by firespin on Tuesday February 03, 2015

The environment and its treatment is possibly the defining issue of our time. It consumes the political and consumer agenda. Increasingly enlightened buyers are investigating prospective purchases for their environmental ratings. The knowledge amongst consumers is leading to greener choices in all fields and encouraging companies to modify their business practices. Being green is no longer just the right thing to do, it is also profitable. It is no wonder banks and financial institutions have taken an interest in the environment. This has included rolling out sustainable operations and practices throughout their own business. In many cases, such as the case of encouraging customers to move away from paper statements, doing the right thing has positively impacted the bottom line.

The use of renewable energy and following green building practices has also become industry standard. But where are banks and insurance companies best positioned to make a difference? Ironically it is not within their businesses, but rather outside of them. Through sustainable lending and helping to get green business off of the ground with affordable financing, banks and investment houses are making a world of difference in the environmental realm at alternative energy stocks and providing risk assessment around the world for them.

SUSTAINABLE INVESTMENTS

One of the most quickly advancing areas where the banks have helped the environment includes sustainable investments. These investments are marketed to clients on the basis of the low environmental footprint of the funds holdings. Such investments usually consist of sustainable companies. This would include wind farms and other green projects.

INSURANCE PRODUCTS

Lloyds and its cover holder GCube and reinsurer Munich RE have taken on the role of insuring projects with an environmental focus. They recently underwrote for the 160MW Noor 1 solar power facility in Morocco. The underwriting of the installation phase of the project for 21 months allowed it to proceed and the concentrated solar operation or CSP, the first outside of North America, has taken shape in the desert.

The same syndicate has also worked to keep biomass projects in the United Kingdom on track. This includes the 80 MW waste wood pellet combustion biomass plant in Ridham Dock, Kent. The energy that will come onto the UK grid as a result of the project will sustainably power thousands of residences. Similar to other projects green projects need insurance to mitigate risks. This includes insurance for delays in startup, loss of components in transport, and error in site design.

USING THEIR EXPERTISE FOR BETTERING THE ENVIRONMENT

Banks and insurance companies are two businesses that on their own are not environmentally unfriendly. Generally outside of the paper they use, there is little in the way of negative environmental consequence from their operations. Their best contribution to the environment is through their understanding of lending and insurance products. These are two areas that with their expertise position them to add value to any project of an environmental nature. Their increased openness to financing green deals has, in its own way, led to the creation of a new business line.

Demand for sustainable investments from both retail and wholesale investors is one of the fastest growing market segments, annual reviews in sustainable investment have shown a year on year increase. By being leaders in the environmental movement through innovative financing instead of laggards the banks and insurance companies position themselves for a new round of growth. Making their choice to support the environment both a profitable venture, and the right thing to do.


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by firespin on Monday December 15, 2014

Winter is here and it’s going to be with us for a while a fear. Especially if you live in country where the weather always seems to be bad anyway. I live in the United Kingdom so the temperature is constantly freezing. Spending money to keep the heat in your house is important, but there are ways to heat your home that won’t hurt the environment whilst you keep your feet warm. Have a look at what’s suggested below and see if any of these suggestions help you for some new ideas on how to stay warm and have a positive impact on the environment. And if you want to see some other Eco ways to improve your home see this article.

Solar Heating 

There are plenty of ways to heat your home but one of the best ways to do it and stay as green as possible is to use solar energy. Getting your heating set up so solar panels on the roof of your house bring down energy and in turn heat your house is a great way of getting warm. You can even link your boiler to your solar heating so you can get hot water that way also. Boilers called unvented cylinders use the solar energy and turn it into hot water for the house.

Masonry Heaters 

A good old stone fire will heat you up a treat! They are really good at trapping heat and are much better at it than a usual wood-burning fireplace is. The bricks slowly heat up when the mason heater is on and the bricks stay hot for a lot longer and act as a sort of alternative radiator. It also looks amazing in your home as well as a great way of keeping warm in those nasty winter months.

Double Glazing

Ok, maybe this isn’t strictly heating per say, however, double-glazing is very important when it comes to heating a house. Not so much heating the house up initially, but its very important for keeping the heat in. If you don’t have double-glazing, heat very easily escapes and will end up costing you more money to heat your house again and harm the environment further with more energy wastage. It’s relatively cheap to install and will last you for a long time.


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by Martin on Wednesday November 19, 2014

First of all I would like to thank all of our frequent readers, our eco-friendly blog started back in February of 2009 and we wouldn’t have lasted if it weren’t for all of our frequent fans, subscribers, feed readers and one time visitors.

After a couple of years of frequent blogging we saw an increase in traffic and realized that we could pay for our hosting and domain registration with pay per click adverts. In the early days I had enough time to contact specific advertisers and work out deals over the phone etc. but that all changed when my wife and I had kids. The kiddos took over our lives and my blogging fell to the way side. That’s where our wonderful guest authors stepped up to the challenge.

We have a select handful of amazing guest authors who make frequent contributions to the site (Shout out to Sarah and Jay for keeping the site fresh!)

So fast forward to present day, I have recently become obsessed with crypto currency and all things Bitcoin, Dogecoin and Blockchain technology in general. I’ve found amazing contacts with people like singer / song writer Tatiana Moroz and many others within the crypto universe. My latest discovery has been stumbling on ChangeTip through the Reddit community.

ChangeTip - A Love Button for the Internet

ChangeTip – A Love Button for the Internet

ChangeTip allows people to quickly and easily send micro-payments to each other over social networking sites. For example, I could send 50 cents to someone by commenting on their Reddit post if they shared an interesting article, drawing or song. I can send a $1 to a charity of my choice simply by sending them a Tweet! The most exciting development from ChangeTip is that they now have nifty tools and widgets for us bloggers.

After researching how to implement ChangeTip on our site I took a leap of faith and made the following pledge;

“NO MORE PAY PER CLICK ADVERTS!”

We’ve completely removed any annoying pay per click advertising and replaced them with a simple tipping system provided by ChangeTip. Avid readers may notice that there is now a “Tips are welcome” button in our sidebar.

TipsWelcome

Integrating ChangeTip was easy, we created our ChangeTip account and grabbed the tipping code and simply pasted into a widget on our sidebar.

You will also see the “Tip Me” buttons on individual posts, this feature is enabled by installing the ChangeTip plugin and again it was a breeze to setup.TipMe

If you’re interested in learning more about ChangeTip for your own site please visit them at the following;

https://www.changetip.com/

http://blog.changetip.com/

https://twitter.com/changetip

https://www.facebook.com/ChangeTip

https://plus.google.com/+Changetip

We communicated with the wonderful Victoria van Eyk from ChangeTip throughout the process and we couldn’t be happier with the results.

We hope you enjoy reading our articles without the annoying adverts anymore and we would love to hear your feedback on the new look and feel for the site.

Many thanks,

Martin


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by Sarah on Tuesday November 18, 2014

bedding

There’s a lot of hubbub surrounding the organic movement, and with all the chatter about switching to organic food, organic beauty products, and organic clothing, you might be suffering from a bit of organic fatigue. But if you’ve decided to use your consumer dollars to support a growing industry that is not only better for yourself and your household, but also for the planet and everyone on it, then you’ll no doubt be interested in upgrading to organic bedding. Considering you spend eight hours out of every day in contact with your sheets (ideally), you want to make sure that they’re safe and healthy. And organic bedding can provide. Here are just a few major benefits you’ll enjoy when you switch to organic linens in the bedroom.

  1. No chemicals. Organic bedding is created without the use of any toxic chemicals. That means no fertilizers or pesticides are used in the growing process, preventing the further pollution of soil, water, and air. Furthermore, no chemicals are used during the manufacturing process. Non-organic bedding may be treated with chemicals that add shine, prevent wrinkling, and perform other functions. And these chemicals come into direct contact with your skin while you sleep. So choosing organic linens could not only protect you and your family from any potential side effects these toxins could cause over time, but you’ll also do your part to protect the planet in the process.

  2. Reduced allergens. If anyone in your household suffers from allergens, asthma, or skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis, you may find that chemical-laden linens can exacerbate such problems. Even those with sensitive skin may suffer rashes or discomfort associated with non-organic bedding. Taking steps to reduce these irritants can make a huge difference in quality of life.

  3. Longer lasting. With all the chemical processing most textiles undergo, it’s really not surprising that they don’t hold up as well under daily wear and tear. On the other hand, organic textiles have proven more durable, lasting up to ten times as long as their chemically treated counterparts. So although you’ll probably notice a higher price tag associated with organic bedding, you can consider your expenditure an investment that will pay off in the long run. Paying a little more up front could net you greater use value.

  4. Greater comfort. Generally speaking, you’ll find that organic textiles tend to be softer and more comfortable than those that are chemically treated. So you’ll certainly look forward to using them, and you might even sleep better as a result.

  5. Safety standards. You might worry that green bedding does not meet the safety standards required for fire prevention because they aren’t doused in fire-retardant chemicals. But this simply isn’t true. This type of bedding must meet or exceed standards for fire safety just like any other type of bedding sold. So whether you head to an organic retailer like Nest Bedding in search of toxin-free linens or you’re looking for an organic mattress, you can feel confident that you will enjoy the same safety features inherent to any such products.


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by Sarah on Wednesday November 12, 2014

ocean sceneWhether you’re lucky enough to live within spitting distance of the ocean or you have to travel a ways to get a gander at some beautiful coastline, you no doubt find yourself awed at the majesty of the world’s largest bodies of water. And even if you haven’t put too much thought into the state of our oceans, you’d probably prefer to keep these stunning vistas pristine. Unfortunately, rampant pollution doesn’t just affect the air we breathe and the land we fertilize or mine – it spreads to our oceans. And you might be surprised by just how much damage is being done. It may not be as apparent as the layer of smog over New York or Los Angeles because it is more diffuse, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t impacting the unique ecosystems that make up our network of oceans. And you can do your part to help prevent ocean pollution. Here are a few easy strategies to try.

  1. Carry reusable bags. States like California, Washington, Texas, and New York are amongst the many beginning to enact bans on the use of plastic grocery bags (although they are enacted at the local level by means of ordinances), as you may have noticed if you live in such a locale. While this means you have fewer options for carrying your groceries and other goods, you don’t necessarily have to rely on paper bags and the deforestation they entail. You can, instead, opt for reusable bags – in fact, you should think about converting even if there isn’t a ban on plastic bags in your area. The reason is that these bags often end up polluting the environment and they’re especially dangerous in oceanic settings where marine life can become tangled in them and suffocate.
  2. Conserve fuel. We all know that hydrocarbons from car exhaust are a major contributor to air pollution and climate change. But you might not realize that the same particulates that permeate the air are also settling into the ocean, changing the chemistry of the water and harming the organisms that call it home. By finding ways to use less fuel – walking, biking, public transit, alternative fuel vehicles, electric car, etc.) – you can reduce this form of pollution and help restore the balance of nature.
  3. Reduce energy consumption. It’s hard to say whether petroleum-fueled vehicles or power plants produce more pollution, but the outcome is the same. So once you’ve squared away your driving habits, it’s time to focus on the amount of energy you use in the home. You needn’t go so far as to install pricy solar panels or a residential wind turbine (although you should definitely consider such sustainable options if you are able). But you should take strides to monitor your energy usage, cut back when possible, and make your home more energy efficient.
  4. Cut back on seafood consumption. The fishing industry not only decimates marine populations, but it is also a major polluter when it comes to our oceans. Luckily, there are sustainable resources for many popular forms of seafood.
  5. Support marine organizations. There are a huge number of organizations working to preserve ocean ecosystems and enact environmental remediation in damaged areas, from the Blue Ocean Institute to Ocean Conservancy to Greenpeace. And whether they’ve got workers in polluted waters using filtration systems from Freytech Inc. to separate oil from water or they’re trying to raise awareness of individual contributions to ocean pollution as a way to enact change, your support and participation could help to ensure that the oceans remain clean and beautiful for generations to come.

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