Ways Businesses Can Become More Sustainable

green-economyYou’ve probably heard the word “sustainable” many times by now, but you may wonder what it has to do with your business. Sustainable business means that you’ll be you’ll be increasing the odds that you company can continue indefinitely by minimizing social and environmental impacts while ensuring financial stability.  Studies have shown that sustainable business perform better financially, including one report by nonprofit CDC, reported by The Guardian that found they secure an 18% greater return on investment (ROI) than organizations that aren’t, and 67% more than companies who refuse to. How can you help your business become more sustainable?

Think Greener in Procurement Sources

One of the best, and easiest, things you can do to make your business more sustainable is to practice environmentally-friendly procurement. Take a close look at your current suppliers and make changes as necessary by using suppliers that don’t use excessive packaging or sell products that contain substances that are harmful to the environment.

As often as possible, choose recycled items made from renewable material. Ask plenty of questions when researching various suppliers to find out where their goods are coming from, including whether the manufacturer is a sustainable business.

Whenever possible, use local suppliers, rather than purchasing online.

Seek Help from an Energy Broker

An increasing number of businesses are embracing renewable energy today. Your office can be powered with a variety of alternative sources like biomass, hydropower, geothermal, solar and wind power. There are hundreds of companies that supply energy in a myriad of different ways, affecting your bottom line and sustainability.

While there are usually a few suppliers dominating any given market, many other small suppliers are known for getting more creative in their offerings. Trying to figure out which one is best for your organization can be a very difficult task which is why using an energy broker who is knowledgeable about all the complexities that come with this sector, can best analyze the energy market to provide you with the greenest, most cost-effective options.

Reduce Water Usage

Water shortages are becoming an increasingly bigger problem in many places around the world, including North America. Whether your organization is located in a drought-stricken area or not, decreasing water use will help to conserve a valuable resource and help you save money at the same time.

Instead of using a sprinkler system to keep lush lawns around the building, switch to a drip irrigation system to significantly reduce water usage or consider changing the landscaping to something more drought tolerant. Fix plumbing leaks and dripping taps and install low-flow faucet aerators in your bathrooms.

Switch From Gas To Electricity

Electricity is much easier to source sustainably than gas and oil, especially if you use solar panels to collect energy from the sun. So by switching over some of your gas-powered company owned equipment to their electric counterparts you can ultimately help your business become more sustainable.

Some equipment to consider switching could include: switching from gas powered to electric vehicles (especially for companies that rely heavily on transportation), switching from gas-powered to electric-powered riding mowers (especially for landscaping businesses). A good electric riding mower with good user ratings will cost you a couple thousand dollars but could save you money in the long term plus make your business more sustainable.

5 Reasons to Get a Countertop Water Filter in Your House

There is nothing like the convenience of fresh clean healthy water right at your tap and this is why countertop water filters are more popular than ever with today’s cash- and time-pressed homes. Not only are these cost-effective appliances a great option for the home, but those who must travel often can also take advantage of fresh clean water anywhere on the globe.

The water filtration device will provide clean water for drinking, washing and all kinds of hygienic uses. Sources of good clean water are getting harder to find and more costly each year. The filtration system works to remove fluoride, chlorine, lead, pesticides and other minerals and contaminants from the water from the city mains. This keeps you and those in your home freshly supplied with clan healthy water.

If you are interested in learning more about countertop water filters, visit https://waterfilterbase.com/best-countertop-water-filter/ and get information on the latest models that will work for your home. In the following sections we will take a look at a few more good reasons to have a countertop filtration system in your kitchen:

  1. Better Tasting Water

The water from the city mains is tired and exhausted from a long trip by the time it arrives at your kitchen sink. Just take a taste and you will find out all about the minerals, chemicals and other contaminants it picked up on the way. One of the primary functions of these countertop filtration systems is to carefully pull these unpleasant tasting flavors and pollutants from the water.

Fluoride and chlorine are important for keeping our water supplies clean, but in the home they are not as welcome. These chemicals can irritate the skin and eyes and make the drinking water taste funny. This can lead to spending a king’s ransom in bottled water or even worse, drinking less water during the day.

But, filtration systems breathe fresh life into the kitchen tap water. They also remove the burdens of chemicals and toxins and leave clean fresh tasting water for hydration purposes.

  1. Healthier Water Sources

Better tasting water will encourage more hydration which is already good for the health. But, removing all those harmful chemicals and other unnatural compounds will also keep these pollutants from accumulating in your body and affecting good health. Whether the water in your local area is pretty clean or little rusty, your countertop filtration system can ensure your health is protected.

  1. Saves Cash

Once people realize that regular city water might not be as healthy as they thought, they are faced with some decisions. Some people will prefer buying bottled water as this seems like a cheaper choice initially.

But if you plan on drinking water for the rest of your life, why not procure a constant source rather than buying bottles for the foreseeable future? Sure the cost is higher initially, but after a year or two, of buying water bottles you will have spent the same amount or more.

  1. Better for the Family

Children almost more than anyone else need a constant source of fresh clean water to keep themselves hydrated. Plenty of water in the system is essential for good hydration, elimination of toxins and brain development as well.

Unfiltered water can cause health conditions to begin at a young age. In addition to removing harmful chemicals and minerals, some of these filters can add healthy minerals to the water supply boosting nutritional value. As well.

  1. Easier Installation

There are many filters that can provide the same health and purification benefits that a countertop system will, but these have some setbacks. Whole house filters will ensure that the entire home is supplied with filtered water and then under the sink options can address the needs of one source of water.

But, in addition to being more expensive, these filtration systems requires intermediate to professional DIY skills to install effectively. Furthermore, the countertop option can be packed up and carried with you to visit grandma or to your big conference in Buenos Aires.

Conclusion

The list of benefits continues from here. Filtration systems reduce the levels of plastic bottles being bought and discarded. The counter top option doesn’t require as much maintenance as some of the other options and doesn’t occupy your faucet either. So, have a drink to your health, from your very own cost-effective countertop water filtration system.

Where To Start On Making Your Home More Self-Sufficient

Nowadays, many people are trying their best to be eco-friendly, energy saving, environmentally conscientious, and trying to lean towards a healthier lifestyle. There are many ways now to become more self-sufficient and giving the environment a break. By being self-sufficient, you’re decreasing your dependence on the environment, but using the earth’s natural resources to create your own sustainability. Being self-sufficient was originally how humankind lived for centuries, now we depend negatively on the earth’s resources, causing an imbalance and a negative impact on the earth. Whether you start small by recycling or going zero waste, some people has even attempted to create completely self-sufficient homes. Below you can find out how to start making your home more self-sufficient.

What is a self-sufficient home?

Creating a self-sufficient home doesn’t mean you need to live off the grid completely, but it means creating a home that supplies its own energy, water, food and sewage. They’re considered completely autonomous and named the ultimate green living dwellings. You can either build your own self-sufficient home, or make a few changes around your existing home; anything is doable.

Benefits of a self-sufficient home

Needless to say, establishing a self-sufficient home means you reduce your carbon footprint and energy consumption that have a negative impact on the environment. You’re also living a much more financially independent and bill-free lifestyle as you’re making your own resources. Being self-sufficient also develops and sharpens your skills, something that you can pass on to your children by allowing them to be more independent and practical.

Creating a self-sufficient home

In order to make improvements around your home to become more self-sufficient, you need to start with the simplest tasks and make your way towards the most difficult ones as you get the hang of it. Below are some ways you can start establishing a self-sufficient home:

Alternative energy

Save a ton of energy consumption by using alternative energy methods. Switching to renewable energy like solar power may seem a little costly at first, but it’s extremely beneficial in the long run. Since you’re creating your own energy, it will save you a lot of money by not having to pay for electricity.  You can start by installing solar panels called Photovoltaic (PV) on the roof, but make sure it’s in an area that gets undisrupted sunlight all year long. PV uses devices that generate electricity from saving up direct sunlight all day. You can also check the many other ways you can use solar energy through Beupp.com as they provide comprehensive information on alternative energy solutions.

Heating systems

Alternative heating options can be done through solar energy as well. Solar heating is capable of heating your water and saving energy. Water heating systems are achieved with a solar collector, insulated piping and a hot water storage tank. A self-sufficient home is one that provides itself with its own heat, and so you can allow your home to create heat by doing it traditionally. Install a wood burning stove as it’s an excellent way to save energy and provide warmth.

Lighting

Even though you’re already getting your electricity from renewable energy like solar energy, but the use of passive lighting is another way to be self-sufficient throughout the day. You can remodel your window arrangement to design high windows and skylights to get as much sunlight throughout the day as you can. At night, use LED light bulbs that last longer, require less energy as well as not overheat your home.

Growing your own food

One of the major achievements of being self-sufficient is by growing your own organic food. Consider turning your backyard into a small greenhouse for food production or create a vegetable patch. Start small, choose your favorite herbs, fruits and vegetables and start gardening! If your home can allow it, consider having a small chicken coop for meat and egg supply as well as a cow or goat for dairy products.

Water management

Although it might seem difficult to secure an independent water supply, it’s still doable. Ideally, if you’re in a remote location, digging up a well will be highly beneficial. If not, you can go the renewable way and collect rainwater to be used for many things. Install a rain collecting system that leads to a filtration system to be able to drink this water, shower or use for laundry. Once this water is used once, it’s still reusable once more and that is called ‘grey water.’ Grey water is filtered once again and can be used to water your vegetable patch.

Plan for the future

Creating a self-sufficient home not only gives you the necessary skills to become practical and independent but it benefits the environment greatly. It may seem like a lot of work at first, but the rewards are more worthy. Establishing a green life will preserve the environment for future generations to come.

Tips to Make Your Bathroom More Energy-Efficient

The recent intense and repeated heat-waves suggest that we stop taking our environment for granted. In fact, it is now high time for us to ‘man up’ and pay attention to our environmental responsibilities so that our planet can regain its much-needed equilibrium. Today we live in an otherwise environmentally conscious era.  So it is imperative that we all pay due attention to our overall energy usage.

There is sound reasoning behind this strategy. In fact, essentially lowering our overall use of energy means that we can reduce our ‘environmental footprint,’ that is, the overall impact of our energy usage on not just the environment alone, but also lessen the burden on our wallets as well.

It is pertinent to note that the bathroom is one of the single most wasteful places in the house, in terms of prolonged energy usage.

When you take those long, warm sand luxuries showers, Flush the commode all too frequently or have plenty of dripping faucets, then all of these activities conspire and contribute towards putting a substantial dent in your wallet in the form of hefty bills, that just keep racking up at the far end of the month.

Now, the question arises how precisely, can we go about substantially reducing this almost inevitable use of such energy?

Making a few small changes is not very difficult but doing so can help you save a ton in terms of energy-related bills. Here is how:

Changing the shower head as well as sink mixer

Changing to a high-efficiency showerhead and sink mixer and faucet combo can effectively slice your shower and shave water consumption by half. As a matter of fact, newer models of faucets and showerheads can now easily provide the same sense of luxurious ‘feel’ of various other models while simultaneously using considerably less energy, in the bargain.

With the help of these models, you will not only be able to enjoy the same showers you had before but will be able to tell the difference only and only when you get your water bill at the end of the month!

Saving electricity with energy savers and solar panels

Many, if not most people are completely unaware of the fact that those extra bright lights above their sinks are actually power guzzlers, in every sense of the term. This is why it would be prudent to figure out if there are actually energy efficient light bulbs in your bathroom, or not.

The thing is that most people use at least 4 to 5 light bulbs in their bathrooms to make the place nice and bright. However, not using energy savers can be a huge waste of energy. This wastage can efficiently be curbed with energy efficient bulbs as well. It will be well worth it, since it is possible to curb energy usage by as much as 80% when using energy savers, in lieu of ordinary bulbs as such. If you want to go further into the picture, then you can also opt for solar panels to run your bathroom lights.

Curtail these really bad energies wasting habits

From using a hair dryer to an electric razor and trimmer combo, the odds are that the average house owner probably uses a lot of electrical appliances in the washroom on a more or less daily basis. If such is the case with you as well, then you should always unplug every device once you are done using it to see the huge amount of energy savings on the next monthly bill that you receive.

A rule of thumb: Even if the appliance has been powered off, it will nevertheless still continue to consume minute amounts of energy. This is why it is standard best practice to unplug the devices from the mains outlets to ensure that there is no additional drain on your power resources.

Always turn the faucet off whenever you can

One of the most harmful things you can do while being in the washroom is to keep the water running at full blast while you wash your hands and face or brush your teeth. The prudent thing to do is to turn off the water tap when you do not need all that water. Remember, should you leave the water running even as you brush your teeth, then you will almost certainly end up using between an estimated 4 to 5 gallons of water, every time you do so.

Now, just imagine that you repeat this behavior at least three times a day each and every time, you either wash your hand and face or brush your teeth. That is an estimated 12 to 15 gallons of precious water wasted just because you leave the faucet open.

Being environmentally responsible means being completely conscious of all of your bathroom related energy usage, so that you know when you should turn off the tap and save your water supply (and decrease your water bills as well, in the bargain).

Get into the shower when you open the faucet

If you are guilty of opening the shower and letting the water flow while you prepare breakfast or try to find your socks, when going for work, then this is something that you should really take care of, post haste.  Apart from that, you can also get a smart meter installed so as to keep track of your energy usage.

Conclusion

In the light of the above, we can safely conclude that taking care of these small issues can lead to great benefits not just for the environment, but also decrease your power bill burden as well.  So whether you are renovating your home or moving to a new house, these ideas can help you make your bathrooms more energy efficient.

Renewable Energy Production in Australia: The Plan to Reduce Coal Use

Recently there has been a lot of talk in how a country can improve their ecological footstep. One way of doing so is definitely changing the way the respective country produces its energy. Australia has recently been headlining the news in regard to the renewable energy situation. Australia’s energy production is looking towards a new future with a specific aim on solar and wind power.

If Australia plans on keeping its water resource at a steady level, it has got to go from its use of coal to renewable sources. Thanks to its abundance in both solar and wind energy, Australia has quite the advantage when it comes to green energy production possibilities.

Unfortunately though due to their geographic position, the water supply is limited for the country. So much so, that the coal industry was taking a toll on the water supply due to the large quantities of water needed when producing energy from coal. As a result, moving over to wind and solar energy fueled productions is a viable option seeing how both respective energy productions do not require water.

The news that Australia was listed as a “water-stressed company” was released by the World Resource Institute; a non-profit organization based in Washington D.C. Moreover, on this past May 13th The Sydney Morning Herald also wrote that 73% of Australia’s electricity needs were met by the use of coal. In respect to these findings and Australia’s continuous growth, it is imperative that new resources are used for energy production.

Australia has been making headlines in renewable energy sector.

Fortunately, Australia’s geography is a big resource as well when it comes to studying the possibilities of implementing the new energy productions. It was in fact calculated that the dimensions of the solar power farm needed to meet the country’s demands would result in occupying only 0.1% of Australia’s total land mass; I think we can all agree on the fact that that land could be spared for a solar farm.

And on that note, the government is taking the matter seriously, and has called upon everybody to try and better the situation. The incentives call upon small businesses and households as well by reminding them that there are the possibilities of installing their own solar panels, heat pumps, solar water heaters, and more.

Thanks to the various incentives, the Green Energy Council has stated that there is a lot of activity in the sector, including at least 58 different projects focused on implementing the renewable energy sources. As a consequence of these projects, the council has also stated that there would be an income of $10 billion in investments, 6,141 new jobs, and 5,482 megawatts of renewable energy capacity. Definitely great numbers to look forward to!

How to Choose Weather-Resistant Siding for your Home

There used to be only a couple of options available to cover the exterior of your home. Nowadays, new products are hitting the market with fervor. The problem is that with added options come both advantages and disadvantages. It is no longer just a question of wood, aluminum, or vinyl siding. Now you have better and longer-lasting materials to choose from, but the price can vary significantly, and it can become overwhelming to choose a material based on budget, weather conditions and aesthetic desire.

weather-siding

The biggest problem with exterior siding, especially in warm or humid regions, is going to be its weather resilience. Water build-up is going to be one of your biggest enemies.

There are four types of siding to choose from. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages. If you are limited either by your climate or the money you must spend, below is a breakdown from farming tips canada, to help explain which might be the best for your area, seeing as how the harshest home sidings are tested on the farm.

Vinyl siding

Vinyl siding is going to be one of the least-expensive materials you can put on the exterior of your home. That makes it one of the most common types of materials used. The advantages to vinyl siding aren’t just the price. It is impervious to water and many insects.

The biggest disadvantage is that it can melt, burn or crack. In high winds, it can also make rattling noises. Also, if you are going for an upscale look, vinyl doesn’t have the same aesthetic appeal that other siding materials can deliver, and it typically isn’t used on higher-priced homes.

Plastic siding

Plastic siding is a relatively new alternative. The advantage of plastic siding is that it can resemble more expensive roofing material and requires very little upkeep. It is much thicker than its vinyl alternative, but that makes it more expensive.

Although it’s costlier, if you are looking for a good weather-resistant siding, it is a grade above vinyl and may save you money in the long term as it is less prone to damage or necessary repairs.

Fiber cement siding

Fiber cement siding is also a new material on the market. It is typically a blend of cellulose, sand and cement and gives a much more aesthetically appealing look to the house. It looks much more like real wood than both plastic and vinyl. Its advantages are that it is insect- and fire-resistant. However, if you live in a harsh climate, it is probably not going to be your best choice.

Plastic siding is one of best options for weather-resistant conditions

Plastic siding is one of best options for weather-resistant conditions

Water that can accumulate from the freeze-thaw cycle can damage the siding if you don’t maintain it correctly by painting it with water-resilient paint. You can buy it pre-painted, but it is much costlier and the colors that you must choose from can be somewhat limited. The pre-factory paints tend to last longer. Although higher-maintenance than plastic and vinyl siding, it still requires less maintenance than wood siding.

Wood siding

Wood shingles and clapboard are considered the most aesthetically pleasing materials for your siding. They are also going to be the costliest and require the most maintenance. Wood siding is easily attached using a coil siding nailer and they have a traditional charm that you can’t get from other materials. Clapboard is going to be less expensive than wood siding, but it is still pricier than other alternatives such as vinyl, plastic and cement board.

Wood shingles are not going to be the best weather-resistant materials for harsh conditions. It is not uncommon for them to succumb to insects, be less fire-resistant and to twist or warp when subjected to harsh climates. Overall, it requires the most maintenance too. Painting frequently is a must. Although being capable of being factory-primed and painted, it will take periodic maintenance to keep it looking good and safe from exterior conditions.

Conclusion

Of all the choices, available, plastic siding may be the best for weather-resistant conditions. Offering you a hardy material, it can stand up to a lot. It may not be as aesthetically appealing as the other options, but you don’t have to worry about maintaining it or having to replace it. Whether budget is an issue or not, plastic siding offers the best protection against the harsh conditions of nature.

Tips to Choose the Budget-Friendly System of Energy

Newly arrived at your new home, the first thing is to make sure that you are going to pay the bill for the area that is in your use. That’s why the first day in your new home is advisable to take the meter reading. Good time to introduce yourself to the president of the community … or whoever wants to keep the keys of the accounting room. This advice also applies to gas, water, and other supplies whether it’s new construction or used housing, you should take a meter reading.  Look for iselect energy website! When moving, the first thing is to take note of the different counters (light, water, gas) in order to take responsibility only for what you are going to consume.

When moving, the first thing is to take note of the different counters (light, water, gas) in order to take responsibility only for what you are going to consume.

Your freedom of choice is sacred

It is very important that you know that you are always entitled to choose your electric company freely. You decide you send.  You have bought a house, or you are renting, this is a right of every consumer to choose the budget-friendly ways for electricity consumption. It is so legitimate that you are interested in changing or continuing with the electric company that you are hired.

What can you choose?

 The company that will send your electricity bill, that is, the electric energy trader.

What can you not choose?

The company that is responsible for providing the energy to your home, that is, the distributor. You do not choose it because you have to choose the one that corresponds to your place of residence.

When you arrive at a new house, it may happen that:

  1. The light is discharged, and both the power and the rate seem appropriate:

If so, and if you want to continue being a client of the same marketer, all you have to do is change the owner of the contract. This procedure is simple, fast and free.

  1. The light is discharged, but the power seems excessive or insufficient

You will have to make a change of power. This procedure costs money, although lowering the power can save a lot on your bill.

  1. The electricity connection is registered, but you want to change the tariff

When you arrive, you can “inherit” a contract with a certain company and a certain rate. If what you find does not convince you, you are free to change your electric energy provider. It is your choice, which service you want to choose for your home.

  1. The light has no connection to the electricity network

If your supply point has not been used for more than 3 years, this procedure costs money. The contract of registration is processed with the distributor, but it is the distributor that installs the meter and activates the supply. For this reason, the payment of this procedure will be made to the distributor in the first invoice.

The payment procedure for the efficient electricity providers is very simple and easy for the consumers. You can pay your bills and others online via credit and debit card.

Green SMEs: Catalyst for Green Economy

Green SMEsWith ‘green’ being the buzzword across all industries, greening of the business sector and development of green skills has assumed greater importance all over the world. SMEs, startups and ecopreneurs are playing a vital role in the transition to a low-carbon economy by developing new green business models for different industrial sectors. Infact, young and small firms are emerging as main drivers of radical eco-innovation in the industrial and services sectors.

What are Green SMEs

Green SMEs adopt green processes and/or those producing green goods using green production inputs. A judicious exploitation of techno-commercial opportunities and redevelopment of business models, often neglected by established companies, have been the major hallmarks of green SMEs.

For example, SMEs operating in eco-design, green architecture, renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainability are spearheading the transition to green economy across a wide range of industries. The path to green economy is achieved by making use of production, technology and management practices of green SMEs. Impact investment platforms, such as Swell Investing, allows individuals to invest in environmentally sustainable companies.

Categories of Green Industries

Environmental Protection Resource Management
Protection of ambient air Water management
Protection of climate Management of forest resources
Wastewater management Management of flora and fauna
Waste management Energy management
Noise and vibration abatement Management of minerals
Protection of biodiversity and landscape Eco-construction
Protection against radiation Natural resource management activities
Protection of soil, groundwater and surface water Eco-tourism
Environmental Monitoring and Instrumentation Organic agriculture
Research and Development Research and Development

Key Drivers

The key motivations for a green entrepreneur are to exploit the market opportunity and to promote environmental sustainability. A green business help in the implementation of innovative solutions, competes with established markets and creates new market niches. Green entrepreneurs are a role model for one and all as they combine environmental performance with market targets and profit outcomes, thus contributing to the expansion of green markets.

Some of the popular areas in which small green businesses have been historically successful are renewable energy production (solar, wind and biomass), smart metering, building retrofitting, hybrid cars and waste recycling.

As far as established green industries (such as waste management and wastewater treatment) are concerned, large companies tend to dominate, however SMEs and start-ups can make a mark if they can introduce innovative processes and systems. Eco-friendly transformation of existing practices is another attractive pathway for SMEs to participate in the green economy.

The Way Forward

Policy interventions for supporting green SMEs, especially in developing nations, are urgently required to overcome major barriers, including knowledge-sharing, raising environmental awareness, enhancing financial support, supporting skill development and skill formation, improving market access and implementing green taxation.

In recent decades, entrepreneurship in developing world has been increasing at a rapid pace which should be channeled towards addressing water, energy, environment and waste management challenges, thereby converting environmental constraints into business opportunities.