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.

Considering Taking Personal Loan? First Ask These Questions

Taking out a small loan requires responsibility and commitment. Yet, this is a popular lending solution that has become really widespread among consumers. It provides a better alternative to high interest credit cards or serves as a lifesaver for bad credit holders.

Besides being a responsible borrower you also need to consider the following questions before you decide to opt for a certain loan. Keep on reading and check if you know all the answers to secure yourself and avoid issues before you apply for a personal loan.

personal loan faq

How Much Should I Borrow?

This is one of the most important questions a borrower needs to ask themselves. Getting a 2500 loan bad credit to cover urgent medical costs or a home renovation project is one thing and taking out $500 to pay for overdue utility bills until the next paycheck is another thing.

Each lender has the minimum and maximum limit for borrowing. Also, this sum may depend on the creditworthiness of each client.

So, you can use an online calculator to define the rates and the total amount depending on your credit score and other eligibility criteria. Financial coaches advise consumers to avoid getting the maximum amount.

Define your current monetary needs and realize the exact amount you need to cover those expenses. Taking out a larger sum means more responsibility and a higher total amount you will have to return to the creditors.

What Do I Need to Apply for a Personal Loan?

Many potential borrowers are scared about the amount of paperwork and demands they will face once they go to the crediting institution. While you may turn to alternative lenders, go to a credit union, or visit your local bank branch, the requirements and eligibility criteria may also vary. Apart from submitting an application with your basic personal and financial information, you may be obliged to provide some papers.

Generally, the main demands are:

  • Being over 18 years old;
  • Being a citizen/resident of the USA;
  • Have a stable income source;
  • Provide proof of steady employment;
  • Have a valid bank account.

Where to Apply for a Personal Loan?

Each consumer wants to find the best deal with the lowest rate when it comes to personal loans. Whether you urgently need a small sum or a large amount you will definitely want to lower costs and possible fees.

The best way is to do some research. Take some time to review several lending places and get quotes.

Here are the places where you can turn to if you require immediate financial assistance and can’t afford to cover certain expenses from your own pocket:

1. Local banks

These are conventional crediting institutions that provide lending services to consumers. You may obtain a personal loan here if your credit history is decent and your credit rating is good enough.

Local banks don’t like dealing with low credit borrowers so you won’t be able to apply for a personal loan with no credit. The interest rates are rather low which is an advantage but the application process is tedious and time-consuming.

2. Credit unions

These are the crediting not-for-profit organizations that provide lending solutions to people who are members of these credit unions. If you are willing to get a low-interest lending solution you need to meet eligibility criteria, provide particular documents for application, and be a member of the credit union. In this case, you will be able to qualify for lower rates and more flexible terms.

3. Alternative lenders

These are online crediting services and companies where all consumers may obtain the necessary financial aid regardless of their credit history. Even if your credit rating is less-than-stellar you may qualify for a loan with flexible conditions and an APR of up to 36%.

Such lending companies don’t require any paperwork as the whole process of application may be easily conducted on the web from the comfort of your home. Hence, more and more consumers are choosing this option.

If I Apply for a Personal Loan Do I Have to Accept It?

Many potential applicants have a concern that they will be obliged to accept the offer if they applied for a loan at a certain company. However, the truth is quite opposite. You have the right to get as many quotes from various lending institutions as you want, provided that the creditors don’t perform a hard credit inquiry each time you apply.

Therefore, you need to be careful with applying to the credit unions or banks as such organizations usually conduct hard credit checks that may damage your rating. Otherwise, you should review several options until you find the most affordable solution tailored to your current money needs.

People have started taking out more personal loans recently making this lending solution one of the fastest-growing types of debt. Personal loan debt grew 6% in 2020 while its rate slows a bit, states the recent data from Experian, one of the three major credit agencies.

Personal Loan

What Is My Credit Score?

As we’ve already mentioned, the client’s credit rating is an essential figure as it may open or close the doors of reputable financial institutions. If you want to qualify for better lending terms and lower rates your credit score should be good or excellent.

What does it mean? You may order your free annual credit report from one of the three major credit reporting agencies such as Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion.

If your rating is over 580 it is considered good enough to qualify for most crediting services but traditional banks may require a higher score. If your rating is less-than-stellar you may need to improve it or take out a secured loan instead.

Conclusion

To sum up, personal loans have become a popular alternative to other lending services and credit cards. However, you should ask yourself these top 5 questions before you consider taking out a personal loan. If you are prepared and know what you really need you can avoid pitfalls and mistakes by making the right decision and getting the best deal. Research your options and find the one that suits your present financial needs.

How Does a Solar Battery Storage Work?

The idea of having an energy-independent home is quite enticing for any homeowner. It comes with a lot of advantages, the main one being the fact that you won’t be affected by utility rate fluctuations. Also, you’ll be promoting the ‘green energy’ campaign, which is currently being recommended as a way of preserving the environment. Fortunately, it’s an attainable dream given the rapid advancement in the world of energy storage. All you need is a set of solar panels or a solar energy provider, and a battery backup to satisfy your needs.

Solar batteries are an integral part of this setup since they ensure a continuous supply of power if the grid goes down. This article will break down the seemingly complex operation of these storage devices into a few easy-to-understand steps. The discussion will revolve around a battery that’s already paired with a solar system rather than a standalone solar battery storage.

solar-battery-storage

Feeding the Solar Energy

When sunlight rays hit the panels, the visible light is converted to electrical energy. The electrical current flows into the battery and is stored as DC electricity. It’s worth noting that there are two types of solar batteries: AC-coupled and DC-coupled. The latter has a built-in inverter that can convert the electricity current to DC or AC. As such, the DC solar electricity will flow from the panels to an external power inverter, which will convert it to AC energy that can either be used by your home appliances or stored in the AC battery. What the built-in inverter will do in this case is convert the AC electricity back to DC for storage.

As for a DC-coupled system, the battery doesn’t have a built-in inverter. As such, the DC electricity from the solar panels flows to the battery via a charge controller. Unlike in an AC setup, the power inverter in this system is only connected to your home’s wiring. As such, electricity from the solar panels or your storage battery is converted from DC to AC before flowing to your home appliances. What determines how much energy is stored in the battery?  Read on to find out more.

The Charging Process

As power flows from the solar panels, your home’s electricity setup will take precedence. Therefore, electricity directly feeds your appliances, like refrigerators, TVs, and lights. Often, this energy from solar panels can be more than what you need. For instance, on a hot afternoon, a lot of power is produced, yet your home isn’t using much of it. In such a scenario, net metering occurs, wherein the extra energy flows back to the grid. However, you can use this overflow to charge up your batteries.

solar-battery

The amount of electricity stored in the battery depends on how fast it charges up. If, for example, your home doesn’t use up too much power, then the charging process will be quick. Also, if you’re connected to huge panels, then a lot of electric energy will flow to your home, which means the batteries will charge up a lot faster. Once your battery is full, the charge controller will prevent it from overcharging.

If you are actively looking towards the idea of having clean, free energy, but don’t have enough money to invest in solar panels, you should definitely consider buying a solar generator. Solar generators utilize solar panels, capturing the sun’s energy. The solar energy is stored in a batter. A solar generator has four components, including the solar panels, controller, inverter, and solar battery.

Solar generators don’t require fuel to work—all you need to do is set up the solar panel, and you’ll benefit from clean, renewable energy. Because solar generators don’t release pollutants, you can safeguard your family’s health and protect the environment. Solar generators are highly preferred over traditional generators because they’re quiet, low-maintenance, and cost-effective.

Why Do You Need A Solar Battery?

Homeowners can use Plico Energy’s solar calculator or any similar online tool to determine how much solar energy they need. But even if you have a rough idea of the amount of solar power you need to sustain your daily tasks, it’s still important to buy a solar battery. Here are some of the reasons why you should invest in a solar battery:

1. To shield you from power outages

If you’re connected to a grid, there’ll always be a few moments when the transmission system malfunctions or is shut down for maintenance. As soon as this happens, the system will isolate your home from the grid and activate the backup source. In this case, the battery will operate like a backup generator.

Having backup power through solar batteries can prevent the inconveniences associated with outages. Hence, you can continue using your appliances for household chores, entertainment, studying, or working at home. Most of all, if you have a sick family member needing a piece of medical equipment, such as an oxygen tank or a respirator, you won’t face problems with sourcing a generator or a power backup.

2. Time-of-use rate plans

On these plans, you’ll be charged according to the amount of electricity you use, as well as the time during which you use it. TOU states that the power drawn from the grid at night is more valuable than the extra energy produced during the day. As such, by storing the extra energy and using it at night, you’ll reduce the overall cost of electricity in your home.

Governments around the world are recognising the benefits of solar batteries. So much so, that they are offering rebates for homeowners to help with the upfront cost of buying a solar battery. These rebates for solar batteries are becoming more and more popular and are a sign of the huge benefits batteries provide to homeowners and the world. Solar battery rebates are helping to promote the adoption of solar energy systems in many countries.

Closing Remarks

With the world embracing ‘green energy,’ solar panels are gradually replacing the traditional sources of electricity. Solar batteries play a crucial role in ensuring that you have a reliable power supply in your home. AC-couple storage batteries have a built-in inverter, which converts the electric current to DC or AC, depending on the direction.

On the other hand, a DC-couple battery doesn’t have this feature. Both batteries, however, store electric energy in DC regardless of the setup. The speed at which electricity is stored in the batteries depends on the size of the panels and the amount used by your home appliances.

Recycling Hacks For One And All

According to research, there are around 100,000 pounds of garbage that your community can create. This can have a great impact on the environment like diminishing resources, pollution, and landfills. Meanwhile, recycling is an activity which you can implement every day. It can help in maintaining a green home. This can aid in the reduction of negative effects on the environment. Thus, here are some recycling hacks to get started today:

 

Start with Small Steps

When you have decided to recycle, do not feel as if you have to start big. Passion for the environment is a great thing. But when you place too much pressure on yourself to get green, this can lead to frustration and stress throughout the process.

Thus, it is best to allow yourself to start small. Learn one part of the process and begin with it. Then, make it a habit for you and your family to begin easy before proceeding to the next part. As you take these baby steps, you will be more likely to include recycling on your life permanently. This is an effective Solutions on Waste, Recycling and Processing Recyclable Materials.

Reduce and Reuse

Part of recycling is reducing the things you use. Reusing the items you use every day instead of throwing them in the bin can aid you in your recycling efforts. Limiting the things that you have to dump will help you control the situation.

Know the Things That Can Be Recycled

It is easy to overlook the items and get confused about where to put your trash. Thus, you should check with your service provider on the specific garbage in your program. But here are the basic principles of recycling:

Cardboard and Paper

All kinds of paper are acceptable which includes flyers, books, colored paper, and junk mail. Do not include waxy papers. You can recycle cardboard so long as it is not filled with grease and food like pizza boxes. For other food boxes like cereals, make sure that you remove first the liners.

Plastic

Recyclable plastics have indicated numbers on them and you can see it at the bottom. Numbers one to seven can be recycled. Take note that you cannot recycle the majority of the utensils because of the low-quality plastic used. If you can crumple easily the plastic bag, then you don’t have to include it in the recycle bin. The curbside will not accept the plastic bags but your local store can collect and reuse them.

Aluminum

As a general rule, you can recycle all aluminum cans. Just clean and rinse it to remove juices and sodas. This can prevent the onslaught of the insect in the area.

Glass

You can recycle glass containers. Before you put them in the recycle bin, rinse them. Make sure that you don’t break these glass containers. When the glass shatters, it can’t be recycled anymore. This is because mixing various colors can contaminate the batches.

Put a Bin in Each Room

Place a recycle bin at the bathroom, office, and bedroom. With this, you can collect all kinds of recyclable materials inside your house.

5 Reasons Why You Need a Water Softener for Your Home

Tap water that we use for in our daily purpose contains minerals like calcium, lime, chalk, and magnesium. The increased levels of these minerals in water make it hard. Hard water is unhealthy for consumption and for domestic use. Although many people use mineral water for drinking, excessive use of mineral water can result in health and domestic hazards. It’s essential to remove excess levels of minerals from water to make it suitable for drinking as well as for domestic use like bathing, washing, cleaning, etc. Water softeners are filters that convert hard water into softer water by filtering out the minerals.

Below are few important reasons why you should install a water softener in your home:

1. Easier Cleaning

When you wash dishes and clothes in hard water, they may end up with white spots, streaks, and soapy residue. Soft water helps to rinse off the soap residue more thoroughly, leaving your dishes and clothes cleaner. Moreover, water softening also reduce the amount you use for detergent or soap you need for cleaning, which helps to save your expenses for these products.

You will notice that house water softeners prevent the detergent curd and soap film buildup in bathtubs, showers, sinks, and other cleaning devices, and they stay cleaner and efficient.

2. Keep Your Skin Smooth and Well-Nourished

The calcium and magnesium present in hard water mix with anions in soaps resulting in soap scum on your body or sticky skin. This film does not dissolve even with rinsing and stays on your skin causing clogged pores, skin irritation, and dry or itchy skin.

Moreover, using dry water on the skin can also lead to acne. Therefore, install water softener in your home because bathing with soft water is better for your skin.

3. Extended Water Appliance Life

Minerals of hard water can buildup in washing machines, dishwashers, coffee makers and other water appliances. This can result in clogging of minerals within these devices which can cause them to burn out. It’s better to invest in a water softener that will prevent the minerals from building up within these appliances.

Therefore, use of soft water helps to extend the life of water appliances. You will end up saving money because these devices will last longer, and you will be replacing them less frequently.

4. Faster Heating of Water

Your water heaters can quickly heat soft water, while heating hard water requires comparatively more time. It is estimated that water softeners can improve the efficiency of electric water heaters by 22 percent and that of gas water heaters by 29 percent. If you are using a walk in tub, it will help in faster heating of water for bathing.

Hard water can also cause mineral buildup in the water heaters, decreasing their efficiency to heat water. Water softeners improve the efficiency of water heaters resulting in lower utility bills.

5. Reduce Pipe and Faucet Damage

Hard water causes scaly deposits in pipes and faucets. Your home plumbing system is severely affected as these deposits buildup over time, resulting in clogs and corrosion.

Moreover, hard water can also clog your showerheads and valves. Water softeners eliminate the mineral buildup in your plumbing system, extending its life and helping your fixtures to operate effectively.

5 Things to Check Before Selecting a Bitcoin Trading Platform

In the last few years, trading in Bitcoins has now become much more mainstream. With the rise of credible trading platforms and exchanges, anyone with a few dollars to invest and an appetite for success can start trading in Bitcoins or any other cryptocurrencies.

Choosing the best Crypto trading platform or Bitcoin trading platform can be difficult for new investors because several factors need to be considered. Bitcoin trading simply means buying and selling Bitcoins.

Before investing in Bitcoin, keep in mind that the price of Bitcoins is highly volatile. This factor is preventing many investors from investing in this valuable asset. This is a very crucial factor to understand the perfect time for selling or buying the currencies, but having trading bots sometimes helps to figure out the factors and it helps to manage the trading with more convenience.

There are various benefits of investing in Bitcoins, and some of the benefits include low transaction charges, data protection, high security, no third parties, and much more.

bitcoin-trading

Selecting A Bitcoin Trading Platform

There are various Bitcoin trading platforms available on the internet but choosing the best one is crucial for every user. Thus, there are five major factors that you need to check before selecting the right Bitcoin trading platform.

1. Fee

Every Bitcoin trading platform has some amount of fees. You must proceed only on that platform that charges a genuine amount for trading.

If you are a new investor and join the Bitcoin market, this factor is crucial to consider at any cost. Trading fees differ for every platform, and if any platform is charging low fees, you need to be very careful about the security of that particular exchange platform.

2. Fiat Exchange

Fiat exchange is another factor that you need to consider before trading Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Every trader, at some point, needs a fiat exchange. This exchange can help their amount to convert into national currency.

Hence, if any trader or investor wants to get out of the Crypto world, this exchange’s procedure can help them. On the other hand, before choosing any trading platform, make sure the platform is compatible with your banks, and if it is not compatible with your account, you can proceed with the other one.

3. Security

Security is a very vital factor that every trader should consider choosing the best Bitcoin trading platform. Every trading platform has its security features.

If you choose the best Crypto trading platform, make sure the platform has two-factor authentication. It is the enhanced feature of every security system. You should not choose any platform that is not offering you good security features. Instead, opt for that platform that offers excellent security features, even if the charges are high.

4. Reputation

Reputation is a key factor that you need to check before selecting a Bitcoin trading platform. The reputation of several trading platforms can differ.

are-bitcoins-scalable

You can research more on the internet about the reputation of that particular platform. You can also consider several traders’ reviews, which will help you choose the best one. Bitcoin is regarded as a young technology that was invented just a couple of years back. Thus, you will get information about every trading platform you are willing to select on the internet.

5. Insurance

Keep in mind; the best Bitcoin trading platform will have an insurance fund in place. Hence, opt for those Bitcoin trading platforms that provide insurance funds with good security features.

The best exchange platform will be protected to some extent. The trading platform that has several features can make your trading a successful one.

The Bottom Line

Every Bitcoin trading platform has its way of dealing with traders. You can also look at the leading Bitcoin trading app 1g ProfitSystem and earn high returns on investment. Trading in Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin can be a very profitable asset for you in the end.

The benefits of trading in Bitcoin can be very effective for you. You just need to gain some expert marketing skills to deal with all kinds of trading or investments. Thus, before choosing any Bitcoin trading platform, read the above instructions carefully. The above data will help you, to some extent, while selecting a suitable exchange platform to trade your digital currencies.

Renewable Energy Trends in Germany

Germany has been called “the world’s first major renewable energy economy” as the country is one of the world’s most prolific users of renewable energy for power, heating, and transport. Germany has rapidly expanded the use of clean energy which now contributes almost one-fourth to the national energy mix. Renewable energy contribute as much as one-fourth of the primary energy mix and the country has set a goal to producing 35 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2020 and 100 percent by 2050.

renewable-energy-germany

Solar Energy

Germany is the world’s biggest solar market and largest PV installer with a solar PV capacity of more than 49.78 GW at the end of 2019. The German new solar PV installations increased by about 4 GW in 2019. Germany has nearly as much installed solar power generation capacity as the rest of the world combined and gets about 5 percent of its overall annual electricity needs from solar power alone.

In 2019, German photovoltaic (PV) plants fed about 46.5 TWh into the public electricity grid, an increase of 1.7 percent compared to 2018.

Wind Energy

Germany’s wind energy industry is one of the world’s largest, and it is at the forefront of technological development.  Over half of all wind turbines in Germany are owned by local residents, farmers and local authorities which have tremendously improved the acceptance of wind turbines among local communities as they directly profit.

Being Europe’s primary wind energy market, Germany represents around 30 percent of total installed capacity in Europe and 12 percent of global installed capacity. Total wind energy capacity in Germany was 59.3 GW at the end of year 2019. Currently Germany is ranked third worldwide in installed total wind capacity with its share of total domestic electricity production forecasted to reach 25 percent by 2025.

Wind became the main electricity source in Germany for the first time in 2019. In eight months of the year 2019, the electricity generation from wind surpassed brown coal and in twelve months nuclear. Together wind and solar power plants generated a total of ca. 173 TWh electricity in 2019.

Biomass Energy

Biomass energy is making a significant contribution to renewable energy supply in Germany and accounts for about 5.5 percent of the total electricity production in the country. Germany is the market leader in biogas technology and is also Europe’s biggest biogas producer. Last year around 7,600 systems with a cumulative capacity of 3,200 MW generated 21.9 billion kWh in the country, thus consolidating Germany’s status as a pioneer in clean energy technologies.

Biogas_Digester_Germany

Renewable Energy Investment

Germany’s plan to phase out all 17 of its nuclear power plants and shift to renewable energy by 2022 is the largest infrastructure investment program in Europe since World War II. The country’s transition from nuclear energy-based power network to renewable energy systems will require investments of much as $55 billion by 2030.

Germany is the world’s third largest market for renewable energy investment which and ranked 5th in the Bloomberg’s 2018 global renewable investment report with total investments of $10.5 billion in 2018. Sixty-five percent of investment in Germany was directed toward solar, with 29 percent directed to wind.

The country offers generous feed-in-tariffs for investors across all renewable energy segments which is attracting huge private capital in cleantech investments. In 2018, the majority of cleantech investment came from corporate investors across all sectors of the economy, including farmers, energy utilities, and industrial and commercial enterprises.

In 2019, the total electricity production in Germany from all renewable sources was about 237 TWh, an increase of 7 percent compared to 2018, and above fossil fuel carriers (207 TWh) for the first time.

How to Deal with Old Electrical Items

We all cherish our electronic devices, from our laptops and mobile phones to our beloved household appliances such as our refrigerators and washing machines. But when these electric appliances become outdated or reach the end of their useful life, they become electronic waste and that’s a big problem.

Whether they’re complete junk or still in good shape, no matter what, you should never just throw an old electronic device in the trash. So how should you deal with old electrical items? Read on to discover some ideas on how you can deal with them.

electrical-waste-uk

Repair

Millions of tons of e-waste are discarded every year and a very small percentage of them are disposed of properly, all this isn’t good for our environment. Many of the devices we throw away haven’t reached the end of their useful life so before you get rid of them, make sure they are really unusable.

Whether your phone has stopped working or your washing machine is making funny sounds, the first step to take would be to consult an expert. A specialized electrician will accurately diagnose the state of your device and help you determine the best way to deal with it. Sometimes all you need is for an electrician to simply replace one of the device’s parts and it’s almost as good as new.

You can also try to repair some of your old appliances and devices yourself, some items just need a bit of fixing and connecting loose wires. When fixing an item yourself, check the product’s user manual or look for online resources to find the best and safest way to go about it.

Replace your throwaway habits with repairing ones and reduce your e-waste footprint while saving money. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, this will help you reduce any expensive repair costs later on and can greatly extend the lifetime of your devices.

Reuse

There are many ways you can pass on your unwanted items for reuse. If you decide that you want to dispose of an electrical item, consider selling or donating it. Alternatively, some old devices can be traded-in for new ones for a discounted price.

If your items are old but in good quality why not turn them into money? Second-hand electrics are much cheaper to buy. You can easily sell your old electronics online nowadays. The value of a used electrical item varies greatly depending on the condition, age, and current market price, consider all these elements before posting your item for sale to get the maximum value.

The best time to sell old phones and laptops is before new models are announced, so if you’re seeing headlines about an upcoming phone, it might be the right time to list your old unwanted one.

While you may make more money by selling your old devices, nothing beats the convenience of trading in your old gadget for an upgraded one. Some electronics manufacturers and retailers offer trade-in programs that give you cash or gift cards in exchange for your old electrics if they’re in good shape, others let you trade your unwanted device for a reduced price on a new one. Check the company website of your brand or retailer for details on its program.

Donating to charity is a great way to pass on your unwanted items while helping those in need. Check your local non-profit organization or look for reuse programs that will donate your old devices to people who need them or restore and resell them in support of a variety of good causes.

Before donating your old electrical items, make sure that they still function reliably and that they don’t require major repairs or parts replacement.

You don’t want personal or sensitive information to fall into a stranger’s hand. Before selling or donating your old phone or laptop, retrieve some important stuff that you want to keep like photos, passwords, contacts, and music. Once you’ve backed them up, wipe the device completely clean.

Every time new items are made, resources and raw materials are used. The process of extracting and using these materials creates substantial air and water pollution. We can help reduce these environmental effects and save energy by reusing items whenever possible.

Recycle

Recycling old household electrical appliances and electronic devices is usually an easy process thanks to the variety of options available.

Some electronics manufacturers and retailers offer recycling programs for their products, call ahead or visit their official websites to make sure the branch near you is accepting your items. You can also find recycling kiosks in many stores where you can drop off old batteries, wires, cords, and cables.

Plenty of nonprofit organizations, local communities, and official organizations also offer services to help you recycle old electronics. Moreover, several cities and towns around the world now have a local e-recycling center. Look for the nearest trusted recycling service or certified facility in your area to safely get rid of your unwanted electrical items.

To check if an old electrical item is recyclable, simply ask the following questions and if the answer is yes, it’s recyclable:

  • Does it have a plug?
  • Does it use batteries?
  • Does it need charging?
  • Does it have a picture of a crossed-out bin on it?

Some of the most common recyclable electrical goods include

  • Printer cartridges
  • Refrigerators
  • TVs
  • Mobile phones
  • Electric toothbrushes and shavers
  • Laptops
  • Watches
  • Cameras
  • Treadmills

Correctly disposing of e-waste ensures that the hazardous materials such as lead and mercury can be treated appropriately and the recyclable components including plastics, glass, and metal can be recovered for reuse. If your electrical item is deemed unfixable or unusable, responsibly dispose of it through recycling.

You are even able to have your items picked up by companies like R3ewaste, which is a certified electronics recycler. They service both small and large companies, government agencies, municipalities, and even provide support for local residents.

Approximately 25% of the electrical items thrown away can still function and most of the rest can be fixed. Always remember the three Rs; repair, reuse, and recycle when dealing with your old electrical items. You’ve got the resources at your fingertips to repair or reuse so many things, consider those first and if all else fails, look for the nearest certified recycling center.

4 Proven Tips to Sleep Better at Night

Many people, including me, have experienced problems when it comes to bedtime, let me tell you that it is something more common than we think. The National Institute of Health (NIH) states indicate that approximately 70 million people in the United States have sleep problems, mainly insomnia. The institute states that an average adult needs 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night to be rested and not experience drowsiness during the day. Sleep problems are often present in adolescents, they generally need around 9 hours of sleep at night, but statistics say that most do not meet those hours.

If you currently have problems with sleep or think you could, the first thing you should do is observe your patterns and habits at bedtime, what you usually do, and how they could be done differently. It is necessary to keep track to see how long you usually sleep during the night and the quality of sleep you feel the next day. It is a precise way of being able to observe when and under what factors you are sleeping better to understand the alternatives and have a plan of action to improve our sleep.

sleep-improvement-guide

After observing your habits and sleep patterns for a few days, try some strategies that you will find in our post below, which will probably help you improve and get deeper sleep, from there, continue making adjustments and you will see that you will soon have sleep as deep as you ever wanted. Here we have a list of things that help you sleep better.

1. Have a sleep routine

All people have in their body a compound called melatonin, it is a natural hormone, whose main function is to regulate the sleep cycle, making it work correctly, improving the quality of sleep. Having a sleep routine makes us promote the action of melatonin in our body, actions such as going to bed at the same time and getting up at a certain time makes our body more predisposed to comply with its sleep schedule, which results in greater well-being and better quality of sleep.

Having a sleep routine implies that we disconnect from all electronic devices so that our brain functions begin to relax, in this way we will enter a phase of tranquility and relaxation. This can also be accompanied by some quiet activity such as reading a book or listening to a podcast. Maintaining bedtime habits is one of the actions that have the greatest effect on our quality of sleep and our well-being in general.

2. Make sure you sleep comfortably

Definitely a good bed is necessary for a pleasant and restful sleep, but what characteristics should a good bed have? A bed should have enough space so that you can move during the night, this depends on the size of each person. On the other hand mattresses come in different sizes, thicknesses and different materials, Air foam mattress materials offers comfort and support that is long lasting and queen mattress with air foam technology is worth to try which improves sleep quality and to be sure it best fits your needs.

A very important aspect is a good protection like a bed comforter since they have the functionality of providing you with comfort and isolating you from the cold. Bed comforters are found in an infinite variety of sizes and thicknesses for all design tastes. Without a doubt, it is an element that you need in your bed to sleep comfortably so you can get a relaxing and restful sleep.

3. Control the light and noise in the room

Light and noise in the room are external elements that we must control since they have a huge impact on the quality of sleep. The darkness causes our brain to begin releasing melatonin and in a calm environment with few sensory stimulations induces us to be calm and completely relax.

Minimizing all the devices that emit light and using blackout curtains that are usually made of a more compact material and do not allow light to pass through, are some things you can do to reduce the effect of light. In the same way regarding noise, we can choose a room away from the noise and add anti-noise windows. Also, try using earplugs as these can be very helpful at a low cost.

4. Exercise and diet

Without a doubt, having a healthy life during the day will provide us the tools we need to be able to sleep better at night. The quality of sleep we have usually is represented by the quality of the day we have lived, that is why both moments of our day have to be in harmony.

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One of the methods that science promotes to live a healthier life is to exercise and eat healthily. Contrary to the common belief you can exercise even with annoying medical conditions such as hemorrhoids. One of the benefits that physical fitness brings is that by doing it our body releases endorphins which is a natural substance that increases the state of well-being and reduces the sensation of emotional pain.

In the same way, together with a balanced diet, it increases our energy during the day and makes us have a more pleasant day to enjoy the activities that we like the most. It is necessary to mention that we must avoid all kinds of drinks that contain caffeine during the night, as this substance can stimulate our sensory system and cause problems at bedtime.

Parting Shot

Sleep problems, if not treated in time, can represent a long-term problem since it can lead to pharmacologic dependence. There are many natural methods to deal with this common and real problem. It is necessary to unite all aspects of our life, focusing and aligning them to the main objective, to be able to have quality sleep for the total well-being of our life. That is why a good healthy lifestyle and correct bedtime habits are the main ingredients for a happier life.

Understanding Hypertension: Symptoms, Causes And Prevention

Blood pressure can be defined as the force of the blood pushing against the veins and arteries when it flows throughout the body. The blood pressure of a healthy human being falls and rises constantly throughout the day.

The blood pressure of a human being is measured in two ways:

  • The systolic blood pressure measures the amount of pressure that is in your arteries, during the time your heart is beating and pumping blood.
  • The diastolic blood pressure measures the amount of pressure that is in your arteries, during the time your heart is resting in between the action of your heartbeats.

You may now wonder what is the normal measurement of the blood pressure of a normal and healthy human being. A normal measurement of the blood pressure of a normal and healthy human being is less than 120/80 mmHg.

High Blood Pressure Symptoms

What is High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension is the pressure of the blood pulsing through your arteries and is higher than usual. The high blood pressure in your body puts an excessive amount of pressure on your arteries. A lot of times, hypertension or high blood pressure is associated with a lot of several life-threatening medical conditions, including cardiac problems.

Now, let us take a look at the high blood pressure symptoms.

What are the Symptoms of High Blood Pressure?

Hypertension or high blood pressure symptoms, in a lot of cases, may also overlap with the symptoms of some other bodily issues that one might be experiencing. A lot of times, the only way to find out whether you have high blood pressure symptoms or not is by measuring your blood pressure.

However, symptoms of the severe level of hypertension may include symptoms like flushing, blood spots in the eyes or dizziness, etc. If you feel any of these symptoms, you must immediately get your blood pressure checked. If it is not blood pressure, these symptoms may indicate some other type of disorder in the body.

Factors that can lead to High Blood Pressure

There are some factors that may contribute to the probability of your body developing high blood pressure symptoms and may lead to eventually hypertension.

These factors are as follows:

  • Previously diagnosed chronic medical conditions
  • Use of drugs
  • Consumption of alcohol
  • Habit of smoking
  • Obesity
  • Genes
  • Living a sedentary lifestyle
  • Living in a stressful environment or always being stressed

These factors may lead to some serious complications and may also sometimes lead to the death of a patient. It is extremely important for one to maintain physical health as well as mental health. You need to take some steps to prevent high blood pressure symptoms and keep your body healthy.

How Do I Prevent High Blood Pressure Symptoms?

Healthy lifestyle changes are something that can extensively help you make your body stronger and healthier.

growth of organic food industry

Some of the following tips and steps can be taken in order to prevent high blood pressure symptoms:

  • Developing a healthy lifestyle
  • Increasing physical activity
  • Managing your body weight and tackling obesity
  • Getting rid of habits like smoking and alcohol consumption
  • Living in a stress-free environment

4 Practical Tips To Find the Right Energy Provider

There is little doubt that energy bills are a big drain on your finances, what with the Big Six energy providers hiking their prices recently, with two of them doing it twice within a year! What is one to do? Toe their line or search for the best and cheapest energy tariffs? Of course, you will save a pretty packet if you search for the cheapest energy rates. Find below certain practical tips that will enable you to find the right energy provider and save on money.

1. Avoid standard variable rate tariff

You need to be careful when your fixed tariff deal ends, for it is then that your energy provider will nudge you towards standard variable rate tariff. Their reason for doing so is simple, that is, to make money. These variable rate tariffs are expensive. According to the figures of previous year obtained from First Utility, will escalate your energy bill by an average of £262 annually. Not only are these variable rate tariffs expensive, but they also provide leeway for your energy supplier to hike costs.

The way out of this is to search for smaller suppliers that offer the best-buy tables and better services. You can do this by manually researching lists of energy suppliers or using online comparison sites. Spending time doing manual research can pay dividends as you can often find deals not apparent on switching sites, however the latter are much faster to use.

Power tip: When using switching sites, always check the box that says something like ‘include plans that require switching directly though the supplier’ as this will reveal even cheaper deals.

Today, the minnows are giving a run for money to the Big Six energy providers. These suppliers offer you a choice of long-term fix and even variable rate that are well under £1,000. Opting for a fixed rate tariff will give you a secure price on each unit of electricity for a set period, whereas variable rate tariff, where the price can fluctuate up and down.

So, to get the full price advantage don’t stick to your original supplier, but switch to a smaller one. It will certainly help in saving cash.

2. To fix or not to fix

In the past, variable rate tariffs tended to be cheaper, but this trend has changed. Today, the cheapest rates are offered on one-year fixes. Opting for it will save you money. This is because this type fixes the rate you pay for each unit of electricity, usually for a 12- to 18-month period.

The latest trend is to opt for two-year fixed deals. Whether it is one-year or two-year fixed deals, the idea is to avoid expensive variable standard tariffs. It needs to be noted that fixed deals are slightly more than the cheapest deals, if you are going in for long-term security. However, it certainly does not mean that you pay a fixed amount and be done away with it. It will still depend upon the amount of energy consumed, only the tariff per unit is somewhat reduced.

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You need to be careful about some fixed deals that charge exit fees if you decide to leave early. Also, there is no guarantee that a fixed deal is the best long-term option, but if you want to give certainty over bills, this is the best choice.

3. Benefits of energy switching

Your local energy suppliers are the real beneficiary since they tend to charge more for electricity from people living in their vicinity. This is because they build a monopoly in the region and dictate the energy rates.

To break the stranglehold of your local energy supplier, you will do well to explore the possibility of moving away. This switching will certainly save you money. Of course, finding the cheapest supplier will primarily depend upon where you live. A little search will not only help you find cheap suppliers but also help you in comparing prices to find the best price.

If you are scared that switching from your current energy supplier will attract a penalty, if you decide to leave before the term expires, it will still be worth it. So, accept the penalty and you will still end up saving big. Check out Simply Switch for some current deals.

4. Cutting your energy bills

If you are still in two minds regarding switching to a smaller energy supplier, you can still limit your energy bill in the following ways:

  • Ask for return of credited money: If you are paying a set amount by direct debit pay each month for gas and electricity, it will be a good idea to ask for a return of money during summer and spring. You may get it back with interest.
  • Save energy: Change the way you use your gas and electricity. This will reduce usage and save money.
  • Pay online: This could cut more than £10 off your annual bills.

Conclusion

Switching energy supplier is a big decision. However, if your current supplier is offering cheaper tariff than what you are currently using, it is wise to switch to it, rather than opt for a new energy supplier. You still end up saving money.