Americans are becoming more concerned about green living than ever before. However, many of them have a hard time taking the plunge, particularly when it comes to using green watering solutions. If you are on the fence, you should know that you can save a lot of money by finding a greener way to provide water to your home.
Green Watering Devices Are a Massive Money Saver
Do you know how much money you spend on water every year? According to the EPA, the average family spends $1,000. That is a noticeable chunk of your budget.
The EPA also estimates that some green watering devices can save you $380 a year. That is a lot of money to the average homeowner.
Green Watering is the Latest Way for People to Go Green, but Other Ideas Are in the Pipeline
A great number of us make conscious efforts to conserve the resources of our planet. We recycle our paper, plastic, and aluminum products; shut off lights when we leave a room; switch to compact fluorescent bulbs; take our own bags to the grocery store; carpool to work or walk instead of drive.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed with “green” information, but reducing our ecological footprint on earth is not as difficult as you may think. Going green simply means using what is necessary and no more. Small steps can produce big changes when it comes to the environment.
Creating a healthier, more planet-friendly home isn’t just a good deed, it’s an opportunity. Choosing energy-efficient appliances benefits more than just the environment; it can improve your quality of life and save you money.
If the goal is to use less energy, less electricity, and less water, what options do we have when it comes to our home’s appliances? We all use a great deal of water and energy in our daily lives. To reduce the environmental impact of your energy use, the best place to start is in examining how your appliances operate.
As our reliance on machines increases, choosing energy-efficient systems has become particularly important. Updated technology, along with national standards, have contributed to vast improvements in appliance performance. Purchasing the right products, in addition to using appliances in an eco-wise manner, will save energy and money.
Many of these products will be more energy efficient. The average household appliance consumes about 1,000 watts, so energy conscious homeowners will be under pressure to find more energy efficient versions to minimize their carbon footprint.
There are dozens of types of energy-efficient appliances offering green solutions to reduce household consumption. A high-efficiency softener, for example, is a green water system. Given that hard water is a major concern in nearly 85% of homes throughout the U.S., many families turn to water softeners to supply cleaner, healthier water throughout their homes.
While all softening systems need water and salt to operate, not all are created equal when it comes to waste production and energy conservation. If a softening system is always using salt and water, how is it possible that water softeners are green water systems?
First, when you remove the hardness minerals from your water supply, your appliances can operate more efficiently. This saves water and energy. Also, when you eliminate hard water, you’re removing the build-up of scale which prolongs the life of your appliances and keeps them out of our country’s landfills.
Consequently, although softeners use salt and water to regenerate, a high-efficiency upflow system like the Genesis On Demand uses precisely the amount of salt and water necessary; it always runs as efficiently as possible, without waste.
Upflow Technology for High-Efficiency Usage
The capacity of your water softener, how you maintain it, and how it operates, all affect how much energy is used. For example, a water softening system using older downflow technology may use more than double the amount of salt and water than leading brands like the Genesis water softener using modern upflow technology.
A water softener uses resin beads charged with salt in a tank. As water passes through the resin, the hard minerals are removed and exchanged with sodium. After the resin loses its ability to dispose of the minerals, it must be “recharged” with more salt during a regeneration cycle. This cycle, when combined with a backwash cycle, can use a significant amount of water.
Systems using older downflow brining requires hard water to enter from above the resin bed and flow throughout the resin to complete the ion-exchange process for softening. This presents a problem, as the direction of the incoming water compacts the media and prevents full softening capacity. It also causes more frequent regeneration, creating far greater waste than necessary.
Green water systems, such as the Genesis water softener line, uses new upflow technology in which water is directed in an up-flow direction, entering the system tank and moving through the upper basket before traveling down again through a tube in the center of the tank.
The water then gets distributed throughout the lower basket providing a better discharge of impurities and eliminating the need for backwashing every regeneration on municipal water. That is a 90% reduction in backwash cycle water use. Upflow softeners reduce salt and water usage by regenerating the precise amount needed and producing significantly less waste.
On-Demand vs. Timered Softeners
The key to a greener water softener is in on-demand, up-flow technology. If you have an older, timered softener, replacing it with a new, high-efficiency on-demand softener will provide your family with a cost-effective answer to hard water troubles.
A Genesis Premier Upflow On Demand system works on an as-needed basis, calculating the regeneration amount just before exhausting capacity, guaranteeing an uninterrupted flow of softer, cleaner water for a fraction of the cost.
Timered softeners regenerate at predetermined schedules regardless of water usage. Since we don’t use the same amount of water each day, it’s nearly impossible to program timed regeneration settings correctly, leaving homeowners with no choice but to either use hard water, or regenerate unnecessarily, wasting a great deal of water, salt, and energy.
When on-demand softening systems regenerate, it’s based on need instead of a preset schedule. Using innovative upflow technology in an on-demand system reduces salt usage by as much as 75% and water usage by 65% over standard downflow meter regeneration type models. It also requires less maintenance and fewer repairs. This superb energy efficiency goes a long way in saving money and the environment.
The savings in soap and cleaning products are also factors to consider. An added benefit is fewer chemicals into the environment. Using far less product to achieve cleanliness means less cost and less soap down the drain.
Most people choose eco-friendly products but that is not always an option, especially when trying to remove scale build-up. Calcium and lime removal can only be effectively done through harsh chemicals which are acid based. Installing a water softener eliminates the need for those products.
If you’re ready to make changes in your home to promote a greener lifestyle, and you’re in the market for an energy-efficient softener, you may be wondering: How much does a water softener cost and what size water softener do I need? Determining water quality and usage will help define the correct system for any home or business. A water quality expert can help guide you through the process.
Green Choices are Good Choices
Living green doesn’t just positively impact our planet, it also protects you and your family. Eco-friendly products like high-efficiency salt and water saving softeners deliver soft water to your home and prevent wasteful consequences.
Green systems lower energy bills, extend the life of your appliances, and preserve our natural resources. Environmentally conscious decisions add up. When we make responsible choices for our planet, we’re also reaping the long-term benefits for ourselves. The greener your appliances, the greener your wallet.
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!