Tag Archives: eco

Intelligent Heating System

Tech improvements enable energy conservation in the home

In this energy conscious age it has become more important than ever to ensure that between our homes, place of work, and general everyday life, we do whatever we can to keep energy usage as well as subsequent energy bills at a minimum.

High Tech home management systems

Intelligent Heating System

Intelligent Heating System

It’s nothing new to have your thermostat set on a timer; for example to heat your home for a couple of hours in the morning and pre-heat it ready for your return after work, however with the latest high tech thermostats you can go one better. Beyond setting a thermostat timer there has been significant development into intelligent heating systems. This encompasses the traditional timer but with sensors which can heat rooms, utilise intelligent lighting and adapt itself to your daily patterns, both during the week and at weekends.

You may have experienced intelligent lighting in public facilities, libraries or council buildings for example, in which upon entering a room a sensor will detect your movement and switch the light on accordingly. This saves energy as well as removing the time-honoured phrase ‘don’t forget to turn off the light’ because after period if inactivity it will automatically switch off.

In addition to adapting to your daily routines, there are also systems available which track the rising and setting of the sun, thereby in summer it will adapt the heater timing to reflect this. For example in the winter as the nights grow longer, inevitably you will require heat earlier to achieve an equitable temperature throughout the day so your heating system will be triggered earlier. This avoids unnecessarily turning your heating on and off at random times throughout the day.

Energy saving appliances

Eco Kettle

Eco Kettle

Modern technology is incorporated into even the most basic household appliances – from kettles that automatically switch off after boiling to eco-friendly washing machines that use a minimal amount of water and therefore heat a minimal amount which results in reduced fuel consumption – however, you don’t need to invest in expensive technology to conserve energy.

When it comes to affordable technology it’s easy to forget the old classics. Technology doesn’t have to be electronic or brand new; there have been small developments throughout the years with simple energy saving devices, such as the light bulb. One frustrating feature of older energy saving light bulbs is that they tend to be very dim after the initial turn on, however modern bulbs have a brighter filament to combat this – so whilst the will still be dim during the initial turn on they will become brighter faster than older bulbs.

A-rated appliances such as new combination boilers are an excellent way to conserve energy. Compared to some models they are up to 80% more efficient which results in substantial savings over the course of a year as well as reduced fuel consumption to produce an equivalent amount of heat. However it’s not just boilers which are A-rated, fridges, freezers and ovens can receive this rating too!

Going the extra mile

Roof Wind Farm

Roof Wind Farm

Although this carries quite a hefty initial investment, installing a way to generate energy within your premises could save you a substantial amount of money throughout the years, making energy conservation from traditional mains sources a thing of the past as you’ll be creating and storing your own. Perhaps the most well-known of these is the addition of solar panels. They have become increasingly popular in recent years as the design has become sleek and unobtrusive, therefore even the most design conscious home won’t object to a few roof panels to catch the sun.

With all of the newest tech and developments to existing energy conserving devices, what changes could you make within your home? Contact a specialist such as VHL London, a heating, plumbing & electrical maintenance company in the UK to see what changes you can make to make your home more energy efficient.



Aspen Mountain - Very High Green Credentials

Green Skiing for 2014 Season

For those of us who are conscious of our environment, finding eco-friendly getaways and resorts is a number one priority. Although we may feel closer to nature during mountain trips, not all of these resorts place natural habitats in their frame of reference. The Ski Area Citizen’s Coalition compiled a super-eco list that rated the country’s top ski resorts based on environmental factors for 2014 season.

1. Aspen Mountain Ski Resort, Pikin County, Colorado.
Aspen Mountain - Very High Green Credentials

Aspen Mountain – Very High Green Credentials

Nestled in one of the most renown skiing regions, this eco-friendly resort ranked high in habitat protection and water quality. It lacked in maintaining development within already disturbed lands. With hundreds of slopes and attractions, Aspen Mountain is complete with cross country and snowboarding trails and picturesque mountain lodges.

2. Squaw Valley, Lake Tahoe, California.

Squaw Valley - Clean Fresh Air & Eco Cabins

Squaw Valley – Clean Fresh Air & Eco Cabins

Located near the idyllic Lake Tahoe, the blue skies and white slopes will help you breathe easy, literally. This resort’s highest ranking was in habitat protection and only slightly lower than Aspen Mountain in water quality and conservation. It has 3600 acres, 30 lifts, webcams to view conditions offsite, and more than 170 trails for cross country and hiking.

3. Sundance Resort, Sundance, Utah.


Sundance – Eco Cabin

Founded by the “Sundance Kid” himself, Robert Redford, this facility had high marks in habitat protection and scored lower in the energy efficiency category, although they have made significant steps toward amending this and have investment in wind technologies. They provide spa buildings, hiking and biking trails in the summer and even a children’s theater. They also have many wooden Eco Cabins with energy efficient appliances running on the aforementioned wind machines.

4. Aspen Highlands Ski Resort Aspen, Colorado.

Aspen Mountain

Aspen Mountain – Water Conservation

The eco-friendly state of Colorado, of course, made the list a few times. Aspen Highlands ranked fourth based on its active environmental policy position and exemplary water quality and conservation. Contrary to many of the other resorts on this list, however, it ranked much lower in the preservation of undisturbed lands.

5. Buttermilk Mountain Resort, Aspen, Colorado.


Buttermilk – Highest Energy Efficiency Rating

Rounding up the top five is another Aspen resort. Buttermilk Mountain’s highest ratings were in energy efficiency in already-existing sites, maintaining ski terrain, and water quality. Their ratings lacked in renewable energy resources but the staff is active in passing global warming legislation and other environmental policies. Used by the winter X Games, and rated one of the best places for snowboarding with well-developed pipe and parks, this resort is still eco-active and continues to grow in its environment-friendly role.

So there you have it some fantastic Eco Ski resorts just waiting for you to hit the slopes, check out some great late deals here and you can be hitting them in next to know time. See you in the bar for a nice apres ski beer.


The case for an International Standard for RoHS

RoHS Compliant – Main

One has to wonder if the time hasn’t arrived when the world’s politicians need to get together and agree a plan to harmonise environmental regulations when it comes to the manufacture of mass-market goods. The complexity of complying with different regulatory requirements in a multitude of different markets places considerable burdens on manufacturers which act, inter alia, as significant barriers to smaller companies trying to expand into export markets.


It seems odd that a product that is approved in one country may not be acceptable in another. Surely, the dangers posed to humans and the environment are the same wherever you are. Take, for example, the spread of hazardous substance legislation that all began with the European Union’s Restrictions on Hazardous Substances ( RoHS ), a directive that took effect in 2006. This compelled electrical and electronic component manufacturers to use less dangerous metals like lead and cadmium in their products. Six years down the road and we are now seeing many devices being totally lead-free and EU RoHS compliance is taken for granted.

The problem is that the success of this EU initiative has spawned copycat legislation all around the world in countries such as Japan, Turkey and China. China’s RoHS is obviously having the biggest impact on component manufacturers by virtue of the sheer size of the market it covers. However, its scope is different from European legislation inasmuch as it includes a different range of products. In China, automotive electronics and radar equipment, which are currently excluded from EU RoHS, are included. Meanwhile, EU legislation regulates toys and many domestic appliances that are outside the scope of China’s RoHS.


Furthermore, China’s regulation does not allow exemptions while labels, marks, and disclosure are mandatory. Even the penalties for non-compliance are different from those in the EU.


What is additionally onerous for manufacturers in the electrical and electronic industries is the fact that consumers of a variety of products also tend to have different requirements when it comes to environmental compliance. There are usually different requirements in designs for medical, transportation, industrial, or defence and aerospace markets etc. Industry regulations reign supreme.


While there are so many different bodies all making and enforcing different regulations about the same thing, a whole industry has grown up simply to advise companies and steer them through all the hoops that each country imposes. Every developed country seems to have a raft of civil servants providing advice for manufacturing exporters. How much simpler and efficient it would be for there to be just one universal set of regulations which every country can agree on. But then when did bureaucrats ever believe in simplicity and efficiency ?





Can I Wear Perfume and Still Be Green?


You can Smell Great and Keep Eco

Perfume lovers do not have to chose between wearing perfume and saving the environment. However, they will need to be careful about the types of perfume that they wear. It can be a lot harder to find perfume that is lovely and good for the environment.

Natural is Not Always Better

Many consumers might think that perfumes with natural ingredients are less harmful to the environment. While these ingredients might not contain toxins that can harm wildlife, many contain ingredients that are extracted from endangered plant species. Also, the process of extracting the ingredients from the environment might have a negative impact. For this reason, consumers should not be afraid to consider synthetic ingredients if they do not contain harmful toxins.

Synthetic ingredients are not necessarily manufactured directly out of a lab. For example, there are many ingredients that are extracted by natural materials, but might be modified. These are known as semi synthetics. There are also perfumes that are completely synthesized in a lab.

Research the Ingredients

When a perfume does contain natural ingredients, consumers should research the ingredients to find out if they are endangered. Destroying certain endangered species will not only reduce biodiversity, but also can impact other species and can have a negative impact not only on the environment, but on local economies.

Homemade Perfumes

Home Made Rose Perfume

Home Made Rose Perfume

For those who really want to use natural ingredients, one approach is to find fragrance oils that come from plants that are obviously not endangered, such as the jasmine flower. Some fragrance oils are synthetic, but other fragrance oils are basically essential oils that are diluted by a carrier. The types of carriers often used include vegetable oil and mineral oil. You can make some fantastic fresh and strong womens perfume from rose leaves infused in essential oils.

Essential Oils

Essential Oils

Essential Oils

Essential oils are liquids that contain the volatile aroma compounds found in plants. Most essential oils are extracted from a plant through the process of distillation. In addition to creating a scent that smells wonderful, many essential oils also have medicinal properties. However, when used with perfumes, they are often too strong unless they are diluted.

There are many options available to consumers who want to balance their love for fragrance with their love for the environment. There is no substitution for research, since there are too many ingredients to list. The best option will be whichever one is harmless to the environment, has a wonderful scent and is easy to get a hold of.

Jackson Hole - Sass Fee - Stunning Eco Hotel

Going Green on the Slopes: 5 European Eco Ski Resorts

Europe has continually served at the forefront of ecotourism trends and one of the hottest options for those seeking a sustainably friendly vacation, is to look to the slopes.

Whitepod, Les Cerniers, Switzerland

What A Venue Just Stunning and All Eco Friendly

What A Venue Just Stunning and All Eco Friendly

Whitepod camp is by far one of the most innovative ski camps in the business. The site offers 15 low-impact accommodation “pods” that are both cozy and promote responsible use of the surrounding environment. Wood stoves and locally sourced spring waters heat the camp and provide fresh water for the Scandinavian-style bathrooms. The camp has access to over 10km of ski slopes as well as a restaurant and spa, which are accessible by either walking or taking one of two private drag lifts.

Maison Coutin, France

Lush Green and Eco Friendly Resort - Great Powder To

Lush Green and Eco Friendly Resort – Great Powder To

Situated in the Tarentaise Valley, Masion Coutin prides itself on its eco-friendly ethos with just three rooms that sleep up to six guests. Meals are organic with all produce served coming from the lodge’s family-run garden. The lodge is quiet, paired down and without the traditional hum of activity that comes with other crowded resorts. Guests enjoy cross-country skiing as well as snow-walking and a ski lift for easy access to all slopes a great green chalet holiday in france for you to enjoy.

Mountain Hill Cabin, Norway

Wicked Eco Snow Cabin and Resort

Wicked Eco Snow Cabin and Resort

Skiing on the roof is just part of the fun. This resort is intentionally built to provide adventure skiers with both a winter playground as well as offering access to some of the best slopes in the world. All building materials are brought in via snow scooter so as not to disrupt the splendor of the surrounding environment. The cabin itself is built into the landscape rather than competing against it and the resort is slotted to open for the 2013 season.

Saas Fee, Switzerland

Jackson Hole - Sass Fee - Stunning Eco Hotel

Jackson Hole – Sass Fee – Stunning Eco Hotel

Rated as one of the top “green” resorts in the world, Saas is famous for being “car-free”. The topography reduces the need for snow cannons and Sass makes considerable investments in local, renewable projects allowing for skiers to become part of the sustainability of the resort, rather than just passive guests.

Aravis Lodge, La Clusaz, France

What a View and What  an Eco Attitude This Resort Has
What a View and What an Eco Attitude This Resort Has

The La Clusaz ski resort is only a few ski strides away from this 100-year-old chalet and its “green credentials” are amongst some of the most attentive in the business. All waste is either composted and there is onsite recycling along with solar panels for the chalet’s heat and hot water systems. Meals are prepared utilizing local, organic and free-range produce from surrounding farms and villages, which supports La Clusaz’s goal to offset carbon emissions. EasyJet files from 10 UK airports or travelers can opt for the Rail Europe route to plan their ski holidays in france eco trip.

Eco PS4 Concept - Energy Saving from Sony

ECO PS4 Concept makes gaming ‘green’

Eco PS4 Concept - Energy Saving from Sony

Eco PS4 Concept – Energy Saving from Sony

The gaming industry is a fierce battleground between companies, everyone constantly updating and rushing their next console out the door to keep up or ahead of their competitors. Keeping ahead of the game means working fast, and although the updated versions are new and improved, more thought could be put into design to tweak and refine them.

Take the PS3 for example – the first generation was a larger console that consumed around 200 watts of power when in use. Eventually, after a little design changes, Sony released the slimmer ‘PS3 Slim’, a more energy efficient version of the original.  Not only sleeker in design, this machine only needed less than half the amount of power. Being a slimmer machine, fewer materials are needed to build it, another greener aspect. This was great for eco gamers online stores such as TESCO Entertainment for PS3 games had an increase in units which shows the increase in the way we have a much more environmentally conscious society.

Jospeh Dumary – PS4 Eco Concept

Joseph Dumary – Sleek Design

Haitian designer, Joseph Dumary has added to the hype over the much-anticipated PS4 by designing an aesthetically pleasing concept, very sleek and stylish. Like most ‘initial releases’ Dumary has put a lot of thought into its potential evolution by skipping the usual larger, less energy efficient designs and taking it straight to a more elegant, minimalist machine.

Dumary’s vision features a multitude of energy-saving attributes, such as a standby mode that uses no power, a restart function that allows the user to pick up from where the game was left, rather than having to complete a restart from the beginning. This concept also has integral rechargeable battery that takes over after five minutes out of every 30 to power the system. Amazingly, this compact and attractive console is made from 60% recyclable materials.

Although the console features cutting edge technology like 3D compatibility, USB 3.0 ports, DLNA, and 4K2K compatibility, it is unlikely Sony will ever manufacture it, which should leave some food for thought on future design methods in avoiding having to update and tweak larger models just to get them out the door quicker. Dumary’s efforts have shown how to design a machine that is more environmentally friendly and stylish if a little thought and a little more time were used at the blueprint stage.

Keep Your Console Green

For any PS3 owners who are looking for any green tips to be environmentally friendly, the simple act of unplugging it when not in use is a good start. Admittedly, when not in use, the console only consumes a tiny amount of energy, but it all adds up. If you are planning on buying the PS4 when it finally hits the shelves, recycle your PS3 by either selling it or donating it to a school or charity instead of it ending up in a landfill.

Joseph Dumary has shown how it’s done with his stylish concept, so let’s hope Sony take some inspiration into taking the responsibility of designing greener initial console releases.


5 eco-tools for a greener garden

Working in the garden brings people out into the great outdoors, making them more appreciative of nature’s fragile beauty, yet all too often, the garden tools and equipment that they use are not friendly to the environment. To ensure that nature’s beauty is there to enjoy for generations to come, many gardeners are seeking out eco-friendly garden tools. Here are five products that are made sustainably, that help preserve the planet’s precious resources or that encourage recycling and reuse practices.


1. Rowlinson Beehive Composter


Composters turn garden and household refuse into nutrient-rich soil. The Rowlinson Beehive Composter is made with pressure treated wood and resembles a beehive, making it an attractive and eco-friendly addition to a garden. It comes with a lockable handle that prevents pests and rodents from gaining access to the composter, and it guaranteed not to rot for 15 years.

2. Burpee XL Eco Friendly Ultimate Growing System


This starting kit for seeds and seedlings is made from biodegradable products. The trays are made from plant products and the growth medium is made from renewable coconut coir. The XL Eco Friendly Ultimate Growing System comes with two 16-unit trays, a self-watering mat, two plant stands, wooden labels and organic fertilizer.

3. Ascot Eco Garden Set with Tools

Ascot Garden

A PVC-free garden tote is kinder to the environment. The Eco Garden Set features multiple pockets for gardening tools, as well as side pockets for a beverage or a snack. The kit comes with three different heavy-gauge stainless gardening trowels.

4. Green Toys Indoor Gardening Kit

When it comes to gardening products for children, it’s even more important to consider eco-friendly items that are free from harmful chemicals and compounds. This starter kit for children is made from recycled milk containers that contain no phthalates or BPA. The Indoor Gardening Kit includes three planting pots, three packs of soil, a tray, a trowel and packets of zinnia, sunflower and basil seeds.

5. Sun Whisper 19-inch Mower

A lawnmower that is powered by the energy of the sun helps cut down a homeowner’s energy bills and helps conserve the planet’s resources too. This Sun Whisper mower runs on solar power. When not in uses, the detachable solar panel is placed in a location where it will receive sunlight to recharge the mower’s battery. As no gas or electricity is needed to operate the mower, the Sun Whisper mower operates as quietly as a push mower.