Why Is Pipe Insulation Important?

Good insulation keeps heat in and out in certain conditions to maintain an ideal temperature. In homes and buildings where pipes serve as passage way for hot or cold water, insulation is a must. Insulating pipes is done for three main reasons: Preventing water in pipes from freezing During winter, the weather will freeze the…

Good insulation keeps heat in and out in certain conditions to maintain an ideal temperature. In homes and buildings where pipes serve as passage way for hot or cold water, insulation is a must. Insulating pipes is done for three main reasons:

  1. Preventing water in pipes from freezing

During winter, the weather will freeze the water in pipes outside a house or building. This can cause the pipes to clog up, leading to bursting pipes. Pipe insulation will ensure that water will run lukewarm or hot depending on the setting that you choose. It will also save you from the additional repair and replacement costs of pipes.

  1. Preventing heat transfer or heat loss

If your home or office building has centralized heating, pipe insulationvents the heat loss that can lead to higher electric bills and more CO2 emissions. Your central heating system will exert less effort in order to maintain an ideal water temperature in the pipes.

  1. Safety measures

Heated pipes have high temperatures. That is why they should be lined with an insulating material not just on the interior but also on the exterior. Pipe insulation prevents accidental scaling.

Types of Insulation

For thermal insulation, pipes are often insulated using fiberglass and foam lining. The heat resistance depends on the thickness of the fiberglass and foam used. The types of foam typically used are made from rigid phenolic, polyisocyarunate, polyethylene and polyurethane. These substances, together with fiberglass, do not emit or leak toxic by-products when they come in contact with high heat or fire.

Installation and Maintenance

Insulating your pipes should not be a DIY project. Insulation materials are often standardized to ensure safety. Moreover, there are different factors such as surface area, thermal conductivity and density to consider when browsing for insulating materials. If your pipes at home are not yet insulated and you live in a region with a cold climate, you should hire a professional to perform the insulation. This could be a plumber or a heating engineer. The cost of their services, the materials used, installation and repairs (if any) would vary depending on the amount and location of the pipes. There are insulation companies that offer free quotation online or by phone.

Pipe insulation naturally wears off over the years. Before winter comes, it is important to have your pipes checked to see if anything needs to be fixed. This could be a leaky pipe, substance (mineral, grease, etc) buildup, or a worn-out insulation.

What Is a Polyurethane Duct Board?

Ducts are widely used today in HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning). Their main purpose is to serve as a passage for air. They are important in maintaining ideal indoor air temperature and quality. For this reason, ducts should be able to resist external temperatures to maintain the air flow through them at a constant…

Ducts are widely used today in HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning). Their main purpose is to serve as a passage for air. They are important in maintaining ideal indoor air temperature and quality. For this reason, ducts should be able to resist external temperatures to maintain the air flow through them at a constant temperature. In order to do this, ducts are made from or coated with insulation materials. Aluminum and galvanized steel are the most commonly used materials for creating ductwork because of their availability. However, these can be heavy, especially in the case of galvanized mild steel. That is why some manufacturers use polyurethane.

Polyurethane (PU) is a type of plastic resin. It can be made flexible or rigid. It is very versatile and is used not only for industrial products but also in many end-user products such as mattresses, shoes, and tires. Polyurethane is commonly used because of its insulating properties. In your home, polyurethane duct boards are present in your refrigerator and freezers. If you have a relatively modern home, then the walls could have been lined with polyurethane duct boards or panels in order to prevent heat loss during colder months and to keep the air inside your home cool during the summer or warmer months. The common house and commercial building areas that are lined with polyurethane duct boards are cavity walls, floors, roofs, pipe and boiler areas, and large air ducts.

Advantages of Using Polyurethane Duct Boards

Insulation is not just for comfort. The act of keeping cold and hot air in certain conditions has a long term effect. In the EU, private households contribute about 35% to total CO2 emissions. Using polyurethane duct boards and other insulating materials will lessen the CO2 emissions of refrigerators, heaters, and air conditioners. Having a properly insulated space will lessen their electricity consumption. Lining target areas with polyurethane panels would be expensive at first but this will, in turn, help home owners and business owners to save money in the long run.

Commercial buildings also need less maintenance if they are properly lined with polyurethane panels. Unlike aluminum and galvanized steel, polyurethane panels are easier to work with and are more efficient in terms of space saving. These panels can be efficiently used without disabling the interior and exterior design of a house or building. Overall, polyurethane panels are gradually becoming a necessity in both homes and offices.

Advantages of Pre-Insulated Duct Systems

The HVAC industry is expanding. Along with its development is the pre-insulated duct, which makes it possible for you to enjoy thermal comfort and acceptable indoor air quality. Since this duct system requires a single installation, you will not have to worry too much about the cost. You save time in the installation as well.…

The HVAC industry is expanding. Along with its development is the pre-insulated duct, which makes it possible for you to enjoy thermal comfort and acceptable indoor air quality. Since this duct system requires a single installation, you will not have to worry too much about the cost. You save time in the installation as well.

1. Pre-insulated ducts are great space-savers. The material makes it possible to be installed flat against structural elements, thereby saving building space. These make floor space available for other purposes. In addition, these could be installed on ceilings, floors, and walls.

2. They also create thermal comfort, which also accounts for reducing energy consumption. With adequate thermal insulation, energy efficiency and reduced energy costs are possible.

3. Pre-insulated ducts are lightweight. They only weigh half as much as an insulated material. Thus, they are easily transported and installed. You can expect lower handling costs because you do not need much manpower to carry and install them. In fact, two men are enough to install pre-insulated ducts.

4. They are eco-friendly. These ducts are free from CFCs so you can be sure that you are getting thermal comfort without harming the ozone layer, a feature known as zero Ozone Depletion Potential.

5. They are fire and smoke proof. Pre-insulated ducts or panels are fire-resistant and will not emit smoke when heated by a flame source. They are likewise heat-resistant as they can withstand temperatures as high as 800 ° C. It is also resistant to fungus growth.

6. Fast installation is guaranteed. Because the ducts are lightweight, installation time is faster than that of sheet steel ductwork.

7. Noise is significantly reduced. This duct system has absorbs acoustics and is perfect for music rooms, studios, and theaters.

8. They are clean and hygienic. The joints along sections allow for cleaning, whether it's the regular or the mechanical method. It also paves the way for cleaner air.

9. You save a lot of money from pre-insulated ducts. Considering all these features, you do not just save installation time and cost; you save yourself from maintenance fees because these ducts are known for their durability. They also have a longer life span, ranging from 20 to 30 years, which will save you resources until the time you replace the duct. Truly, having pre-insulated ducts in your home or office is more than a necessity than a luxury. The benefits definitely stretch to a lifetime.

The Health Benefits of Hofatex Insulation

We're always looking for ways to get healthier and live better lifestyles, and this manifests itself in different different ways. It might be something more personal to you, like a change of diet or shaking up the way that you exercise. It might be something more general like trying to walk into work more often…

We're always looking for ways to get healthier and live better lifestyles, and this manifests itself in different different ways. It might be something more personal to you, like a change of diet or shaking up the way that you exercise. It might be something more general like trying to walk into work more often or taking part in a carpool, but have you ever considered that your own home could be healthier?

A healthy home leads to healthier living in ways that you might not expect. For example, a house that is properly protected from damp and mold is a much healthier environment; damp and mold can be incredibly harmful and is linked to various health issues such as respiratory trouble. This can be particularly affect on children and older people, so make sure you keep an eye out for any signs of damp or mold in your home.

The way the temperature is regulated can also affect your health. If your home is no good at keeping the heat in during winter, you'll not only be cold when you should be cost, but you're also at an increased risk of illness such as cold, coughs and other maladies.

One of the best ways to make your home healthy for everyone living in it is to have insulation installed. Insulation has become more and more popular over the years because it offers various benefits, including:

• Reduced costs to energy bills
• A warmer house in winter and a cooler house in summer
• Better air quality
• Quieter space
• A more energy-efficient home

However, there's the question of what sort of insulation would benefit your home the most. Natural insulation products are a particularly strong candidate because they have the additional advantages of being economic and environmentally friendly, qualities that more and more people are seeking out all the time.

One of the best types of natural insulation is wood fiber insulation, an extremely adaptable and easy to fit type that also regulates humidity and diffuses water vapor that can lead to issues with damp. If this sounds like the insulation for you, then Hofatex is one of the more popular brands that deals in wood fiber insulation.

Being absolutely natural, Hofatex has no potential health risks (which sets it apart from something like fiberglass insulation, which can cause irritation to the respiratory system. .

The fact that sustainable insulation is breathable and absorbs water vapor means that your home will quickly have a better quality of air, creating a more breathable and healthy environment for you to enjoy. What's more, just like the toxins there are no harmful emissions when you have natural insulation installed, even in the event of a fire which, for other materials, can sometimes lead to harmful emissions being released.

Insulating your home is an excellent long-term investment that goes beyond saving you money on your energy bills. By choosing the right materials like wood fiber, you can help to make your home a happier, healthier place that enables you to breathe a little easier.

Pre-Insulated HVAC Duct Cleaning and Maintenance

The air ducts in your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning or HVAC system are responsible for producing acceptable indoor air quality. While they are more commonly attributed for being a source of ventilation, these ducts also serve a primary purpose in air conditioning through thermal insulation. As a bonus, they also help improve energy efficiency.…

The air ducts in your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning or HVAC system are responsible for producing acceptable indoor air quality. While they are more commonly attributed for being a source of ventilation, these ducts also serve a primary purpose in air conditioning through thermal insulation. As a bonus, they also help improve energy efficiency.

Why you should have your air ducts cleaned

With these important roles and advantages, it is important to make sure that they remain in top quality. Most HVAC air ducts rarely need to be cleaned. In fact, the US Environmental Protection Agency sees no need in having your air ducts cleaned without any one in the household is suffering from any unexplained symptoms, illnesses, or allergies, or unless there are clear indications that the ducts are already dirty and contaminated.

However, there is still a need to keep your air ducts clean even before such health hazards are already present. This is not just about ensuring thermal comfort in your home; it's also about ensuring the safety of everyone at home. Your entire family breathes in the same air coming from your HVAC system, and it's a lot better to prevent any harm than put your family's life at risk because you've neglected the proper maintenance of your air ducts.

But how do you know if it is time for you to clean them? Here are some tell-tale signs:

  • You sweep and dust the house more often than usual because it looks harder for you to get rid of dust. Even after cleaning, there are still some visible dusts that you see floating around in the air.
  • People at home experience sinus problems, nasal congestion, and headaches during or after sleep.
  • There's very little or almost no air at all coming from the vents into the rooms in your house.
  • People at home get sick constantly or experience allergies more often than usual.
  • People at home experience signs of sickness such as sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, fatigue, nausea, or a burning and dry sensation the eyes, nose or throat.
  • When you turn on the air conditioner or the furnace, a stale or musty odor comes off of it.

Pre-insulated HVAC duct cleaning

Just as with other types of ductwork, the duct liners and boards of pre-insulated HVAC ducts can be easily easily using special non-metallic bristles. However, to avoid any damage from mishandling, thorough cleaning should be performed by a professional duct cleaner. He will be able to get rid of all dust, cobwebs, calcium deposits, debris, hair, and whatever else should not be inside.

As a rule, ducts must be inspected (and cleaned if necessary) every 1 to 2 years.

Considerations in Investing in a Solar Panel System

Solar energy usage is much more than a convenient way to save money on your household energy bills. This green, renewable and sustainable form of energy can be a basis for long term investment as well, because now the US government has introduced federal tax credits for home owners who have installed solar energy panels…

Solar energy usage is much more than a convenient way to save money on your household energy bills. This green, renewable and sustainable form of energy can be a basis for long term investment as well, because now the US government has introduced federal tax credits for home owners who have installed solar energy panels at their homes and offices. People who are using solar energy are given 30% tax rebates on the total system purchase and installation cost. This advantage is being heavily promoted by governments, utility providers and municipalities as an incentive for people to invest in more and more solar energy products, even as they work hard to make it more economic.

However using solar energy does not just mean substituting a fossil fuel for an alternative energy source. It is also essential to know what kind of benefits you will be getting for your money. Although people prefer to invest the least amount of money on any goods they buy, experience has taught us that the cheapest product is not always the best. However, a home owner can not buy the most expensive service either. In order to make a wise decisions on what kind of solar energy panel to install in our home, we need to consider the benefits and disadvantages of that product. There are many considerations to think over when making such a commitment.

As not all the factors involved in installing solar power systems are tangible, it is difficult to calculate them. But if we consider the many health problems that we are experiencing like asthma, whooping coughs, lung infections and cancers and the overall polluting of the seas and forests, we can see that cutting down on fossil fuels to reduce carbon emissions is the least we can do to remove ourselves from this destructive cycle.

People who live in clean environments may not think it justifiable to pay such high amounts of money for a solar panel system when they do not themselves experience the negative effect of pollutants. However the toxic emissions from using fossil fuels pose a threat to the environment as a whole if not directly to your breathing space. So it is the responsibility of the government to promote solar energy through the country with incentives like tax rebates. When people are given incentives to install solar energy panels, they will do so with less reservations than if they have to install them without any bonus.

How To Make Bottle Lights

Having had bins full of glass bottles over the years from drinking, I thought that there must be something I could do with these! So I decided to try and create a bottle light from a used bottle using LED lights. So after cleaning the bottle I had to drill a hole in the bottle.…

Having had bins full of glass bottles over the years from drinking, I thought that there must be something I could do with these! So I decided to try and create a bottle light from a used bottle using LED lights. So after cleaning the bottle I had to drill a hole in the bottle.

This was accomplished by using a 10mm diamond cutter drill bit and holding the bottle tight on a vice with plastic jaws so the writing does not get damaged. This was more difficult than anticipated as the glass was different thicknesses and was given to crack. But after several attempts I managed to get a decent hole with no cracks and then used a white grommet with a 9mm internal diameter to encompass the rough edges of the hole.

Now I was able to feed the LED lights through the hole trying to get a balanced distribution of the lights in the bottle – which was achieved by pulling the end out of the neck of the bottle and jiggling around until I was happy with the look. The end was then pushed back into the bottle and a red cap was used to seal the bottle.

The final stage was to push the end of the battery compartment into the grommet and seal with superglue. The LED lights are powered by CR2032 batteries and as the bulbs are LED the life of the light is around 10,000 hours. The final design looks really cool and is easily switched on and off using the rotary battery compartment that is attached to the rear of the bottle.

The bottle lights can be used indoors in any room to create unusual ambience or outdoors on a summer night when you are having a barbeque or party, either way they look great and family & friends will be envious! The bottle lights encourage recycling and using LED lights are eco friendly as well, helping reduce landfill.

I have now used many different recycled bottles and enjoy designing these bottle lights – using different colored lights has achieved many different results from only 20 minutes work on each item. I plan to try creating larger bottle lights from wine, whiskey & spirit bottles in the future. I have other ideas on improving the design, like frosting the inside of wine bottles, using color rotating lights, and finding some suitable plug in options for larger bottles that would not need to be moved.

The Importance Of Regular Rubbish Removal

All of us have a pretty good knowledge about the importance of rubbish removal right from our school days. But not all of us actually follow the points. It is not just personal satisfaction one gets in living in a clean household but it is actually living in a safe place as well. A lot…

All of us have a pretty good knowledge about the importance of rubbish removal right from our school days. But not all of us actually follow the points. It is not just personal satisfaction one gets in living in a clean household but it is actually living in a safe place as well. A lot of people around the world die due to diseases caused by germs formed due to unhygienic conditions. But it is the attitude of dealing with these problems where the problem lies. We expect someone else to look after the job. It is very urgent to step up to do something about it.

The issue of waste management is not limited to only personal hygiene but other places like one's household. An important part of social standing is to have a clean house before we could call any guests. Here, rubbish removal should not be taken casually. In developed countries, the presence of waste removal facilities of the government looks after this section. In addition, there are different categories of rubbish, from flammable, to bio-degradable and so on. This is done to make the process of handling them more streamlined as different treatments exist for different kinds of wastes. But in the case of developing countries, the same is not true as it is the people on what the responsibility falls to keep their neighborhoods clean. Although private organizations exist to look into this need, but there is a need for people to be cautious about it.

Yet another point worth noting and which people often overlook while dealing with wastes is that it can be quite dangerous if left unattended. Handling of inflammatory wastes can be a dangerous act and needs special care while handling them. Moreover, one should be careful not to dump these wastes near electrical wires for safely. There is a need for proper education of the concerned authorities to ensure that effective knowledge is there.

Everyone should be well-aware about the extent of threats that could result with improper handling of waste. Real safety can be ensured only by following this measure. A good number of protocols exist and the need is to have the effort by people who are expected to execute them. The onus of having a disease-free future for the next generation rests on us. Waste accumulation is quite normal at cosmopolitan cities. The need is to treat them to become harmless. Also required is to have advanced rubbish removal procedures adopted and increase the general awareness among the masses.

Soundproofing Public and Private Spaces

There are various reasons that you might find yourself considering soundproofing, ether for your home or place of work. Commercial spaces and environments used by the general public often experience sound issues that, if not deal with, can be detrimental in ways you might not expect. By the same token, if you are experiencing noise…

There are various reasons that you might find yourself considering soundproofing, ether for your home or place of work. Commercial spaces and environments used by the general public often experience sound issues that, if not deal with, can be detrimental in ways you might not expect. By the same token, if you are experiencing noise problems at home as well then this can affect you in other ways, specifically leading to increased feelings of stress and tiredness.

For example, an education environment like a school or college will benefit immeasurably if the environment in question is properly soundproofed. If the classrooms are filled with the sounds going on the corridors and other parts of the school, then concentration and overall engagement can be negatively affected.

By contrast, even spaces designed for entertainment can benefit from improved room acoustics. A cinema, for example, should provide an excellent auditory experience where you can only hear the movie playing in your theater; If you can hear the screen next door then how can you be really immersed? If you go to a restaurant but can not hear each other over the sound of the other diners, how can you have an intimate conversation over your meal?

At home, things are slightly different. While it can be annoying to deal with noise in public spaces, it's even more frustrating when you have to deal with it at home, which should be your sanctuary. Looking into how to soundproof a home could provide you with the answers you've been looking for. A more peaceful home environment can lead to better sleep patterns, less stress and increased feelings of emotional wellness. When you think about it, it's incredibly just how easily excess noise can affect our lives without us even realizing it, to the point that it affects our well-being.

Dealing with noise is much easier these days thanks to advances in soundproofing technology.

Because sound is a form of energy, its effects can be reduced, thereby creating a quieter environment. There's a good analogy for how this works: if someone flicks a pea at you, you'll feel the impact of its force when it hits you. If someone flicks a pea at you while you're wearing protective layers, you'll still feel the pea hit you but at a less powerful rate. Soundproofing effectively softens the impact of sound as it enters the building. If you're sensitive to sound or would just like some peace and quiet, it's definitely worth getting your home soundproofed in some capacity. Whether you're looking at soundproofing walls or soundproofing ceilings, there are plenty of options available. Lignotrend absorption panels, for instance, are very good at absorbing and reducing reverberations in a room and have excellent applications for commercial buildings as well. Made from natural materials, they also have the benefit of being environmentally friendly, sustainable and free of any toxic materials. Products like this are leading the way forward in soundproofing technology and solutions and will continue to be successful as the trend grows.

Recycling and Illegal Logging – The History of Teak and Its Viability As Our Furniture

The Irrawaddy river flows through Myanmar, a thriving ecosystem spanning the country. It harbors many species of water life, nourishes the plants that grow along its banks and irrigates the crops of the local people. However in the north the Irrawaddy is witness to and feels the effects of a menace threatening the Myanmar government…

The Irrawaddy river flows through Myanmar, a thriving ecosystem spanning the country. It harbors many species of water life, nourishes the plants that grow along its banks and irrigates the crops of the local people. However in the north the Irrawaddy is witness to and feels the effects of a menace threatening the Myanmar government and activists worldwide: illegal logging.

Teak timber is the goal for these illegal loggers. The teak timber being plundered is among some of the finest in the world, with a beautiful grain and impressive durability. It has been used for centuries as the ideal timber for boats, outdoor furniture, railways and other equally exposed environments.

When did this start?

During the 1800's, Britain had control of Burma (as Myanmar was then known), and they harvested the vast teak forests to build ships and railways for their extensive trade routes through the world. This deforestation – although in small amounts – was poorly managed, even as it created a heightened awareness and demand for teak as its reputation spread around the world.

When Myanmar gained independence from Britain, a series of poor governmental decisions unwittingly encouraged the logging, leading to an increase and temporary flourishing of illegal logging in these beautiful teak forests.

The first trigger was soon after Myanmar gained independence in 1948. The government demonized the 25, 35 and 75 kyat banknotes. This decision left many citizens without their savings and caused widespread bankruptcy, not just on an individual level but also within corporations and organizations. The Military junta active at the time also faced bankruptcy and turned to the illegal trade of raw goods to gain their wealth back; one such raw good was illegal teak. During the 20 years following this trigger, it is estimated that about 20% of Myanmar forests were completely wiped out.

This complete mismanagement has had disastrous effects on the ecosystems hosted and supported in the Teak forests. Many native flora and fauna species have lost their habitats, and the vast areas of empty land create susceptibility to landslide and topsoil blow off. The northern Irrawaddy area suffered as a result: soil along the bank no longer had a root system holding it in place and much of it gradually collapsed into the river. This in turn muddied and contaminated the water, affecting the fish living there. Many species are now on the critically endangered list.

Some progress made

In 2014 the Myanmar government implemented policies to try and arrest the illegal logging trade. These policies halted the export of unprocessed timber to regain control from illegal operations, although either these will remain to be seen. They have however caused more immediate economic problems within the country due to the backlog of timber that has built up. Myanmar was not prepared with enough active facilities to process the larger amounts of timber, and the continuous backlog has caused the price of timber to plummet. Some critiques feel that these new policies may actually encourage more illegal sales of timber.

How does this affect us?

As the average consumer we can choose where to buy our timber. Because of the excellent durability of teak it is often used to create long-lasting furniture. This has a high appeal among consumers, and rightly so. One thing we can look for is suppliers who offer recycled teak furniture. This teak is sourced from the old buildings and railways that are now defunct.

How do we know the source of our timber?

In most Western countries authorities have been set up to restrict the importation of illegal timer. In Australia the Forest Stewardship Council ensures that no uncertified products enter the supply chain. Additionally, they arrange support and training for those in the Asia-Pacific to assist with reduction of illegal logging.

Consider this

The next time you are looking for some durable wooden outdoor furniture or even some stunning indoor furniture, know that your decision can have an impact on sustaining ecosystems and habitats that the materials are sourced from. Particularly with teak, either plantation or recycled teak are options that are sustainable and managed.

How to Manage Your Home Waste

Do you find managing your home waste a bit of a challenge? Do you struggle each week to get the lid down on your wheelie bin and worry about getting a fine for creating too much rubbish? We'd like to help by giving you some tips and hints on how to manage your home waste.…

Do you find managing your home waste a bit of a challenge? Do you struggle each week to get the lid down on your wheelie bin and worry about getting a fine for creating too much rubbish? We'd like to help by giving you some tips and hints on how to manage your home waste. There are 3 very important words to keep at the front of your mind and these are REDUCE, REUSE AND RECYCLE. Let's spend a few moments looking at each one in turn.

Reduce Your Rubbish

  • Use a cloth bag rather than plastic carrier bags when you go shopping. There's no shop on this planet that will object to you bringing your own bag when you make a purchase. Buy some reusable bags to keep in your car but if you find yourself stranded without your bag most stores now sell eco-friendly alternatives. And remember to take a bag along with you whenever you're out shopping not just at the supermarket.
  • Choose to buy food that has less packaging. Do not opt ​​for individually wrapped portions and weigh up wherever you can buy in bulk, without leaving yourself with a cupboard or fridge full of out date produce.
  • Rather than buying a take away or heating up a ready meal create your own meals from scratch. Microwave meals and take outs use a lot of packaging and all of it will end up in your bin. Wander round your local farmers market as much of the produce will not be wrapped in plastic.
  • Avoid buying bottled drinks whenever possible. Plastic drinks bottles account for a large majority of household waste. If you really can not go without your fizzy daily ration to buy larger quantities, rather than buying 18 smaller bottles.
  • Cut down on your use of paper. Pay your bills online rather than receiving a paper bill through the post. Read an online newspaper as opposed to buying a paper copy.
  • Make your own cleaners and detergents. Many cleaning products and beauty items don; t use recyclable packaging and if you do some online research you'll find that many of these products can be easily recreated in the home.

Reuse and Recycle

  • Old clothing, electrical equipment, furniture and other unwanted items can be donated to your favorite charity rather than throwing them away. It's much better that someone else gets the use of the item rather than it ending up in the local landfill.
  • Reuse containers. Boxes, bags and bottles can all be put to good use once the original contents have been consumed. Use empty jars for storing other dry goods, once they've had a good clean of course. Use plastic containers for storage. Print on both sides of the paper or let your kids use the back for their latest artistic efforts.
  • Make good use of your local recycling facilities and kerb side collection. You may need to sort the items and thoroughly clean them but most local authorities now operate regular collections for glass, paper, cardboard, plastic and aluminum.
  • Dispose of hazardous waste responsibility. Follow local guidelines when disposing of batteries, paint, TVs, computers, electrical equipment and light bulbs.

One final suggestion that we forgot to mention is about creating your own composting area in your back garden. Food waste, scraps and peelings along with a lot of your garden waste can produce a good supply of material that can be used to enrich your garden. There are plenty of sites on the internet that will take you through the process of building and maintaining your own compost pile. And there are a wide variety of ready made alternatives available in most hardware stores.

What To Look For When Buying A Bonsai Tree

With rough over 100 different species of trees that can be trained and shaped into bonsai, you may find it a challenge to select a bonsai tree for sale that you like. You need to do some research on the different shapes and styles that you like best and whether to grow your bonsai outdoors…

With rough over 100 different species of trees that can be trained and shaped into bonsai, you may find it a challenge to select a bonsai tree for sale that you like. You need to do some research on the different shapes and styles that you like best and whether to grow your bonsai outdoors or inside. For bonsai enthusiasts, a great way to begin is to buy a ready-made tree from a bonsai shop or online. There are many experienced commercial bonsai growers, garden centers, or plant nurseries that specialize in the art of creating bonsai trees.

How to buy a bonsai tree?

One can buy bonsai tree at large garden centers that are often low-priced, however it is best to check about the quality before you buy. There are also many online shops selling such trees, though they may come at slightly higher prices due to shipping costs. However they are also definitely worth looking into and a great way to get started.

Some basic general advice when buying bonsai trees:

· Do not buy a species of tree that requires a lot of maintenance. Instead for beginners, it is wiser to go for an easy-to-care-for tree. Go through a bonsai tree species guide, if available or ask for one before purchasing a tree.

· Purchase a tree depending on the place where you plan to put it; If you plan for indoors, you should go for the indoor (sub-tropical) trees, where the outdoor trees are meant to be laid outside.

· Know the species of tree you bought; this will help you to know more about the tree and take appropriate care of it.

· See that the pot the tree is planted is not damaged.

Buying a bonsai tree online

Due to the specialized nature of these tree nurseries they are not necessarily commonplace and may be difficult to find in your area. If that is the case, a great way to shop for a bonsai tree for sale is to search for them online. You can purchase them quickly and efficiently and have them shipped directly to your home. Online bonsai tree shops stores have a wide range of trees and will usually also sell tools and accessories such as potting soil, pots, and tools.

However, before purchasing online, it is vital that you keep certain things in mind. Buying online is not the same as buying from a shop where you can touch and feel your bonsai tree for sale. You should go through the feedback of other sellers who have bought from these online stores earlier. You should see that proper method of shipment of a live plant is taken to ensure that it survives the trip. The shipping location also should be checked as it makes sense to select a seller nearby for transport of the tree. It may be illegal to go for someone shipping a plant from a foreign country due to customs and quarantine restrictions. Go for sellers that guarantee a live plant when shipping and also ensuring to provide some kind of return policy.

3 Darrieus Wind Turbine Facts You’ll Want to Know

When it comes to green energy alternatives wind turbines are certainly up there with solar energy and hydropower generators as being one of the most attractive green energy options. In the paragraphs to follow I'm going to be sharing with you some Darrieus wind turbine facts you may not be aware of, including important distinctions…

When it comes to green energy alternatives wind turbines are certainly up there with solar energy and hydropower generators as being one of the most attractive green energy options. In the paragraphs to follow I'm going to be sharing with you some Darrieus wind turbine facts you may not be aware of, including important distinctions between the popular and iconic propeller driven wind turbines and the somewhat mysterious Darrieus types. These vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT's for short) can very easily be seen as a superior design, let's take a look at exactly why that is.

Low Wind Efficiency

When considering which type of wind turbine to go for one obvious factor stands out and that's efficiency. After all the whole point here is to generate as much electricity as possible and remarkably this is where the Darrieus type of wind turbine really shines. Typical propeller designs are optimized to function best when the wind direction is headed straight into the front of the propeller which means when the wind changes (as it does on a moment by moment basis) the propeller stops spinning or at best severely reduces its rotation speed until the wind once again hits that sweet spot, which often must be achieved by rotating the propeller to face into the wind.

The Darrieus wind turbine however has a number of unique characteristics which enhance its performance, even under low wind conditions. The first being the unique shape of the aerofoil blades, curved out and shaped just like that of an aeroplanes wing, which when wind is applied produces high pressure on the inner side of the blade and low pressure on the outer side which then propels the blades and shaft around in a circular motion. The second and probably most distinctive attribute of this type of wind turbine is that while many have only two blades that can typically have three to four blades also, which means regardless of which direction the wind is blowing the shaft will continue to turn so long as there is wind. Even in low wind conditions the Darrieus wind turbines will keep spinning, only stopping when the wind comes to a complete stop.

Residential Friendship

In a world where we're trying to become more energy independent, sources of renewable green energy must also be practical … and practicality starts at home. When talking about wind turbines Darrieus versions are well known for being super quiet, which is crucial considering they are typically active day and night and I'm sure the last thing you want is complaining neighbors. So it's important. They are well balanced and because they vibrate less they simply do not produce as much noise.

A common problem often associated with wind turbines is that of birds flying into them and meeting their maker. This is obviously something to avoid and in this case, it's something that can be avoided with great success. Many owners of Darrieus wind turbines report of having no such issues with birds flying into them, as opposed to propeller type wind turbines which have an unfortunate track record of causing harm to birds. This is likely due to the fact that because of the way the Darrieus turbines are designed, they appear like more of a solid object to birds and they tend to keep away from them.

Take Your Pick

There are a number of different designs which can be classed as Darrieus wind turbines. They share many similarities, however they also share key differences each with their own advantages. Giromills or H-bars as they are otherwise known are a “less efficient” design in normal conditions compared to the Darrieus designs, however often work well and in fact better in more turbulent wind conditions. They're also more affordable.

Cycloturbines are an interesting creation as each blade is mounted so that it can rotate around its own vertical axis. This allows for the blades to be pitched for the optimum angle of attack which results in improved performance in a variety of wind conditions. The ability to adapt makes this design easily the most effective and most powerful Darrieus wind turbines available because it can produce more consistent torque. It's also able to self start much easier because of the ability to pitch the blades. The only real downside is the complexity and added weight and cost of the pitch mechanism.

And finally the helical design is well known for it's ability to spread the torque evenly over the entire rotation, which prevails what could otherwise be destructive pulsations, especially in turbulent conditions. These are often smaller units making them a great choice in residential areas.

All in all, nothing is perfect. Green energy has always been a challenging field, especially when competing with the dirty forms of energy we as a society have become so dependent upon. This of course is not a comprehensive list of pro's and con's, however it was never mean't to be. It's designed to get you thinking and considering Darrieus wind turbines as a viable green energy alternative.

The great thing about green energy technologies such as these (and a huge advantage over polluting alternatives) is that once you've set them up, they just run and run and run. You always need more coal, more oil, more “stuff” to break down, burn, etc.

But with wind power, it-just-works!

Green Cleaning OR Just Green Paint?

For my business I travel a lot, and just the other day I was in Portland, OR and was following a carpet cleaning truck, which of course got my interest. On the back window, included with a list of services they provide, were the statements “Green house cleaning” and “Green carpet cleaning”. Now, being the…

For my business I travel a lot, and just the other day I was in Portland, OR and was following a carpet cleaning truck, which of course got my interest. On the back window, included with a list of services they provide, were the statements “Green house cleaning” and “Green carpet cleaning”. Now, being the smart aleck that I am, I surprised if they clean for people without a green house or a green carpet! (What about little green men from Mars ??) Another time, in another large city, I saw a bright green PT Cruiser go racing by with the signage on the side stating “Green Taxi Service”. The truth is, EVERYONE has jumped onto the “green” bandwagon, but I think with different motivations. Some have a deep concern about the planet and the environment, and some exceptions are just slapping on the label to try and increase sales, with probably most others in between those two extremes. Here is my take and business story on this and how we do it in my cleaning company – and why.

First, a little history. Long before being “green” was cool and while a student at Ferris High School in Spokane in the early 70's I was in the ecology club. Now, I can not remember what exactly what the motivation was – but I've always been tortured by foolish littering, etc. In the ecology club we spent a lot of time going around and just picking up trash, as this was before Washington state started having roadside cleanup along all the highways. However, I also remember not much later when going to college in Moses Lake and afterwards helping a friend change his oil in his car and he would just go dump the used oil out in a field somewhere. What's odd is that even though nobody would dream of doing that now, it just was not a big deal back then.

Before I go any further I need to clarify something. My observation has been that when any issue or dialogue becomes political, it almost always completely loses any connection with reality or scientific basis. Unfortunately, that is clearly the case with much of the “green” movement as it has become very politicized. As this article has nothing to do with the political view of “this or that” please do not try and read it that way. For this carpet cleaner, the following is what I feel is wise and ethical for everyone involved.

Some more history. The carpet cleaning industry over the years has had some major changes, and some things have not changed so much. For instance, back even before I started cleaning (way back in the last century!) Portable machines that ran on electricity were used by do-it-yourselfers AND professionals alike. They used cleaner with sodium phosphates and optical brighteners. They used harsh solvents (hydrocarbons) for spotting grease spots, and they dumped the dirty water either in the toilet or maybe outside. Then with the advent of the truck-mount machine, they quit using electricity except for the vacuuming and used gas to run their truck / machine. And most everything else stayed the same except now they almost always dumped the waste water with the harsh cleaning agent and solvents outside – in the yard, down the street into the storm drains, or maybe into a field. Then, some things really started improving. The optical brighteners (which only made the wet, clean carpet look brighter than it really was until the carpet discharged and the cleaning crew was gone) were taken out of at least the professional products, as were the phosphates not long after. Beside, they found out that with the higher pressures involved with a truck-mount they did not need the harsh cleaners that had been previously used. And I think one of the largest advances were the “citrus” chemicals (d-limonene) that largely replaced the harsh solvents. That was great not just for the environment and the homeowner, but the cleaner as well. Working with the harsh chemicals over the years could take a toll on the professional cleaners. Fortunately, it has not affected me. And fortunately, it has not affected me. (Did I already say that?) Even the basic cleaning chemical itself was dropped down from 8 or 10 and higher (alkaline) to just above 7 (neutral) in the professional products, although I think many of the rental machine cleaning products are still fairly high.

So, here is what it looks like at least when our guys clean carpet. We use a truck-mount machine with a neutral pH cleaner. We use triple filtering on the waste water so that when we drain it all of the hair / yarn fibers etc. are caught in the filters, and we only drain the filtered water onto a lawn or at a local car wash so that it will not get into the storm drain system. We use citrus (made from the peel of citrus fruits) for any spotting. The machine we use is very fuel efficient and is not run by the van engine but rather a small engine which uses about half as much gas as the van-run cleaning machines. And after all of that, and what is important, your carpet will be clean, and it does not even have to be a green carpet!

Why Buy Solar Lamp Posts for Your Garden?

If you are not familiar with solar lamp posts and other forms of outdoor solar lighting, do not feel bad – most Americans are not either. But this is rapidly changing as ordinary homeowners increasingly look for simple and proven ways to combat skyrocketing utility bills. Perhaps you've also begun exploring some of the more…

If you are not familiar with solar lamp posts and other forms of outdoor solar lighting, do not feel bad – most Americans are not either. But this is rapidly changing as ordinary homeowners increasingly look for simple and proven ways to combat skyrocketing utility bills.

Perhaps you've also begun exploring some of the more popular energy-saving strategies, such as:

• Installing a smart thermostat to control heating and cooling

• Replacing older appliances with ENERGY STAR alternatives

• Switching out incandescent light bulbs with LEDs or CFLs

Of course, every improvement in energy efficiency helps. But for truly optimal savings, you must expand your thinking. Instead of focusing on improvements exclusively within the home, you should view your entire property as one energy-consuming unit. The lamp posts and lights in your garden, for example, are major electric hogs that often get overlooked. Out-of-sight and out-of-mind, they're easy to forget – even by trained and licensed energy auditors. And yet, these very lights carry tremendous potential for long-term electricity bill reductions.

According to the US Department of Energy, nearly 20% of average residential electricity spending goes toward lighting. A significant percentage of that goes towards outdoor lighting since they typically operate for long periods of the day. And these “hidden” costs are not exclusive to residential power consumers. In many cities across the country, streetlights and other external lighting represent the single largest energy-related municipal expense.

When you total up all of the costs together, the numbers are staggering. In a groundbreaking study by Florida Atlantic University's physics department, researchers discovered that when you combine all residential, commercial, and municipal external lighting together, the US spends about $ 11.6 billion annually. Of that figure, approximately 30% is what they call “wasted lighting” ($ 3,487,306,003)!

How much of this $ 11.6 billion comes out of your pocket directly? A lot more than you probably realize. Obviously, you do not have the same lighting needs (or bills) of a small-scale city. But even if you have just 1 or 2 outdoor lamps on your property, you're still throwing away money month after month. And those prices are trending upwards as utilities continue raising their rates. In some cases, we're talking about hundreds of dollars a year in unnecessary charges to illuminate your home's garden at night. Imagine what you can do with the extra money! If you're okay with forking out that type of money year after year in external lighting costs, there's no reason to read on (from a financial perspective!). The system already works for you.

But there is a growing movement across the country to reduce these unnecessary charges as much as possible. The trend first started when budget-strapped cities began outfitting highway signs and street lights with solar photovoltaic (PV) technology. Rather than strictly exclusively on the utility grid, these local governments realized they could illuminate their communities using clean and free sunshine. And far from being an expensive upgrade, replacing grid-tied lamps with solar powered alternatives turned out to be an affordable investment that quickly paid for itself. In the past 5 years, solar costs have come down even more, bringing the technology within easy reach of everyone. Better still, the payback periods are even shorter.

To understand why this is, let's do some quick calculations. We'll keep the numbers conservative and the math very simple. Let's assume that your monthly electricity bill approaches $ 200 (which is pretty reasonable). And let's also assume that external lighting accounts for only 3% of that total bill (which is even more reasonable). This means you're spending an average of $ 6 a month to illuminate your property at night.

Now, imagine you bought a solar lamp for $ 59 (yes, they do exist!). With this solar lamp model, it'll take you fewer than 10 months to fully recoup the upfront cost of switching out your current lamp posts with the solar alternative. After this 10-month breakeven point, all of your additional lighting needs are 100% free. And the return on your investment only grows with time as utility rates continue to increase. If electricity prices double overnight, for example, you'd end up saving $ 12 a month instead of only $ 6. That's one of the major beauties of solar energy. You're forever protected from future price hikes. (Of course, if you choose to replace your existing bulbs with LEDs, your breakeven point will be longer. solar. So why go only halfway?)

And those are just the financial savings. You must also factor in the environmental savings that solar lamp posts provide:

• The average garden light stays on about 10 – 12 hours a day.

• A grid-tied, 40-watt incandescent light bulb left on for that long generates nearly 200 pounds of C02 every year.

• Switching to energy-efficient light bulbs can help reduce that pollution somewhat – but not completely. Even grid-tied LEDs still pollute.

By contrast, outdoor solar lamps do not pollute. Solar technology relies on an infinite source of clean, free, and renewable power.

The financial savings, as well as environmental responsibility, are obvious benefits of using solar powered lights. There are, however, numerous additional benefits:

– Solar powered lamps are incredibly easy to install. Since there is no wiring involved, they require do not require a licensed electrician or professional experience. By simply following the manufacturer's instructions, you can have your solar lamp lighting up your garden in no time.

– The placement of conventional outdoor lamps are limited to where electric wiring can easily reach. Not so solar powered lamps. These can be installed at the precise location of your choosing, as far as that may be from any source of artificial energy. You can now illuminate any part of your landscape, placing the lamps at the most strategic locations.

– Light fixtures powered by the sun require very little maintenance. The LED (light emitting diodes) light bulbs that they use can last for decades, and the rechargeable batteries, which store the sun's energy, can last for 1-2 years before losing efficiency.

– Your lights will continue to shine in the event of a power outage.

Here are some tips for successful installation and maintenance of solar powered lamps:

– The amount of sunlight your solar lamps receive will directly affect its light output. Try to install your lamps where they will receive at least four hours of direct sunlight daily.

– In the northern hemisphere, wall mounted solar lamps should face south; otherwise they may not receive sufficient sunlight.

– Keep a distance between these lamps and artificial light sources. Nearby sources of light may confuse the automatic sensor which turns the solar lamp on at dusk and off dawn.

– After installation, leave “off” for one to two days, to allow the battery to charge completely and effectively.

– For optimal performance, clean your lamp's solar panel periodically. Make sure they are clear of dirt, snow, or dust. However, take care not to use abrasive cleaning agents.

– If you are shooting the lamp, remove the batteries to best preserve their strength.

When prospective customers first hear about outdoor solar lamps for the home, they think it's some futuristic technology from a sci-fi novel. And despite a number of years ago, they would have been right. But solar-powered lighting is not futuristic anymore. The technology exists – and it continues to help tens of thousands of residential, commercial, and even municipal customers dramatically reduce their utility bill spending.

And as they watch their bills shrink, these same customers are also shrinking their carbon footprints as well. They're helping to make the planet cleaner and greener – while saving money in the process. And the best part is – making the switch from traditional lights to solar-powered alternatives is an investment that can pay for itself within months (not years).