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From Video conferencing to Emails: Character of a Modern Business is linked to a Greener, Better Tomorrow

Image Source ThinkGreen

Image Source ThinkGreen


“Climate change is real, it is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating. We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people out there who would be most affected by this. For our children’s children and for those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed.”
-Leonardo Di Caprio spoke these riveting words during this Oscar accepting at the academy this year. 2015 recorded as the hottest year in the history of the modern world, scientists and experts calling for a united stand of the leading Governments of the world to tackle the problem collectively.


Is Climate Change real?
Irrespective of which side of the argument you are on “Climate change” is indeed a real threat, and there is evidence that the world is facing ramification as a result. The wildfires of Australia or extreme drought conditions in Africa last year have been attributed to climate change. Heatwaves that swept every continent in the world last year is yet another proof that climate change is happening, and there is an impending need to address this problem on a global platform.

heatwaves

Image Source The Guardian

How is Climate Change linked to Business & Industrialization?
The world has evolved from an agrarian based economy to an industrialized one to a more technology-driven one. During the industrial period, energy consumption was the mainstay of the economy. Although this ear brought with it riches and gave rise to a consumerist society, the industrial revolution is often cited as the mean reason for the downward spiral of earth’s relationship with ecology and humans.

A Drive towards Sustainable Business Trends
cop-parisAs the world’s leaders met at 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris to reach a global agreement to reduce climate change, time has also come when entrepreneurial leaders of the world have to think about most sustainable ways to conduct business.

Thankfully, in the modern ear, business owners are more mindful of this and are aware of how business operations can harm the environment. Owing to several small and medium sized enterprises are adhering to norms and work culture that is sustainable and environmentally friendly. For instance, emails to a large extent have eliminated the use of papers in office spaces. Advancement in technology has also enabled businesses to minimize the use of paper as e- documents, e-bills, etc. take precedence.

Even work culture and place of work are undergoing an overhaul to reduce carbon footprints on the planet. There is an increasing drive towards designing eco-friendly buildings and office spaces that focus on water and energy conversation. The design philosophy of these buildings promotes rainwater harvesting, maximum incorporation of natural lighting and use of recycling materials. Green buildings and architecture are gaining popularity and eventually the cost involved in constructing such spaces will come down.

grasscloth_wallpaper

The onslaught of technology has not just driven greater business prospects. It also has allowed businesses to function in a more sustainable way. Modern businesses have no limitations and people work across geographical boundaries in the most efficient manner. Thanks to this advancement, business video conference services like BlueJeans, allows individuals and business associates to connect with one another without a glitch.

bluejeans-network

This method of communication also works well for people who perform professional duties from the comfort of their home. In the coming years, this trend is also expected to catch up. In most major cities in the world, peaks hours of the day which is usually the time when people are getting to or getting off work adds to pollution in the city. If only more and more people work from home rather than commute to work in their cars or public transport, the emission of carbon in the environment can be significantly reduced.

By |September 27th, 2016|Conservation, Corporate, Green Tech, Other Projects, Technology|0 Comments

Make Your Furniture Mock an Antique With These 7 Pro Tips!

Introduction: Distress Technique       

wood_furniture

image source: InLiving

In the earlier times, if furniture was distressed, it indicated that those were there for generations and majority of the paint had faded due to nicks by too many movements or rubbing by hands for years. Nowadays, the distressed look has emerged as a desired option as may believe that it adds to the style and character of various types of décor. Surprisingly, the techniques are quite simple. Let’s have a look at the most sought after techniques to distress your furniture.

  • Wet-distressing technique: This technique allows you to develop a ‘natural’ looking worn off effect.
  • Dry-distressing technique: This is ideal for using when you want to uncover the actual wood layer and using only one color.
  • The ‘Resist’ technique: This highly simple technique helps you give your furniture a chippy paint look.

Distressing technique using Vinegar

© InLiving

image source: blogspot.ca

If you want a rustic, beat up look of your furniture, using vinegar is a simple way to achieve the goal. First, dust off the furniture with a damp, clean cloth and then paint it with your preferred color. You can make a couple of coats based on the paint’s quality and the darkness of your furniture. When the paint has thoroughly dried, pour vinegar (either apple cider or distilled vinegar) and small amount of water in a spray bottle and spray it onto the piece. Withdraw some of the paint by wiping down the piece with a white, clean cloth and you’re done.

Distressing technique using Vaseline

© InLiving

image source: lovegrowswild

With some materials easily available at home like Vaseline, damp cloth, paint and brush, you can give your furniture the much sought-after aged look. Before you paint the final color, add a thin layer of petroleum jelly (Vaseline) over the areas you want to have a natural worn look. You’ll need to apply a foundation coat either in stain or diverse color. Once you’re done with the painting, allow it to dry slightly and then rub over the desired areas with a damp cloth.

Distressing furniture with chalk paint

© InLiving

image source: handymaninmesa

For this distressing technique, you just need two main supplies – chalk paint and soft wax. Apply two coats of contrasting colors as the first and second coats. You can use a dark color as an undercoat and a light colored thinner coat, if you want the former to be visible after distressing the furniture. After the paint has dried, polish the finished areas with sandpaper. Now take the soft wax and start to apply it on the areas where you want it to be distressed. If you want to attain optimum amount of distressing, you can scuff the other areas as well.

Distressing technique using wax

soft_wax

image source: honeyandroses

First, you’ll need some natural wax and dark paint and blend the paint into the wax. Then brush on with a rag or any type of brush. Remember to work in small areas and allow the wax not to get too dry. Rub the wax and quickly wipe off the excess part. If you want to remove more of the wax, try doing it with a clean cloth.

Distressing technique using paint

furniture_painting

image © countrychicpaint

In this technique, first you’ve to hand sand the piece to eliminate the sanding dust. Then cover the areas of the furniture that you don’t want to be painted. Apply primer, before doing the top coat of paint, and allow it to be completely dry and finally, paint your main color. If you want a glazing finish, you can use one of the many available things including acrylic paint, wood stain and faux finish glazes.

Distressing technique using sand paper

© InLiving

image source: woodworkerssource

This technique is just what it sounds. Depending on how antique you want your piece to look, you’ve to be careful with the sanding. Generally, you should sand away majority of areas leaving some untouched. This’ll allow the old finish to be viewed unevenly, which will enhance the weathered look of the final piece. Finally, clean the entire piece with a tack rag to eliminate any dust generated from the sanding process.

Conclusion

Distressed furniture provides an image of rustic, worn and rugged look. This look can add warmth and beauty to any home. Additionally, furniture with a sense of antiqueness and age works fine with almost any interior design scheme. All of the above techniques are quite simple and handy, which can be applied with some simple available-at-home supplies. What’s more! Most of distressing techniques are part of DIY projects so you don’t even need the help of professionals.

Author Bio
Nicholes Ammons is an editor and is working in Furniture industry for quite some time. He is currently associated with Austin Furniture Repair and is seen contributing on their blog too. Having worked in this field he has gathered enough experience and knowledge about the field and loves sharing it with others. His love for home interiors and writing has contributed well to make him an editor for the furniture world.

By |September 20th, 2016|Furniture, Tips|0 Comments

Bring Lasting Beauty to Your Home With Eco-Friendly Redwood

redwood_building

© California Redwood Association

When it comes to creating sustainable, eco-friendly homes, some homeowners may feel they need to turn a blind eye to beauty and appreciate the greener features that may not add to their curb appeal.

There’s a building material available today, though, that defies that assumption: redwood.

Grown and harvested under some of the world’s most stringent environmental guidelines certified well managed and sustainable, redwood is one of nature’s most versatile building products that will bring both strength and natural beauty to any design aesthetic. It is like the supermodel of softwoods.

redwood_barn

© California Redwood Association

Redwood is a sustainable building product – start to finish. A Life Cycle Assessment study of redwood showed that redwood lumber is much more environmentally friendly than the production of engineered alternatives. Because redwood is all-natural, it can be recycled or repurposed after its project has reached the end of its life. Synthetic solutions such as composite decking can just end up in a landfill.

In addition, redwood trees continuously scrub carbon (CO2) from the atmosphere, converting that carbon to wood. Even better: that carbon remains stored even after a redwood tree is milled for lumber. That means the average size redwood deck holds on to a half-ton of carbon.

redwood_building

© California Redwood Association

More than just beautiful and eco-friendly, redwood possesses an excellent strength to weight ratio and can span greater distances than plastic composite decking, making it even more economical to use. In addition, it is naturally resistant to decay, termites, and even fire. With periodic maintenance – cleaning and refinishing – a redwood deck will last 25 years or longer.

Redwood’s versatility means it is the perfect addition to any part of the home; more than just a decking material, redwood can be the starting point of a dramatic outdoor kitchen, pergolas, exposed timber beams, full walls of paneling, and more. The only limit is really the homeowner’s imagination.

With its natural strength, universal aesthetics and sustainable roots, redwood is the perfect green touch to complete your eco-friendly home.

Author Bio
Charlie Jourdain is president of the California Redwood Association. Reach him at [email protected] or (888) CAL-REDWOOD.

Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2016, the California Redwood Association is one of the oldest trade associations in the lumber industry. From the very beginning, the association’s primary mission has been to promote redwood products and educate builders and consumers on the advantages of using redwood. To learn more about redwood, visit the CRA at Real Strong Redwood.

redwood_building

© California Redwood Association

redwood_building

© California Redwood Association

redwood_deck

© California Redwood Association

By |September 17th, 2016|Design, Modern design, Tips|0 Comments

Every Room in the Home Has a Place for Bamboo

this-to-that-kirei-1500-bamboo

© kireiusa.com

Properly sourced and manufactured bamboo can be an alternative to wood if you like that look but want to use something that is more sustainable in your home.

“Bamboo is considered a rapidly renewable material, meaning that it can be harvested in less than 10 years and is used in the interiors of many types of projects,” said Lisa Kamphaus, an associate professor of interior design at La Roche College in McCandless, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh.
Although it is durable like wood, bamboo actually is a form of grass.

“It is lightweight, strong and versatile,” said Kamphaus, who also is the chairwoman of the Design Division at La Roche.

“While it is commonly used as flooring, it is becoming more widely used for furniture, textiles and window coverings.”

Bamboo traditionally has been used in many ways in Asia. In fact, Kamphaus said, there is an an Asian saying that “a man is born in a bamboo cradle and leaves in a bamboo coffin.”

Now, bamboo is becoming more common in the United States. “Bamboo definitely has become more of a mainstream product over the last 20 years,” said Aurora Sharrard, executive director of the Green Building Alliance in Pittsburgh. She said bamboo flooring even is available at Home Depot and Lowe’s.

Bamboo can be used in many places at your home, from the outside in.

bamboo_fence

Yards
Outside the home, bamboo is an attractive material for privacy fences.

Fences can be made from bamboo stalks for an Asian look or from bamboo formed into slats for a look similar to a traditional wooden fence.
Check out a variety of styles by searching for “bamboo fencing” on Pinterest.

 

 

kireiusa-residence-chocolate-bamboo

© kireiusa.com

Living Rooms
Designtrends.com has a web page on “Modern Bamboo Living Room Designs and Ideas” that can give you plenty of ideas for ways to use bamboo in that room.

Photos show examples of bamboo flooring and the wide variety of stains and grains.

You also can see examples of bamboo wall paneling and ceilings and even bamboo frames for sliding glass doors.

 

 

kireiusa-horizontal-carbonized-bamboo-furniture

© kireiusa.com

Kitchens
The uses of bamboo in the kitchen include flooring, countertops and cabinets. You can find more than 1,000 photos on Pinterest in the category of “Design Trends: Bamboo Bliss.”

At the Houzz website, you can check out the gallery of “Modern Bamboo Kitchen Home Design Photos” to see different styles of bamboo cabinetry.

The most common uses for bamboo in U.S. homes are in floors and cabinetry, said Asa Foss, LEED residential technical director for the U.S. Green Building Council, based in Washington, D.C. “Bamboo products can have a similar look and hardness to other hardwood floor options,” he said.

 

 

kireiusa-residence-chocolate-bamboo

© kireiusa.com

Bedrooms
Bamboo flooring and paneling also can be used in the bedroom.

The About Home website’s gallery of “Bamboo Bedroom Floor Pictures and Ideas” says that “bamboo has an intrinsically serene demeanor” and can be a good choice for bedrooms because it promotes “a sense of soothing energy” in the room used for slumber.

 

 

 

kireiusa

© kireiusa.com

Bathrooms
Bamboo has a place in the bathroom, too, where it can be used for cabinets, vanities and even vessel sinks.
Go to the Houzz gallery of “Bamboo Sink Home Design Photos” to see some of those sinks, along with other examples of bamboo in bathroom design.

 

 


Author Bio

Madelyn Dinnerstein

kireiusa-bamboo

© kireiusa.com

kireiusa-horizontal-carbonized-bamboo-vaneer-light-fixture

© kireiusa.com

kireiusa-horizontal-carbonized-bamboo-table-top

© kireiusa.com

kireiusa-vertical-carbonized-bamboo

© kireiusa.com

kireiusa-vertical-carbonized-bamboo-commercial

By |September 13th, 2016|Design, Green Building, Modern design, Tips|0 Comments

Creating a Green Yard the Sustainable Way

creating-a-green-yard-the-sustainable-way-image-1Nearly everyone strives to be sustainable, but avoiding chemical cleaners in your home and recycling plastic bottles isn’t nearly enough to call yourself green. In particular, you should look to how you treat your outdoor spaces: If you are pouring oceans-worth of water on your lawn every day, and if you must replace the dead greenery in your garden every few weeks regardless of how well you maintain it, you can’t conscionably call yourself eco-friendly.
Fortunately, it is possible to have a beautiful yard that is as green as you are ― you just have to be more careful with your methods and materials. Ecoscaping is a relatively new style of landscaping that works to create a beautiful outdoor space that doesn’t tax the environment and waste precious resources. Here are a few ways you can ecoscape your backyard so your yard is as sustainable as you are.

Limit the Size of Your Lawn
Lawn grass is rarely a native plant. If you take a stroll in the untouched natural spaces near your home, you are unlikely to find lush, naturally growing lawns in the woods or even in the fields. This is because the species of grass planted in backyards of residential spaces are incredibly resource-hungry: They require abundant water, food, and attention to survive.

However, there are plenty of good reasons to want to preserve some lawn space around your home. For one, grass is a safe, comfortable place to play and entertain guests. For another, green, healthy lawns are quite beautiful. Fortunately, tearing up your lawn and replacing it with wood chips or rock isn’t the only solution; instead, you can opt to maintain a smaller lawn so you reap the benefits while cutting down your use of resources. By confining the grass in your yard to a particular space ― perhaps attractively shaped to balance the look of your home and yard ― you can save money, save the environment, and save the charm of your outdoor space.

Commit to Consistent Lawn Maintenance
Plenty of homeowners sink ridiculous amounts of time and energy into maintaining their lawns, but such an approach is not only untenable for most people, it is also unsustainable. In fact, with consistent and concentrated maintenance, you can ensure your lawn is healthy without wasting abundant resources. If you don’t have the time to commit to regular maintenance, you might hire lawn care professionals to provide safe, sustainable service.

By choosing the correct grass seed for your region, preventing dangerous weeds and fungus with pre-emergent weed control, and mowing and watering properly for the season, you can sustainably maintain a lawn in your yard year-round.

However, if you do nothing else, you should keep an eye on the soil beneath your grass. Annual testing for nutrient levels, acidity, oxygen content, and more will prevent expensive and exhausting dead patches that are definitely not green.

creating-a-green-yard-the-sustainable-way-image-2Choose Native Flora
Even in the Sahara, indigenous plants grow, which means you can definitely find plants native to your area to use around your yard. Native plants naturally thrive in your climate, which means they shouldn’t require excess resources that can be unsustainable. Perennials are some of the best options because you can often plant them once and rarely worry about them.

Contrary to popular belief, every region has indigenous flora that can be attractively landscaped, or “naturescaped” as some environmental activists call it. A visit to a local nursery should provide you with inspiration. Plus, if you naturescape properly, you might be able to register your yard as a wildlife habitat through the National Wildlife Federation.

Build a Water Feature
Unlike decorative fountains, environmentally friendly water features can do much to increase the greenness of a yard. You might consider building any of the following into your eco-scape:

  • Rain garden. In rainy regions, homeowners can dig depressions into the soil that collect rainwater and facilitate its addition to natural groundwater systems. You can cover the depression with stones and water-loving plants.
  • Water barrels or cisterns. Collecting roof run-off or rainwater and using that water for yard irrigation is another sustainable option. The barrels are both cute and functional additions to any yard.
  • Ponds. Building a pond into your yard can create a healthy space for native flora and fauna to grow naturally. You can even add indigenous fish species to create an entire ecosystem in your ecoscape.
By |September 13th, 2016|Landscape, Tips|0 Comments

The Most Polluting Industries In The World

pollutionScientists have been sounding the alarms about climate change for decades, but unfortunately we are still completely dependent on digging stuff up and burning it for our main sources of energy. The United States gets 39% of its energy from coal, which is ok from a national security standpoint until the acid rain makes our water undrinkable. Natural Gas pollutes 30% less than coal and the U.S. gets 27% of its energy from that source, but there are still significant pollution issues. And, of course, there is a threat of a meltdown, but mainly the radioactive waste is dangerous for 240,000 years.

People have been looking for alternative energy sources for decades, but progress in getting them installed means less than 15% of the energy produced in the United States comes from renewable or clean sources. Hydropower is the largest sector of green energy in the U.S., responsible for almost 7% of the power production. It is, however, not without its own issues- dams can endanger ecosystems, so hydroelectric power has to be done properly. Wind is an emerging energy sector at almost 4.5% of America’s power grid. Just one percent of power produced in the U.S. comes from solar or geothermal sources, though that number is always increasing with improvements in technology.

Transportation is one sector where small improvements in efficiency can have a huge impact. Increases in mandatory fuel efficiency have decreased air pollution since the 1970s. Continuing to increase efficiency will continue to improve the environment. Biofuels have also shown promise in decreasing pollution. Now many people are even driving hybrid electric and full electric cars. When powered with solar power they produce zero emissions, and even when they get their power from traditional sources they still pollute less than traditional internal combustion engines.

Learn more about the arsenal of green tech being employed to reduce pollution from this infographic!

techarsenalinfographic

 

By |September 11th, 2016|Conservation, Energy Efficiency, Green Tech|0 Comments