Three Easy Steps to Greening Your Office

Look around your office, and you are most likely to find plenty of printed stuff, from brochures to business cards. Have you ever thought how printing affects the environment? The verdict is simple, if you need to print, go green.

Use green printing

Find a local printer that uses eco-friendly printing techniques. For the huge list of green printing services across the United States, refer to these search results or this directory (sorted by state).

Alternatively you can find a green printing service online – it will print your documents and ship them to your office. PsPrint is one of the best options to consider.

Or you may consider publishing your documents online. The most eco-friendly publication is the one that doesn’t exist on paper at all.

Choose recycled office paper

According to University of Western Australia’s Environmental Services, producing one tonne of recycled paper saves:

  • between 10 and 25 trees;
  • more than 30,000 litres of water;
  • about 30 kilograms of air pollutants;
  • 4 cubic metres of landfill;
  • 2.5 barrels of oil…

Why not make this statistics public and thus develop your office employees’ green habits?

Positive publicity vs. quantity

Don’t focus on quality: think about positive publicity your green efforts will generate: for example, send out three eco-friendly mail campaigns instead of holding four ones. Your customers and partners are sure to appreciate the fact that you care about what’s to come.

Gadgets that can cut your Energy Costs

If you’re looking to cut your energy costs, there are plenty of things you can do. One is to harness the power of technology and implement some gadgetry at home.

Alternatively, if you’re a bit of a technophobe, there are plenty of basic tools that can help you achieve the ‘green’ lifestyle you dream of and slash costs in the process!

Gadgets that can cut your Energy Costs

Gadgets that can cut your Energy Costs

The internet

One of the most powerful gadgets and tools of all, the internet is your portal to the wonderful world of price comparison sites. Here you can compare the best tariffs from a wide range of energy suppliers in your area and see if you could save money by switching your tariff to someone else. Simply enter your details, your current estimated or actual usage for the type of energy in question and you’ll receive a list of results which you can order by price, or use to select ‘green’ tariffs only.

If you find a tariff that will save you money (and most people will, with significant savings available for those currently on standard tariffs), you can carry out the switch online via the price comparison sites and the new provider will take care of all the administration for you. Instant energy savings for just a few minutes of research!

Check your energy usage at home

Some utility companies are now offering handy energy usage monitors for domestic households, to check and monitor where their energy usage is going. These great little gadgets will identify the causes of peak usage, whether it’s from televisions, central heating, induction cooking or other electrical sources that you may not have previously considered.

A pedometer

A great example of a very low tech gadget that can help you cut down on energy costs is a pedometer, which counts how many steps you take each day and is ideal for boosting the amount of walking you do.

For weight loss, a minimum of 10,000 steps a day is recommended, which equates to about an hour of walking. The more you walk, the less you rely on your car and the less you’ll be sitting at home using energy or feeling chilly enough to turn on the heating. Walking is healthy, efficient, carbon neutral and takes pollution generating cars off the road.

Start aiming to walk for all journeys of less than a mile and build up your efforts from there. You’ll save money, feel better and be a lot healthier too. Alternatively, you can upgrade to the high-tech FitBit, which tracks all of your daily activity, provides graphs and analysis of your output and allows you to upload your efforts onto your personal website account to measure progress and fitness gains.

Energy efficient homes

Other great gadgets for low energy homes include a low energy condensing boiler and also energy efficient appliances, which can go up to A++ rating in the kitchen, cutting down on carbon emissions, reducing the amount of energy needed to run them and saving you money in the process. Another great tool for the house is the simple and old fashioned composter for household fruit and vegetable waste and there are smart gadgets to help recycling, such as the aluminium can crusher, which lives in the kitchen and helps reduce the amount of space needed to do your recycling.

All handy and easy tools that are designed to help you achieve a lower energy lifestyle!

Recycling Pallets

Pallets are constructed of wood and can be used as a platform for several different types of items. They’re used frequently in industrial environments and may even be used in residential environments on occasion. Pallets are used for the quick and easy transport of large groups of articles. Forklifts are most often used to move the laden pallets around.

Because the pallets are created from wood, they can easily be recycled. Actually, the majority of companies using pallets to deliver their products also provide a pick up and return service as part of the delivery. They’ll typically come back and get their empty pallets, too.

Pallet recycling is generally rather simple to do. This is true even if a company won’t return to pick up their pallets. There are more options to consider. If you can get in touch with a pallet recycling center local to you, they’ll come to you to pick them up. It’s no problem at all to recycle them. If you can’t find anyone to collect them, you can always break them into pieces of wood, which can then be easily recycled.

Waste wood

Waste wood

If the pallet is in decent condition when it’s recycled, it can be used over and over again. Reusing pallets is relatively common. It reduces the amount of new pallets that must be created and saves on wood and trees. It’s easy to see the environmental benefits.

When a pallet isn’t in good enough condition to be reused, it’s broken down. The wood is pulled away from the metal pieces that are used to construct the pallet. These are such things as screws, nails and metal brackets. These metal pieces are also recycled. The waste wood is used to create other products made from wood.

Recycling pallets is simple and done all the time. In fact, this is one kind of recycling that’s almost considered to be routine. There’s such a vast number of companies that routinely recycle pallets that it’s simply a part of their daily business. It’s taken so seriously that many companies actually charge customers for pallets that aren’t returned.

You can learn lots of things from recycling pallets. This is the ideal situation encouraged by environmentalists that promote recycling. If all things capable of being recycled were treated the same as pallets, there wouldn’t be as much pollution and other environmental issues on the planet. Recycling is becoming more and more routine but it’s still not as effective or as common as recycling pallets.

Clean Drinking Water at Home

One of the primary needs of a household is the access to clean and potable water. However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, houses are located in areas which have poorly-maintained water supplies and they would have to find a way to find water that’s safe to drink. Of course, they can always buy from independent water suppliers but they are usually expensive.

To solve this problem, the household can opt to install water filters into their water system. The basic principle of these filters is that they remove any impurity in the water, leaving only water that’s safe to drink.

Depending on a particular family’s needs, there are several options available to them when looking for home water filters.If they only need to filter their water occasionally, there are pitchers specifically designed for this purpose. One just pours the water on top of the container and the water passes through the filter to produce potable water. The only problem with this is that it has limited use and cannot filter large volumes of water at one time.

Meanwhile, there’s the filter which can be fitted into faucets. If a family uses water from the faucet quite a lot (e.g. cleaning food, washing hands and even for drinking water), then they can choose this option. The problem with this is that like pitchers with filters, it cannot clean a lot of water at one time. Filters of this kind also have a short lifespan.

While the previous two are good as temporary solutions to water problems, fitting a household filter would be one that is long-term.There are companies specializing in this kind of service and you might want to give them a call if you have a serious water problem. Keep in mind, though, that this option can be quite expensive. But it’s a good trade-off if it’s a good water supply you’re looking for.

Home Recycling Made Easy

Everyday, households across the world take out millions of tons of trash. While this may sound unbelievable, it is indeed a fact that we throw a lot of things on a daily basis. This of course doesn’t spell good to the environment because a lot this garbage contributes to air pollution and destroys the land where they are dumped.

But when you look at the things you throw away everyday, a good portion of them can actually still be used. You see, recycling isn’t just about taking things to the recycling center. It also involves reusing the things that you still find a good use for. For example, if you need to keep some documents, you don’t need to put them into new envelopes. Look for used ones and store the documents there instead.

Meanwhile, you have to learn to segregate those things that you can no longer use. Stuff each kind of material in its respective bin. Remember to take extra care when disposing of things with toxic materials such as batteries. Follow the proper way of disposing them. Then, after you have everything segregated, contact your local recycling center and ask them what materials they accept for recycling.

You can also choose to make a compost pit using biodegradable materials you have at home. Things like kitchen garbage (carrot peels, etc.), paper and the likes can be good materials for composting. When you do this, you do not only help in reducing the waste that’s being thrown away, you also get to develop the land in your backyard. What to do with it? Grow your organic food there!

As you see, there are a lot of ways by which you can help in minimizing the trash that the world throws out everyday. Imagine if everyone does their part. Such a large-scale recycling drive can only be so good for the environment. So start recycling in your home now!

Learn About Biodiesel

Because of the increasing price of fuel in the world market, more and more people are trying to find alternative forms of energy to address the oil crisis. While some companies resort to producing electric-powered cars, others choose to do with the current engines of vehicles and instead find gasoline or diesel alternatives.

Collectively known as biofuels, this alternative to fuel offers vehicle owners a cheaper substitute to their current fuel. For diesel-powered vehicles, biodiesels are offered as a diesel alternative or additive.Typical sources of biodiesels are plant oils and animal fats. The good thing about these sources is that they are easily available and are renewable unlike fossil fuels. Another benefit of using biodiesels is that they can be used on diesel-fed engines without or with little modification. And with global warming, biodiesels keep the environment safe by reducing emissions as compared with pure diesel.

However, biodiesels aren’t without fault. The first concern with using biodiesels is that they tend to clog engines of older vehicles. Aside from that, biodiesels can break down rubber components of the engine which can be a pain on the part of the vehicle owner.

Also, biodiesels aren’t as environmentally-friendly as they should be. Burning of biodiesels emits nitrogen oxide. Nitrogen oxide or NOx is a gas that can contribute in the production of smog especially in bigger cities. It therefore indicates that using biodiesels can be counterproductive in reducing air pollution.

Then there’s the price factor. Biodiesels and biodiesel additives can be more expensive than the diesel that they are supposed to replace. Because of this, not a lot of people are enticed to hop into this alternative fuel bandwagon. While this may be solved by increasing the production or by having better production techniques, the use of biodiesels isn’t that feasible right now to become a good alternative fuel.

Home Composting is Easy

If you are planning to produce your own organic food, chances are that you already have the basic materials to do it. While you may have piles of gardening tools at your disposal, they would be useless if you do not have a good soil to grow your produce.

Of course you can buy healthy loam soil from gardening shops, but if you’re a true-blue DYI-er, you just might want to make a soil healthy with your own hands.

The most basic step to a healthy soil is by composting. Composting is the process where you put biodegradable materials to your soil and allowing bacteria to work on them. After some time, humus is produced which keeps the soil light and well aerated.

Before you dump every biodegradable thing you can in your backyard, you must first know the materials that are best used in composting. Doing so would help make the decomposition process faster so you can have a healthy soil in no time.When making a compost, create an ideal mix of brown materials such as dried leaves and the so-called green ones like kitchen refuse. Some of the materials that you can use in your compost include cardboards, coffee ground, hair, newspaper and the likes apart from the usual kitchen refuse like carrots, cabbage, etc.

When composting, there are two options that you can choose from. First is the so-called passive composting wherein you let nature take its course after you put the materials on the soil. The other is called active composting wherein you take a hands-on approach in the process.

In passive composting, you may have to wait a long time before you can produce any results. Typically, it may take at least a year to get the results that you want.Active composting, on the other hand, is for those who want to use their soil immediately. In well-maintained composts, results can be seen in a month’s time.