Have you thought about making energy retrofits to your home? It’s a great way to make your home more energy efficient and reduce your carbon footprint. Home energy efficiency improvements are good for your bank account, too, because money you invest in energy efficiency or renewable energy systems will pay off over time in reduced energy bills. That’s especially true right now, because the federal government currently offers big financial incentives for purchasing solar panels, wind turbines, efficient windows, added insulation, woodstoves and more. It’s also possible to finance home energy upgrades with a loan specifically designed for energy conservation. These loans are usually called energy improvement mortgages (see “Resources,” below).
The construction industry is among the top three drivers of resource use in the EU. This study investigated the environmental impacts of a common construction method, drill and blast tunnelling, using life cycle assessment. The researchers assessed 20 years of data on tunnelling in Norway to identify areas that could be targeted to reduce its environmental impact. They recommend reduced consumption of explosives and increased use of renewable energy.
The importance of the earth upon which we stand shouldn’t be underestimated. It fosters the fruits, vegetables and grains during their growth which we ultimately eat to sustain ourselves. Clearly, ensuring this soil is free from contamination is of paramount concern. With this in mind, a growing emphasis has been placed on soil remediation and treatment over the last decade or so. Whereas traditionally soil has been largely free of pollutants, the dramatic upsurge of industrialisation across the globe has led to greater contamination through the sewage, waste products and other unwanted side-effects of factories, businesses and homeowners. Meanwhile, agriculture has led to the widespread use of pesticides and fertilisers, which are often harmful for the health of the soil.