About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is the CEO of BioEnergy Consult, and an international consultant, advisor and trainer with expertise in waste management, biomass energy, waste-to-energy, environment protection and resource conservation. His geographical areas of focus include Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Salman has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects in the areas of biogas technology, biomass energy, waste-to-energy, recycling and waste management. Salman has participated in numerous national and international conferences all over the world. He is a prolific environmental journalist, and has authored more than 300 articles in reputed journals, magazines and websites. In addition, he is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management and environmental sustainability through his blogs and portals. Salman can be reached at salman@bioenergyconsult.com or salman@cleantechloops.com.

Quick Hacks to Keep Your Emergency Products Kit Compact and Complete

When disaster strikes, having emergency products on hand can make a critical difference. Whether it’s a natural disaster, a power outage, or a medical emergency, being prepared is key. This article will guide you through optimizing your emergency kit to be both compact and complete.

emergency products kit

The Essentials: What You Need in Your Kit

Emergency Products, Take action today to ensure that when the time comes, your kit is ready to handle anything. The peace of mind that comes from knowing you and your loved ones are prepared is invaluable. Your emergency kit should be tailored to meet the specific needs of your household. At its core, a well-stocked kit includes items like water, non-perishable food, a flashlight, batteries, a first aid kit, and medications. But it’s not just about stuffing your bag with supplies; it’s about choosing wisely.

Water: The Non-Negotiable Staple

Every kit should start with water. A general rule is to have at least one gallon per person per day for at least three days. Opt for compact, stackable water containers to maximize space. Innovative products like water purification tablets or personal filtration devices also make a great addition, offering a space-saving solution to meet hydration needs.

Food: Smart Selections for Sustenance

Select foods that are high in calories and nutrition but low in volume. Energy bars, dried fruits, and ready-to-eat meals are excellent as they are compact and have a long shelf life. Remember, variety is crucial, not just for nutritional balance but to keep morale high in stressful situations.

First Aid: Compact but Comprehensive

A first aid kit is a must, but the size and content should reflect the potential needs of your environment. Include essentials like bandages, antiseptics, and pain relievers. Compact kits specifically designed for emergencies can save space and contain everything necessary to handle common injuries.

Lighting and Power: Staying Connected

Flashlights and extra batteries are essentials, but consider solar-powered or hand-crank devices that serve multiple purposes, like a flashlight-radio combination. Portable solar chargers for smartphones and small devices can also be crucial for staying informed and connected.

Real-Life Application: Stories from the Front Lines

I remember when a sudden flood hit our community. The power was out, roads were blocked, and panic was setting in. Our emergency kit, which we had packed following these principles, proved invaluable. We were able to communicate with emergency services thanks to our hand-crank radio, and the LED flashlight was crucial for navigating our darkened home safely.

natural-disaster

Space-Saving Tips and Tricks

Organizing your kit requires strategy. Use vacuum-seal bags for clothing and blankets to reduce volume. Store items in stackable, clear containers that are easy to grab and go. Every inch of space counts, so consider multi-use items like a Swiss Army knife or a shovel that folds.

Personalize Your Kit

Consider the unique needs of your household. If you have pets, include their food and supplies. For families with infants, include diapers and formula. Tailor your kit to reflect the season and your geographical area, adjusting as needed for weather-related risks.

Regular Reviews: Keeping Your Kit Updated

Review and update your emergency kit annually. Replace expired items, and reconsider your needs based on changes in your family’s life or advancements in product technology. This regular audit ensures your kit evolves and remains ready at a moment’s notice.

In Conclusion: Preparation Meets Prudence

An emergency kit is a critical tool for safety and survival, but its effectiveness is determined by its composition and the thoughtfulness behind its assembly. By focusing on compact, multi-use items, you can ensure your kit is both comprehensive and convenient. Remember, the best time to prepare is before the need arises.

Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Have a Dehumidifier at Home

Air quality is one of those things that many homeowners frequently overlook. We assume that the air indoors is better or less polluted than the air outdoors because we’re not dealing with things like car fumes and pollution.

However, your indoor air can be just as bad as the atmosphere outdoors, particularly when you have problems with humidity. Too much humidity in your air can increase the risk of things like respiratory problems, mould, and even an overflow of dust. Here are 3 reasons to consider bringing a dehumidifier into your property.

1. They Combat Mould, Mildew and Dust

Damp in your home caused by humidity can lead to mould and mildew. Often, these problems are the root cause of health issues, such as asthma, respiratory conditions, and asthma. What’s more, constant exposure to mildew and mould may even increase your chances of nervous system disorders.

Taking steps to avoid your risk of moisture build-up by keeping your sewer line clear and fixing leaky pipes is great. However, homeowners can consistently keep their risk to a minimum by investing in a dehumidifier. These crucial tools remove the extra unnecessary moisture from the air, so that it can no longer feed mould spores in your home.

Having a dehumidifier can also help you to get rid of other pesky substances like dust on your mattresses, bedspreads, and other furniture too. That’s because it’s easier for dust to cling to your surfaces when there’s moisture in the air. When the air is dry, regularly vacuuming your home will get rid of a larger portion of dust, keeping the risk of allergy to a minimum. Dehumidifiers even eliminate the risk of dust mites by keeping humidity levels at a inhospitable level for those critters.

2. They Reduce Damp and Condensation

Too much humidity in your home causes a “damp” atmosphere. When the air is moist, the most obvious result is discomfort. You might notice that your breathing feels more laboured just because you’re breathing moisture-laden air. Damp doesn’t just stay in the air however, when it reaches excessive levels, it also begins to build up on the surfaces around your home, particularly in the winter when the cold of the outdoors interacts with the warm humidity indoors.

Humidity causes long-term damage to your woodwork and soft furnishings through damp and condensation. Although it’s common to have condensation in your home from time to time, humidity exacerbates it to dangerous levels, potentially causing peeling wall papers, shrinking wood, and stains on your sofas and curtains.

A dehumidifier will reduce the moisture in the air to reasonable levels again, protecting your belongings and your comfort.

3. They Improve Air Quality for Better Health

Finally, the most important reason to invest in a dehumidifier is that they allow you to improve your air quality and eliminate common health problems. Humidity in your home can lead to an increased risk of respiratory conditions, allergens, and even problems with coughs and stuffy noses. As mould and mildew begin to build up, the effects on your health grow even greater.

Placing a dehumidifier into your home does more than just get rid of musty smells throughout your property. It also absorbs the excess moisture that could be harming your health over time. Remember, the quality of the air in your home isn’t just measured by the amount of toxins that you could be exposed to. Your air quality also depends on the level of humidity in the air too.

Dry air is less likely to feed the bacteria in the atmosphere, reducing your risk of catching bugs and respiratory illnesses. According to studies, dehumidifiers are even useful in preventing asthma attacks because they remove asthma triggers like dust mites, mould, VOCs and building wastes.

Should You Get a Dehumidifier?

In a world where indoor air quality isn’t much better than the polluted air that we find outside, it’s important to take steps to protect yourself, your family and even your home. A dehumidifier can help you to improve the air quality that you’re exposed to every day.

By eliminating the unnecessary moisture in your home, your domestic dehumidifier will improve your quality of life, reduce the risk of mould and mildew, and even protect your health.

11 Ways College Students Can Save Paper

Paper, in all of its forms, is one of the most useful and versatile products. It is also one of the most widely used item for college students. The bad news is that our use of paper has some pretty intense impacts on the environment. These include water and air pollution, deforestation, and the accumulation of paper waste in landfills.

The good news is that every individual can play a role in helping to eliminate the damage done by the use of and production of paper products. Now, this is the point where many readers will think of themselves, “I recycle. Isn’t that enough?”

The truth is, while recycling certainly helps, it doesn’t eliminate the problems our use of paper creates. In fact, the recycling process itself has an environmental cost.  Keep recycling for sure, but also consider ways in which you can reduce the amount of paper you use. Here are a few top ways college students can save paper:

1. Make your subscriptions digital

Whether your interests are in technology, fashion, current events, music or something else, magazines are full of useful information. The problem is that once you’re done with them, your choices are to recycle them, throw them out, or let them collect dust. None of these things are good for the environment.

Instead, convert your paper subscriptions to digital. Not only will you help the environment, you’ll save space as well. Even better, digital copies of magazines are searchable. This means you can find the articles you want with ease.

2. Donate old newspapers and magazines

If you do have hard copies of newspapers and magazines at home, don’t throw them out or recycle them. There may be places that are happy to take them off your hands. Your local community center, retirement homes, hospitals and homeless shelters are often in search of reading materials for their clients.

3. Use double-sided printing

There is no way to avoid printing altogether, but you may be able to reduce the paper you use when you do print. Whenever possible use double-sided printing. You can even print more than one page per side. Also, experiment line spacing and font size. With a few adjustments, you can significantly reduce the amount of paper you print over time. Encourage your friends, even your University and College, and your community to do the same.

4. Get your statements online

If you are still receiving your bank statements and billing notices via snail mail that’s a problem. Not only are you getting your paper bills and statements, chances are you’re receiving inserts, coupons, and other junk. Convert to paperless mode and eliminate all of this.

5. Use a blackboard or whiteboard

Shopping lists, reminders, and notes to your roommates represent just a few of the things you likely jot down and have scattered about your place. You aren’t alone. Those bits and pieces of paper add up. You can replace these by simply hanging up a whiteboard or blackboard in a convenient spot.

If somebody needs to jot something down, they can use that instead of wasting paper. If you need something a bit more portable, simply snap a picture with your phone.

6. Get a digital calendar

You also don’t need paper to stay on top of your schedule or to coordinate with friends and family members. Instead, choose a digital calendar that works for you. Then arrange to share calendars with those friends and family members. With most online calendars you can create to-do lists, set alarms, and send out reminders.

7. Give old newspapers to animal shelter

Your local animal shelter or rescue might be thrilled to get your old newspapers. They use these for bedding and as cage liners.  Newspapers can also be used to help insulate winter shelters for feral cat colonies.

8. Use washcloths and hand towels

There is no doubt that paper towels and napkins are useful. Many of us use them while we’re eating, to wipe up spills, for cleaning, even for covering food in the microwave. The problem is that once we’re done all of those paper products go directly into the trash. That’s wasteful and bad for the environment. Instead, invest in cloth alternatives.

Washcloths and hand towels are exceptionally cheap. Cloth diapers last forever and are amazing for cleaning. Even old worn-out clothing can be cut up and used as dust rags.

9. Take notes digitally

At this point, there should be little or no occasions where you need to take notes on paper. There are simply too many options for taking notes digitally, not to take advantage of this. Save paper by using an app, such as Evernote, to take and organize your notes. While applying for college admission, make use of admission essay by domyessay.

Use voice to text, or simply type up your notes in your favorite word processor. Not only will your digital notes save paper, you’ll be better able to create quality essays and research papers. If you need help to turn these notes into better papers, check out essay editing reviews. Save the planet, and improve your grades.

In some cases, you don’t need to take notes at all. See if your instructors save handouts and lecture notes online. Then, simply use these as reference materials.

10. Reduce paper use at the grocery store

Hopefully, you have ditched single-use plastic and paper bags for reusable ones. If not, this is a great place to start. However, that’s just the beginning. There are other ways to reduce paper use while you shop.

First, hit the bulk bins for your dried goods. Instead of using the plastic or paper bags provided, bring your own reusable containers. Next, pay attention to packaging as you shop. You’ll be amazed at the amount of paper and plastic that is wasted through extra packaging. Be a conscientious shopper, and buy products that use the least amount of paper material.

11. Praise brands that use less paper

While you shop, pay attention to which brands are responsible in their use of paper and which brands are not. Then, let your thoughts be known. If a brand is behaving responsibly in this area, contact them and let you know you appreciate it and will be buying their products.

If not, contact them with your concerns. Believe it or not, companies do care what you think, and if they hear from enough people they might change their behaviors.

Final thoughts 

Paper waste is a huge problem at colleges and universities. In fact, the issue can seem overwhelming. However, if every individual would change a few of their habits with regard to paper consumption, there would be a great impact. You can get started with these steps.

5 Creative Ways to Repurpose Used Auto Parts

There comes a time in every automobile’s life where it’s parts can serve a different purpose, whether it’s recycling, or reusing them in a way that can prove useful to you. It’s not wrong to take your car to the junkyard and salvage what you can for some extra money, but it’s also great to handle it creatively. Take a look below at how you can do just that.

Why Recycling is Great

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of taking your car to the junkyard and waiting for the possibility of getting those parts sold or not. You can actually do something that can be both good for the environment and helpful to you.

Most of these parts can be removed and attached to new and better things to give it a different purpose. If you are looking for genuine Honda spares, check out honda parts online canada.

A new life for auto parts is suitable for people who are nostalgic and just can’t say goodbye to their old car, now it can live on with you. You just got to think about what you can use them for.

Here are 5 creative ways to repurpose used auto parts:

1. Using Coils as Paper Holders

Do you know those swirly metal coils in your car? You can use those for something very useful, as there is a way where you can take advantage of the spaces between each ring of those coil springs.

You can restore the metal and deal with any rust by removing it entirely and making it clean and smooth. Then you have yourself your very own car-themed paper holder; you can use it for your mail, work files, and folders. Because it’s metal or steel, and old ones at that, it’s better to stick to papers only and not use it for plates, for example.

2. New Life For Your Catalytic Converter

Every car has this part that serves as an exhaust emission control device; it basically catalyzes a redox reaction that helps decrease the toxic gases and pollutants from the car’s combustion engine. But when it’s depreciated and not working; it’s time to research and find the right guide of scrap catalytic converters value determination, and you might actually make some money out of it.

You can take it to a reputable establishment that specializes in recycling catalytic converters and get it de-canned to reuse its platinum material for making things like precious jewelry, dental work, fountain pens, forensic staining, and decoration purposes. It is really beneficial and you can get high returns from de-canning them that way.

3. New Purpose For Door and Window Handles

The handles for both car doors and windows are very unique and their style can be integrated into your furniture at home. You can use them as drawer and cabinet pull and they can also fit the redecoration plans of your home. It’s a perfect idea for car enthusiasts, rooms for little boys, or your garage drawers and cabinets. It can be easily removed from the pull car door and attached to the holes without a problem.

4. Make a Table Out of a Car Ramp

Another way where you can use old car parts for furniture is to take the old car ramps and position it in ways where they can function as an entryway or coffee table. It’s actually very chic and can be beautifully matched with the rest of your furniture after you clean and paint it, giving it that rustic look that you always wanted in your home. Your guests would never believe that this cool table was an old car part, and it gives you a nice conversation or ice-breaker to talk about it during visits.

5. Get Yourself a Car Themed Squeegee

The old car’s windshield wipers can have a purpose again to do what they do best; you can remove it from your car, clean it up nice, and then attach them to a long handle or broomstick. They might prove very handy when it’s spring cleaning season, and it’s very useful to reach those hard areas in the ceiling or high windows. You can use this modified squeegee to clean and dust off anything in your home. So your old car part can live on making your life easier when you clean.

There are so many ways for you to make use of the old used car parts that you own; just because its life is over, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t different ways to give it life again. It all depends on your creativity and what you want; the possibilities are limitless when it comes to recycling these parts.

Facts About Cleaning Solar Panels

Once you have solar panels installed, you may think your work is done. After all, you’re doing your part to lessen dependence on fossil fuels and increase usage of renewable energies. But, if you don’t properly maintain your solar panels, they won’t work nearly as efficiently as they should. Just as you regularly wash your windows or change the oil in your car, so should you employ professional solar panel cleaners to keep your solar panels working well. These facts about cleaning solar panels explain why keeping them clean is so important.

facts about cleaning solar panels

Dust and Leaves Block Sunlight

Over the years, it’s common for dust and leaves to accumulate on your solar panels. They’re just like any other surface in that grime builds up over time if you don’t remove it. While a small amount of dust or just a few leaves won’t affect the efficiency of your solar panels much, if you let dust and leaves fully cover the panels’ surfaces, less sunlight will get through to the solar panel receptors. Therefore, your solar panels won’t be absorbing as much light as possible, making them work harder than necessary.

Bird Droppings Block Sunlight

Even more harmful than dust to your solar panels’ ability to work efficiently are bird droppings. Sunlight simply can’t penetrate bird droppings, so if you let it build up on your solar panels, you’re not fully taking advantage of the sunlight to store energy. This is especially true if you have a lot of trees in your yard that are shedding leaves and providing a haven for birds, who then naturally do their business onto your solar panels. The combination of leaves and bird droppings can really make it difficult for your solar panels to do their job.

Energy Loss is Real

Studies show that by not cleaning your solar panels regularly, you’ll have a 5% energy loss after just three months. This increases by 5% every three months that you go without cleaning your solar panels until you’re experiencing a 35% energy loss 24 months after you’ve installed your solar panels. This means you’re spending more money for energy than you should be because your solar panels aren’t working efficiently.

Professional Solar Panel Cleaning is the Way to Go

You may think that cleaning your solar panels is simple and a task that you can do on your own without professional assistance. But, keep in mind that professional solar panel cleaners are experienced with working on roofs and have all the necessary safety equipment to ensure they don’t take a dangerous fall. It’s always advised that if you want to clean your own solar panels that you do it by implementing a long-handled cleaning tool that allows you to reach the panels from the ground.

solar panels pigeon issue

Additionally, you may not want to add another chore to your to-do list, especially one that comes with a risk of falling (if you decide to clean them from the roof). Purchasing safety equipment along with the right cleaning tools may be too much of a hassle when you can simply call up a solar panel maintenance expert and have the task taken care of for you in no time at all.

Conclusion

No one really thinks about cleaning their solar panels until they realize how much energy (and money) they’re losing by allowing dust and debris to build up on them. Add solar panel cleaning to your regular house maintenance schedule and you’ll keep reaping the maximum energy production from your solar panels.

Recommended Reading: Why Do Solar Panels Degrade

5 Things You Need To Know To Reduce Your Electricity Bill

If you are a homeowner, you have probably thought of lowering your electricity bills every time you get your bill is logical. According to a recent study, the electricity bill is the second-highest cost most homeowners pay every month. That’s not surprising because thanks to modern science, we use electricity to run appliances for everything around the home nowadays.

Especially during this time when coronavirus has damaged the world economy, people are struggling to pay their bills. Meanwhile, lockdowns mean more time at home and higher electricity use than if you were in the office most of your day. You can reduce your electricity consumption if you use it smartly. As a result, your bill will reduce too. If you are looking to cut your electric bill, this article will give you some ideas on how you can do that.

reduce-electricity-bill

1. Get A Smarter Thermostat

In case you didn’t know, your heating and cooling system takes up almost forty-five percent of your total electricity consumption every month. So, if you can reduce at least some of your thermostats consumption, you will see a huge difference in your total bill.

Depending on your local weather, you may need to run your heater or cooler throughout the day. Though this is almost half of your total electricity consumption, that doesn’t mean you need to give up your comfort to reduce the bill. All you need to do is to make the job a bit easier for the thermostat. Control your urge to set the temperature too high or too low. For instance, put on a few extra layers of clothes to stay warm instead of setting the temperature too high on the thermostat.

eco-friendly-business-practices

If you don’t want to take up the work to adjust the temperature from time to time continually, look into getting a programmable thermostat. With these thermostats, you can program the temperature for each time of the day. This way, you won’t need to change it frequently, but it will run in just the required temperature all the time.

2. Use Solar Power

As mentioned before, if you want to reduce your energy bills, that doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice your comfort. A great way to reduce your energy consumption is not to use it all the time. You don’t need to use electricity all the time when you are getting unlimited solar energy every day.

Solar energy is also known as green energy. Using solar energy is an emerging trend worldwide. Solar panels are installed on the roof, and these panels then convert sun rays into solar energy. It is a pretty simple process, but it can work wonders for you. The best part is they are not overly expensive to install – but the energy savings are significant.

solar-energy-texas

You might be thinking that the sun will provide energy only during day time. How are we going to run our utilities at night? The answer is pretty simple. You can get solar battery storage. These storage cells store the excess energy that you don’t need in the daytime and let you use it at night. This way, be it day or night, you can get everything done using solar energy.

3. Use Ceiling Fans

If you live in a warm climate, most of your electricity consumption is used by your air cooler. Although new technologies are coming every day, and you can get energy-efficient air conditioners now, but they still consume a lot of energy. While you can’t get rid of your air cooler completely, you can sometimes use a ceiling fan to create an airflow that cools the room down.

A ceiling fan is a great cost-efficient option. These fans pull out hot air and circulate cold air. It may not give you the same effect as an air cooler, but it will surely make your room a bit more comfortable as it circulates cold air. But the best thing is a ceiling fan takes up a fraction of the electricity that air cooler consumes. So, even if you don’t use it all the time, you can alternate between the ceiling fan and the cooler.

There are a few hacks that can help you stay comfortable even with the ceiling fan. For instance, try keeping the windows and doors which are facing the east covered. This will minimize the heat that comes from the sun.

4. Minimize the electricity your laundry takes

Washing your laundry with hot water takes up a lot of energy. The heater has to work a lot to provide this much hot water to your washing machine. Try using cold water to wash your clothes. You would be surprised how using cold water can reduce almost half of your laundry cost.

The key here is to use appliances. So if you are using your washing machine, try using it as little as possible – save the laundry loads and do them all at once during off-peak hours. So if you are using your washing machine to dry your clothes, you need to reconsider that. Drying clothes is a chore that can easily be done without using any energy. Line drying laundry is an easy way that takes no electricity. It may take longer, but it is free.

5. Reduce Phantom Drainage

If you haven’t heard of phantom drainage before, you are in for a bit of a ‘shocker’! It is also known as standby power. You may think that it is unnecessary to remove the plug when you are not using the appliances. They are turned off after all. But the truth is, your devices consume electricity even when they are not in use.

According to a study, appliances consume almost fifty percent of the total energy when they are actually not used. So, this energy is going nowhere, and you are the one paying for it. Not only is it a loss of our valuable energy and degrading our environment, but it is also a waste of money. So always make sure to remove the plug when you are not using an appliance.

To Sum Up

Reducing your electricity bill is not something that can be done in a day. It’s a day to day practice. Following these simple tips will lower your utility bill remarkably. But these are not the only things you can do.

There are many small things you can do to get better results. For instance, try to install energy-efficient appliances. They take up a lot less energy than regular ones. You should also be mindful of wasting energy by keeping lights or coolers on when they are not required. Last, but not the least, use a budget calculator to keep a tab on where your money is going.

5 Ethical, Sustainable and Eco-friendly Cost-Saving Tips

Consumers are no longer solely interested in catching a great deal. In fact, it’s the quick and cheap, disposable living mindset that has put the world in such a precarious state. Studies have shown that a business’s impact on the world plays a key role in their purchasing decision. Here are five ethical, sustainable, and eco-friendly cost-saving tips to help you cut back on your spending, and your carbon footprint.

Green SMEs

Evaluate your Utility Providers

Take a look at your utility providers to see what they’re doing to make a positive impact on the world around them. For those that are bill tracking, it is important to note that many energy service providers offer special rates and rebates for lower consumption. Using Energybot, you can contrast and compare providers in your area. You can visit their website to find the most affordable, eco-friendly option for you.

In areas where providers are limited, you can still look at their environmental initiatives and programs that will save you money while making a positive impact. Many utility providers conduct energy audits or provide rebates for swapping out appliances and faucets for eco-friendly versions.

Hit the Thrift Shop

Online shopping makes it easy to get anything you could dream of at an affordable rate. However, there’s a good chance that someone like you had a similar item and discarded it.

Hitting the thrift shop before shopping online will not only save you money but will also have a positive environmental impact. The clothes you buy online are manufactured and shipped from all over the world. This creates carbon emissions that have a detrimental effect. There’s a hidden cost to affordable online shopping; buy local whenever possible.

Eat Seasonally

Eating food from local sources is better for the environment and the economy. By ensuring that your money stays in the local economy, you’re stimulating growth that will ultimately benefit you over time. Furthermore, you aren’t paying to have food manufactured, shipped, and stored from thousands of miles away.

Eating seasonal produce will help you save money on fresh food and improve the diversity of your diet. By consuming seasonal, local produce, you’re saving money, boosting the local economy, positively impacting the environment, and improving your health. It’s a win for all involved.

Be Water Savvy

Minimizing your water consumption will help keep your budget low and the environment thriving. Start by monitoring your consumption at home and making small changes. Shut the water off while brushing your teeth. Don’t rinse your dishes before putting them in the washer. Wait until you have a full load to do laundry.

To take it to the next level, swap your faucet and showerheads out with aerators and low-flow alternatives. Start collecting and reusing rainwater for gardening. Replace your hot water tank with a “tankless” alternative. Look at your meter usage and set reduction goals.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Recycling is a great initiative that can make an incredible difference in the environment when done correctly. However, recycling is just one of the “Three R’s” to remember.

Circular-Economy

 

Reduce and reuse often go hand-in-hand. Reduce your packaging consumption by buying food in bulk and using reusable grocery bags. Before you recycle something, think about ways to give it new life. Mason jars can be used to store dry goods and pack lunches rather than using plastic containers. Keep a few large jugs handy to fill with water, rather than adding to the single-use bottle problem. Instead of plastic toothbrush, use a bamboo toothbrush from Ecoy.

There are plenty of ways to lower your spending while taking care of the environment. Use a budgeting app like Mint to gain awareness about where your money is going. Then, use a carbon footprint calculator to evaluate your consumption. By making some simple changes to your lifestyle, you can limit harmful spending.

4 Fresh Spring Decorating Ideas

Spring is just around the corner, so it’s the perfect time to start thinking about all the ways you can decorate your home to set the refreshing mood and show everyone that you’re ready for the longer and warmer days.

However, some things are easier said than done, and even something seemingly as simple as decorating can prove to be a real challenge if you try it without any plan in mind. For example, you might want to start by reconsidering your color palette. Do you want to use delicate pastels, or maybe you prefer the intensity of hot pink, canary yellow, and sky blue? Or maybe you prefer to decorate using faux flowers instead of real ones?

If you’re looking for some of the best spring decoration ideas to breathe new life into your home, you’re in a good place. Read on to learn more about spring decorating ideas that will make your home look fresh and cozy!

spring decorating ideas

1. Personalize Your Doormat

You can also choose to personalize your doormat, so every guest who visits you feels even more welcome. Try buying a regular plain doormat along with outdoor acrylic paint in bright colors so they show up well. Let your creativity thrive – paint some flowers, add a nice big “welcome” in the middle. If you want to get even more crafty, consider getting some transfer vinyl that you can order, and then just peel and stick on your doormat for a perfectly polished look. To get the best deals on your project, check out the best graphic design codes.

2. Make Your Porch a Stunner

If you want your home to look welcoming and charm everyone who passes it, you’re going to have to start with your front porch. One of the best ways to do so is to add some flowers. However, early spring days and nights might still be too cold for the fresh flowers depending on where you live. That’s why you should visit your local craft store to make a perfect spring wreath.

You can also choose to buy a premade wreath made of spring flowers such as tulips of lavender, miniature roses, ferns, or even moss. To top it off, decorate with a big festive ribbon tied into a bow. Hang the wreath on your door and consider putting more flowers and greenery into a tall vase or even a planter.

3. Decorate Your Fireplace Mantel

In any room, the fireplace is a focal point. It immediately draws the attention of everyone that’s entering, so why not make it beautiful with spring in mind? You can set up some decorative baskets and fill them with greenery and flowers – once again, faux options might be your best bet, as you won’t have to worry about the excess heat from the fireplace killing the real ones. While you’re at it, you should also give your whole fireplace a good cleaning – dust the surfaces before setting any decorations, and if your fireplace is painted, consider doing some touch-ups if the pain starts to flake off in some spots.

The fireplace mantel is also a perfect spot for decorative signs. You can buy them pre-made from sites like Etsy to get something custom, but the home decor section at your local Target, or, even better, thrift store, might also be worth checking out. Look for signs with colorful writing so the lively colors can make your space look more appealing. Spring is definitely not a time when you should limit yourself to white decor only.

4. Decorate the Windows

Spring is the perfect time to take down the heavy winter curtains, put them in a washing machine, and store them safely in the linen closet until the cold season comes back again. For the springtime, consider hanging up light and airy sheer curtains. Sheer curtains are wonderful items that are both decorative and functional. They can enhance a room’s ambiance through the softening of incoming light, making them perfect for this season. Of course, this solution is going to work best for the rooms where no one is sleeping, such as the living room.

home redecoration in 2022

You can also feel free to decorate the window sills with cute trinkets such as decorative figurines, potted plants, or even set up or hang some crystals that will reflect the warm spring sun rays and create beautiful rainbows. If you want to transform the look of the glass in the windows, consider getting clear, opaque, or frosted decals that can be used to create beautiful compositions that look great in the sun and during the night when you turn the light in your rooms on.

In Conclusion

As you can see, there are no strict rules telling you what you can and what you can’t do when it comes to freshening up your house for spring with new decorations. You can feel free to use fresh flowers or choose the convenience of the faux ones. For this season, it might be a great idea to greet your guests with a personalized doormat and beautifully arranged porch. Inside, you can decorate the mantel of your fireplace, hang some airy curtains, and change the look of your windows using potted plants, crystals, and fun decals. Don’t be afraid to experiment and show off your personality through the decorations that you choose.

How Will Housing Marking in College Towns Fare Post-COVID?

Distance learning and COVID-19. This combination is every parent’s worst nightmare. It creates the perfect storm of stress, madness, and desperation. But, parents are making the best out of a terrible situation because education can’t be put on hold due to a global pandemic.

The real question is what if you have kids in college? The question many people have is regarding COVID-19’s impact on college towns.

HomeLight’s Q3 survey reveals that the coronavirus has left college towns in a tough spot. Local businesses such as bars and restaurants rely heavily on college students to keep business afloat. However, 2020’s fall semester has proven to be more detrimental than some would expect.

housing-college-towns

University towns become ghost towns

Many colleges and universities have shifted from in-person learning to distance learning and sent their students home. The result of the mass exodus has rendered many of these towns a proverbial ghost town.

According to insights from top agents who participated in HomeLight’s Q3 2020 survey, this student housing market in these cities are predicted to increase from 5.2% during the 2019 fall semester to 7.4% in 2020’s fall semester. Unit vacancies have increased by 1% during that time and because of this, property owners will have no choice but to lower their rental fees just to get people through the door.

Some towns are unaffected

Although some major universities said they were discontinuing in-person learning in favor of remote learning, there are universities who are keeping in-person classes. In these towns, landlords are likely to see an influx of rental applications if/when on-campus housing closes.

Real estate investing is on shaky ground

For real estate investors, buying rental properties in college towns seems like a gold mine – especially if the rent is going to be cheaper than an out-of-state student paying for room and board on campus. For example, the average monthly rent for Ann Arbor, Michigan is about $1,600 and room and board at University of Michigan is $11,996.

Now, room and board at the university may be cheaper, but when you factor in other living expenses, it could add up quickly. However, if four students rent a 4-bedroom apartment that costs $3,300 per month… Each student would pay $825 per month or $9,900 per year, which is quite a bit cheaper, especially when you factor in that the students aren’t staying on campus the entire year.

Inventory fluctuates

Thirty percent of real estate agents that participated in the survey state the rental vacancies in their area have either stayed the same or are starting to decline. Even though the housing market in a particular area may differ from others, 81% of agents said their inventory is at an all time low, despite the fact that many landlords are selling their rentals.

The truth of the matter is this, COVID-19 has affected almost every aspect of our lives and the housing market in university towns remains on shaky ground. As more students and faculty contract the virus, universities are closing their doors and students are going home. Even students who live off campus are leaving the area and are going back home to save money.

Local businesses in university towns are suffering due to a lack of patronage. Unless schools open back up in a safe manner, who knows what the 2020 Spring semester will fare. Will students return to university? Will real estate investors start investing again? Will the economy pick back up?

There are just so many questions that cannot be answered right now. But, we’re keeping our fingers crossed and are hoping for the best.

A Complete Guide to UK Freight Forwarding

Business owners are busy and don’t always have time to handle cargo transportation tasks. Meanwhile, supply chain optimisation can significantly impact your company’s profits and guarantee customer satisfaction.

If you’re wondering how to transport goods with maximum efficiency, consider hiring a freight forwarder UK. Logistics companies in the UK are some of the most experienced professionals in the industry and can be of great help to any entrepreneur. This guide will explain what freight forwarders do, why you need one, and how to pick the right company.

freight forwarding guide

Who is a Freight Forwarder and Why You Need One?

The term freight forwarding refers to the organisation of cargo shipment from one place to another. Consequently, a freight forwarder is an individual or company carrying out the task. Freight forwarders have a wider duty list than cargo carriers.

Firstly, freight forwarders research different cargo shipping options to determine the most time and cost-efficient method. One may think that anyone can handle this task with enough time and dedication. However, freight forwarders don’t simply use Google; they find the optimal option by utilising their own contacts and transportation management systems.

Secondly, freight forwarders are responsible for properly executing the transportation plan. This may include goods packing, labelling, and loading, communication with delivery partners, and paperwork. Freight forwarders must arrange customs clearance and ensure the shipment has all the necessary documentation.

Additionally, freight forwarders may offer other cargo services such as supply chain optimisation advice, consolidation and negotiation, warehousing, cargo insurance, and supply chain performance reports.

So, do you need a freight forwarder? The answer largely depends on your cargo type, business industry, country of origin and destination, among other factors. Freight forwarders can be helpful for all businesses, large and small, wishing to optimise their supply chain and ensure compliance with local legislation.

They have the necessary connections and experience to navigate the most complex triangular operations involving multiple parties – for instance, a manufacturer, intermediary, and final customer. Furthermore, freight forwarders can handle large, complex, and high-value cargo deliveries such as factory production equipment, oil or gas, and wind turbine blades.

The advantages of using a freight forwarder include:

  • Your communication is limited to one person who’s responsible for everything rather than multiple carrier companies.
  • Some freight forwarding projects are too complex and involve plenty of paperwork. A freight forwarder will ensure everything goes smoothly.
  • Freight forwarders can quickly find an optimal solution using their worldwide connections.
  • Freight forwarders save you time.
  • If anything goes wrong, you can fill in an insurance claim.

Types of Freight Forwarding

Freight forwarding is divided into two main categories: domestic and international. The shipment can be carried out using one or multiple carriers, depending on the destination region and cargo complexity. The three types of freight forwarding include air, sea, and land freight.

Freight Problems Companies Face While Transporting Goods To Other Country

Air cargo services are executed using passenger or cargo aircraft. The main advantages of air cargo services are the speed high security level. However, air cargo leaves a massive carbon footprint and is the most expensive of all options.

Sea cargo services are performed using container ships. Due to the low costs and small carbon footprint, sea cargo is the most popular freight forwarding method, accounting for nearly 90% of worldwide shipments. The only drawback of sea cargo services is the slow delivery speed.

Land cargo services are typically used to deliver goods within one country or to a neighbouring country. Cargo is delivered using trucks or trains depending on the load size and destination. Land cargo services are cost-efficient, but the delivery times are highly dependent on weather and traffic.

How to Find the Right Freight Forwarder UK

Now that you understand the importance of planning in cargo transportation, you may wonder how to find the right freight forwarder. UK businesses can benefit from hiring freight forwarders who are familiar with local legislation and can handle customs clearance, VAT, insurance, and other documentation.

For instance, GenX Freight is a London-based company with years of experience in arranging sea, air, and land shipments worldwide. Don’t hesitate to contact your local freight forwarding company for a consultation. By trusting your cargo to industry experts, you can gain peace of mind and free up more time to grow your business.