Energy Usage

Energy Usage

The energy that’s used in our homes accounts for a big chunk of overall energy consumption. Because of this, an increasing number of people are now looking for ways to make their More »

Building a Green Home

Building a Green Home

If you’re planning on building a new home then you have many things to consider. Things like the number of bedrooms, the size of the house and the materials used to build More »

Benefits of Green Housing

Benefits of Green Housing

Helping the environment and reducing carbon emissions is now an urgent matter. With more people on the planet than ever, it’s essential that everyone does their part. One of the best ways More »

Green Housing Trends

Green Housing Trends

A huge portion of the carbon dioxide emissions in the UK come from housing. Although the government has taken some steps to make the country more environmentally-friendly, many organisations feel they’re still More »

 

5 Reasons to Invest in Electric Cars for Your Taxi Firm

The majority of taxi firms still use vehicles that run on non-renewable fuel sources that are bad for the environment. Although there are a greater choice of petrol and diesel cars available and it’s easier to find petrol stations then electric charging points; there are some compelling reasons to start using electric vehicles if you have a taxi firm.

Below are some of the biggest benefits of electric cars and why you should consider them for your taxi firm.

1. Cheaper maintenance

Because electric vehicles have much fewer moving parts, they are much cheaper to maintain. Although electric batteries do eventually need to be replaced, most of them are under warranty for 8 years so when you compare the maintenance costs of an electric car to a standard petrol car, the maintenance costs are tiny.

2. A smoother ride

Another big benefit of electric vehicles is that they provide a much smoother ride for your customers. This might not seem like a big thing but a taxi ride is more about just getting from A to B. If your customers find their experience with your company a pleasant one then they’re much likely to become regular bookers.

3. Cheaper insurance

Because electric vehicles are generally safe and require less maintenance, they are also cheaper to insure. When you have a fleet of electric vehicles, then taxi insurance will cost less compared to insuring petrol/diesel cars.

4. Good PR

One big benefit of using electric cars in your taxi firm that you might not see the immediate benefit from is good PR. Even people who are not actively involved in improving the environment and cutting down emissions realise that it’s a serious issue. If you’re able to show that your company is concerned with helping the environment by reducing pollution then it can be a great USP for your business that helps you stand out from the competition.

5. Popularity

Electric cars are becoming more popular all the time, especially as more and more people realise the benefits. Many people who switch to electric vehicles say they wouldn’t want to go back to using a standard petrol car. This increase in popularity of electric vehicles is something you can take advantage of and use to help your business succeed.

 

Investing in Green Vehicles for Your Business

If you run a business that relies on the use of cars then there’s a very good chance you currently have vehicles that run on petrol or diesel. Although most business owners don’t relish the thought of replacing their company cars, there are some very good reasons to consider investing in electric vehicles for your business.

The benefits of investing in electric vehicles

Below are some of the most compelling reasons to invest in electric cars for your business.

  • Save money on fuel – One of the most obvious benefits of getting electric cars for your business is that you will save considerably on fuel costs. Not only do you save money on fuel with electric cars but it may also be possible to get a government grant to help with the initial cost of the vehicles as well as funding towards having charging points installed at your business.
  • A better driving experience – Another great benefit of electric vehicles is that they provide a much smoother driving experience. This makes them great for businesses such as taxi firms.
  • Lower the cost of insurance – Investing in electric vehicles is also an excellent way to save money on company fleet insurance. Electric cars are usually cheaper to insurance compared to standard petrol or diesel vehicles and when you have a whole fleet of cars to insure, the savings can be very substantial. If you’re currently looking for company fleet insurance then be sure to check out Cheap Fleet – a website that enables you to get quotes from a panel of company fleet insurance specialists.

The downsides

Although there are benefits to investing in electric vehicles, there are some downsides too. These include –

  • Limited range – The amount of miles you can do on a full charge with an electric car is low compared to what a petrol/diesel car can do on a full tank. However the range of electric cars is increasing all the time so this isn’t likely to be an issue for much longer.
  • Limited choice – Although the number of available electric cars is increasing all the time, it would be a lie to say there is anywhere near the choice of petrol or diesel cars. This might necessarily be an issue depending on the type of business you run and what your needs are.

 

Running a Green Motor Trade Business

If you run a motor trade business then it’s important to think about how you can make your business more environmentally friendly. Making your business green is not only important for ethical reasons but the government is now very keen for UK businesses to take any steps possible to reduce carbon emissions.

Running a business in the motor trade comes with plenty of challenges as it is so you might be worried about adding the strain of making your business more environmentally friendly on top of that. However making your business more green doesn’t have to be difficult. There are some very simple things you can do to cut down your emissions. These include –

Use eco-friendly fuel

Image result for biodiesel

Fuel is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to greenhouse gases. Therefore one of the biggest steps you can take to make your business more environmentally friendly is by using eco-friendly fuel such as bio-diesel. Of course this isn’t possible for every motor trade business since it’s not always down to you what fuel goes into the vehicles you work with. However if you run a business where you are responsible for what fuel is used then this is an excellent way to make it more green.

Invest in hybrid and electric vehicles

Image result for electric car

Investing in hybrid and electric cars is an excellent way to make your business more environmentally friendly. Electric vehicles are much much better for the environment and most people find them to be very enjoyable to drive, thanks to the smooth handling and quiet driving experience.

Another big benefit of electric cars is that they’re often cheaper to insure, which will help to reduce the cost of your motor trade insurance. If you need to renew your motor trade insurance policy then be sure to check out http://www.traders-insurance.com/ to get quotes from specialist providers quickly and easily.

Reduce power consumption at your office

Getting away from vehicles that you deal with in your business – reducing power consumption in your office is another excellent way to make your business more green. Just small things such as turning lights off when a room isn’t being used can make a big difference. Another thing that’s very easy to do (but also very easy not to do) is to set any computers than aren’t being used to sleep after a few minutes.

Running Your Own Flower Shop

If you have a passion for flowers and plants then running your own flower shop can be a great way to make a living. In order to be successful though, you need to have a practical approach as to what’s required to run a business properly. 

Below are some of the keys to running a successful flower shop.

Finding a good property

Finding a good property is key for a flower shop. You want to ensure there’s a lot of good open space with plenty of natural light. You’ll also want to ensure there’s a good amount of space for storing stock and tools in the shop.

You’ll need to make the decision whether to rent or buy the property too. Most people prefer to rent to begin with. You can always decide to invest in the property later down the line when you’re sure you’re happy with it.

Finding a good location

Just as important as the building itself is the location. Ideally you want to find a location that is in a nice area but one that isn’t too remote. The majority of shops rely on a good amount of food traffic for business so this is definitely something you need to consider when choosing a location for your flower shop. Don’t be afraid to ask advice from other people when looking for a good location.

Getting the right type of insurance

Getting flower shop insurance quotes from specialist providers is a must when you have a flower shop. A good flower shop insurance policy will protect all aspects of your business. This means that not only will your building be protected for structural damage but you’ll also be covered for theft, vandalism, liability claims, business interruption and contents. This gives you full peace of mind when running your business.

Advertising

When advertising your flower shop, it’s a good idea to use a combination of online and real world advertising methods. For example, social media platform such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are great free advertising platforms to reach new customers. However you shouldn’t neglect more traditional forms of advertising such as print ads and leaflets. Using the two together will give you the best results.

A Guide to Buying a Horse

Many people who love nature and the environment, dream of owning a horse. Horses are not like regular pets though; they’re very expensive to buy and keep so it’s not always possible for the average person to have one.

If you are considering buying a horse then there are practical considerations you need to take into account. Below are some of the most important questions to ask yourself.

Can you afford it?

Horses are extremely expensive and there are plenty of on-going expenses of owning one. Below are some of the main expenses of owning a horse that you should be certain you can afford before taking the plunge –

  • The initial cost of the horse –
  • The required equipment i.e. saddle, leading rope, bridle etc.
  • Feed & bedding
  • Vet bills
  • Transportation

Do you have the room?

If you’re planning to keep the horse on your own property then you’ll need to ensure that you have enough room. In addition to have a stable, you’ll also need to have a good sized field where the horse can exercise each day. It is possible to buy a horse that’s kept for you but then you have to take into account the livery fees, which can mount up quickly and in some cases cost up to £1000 per month

Do you have the time?

Some people mistakenly believe that horses mostly take care of themselves and don’t need much looking after. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Horses require daily care throughout the year so you should think about whether you’re able/willing to invest this much time.

It’s also worth considering the amount of care that a horse requires when it becomes older and is no longer rideable. It’s always worth having a plan in place for euthanasia or specialist care.

Are you planning to transport the horse regularly?

If you’re planning to transport for your horse regularly, for example to take it to horse shows, then you’ll need to have the proper transportation and insurance. Horseboxes are specially designed vehicles for transporting horses safely and securely. If you decide to invest in a horsebox then you’ll need to get a special type of horsebox insurance, from a site such as http://www.rwst.org.uk/

5 Ways to Protect Your Home When It’s Unoccupied

It would be nice to believe that you can leave your property unoccupied for an extended period of time without having to worry about it being broken into or vandalized. Unfortunately that is not the world we live in.

Unoccupied properties are at significantly greater risk of being targeted by burglars, vandals and even squatters, so you need to take the proper precautions if you want to keep it safe while you’re away. Below are 5 of the best ways to do this.

1. Hire a housesitter

Hiring a housesitter is one of the best ways to make your home more secure when it would otherwise be unoccupied. The internet has made it much easier to find a trustworthy housesitter so this is definitely something you should consider when leaving your home for a longer period of time.

2. Make the house look lived in

A big mistake that a lot of people make when they leave their property unoccupied is to turn all the lights off. This will make it clear to potential burglars that nobody is home and will make your house much more likely to be targeted. Simply leaving a few lights on will help to decrease the chance of your house being broken into significantly. You can get automatic switched devices that turn certain lights on and off in your house at intervals.

3. Get unoccupied property insurance

If you’re going to be away from the property for more than 30 days then you’ll need to get unoccupied property insurance. Many people make the mistake of assuming that their home insurance policy will cover them but this usually is not the case if the property is unoccupied for an extended period of time.

Therefore you’ll need to get unoccupied property insurance to property protect your home.

4. Have your post held

As well as having your post held, you should also cancel any regular deliveries for newspapers etc. There’s nothing that screams a property is unoccupied more than a build up of letters and parcels by the front door.

5. Have an alarm fitted

If you don’t already have a home security alarm then you should certainly invest in one if you’re planning to go away for an extended period of time. Often merely the sight of an alarm is enough to put would-be burglars off so it’s definitely worth the investment.

 

The Benefits of Owning a Green Home

Green homes are homes that have been adapted or built to be environmentally-friendly. Unlike traditional homes, green homes prioritise a minimal use of resources and aim to derive power from natural sources.

Below are some of the biggest benefits of owning a green home –

  • Better for your health – One of the great things about living in a home that doesn’t rely on fossil fuels for power is that it creates a much healthier atmosphere with better quality air to breath. This means green homes are especially good for people who are prone to respiratory problems.
  • Great for the environment – Another obvious benefit of a green home is that it’s great for the environment. The burning of fossil fuels contributes greatly to the destruction of the ozone layer and the energy use in domestic properties is a big part of the problem. Because green homes make use of energy through natural sources, such as the sun, they’re much kinder to the environment.
  • A great sense of well-being – It can seem like we’re constantly bombarded with stories about how much damage human beings are doing to the planet so it gives you a great sense of satisfaction to know that you’re not negatively contributing.

Things to consider when buying a green home

If you’re considering purchasing a green home then below are some of the main things to look out for.

  • Subsidence – Some green homes can suffer from subsidence, especially if they’re nearby large trees and shrubs.  If there is a risk of subsidence then you’ll need to get a subsidence insurance policy from a site such as Subsidence Insure. 
  • Location – The location of a green home is also very important. If you know what area you want to live in then it’s simply a matter of finding the green homes in that area and prioritising what’s most important to you. For example some people might prefer to live in a very natural environment with plenty of wildlife around, while others might want the best of both worlds and prefer there to be many modern amenities nearby.
  • Value – The value of the home is important since it will affect the price you pay for home insurance and also the resale value of the property.  It’s not a bad idea to get the property surveyed by a professional to ascertain its true value.

Have You Ever Dreamed of Owning a Thatched Roof Home?

If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a thatched roof home then you’re not alone. Many people in the UK love the unique look that a thatched roof provides.

If you’re thinking of purchasing a thatched roof property there are certain things you need to be aware of. Below are some of the main ones.

There’s a good chance it will be a listed property

Listed properties are those that are judged to be of significant historical or cultural interest. Many thatched roof properties are listed, which can make it harder to get a mortgage for them. 

Something else to consider is that if the property is listed, you have a responsibility to keep it as close to its original state as possible. This means if you want to have any structural work done on the property, you need to obtain written permission from the council first.

You’ll need to get a special type of insurance

Because building a thatched roof requires special expertise, you’ll need to obtain an insurance policy from a specialist thatched roof property insurance provider.

Luckily the internet has made it much easier to obtain quotes for thatched roof property insurance so it shouldn’t be too much of a challenge to get a policy at a reasonable price.

It’s always a good idea to have it professionally valued

Thatched roof properties are generally specialist properties that need professional expertise in order to be valued properly. There are many factors to take into account when valuing a thatched roof property, such as the location, its historical value, the rebuild costs and the size amongst other things.

You’ll need to have an electrical inspection

This is important for your own safety and for insurance purposes. One of the biggest concerns that insurers have when it comes to thatched properties is safety. The risk of fire is increased significantly if there are any exposed wires so a proper electrical inspection by a professional is a must.

You’ll want to have the chimney and flue inspected

Most thatched roof properties have a working fireplace, which certainly helps to add to the charm. However a fireplace and chimney can be a fire hazard if they’ve not been properly inspected for a long time. One of the first things you’ll want to do after you purchase a thatched roof property therefore, is have the chimney and flue inspected by a professional.

How to Protect Your Green Home from Flooding

If you own a green home then you’re likely very conscious about the environment. This being the case you’ll know that nature can be cruel, especially where natural disasters such as flooding is concerned.

There are many areas in the UK that are susceptible to flooding and if you happen to live in one of these high-risk areas then it’s important to be prepared for the worst.

With this in mind, below are some of the best ways to protect your home from flood damage.

Invest in flood barriers

Flood barriers are always worth investing in if you live in an area that’s at high risk of flooding. Flood barriers are lightweight and can be set up very quickly in order to minimise the amount of water that gets into your property.

Flood barriers can be purchased for quite a reasonable price and are easy to store in a garage or shed. You’ll certainly be glad you have them if the time comes where they’re needed.

Get good insurance

If you live in an area that’s known to be at risk of flooding then it’s a very good idea to get flood insurance for your property. This will ensure that you’re fully compensated for the damage that’s caused as a result of the flooding.

If your property has been damaged by flooding then it’s always recommended that you take as many pictures as possible of the interior and exterior of your property to show it. You should only do this when it’s safe to do so of course.

If you want to get flood insurance quotes from a panel of specialist flood insurance providers then http://www.insureflood.co.uk/ is an excellent site for this.

Invest in tiled flooring rather than carpets

Tiled flooring is the most resistant so if your home is flooded, you’ll be able to recover much faster and won’t need to have your flooring replaced as would be the case with fitted carpets.

You can still use large rugs if you want to create a more homely feel but it’s better to avoid fitted carpets if you think that flooding is likely to occur at some point in the future.