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Effective Tips for Streamlining Your Green Business Practices



The more productive a business is, the better its chances of success. When typical business practices leave a company stagnant or produce little results, making necessary changes is pertinent. When business procedures are all over the place, it minimizes your ability to provide a good customer experience. As you can imagine, poor customer experience can lead to a decrease in revenue.

Taking a periodic assessment of your business practices and procedures allows you to get a clear understanding of where your weaknesses lie. When you can accurately pinpoint your weaknesses, you can begin to cultivate soundproof solutions that improve productivity, customer experience, and thus the success of your company. Below are a few areas that should be consistently streamlined:

Your Finances

First on the list of priorities is company finances. Proper financial management is essential to keeping business operations afloat. This is a lot more than creating a budget within a spreadsheet and reporting your income to the IRS annually. Proper financial management within your organization should include creating a budget, generating financial reports, conducting financial audits, accurately reporting tax information, and more. To streamline the process of managing your company finances, consider trying the following:

– Investing in Financial Software – Financial software should be a key tool that is implemented within your business financial structure. Such software acts as a guide in helping business owners to properly record, track, and assess their finances. When investing in financial software, be sure to review several types to determine which is best suited for your professional needs.

– Invoice Factoring – Another solution to streamlining company finances is to use accounts receivable factoring services. As you invoice clients, waiting on them to pay for services rendered can often be frustrating. When your funds are tied up, this can prevent you from running your business as you need to. Companies who offer invoice factoring on the other hand, take the waiting game out of the mix for you. They will give you an upfront sum of cash and wait to receive payment from your clients. If you don’t have enough personal cash revenue, this is an ideal way to streamline your finances.

– Outsource – Trying to generate reports, review pertinent information, and ensure cash flow is managed properly can be a lot of work for one person. Outsourcing your financial management needs can cut your time in half. Not to mention that financial experts are trained to watch out for common accounting mistakes and find you additional platforms for saving.

Your Marketing

Marketing is another area of your business that needs to continually be streamlined. In order to continue to reach your target audience you need to be able to keep up with ongoing trends. As a lot of marketing now takes place online, learning new trends can also involve the process of learning new technological platforms. Though it is certainly feasible to learn on your own, it is time consuming and ever-changing.

– Email and Social Media – When it comes to reaching a large demographic, the best way to approach it is through email or social media platforms. These marketing tools allow you to easily promote products and services, introduce your brand, and provide consumers with discounts in real time. An email campaign or social media post would reach customers in a matter of seconds saving you time and money.

– Utilize Marketing Software – There are a plethora of online tools that can be used to streamline marketing process. Analytical tools allow you to measure and gauge which marketing efforts are working best, while social media tools allow you to cut your time in half by scheduling posts to multiple platforms at once. Such software allows you to accomplish things that would take days to tackle the old fashioned way.


With any small business there may come a need for staff. The hiring process alone can be tedious and costly. Investing in effective resources and tools can help you ensure that you’re hiring staff that will get the job done. Some areas you might consider investing in include:

– Prescreening – creating online tests and assessments for applicants can help you in weeding out unqualified candidates.

– Outsourcing – if you’ve really got your hands full, outsourcing is another effective way to streamline the hiring process. By working with recruitment agencies, you can find qualified candidates that you can hire on a full-time, part-time, or as-needed basis.

The more efficiently you can streamline business practices, the better it is for all involved parties. You as the business owner and your staff can take comfort in a lightened load, and your customers continue to get the best experience possible. Remember, streamlining processes as it pertains to your finances, marketing, and staffing efforts will require continual analysis and routine changes to remain relevant in this ever-changing world of business.

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Will Self-Driving Cars Be Better for the Environment?



self-driving cars for green environment
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Zapp2Photo |

Technologists, engineers, lawmakers, and the general public have been excitedly debating about the merits of self-driving cars for the past several years, as companies like Waymo and Uber race to get the first fully autonomous vehicles on the market. Largely, the concerns have been about safety and ethics; is a self-driving car really capable of eliminating the human errors responsible for the majority of vehicular accidents? And if so, who’s responsible for programming life-or-death decisions, and who’s held liable in the event of an accident?

But while these questions continue being debated, protecting people on an individual level, it’s worth posing a different question: how will self-driving cars impact the environment?

The Big Picture

The Department of Energy attempted to answer this question in clear terms, using scientific research and existing data sets to project the short-term and long-term environmental impact that self-driving vehicles could have. Its findings? The emergence of self-driving vehicles could essentially go either way; it could reduce energy consumption in transportation by as much as 90 percent, or increase it by more than 200 percent.

That’s a margin of error so wide it might as well be a total guess, but there are too many unknown variables to form a solid conclusion. There are many ways autonomous vehicles could influence our energy consumption and environmental impact, and they could go well or poorly, depending on how they’re adopted.

Driver Reduction?

One of the big selling points of autonomous vehicles is their capacity to reduce the total number of vehicles—and human drivers—on the road. If you’re able to carpool to work in a self-driving vehicle, or rely on autonomous public transportation, you’ll spend far less time, money, and energy on your own car. The convenience and efficiency of autonomous vehicles would therefore reduce the total miles driven, and significantly reduce carbon emissions.

There’s a flip side to this argument, however. If autonomous vehicles are far more convenient and less expensive than previous means of travel, it could be an incentive for people to travel more frequently, or drive to more destinations they’d otherwise avoid. In this case, the total miles driven could actually increase with the rise of self-driving cars.

As an added consideration, the increase or decrease in drivers on the road could result in more or fewer vehicle collisions, respectively—especially in the early days of autonomous vehicle adoption, when so many human drivers are still on the road. Car accident injury cases, therefore, would become far more complicated, and the roads could be temporarily less safe.


Deadheading is a term used in trucking and ridesharing to refer to miles driven with an empty load. Assume for a moment that there’s a fleet of self-driving vehicles available to pick people up and carry them to their destinations. It’s a convenient service, but by necessity, these vehicles will spend at least some of their time driving without passengers, whether it’s spent waiting to pick someone up or en route to their location. The increase in miles from deadheading could nullify the potential benefits of people driving fewer total miles, or add to the damage done by their increased mileage.

Make and Model of Car

Much will also depend on the types of cars equipped to be self-driving. For example, Waymo recently launched a wave of self-driving hybrid minivans, capable of getting far better mileage than a gas-only vehicle. If the majority of self-driving cars are electric or hybrids, the environmental impact will be much lower than if they’re converted from existing vehicles. Good emissions ratings are also important here.

On the other hand, the increased demand for autonomous vehicles could put more pressure on factory production, and make older cars obsolete. In that case, the gas mileage savings could be counteracted by the increased environmental impact of factory production.

The Bottom Line

Right now, there are too many unanswered questions to make a confident determination whether self-driving vehicles will help or harm the environment. Will we start driving more, or less? How will they handle dead time? What kind of models are going to be on the road?

Engineers and the general public are in complete control of how this develops in the near future. Hopefully, we’ll be able to see all the safety benefits of having autonomous vehicles on the road, but without any of the extra environmental impact to deal with.

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New Zealand to Switch to Fully Renewable Energy by 2035



renewable energy policy
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Eviart /

New Zealand’s prime minister-elect Jacinda Ardern is already taking steps towards reducing the country’s carbon footprint. She signed a coalition deal with NZ First in October, aiming to generate 100% of the country’s energy from renewable sources by 2035.

New Zealand is already one of the greenest countries in the world, sourcing over 80% of its energy for its 4.7 million people from renewable resources like hydroelectric, geothermal and wind. The majority of its electricity comes from hydro-power, which generated 60% of the country’s energy in 2016. Last winter, renewable generation peaked at 93%.

Now, Ardern is taking on the challenge of eliminating New Zealand’s remaining use of fossil fuels. One of the biggest obstacles will be filling in the gap left by hydropower sources during dry conditions. When lake levels drop, the country relies on gas and coal to provide energy. Eliminating fossil fuels will require finding an alternative source to avoid spikes in energy costs during droughts.

Business NZ’s executive director John Carnegie told Bloomberg he believes Ardern needs to balance her goals with affordability, stating, “It’s completely appropriate to have a focus on reducing carbon emissions, but there needs to be an open and transparent public conversation about the policies and how they are delivered.”

The coalition deal outlined a few steps towards achieving this, including investing more in solar, which currently only provides 0.1% of the country’s energy. Ardern’s plans also include switching the electricity grid to renewable energy, investing more funds into rail transport, and switching all government vehicles to green fuel within a decade.

Zero net emissions by 2050

Beyond powering the country’s electricity grid with 100% green energy, Ardern also wants to reach zero net emissions by 2050. This ambitious goal is very much in line with her focus on climate change throughout the course of her campaign. Environmental issues were one of her top priorities from the start, which increased her appeal with young voters and helped her become one of the youngest world leaders at only 37.

Reaching zero net emissions would require overcoming challenging issues like eliminating fossil fuels in vehicles. Ardern hasn’t outlined a plan for reaching this goal, but has suggested creating an independent commission to aid in the transition to a lower carbon economy.

She also set a goal of doubling the number of trees the country plants per year to 100 million, a goal she says is “absolutely achievable” using land that is marginal for farming animals.

Greenpeace New Zealand climate and energy campaigner Amanda Larsson believes that phasing out fossil fuels should be a priority for the new prime minister. She says that in order to reach zero net emissions, Ardern “must prioritize closing down coal, putting a moratorium on new fossil fuel plants, building more wind infrastructure, and opening the playing field for household and community solar.”

A worldwide shift to renewable energy

Addressing climate change is becoming more of a priority around the world and many governments are assessing how they can reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and switch to environmentally-friendly energy sources. Sustainable energy is becoming an increasingly profitable industry, giving companies more of an incentive to invest.

Ardern isn’t alone in her climate concerns, as other prominent world leaders like Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron have made renewable energy a focus of their campaigns. She isn’t the first to set ambitious goals, either. Sweden and Norway share New Zealand’s goal of net zero emissions by 2045 and 2030, respectively.

Scotland already sources more than half of its electricity from renewable sources and aims to fully transition by 2020, while France announced plans in September to stop fossil fuel production by 2040. This would make it the first country to do so, and the first to end the sale of gasoline and diesel vehicles.

Many parts of the world still rely heavily on coal, but if these countries are successful in phasing out fossil fuels and transitioning to renewable resources, it could serve as a turning point. As other world leaders see that switching to sustainable energy is possible – and profitable – it could be the start of a worldwide shift towards environmentally-friendly energy.


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