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Eco-friendly Home Designs You Can Implement Today

Having an eco-friendly environment is important because disasters and pollution as well as spread of diseases is minimized. Implementing the following designs in your home can make it more environmentally friendly.

1. Creating You Own Compost

Leftover food and kitchen scraps should not be wasted but can be turned into compost. It is easy to make compost from kitchen waste because coffee grounds, stale bread or food that went bad from being stored in the refrigerator for too long is common in most homes and you can use a compost bin in your garden to compost them.

2. Use of Eco-friendly Roof Materials

Roofing materials that is eco-friendly are available in various styles which can be compatible with the aesthetic that you may want to use for your home design.

3. Saving Water

Considering appliances and fixtures such as tankless water heaters will help you conserve water in your home. Also, fix any leakage and adopt a lifestyle that will help you save water like closing the tap when you do not need it to be running, for instance, while shaving. Water utility doesn’t just help to minimize the bills in the your house but also assists the environment. Use of gutters to harvest rainwater and doing laundry with it or using it for other purposes since it is not suitable for drinking is another way of utilizing water.

4. Installing Water Panels

Solar panels provide electricity that is completely clean and sometimes makes a lot of energy that will be enough for you to sell some of it. They are a long-term investment and also environmentally friendly. Solar roofing will provide an alternative source of energy while acting as roof tiles simultaneously. They absorb the energy of the sub and transform it into electricity and are sustainable since they sun is natural.

5. Electricity

In most homes, the electricity bill is always among the highest. Electricity utility can help you to lower these bills. For instance, if you change your regular light bulbs and replace them with fluorescent light bulbs which will produce the same amount of light but can help you save 20-30% of energy that would have been used in the regular light bulb. This helps to conserve energy thus creating an eco-friendly environment.

6. Insulation

The “eco-friendliness” of your home can be improved by making sure that you are using minimum energy. Insulation is a very good way to achieve this. It helps in holding in the heath and this saves energy that could be used to reheat in your house.

Places to be insulated include walls and the roof. Use of an area rug is a stylish as well as a cost-effective way that you can use to prevent air slipping out of the cracks on your floor.

7. Cooling You Roof

It is important that you consider using products that reflect the energy of the sun away from your roof as well as helping in cooling faster at night.

While tiles, slate, special membranes, are products that have varying green a degree benefits. A living roof is constructed with plants on top and will help you to cool your roof.

Tell us about other ways that you make your home eco-friendly. We’d love to share more with our readers.

Sustainable Practices You Should Know About

Sustainability means making the world a better place for this generation and the next to come and it is important to start now and build while everybody can so as to prevent our future generation from suffering. In our everyday lives, many people face small actions that can make a big difference for the environment and the use of money. A high number of people do not understand how sustainability works and this article will highlight the ways in which individuals can be sustainable.

Water

The first example that involves everyone is water. A high number of people do not care about saving water even when they are constantly reminded. Water is taken lightly by most people because of the fact that they know it is something that will always be available. It has been reported in some places that water is becoming more scarce by the day, but people still do not personalize the importance of saving water.

One thing that most people need to practice when trying to save water is to always keep all taps closed and every leaking that happens to be sorted immediately. Shows must not take more than five minutes and bathtubs do not need to be full. In the near future, more people should invest in showers in order to save water.

Simple Ways to Save Energy

Saving energy comes with a lot of discipline and it includes things that most people are aware of as it is very easy and practical. The points below are some easy ways of saving energy.

  • LED bulbs create saving compared to the other normal conventional bulbs. They are known to eat less energy and this means saving to a lot of people when it comes to electricity.
  • Buy solar panels for your home to harvest energy during the day time. Our research shows some of the best solar panels can be purchased in Miami, FL, San Antonio, TX, and Las Vegas, NV to name a few. Check out these links to get in contact with these folks and they’ll get you squared away.
  • People need to use bicycles or start walking frequently when they are going for short distances because cars can emit a lot of carb dioxide which is not healthy for the environment. The use of bicycles also reduces petrol usage for cars.
  • When cooking, make sure you close your pot as it is also a great way to save energy.
  • If your home has a pool consider a more eco-friendly way to heat your pool like using a geothermal pool heater. They’re a little costly to install but pay for themselves within a couple years.
  • Always make sure everything that is not used is switches off. Most people tend to forget to switch everything off when leaving their house. This may include a lot of home usage things like lights, stoves, fans, etc. There is a lot of electricity that people use unnecessarily during an everyday life.

Eat Less Meat For Your Health and the Earth

Lastly, the basic information when it comes to sustainability includes most things that people do not want to hear, things like veganism. At least try and eat as much less meat as possible. All people know where meat comes from so they do not need to know that killing animals is unsustainable because they already know. People must try and not waste food and if that happens, composts must be designed in order to feed the soil.

Conclusion

Plant a lot, protect trees and recycling is important. Everything must be recycled, from clothing to take away boxes. We need to make sure we protect our planet while we still can. If you know of other ways to maintain sustainable living practices drop us a line and tell us about it.

What to Know Before Purchasing a 110v Tankless Water Heater

Ever since their introduction, tankless water heaters have become a favorite among homeowners. The benefits of having a tankless system couldn’t be more obvious. They save space and energy, provide on demand hot water and last up to twice as long as units with storage tanks. However, not all tankless water heaters are the same. Different models come with different features and capabilities. A 110v tankless water heater for instance has different power requirements from a 277v unit. It is therefore important to carefully review your options before spending money on any given system.

Things to Consider

100v simply means your system should be plugged into a power outlet that can deliver 100 volts. Most 110v tankless water heater units will require up to 25 amps or more although different systems have different amperage requirements. Some work more effectively when wired to a breaker box or electrical panel while others can be plugged into standard panels. It is advisable to hire reputable professionals to handle installation. You can always check with your local BBB (Better Business Bureau). Apart from amperage, the most important aspects to review when purchasing a 110v tankless water heater include:

Demand Size and Location

Where will you install the 110v tankless water heater? Is it for a single bathroom sink, the entire bathroom, or all fixtures in the house? It is important to note the demand of every fixture and determine which ones will need hot water. Essentially, 110v models are suitable for single point applications like bathroom sinks. You can still find powerful units that will offer a steady supply of hot water on multiple fixtures. The flow rate may however be below par. Ambient incoming water temperature is affected by the location. You should note that incoming water is much cooler in the northern region compared to the warm southern region due to the different in climate.

Flow Rate vs. Temperature Rise

As aforementioned, fixtures have different flow rates. When installing a 110v tankless water heater, you should determine which fixtures require hot water more often. Flow rate is usually measured in GPM (gallons per minute). Typically flow rates for average hot usage are as follows;

Lavatory – 0.5

Bathtub – 2.0-4.0

Shower – 1.5-3.0

Kitchen Sink – 1.0-1.5

Pastry Sink – 1.5-2.5

Laundry Sink – 2.5-3.0

Dishwasher – 1.0-3.0

Flow rate is a very critical aspect of the water heating process. Most 110v tankless water heater systems use the flow rate to generate temperature rise. For instance. A 110v tankless water heater may raise temperature 54°F at 1.5 GPM. If you have the shower and kitchen running simultaneously at 1.5 GPM each, the demand becomes 3.0 GPM and the heater thus generates a 27°F rise.

Installation, Maintenance and Durability

It is recommendable to contract professional plumbers in your area to install your 110v tankless water heater system. More importantly, you should take time to learn how to maintain your system for optimum performance. Check if the model comes with a warranty for parts like the heat exchanger and learn the vulnerabilities of your system. 110v tankless water heaters usually last up to 20 years with proper maintenance.

Conclusion

There are several 110v tankless water heater models available in the market and while finding one is not a problem, making a choice can be a little daunting. The goal is to find units that best suit your needs. Compare your demand for hot water against the unit’s performance to gauge if it will meet your needs. If you’re in the market for a tankless water heater drop us a line and tell us about it.

How to Start a Sustainability Consultancy

Sustainability is treated as a business concern. It is more of an ethical issue in business. A sustainability consultancy helps business firms to determine how to run their activities in the most cost-effective manner. This helps the business to be more sustainable. The demand for consultants is very high since consultancy has emerged as a key topic in business. Due to the high demand for consultants, it is important to understand all the key issues important for success.

What is the Role of Sustainability Consultants?

The main question that people ask is the role played by sustainability consultants. The main role is to ensure that businesses operate in the most cost-effective way. They ensure that businesses are profitable and successful. In the priority lists of most politicians, governments, consumers, and other organizations are sustainability and carbon reduction. It is problematic for businesses to understand how to reduce control pollution that results from carbon emissions without affecting their profitability. It is from this perspective that sustainability consultants are necessary.

What are the Skills Necessary for a Sustainability Consultant?

It is very hard to be a sustainability consultant. The rationale behind this is that the business models are different. Every business has its own way of doing things. An in-depth knowledge of the way businesses operate is important for a consultant. The challenges and problems faced by a business should be well understood. This is important as it helps to develop strategies that can be used by the business to be sustainable. The current sustainability issues facing the business also need to be understood. Consultants need to think like their audience. That is, they should be aware of the sustainability needs of their clients. This implies that the trends, legislation, scientific announcements, and precedents made by major companies that affect business operations should be understood.

How is this Done?

It is worth noting that sustainability is more of a science than an art. It is, therefore, essential to have analytical skills. These skills may have been gained from engineering or mathematical subjects. They may also be gained through training. Some organizations may require a critical analysis of their product life cycles and supply chains for areas that require sustainability goals to be achieved. In this regard, as a consultant, you must have the ability to handle data methodologically.

What Are Training Opportunities for a Sustainability Consultant?

There are several short courses that offer training for sustainability consultants. These courses take one day to several weeks or months depending on the course content. Some courses focus on specific issues such as carbon reduction or workflow auditing. You can also take general consultant training courses and later on specialize. This may take longer than expected. However, these are the most common courses. They are not only pocket-friendly but also suitable for different lifestyles. All you need is to choose the course that fits your career goals.

Conclusion

In conclusion, sustainability is treated as a business concern. It is more of an ethical issue in business. Sustainability consultancy helps business firms to determine how to run their activities in the most cost-effective manner. The main question that people ask is the role played by sustainability consultants. The main role is to ensure that businesses operate in the most cost-effective way. They ensure that businesses are profitable and successful. Sustainability skills are required for one to be an effective consultant. These skills can be obtained through training which can either be short term or long term.

What have you learned from being a sustainability consultant? Tell us about it.

5 Things You Normally Throw Out But Can Be Recycled

Introduction

We all know recycling as the process of collecting and converting waste into reusable energy. But the key question here is why recycle? Why should you care? Well, an environmentalist will tell you that recycling helps preserve the natural environment. He will go ahead and explain to you the principle of ‘do no harm’. A business man on the other hand will define recycling as the process of developing new material from waste products that can then be sold for profit. All these explanations makes sense in their own way but business or environment aside, why should we really care? The world we live in, perfect or imperfect as it maybe was designed to support all the living creatures in it and our primary purpose as human beings is to ensure that we preserve it in the best way possible. One of the ways to do that is by recycling. Here we are going to highlight 5 things that we use or encounter in our day-to-day life that can be recycled.

Aluminum Cans

Did you know that on average. Americans take one beverage from an aluminum can every single day but only 49% of these cans are reused? Now imagine how many of these cans are used worldwide and how many of these are wasted every single day. Well, the good thing about these ‘aluminum cans’ is that they are recyclable. Recycling these can take as few as 50 days from the time it is placed in the recycling bin and the best thing about it is that the process takes 95% less energy as compared to producing a new can. So every time you take a soda, think about this statistics.

Magazines and Cardboard Boxes

It is interesting to note that; around 100 billion boxes are produced in the U.S every year and only 75% of them are recycled. Cardboard boxes are made of timber industry by-products (e.g. wood-chips and saw dust). These boxes can be recycled to produce items such as writing or printing papers, tissues, paper towels, paperboard and cereal boxes. Magazines on the other hand are made from coated and buffed papers and can be recycled to produce tissues, paperboard, writing paper and newspapers.

Plastics

Did you know that the plastics generated in the U.S every year is enough to wrap up Texas? And that despite the fact that 2.4 billion pounds of them being recycled, this only contributes to approximately 27% of the total waste stream? This clearly shows that most plastics in our homes are recyclable. Items such as plastic jars, bottles and jugs should be placed in the recycling bin.

Batteries

Car batteries are one of the most recyclable items in the U.S. The batteries as you probably know are made of 60% lead of which 90% of it is recyclable. The majority of these are used in the manufacture of new batteries. The battery also comprises of about 3 pounds of plastics, which can be utilized in the making of new batteries or other useful items. The sulfuric acid can be used in the making of new batteries as well as in the manufacture of dyes, fertilizers and other products. One thing to note though is that bulbs and batteries should never be placed together with other recyclable items.

Electronics

Old, unwanted or non-functional electronics should not be placed with other recyclable items but they are 100% recyclable though through different processes. Electronics such as computers are made of glasses, plastics and metals which can be used in the production of other meaningful products.

Conclusion

The above mentioned items are only but a few of the items in our households that can be recycled. To establish what other items you can recycle you can check with your local recycle and waste management team. Always remember that, we are part of the ecosystem and therefore we should strive to ensure that we do more good than harm.

Please do your part in recycling. If you have any questions about what can be recycled or other questions about our post drop us a line.

Here’s how to adopt a eco-friendly life

Harmful products in our food can cause diseases such as cancer. When you hear the term “eco-friendly, it is your precious life and that of the earth that is intertwined in it The term is generally used to refer to products or human activities that conserve our natural environment and do not harm us.

They are made of organic materials that decompose naturally. Organic fertilizers and agricultural chemicals play an important role in producing eco friendly food products. They also ensure the natural environment including soil and useful organisms are preserved.

There are a number of products that we use in our daily life that harm us and the environment as well. These include plastic bags, fossil fuels running your car engine, inorganic fertilizers, electrons, pesticides and paints just to name a few. Inorganic fertilizer residues in crops find its way into your food on the table. Early this year pieces of polythene were found in major brands of drinking water in many countries around the world that were surveyed. These are a result of careless disposal of plastic wastes. Very worrying indeed. Exhaust fumes from industries and vehicles using petroleum derived fuels contain harmful gases. These gases may cause respiratory problems. Some gases produced when plastics are burnt destroy the ozone layer that protect our skins from harmful rays of the sun.

Greenhouse gases from industries increase in the atmosphere leading to rising temperatures on earth. This results in what is called global warming. This in turn causes disastrous weather patterns like flooding or emergence of deserts.

Pesticides like DDT, used for controlling mosquitoes in many countries, has been found to get its way through fish to hawks. Such hawks lay eggs with weak eggshells that may not hatch. If continued the birds will be extinct. The United States banned the use of DOT to control mosquitoes. It is not late for us to act. There are many products that are eco friendly. These are alternative products that are safe to both life and the environment including animals and plants. There are biofuels that can run your car engine and provide harmless energy. Electric cars and trains have also been developed in an effort to cut down dangerous gas emissions. Planting of many trees is another smart eco friendly solution to a drying planet. Trees are known to purify the air we breath. They also conserve soil, preserve water catchment areas and give us a beautiful environment. Disposal of waste at home, work place, towns and hospitals should be done in an environmental friendly way.

Organic fertilizers or manure and organic agricultural chemicals should be used in crop production because they are eco-friendly. When shopping for eco friendly products check out on the label if they are certified as such. Electronic goods and light bulbs with a star on the label mean they consume less electric energy. Use of renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar safes the environment. It is evident that everyone of us can contribute towards conserving our natural environment by adopting an eco friendly lifestyle. It can be expensive at first but it saves a lot of money and lives in the long run.

The best way to create an organic compost pile at home

So you’re interested in gardening and don’t know about composting or perhaps you’ve been giving a thought to it but cant bring yourself to start the process. Yes there are misconceptions related to composting; its complex, messy, and it smells bad. All those things are true only if you go about composting the wrong way. However, do it right and it gives you wonderful results like a rich soil and a solid base for you to grow plants and vegetables. Below we list the best way you can go about creating a good organic compost pile at home.

Starting out

The first thing to remember about composting is that not all waste in your home can be converted into an organic compost pile. Below is a handy list of what and what not to compost.

DO – vegetable and fruit scraps from your refrigerator, eggshells, coffee grounds, dry leaves, straw.

DON’T – meat, dairy products, feces (dog or cat), animal carcass.

Fast and slow hot and cold

There are two types of composting: hot and cold.

In cold compost you can just dump all scraps mentioned above in a pile/bin in your back garden and wait for it to decompose. This process could take well over a year.

Hot compost however is a quicker process. During warm weather your scraps can turn into compost in as little as two or three months.

Choose a spot

Preferably your backyard is the perfect place for composting. If it gets a lot of sun that’s even better. Once you’ve chosen a spot you can place a bin there. You can even mark a roughly rectangular area and deposit your scraps there. If you want to enclose it inside a wooden construction that’s even better.

Keep in mind: the pile or the bin should be no more than 3 feet in height.

Layer it don’t dump it

Once you have the area decided you can proceed to the more fun part of the composting. Composting should be done in three layers: carbon, nitrogen, and topsoil. Be sure to have a heady mixture of these three and you’ll have a perfect compost. Below is a brief description.

Carbon – untreated sawdust, leaves, hay straw etc.

Nitrogen – vegetable and fruit wastes, manure, fertilizers.

Topsoil – avoid soils containing insecticides and you’re good to go.

Add twigs if you want. They guarantee proper air flow.

Moisture

Bacteria love moisture. Without moisture your scrap will remain what it is in the beginning just scrap. Sprinkle some water into your bin so it becomes roughly soggy. Don’t overdo it however. Oxygen will make sure that your scraps don’t rot and smell. A good combination of moisture and oxygen would mean that your mixture would smell earthy and not give out stench like a waste-pile.

Once you have achieved the above steps it’s time to let your compost sit and do its own thing. Keep any eye on your compost and stir it, overturn it every two weeks or so.

Maintaining an at home compost is much better than buying soil from the store because it allows you to make use of waste you’d normally throw away. We hope this has given the gardener in you enough confidence to start composting.

Tips for A More Sustainable Lifestyle

I want to share with you a few practical eco-friendly tips for you to have a more sustainable lifestyle. I’m trying to do these in my own home so I thought that maybe you would like to know about them as well.

Did you know that the air inside our house is more polluted than the outside air? This is because the materials that our house is constructed from contains a lot of chemicals and sometimes those chemicals are really bad for your health. It’s very important to refresh the air and opening your window is a free thing that you can do to refresh your air and change it. There are of course other things you can do to improve your air quality but this is the easiest and most cost effective way. It can be difficult to do this in the winter because of the cold air, but I think it’s very important to maintain our health that we constantly refresh the air inside our homes, even in the winter.

The second thing is to reduce the heat in our homes and simply put on a sweater and socks. Of course it will depend on the season. In winter we can’t really do that, but if you drop the thermostat by a few degrees you won’t see a change in terms of comfort, but you’ll see the change on your utility bill. What is recommended is to have the temperature at 21 degree Celsius in the room you’re in and during the night lower the temperature to 18 degree Celsius. When you’re not home you can lower it even further to 15 degree Celsius. You will see a big difference on your utility bill because you’re using less energy. If you reduce the temperature for 3 degree Celsius for about eight hours you reduce the amount of energy uses by 4.5%. This may not seem like much but if you add that up over 12 months you’re saving a lot of money on your utility bill.

The third thing is to get rid of the junk mail you receive every week. A bunch of advertisements are mailed in newspapers for shops you don’t go to. It’s just a waste of paper and a waste of money. It cost a lot of money to produce so I think the best thing to do is to call the companies on the advertisements and tell them that you don’t want to receive these newspapers anymore. Tell them you’ll go online and find the promotions when you want to use them. If everyone were to do this it will make a big difference because we won’t waste so much paper anymore.

The fourth thing is to select LED light bulbs in your home. Of course, they will be a little bit more expensive to buy initially, but you’ll save money in the long term because they will use less energy and they will last longer. For the record a LED light bulb will consume 85% less energy than an incandescent light bulb and you’ll have to change 25 incandescent bulbs before you’ll have to change the LED. You’ll save a lot of money in the long term. You’ll also be reducing the energy that you use every day because of course the incandescent ones consume the most energy. Some houses have a lot of light bulbs and I think if we change all of them it can make a very big difference.

The final tip is to turn off the water when you brush your teeth or wash your face. I think it’s an obvious one. I think everybody should do that and it’s so simple and it’s free. The only expense that we have to use is our own energy to turn off the water. I see those people on the internet not doing and it concerns me. It’s so easy to do and you’ll save so much water when you think about the fact that millions of people don’t have access to drinkable water and we waste it for nothing.

So that’s it for today. These are some simple steps to live a more sustainable live. Please implement these today and tell me if you have other simple sustainable living tips.