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5 Green Considerations When Buying a New Car

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Purchasing a car a can be a big deal in general. Purchasing a car that is brand new adds more logistics to the equation, such as a much higher price, different insurance options, different guarantees that come from the manufacturer or the dealer, and so on. And then add to that the fact that you want your next car purchase to be environmentally sound, to be as green as possible – and you have some things to think about.

Five things to consider specifically when it comes to wanting to purchase a new green car for your green living goal include thinking about what ‘new’ means in terms of technology, reading up on electric vs. gas powered engines, researching emissions technology, thinking holistically about your purchase, and being prepared to budget more in order to pay for a truly high-quality vehicle.

Think Of What “New” Means

Purchasing a new car can mean a few different things. It can mean that the car has never been owned before, or that it has been driven very little, or that it is made up of new parts. And in terms of making a green decision, what you’re going to be looking at for a new car is one that is made up of new parts, and specifically, make out of parts that have been produced with new, green technology, and that operate in a green manner – i.e. are energy efficient and produce the least amount of pollutants and waste as possible. Even new cars that are not necessarily considered ‘green’ offhand are far more environmentally conscious than older cars of even a decade or so.

Read Up On Electric Vs. Gas Powered

A big part of the green revolution centers on the argument pitting electricity vs. gas engine types. Gas-powered cars produce a tremendous amount of carbon dioxide, which is the antithetical of thinking green when it comes to owning a vehicle. But, because electric power is still in its relatively early stages, there are some issues with charging stations, power failures, and long-term upkeep.

So, whereas you might immediately think that electric is the way to go for the greenest decision possible, it still makes sense for you to look into the pros and cons of each at this stage of human technology so that you make a decision with your head instead of your heart and predispositions that you have toward one idea or another that isn’t necessarily backed by facts.

Research Emissions Technology

As an environmentalist interested in going green as much as possible, when was the last time that you read about emissions technology in cars? And not necessarily about the difference between gas and electric motors, but in emissions technology itself? Do you know the function of a catalytic converter? Do you know what is being tested for when your car gets its emissions checked? How much has that technology improved over the years? The thing about being green is that it isn’t just about ‘doing green things,’ it’s also about knowing what is behind the green movement.

Think Holistically

Thinking holistically about green car purchases is important as well. When you head to a Ford dealership in Florida, for example, to get a new vehicle, remember that all of the parts in this new car had to be machined somewhere, had to be shipped from somewhere, and had to be worked on somewhere, and at each stage, more resources are used. The car didn’t grow up from the Florida soil!

Be Prepared To Budget More

And finally, it’s important to recognize the cost of being green, especially with regard to cars right now. Plan on budgeting a bit more than you would for a typical car, as it does cost extra to help protect the planet.

Energy

7 New Technologies That Could Radically Change Our Energy Consumption

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Energy Consumption
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Syda Productions | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/dolgachov

Most of our focus on technological development to lessen our environmental impact has been focused on cleaner, more efficient methods of generating electricity. The cost of solar energy production, for example, is slated to fall more than 75 percent between 2010 and 2020.

This is a massive step forward, and it’s good that engineers and researchers are working for even more advancements in this area. But what about technologies that reduce the amount of energy we demand in the first place?

Though it doesn’t get as much attention in the press, we’re making tremendous progress in this area, too.

New Technologies to Watch

These are some of the top emerging technologies that have the power to reduce our energy demands:

  1. Self-driving cars. Self-driving cars are still in development, but they’re already being hailed as potential ways to eliminate a number of problems on the road, including the epidemic of distracted driving ironically driven by other new technologies. However, even autonomous vehicle proponents often miss the tremendous energy savings that self-driving cars could have on the world. With a fleet of autonomous vehicles at our beck and call, consumers will spend less time driving themselves and more time carpooling, dramatically reducing overall fuel consumption once it’s fully adopted.
  2. Magnetocaloric tech. The magnetocaloric effect isn’t exactly new—it was actually discovered in 1881—but it’s only recently being studied and applied to commercial appliances. Essentially, this technology relies on changing magnetic fields to produce a cooling effect, which could be used in refrigerators and air conditioners to significantly reduce the amount of electricity required.
  3. New types of insulation. Insulation is the best asset we have to keep our homes thermoregulated; they keep cold or warm air in (depending on the season) and keep warm or cold air out (again, depending on the season). New insulation technology has the power to improve this efficiency many times over, decreasing our need for heating and cooling entirely. For example, some new automated sealing technologies can seal gaps between 0.5 inches wide and the width of a human hair.
  4. Better lights. Fluorescent bulbs were a dramatic improvement over incandescent bulbs, and LEDs were a dramatic improvement over fluorescent bulbs—but the improvements may not end there. Scientists are currently researching even better types of light bulbs, and more efficient applications of LEDs while they’re at it.
  5. Better heat pumps. Heat pumps are built to transfer heat from one location to another, and can be used to efficiently manage temperatures—keeping homes warm while requiring less energy expenditure. For example, some heat pumps are built for residential heating and cooling, while others are being used to make more efficient appliances, like dryers.
  6. The internet of things. The internet of things and “smart” devices is another development that can significantly reduce our energy demands. For example, “smart” windows may be able to respond dynamically to changing light conditions to heat or cool the house more efficiently, and “smart” refrigerators may be able to respond dynamically to new conditions. There are several reasons for this improvement. First, smart devices automate things, so it’s easier to control your energy consumption. Second, they track your consumption patterns, so it’s easier to conceptualize your impact. Third, they’re often designed with efficiency in mind from the beginning, reducing energy demands, even without the high-tech interfaces.
  7. Machine learning. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have the power to improve almost every other item on this list. By studying consumer patterns and recommending new strategies, or automatically controlling certain features, machine learning algorithms have the power to fundamentally change how we use energy in our homes and businesses.

Making the Investment

All technologies need time, money, and consumer acceptance to be developed. Fortunately, a growing number of consumers are becoming enthusiastic about finding new ways to reduce their energy consumption and overall environmental impact. As long as we keep making the investment, our tools to create cleaner energy and demand less energy in the first place should have a massive positive effect on our environment—and even our daily lives.

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Energy

Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis

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Energy Investments
Shutterstock / By Sergey Nivens | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/nivens

Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.

Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long your retirement savings will last?

Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.

Tip #1: Focus & Determination

Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.

Tip #2: Minimize Spending

One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!

Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal

You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.

Investing in Clean Energy

One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.

With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.

The Future of Green Biz

As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.

Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.

In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!

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