Eco Friendly

How wood is a more environmentally-friendly choice

Reducing our carbon footprint seems to be at the top of everyone’s agendas. From The Guardian reporting on how to eat with a low carbon footprint, to fast food chain McDonald’s setting greenhouse gas targets, and phasing out plastic straws from UK restaurants, everyone is making greener choices.

Did you know that the choice of material you use in your home or workplace can have a real impact on its overall carbon footprint? In fact, there is a growing trend in architects and builders choosing timber as their material of choice, due to its positive environmental impact and ease of construction.

Want to know why wood is the environmentally friendly material of choice, for both home and business owners? Retailer, A Wood Idea has provided these insights.

Wood is a renewable material

Wood is known to be one of the most naturally renewable energy sources, which means it will have less of an impact on the environment than other materials. According to the British Woodworking Federation, over 90% of wood we use is from forests in Europe, which are growing by 661,000 hectares each year. This shows that it’s a very readily-available resource, that’s not going to run out anytime soon.

Wooden products last a long time

A wide variety of factors impact how long a wooden product lasts, including the type of wood, the location of the product (interior or exterior environments) and the treatment that has been applied to it. Generally, wood may be lightweight, but it is also a strong and durable product. Hardwood is the most durable, and treated correctly can last longer than a lifetime – some hardwood doors can last over 100 years.

The longer a wood product lasts, the less energy is used on the production of new products, which in turn makes it better for the environment.

Wood’s great at retaining heat

The cellular makeup of wood means that it naturally retains heat more effectively than other materials – in fact, it holds heat seven times more effectively than ceramic tiles. Air chambers within the wood itself absorb heat, holding it for longer. Introducing wood into your premises means it will be naturally warmer. A naturally warmer building will require less energy to heat it, which is kinder to the environment.

Wooden products can be recycled and reused

Protected and maintained wood will last for 100 years, which gives you an opportunity to refinish and adapt a piece several times throughout its lifetime. Wooden furniture is very easily upcycled, painted and re-treated, which transforms it into a completely different piece.

Wood absorbs carbon dioxide

As wood supplies grow, trees absorb carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, which lowers the overall carbon footprint of the material. Known as a ‘carbon sink’, one cubic metre of new wood removes just less than a tonne of CO2 in the atmosphere. Trees only stop absorbing carbon when they reach maturity, which is usually when they are harvested.

Wood is a ‘carbon store’, which means that once it has absorbed the carbon, it is stored there and remains out of the atmosphere.

Waste from the production of wooden materials is limited, and 100% biodegradable

There is very little waste when wooden products are made, whether it’s floorboards, furniture, doors, or something else entirely. Any residual chippings can be burned as an energy source, or used as sawdust during manufacture.

The limited amount of waste produced by the manufacture of wooden products is 100% biodegradable. This means that the material will eventually decompose, disintegrate and break down back into the earth. This means there will be no residual landfill left in the earth’s atmosphere, which is better for the environment.

Wood can have a positive psychological impact on the people in your home or workspace

Wood can provide benefits to both mental, and physical health. By increasing the amount of wooden materials in your home or workplace, you reduce the amount of manmade substances, and potentially harmful chemicals, in the environment. It has also been claimed that the introduction of wood to interiors has a stress-reducing effect, according to a report by Timber and Design Online.

 

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Posted by Eco Warrior - April 22, 2018 at 5:14 pm

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How green is your tampon?

The time it takes for a tampon or pad to degrade in a landfill is centuries longer than the lifespan of the woman who used it. In the UK, every woman uses an average of over 11,000 disposable menstrual products in her reproductive lifetime. Tampons, pads and panty liners generate more than 200,000 tonnes of waste per year*. What’s more, the process of manufacturing these products is usually hugely wasteful. To coincide with this year’s Earth Day on 22 April, organic and natural period-care brand Freda is encouraging femcare brands to consider the environmental impact of their products.

“Across fashion, beauty, food, and even cleaning products, consumers are becoming more and more mindful of sustainability,” says Freda’s founder, Affi Parvizi-Wayne. “But when it comes to femcare, many of are still buying the same products on auto-pilot, without considering their eco credentials.”

Freda believes that the big brands dominating the industry have benefitted from the societal silence and stigma around periods, which has meant they have not been subject to the same scrutiny from consumers as other sectors. Ultimately, this has enabled them to cut corners in terms of their products’ manufacture and ingredients.

Freda, meanwhile, sources the most sustainable products it can find that don’t compromise on hygiene, performance, and comfort: its pads are 100% organic, its pads eco-friendly, wrappers recyclable/biodegradable, and applicators BPA-free. Their suppliers run their business sustainably, source renewable energy and responsibly manage their waste and resources. “We promise to be unreasonably demanding,” says Affi. “We recognise that perfection won’t come easily, but we won’t stop till we get there.”

She stresses that Freda’s natural products provide the same level of efficacy as their big-brand counterparts: “Our products contain no chemicals, without compromise on protection. We always put our customers needs first, while constantly pushing for more sustainable packaging, ingredients, and production.”

Affi admires the work that’s being done to raise awareness of alternative period products. “Menstrual cups and reusable pads are amazing advancements, but they’re not for everyone. We aim to be another sustainable option and to empower women to make their own choice, while being kind to their bodies and to the environment. Our customers choose Freda because we share their values. They know that the choices they make can make a real difference. ”

Freda launched in January 2018 and is aimed at modern, health- and socially-conscious women. Made in eco-certified factories in Scandinavia and Central Europe with over 70 years of expertise, Freda tampons are made from 100% naturally-absorbent, breathable, hypoallergenic organic cotton for enhanced protection and comfort – and are free from the chemicals and synthetic fibres found elsewhere, making them kinder to you and the environment.

Its online subscription service allows you to select your own combination of products and absorbencies based on your period, and its period tracker syncs the delivery of your products to your cycle. Freda is on a mission to break down period taboos, which have contributed in part to the opaque nature of the industry, by discussing the topic openly. The company has been created for women by women – and they give back to women as a portion of every Freda purchase is donated to initiatives worldwide tackling period poverty.

Named after Freyja who, in Norse mythology, is a goddess associated with love, sex, beauty and fertility, Freda believes that transparency and openness is key to creating a generational change in attitudes towards periods, and helps to bust myths, break taboos and normalise conversations.

A Freda subscription costs around £3.50 for 8 including postage and packaging. A Freda box contains 16 and can be purchased at www.myfreda.com

Notes

Period facts:

  • 2 billion women and girls menstruate monthly and 800 million women have their period daily
  • In the UK woman, on average, uses 12,000 tampons in her lifetime and spends over £18,000 on them
  • According to the UN’s International Children’s Fund over 130 million girls worldwide miss school during menstruation as they cannot afford the necessary period products
  • 63 million girls miss school one week a month due to lack of access to pads
  • Period poverty is also affecting girls in the UK. Some are missing school as they cannot afford period care products http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39266056
  • 1 in 10 schoolgirls in Africa do not go to school during menstruation
  • In India, only 12% of women and girls use period products
  • Big brand manufacturers are not required to give a full disclosure of what is in their tampons which have been found to contain chemicals linked to health conditions

 

About Freda www.myfreda.com

Freda is an eco-friendly period care range that is transparent, ethical and sustainable – and is rebooting femcare for the 21st Century. Aimed at modern, health- and socially-conscious women, its tampons are made of 100% certified organic cotton that are biodegradable, hypoallergenic and free from chemicals and synthetic fibres commonly found in some big brand tampons, whilst their pads contain 100% eco-friendly, biodegradable materials. Freda is on a mission to break down taboos and stigma by normalising conversation around periods. The company has been created for women by women – and they give back to women as a portion of every Freda purchase is donated to initiatives worldwide tackling period poverty. Freda’s online subscription service understands that every cycle is different and allows you to select your own combination of products and absorbencies based on your period. Using artificial intelligence to predict your start date its online period tracker allows you to sync the delivery of your products to ensure they arrive a few days before your cycle. The tracker combines an advanced algorithm and insight from specialist consultant gynaecologists. As you input your personal data, the algorithm gets to know your period cycles over time which makes even irregular periods more predictable and the Freda delivery timelier. Named after Freyja who, in Norse mythology, is a goddess associated with love, sex, beauty and fertility, Freda believes that having honest conversations is key to creating a generational change towards bringing periods to the forefront of awareness which will help to bust myths, break taboos and normalise the conversation.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - April 22, 2018 at 1:00 am

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The lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World

Living your life a sustainable one would mean you need to put your efforts in place as it would take a long commitment – because there are a lot to learn, explore, experiment, dedicating your life to sustainable practices and, more importantly, live happily when you’re doing it.

But, what if, you’re too lazy enough to do those things and you can’t even imagine having yourself into an outdoor activity?

Well, most of the people don’t know that even a sluggish fella like you can also make a difference even if you’re just sitting inside your house doing your lazy work.

In this infographic designed by a Product Review website WeAreTop10.com, you'll learn how to save the world from your couch.

The lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World

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Posted by Eco Warrior - April 17, 2018 at 6:28 am

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Environmentally Friendly Sources of Protein

People who are truly environmentally friendly don’t just settle for driving a hybrid or cycling to work. Those who really care about our planet are a bit more concerned with indirect consequences of their actions and constantly try to reexamine and reevaluate these causal links. Let’s just take one’s nutritious habits into consideration. Yes, food can be organic or genetically modified but even past this, an organic food can be non-environmentally-friendly. How is this possible, you probably ask by now? Well, this all depends on the way in which the food you’re consuming is produced.

In order to make your eating habits friendly, you need to ensure that you’re taking all the necessary nutrients. Here, we have various minerals and vitamins but the three major groups that make up the majority of your meals are fats, carbohydrates and proteins. The last nutrient is vital in your muscle building process and your body’s ability to recover from a demanding physical activity. With this in mind, people who truly care about the environment need to learn which sources of protein are the most environmentally friendly.

 Myths and misconceptions

When it comes to eating healthy, most people first point at lamb, beef, cheese, pork and farmed salmon as the major sources of protein. Consequently, these five are the best example that protein-rich and eco-friendly are not the one and the same thing. Carbon emission that gets produced during the fabrication of these foods is disproportionally large to their nutritious value. In other words, if the entire world became exclusive to mentioned sources of protein, this could cause a serious threat to our, already endangered environment.

Environmentally Friendly Sources of Protein

The reason behind this is the fact that these animals either produce methane to digest food or their manure creates gases that produce the greenhouse effects. Aside from this, it is known that cooking and processing these foods also increases the carbon footprint.

Most efficient protein sources

Environmentally Friendly Sources of Protein

As for the best protein sources you can find in the store, milk, tofu and eggs are fairly high on this list. Some might be a bit surprised by finding milk here, yet, of all animal-source foods, it was discovered that milk has one of the lowest carbon footprints out there.

Environmentally Friendly Sources of Protein

As for people who simply imagine a meatless life, wild game is definitely the eco-friendliest source. Situationally, some cultures have entire cuisines based around edible insects, although some people aren’t adventurous enough to even consider such a menu. From all of the above-listed, it is more than clear that the options are ample and there’s something for both carnivorous, vegetarian and vegan lifestyles.

Supplements

Environmentally Friendly Sources of Protein

The next thing worth considering is food supplements. While a lot of people see them as something used by bodybuilders and professional athletes, they often fail to realize their true nature and their full potential. First of all, you need to consume about 0.36 grams of protein per pound of your mass, while leading a sedentary lifestyle. Needless to say, there are days that simply don’t allow you to follow your regular eating schedule, which is where dietary supplements can come off as lifesaving.

Environmentally Friendly Sources of Protein

Apart from this, some people are lactose intolerant, which means that milk is a definite no-no. Seeing as how we already classified milk as a major protein-rich ally in your struggle for the preservation of the earth, this could pose a certain problem. According to experts behind True Protein, their whey protein isolates contain only traces of lactose, fat and carbohydrates, which makes them into a safe alternative choice.

Bioavailability

Finally, when it comes to supplements, we need to talk about bioavailability. The amount of nutrient that enters your body is important, yet, not all of it can be used. This puts your dietary considerations into a completely new dimension.

Environmentally Friendly Sources of Protein

Whey protein is the undisputed ruler with the greatest bioavailability on any chart. Eggs and milk come right after it. The best thing about this list is the fact that all three of these items come off as environmentally friendly food sources.

 Home-grown superfoods

Regardless of the source of protein, your options of knowing that the food is 100 percent environmentally-friendly aren’t that great. That is unless you’re producing your own superfoods. Nuts and seeds are extremely rich in protein and so are grains and legumes. Some of the examples that are the easiest to produce in your own garden are quinoa and beans. In fact, these foods are capable of providing you with all essential amino acids, which, by definition, makes them into complete proteins.

Environmentally Friendly Sources of Protein

As for the eco-friendliness of this entire endeavor, you want to learn how to make your own compost, start conserving water and employ various other traditional (out-of-the-box) farming techniques. For instance, by looking into great vegetable pairs, you can try out the trend of companion planting. In this way, you will make your garden into something much easier to manage. Apart from this, you will also create an environment in which your garden can become more self-sustainable.

In conclusion

Environmentally Friendly Sources of Protein

In the end, it is important to notice that this list stands as a testament to the fact that for all those who care about the eco-friendliness of their dietary habits, there’s always a better alternative. Sure, taking the high-road is always a difficult task but you first need to determine whether this is the road worth taking. This depends on the end goal and, seeing as how the end goal is the preservation of our planet, there should be no doubt in your mind on whether this is the right thing to do.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - April 12, 2018 at 6:12 am

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Gifts helping build a sustainable future in Madagascar

The word ‘Madagascar’ might be associated with lemurs bounding through treetops, exotic reptiles and stunning beaches, but it’s also home to some of the poorest people on the planet. 92% of its population live below the poverty line of $2 a day and as many as 4 in 10 children in rural areas die before the age of five from easily preventable diseases such as diarrhoea. For those trying to help there’s the added complexity that the island is home to an incredible array of vulnerable animal and plant species, with around 80% of its wildlife found nowhere else on Earth.

A small UK based charity, called SEED Madagascar, look to help the people, animals and plants of the island in a sustainable and ecological way and as part of this run an innovative project called Stitch Sainte Luce set up by art lecturer Sarah Brown.

Sewing the seeds of change

Like many others, when Sarah Brown, an art lecturer from Leeds, went on holiday to Madagascar she was unaware of the problems the people on the island face. She was hoping for a relaxing couple of weeks amongst the island’s unique wildlife, but the trip changed her life forever and led to her setting up an incredible charity programme, which looks to empower women through embroidery.

It was not just the extreme poverty that shocked Sarah, but also the lack of self-belief and purpose in the women she met; many of whom were living in terrible conditions, illiterate and had no options beyond marriage and motherhood. Often prevented from accessing paid work as a result of domestic responsibilities, cultural expectations, and a lack of earning opportunities, women in Madagascar often suffer the most from the effects of poverty.

Sarah decided she wanted to do something about what she’d seen, so left her job and home in the UK to move to a small village in the South East of Madagascar called Sainte Luce. There she used her embroidery skills to teach women how to put their traditional creativity to use in a project that has been named ‘Stitch Sainte Luce’.

By bringing in an income stream and teaching them a new skill set, Sarah has helped empower the women of the village and given them hope for the future. In the beginning the women produced small embroidered items for sale to charity volunteers who passed through the village. Seven years on and the project has launched a website to sell the women’s beautiful, original and creative produce, including a range of stylish make-ups bags and purses, alongside cushions and kindle and iPad cases, which take inspiration from Madagascar’s colourful and vibrant culture, wildlife and storytelling, and make beautiful and unique gifts, whether for yourself or a friend. Each design is unique and individual, with no two items alike and you can discover exactly who made each item. The beautiful products are brought back to the UK by volunteers working for the charity and so no extra air-miles are created in their delivery to this country.

How to help

For more information visit the Stitch Sainte Luce site, where you can learn about the talented women behind the products and view or buy their incredible work – www.stitchsainteluce.org

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Posted by Eco Warrior - March 29, 2018 at 7:39 am

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5 Green Ways to Save Cash in 2018

In 2018, there are a dizzying number of ways to tackle going green. For many, however, so many environmental solutions are sometimes much more expensive than their less eco-friendly alternatives. Environmentally safe soaps and personal care products are great, but they will end up costing you hundreds in the long run compared to regular options. Buying organic, locally produced foods is all well and good, but they can cost a lot more than their imported or chemically treated cousins. While you may be happy to fork out to help save the planet, many of us simply don’t have the resources. Here are 5 Eco-Tips for those people to try in 2018 that are not only green, but will save a decent amount of money as well.

Taking a Staycation

Think about taking your vacation local this year – see what your home country has to offer. If you live in the city, there will more things for you to do than you could ever squeeze into a single holiday abroad anyway. If you live in the country then check out the local national parks, historical sights, towns and villages – we guarantee you you won’t have been to even half of what’s on offer. Holidaying at home instead of flying abroad is a far more sustainable and eco-friendly option, and the savings you’ll make by not paying for those exorbitant tickets will allow you to take many more than that one big vacation a year.

Reduce meat consumption by getting creative

Veganism is now a natural part of our social fabric. Restaurant consultancy Baum + Whiteman predicted that the global number 1 food trend for 2018 will be “plant-based”, and that reflects the last 15 years of growing interest in Veganism. It’s grown steadily but surely and its not going away anytime soon. A big argument from the movement is environmental – industrial scale pastoral farming is harming our planet, as covered in some now very famous documentaries like Cowspiracy. What’s more, meat is becoming even less affordable. Here are some standard prices for cheaper cuts of meat:

1kg – Chicken: £8-9 1kg

Beef Mince: £7 1kg

Pork: £9

Compare that to a meat alternative like tofu or quorn and those seem very steep indeed:

1kg – Tofu: £5

1kg – Quorn: £6

It’s true though that despite their attractive price-tag, quorn and tofu are famously not that interesting to cook with. Here’s our advice – get creative! A new wave of vegan alternatives to your much loved classics have rejuvenated what it means to substitute. Produce such delights as: Tofish – a seaweed wrapped tofu bar coated in batter and deep-fried (sounds weird but it’s genuinely delicious, and tastes very authentic). Vegan Fried Chicken – uses nutritional yeast as a good chicken-y alternative. With a bit of experimentation, the gentle learning curve of making simple substitutions will have you squashing your budget and your carbon footprint without missing your favourite meals.

Collaborative Consumption

Take a look at the new ‘sharing economy’, services under it including BlaBlaCar and AirBnB. These platforms are driven by ‘collaborative consumption’ and are linked by their emphasis on more efficiently using the resources around you – take spare seats in cars and free living rooms over cab companies and hotels. A recent addition to the sharing economy, Fat Lama allows anyone to rent out anything to anyone, insured. Instead of wasting money on buying something people only use once, they can now rent it from a professional looking to make a little more from their gear – and they usually charge a lot less than standard rental houses. Fat Lama is slowly but surely making the environment a little healthier by reducing harmful factory production . The next time you need something – from a bike to a drone – rent it from your neighbours. You’ll save the planet, and a bit of cash along the way.

Cut Down on Plastic Packaging in the Kitchen

In 2016, the Guardian reported that only a third of recyclable plastic packaging was actually recycled by all British households. The main reason? Sorting out the recycling is a frustrating and time-consuming process which is relatively unrewarding, especially if you don’t think you’ve done it right. Here are two ways to reduce the amount of packaging you produce in the kitchen, making that process just a little simpler.

A) Get A Soda Stream

If you like soft drinks, or even just fizzy water, you may benefit from investing in a sodastream. For less than £100 you can buy a sodastream which carbonate water at the click of a button resulting in a fresh fizz every time. Cut down on plastic bottle use like this today!

B) Ditch Coffee Pods

Coffee pods have taken the world by storm in recent years, and despite their convenience, they are expensive, absolutely terrible for the planet, and you are missing out on the pure joy of making coffee with a proper cafetiere or a drip filter. If you need that caffeine hit, put down that plastic pod and pick up a hobby to last a lifetime – and save yourself cash in the process.

Investing in Smart Home systems

The smart homes of 2018 are a real look into the future. With the popularisation of devices such as the Amazon Echo or Google Home, we are looking at totally voice controlled home systems that have never been easier to use. Smart homes are now capable of automating all things domestic, from controlling the heating and lights to individual rooms to turning on cookers, boiling kettles and opening windows. Automated energy control is the future of home energy efficiency. Admittedly the startup costs can be a little hefty, but its a thoroughly worthwhile investment in the long term. And what’s more, the reduced energy consumption is unbelievably good for the planet, so really it’s a win win. So there you go, 5 tips to help your bank account while also living a sustainable, globally conscious lifestyle in 2018 – give them a try and see how much you can save today.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - March 29, 2018 at 7:25 am

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Helping Kids Learn To Reduce, Reuse And Recycle

By reducing the amount of natural resources you consume, reusing items that would otherwise go to waste, and recycling trash so it can be re-purposed, you’re helping ensure a brighter future for the children of today. However, planning for the future not only includes taking steps in the present day, but also preparing for tomorrow. By teaching children good conservation practices today, you’ll contribute to a cleaner future. Children who learn how to reduce, reuse and recycle now will gain the foundation they need to pass those practices on to their children and continue preserving natural resources.

Although you may live the principles of “reduce, reuse and recycle” every day in your life, it might be difficult for your children to see what you’re doing and understand why it’s important. Getting your kids involved in your efforts to reduce your family’s environmental footprint is a great way to inspire them to make eco-friendly choices later in life. There are numerous ways to teach your children how.

For example, you could help your kids learn the importance of reducing the amount of waste they generate during your regular trips to the grocery store. You can explain to them why you use reusable shopping bags instead of plastic or paper ones from the store. You can encourage them to help you find the products that use the least amount of packaging such as bulk breakfast cereals.

Helping your kids understand the importance of reusing can be as easy as encouraging them to donate their old, unwanted toys or books. You could use refillable soap dispensers and ditch paper napkins in favor of cloth. Attempting to repair damaged or broken toys before getting rid of them also helps teach kids that simply throwing items away is often extremely wasteful. Finally, asking your kids to help around the house by separating waste into recyclable and non-recyclable trash can teach them the principles of recycling and why it’s good for the environment.

There are so many ways to get your kids involved in good sustainability practices around the home. The following guide includes many of the best ideas. You reduce, reuse and recycle because you want to leave behind the best possible world for your children. It’s important to help kids understand that they need to take responsibility, too.

Helping Kids Learn To Reduce, Reuse And Recycle

Checklist created by RMPUSA

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Posted by Eco Warrior - February 3, 2018 at 10:31 am

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How Valuable Is Green Space To A City?

According to the World Health Organization, green spaces contribute to reducing air pollution, tackling obesity, and improving mental and physical health, amongst over benefits. Governments are now placing huge emphasis on sustainability, welfare and thoughtful urban planning; for example, Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay are the wonderful culmination of urban planning, green space and art for the benefit of the city’s public.

To give an idea of how much our green spaces might be worth, Flymo has been looking at green spaces in twelve of the world’s most highly populated urban areas, where this space is most limited. By taking twelve of the world’s most famous parks and working out their potential minimum value if they were turned into apartments, it was found just how much green space is worth to a city,

View the infographic below for more information about the Value of Green Space.

How Valuable Is Green Space To A City

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Posted by Eco Warrior - January 31, 2018 at 4:01 pm

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Sustainable Construction Trends That Will Rock 2018

Technology is continuously improving and setting new standards, including higher environmental sustainability. Winds of green change sweep across construction yards, propelling building projects to another exciting year. Yes, many trends come and go, but there are also those that become an integral part of the industry.

Green building falls into the latter category as something that is no longer considered optional or a passing fad. Forward-thinking designers and architects are leading the race introducing bold new solutions. Consequently, companies have to keep up the pace if they want to stay competitive.

So, here are some trends that are sparking attention on the world stage and are poised to dominate the construction sector this year.

Modular construction

Need for speed is a major factor in modern construction business. The prices of materials are still high, but modular construction projects are sprouting up everywhere and breaking new ground in terms of resource and energy-efficiency. They involve both pop-ups and permanent modular buildings built with latest technological solutions.

Environment protection is integrated into building processes and the result is something much more sustainable than a conventional building. Namely, modular construction aspires to provide maximum user comfort, minimize the environmental impact, and bring to life displaceable, “smart”, and 100% recyclable buildings.

Sustainable Construction

Prefabrication processes

One mainstay of this trend is effective prefabrication, an innovative method of construction that is gaining traction across the globe. Without compromising the quality, it cuts construction waste, decreases the time needed to set things up, and eliminates toxic substances from the assembly process. Everything plays out quietly and as clean as possible, using flexible components like high-grade steel frame solutions.

Prefabrication allows materials like steel to be recycled for sustainable resource management. Furthermore, once the buildings are constructed, the removal of thermal bridges and great insulation value ensure optimal energy efficiency. All in all, prefabrication is a win-win: Companies are able to achieve greater cost-effectiveness, and sustainability is taken to the next level.

 Green and sustainable building materials

The market for green materials is expanding at a rapid pace. It includes materials made from renewable resources, as well as those that are recyclable at the end of their lifespan, manufactured with the help of eco-friendly processes, or contain salvaged, waste, and recycled components.

Concrete and steel are two of the most common building materials of today, but innovations in manufacturing processes have led to a substantial reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. There is still a long way to go before these two can become truly sustainable, but in the meantime, we can rely on solutions such as mass timber (cross-laminated timber, for instance), which can be used even for large-scale projects like skyscrapers.

Sustainable Construction

Zero net buildings

Reducing the energy and water usage in buildings is one of the main frontiers of sustainable innovation. In the US, residential and commercial buildings account for 40% of the total energy consumption in the country. The good news is that things are changing fast. Take the example of local government projects that set zero net energy goals.

They aim to capitalize on the trend called zero net building (not to be confused with passive houses), a construction that is designed to generate as much energy as it uses throughout the year. How is this possible? Well, zero net buildings, although connected to the grid, use on-site renewable energy sources such as solar photovoltaic panels to cover all energy needs or even create a surplus of juice.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - January 25, 2018 at 7:47 am

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How to Promote Eco-Awareness

There are a lot of things businesses can do to help increase the awareness about global warming. They can donate money to worthy causes in this field or organise their corporate practices in a way that reduces their carbon footprint. Probably the most important things that can be done is raising awareness about ecology and promoting responsible environmental behaviour.

This is something that can be done alongside running your business, it won’t prevent you from making a profit and it will create a stronger bond with your customers.

A green blog

A corporate blog usually has a much larger following than a private one because it’s a useful promotional tool, and there’s often a sense of community among the clients. This could be used to promote an eco-friendly message and point out the efforts made by your company.

The message should be subtle, or it at least shouldn’t overwhelm the reader right away. It should be a part of your day-to-day marketing efforts. That way, the message will carry more weight because you’ll be leading by an example.

Go paperless

Go paperless

Going paperless is a bit difficult for a business that already has a set routine because everyone will need to adapt to the change. However, paper waste is probably the biggest type of waste a business can generate, so quitting it altogether will send a powerful message to both your customers and your employees.

In the long-run, going paperless will save you a significant amount of money because everything you used to do and store on paper can be stored and organized digitally for a fraction of the price. The change should be implemented gradually in order to prevent losing any valuable data and to make it more convenient for everyone involved.

Use promotional materials

Use promotional materials

Promotional material can be used rather effectively to hammer in the point you’re trying to make. It’s used every day, by almost everyone, and it’s usually always within reach. That makes it a great tool for raising awareness about your business.

The only way to do this right is to try and be clever. For instance, using a promotional USB that warns against printing its content could be more noticeable than a paper or a card with a lecture about the importance of recycling.

Carpooling

The biggest addition to the personal carbon footprint comes from driving. That’s how our cities are structured and there’s rarely something you can do about it. Asking someone to use a bicycle or another self-powered method of transportation isn’t enough, and most employees won’t listen because it’s too inconvenient.

The best solution for this is to organize a car pool to and from work. This way the employees will save money by paying for just a portion of the ride and will reduce their carbon footprint.

Gardening and food

Green Up Your Home On a Budget

Farming and gardening usually have a devastating effect on the environment and it can be expensive to buy food from organic gardens if they are far away from your company. Since providing healthy and eco-friendly food should be the company’s responsibility, you might take an extra step and buy a local garden and grow your own food.

This could also be a great move for office productivity and morale. Having a company garden is something that will attract employees and allow them to relax and recharge their batteries when the daily tasks become too overwhelming. If this step is too radical for you, you may start with supporting local farmers and creating long-term deals with them.

Promoting eco-awareness is equally important as trying not to endanger the environment. Leading by example and explaining the importance of green businesses is just as difficult as running such a business.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - January 21, 2018 at 8:20 am

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