Thinking about the wider environment – it’s something that all businesses should be doing more often. Whether it’s by trying to cut back on the amount of energy they use or by exploring alternative means of generating energy that reduces reliance on the national grid, it pays to be green in more ways than one. As well as showing customers that your company cares, you’re also in line to make savings, but how can lowering your company’s carbon footprint increase profitability?
There are a variety of things you can do to lower your carbon footprint which will result in your company’s image and bank balance looking much more palatable, one of them being buying products from green companies. Recycled paper, green energy, sustainable water and wood are all pretty cheap to buy, plus they work well and are in plentiful supply.... read more
The holidays are over, the days are cold and short, your old drafty house isn’t keeping you warm anymore, and your heating/electric bills are up. So, what are your choices? Replacing windows is costly. Or maybe you rent and you can’t make any big changes.
Luckily, there are several things you can do to help keep your home warmer during the winter months without price-prohibitive renovations. I had the opportunity to speak with Brian Besold, co-founder of San Francisco Bay Area home performance firm Kevel, who offered several helpful tips.
A common recommendation is using 3M plastic on your windows. It does make a difference but only for a few months because the adhesive wears off after a while. Plus, it looks terrible and makes window inoperable so you can’t open it. If there's an unseasonably warm day and you want to let in some fresh air, you simply can't if you have the plastic on your windows.
Instead, Besold recommends Indow Windows. (pictured left) Indow Windows produces a plexiglass panel that can be tailored to fit your window. All you have to do is pop it into your current window frame and viola! It serves the same purpose as a double pane window, but at a fraction of the cost. ... read more
So Christmas day rolled around at last and you were so excited to finally unwrap those shiny parcels twinkling wickedly at you from underneath the Christmas tree. But what if what you unwrapped was not everything your heart desired? What if – and don’t be shy here – you simply hated it? Now that it’s safely post-Christmas, we bring you our top tips on the best ways to recycle those lovingly gifted but simply off-the-mark presents.
This one can be tricky! Don’t fall into the obvious trap of accidentally giving your unwanted present back to the very person who bought it for you. Combat this by jotting down who got you what and hopefully you’ll never make the ultimate gift faux pas. The golden rule with regifting is to make sure you give your unwanted present to someone who would actually like it - no palming it off at the first opportunity!... read more
It is nearly impossible in today’s economic climate not to consider the cost of gasoline when planning any trip in your automobile. At the same time, concerns pertaining to greenhouse gases emitted from automobile exhaust pipes have the environmentally conscious commuter thinking of ways to reduce their carbon footprints. Thankfully, there are several options for daily commuters wanting to save money and the environment, while still getting to work on time and without much hassle.
Bike to Work
Biking to work has become more common among commuters and can knock out two birds with one stone. You're saving money by not spending money on gas and you’re getting some exercise. Of course there are legitimate concerns about safety and biking during rush hour in larger cities. Most municipalities have bike lanes, complete with round post collapsible bollards, to keep cars out of the lanes and give riders more peace of mind. It is best to ride your bike to the workplace on a weekend to see how long it will take and to plan your route. One of the drawbacks to bike riding is you will likely sweat a little during warmer months and may not want to show up to work in that condition. One solution is to join a nearby gym where you can shower and change before stepping into the office. You could also take your change of clothes to the workplace beforehand and put them on when you arrive.... read more
The year end is a good opportunity to think about new ways to go green. Whether you've been a greenie for a long time, a green newbie, or if you're somewhere in between, it's the perfect time to make some green resolutions for 2013.
Here are some ideas for green resolutions. I see them as small, attainable goals that can help the environment if everyone does their part. Here's to a Keener and Greener 2013!
1. Remember to bring my reusable shopping bags everywhere. I now remember to bring them to the grocery store almost each time, but frequently I forget when clothes shopping, going to the pharmacy, etc.
2. Bringing a reusable coffee cup is a great resolution but I challenge you take it a step further and bring your own reusable food containers to restaurants in case you need a doggie bag.
3. If you work outside of the home, pick one day a week to walk, bike, take public transit, or carpool.... read more
Keeping your air conditioner in good working order can be the difference between a productive and happy home or office (and who wants grumpy people in an office?) and one where people are about to throttle one another – sometimes literally and sometimes figuratively. What if something goes wrong with your air conditioner and you need to get it fixed as soon as possible? Getting someone called out for what turns out to be a minor problem is not only embarrassing, but also costly so it should be avoided at all costs.
Home air conditioners are normally divided into two main types – window air conditioning units (those sometimes ghastly looking things which are mounted in the windows of many households during long, hot summers) and bigger, central air conditioning units (you will normally find these installed in the back garden or along the driveway). The main difference between the two types of air conditioning units is that the larger units are designed for whole home cooling while the window units are for specific areas.... read more
With the New Year upon us, now is a great time to start reevaluating our energy consumption and the way our lifestyles impact the environment. One great step toward that goal is making the transition from traditional light bulbs to LED (light-emitting diode) varieties. Today, LED lights can be found in virtually any store where traditional bulbs are sold, and making that switch is easier than ever. With Christmas lights deeply discounted immediately after the holidays, it's also a smart time to invest in greening next year's decorations.
While some might hesitate to make the switch because of the higher cost of LED, for many, the following benefits more than justify the higher price tag.... read more
With some discipline and an $85 investment in energy-saving products, you can slash up to $500 off bills in the New Year. Even better, those savings will continue year after year, even if you don’t investment another dime. Projected savings are based upon the average home’s energy bill of $2200. If you live in a bigger than average house, your costs – and savings – will be greater.
Begin where you spend the most
Heating and cooling costs account for between 45 and 50 percent of your home’s energy use, so it’s a good place to begin saving money. Adding insulation to attic floors and exterior walls, of course, can dramatically reduce energy use. Before making that investment, however, look for places where insulation was forgotten altogether. Common locations include over garages with living space above, inside cantilevered floors, and in cavities around windows. Consult with a company that performs home energy audits to help you decide where you need insulation the most and the best kind to use. It will have instruments and equipment that can literally let you see and feel exactly where you’re losing energy. ... read more
Antique homes are a sight to behold. There's a distinct area of my town with a number of early 1920's style homes that still stand tall today. The wrap-around porches. Big, brawny interior. Solid oak flooring with that piercing creak as you walk. High ceilings. Shudders covering the windows. The list goes on.
But what most antique homes – and many modern homes – lack is a fundamentally sound, energy efficient setup. There's the thin window panes, or the less-than-desirable air circulation. As the home ages, there may be small, subtle cracks in the duct work, or gaps in the attic for air that interfere with temperature control throughout the home.
Remodeling your home to be as energy efficient as possible obviously aids the homeowner in a number of ways. But determining which areas of the home need the most patchwork, regardless of whether you're trying to update a historic home or modern one, is key. From adding more insulation to replacing windows on down to regularly changing out air filters around the house, here are ways to survey and tackle your home's energy efficiency the right way. ... read more
Especially with the bad economy we're facing, it is important to cut down on costs. One big bill for most families is the energy usage bill. Many families struggle to pay for electricity and costs related to keeping their homes warm. In this article you'll learn ways to cut down your energy usage expenses.
#1 Contact Power Company
Sometimes help comes in the most unexpected places. One way you can save on your energy usage expenses is to get an energy audit completed by your power company. You may be surprised at the suggestions they come up with that could save you money on your bill.... read more