Category Archives: environmentally friendly

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.

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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)

25+ Reasons Living in an RV (Recreational vehicle) is Better Than Living in a House


“It’s like a house!” That’s everyone’s reaction when they first see a recreational vehicle. But of course it’s like a house, and it is actually a house. A recreational vehicle is a towable motor vehicles fitted with bathroom, kitchen and sleeping facilities. In other words, an RV is a travelling permanent home. Those that use these movable homes on a full-time basis are commonly referred to as “full-timers” and live a location independent lifestyle.

As much as most folks think that living in a recreation vehicle is pathetic, it is in reality a lot of fun and it is time for the world to see it as for its true value. For those who see a recreation vehicle as a “joke,” here are 25+ valid reasons why you should change your perception and think of it as a better option than living in a house.

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1. Perfect for Vacationers

RV living is fit for people and families that are choosing an easier way to see parts of the world while maintaining their incomes. Vacations cost far more less when you RV travel as opposed to when you have to stay in hotels and have to eat in restaurants.

2. Environmentally friendly

Use limited essential resources in a manner that is not wasteful because it is not easily accessible for use, for instance, water. Some of the RVs also burn biodiesel or waste vegetable oil to make them more environmentally friendly than modern travelling. One can also use solar power for electricity by simply installing them on the RV.

3. Good for some career opportunities

RVers work remotely to support life on the road. Some careers can be easily started in an RV like scenic photography, software development, blogging, and videography. This gives one the freedom to travel without experiencing high transportation expenses because it is all about living on the move.

4. Retirement Benefits

RV can help you enjoy your retirement benefits while at the same time having fun. As a retiree, you can sell your home and buy an RV to travel around the world for as long as it can take you. As opposed to your home which is in a fixed location, the RV can take you to warmer climates during the winter and colder climates during the summer. Furthermore, your children will have grown and it will just be the two of you or just you, alone and bored.

5. Expand relationships

An RV guarantees you finding new and different social situations through social events as opposed to a fixed home. Some examples designed for RV livers include ice cream socials, dinners, live entertainment, and group exercises exposed through RV parks and camp grounds. People who live in RV parks tend to form cliques. It gives you more chance to meet people.

6. Enjoy travel opportunities

The benefits of travelling enjoying breathtaking views normally cost. But with an RV, one gets to be exposed to many new people, places, foods, and ideas than someone who stays at a fixed home is not able to enjoy.

7. Less work

For an RV, it takes a very short time to clean the whole house. There are no lawns to water and mow, large areas to clean, walls to paint or garages to organize. There is no yard work. Maintenance requires less work and money than a house, you can renovate the trailer by simply painting it again.

8. More free time

You definitely have more time to yourself because an RV has limited space. You will also use less time to clean and working from home cuts back the time for travelling to and from the office. At the end of a day work, you can just sit back and relax because there will be less to do than in a house.

9. Financial freedom options

RV living gives you many financial options. It gives you the flexibility and opportunity to choose whatever works for you financially. You can take advantage of seasonal work in different locations. This depends on the person’s ability to make sound decisions regarding how they spend their money and the circumstances in which they are in.

10. Save more

With an RV, you can use cost reduction methods to lower expenses such as not staying in one place for months which results in the payment for electricity, cable and water bills. Cooking your own food and limiting meals bought from restaurants also saves money. If you stick to simple choices, you can avoid spending much. If you do your math well by buying a reasonably fair priced RV, know how to economically repair and maintain the RV, finding an affordable campground, and locating where services are convenient; then you will save more.

11. Fit for outgoing personalities

If you have a sense of adventure and have a social lifestyle, an RV is better than living in a house. Notably, an RV will enable you get to meet new people and experience different ways of living. Furthermore, it is suitable for people that embrace a nomadic lifestyle. Also, it suites the lifestyle for those interested in travelling and camping rather than living in one location.

12. Own one loan-free

It is easier to own an RV loan free than owning a house loan-free. Owning a house means being overweighed and stressed by loan repayments and mortgages.

13. Spend time outdoors

RV lifestyle promotes outdoor activities other than sitting indoors. An RV has a tiny space that gets you sick after staying in for a while, encouraging you to go outdoors and stretch. It encourages one to spend time outdoors because it is a new place after a period of time, and most campsites have great places to enjoy outdoor activities.

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14. Keeps you organized

Because it is a small space, it makes a small mess seem like a big mess and encourages you to clean up regularly. It is also easy to organize because you own less stuff. Above all, it is easy to maintain a regular routine.

15. Can relocate easily

If you don’t like your current living location, then get an RV. With it, you can easily move at an easier cost compared to relocating to a permanent home. Also during relocation in case of a house, you have to consider if you own the land you are currently living on, the sale of the land, or the purchase of new land and the additional cost of constructing a new home in a more suitable location.

16. Mobility

An RV gives you the flexibility of going wherever you want, whenever you like. You can never have to stay in one spot for longer than necessary. With an RV, you can travel practically anywhere in the country, knowing that you have a place to sleep and something to eat.

17. Less expensive

An RV Is less expensive compared to a house, especially in the terms of the money you spend on day-to-day basis. Parking fees are quite affordable compared to owning a piece of land to build a house and the payment of annual land rates.

18. Freedom

An RV gives you freedom and as such, you won’t be restricted by what you can do, and where you can go. You can wake up one morning and decide to go anywhere you want or do whatever you want. It also gives you the freedom to see the world the way you want to and do it on your own timetable.

19. Much more fun

No periods of time are exactly the same. The experiences you get from each location you visit with an RV is different as opposed to staying at the same place for a long time, sometimes even a decade without ever moving.

20. Quality of life is rewarding in an RV compared to living in a house

Living in an RV affords a good quality of life. You are more likely to live a healthier lifestyle. It allows you to keep eating healthy because you have home-cooked meals no matter where you travel. It also keeps you physically fit because you spend time outdoors as opposed to living in a house where you can spend all day watching TV.

21. You have fewer things in general

An RV is a big promoter of minimalism. The temptation to buy more things or things you do not need is gone because there is no room for storage. Without big closets and rooms for storage, you will be forced to adopt a minimalist lifestyle. Living in an RV helps you to be aware of everything you own.

22. Amazing views for less such as living near the ocean or lake

With an RV, you can live near the ocean on prime real estate without it being too expensive. You can also easily change your location views from the ocean, the rainy forest, or in the middle of a city at very minimal expense.

23. Grow closer relationships and spend time with loved ones

Whether you live as a family in an RV or just you and your spouse, people tend to grow closer with each other in adventurers situations. One is not limited by space between each other like in a house, but close to each other and can easily start conversations about the experiences and everything going on around you.

24. Good for personal growth

The exposure to different types of cultures and the numerous experiences during travel with an RV is great for personal growth. Totally moving away from the everyday people around you will give you a sense of independence and stability.

25. Flexibility

Apartment renting and home loans keep you stuck at the same spot whether you like it or not. Having an RV offers flexibility. Because of flexibility, one can up and move to a different city for a job opportunity without spending a lot of money.

26. Value experiences

With an RV, it teaches us to value the memories you make while on the road. It reconnects us with nature and exposes the natural world around us as opposed to living at a permanent place.

Image credit: Greg , flickr

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. Follow him on Facebook here.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Doing the Dishes by Hand – 6 of The Biggest Water-Wasters


Water is something that has a different value wherever you are on the planet. In areas of the earth made up largely of desert, it’s increasingly seen as a valued commodity. In other places, however, it’s regarded as an abundant resource that will always appear at the quick turn of a tap.

The latter attitude is something that needs to change fast. By 2030, it’s estimated that half of the world’s population could be living in areas classed as under high water stress. It’s hardly surprising considering the average human in the developed world goes through 747 gallons a day. With the booming world population, that’s a figure that’s just not sustainable.

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So how do we cut down on our water usage? Well, we’ve come up with a list of six ways you can start to reduce the amount of water you waste today. Some are small changes but all will make a big difference to the future of our planet moving forward.

1. Doing the Dishes by Hand

The majority of taps in the developed world are able to deliver between two to five gallons of water per minute. Leaving the tap running while you’re doing the washing up can, therefore, see you use as much water as a dishwasher after just two minutes. Washing dishes by hand uses an average of 14 gallons of water, but if those dishes are also rinsed, that figure can reach as high as 33 gallons. To put that into some context, the average American uses 17.2 gallons of water every time they have a shower.

The Solution: a dishwasher. A modern-day machine rarely uses above 10 gallons of water per load. When you think about how much cutlery, bowls, and plates you can wash in one go, the savings become substantial.

2. Fixing the Dripping Tap

Have you ever had an annoying leaking tap around your home? The constant sound of dripping is enough to drive any sane person insane. Yet despite this, getting a leaking tap fixed is rarely seen as a priority.

One plumbing service in North Carolina has done the math and found out that an average faucet drip could be wasting around 347 gallons a year. Times that figure by seven billion and it suddenly becomes very clear why the world could be running out of fresh water.

The solution: get leaking taps fixed as quickly as possible. The longer you leave it, the more water – and money – you’ll waste.

3. Washing the Car at Home

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Let’s face it – most of us choose to wash our vehicles at home because we think it will work out cheaper than going to the car wash. A study by Kaady Car Washes, however, has proven that theory could in some respects be wrong. Using a hose to wash down your vehicle can see you go through 80 to 140 gallons of water. A car wash, on the other hand, only uses 30 to 45 gallons.

Stats from the construction engineering company Colas show that the price per gallon of water in the United States is approximately $0.005 per gallon. So, if you’re someone that washes their car at home every weekend, you’re likely spending around $3 a month for the pleasure.

The Solution: a car wash. Professional car washes recycle waste water. It’s often sent to treatment plants to help prevent the pollution of the environment. Home car wash wastewater, however, is usually lost down drains or contaminates soil.

4. Watering the Garden With Sprinklers

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Keeping the garden looking its best is never easy over the summer months. A sudden heatwave can turn a luscious, green lawn into something of a barren land in just a matter of weeks if left unwatered.

One solution that many all over the world turn to is garden sprinklers. They’re reasonably inexpensive, easy to set up, and save you an unmeasurable amount of watering time. There is, however, worries over just how much water they use. In certain areas of California, for example, sprinklers are only allowed to be used once a week by law. It’s somewhat understandable considering an average sprinkler system uses around 265 gallons per hour. In more human terms, that’s approximately three and a half bathtubs of water.

The Solution: Unfortunately, not all of us have the time to water our gardens, so sprinklers still serve an important purpose. A good tip to avoid overuse is to set them so they go off first thing in the morning or last thing at night. This helps to guarantee that none of the water evaporates due to the warm temperatures.

5. Making Biofuels

While biofuels are usually an environmentally friendly way of producing power, they do have one major downside: they require a lot of water. Powerplants which make biofuels typically use far more gallons of water in comparison with carbon dioxide emitting fossil fuels. Take corn ethanol as an example. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers estimates that the process involved in making less than a gallon of corn ethanol requires 170 gallons of water. That’s bad math in anybody’s book.

The Solution: using more sustainable waste and renewable electric power will help to keep the world’s vehicles, machinery, and technology moving forward in a greener fashion.

6. Drinking Beer

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The first sip of an ice-cold beer is one of life’s simples pleasure. You’d think that such a refreshing taste would be something that helps to keep you hydrated, but the truth is the exact opposite.

All alcohol acts as a suppressant to the hormone yasopressin, which is responsible for letting the kidneys know when to and when not to absorb and hold onto water. As alcohol is also a diuretic, it means going to the toilet becomes a frequent occurrence on a night out. When these two factors combine, your body is essentially throwing away water. The end result of feeling dehydrated is one of the leading causes of a sore head the next morning.

The solution: if the taste of beer is something you’re just not willing to give up, think about trying an alcoholic-free version instead.

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. Follow him on Facebook here.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

18 Eco-Friendly Home Projects to Complete in 2018


Do you have any home improvement projects on the radar in 2018? Why not make them eco-friendly? Eco-friendly or environmentally friendly are those products that claim reduced, minimal, or no harm upon ecosystems or the environment. Environmentally conscious updates to your living space can save you money and help preserve the environment.

With just couple of days left for new year to set in, let’s start this new year with some easy and eco-friendly projects that have minimum impact on the environment. Here are 18 eco-conscious home improvement ideas for 2018.

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1. Start Composting

Instead of tossing organic waste into the trash, start a compost pile in your backyard. The EPA estimates nearly 25 percent of the waste dumped into landfills each year could have been composted. Additionally, composting improves soil quality and decreases erosion.

Composting also helps deter pests in your garden. You’ll save cash on pesticide costs, increase your produce yield and grow healthier, more organic food for your family.

2. Give Your Kitchen a Facelift

Are you in the market for a new kitchen? Instead of trashing your old cabinetry and drawers, try re-purposing them and changing their layout. Refinishing old cabinetry and changing out fixtures, knobs and handles is an environmentally friendly way to get a new look without breaking the bank.

3. Upgrade Your Flooring

New flooring can brighten and completely change the look of a room. Make your new choice eco-conscious by choosing linoleum over vinyl. Vinyl flooring can emit VOCs over time, which can degrade indoor air quality and lead to respiratory illnesses. Choose linoleum flooring instead. Linoleum is nontoxic and won’t leach noxious gases.

4. Repaint Your Home With No- to Low-VOC Paint

A fresh coat of paint can make any room look cleaner and more open. While color is important, so is paint quality. Choose a paint brand that won’t emit VOCs, or at the very least, emits them in low concentrations. Standard paints often release toxic VOCs, similar to vinyl flooring. You’ll improve your indoor air quality and your health.

5. Switch to Geothermal Heating

Geothermal systems use the Earth’s stable ground temperature to maintain a comfortable climate in your home. A pump sends liquid 300 feet beneath the Earth’s surface and returns it to a geothermal heater, which then distributes the temperate liquid through the flooring in your home. In the hot summer months, heat is drawn from the air and deposited back into the Earth.

On average, geothermal systems use 80 percent less energy compared to traditional heating systems. Additionally, they don’t require fossil fuels to operate. It’ll take approximately 10 years before your geothermal investment pays off.

6. Purchase Used Furniture

Consignment shops, antique stores and garage sales often offer excellent deals on high-quality, gently used furniture. Purchasing preowned furniture limits the amount of waste that may make it into landfills and usually costs less than newer options.

7. Add Larger Windows

Are you looking for a more drastic change? Add larger windows to your home or change their layout. Optimizing the natural light that enters your home can help lower your energy bill by reducing heating and lighting costs. Larger windows will also help improve air circulation throughout the year, which can help improve indoor air quality.

8. Install Solar Panels

The cost of installing a solar energy system is on the decline, thanks to technological improvements and solar energy becoming a more mainstream option. Additionally, many state governments, in addition to the federal government, offer tax incentives for homeowners interested in converting to solar energy.

Before you make the jump, have an expert or industry professional analyze your home to determine whether it’s suitable for solar panels. Factors to consider include your local climate, the slope of your roof and tree cover.

9. Reinsulate Your Home

New insulation won’t change the overall look of your home, but it will change the overall feel. Insulation degrades over time, leading to gaps in coverage. Poor insulation will allow air to escape from your home and can dramatically increase your heating and cooling costs throughout the year.

Some insulation can last up to 100 years, but leaking roofs, punctures, animals and other factors can drastically reduce this timeline. Review your home’s history and energy bills to determine if your home can benefit from new insulation.

10. Perform an Energy Audit

Hire an energy professional to perform an energy audit in your home to determine where you can make the most impact. Energy auditors review your home to see where you may be losing energy and provide recommendations on where to make the most impact. Energy auditors can help homeowners can save anywhere from 5 to 30 percent on their energy bill.

11. Invest in Energy Star Appliances

Appliances account for up to 30 percent of home energy usage. Switching the appliances in your home to those with the Energy Star label can save you money on your energy bill and help preserve the environment.

The government backs Energy Star appliances and guarantees they will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and operate more efficiently compared to non-Energy Star competitors. When shopping for replacements, check to see whether an appliance has the government-certified Energy Star label.

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12. Do a Little Spring Cleaning

Set aside time to dig through the attic, your closet and the other areas in your home where you’ve been storing unused or unwanted items. Instead of throwing things directly into the trash, donate them to a local thrift store or hold a garage sale to earn some extra cash. Repurposing unwanted items helps keep them out of landfills.

13. Greenify Your Living Space

Houseplants can help improve indoor air quality by reducing carbon dioxide and absorbing airborne toxins, including benzene and formaldehyde. Not all plants are created equal, however. Spider plants, snake plants and rubber trees are among some of the easiest plants to grow with the best indoor air quality benefits.

14. Switch to Energy-Efficient Windows

Poorly sealed or aging windows can decrease your energy efficiency dramatically. Consider investing in a more energy-efficient option to improve your home’s overall comfort and reduce your energy costs.

If new windows aren’t in your budget, try repairing or updating your existing ones. Improving the caulking around window seals, installing storm windows and adding treatments can also help reduce your overall energy consumption.

15. Install a Low-Flow Toilet

Low-flow toilets use 25 to 50 percent of the water used by conventional toilets per flush. Over one year, the average family of four can save up to 22,000 gallons of water, which translates to nearly $100 in savings on your annual water bill.

A variety of options exist depending on your budget and the type of toilet you’re looking for. Some systems recycle greywater from your sink, leading to further water conservation and even lower water bills.

16. Update Your Landscaping

Adding native plants to your yard can provide additional habitat for local wildlife and reduce your water bill. Local plants are better suited to your environment and won’t require the same amount of water or fertilizer to flourish.

Excess fertilizers can wash off plants and soil in heavy rain events and into local waterbodies. The excess chemicals are harmful to marine life and can lead to an overabundance of algae and other plants, which reduces oxygen levels in the water.

17. Invest in Rain Barrels

Rain barrels capture excess stormwater from your rooftop for future use. They are relatively inexpensive to install and provide a free source of water for use on your lawn or garden.

Additionally, rain barrels prevent excess rainwater from contributing to stormwater runoff. Water flows faster over hard surfaces and can lead to more instances of flooding.

18. Install a Rain Garden

Properly installed rain gardens act as small wetlands. They reduce excess stormwater runoff while the plants neutralize pollutants in the water. When stormwater runoff flows over hard surfaces, it picks up pollutants from oil and gas spills and fertilizers. Rain gardens prevent these contaminants from making their way into water bodies.

With a little effort, you can reduce your family’s carbon footprint and make your 2018 a little bit greener.

Image credit: pexels

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. Follow him on Facebook here.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Microplastics are Proving Terrible For the Marine Life


A seemingly harmless arts and craft material, glitter has been a part of fun Do It Yourself projects, an intricate part of the fashion and makeup world, and an all-around well-loved item for years. Yet beneath all that glitz and glam lies an unfortunate and little-known truth: that glitter is causing serious harm to the environment.

Glitter is known for its tendency to stick to all available surfaces and be virtually impossible to completely clean and get rid of, but apart from that flaw, it is also a particular kind of material that is a huge environmental hazard. These small, shiny plastic pieces are called microplastics, which are essentially thin plastic sheets which measure less than 5mm in diameter and are harmful for marine life.

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These plastics are easily found all over the marine environment, from its depths to its surfaces, and are eaten accidentally by a variety of marine life. Birds that feed on marine life unwittingly introduce the microplastic into their system when they eat, which can result in them dying from starvation. Fish and other marine life like whale and planktons that ingest microplastics also face the same starvation hazard, and in fact, research suggests that these plastics are killing fish faster than they can repopulate.

But it isn’t just animals who face direct danger from microplastics – humans do, too, as we catch, cook, and ingest fish and other animals that may have microplastic particles in their systems, which contain chemicals and toxins few would want within their bodies.

News about the danger of glitter came to a head when nineteen kindergartens in the United Kingdom decided to cease all usage of the product in their classrooms in order to help save the oceans. The story spread worldwide from Tops Day Nurseries and gained traction quickly.

Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, a ban on another assortment of microplastics is taking place, to be implemented in 2018: microbeads – a product that the United States has already partially banned since July and will ban the sale of in July 2018, while outlawing over-the-counter drugs containing them and other plastic particles beginning June 2019.

Microbeads are a kind of microplastic often present in hygiene products like body scrubs and facial washes, and over 8 trillion of them are flushed out into the waters of the United States every day. Canada has also banned microbeads since June, and Cosmetics Europe, which is a Europe-based trade group that represents cosmetic businesses, has often expressed recommendations for the use of microbeads to be discontinued.

In light of this ban about to take effect, many researchers and scientists are urging that glitters, especially those used in cosmetic products, should be similarly outlawed. As these products are washed off of the body and down the drain, potentially clogging waterways, the small glitter plastics are likely to find their way to the marine environment – where they will release dangerous chemicals into the water that could endanger water life – and beyond. In fact, in the opinion of many scientists, all varieties of glitter should simply be banned for good.

However, there is a flip side to this narrative, as there isn’t much evidence available on how much damage glitter itself is causing. A large majority of microplastics mainly come from plastic garbage and waste, which are broken down by waves and ultraviolet rays, and from the aforementioned microbeads, the latter of which do not degrade at all. Meanwhile, in an examination of 500 fish from the English Channel, around one third of which contained microplastic particles, glitter was not found at all among them.

As such, a complete ban on the product altogether right now could be premature, and more effective methods may help curb the microplastic problem. Instead, researches and scientists urge consumers and manufacturers to practice responsible product usage.

Companies such as Lush Ltd. in the United Kingdom have already moved to replace all glitter in its cosmetics and products, which were manufactured from polyethylene terephthalate or PET, with mineral and synthetic mica made glitter. In order to maintain glitter’s famous sparkle, starch-based luster is used to give it shine. The company urges consumers to check labels before purchasing any cosmetic products, and example of a manufacturer responsibly working to combat the microplastic problem.

Still, it can be a serious issue to expect consumers and smaller manufacturers to be aware of and to be held responsible for their use of glitter, which is why many scientists still believe that an outright ban may be the most necessary step. The implementation may only be most effective when coming from the top down.

Thankfully, those who enjoy the little sparkly shards do not need to stop using the colorful crafts altogether, and they can still purchase and use types of glitter that have been made to be biodegradable, and therefore, much more environmentally friendly.

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)

Environmentally Friendly Denmark [Infographic] – Conserve Energy Future


Since I live in Denmark, I am surprised how to deal with food waste. Most supermarkets have very high last hour discounts (up to 80%) and often give free food at the end of the day, so as to avoid waste.

Not only supermarkets are aware of the waste of food, but also schools, since 2013, they spend time teaching their students everything they need to know about food waste. This means that for them it is equally important to learn math and take care of the planet. Thus, the parents of the future have learned from a very early age to not waste the food.

In addition to teaching them the theory of food waste, they take them to farms and factories so they can see where the food comes from and how it is produced. This has not only an educational purpose, but also seems very fun for the student as they interact and learn things.

At the same time, Denmark is far ahead from other countries when it comes to organic food and most of the supermarkets’ products are organic.

Thanks to campaigns based on promoting organic food and food waste, Danes have managed to get rid of “non-organic” products, regardless of the price of new organic products, and this has been addressed by introducing all organic products as ” luxury”. We all love luxury things, and even more when they contribute to our health and the health of our planet.

What makes them even more aware, is their new application called ‘ToGoodToGo’. With this application, restaurants and supermarkets register foods that they will not use so that the users can fill their basket with everything they need for only 20 or 40 kr. As a result, the loss of food is reduced in great results. People who spend less always have good food in the table, for less money.

Author

Grace Cook – Marketing Manager in Trendhim

Environmentally friendly Denmark infographic

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)

Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly [Infographic]


Every homeowner should seek to improve the eco-friendliness of their residence and the reasons for this are numerous. The obvious benefit is to the environment, with reduced energy usage and waste output, plus a greater focus on renewable resources. An eco-conscious approach also helps to save money, as lower energy usage means lower utility bills, with the savings accumulating nicely over time. Plus, making a commitment to eco-friendly living often brings a sense of self-satisfaction at doing your bit to help the environment.

If you would like to make your home more eco-friendly, there are numerous ways in which to do it, many of which are very simple and inexpensive to implement. When purchasing light bulbs, choose LED bulbs with a low wattage that will last for much longer than incandescent lights. Also, get into the habit of switching off lights when leaving a room. A lot of energy is wasted from blindly leaving a room lit up when it is unoccupied for several hours.

Another change that’s very easy to enact is to use appliances more efficiently. When doing your laundry, wait until the pile of clothes takes up almost a full load in your washing machine before putting on a wash. Likewise, only use your dishwasher when it is nearly full to the brim with cups, plates, pots and pans. By taking this approach, you’re helping to save both water and energy.

For those who are very dedicated to having an environmentally friendly home, it is well worth considering the installation of solar panels on your roof. This is a great way to allow plenty of natural light to enter your home, cutting back on the need for artificial lighting while also helping to provide heat to your home. Speaking of heat, a lot of it can escape through infrastructural gaps and hollow walls. If you find it difficult to heat your home, it could be worth investing in insulation so that your walls don’t let heat escape so readily. Simple measures such as keeping your curtains drawn at night also help to combat heat loss.

In the infographic below from EZ Living Interiors (http://www.ezlivinginteriors.com/), you can find out many more ways in which you can improve your home’s eco-friendliness, saving yourself money and helping the environment in the process.

Make-Your-Home-More-Eco-Friendly-IE

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)