11 of the World’s Most Eco-Friendly Cities

Cities often compete with each other, whether they’re seeking to have the highest quality of life or fostering innovation. However, the increasing world population and a changing climate have made eco-friendly living a priority for residents and city leaders alike. This has now led to cities competing to be the most environmentally friendly. The global movement towards more sustainability is also pushing for more innovation and change. Here are 11 of the world’s most eco-friendly cities as well as a brief overview of what they’ve done to achieve that status.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland and ranks among the most eco-friendly cities in the world. This is partially due to their harnessing of abundant geothermal energy for power and keeping the freezing northern city warm. Their small population is densely packed into the city, so people can get around by walking, biking or via public transit.

The city is offering incentives to encourage people to drive electric cars, such as free parking and lower taxes. They’re also going the old-fashioned route by encouraging the other 96 percent of the population to ride public transit, including their brand-new hydrogen powered buses.

Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver is sandwiched between the ocean and the mountains, though the surrounding coast is covered in forests. The local administration found out that the city’s environmental footprint was just too big to be sustainable and decided to make some real changes. As a result of these initiatives, the city now has the lowest greenhouse gas emissions level for any major city in North American city.

They are doing yet even more to reduce the city’s footprint. For example, the city is doing a lot to attract clean technology companies and increase the number of green jobs. They’ve seen a 23 percent in green jobs since 2013. They’re also encouraging local food production so they can feed people without wasting energy transporting food from thousands of miles away.

San Francisco, California

San Francisco is one of the most environmentally conscious cities in the world. Where San Francisco stands out is the sheer number of ways it is lowering its ecological footprint from the top down.

recycling-in-offices

For example, consumers and city agencies systematically shop for organic and locally sourced food. Living waste-free seems like a dream, but the city itself has that as a goal by 2020. The city is roughly eighty percent of the way there. They’ve dramatically reduced waste and increased recycling, while they encourage businesses and individuals alike to switch to reusable containers. As a matter of fact, San Francisco became the first city in the US to completely ban plastic bottles. A large part of the organic waste produced in the city is turned into compost and used by local farmers.

San Francisco is also ahead of the curve in terms of renewable energy. The city has many zero emissions and hybrid electric buses. Solar installations in the Bay Area are surprisingly common. This is in part because they pay themselves off in less than seven years when you take rebates and tax credits into account. For example, San Francisco’s GoSolarSF program encourages people to install solar panels. The average homeowner receives 300 dollars per kilowatt and up to 2000 dollars per kilowatt if the residents are considered low income. This will remain in effect even if the federal tax rebates for solar installations start to phase out.

Another side effect of the eco-conscious population is that renewable energy becomes a selling point for properties that have it. The best solar companies in the Bay Area, including firms like Semper Solaris, install quality solar panel systems that add value to your home. They also make it easier for people in the region to afford systems by adjusting them to their particular needs. Not only that, but they also offer battery storage so users can still use solar energy when the sun isn’t shining. The increased home value is based in part on the future reduced utility bills the homeowners expect to receive.

Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki sits on the Gulf of Finland. It stands out for its delicate balance between eco-friendliness and tourism. Roughly three in four hotel rooms in the city are certified as eco-friendly. Most of the remainder have some environmental impact reduction plan in place to reduce energy consumption, minimize waste, and lower the environmental impact of their food and water supply.

The city makes use of wind energy and solar power. The “green district” Viiki is an experiment in sustainability. This is why the first solar powered apartment building in Finland is located here.

Capetown, South Africa

Capetown is another example of a city that has gone above and beyond to reduce its ecological footprint. One of the ways they are doing so is by reducing their reliance on unsustainable energy sources and turning to alternatives like solar energy instead. And it has paid off, especially when considering the amount of sunlight the city enjoys every year.

They’ve also heavily invested in wind power. As a matter of fact, the city has started focusing on building wind farms since 2008. And the city made it a goal to meet 10% of its energy needs using renewable energy sources by 2020, which could very well be possible given all the different initiatives they’ve started.

They’re also trying to pattern the behavior and habits of residents and push them to adopt a more outdoorsy lifestyle. Not only that, but they’re facilitating bike transport by allowing bicycles for free on their My Citi express bus service.

Berlin, Germany

Berlin is one of the most famous and historical cities in the world, and the reason why it made that list is also tied to history. After WWI, residents in the city were forced to become very self-reliant, and had to find ways to grow and raise their own food, which is a tradition that continues to this day. Germans in general also value their green spaces and gardening.

electric-cars

Berlin is also doing a lot to accommodate electric vehicles owners by adding over 400 charging stations around the country. They’re also trying to raise awareness among gas vehicle owners and trying to sway them into going electric. Not only that, but Berliners also are more prone to using public transit or sharing vehicles then using their personal car.

Portland, Oregon

This is the second west coast city in this list, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise considering that the west coast is and has always been a hotbed for the environmentalist movement. And while the city’s population keeps on growing, they are continually working to minimize the effect of the city’s activity on the environment. They also put a ban recently on plastic bags to curb their effect on the ecosystem, with other cities on the west coast following suit.

But one of the main reasons why Portland made this list is the people of the city. Environmental consciousness is part of the city’s DNA, and Portlanders take it to the next level. Did you know that roughly 25% of the city’s workers do their commute through carpooling, biking, or public transit? Out of all the people in the city, 8% also stated that they only use their bike for transportation. This is thanks in part to the city’s massive bike path and lane system.

The city also gets 33% of its energy from renewable sources and recuperates roughly 1,200,000 tons from the 2,434,840 tons of waste they produce every year, which is pretty impressive for a city its size. The city also managed to cut their carbon emissions by as much as 17%, even with the increasing population.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam is bar none one of the most avant-garde cities when it comes to environmental initiatives, and has worked for a long time to limit its energy consumption from unsustainable sources. As a matter of fact, the city was one of the first to introduce widespread sustainability initiatives with a goal to reach a wide variety of benchmarks by the year 2020.

One of the main things people remember when they come to the city is the sheer number of cyclists, and Amsterdammers do love their bikes. But the city also did a lot to popularize electric vehicles, and owners can charge their vehicles in one of the 300 charging ports you’ll find all over the city. People in the city are also increasingly turning to solar energy and sustainable local farming. More people from the city are starting to grow their own food as well.

Stockholm, Sweden

With over 50 bridges and 14 islands, Stockholm has done a lot to improve the city and allow citizens to live a more sustainable life. The city also set a goal to eliminate the use of fossil fuels by 2040. In addition, they’re getting assistance from the European Union to become a smarter city.

 

waste-management-sweden

One of the ways the city has managed to be more energy efficient was by turning to biofuels, which are created from the city’s sewage waste. A large portion of cars in the city are powered using this biofuel. They also managed to recuperate some of the heat generated by their massive stadium. This heat can be used to heat over 1000 units in the city.

Copenhagen, Denmark

The capital of Denmark has also started to build a reputation as an ecofriendly city, and is taking steps to continue in the right direction and support eco-friendly initiatives. And this is mainly due to the city’s sustained and massive investments in clean infrastructure and renewable energy sources.

They also set the lofty goal of becoming the first major city in the world to achieve CO? neutrality by the year 2020. And residents in the city are also doing their part for this goal to become a reality. Less than a third of households in the city own a car, and people in Copenhagen are also big on cycling. As a matter of fact, it’s not uncommon for hotels in the city to provide guests with a bicycle upon arrival. The city also has one of the most extensive bike lane networks in Europe.

Another thing that sets the city apart is how many people choose to eat organic there.  About a quarter of all the food sold in the city’s markets is organic, and they’re also big proponents of local farming, which further reduces their carbon footprint.

Curitiba, Brazil

Considering the amount of natural beauty Brazil is nestled in, it shouldn’t be a surprise to see a Brazilian city on this list. Curitiba might not be as well-known as Rio and Sao Paulo, but it is known as one of the world’s green capitals. Where they excel is when it comes to recycling. As a matter of fact, it is said that about 70% of the waste produced in the city is recycled in the form of derived products or energy.

The city also puts a lot of importance on urban planning and has one of the best public transit systems in South America. Most people in the city rely on public transport too. The city is also not overly developed and has tons of green spaces with over 16 parks and 14 forests near and around the city’s core.

Presence of trees make a city appear more vibrant and eco-friendly

To incentivize cleanliness around the city, they installed a program that allows people to return and exchange recyclables for things like tokens, sweets, snacks, and cash. Not only does it encourage people to recycle more, but the program is also feeding over 7000 people in need in the city.

Bottom Line

The most eco-friendly cities in the world are seeking to provide a better environment for residents while reducing their impact on the planet, and they’re providing an example to the world that the rest can follow. We can only expect the trend to grow from now and into the future, and for residents from cities all around the world to start pushing for more green initiatives where they are.

Top Reasons to Buy a Hybrid

Are you thinking about buying a new car? If yes, then you may seriously want to consider getting a hybrid as there are many benefits to this type of car and more and more motorists are making the switch. Read on to discover a few of the main benefits of owning this type of vehicle.

advantages-hybrid-cars

1. Eco/Power Balance

One of the primary advantages of owning a hybrid is that you get a good balance of eco-friendly driving and power. You get the best of both worlds with a hybrid because they are more environmentally-friendly than a typical car but they also still have a lot of power, so there is no compromise on performance which is key for those that spend a lot of time behind the wheel.

2. Battery Charging

Many motorists are hesitant to make the switch to electric due to range anxiety. This is less of a concern with a hybrid because you do not need to use or own a charging point as the vehicles charge up their own batteries, meaning that you can easily travel long distances without having to worry about stopping and recharging the battery.

3. Reliability

Reliability is key when deciding on a car and modern-day hybrids are highly reliable. The technology has come on leaps and bounds in recent years as the demand has soared, so you can be sure that any hybrid vehicle that you purchase will be a car that you can rely on each and every day.

4. Running Costs

Of course, another major advantage to buying a hybrid is that you can make huge long-term savings when it comes to running costs. Hybrids consume less fuel and emit less CO2 which means that you are spending far less on petrol than a typical automobile and you will pay less in road tax, plus you will also avoid congestion charges which are on the rise and being introduced in cities up and down the country. While they can cost more to buy, you can recuperate the cost that you save on fuel and you can make the cost easier to manage with a finance deal from somewhere like Go Car Credit.

These are the main benefits to buying a hybrid car over a conventional automobile but there are many others. It is easy to see why so many motorists are now making the switch and there are many excellent models to choose from, so it should be easy to find one that fits in with your lifestyle.

4 Eco Lifestyle Habits You Should Start Implementing

In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, mother nature is finally starting to breathe a little easier again. Indeed, it could be argued that this has been the major benefit of coronavirus pandemic. But with lockdown restrictions now easing, it might prove tempting to lapse back into old, environmentally destructive ways. So, to help combat this, we’ve compiled a few simple lifestyle changes to ensure the planet continues to heal.

1. Go organic and shop local

You might have to pay a little more for the privilege, but by shopping and eating locally and organically you’ll soon start to notice not only the taste difference but the positive difference in your overall health

compost-organic-waste-farming

The concept of safe food using organic waste generated compost is getting traction.

With the UK now considering lowering its standards when it comes to importing food, with the dreaded chlorinated chicken now on the table in trade deals with the US, keeping it fresh, organic and local has never been more important.

2. Travel by train

We understand that travel by public transport hasn’t exactly been actively encouraged in recent months but sooner or later the world will return to some semblance of normality and when that happens, train travel is comfortably one of the least damaging forms of transportation.

Of course, we would always recommend walking or cycling if at-all possible, but we realise this won’t always be a realistic option. So, rather than firing up the car and spending a good hour wading through rush hour traffic every morning on your way to work, why not switch up your commute? This is particularly relevant in London, where trains from East Croydon to Norwood Junction are running constantly and provide faster and cleaner transport.

3. Go paperless

It’s never been easier to lead a completely paperless life thanks to the digitisation of most sectors and data. You’d be surprised how much paper it’s possible to get through if you’re not careful. The vast majority of services, however, now give you the option to go paperless.

It’s often as simple as logging on to your bank accounts or your energy provider accounts and ticking a box. You can also help the cause a little further by ensuring you recycle all the paper and card you have already used and only printing off hard copies of documents when it’s 100% necessary.

4. Avoid bottled water

Green living doesn’t always have to be difficult. Sometimes it can even save you money! There is absolutely no legitimate reason to continue buying bottled water in this day and age. Plastic is a blight on our environment like no other and bottled water creates more plastic than almost any other product on earth.

water-filtration-systems

A water filter is a cheap and elegant way to filter out any of the potential chemicals and contaminants that might make your tap water seem like a less attractive option. And think of all the money you’ll save too! Oh, and while you’re at it, ditching plastic bags is something you should really be looking into, as currently, only around 3% of the world’s plastic bags are being recycled!

10 Ways to Reduce Plastic Waste While Camping

The plastic problem is always a big one and will continue afflicting many parts of the world. Plastics fill our rivers, lands, and even oceans. It is having a great impact on our lives and even affecting marine life.

The single-use of plastic is bad, we should always strive to recycle or avoid them altogether. Unfortunately, when you go camping, you will have very few options. It may not be easy to avoid plastics. Luckily, there are things you can do to reduce plastics consumption.

camping-plastic-wastes

The best camping site will be an off-grid location situated in a remote area. Obviously, you will not have a designated place where to dispose of the plastic bags. Here are 10 ways to reduce plastic waste while camping

1. Pre-Plan Your Trip

If you do not plan in advance, it is easy to get trapped. You will end up picking plastic and paper plates. The results will be creating unnecessary plastic waste. Pre-planning helps you to get organized.

If you are tech-savvy, you may use an app to help you plan. If the campsite has Wi-Fi, it will make things better for you. It will allow you to utilize your phone. Also, plan to shop for groceries in bulk. This way, you will avoid the small plastic container.

Instead, you will have the foods packed in big containers that can be recycled and reused. It reduces the number of plastics you carry to the camping site.

If you will prepare some of the meals at home, pack them in reusable containers. It allows you to easily dispose of some of the plastics you carried from the grocery.

2. Store Food Wisely

You don’t need to pack the food in sandwich bags. Instead, use bowls, food coolers and mess kits. These items can be used to pack food and could be reused multiple times. Using them ensures that you have enough food throughout your camping trip.

Also, it guarantees to keep the camping environment free from plastics. Packing glass and silver cutleries may look cumbersome when going on a camping trip. But, it is the only way to ensure that your camping environment is plastic-free.

So, ensure you shop for enough sporks, and mess kits beforehand. It will help you reduce the plastics you carry to your camping site. Mess kits could be the best option when you go camping. You can use them to store the food and put them to multiple other uses.

However, if you are going to a bear trail, all your items should be bear proof. A traditional storage won’t work. You must use a bear canister to store foods.

However, to keep the foods in good shape in warm weather, you must have the best bear proof coolers from IBC7 Outdoors. Bears are very sensitive to smell. Hence, you must plan wisely.

3. Pick Simple Foods

You will get involved in so many activities while in the camp. So, it requires that you carefully select the dishes to prepare. Thus, picking on simple foods could help to save your time. It greatly reduces the plastics you will need to deal with.

Some of the foods you may consider are:

  • Dehydrated Foods

The foods are easy to pack and require little cooking. Besides, they are nutritious, and you will not need to worry about flavor. If you have challenges in cooking food, they are among the options you may need to consider.

  • Nuts, Trail Mix and Bars

They make an enjoyable camping snack. They are easy to make and can be packed in renewable containers. Packing these foods in mess kits reduces the need to carry unnecessary camping bags.

  • Dried Fruits and Beef Jerky

They contain protein and are the best option if you are looking forward to something to reduce hunger pangs quickly. They are easy to pack in containers and may not require the use of plastic bag.

4. Use Safe Plastic Bags

Buying reusable oversized BPA free plastic containers will reduce the plastic bags and containers to carry. Besides, the BPA free bags can easily be packed transported and reused. They are easy to clean and reused.

5. Rubbish Disposal Point

By organizing a rubbish disposal point, you reduce sending wastes to a landfill. You can do this by setting aside a few specialized vessels to collect plastics and other waste products. If you are camping in a remote location, be proactive if the bin service is not available.

You may sort this out by selecting an ideal place where all the wastes and plastics can be stored. It allows you to organize to dispose of the plastics in a designated area. But as you do this, ensure that it doesn’t lead to an unpleasant odor.

Also, don’t let them overstay to attract flies, rodents, and other unwanted animals. Later, the litter must be collected packed and taken to the nearest collection point. If no such a point exists, take it home.

6. Store Dehydrated Food in Mess Kit

If you buy dehydrated food packed in a paper bag, portion them in the mess kit. This should be done at home to avoid carrying unnecessary plastics to the camping site.

To preserve the food, you will need to boil some water and pour it into the mess kit. The content should then be shut with a lid. It will rehydrate the food and will be ready to be prepared for lunch or dinner.

7. Prepare Trail Snacks

Energy snacks can make great snacks when you are on the trail. But they are always packed in plastic bags which create an eyesore if disposed carelessly.

So, instead of buying snacks that are already packaged in plastic bags, make some at home. They are better compared to the ready-made snacks that come packaged in the sandwich bag.

8. The Bamboo Mess Kit

Having a bamboo mess kit should be encouraged. It reduces the number of plastic bags you are likely to carry to the camp. It is heavier than the mess kit, but it saves you from taking plastics to the camping site.

9. Bring Your Mess Kits

When going to the grocery or your local farmer, make it a habit to carry your own mess kits. Let the vendor pack whatever you buy in the kits.

It helps you to avoid carrying home plastic bags that would be difficult to dispose of. It also reduces plastic waste that you will carry to your camping site.

10. Carry Reusable Items

Having a reusable water bottle is essential. Choose only environmentally friendly bottles. It will save you from the need to buy water bottles that are always laced with microplastics.

reusable-straw

Many manufacturers are replacing plastic drinking straws with titanium.

Consider reusable containers made from stainless steel. They are sustainable and will allow you to enjoy your outdoor adventures. Double-walled stainless-steel bottles are the best. They can keep your drinks either hot or cold.

That aside, carrying reusable conditioners and shampoo when on a camping trip is a great idea. The reusable conditioner bars and shampoos do not contain carcinogenic chemicals.

Also, the conditioner bars and shampoos last for long. It saves the environment from plastics associated with bottle shampoo.

Conclusion

It feels daunting and inconveniencing to limit the number of plastic bags you use during camping trips. But if you remain consistent, it can make a huge difference. It keeps the environment clean and reduces pollution.

Can You Recycle Summer Pool Inflatables?

Over the last few years, having pools in our gardens has become hugely popular with both kids and adults alike. Which has also meant that summer pool inflatables – particularly large dinosaurs or unicorns – have become popular too. The only problem is, when these plastic inflatables are no longer wanted, what happens to them?

What are Pool Inflatables?

First off, before we look at how to recycle these pool inflatables, what exactly are they? Well, like the name suggest, these are plastic inflatables that tend to be used in pools. These can range from very big inflatables that can be sat on, down to inflatables used for sports such as balls or clubs.

summer-pool-inflatables

There tends to be new inflatable design and shapes that come out every summer, which becomes popular on the likes of Instagram. This leads to people rushing to buy what’s popular and old inflatables becoming binned.

What are Pool Inflatables Made of and Can They Be Recycled?

When it comes to the cheap pool inflatables that we often see in the likes of Aldi and Argos, these toys ten to be made from nylon or vinyl, they will then be coated in a PVC material that makes them very durable.

Because of this PVC coating, though, it makes it very hard to recycle these inflatables. Which is why broken or unwanted pool toys end up going into our general bins, which are destined for a landfill. Which isn’t great when we’re trying to recycle as much as we can.

What Can You Do With Old or Unwanted Pool Inflatables?

Well, before you stop buying pool inflatables altogether, here at KwikSweep we have some great ideas for how you can keep your inflatables away from landfills:

Repair It

More often than not, when we’re looking to get rid of a pool inflatable it’s because it’s damaged and we believe it be unusable. Which can be quite common when they’re used by kids – and adults too! Before you get rid of your pool inflatable, though, it’s actually very easy to repair these inflatables.

First of all, you need to find where the hole or rip is. This is quite easy to do, just fill the inflatable up with water and see where water or bubbles are escaping. Once you’ve located the hole add a sticker, then you can empty the water out and dry out the inflatable before you look to fix it.

When you’re ready to start your repair, inflate it with air and cover the hole with some duct tape to keep the air in. You can then take a piece of PVC or more tape and cover it with some waterproof glue and place over the top of the hole and held until dry. Just remember to check it thoroughly before giving it back to the kids.

Give it Away

If pool inflatable isn’t broken, but it is no longer wanted. Rather than throwing it away, consider giving it away to someone you know or even donating it to charity. That way, rather than simply throwing it away, someone else will be able to get use out of it.

Upcycle It

While pool inflatables are hard to recycle, they may still be of use to others that could use the material in an upcycle project. For this, you will have to research locally to see if anyone wants to work with old PVC, which can seem like hard work, however, it’s more than worth it to keep it out of landfills.

If you’re worried about any of your rubbish going to landfills and you’d like to make sure as much as possible is recycled, contact us here at KwikSweep. As, regardless of it being commercial or home clearances, we make sure as much is kept away from landfills as possible.

Building More Sustainable Home Habits

Running a household can be a very expensive feat – everything you spend from your electricity, water, heating, air-conditioning, groceries, and general upkeep of other facilities such as your toilet, piping, pool (if you have one) – these all add up and can make your expenditures quite hefty, especially when left unchecked. If you are running a large household, with anywhere from five people living in it or more, this could be especially true – the aggregate effect of every person’s possible carelessness can add up to a sizable sum when put together.

That is why it has become increasingly important to incorporate sustainable habits in every household. This means to educate each person on the importance of being prudent with the resources of the household, enough so that what is used up is only what is needed, and not a single resource and penny goes to waste. If everyone is on the same page about how important it is to care for the environment, then the combined benefits of this paradigm shift can also be quite notable.

sustainable-habits-for-ecofriendly-home

Here are some ways to build more sustainable habits in your home:

1. Turn off the lights

The best thing to do is to keep your consumption minimal. Turn off the lights when you are exiting your room and do not plan to re-enter for a good amount of time. Use natural light when you can – it is good to have windows in every part of the home so you can utilize natural energy. Apart from the natural light, you can also let in some wind and fresh air instead of turning on your air-conditioning.

2. Turn off the tap

Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth. Unless you are rinsing off, you don’t need the tap running. You can even fill a cup with water and use that for your gargling needs.

3. Pull those plugs

Pull the plugs for appliances that aren’t in active use for a long time. Toasters, computers, and lamps are all good examples of appliances that can be unplugged overnight or while you’re away from home.

4. Analyze your electric bills

It would also be a good thing to check out your energy consumption and consult your electricity provider for things you may not understand in your electricity bill. You can take this up with them and clarify what items are taking up most of your consumption, so you can adjust accordingly and minimize those activities.

5. Recycle

You don’t have to throw away everything that you’ve used only once or twice. Plastic containers that you take home from retail or grocery purchases can be used for repacking other items in the home. This is just one example – there are so many things you and your family use daily that you can recycle in order to minimize what you throw away.

recycle-household-trash

These are just some of the simple but very helpful ways you can start to live a more sustainable lifestyle. There are many other ways you can build more sustainable habits that help the planet and help you save some money as well. It is good to instill these practices within all the members of your household so that you can all work together to be more clean and green.

Parquet Flooring: Creating Everyday Versailles And Royal Ambience In Your Home

What inspires your choice of material used in flooring your home? Whether it is based upon your thirst for comfort, your budget, climate variation and lifestyle, parquet flooring can help make all these aspirations come true and much more. Parquet flooring creates a royal ambiance anywhere it used; be it your home or your office, giving it the lush, magnificence and stylishness of the famous Grand Palace of Versailles. There is more to parquet flooring other than it being an artistic interior design; it also offers warmth because they are made of woods and woods are great absorbers of heat.

oak-flooring

What is Parquet Flooring?

Firstly, parquet is a geometric mosaic of wood particles or pieces that can be systematically arranged in fashionable design and used in flooring. They come in various shapes ranging from an angular conformation to squares, lozenges and some are even curved.

Parquet flooring came into existence in the 16th century precisely in 1684 as a solution to the ruts in joists underneath the floor caused by marble flooring.

Parquet Wood Floors Vs Marble

Parquet floors have an advantage over marble floors is that they are easier to clean and preserve. It is more tedious and expensive to maintain marble floors. Parquet style flooring is also more durable than marble floors, plus the fact that parquets now exist in so many different wood types and offers an infinite possibility of designs to choose from thus creating the scenic, and magnificence of the grand Versailles Palace in your home.

There are over a thousand reasons why you should consider using parquet wood flooring in your home. The most important is that it creates a royal ambiance anywhere it is used and very comfortable to walk on without fear of abrasion, and it has also been linked with aristocracy and prestige in the past.

Other than sheer opulence, it was the best choice for flooring in the past centuries but experienced a massive loss in demand because at that time, parquet flooring was available only in one design (as a plain array of repeated, interlocking squares) and was soon displaced from the market by other flooring styles like the tiles stones, etc.

Parquet wood floors are back in vogue

Well, those days are long gone. Wipe the gloomy look off your face for I come bearing good news. Parquet wood floors are back in vogue and it now exists in a variety of styles. The choice is increased with exotic wood species like mahogany, Brazilian walnut, Teak and lots more and in different geometric patterns. The most frequently used parquet flooring patterns are the Parquet de versatiles and herringbone.  Of course, the most popular species is oak parquet, due to the fantastic properties of this outstanding wood species.

Pros and Cons of Parquet Flooring

There is a variation in the prices of parquet. The longer it is, the more the price. Lots of skills and experience is required in fixing the parquets to the floor and costs about 20$-50$ per square feet.

To minimize costs, you can opt to do it yourself. All you need to do is follow the manufacturer’s directives on how to fix them and you will be fine. You will get to realize that there is much joy and fulfillment that comes from accomplishing a task as crucial as this.

  • It is very easy to clean and preserve. You can clean the floor by using a dry mob and a damp mob occasionally or by simply using a vacuum cleaner.
  • It is very easy to repair damaged parts by simply removing the worn out part, replacing it carefully and sanding it.
  • You should endeavor to put a rug in the parts of the floor that’s in the area with much traffic.
  • Being that wood is used in parquet flooring, it is not very resistant to water, and you should take much care that you keep the floor dry at all times.

There you have it, a million reasons why parquet flooring is just the right fit for your home. Create everyday Versailles and royal ambiance in your home by opting for parquet flooring today.

The Eco Revolution in Property Investment

Many of us are now making more eco-friendly and environmentally conscious decisions every day. Whether it’s taking our own carrier bags to the shops, having a reusable water bottle or recycling your tin cans – little changes are making a big impact. When it comes to property, the eco revolution has increasingly been making waves. From solar panels to energy efficient light bulbs, our properties are becoming better for the planet. These priorities are also affecting property investment, with an increasing number of tenants looking for eco-friendly essentials in their property.

Eco-friendly homes are becoming increasingly popular with a new environmentally conscious generation starting to look for rental properties. Young professionals who are living in the city are less likely to buy a home than ever before, so are looking for a rental property that meets their exacting requirements. With many of them choosing to make environmentally friendly choices, like going plastic free or cutting down on how much meat they eat, accordingly they are looking for eco-friendly homes too.

Environmental impact is increasingly on the agenda of consumers in every aspect of their lives. Many are also willing to pay a premium for eco-friendly purchases. Research has shown that UK consumers would pay an average 10% more if they were buying something they thought had a positive impact on society. Property investors would be wise to bear this in mind when looking for new property investments. In an increasingly competitive rental market, the ability to raise prices because of eco credentials is a lucrative option for investors.

Furthermore, 40% of consumers think that sustainability is important when they are making a purchase. The impact of this can be seen in the growing number of brands and businesses that are making their environmental commitments obvious to consumers. It is clear that savvy property investors can be both environmentally friendly and business smart when looking to purchase new properties.

In another study, 80% of tenants believed that their landlords should be considering the environment more, and suggested measures like double-glazing, insulation and eco-modifications. These simple measures can make a large impact on the appeal of a property to prospective tenants. Increasing energy prices are another concern for occupants. In addition, 55% of renters asked said they would prefer a rental property with a smart meter if it was the same price. Energy efficient measures are both good for tenant’s monthly costs and for the environment so buy to let property investors can be at an advantage if their property offers these.

As of April 2018, buy to let landlords are legally required to have an EPC rating of E or above in their properties. This means that property investors are increasingly looking at new build properties which are already energy efficient and don’t require costly renovations. Tenants can also legally request that a landlord makes property improvements if the EPC rating is F or G.

Developers are increasingly taking sustainability and environmental impact into consideration when building new properties. Properties with energy efficient specifications, like many by RW Invest  are providing investors with lucrative returns and high tenant demand. Recent changes to regulation mean that new build properties need to be energy efficient and this is making a huge impact on the buy to let market.

The trend towards environmentally conscious properties looks set to continue, with eco-friendly qualities high on the agenda of both potential tenants and investors.

How Does Water Filtration Work?

The reality is that drinking water has contaminants, and that’s something you have to address to ensure the safety of your family. The good thing is you can address this by simply investing in a good water filtration system. The following will help you understand how one would work.

water-filtration-systems

Microfiltration Goes First

Okay, there are many water filtration systems out there to choose from. Some of these systems are whole-house systems you can have installed and will filter all of the water going into your home. The drawback is that these systems will have to be uninstalled if you decide to move to a new home.

Those who value portability may want to consider smaller water filtration that you can take with you wherever you go. Whatever you choose, the internal process of each water system normally starts with microfiltration. A reliable water filter system is going to have a complex filtration system with millions of pores to destroy potential contaminants like parasites, cysts, bacteria, herbicides, pesticides, and heavy metals, just to name a few things.

The microscopic pores do not allow pathogens and contaminants to pass through. Those contaminants become trapped within the filter. Of course, this is the reason your filters are going to have to be replaced sooner or later. The amount of times you replace your filter depends on how often the filter is used and the construction of the filter itself.

Adsorption is Key

The second step water filters take to ensure that your water is as clean as possible is adsorption. This is a process where an ionic barrier is formed to help the microscopic porous filter work more effectively.

The truth is some contaminants are a little smaller than the tiny pores of the porous filter. These contaminants could make their way out of the first stage without this second stage. The barrier seems to be strong enough to make contaminants like submicron viruses stop in their tracks. It also helps stop iodine or chlorine, both of which are quite common in tap water.

You should remember that the metals that could be in your water such as cadmium, copper, lead, and mercury are also extracted at this point. These questionable heavy metals are extracted through an Ion exchange process, thanks to the electronically charged barrier formed within the filter. Remember that all filters are not this sophisticated, so make sure you find out if the filter you are considering removes heavy metals.

water-filters-for-home

There is no way you want to allow heavy metals to contaminate your home. A high concentration of these metals can lead to all sorts of other issues, such as organ damage. Some say that prolonged exposure to these metals could put people at risk of developing some types of cancer. Dangers like these shouldn’t plague your mind, and they don’t have to with the help of a good filter.

A Different Method

One more thing that needs to be pointed out is that good quality water filters usually use the long contact period filtration method. Okay, most water filters do what they are supposed to by relying on the water pressure in your home. In essence, the water pressure in your home pushes water through the filtration system, which is how contaminants are removed.

Technically, this type of filtration isn’t bad, and it is effective enough to give you clean water, but the long contact period filtration system takes another approach. What these types of filters do is allow water to flow through the first stage using gravity rather than pressure.

Gravity is a little slower, meaning the water has a long contact period as opposed to regular filters where the water shoots through the filter. Yes, this kind of filtration is a lot slower, but the results are much more impressive. You’d be surprised how many contaminants make it through a filtration system that relies purely on pressure. If you want to give your family the best clean water you can give, then be sure to choose a long contact period filtration system.

Now that you know how water filters work and why they are so important in living a healthy life, you can begin your search. The best thing is you won’t need to worry about buying water from the store nor will you have to pollute the earth with dozens of water bottles that you have to discard often.

Ingredients of Environmental Sustainability

Global interest in environmental sustainability is on the rise. Businesses and individuals are making efforts to engage in more environmentally conscious practices, thanks in part to a growing worldwide population and dwindling natural resources. Ultimately, sustainability is the practice of finding long-lasting methods of maintaining our existing quality of life while still preserving the environment and natural resources.

Proponents must consider all aspects of environmental sustainability for it be successful. Additionally, eco-conscious thought must be applied to multiple professions to achieve deep-rooted results. Here are three ingredients to ensure the continued success of environmental sustainability.

Economic Incentives

Everyone knows change can be difficult. Making the shift toward more eco-friendly practices is no different. One way to initiate this change is through financial incentives. Money is an essential factor for families and companies. If sustainable options and practices are too expensive the majority of the population can’t afford to implement them, the environmentally-conscious movement will come grinding to a halt.

Environmentally-friendly technology often carries higher upfront costs but pays off through long-term benefits, both to the environment and to individuals. Additionally, companies that invest in environmentally conscious technology can potentially market to a broader range of consumers with similar interests and values.

When considering options to follow more sustainable practices, consumers need to set specific goals they would like to achieve and define their plan of action. This will also help maintain perspective and keep the focus on the long-term incentives, which will keep everyone motivated to continue down the road to sustainability.

Environmental Protection

Another key factor in environmental sustainability is protecting and preserving the environment. Part of this practice includes sustainable use and management procedures. While specific materials may be renewable over time, overuse can deplete these resources and lead to shortages. Industry professionals must give careful consideration to planning how, when and in what quantity resources will be used.

Surprisingly, several sustainable methods exist to renew depleted environmental resources in a fast and environmentally conscious manner. Agricultural practices often strip fields of necessary minerals and nutrients while leaving behind harmful inorganic residuals from fertilizers.

Naturally occurring microorganisms will eventually restore the soil’s nutrients and neutralize noxious compounds, though this process takes a long time. Bioremediation can expedite this process. Industry professionals can introduce higher numbers of the naturally occurring microbes and then create their optimal living conditions by varying the amount of water and food they have available.

Once the harmful pollutants are neutralized, farmers can resume planting operations. In addition to bioremediation, sustainable agricultural practices include rotating crops and using cover crops. Rotating crops and using cover crops can help reduce the occurrence of weeds and the impact of pests. In turn, farmers can use less fertilizer and maintain soil health for more extended periods.

Fostering interest in sustainability at a young age will encourage future leaders

Education

Without proper education, the general public won’t understand the importance of sustainability. This may lead to a decreased demand for sustainable products and procedures, which will foster growth in non-sustainable markets and practices. Future generations will then be left with the task of preserving and repairing the environment.

Fostering interest in sustainability at a young age will encourage future leaders to create innovative solutions to meet the current demands of society through unconventional and eco-conscious means. The future youth will also need the proper educational background to develop the tools they need to cultivate these solutions.

Environmental education also helps adults understand the impact their choices have on themselves and society. Uneducated adults may not recognize their choices to pollute or use toxic chemicals are degrading the local water supply for their neighbors or are harmful to their health. Once they understand the full weight of their decisions, they will be able to make the most informed choices.

With proper management and forethought, environmental sustainability can be fully achievable in our society today.