Monday, 5 October 2015

Green tips for your home: reduce your rubbish

Reduce your rubbish


You can implement many strategies to ensure your home is greener, environmentally friendly and less toxic, both for you and for the earth. This post will talk about reducing your rubbish load for your home to ensure it is greener and healthier for you, your family and your pets (if you have any).

It is really important to try to reduce your rubbish load to help reduce the amount of refuse and waste that is piling up in all of the rubbish dumps in countries all around the world. Some items of rubbish don't even decompose for many years and others get stuck in the waterways, poisoning and trapping wildlife.

Some tips on how to reduce your rubbish load:
  • Try to buy products that are re-usable instead of ones that are disposable - razors, cups, pens
  • Re-use your food packages - glass coffee jars, jams, juice bottles - these can all be re-used again and again, as storage for your other foods (just make sure you wash the bottles and jars properly after each use)
  • Buy fruit and vegetables loose, not in packets
  • Recycle your rubbish properly with recycling bins your local council provides and if you do not have the right ones or need more, request them
  • Compost your food scraps so that they do not need to go into your bins 
As you can see, there are so many ways to save the planet, which use up less energy, produce less pollution, save you more money and help your physical fitness. It's a win-win situation. So what are you waiting for? 

    Tuesday, 15 September 2015

    Advantages of buying organic food

    There are a number of really great advantages to buying organic foods (especially vegetables and fruits), over buying conventionally grown foods:

    1. Organic foods contain more nutrients
    Studies have shown that foods grown organically have more of the nutrients available in the foods, compared to foods grown conventionally.

    A report produced by the Organic Center and University of Florida reviewed 97 studies to compare the nutritional value of organic and conventionally grown plant-based foods (vegetables, fruits and cereals/grains). The authors of the review determined that the organic produce contained higher levels of eight of the ten nutrients reviewed. The review pointed out that the organic foods had much higher concentrations of a number of antioxidants and phytonutrients than the conventionally grown foods. The levels of the nutrients that were examined in the review were: vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, four types of phytonutrients, protein.

    Additionally, other studies suggest that organically grown foods have higher levels of iron, magnesium than foods grown conventionally.

    2. Organically grown foods are better for the soil
    Organically grown foods, by definition are better for the soil, as they use gentle and well established farming methods, which are known not to harm the soils. Organically grown foods use natural fertilisers, natural pesticides and natural herbicides. Organically grown foods use companion planting, which greatly reduces the need for pest control of any kind. Organically grown foods encourages a healthy ecosystem which provides plant safe insects (such as lady beetles) for pest control (of aphids).  Organic farming potentially offers a means of returning functional evenness to ecosystems.

    3. Organically grown foods may help reduce incidence of cancer
    Many studies have shown that foods grown organically have much higher levels of antioxidant phytochemicals, such as anthocyanins, flavonoids and carotenoids than conventionally grown foods. Phytochemicals are very important nutrients, as they inhibit the proliferation of certain cancer cells by preventing the mutation of cells, which is how cancer spreads. Studies show that the higher the levels of antioxidants in the blood, the less likelihood of cancer. 

    The are a few, minor disadvantages of eating organic foods, which should be mentioned:
    • The cost of organic food can be more expensive than food conventionally grown and produced
    • Sometimes organically grown food (especially fruit and vegetables) can look a little less "perfect" than conventionally grown foods

    References:
    • Benbrook C, Zhao X, Yanez J, Davies N, Andrews P. New Evidence Confirms the Nutritional Superiority of Plant-based Organic Foods. March 2008 (PDF). The Organic Center. Accessed 6 July 2010
    • Crinnion WJ. Organic foods contain higher levels of certain nutrients, lower levels of pesticides, and may provide health benefits for the consumer. Altern Med Rev. 2010 Apr;15(1):4-12
    • Crowder DW, Northfield TD, Strand MR, Snyder WE. Organic agriculture promotes evenness and natural pest control. Nature.  2010 Jul 1;466(7302):109-112 
    • Hsu YT, Shen TC, Hwang SY. Soil fertility management and pest responses: a comparison of organic and synthetic fertilization. J Econ Entomol. 2009 Feb;102(1):160-9 
    • Lairon D. Nutritional quality and safety of organic food. A review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development 30 (2010) 33–41 (PDF). Accessed 6 July 2010
    • Raigón MD, Rodríguez-Burruezo A, Prohens J. Effects of organic and conventional cultivation methods on composition of eggplant fruits. J Agric Food Chem.  2010 Jun 9;58(11):6833-40.

    Tuesday, 1 September 2015

    Advantages and disadvantages of raised beds vs traditional garden

    A small vegetable garden outside Austin, Texas

    There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to planting in either raised beds or a traditional garden and the use of one over the other, depends on a great number of factors.

    Planting in raised beds has a number of advantages: 
    • Provide an extended planting/growing season for the vegetables (generally)
    • Can be used instead of the soil in the ground if it is of poor quality
    • Weeds can be more effectively managed
    • The soil is not compacted and roots of the plants can flourish allowing better plant growth
    Planting in raised beds has a number of disadvantages:
    • There is a cost involved in purchasing the border/perimeter materials, which may not be so affordable for some
    • Less of the backyard will be utilised as the raised garden beds take up more room than a traditional garden patch
    • The more raised beds you have in your garden, the higher the costs will be to purchase the materials
    • It takes time to assemble and set up the raised garden bed before planting anything in there
    • Assembling and disassembling the garden bed material is often difficult and cumbersome if you want to move it to another part of the garden, or transport it to another home

    Planting a traditional garden has a number of advantages:
    • There are no extra costs associated with planting in the ground
    • Very easy to relocate the garden in different parts of the backyard
    • It's easy to find a spot for you garden, no precise measurements required, just dig where you want to plant your seeds/seedlings
    Planting a traditional garden has a number of disadvantages:
    • Planting/growing seasons is strictly limited to time frames within the season, not easy to extend past
    • Soil may be compacted which can cause some plants not to flourish well if their roots do not have freedom
    • Poor quality soil may not always be able to be reconditioned to a more appropriate state with fertilisers and other raw materials
    • It may be costly to try to invigorate poor quality soil to be acceptable for growing vegetables and fruits

    Tuesday, 18 August 2015

    Starting your first backyard vegetable patch - part 1

    A herbal garden at Beernem, Belgium

    Decide on the plants to grow in your garden
    The very first thing you need to do, before you even go outside to your backyard, is to decide which vegetables, fruits and nuts that you wan to grow. So make a list of them all - your wish list of plants.

    Your location is important in determining what you can grow
    While you may want to grow tropical fruit in a cold, mountainous climate, it may not be possible without a greenhouse and very specific conditions, before the plants can grow which is very energy-draining. It would be more beneficial for you and your garden, as well as being cost-effective to plant the vegetables, fruits and nuts that are the best for your climate.

    ABC Australia has produced a very nice gardening guide about what to plant where, depending on where in Australia you live. This planting guide is based for Australia and its various regions - tropical, subtropical, arid, temperate, cool - you can find out what to plant in each month, depending on where you live in Australia. It's an excellent tool.

    Decide if you want raised beds or to plant in the ground
    You need to determine if you want to plant in the ground, creating garden beds in your space in the backyard, or use raised beds to plant your vegetables and fruits. There are a number of factors you need to consider, including the space you have, your finances (it does costs more money and more effort to set up the raised beds than conventional gardens), the quality of your soil and how much time you have to organise your garden.

    I have written an article about the advantages and disadvantages of raised garden beds vs traditional gardens, which should help you decide.

    Find out where you can buy heirloom organic seeds or seedlings
    It is really important for people who want to have an organic garden that they use only certified organic seeds or seedlings that are heirloom. This means the seeds/seedlings coming from good stock, that is naturally pest resistant, provides a good crop on harvest and the seeds can be collected when the plant flowers to be used for the next season. In addition, being organic means that no chemicals have been used in conjunction with the seeds/seedlings and this is better for you and the environment.

    Heirloom seeds (most of which are usually organic anyway) can normally be purchased from a lot of organic grocery and food stores, but they are also available online. Only seek out a genuine provider to ensure you get the best quality seeds and seedlings. You can find some great organic heirloom seeds at Amazon.

    Tuesday, 4 August 2015

    Grow your own foods - to save money and your health

    Useful vegetables and fruits to grow

    There  is nothing better than picking your own fresh vegetables and fruits from your own garden, especially when they are organically grown. They taste just delicious and are so good for you.

    There are a number of vegetables and fruits you can grow in your own garden, whether that is outside in your backyard, on your balcony or even on your kitchen windowsill if you only have an apartment and not much room.

    Backyard garden
    If you have a house with some form of backyard, you can grow a number of vegetables and fruits to ensure you have fresh produce daily.

    Some easy-to-grow fruits and vegetables are (but you can try others too):
    • Herbs - there are a number of great herbs to grow: basil, parsley, coriander among others
    • Lettuce - try the more exotic varieties in lots of different colours to get more antioxidants
    • Onions - spring onions, shallots or scallions are all different varieties of onions and are so good for you
    • Strawberries - they grow well in most gardens
    • Tomatoes - try the different varieties in different colours
    Balcony garden
    You can grow all the fruits and vegetables that are recommended for the simple backyard garden.

    Window sill pots
    If you are short of space you can still grow tomatoes and herbs in pots on your windowsill in the kitchen.

    Here are some heirloom and organic seeds to try for your own organic garden (you can also search Amazon.com for heirloom seeds - which includes organic seeds - to find other seeds than the ones below):

    Tuesday, 21 July 2015

    Produce that are acceptable to eat conventionally grown

    The Environment Working Group (EWG) has produced a shopper's guide to pesticide residues on a number of fresh produce to help consumers make the best choices when it comes to their exposure to pesticide residues in their food.

    A number of common fruits and vegetables were tested to determine how much (if any) pesticide residues they contained after they were sold to consumers. According to the EWG, "when you choose fresh produce from the 15 least contaminated fruits and vegetables, you’ll consume fewer than 2 pesticides per day."

    The EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides ranks pesticide contamination on these fruits and vegetables (after they had been rinsed and/or peeled) based on meta analysis of 96,000 studies conducted for pesticides on these foods from both the USDA and FDA between 2000 and 2009.

    The clean 15 list of produce is:
    • Onions
    • Avocados
    • Sweet Corn
    • Pineapples
    • Mangoes
    • Sweet Peas
    • Asparagus
    • Kiwi
    • Cabbage
    • Eggplant
    • Cantaloupe (Domestic)
    • Watermelon
    • Grapefruit
    • Sweet Potatoes
    • Honeydew Melon

    It should be noted that this list of produce that has been tested has been in the USA, but undoubtedly similar findings would occur in Australia and so Australian consumers are advised to choose organic for these foods in particular, but other foods, as much as possible. The full list of the best and worst foods can be found on the EWG's Shoppers Guide to Pesticides.

    Tuesday, 7 July 2015

    The Dirty Dozen - Eat These Fruits and Vegetables Only Organic

    The Environment Working Group (EWG) has produced a shopper's guide to pesticide residues on a number of fresh produce to help consumers make the best choices when it comes to their exposure to pesticide residues in their food.

    A number of common fruits and vegetables were tested to determine how much (if any) pesticide residues they contained after they were sold to consumers.

    According to the EWG, "when you eat the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables, you’ll be exposed to an average of 10 pesticides a day."

    The EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides ranks pesticide contamination on these fruits and vegetables (after they had been rinsed and/or peeled) based on meta analysis of 96,000 studies conducted for pesticides on these foods from both the USDA and FDA between 2000 and 2009.

    The "dirty dozen" - the list of produce that should be purchased organically only:
    • Celery
    • Peaches
    • Strawberries
    • Apples
    • Blueberries (Domestic)
    • Nectarines
    • Sweet Bell Peppers
    • Spinach
    • Kale / Collard Greens
    • Cherries
    • Potatoes
    • Grapes (Imported)

    It should be noted that this list of produce that has been tested has been in the USA, but undoubtedly similar findings would occur in Australia and so Australian consumers are advised to choose organic for these foods in particular, but other foods, as much as possible. The full list of the best and worst foods can be found on the EWG's Shoppers Guide to Pesticides.

    Tuesday, 23 June 2015

    Buying organic foods

    Advice on buying organic foods

    Organic foods are grown, stored and packed without the use of toxic chemicals, with a view to a more holistic process that benefits the environment, the soil and humans.

    Many studies show that organic foods have more nutrients than foods grown conventionally - this could be because organic foods are grown in nutrient rich soils that are fed organic fertilizers and composts, which are so good for the soil, ensuring it is rich and fertile.

    There are many options today for buying organic foods:
    • Farmers markets - your local farmer's market is a great place to find certified organic, chemical free or non-pesticide foods that are in season from you local farmers. They will also stock conventionally grown foods, but at least they will be fresh. Farmer's markets are a great way to support your local community and reduce your carbon footprint by buying food that is local
    • Food co-ops - there are many food co-ops all around the country, at least one in every large city, where you can buy many different types of food (both products and dry goods) in bulk. Most of the food that co-ops stock is organic, but they may also stock some conventional foods (usually dry produce), if they cannot find the organic version. Food co-ops are a great way to save money and reduce your carbon footprint
    • Health food stores - most health food stores will store some forms of dry produce, from rice, pasta, flours, nuts, seeds, legumes and teas, while a few others may also stock consumables such as bread and fresh groceries. Find out from your local health food stores what organic produce they stock. Larger health food stores also have some type of customer loyalty program, where you get special discounts, so this can help you save more money
    • Online organic stores - a great number of organic online stores have popped up on the Internet, from organic stores which sell only fresh organic fruits and vegetables with a few dry produce, to super online organic stores which sell everything  - fresh produce, dry produce and personal care products
    • Organic grocery stores - a number of organic groceries stores have been opened in larger cities, which stock mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as other dry foods in bulk and some packaged dry produce (such as pasta, rice, flour). Larger cities have several organic groceries stores, so find out where you local one is located
    • Supermarkets - most supermarkets have a special section for their organic produce, yet others integrate their organic produce with their conventional produce. Ask your local supermarket how they store their organic foods, both groceries and dry foods so that you can find what you want quickly and easily
    Look for food that is certified organic to be sure that the food you have purchased is 100% organic - your food will have a sticker on it to denote the certification.

    Tuesday, 9 June 2015

    More Green Tips for Saving the Planet and Reducing Energy

    Modern technology, while so utterly useful (and even necessary for most of us), is one of the reasons why the planet is in the shape it is in.

    Unfortunately, for most of us, modern technology is also the main reason why the planet is in the shape that it is in and the main reason why we have greenhouse gases, the ice caps are melting and the earth's temperature is heating up.

    These environmental effects on the earth are very worrying for many scientists, who are predicting even more erratic and disastrous weather patterns in the future.

    Already we had the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami that wrecked devastation in the Indian Ocean, which was triggered by a massive earthquake off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. This earthquake started a series of incredibly devastating tsunamis along the east coast of most of the countries which bordered the Indian Ocean, killing more than 225,000 people in 11 countries.

    We have unseasonably warmer temperatures due to climate change, a great deal due to global warming. The impacts of this are absolutely devastating. Whole species are in danger of extinction as their natural habitat is gone for good.

    The King penguin, which exists in the Antarctica are in serious risk of extinction, because the ice at the Antarctica is melting at alarming rates, because temperatures have risen over 2.5 degrees Celsius in the last 50 years, which is about 4-5 times higher than the rest of the world. This also means that other native animals in the Antarctic are also at risk for extinction. This potentially can have a devastating effect on the food chain.

    In order to try to reduce the potentially disastrous effects of climate change and global warming, human beings as a whole, need to do the following:
    • reduce energy usage
    • reduce pollution
    • reuse and recycle everything
    • go organic for food production and consumption
    • stop culling so many native forests and the natural habitat of so many animal species
    • reduce the reliance on petrol as an energy source
    • find more viable methods of energy (such as solar or wind power)
    If we humans, as a whole, do not do this, then this planet may not exist for future generations.

    Tuesday, 26 May 2015

    Green tips for your home: save petrol and save money

    Save petrol and save money

    You can implement many strategies to ensure your home is greener, environmentally friendly and less toxic, both for you and for the earth. This post will talk about reworking your toilet in your home to ensure it is greener and healthier for you and your family.

    There are many ways you can save your petrol and engage in some extra physical activity, which will not only save the planet, save you money but will also be a great way to keep you healthy.

    The following are some simple ways to save petrol:
    • Use public transport as much as you can - this saves money, petrol and energy
    • Walk to a further bus stop (or train/tram station) that you normally get, this is an excellent way to get some residual exercise in your day and also a good way to save money from shortening your trip
    • Walk to the local shops when you need some simple groceries
    • Try to form a car pool with other people you work with - this will save you all money, reduce the amount of petrol fumes (pollution) and will help the planet - the more people in the car, the more the planet (and your pocket) will thank you
    • Try to ride a bike to work if you can - this is a free form of transport which also gives you a great workout
    • If you can walk to work, then do so - what an excellent way to engage in some physical activity and save money
    As you can see, there are so many ways to save the planet, which use up less energy, produce less pollution, save you more money and help your physical fitness. It's a win-win situation. So what are you waiting for?

    Tuesday, 5 May 2015

    Green tips for your home: rework your toilet

    Rework your toilet

    You can implement many strategies to ensure your home is greener, environmentally friendly and less toxic, both for you and for the earth. This post will talk about reworking your toilet in your home to ensure it is greener and healthier for you and your family.

    These days, most toilets are fitted with a dual flush capability, so most toilets are now more environmentally friendly and can use less energy (and water). There are though, some things you can do to ensure your toilet saves even more water (and energy):
    • Fix any leaks in your toilet - doing this can literally save hundreds of litres of water a year
    • Choose a new toilet that has a high water conservation rating - this is the new rating for toilets which means that the higher the rating, the more water the toilet flush saves
    • Always buy recycled toilet paper to use in the toilet
    As you can see, there are so many ways to save the planet, which use up less energy, produce less pollution, save you more money and help your physical fitness. It's a win-win situation. So what are you waiting for? 

      Tuesday, 21 April 2015

      Green tips for your home: detoxify your home with green cleaning

      Green Cleaning

      You can implement many strategies to ensure your home is greener, environmentally friendly and less toxic, both for you and for the earth. This post will talk about using green cleaning products to detoxify your home to ensure it is greener and healthier for you, your family and your pets (if you have any).

      Most conventional cleaning products you purchase at the supermarket are full of very toxic chemicals that are not only bad for the environment when they get caught up in our waterways, but they are also extremely toxic to humans.

      There are so many natural ways to clean every part of your house without having to resort to using these toxic products. This will allow you to use cleaner and greener cleaning methods that will not harm you, your pets, your children or the earth:
      • Buy natural cleaning products from your local health food store
        These are made without any petrochemicals, without harmful preservatives and other artificial additives (which are known irritants, especially for people with allergies, asthma and other respiratory disorders). The natural cleaning products are better for you because they generally do not have the same abrasive effect on you or your home. Natural products, while they do an excellent job, because they do not use any harmful chemicals, are much gentler on you and the environment.

        Buy only the natural cleaning product that have a guarantee of being toxic chemical-free, not just biodegradable, as they they are not as good. These products will not only clean all the different areas of your home, but will leave it feeling fresh and clean, without the strong smells of ammonia or bleach or other strong aromas that are added to conventional cleaning products to mask the strong chemicals used. Search Amazon.com for seventh generation

      • To clean stainless steel pots and pans:
        Use a little bit of bicarbonate of soda (purchased in the cooking section of supermarkets), add a little bit of vinegar and scrub. Use a little more bicarbonate of soda if the pot/pan is really hard to clean.

        The same method is good for cleaning the kitchen sink, if it is made from stainless steel. If it is made from a plastic, then just use the bicarbonate of soda only, as the vinegar may be too abrasive - use a softer cleaning scourer.

        This very simple, but effective method for cleaning, is going to make your stainless steel pots and pans looking like brand new.

      • Bathtubs and bathroom sinks do really well with the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar cleaning method:
        Simply sprinkle some bicarbonate of soda into your bathtub or sink, all around the bottom and sides (make sure it is a little wet so that the bicarbonate sticks to it) and then start scrubbing. Once you have scrubbed it from top to bottom and the sides, simply add some vinegar and start scrubbing again.Rinse out with water from the taps.

        Make sure you have the doors open when you are cleaning, especially if you have been using toxic cleaners before, to get rid of any chemical odours from the previous cleaning. Also turn the fan on or have the window open too if that is the case.

      • You can deodorise carpet so simply with bicarbonate of soda.
        Simply sprinkle a little bit of bicarbonate of soda onto your carpet (do one room at a time as it is easier), enough to cover the floor, but a very light dusting.Leave it for about 2-3 hours.Then vacuum up all the bicarbonate of soda from the carpet. The effect of this is two-fold: 1) You will deodorise the carpet from any smells that may be there and 2) you also clean the carpet at the same time.
        Most carpet cleaning products actually have a lot of bicarbonate of soda (it is the main ingredient in these products, but they also add other unnecessary and toxic chemicals too).

      • To make a nice smelling room deodoriser:
        Simply add 1.5 cups of water and 1.5 cups of vinegar and 8 drops of lavender essential oil (or any other oil that you like) to an empty spray bottle. Shake it up to mix the ingredients in really well. Then spray your room when you want to make it smell nice.

        You can try a combination of different essential oils to suit your taste. This is a simple, cheap and non-toxic room spray.You can even spray this deodoriser into the carpet, wait a few hours for it to dry, then use the carpet.
      As you can see, there are so many ways to save the planet, which use up less energy, produce less pollution, save you more money and help your physical fitness. It's a win-win situation. So what are you waiting for?   Search Amazon.com for organic cleaning products


        Tuesday, 7 April 2015

        Green tips for your home: reducing your water usage

        Reduce your water usage

        You can implement many strategies to ensure your home is greener, environmentally friendly and less toxic, both for you and for the earth. This post will talk about reducing your total energy usage for your home to ensure it is greener and healthier for you, your family and your pets (if you have any).

        There are a number of ways you can save water both inside and/or outside your home, depending on whether you live in a house or an apartment, a precious resource, to help you save the planet and ultimately help you save money (which is especially pertinent if you are a home-owner).

        Some useful tips on how to reduce your water usage, save energy and ultimately save you money are:
        • Install a rainwater tank in your backyard (some people may need more than one). Some Governments in Australia offer rebates to consumers who install rainwater tanks, so enquire with your local Government. The rainwater tanks come in many shapes and sizes, to suit any backyard. A rainwater tank (or more) means less water usage and less water rates
        • Have short showers
        • Fix any leaking taps as soon as possible - they can be a great source of water wastage
        • Solar or gas hot water systems produce about 50% less greenhouse gases than electric hot water systems
        • Always run your washing machine when it is full
        • Forget about using a dishwasher, it is much more energy efficient to use old fashioned "elbow grease" - just wash dishes by hand
        • People with two kitchen sink should fill the second one with cold water and rinse washed dishes in this sink, after they have washed it in the first sink. Once the water in the sink becomes too soapy, drain it out and refill the sink with some more cold water. This is a great saver of water, instead of letting water just run while rinsing cutlery, crockery or pots and pans
        • Turn taps off when brushing your teeth. Only turn the water on to rinse your mouth of the toothpaste
        • Install tap flow regulators to ensure you can limit water flow to a slower flow and save water usage. Most Australian Governments offer rebates for these devices (they also offer the rebates on energy-efficient shower heads too - enquire what products have a rebate associated with them)
        As you can see, there are so many ways to save the planet, which use up less energy, produce less pollution, save you more money and help your physical fitness. It's a win-win situation. So what are you waiting for? 

          Tuesday, 17 March 2015

          Green tips for your home: use energy efficient lighting

          Energy Efficient Lighting

          You can implement many strategies to ensure your home is greener, environmentally friendly and less toxic, both for you and for the earth. This post will talk about using more energy efficient lighting solutions for your home to ensure it is greener and healthier for you, your family and your pets (if you have any).

          There are a number ways you can use less electricity and thus less energy for all of your lighting in your home. Less energy equates to lower bills and that means you not only save the planet, but you also save yourself lots of money each quarter that you electricity bill arrives.

          Some tips to use more energy efficient lighting are:
          • Replace regular light bulbs with the energy efficient fluorescent lamps (CFLs), which last about 10 times as long and use 75% less energy than regular light bulbs
          • Use energy efficient downlights instead of the halogen lighting
          • Use light fittings with only one bulb - try to avoid light fittings that have several bulbs (such as chandeliers)
          • Use solar powered lights for all lighting outside your house - these are the cheapest lighting possible, as they run on solar energy
          • Add skylights to dark areas, to enable less usages of lights until it is really dark
          As you can see, there are so many ways to save the planet, which use up less energy, produce less pollution, save you more money and help your physical fitness. It's a win-win situation. So what are you waiting for?  Search Amazon.com for lighting

          Tuesday, 17 February 2015

          Green tips for your home: keep your energy costs low

          Keep your energy costs low

          You can implement many strategies to ensure your home is greener, environmentally friendly and less toxic, both for you and for the earth. This post will talk about checking your insulation at home to ensure it is greener and healthier for you, your family and your pets (if you have any).

          There are a number of ways you can make sure your home is properly cooled in summer and warmed in winter to save you energy costs and therefore money, save the planet and to make sure you are being more mindful of the environment.

          Some easy to implement and very useful ways you can ensure you keep your energy costs for heating and cooling your home low are:
          • Insulation - Ensure you have the correct insulation for your home. If you do this, you will save a lot of money and not use up so much energy cooling your home in summer or heating it in winter. Choose biodegradable wool insulation (or other natural fibres) rather than fibreglass insulation, which is not biodegradable (not good for the planet)
          • Awnings - Install awnings or blinds on your windows, to help cool your home in summer months - this is especially necessary for those people who live in a warmer climate or have hot summers
          • Curtains - Close your curtains (or blinds or other window coverings) on hot days, as this has the effect of cooling your home with no direct sunshine. Open the curtains again when the heat has cooled down
          • Draught Strips - Place draught strips around doors or windows that have gaps and are draughty in winter; this will help the rooms stay warm
          If you use these tips, you will go a long way into ensuring you save money by using less energy in winter and summer and save the planet too.

          As you can see, there are so many ways to save the planet, which use up less energy, produce less pollution, save you more money and help your physical fitness. It's a win-win situation. So what are you waiting for?  Search Amazon.com for curtains and drapes

          Tuesday, 20 January 2015

          Green tips for your home: use eco-friendly paints and varnishes

          Eco-Friendly Paints and Varnishes

          You can implement many strategies to ensure your home is greener, environmentally friendly and less toxic, both for you and for the earth. This post will talk about using eco-friendly paints and varnishes for your home to ensure it is greener and healthier for you, your family and your pets (if you have any).

          The natural paints use less chemicals, which means less energy at factories to produce them, less stress on our planet and ultimately when these chemical paints are used they end up in our waterways, which is one way that they become polluted from the noxious and toxic chemicals in the regular paints. This means plant and marine life in those waterways are destroyed or become very polluted, which in turn affects us when we eat them.

          Buy environmentally friendly natural paints and varnish, they use much less chemicals in them, which equates to less energy to produce them and they do not destroy plant and marine life in the same way that the regular, chemical paints do. In addition to this, these types of paints and varnishes are recommended for those people with allergies, asthma and other upper and lower respiratory illness, as they irritate the respiratory linings less. Another good reason to switch now.

          If you use these environmentally friendly tips as a way of life, it will decrease your carbon emission footprint on the planet.

          Go on, do it, your planet, the only one we have, will thank you for it - and so will your children's children and their children's children, who need to have a sustainable planet Earth to survive.

          As you can see, there are so many ways to save the planet, which use up less energy, produce less pollution, save you more money and help your physical fitness. It's a win-win situation. So what are you waiting for?

          Novel low-VOC paint technology. (volatile organic compound): An article from: Plastics Technology