28
Feb

Great Alberni Valley

alberni henderson lake

Alberni Valley is found in the south central Vancouver Island that hosts Port Alberni city, which is referred to as the heart of the Vancouver Island. The valley is specifically located between east coast and west coast of the island. Port Alberni lies within the valley, and offers access to the ocean, mountains, lakes, rivers, and forests, making it an ideal place for outdoor activities.

The valley is rich in wildlife that offers adventure for Canadians, as well as other visitors from different parts of the world. Mountain trails are perfect for hikers, while the rugged landscape is a nice choice for outdoor camping. The waters have about five species of ocean salmon, while the waters adjacent to Port Alberni has both saline and freshwater.

In the past few years, environmental protection has been a concern due to massive logging in the forest. China Creek watershed is a freshwater source, hosting a forest that provides home to different wildlife including wintering deer and other endangered species. Mount Horne and Cameron Valley Firebreak are other forested parts of the valley that have been experiencing serious logging. Since the fallout between the B.C government and Island Timberlands, several forests have been destroyed by encroachers.

Environmental laws have been violated, and several outdoor sceneries are fading away, part of riparian zones has been destroyed leading to poor quality of water, various animals are losing their habitats, and several indigenous trees have been cut down. In the recent years, there have been forums to discuss and address the challenges facing the forests. Most of the Alberni Valley residents have been attending the meetings and rallies, geared towards stopping illegal logging and log exports.

Over the years, conservationists and forest workers have been working hand in hand to seek a lasting solution. The municipal council of Port Alberni has also held discussions with Island Timberlands about the conservation of McLaughlin Ridge which hosts freshwater watershed. The good thing is that every resident is standing up to fight for environmental protection and sustainable resource utilization.

Port Alberni has turned to be one of the global centres where environmental protection has been taken as a communal responsibility. Interestingly, forest workers and environmentalists have been at the frontline to fight for sustainable industry that will see creation of more jobs rather than killing the existing job opportunities. Environmentalists have played a major role in supporting sustainability in the forestry jobs in order to grow the economy and eliminate political influencers causing environmental degradation.

The loss of the old stands due to extensive logging caused negative impact on the forest jobs. Today, the area people have been speaking and demanding the restoration of fresh watershed that has been providing drinking water to the Port Alberni. Also, people want the authorities to ensure that sustainable use of forest resources is achieved, in order to recover the lost old stands and forest jobs. The coordinator of Port Alberni Watershed Forest Alliance, Jane Morden, has been working together with like-minded residents to compel the authority towards restoring the McLaughlin ridge – watershed.

alberni Valley

In an effort to steer restoration of the valley’s natural ecosystem, more than 15 conservation organizations including the Jane Morden led alliance signed a statement early this year to pressure the B.C government to set aside $40 million every year, which will be used to buy and protect private highly valuable lands. The kitty was named – Natural Lands Acquisition Fund – and will help in protecting resources such as McLaughlin Ridge.

To achieve sustainable resource use, both authorities and residents must work together to curb illegal logging. If the team working including environmentalists is maintained, there is great hope of successful restoration of the Alberni Valley.

25
Feb

Do Smart Thermostats Really Help to Save Energy?

The major reason why most people choose to have smart thermostats is to save energy costs. However, the amount of money one can save depends on what type of heating control system installed, as well as other factors that determine the level of heating and cooling needs within a space. Smart thermostats will save energy, but the amount saved will be different from one user to another due to various factors.

How to Realize Energy Saving with Your Smart Thermostat?

A smart thermostat can help you monitor your heating and the amount of energy being used within a specified period of time. This is a sure method that will assist in energy saving depending on the amount of consumption. Remember, these smart devices usually indicate the exact price and amount of energy being consumed even before you receive the monthly energy bill.

save-energy smart thermostatsThe new heating controls can be operated remotely by use of computers and mobile devices. You just require installing the app on your mobile phone or tablet, and then control the thermostat even when you are away from home. If you are capable of using the apps appropriately, definitely you will control heating effectively when you are not in the house. You can switch off the heating if it was mistakenly left on. In other words, you can remotely control heating well if you are able to use the apps comfortably.

Programmable smart thermostats can be advantageous to those with busy schedules throughout the week. You need to program the device once installed, and it will be switching on/off automatically whether or not within your property. Other smart thermostats learn your routine, and start controlling heating in your house based on when you normally need heating. For example, Nest will learn your heating routines and use it to control heating when required.

Factors that Determine Amount of Energy Saving when Using Smart Thermostat

Automated “setbacks”

When you always turn down heating when not required, you are likely to realize bit of energy saving in your house. However, this can be achieved effectively through automating the process of turning down heating – automated setbacks. When you run temperature consistently even when heating is not needed, obviously energy consumption will be higher. To reduce energy cost, you can allow the smart thermostat control the heating and cooling.

Seasonal Changes

During very cold winters, definitely you will require prolonged heating in your house. This is the best time you are in need of a smart thermostat to manage your heating even when you are away from the house. Suppose you move to a relatively warmer place, where winters are not too cold? You will not be running consistent temperature, and probably heating energy consumption will fall slightly. Therefore, you need to change the program of the thermostat so that you can warm your space when needed. Warmer areas are expected to lower heating energy cost than colder ones. If you are interested for buying the best smart thermostat you can check thermostatistics.com

 wifi thermostat

Insulation in Your Property

Regardless of the size of your home, insulation helps in reducing heating costs. If a house is well insulated, the amount of energy required to warm all rooms will be slashed down. Having a new smart thermostat may not save you significant amount of money when living in uninsulated house.

Smart thermostats typically help in cutting energy bills, simply because of the improved features, ease of use and control. A smart thermostat displays the price and amount of energy being used in real time. This helps in monitoring energy expenses, before receiving the monthly bill. The apps are easy to use and they greatly help users to control heating remotely, ensuring none-wasteful heating is done at the right time.

See more tips that you can use while disposing your garbage!

24
Feb

Benefits of Using Reverse Osmosis Technologies

Reverse osmosis, also abbreviated as RO, is a chemical process of treating and purifying water by forcing water molecules through a special type of membrane. The water treatment system removes particles, including contaminants and minerals. Larger particles are filtered and trapped by the semi-permeable membrane, while smaller particles are usually retained in the water. Basically, the system is geared towards removing harmful molecules such as lead particles, nitrates, fluoride, and arsenic. This water purification method is used to improve quality of drinking water, as well as for other domestic and industrial uses.

Therefore, the following are some of the key benefits of using RO technology.

  1. Reduced Contamination Levels

Tap water is likely to have relatively higher amounts of contaminants such as lead, especially when the metallic pipes are old and rusty. Municipal water infrastructure that is corroded can allow lead particles into the running water, which in turn can cause health problems. Filtered tap water helps remove lead contents, hence minimizing health risks such as high blood pressure, nerve damage, and fertility problems. High lead level in water can also cause anemia and brain damage in youngsters. Therefore, RO reduces contaminants by removing large molecules of lead plus other harmful metals from our drinking water.

Port-Alberni ro-system

  1. Fresher Taste

Compounds of nitrates, lead, and sulfur are some of the chemical deposits that give drinking water unpleasant taste. However, mineral water should not be confused with contaminated water, though RO still filters these minerals during the purification process. Due to industrialization and chemical production in agriculture, several natural sources of clean water are contaminated resulting into bad taste of drinking and cooking water. Reverse osmosis removes such substances, thus improving the taste of drinking water.

  1. Removal of Cryptosporidium

When municipal water is highly contaminated with parasites such as cryptosporidium, children are likely to suffer from various health disorders. When the parasite is ingested, it interrupts normal digestion in the small intestines. This may lead to diarrhea, stomachache, fever, dehydration, as well as malnutrition in children. Reverse Osmosis filters the parasites, making drinking water safer and healthier.

  1. Improved Drinking Water for Cancer Patients

Patients recovering from cancer treatment usually have weaker immune system due to chemotherapy and radiation exposure. Therefore, drinking contaminated water may increase chances of disease infection because the immune system is not sufficient to prevent the same. Reverse Osmosis removes those harmful parasites, and therefore assist in providing safer water for such individuals.

  1. Filters Sodium Molecules

Sodium particles are relatively larger than water molecules, and they cannot pass through the semi-permeable membrane. These particles are some of the minerals found in water, though RO water filters them out. The purified water is very beneficial to people suffering from diseases like liver and kidney, as well as high blood pressure. Therefore, water purification through reverse osmosis can be an ultimate solution to patients that should control salt levels in their blood.

  1. Eco-Friendly and Convenient for Home Filtration

Reverse osmosis technology utilize best practices that do not emit chemicals into the environment. The system uses minimal power during filtration process, making it an eco-friendly system that conserves both energy and the environment. In addition, reverse osmosis is less sophisticated and requires minimal space. Therefore, it is a suitable filtration system that can be recommended for all homeowners. Here is a a website comparing the best reverse osmosis filter systems. www.ro-system.org

Reverse osmosis technology guarantees high-quality domestic water at low production cost. You may come across several benefits of RO, but the above six are the major benefits to help you make an informed decision. However, your final verdict will be based on health issues and general domestic water needs.

See more tips in our thermostat usage benefits post!

 

24
Feb

Disposing Our Garbage for Better Environment

For the past few years, environmental protection and conservation is becoming a global concern. Did you know that it is everyone’s responsibility to keep the environment clean? Alright, it should start from your home because it is one of the key sources of solid wastes generated from food items. A garbage disposal can be an appropriate method to dispose food materials, rather than dumping on the landfills. The system involves grinding leftover foods, and then flushing them through the sewage system. If you are plannng to buy for your home, Disposal Mag garbage disposal review website may help you choose.

However, biodegradable materials are the most suitable for disposals because they are easier to grind.

Therefore, the following are few benefits of using a garbage disposal.

Convenient disposing and healthy environment

A disposal is used to grind unwanted food materials, hence reducing the amount of food items in your home. Conventionally, garbage at homes is stored in polyethylene bags waiting to be transported to landfills. This garbage continues to rot on daily basis, and can be a breeding site for bacteria and other disease causing pests. If these food stuffs are grinded and flushed into the sewage system, you will minimize the frequent tasks of moving garbage to the cans. Also, reduction of pests and bacteria provides a healthy environment without increased likelihood of disease outbreaks.

portaec garbage disposing

Reduced emissions from landfills

Food waste materials account for the largest percentage of all garbage produced in major cities and towns. When these wastes are dumped into landfills, they start decomposing which in turn produces greenhouse gases such as methane. Such gases are responsible for increased global temperatures, which may cause health problems such as skin disorders and destruction of property due to frequent floods. On top of that, incineration of food materials at the landfills causes emissions that pose various environmental problems over time. Therefore, using garbage disposal can be a better method to solve such problems.

Production of clean energy

When ground food materials are directed into sewage system and transported to the treatment plant, municipal council can utilize the methane gas to produce energy. This is a double benefit because over stuffing landfills will be no longer a concern, while methane being released from the treatment plant can be utilized to generate clean energy such as electricity. Therefore, environmental protection is enhanced because emissions into the atmosphere will be reduced. Also, clean energy implies that huge amounts of harmful greenhouse gases are not emitted into the environment.

Reduced use of chemical fertilizers

Treated ground food materials can be used to make non-chemical fertilizers from the bio-solids. This will reduce over dependence on chemically produced fertilizers that has been polluting soil and contaminating water sources due to surface runoff. Also, the fertilizer can be sold to generate income. In addition, the production cost of the fertilizer is relatively lower, hence trimming down costs of agricultural food production.

garbage disposal process

Low energy consumption and water

As much as garbage disposal is so worthwhile and environmentally friendly, it uses very little amount of energy and water at homes. Most homes where disposals are used, only about 1% of the total household water consumption is directed for garbage disposal. About energy consumption, the cost is just a few cents of the total household energy consumption per month. So, garbage disposal can be an efficient unit that not only offers convenience to users, but also ensures the environment is always kept clean.

Using garbage disposal is quite beneficial to homes and municipal councils. When garbage at homes is reduced, there are less chances of attracting pests and bacteria. Municipal councils and counties can also reduce costs of transporting garbage to various landfills. Fundamentally, disposals can facilitate in tackling the challenging task of managing solid wastes for better environment and public health.

Click to read more about benefits of thermostat usage in your home and benefits of ro-system technologies.

11
Apr

Vancouver Grape Fields

British Columbia is known to have some of the most spectacular wines, but it’s a secret that only few outsiders know about. In addition to almost a handful of wine bars—which most of them, if not all produce their very own wines, are lists of wineries and vineyards you can take a tour at. So without further ado, these must be your next destinations when you visit British Columbia.Blue-Mountain-Vineyards

Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island is the home of passionate grape growers and wine makers. The wineries that can be found here have a relaxed and inviting atmosphere appropriate for visitors on tour or wine tastings. Most of it is family owned, small sized and run by a family of wine makers. Some also offer picnic and dining facilities along with the scenic landscapes and hills as the background.

So, the next time you decide on a tour, consider visiting these four regions of Vancouver Island. All of them offer some palate-pleasing vino and fruit wines.

  • Saanich Peninsula

Saanich Peninsula is just a few minute drives North of Victoria. As the Vancouver Island’s newest hotspot for viticulture, the Saanich Peninsula brags a certified organic vineyard in the Island.

Of course, it’s a sin not to visit some of Canada’s finest wineries located in the area. Located in a beautiful spot in Saanich Peninsula is the Church and State Wines which is intended to be the epitome of beauty and design.

Church and State Wines have earned several awards and their Church and State Quintessential 2006 was awarded as the best red wine in 2009 Wine Championships.

De Vine Vineyards also deserves a visit being known as a winery offering majestic views of the Gulf Islands, Strait of Georgia and Mount Baker. The 24 acre land cleared a 6.5 acre for grape plantation of Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and a variety of Austrian white wine grape called Gruner Veltliner.

You will also find other great wineries around the area like Dragonfly Hill, Sea Cider House, Muse Winery and many more.

  • Cowichan Valley

wine-coolingCowichan Valley is the most popular and largest grape growing region of the Vancouver Island. There, you will find the Cherry Point Vineyards which seem to be the visitors’ favorite. They grow all the grapes for their wine and are known for giving excellent customer service when you pay them a visit. It is beautifully located and offers a peaceful and enjoyable vineyard tours.

Averill Creek vineyard is also a must visit place and is apparently owned by someone who really knows what he is doing. It shows some meticulously cared and healthy vineyards.

It is also worth mentioning that they do a nice Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Marechal Foch. If you’re on a tour to Cowichan Valley, don’t miss Averill Creek.

  • Gulf Islands

Situated between the mainland and island of British Columbia, are the home of 12 vineyards: Gulf Islands. It includes several wineries, mostly are family-run and spread all throughout Saturna, Pender, and Salt Spring Islands.

Saturna Island Vineyards are exclusively the only winery and vineyard along Canada which has a resort and restaurant facilities. On the other hand, Salt Spring and Pender Islands also boasts several wineries all worth a visit so be sure to plan ahead of time to catch the sailings of the Island’s ferries.

  • Comox Valley

To all the beautiful attractions found in Comox Valley, the booming number of wineries and vineyards can now be added as a new prospect. Because of its mild climate appropriate for viticulture, the region is now fast becoming a significant area for producing wine.

Some of the currently wine producing wineries include Blue Moon Estate Winery, Cabrea Vineyard and Winery, Coastal Black Winery, Hornby Island Winery and more.

Different Wine Types

British Columbia shines along with the world’s best wine varieties. Because of its varied soil and climate conditions across the province, wine growers are given the opportunity to choose the best site for every varietal. Now, BC has over 60 varieties of grapes grown across the land and is proud to produce several rare yet equally glorious varieties.

The Whites

White wines are a result of alcoholic fermentation of the non-colored grape pulps. They can be distinguished through the color of the drink which can range from yellow-gold, yellow-green or straw-yellow. Chardonnay and Moscato are just a few examples of white wines.

The Reds

Red Wines are a type of wine produced out of dark colored varieties of grapes. The usual color of it can range from brick red, brown or violet depending on how mature or young the grapes are. Some of the traditional examples are Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and many more.

Other Styles of Wine

British Columbia takes credit of producing other styles of wine too. Their award winning Ice wine and Late Harvest are best paired with any dessert after a tasty meal. They also serve Rose Wine and Sparkling Wine which are becoming popular these past years. To know more about cooling wine and check the best wine coolers on winecoolerlab.com

Aside from knowing which type of wine is being served, it is a must that we know how to serve wines right. The most important consideration when serving your favorite wine is the temperature since it greatly affects how your wine will taste. For example, red wines must be served at 60 to 70 °F instead of serving at room temperature. White ones need to be served cold at 50 to 60 °F and the Sparkling wine must be colder at 40 to 50 °F. That way, we can get the best taste and smell out of our wines for the best experience.

5
Apr

What Kind Of Environmental Impact Does Toilet Flushes Have?

Hygiene is important to maintain our health and well-being. Excreting our bodily wastes is a normal biological process for us to get rid of toxins that could affect our body’s functioning. That being said, it is only right to have the most convenient place to do such activity. Thankfully, we belong in an era where bathrooms are not only functional, they are also more innovative and can be customized to satisfy our individual tastes and needs. Nevertheless, flush toilets are a common feature in bathrooms since the 17th century up to the present times. It has made people’s lives easier and hassle-free in comparison with traditional pit latrines and chamber pots. toilet-water-waste

Types of Flushes

There are about four common types of flushes available in the market today. First is the conventional type that uses considerably large amounts of clean water in a cistern that flushes out the waste through a single lever. This is the typical traditional model that is still widely used by households. Next is the pour flush toilet that lacks a water tank mechanism and requires the person to flush the excreta manually by pouring water into the toilet bowl. This appears less glamorous than other models but it also comes at a lower cost and is still used by many countries in Asia and Africa. The third kind is the low-flush version which, like its name suggests, requires a lesser quantity of water for flushing, making it more economical than the previous varieties.
While the former sounds like the best available choice, it only comes second after dual flushes. This is the most advanced technology that allows you to choose between flushing urine and feces. This way, water consumption is easy to control due to its capacity to operate with reduced levels. This clever design was initially brought to life in 1980 by inventor Bruce Thompson from Australia and became widely spread and accepted in different parts of the world.

How do dual-flushes work?

flushing-toiletDual-flush toilets lack a siphoning system that is expected in its regular counterparts. In simpler terms, other models function through a siphoning tube that allows water and waste to be flushed into the sewer which involves an incredibly high amount of water to achieve. For countries that often experience droughts, this is a major cause for concern. With dual-flush variations, there are two buttons that you can press to distinguish liquid waste from the solid. Liquid waste only uses half flush or about 3 liters of water, while solid waste is equivalent to a full flush or 6 liters. This alone is already a huge advantage for areas that have problems with their water supply. In addition, dual-flushes are similar to airplane lavatories that need smaller amounts of water in the bowl because of the lack of siphoning, and the trap way is significantly wider than standard toilets, making you save up to 60 to 70 % more water.

Are they all advantages?

Although the dual-flush system is clearly a winner in the battle of toilets, it also has a couple of downsides that one must consider. If you are conscious with your budget, it is important to note that this model is more expensive than the ones you are used to. However, you cannot really expect this one to be cheaper than the others because of its extraordinary features and water-saving value. Some people have also noted that because of its lower water levels, they are inclined to clean their bowls due to its tendency to get stained so often. However, it is worth-mentioning that there are less clogs compared to standard toilets. You might want check out best toilets on the market at www.pickatoilet.com
Despite all these minor disadvantages, dual-flush toilets are still superior over other variants considering all the benefits that it offers not only to its users but to the environment as well. As times go by, it is more obvious that water is becoming scarce even in areas that are normally well-supplied so all measures must be done to help preserve it.

30
Mar

How To Install a Kitchen Faucet – Environmental Friendly

replace-kitchen-faucet-environmentally

The kitchen faucet is one of the often used fixtures in any household. So if it has worn out or is out of style, it is time to replace it and give your kitchen a face-lift. In this article, we discuss how you can install a kitchen faucet without the help of a plumber.

Procedure

Stop water flow

Before doing anything else, you need to turn off the water supply at the shutoff valves. They are most likely under your kitchen sink.

 

Open the fixture to relieve the plumbing of pressure.

 

After that, disconnect the pipes for the cold and hot water from the shut-off valves. You can do this using an adjustable wrench (a small one is preferable). Check on the supply lines and the gaskets to see if they are reusable or need replacement. When replacing the supply plumbing, you may want to use flexible tubing. You can read more about kitchen faucets reviews and learn user guides at http://www.kitchenfaucetcenter.com.

 

Uninstall the old fixture

How-To-Install-a-Kitchen-FaucetYou need to disconnect the faucet from the supply tubing. You can do that by reaching behind the fixture and use the basin or socket wrench to unscrew the coupling nuts.

 

After that, you need to unscrew the mounting nuts that are holding the faucet in place and lift it out.

 

Now that the faucet is out of the way get an adjustable wrench and unscrew the sprayer hose from the faucet assembly.

 

With the hose taken out, thoroughly clean the sink surface. Is the hose’s protective cap still re-usable? If not, you need to replace it when installing the new fixture.

 

Installing the new fixture

Measure the distance between the holes in the kitchen sink to ensure that the new faucet fits seamlessly.

 

If the sprayer hose is still in good condition, you could re-use it otherwise, get a new one. Slip it into the sprayer hole from beneath and then get it through the center fixture hole. Connect the sprayer nipple to the hose using an adjustable wrench.

 

Tip

Make sure that you read all the instructions that come with this new faucet before you start connecting. However, you need to lessen the amount of time you spend under that kitchen sink that is probably in a cabinet. You can do that by ensuring that all the connections you can do from outside get done before crawling beneath that sink to start assembling the new fixture. After that, you can put the already connected lines through the sink hole from beneath. With most of the attachments that are to go at the base of the faucet already connected, all you have to do underneath the sink is to connect the shut-off valves to the inlet plumbing.

 

Connect the flexible tubing

The cold and hot inlet plumbing on the fixture may have varying lengths depending on the brand type. Therefore, you may have to attach flexible connectors to the faucet to make it suitable for a particular assembling.

 

Now you can attach these tubes to the fittings on the inlet tubing of the fixture.

You need two wrenches to ensure that every connection gets tightened. One wrench is to make sure that the fixture fitting is in one place while the other is to turn and fasten the female fitting to the flexible tubing. This technique helps in preventing the twisting and damaging of fixture’s copper supply tubes.

 

Tip

Sometimes the size of the hole on you sink does not allow to attach both flexible tubes before fitting the fixture assembly. That means that you have to attach the other tube from beneath the sink after installing the faucet. Here are the best kitchen faucets on faucet mag.

Fitting the kitchen fixture

Put and fix the supply plumbing and the connectors into the center hole. While you do that, ensure that the gasket is in proper position. After that, you may sit the faucet.

Now go underneath the sink and attach the nut and washer to the bolt endings. These are meant to keep the tap in one permanent position. Start by tightening the nut using your hand and then use the basin wrench to tighten it further.

Check connections

Did you attach the 2nd flexible tube? If that was not possible, connect it now. After that, join the connector male ends to the shut-off valves. Using an adjustable wrench, ensure that all the connections are tight enough. Restore water supply at the shutoff valves and then see if faucet is in proper working condition.