Clean Currents’ own Claire Douglass testifying to protect customer rights
Clean Currents testifed at the DC Public Service Commission (DC PSC) hearing on deceptive marketing and sales practices by alternative energy suppliers.
Complaints about deceptive marketing practices by alternative energy suppliers have skyrocketed over the past few years, prompting a hearing. Many of our customers have faced issues with other alternative energy suppliers, ranging from being enrolled without consent to being unable to cancel their contract. We find these practices unacceptable and are calling on the Public Service Commission to do something about it.
We are asking the DC Public Service Commission to institute higher standards for transparency and accountability to ensure consumer protection among alternative energy suppliers operating in the District of Columbia.
Sustainable landscaping is becoming an increasingly popular trend throughout Australia and the world. A lot of landscape designs in Australia include swimming pools and some sort of pool fencing, which means that you need to consider your fencing options carefully.
Although there are a variety of different fencing options out there for your pool fence, glass pool fencing is popular as one of most sustainable choices. Glass is an environmentally friendly alternative to things like plastic or cheap metal fencing, and here’s 5 reasons why you should include it in your landscape design plan:
Glass Is An Environmentally Friendly Choice
When it comes to pool fences, glass is one of the most sustainable building materials that you can use. It is relatively simple and energy efficient to make, and its core components can be sourced easily through relatively non-destructive mining practices.
Glass also has a very long lifespan, which means that your pool fence will need to be fixed or replaced much less often. When your glass pool fence does eventually need to be replaced, the old panels and metal fixings can simply be recycled.
One of the most difficult things for landscapers, such as Northpark Woodworks, designing new garden areas is setting up a decent irrigation system. Water restrictions are common throughout Australia, and it’s therefore extremely important to make sure that you’re irrigation system is efficient, effective and installed properly.
If you fancy yourself as a bit of a handyman, you might decide to install your own irrigation system. While this can save you a bit of money on landscaping costs, it’s important to do some research before you begin. If you don’t, you might find that you’re simply wasting water and that you’re plants aren’t benefiting as much as they should.
With this in mind, I’ve put together a few tips to help you get the most out of your irrigation system. Consider the following:
Make Sure You’re Not Irrigating The Road
Nothing annoys me more than driving down a quiet street in the middle of the day and seeing water flowing down the road from poorly placed sprinklers. To put it simply, this is a terrible water of water – water that you’re paying for with your hard earned dollars!
The whole point of setting up an automatic irrigation system is to make things easier for yourself. Make sure that you’re sprinklers are well placed (if you have to use sprinklers) and that they’re only watering the areas you want watered. Make sure that they aren’t spraying the street, paths or any other irrelevant area.
Depending on your workplace, fire protection may be a major consideration. While the fire risk is low in many small businesses, workshops and industrial plants are often at severe risk of fire. Despite this, they don’t always do everything that they can to reduce the fire risk, and fires often break out due to this.
Fortunately for you, there are a lot of things that you can do to reduce the fire risk in your building. Some of these things are very simple, and wouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes to implement. Our top 5 tips for reducing the fire risk in your commercial building include:
Make sure your fire extinguishers are serviced regularly
Fire extinguishers need to be tested at least once every six months, and they need to be pressure tested and refilled at least once every five years. If you fail to do this, your extinguishers could degrade, potentially becoming useless. This will reduce your ability to control a small fire when it occurs, significantly increasing your fire risk.
Remove fuel sources
General clutter around the workshop or other parts of your building can provide fuel for a fire if one breaks out. Clean up clutter and remove potential fuel sources to reduce your fire risk. Make sure that things like flammable liquids and gases are isolated in appropriate storage containers, and make sure that they aren’t near any potential ignition sources.
The job is finished! The plumbing company you hired have done a terrific job on the bathroom renovation. From here on in, you have decided to make a conscious effort to change your bathroom cleaning system. Is there anyone out there that just loves cleaning the bathroom, apart from people with a compulsive disorder? The chemicals you use make the whole job a bit of an ordeal. Apart from the smells, things like ammonia can make you dizzy, some chemicals affect your respiration, and others give you skin allergies. The hazards of cleaning. How to stop all these health problems from starting?Switch to green cleaning.
Why would you want to do that?
Better for the environment
Better for your health
Better for your wallet.
Green cleaning tips
Baking soda and vinegar. Vinegar – half a cup. Baking soda – 1 tablespoon. After you pour it inside your toilet bowl let i sit there and soak for 20 minutes. Scrub the toilet and repeat every week.
The experts at Space Landscape Designs tell us that summer is still with us, but it’s always good to plan for autumn and winter to make sure your garden stays at its best and prepares itself for the next couple of seasons. Many of your plants and shrubs will feel and look good if you give them a proper trim before winter hits. Plants such as perennials and ornamental grasses won’t mind a short back and sides. Landscape plants can retain their shape for the following spring if they get a healthy pruning.
Different Strokes …
Remember – not ALL plants need to be pruned for autumn. If you have rhododendrons, azaleas and lilac, that bloom in spring for instance, don’t cut these back. Just a light trim after they bloom is okay. You don’t want to accidentally prune the flowers.
How About Winter Protection?
There is a phenomenon called “transpiration” in your landscape plants in winter. It means that they lose moisture faster than they can take it in. This can cause severe damage to the leafy tissue of the plants. If this keeps happening over a few winters, the leaves will permanently disappear and that affects photosynthesis.
You can winter protect your lawn and plants with a few sprays to protect them from the cold weather. Perhaps three times is enough through Autumn. These sprays are not 100% fool-proof, but they will certainly go a long way towards protecting the health of your plants.
If you are intending to make improvements to your home there is no getting away from the fact that they are going to have to be paid for. The question is ‘How?’. This will be best answered by employing the services of a financial planner. Whether your project is large or small they can analyse your household budget and based on the amount of money required for the home improvements determine which is the best method of financing it.
When a financial planner is helping you to plan a garden or home renovation project, their overriding objectives are to ensure that your cash flow is sufficient for you to complete the project and that there is no risk of you being unable to meet your normal commitments.
For smaller projects such as decorating, the amount of money required will not normally be that high, and it could be you are happy and willing to fund it from the cash you have in your savings account. It may well be that this is what your financial planner advises, however, they will assess if the increased value of your property covers any loss of interest you receive.
According to professional fencing company Eline Fencing Perth, sometimes you have no choice when it comes to home fencing if fencing contractors have already been and gone, with the type of fence already chosen and erected. Even if you don’t like the fence much, or think it is not an eco-friendly choice, it is better to leave the original fence there for at least a few years because that in itself is an eco-friendly action.
Pulling it up and replacing it will cost you more and take up more of the earth’s resources. The best way to practice sustainability with the fence that is there, is to look after it so it lasts for as long as possible. Here are some tips on how to make your fence last longer.
Many business such as web design companies and others decide to follow sustainability guidelines because they have done their research and found that not only will it help the earth’s resources to last longer, it also impacts their bottom line in a positive way. Perhaps even more importantly, when done for the right reasons it gives the web design company a good reputation.
Here are some of the reasons for going green in your business –
You can receive certain government grants and assistance.
Your company will spend less on things such as water, power and raw materials.
You and your company will receive positive recognition through various, numerous environmental awards.
It is possible to find new markets for services or goods that are ‘green’.
Because you’ve reduced wastage and the use of hazardous chemicals your workplace will be safer and costs will be lower.
Employees will be happy to work for you because they know of the increased workplace safety.
A positive impression in the minds of both employees and customers will be created when they know what your stand is on environmental issues.
Studies have proven that children of all ages are far less likely to suffer from myopia when they play outside for 3-4 hours a day. This might seem like a lot, but you can count at least one hour of a school day; recess and lunch, and then there is sports. With some outdoor furniture to relax in, you can be comfortable while watching over your children.
No parent wants their child to develop any disease or ‘defect’, especially if it can be prevented. The trouble is that most people just don’t realise how many things could easily and simply be prevented by taking the simplest of actions. For instance, many children develop myopia or nearsightedness when they need not, with the result they have to wear glasses for the rest of their lives.
This is not only costly, but can decrease their self confidence and even prevent them from playing certain sports. Yet it is easily preventable. How?
Home renovations are not only great for improving the look, value, and functionality of a home. They are also a practical way to decrease how much your home costs to live in each year. To get the most out of your upcoming building makeover, why not look into some of these green home renovation ideas?
Insulation Saves Heating and Cooling
One of the main areas where heat escapes your home is the roof. It makes absolute sense to keep it as well insulated as possible. While the roof is typically the easiest to add more insulation to, seeing as there are access points that allow entry, what about the walls? Unfortunately, it’s not usually feasible to just open up a wall to add better insulation. But if you are going to do some extensive renovation that involves opening up or adding walls, you have the perfect opportunity to better insulate your home in the process.
Keeping your carpets clean is imperative to the health and well being of those living in your home. But the process that a carpet needs to undergo in order to stay clean can bring some pretty harsh substances into that home. There are plenty of environmentally safe carpet cleaning methods around lately. How do these measure up to the more traditional methods that use harsh chemicals? And are they actually better for the environment, or are many of them just ways for companies to monetize on the green trends that are taking over the world?
Harmful Carpet Cleaners
In addition to containing VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that are prone to releasing harmful gases into your home, artificial carpet weaves are also an ideal place for mold, mites, and dust to propagate and gather. The first thing you should do is vacuum regularly, but that’s just not enough on its own. According to Brilliance Cleaning, all carpets will eventually need to be steam cleaned, especially if you are living in a rental or trying to sell your current home for as much profit as possible. Carpet cleaning compounds often contain things like perchloroethylene or naphthalene.
Green landscaping has nothing to do with just having more plant life. It’s a commonly held misconception that having lots of plants, trees, and turf is automatically going to be better for the environment. You might feel more in tune with nature while you’re enjoying your extensively groomed and maintained yard, but the amount of resources that go into many such areas is astounding.
To do your landscaping in a green way, you could choose someone like Lone Pine Landscapes and enter a mindset of saving all resources, including power, money, and time. A truly green landscape is going to encourage the growth and health of local wildlife, without affected the soil, air, or water in a negative way. These can be great places for family and friends to play and relax, without worrying about what kinds of nasty substances they might be absorbing into their bodies, and without fearing harm of the environment.
Many businesses such as SEO companies follow sustainability guidelines in their offices because they know it is likely to reduce their costs and because they can point to the fact as a way to get more customers and an improved reputation. This is all good and in Australia especially, where there are fair rules and regulations regarding employment, we don’t see a lot of what the lack of sustainability in business can actually do to employees.
In many other countries where no such regulations exist, businesses do not follow ethical practices, especially in what they provide – or rather, don’t provide – for their workers. Abominably low wages and terrible working conditions are the sad lot of such employees, who struggle to make enough for their families to eat, let alone have decent clothing, healthcare and education.
Modern kitchen design by someone like colray cabinets has certainly come a long way, and in just a relatively short time. You probably still think of terms like “going green” and “eco-friendly” as mere buzzwords that companies use to try and appear progressive and caring of the environment. But sustainable design and building practice is much more than just some fad. It’s a way to allow people to take care with how they impact the planet, while choosing building designs that are holistic and better for everyone.
Planning Your Design
A lot of people don’t like to think about environmentally friendly design because they think it’s too hard or expensive. All it requires is some careful forethought, but that goes for any building or design project that you want to turn out well. One of the biggest keys to working sustainably is doing things to right way the first time. If you choose to install an eco-friendly kitchen design that you can’t live with, ripping everything out and starting again will defeat the purpose of trying to go green in the first place.
Renovating your kitchen with someone like the Kitchen Professionals not only costs a lot, but this type of work tends to take a great toll on the environment. Staying eco-friendly often means spending less money, so keep this in mind when you’re worrying about the possible costs of going green. Below are some great ways to cut down on waste in your kitchen without spending big.
1. Reuse, Upcycle, Recycle See how recycling is the last thing mentioned above? That’s because recycling uses more resources than simply directly reusing or upcycling. To break something down and turn it into a like-new, practical material is harder than you might think.
Kitchen renovation, as our modern society knows it at least, sees old kitchen fittings undoubtedly ending up a part of our landfill problem. Your old kitchen fittings might not be useful to you anymore. But don’t throw them away, because they might be perfect for someone else’s home. Advertise on social media or classifieds and tell others that you have something they might be able to use. If you were just going to throw it out anyway, why not give things away for free? Take some photos to go with your notices, so people can see that you’re offering something worth having, rather than trying to unload junk.
A pool owner’s biggest nightmare is seeing algae growing in their swimming pool. Even running an automatic pool cleaner like a kreepy krauly won’t remove algae, especially if it has been left to grow for a long time. This is because it sticks to the edges of the pool and protects itself from harm by a slimy covering or a very hard one. There are many types of algae, of which 4 main types are likely to be found in swimming pools.
Pink algae and
While algae is not harmful to humans of itself, it can become a host to bacteria such as e.coli that are. Besides that, it looks horribly ugly and will spoil all the pleasure you have in your pool and swimming in it. If you have an algae infection in your pool it may not even be your fault. Algae spores can be blown into the pool where they wait for the right condition to grow and bloom.
Even the most experienced eco-friendly home owner might come to a dead end when they need to move to a new home. Home removals are said to be one of the most stressful and exhausting things that the average person does. You can help yourself by checking past reviews carefully and choosing a highly rated removalist like Brilliance Removalists Perth, but first you need to consider whether you are going to hire professionals to move your belongings, or if you will just do it yourself.
Figuring out which of these options is better for the environment, and for your wallet, can be a chore in itself. And that’s before you’ve even started to organize things. Take a look at these pros and cons when you’re thinking about easy and eco-friendly home removals.
Moving Yourself: Pros
You call the shots. This is a big factor for many people, but you shouldn’t let it be the only deciding factor. If you don’t want people you don’t know going through your things and being trusted not to damage anything, professional movers might not be the best option.
Ducted air conditioning is a central unit with ducting leading from it into every room of the house. While it is usually installed in new builds, it can be fitted into a home that is already built so long as there is enough room in the ceiling cavity to do so. Flat roofed homes will not have enough room under the roof, but it might be possible to install it in another place. Consult with the experts first if you are considering this type of air con for your home.
Here are some reasons to consider ducted air con for your home.
While it may seem expensive, it is actually cheaper than installing a split system or even a window air con for every room in the house. Remember, the ducting will be taken into each and every room you want to be cool in the heat of summer.
Home owners who want their home to reflect the sustainability practices that are becoming popular need to look at the design of the home right from the start. Fitting such elements after the home is built is much more costly and sometimes cannot be done at all, depending on the original design.
Here are 9 passive home design features that you can add to your home in the planning stage without it costing any more. This will reduce the carbon footprint, make the home more comfortable and keep costs much lower than they would be otherwise.
Make sure large aluminium windows are installed on the north side as they will then allow winter sun into the living rooms. Use wide eaves and other shading for the summer when the sun is higher in the sky and won’t shine on the windows as much.
If you were to ask Brilliance Removalists Melbourne you would learn that plenty of people are embracing a more green way of living, but get stuck when it’s time to home furniture removals. This is not something that your average person thinks about much, until it comes time for them to move home themselves. Yes, it is absolutely possible to stay eco-friendly when you are moving.
Think about all the waste that quickly adds up when you move from one home to another:
Gas for vehicles
Packing foam and peanuts
Plastic from all sorts of products
Mountains of cardboard boxes
And the list goes on
And there are things that will no doubt end up in landfill in the near future. Is that how you want to mark the milestone of moving into your new home?
You might want a lovely garden to enjoy when you’re relaxing at home. But does the idea of running the environment, just so that you can have a little piece of nature on your property, worry you? It doesn’t have to! There are plenty of modern, smart, and even affordable green landscaping ideas for you to consider. Helping to save Mother Earth can literally start with landscape design right in your own backyard if you do it the responsible way.
Less Lawn Is Greener?
While you might have less actual green in your yard, in terms of lawn coverage, going without as much grass is really the greener option. Even removing turf that’s already in your yard can save a lot of water and cash. If you hate the idea of having a yard that’s completely void of any grass, consider simply reducing the amount that you have. Replace it with some eco-friendly plants instead, or a walking area that’s sustainable.
If you’ve been trying to reduce your impact on Mother Earth, you might be caught in a conundrum when it comes time to move house. Home removals can be extremely wasteful, and people often don’t realize there are lots of greener ways to go through the process.
No More Cardboard Boxes
According to Brilliance Removalists Brisbane, if you know that house removals use up to 50 or more cardboard boxes on average? That equates to one large tree, and all just to move your things from one location to the next. What happens to all that cardboard after it’s been used one time? It is sometimes recycled, which is good but still uses a considerable amount of resources. Otherwise, the boxes are just throw away and add to the already high pollution of the planet. Instead of using cardboard boxes to move home, why not think about a more eco-friendly option?
Getting some used cardboard boxes is a good way to do things. However, the boxes are going to need to be junked eventually. They can only be re-used a certain number of times before the material becomes too damaged. It’s better to start with something more environmentally friendly right from the start, and discourage the use of cardboard boxes completely.
Swimming pools are one of the most sought after additions to a home, but can they actually be eco-friendly? If the summer is getting to you, making everyone in your household hot and uncomfortable, it’s hard to resist the urge to install your own pool. But it’s not hard to imagine how a swimming pool in every backyard would quickly become a catastrophe for the environment.
That cooling, calming water that so delicately washes away stress and boredom comes with some nasty secrets. The typical swimming is kept clean using chlorine. This is meant to keep swimmers safe by killing germs and preventing a buildup of other hazardous denizens from forming in the water.
Chlorine is not only an irritant to human skin and eyes, but it can be harmful to respiratory function. Kids who regularly go in swimming pools that are treated with chlorine, have a higher chance of developing asthma or allergies. In adults, being exposed to chlorine can possibly lead to rectal cancer, bladder cancer, and perhaps even a higher chance of heart disease.
Vandals seem to be drawn to a building site like bees to honey, but they are much more destructive. If there is no security fencing, they can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage and may injure themselves into the bargain. While the building company usually uses some kind of secure fencing, if the site is going to be fenced eventually, why not do it right away?
A large site has plenty of room for all the equipment that is needed, so they shouldn’t need all four sides of the property for access. Commercial fencing can be erected all around three sides and the fourth left for later. This will save time in getting it completed once the building crew has finished.
If you’ve never been through a major flood or a devastating storm you would be one of the lucky minority. Most experienced electricians would tell you that there are specific safety procedures that should be undertaken, especially during a flood that will help to keep you safe and thus, healthy.
Anyone can be at risk in a flood or a storm, especially when it is really severe and if the flood water actually comes into the house. Thankfully, there is usually enough warning of floods that people have time to prepare so they can stay safe and healthy throughout their ordeal. Here are some tips to help you prepare and avoid unnecessary risks during a flood or storm.
If you are upgrading your home with a new roof you may want to consider choosing a roofing material that is environmentally friendly. There are several options for roofs, but some don’t fall into the sustainability sector for one reason or another. What is needed is to choose a roof that has eco-friendly properties while still being affordable. Here are some options to consider.
Tiles – tiles are made from clay, cement or slate. These materials are plentiful, so using them will not degrade the earth’s resources too much. They also have long lasting properties, many lasting for 50 years or more. The only trouble is that they are quite heavy and require much more framing to support them than steel roofing and this uses more timber. Since each tile must be fixed individually and only covers a small area, putting them on takes quite some time and this will cost more in labour.
If you are thinking of rainwater harvesting, tiles absorb a certain amount of rain before providing run-off. Because they absorb moisture, mould is likely to develop and once it does, it is very difficult to get rid of, since the roots penetrate deep into the tile and sprout again even after the surface has been cleaned.
Steel – steel sheeting such as Colorbond or Zincalume is light and each sheet covers a large area, so the roof is easy and quick to erect while requiring minimal framing, thus saving on timber usage. Steel has an advantage in bushfire prone areas that it provides fewer niches than tiles for dangerous embers to become trapped in. It does not absorb any moisture, so you get rainwater run-off even with the lightest showers and there is no likelihood of mould growing on it.
Georgetown is a beautiful, historic DC neighborhood that isn’t generally considered the leader of the pack on green initiatives. But, we found that there’s more going on than meets the eye. Restaurants, real estate agencies, churches, clothing shops, and nonprofits are all working to reduce their impact on the environment. Here are just a few of the neighborhood’s burgeoning environmental initiatives.
Restaurants, Real Estate & Design Firms Lead the Way
Many Georgetown businesses are reducing their environmental footprint by switching to wind power. Along with some other pretty cool initiatives, they’re leading the way for green businesses in the area.
If trying new food is your thing, go for lunch to Sweetgreen. The first location of the franchise, Sweetgreen in Georgetown has mind-blowingly delicious salads with locally sourced ingredients. They’re annual music and food festival, sweetlife, is coming up in May. For the seafood lover, check out Blacksalt Fish Market & Restaurant: they both sell and serve up fresh, sustainable seafood and often grace the various “Best of DC” restaurant lists.