5 Sustainable Blockchain Players To Pay Attention to in 2022

There are many blockchain players to keep an eye on this year, including Algorand. However, there are five, in particular, to really pay attention to. If you do, you’ll notice that sustainability is a common theme across some industry players.

1. Cardano

In regards to market cap, this is among the top five overall crypto projects. At the time of writing, it has one of the largest blockchains to actually utilize a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism with success. In fact, the energy usage Cardano goes through is likely just 0.01% compared to Bitcoin.

environmentally friendly blockchain players

The market has a lot of appreciation for Cardano deploying social projects and environmentally-conscious operations. One example is the Cardano Forest run by the non-profit Cardano Foundation, as it has planted over a million trees. Cardano hopes to be an overall carbon-negative network.

2. Concordium

This Swiss blockchain is both proof-of-stake and eco-friendly. It employs distinct ID layers at a protocol level. This combination of privacy features and compliance makes the ID layer a crucial connection between the virtual blockchain world and the compliance with regulations that traditional businesses have to cater to.

A non-profit foundation supports it. It also has a science team internally researching sharding principles, consensus, and ZK proofs. This blockchain network is a simple one, but it also has cross-chain interoperability.

3. Energy Web Chain SolarCoin

This is a rather novel approach in regard to cryptocurrency. A SolarCoin is created for each Megawatt hour that is generated using solar technology.

The idea behind this blockchain is to reward those who produce solar energy. Solar plant owners have to submit third-party-verified certificates of their energy generation in order to claim their rewards.

4. Solana

Of all the digital currency in the current market, Solana might be growing faster than anyone. In fact, its support for smart contracts might make it a primary competitor to even Ethereum. This network is proof-of-stake. That means that Solana security is not reliant upon using energy. Estimates suggest that a Solana transaction uses less energy than a pair of Google searches. It might even be 20 times less energy than you use charging your phone.

The Solana Foundation is aiming for carbon neutrality in the very near future by partnering with Watershed for refrigerant destruction. This project aims to fund the permanent destruction of HFC and CFC refrigerants. Both greenhouse gases are more than 10,000 times as powerful as CO2. They’re doing this to offset the carbon footprint of the blockchain in the future.
sustainable-blockchain-companies

5. Stellar

This decentralized protocol using open-source code has an inbuilt exchange to transfer digital currencies to actual fiat money. This can happen domestically or even over international borders. Their cryptocurrency is named the lumen. This blockchain forked off of Ripple and started in 2014 hoping to bridge the gap separating digital currencies and traditional financial institutions. Since this blockchain doesn’t rely on mining, its carbon footprint is lower than others.

Bottom Line

Many detractors or opponents of cryptocurrencies usually feature the same arguments, including lack of consumer protections, financial instability, and susceptibility to volatility. The amount of power used and the negative impact on the environment that mining and transactions take are other arguments, but these five players are doing what they can to change that.

5 Ways European Citizens Can Help the Environment

European residents must do their part to protect the environment, just like all other global citizens. Climate change is real, and thousands of scientists continue sounding the alarm that we need to change our ways. Future generations may have to deal with all kinds of shortages if we can’t figure out methods to reduce our wasteful tendencies.

We’ll talk about a few things the average European citizen can do to help the environment right now. Most of these actions won’t require that much behavior modification, and you can feel good when you do them.

How European Citizens Can Help the Environment

Dispose of Cleaning Products the Right Way

Studies have shown the hazards of many cleaning products. Half a century ago, many chemicals people used around their homes harmed both those using them and the environment when a homeowner disposed of them.

When you buy household cleaning products, check the labels to ensure they don’t contain anything that harms the planet. You can find household cleaners that specifically say they won’t cause damage when you use or dispose of them.

Rather than dumping potentially harmful chemicals down the drain or somewhere outside, you can often contact your town or city’s government and locate waste disposal centers that will take them and deal with them. You might collect all the leftover chemicals and receptacles you have and take them there once a month or so.

Bike to Work or Take Public Transportation

If you can, take public transportation to work, when you need to go to the grocery store, or if you have another errand to run. If you don’t live somewhere with buses or trains nearby, then you can ride a bike to reach the places where you need to go.

green travel

You might have to take your car somewhere occasionally, such as if you’re picking up something that’s too large to carry with you on a bike or to take on a train or bus. If you can reduce the number of times you drive, though, every time you save yourself a trip, you are helping the planet.

If you bike or walk somewhere, you’re also getting in some much-needed exercise. Many of us live much more sedentary lives these days, so walking or biking helps you get your steps in and burns some calories. That can save you money you’d spend by joining a gym.

Purchase an Electric or Hybrid Vehicle

Every year, more hybrid and electric vehicles come out as well. If you can get one of those instead of one that runs exclusively on gas, that’s very helpful to the environment.

If you have a gas-running car, you can trade it in, which will lower an electric or hybrid vehicle’s cost.

You can also buy a used or certified pre-owned electric or hybrid car. That should save you some money if you can’t afford a brand-new one.

how to join Tesla engineering team

Every year, European nations continue building more electric charging stations to help with this transition. The switch can’t happen instantaneously, but if you can join this gradual movement, you’ll know you’re taking a concrete step toward reducing your carbon footprint. That will reduce foreign oil dependency as well.

Use Long-Lasting Lightbulbs

When you go shopping, you can look for long-lasting lightbulbs instead of the old-fashioned models. It might not seem like that will make much of a difference, but an energy-efficient lightbulb can last far longer than the traditional kind.

Buying the energy-efficient kind with the coils will save you money since you will not have to replace them as often. You can usually count on these bulbs to last you for several years rather than a few months like you would get with the old-fashioned, solid version. Also, since you have to throw fewer of them away, they make less trash in landfills.

Shop Wisely

You can get in the habit of bringing cloth bags with you when you go grocery shopping or shopping for small items. You can reuse those bags again and again.

green-freezer-bags

You can keep those bags in the car with you if you go run some errands. If you happen to forget the bags, you can also ask for paper bags in stores instead of plastic ones. Many stores no longer carry plastic bags anyway, but you can insist on paper ones when you buy things in the stores that do.

These small actions can help conserve our resources, and you can set a good example for your friends, neighbors, and kids as well.

5 Ethical, Sustainable and Eco-friendly Cost-Saving Tips

Consumers are no longer solely interested in catching a great deal. In fact, it’s the quick and cheap, disposable living mindset that has put the world in such a precarious state. Studies have shown that a business’s impact on the world plays a key role in their purchasing decision. Here are five ethical, sustainable, and eco-friendly cost-saving tips to help you cut back on your spending, and your carbon footprint.

Green SMEs

Evaluate your Utility Providers

Take a look at your utility providers to see what they’re doing to make a positive impact on the world around them. For those that are bill tracking, it is important to note that many energy service providers offer special rates and rebates for lower consumption. Using Energybot, you can contrast and compare providers in your area. You can visit their website to find the most affordable, eco-friendly option for you.

In areas where providers are limited, you can still look at their environmental initiatives and programs that will save you money while making a positive impact. Many utility providers conduct energy audits or provide rebates for swapping out appliances and faucets for eco-friendly versions.

Hit the Thrift Shop

Online shopping makes it easy to get anything you could dream of at an affordable rate. However, there’s a good chance that someone like you had a similar item and discarded it.

Hitting the thrift shop before shopping online will not only save you money but will also have a positive environmental impact. The clothes you buy online are manufactured and shipped from all over the world. This creates carbon emissions that have a detrimental effect. There’s a hidden cost to affordable online shopping; buy local whenever possible.

Eat Seasonally

Eating food from local sources is better for the environment and the economy. By ensuring that your money stays in the local economy, you’re stimulating growth that will ultimately benefit you over time. Furthermore, you aren’t paying to have food manufactured, shipped, and stored from thousands of miles away.

Eating seasonal produce will help you save money on fresh food and improve the diversity of your diet. By consuming seasonal, local produce, you’re saving money, boosting the local economy, positively impacting the environment, and improving your health. It’s a win for all involved.

Be Water Savvy

Minimizing your water consumption will help keep your budget low and the environment thriving. Start by monitoring your consumption at home and making small changes. Shut the water off while brushing your teeth. Don’t rinse your dishes before putting them in the washer. Wait until you have a full load to do laundry.

To take it to the next level, swap your faucet and showerheads out with aerators and low-flow alternatives. Start collecting and reusing rainwater for gardening. Replace your hot water tank with a “tankless” alternative. Look at your meter usage and set reduction goals.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Recycling is a great initiative that can make an incredible difference in the environment when done correctly. However, recycling is just one of the “Three R’s” to remember.

Circular-Economy

 

Reduce and reuse often go hand-in-hand. Reduce your packaging consumption by buying food in bulk and using reusable grocery bags. Before you recycle something, think about ways to give it new life. Mason jars can be used to store dry goods and pack lunches rather than using plastic containers. Keep a few large jugs handy to fill with water, rather than adding to the single-use bottle problem. Instead of plastic toothbrush, use a bamboo toothbrush from Ecoy.

There are plenty of ways to lower your spending while taking care of the environment. Use a budgeting app like Mint to gain awareness about where your money is going. Then, use a carbon footprint calculator to evaluate your consumption. By making some simple changes to your lifestyle, you can limit harmful spending.

How To Pick An Environmentally-Friendly Crystal?

Some stores may try to sell you a variety of healing crystals, but you must conduct your study to know what you’re buying. Not all crystals are created equal, and without more examination, you’ll never know for sure if they do what they promise to do.

Most healing crystals claim to come from trustworthy sources; however, they all come from mines, and not all mines are created equal. Many smaller family-owned miners are excavating and distributing the crystals. There is no illegal labor in such mines; thus, you can rely on crystals for love and healing crystal supplies.

how to choose eco friendly healing crystals

Inquire at the Crystals Shop

Inquire with the seller or owner about the origins of the crystals. Inquire about the crystals’ polishing, transformation into jewelry, and so on. Crystals have a higher carbon footprint than other highly processed meals.

It’s possible, however, that they don’t want to provide the information.

Quality is More Important than Quantity

Do you need ten of each if you can get the same effect with just one excellent crystal? If you don’t want to spread each of the ten crystals across your home for your convenience, you could settle for a high-quality crystal.

Look for Trustworthy Sources

The bulk of crystals is sourced from impoverished countries where people are compelled to work in hazardous and life-threatening conditions. If they originate from a family-owned mine, it’s probably fine to buy them. Rose quartz, for example, is supposed to provide affection, self-love, and healing.

Long-Lasting Crystals You Can Rely On

Our mind, body, and soul will need to commune with nature on occasion to heal and refresh, and here is where crystals and gems may help. This is why it is vital to buy crystals and gems used for their original purpose.

Here’s a quick review of the most popular crystals and jewels on the market, as well as when they can be helpful:

  • Auralite – for stress alleviation, happiness, and relaxation.
  • Calcite – increases energy and promotes health.
  • Fluorite – improves one’s mood and reduces stress.
  • Himalayan Quartz – help with personal development and healing
  • Rose Quartz – emotional healing and love

The healing crystals industry has increased in popularity during the last five years. Nobody expected it, yet more and more individuals seek help from healing crystals.

How To Pick An Environmentally Friendly Crystal

They utilized them for everything from personal healing to energy purification to home decoration to attract positive energy and repel negative energy.

If you appreciate crystals and care about the environment, you should be cautious when purchasing them. We all know that crystals do not grow on trees and that getting them from the earth is a time-consuming and even dangerous operation.

The best everyone you can do is learn about the origins of the crystals you want to buy for personal healing. There are environmentally friendly mines owned by ordinary people rather than giant corporations that collect crystals in the safest possible way.

So, do your research, ask around, and shop wisely. Keep in mind that your efforts will be rewarded in the end. Good luck in your search for the best eco-friendly healing crystals.

The Technology Revolutionizing Commercial Waste Management

Every single one of us can do something to improve our impact on the planet, but it is a given that businesses of all sizes have a bigger footprint than families – commercial accounts for 12% of total greenhouse gas emissions. A big factor of that is waste management. From the physical process of picking up garbage, to the methane-released process of decomposition, there are numerous factors that add up to create a large carbon footprint.

Between hiring green focused waste management solutions and recycling in a diligent fashion, there are a few technologies that are helping to break down the barrier between commercial waste management and an environmentally positive working environment.

Cleaning up commercial kitchens

A key form of commercial waste is food waste. Between the home and restaurant, it is estimated by the US Department of Agriculture that 133 billion pounds of food is wasted every year. Much will end up in the landfill. How is technology helping to tackle this huge source of environmental waste? Restaurants themselves are benefiting from lower priced and higher quality commercial kitchen cooking equipment, that helps to raise standards and reduce wastage.

Culinary appliances for varied cuisines also benefit from a new process being developed at the Netherland’s Wageningen University. A major driver of food waste is rejected wholesale delivery, much of which will be disposed of in landfill. The technology being developed in Holland aims to reduce wastage by analyzing food at the source, closer to where recycling will be achievable.

Route optimization

Have you ever received a parcel from an online retailer only to find the box greatly outsizes the contents? On the face of it, this is damaging to the environment. However, many retailers use complex box sorting algorithms. The result is that the best route is chosen on balance, considering the gas needed to make the journey, the amount of stock that can be delivered and the shortest route for the driver. This is an area of intense technological innovation.

The National Waste & Recycling Association reported in 2017 on how 2018 would see further advances, particularly with the integration of artificial intelligence and augmented reality into the route-finding process.

Balancing the landfill carbon footprint

It is well established that landfills are now being used to power wind turbines, geothermal style electricity and so on. They are being improved to minimize the leachate into groundwater systems and to prevent methane escaping into the atmosphere. However, further investigation is being pushed into the possibility of using landfill as a carbon sequester.

AI-based waste management systems can help in route optimization and waste disposal

Penn State University, Lawrence Berkeley and Texas University recently joined together to secure a $2.5m grant into looking into the function of carbon, post-sequestration. This will help to shed light on the carbon footprint and create a solid foundation on which future technology can thrive.

Businesses of all sizes have an impact on the carbon footprint of the world. The various processes that go into making a business profitable and have a positive impact on their local and wider communities need to be addressed. As with many walks of life, technology is helping to bridge the gap.

Why Going Green Is The Best Thing To Do For Your Community

As we go about our daily lives, it’s always a good idea to think about how we can contribute to the community we belong to in tangible and appreciable ways. Improving our communities from the inside not only allows us to make things easier and more convenient for ourselves, but also for the people we meet and rely upon in our day-to-day. Besides this, it also helps us think of other people’s needs rather than just our own—an essential need if we’re to live happy and productive lives. One of the best ways of improving our communities is, of course, going green: the act of adopting an environmentally-friendly lifestyle. This means taking active steps to minimize our carbon footprint and reducing waste.

It doesn’t have to start out big—we can start with the smaller things, and work our way up from there. Instead of buying new printer ink cartridges, for example, we can try using compatible ink cartridges instead. These are ink cartridges that are made the same way as new printer ink cartridges, but cost way less to make than branded ones. Instead of throwing away our old or obsolete electronics and electrical goods, we can look into getting them repaired. Another example of that is to refurbish old drones instead of buying new.

By taking up these eco-friendly practices, our communities will become cleaner, more energy-efficient, and much healthier places to live in, alongside other very practical and tangible benefits that everyone will appreciate.

Not convinced? Well, hopefully listing out those benefits in full below will convince you. Read on as we go through all the biggest reasons why going green is the best thing you can do for your community.

A healthier community

Enacting green and eco-friendly practices in your community will have the immediate effect of making it healthier for the individuals who live in it, enabling them to live longer, happier, and more productive lives. This can be considered as the most important benefit, seeing as we can tie so many health conditions and diseases to having an environmentally-negligent lifestyle. By going green, you can avoid these potential risks from taking hold in your community.

For example, recycling and minimizing trash or garbage helps makes your immediate surroundings cleaner and more attractive to look at. This causes disease-carrying pests such as insects and rodents to be driven away from your community, which then results in less people catching those diseases.

Another example is having the vehicles in your community switch to more eco-friendly fuel types will result in cleaner and healthier air, as well as reduce the chances of children and the elderly from getting respiratory diseases. Many companies like popgear use recycled material in their clothing. These and a whole lot more are attainable by going green.

Recommended Reading: A Helpful Guide to Electronic Waste Recycling

Savings on utility bills and other expenses

One of the main tenets of going green is to be conservative when it comes to the usage of utilities, such as electricity, gas, water, and so on. It goes without saying that using too much of these obviously strains the environment.

For example, the excessive and unnecessary use of electricity when it’s clearly not needed increases the power demand from power plants, which in turn increases the amount of fuel being used to supply that energy. This uses up our remaining fossil fuels at an alarming rate, while also depositing more pollutants into the atmosphere and environment. The same goes for gas and other utilities.

By being smarter and more conscious about using these precious resources in our homes, we can reduce the impact we have on the environment by quite a large degree. It will help ease the strain our environment is currently experiencing in providing us these resources and ensure that they don’t run out as quickly as they would have if we continued being unnecessarily wasteful with our usage.

Besides this, conserving energy and resources also helps us save on our utility bills. Obviously, the less power, water, and gas we use in our day-to-day, the less we’ll be charged when our monthly bills come in. Up to 20% of expanses per household, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency, are saved, especially if we adopt changes such as using solar panels rather than relying on our electrical grid. This is a huge chunk of money no matter how you slice it!

Durable and stronger homes and and structures

Let’s not mince words about it: eco-friendly and environmentally-conscious “green” products are more expensive than the brands that have an easier time fitting into our budget. However, we must consider that the former is also much more durable than the latter, which will inevitably result in a lot of savings in the long run.

This can be seen the most in building construction materials, especially those involved in the building and repair of homes. For example, recycled decking, which is made from recycled plastic and wooden fibers, have been tested to last five times longer than traditional decking.

Bamboo, a self-sustaining perennial grass that can grow up to three feet in 24 hours, is lighter than most building materials and yet has greater compressive strength than brick and concrete. The best part about it is that it grows faster than it can be harvested, meaning that there’s no danger of running out of it anytime soon, no matter how extensively it’s used.

By creating your community’s homes and structures using these eco-friendly materials, you can help save the environment while also ensuring that the homes and shelters will last for as long as they’re needed.

A self-sufficient community

It’s a fact of life that we have to rely on big companies to get us the modern conveniences and essentials we need to get through the day. However, by going green, we can help reduce our reliance on them and become more independent in our lives.

For example, taking the initiative to install solar panels in every home in your community will allow it to become less dependent on the power that companies provide you with electricity. With enough time, your community will be generating enough excess power that the same company will be paying you for that excess. There’s also the fact that if something goes wrong with the power plant, your community won’t be subjected to the same annoying and disruptive blackout that other surrounding neighborhoods will be, as you’ll have enough solar power to last you the entire time.

college-green

Let’s say you’re not quite at that level yet, in terms of going green. How about supporting your local markets rather than your nearby supermarket? By doing so, you ensure that the food-growing sector of your community continues to earn a living while also retaining the ability to keep growing natural and organic produce. Doing so also cuts down on harmful emissions, as you won’t have to travel by car just to get the fresh food you need. Your community retains its independence while helping the environment.

Conclusion

There are many ways to improve one’s community from the inside, with one of the major and more effective ones being able to adopt eco-friendly and environmentally-conscious practices. By doing so, not only does the community benefit hugely in the end in terms of health, sustainability, and independence from big companies, but the environment as well.

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.

How Robotics Contributes to Sustainable Manufacturing

Environment-friendly manufacturing processes are vital to the success of  businesses. Consumers care about the way that products are made, and how they can be recycled or reused. To meet the needs and concerns of consumers, manufacturers of all types are turning to robotics to grow their sustainable practices.

robotics-sustainable-manufacturing

1. Reducing Carbon Footprints

Robots are being created and used to reduce manufacturers’ carbon footprints. Factories and ports are known for releasing carbon into the atmosphere. Thus, encouraging climate change.

Some ports are turning to use automated robots to reduce their carbon footprint. Instead of gas-powered trucks and tools, robotic vehicles are being used instead. The robots do not rely on fossil fuels for power, so their engines run clean.

2. Speeding Up Recycling

Robots can take tedious jobs and speed them up. One of the jobs that robots are good at is sorting recycled material. They can do it quickly and efficiently, and they do not require all of the safety gear and training that humans need. Humans can sort about 800 items in an hour, but robots can sort around 2,000 items in the same amount of time.

3. Cleaning Tanks More Efficiently

Another place that robots are helping the environment is in chemical plants. These plants have massive tanks that need cleaning on a regular basis. The tanks have small openings, and they are filled with toxic chemicals and volatile gases.

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In the past, humans have had to enter these confined spaces to clean the tanks. They had to be trained in several safety procedures, wear a plethora of safety gear, and undergo decontamination procedures each time they left the tanks. Now, robotic tank cleaning can do it in a fraction of the time, using less water and cleaning materials. They take away the danger from human employees, and robots can work 24 hours per day.

4. Improving Sustainable Manufacturing

Robots are being used in different types of manufacturing to create more efficiency with fewer resources. Robots reduce errors, so less waste is produced.

One computer company is relying on robots to pick reusable parts out of recycled products. This type of manufacturing sustainability in speeding up the transition to Industry 4.0. Less waste is produced and the robots are able to find and separate the small parts more efficiently than human hands can.

5. Cleaning Natural Resources

Robots are also being used outside of manufacturing to help with green living. Several organizations rely on robots to clean waterways. These robots float atop the water and collect the trash as it floats. Another water-cleaning robot is able to digest pollution. The robot turns the trash into fuel that powers the boat and that controls it. Inventors are working on upscaling the robot so it can power large tankers and cargo freighters, too.

Robots are also used to clean plants that become dirty from the garbage and grime in the water. By cleaning water and flora in it, robots are protecting the lives of animals that make their homes in wetlands and coastal areas. They also help clean food supplies for people.

This infographic was created by Keyence, a provider of optical profilometers

 

Where Are All the Electric Vans?

The USA is way behind Europe when it comes to electric vehicles, with sales in Europe exceeding 1 million in 2018, while US figures stood at just 750,000. This is despite the giants of Silicon Valley, including Google, Amazon and Tesla, all making strides to offer electric vehicles to the mass market. The area where the contrast is most clear is in regards to vans. While Europe has many on offer, electric vans are almost non-existent on American roads. Where does this leave commercial enterprises looking to cut their carbon emissions?

Europe Leading the Way

Although hardly the norm, it isn’t uncommon to see fully electric commercial vehicles on European streets. German based DHL are selling over 5000 StreetScooters a year, allowing companies to offer battery powered deliveries. Meanwhile, the UK’s best selling plug in van is the Nissan e-NV200. This attractive commercial vehicle is on sale throughout Europe, selling more than 4000 a year. Unfortunately, it is not available in the US.

If you are a businessman looking to cut fossil fuel usage, while driving a commercial vehicle, then you may be better off moving to Europe. Greenhouse gases in the continent fell 22% between 1990 and 2016. The USA is struggling to keep up with the switch to renewable energy sources.

Is Tesla the Only Game in Town?

Don’t worry – it isn’t all bad news for the USA. With companies like Tesla offering their own electric pickup and semi vehicles, there could be a shift in sale trends soon. However, neither of these vehicles are yet to hit the mass market. Other electric truck or van options are few and far between. The likes of Google are focusing their efforts on creating self-drive vehicles rather than venturing into commercial electric automobiles that are wheelchair accessible as well.. 

Other Ways to Cut Carbon Emissions

Keep searching for the perfect electric van for your company. If Europe has them, then you can find one in America. In the meantime, however, consider other ways to cut your carbon footprint. For the running of any electronics, invest in solar power. This has really taken off in the USA and is one of the cheapest options available. You should also try to source products locally and remove plastic packaging from your goods.

EVs really can’t arrive soon enough, but commercial vans and trucks are yet to become mainstream. The USA needs to take a leaf out of Europe’s book and invest in electric vans. In the meantime, consider switching to solar power and taking other steps to reduce your company’s carbon emissions.

Why You Should Be Investing in Solar Panels?

The future is green, and it’s more important to get on board with it than ever before. The past year has seen countless climate change related natural disasters, from the recent devastating mega-fires in California to frequent hurricanes sweeping the US and the Caribbean.

Solar panels are becoming much more accessible, for homeowners and for businesses. Traditional roof-rack solar panels can now be installed for as little as around $3,000, and are practically a no-brainer due to the energy savings you’ll make over time (you could even totally eliminate your electricity bill). Not to mention that you’ll be doing your part to help the environment in our planet’s time of need.

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Solar panels are becoming more accessible, for homeowners and businesses

If you’ve always found chunky solar panels ugly and off-putting, business magnate Elon Musk has a solution. His electric car and solar panel company Tesla has recently unveiled invisible solar roof tiles. The tiles look exactly like normal roof slates, but capture the sun’s energy without drawing attention. These tiles are paving the way to normalizing sustainable, beautiful eco-homes.

To further convince you about seriously considering installing solar panels for your home, check out our list of top reasons why solar panels will benefit your household or business.

Slash Your Energy Bills

After the initial investment of purchasing the panels and installation, the energy produced is all yours. Even if you consume more energy than your panels can produce, you’ll make drastic savings on what you are currently paying by purchasing all your electricity from the grid.

You’ll make even more amazing savings if you live in a sunny state or country – prices in Brisbane, Australia, are particularly low to purchase and install solar panels. And as the city enjoys on average 261 days of sun per year, panels there will produce more than enough energy to power homes all year round.

Energy costs are only set to rise and rise – meaning that by investing in solar panels now, you’ll never feel the strain of your electricity bills going up again. This is an especially smart idea for business owners with fluctuating income, as you can more easily predict your cashflow with fixed energy prices.

Increase the Value of Your Home

If you are open to the possibility of moving to a new house in the future, you will be able to sell your current property at an increased value by equipping it with solar panels. It’s an attractive prospect for buyers if a potential home comes with very small or no electricity bills, so you’ll be making a huge return on your investment in this way, too.

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Note: Be wary of ‘renting your roof’ to solar panel companies if you can’t afford to purchase the panels outright. You may want to ‘go green’ in any way you can, but buying panels is by far the most practical way to enjoy the benefits. The lengthy leases that come with rental panel contracts (often 25 years) have been seen to put off mortgage lenders.

It’s highly recommended that if you want to benefit from free electricity and help the environment with solar, you should save up first to increase the value of your property – not render it unsellable.

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

As we said, it’s never been so important to do your bit to save our eco-system. The polar ice caps are melting faster than has ever been recorded, and the earth is suffering terrible effects. As well as hurricanes and fires, we’ve also experienced floods, earthquakes and landslides all over the world this year.

In the large scheme of things, installing solar panels doesn’t seem like it will help much, but if everyone did their part to be more eco-conscious, we could significantly reduce the strain of destructive fossil fuels on the environment. By equipping your property with solar panels, you will save money while making steps to saving the environment – a tough offer to turn down!

Utilizing green energy within your business has even better rewards. Marketing your business as eco-conscious and sustainable is a great way to attract customers and impress existing ones. In recent years, studies into consumer activity have found that sustainability is a big shopping priority, especially among the millennial generation. Corporate solar panels will increase your revenue by expanding your customer base AND saving your business’s energy bills.

So – what are you waiting for? Contact a solar energy company today, who will be more than happy to assist you on your green energy journey.