Insights into MSW-to-Energy

You know the saying: One person’s trash is another’s treasure. When it comes to recovering energy from municipal solid waste — commonly called garbage or trash— that treasure can be especially useful. Instead of taking up space in a landfill, we can process our trash to produce energy to power our homes, businesses and public buildings.

In 2015, the United States got about 14 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity from burning municipal solid waste, or MSW. Seventy-one waste-to-energy plants and four additional power plants burned around 29 million tons of MSW in the U.S. that year. However, just 13 percent of the country’s waste becomes energy. Around 35 percent is recycled or composted, and the rest ends up in landfills.

MSW-to-Energy

Recovering Energy Through Incineration

The predominant technology for MSW-to-energy plants is incineration, which involves burning the trash at high temperatures. Similarly to how some facilities use coal or natural gas as fuel sources, power plants can also burn MSW as fuel to heat water, which creates steam, turns a turbine and produces electricity.

Several methods and technologies can play a role in burning trash to create electricity. The most common type of incineration plant is what’s called a mass-burn facility. These units burn the trash in one large chamber. The facility might sort the MSW before sending it to the combustion chamber to remove non-combustible materials and recyclables.

These mass-burn systems use excess air to facilitate mixing, and ensure air gets to all the waste. Many of these units also burn the fuel on a sloped, moving grate to mix the waste even further. These steps are vital because solid waste is inconsistent, and its content varies. Some facilities also shred the MSW before moving it to the combustion chamber.

Gasification Plants

Another method for converting trash into electricity is gasification. This type of waste-to-energy plant doesn’t burn MSW directly, but instead uses it as feedstock for reactions that produce a fuel gas known as synthesis gas, or syngas. This gas typically contains carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane, hydrogen and water vapor.

Approaches to gasification vary, but typically include high temperatures, high-pressure environments, very little oxygen and shredding MSW before the process begins. Common gasification methods include:

  • Pyrolysis, which involves little to no oxygen, partial pressure and temperatures between approximately 600 and 800 degrees Celsius.
  • Air-fed systems, which use air instead of pure oxygen and temperatures between 800 and 1,800 degrees Celsius.
  • Plasma or plasma arc gasification, which uses plasma torches to increase temperatures to 2,000 to 2,800 degrees Celsius.

Syngas can be burned to create electricity, but it can also be a component in the production of transportation fuels, fertilizers and chemicals. Proponents of gasification report that it is a more efficient waste-to-energy method than incineration, and can produce around 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity from one ton of MSW. Incineration, on average, produces 550 kilowatt-hours.

Challenges of MSW-to-Energy

Turning trash into energy seems like an ideal solution. We have a lot of trash to deal with, and we need to produce energy. MSW-to-energy plants solve both of those problems. However, a relatively small amount of waste becomes energy, especially in the U.S.

Typical layout of MSW-to-Energy Plant

This lack may be due largely to the upfront costs of building a waste-to-energy plant. It is much cheaper in the short term to send trash straight to a landfill. Some people believe these energy production processes are just too complicated and expensive. Gasification, especially, has a reputation for being too complex.

Environmental concerns also play a role, since burning waste can release greenhouse gases. Although modern technologies can make burning waste a cleaner process, its proponents still complain it is too dirty.

Despite these challenges, as trash piles up and we continue to look for new sources of energy, waste-to-energy plants may begin to play a more integral role in our energy production and waste management processes. If we handle it responsibly and efficiently, it could become a very viable solution to several of the issues our society faces.

6 Plastic-Free Bathroom Swaps You Should Start Making

Plastic pollution is a global concern that’s significantly affecting the state of the environment. It can threaten the wildlife present in various areas and affect the health and safety of the human population. However, it’s also undeniable that some industries continue to produce and use plastic for their products.

If you wish to minimize your plastic waste and help preserve the environment, you can make some sustainable swaps in your daily lifestyle. To start, you can try going for these choices to make your bathroom plastic-free:

1. Use Natural Soap Made With Sustainable Ingredients

Nowadays, some hygiene products like soap or shampoo often come in plastic packaging that aren’t biodegradable. If you aren’t mindful of the types of items you buy, you may not notice how much waste you accumulate whenever you get self-care products from your local store. So if you wish to modify certain aspects of your hygiene routine in order to help the environment, use natural soap made with sustainable ingredients and packaging.

There are earth-friendly brands promoting various goods that produce little to no waste and are contain all-natural ingredients. Using their products may benefit not just the planet but also your body.

soap made with natural ingredients

For example, Earthbits have a great range of natural soap made with gentle components. They offer options that don’t have any chemicals and are just as effective as those sold by commercial soap brands. Sustainable soaps can clean your body well without exposing your skin to too many chemical ingredients. You can try to find the scent and formulation you want so you can transition to a new product more comfortably.

“Cedarwood and Lemongrass Natural Soap from EarthBits”

2. Try Bar Shampoo

Besides your soap, you can also get your hair care products in a solid form. Usually, shampoo products sold in shops are packaged in plastic bottles and come in a liquid formula. It can be challenging to find ways to repurpose those containers that accumulate in your home, especially if you have a busy lifestyle. Hence, finding an eco-friendlier alternative that’s compact and more practical may be a good choice for your bathroom needs.

Some bar shampoos look like regular soap but are formulated specifically for your hair. You can use them to wash your crowning glory in the same way you use liquid shampoo. But thanks to their solid and compact appearance, you can save space in your bathroom and also lessen the amount of product you use during each shower you take.

3. Switch To A Bamboo Toothbrush

One effective method you can do to reduce your plastic waste production is to switch from regular plastic toothbrushes to bamboo ones. Although there are recyclable plastic items out there, traditional toothbrushes aren’t one of them. The bristles and handle of the brush are made with different materials, so they can’t be recycled. In fact, about one billion toothbrushes used in the United States end up in the trash each year.

plastic-free bathroom

Hence, a simple switch from a plastic item to a bamboo-made one can significantly reduce the amount of waste you have to get rid of. Some sustainable products are made with charcoal-infused bristles that are biodegradable and detachable. Once the bristles are old and worn out, you can simply throw them into homemade compost.

There are places where you can buy bamboo toothbrushes in bundles to save some money. They’re also easy to find, so you won’t need to worry about where you should get your supply by the time you need to replace the one you’re using.

4. Opt For Recycled Toilet Paper

For some households, it’s almost impossible not to have a supply of toilet paper in the bathroom. It serves multiple purposes like cleaning surfaces or drying wet places. Although the materials used to make tissue are recyclable, it isn’t easy to find recycling centers that accept them. The fiber composition of used tissue paper can’t be used to create good-quality paper, so that item is usually rejected. They also often come in plastic packaging, which you simply throw away once you need to use the toilet paper.

sustainable bathroom swaps

Living without tissue may be difficult, so if you wish for a more sustainable solution, you can start using recycled toilet paper instead. Given the materials used to make it, using it may lessen the carbon footprint you leave on the environment. Using recycled toilet paper helps conserve water and trees as well since it’s made with repurposed materials. In some cases, the packaging used for it is also recycled, so you won’t need to worry about contributing to the plastic waste piling up in landfills.

5. Make Your Own Toothpaste

More often than not, toothpaste is packaged in plastic tubes to make it easier for anyone to control how much they use. Once the product has been consumed, the only destination for the tube is the trash bin. So if you want to avoid throwing away more plastic and save money on your oral hygiene products, try making toothpaste instead.

You can create your own oral cleaning product with common ingredients like baking soda, coconut oil, and peppermint. If you refrain from purchasing your toothpaste from the grocery store, you can effectively lessen the number of empty plastic tubes you have to get rid of several times a year.

6. Avoid Small Packaging

Some hygiene or skincare products come in small plastic packaging. For instance, sample sizes of serums or facial creams are placed in pocket-sized containers made of plastic. Those can accumulate over time and exacerbate the problem with plastic waste. Hence, you should either purchase your personal care items in large quantities or simply avoid using products in small plastic containers.

For example, if you’ve been using the same face moisturizer for a long time, purchase the biggest available size instead of getting the smaller ones every time. Also, it would help to be conscious about how you get rid of empty containers. Some brands encourage customers to return empty packaging so they can recycle it. If you’re conscious about the condition of the environment, patronize brands that also care for nature as much as you can.

sustainable bathroom

Final Thoughts

It can be challenging to eliminate or lessen your consumption of plastic products. Like your food supply and personal hygiene items, most of the goods you buy in stores are packed in plastic. So if you want to help Mother Nature, try to make sustainable swaps in your household, including your bathroom. You can purchase your soap and shampoo from eco-friendly brands that don’t use plastic packaging. Such simple changes may help preserve the environment, so don’t hesitate to give them a go.

Where To Start On Making Your Home More Self-Sufficient

Nowadays, many people are trying their best to be eco-friendly, energy saving, environmentally conscientious, and trying to lean towards a healthier lifestyle. There are many ways now to become more self-sufficient and giving the environment a break. By being self-sufficient, you’re decreasing your dependence on the environment, but using the earth’s natural resources to create your own sustainability. Being self-sufficient was originally how humankind lived for centuries, now we depend negatively on the earth’s resources, causing an imbalance and a negative impact on the earth. Whether you start small by recycling or going zero waste, some people has even attempted to create completely self-sufficient homes. Below you can find out how to start making your home more self-sufficient.

What is a self-sufficient home?

Creating a self-sufficient home doesn’t mean you need to live off the grid completely, but it means creating a home that supplies its own energy, water, food and sewage. They’re considered completely autonomous and named the ultimate green living dwellings. You can either build your own self-sufficient home, or make a few changes around your existing home; anything is doable.

Benefits of a self-sufficient home

Needless to say, establishing a self-sufficient home means you reduce your carbon footprint and energy consumption that have a negative impact on the environment. You’re also living a much more financially independent and bill-free lifestyle as you’re making your own resources. Being self-sufficient also develops and sharpens your skills, something that you can pass on to your children by allowing them to be more independent and practical.

Creating a self-sufficient home

In order to make improvements around your home to become more self-sufficient, you need to start with the simplest tasks and make your way towards the most difficult ones as you get the hang of it. Below are some ways you can start establishing a self-sufficient home:

Alternative energy

Save a ton of energy consumption by using alternative energy methods. Switching to renewable energy like solar power may seem a little costly at first, but it’s extremely beneficial in the long run. Since you’re creating your own energy, it will save you a lot of money by not having to pay for electricity.  You can start by installing solar panels called Photovoltaic (PV) on the roof, but make sure it’s in an area that gets undisrupted sunlight all year long. PV uses devices that generate electricity from saving up direct sunlight all day. You can also check the many other ways you can use solar energy through Beupp.com as they provide comprehensive information on alternative energy solutions.

Heating systems

Alternative heating options can be done through solar energy as well. Solar heating is capable of heating your water and saving energy. Water heating systems are achieved with a solar collector, insulated piping and a hot water storage tank. A self-sufficient home is one that provides itself with its own heat, and so you can allow your home to create heat by doing it traditionally. Install a wood burning stove as it’s an excellent way to save energy and provide warmth.

Lighting

Even though you’re already getting your electricity from renewable energy like solar energy, but the use of passive lighting is another way to be self-sufficient throughout the day. You can remodel your window arrangement to design high windows and skylights to get as much sunlight throughout the day as you can. At night, use LED light bulbs that last longer, require less energy as well as not overheat your home.

Growing your own food

One of the major achievements of being self-sufficient is by growing your own organic food. Consider turning your backyard into a small greenhouse for food production or create a vegetable patch. Start small, choose your favorite herbs, fruits and vegetables and start gardening! If your home can allow it, consider having a small chicken coop for meat and egg supply as well as a cow or goat for dairy products.

Water management

Although it might seem difficult to secure an independent water supply, it’s still doable. Ideally, if you’re in a remote location, digging up a well will be highly beneficial. If not, you can go the renewable way and collect rainwater to be used for many things. Install a rainwater collecting system that leads to a filtration system to be able to drink this water, shower or use for laundry. Once this water is used once, it’s still reusable once more and that is called ‘grey water.’ Greywater is filtered once again and can be used to water your vegetable patch.

Plan for the future

Creating a self-sufficient home not only gives you the necessary skills to become practical and independent but it benefits the environment greatly. It may seem like a lot of work at first, but the rewards are more worthy. Establishing a green life will preserve the environment for future generations to come.

Picking the Most Efficient Air Compressor for Your Workshop

Air compressors are energy-generating appliances that can be used pretty much anywhere. When you have a workshop, you care a lot about the condition of all the appliances used in it and their efficiency because these are the tools that help you get work done. Buying your first air compressor, for any purpose, can be incredibly overwhelming. The specific details you should be aware of for each compressor can be complicated and confusing, which will leave you baffled as to which one will best suit the specific needs of your workshop. Here are some tips to help make that decision easier for you.

air-compressor-workshop

Choosing Between a Piston and a Portable Air Compressor

When it is time to choose an air compressor for your workshop, you are likely to come across numerous types of compressors which will make your decision even harder. However, for workshops, there are two popular and basic compressor types to choose between; piston and portable air compressors. According to Brett Patterson of Ablesales, a piston compressor is an excellent source of portable air supply for farms and workshops. Just like any other type of air compressor, the piston’s motor works on collecting the air in a set tank and pressing it with the degree of pressure needed. The more you use it, the more pressure the compressor will generate.

On the other hand, a portable air compressor does the exact same job as the piston compressor, just without the need for an air tank. The main perk of a portable air compressor is that it is easy to move around wherever you need it. It might not be as powerful when it comes to pressing the air, but it is quite versatile, especially if you have a large workshop where you might need it in different places at different times. It is also excellent in reducing waste that is harmful to the environment.

Consider the Size of the Compressor

Almost all workshops are known for having large machines and appliances. Essentially, an air compressor would be another machine added to your working space, so you would need to consider the size of the compressor you will be investing in to ensure the best efficiency and ease of work. Whether your workshop is big or small, you need to think about the load of work you are planning to do with the air compressor as that will determine the size of the tank required. Compressors that need an air tank are usually more efficient for more demanding workshops, however, they are quite large. On the other hand, compressors with small or no air tanks can be more suitable for workshops with small workloads and smaller working spaces.

efficient-air-compressor

Check the Features

Efficiency and durability are essential features that workshop owners or managers look for in their appliances. The durability of an air compressor determines how much work it will be able to offer you as well as the life span of its productivity. When you choose an air compressor, features like the coating of the tank and the strength of the steel build of the compressor itself should be at the top of your list. Read reviews on the supplier and manufacturer before you purchase to get a better idea of how reliable that specific machine will be for your workshop’s needs.

How is the Compressor Powered?

Workshop owners invest in air compressors to generate energy used in manufacturing products or powering certain appliances. However, the compressors themselves need to be powered in some way. Compressors can be powered by electricity, petrol, or diesel. Electric compressors are the most popular because of how energy-efficient and economical they are. However, they are not as powerful as their petrol-powered counterparts, which can be more reliable when it comes to pressing air. Diesel compressors are similar to petrol-powered ones, but they can be a bit more harmful to the planet as they emit larger amounts of nitrogen compounds and particulate matter, which pollute the air and contribute to climate change.

Investing in an air compressor can be beneficial for your workshop, regardless of how big or small it is. But when it comes to deciding which compressor is best suited for your needs, the choice can be challenging. Your best bet is to do some research in advance and compare different types, sizes, and prices so you can choose which best fits your needs and budget. It also pays to read up on the different power sources and try your best to opt for a unit that doesn’t contribute as much to environmental degradation.

Why Should Banks Implement Eco-Friendly Payment Solutions?

Banks play an important role in facilitating investment flows and financing economic activity. However, most banks do not think about the effect they have on the environment or society when making strategic decisions. Revenue is the main priority in the banking industry. However, many consumers are now asking for change. They want the banking industry to become more eco-friendly.

Banks who choose to favour more eco-friendly solutions can do their part in reducing the strain on the planet’s resources and better align with their customer’s expectations at the same time. One way banks in which can become more eco-friendly is by introducing more eco-friendly payment solutions. By introducing these solutions, banks will not only improve their bottom line, but they will also be embracing the environmental aspirations of their customers. Here are some of the ways that banks can make their payment solutions more eco-friendly:

ecofriendly payment solutions for banks

1. Encourage Circular Thinking

For a long time now, businesses have followed the take, make, dispose-of paradigm, the ‘linear economy’, in which resources are seen as endless. In fact, evidence suggests that only 9% of 89 billion tons of materials are re-used or recycled.

Today, single-use plastic accounts for over 40% of the world’s plastic production. Thanks to this, plastic pollution is now one of the most serious environmental issues in the world. However, plastic still remains one of the main materials of the modern world and despite more and more people understanding the issues we face, plastic production is still on the increase.

 

With this in mind, we need to think of ways to overcome these issues, such as changing behaviours, business models and consumption models. Changes to plastic recycling and plastics will have a huge impact on taking care of the world around us by reducing oil consumption, saving landfill space, reducing emissions, and saving energy. Banks need to challenge the take, make, dispose linear model, and instead replace it with a reduce, reuse, recycle way of thinking.

circular economy

2. Introduce Greener Payment Solutions

If banks want to continue to thrive in this eco-conscious world, they need to consider offering their customers more eco-friendly payment solutions. A recent survey suggested that nearly 90% of consumers expected their banks to offer more eco-friendly cards. In fact, many of these consumers also stated that they would change banks if their bank wasn’t eco-conscious.

3. Have an All-Inclusive Eco-Friendly Approach

Customers have begun to demand that banks offer eco-friendly solutions in the payment value chain. Evidence suggests that 65% of customers expect banks to offer digital statements as an alternative to paper documents, and over 70% of consumers believe that banks should offer a recycling service for old, unused cards.

a paper free office

As a result of this, banks should consider making their payment cards out of more eco-friendly materials. However, this is not the only thing they need to do. They should also consider reducing their carbon footprint, recycling expired cards, replacing paper statements with digital alternatives, and introducing more eco-friendly packaging.

Green banking is no longer something to simply consider; it is something that needs to be done now. Banks that move from a linear to a circular economy are not only aligning with their customers’ expectations who decide whether a brand flourishes or withers, but they are also taking responsibility from an ethical perspective.

How Does Water Filtration Work?

The reality is that drinking water has contaminants, and that’s something you have to address to ensure the safety of your family. The good thing is you can address this by simply investing in a good water filtration system. The following will help you understand how one would work.

water-filtration-systems

Microfiltration Goes First

Okay, there are many water filtration systems out there to choose from. Some of these systems are whole-house systems you can have installed and will filter all of the water going into your home. The drawback is that these systems will have to be uninstalled if you decide to move to a new home.

Those who value portability may want to consider smaller water filtration that you can take with you wherever you go. Whatever you choose, the internal process of each water system normally starts with microfiltration. A reliable water filter system is going to have a complex filtration system with millions of pores to destroy potential contaminants like parasites, cysts, bacteria, herbicides, pesticides, and heavy metals, just to name a few things.

The microscopic pores do not allow pathogens and contaminants to pass through. Those contaminants become trapped within the filter. Of course, this is the reason your filters are going to have to be replaced sooner or later. The amount of times you replace your filter depends on how often the filter is used and the construction of the filter itself.

Adsorption is Key

The second step water filters take to ensure that your water is as clean as possible is adsorption. This is a process where an ionic barrier is formed to help the microscopic porous filter work more effectively.

The truth is some contaminants are a little smaller than the tiny pores of the porous filter. These contaminants could make their way out of the first stage without this second stage. The barrier seems to be strong enough to make contaminants like submicron viruses stop in their tracks. It also helps stop iodine or chlorine, both of which are quite common in tap water.

You should remember that the metals that could be in your water such as cadmium, copper, lead, and mercury are also extracted at this point. These questionable heavy metals are extracted through an Ion exchange process, thanks to the electronically charged barrier formed within the filter. Remember that all filters are not this sophisticated, so make sure you find out if the filter you are considering removes heavy metals.

water-filters-for-home

There is no way you want to allow heavy metals to contaminate your home. A high concentration of these metals can lead to all sorts of other issues, such as organ damage. Some say that prolonged exposure to these metals could put people at risk of developing some types of cancer. Dangers like these shouldn’t plague your mind, and they don’t have to with the help of a good filter.

A Different Method

One more thing that needs to be pointed out is that good quality water filters usually use the long contact period filtration method. Okay, most water filters do what they are supposed to by relying on the water pressure in your home. In essence, the water pressure in your home pushes water through the filtration system, which is how contaminants are removed.

Technically, this type of filtration isn’t bad, and it is effective enough to give you clean water, but the long contact period filtration system takes another approach. What these types of filters do is allow water to flow through the first stage using gravity rather than pressure.

Gravity is a little slower, meaning the water has a long contact period as opposed to regular filters where the water shoots through the filter. Yes, this kind of filtration is a lot slower, but the results are much more impressive. You’d be surprised how many contaminants make it through a filtration system that relies purely on pressure. If you want to give your family the best clean water you can give, then be sure to choose a long contact period filtration system.

Now that you know how water filters work and why they are so important in living a healthy life, you can begin your search. The best thing is you won’t need to worry about buying water from the store nor will you have to pollute the earth with dozens of water bottles that you have to discard often.

Eco-Friendly Ways to Get Rid of Mold in Your Bathroom

Most homeowners have black mold in their homes without even knowing. Most types of mold grow in dark, warm, and humid places that are often hidden, such as bathrooms. With the right conditions, mold can grow within 48 hours, and leaving it untreated might lead to several health conditions, including respiratory illnesses and aggravated allergies, and asthma. Therefore, you should clean mold immediately and find ways of preventing recurrent growth.

Unfortunately, most conventional mold cleaning products are made from harmful ingredients. The Environmental Working Group found ingredients that irate the lungs in half of these products. However, you can avoid these harmful products and consider eco-friendly and overly effective cleaning products. These natural mold cleaning products include:

Eco-Friendly Ways to Get Rid of Bathroom Mold

1. Vinegar

White vinegar is a safe and affordable natural mold cleaning solution that clears mold growth in the bathroom and other surfaces expertly. The solution has antibacterial properties that make it effective in cleaning and preventing mold growth. Regular vinegar used for cooking contains 5% of acetic acid. However, you should use white vinegar with 6% to eliminate mold. The extra percentage is what makes it effective. You can find this in your local home improvement stores.

To use the solution, transfer undiluted vinegar into a spray bottle and spray it directly into the surface with mold. Let it sit for one hour, use a scrub brush to loosen any stubborn mold, and wipe the surface with warm water.

2. Hydrogen Peroxide

You can also clean your bathroom mold effectively using hydrogen peroxide. It is a three-in-one agent with antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties that is safe to use and environmentally friendly. You can use the solution to kill mold from porous household materials, such as woven furniture.

To use hydrogen peroxide, mix two parts of water with one part of hydrogen peroxide solution in a spray bottle. If you don’t have a spray bottle, you can soak the solution in a towel and wipe the affected surface directly. Allow the solution to settle on the surface for 10 minutes, scrub it with a toothbrush, and wipe the remaining mold with a towel.

3. Tea Tree Oil Solution

Tea tree oil solution is not only effective in keeping spiders away but also a natural and safe option for getting rid of mold from your bathroom. This natural fungicide is a strong cleaning agent that can kill and prevent mold spores from growing. To make this solution, mix one teaspoon of tea tree oil with one cup of water and adjust the ratio of this mixture accordingly.

Shake the solutions to mix and apply using a spray bottle for better coverage. After applying to the area covered by mold, leave it for one hour to dry, then wipe the surface using a dry towel or microfiber clothing. Always use gloves or other protective gear since it can irritate your skin despite being a natural solution.

4. Grapefruit Seed Extract

The grapefruit seed extract is well known for its myriad health benefits. However, very few people know of its effective cleaning abilities. What makes this product very effective in cleaning mold in the bathroom and any other rooms in your home is the presence of polyphenols or limonoids and naringenin in the extract.

These compounds are effective in killing bacteria in carpet spills and laundry, which often promote mold growth. When used to fight bathroom mold growth, these acids penetrate any growth, preventing mold spores from recurring.

To use the solution;

  • Mix ten drops of grapefruit seed extract with one cup of water
  • Spray the solution and let it sit for between 10 minutes and one hour, depending on the saturation of mold, then wipe the residue
  • As with other natural remedies, use a spray bottle to saturate all the affected spots in your bathroom.

5. Lemon Juice

While this isn’t the strongest solution, lemon juice is widely available in most kitchens. Besides being natural, everybody likes the enticing smell of fresh lemon. That said, slice and juice five or more lemons depending on the size of the affected area. Pour the solution and leave it for five minutes, then wipe using a damp towel with warm water.

If the mold growth proves stubborn, you can scrub the bathroom floor, walls, or ceiling using a toothbrush. For optimal results, mix the lemon juice with hand or dish soap and some water.

Conclusion

The presence of mold in bathroom predisposes occupants to various health hazards, particularly respiratory problems. In severe cases, it can aggravate pneumonia, especially if someone had pre-existing health conditions. If you suspect mold growth in your bathroom, purchase a mold testing kit to confirm its presence. The above natural solutions can help in clearing small-scale mold growth. However, if the growth is extensive, hire mold remediation experts for professional services.

Ingredients of Environmental Sustainability

Global interest in environmental sustainability is on the rise. Businesses and individuals are making efforts to engage in more environmentally conscious practices, thanks in part to a growing worldwide population and dwindling natural resources. Ultimately, sustainability is the practice of finding long-lasting methods of maintaining our existing quality of life while still preserving the environment and natural resources.

Proponents must consider all aspects of environmental sustainability for it be successful. Additionally, eco-conscious thought must be applied to multiple professions to achieve deep-rooted results. Here are three ingredients to ensure the continued success of environmental sustainability.

Economic Incentives

Everyone knows change can be difficult. Making the shift toward more eco-friendly practices is no different. One way to initiate this change is through financial incentives. Money is an essential factor for families and companies. If sustainable options and practices are too expensive the majority of the population can’t afford to implement them, the environmentally-conscious movement will come grinding to a halt.

Environmentally-friendly technology often carries higher upfront costs but pays off through long-term benefits, both to the environment and to individuals. Additionally, companies that invest in environmentally conscious technology can potentially market to a broader range of consumers with similar interests and values.

When considering options to follow more sustainable practices, consumers need to set specific goals they would like to achieve and define their plan of action. This will also help maintain perspective and keep the focus on the long-term incentives, which will keep everyone motivated to continue down the road to sustainability.

Environmental Protection

Another key factor in environmental sustainability is protecting and preserving the environment. Part of this practice includes sustainable use and management procedures. While specific materials may be renewable over time, overuse can deplete these resources and lead to shortages. Industry professionals must give careful consideration to planning how, when and in what quantity resources will be used.

Surprisingly, several sustainable methods exist to renew depleted environmental resources in a fast and environmentally conscious manner. Agricultural practices often strip fields of necessary minerals and nutrients while leaving behind harmful inorganic residuals from fertilizers.

Naturally occurring microorganisms will eventually restore the soil’s nutrients and neutralize noxious compounds, though this process takes a long time. Bioremediation can expedite this process. Industry professionals can introduce higher numbers of the naturally occurring microbes and then create their optimal living conditions by varying the amount of water and food they have available.

Once the harmful pollutants are neutralized, farmers can resume planting operations. In addition to bioremediation, sustainable agricultural practices include rotating crops and using cover crops. Rotating crops and using cover crops can help reduce the occurrence of weeds and the impact of pests. In turn, farmers can use less fertilizer and maintain soil health for more extended periods.

Fostering interest in sustainability at a young age will encourage future leaders

Education

Without proper education, the general public won’t understand the importance of sustainability. This may lead to a decreased demand for sustainable products and procedures, which will foster growth in non-sustainable markets and practices. Future generations will then be left with the task of preserving and repairing the environment.

Fostering interest in sustainability at a young age will encourage future leaders to create innovative solutions to meet the current demands of society through unconventional and eco-conscious lifestyle. The future youth will also need the proper educational background to develop the tools they need to cultivate these solutions.

Environmental education also helps adults understand the impact their choices have on themselves and society. Uneducated adults may not recognize their choices to pollute or use toxic chemicals are degrading the local water supply for their neighbors or are harmful to their health. Once they understand the full weight of their decisions, they will be able to make the most informed choices.

With proper management and forethought, environmental sustainability can be fully achievable in our society today.

Top 7 Plumbing Tips for Your Home to Save Money

The plumbing system is a critical part of your home, and you may face many difficulties with it. If you don’t take care of the problems of your plumbing system, you’ll find yourself having to deal with a  significant repair or replacement cost.

Along with the price, some emergency plumbing problems are likely to happen if you postpone regular maintenance. To help you avoid emergencies, we gathered some simple but useful plumbing tips to reduce many major plumbing problems.

1. Do not allow leaks to continue

Leaks are common plumbing problems both in residential and commercial buildings. If you don’t pay attention to leaks, it can become a severe issue, leaving you with a significant repair cost. Therefore, you have to look out for possible leaks in your piping system and also your taps and fix them immediately.

plumbing tips to save money

The thing is that if you take care of the problem at the first stages, it would be so easy that you can do it yourself. But if you postpone it, you’ll need to call a professional plumbing team such as R & Z Plumbing.

This is the best option to have them check your plumbing system every often to make sure that there is not a problem.

2. Change the old valves

Changing the old-fashioned valves is another decision that can save your money in the long run. Although replacing your valves might have a huge initial cost, it will be offset when you receive your bills.

Try to go for eco-friendly valves because they play a significant role in reducing your water consumption. Some experts estimate that it will lead to a 30% saving which is a great deal.

3. Optimize your heating system

Heating systems also play a crucial role in families’ comfort and their living costs as well. Keeping your heater optimized can lead to a significant reduction in your energy bills. Try to ask a professional plumbing system to take a look at your system every winter and make sure that it’s working efficiently.

hydrogen-boiler

Remember that with the advances in tankless water heaters, you don’t keep using tank heaters because they’re not efficient at all.

You can be sure that the money you’re spending on a modern heater will return back to you soon.

4. Insulate your pipes

Another important matter regarding your heating system is the pipe insulation. Hot water that is passing through these pipes can release a great amount of energy to the ambient and therefore waste your money.

If you want to decrease your energy bills, you’d better think of good insulation for these pipes.

You have to insulate all your hot water pipes to prevent waste of energy. Also, you can insulate cold water pipes that go to your heater to prevent the water from being colder. This way, the heater will consume less energy when warming the water.

5. Check your toilet regularly

The toilet is the most critical part of your plumbing system no matter the building, residential or commercial.

A timely service can reduce many of the imminent problems of your toilet and increase the efficiency of your plumbing system.

It’s good to replace the toilet every 10 years to make sure that it’s up-to-date. Modern toilets are great in terms of water efficiency and can help you reduce your water bills.

6. Use washing machine/dishwasher to the full

The amount of load when using washing machines and dishwashers is of great importance. If you use them at partial capacity, you’ll have to face crippling water and electricity bills.

If you have a large family, the problem is easier because you’ll probably have masses of clothes and dishes to take care of.

But if you have a small family, you need to pile up your clothes or dishes to use your machines at full capacity. You have to think of small, eco-friendly machines to make sure you’re doing your tasks efficiently without extra water and energy consumption.

7. Go for smart homes

Fortunately, with the advances in new technologies, we have many other options to increase the efficiency of our plumbing systems and reduce the water bills.

The concept of smart homes is one of the newest advances that is considered to be the future of buildings. According to an expert from Condoly, the attitudes of people in advanced countries like Canada have shifted towards smart homes.

smart-homes

The plumbing system is an integral part of smart homes. You can add them to your plumbing system and see the results.

Here are some cutting-edge items in a smart home plumbing system:

a. Smart pipes

Smart pipes are one of the newest technologies in smart homes. The Internet of Things can connect your pipes to the central computer so that you can monitor the status of your pipes.

You can detect leaks, monitor water consumption, and finally save water using smart pipes.

b. LED temperature monitors

You can use LED temperature monitors to know the temperature of your water and therefore control the amount of your energy consumption.

Conclusion

ِYour plumbing system is a key part of your home and can have a crucial role in your living costs. If you want your plumbing system to perform efficiently, you have to make sure that the system has no leak or any other issue. Of course, a regular maintenance program by a professional team can be the best choice in this regard. Bear in mind that the cost of these regular services will return by preventing more severe problems.

Simple Home Renovations That Can Improve Energy Efficiency

There is almost nothing more satisfying than a clean, fresh, and sustainable home. You may think that renovating your home is a hassle, not to mention expensive, but there are plenty of small changes that can make a home really feel like it’s yours. Something as simple as a new garage door, or a small solar panel can bring personality and life to your home while saving energy and giving you a boost of pride for your house.

1. Doors and Windows

When thinking about renovating your house, you probably think, new basement, new roofing, and much more expensive and time consuming projects. But do not write off home improvement just yet! There are plenty of small changes that can make a huge difference to the style of your home and even boost its overall value.

Doors and windows play a huge part in energy efficiency as air enters and escapes your home. This makes these options a great place to start as they add a personal flair to your home’s look as well as being environmentally friendly. Below is a short list of these green home renovations that can improve energy efficiency:

insulated-home

Garage Doors

When thinking about the outdoor curb appeal of your home, an often overlooked detail is the garage. This may seem silly but just think about how much visual space your garage door or doors take up.

A new or refurbished garage door can not only up the style and personality of your home, but can make your home more energy efficient and secure. And with companies like CSSGarageDoors there are so many styles to choose from.

Front Door

A unique front door also helps your house stand out and adds your own personal touch to your home. Keep in mind the style of your garage doors and make sure your other doors do not clash. Replacing old front doors can also save you money and energy, as air often escapes from unseen cracks in old doors and windows.

There are hundreds of style choices to choose from, and many energy efficient sustainable options too. Not only will this give your home an instant personality boost, it will raise the value of your home significantly.

Windows

While this one may be a little more on the pricey side of renovations, it is yet another example of boosting your homes personality, value, and energy efficiency. Not only can you choose from styles of windows, you can choose how you want the glass and frames to make them custom just for you and your home.

New windows will save you money on heating and air and some even keep out the noises of busy streets or noisy neighbors. Depending on the climate and place you live, these replacements could be a life saver. Lowes has an excellent selection of beautiful window and door replacements.

2. Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

While improving the overall look of your home can give you a sense of personal pride in your home, less visible but sustainable options can give you comfort and help the planet. If you want to live more sustainably but do not have the funds to build a whole new eco-friendly home, there are small changes that can boost your home’s energy efficiency and sustainability. Below is a short list of options to improve your home from the inside out.

Tankless Water Heaters

Water heaters are probably something you do not often think about when going on home energy efficiency upgrades. However, that tank that sits in your garage or basement is constantly using energy. Even when you are not using your hot water, the tank is busy working away using energy and costing you money. Switching to a tankless or on-demand water heater means that it will only be using energy when you need it.

Solar Panels

Solar panels are becoming better and better, and adding one to your homes exterior no longer seems like a dream. While there is a lot to consider before installing solar panels, they can be an amazing way to reduce energy and a great investment.

solar-powered-home

Although solar panels can last for up to 30 years, you do not need to be afraid of wasting money when you move as they can increase the value of your home significantly. You can also get a sizeable tax return for installing solar panels, so it is a great option to look at for sustainable living.