Green Your Home
The Holidays are upon us once again. As green-focused people, the Holidays can present somewhat of a challenge. You want to take part and celebrate with your friends and family, but you also want to make sure that you do not waste or increase your impact on the Earth too much. Some people choose to make their own gifts or buy only used items, which are both great ideas, if you have the time to do so. However, not all of us do.
Luckily, the number of eco friendly gift choices keeps expanding each year. So, if you do not have the time to make something yourself or spend hours hunting for the perfect used item in thrift or antique stores, you can still buy something and feel good that it does not harm the environment too much.
Here are our Green Gift Guide for 2012.
Read more on Green Gift Guide for 2012…
We have known for a while now that the Earth is warming. Granted, there was still some debate as to whether global warming was caused by human actions or not up until a few years ago. But now, it is generally accepted that mankind has at least contributed somewhat to global warming. That is why it was so shocking to see that in a recent survey in National Geographic, the U.S. ranked last in terms of green lifestyle choices.
With all of the advertised green household products we see in advertisements, and the campaigns for environmental sustainability and the drastic weather changes we have seen over the past few years, you would think that the U.S. would be on its way to becoming one of the leaders in global sustainability. Granted, the 2008 financial shock and lingering recession definitely dampened the ability of some U.S. families to be able to spend a little bit more for greener options. However, as we have noted in some of our other posts, being green sometimes does not have to cost anything. In fact, being green can save you money.
Here are five ways that you can save money and easily go green.
Like many people, we have cats. Despite the fact that their litter smells sometimes and that they throw-up hairballs on the carpet and shed all over our couches, we really do love them and try to do our best by them.
In truth, they are really my cats, as I am the one that takes care of them, gives them food and water and cleans out their litter boxes. The other day, I was cleaning out the litter and started to wonder what the litter was made of and if it was safe for them to use. I mean, every time I poured new litter into the litter pans, I would hold turn my head and hold my breath to keep from breathing the dust in. I knew litter was primarily made out of clay, but I did not know what else was in it or what kind of environmental impact it had.
I also wondered if there was a better way to deal with the dirty litter. My existing method was to scoop the dirty litter into a plastic bag and then throw that plastic bag in the trash, which is not green at all. But, as far as I knew, there was no other way to dispose of dirty cat litter.
So, I finished cleaning out the cat litter, filling up their food and water bowls and set out researching my questions. I soon found out that traditional clumping cat litter is not very good for cats, people or the environment and that there are much better options out there that also help with the problem of disposal of dirty cat litter.
Ah, summer. The time for cookouts, outside fun and, sometimes, unwanted visitors to your yard. One of these unwelcome visitors are ground bees (much like wasps, which we wrote about how to get rid of naturally a while ago).
I was out in the front yard a few weeks ago picking up some branches that came down after a rainstorm and our daughter came up and told me she had seen bees coming out of the ground. I was skeptical at first, as I had mowed the grass recently and done some other yard work and had not seen any bees. But, she took my hand and led me over to where she saw them. Lo and behold, there they were, small black and yellow bees flying out of the ground.
I wanted to get a better sense for the bees and their behavior, so I watched them a while. They were very small, only about an inch long. They were also not very aggressive towards me as I watched them, which made me think that they were not yellow jackets. However, I did not know for sure, and I had heard before that yellow jackets could nest in the ground and be docile at first and get very aggressive later in the summer. So, I started researching ground bees to determine what type they were and how I could get rid of them naturally if it made sense to.
If you have been following are blog, you have learned that modern, processed and prepackaged foods contain very little nutrition and can be full of hormones and nasty chemicals. Not only are processed and prepackaged foods not that healthy, but producing them typically causes great damage to the environment in the forms of: dangerous chemicals used as herbicides and pesticides, hormones used in meat production, GMO’s used in the growing of corn, wheat and other crops, and extreme use of energy (read: coal and oil) to produce and transport food across the globe.
Hopefully, you have switched over to eating natural and organic foods when you can. If you have, you are likely eating out a lot less and cooking at home more, which is great. However, how you cook the food you eat is just as important as the actual food itself. You can buy 100% natural and organic food or even grow your own food in your backyard, but if you cook it in the wrong pan, you can still introduce dangerous chemicals into your body.
Today, the most ubiquitous type of cookware available is non-stick. It is heralded as a quick and easy way to cook food and clean up afterwards. But, is nonstick cookware safe?
If you think about it, and take a look at your trash and recycling when you are taking it to the curb every week, we use a lot of stuff in a modern lifestyle. Almost everything we buy now is wrapped in some plastic or packaged in a container. While we feel good that we recycle and try to buy items that are packaged in recyclable containers, we still end up with a lot of stuff to recycle.
While we are working on reducing the amount of stuff we have to recycle by buying items that are not packaged, in today’s modern world, that is pretty hard to do. So, we decided to see what we could do on the other end of things, to reuse what we would normally end up throwing into the recycling bin. We started keeping some of the items that we would normally recycle (like cereal boxes, shoe boxes and some plastic containers) to see what we could do with them.
I started looking around and found that there are a bunch of great ideas out there to reuse stuff that is just lying around the house or destined for the recycling bin.
Wasps, one of nature’s most feared and gruesome creatures. Their long thin and thick bodies often remind us of something almost primeval. Anyone who has ever done battle with wasps around their home knows what awful creatures they can be. I am one of those people.
Last spring, there were wasps everywhere around our house. They were buzzing by our front porch, hovering around our cars, flying over our heads and pretty much constantly around us anytime we were outside. As we try our best to be green, we tried to live with them, knowing that if we did not bother them, they would not bother us. However, they were everywhere, so it was very difficult. Then, one day, a wasp got trapped between the storm door and the front door of our house. When our daughter came home and opened the storm door to get into the house, the wasp darted out and stung her. I will never forget the sound of her cry when that happened.
That was the day that I decided that the wasps had to go. But, I still wanted to be green about it, so I looked into how to get rid of wasps naturally and here is what I found (we recently wrote about how to get rid of ground bees naturally as well).
It’s that time of year again. The Holiday season is winding down, which means that it is time to ring in the New Year. However, traditional New Year’s Eve parties can be pretty damaging to the environment. From glitter and noisemakers to disposable plates, cups and silverware, to plastic tablecloths, most New Year’s parties generate a lot of trash.
In fact, in 2009, the New York City New Year’s Eve party generated about 40 tons of trash. When you stop to think about how many cities and towns hold New Year’s Eve parties, and then include all of the corporate parties and the smaller friends and family parties, you can start to see how huge of an impact New Years parties can have on the environment.
However, it does not have to be that way. There are many easy ways to reduce the environmental impact of your New Years Eve party so that you can have a green New Years. Read more on Green New Years Eve Party – 5 Tips…
Christmas is a great time of year, filled with joy, friends, family, fun and, of course, shopping and gifts.
All of that shopping, wrapping, driving and mailing takes quite a toll on the environment. Each Christmas season, more than 1.9 billion Christmas cards are sent. Those cards require almost 300,000 trees to be cut down. If you laid the cards end to end, they would stretch around the Earth five times. We use over 8,000 tons of wrapping paper, the equivalent of 50,000 trees. Add in 125,000 tons of plastic packaging too. And all of the toys we buy for the kids? Within three months, 41% of them will be broken and thrown away.
The above statistics do not even take into account all of the oil used to create, package and deliver all of the products. If you start to think about it, it becomes pretty easy to see how huge the environmental impact of Christmas can be.
Your personal environmental impact does not have to be that huge though. Luckily there are many ways to have a green Christmas. Here are our top ten tips for a Green Christmas.
The Holidays are fast-approaching and you may be wondering what you can buy for your friends and family members that will not only make them happy, but also not impact the Earth too much. It is a tough line to walk. In past years, it was very difficult, as there were fewer eco friendly gifts out there. You usually had to resort to doing something nice for the person or perhaps making them something yourself.
Now, however, there are many more eco friendly gift choices out there, so you can still buy something and feel good that it does not harm the environment too much. Here are our favorite eco friendly gifts for 2011. Read more on Eco Friendly Gifts – Our Green Gift Guide for 2011…