Reasons to consider placing a wind turbine on your land

Pollution and Global Warming are two of the biggest issues that should be addressed by humanity as soon as possible. In order to lessen the threats of pollution and global warming, people should switch from traditional energy sources to safe and renewable energy. Wind power is one of the safest sources of energy, thus the construction of wind turbines in many areas across the globe.

wind turbine

Common Ground – the Advantages of Community Farming

With the growth of farmed produce over the last century, brought into demand by the needs of ever-expanding multi-national companies, it has become easy for us as a worldwide population to become detached from the processes of farming. Since the mid-1960s cereal production has increased worldwide by almost a billion tonnes. The nearest many of us get to agricultural experience these days is Farmville...

community farming

Environmentally Friendly Electronics?

One of the main concerns for the environment is how each of use lives our day to day life and the effect we have on the planet around us. Whilst industry is a much bigger worry for the environment, if we do not do anything ourselves, it can easily become just as big a problem. Taking care of the environment at a personal level is very important – recycling, saving energy and reducing our carbon footprint are all things that we should be doing.

Eco electronics

Meet your Eco Garage

Sometimes having a garage is a godsend. It saves de-icing your car every morning in the winter, and stops damage from weather, other cars and other hazards. What’s also nice about a garage is that you can store something for as long as you want without the hassle of renting somewhere. Some houses come with the space for a garage with the lack of garage in this useful space, and this is where it’s a terrific idea to invest in modular storage buildings and the result they have as a garage.

eco garage

Adding Personality to Your Home

Our homes are our own personal space, our chance to express our values and personality that make us who we are. No matter where you live or how much space you have there should always be a bit of space for you to call your own and decorate accordingly. This guide is designed to help you make the most of your available space and give you some ideas to inspire your decor and hopefully rejuvenate your home. A simple yet effective way to add a bit of personality to your home is by displaying posters and prints.

Living Room

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Saving Energy – Tips for Businesses

Energy efficiency is very much a current issue in the modern world. We want our homes to be energy-efficient because it saves us money and is good for the environment. However, we should also want our businesses to be eco-friendly and energy-efficient too. The reasons behind this desire are very similar to those from domestic backgrounds, but being able to lay claim to an energy-efficient status will also boost your reputation and social standing, which is never a bad thing.

Energy Efficiency

With energy efficiency on the agenda for all of us, there is no shortage of ways for businesses to pursue energy efficiency, but there are plenty of methods that are really worth emphasising. Here are a few of the best energy saving tips that we can recommend to you:

Turn off the Lights

You’re probably sick of hearing about this, but turning off the lights is the cornerstone of an energy-efficient business. Seriously, you can save 75% of the energy you use by just switching to energy-efficient light bulbs, so imagine what you’ll save by turning them off when you don’t need them. 50% of commercial building expenditure is usually down to lighting, so do something about that.

Turn off the Power

Again, another oldie, yet still a goodie, power down any equipment that you’re not using. That means things like computers, printers and other devices. Just having the screen savers on won’t cut it; turn them off when you leave. You could even consider Smart Strip power chords to regulate power or lessen the energy that electronics still use when they’re (technically) inactive. It all adds up.

Energy

Use the Landscape

You may think that eco landscaping would fit well under a heading of ‘eco-friendly’, but looks less suited to an article on energy efficiency. Not so! Having things like trees near your building can reduce the temperature by as much as 6°, so if your business builds up a lot of heat then trees can do wonders for cutting down on your cooling bills. That’s definitely energy saved.

Heating and Cooling

Moving onto heating and cooling, these two facilities (along with lighting) form the bulk of business expenditure, so energy efficiency in this area is key. Turning down the heating and the air conditioning will obviously do the trick, but you’ll also need to keep all of your systems maintained too. Nothing leaks energy more than a struggling HVAC system.

Ask the Experts

Sometimes, you’ll need a helping hand to cut energy in your specific business area, so never be too proud to ask for advice. Assimilate Systems can help factories and plants to optimise energy usage, and there are similar options for cost-cutting and the like throughout all business sectors. There’s only so much you can do on your own, so if you want to do a really thorough job, call in the experts!

Energy efficiency is good for your business in so many ways that it really isn’t a question of ‘will you comply?’, but is instead a matter of ‘when will you comply?’ Sometimes, fostering high standards can feel a bit like ticking boxes for the sake of it for little reward, but being energy-efficient doesn’t fall into such a category. You’ll soon see numerous benefits, so what are you waiting for?

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Historic Home, Energy Efficient

Do you live in a beautifully traditional home, but wonder how to improve energy efficiency without losing the charm and historical character of its features?

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As an owner of a time-honoured property, it should be your aim to enhance its traditional features, whilst reducing its impact on the environment. Whether a first time buyer of a historical home, or a restorer of all builds classic – here is a quick guide to improve the property’s energy efficiency whilst preserving its charming style and sought-after characteristics.

Make it weatherproof

Although it may seem obvious, a good door and a good set of windows can do wonders for your home’s energy usage and bill costs. Many traditional homes will come with beautiful, yet poor quality window and door designs, so if you want to notice an improving change in your home’s current bill costs – we recommend that replacing your windows and doors should be your main priority before commencing any other building work.

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Here is a great article demonstrating the reasons why you should replace wooden windows rather than renovating. This can prove far more beneficial over time; after all, you’ll soon recover the initial cost of installation through your new and affordable bill prices! Hurray!

When considering replacing your historic windows with contemporary yet aesthetically traditional window options, you should consider a bespoke joinery company such as Bentley Brothers that offer unique and experienced service with both modern and traditional builds and work to enhance a property’s original design and features. There is nothing worse than replacing beautiful and characteristic windows with a modern-day style and non-complementing design. Modern technologies and contemporary sash window design can provide your home with beautifully crafted and time-honoured window and door designs as well as providing high quality sealant, air infiltration and durable material use to improve your home’s energy efficiency in style.

Insulate it

Because heat rises, the majority of a home’s heat is lost through the top half of a property. Insulating your loft, attic or even flat roof is a simple and cost-effective way to save on waste and reduce your heating bills, and you can even insulate your home yourself!

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Loft insulation has been an effective way of making your home more energy efficient for years, and often pays for itself within a short space of time. Check out how much money you could save by insulating your home. If you don’t fancy yourself as the DIY type, get the professionals in! Many companies such as Apex Green can insulate your home and advise you on how to ‘go green’ with your home and living.

Go green!

The government is now offering ‘The Green Deal’ plan, which helps you make energy-saving improvements to your home and offers the best options in order to pay for them. These options may include insulation, heating, double-glazing, renewable energy generation and heating improvements to provide your home with a greener way of living.

If you are interested in finding out if your home could benefit from any energy-saving improvements, check out the energy grants calculator or contact a Green Deal assessor direct.

Making your traditional home an energy-efficient property may seem like a challenge, but in fact, with a little planning and simple weather-proofing tasks – any historic build can quickly become a modern and environmentally friendly home with charming characteristics of the past.

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Addressing Environmental Concerns for Businesses

Running a green business means implementing many small changes. Few businesses instantly begin on an environmentally-friendly pathway, and most proceed to do so in stages. Naturally, being environmentally-friendly can encompass many ideas and concepts, largely dependent on the exact nature of the business in question, so there is no ‘catch-all tick-list’ that you need to check off. There is an awful lot of common ground though, so here are a few individual concerns that tend to crop up:

Reducing Waste

One of the most basic of steps, and still one of the most neglected, is reducing paper usage. This is probably one of the biggest environmental issues facing offices, but that doesn’t mean it can’t become a factor for other businesses too; such as self-employed people carrying out accounts. You can reduce waste paper by encouraging email communication over printed alternatives, using double sided printing, utilising paper with recycled content, or even running a paperless office that takes advantage of a cloud-based system, such as JustCloud, for organisation. Of course, paper is only one sort of potential waste, and each business will have something relevant. Recently, waterproofing company Nikwax have won an environmental award for leading the way when it comes to reducing chemical usage and waste, so there are many ways that waste can be cut from your business. Whatever you elect to do, it all helps.

Waste Paper

Transport and Haulage

If your business dealings involve the use of vehicles –whether that’s a few company cars or a large transport fleet – then this can be an environmental problem waiting to happen. Actually, an environmental problem in this area will probably also be an efficiency problem, so putting it right is in your own best interests. Common solutions to mainstay issues include better and more economic driving techniques, keeping your vehicles regularly maintained, and using fuel-management companies like Fueltek to make your fuel go as far as possible. Improperly used vehicles can cost your purse and the environment an awful lot, so keep on top of what you can.

Fuel Pump

Power and Energy Usage

Nearly everything your business needs to buy will necessitate the use of energy, so simply hunting down sustainable purchases is a great way to reduce your impact on the environment. Likewise, the simple expedient of good eco-friendly insulation would mean that you’d need to use your heaters far less; a notable and environmentally-friendly contribution. Going even further, you might be able to fit things like solar panels from EvoEnergy into your business model; the list of things you can do is truly endless. To give a real life example, Yorkshire-based firm Airedale Springs have recently won an award for reducing lighting energy costs by three-quarters, and also utilising solar power to slash energy usage, so this is a prime indicator of the sort of steps that are being taken. Sometimes, the solution to balancing energy usage and environmental issues can be unclear, so don’t be afraid to consult an analyst like Verdantix to help you make the right decision. Remember, every step, however small, is an important one nonetheless.

Solar Panels

Appliance Efficiency

Show us a business that doesn’t use an appliance of some description and we’ll be very surprised. Many businesses also waste a lot of energy through such devices as well, and the fact is that it really doesn’t take a substantial reformation to yield huge results from an environmental perspective. An office could turn off computers at the end of the day to reduce its energy wastage by as much as 50%, and any establishment can reduce water consumption by using toilet dams or turning off dripping taps. Whilst we can’t refer to furniture as an ‘appliance’, we could also advise refurbishment rather than the instant replacement of old, but perfectly serviceable, products; it’s all the same principle, and it’s all worthwhile.

Turn off COmputers

Most businesses like the idea of environmentally-friendly practises in theory, and you really don’t have to do all that much to make a noteworthy impact. Anything you elect to do is a plus, and the side-effect of being eco-friendly is normally an increase in the perceived integrity of your business, which can’t hurt! Coupled with the fact that many eco-friendly steps are also energy efficient –thereby saving you money – you really shouldn’t need any further incentive to start prioritising the environment within your business dealings.

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How to Make Your Marketing Greener

With environmental concerns taking an ever higher priority with both businesses and consumers, it’s vital that companies ensure that every aspect of their business is green at heart. This must include marketing; not only using your marketing campaigns to convey your eco-credentials to the customer, but also ensuring that your marketing campaigns are not themselves damaging to the environment.

green business

For many businesses, one of the areas which creates a significant environmental impact is attendance at trade shows, conferences and exhibitions. When you start to examine them, the environmental costs quickly stack up; travel to the event, the construction of the exhibition stand or booth itself (which is too often created for a single use), stacks of leaflets and brochures and giveaway items that may well be destined for the nearest bin… However, there are solutions and ways to reduce your impact on all these fronts.

It’s easy to reduce the carbon footprint of your travel simply by using public transport instead of private cars, or by car-sharing. You can compare the difference and find the most eco-friendly option using the carbon emissions calculator at TransportDirect.info.

When it comes to the construction of an exhibition stand, you can also seek out eco-friendly options by comparing different providers. Skyline Whitespace exhibition stands, for example, are designed to reduce environmental impact through a lighter construction (using up to a third less materials than a comparable alternative) and by providing plenty of options for re-use and recycling.

Modern technology provides great alternatives to the traditional leaflets and brochures; these days, almost everybody has a smartphone, so you can leverage the abilities of these devices to replace traditional print. A simple QR code on your display can lead the user to a digital version of your leaflet, brochure or catalogue, which they can access at their leisure without the need for print or paper wastage.

Finally, the simple solution to avoid filling your clients’ pockets with giveaway items that are destined for landfill is purely common sense: choose something that they will actually want to keep and use. A high quality item that will be retained is not only better for the planet, but better for business too, as they’ll be reminded of your company for longer. You can take this one step further by choosing eco-friendly promotional gifts – thus also handily illustrating your company’s solid environmental ethics.

Whilst we have focussed here on only one marketing activity, the process is one that can be related to any activity in your industry; identify the aspects which may cause an environmental impact, and seek an alternative to reduce that impact for each aspect. Just as small impacts add up, so do small changes – and by using this process for every activity in your business, you can make not only your marketing but every aspect of your business greener.

 

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Is Your Business Changing The World?

Climate change is a growing concern for everybody, businesses and individuals alike. An Oxfam report released last month stated that the top 10 food and drinks companies contribute more greenhouse gas emissions than the Scandinavian countries of Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway combined – and they, alongside other businesses, must do more to cut emissions.

Although some people still deny the reality of climate change, scientific studies have repeatedly demonstrated the effect we have on the world. A study by NASA earlier this year showed that the arctic ice melt season is lengthening, and the ocean is warming up, something which could cause serious issues for the future, and we are increasingly seeing extreme weather conditions in all seasons. Therefore, it is vital that everyone – business owners and individuals alike – focus on their environmental impact and the ways in which they are changing the world.

Vicious Circles

airconWarmer summers caused by climate change mean that air conditioning is increasingly becoming vital in providing a comfortable workplace for employees; however the use of such systems, whilst providing immediate relief, also has an environmental impact which must be considered. If you need to provide cooling for your staff, it’s important to make sure that you have an efficient system and that you use it effectively, to provide the maximum comfort and the minimum environmental impact. Consult with experts, such as Heritage Heating & Cooling who offer industrial air conditioning services in Nottingham, and make sure that you have a suitable high-efficiency system which is in good repair and running at the right efficiency.

Because climate change is affecting our environment, and we need to control that environment to create a comfortable and acceptable working environment, it will often not be possible to avoid vicious circles like this entirely. However, where your emissions cannot be eliminated, it’s vital that you take steps like this to ensure that they are reduced.

Indirect Impact

Public domain image, royalty free stock photo from www.public-domain-image.comWhen considering your carbon footprint, it’s important to consider not only your direct impact but also your indirect impact. For example, water treatment uses a lot of energy and creates its own emissions, but while climate change may cause drier summers it can also give us wetter winters. By harvesting the rainwater that falls on your business’ property and storing it in suitably robust GRP tanks, which will protect it from bacteria growth and keep it at a usable standard, you’ll have a store of water in the summer which can be used for a range of applications, meaning that treated water can be used more sparingly.

By considering the entirety of your supply chain and services in the same way, and identifying ways in which you can step in to reduce your reliance on carbon-heavy processes, you can reduce your business’ impact significantly.

No single individual business will be able to make the changes needed to slow or prevent climate change by themselves, but if every business, small or large, works to reduce their own impact where they can, we may yet be able to guarantee a safe future for generations to come.

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