Energy and Environment: News, Policies, Industry Tips and More

Three Environmental Issues to Consider in Building Development

Posted by on February 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Environmental Issues to Consider in Building Development

The construction industry is an important sector in the assessment of climate change and general environmental degradation. In simple terms, the process of building new structures demands raw materials from mining ores, stone quarries and even forest environment. In addition, the developments will require long-term input of energy during its use which contributes to a significant carbon footprint. If you are starting a development, you should consider the environmental aspects of the project. Ideally, you should engage an ecological consultant to guide you in reducing potential negative repercussions of the construction activities. Here are the main environmental issues that you must evaluate during a building development project. Protection of Natural Environment There are growing concerns regarding the loss of biodiversity due to human activities. Therefore, you should ensure that your building development does not endanger the flora and fauna in the surrounding environment. This is particularly important when you are constructing in a relatively rural area. You should avoid cutting healthy and established trees within the property where possible. These are critical in managing carbon dioxide levels, and they are habitats for wildlife such as birds. Moreover, these can increase the aesthetic value of your new development. You should also avoid any activities that can contaminate water resources and negatively impact aquatic life. Therefore, make certain that excavation practices are conducted by professionals to avoid affecting the groundwater resources and protect nearby rivers and wetlands from construction waste. Long-term Energy Efficiency Energy efficiency is an important environmental issue in the construction process. This is because the rate of energy consumption will be affected by the design and general building system. For instance, one of the electrical systems that contribute to high energy consumption is the heating and cooling appliance. If the building walls have poor insulation properties, you will lose and gain heat, and this will contribute to higher energy demands. You can avoid these detriments by choosing building materials and designs that increase efficiency. Install double-glazed windows, use high-quality insulation and use open floor plans for better airflow. In addition, consider other aspects such as energy efficient lighting and appliances. Sustainable Building Materials Finally, you can minimise the development’s unfavourable impact on natural resources by utilising sustainable building materials. For example, you should consider acquiring recycled and reused products for construction because these reduce strain on the primary sources and require less energy to process. Additionally, it is critical to use long-lasting materials because you will not need to replace or repair the pertinent features...

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Mulches for landscaping your home’s garden

Posted by on February 16, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Mulches for landscaping your home’s garden

Your garden is an important part of the home. It provides the space you need for outdoor activities. Landscaping your garden ensures that it is in a good condition for the activities you would like to do outside the house. In addition, it also offers a playground for your children. Mulches offer a good alternative for a wide range of materials for landscaping your garden. Mulches are made from organic materials such as timber waste and rocks. This makes them eco-friendly, because they do not exude toxic substances even after you have used them for a long time. Here are a few mulch products for your consideration when landscaping your backyard or front yard: Pebble mulch Pebble mulch refers to small stones or gravel, which allow water to seep through. Pebble mulch is suitable for covering pathways in the garden so that there is no mud when it rains. However, they do not support plant growth in the garden because the small stones do not decompose. At the same time, the small stones can be washed away during heavy rain, leaving the mulched area exposed. Therefore, you need to confine pebble mulch using trenched structures to minimize erosion.    Bark mulch Bark mulch is made from the tree bark after timber has been sawn. After extraction, the mulch is dried to ensure that it does not rot when you use it for landscaping your garden. Its dark brown colour makes the areas look like it is covered in natural soil. This makes bark mulch ideal for the garden space around trees and flower beds. Since bark mulch decomposes after some time, it feeds the soil during the breakdown, making it more fertile. This encourages the growth of trees and flowers in the garden areas that have mulch cover. Bark nuggets Bark nuggets are small chippings made from thick tree bark. They look like small pebbles. Bark nuggets provide good cover on the ground, and they are ideal for garden areas where there is no shade regulating the amount of sunlight reaching the ground. This can affect flowers and other natural plants growing in the garden. Since they are thick, the nuggets help to retain moisture. They are also ideal for decoration. You can use them in small patches in different areas of the garden to improve the aesthetics of the garden. As much as they enrich the soil through decomposition, bark mulch and bark nuggets need to be replaced after some time. The nuggets reduce in size as they decompose. This can distort the garden landscape you want.    A company that sells landscape supplies will be able to help you find the best mulch for your...

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Simple But Important Tips for Restaurants With a Grease Trap

Posted by on December 31, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Simple But Important Tips for Restaurants With a Grease Trap

If you own or manage a restaurant or any type of diner or cafĂ©, your kitchen will no doubt have a grease trap. This is a type of trap that goes over the drain in the kitchen and which is meant to catch solid waste, grease, certain oils, and the like, rather than allowing them to go down the drain and into the city sewer system. The grease trap needs to be cleaned on a regular basis and it’s usually good to have a professional do this for you. However, note a few simple but important tips for restaurants with a grease trap so you know how to maintain it properly and keep it functioning as it should. 1. Clean your grease trap often You may need to increase the number of times you have the trap emptied and cleaned throughout the month; don’t let your local codes be the only guide for this maintenance. Those codes or regulations simply tell you the minimum number of times your grease trap must be cleaned and are not meant to direct you in how often your kitchen’s trap in particular may need cleaning. If your restaurant serves a lot of foods cooked with oils, you may need the trap cleaned much more often than city regulations. Note too that you want to ensure your bus staff is cleaning grease and solid foods off plates and dishes before they’re stacked in the dishwasher. This will put those solid wastes in the trash rather than having them run off into the grease trap, causing it to clog and overflow. 2. Avoid using enzymes and other treatments in the grease trap There are products advertised that say that they break down grease and other solids in the grease trap and allow them to then go right down the drain. Using these may seem like you would keep your grease trap cleaner, but in truth, they can actually be damaging to your kitchen’s drains. This is because those enzymes and products may break up grease just enough for it to go down the drain, but it then clings to the plumbing pipes. Then, your drain could have more clogs and risk of backups. Rather than using enzymes, schedule for a real grease trap cleaning as needed. The service company who cleans your trap may have recommendations about additional services to keep the trap cleaner and the drains clear, but avoid products that simply break up grease, as these can cause more clogs down the...

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3 Diseases That Could Destroy Your Citrus Trees, and What You Can Do About Them

Posted by on December 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Diseases That Could Destroy Your Citrus Trees, and What You Can Do About Them

One of the most common types of tree that you can find all across the gardens of Australia is the citrus tree. Because orange trees, lemon trees, and grapefruit trees thrive in a warm climate, there is every chance that your garden could produce delicious fruits in the summer months that also add colour and beauty to your outdoor space. Unfortunately, one of the downsides of citrus trees is that they can become easily diseased. Here’s how to identify the main threats to your citrus trees and how to deal with those threats. Citrus canker. Have you noticed that some of the leaves and fruits on your tree are beginning to develop a series of yellow lesions? If so, this could point to a case of citrus canker, which is an extremely infectious bacterial disease. Fortunately, the disease is not harmful to humans, but it will destroy your fruit, and can easily spread from tree to tree. The bacteria can spread via human clothing, across the air, and by birds as well, so if one tree is infected it is probably worth contacting a tree removal company to stop the infection spreading to all of the citrus trees in your garden. Greasy spot. This fungal disease is fairly common among citrus plants, particularly pineapple and grapefruit, although it can affect other citrus trees as well. You will notice greasy spot because of oily blisters that first appear on the leaves of the plant and that then spread to the rind. The fungal spores that cause greasy spot can easily germinate amongst dead leaves under your tree, so a good way of proactively preventing this disease is by regularly raking up leaves from your garden. Otherwise, this disease is fairly easy to treat with a copper fungal pesticide spray. Root rot. Root rot is difficult to spot initially because, of course, the roots of your trees are underneath the ground. By the time you notice the disease because of yellowing leaves and premature leaf drop, the disease could be in more of an advanced stage. Unfortunately, once the infection becomes apparent it is very difficult to save a tree and a tree removal company should be contacted to uproot the tree so the disease doesn’t spread to other citrus trees in your garden. It is also important not to plant any other trees in the same spot as the uprooted tree.  For more information, contact a company like Kingdoms Tree...

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