How to Make Your Financial Services Business Eco-Friendly

Xcela Wealth
Xcela Wealth
Eco-friendly is no longer just a buzzword in the business space, it’s taking off as a new responsible and altruistic way of managing a company. In a time when more consumers are becoming aware of their carbon footprint and how it affects the environment surrounding them, businesses are adopting an eco-friendly model and culture to try and get customers’ votes.

Not only does a greener initiative make your brand look like a friend to the public and a more appealing choice, it can also translate to significant cost savings over time. What’s great about turning green is that any company can do it, regardless of size or type. If your business focuses on financial services, here’s seven ways you can get the ball rolling:

Switch to PCW

Post-consumer-waste products including paper and packaging supplies are manufactured from paper sourced from consumers’ recycling bins. While a lot of recycling symbols have been popping up on the boxes of paper and paper supplies you’ll find in Office Depots, Staples, and other stores, the only PCW-labeled paper is actually created 100 percent from this material. Creating post-consumer-waste paper requires 45 percent less energy and leaves half the waste behind than the conventional manufacturing process. As a financial services business, you consume a lot of paper on a daily basis, from filing tax forms to drafting investment proposals.

Switch to CFL Lightbulbs

Compact fluorescent or LED light bulbs often cost slightly more than its incandescent counterpart, they do have a much longer lifespan and consumes less power. Most fixtures can accommodate CFL and LED light bulbs without having to install any sort of add-on. Other prominent financial services firms, like Xcela Wealth, have already made the switch to CFL and LED lights, and as a result, have net them up to $200 worth of savings per bulb.

Switch to Smart Appliances

Not only are these cutting-edge appliances sleeker, but they’re also better for the environment. Look for smart appliances with an Energy Star label, which will indicate their respective power and cost requirements over time. For a financial services company, some appliances that you could replace for their eco-friendly counterparts are your printer, scanner, and photocopier.

Consider Solar

Power your workplace with renewable energy, such as solar. While the overall costs of solar panels and installation and maintenance services seem pricey, the savings on your monthly bill as well as deductibles you can write off can help offset costs. In addition, there are many utility providers out there that let you lease solar panels so that costs are distributed and repaid through a monthly plan.

Buy Green Products

Change should start with your personal routine. Any eco-friendly changes you make to your business will be worthless if you’re still using lifestyle products that are toxic to the environment. You can find a plethora of non-toxic cosmetic products and food brands out there that were created with sustainability in mind. Check the Skin Deep Database from the Environmental Working Group to easily find alternatives to your current items. Most green cosmetic brands cost the same, sometimes even less than what you are currently paying for.

Fine-tune Your Transportation Options

If you have employees, encourage them to carpool or use public transportation instead of driving their own car. In cases wherein private transportation is necessary, encourage them to drive a hybrid vehicle or one that consumes alternative fuel sources. Offer a space where they can store their bikes securely so that it encourages them to bike to and from work.

Support Other Green Programs

Similar to what Xcela Wealth is doing, support and donate to non-profit organizations and green initiative programs that are pushing for a more eco-friendly future. Another way to show camaraderie and support is by using green web hosting providers. If you are operating your financial services company in the 21st century, chances are you are using or will be using a hosting service provider to get your website online. And who better to host your site than a green web host. Most green web hosts will charge the same monthly rate, if not less.

Final Thoughts

Financial services businesses are often perceived by communities as just a profit-oriented company governed by power suits. By switching to an eco-friendly business model, you can show your community and others around the world that you are more than that. Keep in mind that while the tips aforementioned are the most common and simplest ways to get on board with the green movement, there are a lot of other ways you can show people that you support a greener and cleaner future.

How to Start a Green Grocery Delivery Business in Australia

The recent shift of individuals to healthier choices has become a global trend. In Australia alone, heart disease and cancer have been one of the leading causes of health problems, with almost 8 million Australians suffering from either of these conditions. As a result, more families have become aware of the negative effects of poor diet and sedentary lifestyle, that is why they have taken actionable steps to improve their food choices and maintain an active schedule.

The rise of organic food

Most of the time, we would see vegetables, meat, and other food items labeled as “organic”. Organic means naturally produced and sourced, away from the use of hormones, antibiotics pesticides and other gene modifying procedures. People have been more meticulous about which food options are safe and healthy, and business owners have gone into this market to bring healthier options for everyone.

The problem of a healthy lifestyle

However, this healthy living that people are trying to achieve may be time-consuming for some. They may find the task of going to the grocery, preparing food, and finding time to workout difficult to do regularly. In a recent survey, Australians get less than the recommended amount of vegetables and legumes daily. The same lack can be said about consuming portions of lean meats, healthy sources of dairy, and whole grains.

Combining two needs in one

If you are someone who is looking for a lucrative business idea, you may want to consider having a green grocery delivery business. Australians are looking for ways to make their healthy lifestyle convenient as possible. There is a need to make groceries faster and more efficient, and to easily pick organic and healthy items before a busy week starts.

If you are interested, read on to find out more about how to make your own healthy food delivery business.

How to Start a Green Grocery Delivery Business in Australia

1. Look for wholesale food sources

Before launching your green grocery delivery business, it is important to look for sources as your food inventory. For example, you can look into Simfresh, a company that offers wholesale citrus food items, which is a usual commodity in Australian homes. The company believes that hand packed items are the safest, healthy and natural way to provide food for Australians. These companies can help via consignment or through providing stocks. Ask them and partner with these companies who are willing to work with you on your preferred business models. Create a list of basic green food items and find the most reliable companies who can supply you these items.

2. Invest in transportation vehicles

The next step is to invest in transportation vehicles. Either you will invest in a truck, motorcycle or a car to send grocery items to your customers. It depends on how big or small you scale your delivery business. If you plan to deliver in other stores, you may want to invest in trucks. If your preferred customers are private homeowners, a car or motorcycle may be ideal. You can start by investing in 1-2 vehicles and adding more as you grow your business. A typical delivery should be done within 30 minutes to one hour, so also make sure to plan the locations covered by your business.

3. Build a website or application

An integral part of creating your inventory is by building a website. If you are knowledgeable in HTML and PHP, you can create a website where you can input your stocks and people can purchase and request for delivery online. Otherwise, this technical part can be done by a web developer or an IT professional. Make sure to set up your website to accept credit card payments and have real-time stock updates so your customers will know which ones they can pick from your website.

4. Promote your business to both customers and other companies

Promotion is needed to get the word out about your business. Since you will be delivering to a local area, make sure to print our flyers and posters. You can also make targeted local online advertisements in your area of your green grocery delivery business. It will also help to continuously find opportunities for growth by working with other companies who might need a grocery delivery service such as restaurants and community stores.

A green grocery delivery business is a profitable idea that can hit two birds in one stone. Firstly, it can help any household by lessening the burden of doing another grocery chore. Secondly, it provides healthier options for people who have no time to constantly make choices. Simfresh suggests that doing proper research about your food suppliers, optimizing your website and promoting your business wisely will help you find success in this business endeavor.

Tips for Making Your Land Development Company Eco-Friendly

Martin J Stallone
Martin J Stallone
Eco-friendly land development entails environmental responsibility in every aspect of development for example in choosing the site and building systems or even recycling materials. A company must, therefore, come up with some techniques of how to carry out its operations in an eco-friendly way. Marty Stallone and Martin J Stallone are well known for their high views and advice relating the field of land development companies. Marty Stallone emphasized the importance of generating all potential impacts brought about by an individual land development project that an organization comes up with since it always affects the region in many ways.
What exactly lies behind the concept of carbon-neutral homes eco-friendly strategies and sustainable construction practices?
In such modern times characterized by scarcity of resources rapid population and urbanization, land development and recycling must accompany each other. Innovations in the technological field using recycled materials transforms initially uninhabitable areas into prime neighborhoods thus satisfying businesses and the environment as well. Marty Stallone talks about redistributive land reforms or sustainable land use development in this context.UUMA2 (an eco-efficient acronym for real solutions and the commercialization of embankments with reused materials) is a programme that targets the replacement of natural resources that are nonrenewable with recycled materials in embankments via techniques like mass stabilization.
The UUMA2 is greatly beneficial for the many nations that are affected by the scarcity of natural resources or which have low-quality resources. Cost effective and eco-friendly solutions increase the land value as well as easing the housing problem. It minimizes the use of heavy transport which is used to haul replacement materials from long distances. Not only reducing the need for bulky transportation but also using natural resources. There are no proven facts but building green or rather environmentally friendly homes sell them much faster, and they also fetch better prices though with a minor margin than the former. Eco-friendly land development balances open space with housing, office and retail buildings. Politicians, customers, and corporations have shifted towards environmental preservation, so must land development follow suit.
Managing an eco-friendly land development company includes adhering to the following techniques:
Overall health and safety improvement
Eco-friendly land development involves using environmentally friendly building materials and construction practices. The practices create indoor home spaces, recreational areas, and offices. Some toxic substances used in constructions like paints and solvents cause harmful skin conditions, migraines, respiratory complications and other health issues. Using “green” materials in our industrial, residential and commercial buildings enhance a healthy-assured life for all of us.
Improving demolition practices
People should not dump construction materials, but preferably they should be recycled and can also be reused. Recycling materials mean a substantial savings opportunity as well as exercising a practice that conserves the environment. Using recycled and sustainable materials avoid additional costs for construction companies.
Using locally available resources
People use much energy in the transportation of materials over a long distance. Green construction emphasizes using locally sourced materials. Using these reduces the carbon footprint and creates efficient construction process. Using the available materials supports construction companies as well as helping them to grow local businesses. According to Martin J Stallone, the company will, therefore, be successful since they won’t have to fund the source of the required resources.
Water recycling
Effective, eco-friendly techniques include the collection of rainwater. We may use condensed water from HVAC for such or other different activities. Water recycling takes advantage of the readily available resources which would otherwise be wasted just like that.
Harnessing sun and wind power
Investing in solar power is usually very sustainable especially with the soaring energy costs. Solar power reduces the grid reliance and lessens your strain on electricity. Using photovoltaic with solar cells creates window panels that use their transparency to capture then transform heat and light energy into solar power and help in controlling interior temperatures. We may incorporate wind power by using turbine farms to help produce the energy required in buildings. The turbines include helical and vertical axis wind turbines which can be installed on rooftops to reduce energy consumption. Wind turbines are advantageous because they only need little maintenance after installing. They also maintain indoor air quality and minimize utility investments.
Increased green and multiuse space
Planning for more green and multipurpose areas should be considered primarily with space in cities increasingly becoming limited. Applying a versatile and mixed-use approach is beneficial instead of building a simple commercial area. Additionally including environmentally friendly spaces on rooftops and other parts should be encouraged; which provides multiuse space as well improving the quality of air for any building.
The next agenda is acknowledging the essence of minimizing carbon footprints and levels of toxicity to improve the health of the people and the whole planet at large. Eco and Green technologies cut down energy costs, consequently creating viable options for land developers and construction companies.

The Psychology Behind Going Green: New Vs. Familiar

Ask Bongo

Ask Bongo

It is hard to do new things. It is hard to do things differently. We humans love patterns. We love the familiar. Familiarity feels comfortable, cozy, and pleasant. It feels safe. Yet growth and progress inevitably means that we must do things that are new. The very fact that they are new means that they will be different — something we have never done or experienced before. The buildings we build, the materials we use daily, the patterns and rituals of our existence need to morph and transform to fit a sustainable model. How can we manage all of this growth, when all we want to do is crawl back into the cocoon of the comfortable?

Understanding the problem in this way sheds light onto it immediately. If we know that we love the comfortable, why not disguise the new as something familiar? Technology has used this mind hack for decades. We all use “desktops” and “folders” to organize our computerized offices. The green movement does this in a sense, because it conforms to old systems and ways of operating instead of breaking molds and doing things drastically differently. For example, the design of the electric car is very similar to gas powered cars, though the design constraints are very different. This hack allows people to feel unconsciously comfortable with the car, because it conforms to their existing ideas about how a car should look.

Understanding the problem is helpful, but it doesn’t mean we can overlook or bypass it. You might think that once you see how the human psychological love for the familiar is holding you back, that you could just ‘switch it off’ and move forward with out catering to it. This is not so. Just because we see the problem does not mean we outgrow it automatically. Things like this take time.

For now, it is best to use the understanding in order to foster growth. Yes, this might mean letting our human selves take comfort in the familiar. The thing is, we can infuse the familiar with progressive attributes, tricking ourselves and being more sustainable at the same time.

The technology at our fingertips in this day is capable of doing so much more than we allow it to. We have accumulated knowledge and databases that have the power to help us accomplish more than we can even imagine at this point. We can understand ourselves and our emotions on a whole new level. For example, did you know that the super-intelligence behind a light-hearted “Ask Bongo” text messaging service can give you psychological insight about your relationships, based on a powerful software and a huge database? There is so much to learn from the data that the world wide web and our now interconnected information age can provide.

Loving what is familiar sounds somewhat lazy, doesn’t it? You might think, ‘well, others might get stuck in their comfort zone, but not me!’ Take a moment to examine this belief. Sustainability and the green movement counts on individual participation in order to effect worldwide change.

Look at your own behaviors, and you might get some insight into how deep this truth really is. Do you feel comforted by your routine, and by things you feel that you know? If you can’t answer that question, look at the data in your life. Your bank account might show a pattern: grocery store, housing, the same restaurants. The same flow of money in and money out, like a tide rising and falling. That is a pattern reflecting the way you cling to the familiar!

Only our limited perspectives, and our love for the familiar and safe hold us back. Understanding the way we value and hold on to the familiar is just one step towards growth.

How Product Design Today Can Make the World More Sustainable Tomorrow

The issue of sustainability has become part of discussions in the production industry. Our social well-being, as well as our environment, depends on the sustainable development of products. Many households these days use electricity to power appliances such as irons and electric kettles. Some of these products aren’t energy efficient. A large percentage of the world wastes electrical energy that can otherwise be used to light up street lamps.

So, what’s sustainability? We can define sustainability as a design approach that focuses on social, environmental and financial elements. The aim of this approach is to come up with practical solutions that are eco-friendly. Some of the ways to achieve sustainability in product design include proper management of waste and making use of natural resources. All this can be done through reducing over-consumption, embracing diversity, reusing, recycling and minimizing the carbon footprint.

In today’s business world, almost everything revolves around technology. The digital items we use affect our environment. There are several apps used for activities such as shopping, printing, sharing documents, food, transportation, travel and much more. Companies should be more conscious when developing products that influence the daily habits of consumers. They need to consider the impact of their goods on the environment. Many businesses have already embraced the idea of creating sustainable products. Studies show that these kinds of products improve sales and the consumer experience.

For a more sustainable tomorrow, designers should consider different factors. Their solutions must be in line with the requirements of sustainability. The usability and functionality of products can help conserve the environment. Companies need to offer products that consume less energy and last longer. When you have a durable item, you won’t need to buy new ones after every few months. This will help in reducing the amount of non-degradable waste.

Avoiding the usage of plastics in product design is important. Many eco-friendly materials can be used to create sustainable products are readily available. Food delivery services, for instance, should avoid including plastic cutlery in their deliveries. This way, consumers will get used to the idea of using their silverware. Plastic cutlery is not only bad for the environment, but it can affect the health of consumers. All types of businesses need to educate their customers on the importance of sustainability. The best way to do this is through the production of eco-friendly items.

Product designers have to take into account the type of energy they use in production. They should avoid any form of energy that emits greenhouse gases such as chlorofluorocarbon and carbon dioxide. Some of the “green” energy solutions include wind farms and solar panels. Manufacturers of electronics should include energy-efficient features in their products. For instance, they can include solar panels as an alternative to battery power or electricity. Besides, manufacturers need to encourage their consumers to go green.

The best way to ensure we have a healthy environment in future is to start making sustainable products today. Product designers have a responsibility to help the world secure a sustainable tomorrow. Every business should work towards keeping the environment clean.

Awesome Marketing Strategies That Small Businesses Can Utilize To Boost Sales

Small businesses are the hardest hit in the race to secure a share of the market, and this is due to their lack of essential tools and exposure. Being new in a market should not keep a business struggling longer if unique strategies are applied to boost its performance. Unlike the already established competitors, a new entrant into the business world will have to use techniques that are different and powerful than ones used by competing businesses. To easily achieve growth in sales, a small business should try these proven strategies.

Facebook Marketing

One of the benefits you have when you use Facebook advertising is that you can specifically target those you know are interested in your products. The ads allow you to target a select audience, so you will not waste effort by placing the ad on a platform that connects with anyone including those who might not be interested in the product. With this you can use filters like location, sex, age, online behavior, interest among other factors. It is also fairly easy to create a Facebook ad, so a small business will find this strategy easy to execute and responsive as well.

Google My Business Listing

Like Facebook marketing, Google My Business allows you to target your local clients. With this option, Google allows you to combine all your platforms, which include Google Maps, Google Analytics, Google+ and Google Insights to mention a few. If your business has a unique name, when someone searches about it photos and details about the business will be displayed on a panel located on the top right corner of the page, which gives a clear preview of what you deal in. You also have to note that getting your Google My Business listing to rank well is easy because you only need to make sure your profile is optimized then collect citations and reviews from different people.

Organic social media

You could also use social media to offer customer support. Research shows that at least 33 percent of people prefer to access support through social media as opposed to traditional methods like email phone calls. Social media also allows you to understand what your customers think about your products and brand, so through the information collected you can make improvements. Grace Lever advises that nearly all companies have social media platforms that are active and this should tell you that your competitors are also online, which means ignoring this option could deal your business a huge blow while trying to beat competition.

Coupon deal sites

Another marketing option that a small business can use to drive sales is selling through coupon deal sites. These are sites that promote your business while also listing your products for sale, and most of them have massive audience. Websites like Groupon can help your business to reach its targeted audience faster and allow you to sell more than relying on in-house marketing. Nearly all processes have gone digital and getting things done in the digital way is the best idea you could pursue while building a small business.

How Generations X, Y, and Z Consume Video Content

Younger generations consumer more video content than their older counter parts. But, the way generations consume video content varies. YouTube and Snapchat are the leaders in the creation of video content. Snapchat is not very popular with Generation X but is quickly gaining in popularity with Generation Z. Differences between these generations may seem obvious at first but they are differences that can be capitalized on in creative ways. Mastering this knowledge will help you reach new markets and strengthen existing ones. Krystal Perkins would agree and her favorite platform is YouTube.

Generation X
Generation X is the demographic that directly follows the baby boomers. They were usually born between the 1960s and early 1980s. Generation X finds how-to videos and product review videos to be their preferred video types on YouTube. Generation X is also most interested in educational videos and finds YouTube to be their favorite platform for watching videos over Instagram, snapchat, or Facebook. They are also not fans of snapchat and a very small percentage don’t use YouTube at all.

Generation Y
Generation Y is the group of people who were born between the 1980s and early 1990s. This is the generation that is right between Generation X and Generation Z. They are also known as the Millennials. Generation Y is shortly behind Generation Z in terms of watching YouTube videos daily. Like Generation X, Generation Y also found product review videos to be their preferred way to consume video content. Generation Y also watches the most workout videos and still favors YouTube as their favorite platform to watch videos on over Instagram and Facebook.

Generation Z
Generation Z is the youngest generation and are born from the mid-1990s to early 2000s. This generation is the generation that is on the internet the most and from a very young age. People in this generation are usually very comfortable with technology so it is to no surprise that they are the generation that watches the most YouTube videos. This generation is also known as the Post-Millennials or the Homeland Generation. People in this demographic still favored product review videos but they are also very likely to enjoy unboxing and haul videos.

Distinctions between these three generations can clearly be seen. These are important factors to think about when considering who will be watching your videos. When targeting a specific market, it is necessary to make your content fit the preferences of the ones you want to consume it. This will create a more intimate relationship with the markets you want to serve, thus increasing your potential earnings.

Roundup: What green/sustainable idea or technology most excites you?

We asked what green/sustainable technology most excited you and why. Here’s what you had to say.

I love having smartphone apps handy to learn more about the ingredients in my food or skin care products. Making this kind of information easy to access can help consumers to make better choices for their health and the environment. My favorite apps right now are Healthy Living by EWG, Fooducate, ClimateCounts, and GoodGuide. Mary Helen Leonard  @marymakesgood

Solar panels, for I think obvious reasons, and that Honey Nut Cheerios is supporting an initiative to give wildflower seed packets out to everyone to help bring back the bees! Melanie Odette @Smellyann

Harnessing solar energy to power your home really excites me. It’s an opportunity to create really clean energy and to have the peace of mind that in the event of an emergency you could still provide power to your home.  Candice @FCMammas

I really like the idea of solar panels. I love the fact that they are better for the earth and lower bills every month. Tabitha Willette  @tabbyspantry

Photovoltaic panels – we have the tallest house on our street. It is an amazing option for us. Athena Nagel  @stuffofsuccess

Solar Bargnhtress @Bargnhtr


The Passivhaus Movement Comes to Australia

The Passivhaus is a German concept design for structures based on passive solar research done by the U.S. Department of Energy in the 1970s. Translated from German, the name literally means a “passive house,” and these structures are built with most rigorous design stipulations in an effort to be spend as little energy as possible when running a building.

The idea behind the passive house should be a starting point for the plans of all buildings, because it begins with a standard of energy-efficiency at its core. Passive houses aim to come as close to zero energy as possible, and though its success depends on many factors, the ambition of efficiency for the sake of environmental care is good for everyone.

Qualities of a Passivhaus

For a home or building to be a passive house, it must meet certain criteria. The guideline for these criteria are on a spreadsheet called the PHPP, Passive House Planning Package. A few of the qualifications that make a house passive are:

  • Superinsulation
  • No thermal bridges
  • Airtight
  • Heat-Recovery Ventilation, or HRV
  • Optimal passive solar design
  • High-performance doors and double glazed windows
  • Leverages internal heat gain

Image Source: By Passivhaus_section_en.jpg: Passivhaus Institutderivative work: Michka B (talk) – Passivhaus_section_en.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0,

When a home is built with an efficient passive design, it can reduce the thermal load of a structure by 90 percent. In such homes, comfort is provided from a few sources:

  • Passive solar heat
  • Heat waste from electrical tools and appliances
  • People’s indoor activities

The level of detail is exacting and would intimidate most Australian designers, builders and engineers. However, those working with the NatHERS system won’t be surprised by these prescriptive standards.

The Viability of the Passivhaus in Australia

The obstacles to passive houses in Australia involve airtightness, which has been a major difficulty for some of the nation’s contractors. There is some misconception that passive houses are like hermetically sealed boxes — the antithesis of the Australian lifestyle. In truth, Passivhaus provides an energy-efficient solution that allows for a comfortable indoor temperature.

The HRV systems take dirty air that’s exhausted from the structure and recirculates 100% fresh, filtered air so that, even in the heat of Australia, passive houses offer a sustainable and affordable solution to temperature fluctuations. The resistance to Passivhaus in Australia has been in part due to a fear that windows would forever be shut, but that isn’t accurate.

Experts who have experience in the design of passive houses suggest that when these structures are designed according to those exacting specifications, the opening and closing of windows is actually beneficial to the overall performance of the building.

ACM Group Discusses Environmental Protection

ACM Group is an organization whose priority to educate people about what they can do to conserve natural resources. They want to be able to help keep the Australian flora and the fauna around for the next generation to enjoy. This group is looking to have people learn about the environment so that generation to come can enjoy the natural landscape of Australia. They want to make sure that the next generation can go to the beach and swim in clean what that is pollution free.

The Great Barrier Reef is a popular attraction in Australia and everyday it is being damaged by pollution. The ACM Group wants people to understand the importance of keeping the water clean before it is too late for the reef and the marine life that lives in it. If the reefs die not only will this hurt the environment but it will hurt tourism as well.

The Adani coal mine would cause damage and pollution to the waters. The ACM Group wants to stress to people how dangerous this is and that nothing good can come with the mine. They are working hard to spread awareness of the dangers of this mine and the harm that it can do to the environment and the people of Australia.