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post2 - Saving Energy Will Save You Money

Saving Energy Will Save You Money

Saving energy and being green saves you money. Whether it is a business or a household, being more eco-friendly will save you money. If you have been reading our magazine for a while, you would know that this is true. We have featured several stories about how saving the planet can save you money. We have also received many stories of real people trying out green practices and confirming that they are saving money they didn’t think was possible. To share your story, visit the CONTRIBUTE page.

So, let’s have a quick look at how saving the planet can also save you money.

Lower energy bill – If you are saving on energy costs, you are saving money. That seems quite simple and common sense. If you take steps to better insulate your home, use fewer appliances, reduce the use of heating and cooling systems, and other such practices, you automatically save money.

Lower water bill – If you use less water, the water supply in the world remains steady. If you shower instead of taking a bath and use less water around the garden and home, you save water and you save money. Are you starting to see the trend yet?

Lower energy bill – Yes, we know we mentioned this one already, but we need to do so again. If you make use of renewable energy sources like solar power or wind turbines, you will have lower energy costs. You will not be using fossil fuel powered energy and the planet will be very grateful. The initial costs of installing these renewable energy sources may be a bit expensive, but the amount of money you will save in the long run more than makes up for it.

Beautiful surroundings – By planting trees, you are not only increasing the number of trees that can absorb carbon dioxide, but you are also creating beautiful surroundings. Trees are beautiful and refreshing and pretty to look at. They are also home to small animals and birds which further promotes a healthy planet.

Eating better – Eating only organic food and food that are not packaged, is healthy for you and the environment. Food that is fresh and not packaged tend to be cheaper as well. Plastic and other packaging are not good for the environment and the less you use and the less waste you create, the healthier you and the planet will be. Also, eating less meat will reduce the demand for livestock which will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases during raising.

Better driving – By driving a more fuel-efficient car, you will save on gas costs. Even better, if you use your car less, you will save even more on gas costs and you will likely get a bit of exercise and fresh air which is very good for the body and the mind. So, you will reduce your emission of greenhouse gases and improve your health.

It should be clear that saving the planet is not expensive for the individual. In fact, it will save you money. That money you save can then be donated to organizations that work to reverse the effects of our irresponsible living and to help protect nature and the animals.

info1 - Saving Energy Will Save You Money

Infographic by: energy.gov
post3 - 6 Top World Advocate Organizations for Environmental Protection

6 Top World Advocate Organizations for Environmental Protection

People have always known that the environment and our planet are important and that it needs protecting. Not all of these organizations were started when talks of global warming and climate change started. They were started long before that because people knew that we need to protect our most precious resource.

Today, Community Environmental Center would like to mention a few of the great environmental organizations that are making a difference in the world. We would also like to thank them for fighting for our planet.

Sierra Club – Founded 1892

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This organization is one of the oldest that is still in existence. They are one of the most successful and most powerful environmental advocates and have made many great things happen to affect change in the USA. The organization has over 1.3 million members.

World Wildlife Fund – 1960s

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WWF is something that everyone has heard about and we’re not talking about wrestling. This organization may only be a half-century old, but it has made some great changes and done a lot of good in those years. The organization has approximately 5 million members and its main aim is to preserve nature and its creatures. They strive to create harmony between humans and nature.

Greenpeace – 1971

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This is another well-known organization across the world. This organization is known for its hands-on and in your face protests and actions. They have taken on many wrongdoers and have stopped whaling, nuclear testing and many more wrongs that caused harm and injury to nature and animals.

National Wildlife Federation – 1936

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This organization has the main purpose of protecting our animals. It works closely with all the American states to help ensure that wildlife is preserved and protected. With 4 million members, it is one of the largest organizations in the world and they fight for wildlife issues and the protection of animals.

Forest Stewardship Council

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This council certifies that companies are green or eco-friendly. If you have a certification from these guys, you know you’re green. The organization is non-governmental and non-profit. It was started to protect our forests and is now also the organization you want green certification from.

National Geographic Society

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It is amazing but this organization is more than 100 years old. It is world-famous and has done a lot for the education of the world and creating awareness. National Geographic tends to focus on science-based research and conservation. They take a different approach to making a difference and protecting the environment by celebrating the beauty and the wonder.

There are many more organizations that daily advocate for the protection of our planet, the conservation of animals and plants, the cessation of cruel practices, and more. In recent years, other newer organizations have also popped up to help reduce our impact on the planet. Leonardo DiCaprio is involved. Ian Somerhalder started his own environmental organization called the Ian Somerhalder Foundation. These guys are using their fame and power to make a difference. We will have more on them later in the year.

post4 - 4 General Tips for Saving Energy

4 General Tips for Saving Energy

Saving energy is half the battle won when it comes to protecting the environment and reducing our carbon footprints. There are many things that you can do at home and at work to save energy and do your part for the environment. The good news about going green is that you will also be saving yourself some money.

The tips can be utilized by individuals, communities, businesses, or any other group or organization.

  1. Use less electricity. Electricity is still mainly supplied by burning fossil fuels. There are some cities and countries that have successfully implemented alternative energy sources, but many places are still relying on fossil fuels for energy. You can use less energy or electricity by switching off lights and appliances that are not in use. Unplug appliances that are not being used. You can also save on energy by using natural light and warmth for longer. This will reduce the need for using your heating and cooling systems for long periods. Instead of using heaters, cuddle up under a blanket and dress warmly. We’re sure you get the idea and can figure out other ways how you can save energy in your home or business.
  2. Use less water. Only wash clothes or dishes when you have a full load. This will reduce the number of times you need to run the washer and it will ensure efficient use of water. Let the dishes air dry instead of using the washer’s dry cycle to save on energy. Take short showers instead of baths. This will reduce the loss of too much warm water and your water heater working overtime.
  3. Use Energy Star products. Energy Star approved products are products that have been proven to be eco-friendly and will help save the environment, make your home more green, and save you money in the long run. You can find many different types of appliances and equipment with Energy Star approval.
  4. Fix problems. Leaky faucets or pipes, cracks in windows and doors, and poor insulation can all cause an increase in water and energy use. To make sure this doesn’t happen, check all your door and window frames and seal them well if needed. A lot of a home’s heat can get out through those cracks. Leaky faucets and toilets can add quite a big number to your water bill. Fix these issues as soon as you notice them to avoid unexpected and unwanted water bills.

These are only four very simple tips, but it will already make a huge difference. A simple change in our thinking and behavior can make a big difference. So, have a look at where you can save energy in your home and business and also look at ways that you can make a difference in your community’s energy use. Together, you can make a change.

post5 - How Your Business Can help Protect the Environment

How Your Business Can help Protect the Environment

Running a business is hard work and takes a lot of planning. It can also be very rewarding. If you want to save some money and be more eco-friendly, we have some great tips for you. Community Environmental Center visited a few green businesses and asked them for the low-down on how to make businesses more eco-friendly. We also asked them if it really saves them money and the answer from all of them was YES.

Running a green business is not just great for the environment but also great for your employees.

Change the light bulbs – LED or CFL is what you want to use. These lights are eco-friendly and they last much longer than normal incandescent ones. They may be more expensive to buy, but they will outlast that cost with years.

Get a green audit – A green audit will tell you where in your business you can make changes to make it more eco-friendly. These audits can tell you where you can save energy, water, and money. If you ask, you may even get subsidies for making your business more green.

Use less paper – For most businesses, some form of paper use is still needed. However, if you can reduce the amount of printing you do and also your general paper use, you will be going a long way to help the environment and saving yourself a lot of money. So, opt for email, video conferencing, etc.

Use alternative energy options – If you can make use of solar panels or other types of alternative energy sources, your business will become green and you will again save money. Initial costs may be expensive, but in the long run, it is definitely worth it and you will soon get that money back triple-fold in savings.

Green your appliances – When appliances or equipment need to be replaced, choose more energy-efficient replacements. Energy Star products are guaranteed to save you money and make your business more green. You will be amazed at how much energy and other resources you will save by using these Energy Star products.

Recycle and reuse – Recycle all recyclable products like plastic, paper, and tin. You can also make a difference and save money by replacing old furniture or other equipment with vintage furniture items rather than new ones. You can get really great and good quality items for affordable prices at second-hand stores or even online at Craigslist.

Choose green web hosting – Green web hosts are eco-friendly hosts that do things to counter their carbon footprint or reduce it. These companies either make use of alternative fuels or they plant trees or buy carbon offsets to make up for the environmental cost of their operations.

These are all great things that will help you make your business green and save money in the process. You will not regret taking these actions and making a difference. If you would like ideas for green businesses you can start, have a look at this article about green business opportunities.

post6 - How Our Relationship with Mother Earth Must Change

How Our Relationship with Mother Earth Must Change

Most people view the planet as a separate thing from us and our lives. However, this is not really correct. Many different religions and meditators already discovered the importance of the planet and how we are all connected to her and each other. Different spiritualists have raised their opinions and advice as to what is needed to restore balance within Mother Earth as well as ourselves.

Life is hectic, consumer-driven, and centered around immediate gratification and fast everything else. What does this have to do with the planet being sick? Everything. Think about it – if you weren’t so rushed to get to work or to get home, would you need all of the fast-paced products and things? If you were calmer and more balanced, would you need unhealthy distractions like smoking, using consumer products you don’t need, and doing other activities that harm the planet or using products that harmed the planet when it was made?

We are very closely connected with the planet. We just forgot. If you look around you, what you see is the planet or Mother Earth. The air you breathe, the clouds you see, the trees and plants, the ground your standing on, the elements your body is made up of, the food you eat, the wood you burn for fire, the water you drink – all of it is the planet. The planet is what keeps us alive.

Earth is the only planet on which human life can survive and yet, we don’t seem to think that that is amazing and something to be taken care of. Instead, we use and abuse the planet and try and get as much out of it as possible. And all that without putting back what we take. If you look at it like that, it is no wonder that the planet and environment is in the state it is in. The sun is especially designed to keep us alive and to make sure that we don’t freeze to death. However, we have let things get so bad that the sun may be the reason why we will no longer be able to live here. Greenhouse gases are trapping too much heat and is causing all the things that make life here possible, to deteriorate or become less human-friendly.

So, how do we change this relationship we have with the planet at the moment? We need to realize and acknowledge the planet as the life-giving and amazing force that it is. We need to realize that we and the planet are one and that when one is sick, the other will inevitably also be sick. We need to understand that taking better care of the planet means that we will take better care of ourselves. And it means that if we take better care of ourselves, we will also be taking better care of the planet.

If we can understand the interconnectedness of plant and human, we will take the first step to healing both the planet and ourselves.

post7 - 7 Tips for Protecting the Environment in Your Community

7 Tips for Protecting the Environment in Your Community

Protecting the environment in which you live is important. All of us want to live in a place where we feel safe and healthy and where our kids can grow up without fear of developing diseases because of dirty water or serious pollution. There are things that everyone can do to help have a cleaner and more environmentally friendly and safe community.

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1. Keep your home eco-friendly. When you do things differently in your home to be more green, you will already be helping your community. If everyone in the community does their part and reduces their own carbon footprint, the sum of all that will help make a better community environment.

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2. Protect the parks and trees. If there are any parks, tree lanes, or other natural areas, help ensure that they remain clean and protected. Those trees and other plants help reduce the carbon dioxide in the air. Natural areas are also important for conserving wildlife. Don’t you want your children and grandchildren to know what a deer looks like in its natural habitat? You can also plant your own trees in your garden or an open space – get the whole community involved.

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3. Paint your house with latex paint. Oil-based paints release hydrocarbon fumes which are bad for you and the environment. Latex paints are less harmful and will be good for you and the rest of the community.

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4. Drive better. If you can, buy a car that is electric or buy one that is the most environmentally friendly you can afford. If you can’t buy a new car, make sure that your car is serviced regularly so it can be as fuel-efficient as possible. Try to drive only when necessary and rather ride a bicycle or take a walk if it is close enough to do so.

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5. Don’t burn waste in your yard. Burning waste is actually illegal in some states and should not be done. Apart from the legal issue, burning waste releases mold spores and other contaminants that can cause allergies and respiratory problems. Keep your community healthy and don’t burn waste in your yard.

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6. Use water wisely. You may not think that your using less water will make a difference but it will. Use water sparingly and make changes like using a bucket and not the hose when washing your car. Don’t let the water run while brushing your teeth and shower rather than a bath. There are many ways to save water and help your community have a steady supply of water.

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7. Recycle and reuse. Recycling is important because reusing or recreating something that is already halfway what it should be, reduces energy use and pollution. It reduces the cost of making things and it also helps the local dump site to be more eco-friendly.

Your community should be a priority when it comes to health and the environment. We can all do more to help keep our communities and our natural parks clean and healthy and somewhere we would like to live.

If your community has interesting eco-friendly or similar projects, let us know about them. Tell us your story and how you got the community involved. For more information on writing for this website, please visit the CONTRIBUTE page.

post8 - Business Opportunities in the Environmental Sector

Business Opportunities in the Environmental Sector

There is a world of possibility when it comes to business ventures in the environmental sector. Saving our planet is crucial and many entrepreneurs and organizations are getting on board. Community Environmental Center did some research and found out what types of business opportunities or ideas are out there.

Eco-Friendly Salon

People are not only becoming more aware of what they eat but also about what beauty products they use. Organic beauty products made from ingredients that do not harm the environment during production or use are popping up all over. People want these alternatives so they can continue being pampered but with a clean conscience and knowing they are not causing harm to the planet.

Energy Efficiency

Energy-efficient products is also a great business opportunity. Whether you make them or sell them, doesn’t matter. If you can offer people the opportunity to have a home with appliances and other things that are environmentally friendly, you will be doing good. If you make these products affordable, you are sitting on a gold mine.

Organic Catering

Eco-friendly foodies will love this. Many people are moving towards more vegan, gluten-free, or paleo-type diets and catering for them is a good idea. If you can offer completely organic catering and also offer vegan options, etc., you may just make a ton of money in no time.

Green Finance

New businesses that are environmentally oriented may not be able to get traditional funding. That is where green financiers come in. These guys offer support and funds to local companies and projects that want to make a difference environmentally.

Recycling

Recycling offers many different business opportunities. You can get involved in collecting recyclable goods or starting recycling projects or drop-off points. You can even offer workshops where you teach people how to reuse things they want to throw away or how to make these items into something new and usable.

Research

Research will always be necessary in order for us to know more and be better able to save our planet. This may require some expertise, but there are many ways to go. You can start a local research project and look into how your community can live better and leave less of a carbon footprint. Based on that, you can start a business that addresses these issues or you can have seminars and workshops. Maybe you can even become a local advisor.

Alternative Energy

Alternative energy options are one of the things that can have an immediate effect on local and household energy use. Selling solar panels, wind turbines, etc. is a good business idea. Maintenance and repairs of these devices are also a market to target.

Green Apps

Everything works with apps and we love them. Create green apps and money will roll in. Apps for saving energy, saving water, tracking usage, tracking goals, offering food alternatives, etc.

Any of these ideas are great options. Your choice will probably depend on your financial means and expertise. However, you don’t need to have any specific degree to make a change. Get some people involved that have the knowledge and start your new green business. Also, visit our EVENTS page for opportunities to learn more.

post9 - Society vs Environment: Frequently Asked Questions

Society vs Environment: Frequently Asked Questions

Global warming or climate change have been the source of many questions from the public and scientists. Today, the Community Environmental Center will answer some of the most frequently asked questions relating to global warming and climate change.

What is global warming?

Global warming refers to the fact that the temperature of the planet has been increasing since the Industrial Revolution. It has already increased by about 0.8 degrees Celsius or1.4 degrees Fahrenheit and is expected to increase with another 0.3 to 0.7 degrees Celsius by 2035.

What is the difference between global warming and climate change?

Global warming refers to the warming of the earth. Climate change is the broader term that includes global warming but also refers to other changes that are taking place on our planet. Things like rising sea level, faster melting of ice, changing blooming times and seasons shifting are all part of climate change and a result of global warming.

What causes global warming?

Gases like carbon dioxide and methane are the main causes. These gases exist on earth naturally and are the reason why humans can live on earth. These gases trap heat in the atmosphere to make the planet warm enough to sustain human life. However, because of too much of these gases being produced through human activity like the burning of fossil fuels and the raising of livestock, the earth is becoming too hot. Higher temperatures may make living on earth less ideal or eventually even impossible for humans and animals.

What do rising sea levels have to do with it?

Global warming is causing warmer water temperatures which mean the water is expanding and the oceans are actually starting to take up more space. It is also causing glaciers and ice sheets to melt faster than they should and this leads to an increase in runoff from the polar lands which raises the sea level. This process may be a slow one, but it is faster than is ideal if you look at the bigger picture. Higher sea levels and warmer oceans increase the risk of coastal flooding and hurricanes.

Why are we told to eat less meat?

Raising livestock releases carbon dioxide and methane. Methane is produced through livestock’s digestion process as well as well as through livestock manure. The greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere by livestock makes up 14% of the US agricultural sector. So, by eating less meat, the demand for livestock will decrease and with it the production of greenhouse gases. Unfortunately, the population is growing at a staggering rate and more and more people want meat. This is why environmentalists are promoting vegetarian or vegan diets or at least asking people to consume fewer livestock products.

What is a carbon footprint?

A carbon footprint is the amount of carbon that a person, group, business, etc. produce or emit. Many activities lead to this including the burning of fossil fuels.

How can I reduce my carbon footprint?

There are many things that you can do to live more green. Use less energy, eat less meat, use less water, use energy-saving devices, recycle, etc.

You can read more about how we impact the environment here. You can also return frequently to see what new tips and articles we have that will help you live green.

info2 - Society vs Environment: Frequently Asked Questions

Infographic by: visual.ly
post10 - How Local Press Can Help the Environment

How Local Press Can Help the Environment

The press is a very strong force and it can make a difference in the way people view things, experience things, and think about things. It is because of this power that it should be used to help the environment and to help improve our relationship with the environment. There are already many publications, blogs, online magazines, and more that are focusing on making people realize what is happening to the world and how they can help.

So, how exactly can your local newspapers, magazines, and other media help the environment?

Create Awareness

Use the press to help the local community understand what their influence is on the environment and what steps they can take to reduce those effects. The press can collaborate with government and non-profit agencies to get stats and figures to explain to the community how many resources they are using and how that affects the future.

Start Campaigns

The press in collaboration with other organizations or individuals can start environmental protection campaigns. No-one knows the community and the parks, resources, etc. better than the community themselves. The press can help with coverage of stream clean-ups, park clean-ups, recycling projects, etc.

Advertise Events

The different types of media can advertise environment-related events where people can learn more or join in to help make a difference. Recycling organizations can also advertise their services and pick-up schedules.

Offer Tips

The local press can have features and the local printed press can have booklets or flyers that are given free with their papers or magazines. These booklets can be tips on how to save water and energy in the home. It can also include some how-tos of starting a garden or some other ways that will help the environment.

Feature Local Advocates

Newspapers, television and radio can have interviews and feature articles or stories on the local environmental organizations and what they do. This will give these organizations exposure and also let the community see that there are people that take the environment seriously and want to make it better. This will also help them know where they can get involved if they want to volunteer or donate to these organisations.

The press in all its forms can be very helpful in bringing about a change in how people think about the environment. It is a crucial medium for educating the community and getting them involved.

If your local press has made an impact on your community or you have some advice for the press, visit our CONTRIBUTE page and tell us your story.

post11 - Society’s Impact on the Environment

Society’s Impact on the Environment

Society’s influence on the environment is what brought us to the point of climate change where we are today. Different economic groups have different impacts on the environment due to fewer resources available or fewer means to acquire those resources. However, even low- and middle-income societies have an influence.

There are several different ways in which humans as a society affect the environment and contribute to negative effects and climate change. These effects are becoming more concentrated and worse because of over-population. Natural resources cannot keep up with the rate at which the population is growing.

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Water – We use much more water than natural resources can sustain. In the last few years, many different countries experienced serious droughts and even water shortages. You will find many places where water restrictions are in effect to try and cope with the demand of society.

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Pollution – Humans create different forms of pollution and all most of these affect the environment in a negative way. Water pollution reduces the water that we can safely consume and use. Air pollution affects the air we breathe and causes many diseases and illnesses in humans and animals. This in effect affects the economy as well as ecology and natural habitats for animals and plants to grow. This means that our food sources are being polluted.

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Forests – We all know about deforestation – the removal of healthy trees to make way for construction of malls and more housing or by urban communities for firewood. There is some evidence to indicate that deforestation has slowed down due to the use of other energy sources, but not due to fewer constructions projects.

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Fossil fuels – We use fossil fuels to make energy. The burning of these fossil fuels pollutes our air and surrounding environments immensely. The sources of these fuels are also running out because society’s needs are surpassing the number of natural fossil fuel sources that are available. This is why the search for alternative fuels is such a big deal. The use of some of these alternatives have started to show a difference, but nowhere near what we need to turn the climate situation around.

As a society, we all tend to think of the environment as some separate entity that we have no power over. We may not have power over it, but we are dependent on it and should try to reduce our impact on it. Our current behaviors as humans are causing a lot of damage and the culture of wanting too much and using whatever is available and easiest is making the environment sick.

For more information on how we are affecting the environment and what you can do to help, read our frequently asked questions post.