Are you looking to make your business more sustainable? This is something that every business owner should be looking to do and it can bring a multitude of benefits in addition to the ethical reasons, so here are 10 of the best ways that you can go about doing this.
1. Eco-Friendly Products
First, you need to make sure that you are both producing and sourcing eco-friendly products and trying to reduce plastic use as much as possible.
2. Green Energy
Switching to a green energy provider is one of the most effective ways that you can reduce your impact, plus you can make huge savings over the long-term on your energy bills, so it is a smart financial move to make.
3. Encourage Cycling
It is important to encourage staff to use green forms of transport as opposed to driving. One way to do this is with bike parking outside of the office and to start a cycle to work scheme.
4. Reduce Food Waste
You should try to reduce food waste as much as possible and the best way to do this is to educate your staff on the importance of only bringing in what they need and using up spare food.
5. Watch Water Usage
Water usage is another area to address and you will want to try to cut down on if possible, particularly when it comes to washing and cleaning.
6. Increase Recycling
Recycling is one of the best ways to be more sustainable but often an area where businesses could improve on. You can do this by educating staff on what they can and cannot recycle and making it easier for them to recycle items, such as placing recycling bins in the office.
With ‘green’ being the buzzword across all industries, greening of the business sector and development of green skills has assumed greater importance all over the world. SMEs, startups and ecopreneurs are playing a vital role in the transition to a low-carbon economy by developing new green business models for different industrial sectors. Infact, young and small firms are emerging as main drivers of radical eco-innovation in the industrial and services sectors.
What are Green SMEs
Green SMEs adopt green processes and/or those producing green goods using green production inputs. A judicious exploitation of techno-commercial opportunities and redevelopment of business models, often neglected by established companies, have been the major hallmarks of green SMEs.
For example, SMEs operating in eco-design, green architecture, renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainability are spearheading the transition to green economy across a wide range of industries. The path to green economy is achieved by making use of production, technology and management practices of green SMEs. Impact investment platforms allows individuals to invest in environmentally sustainable companies.
Categories of Green Industries
Protection of ambient air
Protection of climate
Management of forest resources
Management of flora and fauna
Noise and vibration abatement
Management of minerals
Protection of biodiversity and landscape
Protection against radiation
Natural resource management activities
Protection of soil, groundwater and surface water
Environmental Monitoring and Instrumentation
Research and Development
Research and Development
The key motivations for a green entrepreneur are to exploit the market opportunity and to promote environmental sustainability. A green business help in the implementation of innovative solutions, competes with established markets and creates new market niches. Green entrepreneurs are a role model for one and all as they combine environmental performance with market targets and profit outcomes, thus contributing to the expansion of green markets.
Some of the popular areas in which small green businesses have been historically successful are renewable energy production (solar, wind and biomass), smart metering, building retrofitting, hybrid cars and waste recycling.
As far as established green industries (such as waste management and wastewater treatment) are concerned, large companies tend to dominate, however SMEs and start-ups can make a mark if they can introduce innovative processes and systems. Eco-friendly transformation of existing practices is another attractive pathway for SMEs to participate in the green economy.
The Way Forward
Policy interventions for supporting green SMEs, especially in developing nations, are urgently required to overcome major barriers, including knowledge-sharing, raising environmental awareness, enhancing financial support, supporting skill development and skill formation, improving market access and implementing green taxation.
In recent decades, entrepreneurship in developing world has been increasing at a rapid pace which should be channeled towards addressing water, energy, environment and waste management challenges, thereby converting environmental constraints into business opportunities.
Recycling is an effective energy conservation measure that translates into avoided emissions alongside other environmental and economic benefits. It saves energy by decreasing or eliminating energy use during extraction, transportation, and processing of raw materials into finished products.
How Recycling Saves Energy
Manufacturing is a labor, waste, and energy-intensive process that is never-ending due to the increasing demand for consumer products. Manufacturing products from scratch requires raw materials to be extracted, transported, and refined. However, when recycling, you are using already refined materials that need less energy to be transformed into usable products.
Recycling also saves time, money, natural resources, conserves the environment, and shrinks landfills. Hence, the more we recycle, the more we save and gain. Because of these benefits, it is essential to sign up for a residential recycling collection service to have your recyclable trash going to the right place.
The amount of energy saved through recycling generally depends on the material being reprocessed. Let’s take a look at the energy savings of four of the most commonly recycled materials.
Aluminum manufacturing requires huge amounts of heat and electricity. Despite constant efforts to reduce energy consumption, manufacturing aluminum still costs three times more than the theoretical minimum energy requirement.
Recycling aluminum cans and scrapes requires 6 percent of the energy needed to manufacture aluminum from bauxite ore. Repurposing aluminum saves the energy that would have been used to extract, transport, crush, and combine bauxite with caustic soda. Additionally, extracting aluminum from bauxite requires the ore to be purified and smelted.
Thus, the aluminum recycling process is fast, efficient, and achieves up to 94 percent energy savings. Even better, you can recycle aluminum infinite times without degrading, increasing energy saving in the long run. Besides, introducing new alloys and improved product design along the product chain results in more energy and environmental savings.
Glassmaking is an energy-intensive process that involves melting sand and other minerals at extremely high temperatures. Reprocessing glass still needs lots of energy to melt the glass and make a new product. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says reprocessing glass results in 30% energy savings. Glass, like aluminum, does not degrade when it is recycled.
Thus, tossing glass in recycling bins will help preserve natural resources, like sand and soda ash, and reduce the energy costs involved with transporting these heavy materials. It also allows glass manufacturers to cut on energy input to their furnaces. The cumulative energy costs decrease by 2 to 3 percent for every 10 percent of broken glass used in the production process.
Moreover, the durability of glass allows for recycling without reprocessing. This means that you can save 100% energy by cleaning and reusing glass around your home and eliminate the need for an energy-intensive manufacturing process.
An average American household throws away 13,000 pieces of paper every year. These translate into almost 1 billion trees worth of paper being thrown away yearly in the U.S. You can recycle all or most of this paper and contribute to 40% energy savings. Recycled paper can be used to make a variety of new paper products.
However, this is limited by its appearance, which is not as white or smooth as new paper. Fortunately, biodegradable inks and erasable paper promise improved paper recycling efficiency. You could also reduce your paper usage or reuse paper around your home whenever possible to conserve energy and save trees.
Many plastic products are single-use commodities that are only in use for a few minutes. However, these require hundreds of years to biodegrade. Sadly, approximately 4 percent of America’s total energy consumption goes to producing plastic products.
Recycling plastic requires only about 10% of the energy needed to manufacture one pound of plastic from virgin sources. The recovery process has short-term energy-saving benefits because plastics degrade every time they are recycled.
However, many manufactures have ways of repurposing low-grade plastics to use in less demanding applications, such as carpeting, park benches, auto parts, and insulation.
Other Materials to Recycle Around Your Home
You can recycle many other materials around your home, and you can determine their energy savings using the iWARM tool created by the EPA. Some of these materials include
You can also contribute to energy conservation by purchasing recycled household products. Some of the most common include
Reduce, reuse, recycle is a lifestyle that leads us to a greener planet. Following these guidelines for a greener planet will also save you some coins because most recycled products cost significantly less than products produced using virgin material. Keep in mind that 75 percent of all waste can be recycled, and doing this will save the planet loads of energy.
Utilities like water and power can end up costing nearly as much as your rent or house payment in a bad month. Unfortunately, you can’t cut off your water service to save money the way you could cut the cable. Here are a few tips to tame your utility bills and make it easier to pay your electricity bill with ease.
1. Clean Up
Cleaning the coils on your refrigerator helps it work more efficiently. Cleaning the coils on your air conditioner can do the same, but your AC uses far more power than your fridge. Remove any debris from the air intakes, whether it is leaving piles up by the AC or the air vent to your furnace. Rinse the air filters for your room air filters, the air conditioner, and your dehumidifier.
2. Turn It Off
While the appliances that are sleeping may use less energy than when on, the reality is that they use almost as much power in standby as they do when active. The solution is to turn things off. Unless your game station is downloading updates, unplug it to save power. Turn off the TV instead of letting it sit in standby, or worse, use it as background noise.
When gadgets are fully charged, disconnect them from the charging station and turn off the charging station. If you can’t stand to turn off your computer, turn off the monitor instead. Turn off lights when they aren’t in use, and consider when you can utilize natural light instead. Don’t let appliances idly run while you’re busy. Get the clothes out of the dryer instead of letting it run every five minutes to prevent clothes from wrinkling.
Turn off the oven when you’re done with it. The same might be said for your pool pump or air filters. Does it need to be running? If not, consider turning it off for a while. Always aim to improve your habits and to acquire energy-saver appliances. Also, consider that you are still allowed to hire a better energy provider in case the current one is not the best fit regarding your lifestyle. For instance, there are plenty of options when it comes to the most suitable electric companies in dallas.
3. Track Energy Usage
You can get apps that report energy usage in your home. These apps can tap into your smart meter and tell you which appliances are consuming the most energy. If you can’t cut back on energy usage, you could get advice on how to shift energy usage in order to reduce your electric bill.
For example, running the clothes dryer at night may allow you to get utility discounts. One of the advantages of hydroelectric energy is that despite facing daily and seasonal variations, utility companies will still provide discounts when the demand for power is lower.
Set up the dishwasher to run a heavy load when you go to bed, and the cost per kilowatt maybe a third of what you’d pay if it ran during the day. You may also find that the AC is running heavily during the hottest part of the day.
Could you alter the thermal profile of your home so that it uses less energy while keeping you comfortable, such as not trying to keep the house at 65 when you’re at work? If you cannot get the house comfortable without the AC running full blast all the time, you may need to have the air conditioner repaired or replaced with a more powerful unit.
4. Check for Leaks
If you’ve ever heard the joke that you’re not heating the neighborhood, recognize that there is an element of truth to that joke. When you leave the door open while you’re bringing in groceries or getting the mail, you’re wasting the energy used to heat or cool that air. Gaps in your window frame and window stripping cost you the same way.
Leaks in your hot water heater waste both water and the energy used to heat it. Look for water leaks when you suspect them, too. Not only does this damage the structure of your home and wastewater, but damp insulation has a fraction of the thermal value of dry insulation. This is how a water leak could be contributing to your higher energy bills.
There are a number of things you can do to reduce your energy bills and water bills without radically changing your lifestyle. Then you’ll be able to save the Earth’s resources and money at the same time. It is truly a win-win for everyone.
Bahrain has the distinction of being one of the highest per capita municipal solid waste generators worldwide estimated to be more than 1.80 kg per person per day. Infact, Bahrain produces largest amount of waste per person among GCC countries despite being the smallest nation in the region. Rising population, high waste generation growth rate, limited land availability and scarcity of waste disposal sites has made solid waste management a highly challenging task for Bahrain’s policy-makers, urban planners and municipalities.
Municipal Solid Wastes in Bahrain
Bahrain generates more than 1.2 million tons of solid wastes every year. Daily garbage production across the tiny Gulf nation exceeds 4,500 tons. Municipal solid waste is characterized by high percentage of organic material (around 60 percent) which is mainly composed of food wastes.
Presence of high percent of recyclables in the form of paper (13 percent), plastics (7 percent) and glass (4 percent) makes Bahrain’s MSW a good recycling feedstock, though informal sectors are currently responsible for collection of collection of recyclables and recycling activities
The Kingdom of Bahrain is divided into five governorates namely Manama, Muharraq, Middle, Southern and Northern. Waste collection and disposal operation in Bahrain is managed by a couple of private contractors. The prevalent solid waste management scenario is to collect solid waste and dump it at the municipal landfill site at Askar.
Askar, the only existing landfill/dumpsite in Bahrain, caters to municipal wastes, agricultural wastes and non-hazardous industrial wastes. Spread over an area of more than 700 acres, the landfill is expected to reach its capacity within the next few years. The proximity of Askar landfill to urban habitats has been a cause of major environmental concern. Waste accumulation is increasing at a rapid pace which is bound to have serious impacts on air, soil and groundwater quality in the surrounding areas.
The Kingdom of Bahrain is grappling with waste management problems arising out of high population growth rate, rapid industrialization, high per capita waste generation, unorganized SWM sector, limited land resources and poor public awareness.
The government is trying hard to improve waste management scenario by launching recycling initiatives, waste-to-energy project and public awareness campaign. However more efforts, in the form of effective legislation, large-scale investments, modern SWM technology deployment and environmental awareness, are required from all stake holders to implement a sustainable waste management system in Bahrain.
An energy-efficient home is something we should all work towards. It will save you money, decrease your carbon footprint, and make your home and lifestyle more environmentally friendly. Most of us think that achieving an energy-efficient home is difficult, expensive, and time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. There are so many little things we can do to decrease the amount of energy we waste and to reduce the amount of money we spend on running our homes. Today, we will be taking a look at what you can do to improve the energy efficiency of your home and why this will benefit you in the long run.
If your home appliances are old, chances are they are not very energy efficient and will be costing you more than they should to run. When you purchase any new appliance, you should look for one that comes with a stamp of approval, also known as an ‘Energy Star’ rating. This means the new appliance is classed as energy-efficient, which means you will save money on energy bills in the future.
Check Boiler Efficiency
In most UK households, the cost of running a boiler will be more than all of the other home appliances combined. To ensure that you aren’t spending too much on your boiler, you should assess its efficiency levels. There are simple tools you can use to do this. If you are spending too much, replacing a boiler is an option, but it’s expensive. Instead, you can look into cheaper ways of improving its efficiency.
Energy that should be heating your home will be lost through your windows and ceilings when your home is poorly insulated. If your home is properly insulated, you will pay less to heat your home because the building will retain the heat more efficiently. It doesn’t cost too much to do and the money you spend on it will be made back over a couple of years through reduced energy costs.
Switch Energy Supplier
Some energy suppliers are greener than others, and many of the more sustainable ones also offer surprisingly cheap tariffs. By using an energy comparison website you should be able to find a new supplier that can improve your household’s carbon footprint while also lowering your household bills.
Renewable energy comes from a resource that is naturally replaced on a human timescale. This includes wind, sunlight, waves, tides, rain, and geothermal heat. Using renewable energy is a great way to help the environment and to save money on energy bills. It can be expensive to install, but it comes with many benefits for you, your home, and the environment.
As you can see, the main reason many of us should choose to have a more energy-efficient home is to save us money, but it helps the environment too. We are all aware of the changes taking place in our environment, so protecting it and saving money while doing so is an offer we shouldn’t refuse.
For some people, the whole thing of “going green” is a trend, but in the world of construction, “going green” is definitely no trend… In fact, it’s a sustainable building practice that’s here to stay. As more cities adopt greener building regulations for new construction, contractors and construction companies alike are going to face the challenge of keeping up with these sustainable building practices.
One of the biggest areas in construction that greener changes need to happen in is construction waste. They say, “waste not, want not,”… well, in the world of construction, “when you waste less, you spend less.” Sustainable building practices, in the form of minimizing waste, means you’re not only building better, energy-efficient buildings but you’re also saving time and money on all your construction projects.
It’s just amazing to look at how the industry has changed over the years. True enough, certain things haven’t changed like state and industry-specific certifications and licenses… If you live in Oregon, you would still need to meet the Oregon continuing education requirements. But as far as sustainable practices, it’s amazing how more and more people are becoming conscious about reducing their carbon footprint to make the environment a better place… Back in the early 1940s to the 1960s, people could have cared less about their environmental impact.
But we are indeed in different times, and the construction industry is doing its part to implement green practices, including reducing construction waste. Here’s how construction companies and contractors are doing their part.
Effective Ways to Minimize Your Construction Waste
1. Avoid Creating Waste in the First Place
To truly manage your construction waste effectively, you should avoid creating it in the first place. Taking steps like taking exact measurements to ensure you have enough materials to build without any unnecessary leftovers is going to help tremendously. Conducting regular inventory checks will prevent you from overordering materials that you already have.
With construction sites, you’re not always going to be able to haul your materials in and out of a proper storage area; sometimes your materials have to set out on the site. But that also doesn’t mean your materials have to be ruined. You have to first and foremost, secure your site to minimize damage and even theft.
For example, you can store lumber on blocking and make sure to cover it up to prevent any damages. You want to do the same with brick and other masonry. The main thing is that your materials are a huge investment and you need to do all you can to protect your investment.
According to the National Equipment Register, states that have a large economy percentage in agriculture and construction industries are the biggest targets for thieves, and the most common pieces of equipment to steal include valuable pieces that are easy to move, like tractors, mowers, and other tools. Heavier pieces like bulldozers and backhoes aren’t so common because they’re too difficult to move.
3. Add Organization to Your Construction Site
Construction sites seem like they can be a bit chaotic, which they can, but they don’t have to be by simply adding a little organization to your site. Consider separating your recyclable and salvageable materials together in an area to reduce confusion; this just puts everyone on the same page. When your site is organized and your team knows where everything is, it will cause you to spend less money on unnecessary materials, re-doing work, and sorting in the middle of a project.
4. Recycle and Re-Use Your Salvageable Materials
On all of your construction sites, make it a point to recycle materials like paper, plastic, metal, and glass… wood too. In that same token, also make sure that if there’s a way to reduce any costs in construction projects, re-using your salvaged materials is the way to do it. The purpose is to reuse these materials so that they don’t end up in a landfill somewhere… You can’t always avoid waste on all projects but landfills are one of the worst ways to handle your construction site waste.
If you are thinking about building a new home or office block, it is important that you are considering the effect that it will have on the environment. There are many different building materials that you can choose from but only some are energy efficient in the way that they are made. Here, we are going to look at some of the reasons why steel is a very environmentally-friendly building material. Keep reading to find out more about this material.
1. Less Waste
One of the most important reasons why steel is an environmentally-friendly building material is the fact that it tends to produce less waste. When you order steel from a company like Armstrong Steel, for example, you are only ordering exactly what you need. Their steel building kits provide you with the exact materials you need to assemble, so if you have any spare parts you’ve done something wrong!
This can mean that there is little to no waste in comparison to other building materials such as brick or wood. This is a great reason to consider using steel in your home.
2. Reduced Energy Usage
When you invest in steel as a building material, you are also ensuring that energy usage and costs are going to be much less in the future. This is great for those who are going to be living in the building or using it, as well as the environment as a whole.
Steel is a material that can be effectively insulated and so you don’t need to worry about losing any energy. This means that this building material is much more environmentally-friendly.
3. It Can Withstand Harsh Weather
Did you know that steel is an extremely durable material and so it has the ability to withstand harsh weather and stay standing for a long time? This means that you don’t need to worry about the steel building falling down in the event of flooding or snowstorm as it is built to last. With a longer-lasting material, you can be sure that your building will leave behind a much smaller carbon footprint.
4. Solar Panels Can Be Added
The final reason that steel is an environmentally-friendly building material is that it can have solar panels added very easily. Not every building material has this ability and so solar panels are often ignored for other types of energy.
With more buildings using solar energy to power utilities, the environment will be positively impacted. This is something to consider if you are thinking about building a steel building in the near future.
Steel is one of the best eco-friendly building materials for buildings across the world for a number of reasons. If you are interested in doing what you can to save the planet then you might want to consider choosing steel for your next project. Think about how durable this material is and remember that steel is recyclable. Try steel in your next building and you will feel much better about your carbon footprint and the effect that you are having on the environment overall.
Greening your home isn’t only beneficial for the environment and reducing energy costs, if you are thinking of selling it in the future, environmental upgrades can also help your ROI. Some green home improvements have a better ROI than others (think solar panels), and doing your research before your start any project can help you get the most bang for your buck. We’ve outlined a few of the best options that you might want to consider when determining the ROI of eco-friendly homes:
1. Tankless water heater
One of the easiest and least expensive upgrades you can make to take your home in an eco-friendly direction is buying a new water heater, especially if it hasn’t been changed in the last decade. Water heating is responsible for 16% of a typical home’s energy costs and swapping out an old, inefficient water heater, for a tankless version could cost a couple thousand dollars, and will save you money every month. It will also be an attractive selling point for your home.
2. Upgraded windows
If your home has drafty windows, they are the next feature that you want to turn to for an energy-efficient upgrade. The cost of windows will depend on the size of your home and the quality that you go for, but there is no doubt that this is likely worth your investment.
Solar panels can save you money, but not right away, so they may not have the best ROI if you are planning to sell soon. That’s because installing solar panels have major upfront costs. The good news is that homes with solar energy systems typically garner higher selling prices than homes with other types of systems.
However, determining the ROI of installing solar is complicated. According to Energy Informative, a five-kilowatt system — the average size of a system in the United States — can cost around $20,000. But the exact size of the system you’ll need will depend on how big your home is and how much power it uses.
Another consideration is your home’s location, as there may be state rebates (such as in California, Arizona, and Colorado), in addition to federal tax credits. Evaluate the number of years that you intend to stay in your home, and compare the average monthly savings of using solar with how much of the system you’ll have paid off by your projected moving day.
With one or more of these strategies in mind, you will be well on your way to greening your home to make it more attractive to potential buyers.
Most people want to do what they can to help the environment. After all, this planet is our home, and it doesn’t benefit us if we’re destroying it. That being said, it can be incredibly hard to live an eco-friendly life. It often requires time, money, and resources that the average person doesn’t have. Luckily, there are a few ways that you can live a more eco-friendly life that don’t require any major changes or sacrifices. These are changes that most people can easily make. And, as with most things, change tends to start at home. That’s why, in this post, we’ll be discussing four ways that you can make your house more eco-friendly.
1. Support eco-friendly services
We all make use of services when it comes to our house. We constantly call people in to fix things, or to clean things. So, why not rather support a company that isn’t harming the earth?
Other than doing some research and making the switch, this will require minimal effort from your side but can make a big difference when it comes to the environment. For example, next time you need your carpets cleaned, why not try an earth-friendly carpet cleaning system?
It’s a well-known fact that recycling is one of the most common topics that are brought up when it comes to living a more eco-friendly life. And yet, many people don’t recycle. That’s because many of them don’t know what recycling entails.
We’re not saying you need to make homemade paper out of your old scraps of paper (although you absolutely can, if the idea interests you) but simply separating your recyclable items from the non-recyclable items will make it much better for recycling companies to do their jobs. If you need more information, click here for a list of what can be recycled.
3. Make use of alternative energy sources
Every single day, nearly every person on this planet uses some form of electricity, and a lot of it negatively impacts the world. That’s why more and more people are being encouraged to make the switch to alternative or renewable energy sources. Wind energy is a popular choice, but it’s not suitable for all regions.
Solar panels, on the other hand, can be utilized by most households. While solar energy used to be a rare luxury that few could afford, the increase in demand means that it’s now more affordable than ever.
4. Make your own compost
Compost is great for various reasons. It’s good for the environment, it means that you waste less product, and it’s great for your garden. So, with all that in mind, we can’t think of a single reason not to make your own compost!
Many people shy away from composting because they find the idea of it unappealing, but the truth is that it can be a very rewarding thing. The least you can do is to try composting – if it’s not for you, you can be eco-friendly in other ways!
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