Surveys That Are Worth Getting Before a Self-Build or Renovation Project

The process of building your new home starts long before you lay the foundations. One of the most important considerations to make is whether or not the land that you’re planning to build your new property on is suitable for your construction project. When planning the build of your own home, there are many different surveys that might be worth getting in order to ensure that you’re protected against future issues with the property and to make sure that everything you do is in line with the laws and legislation that surround protected tree and wildlife species in the UK.

When building your own property on a plot of land, you will need to consider any protected tree species, or wildlife species such as bats and badgers that might be present and how you are going to ensure that their natural habitat is protected throughout and after the construction process.

different surveys when building a new home

Biodiversity Net Gain

Part of getting various surveys carried out when building your own property is due to biodiversity net gain. This is a concept where the state of biodiversity of an area is improved rather than damaged when land development projects are complete. It is worth having a biodiversity net gain consultant as part of your project to ensure that the land is preserved as much as possible, natural habitats are retained, and biodiversity loss is prevented. Specialist consultants can provide you with more information on the biodiversity of the area and recommend specific surveys that are worth having carried out in order to preserve it.

Tree Survey

If there are various trees located in the area you are planning on building your home, then it’s worth having a tree survey. This might be a legal requirement if you know or suspect that there are protected tree species in the area. Along with this, it can also help you prevent any issues that might arise from building your property too close to trees, which can cause problems like subsidence when the roots take moisture from the soil around the property foundation. A tree surveyor or arborist is the best professional to conduct a thorough tree survey, which will provide you with more detailed information about the trees in the area and how they will be taken into consideration when building your new home.

trees-sustainability

Badger Survey

Badgers and their setts are a protected species by law in the UK. If you are building on land where there may be badgers present, or any other type of protected wildlife, then you should have a thorough survey carried out to find out more about where the badgers are and how you should proceed with the building plans to ensure that they remain protected throughout. It’s important to know how your project might impact badgers and other wildlife in the area, what measures you can take to ensure that local wildlife is protected and undisturbed throughout the process, and more. This will help you avoid problems down the line and the risk of delaying your project if you find protected species present during the construction process.

Bat Survey

Another protected species in the UK that is worth surveying for before you start your new home build protect is bats. It is illegal to kill bats or move them from their natural habitat in the UK, so it’s especially important to survey for them if you are planning a project that involves renovating old buildings, which bats are often present in. A custodial sentence or fine are common consequences of harming or disturbing bats in their natural habitat, even if you did so unintentionally. It’s best to have a bat survey carried out by a professional to get more information regarding the presence of bats on the land or in any buildings on it. The survey will also provide you with further information going forward to help you work around any bats that might be present on the plot and ensuring that their natural habitat is protected.

Soil Survey

Boggy land, tipped areas, and running sand are all signs of poor ground conditions that might cause serious issues with your construction project further down the line if you do not investigate them thoroughly at the start. Before you begin the process of construction, it’s a good idea to have a survey conducted on the land itself, allowing you to find out more about what’s present underneath the topsoil, how easy or difficult it is going to be to build on, and if any additional work should be conducted beforehand when it comes to making sure that you are fully prepared for starting your project and the land is safe to build on. This might be a survey that you have done on its own, or as part of a larger land survey that can include other aspects such as odd-shaped sites, obstacles and more allowing you to go into the project fully prepared.

How To Pursue A Career In Environmental Management

Structural Building Survey

If you are not building your new home from scratch but are rather going to be convert or renovate a derelict property that already exists, then it is worth having a survey carried out on this property before you get started. In most cases, a full structural survey is the best option to get before you start, as this will give you a better idea of the condition of the building and how safe or even possible it is to complete the conversion or renovation that you are hoping for. This survey will give you a more in-depth look into the overall condition of the building including uncovering any issues that might not be immediately obvious when you look at it. This can help you not only determine what kind of preparatory work needs to be done before you can start the project but will also help you budget better.

Whether you are planning to build a property from the ground up on a plot of land or have an old building you are planning to convert, there are various surveys that are worth getting to help you prepare the best way forward.

How Can Oil-Free Air Compressors Benefit The Environment?

If you already have an air compressor, you will be aware of how they are an incredibly valuable tool for industries and DIY enthusiasts. Commonly used to power pneumatic tools but can be used for a variety of applications. Air compressors provide you with complete power over spraying, nailing, sanding and hammering at a fraction of the time it would take with manual tools.

You can also find these smaller sized air compressors everywhere that are very portable and best at doing small work. Bob Robinson of BestOfMachinery swears by these portable tools. “Small air compressors essentially push air from the tank in the unit, into the tools that you want to use for either DIY, hobbies or work purposes without the need to lug heavy stuff.”, he commented.

These machines can also be used for inflating tyres, auto repairs and even creating home-made snow machines. Sandblasters, impact wrenches, grease guns, die grinders and angle disc grindles can also be attached.

We all love our power tools and would be lost without them; however, we are becoming more aware regarding the issue of carbon emissions. Reducing our carbon footprint is one of the most important things companies and individuals can do in their lifetime. Small changes within your business and homes can be a great start to decrease our carbon emissions and help save the planet.

If you are looking to purchase your first air compressor or to update an existing model, Direct Air has created a guide on why an oil-free air compressor is a great choice, not just for the environment, but to help you save on energy bills. You can see their full range of oil-free air compressors at https://www.directair.co.uk/products/oil-free-air-compressors/.

Every air compressor requires lubrication in order to efficiently and safely draw in air to its cylinder, commonly using a piston movement. The traditional method to achieve this is using oil, while oil-based air compressors do have their benefits as they are more robust and can handle large-scale applications, they are higher in initial cost, harder to maintain and far heavier than their oil-free counterparts.

Oil-free air compressors gain lubrication through a non-stick coating, generally Teflon. As extra elements to hold oil are eradicated from these machines, they are far lighter and smaller than oil-based air compressors which make them ideal for applications that are not static. Due to less components, oil-free air compressors are often cheaper to purchase.

Oil-based air compressors must remain static and upright when in use, oil-free are far more versatile. As you do not need to consider the oil flow, they can be positioned wherever you see fit. They are also operatable at any temperature, oil can become viscous in cooler climates and can cause problems when attempted to start the motor, oil-free erases this issue.

With these benefits in mind, you can achieve even more with your oil-free air compressor by helping to reduce the use of fossil fuels maintain the planet’s natural resources. You can also make a direct impact on your running costs, saving you and your business money on your energy bills.

With an oil-free air compressor, all costs to collect and dispose of oil-laden condensate will be removed, not to mention the initial cost of the oil itself. These compressors are less wasteful as they do not require the replacement of the air/oil separator and filtration elements which are required to get rid of oil aerosols, these parts are notorious for wearing down quickly. You will not needlessly be sending these parts to landfill and be bearing the cost of new ones on a regular basis.

If you are worried about direct harmful emissions from your air compressor, oil-free air compressors produce the purest form of air which will reduce any negative impact into the atmosphere, great for the planet and for those working around it. You will also not have the trouble of potentially contaminated products from oil spills during projects.

A big bonus of oil-free air compressors is that they are safer than their counterparts, as there is no oil, you eliminate the risk of compressed air pipeline fires. An incredibly important factor to consider for the safety of you, your staff and your premises.

Oil-free air compressors can dramatically reduce your energy bills compared to the oil-based counterpart as they require less energy to run which will cut down your environmental impact. Oil-free air compressors do not need increased forces of power when the unit has a drop in the filtration in the downstream pressure, unlike oil-based. Oil-free units can, on average, unload in 2 seconds of your command which only uses around 18% of its full load horsepower.

Of course, all machines come with their downsides and oil-free air compressors are no exception. Oil-free air compressors are known to generate more noise which can be an annoyance and hazard to those using it and those around them.

There is a solution, you can invest in a low-noise air compressor. These reduce noise levels to around 40dB. The lowest safe level is considered 60 dB and anything over 80dB can cause long-term problems with hearing.

With the addition of an acoustic cylinder to contain this noise, opting for a low-noise air compressor is an investment worth making. It is recommended when using any power tool that protective gear is worn to eliminate lasting damage and long-term effects, even with a low-noise machine.

If you were considering purchasing a new air compressor or have simply been doing research on them, you should now have a comprehensive understanding of the benefits an oil-free air compressor possesses.

5 Best Things Students Can Do to Save the Planet

Like anyone else, students have an important role to play in counteracting current environmental problems and adapting to new learning formats. After all, they are the generations that would unjustly inherit some of the most perilous global challenges humanity has ever faced. They would also become the future leaders that are expected to implement key measures to save the planet in the coming decades. Below, we explore the most important means through which students can help the ongoing fight. For some key advice on how each of us can contribute, check this info guide from the World Wildlife Fund.

1. Consume Less

If there is one thing you must do before everything else in order to save the world, it is limiting the number of resources you require. This applies to most products – there are very few exceptions. It is crucial to reduce the amount of environmentally damaging products consumed, such as plastics in any form, various chemical products (detergents, bleach, cosmetics), industrial products, especially those that use valuable resources, are hard to recycle, or whose production is associated with high energy demands.

Water conservation in schools and colleges is also a key factor in fostering environmental health. By reducing consumption, you can also save money, which is always relevant for a student. Given how our world and economy function, every time you buy something you cast a vote for a particular version of the future.

2. Recycle

Although probably having the greatest impact, avoiding consumption entirely is unrealistic or incredibly hard to achieve. Hence, for those products that you do consume, seek for ways to recycle them. Food waste can be turned into compost, while plastic, paper, metal, the glass could all be reused.

Also, ensure that you support producers that recycle materials. Even so, you should be aware that recycled materials are typically used only in producing lower-quality or less demanding industrial products, hence, it is not ensuring a closed circuit of resources.

3. Mind What and How Much You Eat

Even if food waste isn’t normally a polluting factor, the production of any food requires significant amounts of water, energy, fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and fossil fuels. Hence, when throwing food away, we waste considerable resources.

Apart from that, there are some foods that are associated with a much higher environmental impact, such as palm oil, which is associated with deforestation in tropical areas, or meat, which requires incredibly high amounts of water, energy, and crops/ land to produce.

This is where foods such as plant based meats come in – they are a great alternative to meat and are a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals.

4. Volunteer for the Environment

The state of our environment is such that there is always work to do. Volunteering is one important way in which we can help the environment and inspire others to do the same. It can take many forms, such as saving animals or animal habitats, cleaning urban or wild areas from litter, finding sponsors and raising donations for specific environmental projects, helping to gather products for recycling, etc.

All these activities could be time-consuming and could interfere with college coursework. Sometimes, college homework might prevent you from attending an important event or activity that you planned for much ahead. In such situations or whenever confronted with multiple pressing deadlines, getting help from EduBirdie Canada could be a life-saver.

Note that any accomplishments in environmental volunteering could become a strong point in your CV as well as a convincing argument for your future academic or job applications, so they shouldn’t be ignored.

5. Travel Less Using Vehicles

Burning fossil fuels are an important contributor to air pollution (an important cause of disease worldwide) but also to rising CO2 levels, which cause global climate change. Hence, it makes sense to substitute, whenever possible, your trips by vehicle with bike rides or walks.

Importantly, air travel typically results in hundreds of kilograms of CO2 per passenger, which represents a much higher environmental footprint compared to land transportation.

Conclusion

We have listed above some key directions in which you should act in order to embrace a greener lifestyle. However, there are many more ways to help the environment. Feel free to check these energy-saving tips for additional advice. Importantly, the same goals could be achieved by using a great variety of paths – the way how you implement your personal environmental plan is up to you. You are highly welcome to come up with creative new ways and share them with your community. The world is in desperate need of solutions that would address the environmental disaster we are witnessing.

Challenges in Hazardous Medical Waste Management

Medical waste management is a concern of healthcare facilities all over the world; about 10-20% of the facility’s budget every year is spent on waste disposal. According to the WHO, about 85% of the total amount of generated waste is non hazardous but the remaining 15% is considered infectious, toxic or radioactive. While non-hazardous medical waste poses less problems, the risks and challenges of hazardous medical waste management must be considered carefully, since incineration or open burning of hazardous medical waste can result in emissions of dangerous pollutants such as dioxins and furans. If you’ve been injured due to hazardous waste emissions, contact Pittsburgh Injury Lawyers, P.C. to learn your legal options.

medical-waste-management

For this reason, measures must be taken to ensure safe disposal of hazardous medical waste waste in order to prevent negative impact on the environment or biological hazards, especially in developing countries.

1. Health Risks

Biologically hazardous waste can be a source of infection due to the harmful microorganisms it contains; the most exposed are hospital patients, hospital staff, health workers. However, the situation is potentially harmful for the general public as well. The risks include chemical burns, air pollution, radiation burns and toxic exposure to harmful pharmaceutical products and substances, such as mercury or dioxins, especially during the process of waste incineration.

Other risks can also derive from the incorrect disposal of needles and syringes; worldwide, it is estimated that, every year, about 16 billion infections are administered. Unfortunately, not all needles are safely eliminated, creating risk of infection but also the possibility of unintentional reuse. Even though this risk has decreased in recent years, unsafe infections are still responsible for many new cases of HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

2. Environmental Impacts

Incorrect disposal of untreated healthcare waste can contaminate drinking and ground water in landfill, and also release dangerous chemical substances in the environment. Deficient waste incineration can also release hazardous pollutants in the air, and generate dioxins and furans, substances which have been linked to cancer and other adverse health conditions. Heavy metals, if incinerated, can lead to the diffusion of toxic metals in the environment.

The Way Forward

There is still a long way to go in order to ensure safe disposal of hazardous healthcare waste. A joint WHO/UNICEF assessment conducted in 2015 found that only 58% of analyzed facilities over 24 countries had appropriate medical waste disposal systems in place.

Strategies to improve healthcare waste segregation is an essential step in medical waste management

In the workplace, it is important to raise awareness and promote self-practices. Training in the areas of infection control and clinical waste management is important in order to maintain a clean, safe environment for patients and staff alike. Specialized industrial cleaning can also be effective in reducing risk of infection.

It is also essential to develop safe methods and technologies of treating hazardous medical waste, as opposed to medical waste incineration, which has already been shown to be ineffective and dangerous. Alternatives to incineration, such as microwaving or autoclaving, greatly reduce the release of hazardous emissions.

Finally, developing global strategies and systems to improve healthcare waste segregation is another essential step; since only about 15% of clinical waste is hazardous, treatment and disposal costs could be reduced significantly with proper segregation practices. Furthermore, these practices also reduce risks of infections for those workers who handle clinical waste.

Here’s What To Expect With Your First Environmental Inspection

An environmental inspection gives the organization crucial information that will help it create a successful program for ongoing environmental improvement. All investigations, from on-site visits to data gathering and analysis, are taken into account to control their environmental impact. It also assists in finding ways to improve waste management, and eventually comply with environmental laws. The process may seem daunting if you are a business owner undergoing an environmental inspection for the first time. Here is a brief guide to the entire environmental inspection process to calm your nerves.

environmental inspection process

Steps in Environmental Inspection

Environmental inspections cover various domains. Although the procedure may differ slightly, the standard process of an environmental inspection follows 7 steps. These are:

1. Planning

  • Defining The Context

It’s crucial to establish the inspection plan’s context. According to the mission’s goals, statutory tasks, and competencies, the inspection authorities determine the mission’s scope according to the context. Setting the backdrop is crucial to focus on the dangers that must be examined.

  • Establishing Priorities

Conducting a risk analysis is crucial to preparing for an environmental inspection. Priorities are established by determining the hazards associated with the various installations and activities at the inspected facility. The risk level is then categorized into high, medium, and low risk.

  • Settings Goals And Objectives

The inspection’s goals can be decided upon once the priorities have been established. Performance indicators should be used to keep track of the output and outcomes to determine whether these goals can and will be met. Compliance with relevant environmental regulatory requirements is always one of the goals.

  • Planning And Review

Based on the preceding processes, the inspection plan and schedule are established. The strategy, the objectives, and the pertinent conditions under which the inspection is to be conducted are all covered in depth in the plan. On the other side, the schedule contains the logistical information on the inspection and the appointed inspector(s).

2. Framework And Protocols

The framework for the inspection activities is established in this step. It is crucial to guarantee that the investigation will be conducted efficiently, expertly, and consistently. At this time, working guidelines and protocols are created.

3. Execution

Activities designed to confirm compliance are included  to carry out the inspection efficiently, and in accordance with the protocols established in the earlier steps. Everything is carried out in accordance with the protocols established in the earlier steps. A searchable database contains all the details of the inspection activities, findings, and follow-ups. The inspector(s) conclude their inquiry by issuing a report in which all the information and earlier reports are examined and analyzed.

How To Pursue A Career In Environmental Management

4. Performance Analysis

Performance analysis enables the inspecting authority to determine whether goals and targets have been met and to report either internally or externally. Performance indicators show which methods and tactics are most effective in ensuring compliance and whether the inspection authority is carrying out its duties. The data provided in this stage can be used to analyze the inspection plan and potentially generate reports for usage by outside parties.

How Can UAV Benefit Inspections?

Drone technology offers access and insight that some individuals are unable to obtain on their own. There are several ways that UAVs benefit the environment. Besides wildlife conservation and reporting climate change, drones are quite helpful for gathering inspection data. The ability to gather data provides the opportunity to make more informed decisions. Drones primarily record, monitor, and take images of what is going on in the environment. Several organizations, like soar consulting, are now actively utilizing UAV technologies for environmental inspection.

Final Thoughts

Conducting an environmental inspection can reveal the precise state of an organization’s compliance with environmental laws. This enables proactive businesses to anticipate new regulations and set up businesses in accordance with the established regulations and compliances.

Ways to Lower Your Carbon Footprint in Life and Death

As global warming threatens our planet, an increasing number of people are becoming conscious of how daily life creates a significant impact upon the environment. But have many people considered how their death can affect the environment?. Death is the only certainty in life, and it is time that humans think about how they can protect the planet for future generations after they die and when they are alive. Here are some ways to lower your carbon footprint in life and death.

green-burial

Life

There are many ways to lower your carbon footprint in daily life. One of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions is carbon dioxide from motor vehicles. We can remedy this by walking, cycling or taking public transport instead of driving. If a car is necessary, consider buying an electric car or drive more efficiently by taking your foot off the gas and maintaining your car.

You can reduce your footprint around the house by turning down your heating and water temperature, replacing traditional light bulbs with LED ones, and turning off appliances and gadgets when they aren’t in use. Opt for Eco Mode on devices that allow it and buy energy-efficient kitchen appliances.

energy-monitor-for-home

Insulating your home is essential. Choose high-quality insulation for roof and walls, install energy-efficient windows and doors, and ensure that all gaps are completely sealed.

Recycling paper, plastic, and aluminum where possible will ensure you are doing your part in reducing the amount of landfill produced in the world.

Death

You can remain environmentally friendly even when you have shuffled off this mortal coil by having a green funeral.

Some conventional cemeteries and crematoriums have designated green areas within their grounds. The first green cemetery opened in the USA in 1998, and now close to 100 exist in the country. Some environmentally friendly burial grounds consist of vast expanses of land, giving homes to many species of trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and animals. The land becomes hallowed ground and cannot be touched for eternity. It truly is a place of eternal, peaceful rest. Instead of a traditional stone or concrete headstone marking the grave, a tree can be planted as a beautiful, green alternative.

To reduce your carbon footprint in death, every aspect of a funeral should be considered. The memorial ceremony should be at a place close to the deceased’s home so that travel emissions are kept to a minimum. The body should be contained in a coffin made from wicker, cardboard, sustainably harvested wood, or wrapped in a cotton shroud. Steel caskets, brass and gold handles, and adornments should be eliminated in favor of 100% biodegradable materials.

Chemicals used to embalm bodies so as to preserve them for mourners to view them prior to burial or cremation can be harmful to flora and fauna as they may leech into the ground. Alternative preservation techniques are now being considered, such as embalming the deceased’s body with dry ice. Any human-made materials should be kept to a minimum.

Benefits of Wide Access Doors for Green Buildings

Are you considering green technology or green buildings? If you plan to incorporate designs that will help the environment, you should consider wide access doors in your planning! There are various ways to increase the energy efficiency of your commercial buildings to decrease damage to the environment. As the years progress, experts continue to create practical solutions to global warming, and they start with commercial buildings known to be one of the highest contributors to greenhouse gases in the world.

wide access doors for commercial buildings

Know More About Green Design

Green design is a term for sustainable architecture and structural designs. It incorporates simple yet helpful materials, designs, and technologies to minimize the effects of the building on the environment. It is still a progressing technique that not all commercial buildings are using, but to those that are, it is already a significant contribution to the environment.

Role of Wide Access Doors in Green Buildings

You might now be wondering what role doorways play in green buildings. It may not seem much, but if you want to attain that green building title and certification from LEED, you must consider everything, including the doors and hardware.

While you might not consider doors and other hardware as top contributors to the expenses of constructing a building, these components have a higher impact on lessening the energy consumption of your commercial building and improving the overall thermal performance.

Purpose of an Access Door

To understand how wide access doors contribute to green buildings, you must first understand the many uses of access doors. They can vary depending on their type and size, but the primary purpose of an access door is to conceal and protect essential components in a building. When it comes to commercial buildings, you can think of plumbing systems, HVAC systems, and even central wiring.

In hospitals, the purpose of access doors is not limited to concealment but also insulation, proper pressure control, and airflow control from one room to another. Knowing the different goals of access doors can help you determine what type of access door can be more useful to you and your green design. By choosing to install a wide access door, you are not only increasing accessibility but also convenience.

Why It Helps in Green Buildings

Depending on the material of your wide access door, you can help minimize its negative environmental impact. Bigger and broader access doors are not only for convenience, but they are also for safety. For example, if you choose to install oversized fire-rated access doors, it will increase protection during a fire and ensure that there would be no blockage when people access it to escape. These wide doors also come with insulation of their own, lessening the energy consumption of the building. Know more about the benefits of wide access doors below:

Wide Access Doors in Green Buildings

1. Insulation

Access doors can come with their insulation if you choose it. Access doors are often a requirement in most commercial buildings. Having one not only adheres to building codes but can also contribute to the energy efficiency of your structure. An access door can ensure that the air outside does not seep into the building and vice versa. It does not only contribute to energy efficiency and thermal control, but it also ensures the concealment of your building’s essential components.

2. Convenience and Accessibility

Another thing you can benefit from an access door that has its insulation is the convenience and accessibility it gives you. Compared to an ordinary door that does not come with insulation, the properties and features of an access door are worth the cost because of the additional benefits.

You do not have to create significant changes regarding green design immediately. Sometimes, starting with the small things like your doors and windows can help with the overall green rating of your building. Green building is still a progressing idea that not everyone can immediately follow. If you have the means, starting small can already create an impact.

The Benefits of Green Building

Each year, we see the effects of global warming drastically increase. The World Meteorological Organization reported that in the last 50 years, the number of climate-change-driven weather calamities increased by five. With this information coming to light, we must act now to prevent these disasters from worsening.

One simple step is to integrate sustainable practices into your establishment. While this may seem like an expensive proposition at first glance, did you know that going green also benefits your bottom line?

In this article, you’ll see a few benefits of green buildings:

advantages of green buildings

1. Healthier Environment

Unsurprisingly, we spend a large portion of our time indoors when working in an office. In these cases, you may experience exposure to several air pollutants, such as mold, volatile organic compounds from air fresheners, and even secondhand smoke from cigarettes. Regular contact with these air pollutants poses a significant health concern leading to decreased performance and absenteeism.

Introducing steps to improve indoor air quality to combat these health risks is essential. One source of air pollutants is mold growth due to moisture build-up in areas such as behind walls. One of the ways you can reduce mold growth in these areas is to have gasketed access doors like those from Elmdor Access Doors and Panels.

Harvard also studied how effective green buildings are at improving cognitive functions. The result was that workers had a 61 percent higher performance when in green building conditions. You can trust that you and your officemates will make more intelligent decisions when breathing cleaner air.

Economic Benefits

You may have seen the words “LEED certification” thrown around the industry in the past few years. For a bit of context, LEED Certification is one of the best frameworks to follow if you want an environmentally conscious building. Compared to traditional buildings, LEED Certified buildings are proven to use less energy, less water, and lower overall operational costs. Lower operating expenses and utility bills ensure you can focus on growing your business to become a leader in the industry.

With lower maintenance costs and massive health benefits, you could enjoy a 6.6% increase in property asset valuation by going green. Additionally, laws have been getting stricter over the past years as we get closer to the 2030 sustainable development goal. Slowly introducing eco-friendly features to your building today can save thousands in fines and expensive overhauls in the future.

Better Infrastructure

With concrete being our primary building material of choice, it’s no surprise that the market for one of the most versatile construction materials has also grown. This demand comes at the cost of our environment, though, as cement is the third-highest producer of carbon dioxide. Because of this, you need to start thinking of ways to incorporate sustainability in your next construction project.

solar-leasing

What if there was some way to use other materials in concrete? You’ll be glad to know that some companies have already begun offering such products. From using Fly Ash (found in coal-fired powerplants) to capturing the carbon dioxide from the air directly, it’ll be easy to find low-carbon concrete for you to use.

You’ll be glad to know that it won’t just be the environment that’ll benefit from using low-carbon concrete. For example, concrete that utilizes fly ash in its mixture has high compressive strength and better sulfate resistance. You aren’t just using concrete that can bear heavier loads; you’re also set to enjoy it for longer than traditional Portland cement.

It Takes All Of Us

Hopefully, these points have convinced you of the potential benefits of having a sustainable building. Clean air and clear skies don’t need to only exist in far-away lands. You can also enjoy them in your city as soon as we have done our part in having an eco-friendly society.

We get the better living environment we want through concerted and unified efforts towards this goal, and it all starts with your choice in taking the first step.

Pet Waste Management in the UK – Prospects and Challenges

Pet waste is a growing public health and environmental risk. According to a report commissioned by the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association, 13 million UK households (45%) keep pets of some kind. Cats and dogs are each kept by 8.5 million households (these numbers are not additive, as some will of course keep both).

pet-wastes

Can those of us who want both the joys of animal companionship and waste minimisation, find ways to cut down, or better manage, the huge amount of pet waste generated in the UK every year? With so many cats and dogs in the UK, pet waste must represent a significant mass of organic matter within the residual waste stream.

Does this waste represent a floater in the residual waste stream by necessity—due to inherently unpleasant and possibly dangerous characteristics of the waste—or is it only there out of convention and squeamishness?

I’ve written before about the relationship between waste management and squeamishness, and talking about faeces really brings the point home. There are some undoubtedly nasty pathogens present in pet faeces, notably the parasites Toxocariasis and Toxoplasmosis. But might these be safely killed off by the temperatures reached in anaerobic digestion (AD). If so, provided any litter and bags were made of organic matter, might pet waste be collected along with food waste?

I began by contacting a local authority waste officer, but was told that no one had asked this question before, and that I might be better off talking to AD plant operators. This I did, but most seemed similarly baffled by my query. However, one mentioned that AD digestate goes through a pasteurisation process, where it is heated to a temperature of 70oC for one hour, in order to make it safe for land application. I also attempted to contact some technical specialists in the field, but to no avail.

There are some theoretical indications that this pasteurisation should be sufficient. Hanna Mizgajska-Wiktor and Shoji Uga’s essay Exposure and Environmental Contamination states: “Anaerobic waste treatment kills Toxocara spp. eggs at temperatures in excess of 45oC”, well below the 70oC mentioned by my operator. The susceptibility of Toxoplasma to heat is less clear, although numerous internet sources suggest this can be killed in meat by cooking at 66oC. So far, then, I haven’t confirmed or falsified my initial inkling, and so the collection of pet waste in the municipal organic stream remains a theoretical possibility.

Motivated dog owners can already turn their pet’s waste into a resource within their own home. The website London Worms explains how you can turn your dog’s poo into rich and useful vermicompost, although it warns that the results will only be suitable for use on non-edible plants.

Foul Pay

Household pet droppings may still be largely fated for disposal, but even when binned this waste is at least moving through proper waste management channels. Unfortunately, not all pet poo is binned, and we have real data measuring public perceptions of the disamenity resulting from dog fouling. For most, the presence of this unwelcome waste in our streets, parks and footpaths is of much higher concern than its diversion from landfill. Therefore, it is necessary to make use of biodegradable dog poop bags to keep our environment clean.

A 2011 Defra-funded study on local residents’ willingness-to-pay — via an increase in council tax — for improvements across a range of environmental factors found that dog fouling was the third most important issue out of the presented range (with litter and fly-tipping taking first and second place). Surveys were conducted in inner-city, suburban and rural/semi-rural areas around London, Manchester and Coventry.

In order to move from the current level of dog fouling to the best possible scenario, it was found that inner-city residents would on average be willing to pay £8.87 per month, suburban residents £7.79 per month, and rural residents £2.72. Combining these figures with population statistics allows us to place a disamenity value on dog fouling. National statistics only allow for an urban-rural split, but based on a 2012 Defra rurality study which found that 18.9% of the population lives in rural areas, we can calculate that across England we would collectively be willing to pay £462m per year to achieve best case scenario improvements in dog fouling.

This somewhat crude calculation gives an indication of the perceived disamenity of dog fouling. Presenting the matter in terms such as these may allow economically minded policy makers a means of engaging with this important street scene issue and evaluating the costs and benefits of interventions.

Food for Thought

Let’s wash our hands of poo (with plenty of soap and warm water) and look to the other end of the pet waste problem. According to a report published by WRAP, the UK uses around 75,000 tonnes of primary packaging annually. This holds 1,263,000 tonnes of wet and dry cat and dog food, of which 9,000 uneaten tonnes are thrown away. Although this wasted food constitutes less than 1% of the total sold (if only we were as careful with food for human consumption) the estimated cost to the consumer is still £21m a year.

WRAP examined a number of designs intended to cut to down on the amounts of both pet food and packaging thrown away. A major problem with packaging design is the need to account for portion sizes, which vary from animal to animal and change depending on age and level of activity. Single serve packaging may actually lead to regular food wastage if the portion provided is too big for a particular pet; indeed, this is a problem I am experiencing with my own cat, whose appetite seems to fluctuate wildly. Re-sealable packaging that allows owners to dish out meals in accordance with the changing appetites of their pets is therefore preferable.

The material that packaging is made of is also significant: for example, relatively heavy tins are recyclable, whereas lightweight plasticised plastic foil packets are not. Pet food and its packaging can be pushed up the waste hierarchy by simply choosing a recyclable and resealable container which will allow them to adequately provide for the appetite of their pet. However, these issues are likely to be given less weight compared with health, convenience and cost in the minds of most householders. The onus has to be on manufacturers to develop packaging which is both low cost and easily recyclable. A recent development in this area for cat owners includes durable stainless steel litter boxes, which eliminates the need to purchase and replace plastic boxes.

Love pets, hate waste?

People love animals, but are rather less keen to engage with pets as an environmental issue. Leaving aside questions of whether it is sustainable for so many of us to have pets at all, there are clearly ways in which we can reduce their impact. The convenience of single serving pouches of pet food seems to win out over more recyclable and waste-avoiding alternatives, although pet owners might be willing to change their choices if presented with a better option.

While worrying about recovery options for cat poo might seem somewhat academic, it may be easier to tackle than dog fouling. It might even help to tackle the common psycho-social root of both issues. Cultural distaste perhaps lies behind the lack of information available on dealing with household pet waste, and the persistence of dog fouling as a street scene issue.

Things were very different in Victorian London when “pure finders” earned a living by seeking out doggie doo to supply the tanning trade. But for us this kind of waste is a disagreeable fact of life which we deal with as simply and with as little thought as possible. But as a nation of animal lovers, it’s our responsibility to engage with the waste management issues our pets present.

Note: The article is being republished with the kind permission of our collaborative partner Isonomia. The original article can be viewed at this link

Everything You Need To Know About Green Hosting and Green Hosting Providers

The Internet has outgrown its infancy and is expanding tremendously at previously unheard-of rates. Originally just plain text, user-generated content has developed into a variety of multimedia formats, including audio and video.

The bulk of the servers hosting this material is located in data centers. Numerous servers in these enormous facilities manage everything from business websites to individual blogs. However, these servers consume a lot of energy and emit much carbon dioxide (CO2) since they need to be maintained running in cool, regulated surroundings. They are, therefore, not the best for our ecosystem. That is why we need green hosting. Fortunately, many web hosting providers offer such solutions, and you can read more on the following link. Let’s dive into more details.

Why Is Green Hosting Important

What is Green Web Hosting?

Web providers who actively work to implement eco-friendly strategies to lessen their influence on the environment are known as “green web hosts.”

Unfortunately, a data center will only be occupied to a minimal extent by even the biggest web hosting firms. Therefore, expecting them to set requirements for eco-friendliness in data centers is rather unrealistic. Fortunately, many of them have come to a conclusion that, even if this may be the truth, there are still ways they can support environmental health. The main ways that web hosts support the environment are through carbon offsets or renewable energy.

Why is Green Hosting Important?

While the benefits of green hosting are somewhat endless, here are the top three advantages to be aware of.

  • Protection of the environment – The fact that green web hosting causes no harm to the environment is its main benefit. It is an excellent method to lessen your carbon imprint on the environment and a safe, sustainable way to run websites and transmit data.
  • Excellent for your professional profile – The reputation and status of your business will benefit greatly from choosing an eco-hosting service. You may boost your reputation by encouraging sustainable living and working methods by choosing a green web hosting for your domain name. It makes a terrific first impression on your clients and the professional community.
  • Cost-effective compared to regular hosting – Green web hosting is not only economical but also environmentally beneficial. It’s a more affordable solution than traditional hosting for running your servers. Standard web hosting uses a lot of power, which raises the price of its service and bundle. Green hosting, on the other hand, has lower operating expenses since it is powered by renewable resources of energy like solar and wind. As a consequence, the client pays less for their hosting plan.

Trends in Solar Energy Technology

Types of Green Web Hosting Certification

There are two different types of green hosting certification.

1. Renewable Energy Certificate (REC)

Renewable Energy Certificates are known as RECs. The most common name for RECs is Green Tags; however, they are also referred to as Tradable Renewable Certificates. US businesses bought them to demonstrate that a renewable energy source produced one megawatt-hour of electricity, which was subsequently released into the power system. In return, the businesses who sell these Green badges get money. They may pay their expenses and invest the proceeds in more green energy projects. 

2. Carbon Offset Certificate (COC)

Making up for already created carbon is referred to as carbon offsetting. You’ve probably seen choices for carbon offsets while purchasing an airline ticket. Airlines will ask whether you want to buy a certificate to offset the carbon you emitted while flying. For green hosting businesses, the same reasoning holds true. You may demonstrate that you are removing the carbon your company created from other areas of the environment by obtaining a VER.

How To Check If You’re Using A Green Web Hosting Provider?

Web hosts who provide green shared hosting packages make a big deal out of it. Web providers must make a significant financial commitment to become active participants in the fight for responsible environmental conservation.

Your hosting company will be happy to show off its green hosting certifications or discuss its green policies on its profiles. In either case, you’ll be able to see right away if your shared hosting package is green.

How To Choose A Green Web Host?

Before purchasing green hosting services, you may verify the many procedures that a web hosting company uses. Among them are, but are not restricted to:

  • Keeps up with sustainable work – This covers everything from recycling to supporting paperless work to utilizing energy-efficient lighting.
  • Uses only renewable energy – This includes using alternative environmentally friendly power sources and 100% renewable energy to run web hosting.
  • Owns green business certificates – This includes renewable energy certificates (RECs), which attest to the supplier’s adherence to green energy standards.
  • Offers carbon-free website hosting – Hosting companies exchange a certificate or credit for carbon offsets that attests to the reduction of CO2 or other harmful emissions to the level specified in the certificate.
  • Follows green office practicesUsing low-power and energy-efficient systems is a part of this. There are mechanisms in place that allow the servers to function for extended periods of time while producing less heat.

The Environmentally Friendly Way Is The Future Of Web Hosting!

Your company or personal website can profit from green web hosting, and it is definitely the future. Your guests will also be aware that you’re doing your part to protect the environment, which will make you happy too!

Your website’s green status may be publicly displayed, demonstrating to visitors your concern for the environment. You could even succeed in persuading a few folks to adopt a green lifestyle. You may inspire a “green revolution” in which everyone places a greater emphasis on energy efficiency and ecologically responsible living by spreading the news to the rest of the globe.

And remember, if everyone contributes, we can have a significant impact.