Forget ‘Smart Homes’-You Need a ‘Smart Office’

Smart homes are all the rage these days. You can control your home’s temperature, lighting, and even monitor it remotely. So this brings up the question-why does your office get left behind? The answer is that this doesn’t need to be the case. Using this technology for your office instead to create a ‘smart office’ can lower your stress and really save you time and money to boot. Here are a few ideas to achieve a smart office and how it can help you in the long run.

Smart Lights

Energy management is a huge thing these days and saving on electricity costs through lights is a great way to get it done. Smart lights have the ability to change lighting conditions based on what’s currently happening in the building. If there’s no one there then they will shut off. If someone is walking along a hallway when it’s dark, the lights can shut on and off in sequences as they move along the hallway so it uses only the light that you really need.
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Perceptions of Electric Cars

Based on the results of an Indiana University study, American drivers don’t understand electric cars, and base most of their judgments about plug-in vehicles on preconceived and faulty notions. This lack of awareness could hinder the auto industry’s push to produce more electric and hybrid vehicles.

The study, run by Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, surveyed 2,300 adult drivers in 21 different U.S. cities. Misconceptions about price and mileage were most common.

Price Perceptions

Ask a car enthusiast about the price of 1986 mustang parts and he or she can probably give you an accurate response. Ask the same person about the cost of electric cars, and they’ll often be way off the mark.

People understand electric cars are more expensive than gas-powered vehicles, but they don’t realize the difference can be expressed in thousands of dollars. Instead, they expect to pay a few hundred dollars more for a plug-in car. So when people go shopping for electric cars, they’re shocked by the extra cost, which makes gas-powered vehicles seem more attractive. Read More

Natural Home: How to Incorporate More Earth into Your Life

By incorporating natural elements into your living space, you can create an environment that is relaxing to you and your family. Small changes to your decor can add ambience and character to your home.

Bringing the outdoors in can be done on a large or small scale, and can be suited to any budget.

Earth-Toned Color Scheme
An easy way to create a warm and inviting home is to choose an earth-toned color scheme. Because earth tones complement one another, you do not have to choose a single shade for your living space.

If you are choosing an earth tone for your walls, consider the size of the room. Lighter tans, grays, and greens suit a small room well, while deeper shades work better for larger rooms.

You can create definition in a space by choosing a light tone and a dark tone. By using two complementary tones together, you will prevent your living space from looking drab.

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Reduce your carbon footprint

Everyone’s heard of the so called ‘carbon footprint’. But what exactly does it mean? Basically, it’s the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions caused by a person, organisation/business or event.

The drastic increase in the emission of CO2 (carbon dioxide) is the main cause of global warming, also known as man-made climate change. There are certain things you can do to lower your carbon footprint. By doing so, you’re helping the planet more than you may think.

Before I go through the ways you can reduce your greenhouse gas emissions, it’s essential to understand that CO2 is a consequence of burning carbon-based fuels such as gasoline/petrol, diesel, kerosene, coal, oil and gas.

The goal is to reduce the use of devices which are powered by carbon-based fuels. I know it sounds daunting but as they say, starting is half the battle. Here are 5 tips that will help you get started:

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Best green apps for your Smartphone

There are more green apps than you may think. Apparently, apps on how to be green or related to green matters are a bigger deal than usual. It is probably not a sign that people are going to give up their cars for bicycles and stop eating Brazilian beef, but an interest in green matters is better than nothing.

It was difficult to compile a list of the best green apps because there is such diversity, plus there are a lot of good ones. Nevertheless, here is a list of some the many good ones.

Seasons (iPhone)

This is an app that tells you if seasonal foods are currently in. It is really nice when you have things such as apples that were grown down the road instead of coming from Spain. This app will tell you when your countries foods are currently in. You will find that your local supermarkets even have these foods in stock.

Good Guide (iPhone)

This is a rather nice app for finding out how green and ethical your current products are. It has over 70,000 products and gives you some very interesting and worrying facts, such as how a bag of cement is responsible for its own weight in CO2 emissions. It is a vital app to have for people who actually care.

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Green Degree

While taking care of the earth and working towards a cleaner, greener future for all would ideally be the goal of every college student, it goes without saying that many students do not have the environment in mind at all when worrying over all the other details of university life, from scholarship applications to course schedules, social engagements to dorm life. However, for those students who seek to be more environmentally aware, here are a few ways to accomplish earth-focused goals.
Online Options

Increasingly more popular due to the demands of the general student population, online university credit courses are definitely one option for going green while gaining a degree. The beauty in choosing online class options whenever possible is that the carbon footprint of your academic career doesn’t have to be dependent upon your major.

Every online university course should help students cut back on commuting times since they won’t need to be driving to classes, and this reduction in fuel emissions is the common result of all online courses. In this way, online electrical engineering courses can be just as green as online biology classes.

Consecutive Classes

When online classes aren’t a reasonable possibility, students can still choose to make their class schedule as green as possible by choosing to fill their course schedules with consecutive classes. Alternatively, students could also commit themselves to only driving to and from campus once a day.

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GMO Foods: What’s the Controversy?

Genetically modified (GMO) foods have been in the headlines a lot lately. These foods have a gene inserted into them to help develop a certain characteristic, usually in relation to disease resistance or pests. Despite all the articles about these foods, it is hard to know what exactly the controversy is. What it all boils down to is one question: are GMO foods safe?

  • The Issues

People who oppose GMO foods claim that they are not safe. One potential concern is that the food themselves are toxic and will harm humans. Another concern is allergies. Will a gene from a peanut inserted into another plant cause a reaction in someone allergic to peanuts?

Are the genetic changes going to result in other species dying out? There are few studies about this issue, and many of them are inconclusive.

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Eco-Friendly Cars

Going green is one of the best things you can do for yourself and the environment. One of the easiest ways to do this is by buying an Eco-friendly car that will cut down on harmful pollution and will help to make your drive more fuel-efficient. Here is a look at the top 5 Eco-friendly cars to buy in 2014.

Chevrolet Cruze Eco

The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Eco is a sleek Sedan that provides drivers with a combined MPG of 33 at a relatively affordable price. Although it runs on gasoline, its high gas mileage allows for much less pollution sent out into the environment. This 4-door vehicle also comfortably seats 5, perfect for any family.
Toyota Prius V

The 2014 Toyota Prius V is easily one of the best Eco-friendly cars that Toyota has ever made. This hybrid vehicle has a combined MPG of 42, which is the highest of any SUV on the market.

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Green Transportation: Developing Sustainable Moving Methods

Given that transportation consumes more than its fair share of energy resources, a lot of strategies are being implemented to lower its environmental impact and make it more affordable in the process. The approaches used include such things as alternative fuels, alternative motors, and altering the transportation infrastructure itself.

  1. What’s in the Tank

In terms of vehicles themselves, changing the type of fuel used in them is the easiest way to make them environmentally friendly. This technique doesn’t rely on a major switch from internal combustion engines to electric, or some other type of motor.

Ethanol has already seen widespread use throughout the world. This fuel can be made from renewable crops and requires just a few modifications to existing engines.

According to a Festec engineering professional, for existing engines to handle ethyl alcohol with minimal damage, alternative gasket materials have to be used for piston rings, cylinder head seals, and other vulnerable spots. With biologically-generated methane, the alterations are more extensive and include pressurized tanks.

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How technology helps with global investing

In the world we can find some 40,000 publicly traded companies of which almost 80 percent are stationed overseas, and this is a good indication that there are interesting investment potentials outside the borders of the United States.

Looked at this in a different way, over 50 percent of the global $38 trillion overall market capitalization is owned by the worldwide arena, and American mutual funds keep nearly $500 billion in international investments.

With all these potential investments outside the U.S., international investments have become an excellent vehicle to diversify an equity portfolio. A number of people claim that there’s definitely a growing connection in performance between international and domestic markets.

But while international markets usually tend to react in the same way to news or developments taking place around the world, after a while, global and domestic markets have a tendency to behave in different ways, and this helps to keep the balance in a diversified portfolio.

These days, you even have better options and monitor new investing developments thanks to many (investor relations) IR apps.

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