Thursday, 30 January 2014

Helpful Ways To Eco-proof Your Business

In a busy workplace it is difficult to be environmentally friendly in everything you do, quite often you are too busy, or there is a faster and more practical solution. 

However, the following five suggestions should be seriously considered as a foolproof and efficient way of eco-proofing your business. From simple, small changes, to wholesale office changes, the following can be very beneficial to not only the environment, but to employees well-being and productivity.

Walking or Cycling to Work

Although not as practical as driving, if you live reasonably close to your place of work you should consider either cycling or walking to work. A great way to improve your fitness and wellbeing, you will also be reducing your carbon usage, a vital factor for the environment. 

Bike purchase can be subsidised, and showers applied in most workspaces to use after the journey in. Not only will you limit the amount of natural resources you use, but you will also feel better in yourself and have a more active and healthier lifestyle. 

Use Office Plants

Office plants are not only great for visuals, and lifting employers moods, they can also reduce pollutants in the air. Office plants will create there own mini microclimate by absorbing heat, thus limiting the need for uneconomical air conditioning. 
They also improve humidity in the office, and provide a cleaner indoor air quality. Apart from flaring allergies, there is no real negative to not having plants in the office, they are cheep, pleasing on the eye, and arguably the most simple way you can eco-proof your business. 

Deal With Environmental Body Registered Companies 

If you deal with any companies in sectors such as agriculture, chemicals,  construction, food and drink, waste management and many more it is important that these companies are registered and approved by the Environment Agency. 

A spokesperson from a local business commented:

"It's essential for us to be registered with the UK Environment Agency as not only does it mean we comply with their guidelines, but our customers are aware of our commitment to their policies."

"This allows us to foster a positive reputation in the local area."

If companies have this licence it means they are complying with environmental laws, and abiding by the guidelines set by those laws. These guidelines limit the amount of environmental damage that is done by companies. 
For example, a company certified by an environmental body to dispose of waste properly, this means they will never fly tip, or dispose of waste in any other illegal, and more environmentally damaging way. This benefits the environment, but also enhances this particular company's reputation.

Recycle Waste 

Food waste is often thrown away into the nearest bin when people are busy working, however, swapping that food bin for a waste recycling bin is a simple step to ensure waste is reused rather than left to rot in a landfill site. 
Food waste can also be turned into compost, which can be used for office plants, or employees gardens. Another common area of large scale office waste is plastic bottles, if bottled drinks are sold in the workspace then a plastic recycling bin should be seriously considered. Better still bottled drinks could be replaced with a water cooler, with employees having there own office glasses or mugs that can easily be refilled. 

Cut Down on Printing

Offices are traditionally littered with pieces of paper, documenting every minute meeting or transaction you've done, day on day, year on year. Cutting down on printing not only reduces office clutter, it also prevents utilising the planets key tree and forrest resources. 
Forest and woodland areas help monitor the climate by up taking carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Today there is no need for a vast amount of paper in the office, for example; electronic signatures can be used for contracts, mail can be scanned, backups of key documents can be stored using Dropbox, and communication can be solely digital. 
It may be a slight workload initially to fully change to a digital way of working, but the benefits are numerous.

For a proper approach to a more sustainable way of live please see

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Top 7 Ways To Reduce Your Water Consumption

Are you interested in reducing your water consumption around the house? It doesn’t have to be as hard as you might think to conserve water, and while you’re at it, save energy. Here are seven of the top ways to reduce your water consumption:
1. Achieve Efficient Dish Washing
See if your dish detergent maker recommends not pre-rinsing – many don’t require it these days, and it can save a lot of water to skip this step if possible. If you’re washing dishes by hand, you can also save water by turning the faucet off while washing dishes in a sink filled with soapy water, then gathering them together in a rack to rinse all at once.
2. Cut Your Showers in Half
Reducing the amount of time everyone spends in the shower can save thousands of gallons of water per year. Just four minutes in the shower can use between 20 and 40 gallons of water, depending on the showerhead! If cutting your shower down to four minutes sounds like too much to handle right now, just try turning off the shower while you lather up, work conditioner through your hair and perform other tasks. While you’re at it, turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush and rinse your razor in a sink full of water rather than leaving it running, too.
3. Get New Pipe Insulation
One of the simplest and easiest ways to reduce your water consumption is to insulate (or re-insulate) your water pipes with an affordable, pre-fit foam insulation product.
4. Maximize Clothes Washing
If you want to make the most of your dish and clothes washing, even if you can’t afford to install all of the latest energy and water efficient appliances, you can start today by waiting to run the washer until there is a completely full load. Avoid the permanent press cycle in the clothes washer, as well.
5. Reduce Use of Garbage Disposal
Every time you use a garbage disposal, you have to use water to dispose of your food waste properly, and if you have a septic tank, it can cause additional problems. By reducing use of the garbage disposal and possibly by starting a compost pile, you can greatly reduce your water and energy consumption in the kitchen.
6. Install High Efficiency Showerheads
When it comes to energy efficient products, showerheads are among the most affordable and easiest to install. This simple little piece of equipment can save many gallons of water with every shower, but to make the most of your low flow showerhead, also make sure everyone is taking the shortest shower possible. By reducing unnecessary use of hot water while showering, it’s possible to save 10, 20, 30 or even 40 gallons of water with every shower. 
7. Invest in High Efficiency Aerators
Make sure to outfit every faucet in the home with low flow aerators. From kitchen aerators to bath aerators, it’s important to keep water flow at an appropriate level in these rooms, or anywhere else in the home where there’s a faucet. This method is affordable and easy, and makes a big difference.
Jasmine is a DIY guru and loves to protect the environment. She enjoys advising people on ways they can make a difference with simple, easy-to-do fixes around the house. She hopes these tips help her readers make small changes for a big impact.

Green Living Tips For Parents: How To Develop A Sustainable Lifestyle

World Earth Day is fast approaching, as citizens grow increasingly keen to commit to an eco-friendly and more sustainable way of life. It is important to remember that safeguarding our natural environment must be a long-term goal, however, and cannot be achieved over the course of a single day alone.
The current generation of new parents are increasingly keen to adopt a more eco-friendly approach, primarily because they are hopeful of setting a positive example for their children to follow. By educating their infants on the importance of recycling and utilising natural resources, they can help to create a future generous of environmentally responsible adults.

Green Living Tips For New Parents

With this in mind, what practical steps can new parents take to create an environmentally conscious lifestyle that is sustainable for a prolonged period of time? Consider the following: -

Consider The Merits Of Breastfeeding

While breastfeeding is not always an option, in instances where it is it offers considerable benefits to parents. Although it is fair to suggest that breastfeeding remains a relatively controversial topic for discussion, it does deliver environmental advantages to parents who are seeking a more sustainable way of life. In essence, it enables families to eliminate a huge amount of waste in the form of formula containers, bags and bottles, without forcing mothers to compromise on the quality and variety of the nutrients that their child receives. On an additional note, breastfeeding will also reduce the number of trips required to the local store, which in turn cuts mileage and enables families to save on transportation costs.

Focus On Making Homemade Food And Utilising Natural Produce

If you have the spare time or are able to create a window in your schedule, preparing homemade baby food for your child can serve as an excellent way of contributing towards a healthier environment. Not only does it save you considerable sums of money, but it also means that you are investing in minimal packaging while reducing the cumulative amount of food that you waste over time. Pre-packaged and ready-made food items are renowned for the amount of food miles that they carry, and by purchasing these you are contributing to practices that are harmful to the environment. If you still require convincing, you should consider the fact that preparing homemade food enables you to take charge of quality control and the nutrients that you are supplying to your child.

Use Natural Cleaning Products In The Home

Children make a considerable mess within the home, and every parent will testify to the need for a rigid and stringent cleaning regime. The use of toxic cleaning products can not only harm your child's welfare, however, but it also has a negative and detrimental effect on the natural environment. With this in mind, you should commit to using natural, organic and eco-friendly cleaning products wherever possible, while also utilising recycled materials to scour floor and wall surfaces. As a starting point, you should look to use natural products within the home that have in-built cleaning agents, such as vinegar, baking soda and lemons.

The Last Word For Eco-Friendly Parents

As a new parent, it is only natural that you should look to provide the best possible environment for your child. This goal can be at least partially achieved by adopting a more eco-friendly and sustainable lifestyle, which will encourage you to invest in organic food, natural cleaning products and toxin-free skincare tools. This therefore provides an ideal set of circumstances for parents, who can optimise their child's physical welfare while also taking steps to create a healthier and more prosperous natural environment.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Go Green In 2014: Why You Should Replace Your Old Appliances

Replacing older home appliances is one of the most practical and effective steps a homeowner can take to reduce energy consumption. Not only is it great for the environment and means you do your bit to help save the planet it also means you save the pennies by replacing a few main appliances in the home and going for a newer, more energy efficient version.
With the new year looming, why not make it one of your New Year resolutions and upgrade your appliances? Check out the list below to see examples of appliances you should consider investing in.
An Eco Kettle
Kettles actually use a tremendous amount of energy to power them and many of us are guilty of overfilling our kettle, it’s estimated that in the UK, £68m is wasted a year from doing this. By investing in an eco-kettle, it cleverly measures the amount of water required for a single cup of tea or coffee so you don’t have to worry about wastage and you’ll be helping to cut down on your energy costs.
Water Efficient Toilets
Many newer properties will have installed toilets fitted with a ‘short-flush’ option. We use up 30% of our water every time we use the toilet so if you have an older model it makes sense to upgrade. Newer toilets are very competitively priced and you’ll be saving 2 to 3 litres of water every time you flush.
Energy Saving Washing Machines
The most efficient washing machines will use 33litres of water for a standard load; the least efficient machines use 72 litres. This does vary between machines even with the same energy rating so make sure you find out the performance of the washing machine before you buy. Try to limit the amount of times you run a pre rinse cycle and only use your machine on a full load to save wasting water, lowering the temperature can also help to cut energy bill costs.
Eco-friendly Shower Head
It’s well known that having showers as opposed to baths saves a lot of water and is better for the planet. Getting an eco-friendly shower head can help you to reduce water wastage even further by giving the same ‘feeling’ of a power shower, thanks to adding air into the stream of water coming from the shower and it does this using less water than a conventional shower. They are cheaper than most power shower systems and simple to install.
Refrigerator Thermometer
Fridges are not cheap so if you can’t justify purchasing a new one, consider buying a fridge thermometer. They can be hung inside the fridge thanks to the attachment or just placed inside the fridge thanks to its flat base. It can be adjusted to the optimum temperature to tell you when your fridge or freezer is too cold so that you can save valuable money and energy.
30 Minute Timer
It’s estimated that we spend up to 1.3 billion a year every single year by leaving our appliances on standby; this is up to 16% of our household energy usage.
A 30 minute timer when plugged into a multi-socket extension lead automatically turns off the power to appliances left turned on after a 30 minute period. This drastically reduces the risk of fires and other hazards in the home as well as keeping your energy bills lower.  This is particularly useful for things like an iron which can significantly overheat if it is left plugged in unattended.
Toasters waste a lot of energy in the home as they are often left plugged in and as with most conventional toasters do not allow you to toast just one slice at a time. An eco-toaster has a slot that makes this possible which can help you make an energy saving of up to 50%.
Pro Energy Cylinder Cleaner
Consider getting rid of your old vacuum cleaner and replacing it for an energy saving vacuum cleaner. These have different settings depending on whether you’re using the hoover on carpet, flooring or even upholstery which means you get maximum performance while saving 50% on energy.
This article was written by Amy Elliott from Appliance City. The team at Appliance City like to promote a green way of living and believe that inveting in eco-friendly appliances will in time help to save the environment and money. Amy writes for them in her spare time so as to spread the message of green living.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Importance Of Teaching Kids About Agriculture

Teaching agriculture and good farming practices to school kids instils knowledge on how plants grow, live and die. There are many lessons kids learn from agriculture and gardening including knowledge on how food gets to the table, how clothes get onto store shelves and how seeds germinate. Teaching kids about farming helps them get perspective of their lives and the world around them.

Basic Science

Teaching agriculture to school kids introduces them to basic scientific knowledge and how to apply the lessons in their daily lives. For example, through the lessons kids learn about how bees make honey, how fruits develop, how trees grow and how oil is obtained from corn. Agriculture combines the concepts of chemistry, physics and biology and puts them into everyday application.

School Gardens

School gardens help kids learn important lessons about farming and the environment. Planting different crop varieties allows kids to learn how things grow, live and die. Gardens help young people develop social skills by working in groups. In addition, it helps them put their agricultural knowledge into practical dimensions.


Agriculture lessons educate kids about nutrition, where foods come from, what kinds of foods are beneficial and the importance of eating the right kinds of foods.
Leadership and Team Building
Farming lessons help kids develop skills in communication, leadership, team building and civic engagement among others. Through agriculture lessons, kids learn about the importance of farming to the community and how to work together for the common good. They also learn about how communities provide food to their members.

History Of Farming

Civilisation came about when people figured out ways to domesticate plants and animals in their surroundings. This made people adopt the farming lifestyle. Farming created a shift from hunting and gathering to settling in one place. The first towns and cities developed around areas that had consistent food supplies. With time, farmers began to perfect their farming practices. The agricultural revolution made many people realise they can get more food on less land. Modern farming innovations such as use of synthetic nitrogen, pesticides, machines and rock phosphates have led to some of the largest crop yields in history.


Today, subsistence farmers are at the bottom of the farming food chain. These farmers use small portions of land to produce small amounts of foods enough for their families. Intensive farmers have huge tracts of land and use the latest farming techniques to produce food. They can produce foods for large populations. Most large scale farms use technologies that produce high yields.


Most of the foods we eat including wheat, corn, rice, milk, fruits and grains are obtained from farming. Many farms deal with the production of non-food substances such as cotton, hemp and flax among others. The increased need for cleaner energy has made many countries to invest in biofuel farms to produce ethanol, methane, biomass and biodiesel.


There is growing competition among industrial farms. The never-ending demand for food has led to a new kind of agricultural revolution. Today's farmers use agricultural chemistry and advanced mechanisations in farming. Some of the new techniques used in farming include use of chemical fertilisers, insecticides, hydroponics, gene manipulation, plant breeding and hybridisation.
Warning Industrial farming comes at a cost. Large-scale farming and poor agricultural practices have detrimental effects on the environment including deforestation, soil erosion and air pollution. Pesticides pollute water bodies where people get their drinking water. Although many countries have set strict regulations to minimise the harmful effects of industrial farming, the regulations are often hard to monitor and enforce.
Farming is a worldwide Practice. Modern farming techniques allow farmers to produce massive quantities of food to feed billions of people. It is important to teach kids about farming and its significance in our lives.
John Dickson is a farmer who works for When he’s not on the farm he contributes to agricultural blogs.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

The Three Best Ways To Protect The Planet

The planet we live on is changing and as a result of our actions its lifespan is reducing dramatically. There are so many different companies out there nowadays that then profess to offer ways to reduce the damage we are causing but in truth these methods are often born out of fantasy and are extremely difficult to implement.
Moving forward, naturally a focus on renewable forms of energy will be extremely beneficial and have an extremely positive effect but these methods have to be much more affordable and relative to the environment they are contained within.
As I have mentioned before, we live in the internet age and there is an abundance of research data available online that can help us understand and engage with the problem at hand. Protecting the environment should be high on the agenda for our governments as it is the simplest and most effective way to put in place mass changes on a vast scale, quickly and efficiently.
Earth Asia Terminator View

Renewable Energy

This is pretty much the best way to protect the planet in the long term. There are so many companies out there that have the technology we need but it is simply a question of cost. It cannot be disputed that renewable energy is both expensive and difficult to install.
The fact that it is a form of energy that is reliant on the weather makes it almost impossible to universally apply but in certain countries renewable forms of energy can be a brilliant way to generate efficient and cost effective energy.
The non-renewable forms of energy are going to run out one day, that is something that cannot be disputed and therefore governments must be looking towards renewable forms of energy to create the basis for an energy efficient future.
Instead of investing time and money in wars that are wholly unnecessary, why not invest in the future of the planet that has given us this wonderfully unique and rare opportunity.



This is another simple yet effective way to protect the planet and save yourself a lot of money personally too. We all waste so much energy in our homes and that in turn costs us a lot more money each week on our bills. It is a vicious cycle but I do agree it is something that is extremely tough to quantify.
Energy is so abundant nowadays and people can be forgiven for being a little frivolous but with just a little education, we can nationally save a hell of a lot of cash. There are companies out there such as Agua Flux that sell great accessories designed to save you water in your house for example and must be looked into.



This is the simplest and the most widely used method of protection and conservation but again it isn’t that efficient nor effective. Naturally, recycling is better than not recycling but I think there are a lot better and more effective methods or protection. Spend a little time researching and start taking care of this fragile planet we all share.
Featured images:
Marcus Jackson is a writer with a love for the environment. He writes articles with the sole intention of raising awareness about the damage we cause on a day to day basis and ways to protect the planet.

Orlando Welcomes 1st Community Solar Farm

solar farm


As the world continues to face problems such and climate change and fossil fuel shortages, finding and implementing alternative energies becomes increasingly important. All over the United States a new type of power plant is popping up: the solar farm. Most recently, Orlando Utility Commission (OUC) welcomed the first solar farm to Central Florida and are now building a community solar farm. So what exactly is a solar farm and what are the implications for the areas economy and carbon footprint? This article will explain all of that and more.

What is a Solar Farm?

When most people hear the phrase solar farm, they are left in a complete state of confusion.  A solar farm is a large group or array of solar panels built to collect the suns energy and turn it into usable electricity for the everyday person.  Solar farms are currently being built large enough to power over 20,000 homes.

How it Works

One may ask, “How this is achieved with certain places not getting full sunlight all year?” A common misconception is that the solar panel at a farm or even on your own roof will directly power the appliances and electronics in your home.  On the contrary this power is actually supplied to the electric grid and then credited toward your bill at the end of each billing cycle.
Much of the power collected by a solar array happens during the afternoon when the sun is at a peak point in the sky.  Most people are working during the day and not using electricity.  Therefore a lot of potential energy absorbed by the solar panel would be wasted.  So, instead, this power is sent back to the electric grid for those who are pulling power to utilize.

Orlando’s Community Solar Farm

With the new community solar farm, consumers have the ability to purchase some of the panels to get a return on their investment for cheap power.  This new project offers 500 kW of power and people are already signing up to purchase the solar power.  Many of these solar arrays have a dual purpose and serve as parking lot canopies and other types of infrastructure.
Solar technology can now be obtained at competitive costs with natural gas and other energy sources.  This means that more and more people will be able to reap the benefits of cheap and clean power in the Orlando area as more of these farms are built.

Who else is doing this?

Utility companies nationwide are adopting solar as a power source.  Solar farms being built in Western Tennessee are boasting 5 mW of power being generated annually.  These farms are popping up all of the country from the West coast the East coast up and down the country.  As the cost of solar power continues to decrease more and more of these farms are being built as a direct power source to utility companies, who in turn will sell it back to the public.  These solar arrays will be able to power hundreds of homes and continue to do so into the foreseeable future.
Featured images:
This article was written by Nick Quinlan.  Nick graduated from UCF in 2009 with a degree in electrical engineering and works on the side creating content for Bob Heinmiller Solar.