased and recycled. Donate Excess Goods After realizing there are excess items that can be considered waste, it’s better to donate them rather than throw them away. For instance, if new inventory comes in or a product is discontinued, finding someone who can use those materials is a better way to repurpose them and cut garbage costs. Frequently Train Employees Understanding sustainability is only half the battle. It is important to inform employees of any changes that can make eliminating waste easier. It is important to inform employees on both how and why these precautions are being taken. For instance, if there is a new recycling policy, inform them on why it is beneficial for the business. It is also necessary to have regular meetings to share the triumphs and failures so the team can exchange feedback on how to improve on setbacks. Everyone staying on the same page is a key component of success. Digital Tags For retail businesses, paper tags can become expensive. Instead, using a digital price tag can save money on both paper tags and employees having to tag the items. Research shows that the initial investment in these digital tag machines pay themselves off within two and a half years, which eventually allows for the profits to be spent elsewhere. Digital price tag machines also can be instantly updated with a click of a button, which can display the original and sale price simultaneously. The new year creates new opportunities for small businesses to make a profit. The best way to do so is recycling old products, communicating sustainability tips to employees, and cutting labor costs by using digital tags.
  25. Going paperless must have been the dream of many practitioners, considering the fact that mountains of paperwork can be generated on a daily basis in medical practices. Not to mention, there are immense costs associated with this. Large scale paper use translates to a good amount of money spent. In addition, storing files, intake forms, referrals, test requisitions, bills and notes calls for additional storage space, which means not just more money, but time and effort are also required for managing all this. On the contrary, when medical practices switch to paperless offices, they reap the benefits of creating less carbon footprint and having low costs and fewer clusters of files to organize. How to Get Started Many medical offices still rely on pen and paper, amassing huge piles of hard copy data with no end in sight. This is due to multiple reasons: doctors are reluctant to transform their enormous amount of data, they don’t have the time to do it and they simply do not understand how digitalization can facilitate them significantly. The transition from a traditional data generation mode to a paperless digitized mode doesn’t have to occur all at once but initiated through small changes at a time. The gradual conversion of paper work can start by feeding data electronically for some forms like registration forms. As a practice begins to reduce reliance on paper, medical record storage space is less needed. Experiencing the benefits of switching to an electronic format one step at a time motivates doctors to continue with this transformation. To make things easy, a good place to start is patient intake forms. Allow patients to use Kiosks or tablets to fill in basic information and schedule appointments. While scanners can help convert existing data that includes medical history of patients, diagnosis, personal details etc into electronic files. How Much Time It Takes Once physicians become familiar working with a new technology or method of data accumulation, they comfortably spend time with their vendors to scan important data and purge information which is no longer needed. Physicians also have to train their staff to carry out the processes of reviewing new electronic records for accuracy. This whole process of transforming their office can take up to 6 months or more. Physicians can dedicate one hour a day to this process to smoothly complete their upgrade to digital technology. In fact, there are many ways to go about this. Select the Type of Upgrade You Want Depending on the type of upgrade physicians choose to undergo, they can save themselves more time and energy. Some methods can be more efficient and less challenging to adopt. Outsourcing medical billing, for example, is a method that uses strategies specifically designed with medical practices in mind. It covers the whole aspect of billing by preparing claims, managing communication with insurance carriers, handling report submissions and pursuing settlements. This way practices are spared frustrating and time consuming tasks, ultimately saving time and energy. Streamlining the office workflow into a digitized format not only makes the whole process a lot easier but it also eliminates waste and contributes to reducing the greenhouse effect. Medical practices can now operate with a green approach, serving humans and the environment altogether.