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, great deals on https://www.bellabathrooms.co.uk/

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.

How Does a Solar Pool Heater Work?

One can greatly reduce the swimming pool by installing a solar pool heater. Solar pool heaters are cost-effective whether you are using a gas or heat pump pool heaters. Individuals using solar pool heaters claim they have a low operating cost.  Most pool owners do not understand how solar pool heaters work and that that is why we have prepared this guide. Read on to learn more about how solar pool heaters work.

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Basics of Solar Pool Heater

To understand how solar pool heaters work, it is best to start looking at major components of solar pool heating systems.

  • A pump– Pumps help circulates water through the collector and filter and back to the pool.
  • A solar collector– A collector is a device through which pool water is circulated for it to be heated by solar energy.
  • A filter– Before water is pumped through the collector, it’s vital to remove any leaves, debris, and dirt present. A filter helps get rid of any occurring debris.
  • Dirty filters use a lot of power to circulate the water. In order to maintain a solar pool effectively, you need to ensure that the cartridge filter is clean. Check https://roboticpoolcleanerscompared.com/ for more tips on how to maintain filters for optimal functioning.
  • A flow control valve– when you have plans to install a solar pool heater, one requires an automatic or manual device to divert water to the solar collector.

Working of a Solar Pool Heater

Pool water is pumped to the collector. Before water gets to the collector, it goes through a filter to remove any leaves, debris, and dirt.  In the solar collector, the water is heated by the sun before it’s returned to the pool.  If you live in a hot climate area, the collector can be used to cool the pool during summer months.  This is possible if you circulate water through the collector at night.

With a flow control valve, water is diverted to the collector the moment the collector temperature is higher than that of the pool.  However, when the collector temperature is equal to the pool’s temperature, the filtered water only bypasses the collector before it’s returned to the pool.

working-solar-pool-heater

Solar pool collectors vary in type and material used depending on your climate and also how you purpose to use the collector.  Unglazed collector systems are best when you mainly use your pool when the temperature is above the freezing point.  These types of collectors do not have a glass covering (The glazing). Such collectors are made of heavy plastic treated with UV light inhibitors or heavy-duty rubbers.

Due to their inexpensive designs and parts, unglazed collectors are less expensive when compared to their glazed counterparts.  If you have an indoor pool, unglazed collectors are also effective, especially when designed to drain back to the pool when they not in use.

Tips to improve

Unglazed collectors are the best option considering they are cost-effective and easy to install.  Note the type of collector you use in your pool highly influences how effective your solar pool heater is. Now that you understand unglazed pool heaters are unmatched when it comes to performance let’s now look at how to buy the best solar pool heater.

Selecting the right collector can be a daunting task but for the best results, make sure you choose the right heater. Most people buy the right solar pool heater, which makes the whole process a waste of time and money. To correct this problem, lets us look at how one should select a solar pool heater.

How to Select the Right Solar Pool Heater?

Buying a solar pool heater can be an expensive exercise considering it might cost you between $3,000 and $4,000.  Once you install a good solar heater, it provides a payback of 7 to years depending on the quality of the solar and how it was installed among other factors.

Before you buy and install any solar heating system, make sure you look into the following

  • Evaluate your site’s solar resource – This is an important consideration bearing in mind the effectiveness of a solar pool heater depends on the amount of solar energy that reaches your pool.
  • Sizing a solar pool heater – The size of a solar pool heating system is determined by several factors.  For example, you need to consider your pool size, length of the swimming season, collector efficiency, desired pool temperature, and average regional temperatures.
  • Sitting a solar pool heating system on a collector – This is another major factor one should look at considering collectors have to be mounted on roofs or anywhere near the pool for better orientation and exposure.
  • Checking the efficiency of the solar pool heater – one should also consider how efficient a given heater is before buying by checking the heater’s thermal performance rating.  A thermal performance rating is either measured in Btu (British thermal unit) or megajoules (MJ) per square meter.
  • Comparing solar swimming pool heating system cost – Before making a purchase, one should estimate and compare the cost associated with different solar heater models.  To estimate and compare cost, one should look at the total installation cost, the number of collector panels required to heat your pool, and a collector’s thermal performance rating.
  • Building codes and costs – one should also take time to consider installation costs before buying a solar pool heater.
  • Installation and maintenance – One should also be considerate about how a solar pool heating system will be installed before buying. The installation process depends on several factors such as climate, building codes requirements, and safety issues. After installation, one should also consider how the system will be maintained considering proper maintenance; solar pool heaters can run smoothly for 5-10 years.

For best results, there are a few practices adopted when installing a solar pool heater. One of these practices involves using unglazed collectors which are cheap yet effective. Additionally, pool owners are advised to go for top-rated solar pool heaters available on sale.

Tool Required for Installation

When installing a solar pool heater, there are several tools one should use.  Most of these tools are also vital as they highly influence how a solar pool heater works.   These tools include:

  • A solar collector
  • A filter
  • A pump
  • A flow control valve

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 cost of siding 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 to help explain which might be the best for your area, seeing as how the harshest home sidings are tested on the farm. Read to know more about how to choose weather-resistant siding for your home:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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 siding replacement. Whether budget is an issue or not, plastic siding offers the best protection against the harsh conditions of nature.

Choose the Budget-Friendly Energy System for Your New Home

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 of your energy system. 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.

energy-conservation-students

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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

The Advantages of Eco-Friendly Energy Sources

You’ve heard all about it before: global warming and pollution have been steadily impacting our planet little by little each year. Sure, we’ve all probably been asked to write an essay about how to help solve our environmental problems, but do we really live our lives as sustainably as we should?

With all the talks about climate change, one of the most significant changes consumers can make is to switch to renewable energy. True enough, its growing popularity has made it the fastest-growing energy source in the country. You might be thinking, “Does the source of my electricity really matter?” The answer is a resounding yes! To prove it to you, we’ve rounded up the advantages of eco-friendly energy sources down below.

1. It Reduces Greenhouse Gases

Using traditional energy creates a huge environmental impact on air, water, and land resources. Currently, the world mainly produces electricity through coal and gas—two of the biggest contributors to the rising levels of CO2 on the planet.

solar-energy-diy

The accumulated greenhouse gas is responsible for the greenhouse effect, increasing the earth’s average surface temperature. Additionally, this temperature change disrupts the ecosystem,  causing more plant and animal species to decline in number, ultimately affecting our biodiversity.

In contrast, the use of renewable energy (e.g., solar, geothermal, biomass) does not require burning fossil fuels. Thus, it drives down carbon emission and significantly reduces the total amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.

2. It Gets Cheaper Every Year

The growing popularity of eco-friendly energy sources has resulted in a lot of positive changes for the economy. For instance, at least two-thirds of the world now offer clean energy as a cheaper alternative to fossil fuels.

To add to that, Eligo Energy’s report discovered that 65% of Americans are willing to pay for green electricity despite it being more expensive. Due to the increased investments in new technology and government subsidies, renewable energy is steadily becoming more affordable.

Moreover, renewables, like solar and wind energy, do not have price hikes. The same cannot be said for fossil fuels which become more expensive over time. Finite resources also have extreme market volatility, something that companies have no control over. Effective policies can be done easier around renewable energy, as it offers long-term stability in the market.

3. It’s Beneficial to Your Health

It’s no secret that factories powered by coal produce dark smoke that rises to the sky. What’s worse, this smoke contains traces of mercury, arsenic, and sulfur dioxide—all toxic pollutants that pose many dangers to public health.

The smog and air pollution make us more vulnerable to respiratory diseases like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and lung cancer. WHO even estimated that seven million lives are lost each year due to air pollution.

air-pollution-repurcussions

Choosing to make use of renewables will definitely be the healthier option, as it decreases the need for more coal to be burned. Green energy answers the problem of air pollution and will pave the way for improved air quality, saving millions of lives worldwide.

4. It Saves a Lot of Water

While the earth is mainly made up of water, only a very few percent of that is usable for us humans. Therefore, water is a precious commodity we should conserve. However, power plants use hundreds of thousands of gallons of water just to generate electricity. Likewise,  the extraction and production of fossil fuels rely on a lot of water too.

drone-wind-farms

Switching to green electricity greatly helps in conserving water. For instance, wind and solar energy plants barely need water to operate; the occasional washing of solar panels and turbine planes are most probably the only times you’ll ever need water. Indeed, renewable energy sources are a long-term water-saving solution.

5. It Provides Job Opportunities

As more companies and governments venture into increasing the accessibility of green energy, more jobs have been opened to workers around the globe. In fact, these opportunities are also available for those without college degrees! Building factories, solar panels, and wind turbines are great examples of the many jobs high in demand on the market right now.

solar-rebates-faqs

There is also a growing need for specialists and experts. Engineers, financial analysts, renewable energy consultants, and even farmers are all needed to study the endless possibilities of clean energy for different industries.

Automakers, for example, have invested in renewables to create electric-powered vehicles. Apart from electrical and mechanical engineers, they will have to hire more assembly line workers. As these newer cars become more efficient, it won’t be soon enough for consumers to choose them over the traditional gas-fueled vehicles.

Conclusion

As climate change takes a toll on the world, we have to make significant changes to our ways before it’s too late. Fortunately, our technologies have advanced enough to be able to generate electricity from eco-friendly sources.

With all the advantages it brings, green energy is predicted to run the world a few decades from now. Indeed, renewables are the energy of the future, and it’s high time for you to make the right switch.

5 Sustainable Gardening Practices for a Greener Garden

There’s no question that there is quite a bit of buzz around organic and sustainable gardening along with permaculture. Everyone wants access to safe veggies, fruits and even eggs, which means that many of the older “Victorian” style practices of gardening and keeping animals and poultry are really making a comeback. There are more and more people practicing urban agriculture in backyards and vacant lots across the country.

If you are interested in joining this group of eco-conscious individuals, then be sure to implement the top sustainable gardening ideas found here.

1. Reduce the Size of Your Lawn

Rather than having your entire property covered in grass and plants, consider adding more hardscape fixtures as time passes. As you do this, you can minimize the upkeep, water, and other maintenance that your lawn needs. It will also minimize the tools that you need to care for your garden and make the use of smaller, more green hand tools, like the ones at Easy Digging, a viable option when it comes to caring for your lawn.

2. Gather Water On-Site

In the past, people would say that “rainwater does magic on plants.” This is a phrase that has some truth to it. There is nothing quite as effective as rainwater when it comes to encouraging your garden to grow. Rather than letting the water runoff your property before it can soak in, why not gather some and use it for your plants. This is a great way to reduce the amount of water that you have to use from public or drilled sources, thus helping with water conservation.

3. Create a Compost Pile

You can create your own compost pile by using non-meat kitchen scraps and other plant materials. When done properly, you can create rich black soil. Rather than putting grass clippings and leaves in your garbage, add them to your compost, too. If you don’t want to start this from scratch, you can purchase a “starter” compost pile and then add to it.

benefits-composting

4. Mulch with the Materials You Have Available

You can mulch with the materials that are readily available to you, such as wood chips, pine needles, and leaves. These are going to help keep the soil moist while enriching it and minimizing the presence of weeds. Avoid using cypress much because this is usually made from grinding and harvesting younger trees which is not a sustainable gardening method.

5. Use Native Plants

Only use the plants that are native to your area. This is going to help ensure they can grow with little intervention from you.

Are You Using Sustainable Gardening Practices?

As you can see, there are several ways you can make your gardening efforts more sustainable and more eco-friendly. Consider implementing the tips here and see how your property can flourish while you are still doing something good for the planet. It’s a win-win situation that will help you save time, money, and effort while still having a beautiful lawn.

Make Your Pool More Sustainable Now!

The word sustainable has no single definition since its meaning changes to different people over time. But simply put, sustainability is the use of practices that creates the least blueprint to the environment. When you choose materials or implement policies that promote environmental awareness, you are practicing sustainability.

A pool is not a pool without water, electricity, and chemicals for its maintenance and operation. With this in mind, is it possible to own a pool without damaging the environment?

The answer is yes. There are many ways to have a highly sustainable pool. Here are some of them:

swimming pool maintenance

1. Use water-neutral method

Water-neutral pools have water-saving and water-harvesting devices like water reservoirs to collect rainwater that can replenish the pool. Another way to save water is by installing backwash-minimization systems to reduce the amount of water needed to maintain the swimming pool. The upfront cost for buying water-neutral devices can be expensive, but considering the benefits they offer, they are practical tools in the long run.

2. Use eco-friendly technologies

Another way to make your pool greener is to use eco-friendly accessories such as LED lights instead of the usual halogen bulbs. LED lights use less power than other types of lamps. This means that they consume less electricity too, which means it lets you save on money. They are also easier to automate, so you can set a timer for them through your mobile phone. If you have older pools that come with halogen lamps, you may consider changing them for LED bulbs.

3. Harness the power of the sun

There is nothing more satisfying than taking a dip in a warm pool. However, running your pool heater consumes a lot of electricity which causes a surge in your electric bill. Installing additional 2-3KW solar panels on top of the pool heater can cover the cost of running pool accessories. You can connect the pool pump to the solar panel and let it run between 10 am to 3 pm while the sun is up. This solar pool setup will save you a lot of money later on.

If there is a downside to installing a solar panel, it’s the fact that it needs ample space and the right location where it can get a lot of sun rays.

4. Use a thermal pool cover or solar “bubble blanket”

One of the simplest ways to prevent pool heat loss is to cover the pool when not used. Pool covers help in heat retention, reduces evaporation, lessens the need to top up the pool, and maintains chemical balance.  Thermal covers are specially designed to withstand strong UV, which helps retain the heat more. Thermal blankets with the highest R-value work best in heat retention.

5. Keep your pool clean

Cleaning the pool is a lifetime responsibility. Skimming the pool to remove visible objects, vacuuming the walls and floor to loosen up dirt and algae, and using chemicals to remove bacteria and other microscopic organisms are all part of the cleaning process.

Typically, pool cleaning needs your pool pump and water filtration to run to replenish the pool and backwash the filter to remove the debris. However, there is a better way to clean your pool without wasting a lot of water and electricity.

swimming pool maintenance

Using an automatic pool cleaner (also known as pool vacuum) to maintain the water’s good condition is efficient and eco-friendly. A pool robot saves a lot on electricity since it has its own pump and filtration system, meaning you don’t need to run the pool system while cleaning. A pool vacuum has four different types: suction-side, pressure-side, pressure with booster pump, and robotic.

Some of the best pool cleaners only use the same amount of energy as a standard light bulb or about 5 cents per hour. If it takes three hours for them to clean, it translates to an additional 15 cents on your electric bill. This amount is definitely lower compared to running the pool’s pump and filter at the same time.

A pool robot also comes with filters for collecting debris. The dirt is trapped inside the device, not in the pool’s filter system. This process reduces the need to apply chemicals and performs backwashing to clean the pool’s ducts and filter system.

Green SMEs: Catalyst for Green Economy

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

Green SMEs

What are Green SMEs

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

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

Categories of Green Industries

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.

Growing Cannabis In An Energy Efficient Way

The medical and recreational cannabis industries are continuously growing and with more and more countries deciding to legalise, many are turning to growing their own cannabis.

However, one downside can be the energy it takes to power the lighting, heating, pumps and ventilation needed to successfully grow a cannabis plant. In fact, did you know that on average, producing one pound of cannabis requires about 2,000 kWh; the same amount of which the average household will use in two and a half months!

Luckily, in the article below, we have put together a range of methods you can use to save energy, money while growing cannabis. This has been written in collaboration with 2 Fast 4 Buds, leading providers of autoflowering cannabis seeds.

cannabis

Use LED Lights

LED lights are a much more energy efficient option, compared to other types of lighting. Therefore, if you are looking to cut down on your energy usage and therefore costs, they’re a great choice to make!

They won’t produce as much heat as other lights and will also cool down much quicker, which goes even further in reducing your energy costs. What’s more, more often than not LEDs will have a light spectrum which is perfect for your plants needs.

Overall, choosing LED grow lights means higher efficiency because less power is converted into heat and into a light spectrum of which your plant doesn’t fully appreciate.

Adjust the Size of your Grow to Your Needs

By adjusting how many cannabis plants you are growing to how much you actually need, you can make a big impact on your energy costs. In fact, this is by far one of the most effective ways to reduce your energy consumption.

For example, if you are using around 30g of cannabis a month, one single autoflower plant can produce this amount in its life cycle of 8 weeks. Therefore, by having four plants, you can ensure that you’re well stocked.

Try to perfectly match how much energy you use on your plants with the amount you need. You can also adjust lighting without having to move plants by looking for light movers. This allows you to setup lighting that can be adjusted without having to adjust the plants making lighting more portable.

Improve Your Insulation

If the space in which you are growing your cannabis isn’t properly insulated, then you will be wasting a huge amount of energy. This especially applies if you are using a heater or an air conditioner to help keep the space at the right temperature.

To ensure that your space is properly insulated, you want to use styrofoam wall panelling to insulate doors and windows and ensure that any piping in the room is properly insulated. This will help to ensure that you aren’t unnecessarily running your air conditioner or heater.

Optimise Your Climate Control

It’s also important to remember that you don’t need to constantly run your heaters, coolers and (de)humidifiers on full blast. In fact, many professional greenhouse growers will choose to measure a value known vapour pressure deficit or VPD. VPD will indicate the difference between the amount of moisture in the air and how much moisture the air can hold when it is saturated. This will then allow you to achieve the optimal climate for your plants, benefiting their health and also your energy usage.

You could also consider an integrated climate control system. Whilst this involves much more than just having a heater or air conditioner, an ICCS will intelligently control all of your growing equipment. For example, the system could temporarily switch off your exhausts to ensure that you aren’t wasting CO2 unnecessarily.

Sometimes, however simple methods prevail when optimising the climate for your plants. You could just run an ordinary standing fan or open a window or door to let fresh air in, and this could be enough for you to save on additional cooling methods.

Monitor Your Energy Consumption

If you are looking to cut down on the amount of energy you are using to grow cannabis, it is important to keep track of exactly how much energy you are using. From this you will be able to formulate a plan to control consumption and actually make adequate changes.

Establishing energy-spending targets of which you plan to achieve are a great starting point. However before you do this, make sure you know how much your energy costs per KW/h and how much energy each individual piece of equipment uses. Not knowing this will mean that the whole process will essentially be a guessing game, making saving energy much more difficult.

Take a look at your energy consumption in previous months and see whether you can improve on this. Even if you are making small changes, these can go a long way.

Once you understand how much energy you are using and how much is essentially going to waste, then you can make appropriate changes. This can include switching your grow lights for LEDs, reducing your light hours, installing climate control and so on.

indoor-gardening-grow-lights

After making these changes, make sure to check as to whether you’re actually hitting your previously set goals and therefore whether your energy-saving tactics are actually working. IF you find that improvements are small, think of it as an opportunity to make more changes, whether that’s making more tweaks or consulting an expert.

Saving More Water

Being energy efficient isn’t just about cutting down how much electricity you use, it’s also about lowering your overall environmental footprint. Another great way to do this is by saving water.

Make sure to water your plants only when they need it. Lifting up your pots can help you to determine how much water is in there. Make sure to only water the plants when the pots are light. Even better, set up specialised sensors to do this for you!

Whilst hand watering may not seem hard, overwatering is an incredibly easy mistake to make. Using an irrigation system can ensure that water waste is greatly reduced and benefit the overall health of your cannabis plants.

Another great way to save water is by stopping ‘drain-to-water’ watering and choosing to grow your plants hydroponically. Hydroponic systems use tanks to recirculate water and therefore nutrients, resulting in significant water savings. These systems are also much more environmentally friendly as they don’t waste large quantities of water and nutrients.

Regular Maintenance

When growing cannabis, you want to ensure that all of your equipment is working at its best and the only way to ensure this is by performing regular maintenance.

If you own either an irrigation or hydroponic system, you want to ensure that you are cleaning it and replacing filters and valves regularly. Your system will also require a cleaning ‘flush’ once in a while.

Likewise, you will want to keep a grow room as clean as possible, to reduce the likelihood of equipment failures.

Grow Outside

If it is available to you, moving your plants outdoors could effectively remove the costs of operating an indoor growing system.

If you want to go a step further, investing in a greenhouse could be well worth it. A greenhouse will provide both you and your plants with all of the benefits of growing indoors, along with those of growing outdoors!

No matter how you do it, it is actually fairly easy to make your cannabis growing system more energy efficient. By no means will you have to sacrifice on the quality of your plant and you’ll benefit from a lower energy bill at the end of the day!

Water Conservation: 8 Easy Ways to Save Water at Your Home

The importance of saving water cannot be understated, especially as many countries around the world are facing drought conditions. Of course, there is an endless list of small changes you can make as a homeowner to improve the water-saving efficiency of your home, and they add up to a potentially significant difference in the long-term.

1. Repurpose Water

A staggering amount of water literally goes down the drain each day, when there are plenty of smart, safe ways to conserve as much of it as possible. Your bathroom is a key contributor to single-use wastage, and by keeping a container on the floor of your shower you can collect liters with each use. Meanwhile, in the kitchen, even seemingly small things like using a container to catch the water used in washing fresh produce can make a difference over time.

2. Get Smart About Lawn Care

It’s a common misconception that maintaining a healthy lawn requires a plentiful supply of water. Even during water-restricted periods, keeping your grass green is possible – you just have to get clever about your lawn care practices. Depending on the severity of restrictions, you may only be allowed to water your garden and lawn on certain days and at set times of day, and this will probably be enough, as long as you follow a few guidelines.

If possible, it’s best to water your plants and grass in the evening so that the water has plenty of time to soak into the soil and roots without the threat of evaporation. In case you’re unsure whether to water or not, feeling the topsoil for dryness will give you the best indication. Another interesting option for a smart and healthy lawn is to go for artificial grass or drought-tolerant landscape.

3. Use the Half-flush

The second button on the toilet is more than just an aesthetic feature. In fact, the half-flush button can save as much as 70% of the water used in a full flush, owing to the difference in flushing design. A wash-down design and a large trap way make it easier for waste to flow down the drain, meaning less water is required. If you can afford to replace an old, inefficient system, you stand to save a lot of water (and by extension, money) in the long-term.

4. Use Dual Sinks

Washing dishes by hand gets a bad rap in terms of water efficiency, and it often uses more water than a dishwasher, but it’s possible to prevent a great deal of wastage by using your sink effectively. If you have a double-barreled sink, using one side for washing and the other for rinsing will allow you to wash an unlimited load without needing to refresh the water.

5. Check the Ratings

Every water-using device has an efficiency rating, and choosing a well-rated model will help you prevent unnecessary wastage at the source. In some countries, large devices like dishwashers and washing machines come with a star rating to give an indication of their efficiency, and even if they don’t, you can still do your own comparative checks.

In the US, the toilet is typically the biggest source of water wastage, followed by the shower and faucets, but with modern water-efficient designs like water-saving vacuum toilets and low-flow showerheads, much of that water could be preserved.

6. Install Water-Saving Faucets

The only thing more efficient than collecting and re-using run-off from the shower is using less water at the source, and the right faucet can help with that. You can use touchless faucets in your kitchen as well as it can save a lot of water. According to myhomeneedz, a touchless kitchen faucet can save up to 20% water compared to normal faucets.

Just like dishwashers and washing machines, faucets often come with a water-efficiency rating, but they can also be made more eco-friendly through simple add-ons like aerators. An aerator installation is a perfect project for eco-conscious lovers of DIY – once it’s done, the difference will be practically undetectable, and you’ll be saving liters without even trying.

7. Buy Smaller Machines

Devices like dishwashers and washing machines are becoming more water-efficient with each passing year, but the fact remains that large machines tend to use much more water than their smaller counterparts. A smaller device will also make it easier to commit to only running full loads, since it will take less time to fill.

You might even consider investing in a double-gallon dishwashers, designed to run smaller loads with half the amount of water – there’s plenty of technology available to help in your quest to use less.

8. Install a Water Tank

If you have the money and the space available on your property, a water tank is one of the best long-term water-saving investments you can make. Even the average backyard water tank allows for the collection of several hundred liters, which is more than enough to keep your yard in good condition or fill your bathtub many times over. Tanks can be expensive to buy, but the savings you stand to make on your water bills will make it all worthwhile.

Fresh drinking water is a precious resource, and developing efficient usage habits has never been more important. The bottom line is that saving water isn’t difficult, and with a few tips and tricks up your sleeve, you’re fully-equipped to start doing your bit for the environment and the world as a whole.