While having a wedding is one thing, making sure that it has the least impact on the environment is a main preoccupation for many people. Eco-friendly weddings don’t have to be exotic or expensive, however. In this article, we’re going to give you five easy tips that everyone can follow to make sure that they have the most eco-friendly wedding ever.

Reuse Clothing

Your great grandmother probably wore her Sunday best for her wedding. You could learn from this example and select a white dress you already own to wear for the wedding, supplemented by a veil you wear only for this occasion. Consider wearing an heirloom wedding dress from a family member tailored to fit you, instead of buying a new dress you’ll ideally only wear once. Or rent a dress from the rising number of stores that rent bridal dresses in addition to tuxedos.

Don’t forget the bridesmaids. The ideal case is finding dresses they already own that everyone can wear, instead of demanding they wear dresses for just that one day. Another option is visiting consignment shops and thrift stores for worn-once prom dresses and bridesmaid dresses and picking out what you want. Consider it recycling, with a good chance the proceeds will go to charity, too.

Minimize Travel

Say no to the destination wedding that requires everyone in the wedding party and otherwise attending to fly so that you don’t have to travel to the honeymoon location after the wedding. Not only is refusing to make more people travel than necessary eco-friendly, it is kinder to those who care about you. Demanding that everyone spends hundreds or thousands of dollars to travel because you want a shorter trip also requires them to spend hundreds or thousands they don’t have to come to your wedding.

Instead, find a venue that minimizes travel for friends and family. Ideally, you should spend a week and honeymoon at a local resort instead of flying halfway around the world for the “dream” getaway that marketers say is a must. Don’t forget to plan for the wedding reception to take place at the same location as the wedding to minimize travel and logistical hassle for all involved.

If you hold the wedding at an outdoor location like your backyard or a family farm, you can rent a commercial restroom trailer to ensure everyone’s hygiene needs are met.

Choose Local Food That Doesn’t Need to Be Cooled

Select locally produced foods for your reception. In the ideal situation, the finger foods don’t need to be refrigerated. This not only saves energy, but eliminates the risk of food poisoning for guests, as well. Don’t forget to skip the imported wine and find another beverage to toast the union.

Use Fresh Flowers for the Season or Ones That Last Forever

Skip the Peruvian roses flown in from abroad and ask the florist to make bouquets from locally sourced suppliers. You could select a bouquet made from silk flowers; this creates a unique keepsake you’ll enjoy long after the ceremony. Arrange for silk flowers to be used in centerpieces unless you opt for candles, dried flowers or other decorations. If you are getting married around Christmas, consider using Christmas poinsettia as decorations. If getting married in the spring, consider using Easter lilies kept in the church foyer as decorations.

Pare Down the Wedding Registry

Only ask for what you need on the wedding registry, and be clear to gift givers what you already have so you don’t have to figure out how to recycle four new toasters. Consider asking for cash to save for a down payment on a new home or pay down debt.

If you want to limit your impact on the environment, keep the above tips in mind.

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Pros and Cons of Powering Up Business with Solar Energy

All the big businesses, like Apple, Amazon and Google, are now going solar. Apple, for example, has giant solar farms in California to power up the company’s headquarters. If you run a medium to small sized business, investing in solar energy is a worthwhile option to consider.
Solar energy is widely considered a sustainable and long lasting solution to depending on the grid. But as with many things, there are pros and cons to solar energy as well. Let’s look at some of them, and then afterward you can decide if solar energy is really for your business.

Pros

Your Business Can be (Almost) Energy Independent
One of the biggest perks of getting solar energy is that your business will no longer have to be dependent on the grid. If your company maintains its own servers for example, you will not have to pay the city massive electricity bills. You can do whatever you want with the solar energy the infrastructure generates. You can increase energy consumption at your company without paying a hefty price for it.

Send an Environmentally Friendly Message
Going solar is an evidence-backed way to send a green message to your consumers and competitors. Modern consumers are particularly concerned about the environmental impact of the products they consume. They will be more willing to stick with your brand if its certified green, as using solar energy would do. Your company will be able to get a significant leg up over a competitor who is not green.

Save Money and Avoid Brownouts
Obviously, going solar is an excellent way to save money on energy costs. The solar power is generated for free and requires little processing or travel time to enter your company’s circuits. If a blackout or more likely a brownout occurs in the city, your business will not be affected. If you hire a reliable solar energy provider like Sunlife Solar, you will be able to enjoy lucrative deductions in monthly energy bills.

Cons

Climate Issues may Pop Up
The thing about solar energy is that it’s not suitable for everyone. Whether or not your company should invest in solar energy would largely depend on the location of the office. If it’s located in a sunny place like Arizona, you will be able to greatly benefit from solar all year around. However, if the company is in Seattle, there can be problems. As much as you would love going solar, the decision is largely made up by the climate in your area.

It’s Makes Little Sense of the Office Moves
Solar panel installation is a significant investment. While you may be able to benefit from the investment for the next 20 years, it doesn’t make much sense if you plan to move the office in five years. So, solar panels are only financially advantageous for your company if the executives plan on using the building for years to come.

Mother Nature is Unpredictable
Another big flip side of solar is the inherent unpredictability of weather. You may be able to inexperience bright sunshine in the morning and then rain in the afternoon. If your area starts getting rainy or cloudy, you will be running on whatever energy is left in the batteries. Then you will have to go back to the grid until the sun shines once more.

Now that you know both the perks and the downsides of installing solar energy panels at your business, you should be able to make a financially and strategically sensible decision to install solar panels.

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How to Start Your Own Waste Disposal Business

by Tom Z. on November 3, 2016

With all the business in your city or town and even more being introduced everyday, the job of waste collecting doesn’t look so bad. If you are serious about making money, you can manage to ignore the waste that you will be dealing with on a daily basis. To enable your employees perform well, you need to invest in some protective gear. This is quite vital especially when they are handling hazardous waste.

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Starting and running a business are two very different things; that is why you find some people start businesses based on brilliant ideas only to shut down shortly afterwards. However if you want to be successful at business, you need to find exactly what you are good at first. If you are not capable of running the day to day duties of your position, you can always hire someone who can. This gives you time to focus more on things like expansion and even coming up with better ideas. Waste management is a service that most people get from outside their business. If you want to start a business in waste disposal, you can use the following tips to help you get started:

  • Business Plan
    This is the first step that you should take when looking to venture in and new business. This will help you to have a good idea of what you will be doing. Find all the businesses and residential buildings that you plan to be working with. In your plan, you should have clear and well detailed points explaining how well you can handle the waste. It is important that you pay attention to the needed capital and expertise to run a successful waste management business.  When writing a business plan, you will be forced to carry out some thorough research on the industry you are planning on working in. This gives you a lot of information and knowledge of what you will be dealing with thus preparing you in advance.
  • Permits and Licenses
    With a well written business plan, you could even get some investors to work with you if you are looking for assistance. You need to apply for your business license before you start doing anything. You could do this online or just visit the department dealing with license issuing and request for a copy.  Permits will come in once you start working. Waste management permits are capable of covering you on things such as waste transport and storage. When applying for a permit, you need to fill an environmental protection application form. In this form you will be require to divulge information pertaining your business; this might include things such as the landfill you plan on using and the type of waste you will be dealing with.
  • Dumping Site and Transport
    Once you have the necessary documents, it is time to start your waste management business. Find a great dumping site that is not close to any major population settlement.  Though you might bury the waste way down, it can still affect the ground in some unpredictable ways. Ensuring that your landfill pits are away from where people live is a good for business. Neglecting this could end up costing you thousands of dollars from a lawsuit.

Conclusion
Though starting a business can be somewhat of an achievement, you should not celebrate just yet. You first need to work on ensuring that you start your waste management business right. The next step is to ensure that you have a plan of growing it. If you do it right, you will be able to grow your business in no time.

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Where do we stand with global renewable energy?

by Tom Z. on September 28, 2015

Where do we stand with global renewable energy?

illinoiscleanenergyjobs-570x319 (Image courtesy of CleanTechnica.com)

Given the events of the past year, it’s evident that clean energy strategies are needed now more than ever. However, the path from fossil fuels to renewables might not be as clearly laid out as people would have hoped. While the industry continues to research and develop new clean projects, they’ve taken steps to turn existing practices that minimize the damage to the environment.

Sustainability remains a key issue in the majority of energy markets. Global companies like Sulzer that implement sustainable practices are making their way around the world to ensure that other firms are following in their pursuit. One of their more recent partnerships was with UnaOil, where the two joined forces to create a Rumaila base that would service oil and gas rotating equipment in Southern Iraq.

But seeking sustainable solutions for oil and gas simply isn’t enough to drag the global energy market out of its current state. The world still heavily relies on fossil fuels that damage ecosystems, and was sent into a panic when crude oil lost more than $100 in value. In a way, the oil crisis was a blessing in disguise as it showed how ill prepared we were to face the consequences of canceled projects and deactivated rotaries. It was a sign that we needed to further develop clean energy sources, thus lessening and eventually eliminating dependence on non-renewables.

Unfortunately, the International Energy Agency says that we’re falling short of our goals when it comes to clean energy technologies. Global temperatures are on the rise, and their target is to reduce these annual increases to no more two degrees Celsius. In 2013, the industry seemed to be on track with two new clean technologies to maintain temperature levels. Last year, there was only one, and disappointingly, none so far this year. However, this doesn’t mean that no progress has been made in the renewables industry. Rather, we’ve just been falling behind schedule. Better late than never, as they say.

Take a look at America, a superpower that was hit harder by the oil crisis more than any other nation with over 100,000 job cuts in oil. A recent survey shows that the energy job sector is shaping up with over 7,000 new jobs in Illinois’ clean energy field, totaling the number of clean energy jobs in the Lincoln area to 104,449. Not only does going “green” benefit the environment, but it also increases future investment and will save billions in consumer costs in the future. Supplying jobs like these economically makes sense.

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Top 5 Common Solar Energy Misconceptions

August 26, 2015

Energy can be a tricky subject – it can generate plenty of heated discussions, with facts often getting jumbled with gossip and misunderstandings. Although going solar is continuing to increase in popularity, a few misconceptions surrounding this ‘new age’ energy source are still continuing to bubble under the surface. Below are five of the most […]

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