Christian Center Of Park City Named Green Business Of The Year

Last week, three Park City businesses were acknowledged for their commitments to sustainability in the past year. KPCW’s Emily Means has more.

Recycle Utah recognized The Christian Center of Park City as the Green Business of the Year at its recent Green Business Awards, with Deer Valley Resort receiving the People’s Choice Award and Riverhorse on Main the Zest for Zero award.

Christian Center Executive Director Rob Harter says the goods the Center collects get repurposed and reused, while food waste is composted—or food that isn’t available for human consumption is donated to local farmers. Additionally, the organization has implemented other eco-friendly efforts that merited them the title.

“We’ve really worked hard, and Richard Breitenbeker, our receiving manager, has really taken seriously the sustainability role that we gave him over the last year and a half, working closely with Carolyn and Mary,” Harter said. “We’ve done a really concerted job to educate our staff; to sort a bunch of things and use the system that Recycle Utah set up. So, we collect all these metals, and outdated electronics and things like that, and we said, ‘Recycle Utah has a great system—let’s collect it, take it over to them and let them recycle it.'”

A recent building expansion also contributed to the Christian Center’s reduced carbon footprint. Harter says the Center wanted to align itself with Park City’s goal to be green.

“We really tried hard to have our HVAC system be energy-efficient: LED lighting, we had to get all new windows because they were very inefficient,” Harter said. “Probably the biggest thing was, thanks to Rocky Mountain Power and the Blue Sky Grant, we got 81 solar panels. We project that we’ll save about a third of our electricity costs because of our solar panels, and that’s a huge bonus for this new building, so we’re super excited about that.”

Over the holidays, Recycle Utah took in 160,000 pounds of recyclable material, including cardboard, glass and plastics. Recycle Utah Executive Director Carolyn Wawra says the organization spends about $5,000 per year recycling everything that’s collected from Dec. 26 through Jan. 9.

Waste Awareness Week aims to boost student engagement with sustainable practices

UCLA student organizations are spreading awareness of the global waste crisis through a weeklong series of activities.

The Renewable Energy Association and other environmental student organizations are hosting Waste Awareness Week to highlight the consequences of global waste mismanagement. Events take place Monday through Friday and include movie screenings, workshops and an art exhibition.

Chirine Chidiac, REA programming committee member and third-year civil engineering student, said each day of Waste Awareness Week will have a theme such as world waste knowledge and waste at UCLA.

REA and 10 other sustainability organizations will hold workshops on specific aspects of the UCLA Zero Waste by 2020 campaign Wednesday.

E3: Ecology, Economy, Equity, an environmental group on campus, will host a workshop on alternatives to common single-use items such as plastic and paper utensils. The campaign will also be hosting a do-it-yourself deodorant, toothpaste and dry shampoo activity Thursday, said Andrew Jarvis, co-chair of E3’s Zero Waste Campaign and a fourth-year international development studies and geography student.

Chidiac said measures such as using three-stream disposal bins that separate recyclable, landfill and compostable waste and hosting collaborative student events like the Waste Awareness Week could reduce waste. However, she added it may still be difficult to eliminate 100 percent of landfill waste because certain materials cannot be recycled or composted.

“By the time the deadline of the goal happens, I think that we will at least achieve zero waste to landfills,” Chidiac said. “It’s very difficult because there are some mixed materials that are either not recyclable or compostable. … The whole idea is to divert as much waste as possible from landfills.”

Jarvis said the goal was not to produce zero waste but to reduce the amount of campus waste that goes to landfills to 10 percent by 2020.

“That means that trash is either going to recycling, compost or other recycling facilities and 10 percent is going to landfill. Very little waste that is actually produced should be going to the landfill,” Jarvis said. “There’s so much waste that is compostable or recyclable, especially with food waste.”

Carter Webb, a third-year environmental science student, is the president and founder of the Los Angeles Ocean Coalition, a club which focuses on promoting oceanic sustainability through education and activism. He said he thinks UCLA’s Zero Waste Initiative is unachievable and is more of a public relations stunt than an attainable goal, although it is a step in the right direction.

“I am fully committed to using no plastic in my lifestyle and I constantly do it anyway. – and that’s just plastic,” Webb said. “That’s not including food waste, that’s not including other waste mismanagement practices that we, as a first world country, have to deal with.”

Liliana Epps, a co-founder of the Environmentalists of Color Collective at UCLA and a third-year gender studies student, said although zero waste is a good goal to strive for, the idea may be inaccessible for members of underserved communities who may only be able to use cheaper disposable products rather than sustainable alternatives that cost more.

Chidiac said she hopes Waste Awareness Week increases student engagement in UCLA’s waste initiative.

“I think events like this week are also going to make a really big difference because we’ve partnered with a very large number of sustainable orgs on campus as well as the Zero Waste coordinator’s office. … We’re really touching a lot of different parts of campus,” Chidiac said.

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70 easy ways to be environmentally friendly in Cornwall in 2019

You may have decided that 2019 is the year you want to eco-friendly to help the environment, save money and live a less wasteful life.

But it can be overwhelming – particularly if you don’t know where to begin.

It helps that businesses and even governments are starting to take action and individuals can make small changes to create a big difference.

However there are still lots of misconceptions around ‘being green’, including that it is expensive and inconvenient.

The fact is making changes will save you money, as well as help your well-being – such as ditching chemicals and improving air quality.

If you have always wanted to do something to help save our planet, then try these small and easy steps –  you don’t have to make much effort either with many of them.

Here we bring you 70 small ways you can do your bit –

1. Turn off the tap

Think about your water use

 

It is easily done, leaving the tap running while brushing teeth (wasting around 200 gallons of water a month), rinsing dishes to put the dishwasher or handwashing dishes (using about four times more water than a dishwasher), washing hands and cooking.

So the tip is turn it off while brushing teeth, turn off while scrubbing your hands with soap, buy a dishwasher, or save up all the washing to handwash and only use just enough water to cover your food (which also helps preserve nutrients) or steam multiple veg with one pan.

With water, don’t keep running the tap until water gets cold enough to drink. Instead, fill up a jug and keep it in the fridge.

 

2. Switch out your plastic bags

It’s been the government’s target for several years, cutting down the use of plastic bags, there is even a tax on them, which has just been increased and there has also been talk of banning them.

Many supermarkets offer a reusable plastic bag alternative, but switching to canvas is even better as they will last a lot longer and are less likely to tear and can carry more weight.

But if you have to buy a plastic bag, make sure you reuse it as much as possible.

This ditch the plastic also extends to disposable cutlery and straws which may be tempting to avoid washing up, but does not help the environment.

Try Hobbycraft where you can create your own designs with your own message, Amazon or even buy something a little more upmarket at Next.

 

3. Switch to LED lightbulbs

 

LED lightbulbs are the way to go

LED lights may be slightly more expensive, but they last longer than the conventional light bulbs and are more energy efficient, which means they use less electricity.

You can also get them in a range of designs and brightness. Try Wilko, ledbulbs.co.uk or Amazon for some ideas.

4. Reduce rubbish

The government want us to recycle more and throw away less, and Cornwall Council is evening switching collections to encourage it.

You can do your bit by setting a goal to only fill one black bin bag a month. If you recycle and compost, as well as donate used good to charity or sell it, you may be surprised by how little you will be left with.

Obviously this depends on your family size, so you will need to set your own personal goal, so perhaps cutting back by one bag a month is a good place to start and will still make a difference.

5. Use less paper

Forget paper napkins and opt for cloth ones instead – not only are they more durable as they will soak up a lot more than paper, but they will save money and reduce waste, plus cloth napkins make dinner feel oh-so-fancy.

Try the National Trust, John Lewis, Dunelm or eBay.

Equally, instead of buying endless rolls of paper towels, use old cut up towels or old clothes that would have been thrown out anyway to clean your house.

6. Recycle more

Cornwall Council said that overall the county had increased the amount of waste being recycled by 0.71% while cutting the amount of black bag waste by 1.2kg per household

Cornwall Council is switching to weekly collections to encourage people to recycle more

 

You are probably already recycling, after all we all have boxes provided by the council and fortnightly collections which are about to change to weekly, but chances are you could improve on this.

Check out exactly what can be recycled by your council – the list has been updated in the last year and you may be surprised by what is on it.

There are lots of other recycling schemes,

which gives you vouchers for used plastic bottles and there are lots of places you can dispose of batteries (better still buy rechargable ones)

7. Compost your food

This is ideal if you have a garden space, obviously not so much if you don’t – but the council is going to introduce a scraps recycling scheme to make it easier.

For those who have the space, you can convert your plant remains and kitchen waste into rich nutrient food for your garden. This reduces the need for commercial fertilizer, adds nutrients to the soil and saves water as it holds moisture and reduces run off and of course, it reduces what goes to landfill.

You can pick up a decent outdoor compost bin from as little as £15- try BQ or Amazon and for a work top bin for the kitchen try Lakeland

 

8. Stop littering

 

Littering is costly in so many ways

 

Litter dropped around the streets and countryside is bad for the environment – not only does it look awful, it can be a danger to wildlife, can pollute the air and ground and the clean up means more emissions from vehicles.

This is not just about dropping a crisp packet or a boittle, but relates to dog mess (particularly when bagged) and commercial waste.

9. Eat less meat

The livestock sector generates as much greenhouse gas emissions as all cars, trucks and automobiles combined and cattle ranchers have cut millions of square kilometres of forest for grazing pastures, which is damaging for wildlife.

 

Cutting back on meat consumption can make a huge difference in the environment as it will help reduce the overall emission of GWP gases.

Perhaps begin with having one meat free meal a week or cut down on the amount of red meat in particular.

 

10. Turn down the heat

 

 

Every degree helps, so try just turning down the thermostat by one degree and see how you get on. If that is comfortable, try an other until you get a temperature that is suitable.

Of course it is also a good idea to layer up before putting any heating on at all – we are not suggesting coat, scarves and gloves in the house, but just adding a vest or a long sleeved top or jumper could be all you needed to warm up.

 

Be sensible about your heating – so don’t have it on overnight when you are asleep or if you are out. Time it so takes the chill off when you are at home.

Also adjust individual radiators – you don’t really need a hot bedroom, but the living room and bathroom may need to be slightly higher.

 

 

11. Grow your own food

 

What better way to get goodness into your diet and be green that to grow your own food? It is not just about saving money, but it will cut down on your carbon footprint and of course reduce pesticides.

Even if you don’t have much space you can use window boxes to grow herbs and small vegetables – which will also filter the air coming into your home.

Find books on the subject at Amazon, where you can also get most of what you will need to start growing, or check out BQ for all your gardening needs.

 

12. Only use dishwasher/washing machine on full load

Make sure your dishwasher is full

Switching on a half-full dishwasher or washing machine wastes water, energy, and money so you should fill it to the brim – or at least use the eco wash if there is one.

You can also save money and reduce peak hour electricity demands by using the delay feature if it has one to run after midnight to use off-peak energy hours.

13. Use your voice and your feet

Write to businesses, like supermarkets to encourage them to ditch plastic wrapping for fruit and vegetables, nappy companies to switch to boxes rather than plastic wrap for packs, or anyone else you feel is overusing plastic or not doing enough to protect the environment.

Use shops like Iceland that don’t use Palm oil in their products. It can be found in frozen pizzas, biscuits and margarine, as well as body creams, soaps, makeup, candles and detergents.

But almost half of the palm oil imported into the EU is used as biofuel, which blended into motor vehicle fuels has been a major cause of deforestation.

 

Oil palm plantations currently cover more than 27 million hectares of the Earth’s surface. Forests and human settlements have been destroyed and replaced by “green deserts” containing virtually no biodiversity on an area the size of New Zealand.

14. Shower less

 

You can turn down the flow and take shorter showers

We are not suggesting you stay dirty, but rather reducing the time you are in there.

Of course a shower is better than a bath, using 10-20 gallons of water in five minutes rather than around 30 gallons, but its all down to how long you are in there and what shower head you have.

Going with a low flow can use 25-60 percent less water than a normal shower head. Most shower heads are adjustable so use the low flow when lathering up, then switch to high to rinse off.

Head to eBay for some bargains.

15. Ditch the car

Try and switch out car journeys for walking or cycling

Always think about whether you need to make a journey by car, or can you combine some things to only go out once rather than several times and always go the more direct route.

 

Think about where you can walk, ride a bike, take a bus or train. If more people walked or cycled trips of up to three miles, it could slash 23 million tons of ozone-layer depleting carbon dioxide emissions that come from fuel each year.

Take a look at the offers on bikes at Halfords

15. Get rid of chemical cleaners

Chemical cleaners are damaging to your health and the environment

Look in your cupboards and take a look at the ingredients of your cleaning products. A lot have harmful chemicals in them that can affect both your household and the environment.

Green cleaning products use more natural and organic methods of cleaning which are far less harmful.

Check out the Ethical Superstore for ideas, or create your own using items such as vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil or baking soda.

 

 

16. Forget microbeads

Greenpeace refers to microbeads and microplastics t as a “toxic time bomb”. Microplastics which are non biodegradable, can both release and absorb toxins in the marine environment, which can then move through the food chain.

The best way to help is to make sure that your body wash, toothpaste, face scrub and other products do not contain microbeads and choose natural cleaning products – like those sold by Lush.

17. Open a window for odor control

Room deodorizers that smell like trees or flowers or clean linen are not as good as they look – often they release potential carcinogens into the air.

The best way to make your room smell better is to open your windows and let the fresh air in. But if that is not possible, lay out a bowl of white vinegar or baking soda to absorb the odor from the air.

18. Freeze food

Freeze fruit and vegetables before they go off and leftovers to avoid waste
(Image: Steve Depolo)

 

Research shows UK households currently throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink every year, costing £12.5 billion.

A lot of that is either because they have bought too much, not planned their meals or have leftovers. One way to act if this happens is to freeze food – either before its been prepared, or as meals you can use for later.

 

19. Conserve water

Cleaning waste water or “grey water” is an energy intensive process, as it needs a lot of energy to pump it from the reservoirs into your home.

You can fix a water butt to you your drainpipe and use it to water your plants, clean your car and wash your windows. A water butt can collect around 5,000 litres a year. Try Wickes, Amazon or BQ.

Also water your garden with a watering can rather than a hosepipe, which can use as much as 1,000 litres of water an hour. Mulching your plants (with bark chippings, heavy compost or straw) and watering in the early morning and late afternoon will reduce evaporation and also save water.

In addition if you can put the bathwater and sink water on your garden rather than down the drain. Water than is left in glasses can be used on indoor plants.

 

 

20. Plant a tree

 

Trees are vital and there are many ways you can help

Trees contribute to their environment by providing oxygen, improving air quality, climate amelioration, conserving water, preserving soil, and supporting wildlife.

Making sure that we’re planting more native trees to replace those that have been felled to make room for developments is something that more people and businesses need to do to protect the environment and improve air quality.

You can make a difference by planting trees on your land if you have space, or pay someone to do it – The Woodland Trust enables you to buy one in memory of a loved one or you can donate to the National Trust

 

21. Borrow instead of buy

Think about your big purchases before you go out and buy anything – how often will you actually use it? If its rarely, then perhaps borrowing or searching out the item on sites like Freecycle is the way to go.

22. Get a reusable water bottle

In case you didn’t know it – you can drink water straight from the tap – no need to buy it in plastic bottles!

The problem with bottles is that around 80 per cent actually don’t make it to recycling and therefore is incredibly wasteful.

So to save yourself a lot of money (you can get around 700 gallons of water out of your tap at home for the same price as a bottle you buy from the shop), get yourself a nice water bottle and refill it.

You can buy some really snazzy ones from the likes of Next, Marks and Spencer, John Lewis, Dunelm and Amazon

23. Pick up plastic on the beach

This plastic mountain was collected in an hour on one beach

This plastic mountain was collected in an hour on one beach
(Image: Beach Guardian)

Cornwall Live has been promoting the campaign by Surfers Against Sewage to end the plastic blight on beaches and if you just pick up a bag full each time you visit a beach, you will have an inpact.

Make sure you dispose of them via recycling where possible too, rather than sending it to landfill.

24. Don’t release balloons

It may seem like a lovely way to remember someone who has died or celebrate something, but releasing balloons into the sky is not a good idea as they can be mistaken for food or animals can become tangled in the string.

Not only that but helium, which is used to fill the balloons to make them float upwards, although a natural atmospheric gas, as a land-resource is limited so this is a wasteful use.

Sky lanterns are not much better as they are a fire hazard.

In fact, its probably best to ditch balloons for good and find some more fun, less environmentally damaging items like rag garlands, tissue paper flowers, or paper chains.

25. Plant bee, butterfly and bug friendly havens

There are easy ways to encourage wildlife to your garden

Wasps, flies, beetles, butterflies, moths and bees all help to make up the 1,500 species of insects that pollinate plants, they are important for honey production and keeping pests at bay.

The best way to encourage them is to plant a variety of flowers, shrubs and trees and ensure there are some wild ones in there.

Try not to cut the grass too often let the dandelions grow as they are a great source of food and don’t use pesticides.

Try BQ for plants.

26. Cancel junk mail

Did you know that more than 100 million trees are destroyed each year for junk mail? Plus 28 billion gallons of water and enough energy to power more than 9 million cars! When we stop junk mail and catalogs, we keep trees in the forests doing what they do best – providing oxygen for us to breathe and absorbing C02 to keep our planet cool and healthy.

There are lots of ways to stop it, including putting a ‘no junk mail’ sticker on your door, contact Royal Mail, stop charity marketing, contact both Your Choice and Mailing Preference Service, take your details off the open electoral register, contact sender direct to ask them to stop, return to sender and write “unsolicited mail” on it and make sure you tick the box of any paperwork to say you don’t want third parties contacting you.

27. Try fasting with money

For one month only spend on what you need to survive – bills, medicine and basic food.

That means no lunches out, no new clothes or make up, no pub visits, junk food or haircuts.

It is about only buying the necessities – you set the rules of what you need, pay with cash where possible and keep a spending journal.

The aim is to not only save money, but to think about the items you buy that you don’t need and therefore impact on the environment.

 

 

28. Get rid of one-use items

There are always alternatives to single-use items

Ditch disposable razors, straws, cling films, sandwich bags, wet wipes and cotton buds and either find greener alternatives or go without.

Use a plastic box again and again for lunches, invest in a straight razor, safety razor or manual clippers.

29. Choose eco-friendly technology

Look at renewable energy sources

You could also look into sources of renewable energy, such as geothermal energy, wind energy, biomass energy, and solar energy – although these are longer term investments and could take up to 20 years for you to break even, but it is not just about the money, but about the impact on the environment.

30. Get your groceries delivered

Supermarket deliveries are like public transport and save on emissions

Opting for home delivery is not just about convenience, but is like the public transport of groceries. It means that rather than having a dozen or more cars driving to the supermarket, one van delivers in a specific area.

It also means that if you buy online and have it delivered, you are less likely to buy on impulse, which reduces waste food. So hop over to Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury, Waitrose or Ocado.

31. Buy local

Even better than using the supermarkets, is to buy locally, but its not that clear cut. It only really works if you walk or ride your bike as driving to various suppliers is not reducing emissions. try your local farmers market.

This is an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint is to buy locally grown products. When you shop locally instead of buying products that were shipped from far away, you are actually supporting local dairies and farms and stopping them going out of business – the land being sold to developers.

There is also less waste as the produce is fresher and not having to thrown away. often less pesticides are used, particularly if you buy from organic farmers.

32. Fix don’t throw

It might seem easier and cheaper to throw something out, but repairing it is much more environmentally friendly.

Not only do you reduce landfill, but you then don;t need to buy a replacement.

So instead of throwing out a pair of shoes with damaged heels, take them to a cobbler or get out a sewing kit and repair a hole in your trousers .

If you are not sure, you will be sure to find it on the internet, or there are more and more workshops being held locally to help you fix up items.

33. Use refill stores

Refill stores are popping up across the UK
(Image: Gareth Bartlett)

Refill stores are starting to pop up across towns including one in Truro. The idea behind the concept for the store is that shoppers come in with either their own containers, purchase one in the store or use the brown compostable paper bags used to weigh up dry goods, and help themselves to flour, pasta, rice, Bombay mix, oil or even shampoo and shower gel.

34. Don’t fly – staycation

Think about staying closer to home for your holiday

Flying is one of the most environmentally damaging things you can do – just flying from Bristol to Edinburgh produces 0.15 metric tons of carbon.

Why not stay a bit closer to home and explore some of Britain’s beautiful nature? Camping, hiking and cycling are all great things to do in the UK and are extremely low carbon – take a look at Airbnb for inspiration.

35. Cook from scratch

Cooking from scratch at home saves a lot of money, but it also uses a lot more resources than pre-made food (that is processed, wrapped in plastic or cardboard packaging and shipped to the supermarket) or dining out.

36. Insulate you home

It is hard to keep a house warm or cool if it is not insulated, which means wasting energy trying to maintain a good temperature.

37. Use your microwave

Microwaves are much more energy efficient than conventional ovens – you can reduce a 30 minute cook time to just five minutes because it cooks food efficiently.

Gas ovens direct around six percent of their energy use at the food itself, modern electric ovens are slightly better with around 12 percent, while microwaves use 60 percent of their energy to heat food.

If you haven’t got one, it may be time to invest in one. Try Argos.

38. Dry clothes outside

Ditch the tumble drier in favour or fresh air

Tumble driers in particular use vast amounts of energy, but heated clothes driers also do more harm than good.

According to Best Heating, extra moisture in the air also means it takes more energy to heat the whole room and it can create a lot of condensation, leading to damp and mould issues which can be expensive to rectify, and cost thousands of pounds to sort out.

So grab a clothes rack, set up a clothes line outside, or just hang wet laundry on clothes hangers around the house. They will be dry in a day or two without using any additional energy.

39. Car pool

With more cars on the roads, car sharing schemes are becoming more popular.

Jumping in with someone else will not only combat congestion and cut CO2 emissions, but will save you money.

40. Buy second hand books

13 million books are sent to landfill each year

It is said the average book leads to around 3kg of Co2 to be released into the atmosphere and not only that, but around 13 million books are sent to landfill in the UK each year.

So to reduce the cutting down of trees, Co2 emissions and lessen what is thrown away, choose other options – buy second hand books from places such used book shops or Amazon, go paperless on Kindle or pay a visit to your local library.

41. Forget cheap body boards

The £5 brightly coloured boards are known to break easily, often after only one or two surfs in the sea, and are invariably discarded by angry parents who feel cheated.

Yet the boards, which are made of a block of polystyrene wrapped in a plastic cloth, are easily available in supermarkets often only a stone’s throw away from beaches in Cornwall.

Every year, around 16,000 of the cheap polystyrene bodyboards end up in the environment in Britain. In 2016, environmental charity BeachClean collected 600 alone on Cornish beaches.

So options are to go without, buy better quality or borrow or hire a board (various beach side business offer them on loan)

 

42. Protect wildlife

It is fair to say human activities are endangering many species and habitats but there are many ways to do your bit.

Fight for the protection of beaches and woodland, object to developments which impact on habitats, volunteer for community groups or join organisations like the National Trust and Cornwall Wildlife Trust which manage and protect specific sites.

43. Install a smart meter

Smart meters help you understand how much energy each appliance uses as it gives readings in monetary value in real time – giving you more control over what you use and how you use it – saving you money and cutting down on useage.

A smart meter is the next generation of a gas and electricity meter. They’re being installed by energy suppliers in every home in England, Scotland and Wales.

Smart meters can be programmed so that they only turn on at certain times of the day.

44. Forget best before dates

We throw away around 8.3 million tonnes of food and drink each year in the UK and most of it could have been eaten.

A lot of it is chucked because its gone past its best before date, but these are a guide only, saying they are no longer at their best, but still perfectly safe to eat.

So think carefully before you throw it out simply because of the date.

45. Be smart in the kitchen

Research your coffee pods

You can be much smarter in the kitchen – one example is not opening the oven door unless absolutely necessary as it can lose a huge amount of heat and uses significant energy to heat back up.

The other big one is coffee – billions of the aluminium and plastic pods end up in landfill every year and they take 500 years to decompose.

So switch to a drip coffee maker.

Or switch to more green pods like Ecopads, which are reuseable, refillable and washable. They work with Phillips Senseo machines and you can fill them with any ground coffee.

46. Limit technology

Do you really need all these gadgets or the latest versions?

Constantly upgrading your technology, having a mobile, an iPad, Kindle, laptop, TV, Amazon Echo, DVD player, XBox, blueray player and other equipment for each member of the family not only uses huge amounts of energy, but leads to more waste.

Many of the items contain toxic material which is incredibly damaging to the environment.

So, keep mobiles and other devices as long as possible without constantly upgrading. Really think about what you actually need.

Donate and recycle responsibly.

47. Buy high quality

It may cost more outright, but it will last longer and therefore wont need replacing, reducing waste. This will also save you money in the long run.  Try places like Wayfair

48. Buy organic

Organic produce does not use dangerous pesticides and chemicals which can harm the environment and your health.

Yes it can be more expensive, so even if you just seek out some organic produce, such as spinach or grapes which are known to have a higher pesticide content it will make an impact.

49. Buy in bulk

This one does not require much effort except a simple tweak to how you shop. Buying long lasting items in bulk will save you money and help reduce waste.

Bulk buying means you probably wont use plastic bags – as items often come in boxes or are so big you will load them direct into your car from the trolley, there is also less packaging used.

It may also mean less trips in the car to buy groceries. Just be careful what you bulk buy – you don’t want to be throwing away items that have gone past shelf life.

50. Don’t buy items that need dry cleaning

The liquid solvent used at 85 percent of dry cleaners, perchloroethylene (known as ‘perc’) is both neurotoxic and carcinogenic.

Dry cleaners should offer perc-free techniques, using liquid silicone from sand of a CO blasting process so if you have to use one, seek out these businesses.

However, all processes uses energy to achieve – so why not buy clothes you can wash and air dry yourself.

51. Drive smart

Driving smarter will help save fuel

 

Speeding, rapid acceleration, and braking can lower your fuel mileage by up to 33 percent, so drive smarter and make your fuel last longer.

Other things that impact on fuel is leaving your roof box on and leaving things in your boot – such as push chairs, tools, gym equipment and wet weather gear.

52. Forget lights

The UK wastes £170 million a year by leaving lights on unnecessarily and turning them off could remove 171kg of CO emissions annually.

A single light left on overnight over a year accounts for as much greenhouse gas as a car drive from Cambridge to Paris.

So during the day let the throw open the curtains or blinds and let the natural light flood in and think about whether you need to have lights on.

Alternatives are switching to lighting controls such as dimmers, motion detectors or timers (which you can also get for water) which will help you save energy.

53. Wash clothes in cold water

Clean your clothes on a cooler wash

 

Doing all your laundry in cold water saves energy. In fact, almost 90 percent of the energy consumed by a washing machine goes to heating the water.

Newer detergents, plus the washing machine’s agitating action, are enough to remove stains without the heat.

54. Go paperless

Bills, bank statements and airplane tickets are just some of the things you can get online these days, thus avoiding unnecessary paperwork.

55. Do an energy audit

Carrying out an audit of your home can help you reduce your energy use. It identifies how much energy your home uses and evaluates what measures can be taken to make it more efficient.

You can do it yourself, or get a professional in, to look at air leaks/drafts, ventilation, insulation, inspect heating and cooling systems, lighting and appliances.

56. Turn off appliances

The average household has 25 electronic devices plugged in at any given time.

However, even if the appliance is turned off, leaving them plugged in can waste electricity and cost you money – did you know your microwave consumes more electricity powering its digital clock than it does heating food and even if there’s no iPad or iPhone at the other end, chargers keep sucking energy.

Vampire energy, also known as standby power, is the electric power consumed by many consumer electronic devices when they are switched off but still plugged in.

The best way if you don’t want to turn everything off individually, is to place power strips around your home so you can cut off power to chargers and small appliances

57. Buy a long lasting scourer

There are plenty of ways to get greener in the kitchen including buying recycled sponge scourers, brushes and cleaning pads from the likes of Ethical Superstore or Amazon where you can get plastic mesh scourers.

It may seem odd to suggest you buy plastic, but these pads are sanitary as they can be put into the dishwasher to remove any mould and bacteria and is long lasting, so you wont have to keep replacing them.

 

58. Use a menstrual cup and switch nappies

So much gets sent to landfill that takes hundreds of years to decompose

 

An estimated three billion nappies are thrown away every year in the UK, accounting for 2-3 per cent of all household waste, according to recycling charity Wrap.

By the time they are potty trained, the average baby could have used used 4,000 to 6,000 disposable nappies.

But if you switch to reusable that goes down to 20 to 30 reusable nappies.

Of course you could change to biodegradable nappies such as the eco ones sold at Boots, that also use less chemicals than standard nappies.

Meanwhile, women use around 20 pads/tampons each per month -that’s 240 per year. Over an average lifetime that means a total of 9,600 feminine hygiene products per individual being put into landfill – just try multiplying that by the 3.5 billion women in the world!

They do not break down well, chemicals leech out and making them in the first place is environmentally costly  – the raw material extraction involves the production of cotton (a very water intensive process) and plastics.

There are plenty of choices out there now – from various companies that specialise in them, or you can buy online at Amazon, Boots and Superdrug.

 

59. Maximize your freezer space

Keeping your freezer fully stocked is the most eco-friendly use, because it actually takes a lot more energy to cool an empty space – so make sure you stock up.

60. Ditch the hairdryer

Reducing drying time by even 5 minutes a day saves almost 45 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year – so try and cut down or let it dry naturally.

61. Get a plant

Plants can make your home less polluted

 

Your home can give off a variety of toxic compounds – from furnishings to building materials and indoor air pollution can also be caused by pollen, bacteria, and moulds or from things like car exhausts getting in.

There is a cheap and easy way to combat it though – by buying a plant which will purify the air by absorbing some of the particulates from the air and take in carbon dioxide.

Visit the Eden Project in St Austell for some ideas – you can also buy plants from its shop

62. Check your energy star ratings

When replacing appliances, such as fridges, freezers and washing machines, look for ones that are Energy Star certified as they use less energy to run. Check out Currys.

63 Fix leaky taps

This includes the toilet and the sinks in the home. Even a small leakage can cause a lot of waste.

64. Keep your tyres inflated

Tyres are essential to ensure road safety everyone and although they all wear out, proper use will extend their life.

If they are not the correct pressure they will wear out quicker which means changing them more often – leading to waste.

 

65. Use the car wash

Commercial car washes use less water than doing it yourself

Washing your car by hand not only uses ten gallons of water per minute, but also leads to oil, grease and metals getting into the waterways, potentially getting back into drinking water.

However full-service car washes use 15 to 32 gallons of water per cycle and manage the run off more sensibly.

66. Work from home

Try and persuade your boss to let you work from home, even if it is just one day a week.

If one million people worked from home just one day a week it could eliminate three million tons of CO2 each year.

67. Put a brick in your toilet tank

If you cannot replace your toilet with a low-flow, dual flush one, then you can turn your current one a low flow by putting a brick (wrapped in a waterproof plastic bag) or a recycled plastic bottle full of sand into your tank.

Doing this will displace and reduce the amount of water wasted on every flush.

68. Join a credit union

Some large banks invest your money in fossil fuels, coal, industrial farming and other projects that are not great for the environment that you may not want to support.

However credit unions must invest your money in your local community – they also save you fees and have good interest rates.

69. Only order medicine you need

Only order medicine you need

 

It is estimated that as much as £300million is wasted every year on unused or partially used medication which cannot be recycled or re-used.

A campaign called Only Order What You Need, working with the NHS, is encouraging people to think carefully before ordering repeat prescriptons.

If you have any unopened, unused and out-of-date medicines you can return it to pharmacies for disposal – don’t throw it in the rubbish.

70. Educate yourself, your children and others

Share your successes, ask questions, inspire people about living more environmentally friendly as the more awareness there is, the more we can do together.

You can watch a lot of documentaries on Netflix about the food industry and environment, such as Food Inc, Amazing Planet, Discovery Atlas and Food Matters.

Starbucks brews a greener plan for 10,000 environmentally friendly stores

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Starbucks opened its first-ever location in Milan, Italy. To celebrate, the coffee giant added a Milan-inspired drink to its menu in the states.
10Best Editors, USA TODAY 10Best

As part of its new “Starbucks Greener Stores” initiative, the coffee retailer plans to have 10,000 environmentally friendly stores worldwide by 2025.

Among the goals of the program, announced Thursday, is for the company to generate enough energy by solar and wind power to offset all the electricity needed to run the chain’s stores in U.S. and Canada.

Working with environmental verification firm SCS Global Services, the World Wildlife Fund and other experts, Starbucks will develop a framework to build and operate environmentally sustainable stores. An accredited auditing program will be developed so that all 15,000 company-owned stores in the U.S. and Canada can be audited. The resulting framework will be open-sourced so other retailers can use it.

The move comes on the heels of the company’s announcement that it will eliminate plastic straws in all stores globally by 2020.

“Simply put, sustainable coffee, served sustainably is our aspiration,” Starbucks CEO and president Kevin Johnson said in a statement. The company announced the initiative Thursday at The Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. “We know that designing and building green stores is not only responsible, it is cost effective as well.” 

More: Starbucks to scrap plastic straws globally by 2020

More: Starbucks to open high-end Roastery in Italy

Starbucks expects to save $50 million in utility costs over the next 10 years as the plan evolves. The coffee company says it already saves $30 million in annual operating costs with green store practices.

Starbucks opened its first store certified by LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) in 2005, after four years of working with the U.S. Green Building Council to develop the LEED for Retail program. Starbucks, which has 28,000 stores worldwide, operates more than 1,500 LEED-certified stores in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and across 20 countries.

In addition to investing in solar and wind power to match 100 percent of the energy used by its stores, Starbucks is looking to develop technology and practices that use 25 percent less power and 30 percent less water, according to he company’s program. Other goals include reduced waste, sustainably sourced products and materials, and increased community engagement in sustainable issues by employees.

“This framework represents the next step in how Starbucks is approaching environmental stewardship, looking holistically at stores and their role in helping to ensure the future health of our natural resources,” Erin Simon, the director of research and development at World Wildlife Fund in the U.S., said in a statement. “When companies step up and demonstrate leadership, other businesses often follow with commitments of their own, driving further positive impacts.”

Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.
 

Biogas – Rio Gets Pilot Plant to Explore Energy from Waste

The technology, which produces fertilizer and natural gas from waste, was developed by the Federal University of Minas Gerais in partnership with companies Methanum Tecnologia Ambiental and Comlurb. The operation of the pilot plant, which was funded by BNDES, will allow testing the efficiency parameters of the methanization technology by anaerobic composting and widening the scale. With a processing capability of 30 daily tonnes, the plant has an estimated monthly biogas production capable of feeding a fleet of 1,000 cars or generating enough energy for just over a thousand houses.

The unit consists of modules the size of a container, which receive the waste and are sealed for a period of two to three weeks, while the bacteria introduced into the compartment degrade the organic matter and produce methane. The gas is stored while the remaining material is removed and used as fertilizer.

Microorganisms are sprayed into the modules through pipes with heavy use of electronics. Sensors and meters enable controlling and optimizing biogas production. The plant also has a generator to produce electric energy from gas combustion.

The Comlurb plant in Caju neighborhood was chosen because it receives solid waste from different neighborhoods, with different consumption and waste production standards, offering enough diversity to simulate the conditions of different Brazilian towns.

 

These Are The Top 3 Eco-Friendly Cryptocurrencies To Invest In For 2019

In the cryptocurrency market, 2017 was a year of a wild ride. It kind of reminded me of the bull run of the stock markets from 2003 to 2007, before the great crash of 2018. Fast forward 10 years and the same scenario has played out in the cryptocurrency market. We have had two years of wild gains where even tokens that were fundamentally worthless, rode on the speculative wave to gain so much in market value, making many people instant millionaires. 2018 can be described as the year that the chickens have come home to roost in the cryptocurrency market, and there has been a rebalancing across the board.

Now we know Bitcoin is nowhere near some of the ridiculous “$50,000 per coin” predictions that were thrown about last year. Ethereum is selling for just a tenth of its January value, and many tokens have crashed to prices that are even below their listing prices.

Yes, many uninformed investors were caught cold by the disappointing prices of 2018, but this is actually a good thing. This is because the events of this year in the cryptocurrency market has helped to sift out the wheat from the chaff, and now cryptocurrency tokens can now be judged from the worth of their fundamentals. Those that have valuable use case applications will be the ones that will draw interest from investors as from 2019 and there on out.

The most difficult task is now to determine which ones have the highest potential. When you do that, it is not difficult to monetize on your prediction as there are many good cryptocurrency brokers where you can open trades. Of course, the junk tokens will be showcased for what they are and no one will come near them (except those who buy into all the speculative hype being sold out there and allow their emotions dictate their investment decisions.)

One ecosystem that holds great value potential for investment is the environment. Eco-friendliness and green solutions for clean air, water, and lands will continue to be a dominant pursuit in our world. As the world struggles to deal with the effects of global warming and environmental pollution, cryptocurrency projects which present valuable use cases for eco-friendliness will continue to remain relevant and will attract the attention of developers and investors.

Here are three eco-friendly crypto projects which will gain traction in 2019 and beyond for the value that they will bring to the environment.

A lot of the push for saving the environment focuses on global warming and air pollution. Perhaps not much attention is being given to the soil. The human population is expanding at a rapid pace. This expanding population needs to be fed with food grown from land, which in itself is a finite resource. As it is, the percentage of arable land that can produce food for the expanding human population is dwindling.

Available arable land is being stretched, leading to nutrient depletion. This is why farmers have for decades, turned to inorganic fertilizers to get more out of the soil to improve crop yields. But the use of inorganic fertilizer has been shown to have a long-term negative effect on the soil. Not only do inorganic fertilizers lack the micro-nutrients required to balance the soil nutrient structure, but they also leak into groundwater sources and contaminate them. They also increase the atmospheric levels of nitrous oxide, thus causing air pollution.

There is now an evolving need to shift away from the inorganic fertilizers to the next generation of organic fertilizers. The Nagricoin project from National Agricultural Technologies (Nagritech) Dublin is a blockchain-based solution that has several eco-friendly agricultural products. One of these products is Nagri-HL; the next generation organic fertilizer that contains a balanced micronutrient structure and antioxidants that delivers even better crop yields without contaminating the air or groundwater.

Why is this project worth investing in?

  • It has existing products with very valid use cases, in an ever-expanding market.
  • It is a solution to an ever-present problem. Expanding populations will mean a greater need for food. The land is finite, so new technology has to come in to produce greater crop yields per hectare of land, and Nagricoin’s Nagri-HL is one such product.
  • This is a project with a lot of promise of becoming even more profitable with time, and it is still at the ITO stage where you can purchase it for 10 cents per token.

Furthermore, there is a Proof of Assets Model in place which will enable token buyback and burning of undistributed tokens. This will preserve the relative scarcity of the NGRX token and preserve its value. So, this is one project that you need to invest in.

This project aims to incentivize investors by providing them with the SolarCoin tokens for every megawatt of electricity generated using solar solutions. This is one project which has the potential to change how power is generated and utilized in the world. Around the world, many power projects are non-modular and utilize gas generated from fossil fuels. There are even countries where vandalism of gas pipelines is a huge issue. The use of fossil fuels has long been recognized as contributory to the greenhouse effect and is damaging to the environment. Solar energy is about the cleanest source of energy around. It does not even require generation; it just needs to be harnessed and converted into a usable form.

So, what this project is all about is allowing solar energy producers to add an income stream. Not only can they sell their power to end-users in their communities, but they can also use their activity to acquire SolarCoin tokens per megawatt hour of electricity produced. This is good for the environment and can also contribute towards subsidizing the costs of solar energy generation. Distribution of SolarCoin tokens is expected to last until 2054. The project has not yet gained a lot of traction, but at 2 cents per token, you can actually invest in this project and benefit from expected price appreciation as the world starts to shift from fossil-fuel driven power generation to solar energy driven power generation.

To round off this article, we turn our attention to Cryptoleaf, a project which aims to solve real-life problems within the environment using a multi-pronged approach. On one hand, Cryptoleaf wants to create a blockchain-based platform for businesses that are developing solutions to environmental problems. Cryptoleaf also has its own eco-friendly projects around the world. For instance, several bio-gas plants have been developed to generate clean electricity, heat and fertilizer from organic waste. Similar bio-gas plants are also going to be launched, specifically to make use of vegetable waste as feedstock. Cryptoleaf also intends to get into the shipping industry by substituting current ship engines which produce lots of CO2 emissions, with ships that run on methanol fuel. This is being done to reduce carbon emissions.

By providing a network for eco-enterprises to setup their projects, using the LEAF token as incentive and transaction currency, it is believed that these eco-companies can reduce the costs of their operations and drop transaction fees from 2.5% to as low as 0.1%.

Final Thoughts

There is a lot of potential in helping the earth and making money saving the environment. These 3 eco crypto projects are projects that have solid fundamentals which will deliver value to investors in the long term. They are probably not for speculators who want to be part of the next “10,000% growth in 1 year” ICO projects; indeed, those days may be far gone. Going forward, crypto projects will now be all about value and not speculation, and these three projects hold such potentials.

Non-renewable energy’s other environmental problem: water waste

In the U.S., 45% of the water pulled from reservoirs, rivers, oceans and underground aquifers is used to cool thermal (fossil fuel) and nuclear power plants for electricity production. Of that water, 73% is fresh, amounting to significantly more than is used for agricultural irrigation — and that still doesn’t include water used in processes like fracking to acquire the fuel in the first place.

Why it matters: Although power plants have made small efficiency improvements, they continue to use enormous amounts of water. As demand grows in cities and on farms, competition for water among humans, agriculture and power plants is becoming more intense, especially in drought-prone regions and large population centers.

Ramping up renewable energy remains lawmakers’ focus in 2019

Gov. Dannel Malloy and lawmakers paved the way for a pair of firsts in 2018 that state leaders say will guarantee clean energy for Connecticut for years to come: contracts for more than 1,000 megawatts from Millstone Power Station in Waterford in the zero-carbon electricity auction, and the state’s first procurement of offshore wind power, from a 300-megawatt wind farm planned for federal waters south of Martha’s Vineyard.

But clean energy advocates are pushing lawmakers in 2019 and beyond to consider much heavier investment in renewables, particularly offshore wind.

“We hope the incoming administration will support a more aggressive approach to offshore wind procurement and investment in order to take full advantage of the economic opportunity this industry represents,” John Humphries, lead organizer for the CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs, said recently.

Lawmakers and incoming Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration follow a year that saw the General Assembly pass two major energy and environmental measures: Senate Bills 7 and 9, which called for sharp reductions of greenhouse gas emissions and increased reliance on renewable energy, respectively.

Like Malloy, Lamont, who will be sworn in Wednesday, has called for combating climate change in ways that could improve the energy grid and create jobs in the green economy. Lamont has pushed for Connecticut to remain in the Climate Alliance, a group of states taking action on climate change after President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Accord; ramping up the state’s sustainable energy portfolio by committing to greater investment in renewable sources, such as wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower; and boosting training for students to create job opportunities in green infrastructure, renewables and research.

State Rep. Holly Cheeseman, R-East Lyme, who sits on the General Assembly’s Energy and Technology Committee, said she expects no shortage of bills coming through the committee.

“The new administration and the legislature seem to be in agreement that a thoughtful but consistent procurement of new zero-carbon resources is important,” Cheeseman said Friday, adding that she expects bipartisan cooperation on offshore wind development.

Cheeseman said the state’s tight waste disposal capacity and the advancing age of many waste-to-energy plants remain pressing issues at a time when towns are wrestling with high disposal costs.

“I’m not sure that the state’s renewable energy programs today incentivize new energy plants that manage the waste stream,” she said. “Only one anaerobic digester has been built in Connecticut and more should have come online by now. It’s an area I hope the Energy and Technology Committee will take up.”

In its recent transition memo to Lamont, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said it would focus on a host of ongoing studies, environmental proposals, renewable energy procurements and sustainability measures. Plans and focus areas in 2019 include a resilience plan to help municipalities combat sea level rise; a state water plan; waste reduction and recycling cost reductions; deployment of zero-emission vehicles; grid modernization, and adopting a marine spatial plan for Long Island Sound.

Environmental advocates and many energy businesses also are hopeful that the incoming General Assembly could work with Lamont to hammer out a deal and avoid years of litigation over a $145 million sweep of clean energy funds that lawmakers approved last year to fill budget gaps.

b.kail@theday.com

How Eco-Friendly Builders are Using Big Data to Make Design Decisions

Regardless of the position of the current administration or politicians at a local and state level, consumers are increasingly concerned about climate change and the effect it will have on our everyday lives in the very near future. A new study shows we have just over a decade to make some major changes to prevent serious, irreversible damage.

Even for those who dispute the facts about humanity’s contribution to climate change, there is no denying that large buildings have an impact on cities and the environment there, and even these localized effects can be mitigated with an eco-friendly approach.

This means that builders are increasingly looking to go green, from large skyscrapers to single family homes and multi-family complexes. They’re using a lot of methods to do so:

The real news is about more than just energy efficiency and renewable energy, though. Breakthroughs are coming through the use of big data to inform design decisions, using data not available or used effectively even a decade ago.

How are eco-friendly builders gathering and using this data? Here are some amazing facts, and what the future might hold.

Relevant Data Gathering

One innovation, even in the last few years, is the gathering of data about the correlation between building design and the impact of that design on the environment. A big part of the reason is that building design software is becoming more accurate, agile, and easy to use. Sensors have become more affordable and are often moveable. Analysts can get a better picture of what is really happening in a building.

Just a few years ago, data was compared year over year for things like water and energy usage. With larger data sets and more information, data can be compared day to day, and even hour to hour with the right systems.

What does this mean? If water usage goes up from one day to the next with no clear reason, a smart meter can detect a leak that can be fixed before it becomes a costly break. Power usage can be monitored, temperatures controlled by automated systems that respond to things like sun through the windows warming one area while others on the other side of the building are cooler.

Things like temperature, humidity, and oxygen levels can also be monitored and kept at optimal levels efficiently. Using plants as both insulation and oxygen generators helps a great deal, and even watering systems can be automated with the right sensors.

Integrating these features into a new building and even remodeling existing ones with new technology is one of the many ways builders are using big data to make designs that are eco-friendly.

Industry Cooperation and Data Sharing

One of the positives that comes from the threat of climate change is that it unites industries in unique ways. In October of 2016, a unique for-profit joint venture was announced between the U.S. Green Building Council and Green Business Certification, Inc. to establish a system whereby any building from a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum Certified developments to those not yet “green certified” can start measuring progress toward eco-friendliness. The cooperative effort is known as arc.

The projects can use any standard they want, from industry ones to goals of their own. The idea is to make data gathering and sharing easier. This makes the green building industry more accessible, beyond the large projects originally targeted by LEED Standards. The idea, according to Scott Horst, the CEO of arc, is to “go higher, lower, broader, and wider.”

What this means is sharing more data between builders, and even encouraging the use of big data to create energy efficiencies across industries. “The future of green building is not rating systems,” Horst goes on. “Data is the greatest truth-teller. The only question is, what kind of data.” There are also unconventional data sets as well. Although not as open at the federal level, 128 cities nationwide, every state, and the District of Columbia have made at least some level of data available to the public.

The good news is that there are better answers to those questions as more data becomes available. Inefficiencies in one building need not be repeated in another development project, and even when it comes to residential developments, lessons learned from larger projects can be applied.

This data sharing and industry cooperation are helping expand the set of big data available and develop ways it can be more practically applied.

Eco-Friendly Infrastructure and Beyond

This trend is more than just about buildings, though. Much of the infrastructure in the United States needs to be updated, and while builders are working on these projects, they are often adopting green practices in the design. As bridges are being replaced or remodeled, not only are builders adopting different types of bridge design based on data and technology they previously did not have access to, they are also using more sustainable practices, adding vegetation and shade, and even installing solar panels to power bridge lights and traffic control signals.

Many bridges are also being rebuilt with bike and pedestrian paths along with public transportation and commuter lanes to encourage alternate forms of personal transportation.

Green infrastructure including all forms of water management is also a part of development. Big data can play a big role in the development of rainwater collection systems and systems that mimic the natural water cycle in a building’s ecosystem. This water conservation and management, especially in more arid climates, is a big part of eco-friendly construction.

Location, Location, Location

There is more that big data can tell us too, even at the earliest stages of development. The use of big data in the documentation of climate change is well known, but just as important is the selection of a location for developments. It is not only what kind of building and the various features installed that make a difference to the environment, but how the humans who work and live there get to the building.

For example, housing communities can be designed to be walking and biking friendly, and also situated near access to public transport, from trains into the city to bus lines and park-and-ride locations. Big data can show the ideal locations of these developments, or even how public transport can be rerouted or relocated to serve existing ones.

The other possibility is to create multi-family housing that is affordable either in downtown areas so workers will have to travel less or near bus or rail transport, reducing the economic impact of commuting. This data is already being applied to locating housing developments near BART stations in West Oakland, California. The idea is to make a car-free, public transportation-centric development in places where it is needed most.

Eco-friendly builders are using big data to make all kinds of design decisions, from location to amenities. More data than ever is being created and shared, meaning that the buildings and infrastructure of tomorrow will be designed to combat climate change and protect our environment and our way of life.

About the Author

Avery Phillips is a freelance human based out of the beautiful Treasure Valley. She loves all things in nature, especially humans. Leave a comment down below or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or comments.

 

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How To Be Eco-Friendly In This Modern Generation

In today’s world, there are many options for how to be eco-friendly, from bringing your reusable bags to the grocery store to driving an environmentally friendly car. Taking care of our planet means taking care of ourselves, so read on for some fun and easy ways to go green.

1. Use Reusable Coffee Filters or K-Cups

Did you know that in 2013, ?Keurig produced enough Green Mountain K-Cups to circle the world 10.5 times?? And these plastic pods aren’t recyclable, which is causing an environmental nightmare. If you want to be a little more eco-friendly, but still want the convenience of your Keurig, try using a ?reusable coffee pod? that works the same way. All you have to do is fill it with your favorite coffee and run your Keurig as you normally would. In addition to saving plastic, these reusable K-cups also help you save money and you have more flexibility with what coffee you drink.

If you use a coffee pot, consider using reusable coffee filters to limit your paper usage. Although most paper coffee filters are biodegradable, it’s always good for the environment to save some landfill space.

2. Drive an Electric or Hybrid Car

Gas prices are only going up and as a limited energy source, we will soon deplete the oil we have available. To combat this, more and more people are choosing hybrid or electric cars. These cars get much better gas mileage, too, which can save you money. The electric and hybrid car market has also become much more attainable and family cars like the Toyota Prius, Chevy Volt, and the Ford Focus Electric are all great entry-level gas-saving cars. Further, there are ?additional technologies? you can buy for your car to help you drive more sustainably.

3. Consider How You Use Plastic

Plastic has become so saturated in our day that you might not even realize how much of it you use. We have so many single-use plastic items in our everyday lives, such as water bottles, plastic bags, and plastic utensils. Below are some alternatives to these plastic choices that can help you live a little eco-friendlier and help save Mother Earth:

  • Use Metal Utensils Instead of Plastic Ones – ?If you find yourself using a lot of plastic utensils at work, consider bringing in a metal set. You can easily wash them in between meals and keep them at your desk.
  • Use Metal Straws – ?You’ve probably noticed that there are several cities eliminating plastic straws altogether, and for good reason. Because of their shape, straws are hard to recycle and often end up in the ocean. Try not to use a straw at all and if you do use one, use a reusable one!
  • Use Reusable Bags – ?Again, many cities and states are eliminating plastic bags at stores, or you have to pay for them. This is one step forward in the fight for the environment. To stay up on the trend, don’t forget to bring your reusable bags to the store. You can even use reusable plastic storage bags and produce bags to really reduce your carbon footprint.
  • ·Use Reusable Water Bottles and Mugs – ?Instead of using a paper cup every morning for your coffee or plastic bottles for your water, bring along your favorite mug and reusable water bottle to really reduce your use of paper and plastic. These bottles and mugs are a fun way to show off your personality and preferences, and they are also more affordable than always buying water or hot drinks!

Turn off the Lights (and Use LED Lightbulbs)

Energy conservation is a great way to be eco-friendly because it saves electricity, a very valuable resource. Always turn the lights off when you’re not home, or invest in smart light bulbs that will do it for you! With smart bulbs like Philips Hue, you can set timers to turn your lights on and off to save energy. They are also LED light bulbs, which are more energy efficient, will help you save money on your electric bill, and will help save the planet while doing it.

Ready to take your eco-friendly lifestyle a step further? Consider signing up with one of several energy companies that use renewable energy, or contact your local businesses to get a quote for installing solar panels. Solar panels used to be seen as an expensive, space-age advancement, but in today’s generation they are actually more affordable than you might think. Even more, you will likely get a tax credit back to make them even more worth it!

Final Thoughts

We only have one planet, so it’s crucial to protect it as much as we can. These small lifestyle changes will help you live more eco-friendly in this generation. Every little bit helps, so don’t feel intimidated. It’s never too late to start helping the planet, recycling, and taking a stand against climate change.