Insulating an Old House

So, how do you go about insulating an old house? There are two methods that can be adopted; the traditional method, which works ok in modern homes and the natural method which works great with older homes!

So, what’s the difference: The traditional method uses man-made insulation materials and involves simply adding the insulation to the property. Ok that’s the simplistic description, there is a bit more to it. But essentially that is it. Man-made insulation will absorb water vapour, but it will not release it easily.

The natural method refers to the use of natural insulation materials. These natural insulation products are breathable, and they readily absorb and release water vapour without affecting their ability to insulate your home.

Why is Breathability Important?

Old homes are typically built with solid masonry walls and lime-based mortars and render etc. This structure is breathable and allows the property to stay dry while allowing water vapour to pass through the structure. If you start adding modern manmade insulations to old houses you can create a vapour barrier that stops the movement of the water vapour. And when the water vapour stops, you get problems. These typically take the form of damp, rot, and mould.

So, it’s really important not to create a vapour barrier, so foil backed insulation, polythene sheets and man-made insulation materials should be avoided. Otherwise, you’ll be putting your home at risk.

Surely, when insulating an old house, stopping the water vapour getting into the wall is a good thing?

I can see why people would think this, but you need to remember that water vapour moves through old walls in both directions. Outwards during the winter months, and inwards during the summer months. So, vapour barriers can actually trap moisture within the wall where it can cause issues.

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So, what’s the solution for Insulating an Old House?

The solution is to use natural insulation materials such as hemp, wood fibre, sheep wool, Jute etc. in conjunction with a vapour control layer on the warm side of the insulation (which allows a small amount of water vapour through in both directions. And, depending on what element you’re insulating a breather layer to the cold side of the insulation to prevent wind wash (where the wind or air moving over the insulation draws warm air out of the insulation and thus reducing its efficiency).

You could even go more hi-tech and use a smart vapour control layer which is a sheet of material that has very small pores to reduce the amount of water vapour passing through it into the wall structure in the winter months and then in the summer months the pores open to allow more water vapour to pass back into the property and not get trapped within structure.

So, in conclusion a vapour BARRIER should be avoided, and a vapour CONTROL layer (VCL) should be used.

Man-made insulation should be avoided, and natural insulation should be used.

Once you get the insulation right what else do you need to consider?

Insulating an old house will reduce the amount of ventilation and this in turn will increase the risk of smells and stale air within the property. So, you’ll also need to ensure that you have adequate CONTROLLED ventilation.

Controlled ventilation is ventilation that is designed into the home, rather than uncontrolled ventilation such as draughts around door, windows, and letterboxes etc. Examples of controlled ventilation include, extractor fans, trickle vents to windows and positive input ventilators. Older homes would not have had these originally, as the structure and windows and doors would have been quite leaky, and many still don’t.

So, after following the above suggestions you now have a well-insulated home, you’ll need to increase the ventilation.

Insulating an old house can be done fairly easily, but it does require a little planning, and the use of the correct materials. But if you, do it right it’ll be easier to heat, will hold onto that heat for longer and will be healthy for you and your family.”

Does it Cost Much to Build an Eco-Friendly and Sustainable House?

Introduction

Constructing your house from the ground up is an exciting but scary concept. Each house construction requires meticulous budgeting and planning to save time, resources, and wellbeing. These aspects are more fundamental, especially if you’re looking to construct a green home, as the Materials Market and eco-housing industry are filled with continuous innovation.

Therefore, we’ve prepared information to let you know how much it can cost to construct a sustainable house. We’ll also provide some tips on how to build one. Read on to discover more.

What is a Sustainable House?

“Sustainable” is a term that often gets thrown around that it’s become a staple in the green-washing marketing campaigns of various brands. In this context, a sustainable house is constructed to decrease negative environmental impacts caused by construction and during the home’s lifespan.

Characteristics of a Sustainable House

A sustainable house is:

  • Environmentally sustainable. These buildings are designed to decrease their environmental footprint. They achieve that by saving water and energy, reducing waste, and minimizing greenhouse emissions.
  • Economically sustainable. It’s vital to concentrate on converting environmentally friendly housing into cost-efficient housing to continue thriving as a species. Therefore, ultra careful planning and budgeting are needed to reduce construction costs and future renovations.
  • Socially sustainable. For a house to be sustainable, it needs to accommodate people with limited mobility more. It’s designed and constructed to prevent injuries and enhance the occupants’ sense of security.

Essentially, a sustainable home should be constructed with materials that can’t harm the environment, durable, flexible, energy-efficient, and cost-efficient to run in the long run. When you achieve these objectives, you can enjoy many benefits such as reduced energy costs, minimal ecological footprint, and a house designed to meet your family’s ever-changing needs.

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How Much Does It Cost to Build an Eco-Friendly and Sustainable House?

Many often overestimate the overall cost of constructing a sustainable house, especially compared to standard housing. According to a report released by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, many people assumed that eco-friendly housing features increased the total construction costs by 17%. Yet, in reality, it adds less than 2%.

Here is what contributes to the overall construction cost:

  • Building costs – 61%
  • Finished lot costs – 18.5%
  • Builder profits – 9.1%
  • General and overhead expenses – 4.9%
  • Sales commission – 3.7%
  • Financing and marketing costs – 2.7%

Therefore, you need to calculate all the costs – construction costs, general & overhead expenses, and finished lot and builder costs = to determine the total cost of building your house, as they contribute 94% of the overall sale price.

A Breakdown of the Cost of Constructing a Sustainable House

The Rocky Mountain Institute released a report in 2019 showing that zero-energy housing is more feasible. It roughly costs around $240,000 to $260,000. A breakdown of these costs looks like this:

Interior finishes – 25.4%

The highest portion of your construction budget will be spent on setting up your house’s interior. This stage includes insulation, flooring, lighting, etc. It’s best to choose eco-friendly options like recycled insulation or air sealing technology, sustainably certified timber, energy-saving home appliances, and the like.

Framing – 17.4%

Framing includes sheathing, roof, and general steel and metal. Choose durable roofing options like metal roofs.

Major system rough-ins – 14.7%

Think of using solar panels, low-flow plumbing systems, rainwater harvesting systems, etc. These products will benefit you and your family in the long term.

Exterior finishes – 14.1%

Exterior finishes comprise roofing, doors, windows, et cetera. Consider installing sustainable roofing materials, insulated garage doors, and triple-pane windows.

Foundations – 11.8%

This stage entails excavation, foundation, retaining walls, concrete, and backfill. To get a more energy-efficient and durable option, it’ll help to use efficient building materials such as an insulating slab foundation with a steel mesh to reinforce the concrete slab foundation.

Conclusion

Are you looking to construct an eco-friendly house? If so, you can approach this project in multiple ways. When building such a house, it is fundamental to plan and budget for it carefully. The post illustrates that creating a sustainable home is less costly than many think. Follow these tips to construct your eco-friendly and sustainable house efficiently.

Automating with AI and Cloud for Renewable Energy

AI and Renewable Energy Image

The global renewable energy sector is growing and influencing sustainable changes. Electricity professionals are optimizing grid expansion and production rates by advancing supportive technologies. They are using artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing systems to reduce energy waste and greenhouse gas emissions.

Expanding the renewable energy sector is essential to ecological conservation. Protecting the global ecosystem may reduce biodiversity loss, resource degradation and adverse human health effects. AI and cloud-connected technologies support the renewable energy sector in four ways.

The Demand for Renewable Energy Advancements

Environmental engineers are developing AI and cloud-connected technologies for renewable power sources to minimize production limitations. Solar and wind power production relies on inconsistent weather patterns. Photovoltaic (PV) panels achieve 20% efficiency rates on average.

Individuals can optimize their renewable energy production rates using monitoring, storage, and distribution devices. AI and cloud systems also improve renewable energy’s storability. Solar panels and wind turbines distribute clean electricity directly to consumers. Professionals must expand storage technologies to create a sustainable and reliable electric grid.

They can create a compatible grid using advanced technologies. Energy professionals may also meet eco-consumer demand using AI and cloud-connected devices. Oil and gas prices are skyrocketing as the war between Russia and Ukraine continues.

Renewable energy is the most cost-effective power source on the market. Expanding clean energy production can decrease economic and environmental struggles. Eco-conscious countries like England are adopting advanced renewable energy technologies to shrink their carbon footprints,

1.   Grid Management

AI and cloud technologies support England’s clean energy goals by enhancing grid management practices. The U.K. plans on expanding its clean electric grid to align with the Green Grids Initiative. AI and cloud-connected systems help power professionals expand production and maintain consistent output rates.

The technologies can predict regions’ energy consumption rates and distribute adequate amounts of electricity. AI also enhanced grid resilience by diversifying power sources. The technology recognizes consumption changes and autonomously accesses excess power from decentralized sources.

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2.   Preventing Disaster-Related Interferences

AI and cloud technologies can also prevent environmental disasters, which interfere with renewable energy production. Earth is experiencing an increase in the frequency and intensity of storms from climate change. High winds, heavy rainfall, flooding and moving debris can damage PV panels and wind turbines.

AI systems can monitor climate change effects and predict disasters, which helps professionals prepare for production limitations. The technology can inform renewable energy maintenance professionals of upcoming storms. Workers may secure panels and turbines before disasters strike to decrease damage.

Individuals can repair panel racks before storms to protect them from high winds. Preparing renewable energy systems for disasters may prevent production interferences. Many consumers rely on renewable power after storms to access electricity during outages.

3.   Maintenance

Energy professionals are also automating maintenance practices using AI and cloud technologies. Employees experience health and safety challenges while installing and inspecting wind turbines. Environmental engineers developed turbine inspection drones to protect workers and improve job site efficiency.

Renewable energy professionals can also conduct predictive maintenance with AI technology. Relying on smart systems instead of human power may decrease mistakes and increase time efficiency. Improving maintenance accuracy may also increase renewable energy’s cost-efficiency.

4.   Minimizing System Stress

Individuals also integrate small-scale AI and cloud computing systems onto their properties and improve their energy efficiency. Residents and business owners are adopting cloud smart services to access financial benefits. The technologies reduce individuals’ energy consumption rates, which decreases stress on renewable power supplies.

Building owners can install smart thermostats to decrease energy waste from heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. The technology uses Wi-Fi to distribute temperature control data to residents’ smartphones. Individuals can monitor temperature changes and control indoor climates using cloud-connected technology.

Smart lights also enhance energy efficiency and minimize stress on renewable energy supplies. The technology uses AI to determine a room’s occupancy and lighting demands to reduce waste. Many smart lights also rely on light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs.

LED lights are about 75% more energy-efficient compared to incandescent bulbs. They decrease electricity waste and increase buildings’ sustainability levels. Reducing energy consumption rates can improve society’s compatibility with clean energy grids.

The Benefits of AI and Cloud-Connected Energy Grids

In 2015, the United Nations (UN) created a global sustainability goal. The agreement works to minimize climate change effects and protect the global ecosystem. Regions can abide by the UN’s sustainability standards by expanding renewable energy production.

Using AI and cloud technologies to increase the clean energy supply may protect human health and biodiversity rates. Reducing emissions effectively lowers individuals’ risks for respiratory conditions. It also preserves natural habitats and other vital resources for species.

7 Best Practices for Eco-Friendly Remote Work

To live a healthy life and reduce your environmental footprint, you should be aware of your business’s resources. For both financial and environmental reasons, businesses should pay attention to the little details. 

Since COVID-19 has changed the way companies view remote work, there are now more regulations about using energy while working at home. So how can you reduce energy consumption when doing remote work? Consider these tips:

Go paperless

Whether you’re using technology for your work or a digital office, going paperless is an easy way to impact the environment. You’ll save on paper costs and energy consumption. You’ll also work more efficiently if you don’t worry about managing documents and scheduling meetings by phone or email. 

You can digitize work-related documents, forms, and communications to save space, organize information, and make it accessible from any device. A paperless workplace will also appeal to those customers who are more technologically savvy and environmentally conscious.

Sustainable events 

If you own a business, another way to engage remote workers in environmental issues is to organize company-wide sustainability events. Scheduling these events will boost the cumulative impact of individual efforts. To celebrate the achievements of remote workers, organize a recycling drive or team-based brainstorming sessions. For example, reward your team members for exhibiting environmentally friendly behaviours with prizes, public praise, and tangible rewards. This way, they will be more likely to continue the sustainable behaviour and make the company an even more environmentally friendly place to work.

Using energy-efficient appliances

LEDs are an excellent choice for lighting. They produce light with a low electrical current, have no warm-up time, and last for twenty or more years. They can be programmed to automatically dim or turn off when they detect that the room is empty. In addition, they can be more durable, so replacing them is much easier. LEDs also have more features, such as a built-in daylight sensor. This technology helps businesses lower their overall energy costs. So, if you are looking for a way to reduce energy costs and improve the environment while improving your home’s energy efficiency, consider switching to LED lighting.

Using bamboo office products

If you’re looking for a sustainable office product that can last a long time, you should consider using bamboo office products. Bamboo is a popular alternative to traditional wood, which can be difficult to care for. With proper care, bamboo products can last a lifetime, saving you thousands of dollars in repairs and replacements. Despite the cost of bamboo office products, they are highly attractive and environmentally friendly. In addition, bamboo forests are highly efficient and help counter climate change. 

Adopt Energy-Saving Habits

Keeping a constant check on your energy usage while working at home is a smart way to save money and the environment. You can lower your home’s energy bill by turning down the thermostat and limiting electronic use. Changing habits that use less energy include turning off lights when not in use, using programmable power bars in kitchens, and keeping windows closed. Using a table lamp for a single task, track lighting for hobbies, and under-counter lights in the kitchen can all help save money on your electric bill.

Energy-efficient thermostat settings

If you have a smart thermostat, change its settings accordingly. You can even schedule heating and cooling times. Some smart thermostats can even be programmed to reduce energy consumption when the home is unoccupied. These smart devices can also be programmed to automatically adjust the temperature according to the weather forecast. This will ensure that you’re not wasting energy and money. In addition to being easy to set, they give you real-time updates on your energy consumption. They display current temperatures, humidity levels, and weather forecasts. The best part is, they’re designed to save money!

Reduce the brightness on your laptop

Increasing brightness increases power consumption exponentially. Reduce your laptop’s brightness when working in a dimly lit room. You’ll be amazed at how much energy you save. A recent study conducted by a manager showed that adjusting the brightness of your monitors could save 20% of the energy. Using hundreds of computers could amount to thousands of dollars in savings for your energy bill. That’s a great deal of savings! So the next time you’re working in front of a computer, don’t forget to adjust the brightness of your monitors. You’ll be glad you did!

How to Have a Sustainable Lifestyle with Mobile Phones

The modern-day smartphone is the most popular choice among consumers looking for a way to stay connected to the world. However, this popularity is driving increased demand for smartphone supply and negatively affects the environment.

According to Deloitte, smartphones will generate 146 million tons of CO2 in 2022. It is estimated that, after being manufactured, a mobile phone can generate an average of 8kg of emissions from usage during its working life (between 2-5 years).

Sadly, consumers don’t have any decision power on manufacturing of mobile phones, however reducing devices’ energy consumption and extending its lifespan during usage years can help to decrease the CO2 emissions and make sure the device is used sustainably.

Why Does Your Phone’s Energy Consumption Matter?

The importance of power to phones is often overlooked. Without power, you wouldn’t be able to use it for anything. So, electricity is an absolute must for your device.

It is a well-known fact that the battery of a mobile phone drains depending on what you use your phone for, the number of apps and services running in the background. The amount of time that you spend on your phone each day, as well as the apps you use and how much data you have access to, all contribute to your battery usage.

In the UK, the average person spends around 2 hours a day on their smartphone, which is a substantial increase from just 10 years ago. Our smartphones provide us with access to HDR games, 4K content, music streaming, navigation and are constantly connected to the apps we use the most, which burns through the battery’s charge without us even noticing.

This means that our smartphones are using up more and more of our electricity every day. The electricity consumed to fully charge a phone once a day using a 5W charger is 0.035 kWh per week, which is about 1.82 kWh per year. Take into account that there are multiple mobile phones in a household, and this number can quickly grow. The energy consumption of one’s family’s mobile phones can increase even further if fast chargers are used. 

While mobile phones are not as power-hungry as tumble dryers or air conditioners, it is crucial to understand that the more you use your phone, the more frequently you will need to charge it which in result will speed up the degradation of your phone’s battery cell and you will start noticing performance drop. That’s why it’s important to rethink your smartphone ownership to ensure you use the device efficiently and for as long as possible.

5 Tips for a Greener Mobile Phone Usage

Changing the way, we use our devices can help to reduce the environmental impact of our technology-infused lifestyles. It’s clear that in order to make a real difference, we need to make sure that our devices aren’t charged as often. The good news is that there are many ways to reduce the need to charge your mobile phones. Here are five tips to follow to have a greener lifestyle with personal electronics:

  1. Turning off location services will stop your phone from using GPS to pinpoint your current location. Turning on Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or Mobile Data only when you need it, will also stop your phone from actively looking for connection with nearby devices, which can dramatically reduce drain on battery life.


  2. Apps that are running in the background will continue to consume charge even if you don’t have the app currently open. Make sure that you close the apps after use and run software enabled battery optimisations to put background apps to sleep.


  3. Using Dark Mode will extend your battery’s life as the display won’t require as much energy to show content. This will also prevent your display from developing signs of discolouration and the screen will last longer.


  4. In order to keep the battery life of your phone healthy, it is important to enable the smart charging features built into your smartphone.

iPhones, for example, have an Optimised Battery Charging feature. When switched on, your phone will learn your charging habits and it will delay charging past 80% in certain occasions to finish it just before you need it.

Android phones have a similar function under Device Care that does the optimisation for you closing apps that haven’t been executed for a long period of time and limits unnecessary battery drain.

  1. Assess what type of activities you do the most on your phone. Is it gaming, watching videos, or sending media through WhatsApp? While gaming, you can lower the screen brightness which will help to save the power. Consider reducing the video quality when watching YouTube and perhaps have an occasional smartphone detox.

With these tips, you’ll never have to worry about running out of charge in the middle of your day, and when you get home, you will only need to top up the battery.

It is important to always be mindful of the energy we consume. It is not enough just to unplug our gadgets or appliances when not in use. Taking the above steps to ensure energy-efficient ownership of mobile phones and recycling used phones, will prolong their useful lives and keep valuable materials in use. We need to change our phone usage habits and switch to a more sustainable ownership, so our devices last as long as possible helping us to cut down our overall carbon footprint.

By Lidia Compare and Recycle

New UK Technologies Anticipated to Remove CO2

Since the industrial revolution, people have been putting greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere at an unprecedented rate. In addition to causing illness and death, these GHGs are linked to warming temperatures which negatively affect environments around the world. Carbon dioxide is one of the most damaging greenhouse gases emitted by fossil fuel-powered industries.

As awareness of environmental issues has grown, scientists and policymakers have looked for a solution to reduce the high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In response to this challenge, engineers have developed strategies for carbon capture and storage (CCS). The UK is one of many national entities exploring how CCS could improve environmental health.

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The Role of Carbon Capture

Scientists and environmentalists agree that the most important step for reducing CO2 in the air is to stop producing it. Regardless of how effective clean-up methods may be, it’s much easier to stop atmospheric pollution at the source. However, shutting down most major industries isn’t a practical option right now.

Realistically, the transition away from fossil fuels will be a slow and steady process. The faster companies can create new solutions for industry problems, the faster this transition will be. Eliminating greenhouse gas production right now would require a massive societal shift that would make modern life impossible.

Many engineers and scientists are working to find renewable sources of energy that can replace fossil fuels. However, others are working on solutions for cleaning as much existing carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere as they can. Until companies stop producing CO2, scrubbing it from the atmosphere will help contribute to a cooler, healthier world.

In addition to harming the environment, air pollution from fossil fuels and other industrial materials can cause massive health problems. The American Environmental Protection Agency has responded to this threat by posing the Clean Air in Buildings Challenge. As awareness of air pollution grows, more companies will begin to value carbon capture technologies.

New UK Technologies for CCS

Carbon capture plants pull carbon dioxide directly out of the air through a fan and collection system. The captured carbon is then either stored underground or resold as a product to help the company turn a profit. Recycled CO2 has been turned into fizzy drinks, used in greenhouses as fertilizer and even added to concrete to create eco-friendly construction materials.

In the UK, the East Coast Cluster is working on CCS facilities in the north of England that could cut approximately 27 million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere by 2030. Plans are also ongoing for a carbon capture project on the east coast of Scotland. These facilities are intended to reduce the impact of local factories and industrial plants on the environment.

CO2 can also be trapped through natural means. Plant matter and some ecosystems pull carbon dioxide from the air and trap it in the ground or other natural materials. In 2021, UK Research and Innovation committed £30 million pounds to research the impact of different natural materials on carbon capture.

This massive project will be measuring the effects of peatland, enhanced rock weathering, biochar, afforestation, and bioenergy crops on carbon capture. Although natural means of CCS can’t pull excessive amounts of CO2 out of the air, every ounce captured helps. Natural CCS also takes very little energy to sustain and often brings additional environmental benefits.

A Future for Healthy Air

Natural ecosystems operate on a balance, reabsorbing the amount of carbon dioxide they create. Unfortunately, modern industry has upset this balance and released excessive amounts of CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. These gases are contributing to global health problems and environmental damage.

Fortunately, engineers are working on new technologies that can remove excess CO2 from the atmosphere. In the UK, companies are building carbon capture and storage plants to mitigate industrial emissions. Scientists are also experimenting with natural forms of carbon capture, including peatland cultivation and buried biochar.

Although carbon capture and storage can help reduce CO2 in the atmosphere, these strategies are not a solution on their own. Engineers and environmentalists must continue to pursue new forms of energy that can replace fossil fuels as the foundation of modern industry. Together, energy innovation and CCS can make a real difference in air quality and environmental health around the world.

By Shannon Flynn

Learning From the Countries Generating Most of Their Power from Renewables

Wind

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The Johnson administration is setting ambitious climate targets. It plans to shrink the U.K.’s carbon footprint using renewable energy sources. Energy professionals are transitioning away from fossil fuels by following other countries’ sustainability paths.

Many nations are decarbonizing their power grids to minimize adverse health effects and environmental degradation. Sourcing renewable energy is also more cost-effective than alternative power sources. The U.K. can develop a clean energy grid using other countries’ renewable power models.

Sweden

Sweden is one of the most sustainable countries in the world. The nation sources about 56% of its energy from emission-free supplies. Sweden has access to abundant quantities of biomass and moving water.

Nearly 75% of Sweden’s electricity comes from hydroelectric sources. The nation’s power professionals work with the landscape to reduce resource exploitation. They also source about 30% of the country’s electricity from nuclear power plants.

Sweden plans to adopt additional emission-free energy sources and reach 100% carbon neutrality by 2040. The nation may access wind power supplies from neighbouring countries. Utilizing domestic and foreign renewable energy can help nations develop clean power grids.

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Costa Rica

Costa Rica is another leading country in clean energy development. It currently produces over 98% of its energy supply from renewable sources. Like Sweden, Costa Rica utilizes its coastal landscape to generate significant quantities of hydropower.

Power professionals also supply the grid with geothermal, wind, biomass, and solar energy. Fossil fuels were responsible for about 54% of greenhouse gas emissions in Costa Rica. Government officials targeted pollution by increasing the supply of alternative power.

Other countries can learn from Costa Rica’s successful transition to renewables by adopting multiple clean power sources. Many renewable energy sources rely on inconsistent weather patterns. Diversifying the power grid can ensure reliable energy supplies throughout extended periods.

Nicaragua

Nicaragua also produces significant quantities of clean electricity. The country meets environmental conservation targets by generating geothermal power and other emission-free energy supplies. In 2020, Nicaragua made more than 3,100 Gigawatt hours (GWh) of renewable energy.

The country is meeting decarbonization goals by first electrifying its residential buildings. Decreasing residents’ reliance on fossil fuels can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Supplying homes with clean electricity may effectively eliminate residential air pollution.

The U.K.

The U.K. is working towards carbon neutrality by expanding wind power production. Energy professionals utilize the country’s expansive coastline to develop offshore wind farms. Nearly 34% of global offshore turbine installations occur in the U.K.

Offshore farms are decreasing electricity-related emissions and improving green employment opportunities. Other countries can learn from England’s renewable energy production by optimizing turbine placements. Power professionals are creating significant electricity supplies by placing farms about 20 kilometres (km) from land.

Researchers calculated the U.K.’s lowest emissions since 1888 after installing offshore wind farms. Other coastal regions are using the U.K. as a model to expand wind power production.

The U.S.

Like the U.K., America is establishing ambitious climate targets. The Biden-Harris administration plans to reach carbon neutrality halfway through the century. Energy professionals are reducing the enhanced greenhouse effect with wind power.

Americans are using onshore and offshore wind turbines to build a clean electric grid. They may also combat rising oil prices by sourcing more renewable power. Clean energy expansion is additionally creating 100,000 new U.S. jobs.

Energy professionals are expanding renewable power projects to increase national clean power alternatives. America currently sources about 12.2% of its energy from emission-free power supplies. The country may further shrink its carbon footprint by creating more wind, solar, geothermal, and hydropower projects.

When Will the World Reach Carbon Neutrality?

In 2015, the United Nations established a global goal of eliminating emissions by 2050. It also plans to find more zero-carbon power solutions by 2030. Environmentalists and engineers are working together to advance clean energy technologies.

Most countries are taking sustainability measures to reduce energy-related pollution. Nations are working together to fast-track their renewable power projects and reach carbon neutrality. Individuals may expect more countries to source significant amounts of power from emission-free sources in the coming decades.

Author bio:

Jane works as an environmental and energy writer. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of

Environment.co.

How Companies Are Investing Earnings from Green Initiatives into Sustainability

Companies are starting to recognise that going green is far more than a marketing scheme. For many businesses, implementing sustainable initiatives leads to measurable financial and environmental outcomes — benefits that far outweigh the convenience of traditional waste management and energy consumption.

As consumers and governments continue to push for greener companies, with the United Kingdom even offering tax breaks for sustainable organisations, businesses must continue enhancing their green initiatives. There’s no better time to reinvest your rising revenue into smarter, more ambitious sustainability goals.

In this article, we’ll showcase a handful of ways that companies can use their earnings from green initiatives to create more eco-friendly operations.

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Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Equipment

Getting started with sustainability can be as simple as using fewer packaging materials and finding ways to reuse your waste or unsold goods. These small changes can help you achieve rising profits, whether it’s thanks to increased sales or reduced waste. But while these small initiatives can make a big impact on the environment, you still have room to improve your sustainability using your increased revenue wisely.

Image Source: Unsplash

One way you can reinvest your revenue — and achieve even higher returns than ever before — is by upgrading to energy-efficient equipment, especially if you’re operating a warehouse or factory that currently has faulty machinery. For example, you can invest in battery-operated forklifts or opt for vertical conveyor belts that help you produce more with less space (and therefore, less electricity). Newer technologies are usually more efficient already, which means choosing new, greener options can rapidly reduce your carbon footprint while decreasing your expenses.

Energy-efficient equipment can also help you lower your taxes. In the United Kingdom, where businesses are charged environmental taxes for emitting harmful chemicals, companies that invest in sustainable technology can actually receive tax deductions or exemptions. As other countries follow suit, your green initiatives could help you reduce your tax obligations in any country you’re operating in.

Invest in Renewable Energy

Even better than reducing your traditional energy usage is not using it at all. Businesses can invest their earnings from green initiatives into renewable energy solutions, which are significantly more environmentally friendly.


For many companies, installing solar panels is a popular way to reduce dependence on non-renewables. Solar panels can greatly reduce your utility expenses, allowing you to quickly earn back what you invested — especially since many governments, like the U.K., offer solar panel grants to alleviate the cost of investment.

Other ways to implement renewable energy include investing in rainwater harvesting, which can decrease your water consumption, and installing biomass boilers, which produce heat using natural materials like wood chips.

Reduce Waste Throughout Your Supply Chain

When first kicking off their sustainability practices, many businesses focus heavily on going green within their company. However, when you’re ready to invest your earnings from your green initiatives, it’s important to consider how you can improve the sustainability of your entire supply chain. Supply chains generate significantly more greenhouse gases than your company itself.

Your company can build a greener supply chain by using strategies like:

  • Investing in electric cars for delivery purposes
  • Choosing local suppliers to shorten the distance your raw materials need to travel
  • Working with suppliers with green initiatives of their own
  • Ensuring you’re completely filling your trucks before sending them off

Identify the biggest waste-makers in your supply chain and work on combating those first.

Don’t Let Your Business Size Stop You

While going big with your green initiatives may sound difficult for small businesses that don’t have as many resources, it’s actually far from impossible. In fact, aiming for net-zero emissions may actually be simpler, since most small businesses don’t produce nearly as much energy as big enterprises.

If you’re just starting your business, you can get a step ahead of competitors by establishing your brand as a sustainable company from the get-go. You can avoid reliance on wasteful practices altogether, so you don’t need to make any dramatic shifts in your business processes to go green. As your business expands and you reap the benefits of your green initiatives, you can maintain your sustainability — even as demand increases — by proactively crafting a growth strategy that prioritises eco-friendly practices.

Go Greener

As worldwide demand for sustainability grows, businesses across industries are increasingly implementing green initiatives. Most start with simple actions, like setting up recycling programs within their teams. However, as you start reaping the financial benefits of sustainability, you need to consider reinvesting your earnings into more advanced initiatives that further help the environment — and, of course, help you save money and profit more.

Start by investing in equipment that’s energy-efficient or that uses renewable energy. This action can decrease your dependence on harmful non-renewables and help you qualify for tax cuts. Then, take a look at what’s happening across your supply chain to come up with more reinvestment strategies for your business.

By Sam Bowman

How Contractors Can Secure an Eco-Friendly Home

Eco Home

Being eco-friendly is something that’s becoming increasingly important to more people around the world, and change starts at home – even more so when it comes to buying a property. 

There are various ways that someone can make sustainable choices that lessen the impact on the planet and buying a property with a lower carbon footprint is one that can make significant strides towards an eco-friendlier lifestyle. 

With this in mind, how can contractors prioritise the environment when buying a property, while also balancing the difficulties of paying for a mortgage with an irregular income?

The benefits of eco-friendly construction

Operational and maintenance costs account for a huge proportion of the total running costs of a building over the course of its lifetime, and as energy prices increase, these bills will only become larger and more difficult to pay. 

Using green initiatives, on the other hand, is an effective way of reducing running costs when it comes to water and energy, with the added bonus of doing less harm to the planet. According to a study by E.ON Energy, 81% of Gen Z and 74% of Millennials would be willing to pay more for a property if it came with a sustainable energy solution, such as EV chargers or a heat pump. 

Green building processes, whether it’s implementing renewable energy systems, using recyclable materials or using fewer processes that emit carbon emissions, can help to slow the pace of climate change and are more economically efficient which is better for the homeowner. 

What to look for when buying an eco-friendly home

There are several things that contractors can look for when buying an eco-friendly property, which will not only help to bring the carbon footprint of the individual down but can also make running and maintaining the home more affordable too. 

Look for a green mortgage lender

The first step actually takes place prior to buying the home and that’s seeking a green mortgage. There are specialist lenders around the UK who deal with mortgages for eco properties. 

Eco properties are often made from environmentally friendly materials such as timber, recycled plastics or insulated panels. Because these materials fall under the category of unusual construction, it can make getting a mortgage more difficult – something that can already be tougher for contractors. 

Working with lenders who deal in mortgages for these types of properties can put your mind at ease that you’ll have the funds to buy your dream eco property when you find it. 

Consider the building materials used

The very structure of the property is a good indicator of how eco-friendly your home will be, so the materials used shouldn’t be neglected. Recycled materials, such as salvaged materials or reclaimed wood, as well as those which encourage sustainable energy such as bamboo or precast concrete, have a lower environmental impact and can help to reduce your energy consumption. 

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What’s the EPC grade?

When you’re buying any property, but particularly an eco-home, the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is vital. This grade tells you the level of CO2 emissions the property produces, and each property is graded from A to G, with A being the most energy efficient. 

When looking for an eco-home, you want the EPC rating to be higher to ensure that your home won’t bring your overall carbon footprint down or increase your utility bills. The average grading for most properties in the UK is D, but the government is creating measures to encourage property owners to increase their EPC rating as a way of helping the UK reach its net-zero targets

Choose insulated properties

Insulation is a key component of an environmentally friendly property as it’s one of the most effective ways to lower your energy use and combat the effects of climate change. In particular, a home with loft insulation can help you to save money on your energy bills and helps you to regulate the heat in your home more effectively. If the insulation is made from eco-friendly materials, such as cellulose, the property will gain even more green points. 

Be mindful of landscaping

Eco-friendly homes extend beyond the internal fixtures and fittings. The surrounding area can also be tailored to sustainable efforts. For example, does the home you’re considering feature xeriscaping? This type of landscaping uses drought-resistant plants and grasses which means you’ll need less water to nourish the garden. 

Or maybe your lawn is made from synthetic grass, which can be considered a greener option since it doesn’t require water to stay green. Likewise, are the patio areas or walkways covered with eco-friendly materials such as wood chips or mulch? These features can help to make your home more environmentally friendly and easier to maintain. 

What’s the energy source?

Another feature to look out for when choosing an eco-property is renewable energy systems in place. Does the property have a heat pump, a biomass boiler or solar panels? These are investments worth making when you move into the property, but finding a home with them already in place can help to bring your carbon emissions down and saves you money on your utility bills, as well as saving you money on the initial investment of having them installed. 

Renewable energy is a key component of an environmentally friendly home, and it should be a feature to look out for when browsing for a property if sustainability is a priority for you. 

Final thoughts

Buying an eco-friendly home requires consideration of several factors, from the way the property is built and how easily it can be maintained without reliance on fossil fuels to the lender you choose to fund your purchase. 

As a contractor, cost is something that needs to be factored into your property purchase too – the more eco-friendly a home is, the cheaper it can be to maintain and that puts less pressure on contractors who may be dealing with an irregular income from month to month. 

by Nathan Howells

Pros and Cons of Offshore Energy

Offshore

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The U.K. has come a long way since the Great Smog. Infrastructure and lifestyle changes improved environmental conditions and protected residents’ health. Today, fossil fuels are creating similar ecological impacts.

Environmental engineers are improving local air quality by minimizing fossil fuel emissions. England may decarbonize its energy grid using offshore wind farms. As a result, energy professionals are exploring the pros and cons of this power source before building more turbines.

England’s Decarbonized Power Plan

The U.K.’s decarbonization goal may significantly decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 2035. Last summer, England’s renewable energy production increased to 48 gigawatts (GW). Energy professionals plan on increasing the clean power supply by diversifying production sources.

The country’s decarbonization plan integrates nuclear and offshore wind power into the grid. Technological advancements in the renewable energy industry may further reduce pollution and utility costs.

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The Pros of Offshore Wind Power

Offshore wind power is more efficient than onshore alternatives. The ocean has few wind limitations, which increases turbines’ power production. Offshore turbines can produce twice as much energy as those onshore with minimal wind speed increases.

Consistent wind patterns over the ocean also increase turbines’ production rates. Connecting offshore turbines to England’s power grid can minimize the country’s reliance on fossil fuels.

Another benefit of offshore wind power is land preservation. Some residents support renewable energy production but don’t like the sight of turbines, so moving wind farms to the ocean is the solution. Energy professionals can also build larger turbines in the water with fewer restrictions.

Offshore wind farms have larger turbines, and taller ones can produce more electricity by capturing faster wind speeds.

The Cons of Offshore Wind Power

Building large-scale wind farms in the ocean is less cost-effective than onshore construction. The construction process requires more materials, workers, and installation steps, which increase production costs.

Turbine installation can also damage aquatic environments. Drilling into the ocean floor may destroy natural habitats and pollute areas with debris. Turbines also produce sound pollution, which affects marine creatures’ health. Noise pollution can disorient aquatic species and leave them vulnerable to predators.

High wind speeds and wave impacts can degrade turbines’ efficiencies over time. Offshore turbines may require more frequent and invasive maintenance practices than onshore systems. Damaged parts also cause landfill pollution due to their low recyclability rates.

The final disadvantage of offshore wind farms is surface-level biodiversity loss. In America, turbines cause about 538,000 bird deaths annually.

Offshore Wind Alternatives

Producing enough renewable energy to support England’s power grid requires diverse low-impact sources. Renewable energy professionals developed floating photovoltaic (PV) panels that create offshore solar power. The panels prevent light from penetrating the water and causing eutrophication.

The agricultural industry can also protect aquatic species beneath renewable energy farms by producing sustainable crops. They may use botanical oils to protect their plants instead of pesticides.

England’s energy sector can also invest in bladeless turbines for more sustainable offshore wind production. Engineers in Spain developed a bladeless Vortex turbine, which produces energy by vibrating. A significant amount of bird fatalities occurs when the avians collide with turbine blades. Removing blades can protect the species and reduce landfill pollution.

Another sustainable turbine alternative is a connected drone. The technology generates its own wind power and distributes energy to Earth’s surface through a tether. Drones can fly over the ocean to collect high-speed wind and deliver it to land, reducing damage to the marine ecosystem.

Is Offshore Energy Worth it?

People may wonder if offshore farms are worth the investment. Offshore turbines have high efficiency rates and can help England meet its decarbonization goal. If energy professionals integrate sustainable technologies into the offshore sector, they can reduce economic and environmental limitations.

Author bio:

Jane works as an environmental and energy writer. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of

Environment.co.