Monthly Archives: March 2018

16 Ways to Live More Sustainably and Reduce Expenses


Modern life, it seems, is oriented in favor of maximum convenience. But maximum convenience isn’t always the most sustainable way to live, and convenience tends to command a price premium. On a rapidly warming planet with finite and diminishing resources, choosing to live more sustainably, even at an individual level, can make a real difference on the world we live in.

Living more sustainably doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive, though, and often the environmentally friendly decisions you make can actually save you money. Here are 16 practical tips to reduce your carbon footprint, curb waste, and pocket some extra cash along the way.

alternative-alternative-energy-blue-eco

1. Pay attention to your thermostat

Lowering your thermostat setting between 7 and 10 degrees for eight hours a day could help you save as much as 10% on your heating (or cooling) bill. You can make the energy-saving process even easier with a programmable thermostat, as long as you use it properly and are pragmatic about the temperature settings you choose. It pays off.

2. Insist on using rechargeable batteries

Rechargeables have come a long way in just a few decades. They’re less expensive than ever, they hold a charge so that they’re often ready to use right out of the package, and they last a long time between charges. You’ll definitely save money if you make the switch from those outdated, disposable alkaline batteries. Be sure to recycle your old batteries, though, as they’re especially toxic and shouldn’t be thrown away.

3. Ditch the bottled water

Bottled water is fairly expensive, and it often creates a lot of needless waste. If you live in an area with drinkable tap water, you can cut back on that unnecessary plastic by using your reusable container of choice. Sure, disposable plastic bottles are technically recyclable, but a lot don’t make it to recycling plants. With plastic pollution impacting nearly every corner of our planet, saying no to bottled water when you can is a great choice you can make in the name of sustainable living.

4. Choose reusable containers wherever you can

Reusable containers aren’t good for just water. Bring your own mug to your local coffee shop in the morning instead of wasting a cardboard cup, and remember to bring your reusable bags when you visit the grocery store. Some retailers will give you a small discount for your trouble, but helping curb the staggering volume of waste generated by typical consumers on a daily basis is reason enough to make an effort.

5. Practice sustainable shopping

Even at the grocery store, you can make good choices that help the planet along with your wallet. Buying dry goods in bulk is often cheaper per ounce—and it saves packaging if you bring your own reusable bags or jars. Meat, seafood, and produce grown locally also require fewer carbon emissions to arrive at your local market than those grown elsewhere. Select products with recyclable packaging wherever you can.

6. Reduce your meat consumption if possible

Due in large part to the rise of factory farming, raising animals for meat requires more resources and creates more pollution than an equivalent quantity of vegetables or grains. You don’t have to go vegetarian to make a difference, though. Merely reducing how much meat you eat (if your health and means allow) as with the popular “Meatless Mondays” concept, helps to minimize your personal carbon footprint. It’s a valuable reminder that even the dietary choices we make can have a broader impact on the world around us.

7. Prepare food mindfully

Eating at restaurants less frequently is a huge money-saver, but making food at home can also help you prevent waste. So if you have the time or ability to cook meals for yourself, be mindful of how much you make and save any leftovers. Seek to reduce the amount of trash you produce, and compost food waste for re-use in a vegetable garden. An incredible amount of edible food ends up in landfills each year, and being personally accountable for cooking and eating the food we buy is a great solution.

8. Consider solar power

Residential solar power systems aren’t as expensive or complicated as you might think, and nothing is more sustainable than reducing your reliance on the local power grid—or disconnecting from it completely! While it sometimes takes several years to recover the initial investment in solar panels and batteries, harnessing the sun’s natural energy will save more, long-term, than most energy-conservation tactics.

9. Turn off interior lights and the TV

Lighting makes up about 9% of residential electricity usage, so simply turning off the ones you’re not currently using can have an immediate impact. As for the television, modern flat-screen LED units don’t use as much energy as those old tube models, but even the most efficient model won’t save much money or electricity if it’s left on all the time in the background. If you’re not actually watching it, turn it off.

10. Unplug devices and small appliances

Many of the devices in your home consume power even when turned off, just by virtue of still being plugged in. This phenomenon is called “phantom power” or “vampire power,” and it adds up: sleeping devices may account for 5–10% of household power use. How many are plugged into outlets at your home right now? Consider your coffee maker, Blu-ray player, phone charger, toaster, hair dryer, and blender—how many of those can be unplugged when not in use?

11. Go paperless

Opt for paperless billing and paperless statements for all of your credit cards, bank accounts, and utilities. In a world as digitally connected as the one we live in, it’s just unnecessary to cut down trees in order to have a physical record of how much your cellphone provider auto-drafted from your account this month.

12. Curb your water consumption

Sure, wasting water inflates your water bill, but it also has a much greater negative impact from a sustainability perspective; clean water is a precious resource in many areas. Luckily, saving water is pretty simple. Run only full loads through your washing machine and dishwasher. Turn the faucet off while you’re brushing your teeth. See if you can trim a couple of minutes off your typical shower, and be sensible when it comes to watering your lawn.

13. Boost your home’s energy efficiency

Many homes, especially older homes, can benefit significantly from energy-saving upgrades like new weatherstripping or additional insulation. This kind of upgrade can be relatively inexpensive and will do a lot of good for energy conservation. You can also consider having your vents cleaned to improve airflow if your heating and cooling system has trouble keeping up when outside temperatures are especially hot or cold.

14. Take advantage of “green” energy credits

Many forward-thinking energy companies offer green energy plans for eco-conscious consumers. Some are backed by renewable energy credits, and others allocate electricity generated by renewable energy technologies like wind or solar power. Let your energy provider know that you’re interested in reducing your carbon footprint to see if a renewable-energy offset program is available in your area.

15. Carpool or drive less

Finding a carpool partner can be difficult, but sharing the ride—and splitting fuel expenses—with a coworker can mean significant savings for those with a longer commute. Few choices we make can reduce our environmental impact as directly as simply driving less, though. We’ve grown accustomed to driving everywhere, but try taking public transit, riding a bike, or even walking to the store if you can. It’s a nice chance to see more of your neighborhood, and it’s great for the planet.

16. Budget for sustainability

One of the easiest, and perhaps most frequently overlooked, ways to live sustainably and save money is to simply create a budget. Track your expenses, and take a look at where you’re spending money—and why. Are you buying things you don’t need or replacing items that could be repaired or used for longer? Western society is increasingly plagued by overconsumption, but one surefire way to live sustainably and save money is to avoid buying things you don’t need.

These tips won’t all work for every situation, so pick the ones that work for you. In the end, sustainable living starts with the small personal choices we make: how we shop, what we eat, how we get to work. No single decision we make in our households or personal lives will single-handedly end pollution or reverse climate change, but every time we skip a bottled-water purchase or leave the car in the driveway we abstain from actively participating in our planet’s destruction. Saving money in the process is the icing on the cake.

Image credit: Carl

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Saudi Arabia Set to Build the World’s Largest Solar Project


Conferring to a recent information which was produced from the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA), Saudi Arabia is a big country that produces a large percentage of the world’s oil and it also occupies the second position as the world’s oil-producing nation. It is also necessary to know that this country also gets 60% of its own electricity from petroleum.

However, Saudi Arabia recently signed the Paris Agreement action plan, but it was seen as not been enough or sufficient according to the Climate Action Tracker late last year. Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia is set to become one of the revolutionary countries to take a great action against climate change by building the biggest solar project in history.

alternative-alternative-energy-clouds-eco-energy-solar

On Tuesday, the country publically declared that it is making plans to build the world’s largest solar project in conjunction with Japanese tech conglomerate Softbank, Bloomberg reported.

In another report by Bloomberg, it is estimated that Saudi Arabia’s project will be built in the county and the project is said to produce more than 150,000 jobs and also 200 GigaWatts of power by 2030, which is more than the next biggest project in Australia, called the Solar Choice Bulli Creek PV Plant.

Furthermore, it is also necessary to know that this is an important step in combating climate change and the Saudi Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman stated to Bloomberg that, “it’s bold and risky and we hope we can succeed in this project that we are about to undertake.

Making use of the solar energy is a reasonable choice by the Saudi government. However, due to the fact that the country’s capital, Riyadh, has an average of 8 to 9 hours of sunshine every day, the country will be greatly affected by climate change if global temperatures hit a point above 1.5 degree centigrade.

The Climate Action Tracker has a made it known that if the temperature of the world increases to three or four degrees Celsius, about 75% of the country, Saudi Arabia, would greatly turn to desert a nation at the end of the century. This is true, due to the excessive temperature as a result of climate change which would greatly make the environment inhabitable.

Saudi Arabia has a high level of sunshine and large lands which can be exploited by different works of life, like engineers. It also has a powerful labor force, and above all, the country has great plans for the future,” said SoftBank pioneer, Masayoshi Son, in a new project, which was reported by Bloomberg.

In accordance to the great future plans by the country, Fortune has made it clear the summary of all the total solar power projects that exist in the world is close to 400 gigawatts, thus, only doubling the solar power project produced by Saudi Arabia. Another great fact is that Saudi Arabia’s solar power project also quadruples China’s Tengger Desert Solar Park, which is currently the biggest solar power installation and it generates more than 2 gigawatts. Due to the fact that Saudi’s project will produce about 7.2 gigawatts by next year, it will surely surpass the Chinese Tengger Desert, Solar Park.

Although the Saudi’s solar project will certainly cost more than $200 billion; the country is making efforts to achieve its dream despite what it might cost them. In addition, the country would have to purchase solar panels from other countries, and it will also need to produce the battery capacity to the store the solar energy from the sun. it also necessary to keep in mind that the first part of the project will actually cost $5 billion, although, $1 billion will be gotten from the Vision Fund, which Saudi Arabia and the SoftBank are joint investors in.

Furthermore, SoftBank pioneer made it known that the reason why he is collaborating with the Saudi government is that the project that they are about to embark on is actually worth it. Also, the pioneer also said that “The project itself will fund its own expansion and it is a great project that will be worthwhile” This project will not only benefit the Saudi government alone but to the whole world. Nevertheless, as at the time when the Saudi government announced its plans to build the world’s largest solar power project, almost all nations in the world have been astonished.

The Saudi government’s bold investment in solar power greatly shames the U.S., which is now the world’s largest oil-producing nation, according to the EIA data.

Nevertheless, ever since the inception of climate change, the world is beginning to come together to climate change, but the present American government under the leadership of President Donald Trump is not in one accord in the fight against climate change. Instead of encouraging the solar industry to produce more innovative plans powered by solar energy to decrease the manufacturing oil fossil fuels, the American government has announced that 30% tariff should be placed on imported solar panels this January.

Image credit: pixabay

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

How Much Solar Panels Can Save You [Infographic]


When it comes to solar panels, the question isn’t whether you’ll save money if you install them — the question is how much can you potentially save with this popular alternative to utility power.

The increasing frequency of natural disasters and the ever looming threat of terror attacks have some observers speaking out against what they perceive to be the vulnerability of the nation’s utility systems. And even if you don’t make much of such doom-and-gloom scenarios, there’s no question that solar panels can save you money and give you some independence.

Savings

Without a solar panel system installed, the average family spends $1,400+ annually on electricity. But with a solar panel system installed, the average family can save an average of $100 monthly. Over two decades, they can save up to $30,000. So, the savings are there.

Installation

As it turns out, many people sitting on the fence remain perched there because they have a hard time justifying the cost of installing solar panels. Consider that homeowners paid between $2.87 and $3.85 last year to install solar and that the installation cost for a 10kW solar energy system was $32,600. The Federal Solar Tax Credit chopped that amount by about 30%, but the purchase and installation costs are still quite substantial. Even so, the money spent can be recouped over time. It should be noted, however, that the effectiveness of solar panels is partly a function of, among other things, the amount of direct hours of sunlight they’re exposed to.

The Investment that Keeps Growing

It’s clear that you can save a tangible amount by going solar. When you also mull over the fact that electricity prices tend to increase annually and that you can be charged more if you use electricity during certain parts of the day, you can appreciate all the more how your savings with solar panels stand to increase annually.

Consult Professional

When you’re ready to install solar panels on your property, be sure to consult a professional who has demonstrable experience. And don’t be shy about asking for recommendations. You’ll want a professional who can calculate your energy needs so that you end up with the right system. Something to consider is that you can start small and scale up as resources become available. So, if you want to go solar but don’t have the money to do everything at once, you can install as many panels as you can afford and then add more capacity as you’re able.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Microsoft Endorses the Biggest Solar Agreement in the United States


One of the biggest technology companies in the world, Microsoft, has declared its plans to purchase the biggest corporate solar technology in the United States. The tech company has agreed to endorse this move in conjunction with sPower to add 315 MegaWatts of electricity through the use of the solar project in Virginia.

It is important to take note that Microsoft has been running its activities on 100% renewable energy since 2014. However, one year later, the tech company amalgamated with RE100, which is a corporate leadership initiative that was formed by The Climate Group in conjunction with CDP. This initiative brings together about 130 companies that want to be fully involved in promoting and enhancing renewable energy across the globe.

solar-panels-installation-workers

Microsoft made further plans in 2016 to offer renewable energy for its various center points from local sources of energy. Right now, the tech company is making other plans and measures to increase the percentage of renewable energy in its center point by in 2018 and also in 2020.

Furthermore, Microsoft’s plan in conjunction with sPower will increase its renewable collection by 1.2 GigaWatts; this puts the tech company in the right path to achieve its goals within a short period of time and will also concurrently assist the increase of the renewable energy sector in Virginia.

The CEO of RE100, Sam Kimmins said, “Big congrats to Microsoft for their achievements so far. This is a powerful leadership from an RE100 pioneer, thus, bringing new solar capacity into the grid will surely benefit their business strategy and accelerate a market shift to renewables.”

Kimmins also stated that “The project is a clear illustration of how supportive policy environment enable corporate renewable electricity off-takers to invest at scale, driving competitiveness and increasing the change to a zero emissions economy.”

All About Exploiting the Energy Gotten From the Sun

When Pleinmont 1 and 2 is totally active and launched, more than 700,000 solar panels will be involved, which will cover 2,000 acres, thus, creating about 715,000 MWh annually. These projects are part of an enormous 500MW solar project in Virginia.

The CEO of Microsoft, Brad Smith, said, “ These projects don’t just involve producing gigawatts alone, this is due to the fact that our commitments are bigger than transforming our own activities; it also involves assisting other people to have quick access to renewable energy.”

It important to note that the solar and wind power are now cost-effective; with this in mind, lots of companies and business are beginning to see the advantages of delving into renewable energy to source their own energy needs and enhance more clean power into their machines.

A latest RE100 progress report shows the growth of business Power Purchase Agreements as a way of obtaining renewable energy. The report also states the use of Power Purchase Agreements and its growth among RE100 members in a year.

This model enlarges the capability for businesses and governments to participate in this type of project, and yet take the amount megawatts that they need for their business activities. With this, the CEO RE100 expressed joy working with Microsoft on a project of this kind.

The Collaboration of Governments and Businesses

With the recent study made by the RE100 initiative, the immense growth in PPAs (Power Purchase Agreements) in places where government laws and policies are encouraging, like the United States, Mexico, UK, Ireland, and the Netherlands has been shown.

However, due to the fact that Virginia is the cosigner of the Under2 Coalition, which is a global network of sub-national governments that are devoted to decreasing climate change, which The Climate Group acts as the secretariat, the state has lengthened its substantial exertions to decrease emissions and enhance clean energy investments. In conjunction with Microsoft to increase the growth of solar capacity entering to the grid is part of the process.

Due to this, Gov, Ralph Northam said, “When reputable companies like Microsoft invest in Virginia solar power, they opt for clean and reliable energy as well as news in the energy economy that we are working to build.”

Gov. Northam also made this clear, “I am proud that Microsoft is expanding its commitment to solar energy in Virginia, and I look forward to building upon this victory for clean energy and the jobs that come with it.”

Lots of business are finding carbon-saving alternatives necessary in order to maintain a clean environment; these businesses and companies are now investing in carbon-reducing initiatives. The project in addition to the initiative Microsoft has to sustain a clean environment in another part of its business model has led to the company receiving an EPA Climate Leadership Award and to receive a worldwide recognition by the United Nations and World Economic Forum for its carbon fee model.

It is also essential to note that Microsoft has been ranked by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as the second largest user of green power in the United States.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Research Shows That 93% of Bottled Water Samples Contains Microplastics


Due to a recent study, it is evident that sea salt isn’t the only item that contains microplastics. With a research on brands all over the world, it has been ascertained that water is often contaminated with little plastic particles that may be difficult to see with the eye.

Furthermore, a new study, which was conducted by journalism non-profit Orb Media and researchers at the State University of New York at Fredonia, has found out that about 93% of the 259 bottled water samples it tested has microplastics. The samples obtained were collected from different places around the world, and from 11 major brands. Also, these researchers have asked the WHO (World Health Organization) to launch a review on the hazards of these microplastics in drinking water.

thirsty-man-drink-drinking-water

In this study, about 259 bottles were tested from the 11 different brands purchases from 19 locations in 9 countries. However, the study was successfully carried by the use of fluorescent tagging with Nile Red dye, these researchers discovered not only microplastics but polypropylene, nylon, and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) contamination. These contaminations where found to be of different sizes and widths.

However, in this study, one of the sample bottles showed a large amount microplastic particles per liter (about 10,000); 17 other bottles showed no contamination.

About an average of 10.4 microplastic particles where identified per liter which is almost two times as much contamination revealed from the previous study on tap water by the group.

It is also essential to know that the study by the group involved different brands like Aquafina, Dasani, Evian, Bisleri, Epura, Minalba, Gerolsteiner, Nestle, and Wahaha.

Everyone has the right to be informed about the safety and the quality of any brand that is purchased for use,” said Lisa Lefferts, a chief scientist at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, to the Orb. “Due to the fact that lots of consumers are paying much for bottled water, is now the duty of these bottled water companies to make sure their products are worthwhile and safe.”

I would love to ask you to choose a human being who would love to have plastic particles in his/her bottle” added Erik Solheim, an executive director of the United Nations Environment Program. “They wouldn’t like it.

Furthermore, there has been some other research on these small plastic particles seen in ice cores, deep in some part of the ocean and every other water found on the earth. In addition to this, a disconcerting UN News article stated this: “As many as 51 trillion microplastic particles- 500 times more than stars in our galaxy.”

It is also important to know that the Guardian stated through a WHO spokesman that even though there haven’t been any recorded case of the effects of these microplastics, the organization has made it clear that it is still a major worry. However, the spokesperson also made it clear that the WHO would “take a critical look at the obtainable confirmation, thus, creating a study agenda to notify detailed risk valuation.”

Several brands have replied and questioned the methods used in the study and they said that the number of plastics evaluated was exaggerated.

One brand that has had its say is Nestle. The brand, however, told the CBC that the use of Nile Red dye could “generate results that aren’t true.”

A retailer who retails Evian and Aqua, expressed herself to Orb and said, “These studies are not in any position to comment, due to the fact that the methods used are unclear and shouldn’t be used to generate false positives. There are still unclear information in the topic and the final verdicts of these research are different from one another.”

However, the American Beverage Association, which represents Nestle, Evian, Dasani, and Aquafina, stated to Orb that “the scientific study of microplastics and microfibers is still an emerging area. We stand by the safety of bottled water products and we are interested in contributing to serious scientific research that will help us all to understand the scope, impact and the right steps to take.”

A bottled water brand, Minalba, which is based in Brazil told Orb that it obeys the rules and the security standards of the Brazilian government. Although, other brands like Biserli and Wahaha did not have any say when questioned by Orb.

Even though these are microplastics and they are smaller, that doesn’t mean there are safer either. Recently, some scientist has issued different warnings about microplastics.

Due to the prevalence of these small plastics in our bottled water and even our tap water also, it is likely that we are taking these particles on a daily basis. Some of these microplastics are so small that they can pass through our membranes and into our bloodstreams.

Although we haven’t affirmed the potential dangers of these microplastics, we should just neglect this issue until people are affected.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

The Explosion of Renewable Energy Industry


The term energy is by definition the amount of motion, labor, transformation a human being, a machine or even a system can exert. In the electrical energy sector, the power generated is counted by kilowatt (kWh). Electrical energy has become an indispensable part of our daily life on the earth and the universe without it everything will stand still. What is incredible about energy that it cannot be produced! Energies are only changeable and convertible to other forms and other manifestations.

Given that, in planet earth, there are two types of energies: nonrenewable energy (Fossil Fuel and its derivations) and renewable energies. The latter as its name explains, is generated from sheer nature. It is true that not all sustainable energies are derived from the sun but basically solar energy is the most known and prominent energy source. In addition to solar energy (thermal and photovoltaic), we can talk about wind energy, biomass, hydroelectric power (from water), geothermal and other forms.

renewable-energy-environment-wind

Obviously, the world needs energy eagerly. Thus whether renewable or not, these source of powers are used in majority of case to supply the huge demand of electricity.

Why countries are going green?

Consumers think first and for most about the quality price relationship. Green energies are cheaper this is a fact. For the market prices, renewables present a stabilizer of energy prices. Renewables are the market equilibrium creator.

Moreover, companies of solar power for instance are providing the best collectors and panels to the consumers. These renewable energy companies are building a bright reputation. Other would think about the hazardous impact of fossil fuel on the planet. Greenhouse emissions are catastrophic on the environment. The repercussion of these emissions on global warming is tremendous. For these reasons, countries and consumers in general are shifting into the green choice.

A Global Decision of Renewable Energy Orientation

The criteria of renewable energy industry

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), renewable energy orientations would be a reality that is concretized by 40 per cent of total global energy generation by 2040. This is almost half of total the power generation of the world. This is apparently, an explosion in the renewable energy industry. Consequently, the portion of electrical generation using green energy is planned to be the fastest among other resources.

The criteria that make the renewable energy industry more prominent than nonrenewable energy are a lot. Namely, the criteria are: more technological advancements, risk management assets, advanced monitoring systems, sustainability and positive environmental influences. Taking the case of First Solar that is one of the top renewable energy companies; it produces 89-98% less CO2 emissions comparing to nonrenewable energy generation emissions.

Distinguishable feature of renewable energy industry

One of the most distinguishable feature of renewable energy is that energy generation producer and consumer lines have become blurry. Thereupon, thanks to green energy installation the consumer has become a beneficiary of both self-energy satisfaction and energy production. This is due to the fact that any excess of energy produced can be sold to the neighbor circle.

Knowing that there is a drastic increase in the energy demand in the world. Therefore, the need to renewable energy is expanding too. In explicit numbers, sustainable energy investments seize two thirds of worldwide market investment in the global energy sector.

Rapid Growth of Renewable Energy Sector

Facts and numbers about renewables sector

China and India are the biggest solar photovoltaic (PV) power generators in the world, but also they are the biggest consumers of energy.

As far as European Union (EU) is concerned, the green industry is supplying about 80 per cent of the energy generated. To be more precise, wind power would become the chief power source of electricity by 2030 in Europe. This is why European Union countries such as Germany are inaugurating the biggest offshore and onshore wind farms in the globe. Of course, these plans are consolidated by encouraging strong regulations and policies.

Equally important, renewable energy companies are not only providing electricity (direct energy needs) but also a set of other essential needs. To enumerate, renewables can be useful to heat water, to use for electric mobility (cars and means of transportation) and even for food dehydration systems and wine industry etc. IEA has found that, for example, Brazil portion of renewable energy (in its direct or indirect use) is increasing from 39 per cent to almost 45 per cent by 2040.

Baring in mind that the global population will reach 9 billion human being by 2040, one should strongly think about the global supply of energy. Together with the growing number of cities around the world, the energy industry is certainly going to witness the fastest growth and explosion ever.

Is it possible to go 100 percent green?

According to CDP (used to be called Carbon Disclosure Project), around 40 city in the world are now totally free of CO2 of fossil fuel emission. These countries have adopted fully the renewables. The list includes Burlington, Vermont, Atlanta and San Diego. Other cities are planning to be 100 percent green by 2030. For now numerous countries are almost 70 percent green. The list includes Seattle; Eugene, Oregon; and Aspen, Colorado, Montreal, Vancouver, Winnipeg, North Vancouver and Prince George, British Columbia.

To conclude

The electrical energy sector is a swing market among energy sector in general. Although renewable energies are expanding, the demand is sometimes decreasing. The decrease is due to the market economy crises, orientations, policies, taxations, infrastructure, culture and awareness. The energy industry is more and more challenging and controversial. However, no one can deny that there are hopeful signs of an emerging and insightful green culture in the horizon of world.

The world is in front of a dangerous environmental diversion.  It is a crossroad that humanity should think about it deeply and decide which road to undergo. If we are going to undergo the green path and substitute fossil fuels, we are in the right direction. Otherwise, humanity is in a great danger.

It is true that this cannot be done overnight, however, it is not impossible. The suitable infrastructure, sufficient political determination, the will to change are the bases of this great decision. Furthermore, renewable energies are a very effective way towards decentralization of energy. Under those circumstances, The combination of friendly environmental decisions and energy sufficiency is the successful recipe of well-being.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Energy Efficient Campgrounds in the US


When you search and book campgrounds for your vacation or adventure, you want to find a space that fits your goals. If you want to enjoy an energy efficient camping experience, you must start with campgrounds and RV parks that offer efficient solutions for your experience. By selecting a campground with solar panels, wind energy or alternative energies, you will enhance your holiday or vacation experience.

Here we have listed few energy efficient campgrounds in the US that will not only help you to reduce your carbon footprint but also make your vacation more memorable.

caravan-camping-rv-campsite-camper

The Auburn RV Park

Part of the fun when you enjoy camping is the natural setting and environment. The desire to preserve the beautiful surroundings is the key reason you want to consider RV parks and campgrounds with energy efficient solutions. The Auburn RV Park in Auburn, California is an example of an energy efficient campground.

The campground uses solar energy to help reduce carbon emissions and power microwaves, air conditioning and other electric devices. The campground noticed that the cost of electricity has risen in recent years and decided to invest in solar panels. Although the campground has not yet seen a return on the investment, they expect that it will eventually help with costs. It is particularly important at Auburn RV Park because they have larger RVs visit their campground and the RVs use a greater amount of energy.

Carlsbad KOA

Carlsbad KOA in New Mexico is one of the highest rated RV parks for their energy efficient system. The RV park uses wind energy to power electronics and devices throughout the park.

The use of wind energy gives them the flexibility to cut back on the use of other energy sources. Their goal is providing a clean energy source for their visitors to limit fuel emissions and to maintain the natural environment.

Buttonwood Campground

The Buttonwood Campground in Pennsylvania is taking the step to improve their energy efficiency. The campground invested in solar panels with the intention of using the panels for hot water and electricity. They are also using an 18-kilowatt system for solar energy. That allows them to store a certain amount of energy from their solar power.

An advantage at the Buttonwood Campground is the beautiful natural settings. The campground plans to preserve the stunning Juniata River Valley by using energy efficient systems and solar panels. They offer interesting events and activities throughout the year to fit your schedule and plans.

Clay’s Park Resort

Clay’s Park Resort is a campground that strives to improve their energy efficiency. They decided to invest in solar panels to heat water and for electric power. The park uses the solar energy to heat the pool and for other water sources. It decided to switch from chlorine in the pool to saline, which reduces the amount of chemicals used by the RV park.

The RV park does take their goals to improve efficiency further by changing out their heating system. They decided to remove the original propane heating system in their office in favor of a wood burning stove that uses clippings from the trees around the campground.

Sandy Pines

Sandy Pines in Michigan is a campground that focuses on sanitation and energy efficiency. The beautiful campground has changed out the water in the pools from chlorine to saline. The saline pool has a filtration system to keep the water clean for campers. They are also using a geothermal system for their heating and cooling throughout the year.

Geothermal systems use the earth as a source of energy. It allows the campground to heat and cool different spaces at various times in the year. That gives the campground more flexibility and helps cut back on energy costs.

Jellystone Park

Jellystone Park is a campground and resort in Maryland is another campground that strives to enhance their efficiency and start working on green projects. The park takes the time to gather aluminum cans, plastic bottles, cardboard and other recyclable materials. It then recycles the materials through a non-profit organization that works with individuals who have developmental disabilities.

The goal at Jellystone Park Camp and Resort is helping others in their local community. They take the time to work with different groups that help those who have disabilities. They also focus on improving their campground through recycling programs that reduce materials in landfills.

Grand Haven Resort

The Grand Haven Resort in Ohio has decided to start working on energy efficiency and green projects. The campground geothermal heating and cooling systems for their front desk, fitness center and outdoor pool. A key reason for their switch to energy efficient systems is the reduced cost. Since the campground has roughly 2,880 square acres of land, the energy costs added up quickly. They have reduced their expenses with the geothermal system by 90 percent.

An advantage of campgrounds that use an energy efficient system is a lower cost. Geothermal systems reduce heating and cooling costs by a large percentage and allow the campground to use more funds to maintain the space.

The Cooperstown Beaver Valley Cabins and Campground

If you want to enjoy a campground in New York with a beautiful natural setting, the Cooperstown Beaver Valley Cabins and Campground are a good choice for your goals. The campground has focused on energy efficiency for years and started with a recycling program in 1988. They maintain their commitment to the environment by recycling cans and bottles. They also focus on composting to reduce waste and help the environment.

The owners of the campground focus on conservation efforts by taking measures to maintain the 300-acre campground. They also recycle materials to build up parts of their campground. When music festivals, colleges and other buildings decide to throw out certain materials, they obtain the materials for their building projects. The campground also uses energy efficient lighting and prefers to confirm reservations through email to cut back on paper waste.

When you want to find the perfect campground for your vacation, you do not need to give up on energy efficiency or environmentally friendly surroundings. You can search and book campgrounds that use solar panels, geothermal systems and wind energy as part of their core value. You can also find campgrounds that believe in recycling to help reduce waste in local landfills. Make your next adventure exciting, fun and energy efficient by focusing on the campgrounds that meet your high standards.

Image credit: pixabay

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Are You Doing Enough as a Business Owner to Go Green?


All businesses have ethical responsibilities that they should follow. Part of this includes a responsibility to treat employees fairly, equally and morally, as well as providing quality goods or services to customers.

In addition, business owners have a duty to consider ethical issues relating to the environment and the impact your business’s actions may have on it. Awareness of these issues is important for numerous reasons and going green can have many benefits.

nature-reserve-go-green

In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the ways businesses can be more environmentally aware.

Benefits of Going Green

Analysing the impact of your business’s actions on the environment and making an effort to go green will increase your environmental consciousness and potentially spur you on to make more improvements. Here are some business benefits of going green:

Customer Perception

Businesses require customers to thrive and, as a whole, customers are becoming increasingly green-minded. This means that the way your brand is perceived can be important, with many customers now considering ethical responsibility and carbon footprint before choosing where to buy products.

Consumers in the millennial category are more likely to do business with ethical brands and businesses that are considered green. This shouldn’t be ignored by businesses, especially since the spending power of this market is growing considerably and currently estimated as being worth $200 billion.

In short, going green could help your business’s image, help to retain and bring in new customers, as well as helping you to stand out among competitors.

Reduce Costs

Although many owners worry about implementing greener practices, fearing they will cost a small fortune, going green can save businesses money. This means that adopting environmentally friendly practices could reduce company expenditure, while also helping to boost profits through brand appeal.

Some of the ways in which your costs could be reduced include:

  • Fewer overhead expenses – going paperless can save you money on paper, printer and maintenance costs
  • Using less energy – encouraging green practices like switching off computers and controlling the heating to only switch on when it’s needed could have a significant impact on bills. Replacing old appliances with green counterparts can contribute to savings too (e.g. LED lighting that lasts longer and uses less energy)
  • Use teleconferencing to save money on travel and accommodation costs

Attract Staff

While customers are important, don’t forget about your employees. Staff care about the kind of organisation they work for and tend to choose employers whose ethical practices align with their own.

As mentioned earlier, this is an increasing concern for millennials and businesses should be aware of this as this age category enters the workplace. This means that going greener could attract better talent. It could also boost retention rates, providing savings on recruitment, too.

Ways to Go Green

Go Digital

Printing lots of documents, increasing file storage, and upgrading hard drives all cost money. This is unnecessary as you could store everything online. This means you can stop buying paper, replacing ink cartridges and adding to landfill. All of this is greener and could save your business money. It also allows staff to access documents from anywhere.

Telecommuting

While most businesses require some form of physical office space or facility, you can reduce this by employing a virtual workforce. This could help your business to save money on rent and utilities, while also reducing the number of cars on the road. This provides savings for your business and makes it greener, too.

Green Transport

Telecommuting may not be practical for every company, but there are ways to adopt green forms of transport. This could include introducing a Cycle to Work Scheme, encouraging staff to use public transport (particularly for meetings and company events), or starting a car sharing scheme amongst your workforce. You could even introduce incentives for green employees.

Reduce Energy

Spending on utilities can cost a business a small fortune. Instead, look for ways to reduce energy usage, to save money and reduce your company’s carbon footprint. This includes switching to LED light bulbs, upgrading old energy-guzzling equipment for new efficient models, turning off electricals when they’re not in use, turning down the heating, and reducing waste.

All of these could save your business money and make it greener. For further potential savings, you could switch to a different business utility provider, with a business energy broker such as Utilitywise helping you to find the right contract – including renewable/green energy contracts.

Ban Convenience Items

The majority of offices will be filled with convenience items, most of which probably aren’t recyclable. These range from throwaway coffee cups to paper towels for hand drying and plastic water bottles. Simply encourage employees to bring their own reusable cups and refillable water bottles, both for use in the workplace and if they regularly buy hot drinks from a local coffee branch. Some have even begun to offer small discounts for using them. Single-cup pod coffee makers can be an efficient choice, as can converting to warm-air hand dryers rather than using paper towels.

Use Biodegradable Cleaning Products

Biodegradable cleaning products not only reduce the chance of whoever is involved in cleaning your workplace from being exposed to harsh toxins but eliminates them being introduced into the environment. There are many high quality natural cleaning products available to switch to, from dishwasher tablets to toilet cleaner.

Replace Inefficient Appliances

Getting an energy audit done on your workplace can highlight areas for improvement. It’s likely that if you have some appliances such as microwaves, fridges and dishwashers that have been there for years, they won’t be the most efficient options. Do some research and replace any highly inefficient appliances with much newer, greener ones. It will cost more in the first place, but the savings made on bills in the long run should be worth it.

Source Green Products

Any business that provides regular free food for its employees and client meetings should focus on where this is coming from. Use sustainable sources that are local, such as getting fruit from a nearby farm and that use sustainable methods. Try to avoid places that use excess packaging or ensure that it can be recycled if possible.

Give Back

Finally, most businesses donate to at least one charity on a regular basis, so why not make this one that promotes a greener way of living? It could be a local community recycling project, environmental charity or any other kind of sustainable idea.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Ireland Set To End The Use of Coal By 2025


The Irish government approves that it will join the international group as it looks for vital ways to expunge coal and coal-products by 2025. Out of the few countries that have joined the Powering Past Coal Alliance, Ireland is set to be the latest country to have joined.  It is important to know that the Alliance needs about 50 signatories to commit to putting a stop to high carbon power sources when the UN climate summit comes up next year, according to reports from Business Green.

The Powering Past Coal Alliance is a global initiative that tends to involve different nations, businesses, and organizations that are united in taking the right actions to curb climate change and enhance a clean environment by phasing out traditional coal power.

wind-park-sunset-birds-wind-energy

The UK and Canada expressed their interest to join other 25 nations and regional states in order to introduce a new global alliance which is aimed at removing coal-fired power and dissuading the world from the use of coal to make the world a conducive place to live in.

Ireland’s commitment in National Development plan 2018-2027 to the conversion of Moneypoint Power Station to close the burning of coal by 2025 marks the end of the role in Irish power generation; it also goes in line with the objectives of the Power Past Coal Alliance.

Moreover, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten, have reported the move of the Irish government in a visit to Canada, which founded the Powering Past Coal Alliance last year together with the UK. On this visit, Naughten meets Catherine Mckenna, the Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change, in Toronto.

I am very happy to make this known to my Canadian counterpart, Catherine Mckenna, in person here in Toronto that the Irish government is joining the Powering Past Coal Alliance. Changing Moneypoint and ending the burning of coal through a commitment in Ireland’s National Mitigation Plan. As one of the biggest emitters of coal, the conversion is a big-step-forward towards achieving a long-term objective to reduce coal emissions to 80% by 2050 throughout the electricity generation, environment and transport sectors” said Naughten.

Furthermore, together with the Alliance at the global stage, Naughten also said, “Ireland is a showing its profound support to end the use of coal power to the international community. We are joining other nations and other members of the Alliance in order to encourage other nations, organizations, and businesses to foster the elimination of coal power.

The Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine Mckenna said, the new coal phase-out strategy was “the best step to take in order to ensure a better future for generations to come, and we applaud Ireland in joining the Powering Past Coal Alliance.”

It is necessary to also know that Ireland once voted to divest of public funds from fossil fuels due to the detrimental effects of coal power on the environment. But nevertheless, about 91% of Ireland’s energy is from fossil fuels in 2014, 85% of its energy was imported and the action of the recent government was slow on the transition away from fossil fuels.

Undeniably, Ireland has just one coal power plant left at Moneypoint in County Clare, but this is set to close by 2025. This indicates to every investor, regulator, and industries that nations who are slow in trying to prop up inefficient plans and infrastructures will be left behind.

The commitment which was passed on by the Irish government is a good step to take but the country still has a long way to go to be a ‘top-dog’  to have a sustainable energy future.

The move made by Ireland came in just a few weeks after the country unveiled a wide-range of market reforms related to energy and the National Development Plan that includes set-up plans to foster climate change policies arranged on a €22bn state investment plan to support the change from fossil fuels and products related to it.

Moreover, Ireland’s commitment to stop the use of coal power is a great example of how nations can build a safer and cleaner environment for its residents.

Additionally, in December 2015, the former Irish government was committed to identifying the best replacement for low-carbon technology across the country at Moneypoint, before Moneypoint comes to an end of its operating life by 2025.

The Irish ESB has been decreasing the consumption of coal at the facility in Co Clare since 2012 but it hasn’t made a declaration on an alternative energy source. However, it is expected that the alternative is natural gas, which is cleaner than coal.

Moneypoint is the only remaining coal-powered station that imports and burn about 2 million tons of coal each year as Colombia. It also remains one of the largest power stations with an output of over 900 megawatts, offering most of Ireland’s electricity needs.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Top 11 Most Polluted Rivers in the World in 2018


Generally, rivers are the main source of life because they provide fresh water, which is critical for survival of both flora and fauna. The uniqueness of rivers is that they provide homes to fishes, reptiles, mammals and amphibians. For this reason, the conservation of rivers is needed since the cycle of the ecosystem is dependent on it. However, there has been massive global pollution on rivers thereby causing a shift in the ecosystem. This has been caused by the increased pressure on the water bodies and the rapid increase in human population.

Moreover, the releases of toxic wastes from industries, urban centers, and agricultural pollution have saturated rivers with pollutants resulting in serious water problems such as the lack of clean drinking water. To get an idea of how expansive rivers are polluted, this article presents a list of the top 11 most polluted rivers around the world as of 2018.

bottles-dump-floating-garbage

1. Ganges River

The Ganges is the most sacred river in India. The Hindus believe that the river cleanse people clear from their sins. It is the third largest river in the world with a consumption base of over two billion people. The ever increasing pressure on the river has led to dumping of raw sewage into the river leading to its massive pollution.

Due to the combination of chemicals in the river, water used for basic uses such as drinking or cooking leads to the spread of waterborne diseases. The river has a layer of floating plastics and other wastes which provide a poor image of the holy river. In addition, there are wastes which come from performances of religious rituals.

2. Citarum River

The Citarum is arguably one of the most polluted rivers in the world. Like the Ganges, it serves a big population. Indonesia, the home of the Citarum, may not be as populous as India or China but it is still in the top league with a population of over 200 million. The river flows in an area where there are heavy human settlements coupled with a number of factories.

The industrial wastes have led to an increase in the mercury levels of the water far above the legal level. The river is dirty and polluted from the source, all the way to the outlets. Unfortunately, both entities use the Citarum as a dumping side rendering it polluted. Since the river serves a large population, the residents are forced to use the water source despite its state. However, the river has continually robbed the country of people with over 50,000 deaths annually.

3. Yellow River

China is the fastest growing economy and this is attributed to its rapid industrialization. The Yellow River has yellow sediment ‘loess’ which attributes to its yellow colour. This river is home to industrial waste from various industries including chemical factories rendering the water too toxic even for agriculture. More specifically, the coal mining industry releases a lot of waste back to the river after using water from the same river to run its operations.

Nevertheless, people are still dependent on the river for drinking water. It is because of this that the area around the river has seen a rise in the occurrence of waterborne diseases, cancer and birth defects. Most recently, there are efforts to dissuade people from drinking the water from this river since it is unsafe for human or animal consumption.

4. Sarno River

This is arguably the most polluted river in the European continent. The river that flows in Italy has overtime become a poison to the residents. The source of the river is clean and safe for drinking. Nonetheless, its flow is faced with releases from industries and agriculture leading to a polluted river downstream.

The toxicity of the river has caused an alarming increase in liver cancer cases in the area. What is more, the river easily floods leading to mudslides and toxicity in the earth. Poor waste treatment control has led to the increased pollution of the Sarno.

5. Buringanga River

This river is a source of life for millions of Bangladesh residents. It is also a major economic resource for the country since it is the biggest river in the country. The river is mainly polluted by the tanneries which boarder the river. Also, there has been a lot of human waste in the river. There are a lot of floating waste materials in the river such as plastics and dead animals. This has contaminated the water and rendered the discharge so intense that the river has turned black. Consequently, the aquatic life of the river has since died.

6. Marilao River

This river is home to millions of Philippine residents who use the water for drinking and also for irrigation. The pollution of the river is mostly from wastes from tanneries, dumping and gold refineries. The dumping of non-recyclable materials such as plastic bottles are present on the surface of water. In addition to this, the water has rocks bearing heavy metals, which pose a health hazard to the residents.

The river, like the Sarno, is prone to flooding which brings the wastes to the land thus leading to soil degradation. The pollution of the water is detrimental to the fish industries in Philippines since toxic metals such as lead contribute to the death of aquaculture.

bike-river-absorbed-münster

7. Mississippi River

The Mississippi is one of the longest rivers in the world. As such, it serves millions of US residents. The river is brown in color owing to the constant release of waste into the river. The marine life in the river has reduced alarmingly due to various oil spillages in the past. More waste comes from industries and farmers who use harmful chemicals and release them into the river. The river has a high level of nitrogen-based fertilizer run-off, which instead of leaching in the soil, upsets the food chain and reduce the oxygen levels in the waters thus death of aquatic life. The major pollutants are benzene, mercury and arsenic.

8. Jordan River

The source of the river is clean and fit for human consumption. However, as the river flows, it increases in toxicity due to the many wastes disposal. This has caused the increase in the salinity of the water. Most of the pollution comes from the refugee crisis of the country coupled with the increase in population, both local and international.

9. Mantaza Riachuelo River

The river is based in Argentina and is arguably the most polluted river in South America. The presence of industries around the river has not made any cleaning easier. The reason for this is that there are millions of tons of sewage released into the river on a daily basis.

Also, there are heavy metals in the river such as mercury and lead, which lead to the high cases of cancer. These have come to existence due to the release from chemical industries. Further, the river, also known as Slaughterhouse River, is home to wastes from slaughterhouses and tanneries, which are rampant along the river. Due to this, the river has a foul smell.

10. Yamuna River

This is the second most polluted river in India after the Ganges. It boasts it source as the Himalayas but the river gets more polluted as it moves. The major issue is the poor management of raw sewage by the Indian government. There are few functional sewage plants in the city of New Delhi, which dampens the glory of the big capital city.

Further, agricultural and industrial wastes have also played a role in the pollution of the Yamuna. The river has been polluted too much that the establishment of water treatment might not reduce the level of toxicity in the river. More to this, unlike normal water with a pH of 7, the pH level of the Yamuna is 11. This has been caused by traces of poison in the water thus, the pH.

11. Yangtze River

Like the yellow river, the Yangtze River is also found in China. The rapid industrialization in the country has had its toll on the river which receives a lot of the release. As a result, there has been a growth in algae through eutrophication. There are many negative effects of this, including the death of aquatic life since there is minimal source of oxygen in the water.

Reference: listaka
Image credit: byrev , pixabay

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)