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Zuke's Pet Treat Giveaway!

zuke's pet treats

My cat loves Zuke's G-Zees cat treats and now it's your chance to WIN three bags of the pet treats of your choice!    Zuke's offers a variety of dog and cat treats, so no matter which furry friend you have, you can choose the appropriate treats!    Zuke's is a green company and Keen For Green is happy to partner with them for this giveaway.... read more

Is Your Insulation Eco-Friendly?

If you’re thinking of insulating your loft, then it may have crossed your mind about the materials you will use. It may surprise you to find out that insulating materials aren’t necessarily environmentally friendly, and this is probably part of the reason that you’re insulating your loft in the first place. All types of insulation will benefit the environment by helping you keep your heat in, but the materials that are used to create the insulation may not be so beneficial.

Fibreglass

Fibreglass is a material widely used for loft insulation in particular. It has great insulating properties, but it has a negative side to it too. Fibreglass requires a lot of energy to manufacture and the process may produce harmful emissions. It is also non-biodegradable, and will emit toxic fumes when burnt. It is very irritable to skin, eyes and throat and on installation protective clothing is advised.

Mineral Wool    

Mineral wool is made from a combination of recycled steel slag and basalt rock. Mineral wool is recyclable, but often non-biodegradable and emits toxic fumes when burnt. They are durable and resistant to rot, but also requires protective clothing to install.   ... read more

Sustainability Considerations When Using Self Storage

Self storage can be a Godsend for many people looking to move house, improve their existing home or just give themselves more space in the house. Many people are finding that they are running out of space at home, with cupboards and attics filled to the max, and self storage offers a better way to make their homes work for them, whilst still keeping hold of the things that they love. 

However, with so many storage companies to choose from, it can be hard to know which one is best. If you are generally an environmentally conscious human being, the green credentials of your home and business will be high on the list of priorities for you, but what makes them truly eco-friendly? Here are some key elements to watch out for when you are looking for environmentally friendly storage services.

1. Insulation
Insulated containers or storage rooms have dual benefits for you and for the storage company. Better insulation means the temperature is more easily regulated, leading to fewer requirements for heating in the winter and cooling in the summer for the maintenance of an even temperature for your good. Units with no insulation are more prone to dampness and condensation, and could end up damaging your belongings, so look for well insulated storage offers to find the best for you and for the planet.... read more

Can I Afford a Greener Home?

affording a greener homeWith all of life’s little distractions, most people do not have the time to think about “going green.”  Yet, you don’t necessarily have to make your home environmentally-friendly in one day.  You would be surprised how much of a difference little changes here and there could make. 

Conserving Water

One of the easiest ways to save money on bills and to be more efficient is to conserve water.  One change you can make throughout your home is investing in low flow shower and faucet heads.  They range from about $10 to $20 apiece and can save 25%-60% of your normal water usage.   This small investment could benefit your pockets within no time.

Appliances

Believe it or not, appliances can make all the difference in your monthly utility bills.  Replacing each appliance in your house with an energy efficient one can save 10%-20% of energy use which amounts to hundreds of dollars per year.  So although these replacements might be costly upfront, it could be more than worth it in the long haul. ... read more

6 Great New Uses for Those Old Tires

upcycling tires

You're an arts-and-crafts-y individual with some old tires laying around the garage. That rubber is pretty—no, really—old.

Why not turn those tires into something fun and functional? An old Nexen tire makes a great planter or swing, and you'll feel good about your repurposing efforts. These simple tips will help you give those old tires a second lease on life:

Pretty Planters


Turn an old tire on its side, fill it with dirt and voilà: It's a planter. Don't like the urban graveyard look? Try painting your homemade planter with bright colors and designs. Make a taller planter by stacking two or more tires on top of each other.... read more

A Greener Backyard

green backyardIt's summertime and we've been spending a lot of time in our backyard.  Especially with a toddler running everywhere, I've been thinking about ways to make our backyard a more eco-friendly place to spend time.  Here are some ideas:

- Use grass sparingly.  We do like to have some grass in our yard as it serves as a nice open playspace for our toddler, but we never use pesticides, we rarely water it (which, depending on your climate, may or may not be appropriate for you), and we mow it with a push mower.  Instead, plant gardens with native flowers and food you can eat.  When planning out your lawn, look into the different types of grass to see which is appropriate for you.

- Look for used backyard supplies.  You can often find great patio sets used (i.e. craigslist and Freecycle) and many of our backyard toys came from my favorite consignment shop: Kid to Kid.   Want something new?  Look for patio furniture made of eco-friendly materials.  ... read more

Since Asbestos is a Mineral, How Can it Be so Dangerous?

asbestos is a mineralAs part of their fight to keep their profitable asbestos products on the market, industry lobbyists have come up with several clever marketing campaigns to promote the fibers as “safe.” One such technique involves promoting asbestos as a wholesome material, made of nothing more than a naturally fireproof mineral.

Technically, that’s what asbestos is – a naturally occurring material that just so happens to be extremely durable and heat-resistant. But in reality, that’s only half the story.

While many people associate toxins with chemicals and man-made substances, asbestos is among several carcinogens that come straight from the earth. If you recall the peanut butter recall of 2011, or the arsenic-in-rice scare of 2012, you can thank two other “natural” toxins -- aflatoxin, a fungus that grows on stored nuts, and arsenic, which is leeched into rice from water and soil.

Clearly, asbestos is far from the only health-threatening substance that has a natural origin. But how exactly does a centuries-old mineral cause cancer?... read more

Extreme Solar Flares And Window Tinting Protection Against UV Radiation

The need for installing solar control window tinting to protect against harmful UV radiation has never been more urgent. 

In May 2013, the sun emitted three significant solar flares in under 24 hours, the final eruption in the trio being the strongest of the 16 flares seen this year with particles erupting at a staggering 745 miles per second. 

Extreme solar events are believed to occur only once about every 100 years. The current activity began in late 2012 with the sun’s 22 year magnetic energy cycle coinciding with its 11 year peak in intense sun spot activity. 

Records suggest that 1859 was the last time a huge flare affected the earth when eye witness reports claimed a large proportion of the sky was covered in a bright red haze.... read more

Making your family home eco-friendly

Families are now becoming more and more aware of the environment and the threats to it that our modern way of life has created.  Green issues, such as sustainability of resources, saving energy and water, and decreasing the negative impact on the environment are now high on the agenda for many people.  In the search for ways to live in an environmentally-friendly way, the family home naturally becomes a starting point.  Beginning with the design and furnishing of the home and extending into positive habits for day-to-day life, making the family home eco-friendly is simple and fun. 

Eco-friendly changes in the home 

One of the best ways to make a positive impact on the environment right from home is to furnish it with eco-friendly materials and pieces.  Far from being boring, eco-friendly furniture is made from some of the finest and most unique materials in the world.  

Wooden furniture is a very popular option with a wide variety of modern and traditional designs available to complement any décor.  Eco-friendly wood furniture is constructed from lumber that was harvested from approved harvesting sites located around the world.  These certified sites grow their trees from seedlings and constantly raise new generations of trees as they harvest the mature ones.  ... read more

Edible Utensils: Cutting Waste

Eating on-the-go is a way of life for most people. We are busy, and we don't apologize for it. With that lifestyle come certain compromises that we otherwise would prefer not to make. For instance, we may opt to eat fast food rather than a home-cooked meal. And when we grab that fast food, we are also likely to grab a plastic fork or spoon to eat with.

No matter how you look at it, plastic utensils result in a lot of waste. Whether it relates to recyclable goods being tossed into the rubbish, the packing materials the utensils come in, or the manufacturing process required to make the plasticware, there is waste involved.


Where's this garbage going?

Just a Few Facts

The typical plastic spoon or fork, just like the ones you pick up at your local deli or fast food restaurant, is made from petroleum. When it comes to the length of time it takes for a plastic spoon or fork to decompose, online resources vary greatly; the range found is between 10 and 100 years with a maximum of up to 1,000 years. Of course, it should be remembered that while the material is decomposing, it is releasing unhealthy substances into the earth.

But if you are on-the-go and hungry, you have to eat, and you may not have a lot of choices. There's a good chance you will need to grab a plastic fork or spoon from time to time. After all, you can't always be expected to have just what you need readily available.... read more