Sustainable Innovations in Train Stations

The growing urgency around climate change and energy consumption has prompted a significant response from the rail industry over the past decade. It has responded with major initiatives around the globe. For example, in Germany, national rail company Deutsche Bahn has replaced tens of thousands of incandescent lights with LEDs. In the United Kingdom, rail managers have upgraded existing lines, like the HS1, to run entirely on renewable energy.

Another major change is that train stations themselves are becoming more eco-friendly and energy-efficient. These are some of the most significant changes transit authorities have made to reduce the environmental impact of train stations and cut down on emissions caused by rail travel and freight.

Green Innovations at a New Bay Area Rapid Transit Station

In 2017, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) officially opened a new station in Fremont, in California’s East Bay. The new Warm Springs/South Fremont Station was billed as BART’s most sustainable station yet, built with several eco-friendly features “baked in” to the station design.

Among other features, the new Fremont station includes solar panels on the station’s roof, charging stations for electric vehicles and biological water filtration systems called “bioswales.”

Bioswales are stormwater runoff management systems made out of native grasses, pebbles, shrubs, swan hill oak trees and similar landscaping elements. These systems pull in and filter rainwater that would typically run off roofs and paved surfaces, carrying pollutants with them to local waterways.

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At the new station, rainwater is captured in an underground surge basin after being filtered through the bioswale system. The water there can then be used in the station itself or slowly released in a way that won’t overwhelm local drainage areas.

The station isn’t the only BART initiative that aims to improve the eco-friendliness of Bay Area transit. In 2013, the system announced that it would use more than 1,300 tons of recycled waste tires to reduce vibration on an extension project near Fremont.

The project, which used shredded tires in place of gravel, is one recent example of how used car parts can be recycled and put to use.

Hong Kong Rail Station Features Garden Roof

Other, more recent projects have also used landscaping and natural design elements to improve sustainability.

For example, the new Hong Kong West Kowloon railway station, which opened in September 2018, features a curved “green roof” dotted with more than 700 trees.

Built to function as both a public space and transit hub, the station is also remarkably sustainable. The green roofscape, in addition to being aesthetically pleasing, also captures and filters rainwater, much like the Fremont station in California.

Deutsche Bahn’s “Green Station” Initiative

Germany has been a world leader in the adoption of green tech and transportation practices. One of the best examples of this has been the “Green Station” initiative led by Deutsche Bahn, the private railway company owned by the German federal government.

The project made headlines in the mid-2010s when the company produced the world’s first zero-carbon train station in Kerpen-Horrem, in western Germany.

This was an early example of how modern stations are compatible with eco-friendly design decisions. For example, the station in Kerpen-Horrem has an energy-efficient lighting system that uses a combination of LEDs, natural light and light-reflecting architecture to provide consistent illumination to the station with minimal energy consumption.

deutsche-bahn-energy-efficiencyEntlang eines Solarparks in Baiersdorf – ein Zug der Baureihe ET 442 unterwegs als S-Bahn

Since then, Deutsche Bahn has continued to make major strides in sustainable railway management and design, powering 33 of the company’s stations with entirely renewable energy and aiming for a companywide target of 100% carbon neutrality by 2050.

Reinventing Train Stations to Improve Sustainability

These new train stations show how transit providers are rethinking design to improve sustainability. Innovations like solar power arrays, electric charging stations and biofilters can all make a structure significantly more sustainable — and they’re becoming more common in station design.

Sustainable Agriculture with Organic Liquid Fertilizers

Agricultural practices are increasingly leaning towards committing to a sustainable environment. In light of this, organic farming has become acceptable to many farmers. Many are practicing environmental- friendly practices such as using organic liquid fertilizer instead of the synthetic alternative.

The misuse and abuse of synthetic fertilizers is responsible for many of the health problems that humans experience today. It has also contributed to a large extent to the deterioration of the environment.

Organic agriculture has experienced fast growth globally. Organic systems involve the natural management of soil through the following practices:

These nourish the soil by steadily releasing nutrients to the crops as the organic matter that has been added to the soil breaks down. The chemical and physical properties of the soil are improved by the exogenous organic matter applied to the soil. This also improves the biological functions of the soil which results in a healthy and wholesome crop free of dangerous disease causing chemicals.

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Why Organic Liquid Fertilizer is Sustainable?

Organic liquid fertilizer is derived from naturally existing products such as plants and animal manure. This makes it a sustainable product. Waste from animals such as cows, rabbits, fish and chicken is used to make organic fertilizer that provides much-needed nutrition to plants and soil as well.

Naturally occurring vegetation and waste will always be available as it renews itself. Besides, plants can be reused to make fertilizer for the next batch once harvesting is done. Since organic farming takes care of the environment, it is safe to say that vegetation is safe for the long run. Organic liquid fertilizer is also made from human waste such as urine and that is definitely sustainable.

ecofriendly-gardening

Organic gardeners love to have a bottle of organic fish fertilizer on hand for feed young seedlings. This fertilizer also works well on plants in containers and any crop that may be suffering from ‘malnutrition’.

Why and When to Use Liquid Fertilizers

Seeing as liquid manures act faster than solid organic ones, they are the best option in the following circumstance:

  • For seedlings that have exhausted the nutrients provided by newly sprouted seed. It is especially crucial if the fertilizer you are using is a soil-free seed starting mix. While it helps in damping off, it fails to provide adequate nutrients.
  • When seedlings show signs of not having had enough nutrients. If the color fails to darken after a fertilizer has been added, it is an indication that they have not had a fair share of nutrients.
  • If you have container-grown plants, liquid fertilizers are what your plants yearn for. Container-grown plants depend entirely on the grower for nutrients and moisture. They need to be fed frequently with an organic liquid fertilizer in order to thrive.
  • When you are growing cold-tolerant crops which begin their journey of growth in low soil temperatures. Liquid fertilizers are great for boosting nutrients for such plants since it is difficult to absorb nutrients such as nitrogen in wintry temperatures.

Organic liquid fertilizers are short-acting. Consequently, they are easier to regulate that dry organic ones which are longer-acting. The ease with which liquid fertilizers can be used makes them quite popular and therefore sustainable.

Important Tip

Do not mix too much nitrogen-rich fertilizer into the soil. This is not reversible. The release of nitrogen into the soil increases as the temperature rises. You may consequently end up with huge plants but no production. The best time to apply a short-acting fertilizer is just when it is needed by the crop. Then you have less chances of overdoing the application.

When your plants are well into the season, you can feed them an organic liquid fertilizer to rejuvenate crops such as tomatoes which live long in the ground. Tomatoes are known to awaken with gusto once you give them two feeds of a good organic liquid fertilizer.

How Students Can Reduce Energy Consumption in the Dorm Room?

Today´s “eco wave” is a response – a good response – to the climatic crisis the planet is going through. The youth is the one leading this eco-conscious change, and the message is that its time we all get on the same page. Here’s the information on how to conserve energy that every student needs, in order to paint a little green into their dorm rooms.

Ways to save energy in dorm room

One of the most common wastes of energy is through “phantom energy”. So, it’s recommendable to keep your chargers and any dorm room electronics unplugged when you’re not using them. Also, try to switch to LEDs  or CFLs light bulbs, which consume less energy and are cheaper. And, during the day, use natural sunlight, keep the light bulbs off until they’re really needed. If you want to keep it green during summer, instead of AC use fans, these consume much less energy.

As well, you should reduce the time you spend with your electronic devices, such as smartphones and laptops. When you need to complete any of your assignments, you can visit the public library to use one of their computers. This is a great way to reduce energy consumption in your dorm room, moreover, you will have quick access to all useful materials. There is also another way to lower the time spent before the computer. You can try to find online and use custom research paper writing service. As a rule, they are cheap, so if you want to be sure of the service’s quality, check the reviews from other clients.

You could also try is to study in shared spaces; a couple of hours studying in the library equals a couple of hours of lights out in your dorm room. Do your research using books instead of reading on your computer. And, if you can’t hire a professional writer service, or need to write the assignment yourself, consider using a typewriter instead of a computer.

Tips to reduce energy consumption on a daily basis

You might feel that actions, like keeping your lights out during the day and hiring professional paper writers to reduce the usage of your devices, aren’t enough. If that’s the case keep reading and learn some measurements that will help you on a daily basis.

  • Avoid using automobiles. Instead, choose to ride a bike or take a walk to class. If you are too far from school to walk, use public transportation or carpooling.
  • Avoid printing out papers. A soft copy of your assignment is a great solution.
  • Purchase a solar charger. You will have to save for a couple of months to buy it, but you will be using renewable energy, so its a great tool and one of the best ways to save energy.
  • Use rechargeable batteries. These are versatile and will last for years.
  • Wash clothes with cold water. Heating the water consumes lots of energy and warm water doesn’t really make that much of a difference.
  • Keep your door closed. If you have a heating or cooling system in your room it’s important to always close the door. To leave the door open with one of those systems working produces a big waste of energy.

Why do it? Some advantages of saving energy

We all know that saving energy is good, but it’s always helpful to know clearly how good it is. So, here are some of the benefits you will obtain from following some ways to save energy.

  1. You will reduce your bills. Electricity is one of the most expensive services in the majority of countries around the world. So, keeping your consumption down will also help you keep your bills low. We all know: any measure that can give our pockets some relief is good for us.
  2. You will reduce your climate print. To produce electricity, its necessary to use fossil fuels, which have an enormous environmental footprint. The less energy we use, the less pollution we are responsible for. Reducing your energy consumption seems like a small step, but it makes a huge difference your our planet.
  3. Less pollution also translates into fewer health risks. Air contamination is not only bad for plants and other species of animals, it´s also harmful to humans. So, a cleaner air, without high concentrations of CO2 and other dangerous gases, represents better health for you.

Synthetic Biology – A Catalyst to Revolutionize Biogas Industry

Essentially a process operating by living organisms, the biogas industry is a natural target for synthetic biology. Synthetic biology combines biology and engineering to design and construct biological devices. Contrary to traditional genetic engineering that only alters an already existing DNA sequence, synthetic biology allows us to build entirely new sequences of DNA and put them to work in cells. This allows us to build novel biological devices that would never exist in nature.

synthetic-biology-biogas

Constructions and operations of devices that do not exist in nature, such as tools, vehicles, computers and the internet, have crafted modern civilization. Now, it is synthetic biology that is challenging nature’s limitations and advancing civilization to a higher level.

Generating biogas via anaerobic digestion of biomass and organic waste is one of the few proven, cost-effective, scalable biomass energy strategies. Biogas consists of mainly methane and carbon dioxide, and combustion of methane with air generates energy which can be used for many purposes such as cooking, heating, producing electricity and vehicle fuel. As a result, countless biogas plants are operating around the globe helping to clean up waste and generate energy. With more plants being built, they come in all sizes ranging from household to factory scales.

Anaerobic digestion is a process where extremely complex microbial communities degrade organic matter, such as sugars, fats and proteins, resulting in biogas as the primary end-product. Such inherent complexity makes this process very difficult to optimize. Mechanical engineers have made tremendous progress to optimize this process, but in many places it still requires government subsidies to be profitable.

Synthetic Biology and Biogas Industry

Essentially a process operating by living organisms, the biogas industry is a natural target for synthetic biology. In terms of their genetic content, organisms are classified into three natural groups, Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya. Most microbes are Archaea and Bacteria, while humans are Eukarya.

In an anaerobic digester, many different types of Bacteria convert the complex organic matter in waste or biomass to hydrogen gas, carbon dioxide, formate and acetate. A unique group of methanogenic Archaea then produces the invaluable part of biogas, methane, by eating hydrogen and carbon dioxide, formate or acetate.

One can imagine creating a super microbe to convert the complex organic matter directly into biogas, thus making anaerobic digestion faster, more efficient and easier-to-manipulate. Making a synthetic microbial community by reprogramming key microbes may also help them work together when a tough job (i.e., eating extremely complex waste) needs to be done.

Among numerous microbes in anaerobic digester, methanogenic Archaea are one of a few microbial groups that have been extensively studied, and a number of genetic tools are available for engineering via synthetic biology. Therefore, scientists have begun to reprogram methanogenic archaea, allowing them to eat organic matter such as sugars and directly produce methane. If they succeed, they may engineer a super microbe that never existed in nature and revolutionize the biogas industry by making anaerobic digestion much simpler and more efficient.

There is also the possibility of more applications downstream. For instance, upgrading biogas by removal of carbon dioxide improves its combustibility. A super microbe could be made to upgrade biogas using hydrogen gas or even electricity to form more methane from carbon dioxide.

Conceptualized super cell that converts idealized organic matter (2CH2O) directly into biogas.

Grand Challenges

However promising, grand challenges remain when it comes to the use of synthetic biology in biogas industry. About 10,000 moving parts are needed to make an automobile, millions of parts for an airplane, and all the parts are standardized.

Similar to those engineering sectors, synthetic biology also needs many standardized genetic parts and modules to be able to create biological devices that can really revolutionize an industry. Sophisticated genetic tools are needed as well to assemble these parts and put them to work. However, few such parts, modules and tools are at disposal for engineering microbes in an anaerobic digester.

Take methanogenic Archaea for example, only three parts are available in the iGEM registry, the world largest collection of biological parts for synthetic biology. Another challenge is an apparent neglect of synthetic biology by the biogas industry. Symposiums bringing professionals from biogas industry and synthetic biology together for discussions are rare, as are major investments for promoting synthetic biology.

As a result, few research groups are developing synthetic tools and parts for the biogas industry. For example, the aforementioned three iGEM parts were all contributed by only one group, the UGA-iGEM team at the University of Georgia.

Future Perspectives

Synthetic biology is developing faster than ever, and its cost continues to fall. Thanks to prompt actions of many industrial pioneers in embracing and supporting synthetic biology, it is already starting to revolutionize a few fields.

Synthetic biology holds great potentials to revolutionize the biogas industry. To achieve this goal, joint efforts between the biogas industry and academia must be made. The former side needs to understand what synthetic biology can achieve, while the latter side should identify which parts of the process in the biogas industry can be re-designed and optimized by synthetic biology.

Once the two sides start to work together, novel synthetic parts and tools are bound to be invented, and they will make anaerobic digestion a better process for the biogas industry.

Trends in Utilization of Palm Kernel Shells

The palm kernel shells used to be initially dumped in the open thereby impacting the environment negatively without any economic benefit. However, over time, palm oil mills in Southeast Asia and elsewhere realized their brilliant properties as a fuel and that they can easily replace coal as an industrial fuel for generating heat and steam.

palm-kernel-shell-uses

Palm kernel shells is an abundant biomass resource in Southeast Asia

Major Applications

Nowadays, the primary use of palm kernel shells is as a boiler fuel supplementing the fibre which is used as primary fuel. In recent years kernel shells are extensively sold as alternative fuel around the world. Besides selling shells in bulk, there are companies that produce fuel briquettes from shells which may include partial carbonisation of the material to improve the combustion characteristics.

Palm kernel shells have a high dry matter content (>80% dry matter). Therefore the shells are generally considered a good fuel for the boilers as it generates low ash amounts and the low K and Cl content will lead to less ash agglomeration. These properties are also ideal for production of biomass for export.

As a raw material for fuel briquettes, palm shells are reported to have the same calorific characteristics as coconut shells. The relatively smaller size makes it easier to carbonise for mass production, and its resulting palm shell charcoal can be pressed into a heat efficient biomass briquette.

Although the literature on using oil palm shells (and fibres) is not as extensive as EFB, common research directions of using shells, besides energy, are to use it as raw material for light-weight concrete, fillers, activated carbon, and other materials. However, none of the applications are currently done on a large-scale. Since shells are dry and suitable for thermal conversion, technologies that further improve the combustion characteristics and increase the energy density, such as torrefaction, could be relevant for oil palm shells.

Torrefaction is a pretreatment process which serves to improve the properties of biomass in relation to the thermochemical conversion technologies for more efficient energy generation. High lignin content for shells affects torrefaction characteristics positively (as the material is not easily degraded compared to EFB and fibres).

Furthermore, palm oil shells are studied as feedstock for fast pyrolysis. To what extent shells are a source of fermentable sugars is still not known, however the high lignin content in palm kernel shells indicates that shells are less suitable as raw material for fermentation.

Future Outlook

The leading palm oil producers in the world should consider limiting the export of palm kernel shells (PKS) to ensure supplies of the biomass material for renewable energy projects, in order to decrease dependency on fossil fuels. For example, many developers in Indonesia have expressed an interest in building palm kernel shell-fired power plants.

However, they have their concerns over supplies, as many producers prefer to sell their shells overseas currently. Many existing plants are facing problems on account of inconsistent fuel quality and increasing competition from overseas PKS buyers. PKS market is well-established in provinces like Sumatra and export volumes to Europe and North Asia as a primary fuel for biomass power plants is steadily increasing.

The creation of a biomass supply chain in palm oil producing countries may be instrumental in discouraging palm mills to sell their PKS stocks to brokers for export to foreign countries. Establishment of a biomass exchange in leading countries, like Indonesia, Malaysia and Nigeria, will also be a deciding factor in tapping the unharnessed potential of palm kernel shells as biomass resource.

5 Effective Green Marketing Strategies

Becoming an entrepreneur steadily becomes a childhood dream for many young people born in the late 1990s and early 2000s, just like only about 30 or 40 years ago people have dreamt of becoming astronauts, policemen, or firefighters. Indeed, doing business today has become not only profitable but also challenging and overwhelmingly intriguing. At the same time, doing business internationally only spices things up. However, doing business just for the sake of it might easily become boring, especially with the younger people, which will not produce the desired results by any means.

To do business with passion, one must pursue a higher goal, which means something more than just making money. One such great goal is sustainability. Not only it looks cool, but it also serves a great deal to the community at large.

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Doing the Right Things

When you serve not only yourself or your community but the whole planet, you might say that you’re doing something beyond great. Not only you look cool when you do a sustainable business, but you also manage to save your resources, costs, and, oftentimes, life force by following eco-friendly practices. At the same time, it is somewhat easier to start your business following the green trend. Your store or production facility, for example, might not look smooth but it might be sustainable by saving energy and water, recycling and reusing the office supplies, and being generally made out of different materials and objects available at hand.

Yet, at the same time, maintaining and raising a sustainable business might be quite a challenge. Despite the fact that green business is quite a popular thing today, you might observe this only as long as you stay local.

It’s truly hard to maintain the volumes of production viable for the greater audience and you might find yourself either sacrificing some of the green principles you craved or disproportionally increasing your costs as you grow bigger. Yet, one thing can still help with this problem and that is green marketing.

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By following these green marketing strategies, you can at least pay off those massive costs that arise as you expand your green business.

  1. Design your business green. You could have probably used the materials and objects you stumbled upon as you started creating your sign or building the workspace for your employees. Well, as you grow, you can use it effectively. Produce your packaging or even the whole facilities with recycled materials, reuse as much as possible. You can even rebuild the abandoned half-destroyed building into a smaller office for your crew or development team. Not only that will look cool but will also promote you as a 100% sustainable entrepreneur.
  2. Increase online presence. Why even go outside when you can expand your business online. Create a blog if you haven’t done so yet or translate the one you already have. This way you will ensure that more than just one audience will see you. So, it’s worth the effort anyway. Just check out this best translation companies list and look for the one that suits your content the best. You’ll be surprised to find that you don’t have to pay a fortune for such services.
  3. Communicate the green message. Sometimes, simply selling eco-friendly products or having a green design might be not enough, no matter how hard you try. This is where you have to learn to communicate right. And that’s not just about marketing campaigns and blogging like in the point above (yet, you can check out the necessary knowledge for translators to communicate your message in different languages through the best translation service).
  4. Using webinar tools, make sure to let your clients know how they and the environment benefit from their purchase or service you provide. In many cases, one such benefit is financial, which may attract people even more.
  5. Using sustainable web hosting. You might not know it but maintaining a data server is not that all clean and eco-friendly. In fact, running all of the U.S. web servers does as much environmental damage as 5 nuclear power plants. So, partnering with a sustainable data center is a good idea if you truly pursue a sustainable goal. Such a data center will use cutting-edge data science tech, more compact servers and might even be self-sufficient regarding the electricity powering itself with its own solar batteries.
  6. Promote and follow the 3 Rs of sustainability. Those Rs are to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Reduce the number of resources and harmful materials used in your production and main activity. Reuse all materials you can. Recycle the materials that can’t be reused or reduced. This rule is very simple to follow, yet, it largely affects your green mentality and enables your customers to see what you do.

It’s Not Hard at All

Doing the right things and leading your sustainable business through international ventures might seem challenging upon first glance (because it actually is) but the greater the challenge the greater the reward. By letting your customers know that you truly care you get them closer to yourself and vice versa. The bottom line of your pain is that you at least feel better for doing the right thing and being a better person every day.

How to Start Eco-Business Internationally?

Doing business today is, perhaps, one of the hottest trends that have held its high position for a number of years now. If you want to make more than enough money, you should totally start your own business or, at least, purchase a franchise and go ahead from there. Yet, if you’re already in the game and want to grow then going international should be your next step. And going global with your eco-business is not the easiest feat, although it becomes quite popular as more and more entrepreneurs realize that it’s a pretty viable idea that pays off exceptionally well. So, what are the challenges of going international in eco-business, and how these challenges can be mitigated?

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Internationalization Done Wisely

Being smart in business is something that goes without question. You have to not only have some theoretical understanding of how business is done and what’s an international business but also have some kind of sixth sense to make the right decisions and take viable directions. Internationalizing your eco-business can be quite painful and not just while you’re in the process of leading your company into the Great Unknown (which international business essentially is about) but while preparing for it.

Indeed, in order to enter your desired international market smoothly, you have to calculate your steps pretty carefully. Nothing is perfect, of course, but you can, at least, aim for the right spot and potentially be at a significantly lower risk of not making it. One of the trendiest aims in international business today is going eco-friendly. This is the kind of trend that is not only viable to follow but is also reasonable to follow.

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Preserving our mother Earth from any kind of environmental danger is, perhaps, the best repayment we can do, so there you have 2 reasons. As for the methodology of doing eco-business internationally, it’s pretty basic, with something borrowed from the general internationalization practices and something from the eco-business trends. So, here are a couple of such tips.

  • Assess your potential markets. Obviously, it’s better to aim where it might fit in better or correspond with the local tastes and preferences. Some of the top eco-friendly brands come from the United States and European countries, predominantly from the Scandinavian part. So, one of the best picks for your start would be somewhere there. In addition, you should consider the buying power of your potential customers, the environmental situation in the country, as well as the overall green culture of the country.
  • Establish an online presence. The internet is perhaps one of the best places to start your internationalization. As lots of people use social media and simply cannot live without Google search, having your digital content targeted for a specific audience, or translating your original content is a solid and viable idea. One way of starting your business and hitting a bull’s eye is to familiarize people with you before going with a full blast.
  • Comply with your ideas. You’re running an eco-friendly business, right? That means that you must minimize any potential harm you might do to an environment or even completely eliminate it. You have to agree that marketing an eco-friendly detergent produced on a rather smokey plant or delivered by huge fuel trucks is kind of weird, to say the least.
  • Keep an eye on formalities. As you go international, every formal aspect, including the needed documents and licenses must be kept in order. That also applies to their translation. Address the leading language translation services to make sure that the quality is at the top. Additionally, consider a certified translation company in order to ensure that the professional specialists working on all translations and have the full legal right to do so. This will certainly keep you from the trouble you might be least expecting.
  • Go ethical. As it’s a must for an eco-friendly business to maintain eco-friendly production, it’s also a great bonus if you treat the people around you well too. Ensure great working conditions for your employees, implement the rules and policies that stimulate a friendly environment and productivity. This way you’ll be able to show that you’re really pursuing the great goals as well as motivate your employees to work well.

Not as Hard as It May Seem

Although running your business internationally and in the eco-friendly arena might be somewhat overwhelming from time to time due to such business’ development and limited popularity, there still is a great payoff to that. One of the most important traits of such business is that it’s considered as innovative as it can only get today and being one of the driving forces of progress is pretty cool and attracts people. So, get your courage together, make sure you do more good than harm and go ahead exploring the new horizons.

10 Green Business Ideas for Young Entrepreneurs

Out of some of the hottest trends that have been on the top lists for quite a while are choosing an entrepreneur as the primary occupation and doing an eco-friendly business. While the former is primarily motivated by making money to afford quite a comfy living, the latter is usually motivated by something else. And that something else does not mean it has to be charitable.

The eco-friendly business has lots of benefits, the scales of which largely outweigh the monetary advantages of doing any kind of other business. Just think about it, by going green with your business you’re promoting the Earth’s safety from potential environmental catastrophe, you support innovation, and simply look cool and trendy. So, what are the specifics of doing business in a green way? Using essay writing service uk also will help you find more information about green business.

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Green Business: The Essentials

Although it might seem like something totally out of this world, green business is still business. You still have to be aware of all the formalities, such as legal regulations, competition, and economic rules and environments. You must make sure that people know about you, so marketing through all channels is reasonable.

Yet, there are some specific characteristics of the eco-friendly business in particular. In fact, such specifics are large in numbers, yet, their main ideas lie in creating and maintaining an image of the sustainable business that cares about its surrounding in all possible meanings. That applies not only to Mother Earth but also to your employees (who should be treated well anyway), your customers, and your business partners.

green-business-ideas

As for how you can do that, here are the 10 hottest green business ideas for green entrepreneurs today.

  1. Start with yourself. If you want to run an eco-friendly business that pursuits a corresponding role, you want to make such business green to the bone. Try to reduce or eliminate the use of harmful materials in as many processes as possible. Recycle the office supplies that got used up. Avoid transportation using fossil fuel vehicles. This way you’ll show that what you do is not only for money or prestige, it’s for the sake of itself, which is quite attractive for consumers.
  2. Save energy and water. While neither electricity nor water harms the environment, by saving them, you also save the environment. The thing is that electricity production might harm the environment while saving water basically saves water, the resource that becomes quite scarce even in the developed countries of the world.
  3. Address green consulting. Yes, there is such a thing as green consulting and it might be very useful especially in the beginning. Essentially, by addressing a sustainability consultant, you retrieve invaluable information for your green business that you will be able to use and reuse at your disposal. So, don’t neglect a great piece of advice, even if you have to pay for it.
  4. Topical publications. It’s also nice to show that you know what you’re doing. By creating a blog outlining the current environmental trends, you can achieve exactly that. While some of the elements of your business will surely demonstrate your eco-friendliness anyway, sharing your experience and knowledge with people also looks pretty cool.
  5. Support relevant local events and businesses. It’s always nice to have a community that follows similar ideas to yours. Sponsor the bicycle races or supply the local concerts with what you have to offer, and people will see you even if you make minimum to none marketing efforts.
  6. Partner with similar businesses. By directly cooperating with other businesses supporting sustainability will reduce the harm you might potentially do to the environment to the minimum. While you might use sustainable technology yourself, your suppliers, for instance, might not. Partnering exclusively with eco-friendly businesses will surely fix that.
  7. Even more topical publication. You might not get popular with all this eco thing in your country. But you can still expand abroad, at least, on the internet. You can significantly enhance your online presence and SEO by translating your blog content. Just check out Pickwriters and find a suitable professional for your business. There’s a lot of services like that online and many of them don’t charge a fortune.
  8. Promote reuse and recycling. Whether you produce certain green products, sell them, or provide eco-friendly services, there’s always a place for reuse. Recycle the container material, encourage your customers to bring those paper bags back for a reward, or reuse all your tools whenever possible.
  9. Get involved in green financing. This is suitable for the later stages of your business development. While there were some ways, in which you can support the local sustainability movements, you can also help with money directly whenever you can. Give donations that develop and support sustainability, sponsor the cleaning of public spaces, etc. there are many ways to help our environment and money is not an exception.
  10. Don’t stop in one kind of business. You can do good in many ways. If you sell organic food, deliver it, and help other businesses to do the same. If you repair bicycles, gather the old ones and refurbish them. If you produce organic beauty products, then sell them or provide beauty services for people.

Doing the Right Thing

Doing an eco-friendly business is certainly the right thing. There are lots of ways you can make our world a little bit cleaner and safer to live in and many of those ways can co-exist in one business. It’s important to remember that whenever you do a good thing, there’s no point in doing just one good thing. Diversifying your sustainable business will only multiply the great things you do in the first place.

Going Green: Ways to Reduce Business Energy Costs

Do you stress over your electric bill every month? Or do you assume that’s just part and parcel of owning a business, and you’ll simply have to keep up with costs? Well, that’s not exactly true. You don’t have to endure the increased energy costs; in fact, you can lower your bill while maintaining a fully functioning business.

Here are some simple changes you can make today that will ensure you’re conserving energy.

  • Turn Off Lights And Devices

Yes, this one is self-explanatory; however, you will be surprised how often it gets overlooked. How many vacant rooms have all their lights switched on? And how many temporarily unused computers are sitting there? Make sure, whenever leaving a room, turn off all lights and equipment such as printers, coffee machines, televisions, or heaters. 

  • Use Natural Sunlight

Absorb as much as you can from natural sources if you happen to work in the day time.  Switch off unnecessary lights and take advantage of that glorious sunshine! Why increase costs on lighting when you have the brightest light of all, the sun!

  • Consider Alternative Suppliers

If you are feeling run-down by overpriced utilities, or perhaps struggling to stick to a budget, it is vital that you become aware of the different business utilities where you’re located. Not only will this generate more power, but it will also help your organization thrive toward success.

  • Input LED or CFL bulbs

Save energy, costs, and the environment at the same time with light-emitting diode (LED) or long-lasting compact fluorescent light (CFL). They can really make a drastic, positive change to your savings. These energy-efficient bulbs will not only decrease your electric bill, but will also last a lot longer than the average light bulbs.

  • Upgrade To Energy-Efficient Office Equipment

Whenever you are in need of photo-copiers, monitors, scanners, or any other appliances, consider purchasing office equipment that is energy efficient. But these will still need to be unplugged when not in use, as some equipment still consumes energy while switched off.

  • Invest In Programmable Thermostats

Installing programmable thermostats will automatically adjust the temperature of your workplace. This will reduce the use of heaters and air conditioners, and will result in significant business savings!

  • Energy Audits

Getting an energy audit will benefit your business’ energy usage and costs. These will help you identify what exactly is consuming the most energy and where you can increase energy efficiency while trimming down your electric bills.

  • Go Green, Literally!

Spend your free time gardening and discover how trees save energy through cooling the room in the summer, and blocking cold wind in the winter. This will reduce your usage of heaters and air conditioners. Just make sure to plant them strategically. 

  • Get Motion Detectors

Lighting is a huge factor to consider when it comes to high electricity bills. So using motion detectors with automatic dimming controllers, where lights are constantly necessary, can fulfill your energy needs.

Now you can follow these simple steps and have a clear understanding of how impactful energy-efficiency is. You can save plenty on your electric bill, reduce energy costs, and use renewable energy sources at your workplace. Your business energy costs will no longer be an obstacle in your organization. 

How Do You Get a Solar Rebate?

The U.S. government understands the importance of reducing our reliance on non-renewable energy sources so the IRS began offering federal tax incentives for citizens and business owners who install solar electric equipment at their home or business.

solar-rebates-faqs

Frequently Asked Questions About Solar Rebates

Below you’ll find some of the most common questions about getting a solar rebate and how using solar energy can be beneficial in multiple ways:

How do tax credits work?

A tax credit is a dollar for dollar reduction in the total amount of income tax you owe. That means if you claim a 500$ federal tax credit, then your taxes will be reduced by 500$.

How do I get a federal solar tax credit?

You may be eligible for a solar tax credit in the following instances:

  • Your solar PV system was installed between January 1, 2006, and December 21, 2021
  • The solar PV system is located at your primary, or secondary residence, or apart of a community solar project
  • You own the solar PV system and it does not have a lease
  • The solar PV system is new or being used by you for the first time

Check brooklynsolarworks.com for more information about solar incentives, and using solar energy in your home.

What is the current federal solar tax credit?

The solar PV cell needs to have been installed by December 31, 2019, to receive a 30% credit. PV systems installed in 2020 will see a decrease in the credit to 26%.

When will the solar tax credit change?

The future of solar energy is influx over the next few years.  For those systems installed in 2021, the credit will be decreased to 22% and the current solar tax rebate expires in 2022 unless the government decides to renew it.

What expenses does the solar tax credit cover?

The solar tax credit covers the following expenses:

  • Solar PV panels and cells used to provide power for an attic fan, but not the fan
  • Contractor fees for system installation including the preparation, assembly, permits, inspections, and developer costs
  • System accessories including the wiring, inverters, and mounting equipment
  • Sales taxes on eligible solar equipment and accessories
  • Energy storage devices charged exclusively by the solar PV panels

Can you claim a solar tax credit more than once?

The solar tax credit only applies to new equipment being installed. If the equipment has been claimed before, then it cannot be claimed again.

Are federal solar tax credits refunds?

The solar income tax credit does not issue a refund check when you file taxes online or by mail and instead is applied as a credit against the amount of taxes that you owe.

Do federal solar tax credits rollover?

Normally you’ll receive your federal tax credit in the following year after installation of your system, however, if you are unable to use the entire tax credit, then the rebate can be rolled over for up to five years.

How do I file the solar tax rebate?

You must complete IRS Form 5695 and attach it to your federal tax return to take advantage of the solar tax rebate and it will be applied the following year.

Do I have to be a homeowner to claim the solar rebate?

You don’t have to be a homeowner to apply for the tax credit. Tenants that contribute to the costs of an eligible solar system could apply for the tax credit. The tenant must be the owner or part-owner of the solar PV system.