Options for people in debt in the UK

While the UK’s economy may be going from strength-to-strength there are still lots of people struggling with their debts and who need advice and help to resolve them.

The best advice is to contact their creditors, that is the people that a debtor owes money to, and make an arrangement to pay off the debt.

Depending on the amount of money the debtor has, such as savings, will dictate what options are available. For those who are in serious debt, the lack of cash and assets will be a problem.

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Design your own custom made, printed flooring!

Companies are already offering consumer’s new ways to decorate their homes including custom made wallpaper and one off paint colours, but what if you could design your own flooring too! The technology is already available to print designs onto vinyl flooring and it’s becoming more and more affordable every day.

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Wireless Systems for technology efficiency of your house and control temperature

In this post we will talk about the reasons why new technologies could help us in order to control the temperature of our house.

I know this is not right time to talk about that, spring is coming quickly. But I guess that It could give an idea about what we need to do, next year, when the necessity to get control our house temperature will come to us.

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Finding Top Energy-saving and Water-efficient Appliances for Your Home

Using electricity, gas and water around the house is partly about the way that we use them in our everyday lives. Our usage is affected by our habits, from how long we stay in the shower to whether we remember to turn the light off when we leave a room. But we can also change our energy and water use by changing the appliances and fixtures that we install around the house. From our light bulbs to fridges, showers and washing machines, we can do our best to look for more energy-efficient models. Plenty of manufacturers make products with this in mind, so we can find the best products to help us be greener. Use this guide to help you discover lights, kitchen appliances and bathroom fixtures that will save you water and energy in your home.

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Marco Papale

Around the House

One of the things we need to consider throughout the house is the light bulbs we use. Energy-efficient bulbs used to be a bit rubbish; they would take a long time to turn on and then give out a rather pathetic level of light. But now they are much improved, and bulbs such as LED spotlights light our homes adequately and save us energy. If you haven’t made the switch to LED yet, it’s one of the best things you can do for your home. You could save a lot of money on your electricity bill, as well as helping the environment.

The Kitchen

There are several appliances in your kitchen, both big and small, that you should try to purchase with a good energy-efficiency rating. On your dishwasher, look for the Energy Saving Recommended logo, which will also provide you with more information. It should have a rating, with A being the best. You can also find out how much water they use. Look for a dishwasher that will last you longer too. When it comes to ovens and hobs, their efficiency depends on the fuel they use. Electric hobs and ovens will have European energy rating, again with A being the best. Induction electric hobs are more efficient than other options. You can also look at Rayburns (AGAs), which run on alternative fuels, such as natural or propane gas, kerosene or diesel oil. They also double up as heaters.

Bathroom

In the washroom, you probably worry more about your water usage than energy consumption. An easy adjustment you can make in this room is replacing your shower head with a more water-efficient one. You can install water-saving taps too, or put in gadgets that restrict the flow. For the toilet, replace single-flushes with dual ones.

Utility Room

Looking for an efficient washing machine is similar to finding a dishwasher. Look out for the same Energy Saving Recommended label with an A rating, and check how much water it uses too. Find a machine that will last you a long time to help both you and the environment. And don’t forget to wash on lower temperatures to save energy.

Once you have all your water and energy-efficient appliances and fixtures in place, remember to use them responsibly. They might be better by design, but you can help even further by keeping up good habits.

 

Eco Home Products

The plight of the environment and rising concerns about climate change feature increasingly in the public conscience today. On first consideration, it may seem there is little any individual can do to affect change for the better. In truth, everyone can make a difference. By actively considering the eco-friendly credentials of products in and around the home, it is possible to effectively contribute to the future wellbeing of the environment, reducing air and water pollution and reversing the damage done by greenhouse gasses. Eco-friendly home choices often lead to improved health and a lower proportion of the household budget being spent on fuel. There are some simple ways to start living a greener lifestyle outlined below.

Bamboo

bamboo

Bamboo is increasingly being used to fashion all sorts of products, from furniture and flooring to kitchen implements. Bamboo has far greater sustainability than most materials, either synthetic or natural. Wood from bamboo plants can be harvested every three to five years, and patches of bamboo produce 35% more oxygen than the same area of trees. Bamboo is also typically grown without the use of fertilisers or pesticides.

Solar

Using electricity produced from solar energy sources will help avert an energy crisis and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Contrary to what many believe – solar technology is effective even given the UK’s notoriously disastrous summers. All that is required to generate power is ordinary daylight, though much more power is produced on sunny days.

A good idea is a solar oven. These devices are for outside use and they use the sun’s direct energy to cook or heat up food and drink. Heat settings can be adjusted so food cooks quickly or so that the solar oven operates as a slow cooker. It is possible to purchase myriad shelves and attachments enabling roasting, stewing, grilling or frying of food. Using these in the UK will be confined to the summer months.

Food

Home-grown food is bursting with freshness and health giving properties. For storage, Abeego wrap is a superb eco alternative to cling-film or Tupperware. Made from natural products known for their preservative properties, Abeego wrap allows food to be kept incredibly fresh. Made from hemp, jojoba oil, organic cotton and covered with a beeswax coating – Abeego is both fluid and air resistant. The wrap is reusable – easily washed with cool soapy water – and can be composted when it is no longer effective.

www.biome.com.au
www.biome.com.au

Water

Rainwater harvesting is the collection of rainwater in large butts, which can then be utilised for exterior or non-drinking purposes. With an approved water filtration system, harmful bacteria and chemicals can be removed making rainwater safe to drink.

Cleaning products

Chemical cleaning products can be extremely harmful both to human health and the environment. Natural products are the best way to ensure safety when using cleaning products. White vinegar, lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda can be used to clean a multitude of substances or stains from surfaces and materials. If the convenience and extra power of commercial cleaners is essential – products made from natural plant based ingredients that carry no toxic or corrosive markings are the best to use.

Furniture

When furnishing a home, reclaimed wood and bamboo are stunning natural materials with fantastic eco credentials. An eco range of contemporary furniture is available, giving a charming rustic-chic feel to any room. For those with a creative bent – upcycling seems a fad that is set to stay. Wooden pallets can be used to form bases for beds or sofas, and old crates or barrels make fantastic coffee tables. Sheets and clothing can be turned into furniture covers. With a little creativity – so many disused items can be turned to beautiful or practical new uses.

This article features a small sample of eco-friendly ideas for the home. Preserving the environment is everyone’s responsibility and taking action to do so can also improve health and be good for the family budget.

Developing a sustainable online business

Thanks to the global recession and an ethos that it is ecologically sound to want to save money and cut down on waste, green or sustainable businesses are the way to go for today’s entrepreneurs. Such businesses may offer many benefits besides being good for the planet, including flexible working hours and requiring very little capital to set up.

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Green Laundry

We’re used to separating our laundry up into blacks and whites, but what about greens? Being eco-conscious is becoming increasingly important in every aspect of our lives and the laundry is no different. Are you aware of the environmental impact of your weekly washing load? No? Most people aren’t. Luckily, we’ve put together some quick info about the impact laundry can have on the environment and some easy ways to reduce the burden each time.

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How Changing Your Windows Can Help the Environment

Since 1970, energy used to heat Britain’s homes has increased by 20%. While the switch to central heating has brought great improvements in the carbon efficiency, and new buildings regulations has meant more homes now have full insulation and more energy efficient fixtures, this has not accounted for the new dependence on electrical appliances that govern modern life. One of the easiest ways you can improve the efficiency of your home is to invest in energy efficient windows.

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The Importance of Eco Parenting: How to Raise Responsible Young Adults

Parenting is arguably the single most difficult challenge you can undertake in your lifetime, regardless of your level of responsibility and maturity as an individual. As a parent, you are responsible for the emotional and physical well-being of your child, and must therefore prioritise this above your own needs at all times. The need for good and effective parenting is even more important as the worlds’ population continues to grow, and places a significant strain on the natural environment.

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The 6 Vitally Important Environmental Issues We Must Address In the Next 15 Years

We are often bombarded with instructions on contributing to a cleaner global environment, yet it’s often difficult to pinpoint the exact cause for concern with so much happening in the background and very little being done on the frontline.

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Eco-Living: Help Protect the Planet in your Own Home

Have you ever felt like you want to live your life in a more eco-conscious way, but aren’t exactly sure where to start? Well what you’ll be pleased to hear is there are easy ways you can adapt your lifestyle at home to help protect our planet.

So, from your gardens to your decor and energy consumption, read on to find out some eco-living methods you can try. When you do, you’ll soon see it’s easy being green.

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It’s Electric: How to Use Electricity in a Green Home

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Reynermedia

One of the biggest concerns for our carbon footprints at home is how much and what type of energy we use. Most houses receive either electricity or both electricity and gas. But if you’re concerned about the use of fossil fuels, you’re probably wondering if there’s a better way. As well as cutting back on the amount of energy you use, you can also look for green energy tariffs and even research ways that you can generate your own electricity. If you want to change your situation and start using less or more eco-friendly energy, have a look at the below information.

Buying Green Electricity

If you want a greener power supply, check with your current supplier and others to see if they offer a green tariff. These tariffs aim to support renewable energy and come in two types: green supply tariffs and green funds.

A supply tariff means that some or all of your electricity gets matched by purchases of renewable energy by your supplier. They should tell you which sources they include and how much of your supply is renewable. However, you should check the specifics of the tariff. Some green tariffs say that your supply is renewable, but it only assigns some of the renewable energy the company is required to buy to you. At the same time, they reduce the amount they supply to others. This has no effect on the quantity of renewables companies buy. Look for suppliers that guarantee that a proportion of the energy they provide you is ‘additional’.

The other option is a green fund, which involves paying a premium to contribute towards the development of renewables.

Changing Your Energy Use

Whether or not you decide to switch to a green tariff, changing your electricity use is important too. Some of the things you should change involve your purchases while others might involve breaking bad habits. One of the easiest things you can do is to switch your light bulbs. If you replace each standard light with an e27 LED bulb, you can save a lot of energy right away. You can also look into getting other low-energy appliances and electronics. But changing your behaviour is essential too. You should take a look at the places where you can cut down on electricity use. For example, you could reduce the number of times you do your laundry each week or even do something as simple as turning lights off.

Generating Your Own Electricity

If you’re not happy with what energy suppliers offer, you can install renewable technology. There are several different types of technology you can consider for your home, depending on the resources available. For example, if there’s a river or stream on your property, you might be able to use hydroelectricity. Other options include solar thermal, solar PV, heat pumps, and biomass. Whether you can use any of these will depend on your home and personal circumstances.

Most people wouldn’t want to function without electricity, but there are ways we can create and use it responsibly. Think about how you can change your usage to contribute towards a better planet.

 

CC image credit to Direct Relief

Three Top Tips for Eco-Friendly Shipping

In recent years, the birth and growth of online shopping has transformed commerce into a truly global phenomenon. Today, it is as easy to purchase an item from another continent as it is to walk down to your local corner shop and buy a pint of milk. This has created a greatly increased customer base for business owners to tap into, and as a result shipping has become the lifeblood of the modern economy. Continue reading “Three Top Tips for Eco-Friendly Shipping”

Six Power-Saving Tips You Haven’t Heard Before

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Save energy and money by employing the following tips:

 

  1. Constant Low Heating
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Instead of turning your heating off when the office is empty, even over weekends, it has been found that keeping the heat on all the time, but turned down low is better. In this way, instead of having to heat the office up from icy cold, it will not need so much power, nor will it take too long to get the office back up to the point that everyone is toasty warm and completely productive again!

 

  1. Just One Degree Down: And Then Another
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Try turning the thermostat down just one degree: if you keep it on 20°C put it down to 19°C and so on. In the event that you and your staff feel a little bit cold, encourage the wearing of jumpers and practices like closing doors and windows during the colder months. It will not take long for everybody to adjust to the slight drop in ambient temperature. And then you can start all over again, and drop the thermostat a further degree! (Do not take this too fat though, you do not want your staff to become uncomfortably cold!)

 

  1. Getting Unplugged
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Always unplug electrical appliances that are not being used. Even computers on standby or mobile phone chargers that are not connected to the device can still draw a charge, running up your office bill and wasting valuable resources. Obviously, in a busy office there are likely to be many such devices, potentially representing a small fortune in wasted energy! Viking is a great source for office supplies & appliances.

 

  1. Challenge An Employee!
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Get the support of your workers by challenging them to get involved with the job of saving money and energy. You can appeal to their civic sense by asking them to help save the planet in their own small way, or you can offer them a percentage of the money you save: whichever policy best fits in with your employment guidelines. Ask the staff to S.O.S. or Switch Off Switches, ask them to keep their eyes peeled for gadgets and devices that are plugged in but never switched off and encourage them to turn off their own appliances at the end of the day. It will soon become habit for them and before you know it, you will be seeing a great they will be saving you money without any more nagging from you!

 

  1. Embrace the LED
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LED lighting is a fantastic invention. It provides bright, clear light but draws much less current than traditional halogen bulbs, saving between fifty and ninety per cent of the energy demands of old-fashioned bulbs. It is a constantly developing field and it is possible now to install sensors that drop the wattage to ten per cent until it senses someone coming into the room, ideal for office environments where you want to save energy wherever possible. Visit Recouplighting for more information about Retail LED Lighting options for your office.

 

  1. Be Up-to-date
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Investing in new equipment for the office is a big expense and one that you might be tempted to put off for a while. But, do not be too hasty in dismissing the thought: modern computer equipment, especially new monitors are designed to save energy, meaning that your investment will quickly pay for itself in the form of energy savings!

Lead A Greener Lifestyle With These Bite-Sized Ideas

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never thought much about eco-friendly my lifestyle is. That is, not until recently when I started getting concerned about how high my energy bills were! There is also the rising cost of fuel to consider too. Without petrol, I can’t drive my car.

Money is often the driving force behind people’s decisions to adjust their spending. If their costs rise, but their income doesn’t, they have to make some judgement calls in their lives. The good news is that you can lead a greener lifestyle without giving up on the things you love.

Intrigued? Keep reading to learn about some bite-size tips for leading an eco-friendly life. Here is what you need to know:

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Flickr / peterblanchard

Replace your appliances and electronics

I know this might sound a bit odd, but you should think about buying new appliances and electronics! Why? Today’s modern gadgets use far less energy than the ones sitting in your home today.

When you use energy-efficient appliances and electronics, your utility bills won’t be so high. And that means you will use less energy, leading to a greener lifestyle!

Upgrade to LED lighting

Is your home full of “old-fashioned” incandescent and halogen bulbs? If so, it’s time you removed them and fitted LED lamps in their place! The thing about LEDs is that they don’t need to heat up anything to generate light.

They are electronic “diodes” that emit little heat. And, most important of all, they use a small fraction of the energy conventional bulbs need! Some of you might be thinking that LED lighting is expensive.

That might have been the case years ago. But, today, they are just as affordable as the alternatives. And they are available in a broad range of fittings, lumens and styles. One thing I love about LED lights is they come on instantly. No waiting around like you have to with CFL bulbs!

Be more eco-friendly when you do your washing

The hotter the temperature, the more energy washing machines need. Today’s detergents are capable of removing even stubborn stains at just 30 degrees Celsius! And, when your washing machine has finished, hang your clothes to dry!

Tumble dryers use an awful lot of energy. If you live in a cold and damp climate, you might not have much choice but to use a tumble dryer. But for those of you living in sunnier climes, let your clothes dry naturally.

Recycle your waste

One of the biggest bugbears that environmentalists have is the fact we send a lot of our waste to landfill sites. As you can imagine, at some point in the future we will run out of places to dump our rubbish!

Most councils in the UK run free recycling schemes for householders. You can usually recycle cardboard, paper, plastic and metal without having to leave your home! And, for bulky items, you can always take your waste products to your local recycling centre.

Remember: the more things you can recycle, the less waste you send to landfill sites!

 

Having a Green Valentine’s Day

Having a Green Valentine’s Day

Having a Green Valentine’s Day
Image courtesy of photostock and freedigitalphotos.net

The Valentine’s Day card market was worth £42.5m in 2012, and its value continues to increase in spite of social networking and texting. Although it ranks below Christmas, birthdays and Mother’s Day, the Valentine’s market is still big business, and its card and gift market still causes lasting damage to the environment- particularly when you consider that £262m is spent on flowers alone! So, this year, ditch tradition and do something green for Valentine’s Day. Here are our suggestions:

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