The warmer weather might be great for holidays and spending time outside, but the one thing it also brings around are pests looking for food or some shelter out from the heat. The most common problems to find their way out of hiding are rats and pigeons, both of which are a danger to your health and a mission to get rid of once they have made their way into your home.
If you ever find yourself stuck in a war with pests and cannot get the best Pest Busters in Birmingham to assist you, then you should follow these easy steps to keep your home pest-free.
1. Keep garbage cans clean and closed at all times
Vermin are attracted to dirt and areas where there is a lot of rubble. They can smell it a mile away. If you ever see pigeons returning to the same spot consistently, then you know they are on the prowl to find food from a source close. Use disinfectant around the area if any food may have spilt over accidentally and soaked into the ground.
The smell will attract rats, which are not very afraid of humans and usually travel in groups. Like pigeons, rats are always on the lookout for food sources, so they are likely to return if they find a good start. Keep pets food indoors so that they are not at risk either, and wash your pets regularly in summer to keep them from attracting pests with their smell.
They can make their way into your furniture or bedding through dust, pets or other pests and it can be a nightmare to try and get rid of them. The first thing you should do to prevent their unwelcomed stay is to keep your mattresses clean. These little critters thrive off your dead skin cells and multiply in thousands every day.
Spraying your furniture with a safe detergent will keep them from being able to reproduce. If any of your beds have been affected, steam cleans the mattress and wash all the laundry immediately. You can even add an insect repellant spray to the steamer and make sure that the bed and the furniture is dry with heat. Do not leave it out on its own to dry; dry it immediately.
The result of trying to keep your home pest-free will have to be using disinfectant in all the areas where they are likely to gather and make sure that you do not leave anything out that they could use to make nests with or see as a food source. Citronella candles help to keep away flying pests like mosquitos and flies and can also help to onward off smaller vermin like mice.
If you suspect that you might have a problem, then call the best Pest Busters in Birmingham to help you enjoy summer pest free.
Sustainability has become a key element of doing business in any industry. However, running a sustainable business can be challenging and involves engaging employees in your sustainability mission. Developing a strong sustainability culture allows employees to commit to sustainability and implement the environmentally friendly initiatives that best suit the company. Your organisational culture refers to the company’s mission and vision. However, there is much more to consider, such as the daily interaction between employees and managers or your team’s attitude to their daily responsibilities. Today we will provide you with our expert tips to cultivate a culture of sustainability and ensure that your company is striving for a greater purpose other than profit.
Create A Sustainability Vision
Establishing a sustainability vision will help your company determine the direction in which it wants to move in. Therefore, it is critical to develop a picture of the future that is easy to communicate. As new challenges arise, you should adapt the sustainability vision accordingly. Then you will need to ensure that your company’s sustainability vision is remembered and celebrated in different ways.
For example, this might involve organising events, such as sustainability weeks, team competitions, as well as communication campaigns. It might also be a good idea to involve employees’ families, encouraging them to introduce sustainable practices at home.
Explore Effective Solutions
You will need to develop a solid understanding of your company’s impact and potential for sustainable growth. This can be done by exploring effective solutions and strategies to tackle environmental issues, such as climate change.
No matter how much effort you put into designing a sustainability strategy, there might be a few employees who might not want to get involved straightaway. It is advisable to provide them with a sense of relevance by looking for local community initiatives that your company can support.
Following successful involvement with community initiatives, these employees can witness the tangible results, which can increase their motivation to get involved again. To ensure success, focus on achieving goals related to employees’ daily lives and personal values.
Participate In Sustainability Forums
There are many issues that your business might want to learn about. However, nowadays, it can be challenging to always keep up with the best practices out there.
Consider participating in sustainability forums where public, private, and third sectors meet to discuss innovative sustainability practices. This can provide you with ideas on how to develop a culture of sustainability that will show your employees that you are committed to making positive changes. You may also have the chance to make new business connections and partnerships.
Implement Green Practices
Think about creating a more sustainable office so that you can save money and energy. For example, you may consider using renewable energy, as green power sources are now more accessible than ever. Also, you can try going paperless by printing less in general and using e-statements and invoices instead of paper documents.
There are also many benefits of choosing LED lighting in your office, such as providing a better work setting for employees and increasing energy efficiency. Where possible, you should try to maximise natural light as well.
Provide Sustainability Training
Employees should not only understand the idea of sustainability and developing a green culture, but they should also be aware of the reasons why the company is focused on sustainability. This means that your message needs to be clear so that employees feel more aligned with the company’s mission. Sustainability training can take place in a variety of ways by using a combination of internal and external resources.
For instance, you can start by hosting monthly meetings with the aim of discussing different topics related to business sustainability. Also, it might be helpful to establish a training budget that enables employees to attend seminars or conferences.
Put Together A Green Team
If you are looking to truly engage employees and establish a sustainability culture, you will not only just need leadership from management, but at all levels of the organisation.
It can be helpful to set up a green team made up of passionate individuals across all levels and departments of the company. These people should be eager to contribute to the organisation’s sustainability efforts. This will confirm the idea of a greater movement happening and will encourage participation from other team members as well. You will find that many employees will be interested in participating in something that aligns with their core values.
Organise Regular Meetings
Holding meetings on a regular basis is a great way to allow cross-collaboration between different departments and areas of the business. It will also enable you to track progress and communicate results with the rest of the team. Keep employees fully informed about company updates when it comes to broader sustainability goals. Explain how company initiatives are benefiting the environment and your local community.
You may also want to include general news about eco-trends or worldwide sustainability activities that might interest your employees. Regular meetings will help you stay on track with your goals, ensuring that every employee can feel like a sustainability champion.
Be Open To Suggestions
When employees are empowered with education and the tools they need to make a positive environmental impact, they are more likely to embed sustainability into their daily routines. This means that you can avoid unwanted disruption to regular business culture. Instead, you can focus on making gradual changes and moving towards a culture of sustainability.
It is crucial to ensure that employees feel confident to share their ideas and suggestions, which may influence company actions. As a result, all employees can gain common ground on sustainability strategies.
Share Success Stories
It is important to show appreciation to employees who have adopted this culture by featuring their stories in a visible or public manner. If you are looking to promote employee engagement, you may also want to organise competitions with attractive incentives, such as a paid company volunteer day.
Remember to celebrate your employees’ success and show them that the company is committed to helping all stakeholders, including customers, partners, and the local community. For example, you can share awards, pictures, videos, and quotes on social media so that you can get more people involved.
Embed Sustainability In Employees’ Minds
Sustainability should become part of everyday interaction between employees and managers, from senior board meetings to sub-department lunches. When it comes to adopting new habits and getting accustomed to new ideas, repetition is key. Therefore, it might be beneficial for managers to mention sustainability during important speeches and presentations. This will portray sustainability as a main personal and organisational goal.
Managers can demonstrate that the company’s sustainability vision is not empty words but rather a top priority. As a result, the concept of sustainability and a green workplace culture will be embedded in employees’ minds.
Whether the trends have changed or you’re tired of seeing the same old design in your room, it may be time for a change. However, redesigning your kitchen units (and maybe the whole kitchen) can be costly, especially if you purchase too many supplies or need to stick to a budget. Even so, you can change whatever you like through sustainable practices that will allow you to buy affordable things. A penny saved is a penny earned, so let’s get into it.
1. Try sustainable paint
The easiest and less pricey option for redesigning your kitchen units is to paint them. Green products are accessible, but first, you need to consider a few things. To keep the paint on for a longer time, you must be careful how you strip off the old paint. For example, you might want to get a lead-based paint remover that will safely alter it. Removing and cleaning the waste won’t be a hassle anymore, and you’ll be able to dispose of it properly.
Secondly, when looking for sustainable paint, the best options are products with low or no VOC (volatile organic compounds). For durability, check if the paint is oil-based or water-based with 100% acrylic resin. You may also add a clear sealer top on the paint for more protection. Finally, regarding the sealer, you’ll find polyurethane products that will care for your cabinets against fingertips and other strains.
Know that sustainable paint is not only good for the environment but your health too. If you don’t choose protective equipment, your lungs may be affected by the fumes and chemicals, and in the worst cases, those paints can even contribute to respiratory diseases and cancer. So, besides choosing sustainable paint, make sure you properly ventilate the room and wear a mask to minimise the risks.
Look for sustainable materials
When choosing sustainable materials for your cabinets, you’ll have two options: either purchase high-end products that will last forever or look for recycled countertops. The expensive materials will surely last for a longer time, but depending on how much you want to invest in your house, they might not be the best solution if you’re not already settled in your own household.
Then, if you choose recycled products, they might not look that good so they may need another repaint, but the prices are more accessible, like:
FSC-certified and bamboo plywood;
Renewable wood like lyptus (made from two species of eucalyptus)
Still, if your budget allows it, look for these high-end materials:
The less expensive products are not less durable, they’re only not that fancy-looking, but you can still change their appearance. Salvaged wood and reused wood pallets are better than having furniture containing certain toxins that can affect your health. For example, some semi-volatile organic compounds found in such materials have been found to contribute to asthma and wheezing.
3. Shop from local manufacturers
One great way of being a sustainable customer is to support your local businesses and purchase their products. By doing this, you’ll offer them the opportunity of creating new and better products and also provide qualitative furniture to their clients. What’s best about local manufacturers is that they can make custom kitchen units that will suit your tastes better. They may cost you a little bit more, but the investment is worth it.
However, if there are no local businesses in your area and you have no choice but to buy from regular suppliers, you can at least check their ethical and eco policies to ensure they respect the environment and don’t waste resources. Be aware of greenwashing and check if there are rumours around the company’s practices because, most times, if other people sense there’s something wrong with a business, it might be true.
Greenwashing happens when companies invest more in advertising and promoting their intentions and practices. Still, in reality, they don’t implement sustainability into their culture to minimise their impact on the environment. So, if one of your suppliers seems to insist too much on green products and such, make sure you research them thoroughly before purchasing their products.
4. Buy second-hand
Second-hand shops are not only great for reusing clothes but also for furniture. Some showrooms will work by displaying used units, cabinets and such at a discount price. The only disadvantage is that you may find cracked or broken things, so they will need reparations, repainting and much more. Still, the advantage of such showrooms is that you’ll find plenty of unique products, from vintage units to some of the latest designs that you may not find on the internet anymore. Plus, some of these products are made with high-end materials, which is why some of them are very heavy.
Regarding the design, if you’re lucky to find a furniture auction near you or selling online, you might be able to get your hands on:
Mid-century modern furniture with organic and geometric shapes, minimal ornamentation and neutral and bold colours;
Modern furnishings, with smooth surfaces, straight lines and warm neutral colours;
Art deco furniture, with angular lines, bold patterns and prints and animal themes;
Chippendale furniture that has wooden lattice-shaped curves and elaborated ornamentation;
Rocco furniture brings the 18th century into your kitchen with lighter woods and pastel colours;
Victorian furniture is represented by heavy fabrics, ornate carvings and inlays;
The mission-style furniture features include straight lines, squared legs and durability;
The Queen Anne design involves curving shaped-furniture, delicate fan or shell patterns made from maple or mahogany woods;
What do you think about these ideas? We believe anyone can redesign their kitchen units and furniture by making a small effort to look for something more than you’d typically find at the regular supplier. Painting furniture is also a sustainable method of caring for and changing your cabinets. Make sure you choose the proper paint and product and equip yourself with masks. So, what’s your next plan for transforming your kitchen units?
It’s hard to believe that only a few decades ago we fell into the trap of thinking “disposable” equated to “cool.” We also had an attitude that nature was inexhaustible, messy, and probably needed to be tamed. Times certainly have changed, and from engineers to householders, to small businesses, doing what we can to go easy on the environment has become something we all wished we’d started doing long ago. This awareness has led to some pretty ingenious solutions and ideas. Let’s explore some examples that range from the super-serious to the cute and fun.
1. Tunnels Without the Disturbance
Have you heard about microtunneling? Modern-day life means having access to a great many infrastructure services, most of which come from tunnels that run for miles beneath the surface. Not too long ago, the solution was diggers and a huge mess – not exactly good when sensitive areas were traversed. Now, specialized machinery can dig microtunnels with very little need for surface disturbance. It’s one of those jaw-dropping technologies that few of us are aware of but that are becoming the norm rather than the exception.
2. Trawling Away The Oceans’ Garbage Patches
Massive “islands” of floating plastic are threatening sea-life and the health of the planet is heavily dependent on the health of its oceans. A non-profit organization has come up with a simple yet effective way to clean up floating debris in rivers and in the sea. Will this huge cleanup come cheap? Sadly, it won’t. Support their work if you can.
3. Edible Water Bottles
Stopping the plastic problem at its source would certainly be a big advance. One of the top culprits in plastic pollution, water bottles, may be taking on an edible spin. For now, they consist of coated spheres of water. Pop one in your mouth, bite down, and enjoy a fresh, guilt-free draught of water. Now, we just need to see a similar level of ingenuity being applied to other types of food packaging.
4. Chewing Gum Sneakers
Continuing our journey from the large-scale engineering project to the products that ordinary people use almost every day, we have a truly intriguing idea from the Netherlands: chewing gum sneakers! Instead of using plastics and newly manufactured synthetic rubber, one company has found a way to make rubber from used chewing gum. While the global impact will likely be a small one, this type of ingenuity deserves a big thumbs up!
5. Drowned Bicycle Bottle Openers
Another rather fun idea from the Netherlands, we have drowned bicycle bottle openers! It seems that the Dutch, or at least some of them, have been disposing of old bicycles in canals. A local gin producer has decided to cash in – and clean up the canals – by using bicycle parts to make its own eco-friendly bottle openers.
From Mega-Projects to Upcycled Products: Every Bit Helps
Can you add your two cents to global efforts that benefit the environment? Whether you’re an inventor with grand schemes or an ordinary citizen, you can help to make a difference. Reduce, reuse, recycle – and do a bit extra on top of that. Looking for an idea? Why not organize a riverside cleanup or hit the beach with your garbage bags and a few friends. Every bit helps!
Decluttering and organizing is an excellent opportunity to get rid of non-essential items, update those needing attention, and start afresh. It also presents a perfect time to evaluate your consumption and purchase habits to find ways of living sustainably. How you manage your home and live your life significantly affects your carbon footprint. Therefore, if an opportunity to declutter presents itself, you should leverage various eco-friendly options to protect the environment.
Why is a Conscious and Eco-Friendly Lifestyle Important?
Climate change and reducing natural resources have become major problems in recent years. Buying and using more household items significantly contributes to landfill waste, which increases carbon emissions. This is harmful to human life and the environment.
Several agencies have developed strategies that encourage individuals to make environmentally-conscious decisions. This mitigates environmental damage and ensures that humans live a brighter and more sustainable life. While there are several ways to reduce environmental impact, changing your activities at home has significant effects.
Creating a zero-waste life significantly reduces individual carbon footprint. As such, the benefits of conscious decluttering go beyond getting rid of household junk. Through this, you can make healthier, more efficient, and eco-friendly lifestyle choices.
Sustainable Ways to Declutter Your Home
While decluttering benefits your physical and mental health, decluttering sustainably is better for the environment and prepares you better for the move. The following are sustainable decluttering tips:
Before discarding any item in your home, consider repurposing it. Most people are quick to dispose of clothing and other things, which can be beneficial in several ways. For instance, old CD cases can be used to store cables, Kleenex boxes are excellent plastic bag holders, and empty toilet rolls can hold cluttered wires together. Fortunately, the internet is awash with endless ways of repurposing various household items.
Donating is an eco-friendly method of disposing of non-essential items that are in good condition. The adage “one man’s garbage is another’s treasure” surely holds. Just because you don’t need or use some items doesn’t mean others won’t enjoy having them. Old blankets, sheets, clothes, and other household items can benefit homeless shelters and needy families. You can also sell these items to thrift stores to make them accessible to individuals who can’t afford expensive items.
Recycling is another popular and environmentally-friendly method of decluttering. The best way to protect the environment is to ensure that appliances, electronics, and other items don’t contribute to landfill waste. Reducing landfill waste is a direct way of minimizing your carbon footprint.
You can leverage several recycling options available. The most common option is donating items in good condition to charities, listing them on websites dealing with second-hand items, or dropping them off at recycling centers. Choosing either of these options is better than dumping them in a garbage truck.
4. Digitize where possible
You can also take advantage of advancing technologies to minimize your carbon footprint. Computer technologies are beneficial in many ways, including enhancing responsible decluttering. Like most people, you might be dealing with a collection of official documents, old bank statements, paper records, photos, and ATM slips. These items can quickly accumulate without knowing.
Fortunately, you can declutter and organize your home better by digitizing these important documents and embracing cloud technologies. Digitizing ensures that you reduce paper waste that contributes to landfills. Documents and files that are no longer essential should be shredded and discarded.
5. Dealing with mattress waste
Surprisingly, more than 20 million mattresses are discarded to incinerators and landfills annually. Mattress donation isn’t a popular option as many people don’t prefer sleeping on pre-used mattresses. That said, recycling is the best way to deal with old mattresses. Though rarely found, mattress recycling centers can recycle up to 85% of mattresses. Use platforms like Earth911.com to find mattress recycling centers in your locality.
6. Adopt green cleaning methods
Bottles of shampoo, lotion, makeup products, and soap are packed and wrapped in individual boxes. This contributes to significant recyclable waste lying in your cabinets and cupboards. As you clean and declutter, you should find eco-friendly cleaning alternatives to minimize air pollution and release of toxic elements into the environment.
Start by replacing paper towels, which are America’s number one discarded item, with reusable clothing made from renewable and sustainable material with little environmental impact. You should also replace common spray cleaners with agents that don’t have harmful chemicals. You can purchase several products online or follow online tutorials to make them at home.
7. Upcycle items
Upcycling is another excellent option for recycling most household items. Instead of discarding items such as shovels, wheelbarrows, and old buckets, you can use them to decorate your garden. You can repaint containers, make a water feature, or plant flowers and herbs. There are endless upcycling ideas for household items available online.
The Bottom Line
Decluttering in an environmentally friendly way also includes making prudent choices. For instance, evaluate if you really need a product before purchasing a new item. You should also consider buying from second-hand stores to encourage the culture of recycling.
Most people don’t see what happens to their trash. They throw it in a black plastic bag, toss the bag into a dumpster and the trash man collects it once a week and makes it disappear. Magic, right?
Most of our trash ends up in a landfill where it is buried and mixed in with decades-worth of junk. Certain items will break down over time while others are essentially just stored there, in a graveyard of forgotten items and a mountain of garbage.
In the year since China banned the import of other countries’ plastic recyclables, the global recycling industry has been in flux, resulting in plastics ending up in landfills, incinerators and littering the environment. This is causing countries and citizens across the globe to reexamine their recycling systems and highlights the need for zero waste practices.
Zero waste is the concept of eliminating the amount of trash thrown away by only purchasing reusable items. That’s a significant shift from the 4.4 pounds of trash that the average American tosses every day. But certain trends are helping make the idea of zero waste a reality in the United States. Let us have a look:
Replace Single-Use Packaging With Reusable Materials
Way too many plastic items that we use every day are meant to be used only once. And the amount of packaging that goes into shipping one box, that will simply get tossed in the garbage after the parcel is unwrapped, is astounding. In fact, 40 percent of plastic produced is packaging, which is thrown away after it arrives at your doorstep.
Plastic bag and straw bans are on the rise across the globe. Consumers are becoming more conscious of how their use of these items contributes to the trash crisis. Recent data shows that customers are more likely to buy products from brands that promote sustainable business practices.
Reduce Energy Waste By Choosing Renewable Options
Many industries are opting to reduce energy waste by pursuing renewable energy sources. U.S. manufacturers account for 30 percent of the nation’s energy consumption, which means manufacturers must take the lead in reducing fossil fuel consumption and energy waste.
Air compressors are vital to the upkeep of a successful farm, and many producers in the agricultural sector are also reducing waste by switching to high-powered air compressors that, when properly maintained, can reduce energy usage and cut costs.
Eliminate Food Waste
About 94 percent of food waste ends up in landfills, which contribute to methane gas emissions. Reducing food waste not only helps the environment, but it also decreases the amount you have to spend at the grocery store. It also helps to conserve energy, as less power is needed to grow and produce food if less is wasted.
Individual consumers can help eliminate food waste by freezing leftovers to preserve them and composting uneaten food, as opposed to tossing in the trash.
Restaurants can use these tactics and others to cut down on food waste, such as donating leftovers and properly training staff to get on board with waste reduction. They can also hire auditors to help them identify ways to reduce waste and streamline business practices.
Never Too Late to Make a Change
Though the statistics may seem disheartening, the reality is that it’s never too late to make a change in your individual or business habits to help cut down on waste and work toward the goal of accomplishing zero waste. Following these trends and implementing others is just one way to do your part to eliminate waste and protect the environment.
The conservation of water, its proper flow, and assured safety for home or industrial use can be achieved by reusing water through renewable energy. However, algae control is challenging even for modern wastewater treatment plants. One of the best ways of resolving this problem is by installing launder covers.
Aside from this concern, water ecosystems also face other issues, the most notable being water and wastewater treatment facilities. So how can launder covers be of any help in such a scenario?
The discussion that follows will serve as a useful reference point when choosing the right launder cover for your water and wastewater treatment facility. Let’s get up to speed on how launder covers can help water environments.
Prevent Algae Growth
Algae growth has a proven tendency of developing in water and wastewater treatment facilities. It causes changes in the hydraulic dynamics of clarifiers, which leads to obstruction of design features found in weir configurations. Once launder covers are installed, they provide an attractive and extremely low maintenance structure to help eliminate algae growth problems.
Also, larger algae can dislodge and move around in plants that utilize ultraviolet disinfection technology. If the floating algae ends up covering UV bulbs, this may cause bulb failure and render UV bulbs ineffective, which are unfortunately very expensive to replace.
That’s why the installation of reliable launder covers, like IEC Covers, is recommended to help prevent algae growth in water and wastewater treatment plants. This would save money on repairs and UV bulb replacement at the same time.
Control Gas And Odor Emissions
Launder covers are useful in providing a continuous protective environment above the effluent stream. They can contain odor and gas to prevent environmental pollution and protect the health of workers in the area.
A reliable and corrosion-free launder cover system prevents direct sunlight from reaching the elevated growth areas of the weir and clarifier launder. Since launder covers serve as odor control hoods, they trap noxious gases that are generated during wastewater treatment processes.
Provide Essential Value To Water Environments
Custom designed launder covers can be placed in rectangular and round tanks, providing essential value for different water and wastewater operations. This page will teach you everything about wastewater treatment.
Here are the advantages of installing launder covers in water environments:
Continuous inhibition of algae growth
Lightweight and cost-effective solution for water problems
Operable access for safety inspections and preventive maintenance
Maintain Weir Structural Integrity And Function
Eliminating direct sunlight inhibits algae growth, which also enhances the flow consistency of weir and reduces the need for maintenance. Launder covers shield other openings where access is normally required, but for safety reasons they need to be covered when not being used.
You can request custom-designed launder covers according to your preferred requirements. Custom-designed launder covers can be used in both round and rectangular clarifiers, as well as channels, sludge thickeners, and other openings.
Acts As Debris Barrier
Plastic bags, leaves, dead tree branches, and other windblown debris often lands in water environments. Launder covers help prevent such waste materials from ending up in your water and wastewater plant.
Also, aside from preventing debris from entering the water stream, launder covers can also be helpful in containing localized odor emissions if present in the weir area (effluent trough). Choosing fiberglass launder covers helps seal water environments in order to control odor.
Protect Launder From Weather
Strong winds, storms, snow, or heavy rainfall may introduce debris to water environments. Installing launder covers helps protect them against debris and damage caused by natural disasters. Choosing high-quality launder covers will ensure that they can withstand harsh weather conditions while protecting water and wastewater treatment plants.
Here’s a quick guide for when you are choosing launder covers:
NSF/ANSI Certified: Choose launder covers that are NSF or ANSI 61 certified. Also, opt for launder covers made of AWWA F101 compliant materials. NSF/ANSI Standard 61 or NSF-61 refers to a national standard relating to water treatment, establishing strict requirements and controls for equipment coming in contact with potable water or other products supporting the potable water production.
Quality Make: Select launder covers with superior strength and corrosion resistance that use FRP components to ensure long and maintenance-free service life. Choose clarifier launder covers that utilize fiberglass and stainless steel hardware, specifically made for municipal or industrial wastewater treatment purposes. These launder covers are easy to use, ensuring smooth operation and meeting the required NPDES effluent levels of Total Suspended Solids or TSS.
ISO Certified: Choose an ISO 9001 certified launder cover for manufacturing facilities.
Launder covers provide great protection against debris, harsh weather conditions, and direct sunlight. They further help protect weir structures, prevent algae growth, and are handy in avoiding the potential damage that algae can do to UV bulbs in treatment facilities using UV disinfection technology.
Choosing high-quality launder covers would mean having long-term peace of mind that your water quality is preserved and wastewater treatment operations can function smoothly.
Biomass energy has rapidly become a vital part of the global renewable energy mix and account for an ever-growing share of electric capacity added worldwide. Renewable energy supplies around one-fifth of the final energy consumption worldwide, counting traditional biomass, large hydropower, and “new” renewables (small hydro, modern biomass, wind, solar, geothermal, and biofuels).
Traditional biomass, primarily for cooking and heating, represents about 13 percent and is growing slowly or even declining in some regions as biomass is used more efficiently or replaced by alternative energy forms. Some of the recent predictions suggest that biomass energy is likely to make up one third of the total world energy mix by 2050. Infact, biofuel provides around 3% of the world’s fuel for transport.
Biomass energy resources are readily available in rural and urban areas of all countries. Biomass-based industries can foster rural development, provide employment opportunities and promote biomass re-growth through sustainable land management practices.
The negative aspects of traditional biomass utilization in developing countries can be mitigated by promotion of modern waste-to-energy technologies which provide solid, liquid and gaseous fuels as well as electricity. Biomass wastes encompass a wide array of materials derived from agricultural, agro-industrial, and timber residues, as well as municipal and industrial wastes.
The most common technique for producing both heat and electrical energy from biomass wastes is direct combustion. Thermal efficiencies as high as 80 – 90% can be achieved by advanced gasification technology with greatly reduced atmospheric emissions.
Combined heat and power (CHP) systems, ranging from small-scale technology to large grid-connected facilities, provide significantly higher efficiencies than systems that only generate electricity. Biochemical processes, like anaerobic digestion and sanitary landfills, can also produce clean energy in the form of biogas and producer gas which can be converted to power and heat using a gas engine.
Advantages of Biomass Energy
Biomass energy systems offer significant possibilities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions due to their immense potential to replace fossil fuels in energy production. Biomass reduces emissions and enhances carbon sequestration since short-rotation crops or forests established on abandoned agricultural land accumulate carbon in the soil.
Bioenergy usually provides an irreversible mitigation effect by reducing carbon dioxide at source, but it may emit more carbon per unit of energy than fossil fuels unless biomass fuels are produced unsustainably.
Biomass can play a major role in reducing the reliance on fossil fuels by making use of thermochemical conversion technologies. In addition, the increased utilization of biomass-based fuels will be instrumental in safeguarding the environment, generation of new job opportunities, sustainable development and health improvements in rural areas.
The development of efficient biomass handling technology, improvement of agro-forestry systems and establishment of small and large-scale biomass-based power plants can play a major role in rural development and sustainable utilization of biomass. Biomass energy could also aid in modernizing the agricultural economy.
Consistent and reliable supply of biomass is crucial for any biomass project
When compared with wind and solar energy, biomass power plants are able to provide crucial, reliable baseload generation. Biomass plants provide fuel diversity, which protects communities from volatile fossil fuels. Since biomass energy uses domestically-produced fuels, biomass power greatly reduces our dependence on foreign energy sources and increases national energy security.
A large amount of energy is expended in the cultivation and processing of crops like sugarcane, coconut, and rice which can met by utilizing energy-rich residues for electricity production.
The integration of biomass-fueled gasifiers in coal-fired power stations would be advantageous in terms of improved flexibility in response to fluctuations in biomass availability and lower investment costs. The growth of the bioenergy industry can also be achieved by laying more stress on green power marketing.
Recent projections show that the world’s energy demands are about to increase by close to 25% between now and 2030. Population and wealth growth are the leading factors behind the increased need for energy. Additionally, issues related to pollution and climate change are compelling companies and investors alike with respect to how they produce and use energy.
Energy efficiency is playing a vital role in helping the world achieve its power needs and progress.
Increase in Fuel Prices
The prices of energy have kept rising over the years even when oil prices have dropped as was the case in 2014-2015. Such sudden fluctuations can be difficult for businesses to deal with. Also, declines in energy prices have called into question whether the efforts in energy conservation and efficiency are worth it.
According to various financial analyses, energy costs form a considerable chunk of operating expenses. Worldwide, cement, chemical, mining and metal companies, for instance, spend almost 30% of their operating budget on energy. Additionally, the percent of the budget spent on energy is higher in developing nations due to the cheap cost of labor.
The reports and findings show that it is not a pipe dream for manufacturing entities, which account for almost half of the world’s energy usage, to meet energy requirements in a way that is environmentally friendly and economical as well. Advanced technology could substantially reduce energy usage and save companies more than six hundred billion dollars per year.
There are technologies currently in place that can help companies reduce energy consumption. The ideas cover a range of manufacturing and production companies like cement, mining, oil refining and chemicals. Nonetheless, firms are facing the challenge of how to put energy efficiency technology in place how to renew the technology so that it stays relevant year in and year out.
1. Think Circular
Consider your product to be a future source that can be used many times. In other words, when developing a product, strive to move away from the traditional linear supply chain. Take, for example, a data services provider. Put in place the think circular standard by using an analytics system to develop a facility that restructures energy to its core function. This results in more capacity and less operational expenses.
2. Profit Per Hour
Whenever making any changes, remember to create a comprehensive review of the full profit equation. During the study, evaluate aspects such as yield, throughput and energy. Nonetheless, profit should be of the highest priority before effecting any changes.
3. Think Lean
It is vital for an organization to create a resource productivity plan. Lean thinking and green manufacturing are based on similar principles and will blend in together well.
4. Think Holistic
When making changes, ensure that they not only focus on a specific aspect. Instead, you should also focus on the management system, behavior and mindsets.
We live in a throwaway society that accumulates vast quantities of waste every day. While this comes with pressing challenges, there are also opportunities for professionals including electrical engineers to process at least some of the waste to produce much-needed renewable energy.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), in 2018 a total of 68 U.S. power plants generated around 14 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity from 29.5 million tons of combustible municipal solid waste (MSW). Biomass, which comes from plants and animals and is a source of renewable energy, was responsible for more than half (about 51%) of the electricity generated from waste. It also accounted for about 64% of the weight of the MSW used. The rest of the waste used was from other combustible materials including synthetic materials made from petroleum and plastics. Glass and metal are generally not noncombustible.
Waste-to-Energy is now widely accepted as a part of sustainable waste management strategy.
Municipal Solid Waste in the U.S.
Burning MSW is not only a sustainable way to produce electricity, it also reduces the volume of waste that would inevitably end up in landfills. Instead, the EIA estimates that burning MSW effectively reduces waste volumes by about 87%.
But, while more than 268 million tons of MSW are generated in the United States every year, in 2017, only 12.7% of it was burned to recover energy. More than half (52.1%) went to landfill, about a quarter (25.1%) was recycled, and the rest (10.1%) was used to generate compost.
According to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fact sheet on sustainable materials management published in November 2019, the total MSW generated in 2017 by material, comprised:
Paper and paperboard, primarily containers and packaging 25%
Food 15.2% (see below)
Plastics 13.2% (19.2% of the total materials that ended up in landfill were plastics)
Yard trimmings 13.1% (most of this type of waste is composted)
Rubber, leather and textiles 9.7%
Indicating tremendous human waste in its worst form, 22% of the material that ended up in landfill was classified as food. Trashed food was also the product category with the highest landfill rate, at an alarming 75.3%. Nearly a quarter (22%) of materials that were combusted with energy recovery were food, and overall, food was also the highest product category to recover energy, with a rate of 18.4%.
The total MSW combusted to generate energy was made up of the following materials:
Rubber, leather, and textiles 16.1%
Paper and paperboard 13.2%
Yard trimmings 6.2%
Generating Electricity from MSW
There are a variety of technologies for generating electricity from municipal solid waste, but in the US the most common system involves mass burning of MSW in a large incinerator that has a boiler that produces steam, and a generator that produces electricity. Another entails processing MSW into fuel pellets for use in smaller power plants.
Waste materials destined to be processed to generate electricity
Generating electricity in mass-burn WTE plants is remarkably straightforward and follows seven basic steps:
The MSW is dumped out of garbage trucks into a large pit.
A crane with a giant claw attachment is used to grab the waste and dump it into a combustion chamber.
The waste, which now becomes the fuel, starts to burn, releasing heat.
The heat that is released turns water in the boiler into high-pressure steam.
The steam turns the turbine generator’s blades and produces electricity.
The mass-burn plant incorporates an control system to prevent air pollution by removing pollutants from the combustion gas before it is released through a smoke-stack.
Ash is inevitably produced in the boiler and the air pollution control system, and this has to be removed before another load of waste can be burned.
While the volumes burned as fuel in different plants vary, for every 100 pounds of MSW produced in the US, potentially, more than 85 pounds could be burned to generate electricity.
Of course, the USA isn’t the only country that uses waste-to-energy plants to generate electricity from MSW. And in fact, when compared to a lot of other countries, the percentage of MSW burned with energy recovery in the U.S. is minimal. At least nine countries are named by the EIA as bigger producers of electricity from municipal waste. In Japan and some European countries, for instance, there are fewer energy resources and not much open space available for landfills. So generating electricity from MSW is an obvious opportunity.
The four leading nations identified by the EIA as burning the most MSW with energy recovery are:
The United Kingdom 34%
One thing’s for certain, the percentages are all set to continue increases globally as the move towards sustainability gains momentum. And U.S. percentages are going to increase too.
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