Along with the hot weather of summer comes an abundance of water. From sprinklers in the lawn to the neighborhood swimming pool down the street, water is synonymous with summer. However, it’s important that you do what you can to conserve as much water as possible. So, start by trying these summer-friendly tips:
1. Be Smart With Sprinklers
When it comes to wasting water, sprinklers are notorious culprits. While you may simply be trying to keep your lawn alive during a dry, harsh summer, you’re probably wasting thousands of gallons of water. Thankfully, there are ways to enjoy the benefits of sprinklers while still being resourceful.
The answer is low flow sprinklers. With a low flow sprinkler system, you’re able to minimize runoff, target specific areas, and hit plants directly in the roots. There are a variety of types of low flow sprinklers, so you’ll need to do your research, but the most common are low flow drip systems, low flow trickle systems, and low flow spray systems.
2. Strategically Water Your Garden
Your garden and other landscaping plants will need some water this summer to survive, but make sure you’re being strategic about how and when you water. Many people end up wasting hundreds of gallons of water per month because they don’t know how to properly water plants.
“Don’t soak the plant’s foliage; it does little good. And don’t apply water outside a shrub’s or a perennial’s root zone,” Popular Mechanics points out. “A shrub’s root zone is roughly 1 to 3 times the diameter of its canopy, and keeping the water inside this radius will allow it to soak down to where the plant’s roots can reach it.” Furthermore, try watering during the early morning or early evening. This allows the plants to absorb more of the water, as opposed to being dried out by the heat.
3. Use the Dishwasher Responsibly
While you may assume that using a dishwasher isn’t very energy efficient, the reality is that it’s much better to use this powerful appliance than it is to wash dishes by hand. When you wash dishes by hand, you end up wasting a lot of water. To get the most out of your water usage, scrape dishes clean in the trash can (as opposed to pre-rinsing). Then wait until the dishwasher is totally full to run it. The dishwasher uses the same amount of water regardless of whether it’s half empty or completely full.
4. Fix Those Leaky Faucets
Have you ever noticed a leaky faucet in your home? Maybe it’s a slow, yet steady drip in the guest bathroom? Well, you should view this faulty faucet as more than a nuisance. It’s actually a big water waster.
Did you know that a faucet leaking a single drip per second actually wastes 2700 gallons of water over the course of an entire year? That’s more than seven gallons every single day!
Most leaks can easily be fixed on your own. Otherwise, a plumber should be able to handle the job in a matter of minutes. Go ahead and take care of this seemingly minor problem today and you’ll enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re saving hundreds of gallons per month.
It’s Time to Do Your Part
It’s important that you – as an individual – begin to understand and respect the impact you can have on the environment. While saving a few gallons of water here and there may not seem like a big responsibility, you’d be amazed by how quickly it can add up over time. A concerted effort from just a single neighborhood or large family can lead to sizeable savings this summer.
It’s time to do your part!
Is Wood Burning Sustainable For Your Home?
Wood is a classic heat source, whether we think about people gathered around a campfire or wood stoves in old cabins, but is it a sustainable source of heat in modern society? The answer is an ambivalent one. In certain settings, wood heat is an ideal solution, but for the majority of homes, it isn’t especially suitable. So what’s the tipping point?
Wood heat is ideal for small homes on large properties, for individuals who can gather their own wood, and who have modern wood burning ovens. A green approach to wood heat is one of biofuel on the smallest of scales.
Is Biofuel Green?
One of the reasons that wood heat is a source of so much divide in the eco-friendly community is that it’s a renewable resource and renewable has become synonymous with green. What wood heat isn’t, though, is clean or healthy. It lets off a significant amount of carbon and particulates, and trees certainly don’t grow as quickly as it’s consumed for heat.
Of course, wood is a much less harmful source of heat than coal, but for scientists interested in developing green energy sources, it makes more sense to focus on solar and wind power. Why, then, would they invest in improved wood burning technology?
Solar and wind technology are good large-scale energy solutions, but when it comes to small-space heating, wood has its own advantages. First, wood heat is in keeping with the DIY spirit of homesteaders and tiny house enthusiasts. These individuals are more likely to be driven to gather their own wood and live in small spaces that can be effectively heated as such.
Wood heat is also very effective on an individual scale because it requires very little infrastructure. Modern wood stoves made of steel rather than cast iron are built to EPA specifications, and the only additional necessary tools include a quality axe, somewhere to store the wood, and an appropriate covering to keep it dry. And all the wood can come from your own land.
Wood heat is also ideal for people living off the grid or in cold areas prone to frequent power outages, as it’s constantly reliable. Even if the power goes out, you know that you’ll be able to turn up the heat. That’s important if you live somewhere like Maine where the winters can get exceedingly cold. People have even successfully heated a 40’x34’ home with a single stove.
Benefits Of Biomass
The ultimate question regarding wood heat is whether any energy source that’s dangerous on the large scale is acceptable on a smaller one. For now, the best answer is that with a growing population and limited progress towards “pure” green energy, wood should remain a viable option, specifically because it’s used on a limited scale. Biomass heat is even included in the UK’s Renewable Heat Initiative and minor modifications can make it even more sustainable.
Wood stoves, when embraced in conjunction with pellet stoves, geothermal heating, and masonry heaters, all more efficient forms of sustainable heat, should be part of a modern energy strategy. Ultimately, we’re headed in the direction of diversified energy – all of it cleaner – and wood has a place in the big picture, serving small homes and off-the-grid structures, while solar, wind, and other large-scale initiatives fuel our cities.
7 Benefits You Should Consider Giving Your Energy Employees
As an energy startup, you’re always looking to offer the most competitive packages to entice top-tier talent. This can be tough, especially when trying to put something together that’s both affordable but also has perks that employees are after.
After all, this is an incredibly competitive field and one that’s constantly doing what it can to stay ahead. However, that’s why I’m bringing you a few helpful benefits that could be what bolsters you ahead of your competition. Check them out below:
One benefit commonly overlooked by companies is offering your employees financial advising services, which could help them tremendously in planning for their long-term goals with your firm. This includes anything from budgeting and savings plans to recommendations for credit repair services and investments. Try to take a look at if your energy company could bring on an extra person or two specifically for this role, as it will pay off tremendously regarding retention and employee happiness.
While often included in a lot of health benefits packages, offering your employees life insurance could be an excellent addition to your current perks. Although seldom used, life insurance is a small sign that shows you care about the life of their family beyond just office hours. Additionally, at such a low cost, this is a pretty simple aspect to add to your packages. Try contacting some brokers or insurance agents to see if you can find a policy that’s right for your firm.
Dedicated Time To Enjoy Their Hobbies
Although something seen more often in startups in Silicon Valley, having dedicated office time for employees to enjoy their passions is something that has shown great results. Whether it be learning the piano or taking on building a video game, having your team spend some time on the things they truly enjoy can translate to increased productivity. Why? Because giving them the ability to better themselves, they’ll in turn bring that to their work as well.
The Ability To Work Remotely
It’s no secret that a lot of employers despise the idea of letting their employees work remotely. However, it’s actually proven to hold some amazing benefits. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 95% of employers that allow their employees to telework reported an increased rate of retention, saving on both turnover and sick days. Depending on the needs of each individual role, this can be a strategy to implement either whenever your team wants or on assigned days. Either way, this is one perk almost everyone will love.
Even though it’s mandated for companies with over 50 employees, offering health insurance regardless is arguably a benefit well received across the board. In fact, as noted in research compiled by KFF, 28.6% of employers with less than 50 people still offered health care. Why is that the case? Because it shows you care about their well-being, and know that a healthy employee is one that doesn’t have to worry about astronomical medical bills.
Unlimited Time Off
This is a perk that almost no employer offers but should be regarded as something to consider. According to The Washington Post, only 1-2% of companies offer unlimited vacation, which it’s easy to see why. A true “unlimited vacation” program could be a firm’s worse nightmare, with employees skipping out every other week to enjoy themselves. However, with the right model in place that rewards hard work with days off, your employees will absolutely adore this policy.
A Full Pantry
Finally, having a pantry full of food can be one perk that’s not only relatively inexpensive but also adds to the value of the workplace. As noted by USA Today, when surveying employees who had snacks versus those who didn’t, 67% of those who did reported they were “very happy” with their work life. You’d be surprised at how much of a difference this could make, especially when considering the price point. Consider adding a kitchen to your office if you haven’t already, and always keep the snacks and drinks everyone wants fully stocked. Doing so will increase morale tremendously.
Compiling a great package for your energy company is going to take some time in looking at what you can afford versus what’s the most you can offer. While it might mean cutting back in other areas, having a workforce that feels like you genuinely want to take care of them can take you far. And with so many different benefits to include in your energy company’s package, which one is your favorite? Comment with your answers below!