The Case for Permeable Paving

Over the years, paving, decking, patios and outside garden improvements of this ilk have become a more and more common component of the home. As driveways have become a must for many around the world, a notable decline of front gardens has been observed. This trend shows no signs of abating and everybody seems to be trying to find a balance between greenery and paving. So, why?

Paving is indisputably a practical and efficient home improvement. The popularity of paving, decking and installing patios should not come as a surprise as it benefits a property in several ways. They’re cleaner looking, require less all-round maintenance, provide easy access to and from the house and can look stunning in the process. But paving isn’t always the right decision and what is in the best interest for your home and the surrounding areas needs to be considered beforehand. There is, however, one outstanding paving system that comes with only positives. Permeable paving is the future and here is why.

Permeable Paving – What is it?

Permeable paving is a paving system designed to enable the passage of water through the surface and out below. It has larger gaps between blocks than traditional block paving so that water does not get clogged and instead finds its way into the soil or a specially constructed sub-base underneath where it is then slowly released.

Permeable paving is otherwise like all other driveway or garden paving systems, it doesn’t sacrifice stability or durability but additionally provides natural drainage which some paving systems do not have. It comes in a range of paving options for whether you want the appearance of traditional paved stone driveway but the pros of permeable paving. Alternatively, you may prefer to keep the green aesthetics of a garden but require the stability of a driveway. Either way, permeable paving is the solution.

A Safe Paving Option – Reducing the Risks of Flooding

10m² Car Park Driveway Plastic Grids Grass and Gravel Porous Paving

Whilst paving can be a wonderful feature, some paving systems prohibit water from soaking up naturally like a traditional lawn. Solid, watertight surfaces are fantastically secure and durable but they instigate water build up due to their impenetrability. This means that water doesn’t drain but instead builds up in surrounding roads and gorges and thereby provoking flash flooding. Existing drainage systems are unable to cope and excess water either builds up around your home or is directed elsewhere potentially damaging a neighbor's home.

Of course, with cars and parking spaces a necessity for many, driveways are an inevitable requirement. A front lawn just sometimes isn’t the most practical option for homeowners around the world. But this isn’t a one or the other situation. Permeable paving offers a paving system that has the benefit of both a driveway and the sustainable permeability of a front lawn.

A Sustainable Paving Option – Environmentally Friendly

Letting excess water drain away naturally to be soaked up by the soil in a controlled manner makes permeable paving by far the most environmentally friendly and sustainable paving choice to the extent that some flood-prone countries now insist on this home improvement.

Homes and areas that are unprepared can be bad for the environment. Rain that gathers doesn’t just present a problem for drainage but it is often being directed back to rivers and streams that are unable to cope with such an excess. Consequently, these streams are damaged and river banks collapse. Even if drains look to be doing a good job, often your drainage system is carrying rainwater towards the sewers which then sometimes overflow into rivers and have the same negative impact.

Urban heat island effect is another problem caused by ill-equipped houses. Local temperatures rise because less water evaporates. All of these problems find their solution in permeable paving. It is environmentally friendly, safer for urban areas and as practical and efficient.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - December 23, 2016 at 10:41 am

Categories: Eco Friendly, Eco Home   Tags:

How Does Green Boiler Technology Affect The Environment?

The massive impact of fossil fuel heating systems on the environment continually draws a lot of worldwide attention. Considering that heating is one of the world’s highest energy consumption sources, there is more focus on making positive, sustainable changes to how it is produced. Green boiler technology is fast becoming a great solution for those seeking to reduce their carbon footprint.

With the options for green boilers increasing daily, questions are also being raised about their environmental impact. While green boilers are more energy efficient and acceptable as an alternative option for heating, they still contribute to global warming.

Different Types of Green Boilers

Today, there are two main types of green boilers used in homes and businesses: biomass boilers and condensing boilers. Each of these operates in completely different ways to reduce your carbon footprint.

Biomass Boilers

Biomass boilers operate by burning wood and other renewable organic materials to produce heat. Unlike old wood burning stoves and fireplaces, modern biomass burning stoves are more efficient for water heating needs. There are automatic biomass boilers that control the amount of air and fuel that is used, making them even more efficient. To keep this boiler running, owners will need ample space to store the boiler, along with wood or logs for heating purposes.

Condensing Boilers

Condensing boilers are fuelled by gas or oil. What makes these boilers different, is that they reuse heat from the initial burning process to preheat the water entering the boiler. Heat is recovered from the combustion process as water vapor is condensed into liquid, making the process more efficient. Unlike standard boilers, they come in various sizes that can fit into different locales and only require regular maintenance. Many buildings are switching from old gas boilers to condensing boilers due to their practicality.

Environmental Impact of Biomass Boilers

The burning of wood and other biomass fuels produces carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide emissions (CO2 and NO2). The carbon produced is usually the same amount as what is absorbed by a plant during its entire lifetime. While these emissions may be negligible, a faulty burning process in your boiler or a wrong setup may result in more emissions of carbon monoxide (CO), volatile organic gases, benzene, and other toxic substances.

Dimplex Cadiz Eco 3 KW Electric Oil Free Radiator with Electronic Climate Control

With proper use of biomass boilers, the ash waste is usually harmless and can be used as compost. Ensuring that green boilers are serviced regularly and operate under the manufacturer's guidelines is crucial, so that emissions remain harmless and the boiler operates at optimal capacity.

Environmental Impact of Condensing Boilers

Considering that heating oil and natural gas from condensing boilers are fossil fuels, they still contribute to environmental pollution. Although the CO2 emissions are most common with gas boilers, a faulty heating system may further produce carbon monoxide and present a major health hazard. For oil boilers, there is potential water contamination with leakages as well as gas emissions. In recent years, heating oil used in green boilers has been blended with other biofuels, like biodiesel, to create a cleaner energy source.

Making the Switch to Green Boiler Technology

There is a lot that goes into deciding what type of boiler is needed in a building. When making a switch, different factors have to be considered, like the size of the boiler, its cost, energy efficiency rating, availability of heating fuel, and its impact on the environment. There is no doubt that green boiler technology saves energy and leaves a smaller environmental footprint than older boilers.

Why Is Green Boiler Technology Better?

Experts in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning industry (HVAC) have to deal with constantly changing technology. With green technology popularity higher than ever, it's important to understand how new options are changing the industry and why this technology is the better option for heating.

  • Reduced emissions—Green boilers make it easier for HVAC experts to abide by emission guidelines. These boilers are engineered under strict energy efficiency measures to protect both the end user and the environment.
  • Highly efficient—Modern technology used for manufacturing green boilers helps minimize heat loss and improve heat transfer. That ensures that businesses get the most out of their boiler systems.
  • Maximum fuel-cost savings—Green boilers use less fuel to do the same amount of work as old boilers; this is of huge benefit to many businesses. Eco-friendly boilers produce the same power while reducing spending on fuel over the long term.
  • Smart design and innovation—With great improvements in design and engineering, modern boilers are produced smaller in size and developed with green technology in mind. That means less installation space in facilities and streamlined operation.

Is Green Boiler Technology Sustainable?

Just like other sustainable technologies, green boilers will remain a sustainable heating option. As more businesses opt for this technology, ensuring the reliability and efficiency of installed systems is a major priority for HVAC professionals. The boilers have to be regularly inspected and checked at least annually to ensure optimal efficiency.

The HVAC industry has quickly adapted to green technology, leading to the production of more efficient equipment that uses less energy. This is a major step for sustainable energy that helps protect the environment.


Kathleen Williams is an HVAC repair and installation expert and freelance writer from Orange County, CA. She has gained extensive experience and skills offering sustainable heating solutions to households and businesses in the area, working with one of the premier industrial boiler repair companies around.

The Biomass Revolution

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Posted by Eco Warrior - December 23, 2016 at 10:18 am

Categories: Eco Home, Energy   Tags:

Green home building

Green home building is no longer just a trend. More than half of all U.S. builders report implementing green construction in a significant percentage of their new homes. It is projected that by 2020 more than 51 percent of builders expect at least 60 percent of their new homes to qualify as green. Eco-friendly home building is rapidly approaching the tipping point toward being mainstream. The following infographic shows eco-friendly building features.

Eco Homes Of The World

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Posted by Eco Warrior - December 17, 2016 at 7:57 am

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Environmentally Friendly Sauna Bathing

The many benefits of a sauna provide great motivation for having one built into your home. Saunas relieve stress, relax muscles, flush toxins, and cleanse the skin. Additionally, they can be a great way to start or end your day. What is even better is that there are steps that can be taken to build an environmentally friendly sauna bath. The key to building such a sauna is to maximize energy efficiency. This will minimize the eco-print left by your sauna. The foundation will be laid by how the sauna is built. Which heater is selected and proper maintenance will also ensure that your sauna is environmentally friendly for years to come!

Building The Sauna

How the sauna is built is the first key to an environmentally friendly sauna bath. This includes insulation, ventilation, materials, and the size of the sauna. The higher quality of insulation used, the less energy output that will be required to heat the sauna. This will also keep your home in good condition. Good ventilation will keep the sauna itself, especially any wood work, in better condition. The ventilation will also provide sauna bathers with fresh air that breathes easy. Done correctly, a good ventilation system will maximize energy efficiency.

It is worth taking a little time to discuss the materials used to build the sauna. There are different wood species and other materials that can be used in your sauna. Stones have the tendency to hold more heat so they can be a great way to maximize energy efficiency. Not only should you pay attention to moisture resistance, heating properties, and other qualities, but the materials also play a significant role in how your sauna looks. Enjoy the process of selecting great looking materials for your new sauna!

Lastly, consider the size of the sauna. The more people that may use the sauna at once will require a larger sauna. The larger the sauna the more space that will be required and the larger the space the more energy that will be required to heat the sauna. All these factors should be considered while building an environmentally friendly sauna.

The Heater

The next key to an eco-friendly sauna is the heater. First, the decision must be made between an electric heater or fire. Which one will fit your sauna needs better and which one would you enjoy more? Next, the size of your heater will be crucial to heating your space and meeting the necessary energy output. Also, depending on what materials you chose to build your sauna could influence how much energy the heater needs to put out. Lastly, be sure that the heater will be able to handle its workload well. For example, if you intend to use the sauna often be sure the heater can always be ready to be used for bathing.

Sauna Bathing

Sauna Relax (Wellness Music)

When actually taking a sauna bath it will be more efficient if more than one person baths at the same time. This way the heater is not left on as people cycle through the sauna. Be sure to keep the heat at a reasonable level not only for health and safety reasons but also to keep energy use in check. If you build a sauna with a window be sure to keep it closed while the sauna is running, otherwise the heat will escape requiring more energy to heat the sauna. Finally, if you use wood in your sauna be sure that the wood dries properly after each bath. This will extend the life of the wood. It is usually not necessary to keep the heater on after the bath. The after-heat from the bath is usually enough to dry the wood and the room.

Maintenance

Keep in mind what it will take maintain your sauna to maximize energy efficiency. If wood is used in the sauna, oils will be needed to take care of the wood. If stones were placed in the sauna, the stones may need to be rearranged periodically as they tend to settle over time. Also, be sure to read about how to take care of your heater. Does anything need replaced periodically? When does the heater need to be replaced? These tasks and questions should be taken care of to ensure a long life for your sauna and continued energy efficiency to maximize your enjoyment with the sauna while minimizing its impact on the environment.

A Green Sauna

Saunas can be great ways to relax and take care of your body. There are even ways to minimize its effect on the wonderful world we live in. By building the sauna efficiently, selecting an appropriate heater, and with good maintenance, you can make sure that your sauna will last and provide a great accessory to your home!


This article was written by Sam Socorro from Steam And Shower UK. She has over 10 years’ experience in writing health related topics and specializes in the health benefits of saunas and hydrotherapy.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - December 17, 2016 at 7:09 am

Categories: Eco Home   Tags:

How to Clean Your Bathroom…Naturally

More than 150 chemicals found in your home are connected to allergies, birth defects, cancer and physiological disorders. A majority of these chemicals are used in everyday bathroom cleaning. There are many DIY “recipes” that combine natural household ingredients to create a natural cleaning solution. For example you can combine a grapefruit and salt to create a tub cleaner. The following slideshow displays different recipes and methods for cleaning your bathroom without using harmful chemicals. Try these methods to help clean your house without harming your health or the environment.

How to Clean Your Bathroom…Naturally by Modern Bathroom, a company that offers sinks, vanities, and bathroom faucets.

DIY Cleaning Products: 50 Homemade Cleaning Products for Your Home That You Can Make on Any Budget: (Kitchen Cleaner, Bathroom Disinfectant, Laundry Detergent, … Organizing, Organic Cleaning Products)

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Posted by Eco Warrior - December 14, 2016 at 7:38 am

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This Christmas season, help defend the world’s rainforests

This Christmas, the Rainforest Foundation is asking for your help to protect the world's rainforests, by putting indigenous people at the heart of conservation efforts in the Congo Basin.

Indigenous communities have lived in Africa’s Congo Basin region for over 50,000 years. They are the forest’s natural guardians. Yet they are being routinely evicted from their traditional lands to make way for ‘protected areas’, endangering not only their livelihoods but also the forest’s biodiversity.

In the Tumba Lediima Reserve, a protected area in the Democratic Republic of Congo, around two hundred forest communities have found their livelihoods threatened. Living in fear of being beaten by eco-guards and unable to access the forest resources they need to survive has left some communities on the brink of starvation.

Evidence from around the world is showing that where indigenous peoples have been granted secure rights to their customary lands, rainforests are thriving. Their unparalleled ecological knowledge and traditional livelihoods are strongly linked to sustainable rainforest conservation.

Please click here to support their Christmas Appeal and help indigenous peoples shape the future conservation of the rainforests that they call home.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - December 13, 2016 at 12:55 pm

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Have yourself an ethical Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner, Ethical Consumer has put together their palm oil-free Christmas guide.

They have created a list of palm oil-free brands and brands that only contain certified sustainable or organic palm oil.

Their list includes:

  • Mince Pies
  • Boxes of Chocolates
  • Biscuits
  • Supermarkets

See the palm oil-free Christmas guide.

Places to Buy

You can buy palm oil-free produce directly from their product guides.

For example, in our guide to boxes of chocolates you can find direct links to buy Booja Booja vegan chocolate, Divine, Seed & Bean and a selection of other fair trade options.

Veggie Christmas

Check out our recently updated guide to meat-free brands. We list a number of vegetarian and vegan companies making meat-free products, perfect for your Christmas spread.

Happy ethical shopping!

Recycling Christmas Cards: Eco Craft Projects and Ideas to Repurpose Holiday Cards

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Posted by Eco Warrior - December 9, 2016 at 10:19 am

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Solar energy and sustainability: why it is important?

Right now the world is still dependent on fossil fuels, because it is the most common energy source. But, since the usage of fossil fuels is the main cause of the greenhouse effect as well as global warming, there is an undeniable need to use alternative energy sources to generate electricity, such as solar power. And the benefits of using solar energy go way beyond reducing carbon emissions. So we, LEDwatcher team, offer you a look at the primary reasons why solar energy is so beneficial and important to sustainability and to humankind.

Solar power provides long-term energy certainty

Solar energy, unlike other energy sources, is basically inexhaustible. Fossil fuel reserves are running dangerously low, and soon they will dry up all together. But solar energy provides long-term energy certainty, because photo-voltaic cells collect sunlight to generate electricity. So the only resource used in electricity generation process with solar panels is sunlight, and, as long as the sun is shining, we will be able to produce clean, green energy from its light.

Solar energy is beneficial to the environment

The environmental impact from solar energy is also very low. First of all, it is considered the greenest and cleanest energy, because neither generation or consumption of it crates any carbon dioxide or other exhaust gases. This means that solar energy is in no way responsible for global warming or the greenhouse effect, which are two of the biggest environmental concerns right now. Second of all, solar energy is also considered much safer to humans and the environment, because it is lot easier to make and transport, without causing any natural disasters. Oil transportation can cause spillages from tankers, coal mining can lead to landslides in mines and oil drilling is prone to fires on drilling rings. But the only thing the mining of solar energy can cause is a bit of CO2 emission during the transportation of the solar panels. So solar power is still far less dangerous to the environment. Beside the positive impacts of solar energy on the environment and our life quality far outweigh the negative, making solar power the best alternative energy option.Solar Panels

Solar energy infrastructure prevents destruction of land and habitat

Usage of solar energy can also prevent destruction of land and habitat. Inevitably ecosystems are be destroyed to mine raw materials like fossil fuels or generate nuclear power. Trees are cut down, swamps are dried up and other habitats are destroyed to make room for factories, mines and power plants. But with solar farms, that is not the case. Yes, solar facilities still have to put up solar panels, which will cause loss of habitat, however, it is on far less destructive scale, because solar panels are simply placed on top of the land, not drilled into it or built above it. And since, many solar companies are striving to use only otherwise unusable and inhabitable land for their solar panel farms, like deserts or disaster sites, solar industry might even make use of land that previously was without a purpose.

Solar energy is a safe and clean alternative to other power sources

Plug-In Solar 4kW (4000W) DIY Solar Power Kit with Roof Mount (Tile or Slate)

Plug-In Solar 4kW (4000W) DIY Solar Power Kit with Roof Mount

Solar energy can also fully replace other power sources and be a clean and safe energy alternative. Fossil and nuclear energy, which are two of the most common power sources right now, cause all kinds of environmental problems. Electricity generation from fossil fuels cause air pollution, which can result in acid rain, greenhouse effect and other serious changes in the environment. And nuclear power pollutes water and land, as well as poses a threat of another nuclear disaster. But solar power doesn’t cause any pollution, at least not in the electricity generation stage, so after the panels are manufactured and set up, they provide fully clean energy for years to come.

Solar power fights against climate change

Finally, solar power can also prevent global warming, which is probably the most dangerous environmental problem of this time. Global warming causes increase in the average temperature, and these changes lead to hurricanes, melting of polar ice caps, extinction of wildlife habitats, increasing of sea level among other problems. And, since carbon dioxide emissions, which are created by using fossil fuels as energy sources, are the main cause for global warming, solar energy could be the force that stops or at least slows down climate change and global warming.

The fight against pollution and climate change caused by the non-renewable energy industry is and will continue to be a difficult one, because people are not willing to sacrifice their old way of life in the name of sustainability. But solar power could really make a difference, because it is green, clean and sustainable source of energy. And with solar technologies evolving each year, solar power is also becoming more available to anyone, which is why everyone should consider to take a chance and try going solar.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - December 6, 2016 at 2:03 pm

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Christmas Food Waste

Christmas – a time packed full of delicious foods and indulgence, but unfortunately also a time of huge food waste.

Food waste is a major problem around the world. Current estimates put global food waste between one-third and one-half of all food that is produced – and Christmas is no exception.

We often end up cooking for 20, even if there’s just 8 of us! And this means we end up with leftovers that we tend to throw away. In fact, UK households throw away the equivalent to 4.2 million dinners on Christmas Day.

The festive season is naturally a time when we indulge with our family and friends but throwing away 4.2 million of perfectly good Christmas dinners is a staggering waste. It would take the average family nearly 4 days to eat all of their food bought just for Christmas day.

Food waste is not just a moral issue, it’s an environmental issue too. Research from Love Food Hate Waste provides food for thought. It suggests that if we all stop wasting food that could have been eaten, the benefit to the planet would be the equivalent to taking 1 in 4 cars off the road.

Let's make sure this Christmas isn’t a wasteful one!

Christmas Food Waste

Infographic byeC02Greetings

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Posted by Eco Warrior - December 5, 2016 at 1:57 pm

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Discover Wales’ Snowdonian Rainforest for Yourself

Think rainforests and Wales doesn't necessarily come to mind. But the small yet perfectly formed nation has a stunning rainforest all of its own, and now Wales' magnificent Celtic rainforest is ready to welcome visitors  aboard.

Snowdonia's lovely rainforest is ten thousand years old, named Coed Felinrhyd in the 1100s and long a mysterious, magical place. Dating back to the end of the last ice age, it is already gaining a reputation as one of Britain's most unique ecosystems.

Best Walks in North Wales: Twenty-eight of the Finest Circular Walks in North Wales: Covering the Isle of Anglesey, Ileyn Peninsula, Northern ... ... Northern Snowdonia and Northeast Wales

Best Walks in North Wales

Head for the lovely little village of Maentwrog to find the pristine 221 acre forest, a place rich in unusual and rare plants and animals, many of which you can't find anywhere else. While it might look totally different from a tropical rainforest at first glance, much the same processes go on behind the scenes. The geography of the area has played a vital part in the forest's development, thanks to its unusual setting in a sheltered gorge. The countless streams and waterfalls that dot the woodland have also contributed to its unique ecosystem. The oak canopy makes things nicely humid, and the nasty Snowdonian frosts and powerful prevailing westerlies are kept at bay.

All this, and its sheer remoteness, means that the wood hasn't really changed for the past ten thousand years. And it shows. This place looks totally unlike any other forest you'll find in Wales, if not the whole of Britain. Take the tree lungwort, for example, which thrives there, a gorgeous and very rare lichen only found in a few remote areas of Britain these days.

The forest was bought by the Woodland Trust in 2015. Before then it was going to rack and ruin, seriously , endangered by invading rhododendrons and conifers. Since then, the Trust has been busy thinning the trees to allow native species the space they need to thrive. In fact you can already see the oak woodland growing back and the invaders retreating.

Best of all, the project has also created an awesome two and a half mile trail which they hope will encourage more people to explore the rainforest. If that floats your boat, head for Snowdonia and discover a natural landscape you'll never forget.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - December 4, 2016 at 7:25 am

Categories: Conservation   Tags:

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