Green4Geeks Blog

This is the stuff we are talking about

IKEA Gets It: Zero Emissions is Smart Business

IKEA_Flags

I've been an IKEA fan for years, and now I have something more to like about them.  IKEA just announced that they will be performing zero emissions home delivery in five major markets by 2020.  This means your home assembly adventures can be brought to your very door if you live in Amsterdam, Los Angeles, New York, Paris or Shanghai.  The rest of us may have to wait a while (2025 is the goal), but in the meantime, many of us may be able to enjoy EV charging stations while we wait.  All of it is detailed in the September 2018 press release.  

IKEA has been a leader on high efficiency, low emissions technology for a while; they have had among the lowest cost LED light bulbs available, and even went the extra mile to eliminate all non-LED lights from their shelves.  Most of their store/warehouses are topped with solar panels, and their educational outreach program even gave away free LED bulbs.  Does this make good business sense?  You bet it does - early adoption means they are already saving energy costs, and the experience that goes with it.  

I can't wait to see what EV will deliver my BILLY bookshelves; perhaps a new EV Volvo?


Phote attribution:  By J. James [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], from Wikimedia Commons

0
  128 Hits
  0 Comments
128 Hits
0 Comments

The Many Benefits of Living and Working Locally

Living and working locally has many benefits, including contributing to the economy of your own neighborhood, the opportunity to help small businesses and independent farmers, and the chance to start reducing your footprint on the earth. While some people can't imagine life without a commute, it can be empowering to make a big change and reap the positive benefits at the same time.

Part of living locally includes making a conscious effort to get everything you need from the area you call home and working outward. Instead of shopping online and using valuable resources like fuel and packaging, look for it at a store or seller near you. While you won't always be able to do this, you might be able to find an alternative that will work just as well.

Living and working locally can have a positive effect on your health, as well. Many areas rely on locally-sourced produce from neighborhood farmers, which can be a much healthier organic alternative to store-bought or canned vegetables and fruit. Not only will you enjoy the benefits of fresh items, you'll be helping to sustain a local farm. Additionally, living close to work means you may be able to chuck your car and take a bike or walk instead. This will save you money while working to help the environment.

One major benefit of staying close to home is local tax income. Businesses of all sizes pay a large amount of taxes every year, and the more successful businesses there are in your area, the more money your city will have to pay for new roads, signage, schools, and upkeep.

If you aren't able to find a reasonable place to live that is close to where you work, you might consider volunteering in your own neighborhood. Libraries, small businesses, hospitals, and animal shelters are always happy to have help. This ensures that you are doing your part to live and work in your community even if you aren't earning your money there. You can also help spread the word about small local businesses to urge outside commerce. Bringing money in locally helps everyone in the long run.

Getting involved in your community takes some effort, but it won't go unrewarded. If you live in a very small town that doesn't have a movie theater, for instance, find out what you can do to help raise money for one. The revenue will be great for local income and the citizens of your town will thank you later. Or, if you are involved in local government, consider organizing a county fair that relies on donations from local businesses. All the money raised could go to something for the town, such as an upgrade to a park playground. 

Photo via Pixabay by xusenru

0
  632 Hits
  2 Comments
Recent Comments
Kirk Sexton
Thanks Ginger!
Saturday, 28 April 2018 01:01
Guest
As with all tragedies and trauma we cope differently. We grieve differently. Some cry and some hold back. Some scream, some go sil... Read More
Saturday, 19 May 2018 10:41
632 Hits
2 Comments

Practicing Energy Efficiency

I recently received an email from a reader who passed along a lot of links to sites that are the same theme as this one.  I took a look at her beautifully rendered site OurPreciousResources.org, and liked the message - ecology just one small step at a time.  The thing I like about that message, and what I try to promote, is just think about your day to day and your living environment in a critical way to see if you are doing it the most energy efficient way possible.  I like to put the engineering twist on it myself.  As an example, my front porch lights burned out frequently when I used to use incandescent bulbs.  They cost about $1.90 per bulb, and between my two fixtures, took a total of six bulbs.  I would end up replacing them nearly every year just due to exposure and burnouts (they weren't really on that much).  I tried CFLs when they became more affordable, but at at over $5 per bulb, and having no longer of a lifespan, it seemed like a foolish waste of money.  LED bulbs came along, and as an early adopter, I paid the premium price of $8 per bulb.  That was about five years ago.  They are still going strong and use a fraction of the energy the incandescent bulbs used in the beginning.  Not only have they paid for themselves by not having to replace them, they take way less energy, their eventual disposal is less harmful to the environment than CFLs.  One lesser known bonus feature of an outdoor LED light - they don't attract bugs like CFL and incandescent bulbs do; the narrower band of light (no UV and little infra-red) makes them less attractive to bugs.  

In short, switching to LEDs was a small step, but with many benefits, not just to myself, but to the environment.  

I started digging through the links from her email that I thought were the most interesting and will start sharing them.  The first one links to a good place to start if you aren't as geeky about these things as I am.  Take the energy efficiency quiz and see how you do (hint:  I gave you your first answer above).  This site is actually sponsored by an energy company, but the quiz might start you thinking over how much energy stuff around your house uses.  It might even guide your next appliance purchase.    The site is put up by Constellation Energy Resources, and the quiz can be found here.  Tip-o-the-hat to Ginger for the nice email!


0
  581 Hits
  0 Comments
581 Hits
0 Comments