Pages Menu

Solar Energy: the Future of Sustainability

Most recent articles

Greening Your Home In The New Year: Ideas For You

Posted by on Feb 9, 2016 in Uncategorized |

When you are a homeowner who is concerned about the environment and sustainability, you want to be sure that you do what you can to improve your home’s carbon footprint. After all, you want to be sure that you are living your ideals as well as believing them. If you have decided to dedicate yourself to greening up your home in the new year, then you may wonder how you can and should begin the process of making your home more green. Get to know a few of the ways that you can jump-start your eco-friendly efforts this year so that you can make a major impact before the year is over. Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose Everything An easy way to get started in the green home process is to begin to rethink how you approach waste and the items you no longer need in your home. The first step is to start recycling if you do not already. Sign up for a curbside recycling service for at least some of your recyclable goods in your home. Depending on the program and the city in which you live, you may be able to recycle your paper products, cardboard, tin and aluminum cans, glass, and plastic all in one curbside bin. However, some recycling programs do not take all recyclables curbside. Aluminum cans, for example, can be cost prohibitive for these types of services and you may need to find another recycling site that will take your cans. You can also repurpose items that are no longer usable to you in their current state or that you want to replace. Used window shutters can be converted to end tables or hanging coat racks and mail sorters. Those aluminum cans you can’t recycle can be flattened and used as roofing material for a backyard shed or as creative art materials for you and your children. Reusing items can help as well. Empty paper towel rolls can be used to store extension cords and the like to prevent disorganization and tangles. Those pesky aluminum cans can be cut through the center and the bottom halves be used as mini planters to grow herbs or begin growing your garden indoors. Get creative and think about any and everything before you throw it out. Consider Going Solar Going solar is one of the biggest steps that you can take to make your home greener and more sustainable. Many people are hesitant to go solar because it represents a major financial investment. However, what those people fail to realize is that they can make the money back that they invest in their solar panels within a few years in some cases, particularly in areas that get a great deal of sun year round. The thing to remember is that you can go solar in increments. You do not need to install an entire roof of solar panels if you cannot afford it at the moment. A smaller solar panel system with only a couple of panels can begin to offset your energy usage in your home and make a difference on your energy bills almost immediately. And if you do take the leap to go all the way solar, you could even make money back from your solar panels if your system generates more usable energy...

read more

Reducing Your Environmental Footprint With Waste Management At Home

Posted by on Dec 1, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Waste management professionals work hard every day at landfills and recycling facilities to support and promote a better, cleaner environment. However, when you stop to think about how much waste just one household produces in a day, you can see how the most effective waste management should begin at home. Use these tips to learn more about recycling, reusing and reducing your home waste. Reusing Glass And Plastics Consider how many glass and plastic containers are recycled every day. Because of the efforts being made for recycling glass and plastic containers, many landfills are growing at a slower rate. However, when you stop to think about how much time and money is spent on making new glass and plastic products out of recycled materials, you can see why reusing the containers you have at home is a better option. While glass and plastic recycling is less expensive and more energy saving than manufacturing products from raw materials, consider the greater savings when no efforts need to be used for manufacturing or recycling glass and plastic containers because you are reusing them in your home. Glass jars and plastic food containers are great for storing other foods after they have been emptied of their original contents, so tossing them into the trash is a huge waste of your money. However, if you prefer using containers without labels from other foods, consider using your plastic containers for craft projects. Plastic butter bowls can be the perfect bowl for making insect keepers for your kids during the summer. Finding ways to reuse plastic and glass containers is important and can also be the best way to incorporate effective waste management in your home. Recycling Paper, Paper And More Paper Did you know that the average person in the United States uses a whopping 650 pounds of paper every year? When you multiply that number by the population of people using paper every day, you end up with staggering results. Using less paper is important and can do a lot to reduce the amount to be recycled every year. If you use sticky notes every day at your desk, take the time to cut up squares of paper from other paper you have used. For example, when your kids bring home graded school work, reusing them as note papers is a good way to avoid tossing them into the trash. Use cardboard boxes and food cartons for school projects you will want to keep for the long term as memorabilia. One example is turning an orange juice carton into a bird feeder, a project that would be a lot of fun for you and your kids to make together. Paying attention to what you toss into your trash can be the best way to reduce your environmental footprint. Taking the time to reduce your input to landfills and recycling centers is vital for making a difference in your efforts to make the world a better and cleaner place to live....

read more

Three Ways to Help Deal with Poor Water Quality in Rural Wells

Posted by on Aug 24, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you live in a rural area, you may rely on a water well for your home. In many areas, the ground water can have poor quality, due to things like mineral content and other contamination. Some of these things occur naturally, and dealing with the problems can be a solved with filtration. Here are some ways you can deal with poor water quality in rural wells. 1. Using a Simple Filter System at the Well Pump One of the most common problems with wells is mineral deposits in water. This may be just a small amount of mineral deposits, which you can use a simple filter with your well equipment. These water filters usually use a coal filter to remove particles from the water. Sand filters can also be used as a pre-filter to remove larger particles for better filtration. This will not remove the mineral content alone, but can be good to remove particles before water goes to other well equipment. 2. More Complete Filtration with Home Water Softener Systems In some areas, mineral contents can be excessive. This hard water problem can cause damage to plumbing and mechanical systems. To deal with extremely hard water, you can use a home water softener system. These are more complete filtration systems that process water to remove mineral contents with a variety of different treatments.  With a water softener solution, you may want to have a well filter at the pump, and a different system for the plumbing in your home to provide you with a more complete solution. 3. More Complete Well Systems with Water Purification Hard water is not the only problem that can affect your well. In some areas, alkalinity and other contamination problems need to be addressed. For these situations, you may need to have more of a complete water purification solution (often referred to as well systems). These can use a variety of purification techniques, such as osmosis to provide you with clean water. Water purification systems may include different types of filters, tanks and systems to water treatment. The end result is pure, clean water that is safe to use in your home. These are some ways you can deal with poor water quality in your well. If you need help with solutions for your well, contact a water filtration service like Friot’s Water Treatment CO to get the system you need to ensure you have good water quality for your...

read more

The Scrap Metal Wars: Which Metal Reigns Supreme For Your Wallet?

Posted by on Jul 22, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Scrap metals of all types can mean money in your pocket, but the exact amount that you’ll get depends entirely on what type of scrap you have. In the scrap metal wars, only one metal can reign supreme…but there is still a runner-up metal that can still generate some fast cash when you need it. Read on to learn about the two best scrap metals for making fast money today!   The King of the Scrap Heap: Copper Copper is the most valuable of all scrap metals. It can be recycled in a number of different ways, including the creation of new wiring and plumbing tubes. Copper is a very dark gold that borders on red, and it  tends to be quite heavy. Copper can sometimes be hard to recognize immediately because it begins to develop a patina, revealing greenish areas if exposed to the outdoors. The patina won’t devalue the copper’s value as a scrap metal in most cases, however. Patina is considered a desirable trait in copper, in fact! If you have copper around the home, even if it’s just some old wiring or a statue that doesn’t fit with your decor any longer, take it in for evaluation at the scrap metal facility. You’ll get more money than you’d get for any other scrap metal. Second on the Scrap Heap: Brass The next most valuable metal on the scrap heap is brass. Brass actually contains some copper. The other component of brass, zinc, isn’t very valuable, so the copper component accounts for the lion’s share of its value. Brass looks similar to copper but leans more towards yellow gold than red gold. If brass is old or has been exposed to the outdoors, it might darken in color so much as to be nearly unrecognizable. That tarnish doesn’t mean it’s worthless, however. The metal beneath will still shine brightly if it’s polished. Brass is often used for the creation of statuary and other decorative objects once recycled. It may also be used to make locks and gears. Recycled brass is even used to make musical instruments like tubas. You can often find brass scraps in old plumbing and in doorknobs. Brass, like copper, is quite heavy. Even a fairly small amount of brass is worth taking to the scrap yard! If you are in possession of copper or brass, don’t wait any longer. Get to your local scrap metal recycler to turn that metal into fast cash...

read more

Do’s And Don’ts Of Using A Rolloff Dumpster

Posted by on Jun 1, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you are doing some home remodeling, you might rent a rolloff dumpster to help you dispose of waste after you are done. To use it effectively, make sure you follow these important do’s and don’ts. Do: Recycle items first Before you throw anything away in the rolloff dumpster, you should start by seeing what can be recycled. When the rolloff dumpster is taken away, everything ends up in landfills. You don’ want to fill it with materials that can be reused or recycled into other products. For example, if you are replacing all of the windows in your home, all that glass can be recycled. You can also recycle most flooring materials, including hardwood, tile, and carpeting, drywall, lamps and lighting fixtures, and anything made of metal or steel. Do: Fill it correctly The next thing you should know about these types of dumpsters is how to fill it correctly. This will allow you to get everything into the dumpster one time so you don’t need more than one or have it emptied and then brought back for a second trip. When filling the dumpster, always start with heavy and bulky items first. Cardboard and flat items, including foam, should be near the bottom of the dumpster as well. To fill gaps and spaces in the dumpster use any trash that needs to go inside. When throwing away furniture items that are too deteriorated to give away or sell, break them down first being putting them in the dumpster. Don’t: Get the wrong size It is important that you consider how much you have to throw away before deciding what size dumpster to get. If you aren’t sure, discuss your remodeling project with the rolloff dumpster company, and they should provide you with the right size. If you get a dumpster that is too small, you will end up needing to have it picked up multiple times, which can cost more money and be a pain for the company emptying it at the local dump. However, getting one that is too large is also inconvenient and takes up more space on the street. Don’t: Park it on the street without a permit You also need to check with your local permit office to find out if you need a permit when parking it on the street. You might have room in your driveway for the dumpster, and this is preferred. While it may not look great, it keeps it out of the street so street sweepers and city employees can drive without the obstruction. Also inform your neighbors about the dumpster and that you will have it moved as soon as possible. To learn more about dumpsters, contact a company like Tri-State...

read more

3 Reasons To Have An Environmental Analysis Done For Your Start-Up

Posted by on May 20, 2015 in Uncategorized |

An environmental analysis involves having your company assessed to determine just how much of an impact it is having on the environment. With a start-up, you can have your company’s business plan assessed to determine just how eco-friendly it will be when you open your doors. Along with doing your company’s part for the environment, there are other reasons why an environmental analysis is a smart idea. These are just three of many reasons to consider having one of these assessments done. 1. Determine Key Ways to Save Money Being eco-friendly isn’t just about helping the environment, although this is obviously an important part. It is also about making the best possible uses of your resources, such as water and electricity. If you have an environmental analysis done, you can figure out how to maximize your resources, which can help both the environment and your start-up company’s finances. 2. Remain Transparent Among Your Customer Base In today’s world, more and more consumers are beginning to worry about their own personal impact on the environment. For many, this responsibility also extends to the businesses that they associate with. If your company doesn’t take the necessary steps to try to be more eco-friendly, you can miss out on a lot of business. It’s best to be able to share your environmental analysis and your company’s steps toward caring for the environment with your customer base. One of the best ways to stay transparent in these matters is to have your environmental analysis done and then made available to the public. Then, everyone will know that your company is serious about both aiding the environment and being as transparent as possible. 3. Ensure You Abide By All Local Laws Nowadays, there are an increasing number of laws out there that businesses have to follow in regards to the environment. Things like pollution can get your start-up in a lot of trouble, and you don’t want to find out too late that you aren’t complying with your local laws. Luckily, an environmental analysis will not only help you ensure that your new start-up is operating within the law, but it will also provide you with solid evidence that you can provide in the event that your company is investigated for such matters. As you can see, an environmental analysis is an important step for any start-up business. Before you really get started with operating your new business, now is the time to look into an environmental analysis so that you can determine how your company can best protect the environment during its day to day operations. Companies like Neilson Research Corporation can provide more information about environmental analysis and what it means for your...

read more

Solar Shingles: The New Frontier Of Solar Energy

Posted by on Apr 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you’re looking for a way to green up your home, you’ve probably considered installing solar panels to harvest some of the unlimited energy from the sun. While solar panels have provided countless homeowners with green energy, there’s a new option on the market that you should carefully consider: solar shingles. What are solar shingles? Solar shingles are exactly what their name suggests. They are actual roofing shingles that not only protect your home like a regular roofing shingle would, but also harvest energy from the sun. They are embedded in your roof, rather than placed on top of it like solar panels would be. If you choose solar shingles for your home, they’ll be used in place of standard asphalt shingles. Many solar shingles are made from silicon. Since this material is so tough, it can withstand the elements just as well as a standard shingle, if not better. There are also new, ultra-thin solar shingles made from a film-like material called copper indium gallium diselenide. Though less efficient than silicon shingles, they are also less expensive. In what ways are solar shingles better than solar panels? Solar shingles allow you to harness the sun’s energy without decreasing the aesthetic value of your home. Whereas solar panels are bulky and often seen as unattractive, solar shingles essentially look like normal roofing shingles. They’re also a good choice for roofs that cannot support the additional weight of solar panels. What are the barriers to having solar shingles placed on your home? While solar shingles are a great alternative to solar panels for many homeowners, there are a few barrier and drawbacks to keep in mind. If your home does not face the right direction to capture a large amount of sunlight, your solar shingles won’t generate a lot of electricity. Also, the solar shingles do tend to heat up as they operate. Your roofing substrate must be made to withstand this heat. Though they are likely to save you money in the long run by reducing or eliminating your energy bills, solar shingles do have a high start-up cost. You can expect a roof with solar shingles to cost about $27,000 more than a traditional roof, though it will save about $58,000 in electricity over its lifetime. Are solar shingles a wise choice for your home? The best way to know is to contact a company that specializes in solar energy, like DFW Solar Electric. Once you know whether the solar shingles are compatible with the structure and position of your home, you can make a more informed decision as to whether they’re an affordable and effective choice for...

read more

Four Things You Want To Know About Chainsaw Safety After Tree Removal

Posted by on Mar 11, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

For one reason or another, you may have to have a tree removed from the property. Many people let the tree company take care of removing the timber from their property. Tree removal can also be a great source of firewood, and you may save a little by not having the timber hauled off. This also means that you will have to do a lot of the cutting and spitting of your firewood yourself. Sometimes, the timber can be long sections that need to be cut in firewood length with a chainsaw. Before you get started cutting your timber, here are four tips for safety while cutting firewood with a chainsaw: 1. Head And Ear Protect For Chainsaws And Other Lawn Equipment Head and ear protection is important when you are using a chainsaw. It can protect your head from saw kickback, as well as your ears from the noise of a chainsaw. This equipment is good for not only cutting firewood with a chainsaw, but you can also use it for doing other garden tasks like running a weed eater and other garden machines that are noisy and dangerous. 2. Cut Protection Gear And Safety Boots For Chainsaws While the headgear you use can be used for many different task, pants and boots are items that you may want to have specifically designed for cut protection with chainsaws. Chainsaw safety pants have a thick layer of nylon fibers in them, which will stop the chain of the saw if you touch part of the pants with your chainsaw. There are also many different forestry boots that are meant to do this type of work. Some boots even have hard soles and steal toes for added protection. 3. Cutting The Logs Into Even Lengths To Fit In The Fireplace If you are cutting firewood, you will want it to be an even average length. This will make it easier to store firewood once it is split, as well as ensure that it fits in your fireplace or stove. A simple trick to do this is to use the blade of the saw.  Put the saw blade on the log you are going to cut, move it to where the tip of the blade ends to begin your cut. Doing this will insure that every log is approximately the same length. 4. Cutting And Splitting Logs Safely With Your Chainsaw When it comes to cutting the firewood, you also want to use the chainsaw safely. You should always keep your face and body parts away from the path of the chainsaw blade. Also, do not begin cutting the wood with the tip of the bar; instead, put the body of the bar on the log that you are cutting to prevent kickback or the chainsaw getting away from you. You may also want to split wood with a chainsaw, which there is a trick for this too. You can make a jig by taking an upright trunk and cutting a V-shape seat in it. This will give you a place to do split cuts on logs, while safely holding them in place. These are some things that you will want to know about chainsaw safety when cutting firewood. If you have trees that need to be removed and cut into...

read more

3 Signs That Your Sewer Line Needs Attention From A Plumber

Posted by on Feb 9, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Your sewer line carries all of your waste, from what you flush down the toilet to the water you use to bathe, down to the municipal sewer where it can be processed by the waste water treatment plant in your city or county. If your sewer line is broken, then you have some troubled times ahead. Here are three signs that your sewer line needs attention from a plumber. The rotten odor of sewage in your home is a sign of trouble. Raw sewage has a distinctive odor that immediately causes you to wrinkle your nose. That stomach-churning scent in your house is never something you want to experience. If your sewer line is backed up or in need of repairs, then this foul odor permeates your house. Since the sewer line carries waste from your home to the municipal drain, the scent may not be just in your bathroom. The scent can be concentrated in the walls or in the floor. In the case of not only a back up, but also a leak, you may also notice wet spots on the walls or in the carpet that accompany the disgusting smell. Soft spots in your garden and lawn may contain raw sewage. Your sewer line runs under your house to the municipal sewer in order to drain waste products from your home. It is likely that your sewer line runs under your front yard to reach the sewer that runs under the street. If your sewer line is backed up, then patches of raw sewage can spoil your garden. Dead plants, wet patches on your lawn, and noxious odors all point to raw sewage seeping through the soil from your sewer line. These soft patches can cause the ground to become unstable and not only ruin your garden, but also put your pets at risk of bacterial infections if they spend any time in your yard. Proceed with caution when these stinky wet patches emerge. Clogged and backed up drains are a sign that your waste isn’t draining. If there is a clog in your sewer line, then you will definitely notice it when you are using your shower or toilet. The toilet and tub have the lowest drains in the house and so if there is a clog in the sewer line, they will be the first to have a back up of waste water. If the clog in your sewer line is particularly bad, then you may also notice waste water appearing in your sink and washing machine. Sewage in your sinks and tubs present serious health risks. If you notice any of these issues, speak with a sewage expert like Tierra Environmental & Industrial...

read more

The Cost Effective Way To Remove A Tree Stump

Posted by on Jan 27, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you have a tree that has fallen away or you had removed from your property, then you are obviously still going to have to deal with the stump. There are a couple of ways to handle this problem. For example, you can hire professional to remove it, you can use a mattock to dig to the taproot of the stump to remove, or you can just speed up the natural process on your own.  You may feel overwhelmed with all of these options that you have. The best way to make the decision is to determine how soon you need it to be removed. If the stump isn’t affecting your curb appeal and you do not plan on selling your home anytime soon, then you may consider going the “natural” way. This is a slow process, but it is safer and typically better for the environment. Here’s how you can do this: Use a Chainsaw to Cut Stump: You want to trim the stump as close to the ground as possible. This ensures that the natural process doesn’t have as much wood to rot away at, which can make the process even slower.  Drill Holes in Stump: You want to use a drill to make holes in many areas of the stump. The deeper and wider that the holes are, then the better the “natural” process is going to work.  Fill Holes: You want to fill the holes that you made with two different ingredients. The first ingredient being water and the second nitrogen. You want to use a fertilizer that has high nitrogen content.  Cover the Stump: In order to contain all of the moisture in the stump, you will want to cover it with a tarp. Keeping the moisture trapped inside is key to getting the stump to rot more quickly than it would on its own.  Cover with Mulch: You will want to cover the tarp with mulch made from tree bark or hay. This is going to further hold in the moisture inside of the stump and add weight to ensure that the tarp does not fly away in high winds.  Repeat Steps: You don’t have to do this, but you could repeat the steps every couple of days to further speed up the process. However, this isn’t necessary and will only speed up the process slightly.  Knowing how to remove a tree stump from your yard can be helpful to save you money. However, if you need further help, hiring professionals such as Affordable Tree Care to remove the stump completely is the most efficient way to getting the stump removed in an...

read more

How To Deal With Asbestos In Your Home

Posted by on Jan 13, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Asbestos can pose a serious health risk to your home, so it is important to know how to deal with it. If your home was built in the mid-1970 to late 80’s, chances are that asbestos was used as a building material, and could be exposed to the air during renovations or demolitions. If you are not sure about the presence of asbestos in your home, consult an asbestos inspector to check for traces of the material before your remodel or renovate the home. Exposure to asbestos fibers can cause many diseases including lung cancer, so here is how to deal with it safely. How to deal with asbestos in your home Asbestos does not pose any threat if found in an undamaged state, so the best way to deal with it is to leave it intact other than trying to remove it and risk releasing fibers into the air. Asbestos-containing material can be found in many places including your tiles, loose blown-in insulation, water heaters and pipe lagging. An asbestos inspection can reveal where this material is concentrated so you can avoid damaging or disturbing it especially during renovations. In most cases, professional contractors from places like Hutzel & Associates, Inc prefer to leave asbestos intact or attempt to repair it other than attempting to remove it. This can be done by wrapping areas with damaged asbestos-containing material such as the insulation around water heaters and pipes with heavy duct tape or enclosing the damaged asbestos in an airtight, impermeable barrier that prevents the release of fibers. This barrier is made using a liquid compound called an “encapsulant” which adheres to the damaged asbestos, keeping it in place. Should you need to repair or enclose damaged asbestos, you can purchase asbestos repair materials from local suppliers listed in the yellow pages under “Safety equipment and clothing”. Removing asbestos in your home If necessary, as is the case during demolitions or some heavy renovations, asbestos has to be removed from the home. Typically, you should hire a licensed contractor to remove the asbestos safely, but you can conduct the removal yourself by following the guidelines below: Seal off the area with the asbestos and shut off any air heating systems in the room. You should also wear a respirator capable of filtering out asbestos fibers before starting the job. To reduce the risk of releasing asbestos fibers into the air, ensure that it does not crumble or break down during removal. You should also keep the asbestos wet to prevent it from forming dust particles. After removal, seal the asbestos in a leak-proof plastic bag and dispose it in a permitted...

read more
Page 1 of 212