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Moving? Try These 4 Simple Green Moving Tips



real-estate-photography By Nicci Romanovsky Via Flickr

You’re aware of the dangers of polluting our environment with trash that isn’t biodegradable. You understand how important it is to green your move. And now that you’re moving, you’re curious about how to make your move to a new apartment or house in an eco-friendly way.

While you may be aware of how to pursue a green lifestyle in your daily routine by buying cleaning products that are biodegradable and recycling your consumer products, you may be wondering how you can apply these principles of green living.

Going green is a bit of a challenge when you move. For one thing, you are in a rush and you have no time to think about it. For another, you will be using many things just once before discarding them. For instance, things like cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, plastic wrapping, tape, and cleaning products. The solution is to plan ahead and to substitute traditional packaging materials with eco-friendly alternatives.

4 Easy Green Moving Tips

Here are 4 green moving tips to help you to put things in perspective:

1. Work with a professional moving company.

If you have to move your entire household, it only makes sense to hire a professional moving company like North American. It’s advisable to minimize how many trips you make to transfer all your stuff. With that in mind, you’ll be impressed with by how much you can move by using one with large trucks. By using a large truck carefully packed by experienced movers, you will avoid making several trips back and forth in a small truck. Besides saving on fuel costs, you’ll also get all the help you need with loading.

2. Jettison what you don’t need.

It’s a waste of time, money, and gas to move your entire house. Try to lighten your load to fit into one large truck if possible.

You’ll be amazed when you go through your household how many things you no longer use. You have probably built up quite a collection over the years. You’ll find small kitchen appliances that you set aside to get fixed someday and you’ll find clothes that don’t fit you anymore.

One way to make this process of sifting and sorting easier is to empty out a room and use it to store everything that you don’t plan to take with you. Later, once you’ve decluttered your entire house, sort through this stuff and make different piles.

– Create a pile for things that you want to recycle because they are in terrible condition and you can’t give them away.
– Create a pile for things that you want to donate to family and friends. Your trash may be someone else’s treasure. That extra mattress you have that’s still in good condition may be just what a nephew who has graduated from college needs in his new apartment.
– Create a pile for things that are still in good condition for goodwill. Thrift stores usually accept gently clothes, household items in good condition, decorative things that are still attractive, and exercise equipment that can still be used. Before lugging all your stuff to your local Thrift store find out what it is that they will accept.

Finally, give all your fresh or packaged foods to the needy and organizations that feed the homeless.

3. Rethink packing supplies.

Many of the packing supplies you use will only be used once. Try to reuse some materials and try to substitute items that don’t biodegrade with those that do.

Here are some ideas to consider:

Cardboard boxes: Get cardboard boxes that have already been used. You can get these from local stores. If for some reason, you can’t get these from your local stores, put an ad in your local newspaper asking for boxes. Many people who have just moved will be glad to give you their boxes. You will be able to get most of these boxes free. People and stores will be glad you asked because you helped them get rid of their boxes. When you get to your new home, take these boxes to a recycling plant.

Reusable boxes: Another idea is to buy wooden crates that can be reused again for different purposes when you get to your destination.

Packaging materials: Much of the standard packaging material people use is convenient but not eco-friendly. We’re talking about bubble wrap and plastic peanuts. These take a long time to degrade and are a major nature pollutant. Simply substitute these with materials that can be recycled like newspapers.

4. Clean with eco-friendly products.

You will do a lot of heavy cleaning both when you leave your old home and when you arrive at your new one. While it’s easy to just grab something from the supermarket to help all you need is a mix of water, vinegar and lemon. You can make your own cleaning products or buy products that only use natural ingredients.

Green Moving is Easier than You Think

When you break it down, green moving is not that difficult. All you have to do is think about the traditional things people do to move that ruin the environment and try to find an alternative way of achieving the same results with a different strategy or different materials.


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Is Wood Burning Sustainable For Your Home?



sustainable wood burning ideas

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?

Homegrown 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.

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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:

Financial Advising

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.

Life Insurance

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.

Health Insurance

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.

Final Thoughts

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!

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