Ideas to Embrace Nature and Go Solar!

The world’s revolutionizing and solar energy is helping us all to adopt an environmentally friendly life! With coal and water under the threat of extinction and electricity bills surging up higher, the sun is actually a God sent blessing for the world. It’s freely available and is inexhaustible (Bless the Sun!). The experts have utilized this free energy wisely enough and harnessed it to gift us solar powered products and gadgets.

The solar powered gadgets are nothing short of magic in our lives today. You can utilize them for long and don’t even have to worry about paying the bill for the same. And if we add to the benefits, you can actually be paid by the State (in some places) if you own solar panels in your property! So, isn’t solar energy a great inclusion in our lives? And we could actually benefit from it more if we utilize its different ways in our day to day life!

Ø A list of best solar powered devices for your regular lifestyle!

Gone are the days when solar energy was looked upon hesitantly and people used to shy away using the same. Today, you’ll see almost everything utilizing solar power and operating excellently everywhere. Below, we have listed some tips which can bring that magic of the power of the sun to your daily domestic life better and cut down your electricity charges too.

o Solar panels — There are lots of cheap solar panels available in Melbourne via Wattsup Solar and Electrical, which provides you economical options that last for decades. These can be easily put up on your roofs and you can cut down your electricity bill to an admirable all-time low. And as said above, you may even get paid for the amount of energy you conserve through your panels.

o Solar water heaters — Most people nowadays complain about the high usage of electricity and gas used to heat their water. With solar heaters, you can consume hot water in a chilled climate and wouldn’t need to stress about the hike in your bills because of it.

o Solar charger —Mobile chargers are a must for everyone today! You just couldn’t function without smartphones, and your phones require chargers to operate. You can skip to solar chargers which would really make your life a lot easier. Carry it anywhere, without worrying about the plugs or sockets — simply charge them throughout the day under the sun and fill the battery of your device through them during the night.

o Solar oven — Cooking is a daily chore in almost all households. And most of us carry out this task through stoves and ovens which are either fuelled or run through electricity. While solar ovens are an excellent investment. They work similarly as the electrical one but don’t cost you a hefty bill.

o Solar lights — Yes, we are even fortunate enough to have solar lights in our life. These are a great alternative to the electrical ones, as they provide better brightness and last longer, along with reducing your utility bills.

These are some excellent gadgets listed especially for easier domestic usage. They utilize maximum solar energy to make your life easier. Now, can you imagine the long list of benefits you can enjoy once you adopt them in your regular lifestyle?

Best Sustainable Living Blogs To Follow in 2020

Creating a sustainable lifestyle is a goal for many individuals this year. From shifting consumption habits to reducing waste output, there are plenty of areas where we can all improve to make the world a better place.

If you’re looking for inspiration and guidance to help you make a change, there are loads of amazing resources to check out. Here are some of the best sustainable living blogs to follow in 2020.

1.  Mommy Travels

On Mommy Travels you will find travel tips, reviews of hotels and restaurants, activity suggestions, itineraries, and more. Whether you are on a tight budget and need to stay close to home, or able to have a luxury European vacation, Mommy Travels will help you plan the ultimate family vacation.

2. Public Goods

Many of the toughest problems we face are the result of the products we choose to consume. That’s why they’re committed to making healthier, more informed choices easy and accessible to all. They don’t make products that aren’t good for people and the planet. Their membership model allows them to offer the highest quality with the lowest price tag.

3. Elevays

At Elevays, Erica Jones, MHS is your go-to girl for a quick weeknight dinner recipe, your bff’s baby shower gift, and some serious “living your best life” inspiration. Her and her husband Dr. Isaac Jones make natural living easy for entrepreneurial families and busy moms. Their blog and one-stop shop will empower you to make powerful choices for your health and well-being without feeling overwhelmed. Can I get an amen?! Dive into all the *au-naturel* tips and tricks you need to clear acne, combat aging, and boost confidence. Learn how to fight fatigue, harness energy, and become the best version of yourself. Get step-by-step guides on detoxing your body AND home and the tools you need to elevate your life. If you want all of this and more, head over to elevays.com to meet Erica, your new, most-trusted girlfriend, essential oil expert, and non-toxic lifestyle guru.

4. Green and Prosperous

Want to learn more about green living, growing your own food, adopting a healthier lifestyle, or minimizing your exposure to harmful chemicals? It’s all covered in the Green and Prosperous blog. The main editor, Kelly is the face behind the blog – a mother of 2, a professor at the George Washington University, blogger, and advocate for green living.

6 Ways Industrial LED Lighting Cuts Energy Costs and Consumption Today

There should be no denying that, as time goes by, humanity, in general, becomes more aware of the environmental issues and looks for new ways to remedy the problems that are causing them. That is, by all means, commendable. However, it should be pointed out that, while our gaze is set for the future, we are missing an opportunity to solve a lot of problems here and now.

Take for instance lighting that, according to recent estimation, makes up for 15% of worldwide energy consumption and 5% of global greenhouse gas emission. And all that because a huge number of existing businesses and entire industries are still relying on legacy lighting systems. Let us take a look at some of the ways this situation can be changed by a simple transition to more contemporary industrial LED lighting. 

More light produced by less energy

When we think about the incentives the business world could have for the transition to energy-efficient LED lighting systems, we can’t think of a better argument than the simple fact that industrial LED bulbs are simply brighter or, in other words, produce more light. For instance, while a good old incandescent bulb requires as much as 40 watts to produce 450 lumens, LED bulbs are producing the same output with no more than 6-9 watts.

Translate these numbers to vast industrial facilities and huge office spaces, and you will only begin to realize how much power we are wasting with dated lighting systems.

Incredible efficiency per fixture

This can be considered to be the other side of the same coin but it is still worth mentioning that, although the lumen output of LED lights is constantly high, their efficiency per fixture often goes off the charts. Just how efficient they can get? Well, according to the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, that efficiency can go as high as 80% or 90% more than conventional lighting systems. Of course, you can’t expect the numbers to constantly be that high but smart selection of fixtures can take your business quite far.

LED light is better focused

So, as we can see, LED lights are far brighter and more efficient than their obsolete incandescent counterpart. But, that’s only the beginning of the story. When you are trying to lighten up a factory hall or an office space, your goal is to allow your employees to perform their tasks with optimal efficiency and without too much eyestrain. It is good to know then that the LED light solutions, like the ones produced by BUCK Lighting from Serbia, are not only efficient, but are also incredibly focused and human-centric. That means that the watts you are investing in lighting won’t be used for lighting up the walls, but utilized where they are needed the most.    

LED lights are designed for smart controls

Traditional HPS fixtures sometimes take a lot of time to heat up and reach the full output. Unlike them, LED lights are capable of reaching the optimal lumen output as soon as they are turned on. That makes them a far more suitable companion for smart controls and IoT-managed performance.

Take for instance occupancy and daylight harvesting sensors. If your lighting system takes too much time to warm up, both these technologies are made somewhat obsolete. Sure, the differences may look insignificant at first glance, but after endless cycles of ons and offs, the wastes tend to pile up in the long run.

Low maintenance costs

One of the common complaints the critics like to point out in regards to LED lights is their supposedly high up-front price. This claim could not be further from the truth. Not only has the price of LED fixtures seen considerable drops over the last decade, but the very bulbs themselves last up to 25 times longer than their incandescent counterparts. All these numbers mean that the upfront price of LED lighting systems more than pays off in the long run.

Also, such a long lifespan effectively cuts the maintenance costs to a negligible price. The amount you would invest in new bulbs and maintenance crew can, thus, be invested in other energy-efficient upgrades.

New opportunities for branding and governmental rebates

Although this mention is not primarily concerned with the efficiency of the very LED lighting systems, it can’t be denied that the global business and political climate is making huge steps in the eco-friendly direction. Because of that, making your business more sustainable can open the doors for some pretty exciting branding opportunities and even governmental rebates. Much like in the previous examples, the money you are going to receive can be later spent on making additional energy-efficient upgrades within your company.

We hope these few arguments we have presented above gave you an idea of just how important the introduction of LED lights can be for the future of your business. Putting aside the environmental angle that is only going to become more relevant as time goes by, LED light systems simply make more financial sense than their obsolete incandescent alternative. In a business climate like this, every opportunity to make your business leaner and more efficient should, by all means, be used.

The Need To Recycle Rare Earth Metals For Better Future Sustainability – Know From The Experts

There’s no doubt that rare earth metals are used in almost every item that we use in our daily lives. Rare earth metals are very important elements that are naturally occurring on the earth’s crust and thereby are mined for specific use case scenarios.

However, it should be kept in mind that when rare earth metals are not disposed off in the right manner, they can easily create havoc on both the health and the environment. Times like these are when you need the help of wrecking yard in Sydney services, where like most metals out there, they’re also scrapped and recycled. The following are some of the merits of recycling rare earth metals that you should be knowing about.

The Advantages Of Recycling Rare Earth Metals For Better Future Sustainability

1. Helping The Environment

Rare earth metals put a strain on our environment. When it comes to mineral mining, the first thing that comes to mind is the deforestation of trees and plants. On the flip side, there’s also the negative side that comes from due to poor management when disposing off rare metals. In simple words, when we casually throw away our items which have rare metals in them, it can lead to the risk of exposing the environment to the metals in their rawest state.

If the disposal techniques are not taken care of in the right manner, then it can lead to our planet getting filled with toxic metals such as Europium, Neodymium and Cerium. Therefore, the best way to combat this issue is to recycle rare metals as well. If these metals are recycled, they can be reused again at a future date, which will reduce the need for further mining.

2. Saving Your Health (And All Of Living Things)

If you proceed to ingest rare metals in high quantities, then it can lead to damage to your health. These metals contaminate the soil, groundwater and nearby river bodies with the help of surface runoffs. This process is known as Bioaccumulation.

Bioaccumulation can be defined as the process where rare metals start to reach out to the surrounding areas – when they’re not disposed off properly. Thereby, it can contaminate livestock, crops and even wildlife as well. As these metals could not be digested by living beings, they get retained into the cells of the organisms and thereby pass through the food chain in increased levels of concentration.

In simpler terms, these metals will continue to accumulate in our bodies, which will be a terrifying result for our overall health. This is the reason why it’s more important to recycle.

Top EcoTourism Destination Around the Globe

With ecotourism on the rise, more and more locations around the world are adopting the principles behind this environmental movement.

With ecotourism on the rise, I did a little research to find the top destinations around the world for an all-out eco-vacation. Each of these places offers visitors something uniquely different. So, consider these locales for your next environmentally friendly getaway.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica has made a name for itself in the ecotourism world due to its well-protected natural beauty. It offers coastlines on both the Caribbean and Pacific, not to mention it is nearly one-fourth rainforest. One of the main draws of this incredible natural location is the chance to see volcanoes up close and personal, aside from the many low-impact hotels and resorts.

Norway

Norway is well known for its sustainable living practices, especially in the Fjords. Fjord, Norway is one of the four pilot destinations of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, possibly due to the government’s strict regulations on fishing, hunting, and even drilling for oil.

Australia

Australia is home to some of the most diverse species of flora and fauna that are yet to be grown or encountered in Europe and the Americas.

Australia is one of the most popular choices for summer vacation, visiting alpine villages like Thredbo, pristine beaches, cycling, routes, hiking or even mountain biking.

Galapagos Islands

Home to some of the most diverse and distinct species of fauna in the world, the country’s Directorate of the Galapagos National Park implements a strict visitor management system to ensure the natural area remains protected. With a heavy focus on sustainable tourism, this eco-destination is easily one of the most awe-inspiring locations to travel to.

Palau

This island nation in the Western Pacific is part of Micronesia and offers more aquatic sights than it does ones on land. Coral reefs are home to hundreds of species of fish, which makes them perfect for snorkeling and diving. The Palau Project, a part of Blue Planet United, brings in university students to learn about the island and aspects of ecotourism.

Kenya

On land, the country does offer untouched shorelines and forests filled with diverse plants and animals. The country recognizes its natural beauty and strives to preserve it at all costs.

Portugal

Ecotourism in Portugal is beginning to take hold in this beautiful land. Many places are overbuilt, but some of Portugal’s coastal areas have been recognized as protected landscapes. Their areas include the resorts of Esposende, Sintra and Cascais and southeast Alentejo, near Cabo de São Vicente.

Other areas, especially in the interior are being preserved and set aside for future generations to enjoy.

If I were headed anywhere in the world, these ecotourism destinations would be the top spots on my list. What unique and environmentally friendly places have you visited in your travels? Did I miss any wonderful locations that should have been on this list?

Winning Eco-Solutions for Our Homes

Globally, builders, developers, and professional remodelers of family homes are offering more green options than ever before.

Interestingly, the start of this growth can be traced back a decade, to 2009, when the global recession in the residential construction market was at a very low ebb. One conceivable explanation researchers have found is that builders started to use the advantages of green building to attract buyers at a time when the market was exceptionally sluggish.

According to a SmartMarket report by the Massachusetts-based McGraw Hill Construction company, that discusses the growth of green multi- and single-family homes in a “recovering market,” the three primary triggers were:

  1. Continued increases in energy costs.
  2. Changes in code ordinances and building regulations including the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Code Council (ICC) 700 National Green Building Standard which is approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
  3. Increasing availability and affordability of “green” products.

Additionally, various government and utility incentives placed an important role too. Unfortunately, many of these have been, or are being, phased out.

Statistics provided in the report show a phenomenal increase in green building projects. While builders that undertake very few (less than 16%) single-family home projects decreased progressively from 63% in 2011, 38% in 2013, 23% in 2015, to an anticipated 16% in 2018, those boasting that more than 90% of their projects were green rose from 12% in 2011 to 19% in 2013, 24% in 2015, to a projected 38% in 2018. The figures were similar for multi-family projects: from 69% in 2011, 46% two years later, to a consistent 21% from 2015-2018. Not as many boasted that more than 90% of their projects were green though a similar trend is evident. While there were only 6% in 2011 and 2013, this increased to 9% in 2015 and was expected to double to 18% in 2018.

Similarly, those firms undertaking remodeling projects, of which at least 90% of which were green increased from 7% in 2011 to 25% in 2018. Those admitting that less than 16% of their remodeling projects were green decreased from 70% in 2011 to 21% in 2018.

So what do builders and remodelers do to make homes green?

Eco-Solutions for Family Homes

Around 95% of builders and remodelers regard energy-efficiency as the most important element of green homes. Other important green practices that provide eco-friendly solutions include:

  • Durability of materials
  • Water efficiency that incorporates more water conservation products and practices
  • The use of materials that emit low volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Improved quality of indoor air
  • Management and reduction of construction waste and a focus on material conservation and recycling
  • Eco-friendly site planning and development with a focus on environmental sensitivity

The motivation for opting for eco-solutions varies, with the promise of long-term utility cost savings remaining the most powerful argument for going green. Operating efficiency is also a priority, followed by a belief that quality construction, along with durability and the need for reduced maintenance, is associated with so-called green features. Homeowners also consider high performance and sustainability important and, to a lesser extent, the fact that an eco-friendly home will have a reduced environmental impact.

Professionals play an important role in terms of identifying which green products, practices, and features are best for purpose and location. This includes builders, architects, and those providing engineering solutions in Chicago, New York, London, Paris, Moscow, or whichever city you live in or are near to.

Green Products, Practices, and Features

There are so many ways to ensure that our homes are eco-friendly. These are some of the winning solutions for new homes and renovations:

  • Ensure your house is energy-efficient in every possible way
    Switch to high-efficiency water heater and heating, air-conditioning, and cooling (HVAC) systems that are correctly sized and properly installed. Make sure all lighting and appliances are energy efficient. Insulation should exceed code minimums and windows should exceed code-mandated performance. Opt for above-code energy programs and passive solar design.
  • Do everything possible to conserve materials and resources
    While there are different priorities for new homes versus those being renovated, there is definite value in using more durable materials as well as recycled products or materials that are easily recycled. This is particularly true for homes that are being remodeled. The use of prefabricated components and engineered wood is gaining significant attention and interest as is the use of lumber that is certified to have been sustainably harvested.
  • Put systems in place that will enable you to conserve water
    The ability to conserve water comes from installing appliances and fixtures that are designed for this purpose. Efficient plumbing techniques also help a great deal. Look for WaterSense labels and harvest rainwater if you can.
  • Aim for the very best indoor environmental quality possible
    There are many products and practices that will improve the indoor environmental quality of your home from filtration and air-cleaning systems and low-VOC materials (including paint, synthetic fibers, wood finishing products, and cabinetry that contains formaldehyde) to systems that increase moisture control and ventilation. A company that offers mechanical engineering services in Chicago or wherever you live will be able to assist with the latter.

There is little doubt that the challenges of finding appropriate eco-solutions for your home will be easier if you work with a professional, there is certainly a lot that each and every one of us can do ourselves. It simply requires commitment.

About the author

Michael Tobias is the founder and principal of New York Engineers, an Inc 5000 Fastest Growing Company in America. He leads a team of 30+ mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineers from the company headquarters in New York City, and has led more than 1,000 projects in New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, and California, as well as Singapore and Malaysia. He is passionate about sustainability and renewable energy.

Getting in Touch with Nature at Your Own Home 

Being able to spend some time in the open and enjoy nature is one of the most special feelings in the world. But if you do that in the comfort of your own home, it’s even better! If you’re one of those lucky people who live in a home that’s surrounded by a front and back yard, you simply have to make the most of it. Therefore, here are some of the best ways to get in touch with nature at your own home. 

Spice up your porch

Some people have a problem spending quality time in their front yard because they feel that everyone who passes by is able to see them. But if you design and build a great porch, you could be spending all your free time here – alone or with other people. You and your family could start having your meals there, or you could have a cup of coffee with your friends. Ultimately, you can even take a nap here or enjoy your books, but the most important thing is that you’ll be spending more time in the open than ever. 

Fix your deck

If you’re not a fan of letting random passers-by see you in your private moments, you can always introduce a totally different idea. Making the most of your backyard and giving your deck a brand new life is always a great choice. You don’t have to hide in your living room all summer long but instead, enjoy the outside area. From boosting your motivation to helping you discover a new hangout place, you’ll certainly get in touch with the nature around you. Instead of being stuck in dark, gloomy, improperly illuminated and poorly ventilated spaces, you’ll be surrounded by trees, fresh air, and lots of sunshine, which is great for your health, both mental and physical.

Regulate the exposure

Speaking of sunshine, you have to remember that not just any amount will do, no matter how amazing and healthy this is. Too much sunshine might harm you, especially if you’re living in a hot region with lots of sunny days on a yearly level. That’s why people living in places like Australia, for instance, might look into those handy shade sails that don’t just make your home more visually appealing but also help you connect to nature in a more meaningful way. Being able to spend time protected against too much sunshine will help you fall in love with your outdoor space again and again, and that’s always great.

Add more plants

In case you can’t or don’t want to spend time outside, you can always do the same in the comfort of your own home. Instead of going out, you could bring nature in, and turn your home into an oasis you can enjoy every day of the week. You just need to find some of the most durable house plants and incorporate them into every corner of your home. These will purify your indoor air, give your home a more natural look, boost your motivation, help you wake up in the morning, and turn into the focal points of your indoor space. You could also combine these with some eco-friendly décor, and take the green potential of your home to a much higher level.

As you can see, getting in touch with nature at your own home isn’t as hard or challenging as people generally think. It’s all about finding the right ideas and figuring out a way to make them work in your own space. And if you manage to do so, you too could start enjoying nature straight away!

What to Consider When You Hire a Pest Control Professional

Dealing with pests is one job that isn’t much fun. Most times, it’s best you hire a professional to help out than handling it by yourself. And if the infestation worsens or the control products needed are only available to authorized personnel, then you don’t have many options.

Here are some things to consider when hiring a pest control officer.

1. The company

The first thing you want to consider when hiring a pest control professional is the type of company. According to Brisbane Bennetts Services Pest Control, you’ll need to find out if the company is insured and bonded, to stay protected against liability. To go about this, visit their website and ask lots of questions.

From your research and findings, you’ll be able to determine if they are knowledgeable and professional enough to control the pest situation for you.

2. The technician

The technician you hire is perhaps the most important consideration to keep in mind. Even after selecting a pest control company you feel is right for you, you still have to confirm if the technician is perfect for the situation.

Before allowing any technician into your home, ask for their license, certification, and identification, and make sure they are all current. Every state mandate that pest control technicians be certified, so there’s no excuse for not having these requirements. The growing number of providers increases the chance that many are not certified, as only technicians who haven’t participated in the annual training have outdated licenses.

3. How knowledgeable the sales representative or technician is

If you just discovered pests in your home, you’ll have lots of control questions to ask. And what better people than technicians and sales representatives to answer them? It’s okay to not know everything since there are so many aspects of pest control. However, a basic understanding of what needs to be done and how the control process will occur is crucial information every technician and sales representative must know.

4. Professional appearance

An aspect of quality that every service company must have is the right appearance. Indeed, most people decide on who they hire based on what they can see and deduce from the technician. Their overall appearance, truck, and equipment must be clean and professional.

5. Price

A low-priced service is perhaps not the best deal, and neither is an expensive one. The ideal price is somewhere in the middle, and the best way to find it is to compare it with the price of other companies. In your search for the right pest control professional to pick, don’t compromise quality for the price.

6. References

What other people have to say about a business or service greatly affects the number of customers they’ll have. Therefore, before you go about ringing a pest control company, ask your neighbors and friends for referrals. You can also check your state’s pest control association. If you don’t seem to find anything, then ask the provider directly for referrals.

7. Contract details

Like in any other service business, ensure you discuss contract details at the onset. You should not assume that the frequency of care is known to the technician or sales representative. Make sure you read carefully through the contract and ask the right questions before you go on to sign it.

8. Chemicals

Chemicals for elimination are usually the most used. However, the technician should be open to discussing their adverse effects and whether non-chemical options are available. In either case, the container should be clean and have a professional appearance. A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) should be provided upon request for every chemical used.

9. Service

Before going on to carry out any service, ensure that you discuss with the technician, and they are fully aware of what the problem is. After this discussion, the technician should inspect your property to determine the best plan of action.

10. Documentation

The technician should be able to provide you with a report after the process has been completed. Also, any follow-up action and customer advice should be included to ensure your house and property remains pest-free.

11. Guarantee

A sign of a good pest control company is in its ability to give its customers a guarantee for its services. You should read this guarantee carefully to know when you can invoke it, what it covers, what you need to do to keep it, and how long it lasts for.

In conclusion

If pests or rodents have recently infected your home, then seeking professional help is a smart decision to make. With their advanced equipment and expertise, you should be assured of a complete and proper inspection of your property and the control of pests in it.

Ensure your checklist all the things to consider we have included in this article against your potential pest control professionals.

Eco-Friendly Lifestyle Tips

When we talk about the lifestyle we mean the way we do things in terms of our behavior, the way we interact, what we consume, the activities we participate in, and the interests that we have. Ultimately, lifestyle also incorporates values that we take into account in our homes and in everything else that we do.

When we talk about an eco-friendly lifestyle, this can incorporate anything from the way we get around (transportation), and our efforts to avoid plastic and ensure that everything we can recycle gets recycled, to using ENERGY STAR-rated appliances and ensuring our homes are designed to be energy efficient. The latter incorporates everything relating to energy and sustainability, including solar heating, eco-friendly lighting, energy-efficient cooling methods, better insulation, and harvesting rainwater.

You may not be able to embrace it all, but here are some tips to get help get you started.

Top Ten Tips for an Eco-Friendly Lifestyle

1. Transportation

Transportation, along with heating and production of electricity, is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. More than 90% of the fuel we use for transportation, including diesel and gasoline, is petroleum-based. For this reason, a lifestyle change regarding transportation really can make a difference.

If you can afford to switch to an electric vehicle do so. Otherwise, ride a bicycle or walk whenever you can. Not only will the environment benefit, but you’ll also improve your health.

2. Recycle

Before you throw anything into the trash can consider whether it can be recycled. The most obvious items include paper, cardboard (including boxes used for packaging of all types), tin cans and other types of metal, glass, and both rigid and flexible (as in bags and wrap) plastic. Depending on where you live, there may be collection services and you may be required to separate different materials from one another. Alternatively, find a recycling center where you can deliver your own waste.

Recycled products can also be used in your home and to build or renovate it.

3. Eco-Friendly Appliances

While not all eco-friendly appliances are rated by ENERGY STAR if they are you can be sure that you’ll be on the right track to using less energy in your home. Not only will you be helping to reduce greenhouse gases, but using eco-friendly appliances is a sure way to save money. In just one year (2017), ENERGY STAR reportedly helped reduce U.S. energy costs by a whopping $30 million.

4. Solar Power & Solar Heating

Instead of burning fossil fuels like natural gas and coal, harvest energy from the sun to provide electricity for heating. The most eco-friendly options can have you living off the grid, though many people generate solar power and then feed any excess back into the grid. Alternatively, batteries installed on-site may be used to store excess solar power and this easily accessible power can be used when required. This is an excellent way to reduce the cost of electricity in your home.

Solar heating systems with collectors in the form of panels or tubes that are mounted on the roof are a great solution for heating water.

Passive solar heating is another eco-friendly lifestyle solution that will help to reduce energy use. However, it is largely dependent on the way your home or office building was designed. For example, shading will help to keep homes cool and large windows that admit sunshine and warm the interior in colder weather conditions.

An MEP engineering firm in Chicago, New York, Toronto, or any of the world’s cities will be able to advise on the many varied options available to take advantage of solar heating systems.

5. Wind Power

Like solar power, the wind can be used to generate electricity. It can also be used to create heat, and you don’t need massive wind turbines to do it. You do, though, need to live in a relatively windy area to take advantage of this kind of system. Have a look at kits that are available, or contact an engineering firm for advice.

6. Eco-Friendly Lighting

Lighting is an element that is easily improved, simply by taking maximum advantage of natural sunlight and using artificial lighting that is energy-efficient, if only by using eco-friendly light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs that are a lot more longer lasting than compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. Some use up to 90% less energy than standard light bulbs.

7. Energy-Efficient Cooling

Geothermal systems that use ground source heat pumps are great for both energy-efficient cooling and heating. You can save up to 50% on cooling bills by replacing old fashioned HVAC systems with these heat pumps, and they will last longer too.

If you don’t want to spend the money required for a geothermal system, you could compromise and try passive cooling rather than traditional air-con units. Like passive solar systems, passive cooling relies on blocking out heat while allowing cool air to enter the house. Roof vents and ceiling fans may also be used to cool interiors.

8. Improved Insulation

The key to any green, healthy building is energy efficiency. In addition to utilizing sources of renewable energy, good insulation of walls, floors, and ceilings is imperative. Properly done, it will go a long way to keeping your house cold when it’s hot and hot when it’s cold.

9. Water Management

It doesn’t matter whether you live in a drought-stricken area or in a place where water is plentiful, capturing rainwater is another key to an eco-friendly lifestyle. Installing greywater systems, ideal for irrigation and flushing toilets is another way that will help you to save on water costs.

Rainwater harvesting systems may be as simple as installing a rain barrel of some kind that channels water from gutters and downpipes to more advanced blue roof systems, both of which are eco-friendly and highly sustainable. The latter involves the detention of water which is then released back into the environment at a controlled rate.

10. Don’t Forget to Breathe

This might seem like a no-brainer, but when you’re trying really hard to do something right you can become so stressed that you start to negate the benefits.

This is just a taste of what you can do to ensure an eco-friendly lifestyle. If you want to take additional steps that will help you minimize your environmental footprint, a New York or Chicago engineering firm, or professional engineers that specialize in green technologies, will be able to provide key solutions that will definitely impact on your lifestyle in a positive way.

About the author

Michael Tobias is the founder and principal of New York Engineers, an Inc 5000 Fastest Growing Company in America. He leads a team of 30+ mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineers from the company headquarters in New York City, and has led more than 1,000 projects in New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, and California, as well as Singapore and Malaysia.

How to Visit Emilia-Romagna on Your Holiday

Emilia-Romagna may possibly not magnetize as lots of visitors in its lap as it does its neighboring country Tuscany, but yet it’s the great exemplar of how one will make an effort to travel around away from popular destinations and will lead to great rewards. This county is an abode to a number of great cooking, the architecture of the medieval period which the country has conserved in it where the architecture of the Renaissance period also makes its place the people of the country also enjoys the racing of the cars by their hart.

Top visiting sights

1. Fix your eyes on the striking mosaics of Ravenna

You will need a short preparation to visit the stunning collections of the Ravenna’s artwork which was founded in the age before the time of Christian, and you will be stunned at looking the sculptures on the mosaic which the period has gifted to all. These heavenly pieces of art and sculptures have no miserly approach to present Italy as one of the cities of blissful art, and that’s why it has snatched the rank of World Heritage Site by UNESCO. All the vibrant colors on the slices of the glass all around the town are making the city boastful to its artwork as the lively green, bright gold or deep- blue glasses are very dramatic in its presentation.

You can show all these glass art o all around the city – Basilica of Sant’ApollinareNuovo, Basilica di San Vitale, and Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe, Mausoleo di Galla Placidia are among them that will take your breathing on whenever you go to the sight, and you must be speculating with the question whether you are observing them throughout an inexplicable filter of fifth or sixth-century.  But what you are actually showing is some of the excellence of the magical city Ravenna

2. Have a taste of the mouth-watering food of Bologna with culture and cuisine

Bologna energetic capital of, Emilia-Romagna’s is actually the center of bohemian people, and whenever you plan to visit Emilia-Romagna, Bologna should be a destination that would become in your priority if you are a traveler who loves delicious food of Italy. The capital provides the world with tagliatelle al ragù, the brilliant pasta with the stuffing of pork food or tortellini in brodo, the pasta with the stuffing of ricotta or tortelloni burro e salvia and mortadella. FICO or The largest agricultural-food park, or the Eataly World, is positioned on the ten-hectare land on the suburbs of the town and has attached more fun for the lover of the food.

But the town is full up with culture and arts.  The oldest institution of higher education is also placed in the city of Bologna and boasts of it. Almost forty kilometers of startling entrances lead to the path to those towers, of the medieval period which the country has preserved form the past. The churches of the eleventh century and the museum of musical apparatus or San Colombano – CollezioneTagliavini is extremely wonderful.  So the attractions are full. You only need some of your energy to have a glance at it.

3. You can Rev the accelerator of your engine in the valley of Motor mechanism

You’d be pushed to get one more tourist spot on this planet where the motor parts and accessories are kept in such a beautiful way. The motor valley of Emilia-Romagna’s along with the districts passing through Emilia is actually a primeval road made of Roman that is connecting Rimini, with Piacenza. This is the place where the most renowned legends like Ducati, Ferrari Lamborghini, Pagani and Maserati took birth and moved up, mostly in this place around Bologna and Modena. Today, the people come to visit the place as it has some attractions with world H.Q, breeders cup juvenile and three other industrial units that are always open for its visitors.

Near about Nine galleries are there that are dedicated to this machinery of driving, and twenty-one personal car collected works. From the home of Ferrari’s in the city of Maranello to the facilities of manufacture of  Lamborghini’s in the city of Sant’Agata, and the plant in Modena, your wish to spend your time and money on any one of these gorgeous machines cannot be restrained.

4. Experience the tang of the authentic vinegar made in Modena

Your thought about the unproductively of the place will vanish when you go Modena in Emilia-Romagna that produces renowned vinegar famous in the international market.  The grapes of Trebbiano or Lambrusco make the wonderful product which is made by crushing the grapes fully. The pulp is taken to prepare over an open fire, and the whole mix is left to make fermentation for some weeks, and after that, it is preserved for aging for at least of twelve years in a smaller aged tub to make its heavenly AcetoBalsamicoTradizionale di Modena or the conventional vinegar of Modena.

To have a single glance on the whole process, people come to have a trip to a vinegar manufacturer, and it is really a charming incident that frequently involves tunneling deep into the tradition of an ancient family or into those vinegar tubs! Tastings always tell a complex and rich flavor which is absolutely different and superior to any vinegar of balsamic type that you have experienced ever.

5. Walk to read a mythical storybook of Brisighella in the medieval period

The village which depicts the picture of Brisighella is a medieval village, and it is situated in the lower base of a range of mountain Apennine and, is surrounded by olive farm. It is this olive which is used to make the most-regarded olive oils of Italy.  The historical trio actually did not notice the rust-colored tops of the roof of structures placed on the top of the hill:   a medieval fortress or La Rocca, a clock tower or La Torre and a sanctuary or Il Monticino of which offers stunning views.

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