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Archive for June, 2015

5 Things You Need for Green Living

By admin on June 18th, 2015

Are you trying to be more environmentally friendly in your everyday life, but don’t know where to start? Perhaps you want to cleanse your body from toxins and chemicals or do your part in helping the earth flourish. Start by adding these five items into your lifestyle and you will start to see the big difference that little things can make.

1. A blender

Invest in a good-quality juicer, blender or food processor so that you can make more of your own food from scratch. Cooking with a blender is a lot easier than you think, it makes flavours stronger, and since you’re adding fresh ingredients, you will know exactly what is in your food. Make your own juices, smoothies, juices, desserts, sauces, soups and salad dressings from fresh produce, minimising waste, packaging and transportation costs.

2. Eco-friendly beauty products

If you use generic supermarket makeup you may be surprised to find that they can be packed with chemicals, toxins and artificial ingredients. Opt for skincare, makeup and beauty products that are natural, organic and eco-friendly. To be more cost-effective, add your new products into your beauty routine as your current products run out. Look to eco-friendly retailers such as Biome for good quality, Australian products. Your skin will be glowing and looking younger because thanks to your healthier beauty routine.

3. A bike

Have you considered riding to work instead of driving or catching public transport? If you live within a 10 kilometres of your workplace, invest in a good bike and pedal your way to work at least a couple of times a week. You’ll be able to avoid traffic jams, get your daily exercise and contribute to creating a sustainable planet for future generations by reducing pollution and reliance on fossil fuels. Riding your bike to work will also make you feel more energised to start your day, and you will find that afternoon slump a thing of the past.

3. Veggie Patch

luke

Whether you live in an apartment, town house or a large home in suburbia, you can always find a way to grow your own herbs and vegetables. An indoor herb garden can sit on your windowsill or a vertical herb garden can hang in your outdoor terrace. If you have a backyard, build your own veggie patch from sleepers, adding strawberries, carrots, tomatoes and a variety of fresh herbs. You will find you will start saving a lot of money on supermarket produce, and your homegrown veggies will keep for much longer. Put your green thumb to work and you will be living green in no time.

4. Fresh Air

Embrace the fresh air and outdoors as much as possible, your body and the environment will thank you. Open your windows and let the breeze in rather than turning on the air conditioning: you will reduce your reliance on the grid and save money on your electricity bill.

There are a lot of ways your lifestyle can grow to become more green, so start small and substitute more eco-friendly products into your routine wherever you can. Small things can add up to make a big difference for you and the planet.

Charge your gadgets the green way this summer – with Solartab

By admin on June 17th, 2015

Phones and tablets can do almost anything these days – they’ve replaced everything from music players and encyclopedias to train tickets and phonebooks. But there’s one thing they still fail to do: to stay on when you need them. The crowd funded premium solar charger Solartab aims to solve this problem once and for all, and to do it the environmentally friendly way.

Solartab_side

This summer, chances are you’ll find yourself in surroundings where the nearest power outlet is miles away. If you want to make sure your energy hungry phone or tablet always is ready for action at the beach, picnics in the park, music festivals, or even a tent in the middle of the woods or a deserted island, Solartab might be just what you’re looking for. And unlike your regular solar charging solution, the innovative new product even provides energy after sunset.

The Solartab is big enough to charge all your mobile devices, like your phone and tablet, but it’s also compact, portable and stunning looking. Featuring a strong 5.5W solar panel as well as a high-capacity 13000 mAh solar panel, Solartab always provides two options for keeping your favorite gear from the likes of Samsung and Apple charged up and ready to go: Charge them directly from the sun, or from the battery if you happen to be indoors or the weather is cloudy. With two USB 2.1A outputs, charging both your tablet and phone at the same time is also possible.

The Kickstarter funded team behind Solartab promises that it will always charge at maximum efficiency as long as the sun is up. To keep this promise, they not only increased the solar panel’s size way beyond what you’ll find on the average portable solar charger on the market today, but also included an innovative built-in cover.

Solartab_cover

The cover works as a stand for the solar panel, allowing you to angle the panel in three different positions depending on the sun’s current whereabouts. And even more impressively, tech enthusiasts can charge their beloved touch-screen gadget even while they’re listening to their favorite summer tune, or browsing the Internet, at the same time. Finally, a solar charger that you can truly count on!

Solartab is about the same size as an iPad and features a sleek, clean design. When opened and in action, the product looks rather futuristic, but when folded together and wrapped in its nostalgic looking cover, it instead resembles a stylish diary that could easily slip unnoticed into your bookshelf.

“Solar power should never be a mere gimmick”, says Solartab’s CEO Simon Methi. “On the contrary, we believe it’s the future of power consumption!”

Judging by the absolutely incredible response the product got on kickstarter.com last year, the public out there seems to agree. Now the product has been shipped to its crowdfunding backers, and the startup company is accepting further orders on their own website mysolartab.com.

Organic Wines – The confusion and clarity

By admin on June 16th, 2015

Every second wine bottle in the store claims to be organic. What’s with the organic tag? Are they really organic or they are just labeled so? Let us look into what a organic wine should contain and what it should not.

Going back in time, all farming, including grape farming is organic; however, the fact to consider is that most vineyards are not organic anymore. The 1990 National Organic Foods Act was the first effort towards protection of handler, retailers, processors, producers, and consumers of organic food materials on the assumption that they are organic. Under the act, for fermented beverages,  a certification from an accreditation agency is mandatory accompanied by the label design for approval. Wines however were not included on the organic list until Hallcrest Vineyards challenged the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) and won its favor. Since, many vineries have been certified as organic adhering to the process.

Wines can claim the organic label under four categories – Some organic ingredients, Made with organic ingredients, Organic, and 100% Organic. Understanding these categories is very important before a buying decision is made.

To label a wine as organic wine and get the UDS organic seal:

  1. The wine should be made from grapes cultivated organically i.e. no pesticides and chemical fertilisers.
  2. No added sulphites should be present in this natural wine. Sulphites could naturally occur, however, they should be less than 20 ppm (parts per million). Such wines are certified organic across the world, but not in the USA.

Most varieties of Chilean Wine is certified as organic internationally, however, please read the ingredients carefully. All in all, caveat emptor should be exercised and a consumer should not be misled by the labels or advertisements that promulgate organic wine.

Going Solar in Australia is easy – Choosing the right installer

By admin on June 15th, 2015

Practicing a little discipline in power consumption could save money as well the planet in terms of slowing down global warming. Did you ever think in terms of going solar? Going solar has its own advantages as every other website would tell you.

If you cannot cut down on power consumption, the best way to save money and save the world would be to get solar panels installed. Contrary to popular perception about efficiency of solar power and supply on dark days, the technology has evolved and today, you really will face no problems using it 24 X 7.

While solar industry is more popular in underdeveloped countries and remote or undeveloped areas of developing and developed countries in absence of electric supply, today, these areas have better power supply than those served by the electric companies.

Coming to facts and figures, solar panels are not as complicated as they seem to be and are easy to install. Again, don’t pursue the DIY path, it is not as easy as it seems. Getting a company or a consultant to install them is a good idea. Before selection, consider the following:

  1. Certification: The installer you choose should be certified or accredited by the relevant agency. In UK, it is mandatory that such installer is certified by MSC, failing which the installation will not qualify for the feed-in to the electricity company or receive payments for the same. In Australia, the Clean Energy Council Accreditation Scheme is available that conducts the CPD (Continued Professional Development) programs for installers and designers. The best of installers are always certified by multiple agencies relevant to that country.
  2. Inspection: Make sure that the installer visits your home or office where the installation is intended to get the right preview of installation and assess suitability. A good installer will also suggest the right panels and work on the specific and customized requirements.
  3. Warranty: A good and certified installer will always give you a warranty on workmanship for at least 1 year. Solar panels themselves generally come with a 20 year warranty and the additional inverters and batteries have a lesser warranty period of around 5 years.
  4. References: If you have any doubts about the installer, you can ask for references of his previous work and get the right feedback directly from the horse’s mouth.
  5. Sales talk: Many installers may talk sales but will not walk the entire path as discussed. Don’t give in to tactics like limited period offers and other such sales tricks. Buy right, buy at leisure.
  6. Quotations: Ask for quotations from at least three installers and ensure that you compare them after reading and understanding all of them. This will ensure that you make the right and an informed decision.

From an Australian purview, solar technology has caught on very well in the country and after ensuring that the technology is right there for the undeveloped areas to use, the urban areas are also looking forward to save on energy bills and ensure that they leave a greener legacy for the next generation. If you live in Australia, it is imperative that you have access to the best options to go solar quickly. The best way to begin would be to ask for Australian solar quotes and start saving money and the planet.