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Green Living, Green Thinking – 8 Small Things You Do That Can Save the Planet Earth

As the world sadly mourns the recent passing of Nelson Mandela, it's clearer than ever how big a difference one person can make – and how much of an impact our actions can have across the whole world. Is history shaped by the actions of a few great men and women? That's a question for historians and philosophers, but the point is that we don't need to be politicians or 'great men and women' to make a difference. Real change happens when everyone does their bit, and there are plenty of small things you can do right now to make the world a better place – especially in the face of global warming.

If you want to do your bit and make a difference to the welfare of the planet then you don't have to become Prime Minister of your country, you don't need to give a famous speech and you don't need to make a breakthrough that solves the energy crisis. You just need to do your bit. Here are five ways to do just that…

Donate Some Money

Money

No matter how much you give, even the smallest donation can make a big difference to a number of green charities around the world. More to the point, if everyone thought the same way and gave just a few dollars, that would be billions of dollars to help put our planet back on track…... read more

Keep the Heat in this Winter

attic insulationNow that winter has reared its ugly head, it’s everyone’s mission to keep as warm as possible! 

With heaters on full blast around the clock, it’s no wonder that household bills skyrocket at this time of year.  According to ABC, The average American household will pay $992 in heating costs this winter, which is $94 higher than last year. This is because of a recent hike in oil prices.

As well as saving some money by keeping more heat inside, you’ll stop harmful greenhouse gasses from escaping into the atmosphere and adding to global warming. 

It makes sense to try and keep as much heat in the house as possible. Our guide is here to help! 

INSTALL ATTIC INSULATION

Most of the heat lost in your house is escaping through the roof. It can be quite expensive to have your attic insulated, but the long term benefits make the cost worthwhile. Make sure that you research a few firms before you make your decision, or ask friends and relatives who they have used to carry out the work.... read more

How To Achieve Eco-Friendly Living In Your Apartment

When you live in a city, a vast living space isn’t always an option. Good thing there are well-designed apartments and condo units that offer ample space comfortable enough to make a home.... read more

Reusing your Christmas tree -- creatively & green!

Christmas is over, it's almost the New Year, and you still have your tree sitting proudly in your living room.  I almost feel bad for Christmas trees...last week, they were the centerpiece of the holidays, decorated with garland, lights, and ornaments, with presents beneath it and children excitedly gathering around it.  Today, it's a reminder that the holidays are nearly over and that you need to remember to discard it.

Most municipalities offer Christmas tree pickups in January.  However, I have a few fun alternative things you can do with your old tannenbaum: ... read more

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