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How to save money on your energy bills this winter

If you haven’t already heard, energy prices are set to soar this winter and carry on rising in 2013. Due to this, everyone is being advised to shop around, pick your supplier carefully and if not suffer the price increase on your January electricity bill. 

Considering it is December and the coldest time of the year, it is inevitable that you want to turn up your heating in a bid to stay warm this winter. However, have you actually thought how much this is going to cost you?  You can switch your energy supplier to make it as cheap as possible, but the moral of the story is that your heating bills are going to increase whether you like it or not.

In light of this, I wanted to write this post to give advice and support to all of those out there struggling with money worries this Christmas season; after all, energy bill hikes affect all of us!... read more

Greener Gift Giving

Because gift giving is such a focus of the holiday season many of the environmental issues which pile up from sea to shining sea over the final month and a half of each year are gift related. It doesn't mean people shouldn’t give their loved ones presents but with a little extra preparation we may be able to reduce our gift giving carbon footprints dramatically. 

For instance consider some of the following: 

DIY Wrap

Wrapping paper comes in all shapes and sizes and although only a little is used in each home it all adds up to a lot of waste. That’s why if you’re planning on concealing a gift so it’s a surprise try reusing or repurposing things from around the house to make your own wrap.

 

For example, if you’re planning to give a new baseball mitt or tennis racket wrap it in the sports section of the daily paper and add a little color to the newsprint with pencil, crayon, or markers. Even if you don't buy the paper anymore ask a neighbor for his copy. 

Another idea is to wrap a gift in an article of clothing you’re no longer using. Going with a sweater or vintage shirt the same size as the person receiving the gift means they’re essentially receiving two gifts in one! 

Renew something old

In some ways it’s so easy to go out to a department store, purchase gifts, wrap them up, and call it a day. However, if we want to get around all the waste from packaging and give the gift giving a truly green twist try renewing or fixing something which a loved one hasn’t had the time or funds to do themselves.... read more

Have a Very Merry Cardboard Christmas

Just because it’s the silly season, doesn’t mean it’s a good excuse to throw all care for the planet out the window.  We’ve all heard the horror stories about the amount of plastic waste filling up our beautiful oceans and waterways. And, as the shops fill up with even more plastic toys, games and trinkets to fill the christmas stockings, there’s no time like the present to look for alternative ways to celebrate Christmas while protecting the environment. 

 Christmas is such a magical time and no child should miss out on all the wonder the festive season provides.  As a mother I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that the cardboard boxes toys are packaged in can provide hours and hours of stimulation. The list of uses are endless, one cardboard box can be turned into a racing car, a cubby house, a workbench, a spaceship and so on. With this in mind, how about having a cardboard Christmas? 

O’ Christmas Tree 

In the Design Museum London’s public atrium stands the ‘world’s tallest’ cardboard Christmas tree designed by Giles Miller. At 20 feet the tree has approximately 3,600 individually-cut, handmade cardboard pieces, which swirl around the trunk of the tree. However, due to popular demand the smaller versions seem to have sold out in the lead-up to Christmas. But, you can find clever cardboard christmas trees at Not on the High Street, and Cardboard Safari have hunted down a cool little cardboard number to get you in the spirit. ... read more

Upcycling T-shirts into Bags

With the holidays around the corner, I've been thinking of some more green ideas for more eco-friendly gift wrapping options.  Recently, a friend of mine mentioned that there's a way to make tote bags out of old t-shirts.

Intrigued, I immediately looked online for instructions.  What a perfect idea -- reuse an old t-shirt, use it as a gift bag, and the gift recipient can use that bag for shopping -- so it can be used again and again!  I found this Today Show segment which instructs viewers on how to create a bag out of an old t-shirt.  You don't even have to sew.  All you really need are scissors, duct tape, and a stapler.  It's quick, too.

Check out the video below.... read more

Save Money, Save the Earth: Pocket and Eco-Friendly Christmas Decoration Ideas

Christmas is just around the corner. Many homes are already embellished with different kinds of Christmas decor. Both young and adults are looking forward to celebrate Christmas season since it is one of the most festive events of the year.... read more

Mold Removal: Homemade vs Store Bought Products

Mold development is common to many homes. There are numerous reasons as to why molds develop in certain parts of the house. Moisture is often the primary culprit of mold formation. Notice that those places which usually get wet becomes the favorite sanctuary of molds. Other causes of mold growth include incomplete dying of concrete materials, leaky roofs, plumbing problems, etc.

Image from flickr.com Creative Commons

When talking about mold removal, several products are readily available at the household section of the department store. However, some homeowners opt to use homemade solutions to eradicate the molds. And so, the big question is what are the benefits of using each option. Will there be a big difference?

 

Let’s try to see both sides to distinguish which option works best.... read more

Bathroom Renovation 101: Parts of the Bathroom that can Go Green

Green initiative has been widely promoted these days at home, workplace, schools and just about everywhere.

                         Image from sxc.hu

As a way to support the go green advocacy, many homeowners carry out renovation with the use of eco-friendly materials. One part of the house that should be renovated into green is the bathroom. Unless nobody is at home, this particular room is used everyday. Thus, water and electricity consumption in the bathroom is pretty high. In addition, most bathroom constructed years back are usually made from not-so environmentally friendly materials. All of these facets of bathroom contributes to the worsening effect of global warming.... read more

Green Renovations and Asbestos Removal

Home renovations – whether DIY or professionally contracted – require a significant amount of planning and foresight. Most homeowners put plenty of effort into choosing a design and crafting a budget – but there’s one consideration that’s drastically undervalued: preventing asbestos exposure during the remodel. 

While we’ve talked extensively about the natural origins of the carcinogen, we’ve spent little time discussing the ways that we can encounter it during everyday life. Most exposures occur in the workplace – but for those whose residences were built before the 1980s, exposures can occur at home as well.... read more

Want to Grow an Organic Garden? Here's How to Get Started

Gardening is awesome. It's therapeutic, it's productive, and it brings people back to a connection with their food that is missing in most modern humans. If you're going to develop a green thumb, develop it organically. 

Follow these tips to growing your first organic garden.


Gardening is a useful, spiritual hobby.

Compost

Composting is the height of going green. Taking what would have been food waste and converting it into new soil out of which new food will grow is not only the organic concept epitomized, but it's great for your garden. When composted, biological waste becomes what gardeners refer to as "black gold," a fertile, nutrient-dense soil, out of which anything can grow.

It's easy and cheap to get started. With a ready supply of compost, you'll never need chemical fertilizers.... read more

6 Pointers for Helping Your Wedding Day Be as Green as Possible

The problem with white weddings is that they aren't green. Some wedding traditions tend to be bad for the environment without even meaning to be. 

Not only don't you have to make sacrifices to have an eco-friendly wedding, but your wedding can be made better and more memorable. Follow these tips for an awesomely green wedding.


Your wedding can be awesome and ethical at the same time.

Plant Power

Decorate your venue and tables with plants, not flowers. Flowers have been the go-to for weddings - as well as birthdays, anniversaries, funerals, graduations, and every other event known to humankind - since forever. But they're dying as soon as they're cut, which means new ones then have to be grown and watered.

Plants gobble up carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, and there is no better symbol of green than that.... read more