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Biggest Tip to Eco-Friendly Car Ownership (Which May Surprise You)

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Traffic Trails By Barry Davis Via Flickr

Most readers know what sort of vehicle they ought to be driving in order to lead a more eco-friendly life going forward. The answer, of course, is electric. However, at a time when electric car options are extremely limited and their parts can be quite expensive, most consumers turn their attention towards hybrids and gasoline vehicles with high-MPG.

Yet, the biggest tip to eco-friendly car ownership relates not to new cars, but to old ones. That’s right. It turns out driving your old family automobile is probably better for the environment than exchanging it for a slick new whip. Considering the relatively low-MPG and high emissions of older cars, how is this possible? The answer is simple: manufacturing the newer vehicles and all their replacement parts.

Analysis conducted by Big Auto reveals nearly one-third of carbon dioxide emissions spewed by a typical gasoline-powered car over its lifetime occurs before the vehicle even gets to the dealership. Meanwhile, the batteries powering hybrid and electric vehicles demand vast amounts of resources to create despite leading to reduced gasoline consumption on the road, consequently taxing the environment more.

In short, buying a new car without first driving your old car to its deathbed is ultimately not very eco-friendly in itself. Watch cars driving along a stretch of highway for several minutes and spot the makes and models that appear to be decades old. Chances are pretty good the cars you spot will come from one of two places: Europe or Japan.

This clues us into which automobiles tend to keep going with some parts replacement, versus those likely destined for the junkyard after just a decade. For instance, BMW parts – even those made aftermarket by an OEM – are renowned for their finely-crafted engineering and durability. It’s not unusual to replace brakes, spark plugs and the clutch multiple times, and even fix various steering and suspension parts. On a seemingly-eternal BMW X5, it’s not even unheard of to replace the engine’s timing chain guide rails and hear it roar back to life for another 100k miles. In this day and age of the Internet it’s easier than ever to keep your older bimmer updated yourself, since you can find most BMW parts online and have them delivered right to your door. In fact, some online BMW parts catalogs have multiple OEM, aftermarket and even performance parts options to choose from.

The same holds true for many other European-made vehicles, such as Volvos and Mercedes. Of course, not everyone has an older model foreign luxury vehicle in their garage. In which case, many readers currently owning an early-model Honda or Toyota can probably count on a similar “second-life” for their cars thanks to replacement parts, rather than start looking for a new car to purchase.

The bottom line here is that it takes an incredible amount of material and energy to build an automobile and its parts, whether or not the car runs on gasoline, electricity, or a combination of the two. This level of manufacturing spells bad things for the environment in more ways than one. While buying a new car is inevitable, financing a new electric vehicle can be put off for months or even years simply by repairing your older car. Meanwhile, your carbon footprint stays relatively the same.

Which leads us to the secondary benefit of swapping for replacement parts versus swapping for a whole new vehicle: the financial relief. It may not seem so at the time – especially when combined with labor costs – but fixing your early-model BMW or Toyota is sure to be wallet-friendly over time. While the bells and whistles of a new car are certainly fun and exciting, few of us probably prefer adding a $300 car payment to our monthly budgets. Save it for when it’s truly necessary by keeping your older car on the road for as long as possible. Earth – and your bank account – will benefit.

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What Kitchen Suits Your Style? Modern, Classic or Shaker?

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shaker kitchen designs

A kitchen is the centre of the home. Your kitchen ranges between where friends and family gather, talk about their day, cook meals, have drinks, to somewhere you can just enjoy each other’s company. The kitchen is the heart of the home. But, everyone’s lifestyle is different. Everyone’s taste is different. So, you need a kitchen that not only mirrors your lifestyle but matches your taste too. Whilst some prefer a more traditional design, others want a modern feel or flair – and it’s all down to personal taste.

When it comes to redesigning your kitchen, what style would you go for? It’s a difficult one isn’t it. With so many different styles to go for, how can you know exactly what you want until you’ve seen it in action? Leading kitchen designer, Roman Kitchens, based in Essex, have provided three examples of bespoke kitchens and styles they specialise in, accompanied with beautiful images. This design guide will get you one step closer to picking your dream kitchen for your home.

1. Modern

New home in the city centre? Or even a sleek new modern build? You want a trendy and modern kitchen to reflect your city lifestyle. In modern kitchen design, colours are bolder and fresher, with sleek design and utilities that are distinctive and vibrant.

modern kitchen designs

This modern kitchen is sleek and smooth with flawless design and beauty. Minimalism doesn’t stop this kitchen standing out. Featured walls of wood and vibrant mint green draw the eye, whilst the white surfaces reflect the light, illuminating every nook and cranny of this kitchen. This kitchen features products from Rotpunkt, innovators of modern kitchen design. Made with German engineering, a Rotpunkt Kitchen is the ultimate modern addition to your home. Rotpunkt Kitchens have timeless design and amazing functionality, they work for every purpose and are eco-friendly. Sourced from natural materials, a Rotpunkt kitchen uses 37% less timber, conserving natural forests and being more environmentally conscious.

2. Classic

Prefer a homely and traditional feel? Classic kitchens are warm, welcoming and filled with wood. Wood flooring, wood fixtures, wood furniture – you name it! You can bring a rustic feel to your urban home with a classic kitchen. Subtle colours and beautiful finishes, Classic kitchens are for taking it back to the basics with a definitive look and feel.

classic kitchen designs

With stated handles for cupboards, Classic kitchens are effortlessly timeless. They convey an elegant but relaxing nature. Giving off countryside vibes, natural elements convey a British countryside feel. The wood featured in a classic kitchen can range between oaks and walnut, creating a warmth and original feel to your home. Soft English heritage colours add a certain mood to your home, softening the light making it cosier.

3. Shaker

Any kitchen planner will tell you that the meeting point between traditional and modern design, is a Shaker kitchen. They have a distinctive style and innovative feel. Shakers are fresh, mixing different colour tones with stylish wood and vinyl. The most important feature of a Shaker kitchen is functionality – every feature needs to serve a purpose in the kitchen. Paired with stylish and unique furniture, a Shaker kitchen is an ideal addition to any home.

shaker kitchen designs

The ultimate marriage between Classic and Modern kitchens, this Shaker kitchen has deep colour tones with copper emphasis features. All the fittings and fixtures blur the line of modern and tradition, with a Classic look but modern colour vibe. Unique furniture and design make Shaker Kitchens perfect for the middle ground in kitchen design. Minimal but beautifully dressed. Traditional but bold and modern at the same time. Storage solutions are part of the functionality of Shaker kitchens, but don’t detour from conveying yours as a luxury kitchen.

Whatever you choose for your new kitchen, be it Modern, Classic or Shaker – pick whatever suits you. Taste is, and always will be, subjective – it’s down to you.

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Ways Green Preppers Are Trying to Protect their Privacy

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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.

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