Clean:

Trashy Tech Talk: How Technology Is Improving Waste Removal

People in metro regions across the United States are experiencing some subtle changes to their surroundings that may or may not be evident to the average passerby. They have to do with options in waste disposal.

Back when the American Dream was firmly in place behind the white picket fences of the suburbs, trash disposal consisted of tying up the family trash bags and leaving them on the curb for the garbage collectors — er, sanitation engineers — to come and remove. There weren’t very many rules and regulations about how, when, where, and what to throw away.

But necessity is the mother of legislation as well as invention. As our awareness of the larger effects of trash disposal has increased, so have our efforts to maximize the efficiency of addressing this need. Even technological advances have come into play, in seemingly small ways that have had a massive impact.

Automated trash collection

Many neighborhoods and cities have a regulated “trash day/night” on which the residents are asked to place their waste at curbside for pickup the following day. However, more populated areas such as colleges and apartment complexes now have an automated trash collection system in operation.

These systems not only help to accommodate the larger volume of waste that’s generated in these areas, but they also reduce the costs of manpower, fuel/energy, and time required to remove the trash.

Homeland Security regulations that govern waste disposal

When we think of the agenda of the Department of Homeland Security, trash disposal might not be one of the things that comes immediately to mind. However, after enduring and studying a series of security emergencies, American regulators have noted the need for a system that will ensure a clean and efficient way to deal with trash cleanup and disposal.

With a now highly regulated hierarchy of how and where trash disposal should take place following a Homeland Security emergency situation, as well as rules that address high-traffic public trash disposal receptacle options, it appears that we have come to realize as a nation that proper waste disposal and cleanup is an important element of maintaining the our national security.

Solar-powered trash compactors

A relatively recent innovation that’s being seen more and more in downtown urban areas is trash compactors on public streets. City waste disposal systems such as Philadelphia’s, which use “Big Belly Trash Cans” have supported a remarkably successful program that reduces the amount of litter on the streets while saving the city millions on trash removal costs.

The City of Brotherly Love has gone a step further and made these high-tech trash bins more environmentally friendly with the installation of solar energy cells to power these compactors.

Too often, we pay more attention to reducing the waste we make than we do to how to dispose of the garbage we generate in a safe and secure fashion. But with the technological innovations we’ve seen in recent decades, we’re finding ways to improve both our awareness of trash creation and the efficiency of our disposal options.

Clean:

5 High-Tech Devices That Will Save You Both Kinds of Green

Going high-tech and changing your home to go green are working together in a growing synergy. Each year more smart devices come on the market that are not only earth-friendly but pretty cool to have in your home. Here are five examples.

1. High-tech thermostats

It’s no surprise that since a majority of home energy bills involve heating and cooling costs, much of the new technology for homes centers on this. Older homes have inefficient systems that waste an incredible amount of energy.

Much of the waste is attributable to climate control of rooms that are not in use and when the home is unoccupied. Smart technologies now give you programmable thermostats you can control from anywhere.

Applications and Internet-enabled technology provide greater control while you’re away, as well as networking of thermostats for efficient climate control throughout your home.

2. Motion sensors

Remember when you were a child and your parents would remind you to turn out the lights when you left a room? Motion sensors will turn on lights when you enter a room and shut them off when you leave.

This technology isn’t limited to lighting. Electrical and other systems through your house can be outfitted with sensors to cut the flows to other devices as well. Some devices even allow you to do this using an application on a smartphone so you can monitor and shut off any appliances, electrical systems, and anything else that might have been left on when you rushed out the door.

3. Solar power

Even though it could save an average of 30% of their power consumption, some people aren’t ready to commit fully to solar energy. This is understandable, since converting to solar requires a costly initial investment.

The good news is that many smaller solar collection devices can cut your energy costs. By placing solar panels on patios, porches, garages, or at other outdoor locations, you can increase the efficiency of your home dramatically.

Some companies offer hybrid devices that run on both solar and direct power to provide some savings and take that small step toward being greener.

4. Smart Appliances

When LG released its line of smart appliances at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2012, people went crazy over them. From a refrigerator that creates menus and inventories its contents, to a washing machine that was not just eco-friendly but also fast and high-capacity, these advances in home technology were the greatest in many years.

Utilizing Internet networking technology, these appliances are able to connect and even communicate with one another, which allows for easier use and greater energy efficiency.

5. Power adapters

There’s a common myth that installing energy- and cost-saving devices requires a ton of work and a complete overhaul of the space. The reality is that you can do quite a few things that save money and still do your share in going green.

The average household uses 13% of its home energy simply charging and powering up devices each year. Typical charging devices push far too much energy through their adapters during a charge-up and continue to do so even when the charge is complete.

A company called Green Plug offers an alternative that creates a “smart” style of charging device that powers down when it isn’t connected for a charge and only feeds power to the device when it needs it.

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last update: December 21, 2014

Life:

Topgrading Means Companies are Hiring More Strategically

Competition is extremely fierce in the current job market. Strains on the economy, outsourcing, and the laws of supply and demand are all factors that affect the number of jobs companies can offer these days.

So it’s no surprise that contemporary employers have become more selective in their hiring process than they might have been in the past.

Companies today want the cream of the crop

One of the most popular practices for employers today is known as topgrading. This practice has become a powerful tool for the hiring process. Topgrading provides businesses, from small entrepreneurs to large corporate offices, to weed through applicants and uncover the best of the best.

The process begins with questionnaires that are designed to target star qualities in potential applicants. The interview process is also carefully constructed to pinpoint strengths, interests, and skills that will more effectively match employers with the best candidates for the job.

Topgrading is the latest attempt to improve hiring to the level of a science. If employers are able to work directly toward precisely what they want from the start, it saves them time and money, as well as making their business more effective in the long run.

A more effective hiring process means a more effective business

As firms across the U.S. seek to thrive and surpass their competitors, they need to take advantage of every possible way to excel. Of course products and services are the key to a company’s success, but its personnel need to be stellar.

The best way to ensure an effective hiring process is to make the employer’s expectations clear from the start. Companies need to include explicit instructions about the job and any unusual requirements.

That will enable them to be extremely thorough as they gather information about their applicants, which may date back to high school. Members of the human resources team will be involved in combing through all the details, picking out promising candidates, and contacting previous employers for references. (It’s surprising how many companies still neglect to do this.)

Then the favored applicants will be brought in for the interview(s). The process can be lengthy and should be scored according to the topgrading criteria. In the end, employers can be assured they have selected the strongest applicants for the job — through a structured, deliberate process that features a strong attention to detail.

What topgrading means for potential employees

Topgrading is changing the face of hiring across America as companies seek to develop a talented staff that meets all their requirements. For those who are applying for jobs, it means taking more time to prepare for the road ahead.

It’s extremely important to polish resumes and interview skills before submitting your materials to the potential employer. You have to ensure your best qualities stand out above the rest of the crowd.

Be sure to dress for success, make yourself well versed in specifics about the company, and prepare to share every possible personal asset. (Make a list, if you have to.)

Learn how to be at ease and appear confident, and hire a coaching service if you suspect it might be necessary to succeed.

Clean:

Chevy Spark Goes 139.7 Miles on One Charge

Chevrolet Spark

One of the biggest knocks against the electric vehicle revolution is range. It’s hard to get from one charging station to another in some places around the country. They are city drivers, designed to get you back and forth from work less than 20 miles away to get you there without incident on the EPA-rated 82 mile range Chevrolet Spark.

Digital Trends wanted to put the limits to the test. According to Chevy, they could get well over 100 miles in ideal situations. Those “ideal” situations weren’t exactly practical – 18 MPH nonstop with the right driving conditions. To test it, they took it to the track and set the record, unofficially. There are no recorded events for this type of test, so it’s the record as far as we know. That’s good enough for us!

According to the driver:

I prodded the Chevy team for more info. The Spark EV engineers admitted that in ideal conditions, the Spark could probably go 160 to 180 miles on a single charge, which – at 18.5 mph – would take around nine hours of non-stop driving.

Read More: Digital Trends

Smart:

It’s going to be a big day for young girls everywhere

Debbie Sterling was upset. She had just spent years earning her degree in engineering at Stanford, only to realize how few women were graduating alongside her. Her training kicked in, she saw a problem and immediately sought a solution. So, she started Goldie Blox. Goldie Blox aims to engage young female minds in the world of science and engineering through the story and imagination. Her hypothesis was proven and now her company had a thirty second spot during the Super Bowl. Not a bad conclusion.

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Ford Gives us the 101 on Hybrids

Ford Hybrid

There is more and more confusion added to the mix every time the automakers come out with a new version of energy efficient vehicles. There’s hybrids, plug-in hybrids, plug-in electric vehicles, and likely several more on the way that combine gas, electricity, solar, hydrogen, nuclear, and gravitational energy induction to propel our vehicles.

Continue reading Ford Gives us the 101 on Hybrids

Life:

Intuit Gets You in the Game

One small business got the surprise of a lifetime when Intuit showed them how much they were appreciated. What started as a small purchase escalated quickly, much to the amazement and joy of the business owners. The gifts purchased were given to Bright Pink, an organization focused on reducing risk for breast and ovarian cancer in young women. Find out what happened in the video:

If you’re a fan of small business, help choose the one that gets the big prize. Visit http://smallbusinessbiggame.com and vote for your favorite business. The winner will get their very own 30 second ad during the biggest game February 2, 2014.

Smart:

Small Business, Big Opportunity

For the first time in history, Intuit will give one small business a huge opportunity. Get featured in a tv spot during football’s biggest game. One small business will be seen by millions, which is guaranteed to grow that business exponentially. Own a small business? Don’t miss this once in a lifetime shot. Visit www.SmallBusinessBigGame.com and see how to enter to win.

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