Sunday, April 29, 2012

Save energy from home



Remember the last time you saw your soaring electricity bill!! Listed below are some energy efficient tips which can be used in various sections of your home and can cut down your electricity bill:

· In the kitchen:

1. Make sure that your refrigerator door is closed properly.

2. Clean your refrigerators condense coil regularly so that it works properly.



· In summers & winters:

1. Clean or replace your AC filters so that it can operate efficiently.

2. Make sure to close all your windows while using the AC

3. Make sure you choose your AC according to your room size.

4. Run your AC at an optimum temperature of 24o C

5. Use blinds to shade your homes from the heat and keep the temperature cool inside.



· While doing laundry:

1. Use hot water to clean dirty clothes and cold water to rinse them.

2. If you have a setting to close your dryer when the clothes are dry, make sure you use it. It will save a lot of energy.

3. Remember to clean your washer dryers lint filters after every load.



· Light bulbs:

1. Buy energy efficient light bulbs and use low wattage bulbs wherever possible such as walkways and closets etc.

2. Turn off lights when not in use.

Implementing these steps can not only help you save on your electricity bill but can also help you save the environment.

Save on your Carbon Emissions



Here are some ways in which you can save on your carbon emissions:

1. Turn off all appliances when not in use. Instead of keeping your computers on hibernation during the night, turn them off. This will contribute to much less carbon emission.

2. Make sure to use both sides of the paper before dumping them into the waste bin. Use online collaboration system wherever possible for your documentation needs.

3. Use water efficiently. Using it efficiently will save approx. 4 gallons of water.

4. Make sure to recycle glass and plastic items. They are non-biodegradable so recycling them is a good idea than to dump them.

5. Plant more and more tress in and around your home. It will keep the indoor air quality nice, cool and pure.

6. Save fuel by using your vehicle wisely and efficiently.

7. Use natural day light to maximum level and minimize use of artificial lights during day time.

Implementing these small strategies can make a lot of difference.

Green Buildings – What & Why



Green buildings refer to structures which are environment friendly during both their construction and maintenance phases.

Some common features of green buildings are:

a. Green structures are environment friendly so they strive to minimize use of non-renewable resources which are scarce.

b. Green buildings use resources efficiently so that they don’t get wasted.

c. These buildings are made with locally available green and environment friendly materials.

d. Energy efficient fixtures with optimum levels of energy savings are used in such buildings.

e. Green buildings utilize solar or wind power, whatever available, to minimize use of artificial energy and protect the environment.

Green buildings are designed to save on natural resources which are scarcely available an protect the environment.

Construction of a green building requires proper planning and execution. This involves planning for:

1. Proper site selection

2. Proper designing of the building

3. Planning for proper and efficient HVAC systems.

4. To see through it that minimum energy is utilized during the construction phase of the building.

5. Maximize use of green and environment friendly materials which are available locally.

6. Maintain proper indoor air quality of the building.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Reuse & Recycle



Reusing and recycling of your house hold products can not only save your money but can also help in saving environment and making it green and sustainable.

- Old cardboard cartoons can be used to collect paper or recycled items, instead of collecting it in plastic bags.

- Plastic bags can be reused as waste paper bin liners.

- When redecorating your house, see to it that major products that you use are recyclable as it saves the generation of waste.

- Plastic bottles, jugs etc. can be substituted for holding oils, paints, varnishes etc.

- Bottles can also be used as vases and other decorative items.

- Newspapers and magazine covers can be used for giftwrapping instead of throwing it away in the thrash.

- Maintenance of house appliances should be kept periodically to ensure their efficient working.

These small house hold steps when implemented will save the environment and will help you go green and sustainable.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Solar Passive Architecture



Power and environment are the two most serious problems we are facing today. So to conserve both, integrated thinking becomes an essential part in everything we do today.

Today, buildings with lowest possible energy use and highest possible comfort level are the requirement of population today. This can be done if the temperature of a built structure can be controlled and maintained without the use of machines and electronic devices. These building designed are termed as Solar Passive Architecture.

We all know that buildings provide us with comfort and protect us from outside temperature. But its environmental function is to act as a barrier controlling the outside temperature in such a way that the indoor temperature remains comfortable enough.

Solar and wind energy are everywhere and abundantly available. These can be used abundantly in a wise way to be taken advantage of in a building and reduce energy use and help the environment.

Here are some ways to mitigate the problem of power and environment:

1. Passive Downdraft Evaporation Cooling (PDEC) is a very effective cooling system which does not require much mechanical or electrical energy.

2. Proper use of insulation i.e. double or single can also help.

So, implementing these steps can achieve a great change in the comfort level and also pose a change to the environment and make it green and sustainable.

“COOL ROOFS” to conserve energy



“Cool roof” is nothing but a roof on which a special coating is applied to reduce the amount of heat it absorbs. Generally these coatings are white in color.

Conventional i.e. dark colored roofs absorb more heat during summer and heat transfer takes place which transfers heat to people staying down below. Because of this heat transfer, the temperature in the houses below start escalating and people are forced to switch on their AC’s.

So this “Cool roof” phenomenon reduces heat absorption and transmission which reduces the chances of switching your AC on. So this technology not only reduces heat absorption, it also saves on your electricity bill and indirectly cuts down on carbon emissions which leads to a cooler, greener and more sustainable planet.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

SMALL INITIATIVE = BIG CHANGE



Carbon footprint can be reduced drastically by following some small steps:

1. Don’t be a couch potato and switch off your TV set. Think how our ancestors used to entertain themselves.

2. Always switch off your lights once you vacate the room.

3. Mobile chargers and other chargers consume a lot of electricity. Make sure to unplug them after you have charged your gadgets and gizmos.

4. If you use an air conditioner make sure to use it at optimum temperature i.e. 24o C

5. Throw away all your old bulbs and invest in CFC bulbs. Which are not only energy efficient but burn with brilliance and last more than ordinary ones.

Implementing these small steps can change our way of living and indirectly save our planet and make it more green and sustainable.

“GREEN PARKING”



With increase in the number of vehicles these is an ever increasing need of parking spaces. And because of the urgent needs parking lots are built haphazardly. They generally consume large space and built by asphalt or cement.

These surfaces usually absorb large amount of heat and reach high temperatures. These surfaces such as asphalt and cement do not allow any water to percolate so the ground water reserve is affected.

Because of all these problems a new concept as “Green Parking” is evolved which basically means to initiate some strategies in parking spaces/lots so that it benefits the society as well as the environment.

Enlisted are some points to ponder and initiate:

1. Make sure that there is maximum use of day light in basements and parking lots.

2. Provide proper level of ventilation

3. Carbon monoxide sensors should be installed to go off when levels increase above minimum.

4. In open parking spaces, use shades of high SRI value so that it decreases the local heat island effect.

5. Reserve car parking space for car poolers, this will not only encourage carpooling but will also decrease traffic congestion.

By following these small steps one can make a large difference. So come on lets strive to park our next vehicle the “Green Way”.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Relation between Carpets & Indoor Air Quality


Carpets have been used by people for a very long time now. Carpets are favored by many benefits. Some are listed below:

1.     Carpets act as a good insulator. It absorbs / retains heat for longer time in cold seasons and in warm climate insulates against invasive heat.
2.     Carpets provide a nice surface to work on and helps prevent slippage and injuries.
3.     Carpets are good absorbers of sound and absorb all sound and prevent it from bouncing off
4.     Carpets hold dust particles until they are vacuum cleaned.

BEHIND ALL BENEFITS LIES INDOOR AIR QUALITY
Carpets and all other floor coverings are said to contaminate indoor air quality to a large extent. When carpets are laid down, they are glued to the ground with chemical adhesives which has hazardous vapors of Volatile Organic Compound which contribute not only to poor air quality but also is hazardous for our health.

VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds)
They are a group of compounds containing carbon which can evaporate at room temperature. Substances containing these compounds are paints, adhesives, solvents etc.

Due to synthetic fibers in carpets emissions can happen which can further contaminate air quality.

SO WHAT TO DO!!
By choosing the right type of carpet, proper installation and maintenance one can prevent and minimize emissions and improve indoor air quality.

1.     Choose carpets which are tested for low VOC content.
2.     Use low VOC adhesives for gluing the carpet
3.     After installation of a new carpet ensure ventilation for 24 hours and make sure to open all windows and fan during the ventilation process.  
4.     Regular maintenance of carpet can improve the indoor air quality very much.

If even a small amount of people get aware and try to save this hazardous vapors, a major change will happen to the environment and the earth will stay sustainable and green. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Scarce resource + optimal use = Going Green



Because of the rising awareness of going green and sustainable, many implementations have been made by various homes in making their house sustainable.

Going green basically means doing activities which do not harm the environment. As energy costs are rising day by day, we should use the available scarce resources in an optimal level.

There are several ways in which one can adapt to a green and sustainable lifestyle. Implementations of these can help you save on electricity costs.




1. Planting pots around the house will aid in cooling your house by around 25%

2. Use light paints in your house as dark paints absorb light more and the pressure on cooling equipment increases.

3. Replace all standard light bulbs with CFC bulbs. They use 75% less energy and can save a lot on electricity.

4. Cover your glass windows so that to prevent excessive heat from coming in and shade it by planting plants on the window.

5. Turn off water tap when brushing teeth and save 15 litres of water/min.

6. Decrease water use by replacing your current shower heads and other taps with water efficient fixtures.

7. While buying appliances look for their energy ratings. Also look for energy labels like Energy Star, BEE etc.

8. Use sunlight/natural light whenever possible and cut down on artificial lights.

9. Seek help to determine what type and size of cooling equipment you need. Picking large equipment for small rooms will increase energy consumptions.

10. Using front loader washing machines will save 25% energy.





Like every activity, energy saving has to also start from home. Start saving now and make your home a green and sustainable place to live in. if every home implements these activities, one day the world will become a better place to live in.









Tax benefit for Green Buildings


Various governments across the world are thriving to support and help green movement spread across the people and so the government is deciding to lower taxes for buildings with green facilities.
For example:
In Mumbai, Maharashtra the government has made announcement that buildings with solar panels, water harvesting and various other green facilities will become a “must-have” in and around Maharashtra.
For making this happen, the government has promised to lower tax for such buildings. When this is approved, builders have to make it mandatory to provide solar panels, water harvesting, water recycling and use of high grade construction material with good insulation.