Tag Archives: Environmentally friendly

The Hovenring, Netherlands’ Suspended Bike Roundabout

Netherlands bike roundabout

The Hovenring is an incredible suspended roundabout designed by IPV Delft to allow cyclists to safely navigate congested traffic by traveling above it. The Hovenring is located between Eindhoven and Veldhoven in the Netherlands. The circular steel bridge not only offers an alternative route for cyclists, but is also aesthetically pleasing landmark for locals and tourists.

The structure adds is an intriguing element to the landscape, with a pylon that soars approximately 230 feet high with 24 steel cables attached to it, holding the circular pathway up like a hovering saucer. The Hovenring provides spectacular viewing in daylight and at night, when the structure is illuminated. The Hovenring bicycle path offers an innovative approach to future road designs focused on efficiency and safety.

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Ways to Have a Green Christmas

Here are a few ways you can make this Christmas season more eco-friendly:

green-christmas

1. Buy Less

Gifts can fit a practical need and need to be bought new, while other are gestures of thoughtfulness. Find gifts that fit without overspending. 
2. Christmas lights

Solar LED lights are the most energy efficient lighting options. Worse case, convert all older lighting to some form of LED and reduce your energy cost by up to 90%.

2. Wrapping paper

Instead of wasting loads of money on wrapping paper,  use old paper bags, newspapers and school art work. If you do buy, use environmentally friendly wrapping paper. Choose wrapping paper made using fibers such as hemp or paper from recycled content. Also, reuse or recycle gift packing materials

3. Set Holiday Light Displays On Automatic Timers

Setting the light display on an automatic timer allows you to only have the lights on during optimal times, minimizing the waste of having the lights on during the overnight hours.

4. Shop online

Rather than driving around for hours and wasting time and gas, consider shopping online.

5. Cook As Efficiently As Possible

If you are cooking on an electric oven, the Environmental Protection Agency suggests that you can reduce your use of electricity by doing some of your cooking in a crock pot, which supposedly uses less electricity than an electric oven. You can also reduce your fuel consumption 

6. Durable decorations

When buying decorations, ensure you buy good quality or make them yourself from reusable products you find around your home. Good quality decorations may cost more initially but they won’t need to be replaced as often as their cheaper versions

7. Christmas tree choices

Whilst artificial Christmas Trees last longer, the plastic used to make them can be quite toxic to our environment. Consider purchasing a real Christmas Tree. You can keep it in a pot through the festive season than plant it in your backyard at the end of December. Real trees also support tree planting programs which soak up carbon from our atmosphere.

8. Green gifts

Consider only purchasing Eco Friendly gifts. You can find products available that are often made from recycled goods or are made only of sustainable materials.

9. DIY cards and gifts

Make your own cards and presents – these gifts are more likely to be treasured, extending their life cycle. You can also reuse last year’s cards by making gift labels for this year.

10. e-cards

Instead of sending traditional Christmas Cards to family and friends, which cost both money and resources, reduce your carbon footprint by sending an e-card with a personal message.

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Choose Eco Friendly Furniture

Consider eco friendly options when selecting new furniture for your home or office. Choose high quality pieces that will last decades that are manufactured by sustainable ways. Ask questions about the manufacturing process, and about whether timber used is from an FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) source and/or made from sustainable materials, such as bamboo.  Look out for vintage pieces that can be recovered or upcycled. In a contemporary home these can be very effective and become statement pieces in their own right, adding a bit of character.Image

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Green Product Review: Nokero N200 Solar Light Bulb

Even if you are not one of the many individuals in the world in need of kerosene lanterns, the Nokero N200 is a great eco-friendly lighting alternative. We decided to test the Nokero N200 as an alternative light source for an outdoor building without any access to interior lighting.

At first glance, we enjoyed the light bulb shape design and the clever swiveling solar panel, for optimal charging exposure. At only 85 grams, the Nokero N200 is lightweight. The overall construction of the N200 is also quite durable and well made, which would be beneficial in rugged outdoor situations. This rugged design extends to the waterproof casing of this solar light bulb. The N200 has 4 LED lights powered by a rechargeable battery that receives its charge from a solar panel. There is also an auto sensor that turns the bulb off it is exposed to light.

The Nokero N200 has three modes of operation: On, Off, and Turbo-Task. The bulb received a full 6 hours of sunlight for each of our product tests. For our first test, we tested the Nokero N200 in the “on” mode. We were able to achieve a full 7 hours of light before the LEDs went dim. For the second test, the bulb was tested in “turbo-task” mode. The bulb was significantly brighter in this setting, but provided just over 2 hours and 50 minutes of light in this mode.

We recommend Nokero N200 for the avid camper or anyone in need of an outdoor lighting fixture that is more economical and environment friendly. We also appreciate the vision of Nokero and their effort to support efforts such as the New Beginnings Project to improve millions of lives through clean, safe, solar light bulbs.

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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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