Going Green When Relocating Your Business

Moving your business overseas can be tremendously beneficial, but it is also significantly more complex than just hiring a truck to move across town, especially if you want to do so in an eco-conscious way.

There are a myriad of reasons why you might want to move your business overseas, from tax exemptions, to deferment, to the simple desire to live and work abroad.

Though there is quite a bit of buzz, and a good deal of misconception, about offshore business and tax evasion, the reality is that there are a number of absolutely legitimate ways to structure businesses abroad that are not about hiding money from the US government, but that are about realizing significant, honest benefits when it comes to asset protection and taxes.

But I digress. This article is about making that move and doing it in the most cost effective way possible, both for your own bottom line and for that of the environment.

The reality is that while you may want to ship some office equipment and furniture to your new destination overseas, much of what you currently have will need to be re-purposed, sold, gifted to those in need or, worse case scenario, disposed of in the United States and replaced abroad.

Generally, office desks, cubicle systems, executive furnishings like desks or wall units, reception-area desks and furnishings, conference room tables, kitchen appliances and cabinetry units are all furnishings that don’t transfer well to new spaces overseas. These types of furnishings usually just won’t fit at the new space without alterations, because office cubicles, desk systems and cabinetry are typically custom- fitted for the office spaces they were originally intended for.

Those kinds of modifications are much more difficult to accomplish abroad since the company that made them may not have service providers, or suppliers, outside of the United States. If they do, they may only be found in industrialized countries and, more often than not, expatriate moves, for a number of reasons, tend toward areas that are still growing.

Nevertheless, office chairs, small filing units, computers, printers, copiers and other equipment can be used pretty much anywhere, and it may be beneficial to ship them rather than purchase them new abroad for a couple of reasons:

 

  • The “cost benefit” is that many times shipping is far less expensive than the cost of replacement, when you take into account high import taxes on electronics and office furniture in many countries outside the US, where the mark-up after taxes and retail sometimes exceeds 100%.

 

  • The “green benefit” is simply to avoid adding still more to the already existing 3.5 million tons (approximately) of surplus office furniture that gets disposed of each year, and ultimately ends up in our landfills.

 

Preparation for your move will take some time and consideration, but is easy and your shipping company can help you with both international and domestic transfers of office supplies, furniture and equipment.

  1. Do a complete inventory of your company’s office assets
  2.  Sort everything into categories:
  • Items that are eligible for resale on the secondary market, which can help to alleviate some of your moving costs.
  • Items that can be shipped for continued use in the new space overseas, which will help save re-furnishing costs and reduce your organization’s ecological footprint.
  • Items that should be donated to non-profit organizations or those in need, which can have a positive effect on public relations as well as produce tax benefits and reduce impact on our local landfills.
  • Items that can be turned in for recycling, again reducing impact and producing tax benefits.
  • Items that must be sent to the landfill.
  1. Schedule your moving company to ship items overseas that are marked for the new office, and to ship donations locally or nationally to their recipients.

 

Author byline

Einat Mazafi is the owner of NYShipping, an International Shipping and moving company based in New York. She is also a specialist in providing the best relocation solutions to clients worldwide.

 

Transforming waste to energy plant

What Makes Waste To Energy A Good Alternative To Coal?

Even in these modern days, it can seem like green energy is still a long ways off. While we do have several wind farms, solar power, and several similar options, people are constantly shouting that these options just don’t give enough power to make up for our current usage. Lately, however, the idea of Waste to Energy has been gaining a lot more traction in the modern eye. Some are still left wondering, however, just what Waste to Energy is.

How It Works

Waste to Energy works, at its most basic level, in a similar method to coal burning. Material is burned in a closed environment to heat up water in enormous boilers. This water boils and lets off steam which is siphoned off to spin turbines. In some cases, the steam is used directly instead of spinning turbines, but this is extremely rare. The turbines then produce electricity which goes into the power grid as normal. The only real difference between a coal burning plant and a waste to energy plant is its fuel source. While a coal plant burns coal, hence the name, a waste to energy plant instead burns organic waste. This single fact leads to a huge benefit for the environment.

What Makes It Better?

While coal plants require a mineral that we have a limited amount of to be ripped out of the earth and then shipped all over to function, waste to energy plants can run just fine set right next to any waste collection center. In theory, they could even be set next to landfills if your goal was to slowly start removing the waste from them. If enough waste to energy plants are set up with agreements from waste disposal groups, it could mean an enormous drop in the amount of waste that goes into landfills in the first place. After the waste is burned, all that’s left behind is ash. Specifically, about 1/5th of the waste would remain as ash. This ash is also sifted through to find any metal or other recyclable materials so that they don’t end up in a landfill. In a situation where the material that’s burned is completely organic, the ash can also be used as an input for things such as organic fertilizer. Of course, the benefit of slowly removing waste from landfills and decreasing their size is another one that definitely bears mention. After all, why simply slow a landfill’s growth if you can actually reverse said growth at the same time?

Are There Any Downsides?

There is one noticeable downside, but it’s not as large as you might initially think. Coal, as the easiest example, produces 2000 kwh (kilowatt hours) of energy for every metric ton of coal that’s burned. On the other side of things, waste to energy only produces 500 kwh for every ton of burned waste. This might seem like an enormous problem at first, but there’s two things to consider. One is that at least part of the extra energy from coal comes from the fact that it burns for so long by comparison to organic waste. That could be offset simply by burning waste more frequently, leading to less waste going into landfills overall. The other thing that could offset it is simply building a few more waste to energy plants than coal plants. That’s basically the only downside to using waste to energy over coal and, as you can see, it’s one that’s easily handled.

Derek is blogging for GoProWaste, a north New Jersey green dumpster rental company. He enjoys blogging about green energy, waste solutions, and biodegradable waste information.

Lily pad on koi pond

Ideas for the Perfect Pond

Many homeowners are often stuck for ideas when it comes to the home garden. This is where extreme costs for landscapers are brought into the budget and therefore limits the possibilities of the outcome. Although timing can be a large issue, why not dash out and stock up on the equipment to carry out these home renovations yourself in this tight economical period.

Amongst the minority of gardens is the average garden pond – or at least, space for one. And what’s more ideal than lavishing in expenses on keeping fish within the grounds of your home? When you speak to many homeowners a pond is very much a love it or hate it scenario.

For those who indulge in thoughts of ponds, below are some ideas on getting the perfect pond for your outdoor living space.

Dependant on garden space and budget, you can have a pond to your exact requirements or if you’re lacking inspiration, buy an already prefabricated shape and slot into your desired location.

Preformed Ponds

Preformed, plastic ponds are ideal for quick and easy installations. Due to being pre-formed, you are restricted to sizing requirements and depth can also be an issue. A benefit of having a plastic moulded pond is that in some cases it is sturdier than pond lining materials and is crease-free. Although, with this is mind, placement of rockery around the outer edge can sometimes warp the mould.

Life expectancy of these ponds is around 15-20 years, depending on the correct installation.

Featured Ponds

Featured koi pond

Increasing in popularity, these types of featured ponds are ideal in a contemporary environment. Very appealing to the eye – and children, these hexagonal ponds or “Feature Pools” display various windows within a wicker frame. Great for getting that side perspective that children love when visiting garden centres.

Being an ideal size, almost EVERY garden can adapt to cater for this these types of ponds.

Manufactured by Blagdon, you can get these feature Ponds at: AffinityPools.co.uk

Water Features

Water Features are another option to have. Either running into your pond or a standalone option, they are great in harmonising and can be a relaxing necessity within your garden.

Coming in a variety of sizes, shapes and base materials, they really can be adjusted to suit your requirements within your own garden.

Pond Liner Materials

With traditional pond liners you can build and adjust the sizing requirements of your pond on just about every scale. Whether you require a deep setting, or are looking to expand your existing pond, this is a great method with use of a jointing kit.

Whether you’d like to be hands on in the creation of your pond project or would like to leave it to the experts, you ideally require expert advice in this instance. Although many companies and garden experts will willingly offer their expertise, there are many guides and videos available to you online.

Pond Liner Materials can vary and are often used for lakes to small commercial business and properties. The usual pond materials are EPDM or PVC based liners. What’s the difference? EPDM has a higher life expectancy –evidently costing more.

Lining materials have tremendous properties; although in some cases can puncture due to the surroundings and environment of which the pond is currently based in. No fear, many garden centres and online stores will sell EPDM repair kits and such items.

The use of pond liner can extend your pond life expectancy to around 30-40 years.

Box Welded Liners

Box Welded Liners are similar to Featured Ponds in the sense that they are prefabricated to a desired shape including depth. Often used for Koi Ponds – because of their depth, they are ready welded into position ready for you to install into your garden space.

A Koi Pond is very different to the average pond. First being, they have to be much deeper – after all koi’s can develop to be quite big fish. And with the average box welded liner coming in squares, rectangles or circles, they can be adapted to the shape that you’re most comfortable with within your garden.

 

With all this in mind, it really is down to the requirements and sizing refinements of your home as to which option best suits your needs.

Author Bio:

AquaLiners Direct provides Pond Liner and Rubber Roofing materials for all domestic installations. Amongst our products is Box Welded Liners – ideal for a Koi Pond installation.

Rotting food attracting bugs

How to Avoid Animal Infestation In Your Business Premises

Do you have infestation problems in your business?

As a business owner you can thank Amicus Environmental for the very helpful information contained within this article, if you have environmental issues within your business premises their team are the experts you should really speak to.

Introduction

One of the most common peeves that people have today is when visitors linger too long and don’t leave. When you’re tired, or you’ve had a long day at work, the last thing you want is to have them overstay their welcome. Unfortunately, some guests just don’t take hints as well as others. And unless your last name is ‘Do-little’, you won’t be able to ask the mice to politely vacate your premises, or tell the insects and ants that you don’t like it when they join you for breakfast.

If you want to keep your place yours, don’t put out the welcome mat for unwanted guests. Here’s how you avoid animal infestation in your premises.

1. Pet Hate

Flea infestations are surprisingly common. You won’t often hear about them though, because nobody wants to tell you that last Sunday they had you round for flea and cakes, do they? As embarrassing as it may seem, it’s a regular issue, so don’t panic if it happens to you! You do, however, need to make sure a few things are in place to reduce the likelihood of it happening in your building or home.

There are plenty of natural and chemical treatments for your furniture, rooms and pets that can be applied regularly to stop fleas. Get covers for your seats and sofas too; this will stop the little delights from hiding in your furniture! Fleas don’t survive well in cold either, so make sure that you don’t have the heating on if you’re not home. Open your windows and let cool fresh air in whenever you can handle the breeze! Make sure your cats, dogs or other furry pets have regular checkups, and keep an eye on any itching or patchy fur. Job done!

Fleas in business

Getting rid of fleas is an important job.

Image source: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5306/5565793725_d11f43e748.jpg

2. Oh Crumbs!

The next major cause behind infestation is food. Rodents and pests seem to find their way in somehow, especially in adjoined buildings with wall cavities and cellars. It’s rare that they’ll be sticking around though if they don’t have anything to sustain them. As simple as tidying up your food waste seems, it’s common to leave crumbs and store dry/open food at floor level, which is easy access for animals. Animals are smarter and more resourceful than you think. If you’re not ready to hear the patter of little feet then mop, sweep and vac your floors regularly, and keep easy-to-reach snacks in sealable containers. Rodents will chew through cling-film and cardboard like a knife through butter.

Rotting food attracting bugs

Leaving out rotten food attracts pests.

Image source: http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6188/6091872749_6708a2d07c.jpg

3. Burn Your Bridges

Houses with a cellar and older ventilation or drainage systems are particularly vulnerable, as are semidetached or terraced housing. Mice, rats and other animals can scale a street with ease if everywhere is well connected. Even if you keep the model home, your neighbour may not. Make sure that your house is well sealed; calling on specialist companies for advice and services is a great way to get the job done right the first time, and peace of mind along with it. They’ll also offer other preventative measures, and can take a look at any cavities or potential access/infestation points in the premises.

Conclusion

There are all simple things you can do to help avoid animal infestation in your premises. Plenty of practical tips will make sure you don’t get unwanted visitors that aren’t paying board for their food or accommodation! Depending on the area and the type of building you’re in, you might need a little more than just a regular sweep so, don’t be afraid to call in the experts. Don’t fight a losing battle; win the war before it starts. Avoid unwanted invaders, and keep them out for good!

 

Image credits: dluogs and APM Alex

environmetally-friendly-server-computers

Environmentally Friendly Online Backup

As more emphasis is consistently being put on worldwide eco-friendly initiatives and as technology improves almost daily, the focus of attention for transitioning to green energy has shifted to a significant technological innovator: the cloud backup industry.

The Predecessor:

Before cloud and online backup services sprouted which largely occurred in the mid to late 1990s, people were using floppy disks and CD’s as their main source of data backup. While on the surface this did not seem to pose any sort of risk to the environment, after just a few short years environmental activists found several flaws in these backup approaches. These disks could only hold a miniscule amount of data, especially compared to cloud backup which use massive servers with the ability to hold an unlimited amount of data. Consequently, dozens (if not hundreds) of disks were needed to store the data for each individual. The colossal amount of energy exhausted from manufacturing this kind of volume for these disks was simply unacceptable. More importantly, according to the CD Recycling Center of America, floppy disks and CD’s were many times improperly recycled and still continue to this day. This assists in the increase of unnecessary waste, while this waste stays in these landfills forever. And the dagger? Hours, if not days, were required to back up your data via these disks. Multiply the number of hours or days by the amount of people using this method and what you get is an unwarranted amount of energy expenditure.

New Business:

The .com boom was a major catalyst for corporations looking to fine-tune productivity. One of the key factors limiting company efficiency was the floppy disk or CD backup process, particularly for larger enterprises that required a full team to manage the data storage.

Enter:

cloud storage. Nevertheless, business was business and initially bottom line profit was the only factor that mattered. Due to substantial growth expansion over time as more people rapidly transferred to the cloud, more servers and data centers were needed to maintain the business and its reputation. Any server down time would have likely extensively wounded the brand name and ultimately profits. However, there was one gigantic problem. Not only mid-sized online backup companies such as MyPCBackup were expanding their server farms, but enormous corporations such as Microsoft were increasing their number of servers by the thousands (Microsoft currently houses more than one million servers in its data centers). Within a short time frame, the amount of harm being done to the environment due to extreme energy usage for the servers could no longer be ignored.

The Solution:

Cloud storage was already helping in the reduction of energy waste as it no longer took hours or days to backup data. Yet, the waste levels were still unjustifiably high, especially due to the fact that there were green options that could significantly cut energy waste levels. Furthermore, after a few years of establishing themselves as major entities in the cloud industry, these corporations now had a stable customer base and readily available resources to look into these more eco-friendly options. As a result, many of these organizations have moved to renewable energy such as solar and wind power to help fuel their data centers’ energy needs.

If you are looking at cloud storage solutions for your data, online backup provides a far more efficient and eco-friendly alternative for you.

Author Bio:

Eric Silver is a senior contributor at OnlineBackupMag.com, a leading web resource on cloud technology. As a technology enthusiast, Eric enjoys reading PC Magazine and working on old computers.

Ideas to save energy for your home

Is it Time to Invest in Solar Power?

Over recent years the developments in solar power have been optimistic in terms of whether it will soon be possible that homes would generate at least some of their own power – saving money and aiding the environment. Sadly however the cost of creating solar panels has been somewhat higher than most homes would like, with some specialised solar panel services charging some of the cheapest prices around £45 ($72). This of course was for some of the lower power producing solar panels; in most cases either multiple or more powerful solar panels would be needed.

With costs this high it seems rather counter-productive; you could be spending around £3000 – £4000 just to save around £40 on your bill. Not to mention the solar panels can look too big, bulky and ugly, so why would you want one? Besides the fact you would be creating energy from nothing but sunlight, which is of course going to help to protect the environment, you’ll be generating power that you can use – you won’t have to buy it from anyone else. That is of course assuming you make enough to use. It is more likely that you won’t be able to generate enough power to get rid of your electric costs altogether but you might be able to trim them down a bit.

save-energy-solar-panels

However, with enough solar panels and light on your roof you could generate enough power to start selling it back to your provider – not just save money on electric but actually earn money from it! This is doubtfully going to happen in the British sun, but the possibility is still there, the fact that it’s possible is encouragement enough for a lot of people and what should be even more encouraging is that the cost of buying solar panels should be going down very soon.

In late August 2012 researchers at RTI international declared that they had developed a new form of solar technology, it works in very much the same way but is constructed of much cheaper materials. Research is still ongoing as to what else can be done and the best way to manufacture these new solar panels but the most important fact is that they too are a possibility. The estimation is that these new, cheaper solar panels will actually be as good if not better than the solar panels that are already sold, but will cost around £12.50 ($20) to produce. This huge improvement in price is likely to encourage a rise in sales for the solar panels in the years to come.

It is also thought that when the new version of this solar energy becomes commercially available the power of absorption will be increase, research scientists at RTI are already working on methods that will stop low levels of light from becoming the end of the power, which can only be good news for members of the UK.

The hopes of many of the scientists researching this technology is that there will soon be a greener world, with more energy being drawn from natural sources like the sun, not only to protect our environment but to demonstrate our own advances. As we advance technology like this should be more present in our live, particularly when it can be at such a low cost high output state. With the issues of cost cast aside there are no reasons not to invest in solar energy. It might be that you just want your home to be more independent and free from the issues of paying for electric, it might just be that you really care about the environment and the use of more harmful fuels. Whatever you reason for considering solar energy, it is bound to be a beneficial investment. When the price of solar energy drops, there will surely be a number of people lining up to become part of it.

Author Bio

Katy writes for JR Wood Electrical Contractors and is very passionate about energy conservations and preservation of your future environment. By making a few small changes everyone can make the world a better place to live.

 

 

How Much Energy Is Needed To Power a Light Bulb?

How much energy is needed to power a lightbulb?  Well, it depends on the source of the energy.  Here in North America, we are stuck on using fossil fuels and are struggling to free ourselves from this energy trap we created for ourselves.

Many countries, particularly in Europe, have been making tremendous strides in moving towards renewable energy resources to power their cities.  Here in America, even Google is funding initiatives to help get us moving towards renewable energy.

When you think of a lightbulb, we don’t think much about the resources required to power it.  Take a look at the infographic below showing us how much resources are required in order to power a lightbulb for an entire year.  As you can see, coal (a fossil fuel) requires a tremendous amount of resources, including manpower to mine it, in order to power a single lightbulb.  We need to start thinking about alternative and renewable sources of energy if we want to leave this planet a better place then when we started on it.

What are your feelings on renewable energy?  What power source do you think is the right choice in creating a balanced energy strategy?

 

How much energy to power a lightbulb infographic

How Much Wattage is Needed to Power a Light Bulb

In the past, the incandescent light bulb was a homeowners only choice for lighting their home.  Over the years, several new options have surfaced, leaving the homeowner a bit confused as to what is the best option.

When making your decision to purchase a light bulb, look at lifetime costs which take into account the cost of the light bulb as well as the energy savings over the life of the bulb.  If you factor these 2 variables into the equation, you’ll see that LED light bulbs offer the best savings overall, despite having a higher up front cost.

Take a look at this handy visual guide to see how much wattage (electricity) is needed to power each of the different kinds of light bulbs.  Hopefully this will empower you to make a greener energy choice next time you’re at the local home improvement store.

Light Bulb Energy Use Guide