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Save B&GT: Two weeks to go – pledge £52 today

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Our crowdfunder will determine if Blue & Green Tomorrow will continue and thrive… or fade to black. We only have a short window in which to save the magazine. We want to remain as a thorn in the side of the reckless and unsustainable, while also being a raucous voice for the responsible and sustainable. But we desperately need your help to do that.

What is Blue and Green Tomorrow?

The online publication Blue and Green Tomorrow is the UK’s most widely-read and fastest-growing sustainability magazine for investors and consumers. Since 2013, our growth has been rapid and we now need crowdfunding to survive the next four months while our underlying business model starts to pay off.

Our aim is to encourage our readers to buy from and invest in sustainable companies – those that balance the needs of people, planet and profit. We simplify sustainability, both the individuals and organisations working in it, and amplify their work to the largest number of possible investors and consumers.

Every day we write 18-25 articles on how to invest sustainably, travel responsibly, shop ethically and use cleaner sources of energy. Our most popular articles explain climate change, simplify investment and profile individuals and organisations that are leaders in sustainability. Articles that explore the rapid decline in bees, polar ice and forest cover are perennial favourites.

We also produce 12-14 in-depth guides each year on all aspects of sustainability.

Founded in 2010 our readership has quadrupled in the last 12 months, with 76,283 unique readers per month in June 2014, up 43% on the previous month. We are growing fast, and want to continue this growth long into the future.

We need our friends and readers’ help to survive the next few months.

Four years since we first stepped onto the foothills of sustainability, Blue & Green Tomorrow is at dire risk of falling silent.

Running a free magazine for the last four years has taken its toll on the founders’ finances – we have literally put everything into making Blue & Green Tomorrow as big and noisy as it is. The truth is, we’ve finally run out of money to create the impartial content we provide free of charge and will have to stop this month.

We’re four months away from being financially self-sufficient, with some incredible deals in place which will finally make us viable over the next 12 months, but we’re not nearly close enough to continue without our readers’ financial help in the short term.

We really want Blue & Green Tomorrow to be an impartial and raucous voice for all aspects of sustainability. We still have ambitious plans to be the loudest voice for sustainability – but can only do so with your help.

Every day we promote individuals and organisations doing good and helping make a more sustainable planet. They will lose a loud voice without our coverage.

How this funding will make a difference

We have big and ambitious plans for the money you pledge. We want to reach 250,000 readers in the UK and 250,000 readers overseas to spread the message of sustainable investing and living.

It is in investment we can make a real difference. For every dollar of GDP, $26 dollars is traded financially (data and image courtesy of De Spiegel).

 

Unsustainable, unethical and irresponsible investment and financial trade has shaped the world we live in today and today is shaping the world our children and grandchildren will live in tomorrow.

We want our readers to take seven sustainable steps in 2015 creating 3.5 million actions, from moving their money to more responsible banksinvesting more sustainably, switching to renewable energy at home and at work, buying more fair tradetravelling responsibly, voting for a party with sustainability policies and backing a sustainable venture on crowdfunder.co.uk.

We need to rebuild Blue & Green Tomorrow as a scalable, fit-for-purpose website. We need it to be optimised for tablets and smartphones, with apps available on all mobile operating systems. We want to offer Blue & Green Tomorrow anywhere, anytime, on any device.

Time really is running out for our blue and green marble of a planet and we need to reach more readers quickly. That means promoting our website and e-newsletter to even more investors and consumers, encouraging more people to invest and spend sustainably.

We want to continue paying our graduate journalists a living wage, to give the young people most affected by our current unsustainable economic activity not only a start in their career but also an opportunity to frame the debate with their own future interests at heart.

That’s what we’d do with the money you pledge.

Please help us today, or Blue & Green will fade to black in September 2014.

How the money breaks down

The rewards

The crowdfunding rewards are for both individuals (blue rewards) and organisations (green rewards), you can secure a heartfett thank you printed in every guide for as little as £12, an invitation to our “We made it party!” as a supporter or articles and promotion in Blue & Green Tomorrow. Here’s a small selection of the rewards:

What the industry says about us

“By launching Blue & Green Tomorrow, Simon Leadbetter has done more than anyone else in the British media to promote a proper understanding of sustainable investment.” Clare Brook of WHEB Group

“You are an original, fresh and high quality voice for Sustainable Investing at a time when we had all but disappeared from the financial media.” Peter Michaelis of Alliance Trust

“Blue & Green – a new and credible force in the sustainability space.” Claudia Quiroz of Quilter Cheviot

“Why would you recommend B&GT to a friend?” (comments from our reader survey August ’14)

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Economy

How Going Green Can Save A Company Money

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going green can save company money
Shutterstock Licensed Photot - By GOLFX

What is going green?

Going green means to live life in a way that is environmentally friendly for an entire population. It is the conservation of energy, water, and air. Going green means using products and resources that will not contaminate or pollute the air. It means being educated and well informed about the surroundings, and how to best protect them. It means recycling products that may not be biodegradable. Companies, as well as people, that adhere to going green can help to ensure a safer life for humanity.

The first step in going green

There are actually no step by step instructions for going green. The only requirement needed is making the decision to become environmentally conscious. It takes a caring attitude, and a willingness to make the change. It has been found that companies have improved their profit margins by going green. They have saved money on many of the frivolous things they they thought were a necessity. Besides saving money, companies are operating more efficiently than before going green. Companies have become aware of their ecological responsibility by pursuing the knowledge needed to make decisions that would change lifestyles and help sustain the earth’s natural resources for present and future generations.

Making needed changes within the company

After making the decision to go green, there are several things that can be changed in the workplace. A good place to start would be conserving energy used by electrical appliances. First, turning off the computer will save over the long run. Just letting it sleep still uses energy overnight. Turn off all other appliances like coffee maker, or anything that plugs in. Pull the socket from the outlet to stop unnecessary energy loss. Appliances continue to use electricity although they are switched off, and not unplugged. Get in the habit of turning off the lights whenever you leave a room. Change to fluorescent light bulbs, and lighting throughout the building. Have any leaks sealed on the premises to avoid the escape of heat or air.

Reducing the common paper waste

paper waste

Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By Yury Zap

Modern technologies and state of the art equipment, and tools have almost eliminated the use of paper in the office. Instead of sending out newsletters, brochures, written memos and reminders, you can now do all of these and more by technology while saving on the use of paper. Send out digital documents and emails to communicate with staff and other employees. By using this virtual bookkeeping technique, you will save a bundle on paper. When it is necessary to use paper for printing purposes or other services, choose the already recycled paper. It is smartly labeled and easy to find in any office supply store. It is called the Post Consumer Waste paper, or PCW paper. This will show that your company is dedicated to the preservation of natural resources. By using PCW paper, everyone helps to save the trees which provides and emits many important nutrients into the atmosphere.

Make money by spreading the word

Companies realize that consumers like to buy, or invest in whatever the latest trend may be. They also cater to companies that are doing great things for the quality of life of all people. People want to know that the companies that they cater to are doing their part for the environment and ecology. By going green, you can tell consumers of your experiences with helping them and communities be eco-friendly. This is a sound public relations technique to bring revenue to your brand. Boost the impact that your company makes on the environment. Go green, save and make money while essentially preserving what is normally taken for granted. The benefits of having a green company are enormous for consumers as well as the companies that engage in the process.

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Energy

5 Easy Things You Can Do to Make Your Home More Sustainable

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sustainable homes
Shutterstock Licensed Photot - By Diyana Dimitrova

Increasing your home’s energy efficiency is one of the smartest moves you can make as a homeowner. It will lower your bills, increase the resale value of your property, and help minimize our planet’s fast-approaching climate crisis. While major home retrofits can seem daunting, there are plenty of quick and cost-effective ways to start reducing your carbon footprint today. Here are five easy projects to make your home more sustainable.

1. Weather stripping

If you’re looking to make your home more energy efficient, an energy audit is a highly recommended first step. This will reveal where your home is lacking in regards to sustainability suggests the best plan of attack.

Some form of weather stripping is nearly always advised because it is so easy and inexpensive yet can yield such transformative results. The audit will provide information about air leaks which you can couple with your own knowledge of your home’s ventilation needs to develop a strategic plan.

Make sure you choose the appropriate type of weather stripping for each location in your home. Areas that receive a lot of wear and tear, like popular doorways, are best served by slightly more expensive vinyl or metal options. Immobile cracks or infrequently opened windows can be treated with inexpensive foams or caulking. Depending on the age and quality of your home, the resulting energy savings can be as much as 20 percent.

2. Programmable thermostats

Programmable thermostats

Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By Olivier Le Moal

Programmable thermostats have tremendous potential to save money and minimize unnecessary energy usage. About 45 percent of a home’s energy is earmarked for heating and cooling needs with a large fraction of that wasted on unoccupied spaces. Programmable thermostats can automatically lower the heat overnight or shut off the air conditioning when you go to work.

Every degree Fahrenheit you lower the thermostat equates to 1 percent less energy use, which amounts to considerable savings over the course of a year. When used correctly, programmable thermostats reduce heating and cooling bills by 10 to 30 percent. Of course, the same result can be achieved by manually adjusting your thermostats to coincide with your activities, just make sure you remember to do it!

3. Low-flow water hardware

With the current focus on carbon emissions and climate change, we typically equate environmental stability to lower energy use, but fresh water shortage is an equal threat. Installing low-flow hardware for toilets and showers, particularly in drought prone areas, is an inexpensive and easy way to cut water consumption by 50 percent and save as much as $145 per year.

Older toilets use up to 6 gallons of water per flush, the equivalent of an astounding 20.1 gallons per person each day. This makes them the biggest consumer of indoor water. New low-flow toilets are standardized at 1.6 gallons per flush and can save more than 20,000 gallons a year in a 4-member household.

Similarly, low-flow shower heads can decrease water consumption by 40 percent or more while also lowering water heating bills and reducing CO2 emissions. Unlike early versions, new low-flow models are equipped with excellent pressure technology so your shower will be no less satisfying.

4. Energy efficient light bulbs

An average household dedicates about 5 percent of its energy use to lighting, but this value is dropping thanks to new lighting technology. Incandescent bulbs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. These inefficient light sources give off 90 percent of their energy as heat which is not only impractical from a lighting standpoint, but also raises energy bills even further during hot weather.

New LED and compact fluorescent options are far more efficient and longer lasting. Though the upfront costs are higher, the long term environmental and financial benefits are well worth it. Energy efficient light bulbs use as much as 80 percent less energy than traditional incandescent and last 3 to 25 times longer producing savings of about $6 per year per bulb.

5. Installing solar panels

Adding solar panels may not be the easiest, or least expensive, sustainability upgrade for your home, but it will certainly have the greatest impact on both your energy bills and your environmental footprint. Installing solar panels can run about $15,000 – $20,000 upfront, though a number of government incentives are bringing these numbers down. Alternatively, panels can also be leased for a much lower initial investment.

Once operational, a solar system saves about $600 per year over the course of its 25 to 30-year lifespan, and this figure will grow as energy prices rise. Solar installations require little to no maintenance and increase the value of your home.

From an environmental standpoint, the average five-kilowatt residential system can reduce household CO2 emissions by 15,000 pounds every year. Using your solar system to power an electric vehicle is the ultimate sustainable solution serving to reduce total CO2 emissions by as much as 70%!

These days, being environmentally responsible is the hallmark of a good global citizen and it need not require major sacrifices in regards to your lifestyle or your wallet. In fact, increasing your home’s sustainability is apt to make your residence more livable and save you money in the long run. The five projects listed here are just a few of the easy ways to reduce both your environmental footprint and your energy bills. So, give one or more of them a try; with a small budget and a little know-how, there is no reason you can’t start today.

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