Is the Future of Green Housing

Posted on 18th March 2011 in energy

The expected future trends for the ensuing years will likely involve the concept of sustainable/green homes. This is as a result of the culture increasingly moving towards ideas that will be beneficial for the environment. A general shift in thinking is likely to sweep the UK with the current generation of new homes, trying to integrate certain ‘greener’ systems.

The likely pattern will involve areas such as; solar systems, lower carbon emissions omitted from houses and reducing the general environmental impacts. However, achieving this aim may be difficult, within the UK at least. That is, Britain has the oldest housing stock in Europe, resulting in the advent of new homes to be delayed and stagnated. The initial aim is to reduce carbon emissions from our homes by 80% by 2050.

And the higher authorities certainly have rested on their laurels. Instead, they seem to be taking a process that will follow a simplistic stage route, starting of small, then eventually cascading to consequently deliver their aims. The fully acknowledge that it is difficult, but their motivations are focussed mainly due to their fear that if actions are not taken, the problem may get worse, sooner.

However, there are plans from the Department of Energy and Climate Change among others to ensure that funding is made available. Otherwise their fear of eventual global warming may be nearer than first anticipated.

To affect these opinions, certain practices such as; applying spray-on insulation foam, that acts as a stronger alternative to be previous foam insulators.

This is only the start. But eventually, it will lead to more effectual process such as solar panels. Although these are expensive, plans are being made to ensure that they are integrated into the make up of newly built homes.

There progressive approach will likely cumulate in the advent of widespread solar panels. Granted, these are expensive. The authorities acknowledge this, and therefore, will view this as a longer term objective. But in any case, they realistically view their integration by installing new homes with this system; thus limiting perceived costs for the home owner, simply due to it being part of their mortgage.

In retrospect, the key is certainly to apply patience. Market improvements are expected to occur sooner rather than later. And when they do, these thoughts can be progressively put into action

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How gold is recycled

Posted on 5th March 2011 in environment

We now live in a world where recycling has become the norm. In fact, if you’re not seen to be trying to re-use something, you are frowned upon by most sections of society. But when it comes to precious metals like gold, is there a recycling process in place? In fact, there is a more structured process than for other metals like aluminium and steel simply because of the value of gold.

Recycling the stuff is a must when the environmental implications of the process of mining are so dire. Toxic chemicals and substances like cyanide and mercury are often used to extract the precious metals during the refining process, and much of this is done in less than ideal and controlled environments.

The precious metal can be found in everyday electronic items like mobile phones, jewellery and watches. Other countries often handle this throw-away junk, but the environments in which they operate have little, or no, health, safety and environmental practices established. However, improvements have been made to standards, and the development of an independent certification system is welcome in the responsible mining communities.

Recycling gold is relatively simple. Determining how much precious metal is contained in a particular item is done using the ‘sorting’ process. This involves placing scrap metal on a scale to determine the exact weight of the gold contained within it. Disassembling and further sorting is then carried out so that the metal is put into the correct type. Any toxic material is extracted for disposal at a later date. Smelting then takes place which involves the heating of the metal past its boiling point so that it turns to liquid. This enables all other metals to be separated. The reformation and re-shaping of the gold takes place and then begins the cooling period where it is weighed and standardised in order to be used again.

Factories then receive the refined metal from gold processing centres to use when required. The refining and packaging process ensures that the gold remains in the same condition as the day it was mined and can be used in your electronic gadgets for a second time.

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Managing Home And Office Insulation And Draught Proofing To Save Money

Posted on 3rd March 2011 in energy

In many buildings, as much as 60% of the heat is lost through roof and the walls. Considering the monthly amount one spends on energy bills, this is a huge waste. You will actually spend more trying to replace what is lost. The only solution is to opt for home and office insulation and draught proofing to save money.

To enjoy the full benefits it presents, one must also think of all the other areas that contribute to heat loss. One of these is the hot water tank and the pipes delivering water. Heat escapes easily through metal when the environment is cold. This is why they should be insulated. This will ensure that the water stays hot for a long time.

Some of the heat is also lost through the floor. In case you have a wooden floor, you must lift the boards then lay mineral wool underneath. This must be supported by netting on the joists. If there are gaps between the skirting board and floorboards, it should be filled with ordinary tube sealant like silicone, which stops draughts.

Remember, though insulation is necessary, you should not block the under-floor airbricks placed on the outer wall, which help in ventilation. In case of poor ventilation, the floorboards will start rotting after some time. This leads to other expenses later on. Taking these steps before the actual draught proofing will help you get the best results.

Twenty percent of the energy lost from the house can be saved through draught proofing. Being an easy and cost effective exercise one must consider using it to reduce the energy bills. You will find the materials required for the exercise such as brushes, sealant and foams from home improvement stores. Before you purchase them, you should ensure that they meet the minimum standards.

It is important to bear in mind that balancing is required between ventilation and insulation . This is why you should not direct your efforts at sealing everything in sight. Actually if some of the rooms house solid fuel and gas fires, more insulation will be required. In some rooms, you might also need an extractor fan to eliminate condensation. This normally happens in the kitchen and the bathroom.

From all this, one thing is very clear; home and office insulation and draught proofing to save money has to follow the right procedure for it to be sustainable. Balancing all the factors involved will play an important role in ensuring that you not only lower the bills, but also prevent future expenses.

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Do Green Products Help Our Planet

Posted on 2nd March 2011 in environment

Given 2 products that are close in estimate and do the same quality of job, wouldn’t you make a decision the 1 that was eco green? If we make a concerted attempt to choose products to use in our daily living that are good for the earth, we can make a difference. It is as simple as understanding labelling on the products we get.

The majority eco green products are plainly described. Most options require reading labels to see which product is the nearly all green. Green products are typically safer for your family.

Eco green products are classified as such because of the materials that goes into them or how they were manufactured. Often deciding on eco green includes evaluating labels on 2 or three branded products to distinguish which one is the right for the natural environment. Toilet paper is a good example. You wish to decide the brand that has the least chemical substances and scents in it. Most assume single ply toilet paper is much better for the environment than two ply. Toilet paper, paper towels and also tissues are better for the environment, and also you, in natural white.

Shopping for locally produced food can decrease air miles, carbon pollution and also assist local companies. Study labels and also ask questions when buying products.

Did you know that strawberries are the fruit most sprayed with pesticides? All those pesticides are harmful for the planet and harmful for your children. If consumers insist fruits and also vegetables which are produced in a healthier system, food producers will need to react to the demand. Study labelling on canned goods and also bottled beverages, and purchase the ones with the least chemical additives. Keep in mind plastic doesn’t break down for a very long time, so stay away from plastic packaging on every occasion possible.

Try to use a refillable water bottle rather than purchasing bottled water in plastic bottles. You can make your own filtered water at home for a tiny proportion of the expense of pre bottled water. That by itself would be aiding Mother Earth.

There are water filtration systems that install on faucets or are on containers stored in fridges. Be certain to keep reusable water bottles clean. There are much more ways to go green if you do a bit of research.

How To Save Money and Energy

Posted on 2nd March 2011 in energy

Our household energy bill, the combination of the electric and gas bills, is by far the biggest bill in our lives. The mortgage may cost more, but at least you end up with a building, the money spent paying the combined energy bill just goes up in smoke.

However, could you imagine a life without energy? It would mean going back a hundred years to when the average household had neither gas nor electricity. If you can cut down on your energy consumption and thereby your energy bill, it could create some terrific savings.

Just about half of our energy bill is made up of using our heating and cooling equipment. Therefore, this is the area to begin making your savings. The first thing to do is make sure you get value for your money by allowing the heating and cooling systems to provide value for money.

Therefore, clean your blower’s filters at least once a month, so that it does not have to work so hard blowing air through the filter. Check your radiators or grilles at least twice a year too.

Make sure that they are not heavy with dust or even blocked. Grilles should be meticulously cleaned and vacuum. Radiators should be washed and bled of air. Make sure that the heat from your radiators is not going up behind the curtain just to keep the window warm. Do not stand furniture in front of radiators or over under floor heating grilles.

Inspect the settings on your thermostats. Try to make do with one degree less of heating and let your room warm up one degree when cooling. I assure you, you will not notice the change on your skin, but you will in your pocket. Wear a cardigan in the winter and a thinner shirt in the summer.

If you use ventilation fans in the bathroom and kitchen, do not leave them running without cause. Twenty minutes after you have finished cooking or bathing is more than enough.

If you are still using incandescent light bulbs, change them for long-life, low-energy fluorescent tubes. Turn incandescents off when you leave the room, but fluorescent tubes cost more to turn on than they do to leave running, within reason. This tip can save you a lot of money every year.

Work by a window, if you can. Draw the curtains entirely and draw the nets too in order to get the greatest amount of energy-saving, free daylight.

Turn equipment off at the mains and unplug them when not in use. Stand-by uses more electricity than just keeping that little red light on, much more. The same with battery chargers. Phone battery chargers use up energy even when there is no battery in the charger.

Doing the laundry is an area for considerable savings, especially if you use the washing machine every day. Use a cold water powder and you will save a fortune on heating up the water – as much as 90% of the laundry costs. Always wash with full loads or decrease the amount of water to suit the amount of washing.

When you go to the fridge, close the door immediately. Do not hold it open while you are drinking or talking, this goes twice over for the freezer. Check the doors’ gaskets for leaks or cracks. If ants have got in, air has got out. Try to keep your fridge/freezer full, it works out cheaper than keeping litres and litres of air cold.

Insulate your house properly. Insulate the doors and windows to stop draughts, but most of all, insulate the loft. It produces the biggest bang per buck in household energy saving. If you have a basement or a cavity floor, take care to plug draughts in that too by laying newspapers under your carpets.

To find out more on how you can save energy and save money visit the gas and electricity price comparison web site

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