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.

5 Best Practices to Avoid Relapse After Recovery

If you are back from a drug treatment program it is important for you to know how to avoid a relapse. There are very few people who do not relapse after rehab; most others do. The article lists a few steps which you can take to avoid a relapse.

Drugs and alcohol rehab is an ongoing process, and completing a treatment program is only the first step towards complete recovery. Very few people never relapse after rehab; most others don’t have that same experience. 

If you are back from a drug treatment program you need to know how to avoid a relapse.

Here are 5 best practices to avoid relapse after recovery:

1. Avoid Triggering Situations

A host of things can act as a trigger. For example:

  • Withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, nausea, physical weakness, mood swings, poor sleep
  • Poor self-care leading to stress, and eating and sleeping disorders
  • People, places, and things that remind you of your old habits like friends who are addicted, bars, clubs, certain areas of a college campus, etc. 
  • Uncomfortable emotions like hunger, loneliness, exhaustion, anger, etc.  
  • Relationships and sex 
  • Isolation 

It becomes important to avoid all these triggers, especially in the early stages of recovery when temptations are often strong.

2. Get Rid Of Toxic People

Once you’ve decided to give up on drugs or alcohol, you need to change your day to day life. The first step in this direction would be to get rid of the toxic people in your life. Spending time with people who are addicted is not going to help and you may not succeed in giving up on addiction. 

Surround yourself with people who would support you to live a substance-free lifestyle. Whenever you have an urge to use, call a friend or someone in recovery. Just talking to them about your urge going through would do the magic.

You will see that the minute you start to talk about your feelings your urges begin to disappear. 

3. Stay In Therapy

It is important to continue with your therapy and attend group meetings for at least a year or two after getting sober. This will provide you the much needed coping mechanisms to maintain sobriety.

4. Do Not Give Up Your Medicines

Psychological disorders like anxiety, depression, anger, mood swings, etc are major factors leading to the use of drugs and alcohol. Most rehab programs prescribe medicines to control the symptoms of these diseases.  However, just a disappearance of symptoms does not mean that you are cured. So, continue taking your medicines throughout the recovery period as suggested by your therapist at the drug rehabilitation center.

5. Practice self-care

The most important thing that you can do to prevent relapse is to take good care of yourself. Most people take to addiction as a way to escape or relax. You relapse when you don’t take care of yourself and create situations that are mentally and emotionally draining which makes you want to escape.

For example, if you don’t take care of your eating and sleep habits, you may feel tired and try to escape. But if you take care to eat nutritious food and sleep properly you can avoid exhaustion, urge and consequent relapse.

How PCR Is Helping Us to Make Our World Better and Safer 

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is used in molecular biology to amplify or make multiple copies of small DNS sections. The technique has emerged as an extremely common tool in biological and medical research laboratories and has transformed the way biological and molecular scientific research and diagnostics are conducted. PCR, along with its variations have a very wide range of applications, some of which are:

Environmental Microbiology

PCR continues to contribute to the understanding of numerous environmental issues that plague our planet, especially in the matter of the detection of environmental microorganisms. With the help of PCR, it is possible to identify and quantify specific target species of microorganisms, even when the sample size is very small. A common example of the use of PCR is the identification of pathogens in water supplies such as coliform that can be deadly for health and environmental safety.

Consumer Genomics

PCR has now made it possible for testing genomes on a personalized basis, which has resulted in the establishment of an entire industry that offers consumers custom products and services based on specific genome information. For example, nutrigenomics, which deals with the effect of food and food components on the expression of genes and how the nutritional environment is affected by genetic variations? It helps to achieve a better understanding of how human health may be affected by specific dietary regimes or nutrients.

Forensic Science

PCR continues to play a vital role in the analysis of organic crime scene evidence like soils, semen, blood, pollen, hair, etc. for the identification of criminals. MyBioSource PCR kits allow forensic biochemical analyses and diagnostics such as DNA fingerprinting, genomic DNA isolation, familial relationship identification from very small samples; even a single DNA molecule can be sufficient for allowing PCR amplification. According to bitesizebio.com, PCR is especially helpful in DNA fingerprinting for the identification of criminals.

Medicine

PCR is now widely used in the diagnosis and treatment of numerous diseases as well as an integral research aid in the diagnosis and identification of potential cures for many other ailments. With the help of PCR, it is possible to focus on the DNA segment that is of interest rather than the whole genome. Many genetic disorders can now be diagnosed and monitored by very small genetic samples. PCR also plays an important role in the determination of the sex of embryos as well as genetic and chromosomal defects in the fetus. 

Food and Agriculture

PCR is commonly used in agricultural research laboratories for genetic modification of existing organisms for improving the quality and yield of food crops. Even though selective breeding has been in existence for a long time, genetic modification techniques can make the impact more specific and result in the faster development of better seed varieties.

Conclusion

Even though PCR is not very well understood by the general public, researchers have realized its potential for altering genetic compositions for a whole host of improved outcomes ranging from disease control to forensic science and agriculture. The principal advantage of PCR is that genetic modification can be initiated from very small DNA samples that would have ordinarily served no purpose in scientific research. 

Author bio

Ariya Stark is a health expert who has been running many health seminars and public discussions. She also manages her blog and reviews the health-related details provided by authentic sources.

Benefits of Adding MCT Oil Online to Your Diet Plan

What is MCT oil?

With the advancement in science and technology, humans are continuously digging for more information and design the ideal diet for an individual. The path-breaking discoveries and innovations have led us in the way to a safer world with excellent diet plans for all. One of the leading topics that nutrition experts and researchers are working on is the benefits of MCT oil. 

As mentioned earlier, this oil is used as a supplement as it contains medium-length fat chains or triglycerides. The prime reason to give more priority to this oil is that the medium-chain fats can be easily absorbed, digested and assimilated in our body. The side effects of using MCT oil in food preparation or as a supplement are much less than other oils used popularly.

Benefits of using MCT oil

The excellent benefits of MCT coconut oil in India are mentioned below.

Weight loss promotion

During the consumption of MCT oil, two hormones, Leptin and Peptide YY, are released in our body. Both hormones create a fullness feeling when consumed with food. The concentration of the medium-chain fats is higher in this oil, thus allowing safe applications in high-heat preparations. Due to the full effect, a person does not feel hungry and can easily control the cravings. This oil can aid in weight loss regime management for enthusiasts.

Low calorie

MCT oil which is available online adds 10% fewer calories to the food than traditional coconut oil. It means that a person, on a regular diet, will consume 10% calories from food prepared using coconut oil. Using MCT oil to prepare food can be a good way to cut down unwanted calories.

Instant energy source

Due to its excellent absorption and assimilation rate in the digestive system, it can be used as an instant energy source. This is why it can be used for breaking down stored fat. On regular consumption, it will not get stored in the fat cells yet promote fat metabolism and accelerate losing weight.

Brain fuel

As mentioned earlier, MCT oil breaks down easily and gets assimilated at a cellular level faster than normal coconut oil, it is perfectly absorbed by the brain cells and work as an elegant source of fuel. This oil passes through the liver cells and acts as a fuel source for various tissues, especially the brain.

A good ingredient for ketogenic diet plan

The fitness buffs around the world are fascinated by the concept and usefulness of the ketogenic diet. MCT oil can be used as a perfect ingredient to prepare food according to this diet plan.

It is now easy to find MCT coconut oil in various stores offering supplements. Get the best products and transform your life.

Summary

Medium Chain Triglycerides or (MCT) oil is the latest fad of the fitness buffs. This oil is way different from what we are consuming these days. It is found naturally in various sources. Let us dig deeper and find out its benefits one can avail. It is extracted from coconut oil and then purified to avail in this form.

7 Tips How You Can Save Paper at School

Students use computers today so much that when they use paper, they forget to save it. Online writing services like PaperWritten help students with assignments so they don’t have to write anything. Even though the world is digitalized, we still need paper for many basic tasks, especially in school. So how can students save paper in school?

Paper is a very precious resource because as you know, it is gotten from trees. Saving paper means fewer trees have to be cut to process more. Forests are essential for human survival because they help reduce the carbon Iv oxide levels in the environment. Without trees, the world would feel like a boiling oven.

In many schools, paper accounts for close to half of the trash and most times you’ll find its unused paper. Every school requires a paper-reduction programme that teaches students the importance of saving paper.

 

save-paper-img-1

 

1. A Paper Reduction Policy

This is the best place to begin as a school because if there are rules against wasting paper, students learn to save what they have. The paper reduction policy should not apply to students alone but to teachers as well. After all, the students will most likely follow what the teachers do.

Teachers should lead by example so that students can follow suit. The paper reduction policy should not just be a number of printed rules printed out and pinned on walls around school. It is the institution’s obligation to ensure each student knows about the policy.

Teachers should keep reminding their students why saving paper is so important to the environment. This is an excellent way for society to raise environmentally friendly children.

 

2. Educate the School’s Entire Fraternity

You realize that schools are not comprised of students and teachers alone. If the entire school is to save paper, everyone should be educated on the importance of doing the same. Educating the school’s entire fraternity ensures the institution works towards a common goal. The parents should also be looped in because school is not the only place students use paper. This should be a principle instilled in students and the practice should not end when they step out of school.

 

3. Post Signs on Printers

Printing is among the ways in which schools waste paper. Learning institutions should post signs on printers to remind whoever is using it to save paper. You should cross check setting before printing to ensure you’re printing out the right documents. Also, don’t print out extra copies unless it’s absolutely necessary.

 

4. Re-Use Single-Sided Paper

Many students assume that once one side of paper is used, they can trash it. However, there’s an entire side that remains unused. Re-using single-sided paper is not only environmentally conservative, it also teaches students to maximize the resources they have. Wasting resources just because you have enough is not a sustainable approach.

 

5. Do Away with Towel Dispensers in Wash Rooms

Instead of using paper towels in washrooms, schools should consider installing hand driers. This is an excellent paper-reduction strategy. Paper driers are convenient and reliable. They dry hands fast and they don’t have to waste output in schools.

Schools should ensure they install hand driers from well-reputed companies so they don’t have to worry about regular repair or replacements. Spending a little more on quality products ensure they last for years.

 

6. Each Class Should Have Waste Reduction Goals

When each class sets waste reduction goals, the school’s overall waste output will significantly reduce. Institutions should even consider making this a contest where the class with the lowest amount of paper waste wins. This is an excellent motivation for students to maximize the resources they have.

The administration should also track paper usage across the school and centralize paper orders. This is also an excellent cost-saving strategy because schools don’t get paper for free, or do they?

 

7. Settings on All Printers Should be Double-Sided

Every printer in the institution should print on both sides of the paper. The departments concerned should check all printers and copiers to ensure the default settings have been changed to double-sided. This way, no one will accidentally print on one side without knowing it.

Many times, people hit print without confirming if the settings allow for double-sided printing. This is especially true for people in a rush to get their documents out. Students should also be taught how to use printers and copiers so that they can apply what they’ve learned at home. After all, the aim is to ensure students hold these principles dear throughout their lives.

 

Conclusion

Saving paper is an excellent environment conservation strategy because papers are manufactured from trees. Schools should ensure they come up with paper reduction policies and educate everyone on why it’s important to save paper. Teachers should lead by example because students are likely to emulate their teachers.

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!

3 Reasons To Have The Drinking Water Filtered

Introduction

The human body consists of 80 % by volume as water. With this information, it would bring to mind immediately the importance of water to daily life.  We take in water as moisture from the food that we eat as well as just the plain glass of water that is drunk at the table and elsewhere. Water could be the most carried along with substance wherever people tend to travel or move.    

Since water can be found in practically every nook and corner of the world, the second aspect of utilizing water to drink is to understand the quality of the water being ingested.  Everyone must always have access to clean drinking water. Compromising on the quality of water does bring on health issues and can, at times, mean fatal conditions being developed.  

Considering the importance of water to life as a whole, an entire industry has come up that aims at providing safe and clean drinking water to those that need it – companies such as Bonfilt started emerging to help solve different problems in the water filtering industry..  This has meant that a lot of people are relying on providing an essential commodity to live as their means of earning. Here it would be pertinent to understand the three main reasons why drinking water should be filtered and made safe to drink. 

Bacterial Contaminants

When rains fall onto the ground and flow onwards as streams and rivers; one of the most common incidents that take place is that the water gets contaminated with dirt and other extraneous bodies. It must be understood that no place on earth is free from bacteria. Bacteria are so common that there are some useful ones too that grow in our guts and helps with our digestion.   

Harmful bacteria are inevitably mixed along with the water as it flows from the source to the reservoirs. This process cannot be controlled or handled without actually involving large sums of money to have it done. The more practical aspect is to clean up the water as it enters the municipal supply to restrict the number of bacteria that enter the water stream. 

Complex filtration systems have been put into place to clear the drinking water of its load of contaminants.  But at the same time, it must be pointed out that some of the filtration systems are so hard on the cleaning part that not only is the bacteria removed, but essential water-soluble compounds are also cleared away too.  So we need to devise methods that would retain the good qualities of stream water and remove just the bacteria in the drinking water. 

Dissolved Matter

One of the properties of water that has a lot of good uses is that it can dissolve many substances.  Under certain circumstances, it is possible for water even to dissolve glass. Thus most of the municipal water that gets channeled for drinking purposes tends to have a fair bit of dissolved impurities in them.  

In certain circumstances, certain minerals that are present in the soil and rock formations that the water flows through tends to give it a unique flavor and even color. There are mineral water companies that tend to use these properties of the water to attract people to use more of their products over their rivals.  

Simple filtration does not help remove the dissolved impurities most of the time. When the Fill2Pure NZ Review is undertaken, it would be evident that there are actions in place to eliminate the dissolved contaminants in the drinking water that is processed with the system.  This particularly useful in the case of outdoor adventure and tourism as it is possible to arm oneself with a filtering bottle and not carry around large amounts of water most of the time.  Additionally, for those involved in trekking, it is possible to have dissolved isotopes of radioactive material in the drinking water as well. Thus the system is suitable to ensure safe drinking water, as well as that is healthy to drink.  

Causes of diseases

It is easy to filter out what is visible to the naked eyes most of the time. But a factor with water is that they tend to flow where ever the slope takes them, and it is not possible to keep track of all the places and substances that it has come through.  Contaminated drinking water is a cause for a lot of diseases like 

 -Behavioral and learning problems in children.

 -Immune system deficiencies.

 -Breast and prostate cancer. 

 -Risk of weight gain

 -Trouble during puberty. 

These are some of the more severe issues that would not become apparent with just a single drink of the water but develops into health issues as time goes on. Ideally, water must be filtered to remove any pathogen or material that causes diseases in the short term, as well as in the longer time frame as well. A sound filtration system is thus not just handy to have around but essential too.

Afraid Your House May Have Asbestos? The Essential Steps to Protecting the Health of You and Your Family

Royalty Free Photo

Your house is meant to act as your safe zone if you will. It’s where you can spend time with loved ones, feel comfortable and at home, relax and truly enjoy life. So, what happens when the house you love so much, and that you feel so comfortable and safe in, could potentially be harmful to your health? For those who have asbestos in their homes, this is exactly the case, as their house is not only harmful, but it can potentially be deadly.

If you suspect your house may have asbestos, it is absolutely essential you act immediately and follow all the correct steps. These steps will help ensure that everyone’s health is protected and that the asbestos can be safely and permanently removed from the structure.

How to Know if Your House Has Asbestos

The very first step you will want to take if you even have a small suspicion that your house has asbestos is to get confirmation. Checking for asbestos yourself isn’t something you can or should be doing, as it takes a qualified professional to come in and safely inspect your home. This is done by taking very small samplings that will be tested in a lab. The inspector may need to collect samples from more than one area in the home, as often it’s best to play things safe.

Unfortunately, there are no for-sure tell-tale signs that are visible to the naked eye, and this is exactly why it’s so important to have your home tested. In general, for those homes built more than 20 years ago in the United States, it’s a good idea to have an inspection done.

Where Does Asbestos Lurk?

You may be wondering what the most common places in the home are for asbestos, and there are actually quite a few. Some of the biggest culprits include tiling, caulk, vinyl floor tiles, adhesives, joint compound, insulation, cement piping, and ceiling tiles among others.

The Results are Positive for Asbestos

Obviously, the worst-case scenario is to have your test results come back positive for asbestos. At this point, it’s important you take all the proper steps to have it safely and professionally removed. Again, this is not a DIY project you can do yourself, as once the asbestos fibers become airborne, they can get into your lung tissue and cause very serious damage to your body, and lead to disease. Asbestos can lead to mesothelioma, which is cancer that is found in the lung cavity.

In order to properly remove asbestos from your home, special training and materials are needed. In some states, the abatement contractors (those who remove the asbestos), will even need to get a work permit before they can proceed. You want to be sure that anyone you hire has state training, and can show proof that they are EPA-approved. This blog takes a good look at managing asbestos and the steps you can take.

Don’t Take Chances with Asbestos

The most important takeaway when dealing with asbestos is that it is extremely dangerous to everyone’s health, so it’s never wise to take a risk.

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.

What Most People Forget to Do When They Get Hurt Exercising

Exercise is one of the best things anybody can do for the long-term health of their mind, body, and soul. Exercise is essential in keeping your heart healthy, as well as hundreds of other health benefits that are too numerous to list. Still, exercise isn’t without its risks. Those who train too hard or with improper technique risk injuring themselves, not to mention there are some times when you can do everything right and still end up with an injury. There’s no need to fret as long as you have a proper plan in place for dealing with the injury.

Education on what proper recovery plans look like is still lacking, so this article was recreated to help those with an injury get back in the saddle as quickly as possible:

Isolate the area

Depending on where you’ve been hurt, it’s important to locate the source of the pain and begin dedicating resources to aid in your recovery. For a sprain or other soreness causing injury, a protocol is to be followed. The first thing to do is to stop putting pressure on the area with use. If it’s an upper-body injury, don’t pick up anything heavy, while lower-body injuries are best dealt with by sitting down and keeping your weight off it. The area should also be iced to promote tissue healing as well as stop swelling. While regular ice or frozen produce is a staple solution for this, custom-made gel packs such as those offered by https://gelpax.com are often a better choice for long-term athletes. After icing the area, the body part should be elevated, and a compression garment should be applied to help aid circulation.

Take it easy, but not too easy

Exercising and physical fitness can take a lot out of someone’s daily schedule. Because of this, it’s easy to erroneously believe that a day off due to injury is a free day, where someone is free to do however they please. Alcohol is still to be avoided since it diverts valuable resources away from your body’s repair efforts and has negative effects on overall fitness as a whole. If you don’t know whether or not you should engage in a certain activity while recovering from your injury, consider what your doctor would say if you asked their opinion on it. If you’re fairly certain they’d caution you away from the said activity, that’s a good sign it isn’t for you at this moment.

Hydrate

The signals your body is giving you in response to your sports injury seldom come in the form of increased thirst. However, without water, your body will be under even more stress. No matter how difficult or inconvenient it might be to get a big jug of water at the moment, know it’s wholly essential. Without proper hydration, your body will have to begin prioritizing certain parts of the body above others. Even if your injury gets lucky enough to receive the bulk of your body’s resources, you’ll be suffering in some other way, whether it be in comfort or mental health. Drinking eight cups of water is the daily recommended intake. It’s worth noting that foods like bananas are high in water and count toward your water intake. Don’t focus on eight literal glasses of water.

Conclusion

On your way to the aesthetic body, exercise recovery is just as an active process as the exercise itself, despite what the term ‘rest’ might imply. It’s during this time that you should be restructuring your thoughts with regards to your physical needs toward giving your body the fuel it needs to have you return to your previous unhurt state. Without proper planning, your recovery time can be excessively long and not nearly as effective as it could be.