Climate Warming Business Opportunities

Our earth has changed its climate before, just ask the dinosaurs. The earth is a living, breathing entity and has its cycles just like every other living thing. As the earth warms up again it will affect the way business is done.

Farmers are obviously affected by the change in weather. If the summers are dryer and hotter they will need to start planting crops that can take the dryer and hotter days. Some areas will be wetter or colder and so crops will need to be adjusted accordingly.

Tourism would possibly be affected as tourists avoid too hot, too cold or too wet areas. Skiers would want to ski where there is real snow and not just on manmade snow. Swimmers would want to be where the water is cool and the sun moderate. Too hot and the children burn the bottoms of their feet.

Pharmaceutical companies could be looking at products that are currently tropical. If the earth warms and the tropical areas move towards the poles, tropical diseases will move with them. Equipment would also change as appliances would need to be efficient for the new climate. Air conditioning or heating units would need to be improved in the new climates.

Companies will need to work with coastal cities as the water level rises and starts to flood more coastal cities. As the polar ice pack erodes, the oceans of the world will enlarge all their boundaries and flood the area where the majority of the earth’s population now resides, the coasts. Moving people and homes and businesses would become big business. Whole cities would have to move up to higher ground. There would be so much catastrophic work for companies to do.

If the earth does continue to warm there will be many opportunities for companies and entrepreneurs to expand their business into new and interesting areas and to help humanity to survive, something the dinosaurs could not do.

Helping to Manage Our Earth’s Resources

Scientists continue to tell us that the earth is warming. We might not be able to fully control the temperature of the earth, but there are steps that can be taken to not accelerate global warming beyond what Mother Nature is doing on her own.

Cars emit chemicals into the air and busses and trains emit fewer per person per mile traveled. Public transport can be effective in reducing total emissions when they are utilized intelligently.

There are many different forms of renewable energy that can continue to be used. Wind power and solar power can be better used than they are today. We are already at our peak ability to use water in hydro-electric plants. They will not give us any more ability other than increasing the effectiveness of the plants and thereby having the same plant produce more power. This is happening already.

Nuclear power is clean and safe. It is not utilized with any real degree in the United States. Bringing more nuclear plants on line would allow us to burn less coal and oil which are big pollutants into the atmosphere.

Use more efficient heating and cooling systems. Insulate our homes and businesses better. Smart grids for electrical needs can make major inroads to more effective use of the resources we do have so we are not overproducing at times and under producing at others.

Keep your vehicles properly maintained. Oil changes at the right times, frequent tire pressure checks and tune ups all contribute to better performance for your car and reduce the emissions into the atmosphere. Save money and keep the air cleaner? Who could ask for more?

Houseplants are beautiful, fun to see and they help the earth. Trees and shrubs outside the home are also helpful to the environment.

We have to live on this earth. It is the only one we have and so proper management is always a good idea.

Sun, Water and Wind – Your Friends

Instead of relying on fossil fuels, each of us can create our own renewable energy sources. By having your own energy source you can save money on your energy bills. There are three kinds of renewable energy that can be implemented by individuals.

First is power from the sun. Home owners and businesses can place solar cells on the roof or back yard. Everyone can use solar cookers and do at least some of your cooking without fossil fuel. Solar lighting systems can also be easily implemented for certain areas of the home or apartment. Solar dryers can be an effective way to preserve some of the food you have grown in your garden. Solar heating systems can be implemented by homeowners and businesses.

These systems have become quite efficient and can drastically reduce or eliminate entirely the need for relying on any form of fossil fuel. Solar energy systems are low maintenance and make it easy for the owner to keep up with maintenance. Although expensive to implement, return on investment is achieved relatively quickly and solar systems will pay for themselves.

Second is power from water. Our cities and states cannot build any more hydro power plants and 90% of our current renewable energy is being provided by these facilities. Nonetheless it is possible for individuals to use streams and rivers to create some personal electricity. These are clean sources and very environmentally friendly.  And for the minimum cost of a few dollars on a prepaid credit card, people can buy rain barrels and other water saving devices.

Third is power from the wind. We are constantly building more windmills. Iowa has become known as the windmill state because of the many windmill farms that have been built over the past few years. Individuals can also put up windmills and harvest power from the wind.

As you implement any or all of these power sources into your home or business you can start saving money and also help the country break free from its reliance on fossil fuels. The sun, water and wind are truly our friends.

Sunshine on My Housetop Makes Me Happy

Solar energy is quite simply: power from the sun. How we harvest solar power can be interesting. There are many methods from simple to complex.

For centuries people have placed tea in a bottle or jug and left it out in the sun to warm the water and steep the tea. This is a simple method of using the sun to create a tasty warm drink.

Children have used magnifying glasses to concentrate the light and heat of the sun to burn their hands or start fires. Indeed one of the interesting methods being worked on now is using mirrors to reflect and concentrate the rays of the sun to create heat and power a generator.

Solar panels are photovoltaic panels which convert solar radiation directly to electricity. These are seen on homes and businesses as dark grey, almost black, panels that pivot to follow the sun. These panels are expensive to install, costing almost twice what a windmill does. However they can be implemented virtually everywhere.

Of course solar power cannot create any electricity during the night but most electricity is consumed during the day and batteries can store some power for the night. Therefore this is not a major issue for homes and businesses using solar energy.

Solar energy heats water and pools and many homes are designed with the concept of solar energy. They optimize the slant of roofs and placement of windows to catch all the winter sun and shade the summer sun. Properly built they reduce the heating requirement in the winter and the cooling requirements in the summer.

Despite all the advances in solar heating over the past few decades, solar power only represents about 1% of the power created in the United States today. Cost is the factor that is preventing the mass use of solar power. As we develop better and cheaper methods of creating power we will likely see an increase in this renewable energy source.

The Effect of Climate Change on the Economy

As climate change has reached a level that has drawn society’s attention to the need for change, it has had various effects on the economy of the country. This has been both in the tougher end and towards a more positive end as society and the world of business have had to adjust. Some industries that have been forced to make changes due to federal guidelines have felt the pinch in their bottom line, but the change, though tough now, will bring about positive results in the future. Consumers as well are starting to have to learn to live, work and use what the Earth has to offer in a much different way than we have been used in the past.

One of these changes has been to learn how to use less to accomplish daily work tasks. For instance, carpooling has now become more popular as well as the use of public transportation to save on the consumption of fossil fuels. Companies, in this case, are having to figure out new ways to transport goods from one point to another with rising fuel costs. Many retailers have started to curtail the amount of inventory that they carry down to the products that most popularly sell. This reduces what has to be shipped and raises profits in return.

New types of energy are becoming more prevalent and recycling has become more common. One area of possibility is in the realm of technology, which has allowed much of the paperwork of a business to be digitized and stored electronically. This will help to reduce the consumption of trees as long as electronic components are responsibly recycle when they run their course. Though climate change has been hard for many to adjust to, it has brought about many positive changes in our society and business world and will greatly benefit us and the environment in tandem.

The Keys to Energy Conservation

Conserving energy does not have to be a major task, but can be something that is done with small decisions each day and a few changes in behavior. For example, one simple step to take is to have items plugged into a power strip in a cubicle. This allows the individual, when done, to simply turn off the power source after everything has been properly shut down. Now, there are no items plugged in that may continue to draw a current even while off or in sleep mode. When using a surge protector, it also provides protection to electronic devices.

Another step you can take is to only lights when necessary. If your office has windows, keep the blinds open to allow in natural light for illumination. Lights that are needed for safety can be left on, but turning them off in store rooms, bathrooms and unused spaces can greatly conserve energy. Copy machines should be purchased that have an energy saver setting that puts them to sleep when they are not being used. This is also true for office equipment, such as printers, that can be kept off as well. These small steps here will bring huge savings over time.

The temperature that you keep your office at can save energy, by setting it at a comfortable level that is not too high or low for the staff. Try to only adjust it one or two degrees, as any more can bring on a greater surge of energy use by the heating system. When you leave the office for the evening, turn the temperature down significantly overnight to see even more savings. Your business can improve its energy conservation with only a few, small changes in habit and practice. The benefits will be double what you would have expected.

Shopping Practices that Help the Environment

Consumers can do their part to help the environment, simply by establishing a few new habits. With global warming and the need for energy conservation as commonly heard mantras, you can make a difference by making a few changes when you shop.

Buy New Light Bulbs

One of the simplest things that you can do is to buy a different kind of light bulb when your existing ones burn out. Compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs use much less energy than your standard light bulb. They also last longer. You don’t have to buy light bulbs as often and you will have the gratification of knowing that you are saving money and helping the environment.

Change to Purer Cleaning Supplies

Another thing you can do is to avoid purchasing cleaning products that are packed with toxic chemicals. These chemicals get flushed down the sink or the toilet. It takes energy and time to detoxify the water of these chemicals. Read product labels and choose cleaning supplies that are made with natural ingredients.

Choose Paper Over Plastic

When given the choice at the supermarket, choose paper over plastic. Plastic bags can be reused but they are not recyclable. Paper can be easily recycled. You have probably seen the images of the birds accidentally tangled up in plastic bags, unable to spread their wings. The fewer plastic bags you use, the better it will be for the environment as a whole.

Shop in an Organized Manner to Save Gas

To avoid going to the store daily, make a list and try to shop once or twice a week. You will save on fuel. If the grocery store is far from your home, set up a weekly carpool to the store with your neighbor. When shopping for a variety of items in several different stores, coordinate your trips so that you can do all of your shopping at one time. Also, shop online to save on fuel.  By visiting sites like JRDunn.com for jewelry or other online businesses, you can save money on fuel and have the items sent directly to your front door.

What Makes Furniture Green

The concept of green furniture is a new one. Most people go through life without making a connection between the couch they sit on and global warming. However, a connection exists.

Reasons to Buy Green Furniture

There are many reasons to buy green furniture. For starters, the materials from which furniture is made can be toxic to the environment. Certain materials contain chemicals. Also, many types of furniture are bulky and disposing of them just clogs up landfills. In addition, transporting furniture uses up a great deal of fuel. For all of these reasons, buying green furniture is a good idea.

Green Furniture Practices

Green furniture can fall into a variety of categories. For example, when it’s time to replace your living room set, you might visit a used furniture store to see if they have items you can reuse. This way you are not buying brand new furniture, which takes up energy to be made and uses up fuel to be transported from the manufacturer to the vendor.

Once you’ve done that, you have a decision to make about your existing living room set. If you have someone haul it off to a landfill, you are piling on more garbage in already packed landfills. A green furniture practice here would be putting an ad online to see if anyone wants to buy your living room set. It may seem like junk to you, but for a college student with limited funds, it might be exactly what he needs.

Buying Green Furniture

When buying green furniture, in addition to the used variety, you can choose from refurbished pieces. Some companies make furniture out of recycled materials. When you buy their products, you prevent excessive cutting down of trees and production of furniture from scratch. You want to also make sure that they are not creating the furniture materials with certain chemicals that pollute the environment.

When Energy Conservation Becomes the Norm

For more than a century, energy consumption has been the norm. Much of today’s older population grew up with freely available sources of energy without the pressure to constantly conserve. Talks of global warming have only come to the forefront in recent years. Previously, there was no need to prioritize energy conservation. Or, at least society did not realize the damage that was quietly occurring. Now that more information exists and scientists and the global climate are increasingly confirming the need to conserve and engage in green practices, making energy conservation the norm is the best plan of action.

Conserving Energy in Your Home

Saving energy in your home has multiple benefits. It lowers your utility bill, lowers greenhouse emissions and conserves valuable natural resources. Some suggestions for energy conservation in the home are obvious. Turn off the lights when leaving a room. Do not run your dishwasher when it is only partially full. Run full loads on your washing machine to save both energy and water.

Other suggestions involve more thought and action. Make sure that your home is well-insulated. If you are not using your entire house while sitting in the family room, close the doors and vents to the other rooms. You won’t have to heat your entire home that way.

Energy Conservation at Work

Some of these same recommendations apply in your work environment. If you work in an office, be sure to turn off lights when leaving. Unplug all electronic devices when you are not using them. When it comes to commuting to work, consider carpooling to save on gas. If public transportation is available, you might get in the habit of leaving the car at home and taking the bus or train.

Conserving energy in the home and at work is important and requires developing new habits. These habits can be established gradually. Just commit to one change and gradually develop other new energy-saving habits.

Green Means “Go!” in Sacramento, California

Sacramento, California’s favorite color is green! It shouldn’t be a surprise, especially to homeowners. Sacramento property management today is emphasizing the home market from an environmentally friendly perspective. However, it’s not just to benefit the Earth; really, it’s to benefit the wallets and bank accounts of future home buyers! The truth is “green” building–if done in the right ways–can actually save you money. These days, advancements in alternative options for home building, in the long run, can cut down on energy bills, improve the longevity of materials, put money back into the pockets of the public, and a wealth of other hidden benefits that some property management owners might not even anticipate. Indeed, the future is colored green for many cities–not just Sacramento.

One specific management company has been taking a serious active role in green building: Riverside Property Management. Their web pamphlets and frequent concerns with city permits are the number-one headline these days, as they continually discuss the situations with developers to better create a smooth ride in the process of home buying. That means less headaches for prospective homeowners who might have to deal with the stress of inspections and the like. Some other methods of home building that are being used are as follows: fluorescent as opposed to incandescent lighting, low-VOC or lead-free paint, denim insulation, reclaimed materials such as lumber and steel, more energy-efficient appliances, renewable materials such as bamboo, and solar energy options. The list goes on and on.

Do your research and learn about the many ways to make your home green, too! Years ago, these options hardly existed; and while many alternatives can be costly, you ultimately save loads of cash through the shrinking utility bills and quality of life inside the home. Clearly, Sacramento and many other cities are on the right path–a path paved with green.

How Photovoltaic Technology Can Help Your Business

Photovoltaic technology is a term thrown around by scientists, a term that can be intimidating to the average individual. In its simplest sense, this technology takes sunlight and converts it into electricity. Photovoltaic technology has powered anything from space satellites to wristwatches.

Install Solar Panels on Your Commercial Building

If you want to make the most of the sun in powering your small or large commercial building, you might consider installing solar panels. To power a small office building you will need about 20 or more solar panels. Experts who install these panels know that they should be installed on the south side of your building to harness the sun’s energy. There are also devices that track the movement of the sun, increasing the amount of sunlight captured. If you have a very large commercial building, you will probably need hundreds of solar panels.

The Benefits of Powering Your Office With Solar Panels

Installing solar panels that convert the sun’s energy into electricity saves you money. Of course, this type of energy usage makes the most sense if you are geographically located in a sunny region. Through using solar power as an electricity source, you have the satisfaction of knowing that you are not polluting the planet. When using power sources requiring oil, there are the issues of greenhouse gases and potential oil spills. Using the sun alleviates all of those concerns.

Consumers who use solar power also note that they must deal with lower levels of maintenance. Once the solar panels are installed, there are no electrical wires or parts requiring maintenance. In addition, if your office is located in a remote location, you don’t have to be concerned with running electrical wires to connect with a central grid.

Using photovoltaic technology to power your business is smart and good for the environment. A commercial building that conserves energy is also attractive to buyers should you decide to sell one day.

Global Warming and the Increase in Green Jobs

Society’s understanding of global warming is increasing daily. Concepts that once sounded exaggerated or far off into the future are becoming more real. Many individuals and businesses understand that the actions of human beings can have a significant effect on the health and future of the Earth. As governments pump more money into green initiatives, the financial incentives increase to change habits and behaviors. Individuals and businesses have already started to implement new ways of doing things. One of the outcomes of this change is an increase in the number of green jobs available for applicants.

More Jobs in Recycling

Recycling centers have seen an increase in the number of employees. As more individuals develop recycling habits, larger numbers of bottles, cans and plastic containers have to be sorted. It takes manpower to do the sorting. More drivers are also needed to pick up the recyclables. Administrators are needed to coordinate these activities.

The Driver as a Green Worker

Jobs that have existed for decades are suddenly considered green jobs. As societies realize the impact of global warming and the need to conserve energy, more turn to public transportation, leaving their cars behind. The increasing cost of gasoline is driving individual drivers to turn to trains, buses and shuttle vans as a way of commuting to work daily. Drivers are needed to transport these individuals.

The HVAC Man Goes Green

Even the people who work on your heating and air conditioning units may be called green workers. These technicians need to be aware of ways to conserve energy. Through proper installation of equipment, regular monitoring, using the right fluids and taking other heat-conserving measures, these employees now work in the green industry.

The various categories of green jobs are numerous. The trend for the future in many industries will be to hire conscientious individuals who understand the importance of energy conservation and have the skills and knowledge to implement energy-saving practices.

Green Business Issue: Who Feels the Effects of High Gas Prices And What Can Be Done?

All you have to do is take a drive or walk by one of the nearest gas stations to realize that gas prices are skyrocketing through the roof. These high prices are causing many companies to consider greener alternatives to using traditional gas and oil. However, not every business has the luxury of being able to switch to a completely green fleet of cars or stop using oil and gas completely. Due to the high gas prices someone, somewhere has to feel the effects of these skyrocketing prices.

Here is a look at who feels the effects of high gas prices.

Customers. The customers will notice the effects of the gas prices immediately. Businesses have started charging higher delivery rates or even limiting their delivery area to an even smaller area. Even businesses that do not charge a delivery rate are considering charging for the cost of goods to be shipped to them.

Businesses. Businesses are also feeling the effects of higher gas prices. They are feeling the pressure from customers to either cut back costs or eat the delivery charges. This can drastically cut into a businesses overall revenue that they are producing. It also causes many businesses to have to make a lot of tough decisions such as what to charge and what not to charge.

With all these high prices of gas effecting so many people what can be done to reduce the effects of gas prices? Here are two solutions for the gas price situation.

Combine Deliveries. Companies can work together to combine their deliveries. This works almost like a carpooling for businesses. They can hit the same amounts of area but not have to incur the high cost of gas.

Change out Fleets. This is an expensive decision but the decision to change out the fleet of trucks or cars to a hybrid option will really save on gas prices. These cars and trucks use less gas and therefore will cost less to fuel.1

Quick Fact Sheet: A Look at Wind Power

You may have noticed that there are more and more large scaled wind mills and wind turbines popping up all over the place. People and businesses are looking for more energy efficient ways to use electricity and wind power is one of the most efficient means of producing energy for both personal and business use. However, because it is so recently developed not many people know the facts about wind power.

Here is a look at some of the facts regarding wind power.

Different Types. Depending upon the use of the energy there are different types of wind power out there that will be used. Wind turbines make electricity, wind mills make mechanical power, wind pump produce energy to pump water and the most basic type is the sail for ships and power.

Alternative to Fossil Fuel. Wind energy is a renewable, clean and safe alternative to fossil fuels. Many people are making the switch to wind energy because of its lack of environmental effects on the environment.

A non-dispatchable power. Wind energy is a non-dispatchable power. This means that all energy that is created using a wind turbine must be consumed at that moment and it cannot be stored in a power grid of any type. This requires that occasionally the wind turbine be backed up with other forms of power such as solar panels to create a storable power source.

Transportation Issues. Wind turbines have been known to work in areas. However, the issue of transporting that energy over a large amount of space has not be completely solved. There are still issues dispensing wind energy to a large area of land.

Countries that Use Wind Energy. Almost every country on the planet Earth uses some type of wind energy. However, the European Nations are number one in consumers and producers of wind energy. With the United States and India as numbers two and three.

The High Cost of Going Green

There are TV commercials, government agencies and wonderful incentives that are put into place to encourage companies to make the switch to a greener business structure. While it might sound as if going green is as easy as just making a few changes and your company is “green”, it is not that easy. For a majority of the greener renovations and changes it can really end up costing a company a pretty penny to make the switch.

Here is a look at some of the costs that are associated with making a complete green makeover of a business.

Completely Changing Out Technology. A lot of the technology that is out there is more energy efficient then the previous models. For a company to have a complete green makeover they would need to change out these energy wasting appliances and technology forms and switch them to greener alternatives. This can be very costly especially if the appliances and items were recently purchased and are still in good working order.

Complete Renovations. If a company is making the switch to a more energy efficient means it could require that the whole building undergo complete renovations. Companies may have to completely rewire the offices and parts of the building, they may have to build on existing structures or take down certain parts of the building to make it more “Green” friendly. Renovations can be costly. They can range from a couple hundred dollars for a simple project to thousands of dollars for the more expensive projects.

While it might seem as if going green would be a simple process for businesses it can be a tough decision for them to make. Many companies have to budget out going green and are not able to make the switch right away. The high cost associated with going green is why experts recommend that business “Go green” in phases, so that the cost is spread out over time.

How Global Warming Created a Niche Market for Businesses

Global warming is all over the news, in the papers and in almost every place that a consumer goes nowadays. There are talks of how people need to adapt greener energy policies, use greener products and a number of other items in an order to be environmentally safe and happy. With this massive emphasis a new niche market has developed known as the “green” market or the environmentally safe market.

Businesses all over the world have sprouted up in order to take advantage of the demand for greener, environmentally safe products. There is a whole demand for product lines and products that cater to this type of consumer. People want to feel as if they are doing their part to reduce the effects of global warming on the globe and one of the easiest ways to do this is to switch to greener products.

Companies and businesses that develop green products such as greener cleaning products, solar panels, wind turbines and energy efficient products are doing extremely well during this period of time. In fact, energy efficient and green products have taken over almost half the business market. The reason being that people are fanatically about making the switch to these greener products, they really want to make an effort to change their ways and habits. By switching to greener products this is a way to make these consumers feel as if they are switching to a greener safer product.

Businesses that once produced less energy efficient products or “non”-green products are beginning to see the demand for this type of product. Companies that produced the same type of product for decades are now making the switch to the greener market by developing “green” lines of products.

While global warming might be effecting some types of businesses it has created a whole new market for others. Considering that the “green” business has profited over two billion dollars this market is a very lucrative one too.