man holding incandescent bulb

Energy Industries In Our Lives

While the petroleum, wind, and solar energy industries can stand alone, they’re all connected in some way. Many individuals use a combination of the three daily. From small devices to enormous solar panels, we incorporate these energy sources in numerous ways. Here are all the ways the three major industries play a role in our lives. Electricity is produced by two of the three. Gas heats up water, then the steam and wind work together to produce an electrical current.

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Daily Lives

The most obvious one, cars use petroleum. Scientists entertain the idea of solar-powered cars, and they may happen one day. Realistically, we use oil, wind, and solar in our homes and when we go out. While oil and wind are more accessible, solar is rising and becoming more available for common use. Residential use takes up about 40% of energy use. Our kitchen and bathroom uses gas to heat up the stove and our water. Our AC/heating system uses gas. Homes can pull their electricity from solar power. In windy climates, wind turbines are viable for powering a city. Outside of the home, crosswalk signs and other electrical signs are starting to come with a solar panel. This article gets more in-depth about how humans rely on energy sources.

Energy Industries on a Bigger Scale

Energy on a bigger scale, such as in factories and plant facilities, rely on the big three as well, mainly petroleum. Major industries are moving towards solar and wind to save petroleum. This will help the environment: factories and production plants burn through immense amount of coal, oil, and gas, which winds up polluting the air. This has come to light in recent years, igniting a movement towards solar and wind. Solar and wind farms are becoming increasingly popular. Business and office buildings are also responsible for using energy on a major scale. Power plants divert most of their energy into the inner cities, where the energy-consuming buildings are. Large engines, such as planes, trains, and large cargo ships, are powered from diesel.

 

We rely on all sorts of energy every day, including water and biofuels. It takes the awareness of common people to push for cleaner energy practices, and not waste the energy we do have. While coal/thermal energy once reigned, now gas/oil does. However, it’s harmful for our environment so we must push for solar and wind.

 

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Environment protection | © Sumos | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Environmental Change Since March 2020

In March 2020, the nation rapidly shut down their cities to stop the spread of the pandemic. With less people out, Earth started to flourish again. We have been monitoring the environmental change since then. Less cars on the road and less factories pumping out toxic smoke improved our air conditions and the ozone layer. Empty highways were not only void of cars, but of trash as well. As someone who picks up litter in my spare time, it’s such a delight to see noticeably fewer amount of litter. This is great for wildlife, as both land and aquatic animals eat trash, not knowing how fatal it is. Other great things are happening to our Earth- read on for more.

 Air

Air pollution dropped drastically as cities shut down globally. China’s infamous smog deteriorated away into better conditions. Nitrogen dioxide reduced by 60% in the first half of 2020. This is due to factories shutting down and significantly less cars on the road. While conditions are expected to go back to normal, this will hopefully spark a motive to push for cleaner air. The US Environmental Protection Agency gives their national summary.

Our Oceans

As fisheries and marine shipping routes slowed, our fish and marine ecosystem were free to flourish. More specifically, less fish are being taken out of the water rapidly, reducing overfishing. United Nations Development Program reported that lobster demand decreased in Florida. Also, less commercial fishing products like nets and anchors are being abandoned in the water. Another factor is less functioning marine oil refineries are reducing oil leaking into the ocean. You can help out our oceans by going to 4ocean.com.

The Energy Industry

As far as oil, gas, wind, solar, and hydro power goes, oil is being hit the hardest.

 

On a final note, the bees are coming back! Petitioners pushed for mass pesticide control in order to prevent any more bees from dying. Here are also a few ways to help out bees and other helpful insects in your own backyard! Although many cities are no longer shut down, we can still contribute to environmental change for good.

 

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2021 Economics

Economy 2021 Outlook

After this disaster year, we are all hoping for 2021 to give us some relief, economically and personally. Some economists are pointing to a brighter future, but it all depends on the virus and the presidential results. But so far, it wouldn’t hurt to at least hope for a better year next year. Here’s what 2021 will likely look like, and how to help the economy.

 

 Employment

First, jobs are making a slow but sure comeback. Many of them are blue-collar jobs, such as construction. As restaurants re-opened, the service industry boomed. Food and retail are one of the biggest contributors to the rising job market. This will counter the Federal Emergency Management Agency running out of funds to help support those still unemployed. Not surprisingly, medical workers surged. The consumerism of medical supplies and products has been a great contributor to our economy. Industry jobs are returning as well. It looks like all job types are rising, while hotel & hospitality stagnates.

 

Small Businesses

Pandemic or not, it’s tough running your own business. But, as people become more aware of big corporations’ greed, small businesses are getting more recognition. Dallas-Fort Worth and other cities are starting to see little mom and pop shops open back up. This is great for stimulating local economies, and better for middle and lower-class income. These are typically small cafes and barbers/hairdressers. Small businesses got hit the hardest, but they are determined to survive!

 

 The Economy

A recession hit when COVID-19 hit. Housing and gas prices went down, and general consumerism slowed. Thankfully, we will swing back upwards and not go into a depression. Economists mention that with jobs back on the market now, businesses and consumers alike could further pull the US out of the recession and keep us out. After months of cancelled vacations and tight budgeting, the nation is ready to get out and spend money again. Once travelling is back to normal rates, we could see international relations improve monetary conditions.  Most of next year will be spent on financially recovery. The unemployment agency and other agencies will work hard to regain what was lost in COVID-19 expenses.

 

So, how can you help with getting our economy back on track for a better fiscal year next year? You can shop at local businesses, or even online. The more money consumers pitch in, the more jobs can be created. Earn money any way you can and pay your taxes. While taxation may seem daunting, it only benefits us by giving us better schools and roads. And finally, stay in great spirits! The only way to have a brighter future for all is for more positive mindsets. Here’s an link further detailing what happened this year, and how it will affect next year’s economic state.

 

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How To Be Professional When Online

As a follow-up to our online marketing blog, we now offer online professionalism tips. Even after the corona virus passes through, online business functions may stay as a norm. That being said, it’s important to maintain the same amount of professional respect that you would show to your colleagues in the office. Being professional online is still a relatively new concept, society hasn’t quite yet decided what the standards should be. We can establish good, healthy standards. Your business presence is important and a part of your team. So, we encourage you to still step it up even if it’s from your couch.

Look good, feel good

When you don’t have to be seen in person, it can be easy to “let go”. Such as, not having a routine or not getting ready before you start work. Some of us were guilty of this when the pandemic first started: just stay in my PJs and whatnot. But, it may be coming off as a little disrespectful to your boss and co-workers. Dress accordingly to what people should expect of you. If you look like you didn’t put in much effort, it’s hard for others to take you seriously. If you know you’re going to be on camera, make yourself look somewhat put together. Besides, psychologically you will work better when you’re dressed for the day.

Being prepared

“So, any questions over the document I sent out yesterday?” “Uhhh…. What document?”

Don’t be that guy. Just as you arrive to school and to the office prepared for the day, the same goes from working virtually. Time management is the most important element of your job/career. Give yourself an adequate amount of time to review material beforehand, like studying for a test. Speaking of mornings, establish a morning routine. This way, you won’t be trying to cram making your morning coffee and taking care of kids/pets into the last minute. And, being mentally alert by the time you clock in will aid you into getting right to work as soon as you clock in.

 Online professional profile

Your employer and co-workers most likely look at your social media pages. Now that we can’t be in person to share details of our lives, colleagues will go to Facebook to wonder why you took the day off. Employers can’t monitor us in person, so they go to our social media to make sure we’re behaving. Your boss may be wondering why that green “online” dot is on your picture when you’re supposed to be finishing a report! While your social media is your business and you can do what you want with it, just keep in mind that anyone can and will see what you’re up to.

At the very least, make sure your LinkedIn profile is top-notch. Have a professional headshot as your profile picture, and keep your profile updated and professionally positive.

Being professional online may not seem like a big deal when you’re not having to interact in person, but you do leave an impression. You don’t have to suit up just to be on Zoom for 10 minutes. Besides, being comfortable is the most important thing so your clothes don’t distract you. Just make sure you look presentable, and you match the respect that you would want to receive.

 

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Internet Safety Tips

There is no denying that the Internet is an essential part of our lives. We rely on it for work/business, education, and recreation. But, sometimes we get too comfortable with our Internet usage. Therefore, it is important to make sure you’re practicing internet safety. Here’s some tips to help you protect yourself and your family from unwelcome eyes and cyber dangers, such as hacking.

Internet safety: Your physical self and your information

This might seem like the most obvious statement, but be careful about posting photos and location, especially with little ones. Posting your vacation is (usually) fine. We’re talking about try not to post where you are in your residential area. For example, if you post about going to your local coffee shop frequently, then stalkers will know to look for you there. This is especially important if you have children- do NOT post where they go to school! There are apps, such as Viiddo, that allow you to post about your children safely from dangerous eyes. Post location and photos in moderation, and/or wait until you are somewhere else to throw stalkers off your track.

Your name, credit card number, address, and other important information is stored in your computer and/or smart device. To protect yourself from hackers stealing your information, or worse, identity, make sure you have a strong firewall that’s up-to-date.

This may sound lame, but you should at least skim over privacy policies. You’d be surprised at how much of your information is sold off. Recently, popular social media app Tik-Tok has been on the brink of exile. This is due to the Chinese government breaching into individual user’s phones and collecting private information. US government employees and their families were required to sign contracts agreeing not to download Tik-Tok to prevent the Chinese from infiltrating into our own government’s system. Other apps, such as Facebook, monitors your personal activity and sells the information to relevant parties. That’s why when you vocalize or type in an item that interests you, you’ll see ads about it immediately. You can control this by disabling cookies. But, we advise that you be aware of how much of your personal information is on the Internet, and who has access to it.

Protecting your devices from the dark side of the Internet

Although hackers and viruses don’t plague individual’s computers as much anymore, it still happens. Now, hackers will try to infiltrate through your online accounts, such as Facebook. Or, will try to sneak a link to a virus by covering it up with a seemingly innocent link. One of our previous articles mentions how to spot a scam site, along with pop-up windows that are likely ready to destroy your computer. Here’s how to set up a firewall.

We’re not trying to scare you off the Internet for good. We encourage keeping up with Internet trends and staying connected! Now, you can surf the web with more of a peace of mind knowing that you’re mindful of internet safety.

 

Solar Power House

Solar Powered Homes and Office Buildings

Solar-powered buildings, such as homes and offices, is a great way to curb environmental damages. Instead of burning through oil, gas, and electricity to generate power, there’s a much more sustainable method. Huge panes placed on the roof absorb sunlight then store that energy until someone turns the light switch on. They work best in sunny environments, but can work in cloudy climates as well. There is enough solar power in the United States to power approximately 16.1 million homes.

Solar powered homes work best in a community together, where the rays absorb into everyone’s solar panels and reduce electricity flow into the neighborhood. Solar panels are installed on the roof onto rafters, placed 4 feet apart. Then, it connects to your electricity supply, converting the solar energy into DC current. It powers your lights, heating/AC, and all electrical appliances. There is an option to purchase panels with batteries in case a storm causes a power outage.

Why Solar Panels?

Panels work better because industrial generators do not have to deplete more non-renewable resources to produce a large amount of power for a certain area. It will thus produce less harmful greenhouse gases, improving our atmosphere and air quality. Another advantage is lower electricity bill. You could even get credit if you take in more power than you use. Thanks to the panel grid’s ability to store the energy, you can power your home when it is dark outside. For multiple-story buildings, this could help you save hundreds every year. It takes a great deal of electricity to cool down upper-level floors, so if you live in a hot climate, think about investing in solar panels. Depending on the situation, you could even qualify for tax exemptions. Save your money and the planet!

If more office buildings, homes, and schools used solar panels, it could hopefully produce a domino effect so that nearby areas started using them too. Awareness of alternative energy options will hopefully encourage people to be more environmentally conscious. Thus, light a spark to push for greener practices. Read more about the advantages of solar panels on an individual and community level here.

 

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Working From Home Tips

Working from home is great for saving time and gas. You can be just as productive, if not even more so productive when you’re in your own space. Especially if you have a designated work space. It is nice to be flexible with your work area(s), but it does help to have your work in an established office at home. This will help you stay more organized, and help separate work from home easier. And, you can decorate your own office any way you want to!

Routine

Having a routine helps with productivity. Thankfully you get to have a little bit more time to sleep since you don’t have to be on the road, but we suggest waking up at least an hour before you clock in. This will give you time to make your coffee/tea, eat some breakfast, and take care of your pets and family. Use the extra time in the morning to respond back to messages and take care of any business that may distract you. Being mentally alert when you start the work day will help you and everyone else stay on track! However, it’s okay to take little breaks once about every hour to refresh yourself. Restrict them to just a few minutes to avoid getting carried away.

Leave home life away from the desk

Being at home can make it more tempting to go do other things or multitask. That’s why we mention eating before starting work and waking up early enough to give yourself time. Pets are always an exception though- in fact, it can be stress relieving to have your furry one nearby. To help you stay focused, keep a vision board at your desk/office space. Use this to remember your big goals, or little things that you want to save up money for. It also helps to have a clean workspace. Clutter can be distracting and take up work time trying to find room for your coffee.

Additional tips

Sometimes it helps to put yourself more into the productive mindstate with little things such as professional gear or even getting dressed just to help you feel more ready for the day. Some feel as if they are not stimulated enough. Curb this by having something you can absentmindedly fiddle with. When you’re working from home, remember that work is only a part of your day, and you can resume right back to home life after you’re done for the day. It will be more rewarding for yourself and your co-workers when you’ve gotten a lot done at work.

 

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Energy Footprint

How To Reduce Your Energy Use

It’s the hottest time of the year. The electric bill skyrockets as we try to keep cool in the near 100 degree weather. While you should always not waste energy resources, now is the best time to reduce energy use. This is because the heat makes your appliances work harder, using even more energy, and run the risk of overheating. This includes running the AC on high. Thus, your electricity bill increases even more so. Also, heat worsens air pollution. We recommend at the very least to reduce your energy use during peak heat hours of the day, between 3-6 PM. The smallest effort could lead to a lower electricity bill and cleaner air.

 

How you can make a difference

Start by turning off lights and unplugging unused chargers and electronics. To reduce energy consumption during peak hours, avoid doing laundry, cooking, or driving. Even turning the temp up a degree or two will help. If there’s any rooms in the house not being used, close the vent and the door. You can use the heat to your advantage- instead of using the dryer, hang your clothes outside to dry. Dryers can eat up a lot of electricity and would only make your laundry room hotter. If you must go out for the day, try to schedule it either before or after the hours of 3-6 PM. This is to help reduce CO2 emissions being cooked into the air. It’s also easier on your car and you wind up saving a little bit of gas.

 

While limiting energy consumption is important during peak hours of the day, consider making it a habit to be more energy-conscious overall. For example, turn off or lower the air when leaving your home for more than an hour. If you have a garage/outdoor freezer, make sure it’s not in the hottest spot, or consider bringing it inside. Influence your peers to make more energy-saving decisions as well. It takes a community to lower air pollution and electricity usage.

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Being Aware Of Your Business Presence

In our previous blog, we mentioned revamping your business. In order to properly revamp your business, you need to be aware of your business presence. Being in touch with your business persona will help you develop better clientele relationships and management skills. It can also make you more aware of your practice as well.

As people grow more successful, sometimes the money can get to their head. This results in arrogance or a distorted view of business strategy. As a professional, the key to loyal clients is to be humble. Many business managers and CEOs make the mistake of appearing to be above others due to their status. This only makes clients feel that you are not interested in their business. Be kind and courteous, no matter what rank you are or they might be!

Speaking of growing professionally, maybe your beliefs are different now than when you first started. Make sure your statement and goals align with your current beliefs. Are you still trying to appeal to the same audience? Do you want to modify your services? Working with others, both clients and teammates, can influence your working style and professional viewpoint. Stay close to the ones that have a good work ethic. Maybe you were content serving just your community, but now you’re thinking about expanding. As you evolve, your business presence evolves, too.

Are you still in touch with what your audience wants? In a rapidly changing world, it can be easy for your business presence to become old-fashioned. Make sure your approach, product, and service are what your modern audience expects.

Being aware of how you function when working is also an element of business presence. When you understand your working style, performance will improve overall. Do you work better alone or with others? Are you more technical or analytical? Do you work better in the morning or at night? Knowing your business personality type will help you work with others better and select a work routine that best works for you.

For best results, ask your peers and colleagues for an honest opinion about you. Allow yourself to be open for constructive criticism- it’ll help you in the long run. You may realize things you didn’t know about yourself before. Such as, maybe you ramble on or your tone of voice, etcetera. Self-reflection is the key to becoming the best professional you can be!

 

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