The Green Retrofit 56

The Green Retrofit

The following article is a guest post.

Building managers are one of many groups of professionals that can benefit from a “green retrofit” — a total overhaul and reevaluation of the energies that they use, eventually ending in the replacement of fossil fuels with green energy. There are a lot of benefits to considering solar energy and other renewable resources to power your building, and making your building “green” will not only save money, but it will also be good for the environment. In this article, we will talk about common strategies that business owners can use to execute a green retrofit, as well as solar solutions and their practical applications for both new and existing buildings.

The growth of green energy and the potential for a green future

Green energy is an industry that is slowly-but-surely growing larger. According to the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, it is possible that a future will exist in which 80% of our energy comes from renewable sources. Wind turbines, hydropower, bio-power, geothermal, and solar energy are all sources that will make up this 80% by the year 2050. Solar energy will be on the forefront of this, and as a building manager you should join the advancement as well.

Strategies for greener buildings

There are many ways you can make your building more energy efficient. Reduce your building’s electricity usage by plugging appliances into a “smart power strip.” This smart power strip will turn off the appliances at the same time, ensuring that you aren’t wasting energy by keeping things on when you don’t need to. Also, turn off heating and cooling mechanisms when no one is in the building, and, during the summer and winter months, make sure that your windows and doors are insulated and sealed against the weather, preventing energy loss. These are just some of the beginning steps to a green retrofit that you can start doing immediately.

Solar solutions for your building portfolio

Solar energy should be a central part of your green retrofit, and solar panels, air conditioning, and water heaters are several examples of specific technologies you can install. Solar panels create, deliver, and store energy from sunlight to power your building. Solar panels also cut costs for your building. In fact, if you are near the Orlando, Florida area, local power companies often will encourage solar-powered buildings to “sell back” their energy. Solar solutions aren’t just in your best interest environmentally — they’re also in your best interest financially.

Solar air conditioning and water heaters are two other appliances to consider for your green retrofit. Particularly if you live in a hot climate, you’re going to use air conditioning frequently, and that AC bill can cost a lot of money. Solar-powered air conditioning uses the same panel technology to power the AC unit. The long-term benefits include much lower energy costs, as well as very limited electric consumption. A traditional AC unit does not only tend to be costly; it also is noisier. Solar-powered AC units, by comparison, are much quieter. If the building you manage requires a water heater, that appliance can also be provided by solar energy. In fact, a solar water heater can cut between 85 and 90 percent of your costs. The advantages are the same as other solar-powered appliances: less fossil fuel dependence, environmental benefits, and financial savings.

Even if your building is not new, you can retrofit it to use green energy, and taking the small steps listed in the first section will save you money as well. Green energy isn’t something that can only take place in new places; it’s a technology that can be applied to any building and benefit any building manager looking to try innovative new energy sources while also saving money and helping the environment.

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10 Things Uber Successful People Do in the Morning 15

10 Things Uber Successful People Do in the Morning

Who doesn’t want to be successful? Whatever our purpose in life may be, we want to achieve success with it. Although success is usually perceived as career growth, it also encompasses personal growth. These two things go together.

So what can we do to reach the personal and professional growth of uber successful people? Maybe we can imitate some of their habits. Their morning rituals, in particular, set the pace of the day.

Did you know that the way you start your mornings affects your entire day?

You probably felt that, but guess what: science proves it as a fact, too.

In a study called “Waking up on the wrong side of the bed: start-of-workday mood, work events, employee affect, and performance,” researchers found that whatever the mood of workers was during the morning, they preserved it throughout the entire day.

So if you start off in a good mood, you have greater chances of having a great day. That’s why morning routines are so important.

Let’s learn from the ultra successful people, shall we? How do they start their mornings?

What The Most Successful Do in The Morning

1. Spend Time with the Partner.


As we said, success is not only about professional achievements. It also means having the right person by your side.

Take Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan as an example. They are both crazy successful, and they are definitely happy to have each other.

Waking up next to the person you love makes every morning special. Appreciate that moment. Have a coffee together. Talk. Be glad you’re there for each other.

2. Mindfulness.

Yes; mindfulness is a habit.

Successful people are always busy. Can you imagine a hectic morning with dozens of urgent email messages, business partners calling, and the kids yelling? And they are still in their pajamas! That’s why they practice mindfulness.

Researchers from The University of Sydney found that mindfulness reduces work-related stress and improves the mood at work. That’s why successful people always seem ready to deal with any situation.

So how do you practice mindfulness in the morning?

Just wake up. Take few deep breaths. Be aware of the present moment. Be aware of the responsibilities the day ahead will bring. Relax, and tell yourself that you’re ready.

3. Plan the Day.

A good plan will set you on the right track.

Plan your tasks for the day in the morning. When you have such an outline, it will be easier to handle all responsibilities. You’ll know you’ll have time for all tasks.

If you realize there’s not enough time, you should plan how to outsource. If, for example, you cannot complete a business report, you can hire assignment masters to write or edit it for you.

4. Exercise.

I know; it’s a cliché. However, it’s also an activity that works.

Physical exercise makes you fitter, but it also makes you happierWhen you’re done with your morning exercise ritual, you feel at ease, and things start to clear up.

Most successful people exercise. Hillary Clinton does yoga. Obama works out for 45 minutes six days per week. Mark Cuban does cardio fitness. Follow their example!

5. Practice Patience.

Too many things ahead? If your schedule is busy, you’ll be eager to get things done ASAP. The morning is the period of the day when you should practice patience. Relax.

You already made a plan. There’s time for everything. You’ll get through the day. For now, cherish this precious moment of morning relaxation.

6. Juice Up.

How to Win The 9-to-5 Battle by Staying Healthy at Work

It’s no wonder why so many celebrities are into the latest juice detox trend. Healthy juices give you valuable nutrients and make you feel more energized.

Have a different juice every single morning. Sure, the juicer will take some cleaning after, but the juice will certainly give you enough energy for that.

7. Eat Breakfast.

You saw this coming, didn’t you?

Uber successful people know that the breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s even better when it’s healthy.

Yes; the juice can be your breakfast, but it won’t make you feel full for long. If you don’t intend to have a standard breakfast, pack some fruit for work. A banana and an apple are mandatory!

8. Hydrate.

Have a glass of water as soon as you wake up. Hydration is essential for the way your entire system functions.

9. Be With the Right People.

In Tools of Titans, author Timothy Ferriss refers to a so-called “five chimps theory” in zoology. According to that theory, you can predict the behavior of any chimp if you analyze the five chimps they usually hang out with.

There’s a lot of wisdom in that theory. When you surround with nervous people, you’re nervous, too. When you surround yourself with positive characters, you reflect good vibes, too.

The first people you contact in the morning will set the mood for your day. Choose them carefully.

10. Celebrate Achievements.

When you wake up with a positive mindset, you’ll boost your chances of spending a good day.

Instead of thinking about all obstacles ahead, you should take time to think about all achievements you’ve made towards your current goals. This appreciation will convince you that you’re on the right track.

When we sum things up, all these morning habits of the ultra successful people seem pretty simple, don’t they?

However, it takes tons of persistence and commitment to stay true to them. Start by making small steps. Pick few of these activities and repeat them every day, until they turn into habits.   

Cathy Baylis is a personal growth expert who writes insightful articles that motivate and challenge others. She has worked as a writer for a little over a decade now, and owns several blogs that she updates on her free time.