Sustainable building is the word on everybody’s lips these days. In a world where people are preoccupied more and more with the state of the environment, it’s becoming increasingly important for businesses to employ sustainable building practices. In this article, we’re going to give you a few important tips any builder can use to make the building process more sustainable.
One of the most important things when it comes to sustainable building is reducing waste. One of the first things you have to do when trying to minimize waste is to make careful evaluations before the building process to make sure that you don’t overstock. Also, if you have to deal with waste, make sure that the recyclable materials aren’t taken to the landfill. You could also re-use some of the material for other uses.
Use Local Materials If Possible
Controlling your carbon footprint is essential if you’re going to undertake a sustainable building project. But before you choose a local supplier, you have to make sure that they are environmentally sound as well. Check if they are following PEFC, ISO and red protocol.
Go for Energy Efficient Equipment
Before decorating a home or choosing appliances, it’s always better to go for energy efficient options if possible. If you’re going for decoration, forget resource extensive decorations such as indoor waterfalls or fountains, for instance. If you’re going to buy appliances, make sure they have a good energy star rating. Also, make sure that the home is built to take advantage of natural heat and ventilation as well.
Make Sure the House is Properly Insulated
Improper insulation is one of the biggest reasons people waste energy, especially in the winter months for those living in harsh environments. As a matter of fact, it has been estimated that heating and cooling costs account for about 50% of all your energy costs. Make sure that any air leaks around your door and windows are properly sealed, and don’t be afraid to use duct tape if all else fails.
Use Sustainable Materials
The materials you use in the building process will play a major role in how sustainable it is. When choosing materials, try to go for environmentally friendly options. Go for reclaimed or recycled material such as recycled glass, plastic and lumber. In this day and age, recyclable materials are just as good as new ones depending on the use you’re going to make of them, so make sure that you explore all the options at your disposition when choosing them. Sustainable building materials are also much more cost effective on average, which makes them a no brainer for any cost conscious builder.
So, if you want a more sustainable building experience, make sure that you choose the proper set for materials, go for local suppliers if possible and make sure that the home is thoroughly insulated. Also, make sure that the suppliers you choose follow environmental protocols and make sure that any type of waste is either recycled or reused in the building process.
Green Tech Start-Ups: Are they the Future?
Endless innovations are occurring in green companies, reinventing the industries they belong to. Gradually, they are beginning to amass more success and popularity. Consequently, these factors serve as a good indicator for green technology businesses, and their development must begin somewhere.
Green tech start-ups boast a wide array of opportunities for the economy and environment, while boosting recruitment openings with valuable services. While the technology industry is littered with high revenues and competition, the green tech start-ups are the clear sign of a cleaner future.
Fulfilling a Genuine Need
Many tech companies will market themselves as the ultimate tech giants to shift stock and make profit. As they all vie for attention through warped corporate rhetoric, there is only one ethical winner; the start-up green tech company.
Some argue that mainstream tech businesses have grown far too big, branching out into other industries and standing between the consumer and practically everything they do. However, green tech start-ups go beyond the shallow ambitions of a company, answering a call to sincerely help the customer and climate in any way they can. Of course, this is an attractive business model, putting customers at ease as they contribute to a humanitarian cause that is genuine through and through.
After all, empathy is a striking trait to have in business, and green tech start-ups maintain this composure by their very nature and purpose.
Despite the pursuits for clean energy still needing more awareness, green tech is an area that is ripe for contribution and expansion. There’s no need to copy another company or be a business of cheap knockoffs; green tech start-ups can add a new voice to the economy by being fresh, fearless and entrepreneurial.
Technology is at its most useful when it breaks new ground, an awe that eco-friendly innovations have by default in their operations. Of course, green tech start-ups have the chance to build on this foundation and create harmony instead of climate crisis. Ultimately, the tech advancements are what revolutionise clean energy as more than an activist niche, putting theory into practice.
Despite the US gradually becoming more disengaged with green technology, others such as China and Canada recognise the potential in green technology for creating jobs and growth in their respective economies. The slack of others spurs them on, which creates a constant influx of prospects for the green tech sector. Put simply, their services are always required, able to thrive from country to country.
A Fundamental Foresight
Mainstream technology can seem repetitive and dull, tinkering with what has come before rather than turning tech on its head. Since 2011, technology has been accused of stagnation, something which the internet and petty app services seem to disguise in short reaching ideas of creativity.
However, green tech start-ups aren’t just winging it, and operate with a roadmap of climate change in the years ahead to strategize accordingly. In other words, they aren’t simply looking to make a quick profit by sticking to a trend, but have the long-term future in mind. Consequently, the green tech start-up will be there from the very start, building up from the foundational level to only grow as more and more people inevitably go green.
They can additionally forecast their finances too, with the ability to access online platforms despite the differing levels of experience, keeping them in the loop. Consequently, with an eye for the future, green tech startups are the ones who will eventually usher in the new era.
3 Green Living Tips that Can Slash Your Tax Burden
Over the last couple of weeks, I have discussed the financial benefits of green living. There are a lot of ways that you can cut your personal expenses by living a more sustainable lifestyle. Some of my readers have specifically asked for tips on cutting taxes by going green.
Here are some tips that you should keep in mind. You may qualify for tax credits, a VAT reclaim or simply avoid paying sales taxes by minimizing purchases.
Going green cuts your taxes on gasoline
Gasoline taxes are rising sharply throughout the country. California recently passed a new bill that has raised the state gas tax to 38.2 cents a gallon. Other states are following suit. These taxes are broken up into two parts: an excise tax (a flat fee on every gallon of gasoline) and a sales tax, which varies by price. This means that gas taxes can rise sharply with gasoline prices.
People that drive green vehicles can minimize or even avoid these costs. Keep in mind that the more environmentally friendly your vehicle is, the more you will save on tax credits.
Take advantage of simple green home improvement credits
The federal government offers green tax credits equivalent to 20 to 30% of the cost of green home improvements. There are many ways to qualify for this credit. Most people talk about solar panels, wind turbines and other major changes.
However, you don’t need to renovate your home to be totally green. You can also qualify for these credits by making simple improvements to your home if you use green building materials or contractors. Money Crasher’s Brian Martucci explains that even the interest on loans for these improvements can be claimed as a deduction or credit.
“Federal, state, and local tax credits and other financial incentives partially offset the cost of a slew of green energy and home efficiency projects, helping more homeowners finance them out of their savings or afford the principal and interest payments on FHA 203k renovation loans. Here’s a look at the present lineup of federal tax credits and incentives, plus a representative slice of the hundreds of state and local credits and incentives available today.”
Make sure that you keep documentation of these credits. You do not need to attach them to your return. The IRS explains the rules here.
“Be sure you have the written certification from the manufacturer that their product qualifies for this tax credit. They usually post it on their website or include it with the product’s packaging. You can rely on it to claim the credit, but do not attach it to your return. Keep it with your tax records.”
If you live outside the United States, you may also be able to reclaim VAT for green purchases.
Take advantage of Energy Star products
Products that receive Energy Star certification consume at least 10% less energy than their alternatives. If you purchase any of these products, you may qualify for a tax credit of up to 30% cost of purchase. This credit is worth up to $1500, which is worth more than many VAT reclaim offers.
Need a new car? Look for green vehicles
The federal government also provides incentives for consumers to purchase screen vehicles. The green vehicle tax credit is worth up to $7500.
If you are interested in buying a new vehicle, you could cut your costs sharply. You may pay even less than you paid for a gas guzzler after the credit is factored in. Of course, you will save even more money on gas and fuel taxes over time as well.
Take Advantage of Great Green Living Tax Savings
There are plenty of ways that you can save money by going green. You can even make it easier on Tax Day. Take the time to understand the impact of different taxes and ways that they can be cut by following a more environmentally friendly approach.
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