Green Around the Home

Since this website is about Green topics, I would like to stray away from some of the gloom and doom from my previous posts. Deep sociological issues are very important to our society, but being Green can also be about our day-to-day activities . Rather than getting up on a soapbox and fighting for the larger causes, there are some things we can do every day in our homes and offices to make a difference. Since summer is approaching, I will start with something for all of you gardeners.

chimney soot

Since Many homes have fireplaces, this will apply to many people. During the winter months, get the suit from your fireplace and store it in a large trashcan in your basement or shed. Then as spring approaches, you can spread this material over your grass and gardens. Now your neighbors may think you’re a little crazy, and it may look a little messy, but it will make everything grow so much faster. The black dust will cover your lawn and garden only temporarily until the first heavy rain.

The rainwater will wash it into the soil where it will nourish the ground, and cause everything to grow faster and fuller. If you have a seed spreader, you can use that to just dribble it more evenly. If you have a big backyard you can also make use of composting. That is when you take natural waste products like food that you would naturally throw away, and mix it with a good amount of soil all throughout the fall and winter. It will start to decompose even when the ground is frozen, and will provide a natural and rich soil base for you to use in your garden. Make sure you have it in open area because it can produce a bit of a smell. Once you mix it in with your garden soil, your plants and fruit will grow so much larger and healthier. This also works in flower gardens. So yes, let’s take a stand against the powers that be that would destroy our planet, but in the meantime, let’s do the little day-to-day things that also make a difference.

Geothermal Climate Systems

Geothermal heating and cooling is becoming the new fad and green energy. It is actually something that is so common sense, I am surprised we didn’t utilize it years ago. It uses 0% fossil fuel or electricity to create the perfect environment for your home. The earth we walk on sucks up such a large portion of the sun and retains it for a very long time. So we can use that natural heat for our homes without spending a dime. The same is true for the cooling aspect.

geothermal works

When the earth cools down it also holds the temperature for a very long time. You then use piping systems that go into the ground to create a loop which circulates water and brings heat into your home using the earths natural temperature. Many HVAC companies use these methods now as a part of their service. It only makes sense these days. One company that was out on an air conditioning Collegeville job noticed that the ground there was perfect for this process. Many industry leaders are pushing this as a new form of service.

main geo unit

We’ve known about conductivity of all sorts for hundreds of years. We utilize it in so many other aspects of our lives. With everything from the electric light bulb to the burners on your stove, heat generated friction from electricity has been mainstream since Edison lit up the first light bulb. And the idea of using water as a heating unit has been mainstream in our lives ever since the first radiator was built. It even worked so well we put them in our cars. So it only makes sense. This process can really help reduce costs for homes and offices all over the world. No matter what the climate, you can find a way to implement it into your building structure. It cost almost nothing, and is a gift from our mother nature.

Ozone Layer

We only have one O-Zone layer. Yet we keep doing things to slowly destroy it. No matter how much science tells us the things that we do will hurt us, we don’t want to seem to listen. We are still shy away from electric cars, solar power, and organic food rather than relying on so much meat. It is actually been said that pig farms produce more methane gas than any other source on the earth. Do we really need to eat bacon that badly? The ozone layer is the only thing protecting us and the rest of the living organisms on the planet from the harmful with rays of the sun.

smog

 

Once it’s gone we can’t grow it back. So if the ozone layer was gone, most of the plant life on earth would die way. As they produce the oxygen we need to breathe, we would be closely behind. Not only that, but our life here during that time would be miserable. The harmful rays of the sun would burn our skin, and cause various forms of radiation sickness and cancer. All of the outdoor activities that we cherish would be gone, and we would be forced to live inside for most of our lives. We would then be forced to become a nocturnal creature, which sleeps during the day and goes out at night.

how the ozone is affected

Just think about it. All the beach trips, soccer games, and basically every activity outside would be a thing of the past. Even though we have been given this information on numerous occasions, we still refuse to listen or simply just don’t care. Smoking cigarettes and polluting the sky seem to be more important than your health and well-being. It’s a shame. Future generations that will have to deal with this problem seriously will look back and say, “What were they thinking”?

outdoor activities

Solar Flares

Solar flares and surge protectors. Even though they both start with an S, you think that’s about the only thing they have in common. But like most things in the scientific world, they are very inter related. And as times change, and weather patterns become more unstable, surge protectors will become a consumer and businesses best friend. So what is the link? Solar flares are radiation bursts the emanate from the sun. They can be anywhere from mild twitches, to out right explosions that expand hundreds of thousands of miles into space. This radiation does a lot of things, but we’re going to focus on electricity for this article. When solar flares target the earth, their electrodynamics structure causes many changes in the structural pattern of our utility grids.

solar flares

And what this can do to someone’s home office or business building is very important to consider. Electrical circuits are very prone to over surges, and under surges of electricity. Over surges can of course, fry your computer components, while under surges damage them due to their trying to perform with limited electricity. Each one is equally as dangerous, and you need the same amount of protection for both. Many small companies that are experienced, usually set up their own offices with computers, servers, printers etc. themselves. They may utilize one or two surge protectors if they have them laying around, but many times they literally just plug them right into the wall. You would assume that if you work in an office building that the building is secure. That is not always the case. If your equipment is not plugged into the proper surge protectors; over surge or under surge could do significant damage to your components.

surge protector

Solar flares are causing many levels of disturbances in the atmosphere. While you may look out your window and it’s a clear and beautiful day, a solar flare is undetectable by the human eyes. You can sustain the same amount of damage on a clear day as during a thunderstorm. So if you operate out of your home or office, It is very important that you plug all your computers and multimedia equipment into properly regulated surge protectors. You will be glad you did.

A Practical View of Green Energy

If you start researching renewable energy online there are countless websites and forms with lots of information, it is an incredibly popular topic as the costs of traditional energy rises.  On top of that, climate change is a real problem that we have to tackle and if we want to reduce greenhouse gases then it is time to look at renewable energy.

Solar Energy

Solar is the most commonly used form of renewable energy, solar panels convert sunlight into electricity that we use to power our homes.  You can use smaller photovoltaic cells to power outdoor light or to heat your water, they can even be used to power household appliances.  You can incorporate solar energy in small ways like this or you can redo your roof with solar panels and power your whole home.

Taking advantage of the sun to power our homes is actually very simple technology, in fact many people build your own their own solar panels.  If that is beyond your skill set then you can always have an installer put the solar panels on your home.  If you think you are too far north or that you don’t get enough sun to make solar panels worth your while, that’s not the case.  If it is bright enough outside for you to read a book then you’re getting enough sun.  Here is a guide on how to build your own solar panels.

Wind Energy

This is the second most commonly used form of green energy, where wind turbines are used to generate electricity.  As the wind gusts it turns the turbines, the rotating blades are what produces the electric current.  You can get small wind turbines that can be affixed to the roof of your home and you can get a diy kit that lets you put the turbine together yourself.  Combining wind with solar power can give homeowners the option of living off grid throughout the year.  In some states you can sell surplus energy back to the electric company.

There are many renewable energy source that we haven’t even begun to tap into.  The fact is that we need to transition from burning fossil fuels over to renewables if we want to save ourselves from climate change.  The industry is changing and now between tax credits even adding solar panels to your home has become more affordable.  Even as little as 10 years ago solar was cost prohibitive to most homeowners.  Today it is within reach but we still have a long way to go.

Making Your Business Greener

Business owners are just as concerned about the environment as anyone else and they want to their part to reduce their carbon footprint.  Putting together an environmental policy and making small changes can help you make a big impact.  Here are some ways that you can make your business greener and improve your bottom line at the same time.

Encourage employees to adapt greener policies:

  • Start within your business and make sure that computers and other unnecessary equipment at the end of the night
  • Trade in your garbage cans for recycling bins, paper and other recyclable waste can be kept out of landfills
  • Adjust your thermostat, you can adjust the temperature in both the winter and summer and make sure that the staff is dressed for the weather
  • Encourage member of the staff to carpool to work
  • You can offer incentives for those that choose to cycle to work, make sure there is an area they can secure their bikes

Making Your Business Greener

Business Travel

Business travel can be expensive and it is one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint.  You can opt for trains over driving, taking the train uses less fuel and you can get work done while you travel.  You can schedule all your meetings within one geographical area at a time, this saves you time and money.  You can also choose a hotel chain that embraces green policies.  Hotels are usually on board with this, they want to save water and energy costs as much as possible.

Food Options

If it is your policy to provide your staff with lunch, then try and buy local ingredients as much as possible.  If you use a catering company then find one that supports local farmers and fair trade.  Even if you only provide coffee in the office you can look for fair trade coffee brands.

Product Choices

Choose your products and suppliers carefully, you can choose office supplies like refilled ink cartridges along with recycled paper.  If the building belongs to you then you can install things like motion activated lighting and low energy bulbs.  Move your marketing efforts to online rather than having printed marketing materials.  In your own products remove any excess packaging or use smaller packaging options.

There are all kinds of ways that you can move to a more greener business, going paperless is a great way to start.  Many business have embraced going paperless, you no longer need to send out paper bills or invoices.