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10 Green Tech Solutions to Help You Save Money

10 Green Tech Solutions to Help You Save Money

Money doesn’t grow on trees, and trees won’t keep growing unless we get environmentally conscious. The great thing about technology is there are options out there to help solve both of these problems. The Earth keeps getting warmer, so it’s important to think of ways to reduce your carbon footprint. But what about reducing the strain on your wallet? As you’ll see below, action to slow down climate change and methods of saving money aren’t mutually exclusive.

1. Solar panels

solar-panels

    According to Marylhurst University, buildings are responsible for 65% of electricity consumption and 30% of greenhouse-gas emissions in the US. Solar panels are a great way to reduce or even eliminate your dependence on the grid. This will lessen the amount of pollution from power plants and lessen what you pay for electricity. There are the upfront costs of buying and installing panels, but these will be offset by tax credits and overall electricity bill savings. Here, you can access a free calculator to determine costs and savings.

    Solar panel tech isn’t just for the home. NanoGrid’s flexible solar panels fit into your backpack. They weigh only four-and-a-half pounds, and charge a lithium-ion battery. They’ll charge your cell phone and other electronic devices while you’re on the go, and are great for camping or extended trips in countries where electricity sources are few and far between.

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    2. Green cars

    tesla

      There are a number of environmentally friendly options for your vehicle:

      • Convert your engine to run on vegetable oil. Restaurants oftentimes have free waste vegetable oil to power your car
      • Go diesel. Multiple diesel options, such as the Audi A3 TDI, get more than 40 miles to the gallon
      • Go hybrid. You’ll recoup the expense of a $20,000 Prius by getting nearly 50 mpg

      If you’re going to drive, greening your vehicle is a must. This is one of the top ways to personally put a dent in climate change. Car and Driver’s list of hybrid and electric cars is a good starting point for your research. Watch out for the Tesla 3 in 2017. If you can afford to fork out $35,000, you’ll get over 200 miles on a single charge. This pays for itself and then some over time.

      3. Green apps

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      person-hand-smartphone-technology

        There are some great green apps to consider. Green Outlet asks you to identify which appliances you use each month and give an estimate of how much time you spend on them. Then, it calculates how much carbon you’ll use and how much money you’ll spend. This will help you cut down on using those appliances that really cost you and the planet. Green Gas Saver tells you about your driving habits and helps you learn how to drive in a way that cuts down on fuel costs. Green Charging vibrates and sounds an alarm when your phone’s battery is full, so you don’t waste power on overcharging. It also tells you how long you how much phone time you have left at your current battery level.

        4. Rainwater harvesting system

        rainwaterharvest

          This is simple technology that makes a difference. You can either build your own rainwater harvesting system, or there are multiple sites where you can buy one. Through filtration or boiling, you save money on drinking water, cooking water, and bathing water. Non-potable rainwater is great for irrigation, lawns, toilets, and livestock. Here you can find a ton of resources, vendors, and info on rainwater harvesting. This is a whole movement of people who want to minimize wear and tear on aquifers and sewers, as well as conserve on water-usage altogether.

          5. Wind generator

          This is yet another way to cut down on your power bill and use the Earth’s natural resources instead of polluting. A wind generator uses turbines to capture the wind’s energy, which is then transferred to the generator and converted into electricity. Like the rainwater harvesting system, you can either build your own wind generator, or buy one. Treehugger boasts a DIY guide to building one for around $30. You won’t save nearly as much on power with a cheap, homemade version, but anything counts.

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          6. Smart power strips

          When they’re plugged into a power strip or outlet, some devices will continue to drain energy even when they’re off or fully charged. A smart power strip senses when that’s happening, and stops powering the guilty devices. Energy vampires – the devices that drain power unnecessarily – account for about 5 to 10 percent of your house’s energy consumption. A smart strip makes sure these devious devices don’t suck you dry.

          7. Energy monitor

          energymonitor

            Energy monitors are an inexpensive way to cut back on your power usage and lower your bill. There are monitors that measure your entire house’s usage, such as the Blue Line PowerCost Monitor, or there are those that measure how much an individual appliance is using, such as the Kill A Watt EZ Electricity Monitor. The Blue Line simply clamps onto your meter and transmits data to an LCD screen. With the Kill A Watt, you just plug the appliance into it. Either way, both of these can help you catch over-use before your power bill comes.

            8. Energy Star appliances

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            energystar

              Energy Star appliances are the ones you’ll (hopefully) never have to plug into an energy monitor. These products have earned top ratings and a certification from the Environmental Protection Agency. They consume the least amount of energy and perform the best. According to the EPA, the Energy Star program has reduced 2.5 billion tons of greenhouse gases, and has helped people save a collective $362 billion dollars on utilities.

              9. Electric moped

              govecs_electric_scooter_delivery_box

                Compared with electric vehicles, electric mopeds are a lot less expensive, and driving one is a fun way to get around town. The Vectrix Electric Scooter has a 125-volt Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery and hits 50 mph in 6.8 seconds. Electric Vehicle Technology’s Z-20 Electric Scooter goes up to 45 mph with a range of 30-45 miles. The Zapino, meanwhile, can go 30 mph, and you can get an optional lithium-ion battery that will take 65 miles on a single charge. These beasts will save you money if all you really need a vehicle for is a short commute.

                10. Rechargeable batteries

                battery-1071317_640

                  Face it, you’re tired of buying batteries anyhow. The little buggers are expensive, and disposing of them takes up landfill space. PCWorld notes that just one pack of AAs per month will cost you $72 a year, while Energizer’s recharging station and a pack of rechargeables will save you about $50. Just make sure you recycle them when you’re through with them. According to Environment, Health and Safety Online, rechargeable batteries contain the heavy metal Nickel-Cadmium. If that stuff leaks into the waste stream, rechargeables are more hazardous than their worth.

                  Featured photo credit: Mike Bird via pexels.com

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                  Published on November 9, 2018

                  How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                  How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                  Technology has taken the business world by storm. People and businesses are progressively reliant on technology world these days. As a result, the people with impressive knowledge and experience with a computer are in demand.

                  Considering this growing market trend, if you too wish to bag a profitable job, this article is apt for you. Here, we will dig deeper into the business and technology world to look into what are the best computer skills one should invest in and what resources to get help from.

                  So, are you ready? Here we begin.

                  6 Most-In Demand Computer Skills This Year (and Beyond)

                  When talking about computer skills, following are the 6 computer skills that can fill your mailbox with endless job opportunities (besides, having an English and Hindi typing speed of 40+ WPM):-

                  1. Spreadsheets and Databases

                  Considering the treasure trove of data companies are handling these days, Spreadsheet and Database management skill tops the list. It is considered the most wanted job skill in the market, with a salary of around $53,129/yr for an entry-level position. However, the spreadsheet skill does not confine to auditing data from cells.

                  To get hired based on this computer skill, you need to become a Spreadsheet ninja. From storing data to organizing them, applying complex mathematics formulas, and creating complex macros, you need to be an expert at all.

                  In other words, you need to have an expertise at working with:

                  • Microsoft Excel
                  • Microsoft Access
                  • Statistics
                  • Data Analytics
                  • Adobe Campaign
                  • Quickbooks
                  • XML Database management system
                  • Filemaker Pro
                  • MATLAB
                  • Hive
                  • FORTRAN
                  • RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)
                  • SAS

                  2. Social Media, Email, and Blogging

                  Though people are socially active, not everyone knows how to use the social media tools on the professional front. In such a scenario, having an expertise at writing engaging yet professional emails, writing blogs, and managing social media activities is a ticket to entry in reputed organizations.

                  Some of the skills related to social media, email and blogging that will have a leg up in the hiring process are:

                  • Content Management System (CMS)
                  • Google Analytics
                  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
                  • Email Marketing
                  • Web Page Design
                  • WordPress
                  • Digital Media
                  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
                  • Campaign Management Software

                  3. Graphic Design and Word Processing

                  A solid grasp of skills to present the gained information in the much readable form is another market need. When considering this computer skill category, you need to enhance your skills at:

                  • Adobe Photoshop
                  • Adobe InDesign
                  • Adobe Illustrator
                  • AutoCAD
                  • CorelDRAW
                  • Microsoft Visual Studio
                  • Maya
                  • Microsoft Word
                  • Microsoft Publisher
                  • Operating Digital Cameras

                  4. Software and Hardware Design and Development

                  The Software and Hardware development, in simpler language, means designing, implementing, and testing the computer software/hardware applications. It is the most profitable computer skill, with a different job opening, including Software Architect, Software Analyst, Software programmer, Hardware configuration, etc.

                  To be capable of developing and testing the software and hardware, you need to peruse your users’ needs and build an application that hits their pain points. You need to work with different web and mobile app coding languages for gaining the attention of your audience, some of which are:

                  • HTML
                  • C/C++
                  • Java
                  • Python
                  • XML
                  • UI/UX
                  • LINUX
                  • CISC and RISC architecture
                  • Embedded Processor Hardware Design
                  • Memory Management
                  • PCB Layout
                  • SQL

                  5. IT Troubleshooting

                  Working on computers is one thing and having a knack of looking into the associated issues and resolving them in real-time is another. There are various employees and graduates who work with computer systems in their daily lives, but get confused when it comes to dealing with frozen programs and performing routine maintenance.

                  So, if you are familiar with the basic anatomy of computers and machines and know the tricks to perform such tasks to streamline the working process, enter the IT support arena. The prime IT troubleshooting skills one needs to work upon are:

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                  • Backup management
                  • Diagnostics
                  • End User support
                  • Client-Server management
                  • Installation and configuration
                  • Issue tracking system (ITS)
                  • System administration
                  • Tech support

                  6. Enterprise Systems

                  Many Enterprises have their own enterprise solutions like PeopleSoft for managing their data and operations.

                  Becoming a master at using the enterprise solutions mentioned in their ‘Requirements’ area can also lessen the barrier to get a job.

                  The Roadmap to Excel Your Computer Skills

                  Now that you know the 6 most popular computer skills in the market, the first decision, you need to take is which computer skill you want to work upon. All the skills are equally considerable for making a career ahead. So, choose one as per your interest.

                  Once done, look forward to the following resources for boosting your computer skills and getting a reputed, handsome job.

                  Depending on the computer skill you opt, here are the online courses you can turn to for elevating your career opportunities:

                  1. Become a Spreadsheet and Database Ninja

                  a. Microsoft Excel Training Online Course – Basic & Advanced

                  Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert at working with spreadsheets, this online course has something new for everyone to become excel efficient users.

                  Divided into 48 interesting lessons, the course empowers you to learn the technique of using mathematical, statistical, logical and text functions, sorting and filtering the data, creating Pivot Tables, building macros, finding a value with VLOOKUp, and much more.

                  b. Excel- Online Courses, Classes, Training, Tutorials on Lynda

                  This is another impressive course to unlock the power of Excel. Designed for people from all walks of life and familiarity with Excel tools. This course helps you gain in-depth knowledge from the experts about this data-analyzing tool and make the magic in spreadsheet creation and management process.

                  c. SQL & Database Design A-Z™: Learn MS SQL Server + PostgreSQL

                  Build a successful career in the data analytics world with this online course.

                  Revolving around the two top databases, MS SQL and PostgreSQL, this course will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the working of the databases and understanding of all the related elements, including how to create, update, organize, and safeguard the data.

                  2. Rule the Social Media World

                  a. Free Social Media Course by HubSpot

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                  Introduced by the top experienced inbound professors from Hubspot, here you will get a comprehensive knowledge of Social media marketing.

                  From understanding how to build relationships on different social media platforms to creating a perfect strategy to engage them, leveraging the benefits of social advertising, and analyzing your social media ROI, this course will bring out the best out of you.

                  b. Write Professional Emails in English by Coursera

                  This online course will be the right weapon to look into the differences and similarities between different email styles, improve your English writing skills, write effective subject lines, maintain the formality tone in emails, and more to make a powerful impact on the receivers with your email.

                  c. Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

                  Founded by Udemy, this online course will excel your skills to build a masterpiece everytime you write.

                  Here, you will get the guidance from the editors of the top newspapers and websites, and understand what kind of words and tone to use for leaving a spellbinding impact on the readers.

                  3. Launch Your Own Software or Hardware Equipment

                  a. Hardware and Software Courses by Coursera

                  From Big Data to IoT, Sensor Circuit Design, Embedded Software and Hardware Architecture, and Motor Control Circuit, this course will give you a glimpse of all the hardware devices, equipment, and programming languages to build wonders.

                  b. Free Software and Web Development Certifications Online by Alison

                  Become the software developer market demands with Alison’s Java, C#, Python, R, PHP, or MySQL database course. From backend to frontend development and software testing.

                  The course helps you to learn how to design, develop and test software and working in a team while contributing to the team success.

                  c. Free Online Software Development and MOOCs Course by Class Central

                  The Class Central online course will make you a master of software development. Here, you will learn the basic concepts of development like Agile, Design Patterns, and Version Control with Git, along with gaining experience of working with the top programming languages.

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                  4. Live and Breathe Creativity

                  a. Udemy: Introduction to Graphic Design

                  It is a top-rated program for the new learners and designers to explore the Graphic Design world.

                  From the history of communication to the design principles, the course will help the students to learn everything specifically and implement in the real world.

                  b. Canva Design School

                  From a beginner to advanced level, this course will provide you with an elaborated and comprehensive knowledge of graphic design. In the form of 4 modules, this course will help the interested graphic designers to try out their skills at Graphics, ranging from fonts to colors, backgrounds, images, shapes, and layouts.

                  c. Microsoft Word – Basic & Advanced

                  62 personalized lessons, premium video tutorials, and unlimited tests and quizzes – this certified course has everything that will make your entry to the business world easier.

                  d. Microsoft Office: Word, Excel and Access Productivity Bundle

                  The course will make you productive in Word, Excel, and Access through video lectures, articles, and various other supplemental resources.

                  Besides, it will offer you exclusive tips and tricks to enhance your skills at using Microsoft office.

                  5. Raise Your Reflexes to IT Troubleshooting

                  a. IT Troubleshooting Skill Training by Udemy

                  IT Troubleshooting Skill Training will upgrade your logical concepts over technical components to find and repair faults.

                  It will provide you with a methodological approach to learn the basics of troubleshooting, practice them via exercises and drills, and enhance your IT troubleshooting intelligence.

                  b. IT Help Desk Online Course on Lynda

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                  The Lynda’s IT troubleshooting online course will train you how to respond to the issues related to Windows 10, Office 365, JIRA software, and more, from a local as well as a remote location.

                  Mobile Apps and Websites to Enhance Computer Skills

                  The aforementioned online courses will undoubtedly train you for a successful career ahead. But, in case you want a long-term support, turn towards the following websites and mobile apps:

                  • Duolingo – Duolingo app will improve your spoken and written communication skills in different languages. With the magic of gamification added to the study, the app will make learning a fun and addictive task.
                  • Hemingway – Hemingway app defines the length, complexity, and common errors associated with the sentences. In this way, it helps you to write effectively and go ahead in the career.
                  • Udemy – The Udemy, with its 2000+ courses, is a great platform to master new skills, advance your career and explore the newer technologies and programming languages. Enrol a course as per your budget and make a brighter future.
                  • eDX – eDX is yet another commendable platform you can look forward to. The platform offers you the best of the tutorials prepared by the business professionals and technology experts, ensuring a great boost in your computer skills.
                  • Excel Easy – Excel Easy, as the name depicts, will make working with Excel easier for you via their detailed tutorials and 300+ real-life examples.
                  • GCF LearnFree.org – It is a one-stop platform for accelerating your future in the computer world. From graphic design to Microsoft Office, resume writing, enhancing adaptability, and much more, the top experts will guide you with everything on this platform.
                  • QuarkXPress – The QuarkXPress will aid you to add soul to your design with its unparalleled collection of font style, size, and typography. The best part is that it is avails all the options in different languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian to name a few.

                  Bonus: Tips to Accelerate Your Approach For a Better Career Ahead

                  Though these resources will make you stand out from the crowd and get hired at once, you need to focus on various other things, such as:

                  1. Practice, Practice, Practice

                  It is common to forget what we learn. To ensure that you do not miss any opportunity just because you forgot, keep practising.

                  Make it your routine. Polish your computer skills and you will surely end up getting an offer letter from a recognized firm.

                  2. Work on Your Efficiency

                  Remembering what you learned is not enough; practice to enhance those skills to do better.

                  For example, if you take around 50 minutes to create a design, target for 40 minutes.

                  3. Look for Shortcuts

                  Smart work rules over hard work more often. So, look forward to learning shortcuts to do any task. This will increase your chances to crack an interview and get selected.

                  4. Apply for an Internship

                  Last but not the least, apply for an internship to see what’s trending in the market and how much you are ready for it. While doing an internship, pay attention to your weak points and work on them. This will ensure a success when you apply for your dream job.

                  By the late, it’s never too late to be an intern or grab whatever opportunity to learn something new! Here’s how:

                  How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                  The Bottom Line

                  Seeing the current market scenario, it is evident that having computer skills is a boon for a better career ahead.

                  So, rather than struggling with thousands of other things and trying to crack interviews, focus on the computer skills mentioned in this article. Utilize the resources and experts’ tips shared and look forward to having a successful and prosperous future.

                  Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

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