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Things You Can Compost

potato peels are compostableAre you new at composting?  Or are you a long-time composter unsure of what exactly you can compost?  I've been composting for about 6 or 7 years now and it has really helped my garden thrive.    At first, I was being very conservative with what I'd throw in the compost bin, but after a while I realized that there were a lot more I could be composting.

Here are some common household items that you can compost.  Some might be obvious, but some of these might come as a surprise!  ... read more

Greener Bathroom Habits

greener bathroomLet's face it -- the bathroom is not always the greenest room in the house.   There can be a lot of water consumption, harsh cleaners, and less-than eco-friendly personal care products.   Here are some tips for making the john a little greener:

Reducing Water Consumption:... read more

  • While the shower water is warming up, put a bucket under the shower head.  You can reuse that water in your garden or to flush the toilet with.

  • When it comes time to install a new toilet, consider dual flush.  It has two flushing mechanisms:  the one for pee uses less water than the one for solid waste.   

  • If your toilet isn't low-flow, put a brick in the tank to reduce how much water it uses.  

  • Make your showers short and sweet and turn off your sink while you're brushing your teeth.

  • When it's yellow, let it mellow.  Really! 

  • Look for low-flow shower heads.  

  • Opt for showers instead of baths.  A quick shower will use a lot less water than a soak in the tub.   

11 Ways to Go Green at Home

Doing our part to reduce landfill waste, create cleaner air and protect Mother Nature isn't as hard (or expensive) as it seems. As Earth Day (April 22) approaches, boost your eco-friendly lifestyle with these easy tips and tricks for going green.

Plant a Garden

Not only will a garden serve as a subtle reminder of where food originates, but you'll reap the benefits of having fresh produce at your fingertips. Start with seeds or even try re-growing vegetables from store-bought leftovers. For example, Mother Nature Network instructs how to re-grow celery from the base of a used stalk. Using a similar technique, you can do the same with the onion bulbs.

Change Light Bulbs

Slowly phase out your incandescent bulbs for LED bulbs. These use up to 80 percent less energy than incandescents and can last up to 25 times longer, according to Earth911.com.... read more

Why You Should Carbon Offset Your Flight

carbon offsetting flightsWe all love to travel to broaden our horizons, our experiences and our cultural boundaries, but planes consume fuel, generate carbon emissions and pollute the planet. In fact, air travel is the fastest growing source of the greenhouse gas emissions that are responsible for climate change. If you dream of heading off to a far flung and exotic part of the world but you’re worried about the damage you’re doing to our planet, you should think about carbon offsetting your flight.

 What is carbon offsetting?

Carbon offsetting scheme providers, such as Carbon Footprint, Carbon Neutral Company and Climate Care agree that while everyone inadvertently produces carbon dioxide emissions (some more than others of course!), there are ways that you can help to reduce the earth's total emissions to balance it out. By making a small contribution to one of these offsetting scheme providers, you can render the carbon emissions produced by your flight neutral. This is usually a tiny percentage of the cost of your flight and can be simply done online after making your purchase.... read more

Frugal gardening tips for a small backyard


small backyard gardeningIf you enjoy gardening but have only a small backyard, do not despair for you can still come up with some great ways of making it bountiful. You can make your backyard come alive with a neat lawn, plants, vegetables and flowers. Apart from the beauty of the garden you will also benefit from growing your own vegetables for the kitchen. This will save you a lot of money in the long run, although the initial cost may strain your pocket a bit. Here are some frugal gardening tips which will help you to maintain a small backyard garden throughout the year.

Make your own compost

Start collecting all your kitchen waste items like coffee grounds, vegetable peelings, tea leaves and eggshells to make your own compost. If you have no space in the corner of your garden to make compost pile then bury the waste right inside the soil. This organic compost will enrich your soil and will save you a lot of money on readymade compost.

Trade with a neighbor

If you have excess seeds and seedlings, trade seeds and cuttings with neighbor. It takes a little longer to start a plant from seeds but works out cheaper in the process. Look out for seed sales and stock them up and grow them indoors before the gardening season. You need not buy expensive containers for the seeds as you can use recycled containers which you might have at home. If you are starting from scratch, then invest in heirloom seeds for the first year so you can harvest and keep your own seed supplies for the next season.... read more

Go Green, Go Alternative, Help Save the Planet

image from sxc.huEvery day, people around the world do, deliberately or unconsciously, some activities that would affect the environment. No matter how big or small these activities are, they would still create an impact. Some of those effects would create an irreversible damage that also build ripples affecting humanity and all life forms. 

 

 

While it is true that scientists, environmentalists, enthusiasts, and advocates are working hard to protect and help the planet recover from the tremendous problems, the real truth is, the earth is everyone’s responsibility. We think it is a very difficult job to help, but there are actually a lot of simple things we can do to take part on this environmental rehabilitation and protection program.... read more

How to Start Gardening in the Spring Season

With the first warm seconds of spring, some additional gardening works are lying ahead to be carried out. Those falling branches and rough, dead leaves need to be cleaned off the ground and garden lawn. However, wait until the wetness of soil starts to disappear. However, don’t wait for too long or else the old weeds all get tangled for new growth. Cutting and cleaning the old plants is easier as long the new growth doesn't take place. So, be quick in your approach. Let's have a clear discussion on the cleaning process.

To start with gardening during the spring season, the very first task is to remove all the remains of dead annual plants. These plants will never return to their original state. So, their presence is not needed. They need to be removed and cleaned off properly. If this step is not taken, then the garden will showcase a very ugly outlook. The perennials of last fall need to be pruned back. There are a whole lot of different perennials that need to be left standing all through the winter season. This is primarily an additional protective measure. However, there is no reason to keep them for the spring. They will die back to the ground during the winter season. With the growth of new perennials, the old winter mulch needs to be removed. This ensure better plant growth and a much finer outlook/appearance to the garden.... read more

How To Make Your Swimming Pool More Eco-Friendly

For homeowners, the family pool is a great source of enjoyment – who doesn’t get pleasure out of watching the kids playing Marco Polo in the pool, or some other game they have devised. At the same time, energy costs and being friendly to the environment are also on the minds of consumers these days. There are a number of ways to make the pool more energy efficient and eco-friendly.

Energy efficient pool pump. To use less energy, consider installing a variable speed motor on the pool pump, so it doesn’t just run at high speed all the time. When the pool is not in use, the pump can still circulate the water, but not have to use as much energy. Check with experts to see if a smaller pump will work for the size of your pool.

A pump timer. In addition to an efficient pool pump, a timer can be a great investment to save energy. The pump can be set to run less when the pool is not in use, or even to run when there are price differentials for energy use. A timer is a relatively inexpensive one time expense that can lead to substantial energy savings over time. As well, a timer, which you can find here, helps lengthen the life of the pump itself.

Consider a pool cover. Experts indicate that the primary energy conservation tool for a home swimming pool is a pool cover. Water lost through evaporation is significant for a pool exposed to the open. There are a variety of choices for a pool cover – from a simple sheet of plastic that spreads out over the water, to electrically controlled covers which deploy at the push of a button. Installing a pool cover can save hundreds of gallons of water a month. As well, the cover retains heat generated by the sun, greatly reducing heating bills.... read more

Walking the talk: How to demonstrate green credentials

green credentialsResearch over the last few years has uncovered something of paradox – people want to buy ‘green’, yet are increasingly distrustful of businesses, so are sceptical of associated marketing messages. In this article, Rob Fenn at the British Assessment Bureau shows how businesses can demonstrate how they can walk the talk with a little help from an internationally recognised framework. 

The challenge 

A 2009 Edelman study covering more than 20 countries showed that only 13% of respondents trusted advertising, whilst a mere 21% trusted what they saw on websites. In the same year, the Cone Environmental Survey found that, despite the weak economy, attitudes toward environmentally responsible products remain strong. Later in 2012, Edelman conducted their own ‘Good Purpose’ study which read well for ethical businesses - 73% said they would switch brands if a different brand of similar quality supported a good cause. ... read more

Pepper Guide

Earlier this week I posted about beginning to prepare your garden for the spring.  One thing you can do - even if temperatures are still freezing and there's still snow on the ground! - is to start deciding what to plant and order your seeds.

Right now, I've got peppers on the brain.  Last year we grew jalapenos, and it was awesome.  We canned salsa galore, threw the peppers into all sorts of yummy food we were making, and we even did pickled peppers.  This year, I'd like to grow even MORE peppers!  But, sometimes it's kind of confusing.  Which peppers would best suit our needs?  Spicy?  Sweet?  There are so many kinds!... read more