Let's find ways to Flourish!
Ok, so it may not be the complete answer to our environmental issues, but dual flush toilets do go a long way in helping reduce the pressure on fresh water consumption. And, they work so well, you will never turn back. Many years ago, my husband, being the romantic that he is, surprised me with a present - yes, it was a dual flush toilet! He installed it while I was out and surprised me with it when I returned. I was teaching a course on Green Building and Planning and had wanted one for our home, knowing that we could improve on the standard 6L flush toilet that we had.
Reasons to make the change
It may not be the first thought you have when it comes to making eco-friendly choices in the home, but it is an important one. When we consider the growing regions of the world that are water-stressed, and this is expected to increase with climate change, flushing away waste should not be one of our largest uses of freshwater. Also consider that the more water we send to the sewage...
Have you ever been surprised by the amount of money you spend on your energy bills? Despite changing some of your habits, such as remembering to turn off the lights and unplug appliances, you may find that your energy bills only decrease slightly, if at all! Sometimes energy usage has less to do with your behaviour and more to do with the energy efficiency of your home. If this is the case, it is highly beneficial to conduct a home energy audit.
What are home energy audits?
A home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment, is a way of determining how your home performs in terms of its energy efficiency. Home energy audits are typically conducted by an auditor from a company that specializes in energy audits. The auditor will assess various factors of your home in order to determine the level of energy efficiency as well as identify any opportunities for upgrades you may wish to make. Some of the things an auditor may look at include what kind of insulation you have in...
What is so great about Green Buildings?
Green Buildings are rapidly increasing in popularity not only because of the imperative to reduce our ecological footprint and carbon emissions, but also because of the low-cost of maintaining these buildings and the extremely high satisfaction among occupants. Not to mention the often highly appealing aesthetics of these high performance buildings.
“Green” is a term that is applied to buildings which have been built and designed in a way that is resource-efficient and environmentally friendly. Green buildings have a reduced impact on the environment, a positive impact on occupant health, and cost less to maintain. As climate change is considered one of the biggest issues of our time, there is an urgent need to alter the way we are currently living. According to the United Nations Environment Program, commercial and residential buildings are responsible for 36% of global energy use and 39% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions...
What is passive solar design?
Well, it is really the best of all worlds when you can heat or cool your home by simply taking advantage of the sun’s incoming solar radiation. It is free, sustainable and smart! Instead of relying on electricity or natural gas to heat a building, passive solar designs make use of a renewable resource, resulting in a significantly lowered environmental footprint. The goal of passive solar heating is to capture the sun’s heat within a building and release it during periods where the sun is absent. This allows the building to maintain a constant comfortable temperature without the use of electricity or natural gas. There are two major considerations when designing a passive solar building. The first element is the building’s orientation and window placement. The second is the use of thermal mass to absorb, store, and release heat.
Orientation and window placement
The ideal passive solar building orientation depends on your location...
What is remote solar?
Remote and off-grid solar systems provide energy opportunities to areas in which traditional power lines do not exist. This may be because traditional power lines are too expensive to implement, or they are simply impractical to construct within the given area. The main component of a remote solar panel system is the solar panels which produce a certain amount of power depending on their specifications such their as voltage and wattage. How do solar panels work? Solar energy is a clean and renewable energy source which comes from the sun. It can be harnessed and converted into useable energy through the use of photovoltaics. Incoming sunlight hits a semiconductor material that is used within a solar panel and knocks electrons loose. When these electrons are set in motion, they generate an electric current that can be captured. This current is then converted by the solar inverter into the type of electricity that can be used within the electric grid.