In a consumer economy that has depended in the past on moving disposable products for continued success, forward-thinking businesses are opting out of planned obsolescence and taking a different, more Earth-friendly path.
The concept of planned obsolescence is actually not that old. As recently as fifty years ago, people weren’t throwing away as much as they do today, partly because goods were traditionally built to last.
Because we’ve created so great a need for various products and services to prosper and entertain ourselves in our busy contemporary world, at least some businesses are choosing to take steps to bring their wares to consumers in a form that lasts longer and is less demanding for the environment.
Green product certification
In an effort to support and promote eco-friendly products, known more familiarly as “green products,” special organizations have been created to verify and certify items and services that meet fairly strict standards for being environmentally friendly. These products generally reduce energy and water waste, have a longer lifespan, and emit a limited amount of harmful substances into the atmosphere.
As landfills grow and multiply, and more people question the ultimate fate of the planet, many companies have responded by looking for ways to turn out products that will last for a long time and also reduce their impact on the environment.
From among all the newly available products on the market today, here are four green items you really shouldn’t go without:
- A bagless vacuum cleaner that connects to your sewer
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), located in Washington, DC, is an organization that runs a research center dedicated to identifying ways to encourage building construction techniques, building materials, and designs that minimize environmental impact. The NAHB’s official recognition of green products through the National Green Building Certification program provides consumers with cleaner, more energy-efficient options when they’re building or remodeling.
The NAHB has certified Drainvac as a green-approved product that has transformed the way we think of the vacuum. This innovative item earned its NAHB green-approved certification by eliminating the need for vacuum bags, and by connecting directly to the water pipes and sewer drains of a house or business for maximum efficiency.
This product is perfect for auto body shops, wood and metal shops, and even your private home if you happen to do a lot of handy work in your garage.
- A garden in your living room
Aquaponics is the science of creating a contained and balanced ecosystem of fish and plants. When you feed the fish, they feed your plants, and in turn, your plants feed you.
Using only a tenth of the water and no dirt, an aquaponics indoor garden is more efficient than an outdoor garden. And if you like looking at fish, you’ll appreciate it even more.
GroveGrown is a Massachusetts-based firm that uses sustainably sourced materials to hand-craft an entire aquaponics setup for you. Upon delivery, the company provides everything you need to get started, including your first crops and fish.
- A portable wind turbine
Imagine hiking the Grand Canyon with a friend, and just as she’s about to capture the moment with her phone camera, her battery dies. She’s upset, but you’re prepared.
You reach into your pocket and pull out a portable wind turbine to recharge her phone. And that makes you a hero.
Powering up a smartphone isn’t the only thing you can do with a portable wind turbine. With the Trinity, you can select one of four models, and the most powerful one can recharge your electric car.
- A salt lamp that can run on ocean water
You may or may not have heard of salt lamps before. They’re made of crystalized pink salt and the negative ions are said to carry away electro smog.
But this salt lamp is entirely different. It isn’t made from salt but is powered by salt.
All you have to do is fill a reservoir with salt water (even ocean water if you’ve run out of salt), and as the air passes through the metal and interacts with the salt water, electricity is produced, which powers the LED lights inside for about eight hours.
Not only can you generate eight hours of grid-free, guilt-free light, but you can charge your smartphone as well.
To the future of our planet
As more people realize the need to conserve energy and resources by rethinking the way we live, work, and play, little by little we’re all making a huge impact where it matters most.
With brilliant entrepreneurs getting younger every year and engineering simple, affordable solutions to problems we’ve been facing, there’s no telling what kind of innovative products are right around the corner with the next generation.
Ways Green Preppers Are Trying to Protect their Privacy
Environmental activists are not given the admiration that they deserve. A recent poll by Gallup found that a whopping 32% of Americans still doubt the existence of global warming. The government’s attitude is even worse.
Many global warming activists and green preppers have raised the alarm bell on climate change over the past few years. Government officials have taken notice and begun tracking their activity online. Even former National Guard officers have admitted that green preppers and climate activists are being targeted for terrorist watchlists.
Of course, the extent of their surveillance depends on the context of activism. People that make benign claims about climate change are unlikely to end up on a watchlist, although it is possible if they make allusions to their disdain of the government. However, even the most pacifistic and well intentioned environmental activists may unwittingly trigger some algorithm and be on the wrong side of a criminal investigation.
How could something like this happen? Here are some possibilities:
- They could share a post on social media from a climate extremist group or another individual on the climate watchlist.
- They could overly politicize their social media content, such as being highly critical of the president.
- They could use figures of speech that may be misinterpreted as threats.
- They might praise the goals of a climate change extremist organization that as previously resorted to violence, even if they don’t condone the actual means.
Preppers and environmental activists must do everything in their power to protect their privacy. Failing to do so could cost them their reputation, future career opportunities or even their freedom. Here are some ways that they are contacting themselves.
Living Off the Grid and Only Venturing to Civilization for Online Use
The more digital footprints you leave behind, the greater attention you draw. People that hold controversial views on environmentalism or doomsday prepping must minimize their digital paper trail.
Living off the grid is probably the best way to protect your privacy. You can make occasional trips to town to use the Wi-Fi and stock up on supplies.
Know the Surveillance Policies of Public Wi-Fi Providers
Using Wi-Fi away from your home can be a good way to protect your privacy.However, choosing the right public Wi-Fi providers is going to be very important.
Keep in mind that some corporate coffee shops such a Starbucks can store tapes for up to 60 days. Mom and pop businesses don’t have the technology nor the interest to store them that long. They generally store tips for only 24 hours and delete them afterwards. This gives you a good window of opportunity to post your thoughts on climate change without being detected.
Always use a VPN with a No Logging Policy
Using a VPN is one of the best ways to protect your online privacy. However, some of these providers do a much better job than others. What is a VPN and what should you look for when choosing one? Here are some things to look for when making a selection:
- Make sure they are based in a country that has strict laws on protecting user privacy. VPNs that are based out of Switzerland, Panama for the British Virgin Islands are always good bets.
- Look for VPN that has a strict no logging policy. Some VPNs will actually track the websites that you visit, which almost entirely defeats the purpose. Most obviously much better than this, but many also track Your connections and logging data. You want to use a VPN that doesn’t keep any logs at all.
- Try to choose a VPN that has an Internet kill switch. This means that all content will stop serving if your VPN connection drops, which prevents your personal data from leaking out of the VPN tunnel.
You will be much safer if you use a high-quality VPN consistently, especially if you have controversial views on climate related issues or doomsday prepping.
How Going Green Can Save Your Business Thousands
Running a company isn’t easy. From reporting wages in an efficient way to meeting deadlines and targets, there’s always something to think about – with green business ideas giving entrepreneurs something extra to ponder. While environmental issues may not be at the forefront of your mind right now, it could save your business thousands, so let’s delve deeper into this issue.
Small waste adds up over time
A computer left on overnight might not seem like the end of the world, right? Sure, it’s a rather minor issue compared to losing a client or being refused a loan – but small waste adds up over time. Conserving energy is an effective money saver, so to hold onto that hard-earned cash, try to:
- Turn all electrical gadgets off at the socket rather than leaving them on standby as the latter can crank up your energy bill without you even realizing.
- Switch all lights off when you exit a room and try switching to halogen incandescent light bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps or light emitting diodes as these can use up to 80 per cent less energy than traditional incandescent and are therefore more efficient.
- Replace outdated appliances with their greener counterparts. Energy Star appliances have labels which help you to understand their energy requirements over time.
- Draught-proof your premises as sealing up leaks could slash your energy bills by 30 per cent.
Going electronic has significant benefits
If you don’t want to be buried under a mountain of paperwork, why not opt for digital documents instead of printing everything out? Not only will this save a lot of money on paper and ink but it will also conserve energy and help protect the planet. You may even be entitled to one of the many tax breaks and grants issued to organizations committed to achieving their environmental goals. This is particularly good news for start-ups with limited funds as the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) is keen to support companies opening up their company in a green manner.
Of course, if you’re used to handing out brochures and leaflets at every company meeting or printing out newsletters whenever you get the chance, going electronic may be a challenge – but here are some things you can try:
- Using PowerPoint presentations not printouts
- Communicating via instant messenger apps or email
- Using financial software to manage your books
- Downloading accounting software to keep track of figures
- Arranging digital feedback and review forms
- Making the most of Google Docs
Going green can help you to make money too
Going green and environmental stability is big news at the moment with many companies doing their bit for the environment. While implementing eco-friendly strategies will certainly save you money, reducing your carbon footprint could also make you a few bucks too. How? Well, consumers care about what brands are doing more than ever before, with many deliberately siding with those who are implementing green policies. Essentially, doing your bit for the environment is a PR dream as it allows you to talk about what everyone wants to hear.
Going green can certainly save your money but it should also improve your reputation too and give you a platform to promote your business.