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Environmentally Friendly

There are a surprising amount of people, businesses, and communities that would like to do more to conserve and protect our natural resources, but they don’t know where to begin with becoming more environmentally friendly. 

Understanding what makes each of these aspects of our world part of the process of changing and conserving our resources, and learning how to get started creating a difference is the first thing you have to learn.

Being environmentally friendly simply means having a lifestyle that is better for the environment.

It’s just taking small steps towards looking after the mother earth to make this planet a better place for our communities and generations to come.

A good way would be to start with conserving water, driving less and walking more, consuming less energy, buying recycled products, eating locally grown vegetables, joining environmental groups to combat air pollution, creating less waste, planting more trees, and many more.

According to Wikipedia,

“Environment friendly processes, or environmental-friendly processes (also referred to as eco-friendly, nature-friendly, and green), are sustainability and marketing terms referring to goods and services, laws, guidelines and policies that claim reduced, minimal, or no harm upon ecosystems or the environment.”

Why it’s Important to Become Environmentally Friendly?

You can’t just point towards one business or practice and blame them for all of our environmental woes; everything fits together like a puzzle.

The more we all do our part – the faster we will create an entire ecology of living that promotes sustainability. The first step is to begin to understand the basics of what each part of life can do to become more environmentally friendly.

The next step is to start to learn to make different choices on a personal level that help in changing your awareness and consumption of resources. The changes are surprisingly easy to make; there are more ways than you can imagine to begin to practice conservation.

The Three Distinctive Environmentally Friendly Categories

1. The Environmentally Friendly Business

Becoming an environmentally friendly business is more complicated than just signing on to a cap and trade agreement.

Everything from the way that products are displayed and advertised, how waste is recycled, whether or not changes can be made to the basic operations of a business will all work towards making them more environmentally responsible.

A large emphasis on non-producing businesses can be placed on the management of supplies.

Buying local may not always be the most responsible way to get supplies, but it can be as well. How a business works to support their community in their environmental conservation efforts is also another important task of the environmentally friendly business.

2. The Environmentally Friendly Community

In an environmentally friendly community, there is more than just a good recycling program in place.

Communities that are committed to conservation and preservation of resources work to encourage options like community playgrounds, public transportationgreen construction, and also to change the way that fossil fuels and other resources are used to support community services.

3. The Environmentally Friendly Person

The environmentally friendly person is the person who moves through life with an awareness of how natural resources are used to create and support the life that they live.

They recycle, conserve water and fuel, and make other choices that not only lessen their impact on the environment but also support industries that are working towards being more environmentally responsible.

Easy Ways to Become More Environmentally Friendly

1. Become More Aware of Resources

Start by living with a greater awareness of the resources that you use in your daily life. Pay attention to how you choose to heat, to travel, to use water, and use products that were made by manufacturing practices.

Awareness is what will allow you to begin then to make environmentally friendly choice

2. Practice Conservation 

With your new awareness of how natural resources are used in your life, start to practice conservation. It can be as simple as turning off the lights as you leave a room and as complex as making different choices when it comes to building your home. Learn here more about 15 green home building techniques.

3. Plant Trees 

Trees are necessary for us to survive. They give oxygen, fruits, clean the air, provide shelter to wildlife, prevent soil erosion. A shady landscape around your home can help you to reduce the consumption of energy and keep your home cool even during summers. 

Plant small trees around your home and don’t cut trees unless it’s necessary; work with local environmental groups to plant more trees and educate others about the positive aspects of it.

4. Conserve Water

Water needs to be conserved as a lot of energy is required to pump water from rivers or lakes into your home. Conserving water reduces the amount of energy that is needed to filter it. 

Few ways to conserve water are – take short showers, fix leaking pipes, keep the running tap close while you brush your teeth, recycle water in your home, use water-saving appliances, collect rainwater in a rain barrel to water your lawn.

5. Try Renewable Energy, Go Rooftop Solar

Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic (PV) is accelerating access to affordable and clean electricity. Roof modules are spreading worldwide because of their affordability. Solar PV has benefited from a virtuous cycle of falling costs that is cheap, and you can easily install it to go environmentally friendly.

6. Change to LED Light Bulbs

Count the bulbs you have in your home. Change them to LED light bulbs that last longer than conventional bulbs and far more efficient. Not only that! They’re available in a varied range of brightness and designs that you can tailor the lighting to suit your room. This way, you’ll be using less power

7. Cut Down Meat on your Plate

If you want to be environment-friendly, simply cut down the amount of meat you consume, and that would have a massive impact on the environment. If you can avoid it just for 2-3 days a week, that would even have quite a significant effect on reducing your carbon footprint. 

As billions of people dine multiple times a day, if they apply this, imagine how many opportunities exist to turn the tables. Of course, it is possible to eat well with vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes, in terms of both nutrition and pleasure and thereby help lower emissions.

8. Stop Food Waste

You waste food sometimes intentionally and sometimes unintentionally. Regardless of the reason, producing uneaten food is a waste of a whole host of resources such as seeds, water, energy, land, fertilizer, hours of labor, and capital invested.

It also generates greenhouse gases at every stage, including methane, when you throw them and the organic matter lands in the global dustbin.

You can make a huge difference by cooking, serving, or ordering the amount that can actually be consumed and ensuring there is no waste.

9. Change Your Travel Habits

Driving and flying are two areas where you can make a real impact through environmentally friendly practices. Choose fuel-efficient travel options, travel less, and try to pick more direct routes to save on fuel. If your office is near your home, try to ride a bicycle instead of a car.

10. Use Less Fossil Fuel Based Products

Find out what products and consumables you use that are made using fossil fuel-based products and processes and use them less or replace them in your life.

11. Buy Locally Grown Products

An easy way to reduce your carbon footprint is to buy locally grown products. When you shop locally instead of buying products that were shipped from far away, you are actually supporting local dairies and farms. 

Apart from this, you can follow organic farming practices and can grow food, including herbs and veggies, in your own backyard, Windowsill boxes, and roof and can sell the surplus to your friends.

12. Reduce the Use of Harmful Chemicals

The chemicals like paint, oil, ammonia, and other chemical solutions are hazardous and, when disposed of openly, can cause pollution in the air and the water.

These chemicals can seep into the groundwater. The polluted air and water can cause severe consequences to human health. Therefore, they should be disposed of to a toxic waste site for safe disposal.

13. Use Green Cleaning Products 

You use a lot of cleaning products every day that contain many harmful chemicals that aren’t environmentally friendly to create or at their disposal.

The repeated exposure to these cleaning products affects your health as well as the environment. Use green cleaning products using more natural and organic methods.

14. Composting

Composting is a natural process that takes remains of plants and kitchen waste and converts it into rich nutrient food for your plants that helps them grow. It reduces the amount of garbage that goes to landfills, which pollutes the air. This way, it proves safe for the environment.

15. 3 R’s of Waste Hierarchy

The 3 R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) waste hierarchy is the order of priority of actions to be taken to reduce the amount of waste generated and to improve overall waste management processes and programs. 

Reduce simply means reducing what is produced and what is consumed. Reuse items for a different purpose instead of sending them to landfills. To recycle something means that it will be transformed again into a raw material that can be shaped into a new item.

16. Choose Personal Hygiene Items Carefully

Be it your toothpaste, body wash, face scrub, and any other products, make sure that those do not contain microbeads which are small bits of solid plastic that make their way into watercourses and ultimately end up damaging the environment by entering the food chain.

Besides, also avoid chemicals and opt for natural cleaning products to keep yourself and the environment clean.

17. Buy Recycled Products 

When you go out shopping, try to buy products from the market that are made up of recycled materials with minimal packaging, i.e., the product should be environment-friendly. Look into manufacturing processes to check if it was made from recycled materials or the use of plastics or chemicals was involved in its production.

You can improve your recycling or repairing skills as the internet gives access to the tools and information you need to fix practically anything and recycle mostly everything, from batteries to paper to cars. Before throwing anything, try to turn it into something else you can use

18. Try Without Plastic

You may find it challenging to go without using plastic as it appears to exist in every single aspect of our lives. However, it isn’t as tricky as you are thinking.

Taking a canvas bag along with you when you go shopping, buying fruits and vegetables loose, and not buying bottled water can even make much difference. If you try, you can find alternatives.

19. Join Environment Groups 

You may find different environmental groups in your city with whom you can join hands to protect mother earth and make the environment clean. A quick Google search can help you in finding such groups. You can also pull your friends and relatives and ask them for a helping hand.

20. Stop Littering

One of the familiar sights that we see daily on the streets is seeing people littering on roads.

 great way to keep the environment and the surrounding clean around you is to stop people from littering on roads. Instead, educate them to put trash and garbage in dustbins. The pile of garbage on the street hampers the beauty of the city and also pollutes the air.

21. Protect Wildlife

Human activity is leading to the extinction of endangered species and habitats. Protect places like beaches and forests that are habitats for animals. Join hands with the local forest department to protect animal habitats.

22. Educate Others

Educate others about the importance of living an environmentally friendly life. The more people share an awareness of the importance of the environment, the more we can do together to conserve it.

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environment

What the Future of Renewable Energy Looks Like

Renewable energy capacity is set to expand 50% between 2019 and 2024, led by solar energy. This is according to The International Energy Agency (IEA)’s ‘Renewable 2020’ report, which found that solar, wind and hydropower projects are rolling out at their fastest rate in four years, making for the argument that the future lies in using renewable energy. 

The Future of Renewable Energy: Growth Projections

Renewable energy resources make up 26% of the world’s electricity today, but according to the IEA its share is expected to reach 30% by 2024. The resurgence follows a global slowdown in 2019, due to falling technology costs and rising environmental concerns.

Renewable energy in the future is predicted that by 2024, solar capacity in the world will grow by 600 gigawatts (GW), almost double the installed total electricity capacity of Japan. Overall, renewable electricity is predicted to grow by 1 200 GW by 2024, the equivalent of the total electricity capacity of the US. 

The IEA is an autonomous inter-governmental organisation that was initially created after the wake of the 1973 oil crisis. It now acts as an energy policy advisor to 29 member countries and the European Commission to shape energy policies for a secure and sustainable future.

Solar Will Become 35% Cheaper By 2024

When the sun shines onto a solar panel, energy from the sunlight is absorbed by the PV cells in the panel. This energy creates electrical charges that move in response to an internal electrical field in the cell, causing electricity to flow.

Industry experts predict that the US will double its solar installations to four million by 2023. In 2018, the UK had over one million solar panel installations, up by 2% from the previous year and Australia reached two million solar installations in the same year. A big reason for this increased uptake is the fall in prices to install the panels.

The cost of solar PV-based power declined by 13% in 2018, while Carbon Tracker predicts that 72% of coal-based power will become globally unprofitable by 2040. The IEA report found that solar energy will account for 60% of the predicted renewable growth, primarily due to its accessibility. Compared with the previous six-year period, expansion of solar energy has more than doubled. The cost of solar power is expected to decline by 15% to 35% by 2024, spurring further growth over the second half of the decade.

Future Capacity of Solar Energy

Wind and hydropower often require users to live in specific locations, but solar offers more freedom; the sun rises and sets on a predictable schedule, and it’s not as variable as running water or wind. Residential solar power is expected to expand from 58 GW in 2018 to 142 GW by 2024, and annual capacity additions are expected to more than triple to over 20 GW by 2024. China is expected to register the largest installed residential solar capacity in the world by 2024, with the strongest per capita growth in Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands and Austria.

Solar facilities will continue reducing their variability rates by storing electricity during the day and running at night. However, advanced solar plants will operate on higher DC to AC ratios, meaning they’ll deliver more consistent service for longer durations.

Commercial and residential buildings will keep running at full capacity even in periods of low sunlight. Closing the gaps between sunlight collection and electricity generation will spur residents and corporations to join the solar movement. Therefore, it’s imperative for governments to implement incentive and remuneration schemes, as well as effective regulation policies. For example, California has mandated that after 2020, solar panels must be installed on new homes and buildings of up to three storeys.

Commercial and industrial solar energy capacity is forecast to constitute 377 GW in 2024, up from 150 GW in 2018, with China predicted to be the largest growth market. This market remains the largest growth segment because solar power is usually more inexpensive and has a relatively stable load profile during the day, which generally enables larger savings on electricity bills.

You might also like: Top 5 Fastest-Growing Renewable Energy Sources Around the World

Onshore Wind Energy Capacity Will Increase 57% By 2024

To generate electricity using wind, wind turns the propeller-like blades of a turbine around a rotor, which spins a generator, which creates electricity.

The adoption of wind power is becoming more prominent due to increased capacity.

Onshore wind capacity is expected to expand by 57% to 850 GW by 2024. Annual onshore wind additions will be led by the US and China, owing to a development rush and a policy transition to competitive auctions respectively. Expansion will accelerate in the EU as competitive auctions continue to keep costs relatively low. These auctions will mean that growth in Latin America, the MENA region, Eurasia and sub-Saharan Africa will remain stable over the forecast period. 

Offshore wind capacity is forecast to increase almost threefold to 65 GW by 2024, representing almost 10% of total world wind generation. While the EU accounts for half of global offshore wind capacity expansion over the forecast period, on a country basis, China leads deployment, with 12.5 GW in development. The first large US capacity additions are also expected during the forecast period. 

Japan Expands Wind Energy

Japan is experimenting with the idea of installing offshore turbines to replace many of their nuclear reactors, a result of the country’s 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima. The company Marubeni recently signed a project agreement to build offshore farms in northern Japan, with each farm able to produce 140 MW of power.

Japanese lawmakers have created regulations to give developers more certainty in constructing sources of wind-based electricity; legislation outlining competitive bidding processes has been passed to ensure that building costs are reduced and developers consider potential capacity issues. The country’s Port and Harbour Law has also been revised to spur wind turbine construction in port-associated areas and other locations favourable to wind turbines. 

Grid integration, financing and social acceptance remain the key challenges to faster wind expansion globally. 

Hydroelectric Capacity Will Rise 9% By 2024

Hydropower plants capture the energy of falling water to generate electricity. A turbine converts the kinetic energy of falling water into mechanical energy. Then a generator converts the mechanical energy from the turbine into electrical energy.

According to the IEA, hydropower will remain the world’s primary source of renewable power in 2024. Capacity is set to increase 9% (121 GW) over the forecast period, led by China, India and Brazil. 25% of global growth is expected to come from just three megaprojects: two in China (the 16 GW Wudongde and 10 GW Baihetan projects) and one in Ethiopia (the 6.2 GW Grand Renaissance project).

However, there has been a slowdown in the two largest markets, China and Brazil; growth is challenged by rising investment costs due to limited remaining economical sites and extra expenditures in addressing social and environmental impacts.

Nevertheless, annual additions are expected to expand in sub-Saharan Africa and in the ASEAN region as untapped potential is used to meet rising power demand. 

Geothermal Capacity Will Increase 28% By 2024

To generate geothermal energy, hot water is pumped from deep underground through a well under high pressure. When the water reaches the surface, the pressure is dropped, which causes the water to turn into steam. The steam spins a turbine, which is connected to a generator that produces electricity. The steam cools off in a cooling tower and condenses back to water. The cooled water is pumped back into the Earth to begin the process again.

The US market for geothermal heat pumps will exceed $2 billion by 2024 as demand for efficient heating solutions increases. Transformed building codes will encourage a move to renewable heating and electricity systems in commercial and residential real estates. 

Geothermal capacity is anticipated to grow 28%, reaching 18 GW by 2024, with Asia responsible for one-third of global expansion, particularly Indonesia and the Philippines, followed by Kenya, whose geothermal capacity is set to overtake Iceland’s during the forecast period. 

The same research from Global Market Insights predicts the commercial market will experience the most considerable uptick; according to the Department of Energy, geothermal solutions will generate 8.5% of all electricity in the US by 2050. 

The Future Lies in Using Renewable Energy

Renewable energy will continue to rise in the upcoming decade, edging out fossil fuels and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

“This is a pivotal time for renewable energy,” said the IEA’s executive director, Fatih Birol. “Technologies such as solar and wind are at the heart of transformations taking place across the global energy system. Their increasing deployment is crucial for efforts to tackle greenhouse gas emissions, reduce air pollution, and expand energy access.”