It'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
As 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
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
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
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
Individuals who are intentionally environmentally friendly at home often try to carry their eco-conscious way of living with them when they travel abroad. An eco-friendly style of travel is beneficial to other countries and also makes the person a goodwill ambassador for their home country.
Whether a person travels for business or pleasure, there are plenty of ways to take care of the environment no matter where the individual goes.
It takes seconds to toss trash in the garbage, but the positive impact lasts years.
Environmentally Friendly Tips for Travel Overseas
Rent a Hybrid Car.
The use of hybrid cars, at home and on vacation, prevents gas and oil pollution that affects the environment and our health. Renting a hybrid car while overseas is beneficial to the immediate environment and may also introduce the driver to a new way of taking care of their home environment.... read more
Eco-friendly clothing companies are gaining in popularity, and many people are proud to champion them along. Eco-fashions have a lot going for them: They are environmentally friendly, and they are fashion-forward in every sense of the word. Sustainable fibers make it possible to create high-quality garments that are comfortable and that last.
If you ask shoppers what the appeal is, you are likely to get a range of responses. For instance, some may simply say they like the fact that they are doing something nice for the environment, but other consumers may say they like the style or fashion design, and still others may insist that the reason they buy eco-friendly fashions is because pesticides are not used in growing the materials.
Designers of today have lots of choices when using eco-friendly fabrics.... read more
While I've made homemade cleansers and washing machine detergent in the past, I was wary of making homemade dishwashing detergent. I envisioned everything coming out dirty or with a sticky residue. Until recently, that is. It was a late night (when most stores were closed), we had a ton of dishes to do, and we were taking an early morning flight.
I quickly did some Googling, but all of the recipes called for borax or washing soda, which we didn't have. I finally found a recipe that called for neither. I was definitely skeptical, but it wound up working like a charm. It's cheap, too!
When you imagine the perfect garden, there's a good chance there's a bit of lattice somewhere in your mind. With its classic overlapping grid structure, lattice is extremely versatile in terms of purpose and appearance and it can be designed to suit any style!
Here are a few suggestions for incorporating lattice into your garden layout no matter the space you have to work with, as well as a simple DIY lattice garden project, plus best practices to keep in mind.
Lots of Lattice Options
Lattice is an excellent choice for so many things due, in large part, to its simplicity. In essence, a lattice is a panel of wood or metal strips made into a grid. Lattice in its natural wood tone provides a wonderfully blended backdrop to highlight whatever you are growing or you can paint the lattice in any color you desire to add a pop to your backyard landscaping!... read more
Although metal roofing has been around for hundreds of years, the concept has only recently gained traction among folks who care about humanity's impact on the environment. In addition to its obvious financial and practical benefits, metal roofing has a number of attributes that conspire to make it a particularly eco-friendly construction material.... read more