Think It’s Too Early for Maternity Insurance? Read This

Childbirth is a beautiful experience, and it is a joy for parents to welcome new life into this world. However, the process comes with its set of financial hurdles in the form of hospitalizations, birth complications, among other things. A maternity insurance is the best way to ensure that expectant mothers and their new-born children get the care they deserve.

Before you choose the maternity insurance policy you want to take, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. If you are thinking about getting a maternity insurance policy, then this article is for you. We will look at why you need an insurance policy, some tips you should know about, and what maternity insurance covers.

Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying A Maternity Insurance

What is Maternity Insurance?

Maternity insurance helps to ensure that the expecting mothers and their families enjoy the smooth journey of motherhood. The progressive rise of medical expenses and soaring hospitalization costs could cause financial hardship for expecting couples if they have not taken out a policy.

As a parent, you want a maternity health plan that would help you cover the costs of childbirth and pregnancy. With rising medical inflation and skyrocketing hospitalization charges, you know you are faced with lots of financial hurdles in your journey as a parent.

Why Is Maternity Insurance Important and When Should You Buy One?

Women must have access to good healthcare facilities before and during delivery. However, rising healthcare inflation presents a challenge. That’s why health insurance with maternity coverage is essential.

There is often a waiting period for health insurance with maternity cover, so ideally you should opt for it a few years before you wish to start your family. The maternity insurance policy by Care Insurance has a waiting period ranging from 9 months to 24 months, depending on the type of policy you choose.

Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying A Maternity Insurance

Before you decide which maternity insurance you want to take, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Let’s take a look.

  • Select a maternity insurance plan that protects you not only against hospitalization costs but also against other important medical expenses.
  • Check out the cashless network hospitals so you’ll be able to access them easily in case of an emergency.
  • There are a few benefits you need to look for in maternity plans, including coverage for new-born babies, day-care procedures, and new-age treatments.
  • Get information about how to file a maternity insurance claim, so that you will not face any delays or hassles.
  • Look out for ways to save money. For instance, you may be able to save money by buying a multi-year policy.
  • It is important to understand the policy inclusions, sub-limits, and waiting period in the policy documents.

What Does Maternity Insurance Cover?

Health-related complications during delivery are a cause of concern in expectant mothers. So, it is important to know the extents of the maternity insurance coverage to avoid any disappointments in a time of need.

Maternity insurance covers expenses both before and after birth. Some policies also provide insurance for new-born babies until 90 days after birth. Furthermore, you can also get a tax benefit on the premiums paid for the maternity insurance. They help you reduce your tax liability and plan for medical expenses- so it’s a win-win!

Some maternity insurance policies also give you easy settlement options by providing cashless service. All you have to do is present your card at partner hospitals and your expenses are taken care of. Even if you opt for a non-partner hospital, you can provide the right documents and get your claim processed.

Plan Your Family’s Future

Hospitalizations and medical expenses during childbirth can be a major hurdle for parents. To ensure a healthy pregnancy, you should make sure that the financial aspect is taken care of so that you can take care of your family.

Maternity insurance helps you prepare for medical expenses, take care of hospital bills, and prepare for complications. You should get a head start and look at policies that suit your needs.

Solid Waste Management in India – Role of Policies and Planning

Out of all the measures that are necessary in addressing India’s waste management crisis, the most efficient will be changes at the national policy and planning level. It is well known among the small but growing waste management sector that urban India will hit rock bottom due to improper waste management.

Solid-Wastes-Management-India

Unfortunately, they think such a crisis is required to bring about policy changes, as they generally tend to happen only after the damage has been done. This attitude is unfortunate because it indicates a lack of or failed effort from the sector to change policy, and also the level of India’s planning and preparedness.

Important Statistics

An average of 32,000 people will be added to urban India every day, continuously, until 2021. This number is a warning, considering how India’s waste management infrastructure went berserk trying to deal with just 25,000 new urban Indians during the last decade. The scale of urbanization in India and around the world is unprecedented with planetary consequences to Earth’s limited material and energy resources, and its natural balance.

Rate of increase in access to sanitation infrastructure generally lags behind the rate of urbanization by 33% around the world; however, the lack of planning and impromptu piecemeal responses to waste management issues observed in India might indicate a much wider gap. This means urban Indians will have to wait longer than an average urban citizen of our world for access to better waste management infrastructure.

The clear trend in the outbreak of epidemic and public protests around India is that they are happening in the biggest cities in their respective regions. Kolkata, Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, and Srinagar are capitals of their respective states, and Coimbatore is the second largest city in Tamil Nadu. However, long term national level plans to improve waste management in India do not exist and guidance offered to urban local bodies is meager.

Apart from the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM), there has been no national level effort required to address the problem. Even though JnNURM was phenomenal in stimulating the industry and local governments, it was not enough to address the scale and extent of the problem. This is because of JnNURM is not a long term financing program, sorts of which are required to tackle issues like solid waste management.

Role of Municipal Corporations

In the short term, municipal corporations have their hands tied and will not be able to deliver solutions immediately. They face the task of realizing waste management facilities inside or near cities while none of their citizens want them near their residences. Officials of Hyderabad’s municipal corporation have been conducting interviews with locals for about eight years now for a new landfill site, to no avail.

In spite of the mounting pressure, most corporations will not be able to close the dumpsites that they are currently using. This might not be the good news for which local residents could be waiting, but, it is important that bureaucrats, municipal officials and politicians be clear about it. Residents near Vellalore dump protested and blocked roads leading to the site because Coimbatore municipal officials repeatedly failed to fulfill their promises after every landfill fire incident.

Due to lack of existing alternatives, other than diverting waste fractionally by increasing informal recycling sector’s role, closing existing landfills would mean finding new sites. Finding new landfills in and around cities is nearly impossible because of the track record of dumpsite operations and maintenance in India and the Not in My Backyard (NIMBY) phenomenon.

However, the corporations can and should take measures to reduce landfill fires and open burning, and control pollution due to leachate and odor and vector nuisance. This will provide much needed relief to adjacent communities and give the corporations time to plan better. While navigating through an issue as sensitive this, it is of the utmost importance that they work closely with the community by increasing clarity and transparency.

Municipal officials at the meeting repeatedly stressed the issue of scarcity of land for waste disposal, which led to overflowing dumpsites and waste treatment facilities receiving more waste than what they were designed for. Most municipal officials are of the sense that a magic solution is right around the corner which will turn all of their city’s waste into fuel oil or gas, or into recycled products.

While such conversion is technologically possible with infinite energy and financial sources, that is not the reality. Despite their inability to properly manage wastes, the majority of municipal officials consider waste as “wealth” when approached by private partners. Therefore, a significant portion of officials expect royalty from private investments without sharing business risk.

waste-mountain

The increasing cost of waste disposal is a cause of major concern in developing nations

Good News on the Horizon

While the situation across India is grim and official action has to be demanded through courts or public protests, there are a handful of local governments which are planning ahead and leading the way. The steps taken to solve New Delhi’s waste management problem is laudable. If it was not for the kind of leadership and determination showcased in Delhi, India would not have had its only operating WTE plant. This plant was built in 2011, at a time when the need for waste-to-energy plants was being felt all over India. 1300 tons of Delhi’s waste goes into this facility every day to generate electricity. The successful operation of this facility reinvigorated dormant projects across the nation.

After living with heaps of garbage for months, Thiruvananthapuram Municipal Corporation started penalizing institutions which dump their waste openly. It has also increased the subsidy on the cost of small scale biogas units to 75% and aerobic composting units to 90% to encourage decentralized waste management. The corporation is optimistic with the increase in number of applications for the subsidy from 10 in an entire year to 18 in just a few months after the announcement.

In Bengaluru, improper waste management led to the change of the city’s municipal commissioner. The new commissioner was handed over the job to particularly improve waste management in the city. As a response to the dengue outbreak in Kolkata, the state’s Chief Minister went door to door to create awareness about waste management, and also included the topic in her public speeches. For good or bad, many cities in India have started or initiated steps for banning plastics without performing life cycle analyses.

3 Ways to Effectively Manage Your Medical Waste

All of the items that are used in healthcare must be disposed of correctly in a way that is environmentally safe and also responsible. This includes syringes, needles, and expired pills.

There are a lot of used syringes, dirty needles, pharmaceutical waste such as expired or contaminated drugs, and even infectious waste such as blood, used dressings, and bacterial cultures. Of course, all these things pose massive health and contamination risks and if they’re not disposed of properly, they can lead to even bigger health and environmental risks.

healthcare-waste-india

Luckily, we have some information that will undoubtedly help you. Here are three effective ways to manage your medical waste.

1. Correct disposal

Correct disposal means everything when it comes to keeping our environment safe and healthy, which is our priority. Before items are disposed of, they must go through a thorough treatment process to minimise health threats and reduce damage to our environment.

The terms of treatment realistically depend on the facilities, but the most common terms of medical waste treatment are:

  • Steam sterilisation: A great decontamination method that is simple but highly effective. Pressurised steam operates at a high temperature and kills off microorganisms.
  • Mechanical treatment: Grinding/shredding.
  • Chemical treatment: The use of disinfectants.

It is of the utmost importance that all staff are educated on the significance of disposal of medical waste correctly.

2. Develop a plan

Developing a plan could be considered one of the most important things when it comes to the management of medical waste. Every great facility will have an effective and proper plan in place regarding the management of their medical waste. The responsibilities and roles of each member as well as the waste management plan should be laid out as soon as possible with hospitals and will usually be the first thing you learn.

biomedical-waste

It is also of great importance that every staff member understands knows how much waste is generated and to what extent it does or does not fluctuate. It is up to the hospital to effectively teach this to their staff.

3. Introduce reusable items

Surprisingly, one of the worst ways to deal with waste items is to dispose of them. The most effective way to avoid waste is to not produce it in the first place. Understandably, waste is unavoidable in some circumstances, however, where possible it should be avoided.

A big way to make a change is to make the switch to reusable products where it is possible. Opting for greener alternatives could make the biggest difference to the environment and hospitals themselves. It is insanely easy to use reusable items in hospitals and it will be a godsend to the environment should hospitals consider reusable items.

In some cases, hospitals already use reusable products but for the sake of patient safety, some things just simply can’t be reusable. For example, any sharps containers and some specific medical instruments can actually be reusable! They will simply need to be sanitised and disinfected before/after each use and voila!

Before buying a product, it is always a good idea to check if it may be reusable. This will not only save money, but it will also save medical waste.

It is important to take care when disposing of your medical waste, see how to do it here.

Role of Environmental Engineering in Continuous Environmental Improvement

Learn more from here to see how the world has changed over the years. Obviously, the world is developing at a rapid pace. Infrastructures are built day by day to meet the demands of a fast-changing and evolving world. Every single day gives birth to a new technological advancement.

Unfortunately, as industries become technologically advanced and globally competitive, they forget about the environment. As companies join in the rat race, they focus more on the competition for being the best. However, they fail to pay close attention to the environmental damage they incur along the process.

As the environment greatly suffers from these companies’ negligence and irresponsibility, environmental engineering is in place to solve the damages. Different systems and processes are in place to counter the harmful effects of pollution brought about by factories, plants, manufacturing complexes and the likes.

environmental-engineers

Learn more from here to know what Environmental Engineering is all about

What is Environmental Engineering?

According to Live Science, Environmental Engineering is a branch of engineering which mainly deals with protection of people from dangerous environmental effects. These effects are contributed by pollution which decreases environmental quality altogether.

Environmental Engineering is especially omnipresent and essential especially in developing countries with poor sanitation and garbage disposal. As such, environmental engineering also contributes to the overall health and safety conditions of an entire population. With proper sanitation and waste disposal treatment, people somehow live a more conducive and safer lives.

modern-waste-disposal

AI-based waste management systems can help in route optimization and waste disposal

With the help of environmental engineers, proper waste disposal and recycling initiatives are reinforced. They are also in charge of public health and water and air pollution control. They ensure that pollution levels are in check. They do so by constantly formulating environmental strategies and processes which take thorough testing before implementation.

What are the benefits of Environmental Engineering?

Aside from the improvement of health and safety conditions of people, environmental engineering significantly helps in controlling climate change. According to Environmental Science, Environmental Engineering also deals with the potential effects of climate change and other environmental infrastructure factors.

As per AECOM, Environmental engineering makes use of analytical skills to provide strategic direction particularly for sustainability initiatives. Such initiatives deal with low-carbon generation of energy. Environmental engineering also paves the way for development of new technologies to minimise carbon footprint.

With the help of environmental engineers, they develop solar panels and hydrogen fuel cells. These tools aim to increase the efficiency of manufacturing. With better use of alternative energy sources, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide emissions are reduced.

ecofriendly-manufacturing

 

What is the future of Environmental Engineering?

With the help of engineers, environmental engineering shall continue to aid in continuous environmental improvement. Different environmental engineering companies also painstakingly improve their offered services to improve the following:

  • Garbage disposal
  • Water treatment
  • Energy efficiency
  • Use of alternative energy sources
  • Reduction of emissions with solvents
  • Process survey and evaluations

As Environmental Engineering improves these services one step at a time, people are guaranteed a better quality of life. New scientific discoveries pave the way to further the improvement of different environmental processes in place. Engineers are quick to adapt to changes, especially those that are geared towards improving the environment.

Is Environmental Engineering the answer to environmental decline?

The environment has significantly been damaged as one gets to learn more from here. Environmental Engineering takes the cue from this obvious problem. Thanks to the tireless work of experts and practitioners, we are assured that something is always brewing to make things right.

However, it is important to note that no matter what advances are in place, the environment shall continue to deteriorate if discipline is not practiced. Think of Environmental Engineering as delaying the effects. It is not the solution to the worsening global environmental condition. It all depends on the discipline, commitment and environmental awareness of each and every citizen of this planet.

Role of Anaerobic Digestion in Food Waste Management

Food waste is one of the single largest constituent of municipal solid waste stream. In a typical landfill, food waste is one of the largest incoming waste streams and responsible for the generation of high amounts of methane. Diversion of food waste from landfills can provide significant contribution towards climate change mitigation, apart from generating revenues and creating employment opportunities.

food-waste-biogas

Of the different types of organic wastes available, food waste holds the highest potential in terms of economic exploitation as it contains high amount of carbon and can be efficiently converted into biogas and organic fertilizer. Food waste can either be utilized as a single substrate in a biogas plant, or can be co-digested with organic wastes like cow manure, poultry litter, sewage, crop residues, abattoir wastes etc or can be disposed in dedicated food waste disposers (FWDs). Rising energy prices and increasing environmental concerns makes it more important to harness clean energy from food wastes.

Anaerobic Digestion of Food Wastes

Anaerobic digestion is the most important method for the treatment of food waste because of its techno-economic viability and environmental sustainability. The use of anaerobic digestion technology generates biogas and preserves the nutrients which are recycled back to the agricultural land in the form of slurry or solid fertilizer. The relevance of biogas technology lies in the fact that it makes the best possible utilization of food wastes as a renewable source of clean energy.

A biogas plant is a decentralized energy system, which can lead to self-sufficiency in heat and power needs, and at the same time reduces environmental pollution. Thus, the benefits of anaerobic digestion of food waste includes climate change mitigation, economic benefits and landfill diversion opportunities.

Anaerobic digestion has been successfully used in several European and Asian countries to stabilize food wastes, and to provide beneficial end-products. Sweden, Austria, Denmark, Germany and England have led the way in developing new advanced biogas technologies and setting up new projects for conversion of food waste into energy.

Codigestion at Wastewater Treatment Facilities

Anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge is wastewater treatment facilities is a common practice worldwide. Food waste can be codigested with sewage sludge if there is excess capacity in the anaerobic digesters. An excess capacity at a wastewater treatment facility can occur when urban development is overestimated or when large industries leave the area.

anaerobic_digestion_plant

By incorporating food waste, wastewater treatment facilities can have significant cost savings due to tipping fee for accepting the food waste and increasing energy production. Wastewater treatment plants are usually located in urban areas which make it cost-effective to transport food waste to the facility. This trend is catching up fast and such plants are already in operation in several Western countries.

The main wastewater treatment plant in East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), Oakland (California) was the first sewage treatment facility in the USA to convert post-consumer food scraps to energy via anaerobic digestion. EBMUD’s wastewater treatment plant has an excess capacity because canneries that previously resided in the Bay Area relocated resulting in the facility receiving less wastewater than estimated when it was constructed. Waste haulers collect post-consumer food waste from local restaurants and markets and take it to EBMUD where the captured methane is used as a renewable source of energy to power the treatment plant. After the digestion process, the leftover material is be composted and used as a natural fertilizer.

The first food waste anaerobic digestion plant in Britain to be built at a sewage treatment plant is the city of Bristol. The plant, located at a Wessex Water sewage works in Avonmouth, process 40,000 tonnes of food waste a year from homes, supermarkets and business across the southwest and generate enough energy to power around 3,000 homes.

5 DIY Plumbing Basics Every Homeowner Should Learn

Plumbing failures like leaking faucets, clogged pipes, and broken fixtures are a few common issues homeowners face that require regular maintenance. In the event of a breakdown, the initial response is to seek professional help. However, luck may not always be on your side, and you might not be able to get a maintenance specialist for emergency services.

Or worse, the issue crops up on holidays or other times when your plumber is unavailable. Such a predicament would cause a significant amount of delay, and this may not only be an inconvenience, but at times, such delays could further create complications. Additionally, plumbing repair and replacements are generally an expensive affair. Thus, to protect yourself from such adverse situations, it is helpful to know standard plumbing basics.

Read on to learn about five common plumbing problems and what you can do to fix them.

1. How To Mend A Broken Pipe

Pipe bursts are a casualty that can happen without warning. If it happens during the working hours of the repairman, consider yourself lucky, else you would be in trouble. The plumber charges extra for emergency or after-hour services. Unless you have a home warranty covering your plumbing system’s repair cost, you will have to pay a hefty fee. However, if you know how to fix the issue temporarily, you might be able to save a few dollars.

DIY Plumbing Basics Every Homeowner Should Learn

In such a situation, the first thing to do is locate the shut-off valve to cut off the water supply. Once done, you can inspect the pipe to locate the leak. You can cover the leak with electrical or duct tape to prevent water leakage as a temporary fix. For holes bigger in size or damage in fittings, an epoxy putty is a bankable option as a temporary fix.

2. Adding Pipe Insulation

Are you tired of having to wait to get a hot water supply from the tap? It tends to cause inconvenience, especially when you are running behind schedule. Or during winters when you aren’t a fan of cold showers. An easy fix for this problem is to add a layer of insulation to the supply pipes to keep the water warm. By doing so, you prevent any wastage while waiting for hot water to arrive. Additionally, it helps reduce your energy bills as you need not heat the water every time you need it.

Now, you need not hire a plumber to take care of this job. All you need to do is locate any exposed areas in the hot water supply pipes. Take note to find any exposed critical areas that are on the exterior of your house. You can further mark the exposed pipes in unheated garages and attics. Adding a layer of protection to these pipes helps to prevent frozen pipes during winters and reduce energy bills in general.

To add a layer of insulation, use pipe wraps around the area in spiral loops to cover the pipe completely. Another option is to use foam pipe sleeves that cover the pipe completely. Use duct tapes to seal the ends of the pipe sleeves entirely and finish the installation. Voila, your pipe is now insulated.

3. Change Your Showerhead

Are you not feeling upbeat after a good shower because the water flow from your worn-out showerhead is irregular? You might consider calling a plumber. However, it is not entirely necessary. You can follow these simple steps and can replace the showerhead on your own.

The first step is to close the faucet to stop the water supply to the shower. Now, remove the showerhead by turning it anti-clockwise. If it is rusted, you will need a wrench to remove the fitting. Upon removing the fitting, clean the area for any dirt or dust on the threads using an old toothbrush or paper towel. Once done, cover the threads by wrapping around the thread sealing tape in a clockwise manner.

To smoothen the tapes, apply pressure between the tape and the thread with your fingers. Before you install your showerhead, read the product guidelines to find out whether you need a wrench or not. If you don’t, then you can quickly fix the showerhead by rotating it clockwise. Else take help of a wrench. Post installing, check for any leaks and tighten the head to make it stop. Make other adjustments that are required, and you’re good to go!

4. Fixing a Clogged Garbage Disposal

 The garbage disposal unit is prone to get clogged due to a variety of factors like not flushing enough water, grinding potato or banana peels, and even eggshells. When the clog occurs, you will find that the issue lies in the waste discharge area of the disposer. Over some time, the food waste might get accumulated at the waste line and form a blockage. The clog can cause significant disruption in the functioning of your kitchen. Hence, it needs to be fixed immediately. Luckily you can do so yourself! Here’s how you can do it.

With the help of pliers, you can remove the P-trap located beneath the disposal unit. Keep a bucket beneath the trap to allow all the contents, generally food waste and water, to fall in the bucket. Paper towels will be handy to clear any spillage. Clean any clogs, if present, with the help of a small brush. Check the trap arm and clear out any clogs in a similar manner. Once you are sure that the trap is clean, reassemble the drain pipe and tighten the fittings with your hands.

5. Replace/Install The Faucet Aerator

A faucet aerator is placed at the end of the kitchen sink or bathroom faucets. This device is a helpful addition to the faucet as they make the water stream easier to use by making the flow smoother. The faucet aerator may get worn out or get clogged with age, thereby requiring a replacement.

plumbing tips to save money

All you need to do is remove the aerator by rotating it counterclockwise. You might see the clog due to sediment deposition once you remove the device. Clean up the clog with the help of a brush or wire, and install the new aerator by rotating it clockwise.

Conclusion

Hiring a professional to take care of your plumbing projects in the house is always a good idea. However, these fundamental plumbing issues require simple fixes that you can do yourself. As a homeowner, you must be aware of these plumbing basics. It will surely make your life easier.

6 Common Reasons Why Sidewalks Are Seldom Used

One of the common neighborhood problems is how people walk on the streets instead of sidewalks. Going to and from work or school, they find it more convenient to walk on the streets because it is free from obstruction. At the same time, the space is wider compared to the human traffic experienced in walking on sidewalks. Sidewalks are often dominated by vehicles limiting the volume of people they can cater to.

Not using the sidewalks may provide convenience at some point but it compromises the safety of the people. In building a community, one of the most important considerations is easy and safe means of transport. Allow the sidewalks to give the people a reason to walk instead of hopping on a bus or taking a cab. These 6 reasons will give you a clearer view on why people seldom use sidewalks.

(Image Source: https://www.citylab.com/life/2016/04/las-vegas-gamble-with-pedestrian-powered-streetlights-solar-kinetic-energy/476292/)

The Lighting Design is Poor

Lighting design is one of the considerations in order to maximize the utilization of sidewalks even at night. This does not just make them visible at night. Lighting also helps in making the people feel more secured. There are a lot of people who walk home at night. Walking in a dark sidewalk makes a person more cautious about the surroundings. There is the feeling of worry about how walking in a dark sidewalk alone will compromise their safety.

Most urban designers think highly of the lighting design of the streets. Apart from the fact that it compromises safety, this is the most common reason why few people choose to walk on sidewalks at night. There are a lot of all-in-one solar street lights with an innovational design that brings out the essence of well-lit sidewalks. Apart from the fact that it is energy-efficient, these street lights are also providing direct and vibrant light on the streets.

The Vehicles Dominate the Sidewalk

Instead of being able to pass through smoothly, small vehicles are parked on the streets. Being able to dominate the sidewalk limits the space where people can pass through. Spaces designated for small vehicles should be provided for the people to maximize the space designated for them. Most people park their bikes and motorcycles on sidewalks because there are limited spaces for them. This may seem like a small issue but it constitutes to why people choose not to walk on sidewalks.

The Space is Limited

In planning urban or rural sidewalks, the designated space depends on the volume of people. This is the primary consideration making it possible for the sidewalk to cater to the population. Know that not all have the means of transporting through bus or cab. Most people choose to walk block by block. When the space is limited, it will take time to walk from one block to another because you keep bumping on people.

Sidewalks with limited space are more likely not to be prioritized by people. This is one of the urban and rural issues which should be provided with a long term solution. Most people choose to walk on the side streets. Apart from the fact that it’s convenient, the human traffic is manageable compared to the ones in the sidewalk. Convenience and walkability feature is what the sidewalk should feature.

The Obstructions Affect Human Traffic

One of the best examples of sidewalk obstruction are trees that are too big for the sidewalks. With the limited space provided for the sidewalk, the growth of trees become uncontrollable. In choosing the landscapes for the sidewalks, the space it should be consuming ten to twenty years from now should be taken into consideration. Most landscape architects and designers choose large-scaled landscapes not for aesthetic purposes but for the natural sun-shading feature it provides.

The Sidewalks are Poorly Planned

When a sidewalk is highly utilized, they are more likely to undergo several planning and research for development. Not because there is a space designated for a sidewalk doesn’t stop the responsibilities of the planners. They have a lot of design considerations for sidewalks to consider before building, designing, and landscaping. These sidewalks are a life-long solution to people violating the rules and regulations.

The Sidewalks are Unfriendly for Pedestrians

Unfriendly sidewalks result to poor utilization. They are not used based on their fundamental function. Instead, they are used as an alternative designated for parking, portable toilets, alfresco for restaurants, and other means. When pedestrians find sidewalks friendly, they tend to maximize its utilization. They should be designated for people and not for any other purpose. This will not just manage the human traffic but most people will comply with pedestrian rules and regulations.

Conclusion

In order to come up with a walkable sidewalk, they should be designed according to what the users need. They need convenience and assurance that these are safe for utilization at any time of the day. Sidewalks should be friendly for people for them to consider walking instead of using public transportation. Moreover, a highly utilized sidewalk will constitute to less vehicular and human traffic.

How to Make Your Home Office More Eco-Friendly

In a time where a lot of people have been forced to work from home, it has been necessary to create workstations and offices at our own residences. Many employers and employees have found the solution beneficial, and we will probably see a bigger part of the workforce working from home in the future. In a world with climate changes, you can also do your part to help bring down the use of the earth’s resources while sitting on your own office chair.

How to Make Your Home Office More Eco-Friendly

1. Use software not paper

Instead of printing and archiving paper in old boxes in your attic, you should use a cloud service. A cloud service can back up all your documents and make sure that they will be kept forever.

There are several ways to use software for a more sustainable home office. Whether it’s cloud service, time management, customer contact, or it-management software that you need, there is a solution for you. However, it can be hard to find the right software. If you don’t know which program you should go for, you can get some help at https://www.saasgenius.com/.

2. Use a laptop

Those big computers use a lot of power and today most work can be done from a laptop without compromising the computer’s power output. If you already use a laptop, you can turn off the charger when it’s fully charged and use the computer’s battery. Remember to switch off your electronic devices when not in use such as your printer and your computer when going for a break.

 

You might want to check out if you can get a cheaper energy provider, which is one of our tips in 12 Ways Small Businesses Can Save Energy.

3. Work during the day

Nothing beats natural daylight so you should of course work during the day. Getting that vitamin D has several advantages and it will help you to get through the day without getting tired early on. Place your workspace close to a window so you can enjoy the sunbeams while working.

Unfortunately, it is not always possible to work when the sun is out, so if you need a little lamp stand make sure that the light bulb is energy-saving or even better, make use of solar lamps.

Energy-Saving Tips for Small Businesses

4. Use sustainable materials and furniture

If you are about to install a new home office, you can look at the materials that you use to furnish the room. When building yourself you should make sure that you are using sustainable materials. Reclaimed wood has a nice look to it and keeps your conscience clean.

If you are buying other materials, you can make sure that they are produced in-country, so the CO2 emission has been minimal during the transportation. If you are not a big handyman yourself, you can also buy second hand furniture. By doing that you can keep the costs down while staying eco-friendly.

5. Reduce waste

Sometimes it will be impossible not to use paper for printing, but when you do use it the right way. You can use recycled paper and printers that are not as ink-consuming. Nowadays it is possible to buy a printer with disappearing ink. This means that you can use the same piece of paper over and over again as the ink disappears over time.

a paper free office

During a long day’s work, it is also advisable to remember to drink water. Just remember to use a reusable drinking bottle, so we can reduce plastic waste and make the world a greener place.

Why Solar Panels Make a Difference in Minnesota

Many would be surprised to know that, despite its cold, northern climate, Minnesota receives a substantial amount of natural solar energy. The amount received is even comparable to places near the equator such as Texas and Florida.

Solar Energy Minnesota users have tapped into this phenomenon more and more. They utilize natural sunlight to power their homes and protect the environment. With the help of monetary incentives, they even save money while doing it!

minnesota-solar

By analyzing the environmental possibilities of the future and the fiscal incentives of the present, it is astoundingly clear why anyone would choose to invest in installing and maintaining solar panels. Due to its ever-growing importance and accessibility, this choice is only going to become more conventional.

An Eco-Conscious Undertaking

Excess greenhouse gases continue to deteriorate our ozone. Moreover, non-renewable resources risk becoming obsolete with each passing day. The question of how we must prepare ourselves is a recurring theme. We can make everyday decisions, like:

  • Recycling
  • Cutting down on plastic
  • Eating according to a vegan diet

Still, there are also larger steps, like using alternative energy sources. Solar energy is an exemplary renewable resource that is being encouraged for the state of Minnesota. This is because of its usefulness and the state’s considerably substantial accumulation of it.

It has been estimated that Minnesota can garner up to 38.5% of its electricity through solar power. This statistic can be jarring when considering facts like Minnesota used nuclear power for about 24% of its electricity in 2019 and is in the top 10% of ethanol producers in the country. Switching from these finite resources to a renewable one would positively impact both the state and the nation.

Financial Incentives

Just as everyone has a water bill and a cable bill, homeowners and property managers must also manage the responsibility of paying for power usage. The cost of electricity has a significant impact on how one goes about powering their home or business; however, numerous companies are now offering incentives to promote solar power usage.

solar-powered-home

Many people’s decisions are a matter of price and affordability. By companies distributing incentives for the installation and maintenance of solar panels, plenty of individuals who never expected to partake in such a transformative endeavor can now do precisely that for federal tax credit and/or a utility rebate with up to 51% of the cost credited back. This applies to residential and commercial uses alike.

Personal Savings

Research from 2016 claims that over a decade-long period, solar panels will actually pay for themselves, and in a twenty-five-year span, they will start to make money back. Even dismissing the incentives to get started, solar energy could start making back money once it has found a foothold. This is a consistently discovered statistic in the studies of environmental sustainability—the more effort we put into incorporating renewable resources now, the less long-term climactic troubles we will have that result in displacement or worse.

Additionally, many of these companies that promote solar panel usage also assist with installation and upkeep—maintaining your panels in the frigid Minnesota winter is just one example of aid offered to those who commit to the process.

Bottom Line

Due to eco-conscious values, fiscal incentives, or impending climate change, solar power is taking a front seat in Minnesota’s most commonly used energy sources. Right now may be the best time to invest in solar panels, as those who do are likely to get money back for their contribution to a cleaner, safer world.

While the eco-conscious choices yesterday were a matter of money, it is evident that tomorrow they will be affordable for all.

4 Ways to Make Your Business More Eco-Friendly

As society moves towards widespread sustainability efforts, more businesses are jumping on opportunities to make their operations eco-friendly. Some initiatives are massive, while others are tiny changes that make a big impact.

Here are a few of the most popular and effective ways to make your business more eco-friendly, so you can benefit from lower utilities, improved brand image, and happier clientele.

Check out these four options to see which you like best.

Ways to Make Your Business More Eco-Friendly

1. Provide Eco-Friendly Transport Options

When every employee drives their vehicle to work, it does more than just crowd the parking lot. Encouraging and creating the opportunity for eco-friendly transport options is one way that a workplace can change its environmental impact.

There are a few ways to get to work that may be better for mother earth than a typical gas-engine car. One of these is public transport. If your city uses a bus or train system, be sure to locate your office space near a stop. This will make it possible for employees to choose that as an alternative to driving.

If your business operates vehicles as part of your services, we recommend choosing a car that runs on fuel-efficient sources, like SimpleFuel. Install the hydrogen fueling stations manufacturer PDC Machines has created to reduce pollution when you use your fuel.

2. Audit Your HVAC

One of the most affordable ways you can invest in an energy-saving initiative is by setting up an audit for your HVAC system. Every business owner wants to effectively keep their facilities cool in the hot summers and warm during bitter winters. If your HVAC system is operating efficiently, this should be easy. The problem is that breakdowns, leaks, and other issues are very common. These issues can worsen your environmental impact. Audit of HVAC system is essential to:

  • Find potential heat or cooling leaks in windows, doors, and more
  • Ensure that insulation is preventing the fast loss of heat or cool air
  • Watch for any spikes in your electricity bill that could indicate unit problems

When there are leaks present or insulation isn’t installed properly, it means your home isn’t cooled or heated properly. As the heat escapes in the winter through leaks, the HVAC unit has to work harder to heat your house as it cools. This causes more frequent breakdowns as your system experiences more wear and tear.

clogged filter of AC

So, we recommend calling in a professional to take a look at your unit and guarantee that it’s not wasting energy.

3. Give Your In-Office Lighting An Audit

Just like your HVAC system, you can upgrade the lighting grid you set up for your office space to save money on utilities and lower energy usage. Performing an audit is a great way to find the small issues that send your bills skyrocketing.

Some of the common ways that you can reduce your environmental impact with small changes in your office lighting are:

4. Switch to Sustainable Products

The supplies you utilize in your workday can quickly add up when you multiply it by the number of employees in the building. That’s why sustainable products are so impactful.

plastic-free bathroom

Buy recycled products, and recycle them after use. This simple step reduces waste, which avoids contributing to toxic landfills. Another way to reduce waste is to use compostable products or biodegradable products.

If an excessive amount of paper is wasted on memos every day, perhaps switch to digital for that specific item.

The Bottom Line

Owning and operating an eco-friendly business doesn’t have to be a hassle. Once you have some of these initiatives in place, you can focus on operations while benefiting from lower overhead costs and a positive impact on the environment.

Once you try these initiatives, spread the word! Share these impressive new eco-friendly office features in recruitment ads, sales packages to clients, or even just watch how it helps your energy bill each month.