A water pump isn’t always the first thing you think of when you consider ways to becoming more eco-friendly. However, it definitely should be as the European Commission (‘Putting Energy Efficiency First‘) shared that an additional 20% is added to energy bills as a result of inefficient pumps.
What is a water pump used for?
It’s fine if you don’t immediately know what a water pump is. It’s a centrifugal that uses a rotating impeller to move water into the pump and form a pressurised flow. You actually use water pumps every day of your life, even if you don’t realise it.
Heating systems reply on circulation pumps that move hot water through the pipes and they even help water reach your house from the main supply.
How do I know if my pump is Faulty?
A really obvious sign that your pump isn’t running to its full potential is visible leaking. Even if you can’t spot an obvious leak, you may notice damp spots around the location of the pump. There are other obvious visual elements such as a crack or rusting nozzles. You may even see some mould forming or notice the pump has an odour.
An inefficient pump will usually form a choke point. This is where the pressure builds up and can burst without any warning. It’s dangerous and expensive to repair the damage made to the property, plus the cost of a new pump on top.
Why are old pumps more inefficient?
It’s simple; more energy is needed to push water through a blocked water pipe. An inefficient pump often uses way over the average amount of electricity usually used to normally function.
The European Commission is currently trying to bring in wide efficiency measures. The focus is very much on making efficient and eco-friendly circulators mandatory. This has already shown to help improve the efficiency of water and sewage pumps. However, the pumps can still block, crack and develop choke points and thus timely repairs will still be necessary.
What impact does this have on the environment?
Well, using more electricity not only burns a hole in your pocket, but it also causes further damage to the planet. As a majority, we still rely heavily on burning fossil fuels to generate electricity. We all know this method is highly unsustainable and highly damaging to the ozone layer.
Using more power than necessary is causing you to release more harmful chemicals and thus, increasing your carbon footprint along with it.
Ensuring your pumps, pipes and utility system are all working efficiently helps combat the risk of using more energy than necessary.
New pumps and cost-effectiveness?
The cost of repairing or replacing your pump with a new version will cost less than it would to repair structural damage a burst pump would cause.
As we’ve discovered, inefficient pumps will add money to your energy bills. The pump will use more energy than needed to push water past a blockage or just to keep the water flowing at a constant rate.
Replacing your old pump in a timely manner is more cost-effective and more energy efficient. As a result of this, it is better for the environment and will help towards keeping your carbon footprint at a minimum.
If everyone had a new, fully functioning water pump and they each would be saving 20% of their energy bill – just think how much money and energy we could save by making this movement together.
With the realisation of plastic filling our oceans in recent years, we now more than ever need to be conscious about what we fill our houses and gardens with.
For years, items such as furniture, decking, sheds, doors, and fencing have been predominantly made out of timber and have been frequenting gardens and outside spaces since. Timber has always been the go-to choice; however, with rising costs associated with the material, continual maintenance, and eventual rot, it’s not the most ideal. Making the move to an alternative material is not only better sustainably for the environment as it is sourced from already made plastics with new life injected into it, but it is also better on your wallet. Recycled plastic wood is an alternative that lasts forever, needs almost no maintenance at all, is safe (no more pesky splinters), rot-free and is the eco-friendly choice.
How to get your garden blooming using recycled plastic wood planters
Whether you use your garden as a source of nutrition to grow your own produce or as a place of tranquillity after a long day, there’s no doubt it needs to look inviting.
The simplest, and quickest way to get your garden looking beautiful is with a bit of colour. There are so many different types of plants to bring into your outside space, so depending on your budget, your tastes, or the style of your garden, there’s a planter design for you.
For shaded areas
If you are lucky enough to live in a property with a south-facing garden which catches the sun all day through, then you won’t want to be planting up plants that need an excess of shade. However, there are plenty of balcony gardens, terraces, front gardens and borders that, despite best efforts of design, just won’t naturally catch the sun.
As a foliage plant hosta’s can grown on moisture soil. Mulching also helps hostas to reach their potential by adding rotted matter to the soil to increase its moisture levels.
For sunny patches
However big or small your garden, there’ll be a patch that catches the sun at some time of the day, so the best that you can do is take advantage with a sun-loving flower.
Petunias are versatile, pretty plants. They flower in a whole host of colours, and will be found in some of the loveliest arrangements. They are easy to maintain needing only daily water and de-heading at the end of its life, with re-flowering occurring all throughout the season.
Geranium’s flower from early summer all the way to early autumn, flowering in a range of colours, with little maintenance. As long as these are planted in a container with moist soil and
Fuchsia’s can be trained to grow into a bush from early planting (this is what will make the statement singular piece in a planter). As soon as there are three sets of leaves on it, the growing tip should be cut to stop the growth in order to stimulate between two and four side shoots, and then stop the shoots once two sets have grown to coax the bush. Repeat this process until the desired outcome is reached.
Not only is it important to be conscious about the types of materials we use in the garden, it’s also prudent to reduce plastic usage in the kitchen too. Purchasing and planting herbs within your garden will significantly reduce fresh single-use herb usage which often comes packaged in an abundance of plastic. Herbs are really easy to pot, manage and maintain, and make for wonderful fresh dishes straight from your garden.
Typical herbs which you can include in your outdoor kitchen are:
Want to create your own alluring garden? Head over to Eco Plastic Wood to view their range of bespoke recycled plastic wood products for use in your own garden. All products are manufactured and dispatched from their single factory in Leicestershire, reducing the carbon footprint in the supply chain. All products are made from LDPE, HDPE, PP, Styrene, and PVC waste plastics which are made into luxurious outdoor furniture which is all fully recyclable.
Football and sustainability is an unusual concoction in any conversation. As we continue to make a change towards climate change, stadiums are making a positive move towards becoming more sustainable and environmentally friendly. McCulloch has picked out 12 of the world’s most sustainable stadiums: from people-powered pitches, solar-powered stadiums and 100% recycled seats made from sugarcane. Look at how and what stadiums are doing:
Forest Green Rovers is set to become the world’s greenest clubs having one of the lowest carbon impacts of any stadium in the world.
National Stadium, Kaohsiung, Taiwan – This beautiful stadium has over 8,000 solar panels covering 14,000 sq metres, making the stadium 100% powered by sun.
Brazil, famous for street football and world cup wins – it would only seem right that the players power their own pitch with their speedy footwork. The stadium has 200 kinetic tiles which converts players movements into energy that fuels the stadiums lighting.
The MetLife Stadium, New York gas 40,000 tonnes of recycled steel, with seating made of reclaimed metals and recycled plastic – on top of that, it’s solar ring on the roof powers the stadiums LED lighting.
Head over to McCulloch to see what other innovative ways stadiums are taking to become more environmentally friendly.
Having a swimming pool is a true blast. The only problem is that it can also bite off a big chunk of your budget every month. After all, you need to spend a great deal of energy on heating and filtering the water. Well, it does not have to be that way, not if you are prepared to invest a bit of time and money up front in order to save much more later on. The initial outlay pays for itself many times over down the road. This is your chance to champion smart energy use, cut your ownership costs, and do something good for Mother Nature.
Line up tech stapes
First off, you have to carefully select technology for your backyard oasis. Various equipment pieces and components make a big difference in terms of power consumption. The key pieces to keep an eye on are the heater, pump and filter. Let us start with the pump, the heart and soul of the pool. It needs an adequate supply of power to circulate the water. What many people do not know is that it can operate on lower pressure for a number of hours and still get the job done.
So, take your time figuring out whether you should go for a single-speed, two-speed, or variable speed pump. I would advise the latter option: it offers the most flexibility, user-friendliness, and is a must consider. That being said, the gains depend on the type of pool. For instance, high grade fiberglass pools have smooth finishes that resist algae and mildew. That means shorter pump run times compared to granite and other counterparts.
Furthermore, the choice of filter makes a difference because it impacts the demand on your pump. For residential pools, three main solutions are sand, Diatomaceous Earth (DE), and cartridge. You should steer away from sand filters as they are the biggest energy consumers. DE products are a bit less wasteful, but they require a lot of maintenance. Hence, from an energy-efficiency standpoint, cartridge is the way to go.
Cover all the bases
A type of pool heating system can make or break your efforts. Three primary categories are heat pumps, solar systems and gas heaters. They all have their pros and cons, but solar systems take the prize in the area of energy-efficiency. They are basically a no-brainer in areas that receive a lot of sunshine or in countries with high electricity prices. The only drawback is that you could struggle to satisfy major pool and spa heating requirements.
Another element that plays a pivotal role is insulation. It determines the pool’s thermal efficiency, the amount of heat retention and loss. Therefore, you should consider insulating the walls and ground surface. You would need tools such as aluminum tape, pipe insulation, reflective bubble, tape measure, etc. On the other hand, in case you have a self-insulated fiberglass construction, you probably do not have to invest in the pool’s envelope.
At last, bear in mind that your habits also matter. So, mind how often you run your pump, maintain your filter regularly, and check skimmer & pump baskets every now and then. Make sure there are no performance hogs like filters jammed with debris and leaves. Accept nothing less than peak efficiency. You will also be able to boost the lifespan of your water sanctuary and main components in the process.
The best of both worlds
A pool is a perfect outlet for get-togethers, personal pastime and exercise. And if you want to have an environmentally friendly pool with lower energy consumption, you need to make informed, conscious buying decisions. Opt for components and accessories that make the softest hit on your budget. The upfront investment might be high, but the benefits in the long run are too great to miss. At the same time, commit to doing regular maintenance. That way, you will be able to enjoy all the benefits in your yard without overpaying for the privilege.
In October 2017, Oxford announced its plans to become the world’s first zero emissions city zone – they aim to ban all petrol and diesel cars from the city centre area by 2020. This suggests the UK are serious about rolling out their plans to ban the sale of all new diesel and petrol cars by 2040 in an attempt to clean up the UK’s air quality. Oxford isn’t the only city looking to introduce clear air zones either. The government has revealed five UK cities that plan to have a clean air zone by 2020, including Birmingham, Southampton and Leeds.
Motorparks Grange, retailers of prestige vehicles such used Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover, discuss the future of Clean Air Zones across the UK, and what they mean for drivers:
Defining a Clean Air Zone
The government defines a Clean Air Zone as “an area where targeted action is taken to improve air quality and resources are prioritised and coordinated in order to shape the urban environment in a way that delivers improved health benefits and supports economic growth”.
The programme implements access restrictions in ‘clean zones’ to encourage cleaner vehicles on the roads. High polluting vehicles such as busses, HGV’s and taxis will be faced with a charge for entering these zones – however, private cars will not be affected by these charges yet. Fully electric vehicles and vehicles which meet the definition of an ultra-low emission vehicles will be exempt from paying entering charges. However, other vehicles are separated into different classes, and charges will depend on which class they fall into.
Where will they be?
The government have chosen areas across the UK that have the poorest air quality. Clean Air Zones expect to be introduced in Leeds, Birmingham, Southampton, Nottingham and Derby by 2020, in an attempt to bring levels of nitrogen dioxide back down to the legal limit. The zones will most likely be introduced in the city centres, and restrictions can involve entry charges, time-of-day restrictions and/or blanket vehicle bans.
Other cities across the UK, such as Manchester, are currently investigating the feasibility of introducing a Clean Air Zone onto their roads. The Sunday Times suggests that over 35 urban areas could be included in this plan, whereby both private and public vehicles could be banned on the roads during peak traffic hours in city centres.
So called ‘toxin taxes’ could be as high as £20 a day in the most polluted cities. However, the government is keen to point out that they don’t want to punish drivers who bought their diesel cars because of successive governments – they don’t want drivers to feel they are being hit hard for incentives that previous governments had encouraged.
Who will be charged?
Originally, not all zones will have fixed charges — these will be decided by local councils and authorities. Penalties are not compulsory for city Clean Air Zones either. However, councils which do implement charges have the right to charge additional penalty fines if drivers do not comply with the zone charges.
Initially, the zones will not penalise private car owners. Instead, the zones will charge drivers of buses, taxis and HGV’s which contribute the most air pollution. Charges have not been finalised yet, but they will be issued depending on which class, or category, your vehicles falls under. There are four classes, A, B, C and D and are identified on vehicle type depending on your emissions and euro standard.
To find out where your vehicle will lie, the government has released a report outlining the Clean Air Zone framework.
Thinking about becoming more environmentally conscious? By driving eco-friendlier you can reduce your carbon footprint whilst lowering fuel costs. But, how exactly can you do this? Lookers, providers of the driving motability scheme, tell us more:
Reducing your fuel costs
Many of us spend a lot on fuel when commuting or visiting family and friends. But, there are some things that you can do to become more fuel efficient and get more out of your money.
Try changing gears at lower revs. This driving technique prevents your engine from overworking and therefore requiring more power. It has been suggested that when you’re behind the wheel, you should try to change gear when the rev counter reads 2,000rpm for diesel and 2,500rpm for petrol. This stops your engine from working too hard and reduces the risk of clutch and gearbox damage (more unexpected costs that you could do without).
Although it’s hard to resist rolling your windows down on a warm day, it can have a negative impact on your fuel tank. This is because driving with the windows down can cause your vehicle to drag — requiring more energy to move the car. So, is air conditioning a better alternative when it’s hot? One study discovered that this may actually use even more energy than when the windows are open.
Predicting the road ahead
To save on fuel and make the most out of your full tank, you should try and maintain a steady speed. But, how can you do this?
Predict what’s coming up on the road and prepare your speed accordingly. For example, if you’re approaching traffic lights, slow your car down in plenty of time to avoid harsh braking. You might surprise yourself by how much you can save on petrol or diesel by avoiding unnecessary stops and starts. In fact, statistics show that harsh braking and acceleration can reduce fuel efficiency by 33%. Similarly, when coming up to stand still traffic, reduce your speed so you can continue to move.
Although you should be avoiding speeding anyway for legal and safety reasons, there are other benefits of speed control.
If your car has cruise control installed, make the most of it. This feature allows you to maintain a steady speed and prevents too much speed fluctuation — improving fuel efficiency. Remember to turn your car off when stationary (when it’s safe to do so) to save on fuel too.
Which speeds are most economical to drive at? It’s most economical to drive below 70mph. In fact, research has found that it can cost up to 25% more in fuel to drive at 70mph than it does when driving at 50mph.
But, you want to avoid driving too slowly also. If your vehicle is moving below the speed of 15mph, the most vehicle pollution is created. Pollution emitted then lowers when accelerating to 60mph and rises again after this threshold.
The trend of including natural elements into your home has been present for decades, and its popularity is reaching new heights every single year. It seems that everyone has realized how important getting back to our roots and finding inspiration in nature really is. The aesthetics found in natural elements is something you can’t duplicate, and that’s the main reason why people decide to include it in their interior. Not only will you get a unique set of decorations, but you’ll also realize this new way of life is something you’ve been missing during your whole existence. That’s why this was one of the hottest trends last year and is still what designers recommend. With just a few simple upgrades, your house can become environmentally-friendly and your interior worthy of the front page in every magazine.
Decorate with plants
This is probably the easiest thing you could do, and in a couple of hours, you’ll have some green space in every room of your house. The amount of plants and flowers you’ll include in your interior depends on your desire and the ability to take care of greenery, so there’s nobody stopping you! Don’t be scared, though, as there are lots of types suitable for those who enjoy caring for flowers, as well as several sorts ideal for the people who love flowers, but aren’t exactly sure how to care for them. Before buying what looks good, ask your local florist for a recommendation based on your preferences and the conditions in your home. It’s important to consider the amount of natural light, fresh air, and the watering needs, too.
Wood has the ability to turn into the focal point in every part of the house if you have the knowledge and imagination to use it properly. You can’t go wrong with installing natural timber sliding doors which will stand out from the other elements in your interior. Having an addition like that will immediately boost the look of your home, and make it more appealing and welcoming. In addition to that, you have so many options when it comes to wooden flooring and wooden decorations, which gives you a great palette to choose from, and find out how it can be combined with the rest of the furniture. The type of flooring also depends on the floor plan and how often you wish to clean your floors.
Use natural stone
When you think about stone, probably the first thing that comes to your mind is pavements and patios. However, there are lots of different ways this natural element can be used. One of them is to make an accent stone wall which can be implemented into every room of your house, including the bedroom and the bathroom. If you want to start small first, you can add this organic addition to your coffee table, decorative flower pots, or any other piece of decoration that needs to be accentuated and updated.
Also, you can add bricks to make your fireplace stand out – this project won’t be too expensive, but it will present a significant change. Another great way to successfully add this element is to cover a small part of any wall in your home with it, as this will result in a more sophisticated look without making too big of an alteration. The effect provided by this project is an instant and intensive change that can be fitted into every home, regardless of its type or style.
Choose natural materials
Sustainable way of living has changed the way we think, and that’s why even the smallest things in your home have their eco-friendly variations. If you’re looking for bedding, for instance, you can find a great choice of natural cotton, or even some made from recycled materials – all of these in lots of amazing color variations and trendy patterns, so you’ll definitely find a combination that suits you and your style.
Apart from that, there are so many natural rugs, both indoors and outdoors, that you can implement into your home, patio or balcony. No matter what your taste is and whether you like to follow trends or not, a cozy rug is always a great way to make every room stylish. From jute to leather, all rugs are aesthetically pleasing, durable, and can easily blend in with the rest of the furniture.
Although many homeowners think that having natural elements in their home is too expensive, the truth is totally the opposite. These home additions can be implemented into every home in just a few minutes and are proven to be more frugal in the long run. You don’t have to rush into lots of big projects at the same time – instead, start small, and work on the projects you feel comfortable with. In the end, you’ll have a home you’ll be proud of, so start making new green changes soon enough.
In this world of climate change, outrageous resource prices and the unstable financial situation of many homes, going solar is a very reasonable choice. However, the road to energy independence isn’t always completely straight. In fact, there are numerous turns you have to make until you choose the perfect system for your home. Here’s a little guide that will make your decision easy.
Choose the right type
There are several types of solar systems and all of them have their good and bad sides.
An off-grid system
If you wish to be completely independent of the grid, you can opt for an off-grid system. This system uses batteries that control excess production and excess demand periods and utilizes a generator that protects against shortfalls. Most people who live in remote places far away from the grid opt for an off-grid system, because it’s just cheaper than to extend a power line. It’s also quite practical if you have a mixed renewable power system—solar and wind systems. However, an off-grid system doesn’t usually generate as much power as some other systems.
Grid inter-tied system
This type of solar system is connected both to a home and the usual electric grid. This means that owners can power their home from their home’s solar power system and the utility grid. It allows people to have a balance between production and demand and even sell some of the unused energy to the utility company through a process called Net Metering. Basically, your electricity provider will pay or give you credit for the electricity your system feeds into their grid. This system also costs the least because it requires only a few components.
Grid inter-tied with a battery
This type is very similar to the previous system, but it also utilizes a battery backup. This means you can have a complete balance between production and demand and be protected in case of power outages. If there is plenty of sunshine that the supply exceeds the demand, the battery allows you to store excess energy for later (when the production is lower or in case of power outages). However, the constant cycle of charging and emptying of the battery can reduce the system’s efficiency. Also, this system is very complicated to design and install, so it’s the most expensive one, too.
Choose the right inverter
In order to use the power your system generates, you need an inverter that will convert the direct power (DC) into alternating current (AC) that is used in homes. String inverters are always a good option since they are inexpensive, small and practical, especially if you live in an area that has good sun conditions. Unlike module-level power electronics (MLPE inverters) where each panel has its own inverter, a string inverter takes all of the DC power your solar system produced and changes it to AC. There are many models on the market but, for now, efficient SMA inverters showed to be very practical for both residential and commercial use. They do a pretty good job with inversion and even offer other services that can ensure your whole system is working cost-effectively.
Consider the price
People always tend to think about the cost of their system (after all, this is a large purchase), but the price should really not be a deciding factor. Today, there are rebates, incentives and other different financing methods that can hugely help you finance your solar system. This means that many people can install their system for a very reasonable fee and start saving money really fast.
Pick the right installer
Picking the right installer is just as important as choosing the right system. Make sure to opt for professionals with certification, licenses and plenty of good referrals. Also, according to recent research, it turns out that large national solar companies tend to leave you with a bigger bill for the installation and equipment than their local counterparts. So, don’t hesitate to compare prices and look for smaller, local companies.
So, there you have it, a very simple guide to choosing the right solar system for your home. Of course, if you want any more information and a more personalized design, there are great consultants that can help you find a good system. However, this guide can help ease you into the world of solar and ensure you have some information before you contact your installer.
‘Sustainability in Design’ was the hot topic in this month’s edition of Packaging News Magazine, with industry leaders citing both the responsibility of designers to respond to sustainability issues, and the responsibility of companies to integrate sustainability ideas into their processes.
Matt Oakley of Taxi Studio wrote for the magazine that consumers are “demanding an environmentally conscious attitude from brands”, with Nick Vaus of Free the Birds agreeing that “sustainability is becoming intrinsic to consumers’ purchasing decisions”.
Adelphi are proud to have these concerns at the forefront of their company ethos: we produce machines with scalability and upgrade options, so that as your company grows and develops, our equipment can be amended accordingly. We are distancing ourselves and our products from the outdated ‘throw it away and start again’ mentality which no longer fits with our social and environmental responsibilities. All our products are designed and created with longevity in mind, and even our premises demonstrate how heavily we subscribe to this school of thought; the Adelphi Group has recently settled into our new environmentally aware production facility ‘The Friary’.
The impressive premises took several months to complete, and were constructed over the top of Adelphi’s old temporary warehouse space, which enabled business activities to continue to flow without disrupting production and dispatch. The Friary now includes a number of features which provide major improvements to the overall business operations. The main space is occupied by a large machine hall with twelve working stations, all with their own service point for electrics, air and data. This offers ample space for several machine builds at any one time, ensuring that customer orders can be satisfied regardless of workloads. Stores also occupies a double mezzanine area for the three engineering companies within the Adelphi group. With the addition of these new features as well as a machine shop, Adelphi has the ability to bring more and more of its processes and production in-house, from design through to fabrication, including machining, wiring and programming.
In line with the company pledge “to support the local economy and the natural environment”, the Friary took into account energy efficiency at every stage of the build, and as a result eco-friendly LED lighting was installed, thermal testing was conducted, high quality insulation introduced, and solar panels were mounted on the roof of Adelphi Healthcare Packaging’s warehouse facility which now produce more power than we use. Adelphi’s buildings have also been constructed to harvest rainwater for use in the company’s cleaning and plumbing.
Whilst work was underway on The Friary, an exciting discovery was made in the form of an old artesian well, which along with the harvested rainwater now serves all the buildings on site with water for cleaning.
Adelphi recognises the responsibility of companies to integrate sustainability ideas into their processes and facilities. We are exceptionally proud of our premises, and are always pleased to welcome customers and contacts to the site for tours. If you would like to check out what Adelphi has to offer, please visit www.adelphi.uk.com.
Countless acres of pristine rainforest around the world have been cleared to grow palm oil, a substance used in many of today's processed foods. Processed food itself has a very bad rap, increasingly found to be bad for human health, but that's another story. The trouble is, big food brands are trying to tell us their palm oil is sustainable… and that's a big, fat marketing fib. According to scientists, claims that palm oil farming does not damage rainforests is ‘problematic', because the supply chains involved are so very complicated.
‘No deforestation' labels are meaningless
If you see a ‘no-deforestation' statement printed on food packaging, walk away. While some food manufacturers might have good intentions, a report by researchers at Imperial College London say there's no way to tell whether a batch of the oil is to blame for damaging and destroying forests where precious creatures like orangutans, Borneo elephants and Sumatran tigers – all near-extinct – live. Producing the oil invariably reduces biodiversity and forces local people from their land.
Palm oil – Nasty stuff that deserves banning from the food chain
Palm oil is used to make half of all supermarket products, including biscuits, snacks, cereals and margarine, even soap and shampoo. Public pressure had led manufacturers to claim the palm oil they use is sustainable, with no deforestation, but the complexity of the supply chain, lack of consensus on the definition of ‘deforestation', no real government support and an ongoing demand for unsustainable, unbranded palm oil across India and China are making a nonsense of the often half-hearted conservation efforts that are being made.
At the same time campaigns by environmental groups and others are proving ineffective in the face of palm oil-led destruction. Government regulations are inconsistent. There's even widespread confusion about who owns the land being deforested.
Concerted action is the only way to prevent more deforestation
Sadly, simply banning palm oil production and applying more pressure to countries who produce it isn't the answer. NGO shaming campaigns are not enough. Unilateral adoption of commitments by individual companies isn't enough. We need strong, concerted action to prevent even more deforestation in the name of a product that many feel is so destructive that it has no place in the food chain.