Tips: How To Reduce Carbon Footprint

Green Home w-LeafCompanies are constantly looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint.  You can use these ideas in your office as well as give them to your employees to promote overall eco-consciousness that can translate into the office.

It is great that more and more people than ever before are learning that energy conservation is important, that recycling matters, and that caring for our planet is one of the most important things that we can do in this lifetime. That said, there are many little tricks that you can use in order to pack even more energy savings and conservation into your day to day life, without exerting much effort at all! Here are a few of my top ideas.

Fan Circulation – this is something I never knew until recently, and it was quite the revelation. If you have a ceiling fan, you should set it to run counter-clockwise in the summer, and clockwise in the winter. In the summer you want the fan to push air to cool the room, in the winter you want the fan to distribute the heat.

Wash Laundry With Cold Water – I usually do this for my regular clothes, although I still wash towels and other things that might have more “germs” in hot water. You don’t need to wash all your clothes in hot water.

Don’t Leave Your Computer On All The Time – I used to leave my computer on all the time because the darn thing would take so long to start up. I also have friends that do this. Rather than leave it running all the time, turn it off when you leave. Run safe maintenance software to clear spyware and get rid of junk files and software that is probably bogging down your computer and causing it to boot slower. Your PC uses a lot of electricity, so running it when you’re not using it is a big drain. Turning it off will also save you money on your electrical bill. Also, laptop computers use less energy than larger desktop computers.

Consider Solar – get an estimate for solar panels installed in your home, and see how much you could end up saving. It’s a booming business and growing trend, and you’ll feel so much better about contributing to non-polluting measures of gathering energy.

Don’t Flush That Toilet – Here in California we are in the midst of a drought. I have taken to not flushing my toilet unless it’s solid waste. I can usually get two liquid waste uses before it might be necessary to flush. Some people may not like this idea, but simply close the lid. Another alternative would be to get a water saving toilet that does not use as much – or even a dual purpose toilet with water and solid waste flush settings.

Turn Off Hot Water Heater When You’re Gone – it’s not necessary to keep reheating your hot water tank if you’re going to be gone for several days. Turning this off is easy and will save energy.

Avoid Those Standby Modes – use a power strip to plug in appliances, and then turn off the strip when they are not in use. Many electronics will still run in “standby” mode when you turn them off, and still suck energy.

 

Consider using this carbon footprint calculator to see what your home or office expenditure is like.

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Tracking Changes In The Environment

migrationpatternIt’s a big deal to track environmental changes and how building and development may impact local wildlife and plant life.  It’s in the State’s best interests to employ environmental surveyors in order to track animal migration patterns and determine whether or not a building project would encroach upon wildlife patterns.  This is why laws have popped up requiring environmental surveys to take place before development.

Some of the systems that these companies use involve computerized models of animal behavior patterns.

The migration patterns of Monarch butterflies, for example, are tracked via computer and plotted.  Volunteers tag Monarchs, and when observers see the tagged butterfly they enter the data and where it was sighted into a computer database.

What are some issues that might arise with computer tracking of wildlife?

“Oftentimes, what is seen on radar screens as interference is really migrating birds,” says Gauthreaux, a professor of biological sciences at Clemson University in South Carolina. Doppler radar measures increments in frequency shifts and location, thus giving information on speed and direction. And because Doppler uses a narrower, more powerful beam, it gives a finer resolution. Furthermore, Doppler radar uses high-powered computers to process more data more quickly than could be done using older radar systems and older computers. As a result, data from Doppler radar is available from the Internet in half-hour updates.

Nevertheless, distinguishing birds from rain and other weather patterns, as well as from insects, smoke, and dust particles, is not easy, Gauthreaux says. “It takes years to learn,” he says. But there are ways to make distinctions. For one thing, even the slowest birds fly faster than the fastest insects. For another, unlike weather systems, birds move at different speeds than the wind. And, because large flocks tend to be evenly distributed when they fly, they appear symmetrical on radar screens, whereas other radar images often appear irregular.

Cohn, Jeffrey P. “Tracking wildlife: high-tech devices help biologists trace the movements of animals through sky and sea.” BioScience 48.1 (1999): 12+

And then obviously there are the more pressing issues such as computer malfunction.  It’s important for scientists to ensure that their computers are in proper working order, free from malware and viruses.  Websites such as The PC Dojo are instrumental in helping scientists to maintain their computers easily so they can focus on the work at hand.

Other problems include tracking the animals themselves, and there must be careful precautions taken to ensure the tracking itself doesn’t disturb the animals.  Trackers and biologists must stay downwind from animals so as not to disturb them or cause them to become scared because of the scent of a human nearby.

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Onlooking Over Outlook

Outlook email is a great way to really keep everything organized and under control.  I get so much junk mail that it can be really hard to keep track of everything.  But the fact is, Outlook has helped me immensely when it comes to organizing my email with my calendar and other similar things.  However, sometimes Outlook can present problems to users regarding the file system that the program uses to store your email, calendar entries, journal entries, and more.

I strongly suggest that if you’re running into .pst errors and other problems that you look into getting yourself a software tool that has been designed to fix those problems quickly and easily.  I suggest a program called Stellar Outlook PST repair.  This review of the pst repair software should really help you to understand what the program does and how it can help you in certain situations.

We definitely think that it’s a better option other than using the scanpst.exe software.  This can be destructive to your .pst if you don’t use it correctly.  So I suggest that you look into Stellar and see if it’s a good option and could fix what’s going on with your PC.

There has been a large movement of people going to apps like Gmail and other cloud based scheduling systems, but there are definitely a lot of Outlook users out there for the time being.

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When It Comes To Environmental Health

When it comes to environmental health, the best thing that most people can do is a lot of research.  Knowledge is power when it comes to saving the environment and conserving our resources.  One place to start is to educate yourself on the local recycling efforts and options.  Some municipalities have extended recycling programs that can give you more options, while other places offer programs where you must sort your own recycling or bring it in.  Seattle is one place where recycling is more complicated; people are asked to sort their trash, even at coffee shops and restaurants.  There is often a bin labeled “compost” where biodegradable trash can go.  This is a huge step forward, obviously, but there can’t be too much.

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Computer Crashes

It’s been brought to our attention that the website has been up and down recently.  We pinpointed the problem to our servers, which had become slow over time.  We hired the IT sector to come in and take a look.  They ran a registry cleaner called RegCure Pro (check out this RegCure Pro review for more information) and it helped a lot of the issues.  The only reason that we’re writing about this right now is because we think it might help our readers.  We found that this program eliminated a lot of the problems that we were having with our PCs.  I suggest it to most people that need to update their computers or who just aren’t sure what they should be doing in order to improve their computer performance.

are you a wizard

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Company Computers Down

We recently had a problem with some of the computers in the office.  We were attacked by a worm and we had many of our files compromised.  The main point of damage were the PST files that were used by Outlook to store our emails.  Thankfully we successfully used a pst repair program in order to fix the files and we regained access to most of our emails.

If you’ve been trying to contact us please be patient as we have been a bit backed up in responding to our emails due to this issue.  If you have any pressing questions do give us a call at the office number.  We’ll be fully back online very soon.

The virus that we got was apparently spread through email, so do be sure that you have your files backed up and you have a virus protection program.

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Looking Back

How clean is the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the soil we grow our food in? This question echoes a major national concern during the 1960s and 1970s. Singly and in groups, people spoke out against the spread of noxious wastes. They protested the disappearance of wild places and wild animal species. They voiced fears over the buildup of radioactive wastes.

Around 1970, calls for environmental action reached a peak. That year, President Richard Nixon set up the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to monitor the the environment’s health and to recommend cleanup actions. The EPA also got the job of enforcing U.S. environmental laws, the most sweeping of which were the 1970 Clean Air Act and the 1972 Clean Water Act.

IMMENSE CHANGES

These two laws had a huge impact. By reducing automobile and smokestack emissions, the Clean Air Act rapidly improved air quality. Killer smogs became things of the past. (See History, page 17.) By restricting the discharge of wastes into inland waterways, the Clean Water Act improved water quality throughout the U.S.

To broaden these gains, the U.S. Congress passed several other environmental laws. The Ocean Dumping Act of 1972 regulated the disposal of wastes in the ocean. The Coastal Management Act backed up this law by limiting the harmful effects of factory and housing development on the nation’s shores and on the fish and plants in the nearby oceans.

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 made it an offense to buy, sell, or own animals and plants in danger of extinction, or products made from them. The law also banned federal projects–dam-building, for example –that threatened such species.

The Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 empowered the EPA to set limits on bacteria and chemical levels in drinking water systems. In 1976, the Toxic Substances Act enabled the federal government to regulate the movement and dispersal of all poisonous wastes. Thanks to such laws, experts feel that more progress was made in cleaning the environment during the 1970s than during all previous history.

These improvements did not come without costs–steep costs, for some regions and industries. Faced with falling profits, several steel and plastics companies found it cheaper to shut down old factories than to improve them to meet EPA standards. Some companies that did install pollution-control systems found that increased costs made it harder for them to produce goods as cheaply as foreign manufacturers. Both factors led to job losses. In some places, the job losses were severe. Soon, some Americans began to question the wisdom of many environmental rules.

CONTROVERSIAL CALLS

Two events in particular triggered the questioning. In 1976, the U.S. ordered a halt in the construction of a $600 million dam in Northern Maine because furbish louseworts–endangered plants–were found at the dam site. A year later, the U.S. stopped construction on the Little Tennessee River’s Tellico Dam, which had been almost completely built. Why? Because use of the dam would flood and destroy the last habitat of the tiny snail darter, a fish listed as endangered.

Debate over these projects helped alter public opinion. Polls showed that an increasing number of people felt that we had gone too far in protecting the environment. Instead, they argued, we should save jobs, cut energy costs, and help U.S. businesses compete in the world market.

During the 1980 campaign for President, Ronald Reagan pledged to ease or end environmental laws “that hamper business and strangle the economy.’ After his inauguration, President Reagan reorganized the EPA and sought to change several laws.

As a result, the federal drive to clean the environment slowed. Car exhaust rules were delayed. Funds for clean water programs were cut. Rules that limited emissions from smokestacks were eased. Soon, environmental activists came to view their former ally, the EPA, as an enemy. (See Government, pages 13-14.)

RENEWED AWARENESS

In 1983, scandals forced some Reagan appointees to resign from the EPA. Leaks of toxic gases and liquids in Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, and New Jersey spurred a new awareness of environmental problems. Citizens pushed the government to clean up toxic dumps, nuclear wastes, acid rain, and polluted water. (See Special Report, pages 4-6.)

Canadians became incensed over acid rain “imported’ from the U.S. They blamed smoke from U.S. industries for damage to their lakes and forests. Several U.S. governors joined their protest. (See World, page 18.)

The upshot is that environmental quality has once again become a major political issue. In the current race for governor of New Jersey, for example, both major party candidates have given the environment top billing.

With several U.S. environmental laws up for renewal during the coming year, the environment is likely to be a hot area of contention between Congress and the Reagan Administration. This issue of UPDATE has been designed to help you make sense of that debate and of the environmental challenges the nation faces during the last half of the 1980s.

Source: Cusack, Michael. “Once more, environmental politics arouses the nation.” Scholastic Update 1 Nov. 1985

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