Environmental Protection

Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living

Zero Energy OfficeAnyway, What is a Zero Energy Office?

Undoubtedly, it is the wish of everyone to have a zero energy office. These are offices that are well-insulated, air-tight, and highly energy efficient. When in such an office, you are just producing and consuming totally renewable energy. This means you will neither pay for energy usage to a power supplier nor emit carbon inside the office.

Mostly, zero energy offices are referred to as ‘green’ as it combines advanced superior building designs with energy effectiveness and on-site solar panels. Due to their unique nature of energy production and usage, they are quite ultra-healthy, comfortable, quiet, and sustainable, making them very affordable to live in. Global climate change is one of the most pressing issues, and that is why many offices are taking a reasonable action.

The Limitation of Having a Zero Energy Office

However, it is worth noting that the initial investment of a zero energy office is quite high. Since not everyone can afford to raise this huge cash at once, something can be done to improve your current office. Just the simple things you think they have little impact on energy consumption, they can be equally important as any other energy-using system in your office.

Other Areas we Can Save Energy and Protect the Environment

To be specific, wine coolers are some of the small appliances that seem to consume little energy. Contrary to this kind of thinking, they consume a lot of power behind the scenes. There are basically two types of wine coolers; compressor cooler and thermoelectric coolers. Depending on your preference, you can choose to buy either.

But, let us look at advantages and disadvantages of each.

The Aspect of Energy Efficiency

energy efficiencyOne of the most critical concerns in every office is the utility bills. That is why it can make a lot of sense to ponder how much money you spend on running a wine cooler. Of course, many of us will first compare specs before anything else – and that is where we all go wrong. First, thermoelectric wine coolers run constantly while their compressor counterparts operate in cycles (on and off). It is very clear the thermoelectric coolers consume higher energy than compressor coolers, and therefore someone with a thermoelectric cooler is likely to pay more on energy bills.

It is also important to know that energy efficiency of thermoelectric coolers is considerably affected by ambient temperatures. If the difference in temperature within the cooler and the outside is too huge, the cooler is likely to use more electricity in order to balance the two temperature differences. Since compressor cooler operates even more efficiently during hot weathers, it can be a nice pick if you want to save on energy cost.

Another important thing to note is the difference in wattage rate for the two. A 28-bottle single-zone thermoelectric cooler is rated at 70 watts while a similar compressor unit is rated at 85 watts. Going to the next level in unit’s size, a 33-bottle compressor is rated at 85 watts while a 32-bottle thermoelectric unit is rated at 140 watts. The reason for this dramatic shift is that the larger the cooler, the higher the number of Peltier devices it will use. However, a compressor unit of any size will only use a single Peltier device as opposed to thermoelectric coolers that use more Peltier devices depending on its size. If you want a bigger wine cooler, it is better to buy a compressor cooler if you want to save more on energy bills.

Aspect of Environmental Protection

Environmental ProtectionMost of the coolants used in the modern wine coolers emit greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which contribute to global warming. Additionally, the refrigerants are highly hazardous and should be properly disposed of. Thermoelectric wine coolers are environmentally friendly as they don’t use refrigerants like their compressor counterparts. The components of a thermoelectric wine cooler can be disposed anywhere or just recycled because they are not harmful.

Note that, environmental protection is as important as saving money on energy cost. Don’t forget that negative impacts on the environment will affect all of us. So, it is everyone’s responsibility to take care of the environment. If you are looking for an environmentally friendly wine cooler to include in your office, thermoelectric models can be your best pick.

toilet flush

How Much Water Does a Public Toilet Use Per Flush? Improving Efficiency

toilet flushThe best answer to answer this question is straightforward; public toilets use an almost same amount of water as home toilets per flush. The only difference is the number of people who use that toilet per day. The higher the number of public toilet users, it is perceptibly expected that more water will be used. However, there is one thing that every person should know when it comes to water usage in toilets. Different types of toilets use water differently per flush. This can be illustrated appropriately by comparing the oldest, older, newer, and the newest toilet models.

Let’s compare them briefly…

water usage in toiletsToilets that were manufactured before 1980 use a large amount of water per flush, usually 5 to 7 gallons per flush. Those that were manufactured in the 1980s use about 3.5 gallons per flush. If you consider an old public toilet, definitely there is a high amount of water that goes to waste on a daily basis.

The toilets that were manufactured in the 1990s use a maximum of 1.6 gallons per flush. Some of the newer models, including which are being manufactured nowadays, use as little as 1.2 gallons per flush. The modern toilets that use the least amount of water per flush are known as water certified, but this may depend on which state or country you reside. In short, flushing toilets are highly efficient in water conservation. Interestingly, they provide a perfect flushing just as the old toilets.

How to Improve Efficiency in Public Toilets

Upgrade to Water Saving Toilets

Upgrading to modern water saving toilets is the biggest investment to carry out. You can choose to install dual-flush toilets, which are normally advocated by municipalities all over nowadays. If investing in a new dual-flush is too costly for your budget, there are dual-flush conversion kits available at retail prices – about $15 to $20 per kit. There are also toilet top sinks, which are perfect for public toilets. Once a person flushes the toilet, water is directed to a faucet for hand wash first before it drains into the toilet bowl.

Minimize Water Usage in Toilets

water usage in toilets 2This may sound impractical, but in the real sense, it is possible. A simple method is to reduce the amount of water required to fill the tank after every single flush. Those people who provide public toilet services or working in any facility with public toilets can use a Fill Cycle Diverter, which diverts some water to the tank instead of filling the toilet bowl. So, the bowl will be refilled with water quickly, which in turn saves about half a gallon per flush. The displacement devices occupy the space in the tanks, hence reducing the amount of water required to fill it. On the other hand, a tank bank is another useful tool that can minimize water usage in public toilets. It clips onto the tank’s side and displaces about 0.8 gallons in every flush.

Advocating Less Often Flushing Habit

This method is very practical when it comes to public toilets where there are urinal sections for gents. Users should only use the urinal option for short calls instead of using toilets. After all, there should be a sticker prohibiting

flushing toilets after short calls. For the ladies, as they cannot use a urinal section like gents, the toilet keepers should ensure they flush the toilet in a timely manner to ensure tissue papers do not clog the drains.

Reuse Shower Water

For those facilities that offer both shower and toilet services, it is advisable to embrace reusing shower water. When a person enters a bathroom and opens the shower valve to allow the water to heat up, a significant amount of water goes to waste. Buckets should be placed in every bathroom, and then the users are informed to collect the cold water into those buckets. As someone takes a shower, some of the splashing water will also be collected into the buckets. After the shower, the bucket containing water should be picked and emptied into a tank outside the bathroom and then it is returned in the bathroom.

Breakfast Bar Overhang

How to Design a Public Office Kitchen for a Long Term Use? A Case Study

Public Office KitchenIf you are running an organization or a business where a public kitchen is a necessity, a professional interior design of the kitchen can do the trick. This is the place where food for your guests will be prepared and served. Obviously, a highly qualified chef is required to maintain hygiene in the kitchen. But a good kitchen should be practical, meaning that both aesthetic and function should be put into consideration during the designing process.

So, the following is a case study on the practical design aspects that should be kept in mind during the designing process.

  • Stainless Steel Sinks

Stainless steel sinks are commonly used in industrial, chemical, and consumer applications. They are essentially comprised of low carbon steel that contains a small ingredient of chromium, which gives the steel its unique corrosion resistance, stainless, and durability properties. The increased corrosion resistance properties are enhanced by the availability of chromium together with other elements such as nitrogen, nickel, and molybdenum. Nickel, in particular, gives the steel its bright appearance. With a good quality stainless steel sink in the office kitchen, it will last long before considering a replacement.

  • Breakfast Bar Overhang

Breakfast Bar OverhangIt is important to include bar stools in the kitchen island as they are perfect for separating the other office spaces from the kitchen. Since it is a public kitchen, there is no need for privacy as there is much movement in and out of the kitchen. The breakfast bar is essential for your visitors to sit and have a cup of tea or a glass of wine as they wait for you. It is also wiser to add an overhang on the island to allow some legroom for guests sitting on the bar stools. You can allow a 30 to 50 cm overhang on one side of the island to ensure your guests sit comfortably.

  • Dishwasher Placement and Accessibility

Placing dishwater within arm’s reach of the sink is important because you will prevent unnecessary dripping of food, dirty water, or cooking oil on the floor. Once the utensils are rinsed, they can be easily placed directly in the dishwasher. You will have also minimized the task of mopping the kitchen too often. Your public office kitchen is likely to receive many visitors on a daily basis, and therefore you would not want your guests to step on dirty water on the floor. Additionally, placing a dishwasher near the sink helps to connect the dishwasher plumbing to the taps and drains.

  • Trash Bin Location

This may depend on the layout of the kitchen, but most of the contemporary kitchens are designed appropriately to fit all necessities. A bin is used for throwing trash and solid food scraps. However, you may also want to throw some trash from other rooms. This implies that the bin should be placed somewhere everyone can access it easily. As a suggestion, place it at the end of an island or bench near the kitchen entrance. This allows you to throw some trash as you pass by rather than walking into the kitchen. If you have a compost bin, it can be placed anywhere close to the food preparation area or near the entrance. Basically, you want to make the bin easily accessible by all people working from your office.

  • Cupboard Socket Installation

Nowadays, modern kitchens have cupboards where you can put kettles and toasters. Days are gone when people used to place appliances on the worktops. Therefore, your kitchen interior designer should consider socket installation inside the cupboards. To this end, your chef(s) will be plugging in the appliances easily whenever needed. It is also advisable to install more double-sockets since you may have several appliances. Don’t forget your office kitchen will also need additional appliances like the food processor and coffee machine.

  • Adequate Lighting

Adequate LightingLast but not least, you need to install adequate lighting in the kitchen. Remember this is a public kitchen and some items might be scattered because more than one person operates from there. Some items such as sharp knives and hot ovens can cause accidents, and therefore proper lighting is required. You can choose to have a combination of under-cabinet lights, ceiling lights, and pendant lights to ensure all dark corners are well illuminated.


contemporary office settings

The Latest Cutting Edge Innovation for Offices!

innovation for OfficesTo what professional interior designers refer as ‘contemporary office setting’, the ongoing innovations in working environments are incredibly rewarding to workers. There is much improvement which is has been implemented including aerated office space, energy efficient building walls, energy saving lighting, reliable drinking water supply and many other things. However, the latest cutting-edge innovation in offices touches directly to the health of the workers. In the recent past, efforts have been made to address the negative impacts brought by prolonged sitting.

An overview of a report published last year indicated that sitting in an office for more than 6 hours can cause low back pains. Prolonged sitting in a typical office chair is a motionless posture, which increases stress in the shoulders, arms, back, and legs. The stress, in particular, exerts too much pressure on the spinal discs and back muscles. The situation is made worse when you slouch over or down, leading to overstretching the discs, spinal ligaments, and other surrounding structures. Over time, this can cause long time back pains that could attract serious medical attention!

low back pain

To find a lasting solution to this problem, office chair designers have come up with more improved ergonomic chairs. You might have heard about them or you just bought a few recently. It should be noted clearly that some of the chairs being sold in the market do not meet the requirements of actual ergonomic chairs. For that reason, I will outline the features you should find in real ergonomic chairs.

Properly adjustable seat height

If you bought a chair that doesn’t have a proper adjustable seat height, you need to go back to the market. An ideal ergonomic office chair must be adjustable up to your calf length so that your feet can rest squarely and flatly on the ground, as well as leaving a comfortable space for your legs under the office desk. In addition to adjustable seat height, it should come with a lever to allow height adjustments.

Properly fitted seat depth

This should be a crucial thing to check as you shop for an ergonomic office chair. The seat should allow your back to rest comfortably against the back of the chair. If your current office chair has a deep seat, you are likely to slouch or lean too far back. Basically, an ergonomic chair comes with an adjustable back that is well fitted to allow sitting in an upright position while the spine is leaning against the back of the chair. The chair should also allow a small space, about 3″ between the edge of the seat and the back of your knees.

Properly adjustable back with appropriate lumbar support

An ergonomic office chair should have an adjustable back so that you can adjust its lower back support to match with your lumbar height and curvature. Perhaps, your current office chair does not fit your lower back and that is why you keep on slouching. When you slouch too often, you are likely to suffer from back pain. The ergonomic office chairs are designed to address the issues of back pains, and that is why you need to buy a chair that can support your lumbar properly.

Appropriate arm support

Professionally designed comfortable office chairs have armrest to offer an extra support and comfort. The chairs with this feature are suitable for people who have existing back pain. However, you can prevent future back pains by replacing your traditional chair with the new office chairs. Since people have different tastes and preferences, ergonomic chair designers came up with chairs without armrests. However, they have all other basic ergonomic features to enhance comfort for the users.

Comfortable seat material and padding

Ergonomic office chairs come in a wide variety of seating material and padding designs. People have different preferences when it comes to comfort, and therefore you need to select those chairs with adequate cushioning and support. Adequate cushioning means you do not feel bulky or extreme padding material. There are also ergonomic chairs with cushioned back while others have a porous mesh back. With the wide selection, you can choose depending on what provides maximum comfort.

There are many benefits of using ergonomic office chairs over the traditional chairs. If you have been using a conventional office chair and already you have back pains, try an ergonomic office chair to feel the difference. Remember such pains can spread to other parts of the body over time. So, making a decision as soon as possible is highly recommended.

A massage therapist

Massage Chairs vs Human Massage! Does Technology Really Replace Human Touch?

Massage Chairs vs Human MassageAs they say, “money is not everything, but it is the only thing”. Nowadays, economic diversity is giving more people better opportunities to accumulate wealth and become rich. This, in turn, increases the demand for more luxurious lifestyles, especially the need for ‘self-contained’ homes. When I say self-contained homes I mean a home equipped with high-tech household products. And truly, technology continues to improve people’s lives.

Some of the most trending high-tech products are massage chairs. At first, when they were introduced in the market, they were only available in various parlor centers and salon shops. As the technology advancement hit the next level, now you can find different types of massage chairs to include in your home or office. Interestingly, they are accessible everywhere; in the malls, stores, and in everyday retail businesses.

However, will the technology used in these massage chairs going to replace the traditional human massage touch? This question is among the many aspects buyers tend to consider before buying a new massage chair. I won’t answer that question with ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ options, but as you continue reading this article you will realize the difference.

Alright, the newest massage chairs are designed incorporating various customizable settings and choices. They have remotes for selecting what you want. Whether you want some massage on the lower back or around the neck region, they have features to allow you to choose an area of focus. Also, you can change settings to full-body massage therapy. For those that want some deep rub or lighter rolling, a massage chair offers the options.

But can a machine replace a trained human massage therapist? Continue reading to get the answer…

A massage therapist A massage therapist is skilled and capable of bringing about a healing effect. If you are suffering from depression or anxiety, you will realize a masseuse offers a holistic, comforting, and therapeutic massage therapy. This is because you can feel the touch of another human, meaning there is some energy being transferred to you from that person. A massage chair has no feelings and won’t be able to identify other hidden problems apart from massaging an aching area upon your selection. A massage therapist is trained and knowledgeable to understand where the exact problem is.

Another unbiased issue is the ability to provide the desired massage pressure. A typical massage chair is not capable of delivering exact pressure required. If you want a very deep tissue massage, the ideal pressure can be obtained from a therapist. Additionally, massage chairs cannot be adjusted to provide different massage pressure levels at the same time. For instance, there are no options to have strong tissue massage in one area and a lighter pressure in another. In short, a therapist allows a communicative massage process whereby you can point out areas where a deep or light pressure is required.

Massage Chairs: The Popular Models in the Market

Hope the ‘question’ is already answered. But, I’m not despising the fact that massage chairs are incredibly good for us. The high-end ones are even designed to mimic the human’s touch, and they can really offer some physical healing and comforting therapy. If you are in the mood to buy a new massage chair, here are some of the top quality massage chairs reviews to help you choose from.


This is one of the best selling massage chairs in the market. It is designed to provide deep body massage. It offers some improved healing and therapeutic for back pains and shoulder area.


This is another advanced massage chair with innovative Brainstonics feature inside. It is designed for firm massage therapy, which improves your mental and physical performance.


Betasonic is known to offer a relaxing massage therapy. It is designed for relaxing and softer massage. It relieves depression, anxiety, stress, and boosts moods.

Hilton 2

Hilton 2 is an exclusive massage chair that is designed for smooth silky massage action. It is also beautifully designed with easy-to-use touches.

2 Key Reasons to Buy a Massage Chair

There are several reasons to have a massage chair in your home, whether or not you seek massage therapy frequently. The two major reasons are cost and time.


The economic benefits of investing in massage chairs are usually noticed over time. Human massage is typically costly, even though the price per session may seem little. Assuming you normally pay $100 per therapy once in a month, this is $1,200 per year. A massage chair costing $5,000 will return the investment within a period of 4 years, and then continue enjoying unlimited massage therapies at your comfort.


Unlike human massage therapies, massage chairs eliminate the issue of scheduling appointments. This means you can plan your days and time well, and even incorporate other activities such as exercising.