Simple Home Improvement that Creates a Sustainable Home to live 

Since the industrial revolution, societies have been driven to consume. The consumerist world exploded after the world wars and continued to expand to this day. Children are raised to do good in school, get a high paying job and live years of abundance. Material wealth has always been our standard of success.

Don’t you think it’s time for a change?
There’s an emerging movement that aims to challenge our perception of a successful life: minimalism. Minimalism, contrary to popular belief, is not a product of the 21st century. It’s in the core of many cultures in Asia. 

The Buddhist concept of Zen emphasizes on an individual’s consciousness of the self and its relations with nature. “Zen contends that physical nature and human nature must be sought in an experiential dimension practically trans-descending,” according to a paper published by Stanford University. Minimalists are upholding the Zen principle in various aspects of their life, from their decision-making behaviors to their lifestyle choices.

Sustainable living: a complete lifestyle shift


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Sustainable living is a way of life that involves reduced dependence on natural resources. It embodies the Zen principles of caring for nature and the ideals of minimalism. To live a sustainable life, you may need to make a significant shift in your mindset. “It is such a simple principle – and yet if it is extended to include all living beings (an essential component of sustainability), it requires a complete shift in how we live our lives. Because we do unto others all day long – through the clothes we buy, the energy we use, the food we eat, even the toothpaste we brush our teeth with. Every choice we make impacts others – through its creation, its distribution, its use and its disposal,” noted GlobalStewards.org.

Sustainability in your living space can be done in simple ways. If you’re new to the concept, you can start with the easiest steps. Here are some home improvement tips for a sustainable living.

Explore passive design strategies


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Passive architecture is the use of energy efficient designs to reduce ecological footprints. It includes daylighting, natural ventilation and solar energy. Daylighting simply means using sunshine to illuminate your space. You can create external reflection letting sunlight reflect from the flooring of your home, wide window sills, and light shelves. Internal reflection can be achieved allowing natural light to reflect from internal walls, ceiling and high reflectance surfaces. You can also apply light-colored finishes and mount mirrors to reflect light around your home. However, avoid high levels of direct sunlight that can cause glare and increase the need for cooling.

Passive cooling strategies involve energy efficient designs to control heat gain in spaces. These designs include ventilation, windows insulation, and shading. Remember that the cooling strategies you can apply in your home is determined by your climate. If you live in a tropical region, you may need year-round shading.

Create indoor green spaces

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Studies suggest that living near green spaces is good for one’s mental and physical health. Greenery has a therapeutic impact that helps reduce stress levels. Living in a neighborhood with parks and open spaces encourage an active and fit lifestyle. You can reap the benefits of green spaces by creating one inside your home. If you’re living in a tight condo space, you can install a vertical garden in the patio, kitchen, and even in the living room. There’s a wealth of creative condo garden tips you can check on Pinterest and other social media sites.

Houseplants offer a number of benefits. They can purify the air, cool down room temperature, provide supply for fresh vegetables and herbs, and decorate a space. The pothos plant can absorb toxins like formaldehyde from carpets and floor cleaning materials. The spider plant, which is usually displayed as hanging plants, also have air purifying qualities similar with dracaena and weeping fig. Other plants that can clean indoor air and have cooling effects include bamboo palm, boston fern, and aloe vera.

Go energy efficient with your appliances and gadgets


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A sustainable and minimalist lifestyle doesn’t mean that you should let go of the comforts of technology. It’s just a matter of choosing the right furnishings and appliances. Go only for appliances with high energy-efficiency ratings. When shopping for electronic devices, choose Energy Star-labeled products that can save up to 75% in power consumption. You can further cut down your energy consumption, and save on costs by using an advanced power strip. 

This reduces “vampire loads” or electricity wasted when appliances and gadgets are plugged in but unused. Vampire loads commonly occur in computers, kitchen appliances, and home entertainment systems.

For your computer, here are 3 no nonsense tips to go energy efficient:
Use your computer on low-power mode. This can save energy, and allows your equipment to run cooler and last longer

Turn off the switch on the power strip or surge protector if the plugged equipment is not in use 

Activate the power management feature on your computer. This will automatically put your screen into sleep mode after a period of inactivity

Take advantage of government-sponsored programs


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The US Department of Energy (DOE) developed a national rating system, the Home Energy Score, that assesses the energy efficiency of a home based on the architectural design and heating, cooling, and hot water systems. The agency offers financial incentives and financing programs that attain a high Home Energy Score. For solar energy systems, you can avail of a federal tax credit for 30% throughout 2019, 26% for 2020 and 22% for 2021. The taxpayer may claim the credit of qualified expenditures on an energy-saving system in a residential structure he owns in the United States. “Expenditures include labor costs for on-site preparation, assembly or original system installation, and for piping or wiring to interconnect a system to the home,” according to the DOE.

Sustainable living is a change in mindset and behavior. It involves simple, mundane decisions such as recycling plastic cups and major matters like shifting to a passive home design. You don’t need to rush in and change all your appliances tomorrow, but start in any way you can. Uncluttering your home can be your starting point.

Author: Emily Harper, Mother, Blogger and Owner of the Blog SecurityOcean.com

4 Ways Companies Are Helping the Environment

Many of the world’s top organizations are investing billions of dollars into environmentally sound processes and procedures. The consumer climate has changed, and customers are switching to green products. Buyers are paying closer attention to what they purchase and how it affects the environment, remaking the current marketplace of many industries for the better.

While this is great news for the environment and our future, switching over to green solutions has also become a sound financial investment. Here are four methods various companies and industries are using to be more sustainable and help the environment.

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Switching Out The Small Things
The easiest way to begin going green is to start small. Go around your office and switch out your regular light bulbs with LED bulbs or T8 lamps that might not to replace the ballast and/or fixtures. Switch out light switches with motion detector options. Include more in-office plants and shrubbery to improve the air quality of your office, and get your janitorial team to change from harsh chemicals to more natural and eco-friendly cleaning supplies.

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Go Green Lighting

Talk to your Human Resources Department to ensure a safe, non-toxic environment. Replace your vending machines and other unhealthy break room foods with sustainable brain food options. These include nuts, organic fruits and vegetables and health drinks. Eliminate your use of plastic bottles and other disposable tableware. Instead, encourage the use of plates, silverware and cups that can be cleaned and reused.

Going Paperless
Going paperless at the office might not seem viable but thanks to the today’s technology, paper is becoming more obsolete as the years go by. Email on its own has changed business communication forever, but with the invention and prevalence of smartphones and tablets, which are basically small computers, we can share and transfer information much more easily.

Rather than printing out document after document for our coworkers to read, we can go over business information on screens that fit in our pockets. Consider investing in a projector or large screen for company presentations as this can eliminate the need to pass out documents for people to use. Instead, you can keep everything digital and save trees.

Wind power
Source: Bloomberg

Embracing Innovation
Levi’s have begun selling jeans made from recycled plastic bottles. General Electric’s “Ecomagination” business strategy is boosting the energy production via wind farms by 20%. New commercial jet turbines are under development that are intended to cut fuel burn and carbon emissions by more than 10%. And unless you have been living underneath a rock for the last decade, you know about the surge of the electric car industry.

All of these inventions and ideas are reshaping age-old industries and bringing them into the future. Part of the reason for this surge of innovation and improvement is the fact that companies are making green thinking a part of company culture. Instead of seeing nature as something separate from industry, environmentalism has become an inspiration for invention and investment.

Changing Traditional Business Ideas
Believe it or not, some companies are persuading their customer base to buy less of their product. It’s called green purchase behavior or green purchasing and it goes against every established business practice ever conceived. The idea encourages consumers to consider the environmental impact of their purchases, including usage and disposal. While the notion contradicts traditional retail models, it fosters corporate responsibility for future developments and investments.

These are only a few examples of the change in corporate culture in connection to the environment and the future of the planet. While there are still many issues involving pollution and waste within the business world, change is occurring and gaining speed thanks to shifts in the consumer marketplace.

Toyota Hybrids getting Made in America!

It’s Electric: Toyota to Bring First Hybrid Powertrain Production to U.S.
September 26, 2017

PLANO, Texas (September 26, 2017) – Toyota just upped the stakes to remain the top manufacturer of hybrid vehicles worldwide with a $373.8 million investment in five U.S. manufacturing plants that will support production of its first American-made hybrid powertrain and to implement Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA) at its Alabama plant. Each of the projects is scheduled to begin this year and all should be operational by 2020.

The investments will include adding new production of hybrid transaxles (hybrid vehicle transmissions) at the Buffalo, West Virginia, manufacturing facility; expanding 2.5-liter engine capacity at the Georgetown, Kentucky, plant; increasing production of 2.5-liter cylinder heads at Bodine Aluminum’s Troy, Missouri, plant; and modifying the Bodine Jackson, Tennessee, plant to accommodate production of hybrid transaxle cases and housings and 2.5-liter engine blocks. The Huntsville, Alabama, plant will undergo a comprehensive upgrade to enable it to build engines that complement TNGA. 

“This investment is part of our long-term commitment to build more vehicles and components in the markets in which we sell them,” said Jim Lentz, CEO, Toyota Motor North America. “This strategy is designed to better serve our customers and dealers, and positions our manufacturing operations to fulfill their needs well into the future.”


The 2.5-liter engines manufactured in Kentucky and transaxles made in West Virginia will be used in hybrid vehicles built in North America such as the Highlander Hybrid manufactured in Princeton, Indiana. Toyota remains the world leader in gas-electric hybrids, surpassing 3 million sales in the U.S. and 10 million globally.

 Fifty new jobs will be created because of the investment at the Alabama plant. There will be no net gain of jobs at the Kentucky, West Virginia, or Bodine Aluminum facilities, but these investments will help to ensure the stability of the plants’ employment levels in the future. 

“This investment across five American plants expands capacity for our latest TNGA engines, and localizes production of hybrid powertrains, a core Toyota technology,” said Jeff Moore, senior vice president for Manufacturing. “It underscores Toyota’s confidence in the capability and global competitiveness of our North American manufacturing.” 


The total investment of $373.8 million will be distributed as follows:

Toyota Motor Manufacturing, KY – $120,960,000

Bodine Aluminum Jackson, TN – $14,500,000

Toyota Motor Manufacturing, WV – $115,300,000

Toyota Motor Manufacturing, AL – $106,000,000

Bodine Aluminum Troy, MO – $17,050,000

These projects, and others previously announced, move Toyota nearly halfway ($4.1 billion) toward its commitment to invest $10 billion in the U.S., as announced by Toyota Motor Corporation CEO Akio Toyoda in January 2017.
Source: Toyota 

Through Pollution Prevention Let’s Talk about Solar!

Happy Belated Pollution Prevention Week! Been a bit busy! LOL

The EPA had dedicated a week to increasing efforts to reduce and eliminate sources of pollution to prevent damage to the environment, as well as maintain the planet’s resources and move towards sustainability.

One technology that has advanced these efforts greatly across the United States and the world is solar power. In the United States, .005 percent of all energy consumed comes from solar. This may seem like an insignificant number, but it’s actually quite substantial. In addition, between 2014 and 2015 alone, there was a 33 percent increase in solar power generation across the globe! Currently, the total photovoltaic (PV) power generation capacity around the world stands at 231 gigawatts.

As the solar industry grows, the demand for people working in the industry is growing too. The number of people working in the solar industry is expected to grow by 24% by 2021. Looking to get into the industry? California might be a good place to start as they have a 34% market share in solar as of 2016.

Want to learn more about the future of solar power? Check out the infographic below created by New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Electrical Engineering program.


NJIT Online

Every Jaguar and Land Rover Launched From 2020 Will be Electrified

London, UK, 7 September 2017: From 2020 all new Jaguar Land Rover vehicles will be electrified. The company made the announcement at its inaugural Tech Fest, a series of debates and a free public exhibition about the future of mobility.
Dr Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Officer, said: “Every new Jaguar Land Rover model line will be electrified from 2020, giving our customers even more choice. We will introduce a portfolio of electrified products across our model range, embracing fully electric, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid vehicles. Our first fully electric performance SUV, the Jaguar I-PACE, goes on sale next year.”


Jaguar E-type Zero

The electric Jaguar E-type Zero future-proofs one of the world’s most famous cars. Acclaimed by Enzo Ferrari as “the most beautiful car in the world”, the E-type now combines breathtaking design with electric power for the first time. E-type Zero is based on a 1968 Series 1.5 Roadster and features a cutting-edge electric powertrain for 0-60mph in just 5.5sec. It was engineered by Jaguar Classic at the company’s new Classic Works in Warwickshire, UK. 


Jaguar I-PACE Concept

With I-PACE we started with a clean sheet and engineered a bespoke, tailored, pure electric SUV from the ground up, creating a beautiful design with everyday practicality. It’s a performance SUV, it looks stunning, is great to drive and will be on sale next year.

Jaguar FUTURE-TYPE

The Jaguar FUTURE-TYPE is a vision for the car of 2040 and beyond. The fully autonomous virtual concept explores mobility for the connected world of tomorrow, where vehicles could be shared not owned. 

07.09.2017 Source: Digital News Agency