Neighborhood Energy Challenge http://www.neighborhoodenergychallenge.org Business & Environment for the Economy Sun, 29 Nov 2015 01:37:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.6 Environmental issues that affect U.S. workers health http://www.neighborhoodenergychallenge.org/environmental-issues-that-affect-u-s-workers-health/ Sun, 29 Nov 2015 01:37:24 +0000 http://www.neighborhoodenergychallenge.org/?p=112 Read More ...]]> Hey everyone, Kobe here. It’s an honor to contribute to this website and be around an amazing group of people. Jim Rohn once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

That being said let’s dig right into our topic of the day.  Environmental issues that can have an effect on U.S. workers health.  This is a subject I have been wanting to touch on for quite some time now because it’s dear to my heart.

I grew up in a working-class family.  The only thing they knew was how to be a wage earner and rely on a payroll check.  That was the life they grew up in and how their family taught them.  Naturally this what they passed downed to me and my siblings.

My parents did not understand the entrepreneurial life that I have dedicated myself to.  Nor did they believe it was a good idea.  They meant no harm by it was just so foreign to them, they couldn’t grasp why I would rather take my chances than settle for a safe payroll job.

To get back on track to our subject U.S. workers are affected by environmental issues on a daily basis.  Some matters have a larger consequence than others, but I believe we should still bring this topic out into the light.

In this post, I would like to tackle 4 subjects that I believe have been affecting our workers for decades.  Maybe if we can bring certain problems like this out of the darkness we can possibly save some people’s health.

Educating people is a great way to contribute to our society because there are a lot of people ignorant to environment problems. It’s definitely not a popular topic to discuss in the working class of America.

Ok, enough of my rants let’s dive into the content and hopefully I can get some feedback from you.

Change in climate

Climate Change

Working in extreme temperatures

One thing I always want to remember is the summer’s as a teenager when my father allowed me to work at his job site’s for that summer vacation spending money.  

Oh, how I regretted that shit.  He would ask me, “Are you sure you can hang?”  As a young healthy athlete that would endure double-session football practices in blazing summer heat replied, “Are you kidding me pops?”  Proceeding to show off my biceps in sarcasm.

Boy was I in for a treat.  Although I was a young healthy teenager most of us laborers did not understand the dangers of working in outrageous temperatures.  Little did I know there were people dying every year from heat exhaustion all over the country.

Check out this list of hazards while working out in the elements of our earth:

  • Working in high temperatures on a consistent basis can result in heat stress.  
  • Workers thrown into unfamiliar weather conditions may suffer from traumatic stress and impairment.  
  • Exposure to low temperatures can result in hypothermia and frostbite.

The main point I want to make about this section on working in extreme weather is all a part of global warming and is an issue we all should be aware of.

I know what you’re probably thinking.  What can I do to help this matter?  I’m just one person.  Well, that’s a lot more than most people ask so I’m really glad that is at least going through your mind.

I composed a list of different things we all can implement into our daily activities to help with global warming:

  1. Forward this blog to all of your Facebook friends to make them aware of global warming.
  2. High efficient light bulbs in your home to save energy.
  3. Research our forestry and how to save trees.  
  4. Recycle
  5. Carpool to reduce the pollution in our air.  Especially is you live in a valley where all of the bad air has nowhere to go.  

Handling Hazardous Substances

Hazardous Training

This is a big issue in the working world.  How corporations are handling hazardous materials and substances in a day to day operations.  More importantly, do theses corporations have safety procedures in place to protect employees?

Times have definitely changed out there.  Now more than ever corporations of all sizes have to be in compliance with federal and statewide laws on the handling of these dangerous materials.

Not that long ago you would go to work for a business and ask no questions about safety or environmental issues that could directly affect your health.  The reason for that is because most laborers were not aware of the hazards involved with their job description.

You would just do your work, pick up a paycheck and head home to your family.  No questions asked.  Unfortunately, many people have had to pay the ultimate price of ignorance.  In America, we are more educated on this issue so we can now step up and challenge our superiors about a dangerous situation or chemical hazard.

What is a hazardous substance or any way?  

A lot of us work around hazardous materials on a daily basis and if you’re not sure.  ASK!  to give you a definition of what a hazardous substance is this is what I came across.  Check out this link to get a clear meaning and come right back.

Understanding how substances can affect you.

The last thing you want to do is bring any hazardous substances back home with you.  Get educated on how to properly clean up after a shift of working with chemicals or any other type of these materials.

You will also want to know the proper protection to use while around hazardous substances.  This is something your employer should be educating you on.

There are many hazards that can affect your health either immediately or even years down the road.  Here are a few that I can come up with:

  • Lung disease
  • Loss of hearing
  • Skin diseases
  • Blood born viruses

These are just to name a few, but you should always be aware of hazards in your own workplace.  Like I mentioned earlier, many workers have contracted cancer and other diseases that either have killed them or placed them on permanent disability.

Working in bad air quality

Air Pollution

Central California’s Valley has been known for some of the United States worst air quality.  The bad part about this is we have hard working Americans that have to work in this environment on a daily basis.  

The San Joaquin Valley is surrounded by mountain sides and is has some of the most intense heat and fog known to man.  The heat and fog are a recipe for retention of air pollutants.  Not to mention the lack of airflow the valley receives.

This valley is home to over 3 million residents and also millions of other people passing through major highways that connect major cities of California.

At times, the air quality can be so severe that schools will shut down and advise to keep all children indoors.

Do you think businesses will ever advise such a thing?  Absolutely not.  No matter how bad the air can get, you will always find our working class hard at it to keep this great nation alive and well.

Okay so here are some best practices we all can be doing to help out air quality wherever you’re from:  

  • Burn your fireplace only on suggested days.
  • Don’t smoke cigarettes or any other tobacco products.
  • Choose to drive eco-friendly vehicles.
  • Avoid idling your vehicle for a long period of time.  For example:  Avoid long drive through lines, Park your vehicle to pick up children from school.
  • If possible, use public transportation.
  • Join a carpool.

I understand that these practices have been shared with you before, but I believe they are worth repeating again and again.  Most of us want the best for our children and want them to grow up in a healthy environment, well these practices are for the future.

We all don’t have the luxury to be able to live on the coast or in a beautiful flat land like the mid-west, so we have to take care of what we have and where we call home.

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Top 5 Eco-Friendly Businesses and How You Can Emulate http://www.neighborhoodenergychallenge.org/top-5-eco-friendly-businesses-and-how-you-can-emulate/ http://www.neighborhoodenergychallenge.org/top-5-eco-friendly-businesses-and-how-you-can-emulate/#comments Mon, 02 Nov 2015 03:11:36 +0000 http://www.neighborhoodenergychallenge.org/?p=81 Read More ...]]> Jason here and wanted to finally contribute to our blog and energy project. Since we all love business, I wanted to recognize some of the large-scale businesses out there that are doing their best to help save planet earth while they operate a multi-million and multi-billion dollar companies.

It would be very easy for these businesses to not give a flying hoot about our environment and strictly focus on revenue.  Obviously large companies have to abide by certain regulations but we scraped up 5 businesses that are taking environment safety to a whole other level.

Let’s face it, sustaining the environment is not exactly top priority for most businesses out in our world.  Sadly, there are the companies out there that look to save money by polluting our earth.  Why is that?  Well, of course, the main reason is to save money, but, in the long run, most companies that implement shady environmental practices get hit with huge fines which sometimes results in the entire company going under.  Is it worth it? Absolutely not.

We’re also going to go over different strategies a business can use to not only help out our environment but also to how these strategies can help grow revenue.

I also wanted to illustrate the impact a big business can have on our environment and also take you through 5 businesses that are using advanced strategies to help out our beloved mother nature.

Best practices your business can do to help our environment

   Sustainability for Online Business

   

    1. Set an environmental management (EMS) system in place.

Creating a system to help our environment is something every business can execute.  No matter if you’re a small local business or you manage a thousand employees your business can set an effective process to help out our environment.

Ok, allow me to step back and explain what an EMS is. This is a structured plan in which a business can put in place to accomplish their eco-friendly goals.  No only can these systems help out the earth, you will be protecting employees from hazards and also be in compliance with your state’s regulations.

An EMS will also allow you to keep track of energy use.  Having a good understanding of the amount of energy you use can help you to understand how to cut back.

   

    2. Conserve water

This is a big one out in California.  In case, you haven’t been paying attention to the news California has been going through a record-breaking drought.

The state of California has been supposively issuing fines to residents and businesses that are abusing water resources.  Golf courses have been hit very badly and have had to create ways to cut back on water usage and at the same time keep up with good golfing conditions.

How can we as business owners help out with this water crisis?

Here is a list to follow that will give you some ideas that you may be able to carry-out into your own business:

  • Fix any plumbing that is leaking
  • Install automatic turn off or timer for faucets and showers
  • Wrap all water heater with insulation and also pipes that are exposed
  • Invest in energy efficient equipment and appliances

These are just a few things you could be doing to help conserve water and also get a tax write-off in return.  See helping our environment does pay off.

   

    3. Purchase only Eco-friendly products and equipment.

Energy Star    sm-watersense sw-logo Safer Choice Icon

Well, how do I know if I’m purchasing eco-friendly products? Great question and I really wish more business owners would ask this.

The best way to determine if you’re purchasing greener products is by labels.  I displayed some greener product labels that will give you a good idea for when you are looking to buy.

    4. Climate change and how to adapt your business.

Every business faces challenges.  One challenge that I would bet you didn’t place in your business plan was climate.

A lot of businesses are having to install emissions control on equipment and vehicles to comply with regulations across the state.  Although necessary to reduce pollution in our air, emissions on motors can be very costly.

The main thing you want to be aware of is the type of climate your business is located in.  Are there possible flash floods, or extreme weather circumstances at times?

Knowledge of your climate is crucial for staying business for the long haul.  We all know shit just happens and you want to be prepared for the worst sometimes.

Even though it hurts to even think about a disaster occurring you still want to protect your business with backing it up with insurance.  Whether that be from a third party business or you stashing away money for a rainy day.

Finally, the 5 businesses we admire that are doing their part

             Allergan Symbol   Adobe Systems  McCormick LogoBaker Hughes Logo Cardinal Health Logo

    1.  Allergan

A billion dollar pharmaceutical company that invest a ton of money into research and development.  I discovered that Allergan is climbing the charts in several environmental areas like:

  • Energy productivity
  • Water productivity
  • Waste management

From equipment to employee practices Allergan is definitely a huge business that is on our economies and environments good side.

    2.  Adobe systems

For the people not familiar with Adobe Systems allow me to introduce.  Adobe is a global leader in digital media solutions that has produced several types of software that enable users to create digital content.

Recognized by Newsweek as a top 10 most green companies in the world, Adobe has adopted green living practices that promote employees to ride bikes and exercise eco-friendly living.

One of the main ways that really impressed me was is how they build new facilities.  Delegating special positions to hire third party builders that are certified to understand and apply environmental friendly operations.

    3.  McCormick

You probably have McCormick in your kitchen and you don’t even know.  That is if you’re not big on preparing meals.  Original and creative solutions to spice up your ingredients, McCormick has been in the spice rack for over 100 years. With over 8,000 employees, Mccormick shows no signs of slowing down.

Mccormick ingredients have a reputation of quality.  The only wat to maintain a strong reputation like that for so long is practicing what you preach.

The one thing that stood out to me while researching McCormick was how they support the lands that produce their materials.  By producing products in less than fortunate areas, McCormick is able to provide better living conditions by boosting economies wherever they decide to manufacture.

    4. Baker Hughes

Baker Hughes is a leading oilfield company that helps drilling and production operations get the most out of their reservoirs.

As most of us know oilfield companies are under great scrutiny for environmental practices.  That is why when I discovered Baker Hughes as a leading eco-friendly company, it really blew my mind.

One example would be the award they received from Economic Zones World for constructing a new building that used green resources.  For instances, Baker Hughes created sun pipe technology that will be utilized to power the new facility with all natural sun.  Amazing!!!

    5. Cardinal Health

With over 36,000 employees worldwide, Cardinal Health is a leading healthcare supply chain in north America.  From pollution prevention to energy efficient buildings Cardinal Health is always in the top 10 environmental conscious companies in the world.

Not only do they provide outstanding health care services they use only the green products and packaging.

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How Are The Top Oil Producers Affecting Our Economy? http://www.neighborhoodenergychallenge.org/how-are-the-top-oil-producers-affecting-our-economy/ http://www.neighborhoodenergychallenge.org/how-are-the-top-oil-producers-affecting-our-economy/#comments Mon, 26 Oct 2015 01:39:50 +0000 http://www.neighborhoodenergychallenge.org/?p=56 Read More ...]]> Shellie here and I wanted to share an infographic I took the time to create that is showing our current oil prices.

I also would like to share my opinion on the whole oilfield employment situation.

A lot of people have been asking me my opinion on our economy and my thoughts toward the oil industry.

Well, here it is.

Do I feel sorry for our oilfield workers? Certainly not and allow me to explain why.

The oil industry has been booming since 2009. Yes, prices have not dropped this drastically since ’08 but wouldn’t you understand that the oil industry is an up and down market?

The number one rule in finances is don’t put your eggs in one basket. Spend wisely. Do people listen?

I’ll go ahead and let you answer that one. Look, it’s very unfortunate when you a person is laid off, but the opportunity to expand is always there for an American worker that has been employed for several years.

Let’s not blame the government and the industry for difficult financial times.

I believe we all need to take responsibility for our own spending activities.

Ask yourself. Did we really need the two car payments of $550.00 per month?

We’re wishing all of the unfortunate men and women that have been affected by the drop in oil prices the best of luck.

One thing I’m tired of reading and hearing from people is the blame game.

That’s the main point I wanted to get across today.

Other than that enjoy the infographic and please leave your thoughts and suggestions in the comments box.

Also don’t forget to leave your contact information so we can send you all of the content that is created on this blog.

Energy & Business Infographic

10/22/2015 Top 10 Oil Producers

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Is Hydraulic Fracking Affecting the Earth Negatively or Positively? http://www.neighborhoodenergychallenge.org/is-hydraulic-fracking-affecting-the-earth-negatively-or-positively/ Wed, 14 Oct 2015 23:31:31 +0000 http://www.neighborhoodenergychallenge.org/?p=45 Read More ...]]>

We have heard time and time again about hydraulic fracking in America.  If you have never really researched the subject and rely simply on what you hear on the news, 9 out of 10 times you will probably be against fracking and what it is all about.  

First we are going to talk about the definition of hydraulic fracking and then get into some other subjects that could be affecting our earth and economy.  

So what exactly is fracking?  The best answer I could find that explains it the best is as follows.  Fracking is short for hydraulic fracking.  Fracking is a type of oil field drilling that is performed by cutting edge horizontal drilling rigs to produce a flow of natural gases and crude oil.  Hydraulic fracking involves tapping into shale and rock formations thousands of miles below the earth.  

Pretty vague definition right?  No worries, we are going to break this down in greater detail soon enough.  

Why does the U.S. implement fracking?

It has been said fracking is the number one reason why America has a plentitude of energy in this day and age.  There are vast amounts of natural gas and oil trapped inside of this shale and rock formations below the earth.  

80% of our energy will come from hydraulic fracking.  

The U.S. is home to the largest shale gas reserves in the world and if we want to continue to have energy resources I believe fracking is here to stay.  

Not only is fracking a huge part of our natural gas production we rely heavily on utilizing natural gas to fuel over 40% of our daily electricity.

Many oil producing companies argue that fracking will create employment across the U.S. due to the fact that drilling rigs are powered by our country’s men and women. 

Is Hydraulic Fracking dangerous to our earth?

Now the big question is hydraulic fracking hurting our environment and land?  Well, you can decide that on your own.  Everyone who is knowledgeable on the topic usually forms their own opinion.  I will give you mine at the end of this post, but for now let’s look at the facts.  

Why is fracking a heavily debated subject and why the fuss?  

Let’s go back to how fracking actually works.  Remember, we are drilling into the earth’s stored natural gas resources which are shale.  When we drill to the shale, millions of high-pressure fluids are released into the shale breaking it up and flowing the fossil fuel into our production zones.  Very innovative right?  

The bad thing about this and why so many people are against fracking is most of the time the fluids that are used to fracture the shale are a mix of water, sand, and, unfortunately, toxic chemicals.  What happens to the chemicals when we are finished drilling?  Great question.  

Most of the time the fluids are left behind and potentially contaminate our underground water.  

The big concerns are for the people that live nearby hydraulic fracking operations and rely on water wells.  Farmers are also sometimes affected by the remains of the fracking fluids, killing thousands of miles of crops at times.  

That is where the argument of how fracking is affecting other areas of our economy.  Sure the drilling operations create jobs but if we are contaminating underground water don’t you think that will affect other economies in a negative way?  

My take away on hydraulic fracking

Do you really want to know what I think?  I’ve always been torn between both sides on this topic of fracking.  I love to help our environment as much as possible and I try to encourage other people to do the same.  

You see, I have a lot of friends and family that make a living working on those drilling rigs.  That is their livelihood and if we take away fracking operations then we are taking away jobs of real life people.  

For example, I have a good friend that now makes a great living working as an online marketer for an agency out in California.

He was telling me how his family was affected immensely by a layoff he had to experience earlier last year.  Although the layoff was a blessing in disguise because it forced him to pursue what he really enjoys doing.  The lack of work really his finances hard and is still recovering from the drilling rigs not operating.

Oilfield workers are a huge percentage of America’s consumers and in my mind we need to keep those people employed.  Should we do that in risking our earth’s future?  Absolutely not.

We love America and people come all over the world to make a life here.  Why do you think that is?  Let me tell you why.  Our energy resources are bar none ahead of most countries.  I mean we can light up the world if we wanted to.  Everywhere you go you see our natural gas power our cities day in and day out.  

It’s just too bad we have to endanger our earth to go about that.  I believe hydraulic fracking is very beneficial to America and I believe we should continue implementing these strategies.  

In addition, I feel is if this billion dollar a year oil business should have to invest in research to make fracking non-threatening to our environment.  If we the ability to create an idea to utilize hydraulic fracking, there has to be a way to make it a lot safer.  

This is Kobe signing off.  I would love to hear some feedback on this topic and your thoughts and concerns.  

Please share this on Facebook if you found this to be interesting and informative.  Until next time folks.  

Leave your information in the form below if you’re interested in joining our group and donating to our cause.  All the best to you.

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3 Reasons How Environmental Problems Affect Our Economy. http://www.neighborhoodenergychallenge.org/3-reasons-how-environmental-problems-affect-our-economy/ http://www.neighborhoodenergychallenge.org/3-reasons-how-environmental-problems-affect-our-economy/#comments Tue, 29 Sep 2015 23:03:50 +0000 http://www.neighborhoodenergychallenge.org/?p=1 Read More ...]]> Alissa here and I want to start things off with a subject that I have been meaning to write about for quite some time now.  

Environmental issues that can affect our local businesses and the way they operate is a matter that goes untouched.  So little emphasis is put on our environment.  Not only that, but it is rarely associated with business topics.   

Unless you’re really searching for this type of subject, you probably will never hear or read about it.  

Environment and Business

1.  Emissions

Have you ever gone through a smog check and your car and they told you your emissions timing is not passing?

If you haven’t then I’ll bet a bottle of fine wine you know someone who has.  First off let’s describe an emission and identify what exactly we are talking about here.  

By definition, an emission is basically a discharge.  In this case, we will be talking about the discharge of gasses or radiation that our exhaust gives off when we throttle up and down our city roads.  

Now how can emissions affect our local economy you ask?  Grant me permission to proceed and I will answer that million dollar question.  

Excellent!  Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.

Here is a good list for us to get started:  

  • Think of the millions of motors our Americas businesses run off of.  You have drilling rigs that have huge motors that run 24 hours a day at times, manufacturing companies that utilize motors.  There are laws that protect our environment against emissions that these motors give off into our ground and air.  Business have to keep up with these laws and pay hefty fees to maintain clean emissions.
  • Business transportation has a large effect on our economy.  Distribution companies all over the country have to abide by emission laws which can get extremely expensive for the big rigs.  How do you think we our local grocery stores receives goods?  Thousands of trucks on the road every day.
  • Plenty of businesses out there are always looking to shave a dollar off their cost and as a consequence many companies are getting caught in emission scams.  This is an extreme example but check out the Volkswagen emissions scam that was just revealed in late September 2015?

2.  Global Warming

Global Warming

Hot Earth Core

Global warming, I used to read and report on this subject all throughout my school days.  What happens when we leave school and forget about global warming all together?  

Out of sight, out of mind right?  I used to think so, but the more and more I understand how important the environment is to our future I continued my research from those days elementary and middle school.  

Here are a few things I came up with that I would love to share with you:

  • Loss of work and efficiency in the outside working world.  I would like to resort back to the drilling rigs and oilfield workers that are outside on a daily basis.  If you have ever had to earn a living in 110-degree weather then you can relate to my point on a loss of work efficiency.  Who do you think would be more productive?  A working crew that works in 65-degree weather or a crew that has to work in 110-degree weather?  I rest my case.
  • When people are forced out of their habitation due to massive droughts and lack of resources to live, then that will cause a massive movement of people looking for another place to settle.  This is never a good thing due to the fact that this usually causes war and activation of military forces.  Which we all know cost time and money for the government.  
  • Abnormal growing seasons is something your local farming companies may have to deal with.  Global warming has been known to cause CO2 concentration in the air resulting in overgrown crops. You might ask how is extra crops a bad thing?  A huge chunk of a farmers spending cost goes to dealing with pest and fertilizing.  When crops overgrow, farmers have to utilize more water and attempt to control more pest than anticipated.  As a lot of people know California has had an ongoing drought problem in 2015 and the problem doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.  

3.  Air Pollution

Man Walking in Environment Alone

Some of the worst air in America is sitting right in the middle of California’s valley.  As you drive east of the pacific ocean you have Kern County and Fresno County, homes to millions of Americans.  If you are familiar with valley fever, then this is the locations where you can acquire such a sickness.

Los Angeles and other big cities are huge contributors to air pollution but at least the people of these coastal cities are lucky enough to have the ocean winds to carry the pollution out of the immediate area.  Good for Los Angeles but bad for the people of the valley.  

Most of that pollution usually migrates and settles into the valley of Kern and Fresno Counties creating terrible air quality for the people that reside there.  At times, kids and outdoor workers are advised to stay indoors to the air quality being so bad.  

Many people of the valley suffer from chronic allergies and other illnesses causing health care to have to kick in.  Of course, not everyone has medical insurance and have to rely on our government to help out with the medical bills.

This is just one example of how air pollution is affecting our economy.  

Do you part and contribute to the solution and not the problem?  

Thank you for reading and if you have found this piece to be valuable please share it with all of your friends and family on social media.  

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