All You Need to Know About the Benefits Of Natural Gas

All areas of our lives are literally run by energy. And with various options of energy consumption choices, it’s always good to know the benefits of each one of them so that you make a great consumer choice. Today, in this article, we are focusing on natural gas and are going to take you through some of its top benefits. So if that’s what you have been searching for, then you are at the correct place. Let’s get started!

1. Clean Burning Fuel

When compared to coal, oil, and diesel, natural gas is cleaner as it emits the least percentage of carbon dioxide and other related harmful chemicals. So when you use one, you don’t have to invest in emission lowering technologies as the efficiency is top notch. Also, since it’s odorless, it makes little contribution to air pollution and doesn’t cause any harm when inhaled by people and animals.

2. Versatile

There is a given sort of flexibility and convenience that comes with the use of natural gas. With it, you enjoy the ease of starting and turning off as it won’t take much of your time. Also, since it isn’t dependent on the wind or the sun, it can function pretty well when used with solar and wind powers. It’s a source you can depend on no matter the weather conditions outside.

So if this seems like something you would like to try out, then it’s advisable to carefully go through an apples to apples comparison of the various natural gas providers and settle for one according to your needs and financial capability.

3. Affordable

With the current hard economic times, people are always on the lookout for affordable but efficient options when it comes to products or services affecting their billings. So natural gas couldn’t have been easily accessible at a better time. In fact, it’s by far one of the cheapest energy options in the current market. This is because, even as you calculate the long-term costs of seemingly cheap options such as generators, you will realize that they aren’t as affordable as they might appear in the beginning. Take the fuel and maintenance costs, for example, you will end up spending much more than you can ever imagine.

natural-gas-applications

But this isn’t the case with natural gas. According to recent findings, its cost is expected to remain constant or relatively unchanged at least even for the next decade. So you can be sure that it’s a long-term investment, worth every cent. You make one and forget about unnecessary expenses.

4. Reliable Delivery Infrastructure

This is probably one of the natural gas‘s primary benefits. This is because you can still receive your delivery of natural gas even during extreme weather conditions such as storms, through the pipes. A case that’s different from other energy sources. Also, the infrastructure is already established in most urban areas.

Final Thoughts

Natural gas is a clean fuel that can be used in various places while keeping the air fresh and clean. Together with this, there are various benefits associated with its use and this includes the affordability, reliable infrastructure, versatility, among others. The above list isn’t exhaustive.

Foam Packaging: Take the Bull by the Horns

New York City and Oxford are two prominent examples of local authorities that have tried to restrict the use of foam packaging for takeaway food and drink, arguing that doing so would reduce the environmental impact of waste in a way that alternative approaches could not. In both cases, the intervention of packaging manufacturers has lifted or watered down the rules. Other administrations might well be put off the idea of similar measures – but the argument for cracking down on foam packaging that almost unavoidably gives rise to regional waste management problems, as well as wider environmental degradation through its contribution to litter, remains hard to ignore. Bans, however, may not be the only option.

foam-packaging-waste

Menace of Foam Packaging

A particular target for action has been expanded polystyrene (EPS). It’s rigid and a good insulator, and yet a great deal of it is air, making it very lightweight: it’s little wonder that EPS trays, cups and ‘clamshells’ are staples of the industry. It’s also widely used in pre-moulded form in the packaging of electronics, and as loose fill packaging in the form of ‘peanuts’.

While no-one would deny its convenience, for waste managers, EPS is a challenge, for many of the same reasons that it is popular. It’s light and difficult to compact, so it fills up bins and collection vehicles quickly; and takes up a great deal of space if you try to bulk and haul it for recycling.

It’s easy to see, then, why in 2013 New York City’s council voted unanimously to prohibit the use of EPS by all restaurants, food carts, and stores. Yet from the outset, the ban proposal faced stiff opposition from retailers and manufacturers, with packaging giant Dart Container Corp. and the American Chemistry Council reportedly organising a million dollars’ worth of lobbying against the legislation. Once it took effect, the industry quickly managed to overturn it in the courts last month.

Ban on the Run

The city had found that the recycling of EPS was not, in fact, environmentally effective, economically feasible and safe, and NYC was declared EPS-free in July 2015. But in a widely reported ruling, Justice Margaret Chan deemed the decision “arbitrary and capricious”: the complex case turned on the question of whether there was a recycling market for EPS, and the judge decided that Commissioner Kathryn Garcia of the city’s Department of Sanitation had failed to take account of evidence supplied by the industry that such a market did exist.

Although it lacked the courtroom drama of the New York City case, a similar story played out in Oxford last year. The city council proposed to use its licensing powers to require street traders to use only “biodegradable and recyclable” packaging and utensils. The move was stymied by semantics: the Foodservice Packaging Association lobbied for the phrasing of the proposed licensing rule to be amended to ‘biodegradable or recyclable’. That tiny change allowed continued use of expanded polystyrene, as it is technically recyclable (though certainly not biodegradable).

Oxford’s traders are also required to arrange for the correct disposal of EPS takeaway packaging from their premises. This is an odd requirement given that take-away food is usually – well – taken away, and then disposed of in street bins, household bins, or in no bin at all. Unfortunately, Oxford City Council – like almost every other council in the country – isn’t currently able to send EPS for recycling, so the EPS it collects will in practice end up in the residual stream. The EPS litter that escapes will linger in the environment for centuries to come.

Foam Suit

It seems that both courts and councillors have been impressed by the manufacturers’ argument: ‘Why ban a highly efficient product when you can invest in recycling it instead?’ However, there are three important points that count against this contention.

The first is that, whilst EPS can technically be recycled, the economics of doing so remain tenuous. Zero Waste Scotland’s report on Plastic Recycling Business Opportunities found that polystyrene waste compacting and collection was the only one of five options considered that did not represent a viable business opportunity in Scotland.

In order to make the finances of collecting EPS for recycling stack up in New York, Dart Corporation and Plastics Recycling Inc. had to offer to provide the city with $500,000 of sorting technology; pay for four staff; and guarantee to buy the material at $160 per tonne for five years. Without this (time limited) largesse, New York’s ban would likely have stood.

They also provided a list of 21 buyers, who they claimed would purchase dirty EPS – although when the city did a market test, it could find no realistic market for the material. It’s hard to know whose view of the US market is correct; however, in the UK, the market is definitely weak.

Of the 34 EPS recyclers listed by the BPF Expanded Polystyrene Group, 12 only accept clean EPS – ruling out post-consumer fast food waste. Another dozen will only accept compacted EPS, creating an extra processing cost for anyone attempting to separate EPS for recycling. That leaves a maximum of ten UK outlets: not enough to handle the potential supply, and leaving large tracts of the country out of economic haulage range for such a bulky, lightweight material.

Foam fatale

The second is that it’s difficult to get a high percentage of takeaway food containers into the recycling stream. Food eaten on the go is likely, at best, to go into a litter bin. And if it’s littered, because it’s light, EPS can also easily be blown around the streets, contributing to urban, riverine and ultimately marine litter. It’s also very slow to break down in the natural environment. Polystyrene has been found to make up 8% of marine litter washed up on North East Atlantic beaches; in all, plastics account for three quarters of this litter. The cost, particularly for coastal and island nations, is only beginning to be recognised.

That leads on to the third argument: while EPS undoubtedly works, less damaging alternatives are clearly available. Vegware, for example, allows takeaway boxes to be moved up the waste hierarchy – from disposal to composting. Reducing impacts was clearly a consideration in Oxford: in the words of Councillor Colin Cooke:

“It is about making the waste that we do have to get rid of more user-friendly and sustainable.”

The economic and technical difficulty in recycling EPS, combined with the long-term impacts of its littering and disposal, led Michelle Rose Rubio to conclude, in an Isonomia article last year, that environmentally minded people – and perhaps governments – should perhaps avoid it altogether.

Silver Lining

Despite the discouraging events in New York and Oxford, there’s better news from elsewhere. Bans remain in place in Toronto and Paris (both dating from 2007), while Muntinlupa in the Philippines, and the coastal state of Malaka in Malaysia have imposed charges, fines, and biodegradable replacements for EPS food packaging, eventually leading to bans.

Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead has indicated that the Scottish Government is: “considering a number of options in line with the commitment in the national litter strategy to influence product design of frequently littered items to reduce their environmental impact… [W]e note a number of US cities have introduced bans on Styrofoam products, most recently New York City. We are keen to learn from these cities’ experience of introducing and implementing such bans.”

In Wales, a polystyrene ban petition lodged last year by Friends of Barry Beaches has been picking up support. The Foodservice Packaging Association’s pre-emptive opposition to the notion certainly suggests we haven’t heard the last of EPS food packaging bans in the UK.

However, bans are not the only way to deter the use of problem products. England has just joined the ranks of countries to impose a charge for single use plastic bags. Belgium has a tax on disposable cutlery, and Malta taxes numerous products on environmental grounds, including chewing gum and EPS clamshells. Whilst beyond the powers of local authorities, fiscal measures could drive change while being a bit less of a blunt instrument than a ban.

While EPS manufacturers may have scored some recent successes, they haven’t won the overarching argument. As we push towards a more circular economy, the pressure to reduce our reliance on materials that are inherently hard to recycle, which tend to escape into the environment, and which don’t decompose naturally, will grow. For EPS fast food packaging, the chips could soon be well and truly down.

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

5 Top Ways to Reduce the Impact of Indoor Air Pollution

Indoor air pollution is one of the greatest environmental dangers of the 21st century. According to the World Health Organization, more than 7 million people die each year due to the adverse impacts of air pollution on respiratory, cardiovascular and neurovascular systems. Recent studies have also found that the indoor air pollution can also have devastating impacts on mental well-being, ranging from mood disorders to neurodegenerative diseases. Let us explore how we can reduce our exposure to indoor air pollution, thus avoiding physical health and mental well-being issues:

indoor-air-cleaner

1. Natural Ventilation

It is the best way to allow fresh air into indoor living spaces. Natural ventilation allows replacement of stale air with fresh air, thus helping to control room temperature, replenish oxygen, remove maldors and harmful airborne pollutants, and expelling carbon dioxide.

Short-term indoor activities, like painting, welding, soldering or sanding, have the potential to generate high levels of toxic pollutants which may persist in the air over a long period of time unless ventilation systems are used. Harmful indoor pollutants, such as formaldehyde and radon, can contribute to building-related illnesses commonly known as the sick building syndrome. It is essential to have a proper design of the ventilation system in order to provide indoor air free from pollutants.

2. Air Cleaners

An air cleaner improves the indoor air quality by removing pollutants from the air in a confined space, especially particle pollution. Air purifiers can effectively remove the common indoor air pollutants such as malodors, smoke, dirt and pet dander. The filter in the clean air captures the pollutants while the clean air is introduced into the room using the in-built fan. The filters are made up of paper, fiberglass or mesh, and require periodic cleaning and replacement.

3. Dehumidifiers

Humidity has a major influence on indoor air quality. High levels of humidity encourage the growth of mold, dust mites, pollen and bacteria, besides increasing the concentration of VOCs. The purpose of a dehumidifier is to reduce the moisture level (between 35 to 50%), thus improving indoor air quality.

Using a fan, the dehumidifier draws warm air currents into its coils which contracts as it is fed through the refrigerated. The condensation is left inside the dehumidifier and falls into the storage tank while the dried air is released back into the room.

dehumidifier-for-indoor-air-quality

4. Houseplants

Plants have effective air cleaning qualities and absorbs air pollutants, thus acting as a natural air purifier that is both cost-effective and therapeutic.  Houseplants trap harmful toxins and remove common chemical compounds, such as formaldehyde, benzene and Trichlorothylene. Some of the popular air-purifying indoor plants include are rubber tree, spider plant, snake plant, weeping fig and peace lily.

safer-air-quality-in-home

5. Therapeutic Methods

The mental health issues associated with indoor air pollution can be tackled by therapeutic tools. Environmental therapy aims to treat environment-related health problems by strengthening the connection between the environment and its elements. The popular nature-based therapy activities are nature meditation, horticultural therapy, animal-assisted therapy and nature conservation tasks.

Light therapy is an emerging therapy which involves the use of an artificial source of light to treat depressive disorders with seasonal patterns, sleep issues and other types of depression. The patient sits near a device called light therapy box which gives off bright light that mimics the natural light. It is believed that light therapy has a positive impact on brain chemicals linked to mood and sleep, thus easing depressive disorders. Light therapy is also known as phytotherapy.

Bottom Line

Indoor air pollution is responsible for a wide range of physical and mental health issues. To mitigate the harmful impacts of air pollution, you can improve natural ventilation, use air purifiers, dehumidifiers and houseplants in your premises, and opt for therapeutic treatment tools.

5 Benefits of Biodegradable Packaging for Businesses

Consumers want companies to reflect their values. They’re far more likely to purchase from a business with an identity, whether it manifests in charitable efforts or eco-friendly practices. As a greater number of people show interest in green living, biodegradable packaging presents an opportunity for growth.

That said, the virtues of biodegradable packaging extend beyond an improved public image. While business owners enjoy the superficial advantages of this transition, they often find it’s only a fraction of what the shift entails. Through switching to biodegradable plastics, they see considerable changes elsewhere.

bioplastics

In this article, we’ll detail five of those changes, exploring the subject to lend business owners a better understanding of biodegradable packaging within their operation. As we touch on the benefits, it’ll become clear that eco-friendly materials aren’t only better for the environment, but better for a company’s bottom line.

1. Free of Toxins & Allergens

Biodegradable packaging options are still somewhat limited, but most of the available materials are non-toxic and allergy-free. This is an essential consideration to consumers who care about the products they’re purchasing and the composition of their packaging. If either is potentially harmful, it hurts a business.

As often as businesses must send packages, forms, and other important information through the mail, packaging with the planet in mind and protecting your items is key. For example, your car accident lawyer in Queens may need to send you important documents through the mail. Getting your mail in safe, low-waste packaging can protect your health from harmful chemicals, aid the planet, and provide their clients with all they need to know.

An informed consumer will almost invariably choose products packaged with bioplastic over traditional alternatives, aware of the implications of their purchase. Considering the negative health effects of phthalates — a common chemical in plastic packaging — business owners should be aware of the implications as well.

2. Require Fewer Resources

Biodegradable packaging has the potential to reduce water usage, solid waste, electricity and emissions. This is beneficial for the environment, of course, but it also lowers expenses associated with the packaging process. Over time, the accumulated savings prove well worth the cost of the transition.

If a company were to replace their standard packaging materials with bioplastic, they would enjoy weight savings on par with regular plastic. Research shows plastic packaging enables weight savings of over 78 percent compared to alternative materials, a notable statistic for business owners looking to convert.

3. Lower Production Costs

Most biodegradable materials follow the three basic R’s of sustainability.

  1. A business can reduce them, using fewer resources to create thinner and tougher materials which do the same job.
  2. A business can reuse them, taking advantage of materials with special coating which improves their durability.
  3. A business can recycle them, diverting refuse from landfills as they minimize the costs of new materials.

A business owner who invests in biodegradable packaging can cut costs by a significant margin, using fewer resources, reusing their inventory and purchasing inexpensive recycled materials. In doing so, they’ll see reduced packaging expenses over time, and more freely allocate their money elsewhere.

biodegradeable-packaging

Reusing packaging is proving to be not only environmentally friendly, but an excellent marketing advantage. From Pinterest to Instagram, users are finding a way to re-purpose packaging. Business owners who are vocal in encouraging their customers to prioritize environmentally friendly choices can earn more goodwill and local business as a result. ToolTally is a good example of a blog that focuses on helping DIYers reuse products, and is growing an organic following as a result.

4. Reduced Footprint

A business owner has financial goals they have to meet, but they have environmental goals as well. Every professional in an upper-management position has a responsibility to ensure their company meets high standards of environmental compliance, and biodegradable packaging can help — outside a legal context.

To reinforce an earlier point, 70 percent of consumers between the ages of 15 and 20 want to buy goods from companies committed to sustainability, and biodegradable plastics affect the appeal of businesses which would otherwise see less attention. To reduce emissions and increase interest, change is necessary.

5. Convenient Disposal

Recyclable, compostable and biodegradable packaging simplifies disposal for the consumer. It affords them more options in discarding these materials, and companies should always seek to make their products convenient, from start to finish. Biodegradable materials exemplify this mindset.

For example, consumers who prefer to compost their refuse won’t have to make exceptions for packaging. They can add biodegradable packaging to their compost in much the same way they would with any other compost-friendly material, contributing to the product’s value beyond its primary utility.

Looking Toward the Future

When reviewing the benefits listed above, business owners should feel confident in their decision to adopt biodegradable packaging. More than superficial benefits, they’ll enjoy reduced costs and carbon emissions while increasing consumer convenience and reducing plastic pollution. The advantages are clear.

Looking toward the future, it’s safe to speculate more companies will transition toward eco-friendly practices. With this in mind, taking action now is the best option, and though biodegradable packaging is a small step, it’s an important one.

Environmental Benefits of Polyurethane

Stated by urethane manufacturers, today’s manufacturing community is becoming increasingly mindful of environmental impacts that arise during industrial processes. Industrial recycling, waste to energy systems, and emissions improvements are just part of a wide-ranging effort to minimize the impact of manufacturing on the environment.

Plastics have become a lightning rod for environmental commentators, as pictures go viral of various waste being found in far-flung areas of our planet.

Something that is not discussed in these discourses is the wide variety of plastics currently available, and how not all plastics degrade in the same fashion. Polyurethane has been unduly spotlighted in these negative conversations.

With limited resources available to the public on the matter, there is plenty of misinformation which we hope to clarify in this article.

Plastic Waste & A Start to Policy Changes

There have been some extremely shocking photos and stories that have come out in recent years with regard to plastic waste. Photos of all sizes of plastic waste being found in rivers, oceans, and forests have been circulated millions of times.

Some cities and countries have started enacting policy changes in a reactionary fashion after seeing the widespread outpouring of anger on social media.

Most plastics that have been illustrated in these campaigns are thermoplastics, which amount to well over 95% of all plastic found during ocean studies. Polyurethanes, however, account for less than 2% of all waste detected during ocean surveys.

Damaging Thermoplastics

In thermoplastics, no molecular bonds are holding the individual strands of polymer together. It’s held together by weak ionic forces, called Van Der Waal forces.

Think of these bonds as a ball of yarn, essentially being held together by the tangled ends of molecular chains. Simply put, the plastic will break down until the last thing left is individual strands. These are the “micro-plastics” which are commonly talked about in the news.

Finer than a human hair, sometimes even microscopic, this is the smallest the material will degrade to. Individual atoms will not separate from the polymer strand and will continue to linger in the environment for decades.

Eco-Friendly Polyurethane

If you aren’t familiar with cast polyurethane it is considered a thermoset plastic. Do not confuse these with the thermoplastic we just discussed.

Polyurethane differs in that once the polymer has been reacted, the individual strands change on an atomic level and crosslink between each other. At these crosslinks, a new molecule is formed, entirely changing the properties of the material.

This molecular cross-linking is what makes polyurethane much more resilient in heavy-duty applications. Once the material has reached the end of its life, it can not be melted down and reformed.

Don’t think of this as a disadvantage since polyurethane materials will generally last longer than any thermoplastic equivalent. This minimizes the amount of polyurethane entering the waste stream right at the initial source.

Recycling Polyurethanes

There are multiple avenues that can be pursued when it comes to the recycling of polyurethane. Parts may be chemically reacted to turn back into their prepolymer state, however, the cost involved in this process can be quite steep.

When polyurethane breaks down in the environment, it will not break down into its individual polymer strands. Instead, individual bonds are broken down between molecules, releasing individual molecules into the environment.

These molecules are almost exclusively inert compounds that will not react or accumulate toxicity in natural environments.

Microbial degradation has become increasingly prevalent, especially in the area of fungi. Scientists have been able to find microorganisms that are well-suited for breaking downcast urethane products ecologically.

Polyurethane For the Win

The chemical makeup of polyurethane, combined with the increased lifetime of individual parts, means you can lower your commercial ecological footprint. Polyurethanes are non-toxic to the environment as they break down, and do not contain BPA’s or other chemicals which can interfere with endocrine systems.

The minimal effects on the environment will make this polymer even more desirable as we become increasingly environmentally conscious.

Everything You Need to Know About a Paperless Office

Businesses are the largest users of papers and this is taking a heavy toll on the forests and other natural resources. The paper production process consumes a lot of wood and water, besides generating effluents which are harmful for the environment.  One of the best ways a business can become environmentally-friendly is to minimize the use of paper in the workplace. Going paperless is one of the essential features of an eco-friendly office. The conversion of paper files into electronic documents is a key step in the journey towards a paperless office. But what is a paperless office and how can it benefit your organization? Read on to know more:

What is a Paperless Office?

A paper-free office uses the lowest amount of paper and relies heavily on digital documents, thus drastically reducing the use of paper in workplace.  But going paperless is not a magic wand and requires careful planning, organization and employee participation. The right set of tools and proper employee training is required to realise the dream of a paperless office.

paper-free-office

In addition to being eco-friendly, a paper-free office should also provide tangible benefits in order to motivate the office staff. Saving time and efforts through easier filing and document retrieval system is an important step in eliminating paper from the workplace. Another notable step is to replace individual printers with a centralized network printer to track paper usage and restrict the purchase of ink and toners.

The digital filing system is the heart of a paperless office. Digitizing your documentation will not only help in easy document filing but also aid in smooth and fast retrieval. Infact, a cloud-based document management system will enable employees to access important documents off-site, besides safe storage of documents.

Benefits of Going Paperless

Going paperless has numerous benefits for both the business owner and the employees, ranging from saving time and money to boosting security. It is important to analyse the use of paper in the workplace from an individual level upto the organizational level.

Let us analyse the major advantages of a paperless workplace:

1. Saves Time and Space

The filing, organizing and retrieval of paper documents is a time-taking process. Having an electronic filing system will enable file management to be done at the click of a mouse, thus helping business owners to assign employees to more productive and revenue-generating tasks.

Finding ample office space for the filing cabinets is a nightmare for many business owners as the files keeps piling up with each passing year. In particular, the problem is serious for industries having a long document retention time, such as government departments and financial sector.

A digital document management system allows you to store the documents in a cloud-based server with negligible physical footprint.

2. Saves Business Expenses

A paper-free office will reduce the business costs incurred on paper, printers, toners, files, filing cabinets and office space. Studies have shown that a paperless office has a better process efficiency and can handle a larger volume of documentation than traditional offices, thus making a significant savings in employee time with respect to repetitive tasks like expense reimbursements.

electronic-filing-system

3. Protects the Environment

The production of paper and related products leads to the emissions of greenhouse gases, causes deforestation and precipitates climate change. Paper recycling can reduce the environmental impact of paper in the workplace, but only upto to a certain extent. Employees may engage in group activities, like making paper bags from waste papers, to know the importance of waste reduction at work stations.

In the absence of source segregation, most of the paper ends up in landfills or waste-to-energy plant. In addition, toxic chemicals in inks and toners are detrimental to the health of the environment. The most sustainable solution to all these environmental problems is to transform your workplace into a paperless one.

4. Improves Security

A chronic problem in traditional offices is the hardship in tracking paper-based documents on account of misfiling, accidents etc. Moreover, it is difficult to monitor the access, printing and copying of sensitive business documents. A paperless office has a digital document management system with advanced security features to prevent such incidents by restricting access rights at different levels.

How to Tackle Stress in a Paperless Office?

A paperless office may create stress among employees due to increased exposure to technology. Static work postures may also lead to musco-skeletal health issues. An excellent solution to relieve stress is to use art therapy. But, what is art therapy?

Art therapy is a type of therapy that enriches the life of a person through art-making activities , such as drawing, painting, collage or sculpting. It helps in developing self-awareness, boosting self-esteem, trauma-coping and fostering social skills.

Conclusions

A paper-free office will not only save time, natural resources and money but also help in smoother and safer flow of information in an organization, thus helping in quick decision-making and responsible business growth.

Finding the Most Appropriate Renewable Energy

Energy is very important nowadays. Contemporary people can hardly imagine their existence without it. Humans has always tried to produce cheaper and safe energy. Nature provides us with the energy we can renew daily. It provides people with the benefit which nobody can argue. It almost has no negative impact on the surrounding and is considered to be rather safe.

The cost of alternative energy systems has dropped sharply in recent years

When the scientists revealed that greenhouse effect led to the change of world’s climate they began to look for all possible ways to prevent the catastrophe. Fossil fuel does not give the chance to renew it after the use while sustainable energy can. In addition, fossil fuel is running out. That forces people to search some new ways to restore it. The depletion of conventional energy sources motivated scientists to develop new methods of energy production.

A country or even some particular geographical area should select a suitable type of renewable energy source. It usually depends on sources the region possesses. For example, countries which are situated on the equator can benefit from solar energy while those regions which lack sunny weather should better provide themselves with hydro energy or biomass energy.

There are regions which are trying to find the most appropriate renewable energy type. For instance, Massachusetts varies the use of different renewable energy sources. The state government proves that their region is able to provide the citizens with more wind’s energy than with any other ecologically safe power supply. The use of wind energy is beneficial for the state not only because it is ecologically safe but also because it has an economic advantage. They produce both offshore and onshore winds’ energy.

Yearly industry data manifests that the first one is even cheaper and ranges up to sixteen cents one kilowatt per hour. Such energy is clean and beneficial. In 2009 the government of Massachusetts issued the project of developing offshore ocean energy for a number of its regions. This plan proves the indisputable convenience of wind power use for this concrete state of America.

Despite the fact that wind power is rather sustainable, the US industry report relies greatly on solar energy use. This conclusion is based on three main reasons. The first and most influential is the fact that not all American regions can provide wind energy because of geographical peculiarities. By the way, some scientists and consumers find it rather complicated due to huge transmission lines it requires. That is why solar energy is more effective.

All regions receive the sun energy almost equally and they can depend on it mostly. The next factor that influences the choice of solar energy is its permanency and regularity. Wind turbines are more inconstant than the solar ones. Solar panels are able to generate energy even if there is no sun. Clouds cannot stop the penetration of sun rays completely. Due to that, scientists in Massachusetts also found solar energy to be rather beneficial and constant. The last factor that contributes to the number of advantages of solar panels use is their productivity. They are capable to produce more energy than the turbines which are enabled by winds.

The experiment of solar and wind energy testing lasted during thirteen days in Massachusetts. It took place at the beginning of January. Solar panels managed to produce thirty-five kilowatt-hours of pure electricity. At the same time, the winds turbines had hardly provided the territory with fourteen kilowatt-hours of clean energy. The outcome of the experiment supported the idea of solar panels efficiency compared to the wind turbines productivity on Massachusetts territory.

The investigation reasoned the use of solar and winds’ energy. Even if some type of renewable energy is less effective still it provides humans with ecologically safe power. It is unsound to refuse at least from one of them. All renewable energy gives the chance to save the planet from ecological disaster and improve human lifestyle and health condition.

About the Author

Lauren Bradshaw started academic writing in 2003. Since then she tried her hand in SEO and website copywriting, writing for blogs, and working as a professional writer at CustomWritings professional essay writing service. Her major interests lie in content marketing, developing communication skills, and blogging. She’s also passionate about environment, philosophy, psychology, literature and painting.

How to Start Eco-Business Internationally?

Doing business today is, perhaps, one of the hottest trends that have held its high position for a number of years now. If you want to make more than enough money, you should totally start your own business or, at least, purchase a franchise and go ahead from there. Yet, if you’re already in the game and want to grow then going international should be your next step. And going global with your eco-business is not the easiest feat, although it becomes quite popular as more and more entrepreneurs realize that it’s a pretty viable idea that pays off exceptionally well. So, what are the challenges of going international in eco-business, and how these challenges can be mitigated?

international-eco-business

Internationalization Done Wisely

Being smart in business is something that goes without question. You have to not only have some theoretical understanding of how business is done and what’s an international business but also have some kind of sixth sense to make the right decisions and take viable directions. Internationalizing your eco-business can be quite painful and not just while you’re in the process of leading your company into the Great Unknown (which international business essentially is about) but while preparing for it.

Indeed, in order to enter your desired international market smoothly, you have to calculate your steps pretty carefully. Nothing is perfect, of course, but you can, at least, aim for the right spot and potentially be at a significantly lower risk of not making it. One of the trendiest aims in international business today is going eco-friendly. This is the kind of trend that is not only viable to follow but is also reasonable to follow.

solar-rebates-faqs

Preserving our mother Earth from any kind of environmental danger is, perhaps, the best repayment we can do, so there you have 2 reasons. As for the methodology of doing eco-business internationally, it’s pretty basic, with something borrowed from the general internationalization practices and something from the eco-business trends. So, here are a couple of such tips.

  • Assess your potential markets. Obviously, it’s better to aim where it might fit in better or correspond with the local tastes and preferences. Some of the top eco-friendly brands come from the United States and European countries, predominantly from the Scandinavian part. So, one of the best picks for your start would be somewhere there. In addition, you should consider the buying power of your potential customers, the environmental situation in the country, as well as the overall green culture of the country.
  • Establish an online presence. The internet is perhaps one of the best places to start your internationalization. As lots of people use social media and simply cannot live without Google search, having your digital content targeted for a specific audience, or translating your original content is a solid and viable idea. One way of starting your business and hitting a bull’s eye is to familiarize people with you before going with a full blast.
  • Comply with your ideas. You’re running an eco-friendly business, right? That means that you must minimize any potential harm you might do to an environment or even completely eliminate it. You have to agree that marketing an eco-friendly detergent produced on a rather smokey plant or delivered by huge fuel trucks is kind of weird, to say the least.
  • Keep an eye on formalities. As you go international, every formal aspect, including the needed documents and licenses must be kept in order. That also applies to their translation. Address the leading language translation services to make sure that the quality is at the top. Additionally, consider a certified translation company in order to ensure that the professional specialists working on all translations and have the full legal right to do so. This will certainly keep you from the trouble you might be least expecting.
  • Go ethical. As it’s a must for an eco-friendly business to maintain eco-friendly production, it’s also a great bonus if you treat the people around you well too. Ensure great working conditions for your employees, implement the rules and policies that stimulate a friendly environment and productivity. This way you’ll be able to show that you’re really pursuing the great goals as well as motivate your employees to work well.

Not as Hard as It May Seem

Although running your business internationally and in the eco-friendly arena might be somewhat overwhelming from time to time due to such business’ development and limited popularity, there still is a great payoff to that. One of the most important traits of such business is that it’s considered as innovative as it can only get today and being one of the driving forces of progress is pretty cool and attracts people. So, get your courage together, make sure you do more good than harm and go ahead exploring the new horizons.

10 Green Business Ideas for Young Entrepreneurs

Out of some of the hottest trends that have been on the top lists for quite a while are choosing an entrepreneur as the primary occupation and doing an eco-friendly business. While the former is primarily motivated by making money to afford quite a comfy living, the latter is usually motivated by something else. And that something else does not mean it has to be charitable.

The eco-friendly business has lots of benefits, the scales of which largely outweigh the monetary advantages of doing any kind of other business. Just think about it, by going green with your business you’re promoting the Earth’s safety from potential environmental catastrophe, you support innovation, and simply look cool and trendy. So, what are the specifics of doing business in a green way?

green-entrepreneurship

Green Business: The Essentials

Although it might seem like something totally out of this world, green business is still business. You still have to be aware of all the formalities, such as legal regulations, competition, and economic rules and environments. You must make sure that people know about you, so marketing through all channels is reasonable.

Yet, there are some specific characteristics of the eco-friendly business in particular. In fact, such specifics are large in numbers, yet, their main ideas lie in creating and maintaining an image of the sustainable business that cares about its surrounding in all possible meanings. That applies not only to Mother Earth but also to your employees (who should be treated well anyway), your customers, and your business partners.

green-business-ideas

As for how you can do that, here are the 10 hottest green business ideas for green entrepreneurs today.

  1. Start with yourself. If you want to run an eco-friendly business that pursuits a corresponding role, you want to make such business green to the bone. Try to reduce or eliminate the use of harmful materials in as many processes as possible. Recycle the office supplies that got used up. Avoid transportation using fossil fuel vehicles. This way you’ll show that what you do is not only for money or prestige, it’s for the sake of itself, which is quite attractive for consumers.
  2. Save energy and water. While neither electricity nor water harms the environment, by saving them, you also save the environment. The thing is that electricity production might harm the environment while saving water basically saves water, the resource that becomes quite scarce even in the developed countries of the world.
  3. Address green consulting. Yes, there is such a thing as green consulting and it might be very useful especially in the beginning. Essentially, by addressing a sustainability consultant, you retrieve invaluable information for your green business that you will be able to use and reuse at your disposal. So, don’t neglect a great piece of advice, even if you have to pay for it.
  4. Topical publications. It’s also nice to show that you know what you’re doing. By creating a blog outlining the current environmental trends, you can achieve exactly that. While some of the elements of your business will surely demonstrate your eco-friendliness anyway, sharing your experience and knowledge with people also looks pretty cool.
  5. Support relevant local events and businesses. It’s always nice to have a community that follows similar ideas to yours. Sponsor the bicycle races or supply the local concerts with what you have to offer, and people will see you even if you make minimum to none marketing efforts.
  6. Partner with similar businesses. By directly cooperating with other businesses supporting sustainability will reduce the harm you might potentially do to the environment to the minimum. While you might use sustainable technology yourself, your suppliers, for instance, might not. Partnering exclusively with eco-friendly businesses will surely fix that.
  7. Even more topical publication. You might not get popular with all this eco thing in your country. But you can still expand abroad, at least, on the internet. You can significantly enhance your online presence and SEO by translating your blog content. Just check out Pickwriters and find a suitable professional for your business. There’s a lot of services like that online and many of them don’t charge a fortune.
  8. Promote reuse and recycling. Whether you produce certain green products, sell them, or provide eco-friendly services, there’s always a place for reuse. Recycle the container material, encourage your customers to bring those paper bags back for a reward, or reuse all your tools whenever possible.
  9. Get involved in green financing. This is suitable for the later stages of your business development. While there were some ways, in which you can support the local sustainability movements, you can also help with money directly whenever you can. Give donations that develop and support sustainability, sponsor the cleaning of public spaces, etc. there are many ways to help our environment and money is not an exception.
  10. Don’t stop in one kind of business. You can do good in many ways. If you sell organic food, deliver it, and help other businesses to do the same. If you repair bicycles, gather the old ones and refurbish them. If you produce organic beauty products, then sell them or provide beauty services for people.

Doing the Right Thing

Doing an eco-friendly business is certainly the right thing. There are lots of ways you can make our world a little bit cleaner and safer to live in and many of those ways can co-exist in one business. It’s important to remember that whenever you do a good thing, there’s no point in doing just one good thing. Diversifying your sustainable business will only multiply the great things you do in the first place.

A Glance at Biggest Dumpsites in Nigeria

Waste dumping is the predominant method for solid waste disposal in developing countries worldwide, and Nigeria is no exception. Nigeria is home to six of the biggest dumpsites in Africa, according to Waste Atlas 2014 report on World’s 50 Biggest Dumpsites published by D-Waste. These dumpsites are located in three most important cities in Nigeria namely, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Ibadan.

Opening burning of trash is a common practice across Africa

Let us have a quick look at the major landfills in Nigeria:

Olusosun

Olusosun is the largest dumpsite not only in Lagos but in Nigeria and receives about 2.1 million tonnes of waste annually comprising mostly of municipal solid waste, construction waste, and electronic waste (e-waste). The dumpsite covers an area of about 43 hectares and it is 18 meters deep.

The dumpsite has been in existence since 1992 and has housed about 24.5 million tonnes of waste since then. A population of about 5 million people lives around 10km radius from the site and numerous health problems like skin irritation, dysentery, water-related diseases, nausea etc. have been reported by residents living around 3km radius from the site.

Solous 2

It is located in Lagos and occupies around 8 hectares of land along Lasu-Iba road. The dumpsite receives about 820,000 tonnes of waste annually and has since its existence in 2006 accepted around 5.8 million tonnes of MSW.

Solous is just 200 meters away from the nearest dwellings and almost 4 million people live within 10km radius from the site. Due to the vulnerable sand formation of the area, leachate produced at the dumpsite flows into groundwater causing its contamination.

Epe

Epe dumpsite also in Lagos occupies about 80 hectares of land. The dumpsite was opened in 2010 and has an annual input of 12,000 tonnes of MSW. Epe is the dumpsite which the Lagos State government is planning to upgrade to an engineered landfill and set to replace Olusosun dumpsite after its closure.

Since its existence, it has received about 47,000 tonnes of waste and it is just 500 meters away from the nearest settlement. The dumpsite is also just 2km away from Osogbo River and 7km away from Lekki Lagoon.

Awotan (Apete)

The dumpsite is located in Ibadan and has been in existence since 1998 receiving 36,000 tonnes of MSW annually. It covers an area of 14 hectares and already has in place almost 525,000 tonnes of waste.

The dumpsite is close to Eleyele Lake (2.5km away) and IITA Forest Reserve (4.5km away). The nearest settlement to the dumpsite is just 200 meters away and groundwater contamination has been reported by nearby residents.

Lapite

Lapite dumpsite is also located in Ibadan occupies an area of 20 hectares receiving around 9,000 tonnes of MSW yearly. Since its existence in 1998, it has housed almost 137,000 tonnes of MSW. It is 9km away from IITA Forest Reserve and surrounded by vegetations on both sides of the road since the dumpsite is directly opposite a major road.

Olusosun is the largest dumpsite in Nigeria

The nearest settlement is about 2km away but due to the heavy metals present in the leachate produced in the waste dump, its leakage poses a great threat to groundwater and biodiversity in the area.

Eneka

It is located in Port Harcourt, the commercial hub of South-South, Nigeria along Igwuruta/Eneka road and 9km from Okpoka River and Otamiri River. It receives around 45,600 tonnes of MSW annually and already has about 12 million tonnes of waste in place.

The site lies in an area of 5 hectares and it is flooded almost all year round as rainfall in the area exceeds 2,500mm per annum. Due to this and the resultant flow of the flood which would have mixed with dumpsite leachate; groundwater, surface water, and soil contamination affect the 1.2 million people living around 10km radius from the site as the nearest building is just 200 meters away.