May 27 2015

Ditch Your Single Serving Coffee Pods to Save Money and the Environment

Single serving coffee pods are becoming a staple item in offices across the world. Unfortunately, they are becoming permanent fixtures in landfills as well. Despite their tiny size, the trash adds up quickly: Keurig Green Mountain, which is just one of dozens of single serving coffee producers, made more than eight million coffee pods last year. If lined up next to each other, that’s enough trash to circle the globe more than 10 times!

About 20 percent of Americans use a single brew machine every day. The appeal of single serving coffee machines is easy to understand. You can have a hot, freshly brewed cup at any time of the day with no need for clean up. You may also think that you’re saving money by ensuring no coffee goes to waste, but that’s not necessarily the case. Believe it or not, even espresso machines with built-in grinders are cheaper to operate than capsule machines in office environments considering the volume workers consume. According to The New York Times, single serving coffee costs more than $50 per pound whereas a bag of roasted beans usually costs less than $20, so making the switch back to traditional brewing could save you money in addition to saving the environment.

If that’s not enough to convince you, consider how single serving machines might affect your health. All of the components that make up coffee pods are getting baked along with your coffee as hot water filters through it, so you’re likely ingesting tiny particles of metal, plastic and nylon. A few manufacturers have introduced biodegradable pods, but recent evidence has thrown their health risks into question. While Keurig claims that the plastic in their K-Cup pods is BPA-free, such plastics can still emit estrogenic activity that can damage human cells.

The trend of quick and easy single serving food products is on the rise as Keurig recently announced a similar machine for soup. Though it may seem like a tempting idea, using single serving pods has a negative effect on the environment, your health and even your wallet. Making coffee the old fashioned way pays off for everyone in the long run.

May 07 2015

Why LED Lights are Now a No-Brainer for Everyone

LED, or light-emitting diode, lights have become standard in homes and workplaces for good reasons: they save money by lasting longer and being more energy efficient. Additionally, they can output an array of different colors of light, making them very adaptable for different settings. If you need further convincing, read below for more details about the benefits of LED lights over old fashioned fluorescent and incandescent halogen lights.

LED Lights Shine Brighter Using Less Energy

Since LED lights are better at turning electricity into light than standard bulbs, they can emit more light while consuming less energy. Whereas a standard fluorescent bulb outputs about 60 lumen per watt of energy consumed, LED bulbs can produce over 90 lumen per watt of energy consumed. This difference translates into lower energy bills and helps the environment by reducing landfill waste.

LED Lights Can Produce Many Colors

Unlike incandescent lamps, LED lights can produce different colors depending on the semiconductor material used, which offers a lot of versatility. For example, warm white is similar to the glow of classic incandescent bulbs and is ideal for intimate settings like restaurants. Cool white, on the other hand, provides high contrast and is ideal for showcase rooms at museums and art galleries.

LED Lights are Reliable Yet Cheaper Long Term

LED lamps rarely need maintenance and can run for about 40,000 hours before they need to be replaced. Business that have to keep the lights on throughout the night can expect to make their money from the initial investment back through lower maintenance and energy bills within 18 months.

They Are Easy to Replace

Due to the simple design of their bulbs, switching out old bulbs for LED lights is simple. While slight alterations must be made in some cases, such as when replacing fluorescent T8 lamps with LED T8 tubes, any experienced electrician will appreciate the ease of the job.

If you’re still using florescent or incandescent lighting, it’s time to finally get with the 21st century. Some countries like the U.S. are considering legislation to phase out the sell old incandescent bulbs for good, so now is the perfect time to jump on the LED bandwagon.