Natural Environment Blog

Blogging for the Natural Environment

Month: January 2010

Nature Conservancy Photo Contest

The Nature Conservancy have announced the finalists of their 4th Annual Digital Photo Contest. In an email to members, the Nature Conservancy said:

Thank you to everyone who submitted an image for consideration. Your love of nature has inspired us and continues to remind us of the magnificent lands, waters and wondrous species we work to protect and preserve, every day.

The support of members like you has allowed us to protect and restore over 119 million acres of land and 5,000 miles of river and is the reason that we are the leading conservation organization working around the world today.

There are 15 finalists in total, and it’s now up to you to vote for your favorite. Voting is open until Monday, February 8, 2010 at 10am EST. The Grand Prize Winner will be announced on February 15, 2009.

The winning photo will be featured on The Nature Conservancy’s website, which is visited by more than 3 million people annually.

So, place your vote now.

You can also check out all submitted photos at the Nature Conservancy’s Flickr page.

10 Easy Ways to Save Energy in Your Household

When you receive your electricity bill, do you often wonder, “Why do I pay so much?” There is no doubt that energy prices will not get any lower. On the contrary, they seem to increase all the time. However, there are things you can do to significantly cut back your energy intake. If you want to save your money to spend it on something more fun than bills, read the tips below.

  1. Replace your light bulbs with energy saving ones if you haven’t already. They use up to 80% less energy and last 10 times longer than ordinary bulbs.
  2. Always turn off the lights when leaving a room. This tip is commonly known, yet it applies strictly to traditional light bulbs that are not energy efficient. Remember that if you have got energy saving light bulbs, you should turn them off only in the case that you are leaving the room for more than 6 minutes. Constant turning these bulbs on and off will use more energy.
  3. While cooking, always put a lid on the pot. This saves up to 15% on energy and your meal will be cooked faster.
  4. When buying new appliances, choose Energy Star qualified models. They use 10 to 50% less energy and water than standard appliances.
  5. When planning and building your house, make decisions that will make it energy efficient. Proper high quality house insulation and tight windows will ensure minimal energy loss. Installing windows shutters or outdoor roller-blinds will prevent warmth gathered inside the house throughout the day from escaping at night.
  6. When ventilating a room, always turn off the heating.
  7. Invest in a high-efficiency condensing boiler. This investment will surely pay off. Such a boiler is a real energy and money saver. A condensing boiler captures much more usable heat from its fuel than non-condensing boilers, meaning it does not require as much energy. This kind of boiler is equipped with a set of heating controls that gives you full control over the temperature in your home. You can adjust the temperature whenever you want.
  8. Use heating wisely. If you have a programmer or timer combined with a boiler, set it so the boiler is working only when needed. If you spend part of the day out of the house, turn the boiler off. Modern houses warm quickly even if the heating was turned off for a long period of time. Most people do not need the heating on when asleep.
  9. Do not leave electronic devices on standby. Maybe it sounds unimportant, but appliances left on standby still use energy. In an average household there are many electronics with standby modes, including TV sets, PCs, radios, and DVD and CD players. Every day, leaving them on sleep mode amounts to additional expenses which can easily be avoided. Each time you turn off an electronic device remember to unplug it as well.
  10. Charge your cell phone properly. It is unfortunately a common mistake to leave the battery charger plugged in after the telephone has already charged. The charger left in the socket, even without the device, is still consuming energy. Always remember to unplug the charger.

Obeying these simple rules will help limit both energy usage and expenses. Simultaneously, you will contribute to reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. World leaders are trying to do this on a global scale, but without the help of the citizens, they will never succeed.

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