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.

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.

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.