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Found 28 results

  1. Well water is not processed in the same way as a municipal water supply. Since there is no water treatment plant, you will have to take action to protect your well water. These four tips can help you to keep your well water supply clean and healthy. Avoiding Pesticides and Herbicides Although you will not be able to control what your neighbors do on their property, it is a good idea to avoid using pesticides and herbicides on yours. These chemicals can leach into the groundwater and contaminate your well water supply. Even a low quantity of these chemicals could lead to serious health consequences. If you must use an herbicide or pesticide, look for one that has been extensively tested and shown to be non-toxic. Well Maintenance and Repairs Even if the groundwater itself is clean, a malfunctioning well could introduce contaminants. Well pumps require some lubricants in order to pump in sub-freezing temperatures. Improper placement of the lubricant could cause some to contaminate the water. Bacterial, parasitic or viral growth could also occur in the water because of a pump malfunction. Be sure to schedule regular well pump maintenance and repairs. Testing Your Well Water Testing your well water is critical for your family's health and safety. The testing process should be done once every one to two years. Keep copies of the results so that you can track any changes over the course of time. Each state has different hazards that may be present in the water. Companies like the Water Systems Council offer guidance on a state by state basis so that you can determine which types of tests are needed for your location. Septic Maintenance Most people with well water also have a septic tank for the processing of waste water. Be sure that your septic tank is located away from the well, preferable downstream from it. Regular septic system maintenance is key to ensuring that none of the raw sewage is able to escape from the pipes or tanks and reach the well. Be sure to schedule a septic tank pumping service about every three years. A clean and green supply of well water is essential to your health. Keeping contaminants off of your property and scheduling regular maintenance will help to keep the well's pump and your septic system working properly. Regularly testing your water will provide you with the information you need and the peace of mind that comes from knowing your water is safe.
  2. If you own a home supplied with well water, you are in a surprisingly large company. According to the EPA, approximately 15% of Americans get their water from a private source. But with it comes responsibility. You don’t have a city service regulating your water. Taking short cuts or not knowing what you are doing could lead to bad-tasting water, or even severe illness. You can take several steps to help make sure you and your family keep drinking clean refreshing water. Research Call a local water expert or check the EPA website or a company like Water Systems Council to find out about common water contamination in your neighborhood. Wells can be a source of a variety of contaminants, some are nature-borne, and others are attributed to humans. One of the most common infiltrators is bacteria. Most of these microscopic organisms are harmless to humans, but some, such as E coli could cause serious illness. You will also want to test for water hardness, concentration of minerals, and other contaminants such as pesticides and nitrites, which in high doses, can be dangerous when consumed by infants. Know State Regulations State regulations on private wells vary. Check with your local water expert or local health department for your state’s policies or guidelines on water testing. In some states, you may need to obtain a permit for your private well. Other states require a home seller to pay for a water test and show the results to potential buyers. Your state may also require an annual testing of your well water. IF that is the case, make sure you get a complete explanation on what the results mean. Keep Test Results Keep all of your test records and any other problems or inconsistencies in your water. Check for bad taste, odd color, visible contaminants or foul smell. After a while, you will probably find patterns in your well water, making them easier to eliminate. And showing personal and professional records to a potential buyer will give you some added leverage in the negotiation. Owning your own well can be wonderfully satisfying to a home owner. If properly cleaned, well water tastes better and because you don’t have a monthly water bill, is economical. But you must follow cleaning and state guidelines. Doing so will greatly increase your odds of maintaining a well that will meet all the needs of you and your family.
  3. Making your home eco-friendly doesn't need to be an expensive or time-consuming chore. In fact, most families only need to make a few small changes around their house in order to cut down on their carbon footprint. Here is a look at five simple steps that you can take today to lower energy bills and potentially remove some toxins within your own home. Switch to Plant-Based Cleaners There is a long list of unhealthy chemicals sitting under the kitchen sink in most homes. Some of these common cleaners are effective when it comes to removing grime, but they are often quite toxic and can be replaced with much safer products. Next time any of your cleaners are running low, consider switching over to alternatives such as vinegar-based cleaners. Create a Compost Station Within many homes, food scraps make up nearly 50 percent of all waste. Instead of letting this go to the landfill, creating a simple compost station is a great way to put leftover scraps to work. A compost station can turn practically any organic material into nutrient-rich compost for a garden or to improve the health of your lawn during the spring. Air Seal Your Home Whenever a home is not sealed properly, homeowners are going to be looking at higher energy bills and lower air quality. A simple way to start air sealing a home is to use gaskets and seals from companies like Phoenix Specialty for ducts and vents. Other areas that may need to be sealed include gaps around doors and old pipes leading into or out of the home. Give Up Bottled Water There are few items that have become as problematic for our environment as plastic water bottles. These products are especially difficult to recycle and some even contaminate water with chemicals such as BPAs. Buying a dozen BPA-free bottles, filling them with water, and putting them in the fridge will ensure that your family has constant access to refreshing water without the need for creating more waste. Stop Dumping and Donate Almost anything that is used in a home can either be recycled or donated, and taking a little extra time to separate your trash could make quite a difference at a local dump. Some items throughout the home that are easy to donate include clothing, electronics, toys, and old kitchenware. Homes now consume around 40 percent of all energy within the United States, and families that take the time to make their home more eco-friendly can help make a difference while saving some extra money.
  4. Your actions will always have a huge impact on the local environment and the world as a whole. That is why it is so important for everyone to continue looking for ways they can become as eco-friendly as possible. Here is a closer look at some of the common ways people are wasteful and what can be done to change those habits. Eating Too Much Meat According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the livestock industry is responsible for 51 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. Even if you are not ready to give up meat completely, you should try to buy local chicken and pork. These animals produce less waste than cows, and they are also easier to transport. Trashing Recyclables Very few people realize just how much of their trash can actually be recycled. Every item that you send to the landfill could sit there for hundreds of years, and that is why you should familiarize yourself with all of the products and materials that can be recycled. Many waste disposal companies, such as Ware Disposal, now offer residential recycling services for products such as laptops, batteries, old smartphones, coffee grounds, egg shells, and rotten produce. Leaving Electronics Plugged In Another common mistake that you might be making is leaving your electronics plugged in even when you are not using them. Just because these devices appear to be turned off does not mean they aren't drawing a current. Attaching all of your electronics to power strips in each room and then turning the strips off whenever you leave the house or go to bed is a great way to get rid of these phantom loads. Leaving the Water On The average family wastes thousands of gallons of clean water every year in their showers, baths, sinks, dishwashers, and washing machines. In addition to installing low-flow fixtures, you should also want to invest in high-efficiency appliances. To conserve even more water, homeowners can inspect their plumbing systems once or twice a year to find any leaks. Not only will this allow you cut back on your water consumption, but you might even lower your utility bills by quite a bit. You will never able to completely eradicate your carbon footprint, but that doesn't mean your efforts are being wasted. Every small change you make for the better will have a lasting impact on the world for generations to come.
  5. There are numerous renewable solutions for water conservation that are easily implemented by businesses and in residential areas. Five renewable solutions for water conservation include: · Rainwater Harvesting · Dedicated residential water containers · Energy efficient water-saving sprinkler systems · Water conservation monitoring systems · Green landscaping initiatives Rainwater Harvesting Harvesting rainwater is not a new idea. It has been around for centuries in rural and urban areas where water supplies tended to be less abundant. The Mayans built their entire agricultural economy on this concept. Rainwater harvesting, as the name implies, is simply rain water collected and reused for farm crops and landscape purposes. Today's rainwater harvesting systems are adapted for commercial, industrial and residential use. Many new structures include a rainwater harvesting system to reduce the cost of municipal water supplied to homes and buildings. Water is collected into rainwater harvesting systems from moisture in humid indoor air and roof and gutters. This water is transferred through a filtration system to an underground storage tank equipped with a pump and an outlet for reuse of collected water. New York City has over 140 of these rainwater harvesting systems. Dedicated Residential Water Containers In many residential areas, homeowners purchase water containers to collect rainwater. This is similar to large municipal water tanks seen in most every town. The difference is the size. Dedicated residential water containers are generally conical or horizontal tank shapes. They hold from 500 to 2400 gallons of collected water and are made from polypropylene or plastic. Some are attached to exterior residential structures or are built indoors in a basement, depending on the sources from which water is collected. Energy Efficient Water-saving Sprinkler Systems An energy efficient sprinkler system is cost-effective and the biggest benefit is a renewable solution to conserve water. Recent developments in technology have improved the efficiency of sprinkler systems in both energy consumption and water usage. For example, Smart Rain’s Smart Controller can detect weather patterns and turn off sprinklers when precipitation makes watering redundant. The Smart Controller also detects broken sprinkler heads or irrigation lines. This prevents unnecessary waste of water, and can result in 15%-30% savings and possibly tax benefits. For larger water sprinkler needs in farming and large landscaping, drip systems can save 30,000 gallons of water per year or more. Water Conservation Monitoring Systems In many municipalities, water conservation monitoring systems are used to gauge overall water volume conserved through local water saving initiatives. Some of these are "remote" monitoring systems for greater vigilance. Green Landscaping Initiatives With the growth of the professional landscaping industry, green landscaping initiatives include training in water conservation from one landscaping project to the next to ensure cost-effective, timely residential and commercial landscaping.
  6. We all get a craving for junk now and gain. There is something about that extra sweetness or extra saltiness, that grabs the attention of most taste buds. But, we also all agree that these foods are rarely good for us - except briefly on an emotional level. Here are my three favourite alternatives to everyday junk food. Organic Coconut Water vs Soda Most people would agree that soda is probably not the best thirst quencher when it comes to beverages. Not only that, sodas contain an abnormal amount of refined sugar, additives, and flavourings that our bodies do not process very well. A much more beneficial drink to opt for would be organic coconut water. This energising drink which is native to the tropics is loaded with electrolytes, natural sugars, amino acids, lauric acid (immune boosting nutrient also found in breast milk), mineral salts and vitamins. Also, unlike soda, coconut water is very hydrating, contains very little calories – excellent for those watching their weight – and yet is very filling. Organic Dried Fruit vs. Candy Due to the removal or drying of the natural water content, dried fruits such as raisins, cranberries, dates, figs and prunes are great concentrated sources of energy, fibre and iron – a mineral that helps to prevent anaemia. Unlike, traditional candy and confectionary, organic dried fruit is often high in natural sugars, making it a great energy snack that is easy for the body to digest, and a wonderful addition to trail mixes, granola bars and cereals. The best part is that it is a fat-free natural food. Organic Cocoa vs. Commercial Chocolate Organic, raw, dark cocoa (also known as cacao) is a true health-giving super food. Not to be confused with the traditional commercial brands of chocolate products such as bars and hot chocolate; which contain high amounts of refined sugars, saturated fat, artificial additives and chemicals. Inspiral have a good explanation on the differences between Cacao and Conventional Chocolate. In its natural organic state cacao is dubbed as one of the super foods with the highest amounts of antioxidants, which are needed to fight free radicals and oxidative damage to cells. This may even offer protection against some types of cancer and slow down the ageing process. Unfortunately, as tempting as the commercial chocolate bars may be, they don’t offer these same benefits. Lastly, studies have shown that minerals such as potassium, magnesium and copper, which are found in high concentrations in dark chocolate, can help to prevent type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. It’s easy to enjoy too: blend the powder or nibs in a smoothie, make hot chocolate or make raw, delicious non-bake treats. With all these healthful benefits to be had why wouldn’t you indulge in this amazing plant food?
  7. We all know we must have water in order to survive. Many people do not question the safety of the water that comes out of their tap. According to the US Geological Survey, approximately 15% of individuals use private well water for their drinking water source. But is such water safe? We will look at 3 ways to ensure your well water is safe for consumption. Pay Attention to Warning Signs Many well system owners rely upon their wells for drinking water and water for cooking and cleaning without thinking twice about whether or not the water is safe and clean to drink. There are some warning signs that should lead well water owners to consider the possibility that their well system needs to be tested. Some of those warning signs include: Bad taste or unusual smell Stains or residue in clothes or fixtures Water is not clear, it is cloudy Plumbing fixtures corrode faster than expected Family members with severe GI issues Educate Yourself on Maintaining Your Private Well Water System Many well system owners are not aware that water testing should be conducted on a regular basis and especially if any of the warning signs of possible contamination are present. If you are the owner of a private well water system, an easy place to begin to educate yourself about how to maintain a safe well is to use the resources of the Water Systems Council. This nonprofit has an excellent website where well owners can find a local resource to have their well water tested (usually through a division of the state’s department of health and environmental safety. Obtain Annual Testing Many water well owners are not aware that the Environmental Protection Agency recommends annual testing of private wells for what are called ‘indicator organisms’ as well as nitrate. The presence of the indicator organisms often predicts the presence of other dangerous organisms such as Giardia or E coli. The EPA also recommends additional testing be conducted every 5-10 years. The price of individual tests differs from state to state. If you own a private well, you want to do everything you can to ensure that your family has access to safe drinking water that is free from contaminants. Remember: pay attention to warning signs of possible contamination, educate yourself on testing and maintenance that should be conducted to ensure that your well is free from dangerous contaminants, and obtain recommended testing of your well water from a reliable local source.
  8. The winter season poses several problems for Colleyville residential and commercial property owners. Sudden temperature drops can freeze pipes and cause leaks, flooding and expensive remediation. It can also take longer than usual and cost more to get repairs during emergency calls this time of year. To make your plumbing system more efficient and less likely to break down this winter, do the following: Add More Insulation One of the best ways to prevent pipe freezing is by using insulation to maintain warmer temperatures in certain areas that are affected the most by outside temperatures, such as exterior walls, crawl spaces, attics and basements. Additionally, you should wrap cold and hot water pipes. Insulated hot water pipes are not only less likely to freeze. They are also less likely to lose heat, which means you can turn down your hot water heater and save on your electricity bill. Keep in mind that insulation is useless unless you also seal any gaps at windows, doors, vents or other areas along exterior walls with caulk and other sealants. Shut Down Outdoor Water Sources Since outdoor water sources can freeze much easier than indoor ones, it is important that you turn off water to outdoor faucets and attached water systems like garden and irrigation hoses. After the water is completely turned off, drain, remove and store the hoses and then wrap each faucet with an old heavy cotton t-shirt or towel, a heavy duty plastic freezer bag and duct or shipping tape. Keep Drain Pipes Clean Frozen pipes and related problems are not the only thing you need to worry about this winter. One of the biggest problems that plumbers hear about during the holidays is drain clogs. To prevent an emergency plumbing situation when you are trying to enjoy festivities with loved ones, install mesh debris catchers at the top of the drain pipes in each sink to collect hair, food and other debris. These traps are also a perfect year-round solution to prevent large debris clogs. The secret to preventing clogs from soap scum, grease and microorganisms is cleaning the pipes at least once a month with a simple homemade method: Pour one pot of boiling hot water down each drain followed by one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar. Wait five minutes and then follow up with another pot of water. Invest in a Plumbing Inspection Things can go horribly wrong with your system for no other reason than a part breaking down because of age or defect. To help lower the chance of winter plumbing surprises, contact an experienced plumber like those at Piece of Mind Plumbing, a company that offers plumbing services in Colleyville. A plumbing specialist can determine if your system is at risk for leaks and other issues like water heating problems or if it needs a thorough professional cleaning. You rely on plumbing throughout the day for so many things, including hot showers, cold drinking water and waste disposal. These few steps can make certain that your plumbing performs optimally all winter long.
  9. Keeping a home up to date and preserved can be a pricey endeavor for any homeowner. From lawn care and utility costs to regular maintenance and repairs, taking care of a home takes a lot of work and money. Make sure you're not overpaying for unnecessary expenses as you do these tasks. Here are some ideas to save more money on your home energy costs and keep your home running smoothly. Seal Up Any Leaks Leaky windows and doors can let your air conditioning escape in the summer, and let in icy breezes during the winter. Consider replacing any windows that are beyond repair and add a weather seal to those that can be fixed. Put weather stripping around leaky doors to seal out bad weather as well. Insulating your house is the best way to keep your heating and cooling bills lower. Adjust Your Water Heater Temperature Most people need their water heater kept really hot during the winter, but many forget that they don't need those hot temperatures when the weather outside gets warm again. Consider lowering the temperature of your water heater to save significantly on electricity costs. Most likely, you won't even notice the temperature difference. Get a Programmable Thermostat Keeping your home set to one temperature can be wasteful, especially if your house sits empty all day. Get a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature during hours you know you won't be home. When you're gone at work, set the thermostat to drop the temperature a few degrees, and program it to bump the temperature back up shortly before you return home. If this is a project you don't feel comfortable tackling on your own, consider hiring professionals to install these systems for you. Little changes can make a big difference on your utility bills bottom line. Get Energy Efficient Appliances As your appliances break down, replace them with energy efficient models. You can even shop for the most energy fficient models by comparing the annual energy use on the yellow energy guide tags. Modern appliances are required to be more energy efficient, as well as water efficient. Even if the new appliance is slightly more expensive, it will save you on your monthly utility costs. Swap Out Light Bulbs Incandescent light bulbs can use up to ten times as much electricity as newer, low energy bulbs. Multiply that usage by every light bulb in your home, and you'll see how quickly your electricity usage can add up. Talk to an Electricity Match professional to see other ways where your home might be lacking in efficiency. They can even Compare Electricity Rates for you to help you make the best decision for your house. Maintaining a home can cost a lot of money, but you can keep home maintenance costs down by being smart with your utility usage. Follow the tips above to minimize your utility waste and get the most bang for your buck out of your utility bill.
  10. In just 15 years the world could suffer a catastrophic global water crisis, the United Nations (UN) warn in its annual World Water Development Report. The UN report forecasts that global water demand will increase by 55 percent by 2050. If current trends of water usage continues the world could suffer a 40 percent shortfall in water supply as early as by 2030 – which could potentially have catastrophic consequences. Groundwater supplies are quickly diminishing and the report estimates that 20 percent of the world’s aquifers are currently over-exploited. There is an urgent need to manage water more sustainably, the UN report concludes. If we fail to do this, the competition for water will increase and lead to “significant impacts” on both the economy and human well-being. It will also increase the risk of conflicts, the UN report warns. Safe drinking water supplies will continue to dwindle as long as water pollution continues to be ignored and go unpunished by local authorities, and water use remains wasteful and unregulated, as it unfortunately does in many nations, the UN says in its report. In order to mitigate this water crisis, the UN is urging politicians, communities and industries to rethink its water policies and to make a greater effort to conserve water. The 55 percent increase in water demand is mainly due to growing demands from manufacturing, thermal electricity generation and domestic use. But due to increasing population numbers and consumption levels, agriculture will also need to substantially increase its food productions to keep up with demand – and this will in turn increase water usage. “By 2050, agriculture will need to produce 60 percent more food globally, and 100 percent more in developing countries […] global water demand for the manufacturing industry is expected to increase by 400 percent from 2000 to 2050, leading all other sectors, with the bulk of this increase occurring in emerging economies and developing countries,” the UN report said. “Unless the balance between demand and finite supplies is restored, the world will face an increasingly severe global water deficit.” Considering that current demands for water in the agriculture sector is already unsustainable, this will be a difficult task. The agriculture sector must increase its water use efficiency by reducing water losses in the production process, and to “increase crop productivity with respect to water” availability and demand, the report says. The UN report also points to two worrying global trends that are converging: climate change and growing economic development in poor developing countries. This convergence will especially “intensify the water insecurity of poor and marginalized people in low income countries.” “Water resources are a key element in policies to combat poverty, but are sometimes themselves threatened by development,” said UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova. “Water directly influences our future, so we need to change the way we assess, manage and use this resource in the face of ever-rising demand and the over exploitation of our groundwater reserves.”
  11. As time rolls on, it is becoming increasingly apparent how much we impact the world around us. Be it the seemingly small choices we make--like what to watch on a Saturday night--or the bigger choices involving a person's livelihood, each decision has a grander importance that goes beyond ourselves; even if we don't realize it. Negative choices as well as positive ones have far reaching impacts that can last for years to come. That's why it is so crucial for households to do their part in reducing the negative impact they can have on our beautiful environment. Softening Water There are many homes that have already made the switch to softened water. An extremely large number of homes still rely on the water treatment implemented by their water company. This leaves people using hard water that is chalk full of minerals, chemicals, and possibly bacteria that can be harmful. Softened water is meant to lessen said harmful elements coming through people's pipes. However, numerous water softeners use salt. The use of salt can generate waste water filled with salt brine and destructive chemicals that are released into the environment. Using softener systems that are salt-free produces a positive reaction for the ecosystem as well as for a healthier home. Tankless Water Heaters Conserving energy is a popular topic nowadays and for good reason. According to plumbers in Spanish Fork, UT at Professional Plumbing Systems, traditional water heaters use a good amount of energy to keep the tank warm all day long. Tankless water heaters cut the cost of energy usage by only heating the water that's being used at a given moment. It's a simple, dollar friendly way to conserve precious energy. Less Electricity It turns out, kicking it old school is not such a bad thing. Using natural lighting instead of constantly relying on electrical luminescence is a better route when it comes to reducing negative environmental impacts. Instead of flipping a switch and staying super incognito inside four walls, open up those blinds. Let the glorious rays of the sun illuminate the rooms that have forgotten what a natural glow looks like. But, if natural sunlight just doesn't cut it, make sure to purchase or install products that are certified as eco-friendly, like Energy Star or Bosch appliances. Change Roofing This may seem like an expensive route to take, but the end result is a great pay off. Many people don't realize that even the material of a home's roof can impact the environment. Replacing standard asphalt shingles with green roofing materials can save energy throughout the seasons and long term financial resources. One of the most eco-friendly rooftops are those made out of recycled shingles. These shingles are constructed out of waste materials like rubber, wood fiber, and plastic. Since these roofs are long lasting, they lessen landfill waste, the need to consume more raw materials, energy costs, and pollution. These are just a handful of ways a home can lend a helpful hand in the fight to preserve our world's health. The choices are simple, and the outcome will far outweigh the cost of making a change. The impact of our actions are hefty. Neglecting the environment could lead to dire consequences for our families and the families we share this thriving planet with.
  12. Many Americans might have long assumed that as the richest country in the world, at least measured in terms of private wealth, the United States also has the best drinking water. While the Flint water crisis may have disabused many of that notion, it still seems reasonable to assume that most municipalities have good drinking water. However, there are other countries with water that may be superior. Switzerland The tap water in Switzerland is so good that it is considered to be superior to the mineral water sold in the country. This makes sense; after all, Switzerland is a land of mountains, and mountain streams are often associated with pure water. While it can be safe to drink directly from some of these natural water sources in Switzerland, it is the strict regulations around drinking water in the country that have led to its superior quality. Canada A town in British Columbia has won the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting competition multiple times, and water throughout the country is of a high quality. In Toronto, the drinking water is tested every four hours, and the water is high quality throughout the country. In the US, the responsibility of testing water is often up to individual citizens to contact services, like Johnson Water Conditioning, that analyze water to help better it. Of course, your own municipality may have its water treated and tested, but they are probably not as vigilant as Toronto and that’s why many need to seek out such services themselves. New Zealand The tap water in Auckland, New Zealand's capital city, is so safe that it can often be used in place of distilled water. Throughout the country, regulations are high. There is little water pollution throughout the country, and some of the aquifers are so deep in the ground that the resultant water does not need to be treated. Austria Like Switzerland, Austria has high mountains and many pristine bodies of water. The water in Vienna comes directly from areas in the Alps with no industry and a very low population. Throughout Austria, the water is high quality and tastes delicious. Luxembourg Around 66 percent of the tap water in Luxembourg comes from underground aquifers, and this means high-quality water. Luxembourg also has very strict standards around its pumping stations and in the areas where the water travels to those stations underground. Providing fresh water for an entire country is a huge undertaking, and any country might run into a contamination problem under the right circumstances. For example, Auckland had to treat its water after a major earthquake. But starting with a good supply of clean water and having strict regulations in place along with high-quality technology are all important in providing the best water in the world to citizens and visitors.
  13. Many people want a pool on their property. It is a great investment for year-round fun as well as property value. As you consider incorporating one into your landscape, you may be thinking about the environmental issues as well as sustainability associated with it. Is is possible to have a pool that is eco-friendly? With the right knowledge and tips you can make an existing pool better for the environment overall. Solar Pool Heater According to the U.S. Department of Energy, using solar pool heating is a very cost-effective method of using solar energy. This may require a high initial investment, though. Depending on the climate, a solar pool heater will pay for itself in a short period of time. This is accomplished by lower energy costs. In some situations, a pool may require more heating than a solar heater can provide. In this case, a pool owner can choose to combine their solar heater with a convention pool heater which will still make their energy use lower. Eco-Friendly Landscaping Many owners are pleased to discover how they choose to landscape around their pool impacts the environment as well. Having plants nearby can help. Experts recommend the use of plants that are low-maintenance and can survive under drought conditions. It's also important to use plants native to where the pool is located. Trees and shrubs, when used correctly, can act as windbreaks and offer shade. This will decrease the evaporation of the pool's water, as well as its heating requirements. Reduce Chlorine Some pools are designed to use plants and not chemicals to sanitize the water and others are able to decrease or eliminate the use of standard chlorine. There are pool sanitation methods that involve ozone as well as salt water as well. Pool professionals at Bullfrog Spas recommend owners be consistent when it comes to keeping their pool clean. This will decrease the need for any extra needs for chemical sanitation. Ozone & Salt An ozone sterilization system is designed to eliminate bacteria in a pool using electricity. It eliminates swimming pool contaminants by releasing oxygen atoms. These atoms will join with any foreign substance in the pool, such as bacteria and algae, and remove them. Salt can be used to sanitize pools as well. The salt turns into a hypochlorous acid and eliminates any algae or bacteria. Variable Speed Pool Pump Experienced pool professionals tell their clients that pool pumps use even more energy than their pool's heater. It is recommended that pool owners use a variable speed pool pump. They are very popular when constructing new pools or renovating an existing pool. What makes them so efficient is their ability to only use as much energy as is needed to accomplish a certain task. Energy Efficient Lighting A pool owner has many different lighting options. Many of them are able to use much less energy than incandescent lighting. A very popular choice is LED lighting. Pool owners like this lighting because it is stylish as well as efficient. Solar lighting is excellent for illuminating pathways to the pool or around it as well. Automated Pool Systems These systems are designed to only run the water features or a pool's heater when necessary. An automated system will save you money by reducing energy costs. This type of automation also makes it easier to make certain the pool is properly maintained. Hot Tubs & Spas Sanitizers can be used to clean hot tubs and spas. The most popular ones are bromine and chlorine. There is also an effective treatment that is non-chlorine known as spa shock. You can find more information for a hot tub water care guide at professional sites as well. It is possible to maintain a pool, spa, or hot tub with methods that are safe to use and friendly to the environment. Researching what method works best you’re your situation can pay off in reduced energy costs as well as having an eco-friendly pool that doesn’t ruin the environment.
  14. Let's be honest, we spend a lot of time in the bathroom. It's our first stop in the morning and our last stop before bed. It is the room in which we perform all of our self-care routines and maintain our health and cleanliness. But, it is also the room in which we produce the most waste. From excessive water usage to immense paper waste and chemical cleaners, the refuse never seems to end. Luckily, transforming your bathroom into an eco-friendly paradise is easy. Once you decide to make the change, you can create a green and healthy room that will benefit you and the environment. Here are some do-it-yourself home improvement tips and tricks to give your bathroom the green makeover it needs. 1. Use Recycled Toilet Paper Next time you are shopping at the grocery store, make sure you pick up toilet paper made from recycled materials. According to Greenpeace, if every family in America bought just one roll of recycled toilet paper, it could save 400,000 trees. Check out great brands like Green Forest and 365 for toilet paper that is not made from virgin boreal forest trees and does not use toxic chlorine compounds. 2. Install a Low-flow Toilet Did you know that your toilet consumes approximately 27% of the total water used in your home? That’s more than any other appliance! Replacing your old toilet with a newer, low-flow model can save up to 5.5 gallons per flush. But, if buying a new toilet is not in your budget right now, you can still go green by installing a dual-flusher. This gives you a choice of how much water to use per flush based on the type of waste. DIY kits comes pretty inexpensively and can be used to update your current toilet. 3. Install a Low-flow Shower Head In the same vein as tip number 2, installing a low-flow shower head can help save water. Experts say taking a short shower can cut down on water usage, but if you are someone who likes a longer shower, installing a low-flow shower head can cut down your water usage without lowering the water pressure. In addition to the water you will be saving, you will also be saving on your heating bill. This upgrade is inexpensive and simple to install yourself, but contact a company like Puget Sound Plumbing if you have any concerns. 4. Avoid Disposable Clean-Up Products It can be very tempting, but try to steer clear from disposable cleaning products. Toilet paper should be the only disposable product in your eco-friendly bathroom. Instead of paper towels and disposable wet wipes, use washable towels and rags to clean off surfaces. In fact, nowadays more and more cleaners are being sold in refillable containers. Instead of throwing out a perfectly usable spray bottle and buying a new one, you can refill and reuse the original. 5. Use Green or Homemade Cleaners Why is it that the room we use to clean ourselves is often the dirtiest and most filled with chemicals? By purchasing green and organic products, not only are you creating a smaller environmental footprint, but you are also ensuring your body's health and safety. Conventional cleaning products are often full of chemicals and toxic preservatives which are hazardous to you and the planet. Brands like Mrs. Meyers, Method, and Seventh Generation all make great eco-friendly cleaning products. You could also take it one step further and create your own homemade, eco-friendly cleaning products. Simple ingredients from your kitchen such as baking soda, vinegar, club soda, and lemon juice can go a long way. Using these tips, the process of making your bathroom greener is cost-effective and simple. Whether it be installing low-flow appliances or purchasing natural cleaning products, there are many ways to do your part and go green. Making the switch to an eco-friendly bathroom will help make your home and the Earth a healthier, safer, and greener place to live.
  15. On average, American families use about 320 gallons of water daily; moreover, about 30 percent of that amount goes to outdoor purposes during summer months such as filling swimming pools or wading pools, watering the yard, washing the car and taking more showers. As the southwest and other regions approach another year of drought or near drought conditions, it falls on Las Vegas homeowners and business owners to think of ways to conserve water. Water is not an unlimited resource on planet earth; moreover, more water is consumed during the summer months than other times during the year. That said, according to some industry experts, such as Rakeman Plumbing, it's recommended that the following seven ways be used to help conserve water during the hot summer season. 1- Setting Your Appliances Right If you don't already have any in your household, then perhaps it's time to be thinking of gradually getting rid of your old appliances and replacing them with Energy Star efficient clothes washer and dishwasher appliances. Taking it even further, getting a low-flush, energy-efficient toilet alone shaves up to 40 to 50 percent off your water use. 2- Other Appliance Hacks Using aerators or water flow-reducer attachments on your tap, faucets and shower-heads are other practical means to save on water as well. Also, running your clothes and dishwasher on a full load and on the shortest possible cycle goes a long way in conserving water as well. 3- Running Water Never run water continuously when hand-washing dishes, brushing your teeth or even taking a shower. When washing dishes, partially fill a container or the sink with water and then use a spray attachment to rinse off the residue. Brushing your teeth with the water shut off and using short bursts of water to rinse saves up to 60 percent of normal water use. That being said, if you have a house full of small children, then try putting them in all at the same time in the shower or the tub. 4- Using shut-off timers When possible, and not turning on the sprinklers while you're at work, will further add to significant energy savings. Saving water is not rocket science, but it does take discipline. However, by using the above mentioned top seven ways to conserve water, we'll all be off to a more water-sufficient summer. Choose wisely.
  16. If you're in need of a new water heater for your residence, you may want to consider taking the tankless path. Tankless water heaters are becoming more and more common in homes these days due to their numerous energy-efficient advantages. These types of water heaters can be terrific for households that are serious about using less money. Tankless Water Heaters Last Long Tankless water heaters generally have longer lives than their standard water heater counterparts. They also don't cost anywhere near as much money to run. The majority of tankless water heaters out there can stay in good condition for more than two decades. If you want to enjoy reduced energy and running costs for 20 plus years, a tankless water heater in your home can indeed be a wise and energy-efficient option to consider. If you want to get a tankless water heater, a company like Knights Plumbing & Drain can help you with the installation process. The Frustration of Standby Heat Loss Storage water heaters are often linked to drops in standby heat. The H20 in storage water heaters is being heated nonstop. That can lead to wastes of energy at all times, which is referred to as standby heat loss. If you want to avoid the stress of wastes of energy, getting a tankless water heater can be highly beneficial for you. Tankless water heaters are the sole water heaters that don't trigger standby water losses. If you want reduced monthly utility bills and a mind that's totally free of worries about standby water losses, then a tankless water heater can indeed be a good thing for your property. Power Needs Tankless water heaters are convenient because they solely require sufficient power to heat the exact amount of H20 you need for the specified time. If you don't like the idea of being wasteful and heating water that you simply don't need for the time-being, a tankless water heater can be a source of immense peace of mind for you. These kinds of water heaters, simply put, only heat what they immediately need. There's no simpler way to put it. There are truly many exciting energy-efficient perks that are part of owning a tankless water heater. There are also, however, a number of advantages that don't involve energy efficiency. These go beyond money savings, too. Tankless water heaters can be great for compact residences such as apartments. They don't require anywhere near as much space as other types of water heaters. They also are great because they can always provide you with nice hot water, no matter what.
  17. You hear about stories of people who become sick after drinking from the tap in their house, and there are always warnings about the pollutants, bacteria, minerals, and other substances in your water. So how do you know if you water is ok to drink? It's not as hard as you think. Get a Report Checking in with your water company for a consumer confidence report is the first step to knowing if your water is safe. Your water company is required by law to provide you with this report. This report will show any pollutants that have come into contact with your water supply over the past year. Knights Plumbing & Drain also recommend looking at your pipes to make sure they aren’t old or rusting which might give off a strange taste. Government Resources The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, has 18 states participating in their Drinking Water Watch program. This program links to a database of information regarding water quality violation, hazards, and any actions taken by the state to clean up these issues. If you live in a state that participates in this program(Indiana, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and others), all you have to do is enter the name of your county or your public water system number, and you will receive a report of the quality test results. If you received a data report, you can then look up any or all the contaminants listed within the EPA's chemical database. Please, be aware that the data does differ depending on the state of which it was pulled. When you're water supply comes from a private well, you can still look up your well in a state guide, but it becomes a little more cumbersome. If you can't find what you are looking for in the state guide, then you can contact the state government directly to resolve your issues. Often times the state government has more up-to-date information. Test Yourself In many cases, there is no way to be absolutely sure your water is safe to drink besides testing it yourself. To do this, call the Safe Drinking Water Hotline to connect you with your local water testing agency. The Water Quality Association can also help you connect with a testing agency. Once connected simply schedule a time they can come to help test your home’s water sources. Using these steps will help you determine if your drinking water is safe to consume, and will help you keep up to date with issues that have happened recently with your water supply.
  18. Engineered or activated water is increasingly taking place in the cleaning industry. It has three major types, which are used for cleaning -- ozone, hypochlorous acid and water electrolysis. Despite the fact that none of these have been recognized as a disinfectant, they are good sanitizers, perfect for cleaning glass and other surfaces. The main thing here is that these activated water solutions help minimize the use of harmful chemicals, thus protecting yours and your children’s health. Many cleaning businesses have adopted the usage of natural, bio detergents, but this technology is on a next level. The fact that cleaning industries can take advantage of the engineered water technology is not a recent finding. The large machines, needed to put into operation this innovative technology, have been around for many years, but customers weren’t happy with their size and price. Recently, technologies have evolved and now even the small, hand-held devices can activate water for cleaning purposes. The rising public awareness of sustainability and global warming issues determines this technology as a great step towards providing eco cleaning services at a very decent price. Еngineered water is obtained through electrolysis, which causes nearly undetectable pH and other changes in its chemical composition. Еlectrolysis is a process which uses electricity to break down water molecules into positively and negatively charged water ions. When you apply water in electrolyzed form to a certain area, the charged ions attach to dirt particles and lift them off the surface. More information about the process you may find in this interesting article. Activated water products and devices are mostly used in educational establishments, retail and healthcare facilities, commercial buildings and owner-occupied properties. Many building service contractors also embraced the idea. What drives the increase in activated water usage is that this technology provides a great value for little money. The usual cleaning chemicals require high costs for production, transportation and storage. In our case, these costs do not exist for the reason that engineered water can be produced on site.
  19. Most of us never think about where our water comes from and often take for granted that when we turn on a faucet, water comes out. We take a showers and never think about how much water we use. Watering plants and lawns on a summer day is typical of many suburban homeowners. How quickly are we using up our water supply? Read on and you might be surprised at what you learn. Our Major Supply Typically, our supply for water comes from rivers, lakes, and streams. Over time, however, that water supply begins to become diminished and must be replaced. This is where groundwater comes in. This is water beneath the Earth's surface. Groundwater supplies drinking water for more than half of the US population, and almost 100 percent for rural populations. It helps crops grow, is used in various industries, and recharges our freshwater. In other words, groundwater is critical for survival. Water Scarcity Water scarcity is the lack of available water resources to meet the usage. Over time, our population has grown tremendously, and continues to grow every day. In fact, the population is growing and using water much faster than it can be replaced. Water scarcity affects the entire world. Over a billion people at this time lack access to clean drinking water. Other factors water scarcity can affect includes climate changes, pollution, and waste. Waste is often seen in industry. Used for crops and factories, water is often wasted before it can be used. T. Luckey Sons, Inc. who do dam repair in Ohio are often called to projects where leaks and excavations wasted more water than they saved. The Effects Water scarcity is affecting all of us and many of us don't even realize it. Man-made products can often get into groundwater and pollute it. Examples might be pesticides, road salt, and oil. Drinking this water can cause diseases and our wildlife is harmed continuously through this. If we have lower water levels, wells will no longer be able to reach some groundwater and more energy must be used to pump the water. This causes costs to rise significantly. Lakes and rivers are diminishing rapidly, and the supply to replace is simply not coming in fast enough. Water is constantly wasted by industries and homeowners. For example, many sprinkler systems are set on an automatic timer. Our children and grandchildren are facing limited water supply in the future. Wildlife are dying out due to contamination and low supply. Where will our new water source come from? We need to pay attention and help take care of the environment. This is our future home for our families. Disease, famine, and drought should not be their future.
  20. 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.
  21. If there's one thing without which modern society would seize to exist, it's oil. (Well, living without Internet will also positively suck, but that's a whole different story right here.) Realistically speaking, for the time being, despite the billions of dollars that are being put into the development of green technologies, oil remains essential to the proper functioning of our lives. Oil supplies our factories and makes our means of transportation move, it helps trade, makes manufacturing and transportation of goods, including food and medicines, possible. All in all, we need oil to survive. But the huge demand for oil we've experienced since the Second Industrial Revolution comes at a great cost for the planet and respectively, for the entire human kind. Each year we drill about 14 trillion liters of oil. That alone has tremendous environmental consequences which are next to impossible to be countered because, hey, "Drill, baby, drill!". But there's another negative side of oil consumption, and it's the fact that during transportation a significant quantity of oil is spilled, thereby destroying entire ecosystems, polluting the habitat of all kinds of plant and animal species. And because oil is mostly transported across oceans, this is where most spills occur. The results are both immediate and long-term, so looking for ways to eliminate the spill and counter its effect is crucial for the preservation of Earth's oceans. But cleaning something so vast as an ocean is not an easy task. Luckily, technology has evolved and continues to rapidly do so to such an extent that we might already have a working solution to the issue – drones. We've seen drones being deployed in various places, efficiently handling all kinds of situations. Recently a startup in the Netherlands even introduced a project which aims to develop a fully functional house cleaning drone. So if the technology could be utilized for the needs of home cleaning, it's only natural for it to be used in the quest of preserving our oceans. Airborne Emergency Response to Oil SpillsHere's where AEROS (Airborne Emergency Response to Oil Spills) comes into play. Essentially, AEROS is an unmanned, robotic system which locates oils spills and deploys robots and inflatable booms at spill sites by an airplane. Once in the water, the booms inflate themselves and surround the spill. Then the unmanned robots start purging the water. The water-cleansing robots suck the contaminated water in and spin it inside. The swirl that forms leaves the oil at the center and then collects it in a special bladder, while it pushes the pure water outside. Each robot has an incredible capacity, filtrating over 7000 litres per minute. And the oil that is recovered, up to 90% of the spill, is later collected from the bladders and can be later sold as an additional stream of revenue. Just in comparison, the methods that is being used by far could only filtrate and recover about 5% of the oil. Protei ProjectThe Protei Project is another promising startup which aims to counter oil spills. The people behind this large-scale international project have developed a shape-shifting sailing robots which will patrol the oceans, clean up oil spills and collect plastic waste. The autonomous robots will essentially sail upwind, using the power of the wind, and pull a long boom-tail which will absorbs oil. What makes the Protei boat prototypes so innovative is their hulls which are flexible and are made to move left and right like a fish. That movement allows the drone boat to utilize the power of the wind to the fullest and never lose power, easily pulling the heavy boom tail. Large oil spills like the Deep Water Horizon in the Mexican Gulf don't happen too often, but when they do, the effects to the environment are catastrophic. And as I already mentioned, at that point in time it's impossible for oil companies to cease oil transportation, however, they can use technology to contain the spills and counter the negative impact of the spills. For now the technology is not market-ready, but with some backing it will be there we we most need it.
  22. World Water Development Report graph2

    Read the story: UN warns the world could face a catastrophic global water crisis by 2030

    © World Water Development Report 2015

  23. Read the story: UN warns the world could face a catastrophic global water crisis by 2030

    © World Water Development Report 2015

  24. The Impacts of Washing Your Own Car

    Despite the innocence associated with washing your car on a Sunday afternoon with the kids in your driveway, a do-it-yourself car wash can actually have more of an impact on the environment than you might expect. In fact, many jurisdictions in Canada have banned washing cars at home altogether. Citizens of the Canadian city Calgary could face a $3,000 fine if they wash their vehicle with soap at home, and most aren’t even aware of it. Washing cars in the driveway is surprisingly one of the most environmentally damaging chores that can be done around the house. When you wash your car yourself, the product of this wash is water that goes directly into the storm drains, and ultimately ends up in rivers, streams and creeks where it becomes poisonous to aquatic life and can disrupts the numerous ecosystems that live there. After all, the water in question is contaminated with gasoline, as well as oil and residues from exhaust fumes, in addition to the chemical rich detergents being used for the washing itself. This water, unlike household wastewater that enters sewers or septic systems, undergoes zero treatment before it is discharged into the environment. Not to mention the activity wastes city water, according to one report, on average, washing a car at home uses between 80 and 140 gallons of water. Despite the added personal expense, going to a commercial car wash can be much better for the environment as most drain their wastewater into sewer systems (USA and Canada have federal laws stating this). What is more carwash institutions often use computer controlled systems and high pressure nozzles which limit water usage. Many commercial car washes have systems in place to recycle the water they use too. Depending on where in the world you live, you can make the choice to wash your own car if you insist upon it. In this case, there are ways in which can limit the damage on the environment. For instance, you can choose to use a biodegradable soap which is made especially for vehicle use. In addition, the location in which you choose to wash your car can also make a difference to where the potentially toxic water will end up. Washing your car on your lawn or over soil can be beneficial as the water can be absorbed and neutralized in the soil as opposed to flowing directly into storm drains or open bodies of water. Mopping up the excess water afterwards can help keep thirsty animals safe too. This article was written by Chloe Hashemi on behalf of Credo Asset Finance who provide car finance in Norwich and Norfolk.
  25. Canadian information privacy and data handling laws require business owners to protect the personal information of their clients and employees (1). Shredding documents on a regular basis and properly destroying outdated electronic equipment are key steps in the data handling cycle. Every business should have a data destruction plan in place as part of their corporate security strategy. One surprising benefit of this type of service too is that you can support your company’s green initiatives by having all of your shredded waste and destroyed electronics recycled. There are several ways to destroy sensitive information. Options include in-house, off-site and mobile shredders. Professional document destruction companies will customize a plan designed around the needs of your company. You never have to worry about paying for services that you do not use. When you try to shred documents in house it is your responsibility to maintain the equipment and find the staff hours to complete the job. Off-site shredding is a service that transports your documents from your location to a permanent shredder. Mobile shredders will come to your location mounted on a truck and destroy data right at your place of business. Cost and effectiveness are the top two reasons why more companies favour mobile paper destruction. Every company must prioritize the protection of personal data. If information falls into the wrong hands, there is little doubt there will be serious repercussions. Destruction of documentation is not restricted solely to the destruction of paper documents. It also includes the elimination of x-rays, computer discs, USB drives, hard drives and other electronic data devices. When you choose to use mobile shredding services, documents remain in a locked bin until the shedder truck arrives. You accompany your records to the truck where you watch as shredder eliminates them. Shredding at your place of business eliminates the possibility of lost documents in case of an accident. When the process is complete you receive a Document of Destruction that is dated and stamped by the shredding company. You are probably wondering how data destruction possibly supports green initiatives in business. Well data shredding and electronic destruction are surprisingly green processes. A seasoned and professional destruction company like Absolute Destruction takes pride in first completely destroying each document or hard drive and then by taking the raw materials and recycling them. When you engage in responsible data destruction “significant savings are realized in the use of water, energy, landfill space and reduction in pollution” (2). Reading up on environmental options and how material can be repurposed is possible by visiting http://absolutedestruction.ca. It is a fact that for every metric tonne (1000 kg) of paper shredded and recycled 17 trees are saved (3). Although there are ways of taking care of the basics of document shredding and hard drive destruction on your own, the risks involved with doing the tasks improperly outweigh the cost of hiring a professional document shredding service to ensure that data is handled properly. If you are located in the GTA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Toronto_Area) and are in search of information about document shredding you should contact the experienced team at Absolute Destruction. Your customers and employees deserve the best protection of personal data that you can give them. You will discover that mobile shredders are cost-effective, easy, and secure. When you consider that you are being green at the same time as meeting security standards and acting as a responsible employer it is hard to imagine why you wouldn’t hire a document destruction company. References: 1. http://www.priv.gc.ca/index_e.asp Authority Site: 1. Recycling Council of Ontario: http://www.rco.on.ca/