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MargaretSw posted a blog entry in Sustainable Lifestyle in The Land Down UnderIn the last couple of decades, people became more conscious of the different ways we affect the environment. Our interested in ecology opened up topics like what damages we've done up until now, can we reverse them and can we prevent them from happening in the future. With global warming, polluted waters and deforestation more people want to take part in protecting our planet, bringing the conversation to our homes. Now we do our research and make conscious purchases. Let's talk about cleaning for example. Some of the products we used to think are harmless, are now proven to be dangerous. They go down the sewer or into the ground on their way to disturb the natural eco-system. Some companies gained a bad reputation for using not-so-eco-friendly chemicals in their cleaning solutions. Behind the beautiful packages and expensive commercials stands something very ugly. The truth. "Kill all the germs!", "More powerful than ever!". What about when this solution goes into the sea? Nothing is lost, the poison just changes locations. Be sure, those chemicals are as bad for the fish, plants and you, as they are for the germs. Simply following the cycle of water, we can see how easily the dangerous chemicals find their way back into our homes. No wonder people have second thoughts about over-the-counter cleaning products. More people opt-in for professional cleaning services because they offer safe cleaning solutions. But beware! A lot of companies saw this demand as a possibility to break through the market, so they started labelling their products as "eco" and "organic". Some of them really are but most are just as bad as the previous ones. Their lie is hidden on the back of the labels. People often get discouraged, as they feel like an insignificant speck in the cosmos. But we should all remember that big changes happen with one step (person and household) at a time. We shouldn't wait for others to change. We should take care of ourselves first and set a good example for everybody else. The number of bad things we should watch out for seems to be growing. From where do you begin? The first step is conscious purchases. Be aware that mass production is in fact "mass" because consumers buy the stuff. Think about it this way – with every choice you make, for every product you buy, you claim what world you want to live in. If you buy products with heavy, harmful chemicals or made by industries that exploit their workers, it's like giving them thumbs up for it. You invest in it, you give it green light. Having this in mind, you can now start applying it in your everyday life – from grocery shopping to what kind of paint you use for your house. The second step is to swap disposable items with reusable ones. Why do you have to spend who-knows-how-much dollars in your lifetime on something that you use only once? Like wet wipes for example. They don't disappear into thin air or dissolve in water as lots of people seem to think. "But it's only one wipe," said a million people while flushing it down the toilet. They build up, causing problems for plumbers, as well as for nature. Simply washing with water and soap should do the trick. And they should be replaced with reusable cloths in our households. We can at least try to cut down the usage. Getting back to the chemicals in the domestic cleaning products. Some of them (actually a great deal of them) are labelled as dangerous to the environment picturing a real wasteland – with a dead fish and a dead tree. This is pretty straightforward. But other companies slip under the radar. Thanks to laws and policies, the businesses are not obligated to list all of the ingredients of the product if there is very little of the toxins in it. Okay, so they're harmless then? Well, no. Combining cleaning solutions can be dangerous and the toxic chemicals build up. Even those that are labelled as “toxic-free” and “green” can be misleading. Watch out for phonies, who use “eco” or words like this only to decorate their label. They should be certified, not just state it freely. People can start feeling discouraged as they seemingly cannot be sure about the trustworthiness of anything. But do we really need to use chemical-based products that much? There are ways to clean without any cleaning solutions. Like using a squeegee and purified water – for windows. Steam treatment technique – for carpets. Pressure cleaning – for outside walls. The later is effective even if the surface has graffiti on it. Those are maybe the best ways to do domestic (and corporate for that matter) cleaning. The equipment for these methods is professional and quite expensive so it's usually used by cleaning experts. If you are looking for service here's a list of what you should be looking for: Environmental Policy Energy Saving processes Responsible products Low energy usage equipment Recycling policy Even if we don't like it, we do have an effect on the world. Why don't we turn that into something positive and actually be the change in our choices? We try our hardest not only to repair the damages done by previous generations but to prevent any of them repeating in the future. And we can do it. Minimising the negative effect on nature has become more important than ever and every household counts. Are you in?
greenenergy posted a blog entry in Green EnergyIf you have noticed that your energy costs are on the rise, there are some things that you can do to improve your energy usage and put some extra money in your pocket. Here are a few ideas that may help you avoid a hike in your energy bill. Consider Switching to a New Provider If you have been with the same energy provider for several years, you may want to look into the new businesses in your area that offer electricity services. Over the past few years, there has been a major gap between the standard variable tariffs that most people in the area pay for their energy and the cheaper fixed-price deals. Those who have been with the same provider for a while may want to consider going with a different company that has recently started offering their services in the UK, such as Selectra UK. Make Your Payments Using the Right Method If you have been paying for your monthly energy charges by cash or cheque, you could be paying out excessive fees that are unnecessary. It is possible for you to save even more on your energy costs if you choose to prepay or use the direct debit option that will automatically debit your bank account when your bill is due. The best way for you to manage your payment methods is to create an account online and manage things from there. This will allow you to keep up with all your different payment methods and find out which require an additional fee. Obtain More Control Over Your Heating For homeowners in the UK, the best way to save on your energy costs is to look at any issues with your heating. Most of the energy used in homes in the UK is due to heating. Many people consider their heating bills to be the same as fuel costs but what they don’t know is that what they are paying out for the most is heat loss. Simple Fixes Around the Home That Will Decrease Your Energy Costs If you believe that your energy bill is higher than it should be, you should look at the reasons for heating loss in your home and fix any issues that you find. You may need to add more insulation to your home or check the windows to see if there are any cracks in the framework. Once this is taken care of, you can also turn down your thermostat to a comfortable level and leave it there. You can also time your heating sensibly by turning off your heat while everyone is gone for the day or lowering it at night when you can use more blankets to stay warm. You may even want to use radiator valves to zone the heat in each room so that bedrooms and bathrooms receive less than family rooms. You don’t have to live in a cold home to see a major difference in your heating bill. Just make some routine changes throughout your home and with your thermostat to ensure that you lose less heat and place more money inside your wallet.