Tag Archives: Business

Conservation Tip: Maintain Your Water Heater

Water heating currently represents up to 20 percent of US residential energy consumption, making it the third largest energy consumer in homes, behind heating and cooling and kitchen appliances.

Maintaining your water heater will not only save energy, but also will extend the life of the water heater. Here are a few tips to maintain your water heater and save up to 200 lbs. of CO2 per year:

  1. Drain water heater annually. Sediment collects at the bottom of the tank, which leads the hot water heater to perform inefficiently and lead to higher energy costs. By draining the water heater once per year, you will eliminate the build up inside the water heater and keep the water heater working efficiently.
  2. During the annual draining process, Inspect the water heater for damage and assess system performance. Check for leaks and any strange noises, may be a sign that it is time to replace your water heater.
  3. Set water heater temperature. Manufacturers typically preset new hot water heaters at 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius). The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recommends homeowners set the heater at 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius) to save money and energy. For each 10ºF reduction in water temperature, you can save between 3%-5% in energy costs.
  4. Insulate water heater. Heat loss from the tank and pipes causes decreased energy efficiency in a conventional hot water heater. You can save money by purchasing a water heater blanket from your local hardware store.

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Filed under Energy Conservation, Home Winterization

Benefits of Residential Solar Panels

The Benefits of Residential Solar Panels

The environmental impact of installing solar panels are evident. The installation of residential solar panels will reduce the size of your carbon footprint and your share of greenhouse gases that are produced annually. As you go through the decision-making process of determining the feasibility of installing residential solar panels, here are a few key points to consider:
  • Start-up Costs - You can reduce the substantial initial outlay by taking advantage of incentives and tax rebates.
  • Self sufficiency and independence -The ability to get of the grid can be liberating. You can also remove a bit of market volatility that can be caused by terrorism, natural disasters and market forces.
  • Return on Investment - The initial purchase of solar panels is obviously a substantial investment, but energy genera
  • solar panelstion starts immediately, resulting in immediate savings on electrical costs. After the initial outlay is covered, in 10 – 15 years, the system will provide pure profit.
  • Remote Installation - Cabins, sailboats, RV’s, these are great places to see the advantages of solar energy. Solar power is often much more cost effective to establish in remote areas than conventional power infrastructure.
  • Environmental Impact - The use of solar energy produces no emissions or noise pollution.
  • Home equity - Passive solar layout & landscaping concepts increase the value of a home.
  • System Longevity - Solar panels have the capability of collecting energy for 40 plus years and manufacturers typically warranty the systems for 20 to 25 years.

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Filed under Energy Conservation, Technology

Why is Cancer in Dogs on the Rise?

By Wondercide 

Cancer isn’t just for people. Pets can get cancer too, and one in three dogs are affected by cancer. It is the leading cause of death in dogs over the age of 10. Cancer in dogs is on the rise. But why?

From Race for the Cure to breaking news stories about cancer research, most of what we hear about cancer focuses on finding a cure for the disease. What about cancer prevention? What if we could determine what causes cancer in dogs, avoid these causes, and prevent cancer altogether?

Based on the rise of cancer in domesticated dogs, leading holistic veterinarians theorize that many of our modern conveniences and medicines are contributing to cancer in dogs. “In years past, many dogs died from common illnesses or were hit by a car. But now, we have vaccines and we keep our dogs indoors,” says Elizabeth A. Martinez, DVM.

How can you prevent cancer in your dog?

Start by changing your dog’s food intake.

Our beloved house pets evolved from wild cats and dogs who could forage for food and hunt highly diverse fish, reptiles, mammals, birds, and eggs. Cats and dogs are meant to live on a single-source protein diet that comes from animals, not plants. Grain-free, low-carbohydrate dog food is best, since filler grains like corn and wheat are hard for dogs to digest and most pet food companies use carbohydrates like potatoes as filler (to keep dog kibble cheap) and glue (to bind together other ingredients).

Because most dog food today is hard to digest, dogs aren’t getting the nutrients they need, which further contributes to cancer in dogs. Dogs have much shorter intestines than humans, which means most of their digestion takes place in the stomach, whereas human digestion takes place in the intestine. Nutrients are only absorbed from food during digestion. Essentially, dogs need to quickly absorb their food’s nutrients since they have short intestines, but the low quality of most modern dog kibble makes it too hard for a dog’s stomach to digest.

After you’ve switched your dog to natural dog food, reduce your dog’s chemical exposure.

These two actions both need to happen. Combining a high-quality raw food diet with high chemical exposure can be even worse for your dog than leaving him on a low-quality food!

For example, if a person is an unhealthy eater, they aren’t as sensitive to bad chemicals around them. Once a person switches to an organic, all-natural diet, they become more aware of chemicals in their environment since their body’s awareness isn’t suppressed by unhealthy food. The same process happens to your dog—she will become more sensitive when on natural food.

Many of the chemicals your dog encounters in their home, outdoor areas, and at the vet can cause cancer in dogs, regardless of what type of food a dog eats. Most common pesticides contain chemicals that are carcinogens(cancer causing agents). If you treat your home or lawn with pesticides like Raid or Bug B Gon, you’re exposing yourself and your pet to these chemicals, which have been known to cause skin issues, seizures, kidney failure and even premature death, in addition to cancer.

In the end, making these changes will help your dog live longer and reduce your vet bills. By feeding your dog higher quality food and reducing their chemical exposure, you can reduce cancer in dogs!

Product Spotlight:

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A powerful, non-toxic 16 oz. flea & tick spray for dogs and cats. Repels and kills fleas, ticks & mosquitoes on contact. Effective on all life cycle stages, this bio-based formula safely protects your pet without risk to adults or children.

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Filed under Healthy Living, Natural Remedies

Food Scrap Diversion Benefits

What is food scrap diversion?

It it widely accepted that food waste and compostable paper comprised 32% of the industrial, commercial, institutional (ICI) waste stream. Food scrap diversion is a process of turning food scraps and other organic waste into nutrient-rich compost.

Many commercial and institutional facilities such as restaurants, grocery stores, and school and hospital cafeterias are now required to have food waste diversion systems in place. Commercial food waste includes raw and cooked food and other compostable organic material from commercial and institutional premises.

Benefits of Food Scrap Diversion Projects:

  • Food scraps are diverted from county landfills, extending the landfill’s life.
  • The environmental impacts of hauling tons of food scraps to county landfill-air pollution, transportation congestion, depletion of fossil fuels-were avoided. The resulting compost was used to improve local soils.
  • As industrial and commercial projects become prevalent, individuals will become more willing to compost their own food scraps at home.
  • Selling the resulting compost will allow for payback for project related costs within a few years.

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Filed under Composting, Food Waste, Recycling

Eco-tips for the Office

Five eco-tips for the workplace:

Here are five tips to help make your work environment greener:

Reduce and reuse paper:

  • print and copy double-sided
  • Print drafts on unused reverse sides of paper
  • e-mail your documents as attachments
  • edit documents on screen rather than printing out and hand editing

Reuse boxes:

If you receive a box that is still in good condition, instead of discarding of the box, save it for a future outbound shipment. Simply remove previous shipping labels  and mark-out or cover any previous markings and you extended the life of the box.

Ditch the plastic styrofoam cups:

Get rid of the disposable throw-away cups- the one’s you use for coffee and water fill-ups. The one-use cups accounts for a great deal of office waste.  Simply bring your own cup and provide additional washable cups for visitors.

Switch Off:

The amount of energy wasted in the workplace accounts for over 15% of total energy usage. Items such as computers left on unattended, especially in the overnight hours. Cut your energy use by switching off your computers, copiers, printers and lights when not in use. Also, reduce your phantom energy loss be using smart power strips and/or unplugging unused devices. Remember lower energy bills also mean a better bottom line.

Turn down the heat this winter:

Your heating costs will go up by 8% each time you increase the temperature by just one degree. A 2°C increase in office temperature creates enough CO2 in a year to fill a hot air balloon. Lower the thermostat and your energy bills at the same time.

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Filed under Energy Conservation, Recycling

Green Product Review: Perfect Scents Eco-Friendly Air Freshener

perfect scentsWe were introduced to the Perfect Scents Air Freshener by one of our customers. This natural air freshener is non-aerosol made solely from all-natural essential oils. It comes in a 100% recyclable container. Another nice feature is the continuous spray of the canister. Which allows for spraying the natural air freshener at any angle.

We tested the Exotic Tropical Rainforest for our test, but it also comes in Bountiful Bamboo Breeze. The scent is light and refreshing, but able to power through odors. The 7 oz. air freshener seemed to provide more total sprays compared to other similar size air fresheners.

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Filed under Healthy Living, Product Review