Using Security Systems Efficiently

Guest Post

In today’s world, there is a great deal of focus on green initiatives in many
different aspects of everyday life. People are focused on reducing their carbon
footprints by utilizing everything from electric cars to solar energy, and there
seem to be more and more organizations and movements directed toward saving the environment. Many of these efforts and practices have been, and will continue to be very effective – however, we will never realize our true potential to “go green” until we begin to put green initiatives into effect in our everyday lives. And to do this, we all need to better understand some of the little ways in which we can do our parts to help.

All you need to do to begin to understand how you can better contribute to living a more environmentally conscious lifestyle is to think about which everyday habits and applications you use that require energy. For example, consider one of the most basic energy-consuming things that you use each and every day: your home security system. This is exactly the sort of thing that you tend to use without even thinking about it, but which can often be used in a more energy-efficient way. Here are some tips for this specific example.

• Use a yard sign. Many people only consider the technological aspects of home
security systems when looking into buying equipment, and this can result in the
excessive use of technology, and, therefore, energy. There is very little sense, in
the average home, in investing in motion detectors, security cameras, laser trip
wires, and alarm systems – yet many people do just that. Instead of one or two of these extra features, consider putting a simple sign in your front yard, indicating that your home is protected. This is one of the most effective types of home security, as it notifies potential intruders that they are taking a big risk if they break into your home – and, even better, it uses literally no energy!

• Also, with the electronic features that your security system does include, be
mindful of how often you leave them activated. Many people do not bother to turn
their security systems on and off during the day if it is not necessary to do so.
For example, if you have security cameras on the exterior of your home, you may not feel the need to turn them off during the day, because they are unlikely to interfere with anything. Modern security systems allow for a great deal of control and monitoring, however, so you should be careful to conserve energy by turning them on only when they are most needed.

About the Author:

Alex Stewart is a blogger and contributing writer for Home Security System. He has also worked for various other online resources in the fields of security and home management.

The Plant: My Beer Feeds Your Fish


Solar-Powered ATM Machines Expand Banking Options in Rural India

For many villagers in rural areas of India, personal banking comes at a high cost. In addition to the expense of traveling to the nearest branch, often in distant cities, they must often forego a day’s work.

Vortex Engineering, a start-up incubated at Chennai’s Indian Institute of Technology, has come up with a solution that not only saves rural Indians the day’s hassle but cuts down on energy use. Combining solar panels with innovative mechanical design requiring far less power, Vortex’s ATMs are capable of running on about 10 percent of the energy used by conventional machines. And because the low-power design produces very little heat of its own, the “Gramateller” — “gram” is Hindi for “village” — functions as well in the heat of a Rajasthani June as in the snowy winters of the hill station Nanital. To date, 450 Gramatellers have been installed, most in small towns between 30 and 60 kilometers from bank headquarters. Vortex marketing manager, Sabarinath Nair, estimates that 10,000 more are slated to be in place within the next two years, with international expansion — Bangladesh, Madagascar, Nepal, and Djibouti — already underway. Vortex notes that Gramateller is opening business opportunities for banks where there had previously been none, while also saving practices by reducing costs for rural Indians and permitting them to take out only the cash they need immediately. And it is doing it all while running entirely on solar power.

Courtesy: Jason Schwartz

Geothermal Heating and Cooling Goes Big at University

Photo: Ball State University

Heating and cooling old college buildings can be a very expensive, and environmentally unfriendly, proposition. Ball State University in Indiana, is taking a greener tack though, resulting in the nation’s largest geothermal heating and cooling system. Built using funds from the State of Indiana, the university and a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, the system will save the university an estimated $2 million annually in operating costs and cut the university’s carbon footprint in half.

Started in 2009, the geothermal system’s first phase is now up and running, with the second phase already underway. When complete, the ambitious system will heat and cool 47 university buildings, totaling 5.5 million square feet across the 660-acre campus.

To implement the first phase, the university drilled 1,800 boreholes around campus, each 4 to 5 inches in diameter and 400 to 500 feet deep. These holes, and the additional 1,800 needed for phase two, will be completely undercover, topped with parking lots and recreational fields. One thousand miles of piping circulates water in a closed loop system, and facilitates the heat transfer between the ground and the buildings. The separate hot and cold pipe systems eventually pass through heat exchangers and fans that blow either the hot or chilled air into the buildings. Read more »

Why Is Eco-Fashion Important

Photo Courtesy:

Since ages, fashion has been one of the most important factors of every civilization. People have devoted their lives to set a new trend and making others look good — or you may say “style in a better way”. It’s a race that everyone wants to win.

A parallel race, supported by many other groups, is for saving the environment. You switch on the TV and you’ll find whole channels dedicated to fashion and environment, both fighting for their own separate causes.

Yet their paths often cross when environmentalists accuse the fashion industry to be absolutely cruel towards the environment (which isn’t entirely untrue, by the way)

Some thought that life without changing fashion trends is no life at all, while ditching the planet can be translated as death to all on the longer run. What good would fashion serve on a dead planet???? The realization of the fact gave birth to the concept of eco-fashion, also known to be sustainable clothing. Read more »