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  • Five Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products You Might Already Have in Your Home

    There is no reason to keep using harsh, chemical cleaners when safer solutions are at your fingertips. There are plenty of safe products with natural ingredients that you may already have in your home. Many of these can work just as well as harsh, chemical-based products. Here are five eco-friendly household items that can keep your home dean with a little elbow grease and creativity.

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    1. Lemons and Lemon Juice

    Lemons are a unique cleaning agent that can be added to other home remedies to clean and will leave a fresh scent. On its own, lemon juice can be used to clean copper and get rust stains out of clothing or fabrics. A half a lemon in a bowl of water can help loosen grime in a microwave. Microwave this for three minutes, let stand for a few minutes, and easily wipe away buildup within your microwave.

     

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    1. Vinegar

    Vinegar has been a tried and true cleaning agent for years. This can be cut with water to wipe down tables and countertops effectively. Vinegar can cut through build up such as coffee stains on mugs and grime on faucets. The acidity in vinegar can help make kitchen sinks, surfaces, and appliances look new again. Vinegar can also be used to freshen up bathroom counters, toilets, and bathtubs for day-to-day cleaning.

    3. Baking Soda

    Baking soda is a great cleaning agent because it safely cleans with a gritty texture that can help scrub through buildup such as soap scum and grease. Baking soda can be mixed with water or lemon juice to form a paste. When cleaning, let this mixture sit for a few minutes and then snub away residue. This cleaning method can be effective in both kitchens and bathrooms.

     

    1. Whitening Toothpaste

    Whitening toothpaste is a secret cleaner that can be used for more than just your smile. Whitening toothpaste is the perfect cleaner when it comes to whitening and disinfecting grout around tiled floors, counters, or showers. Toothpaste can be applied with a scrubber designated for cleaning or with a toothbrush you have set aside to really get in there and whiten up your grout periodically.

     

    1. Dish Soap

    While dish soap is a cleaning product on its own, this can be used for more than just the dishes. Many times this is less harsh and is safer than other chemical cleaners. Dish soap diluted with water can effective when cleaning linoleum, hardwood floors, and even carpeting. Make sure that there aren’t bleaching agents in your dish soap to avoid discoloration while cleaning. Keeping kids and pets safe when it comes to cleaning products key. In order to have peace of mind and keep everyone at home safe, try out these chemical alternatives and eco-friendly cleaning ideas. You can save your home and family from harsh products and save money as well.

     

  • Planning and Organizing A National Conference On Resources

    I’m in charge of organising one of the biggest government-funded conferences in the country next month – the National Conference on Resources and Energy. With debates raging over climate change and maintaining a more sustainable environment, and with all the drama of the current national election still looming in the air, this conference is set to be one of the calendar year’s most important events.

    The conference will be attended by some of the nation’s most prominent leaders, and feature a range of guest speakers from all over the world. It’s a significant union of some of the world’s most important experts and leaders, discussing a crucial issue as big as the current environmental crisis.

    To say that organising an event of this scope is daunting is an understatement – I’ve never coordinated a conference quite as big as this! But I know I want everything to run as smoothly as possible, with no headaches and no dramas. (I’ll leave that to the politicians.)

    My government body is based in Melbourne, and the two-day conference is running in Canberra. I have a lot of equipment that needs to make the journey up to our nation’s capital, and I want it to arrive as efficiently and safely as possible. My belongings have never needed to travel so far, and with a lot of expensive projectors, lighting equipment, microphones, computers and speakers that need to be transported, I don’t want to risk damages by driving them up myself or checking them in at the airport. This is a big deal for my position as well as being a significant national event – I don’t want to mess this up!

    A colleague suggested hiring interstate removalists, and I found out about Santa Fe Wridgways pretty quickly. It was a no-brainer – I wanted to move all my equipment as efficiently and safely as possible, and leaving it to a team of professionals was my best bet. I have zero experience moving anything across state lines, let alone a semi-trailer’s worth of audio-visual equipment. And the relocation team has already put my mind at ease – with access to appropriate transportation and packing materials, I know my belongings will arrive in Canberra safe and sound. The removalists also mentioned that they transport equipment of this nature on a regular basis, so with that level of experience I knew I was in good hands. There’s no risk of me taking a trip to the chiropractor either!

    The National Conference on Resources and Energy is set to be a big one, and while overwhelmed at the prospect or organising an event of this size, I am relieved to know that all my belongings will be waiting for me when I arrive, and in perfect condition. I have a million and one other things I have to worry about for this conference – and at least I know that relocating all of my equipment won’t be one of them!

  • Is a better management of resources and energy the key for our future growth?

    The economic benefits of energy efficiency extend beyond the reduction of utility bills and energy consumption. Within the value chain, efficiency investments can equate to gains in areas outside of industry and enterprises. With proper resource and energy utilization, there are great contributions that can be felt in terms of livelihood, social and economic development.

    What most people don’t realize is a resource efficient nation is able to manage the parameters of sustainable energy flow along with the supply and production of energy and resources. The process of emphasizing better management of resources and energy for future growth entails the process of not only conserving energy but also controlling and monitoring its usage.

    Throughout history, economic growth has had a dynamic relationship. The correlation between population and industrial growth has not always been kind to the environment. From rapid consumption of resources to technological innovations that have raised capital and infrastructure development. However, with the advances in science and technology, improvements in manufacturing, transportation, mining and other industries have been ushered into society. Central to all of this is energy which has fuelled growth and development. However, as production continues to expand and increase, more emphasis has been placed on efficient use of energy and resources and utilization of alternative energies to preserve the world’s existing resource supply.

    Policy Development for Conservation

    One of the ways to create an energy balance is to have clearly defined energy policies that can be used to identify standards and resource management opportunities. In order to ensure sustainable economies and industries, resource and energy stewardship is of primary importance. With adequate policy systems, we can create conditions that promote environmentally sound resource management practices and device long-term investment plans that will increase industry productivity without stifling the permanence of energy and resources.

     

    In Australia, one of the initiatives undertaken by the Australian government is the establishment of Australian National Conference on Resources and Energy (ANCRE) which is organized by the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE). As the only national conference sponsored by the government, this event provides a platform for industry leaders, policy makers, experts and stakeholders to come together to discuss both national and international issues critical to the future of Australia’s resources and energy sector.

    Resource and energy conservation and management is a practice that will affect all major industries including infrastructure and business development. In order to successfully manage energy resources for future sustainability and growth, everyone has a significant role to play.

    By better management of our resources is at the core of sustainable social and economic development, to name a few. In order to secure positive economic growth and security of human needs and the well-being of future generations, resource management concerns need to be integrated comprehensively in all aspects of daily life.

    Energy is necessary for survival and the future development of Australia depends on the long-term availability of resources. As primary sources of energy being used today are mainly non-renewable – peat, coal, natural gas and conventional nuclear power – energy efficiency need to be at the forefront of national initiatives for sustainable development.

     

  • Is The Lucky Country Moving From A Resource Based Economy To A Services One?

    When it comes to the Australian resources and energy economy, the investment and opportunities are abundant. With the country’s vast stores of petroleum and minerals, the state has established itself as a global leader in the critical sector.

    According to Geoscience Australia, aside from having an abundance and diverse energy resources that range from coal, crude oil, uranium and conventional gas and coal seam gas resources, the country has affordable domestic power production and energy exports. These realities support a sustainable resources economy for the state.

    Based on the assessment of both GA and the Australian Bureau for Agriculture and Resource Economics (ABARE), Australia has approximately 2.4 precent of the world’s proven resources. Its rich diversity is composed of both non-renewable (coal, uranium and increasingly gas) and renewable energy resources (wind, geothermal, solar and bioenergy).

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    The latest Australia Trade Commission (ATC) report reveals that in 2013 to 2014, the country’s resources and energy industry represented 58.6 percent of the country’s total export income which earned A$194.6 billion. With the industry marking 10.4 percent of the nation’s GDP, the workforce stands at about 269,000 strong or 2.3 percent of the total nationwide workforce.

    In addition, the Australian government also expects that with technological leaps, by 2035, it’s expected that renewable energy options will make a substantial contribution to the future of Australia’s energy supply. According to experts, it is in about 20 years that while fossil fuels (coal, oil and increasingly gas) – will still dominate the demand; alternative renewables – particularly wind – will become increasingly more significant.

    Australia’s Energy and Resources Climate

    The world finds itself in a difficult position; as increasing power prices cripple economies and the demand for renewables reaches new heights, there is a need to put more focus and attention on energy efficient practices and technologies. There are significant advancements in mining and energy – both oil and gas – in terms of innovation in sustainable equipment and services.

    One of the reasons why Australia remains so competitive in the energy and resources industry is actually founded on its administration and government agenda. These factors outlined above, coupled with the growing energy demands of Asia, have made Australia a leader in the energy and resource market. This is all facilitated by a supported government that makes the resource-rich country attractive for investments.

    In order to maintain its dominance, the national government is active in its promotion of discourse and learning on the topic of resources and energy. One particular initiative is the Australian National Conference on Resources and Energy (ANCRE); the only national government sponsored and organized conference that convenes professionals, industry experts and other stakeholders on the topic of global and Australian perspective relating to the sector. It’s through such venues people can showcasing Australia’s competitive advantage on key issues relating to energy efficiency and resource sustainability and management.

    The government recognizes the industry’s sizable contribution to the nationwide economy and has made the sector and its subsectors conducive to participation and investment – key points that contribute to the country’s long-term prosperity.

    In regions like New South Wales, there is an existing Advanced Energy Strategy, Gas Plan, as well as an Energy Action Annual Report that illustrates the priority placed on the energy industry. Some of the line actions being implemented, not only in NSW but all over the country, include tapping of investors for energy investment, building renewable energy expertise, and ultimately, being a renewable energy advocate.

    Australia’s Services Sector

    As Australia continues to remain a prime player in the global energy and resources production, over the past few decades, its specialty market has grown to develop, in a parallel manner, all segments of energy, power and resources, including client services for the market. As it stands, the Australian economy is in transition and future growth in this particular field and building its support mechanisms to ensure sustainable, economic growth in the long-run.

    According to Australia’s Industry Report of 2015, productivity in general has slowed and remains a challenge. Based on the evaluation of the economy, the country needs diversification and “an effective and competitive enabling services sector,” is one of the key contributors for growth.

    Relatedly, according to a study by the Reserve Bank of Australia, the growth in Asia will undoubtedly bring continued benefits for the economy of Australia. While the peak of the market book was roughly in 2011, the trade points remain high, an advantage for Australia. Following the resources investment, increased production and export of the said resources are integral and with this, the development of the tertiary, service sector.

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    The study also notes that moving forward, as the development of Asian economies continue to progress, the commodities demand will ease as focus grows from consumption-based towards services. This trend will affect the Australian energy industry and push the market to respond by increasing its respective services subdivision.

    While this may seem grim, as it stands, Australia’s service sector has already experienced a spike in some areas and as technology continues to dominate daily transactions, the demand for business and financial services, within and outside of the energy sector, continue to increase. Positively, Australia, being a neighbouring market close in proximity to Asia is at a prime position to fill the enterprise gaps.

    To learn more about Australia’s resources and energy industry, ANCRE is convened nationally and features speakers and guests from government, academia as well as the business sector.

  • 6 Advantages of Living in a Green Home

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    The demand for green homes is growing. According to information gathered by Statista, the U.S green-building market is currently sized at over $85 billion. A green home is defined as one that is designed and built to be sustainable, friendly to the environment and efficient in its use of energy.

     

    There are many benefits that come with establishing a greener living environment. Here are six advantages to living in a green home:

     

    Reduced Energy Bills: Green homes are built to lower indoor temperatures in the summer and retain warmth in the winter. They accomplish this via superior insulation. A green home’s ductwork is tight, and its doors and windows are carefully sealed. By reducing the variability of indoor temperatures, green homes minimize energy bills Efficient lighting and appliances also play a role in this and green buildings utilize appliances that are built to deliver frugal energy consumption.

     

    Reduced Water Bills: Reduced water consumption is a key aspect of green home design. These homes utilize features such as low-flow faucets dual-flush toilets and water-saving irrigation systems to minimize water use. This results in less money spent each month on water.

     

    Healthier Home Environment: Sick building syndrome is used to describe ailments and conditions caused by toxic indoor environments In many homes outgassing from certain building materials compromises air quality in ways that negatively impact the health of the building’s occupants. Skin irritation, headaches, fatigue and gastrointestinal complaints are all symptoms of sick building syndrome. Green homes are constructed using non-toxic materials, and this creates an indoor environment that is conducive to health. Many green homes also offer superior ventilation systems that are designed to bring clean air in from the outdoors instead of recycling stale indoor air.

     

    Cost Savings: Green homes are built to be more durable than the average residence. This means overtime, less money is spent on repair and maintenance. Many states also offer tax incentives for green home construction, and this will save you money in building costs.

     

    Improved Resale Value: These days many home buyers are aware of the benefits offered by green homes, and they know these homes can support their health and save them money in energy and utility expenses. For these reasons, green homes are popular on the real estate market. Studies have shown that a property’s resale value can increase by as much as 5 percent if it offers green technology.