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4 Weird Ways to Green Your Home Business

You refuse to purchase plastic water bottles, your home business is paperless, and you recycle and reuse whenever possible. You are at peace knowing your efforts to minimize your carbon footprint are making a small but meaningful impact on the planet.

But there’s always something more you can do. Consider the following 4 unordinary ways your business can continue to make progressive moves to better the planet’s health.

Create a Healthy Breathing Ecosystem

Plant life is important for filtering the air we breathe. Your home business will benefit from healthy plant life both in and outside of the house. Consider using a rain gauge to water your plants and conserve water. The presence of healthy plants is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it also adds more essential oxygen to the environment.... read more

5 Ways to Save Green by Going Green

Non-renewable energy comes at a price. The more of it you use, the more you’re going to pay. In the same way, our consumption of these energy resources comes at a price to our local, regional and global ecosystem – and its cost might be higher than we were ever willing to pay.

Unfortunately, there seems to be a commonly held misconception that it’s infeasible to offset our individual costs and those on the environment. Well, I’m here to tell you that this it’s totally feasible, and anybody can save green by going green.

You just have to do a little bit of homework before you get started.

Research, Research and More Research

What you’re trying to accomplish is a systemic switch in which type of energy you use, and how much you’ll be consuming. This is going to be a great deal more extensive than just changing out lightbulbs, so it’s going to require a good bit of research on your part.

Here are just a few questions you’ll want to ask yourself to give you a starting point:

  • Where do you live? You need to determine your region’s climate and how your energy is commonly supplied in your local area.
  • What is your living situation like? Do you rent or own? What are you currently using for energy utilities?
  • What is your current budget for the project? Think of this switch as more of an investment than an overhead cost.
  • What can you do (rather what do you want to do)? Some changes might not be possible, given your living situation, due to space or legal issues.

 

... read more

Make Black Friday a Little Greener

Black Friday a.k.a. the day after Thanksgiving a.k.a. one of the biggest shopping days of the year.  Stampedes, traffic jams in parking lots, and BIG sales.  I've never been one to brave the shopping crowds; I always devoted the day after Turkey Day to alternating between stuffing my face with leftovers and lying on the couch in a carb and tryptophan coma, but Black Friday is incredibly popular.  Over recent years, there's been a Black Friday backlash and Adbusters dubbed the day Buy Nothing Day

Obviously, shopping on Black Friday is not the eco-friendliest way to spend a day.  But, let's say you wake up the morning after Thanksgiving, pumped up on adrenaline and ready to shop 'til you drop, that's cool, too.   How can you make your Black Friday shopping spree a little greener?

... read more

Green Your Turkey Day!

Less than three weeks 'til Thanksgiving!  If you're having Thanksgiving right now, you might be thinking about ways to make your Thanksgiving dinner a little greener.

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  • Look into getting a local free range turkey.  You may need to order one in advance, so start making calls now!  Lower your Thanksgiving's carbon footprint and support a local farm!

  • Make as much at home as possible.  Things like cranberry sauce often come in cans, creating more waste.  Find some fresh cranberries and make your own sauce.  (And if you're near cranberry bogs, get some yummy local ones!)  

  • Use up the whole turkey.  My husband loves those giblets, but I can't stomach them.  You can always use them to cook things like gravy.  As for the bones and stuff, consider making some soup the following day.  My husband is half Chinese, so his tradition is to make jook (Chinese porridge) the next day with the turkey carcass.  Check out this recipe.  


Fun Fact Friday - Stop Junk Mail

junk mailAre you sick and tired of coming home from work and seeing that your mailbox is full of with unsolicited mail, including those particularly annoying preapproved credit card applications?  Well, for today's Fun Fact Friday, I'm here to tell you that there's a way to put an end to that - or at least to lessen the stacks of junk mail you receive.  ... read more

Eco-Friendly Goody Bags

eco-friendly goody bagIf it's your kid's birthday party and you don't want to fill up a plastic bag with little plastic toys and Tootsie Rolls, there are fun, practical, and eco-friendly alternatives to typical party favors.  Unfortunately, a lot of items marketed as a green party favor are prohibitively expensive.  Who can afford to spend $7 on a wooden toy car for each kid?  Before you know it, you'll be spending over $100 on party favors!  My ideas are much cheaper.  Plus, the kids will love them and they're not too expensive, either!  

1.  A craft.  It's a party activity AND something fun to take home.  For my son's party, we bought plain tote bags and fabric markers.   Kids can reuse the bag over and over again, so it's useful, too!  Another fun idea is decorating pillow cases...especially if it's a slumber party!  

2.  A book.  Little Golden Books are a perfect party favor!  They're inexpensive, but they have classic titles that we grew up reading, like The Poky Little Puppy, to more modern tales starring favorite characters, like Thomas the Tank Engine.  ... read more

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Fun Fact Friday: Upcycling the Rockefeller Christmas Tree

Irockefeller center christmas treet's not Christmas in New York City without the famous Rockefeller Christmas Tree.  The 2014 tree will be lit for the first time on Wednesday, December 3.  It's free and open to the public or you can watch on TV.    This is a tradition that's been going on for over 80 years!

But here's a fun fact for your Friday -  Afterwards, the 20-foot-high tree is upcycled for an awesome cause:  Habitat for Humanity.   This will be the eight consecutive year that the tree is donated to Habitat for Humanity.  ... read more

Are Biodegradable Bags Really Biodegradable?

plastic bagOver the past few years, I've wound up with an occasional green "biodegradable" plastic bag, usually when taking home leftovers from a restaurant.    But are they actually biodegradable?  

As it turns out, no.  Alas, it's more greenwashing.  

Last month, the FTC sent warning letters to 15 additional marketers, informing them that their claims might be deceptive.   The FTC requested “competent and reliable scientific evidence proving that their bags will biodegrade as advertised."  The companies that manufacture these bags call them "oxo-degradable," meaning they supposedly break down after being exposed to oxygen for a while.  But the FTC isn't buying it and neither is Joseph Greene, the department chair and professor in the department of mechanical and mechatronic engineering and sustainable manufacturing at California State University, Chico.... read more

Want to break free? - How going off grid could save more than the planet

Solar Panels

Fed up with increasing electricity bills from utility companies who seem to think they can charge what they like for energy? You’re not alone. With the average electricity bill growing by a whopping 37% over the last few years according to research by the Citizens Advice Bureau reported by The Guardian – and set to rise at up to eight times the rate of earnings – electricity bills seem to be getting more and more shocking by the month.

But what can a householder do? With everything from lighting to phones and kitchen appliances reliant on electricity, this energy is part and parcel of modern day living. But we needn’t go back to medieval lifestyles and stop using it altogether to beat the utility companies (though the companies themselves appear to doing a convincing impression of the evil barons from that era).... read more

What to do with those pumpkins after Halloween?

We hope everyone is having a nice Halloween!  

You probably have some pumpkins sitting on your porch and you might be wondering to do with them now.  Don't just throw 'em out!

Here are some tips.... read more

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