“Green” living is one of those concepts that has taken hold in mainstream media, becoming a pretty significant “buzzword” in the last few years. However, unlike “Bennifer”, this one seems to be sticking around. Green living basically refers to doing things in your daily life that helps the environment. A super easy example of what you probably already do is recycling. There is definitely a level of extremity, as well as perspective that ties into what truly makes something ‘green’. For example, taking online courses from StateCE is an arguably super green alternative to going to physical school and being a part of mass pollution.
However, we’re not here to tell you about recycling. It’s a good thing, and you should do it, but since it’s pretty likely that you already do, let’s try taking a look at some of the other options out there. After all, individuals and businesses alike are trying to become more sustainable and eco-friendly. Check out five tips for going green that you might not be familiar with.
This may sound like a playful idea, but it’s not just for the kids’ treehouse. Planting your home near trees, or vice versa, actually has some pretty good effects for your home. Trees, especially once they reach their full height, provide a great deal of shade for your home. This helps to cut down on your air conditioning needs during the summer, since you’ll already be cooler.
If you’re looking to keep your home a bit warmer in the winter, well, trees might not be your best friend. Large bushes, however, will do the trick. Plant them in flowerbeds close to your home and they’ll act as a second layer of insulation, trapping the heat for you during the winter. They’ll help to cut down on the wind as well!
When you go out shopping, it’s important to keep in mind that everything you buy is basically a vote for that company, and against the others. Buying eco-friendly products means that the way the materials were harvested was done in a sustainable way. That applies to preventing deforestation, over-fishing the oceans and often means no-pesticides were used. Lancaster furniture stores are an example of keeping household products eco-friendly. Businesses like this do everything the good old fashioned way; hard work and labor, all by hand, earning the artisan trade title. While large businesses mass produce with machines that pollute, small businesses generally keep their products natural and earnest to nature.
On the same token, fair trade applies to the workers. It ensures that the workers who were involved in any aspect of the production of the product were paid a fair living wage. It also means that international child labor laws are adhered to, which means there were no 10 year-olds getting paid $0.02 a day to harvest those bananas
Up-cycling is one of those new “buzzwords” that’s been floating around on social media, and it’s actually a really good idea. Basically the idea is to throw less away. Instead of trashing it, find a way to either re-use the product, or turn it into something else. Old platforms can be turned into wall-holders, mason jars can become planters. Go ahead, get creative with your “trash”!
Want to know what’s secretly sucking the power and tacking onto your bill? Yep, it’s those plugs! Cell phone plugs, computer cords, lamps, printers and TVs all continue to suck power, even when they’re off!
You may not be able to unplug everything on a regular basis of course (I don’t even want to attempt getting to the backside of my TV). However, I’m sure there are some things that wouldn’t add more than a few seconds on to your morning routine. Your coffee pot and toaster are probably pretty accessible. Same goes for your cell phone and laptop. Simply pulling the plug is going to reduce your energy usage and you bill.
Don’t worry, you can keep your clothes on! I’m not talking about walking around in your birthday suit, I’m talking about your household products. It’s pretty amazing how many of your products you can make yourself. Pretty much everything from laundry detergent to makeup has DIY options that you can find online. Many of these options actually proclaim to both work better and produce more than buying it off the shelf.
No matter why you’re looking to turn a little greener, there are always new, inexpensive ideas that you can implement. Trees, up-cycling and breaking out your crafty side are only some of the options out there. A bit of creative thinking and a little bit of research can open up a whole new world of what you’re capable of.
While firm statistics are hard to come by, more and more people choose to live off the grid to some degree. There are as many reasons and options as there are personal lifestyles involved in the decision, but certain practical considerations do come to mind. One of the lesser known and discussed problems is taking care of sewage treatment for your new off-grid home. For most, septic tanks are not only the way to go, but a way to stay green we well.
People move to being at least partially off the grid to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle for a large number of reasons. It could be to generate their own electricity and free themselves from the electrical grid, the corresponding high monthly electric bills, and saving energy overall. Still others even look to remove themselves for financial or health reasons from the public water and sewer supplies. In fact, more and more people are moving to growing their own food. For others, it’s not an all-year lifestyle, but a lengthy change of pace allowing them to get back in touch with nature and live a more relaxed green lifestyle.
Whether it’s based on your desire to reduce utility bills as much as possible, reduce your carbon footprint, or be more free and independent, one of the easiest ways to make the leap is by using a septic tank instead of public sewer.
A septic tank is traditionally a concrete box in the ground, but can also be made of plastic, fiberglass or metal. The wastewater from your home is piped into this tank, where solids are allowed to settle out and bacteria help digest the waste. From there, the water flows out to a distribution box and then into a “leech field” where pipes are buried slightly below the ground, and this waste water seeps into the soil and is also used as a green fertilizer to the surrounding vegetation.
Used for over 100 years to treat sewage waste, these are simple, nearly maintenance-free systems. Be sure to check with your local municipality for the current requirements, and if it’s an option to have your gray water, such as from sinks or clothes washer, not routed into the septic system. Reducing these can have a long-term dramatic effect on the lifespan of your septic system.
First, a local soil scientist will need to determine the “perk” of your soil. This is, simply, the amount of water your soil can absorb at any given time. Once determined, they can give you guidelines as to where the leech field should be placed and how many discharge pipes will be required. Once installed, there is essentially no maintenance required. Approximately once every three years, the septic tank needs to be inspected and if required, it should be pumped out for function and maintenance. The time required between the pumping cycles will vary as larger families will stress the system more, but others can go 10+ years between pumping cycles.
For all their advantages, ease of operation, and low maintenance, the septic tank system is not completely hands-off. This system is somewhat land-intensive and is thus not appropriate for highly urbanized areas, and the leech field needs to remain natural and undisturbed. Large shrubs or trees must be kept out of this area, as their deeper-penetrating roots can invade and clog the leech field, destroying its ability to spread the waste water for absorption.
Also, the septic tank relies on a certain strain of bacteria to help break down the waste. This should be self-regulating, but a regular treatment of products such as Rid-X can ensure the septic tank is well-stocked with bacteria. If you notice any unusual smells outside in the vicinity of the septic tank or leech field, or notice any inside the house, there may be a problem. In this case, it’s best to contact a qualified plumbing company to review the situation.
Regardless of your motivation to move off-grid, a septic-tank system is a worthwhile alternative to the public sewerage system and a way to stay green that deserves a deeper look. Relatively inexpensive and with low maintenance needs, they are an easy way to move one step closer to getting totally off-grid and helping the environment.
In recent years as the trend of being environmentally-friendly has risen, many car owners have switched to driving hybrid vehicles in the attempt to conserve energy, cut costs, and “go green.” Although the general public understands that these hybrid vehicles present many benefits in terms of using less energy and being more efficient with gas, not many people are actually aware of how hybrid technology works, and what actually makes a hybrid car classified as a hybrid. Overall, the automobile manufacturing industry puts these cars into their own classification because of the unique technology systems that they use in order to switch between fuel energy and electric energy while driving, and their ability to maximize the fuel efficiency based on driving environment, speed, and other factors.
Hybrid electric vehicles are an amazing technological feat in that they conserve energy while operating while maximizing power or auxiliary power through shifts in energy source. The technological advances in recent decades have made it possible for these cars to fulfill many different objectives while on the road. For example, one of the biggest technologies used by hybrid cars includes regenerative braking. In this instance, the wheels are used as an energy source within the car, helping to generate energy and convert that into energy within the motor. In other words, all of that energy that is usually going to waste when the driver brakes and cruises at a particular speed are then regenerated into the battery.
Another technology that makes hybrid cars unique is the electric motor drive and assist. The motor provides the power for low-speed driving conditions, so that gas is not wasted since the internal combustion engines are not at all efficient when cars have to drive slowly. The electric motor is therefore what provides the power when a car needs to climb a hill, accelerate on the road, or switch speeds unexpectedly (such as when passing another vehicle on the road). A final technology worth mentioning helps prevent energy to be wasted when the car is idle: automatic start and shut-off. When the vehicle comes to a full stop, the engine actually turns off – and is restarted when the gas pedal is pressed once again. It is truly amazing how all of these technologies come together to prevent waste and increase fuel economy within a vehicle.
Whether your car is a hybrid electric vehicle (HEVs), all-electric vehicle (EVs) or a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEVs), the requirements of safety of your local and national departments of transportation must be met. For this reason, there is a lot of regulation surrounding the safety of these hybrid and non-standard energy vehicles – and manufacturers are keeping safety as a top priority as they design their vehicles and create manuals for driving and safety.
Regardless of what kind of car you drive, it is imperative to remember that safety is your own primary responsibility while driving. Though driving a hybrid car may add some additional safety benefits for you and your fellow passengers, it is also important to know that other factors can come into play and affect your ability to operate a vehicle safely. The environment in which you drive is a key consideration, as well as your handedness, use (or lack thereof) of cell phones while driving, and average driving speed. Driving a “safe” vehicle matters very little when the operator of the vehicle does not drive safely or follow the rules of the road – so it is important to remember to keep this focus on safety in mind.
Whether or not you believe in the concept of climate change, it’s undeniable that there’s been some very strange weather in recent times. From excruciating summer heat in Australia, which resulted in a number of devastating forest fires; to the polar vortex that swept across the USA in January 2014, wreaking havoc across the whole country, the weather has sure been flexing its muscles.
Of course it’s meant to be hot and summer and cold in winter, but is it supposed to be this extreme? Even if human influenced climate change isn’t a reality, it’s perhaps better to be cautious and take steps to be as environmentally friendly as possible.
Being green isn’t just a trend; it’s a mentality that can influence everything we do. Consumers are opting for locally produced food and fill their homes with items made from renewable materials, before making their way across town using public transport or a hybrid car. This form of consumerism and environmentalism also impacts on the clothes we wear, with many customers now choosing clothing that they know wasn’t made in a sweatshop, is made from organic cotton, or ideally, both.
Most people tend to think that just about anything found in nature is innately good for the environment while most machines are detrimental. While you glare at the gas-guzzling SVU rumbling down the street, you may be horrified to learn that some of the worst offenders when it comes to disrespecting the environment are actually pets. Dogs can have a bigger impact on the environment than operating a Toyota Land Cruiser, despite being a natural part of Earth’s fauna. If you are conscious about the eco-footprint you leave behind, it may be time to look at ways to make your dog more eco-friendly.
One of the ways that dogs can harm the environment is by hunting and killing wildlife. When you think about a menace to birds, cats often come to mind. Still, dogs aren’t entirely innocent and can sometimes hunt and kill small animals that are essential to an area’s ecosystem. Because of this, it is likely better to keep your dog contained in a fenced-in area so he cannot run free and hunt. When you’re on walks, keep your dog leashed so he can’t go after small animals when out and about.
Recycling, reducing waste and lowering energy costs are just some of the options that businesses have to go a little “greener” in 2014. There are plenty of reasons for you to go green personally, but why would a business bother with it? After all, small businesses are all about the bottom line.
In reality, going green can have a big impact on your profits in more ways than you might think. It’s even a fundamental value many small businesses will flaunt to develop loyal customers.
You can lower you energy costs, which is a big portion of your overhead. Encouraging your employees to turn off lights and computers while on break or at the end of the day will produce big effects.
However, how do things like recycling or encouraging car pools help to save you money? They may not. In fact, they may actually make you money! Offering green technology at work is a great way for employers to attract talent and consumers. People are losing their loyalty for companies at the same time they’re increasing loyalty for themselves and their careers. Use what you can to keep them attracted to you and check out some cool, easy ideas for going green in 2014.
Countless businesses are now marketing that they’re jumping on the bandwagon to save the earth’s resources (and their company’s and clients’ money) by “going green.” Most of them begin with the idea of going paperless for bills and newsletters. Yet that can’t be the only thing saving resources.
There are numerous ways that your company can procure a “green thumb” or a smaller carbon footprint. By undertaking some of these initiatives, you can also differentiate your company from competitors. Your company’s efforts to help the environment will stand out and show your clients that you are dedicated to your company and to saving the earth.
Within your company, try to incorporate some of these simple actions below to become more eco-friendly in your business environment. Start out small and work your way to a green immersion. It could be a good idea to let somebody from the management go for an MBA in Sustainability, check out: Online MBA no GMAT required.
Artificial grass also known as synthetic turf is getting more and more popular both for sport fields and residential lawn. We have take a look on the major manufactures of artificial grass.
Chinese artist Zheng Chunhui presented his astonishing wooden sculpture. The sculpture, carved from a single tree trunk, measures 12.286 meters long, 3.075 meters high and 2.401 meters wide. The sculpture is based on the well-known scroll painting Along the River During that shows the everyday life of people of the city of Bianjing (today Kaifeng). It took Zheng Chunhui to create this sculpture.
Today I talk with Alice Rades from Educate the USA about technology, education and business. The world of business has been completely changed by the collaborative world of technology and the Internet, says Alice. Let’s take a look for example how brands connect with customers. Traditional flyers, business cards and commercial ads became less effective and therefore brands use websites, apps, social networking to reach their targeted audiences. Over 15 million brands around the world have Facebook brand pages primarily because of the fact that over one billion people have active accounts within this growing social media platform, according to Socialonomics.
The other thing that seems like an outdated relic is the cash register, says Alice. Thanks to new technology and the Internet the traditional cash register is perceived as old-fashioned and irrelevant. The vast majority of offline and online businesses on a global scale make use of POS hardware and touchscreen displays or even self-checkout systems that eliminate the need for a human cashier entirely. This enhancement has also made it easier for eCommerce companies to process payments from their remote offices and home businesses as well simply by using online websites, such as PayPal, as complete payment solutions.