Environment

Mothers Day Gifts for the Green Mom: Environmentally Friendly Gift Ideas for Mothers Day

 

Mom will appreciate the thoughtfulness shown by her loved ones who have taken the time the time to explore her interests.

 

Natural Gifts for Mom

Mother’s Day is beautifully timed with the beginning of the gardening season. A flat of flowers, vegetable or herbs for the gardening mother makes a wonderful gift. An ornamental bush or tree is also a thoughtful gift for the environmentally aware mom with a green thumb.

For the crafty mom, unbleached yarns or materials with low-impact dyes can get her creative juices flowing. Search craft stores for organic wools and cottons. Pick up knitting needles and crochet hooks made of bamboo to round out the gift.

Books are always a great gift for any occasion. The book doesn’t have to be specific to green living, but can be targeted at specific areas of living an environmentally life. Books on gardening, crafts, herbs, and do it yourself project are just some of the subjects mom may be interested in.

A water filter accompanied by refillable to go cups is a thoughtful gift for the busy environmentally conscious mother on the go. Not only a timesaver as she will not have to shop, store and recycle those landfill clogging plastic bottles, a water filter will save her money in the long run. She’ll be reminded of the thoughtfulness and support shown by the gift each time she turns on the tap.

 

Personalized Green Mothers Day Gifts

Economical homemade natural products for mom’s beauty routine may also be the perfect Mothers Day Gift. Natural skin and hair care products can be personalized with her favorite herbal scent by adding essential oils to the homemade offering.

A basic moisturizer for mom can be made with equal parts of olive oil and emulsifying wax. Simply melt the wax in a water bath, and mix in the olive oil. Add a few drops of her favorite essential oil and pour into a decorative jar. Tie a handwritten note around the jar with wishes for a Green Mothers Day.

If the perfect gift is still elusive, don’t forget the gift card, which will allow mom to pick out items for herself. Online personalization is available, but even off the rack cards come in so many designs that it will be easy to choose the one that fits mom’s personality.

Emphasize the environmentally friendly theme by forgoing the fancy wrapping and tucking the gift into a reusable shopping tote made of recycled or natural fabric.

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Eco-Friendly

Have an Eco-friendly Holiday: Saving the Earth by Making Less into More

Looking forward to the gifts, food and decorations that holidays give us can be fun.Yet it’s easy to forget that festive occasions like Christmas also add to the pollution, waste and energy consumption the planet already has to bear. Fortunately, there are simple ways to change holiday habits to keep the enjoyment alive without adding to environmentally harmful excess.

The Tree:

Christmas trees are an important symbol of this special day. In the past, trees were often harvested from forests and then cast into dumps after the holidays. Now, if you’re set on a cut tree, a tree farm is your best bet. “For every tree harvested at a tree farm, another 10 are planted to ensure a crop every year,” reminds Homemakers’ magazine. Further, if you put them out for recycling, the trees are chipped and used again. A live, potted tree is also a good option. If you take care of the tree, it can also add to the oxygen circulation in your house year round. Decorating it with homemade ornaments or edible ones like popcorn is also an environmental choice. Try to avoid stringing the tree and the house with lights or replace with LED bulbs.

The Gifts:

Buy less. Many presents bought at holiday time are purchased on the spur of the moment, last minute or without considering long term use. Think beyond the instant of its opening to what will become of the gift in a few weeks or months. If you’re buying battery powered presents, include a recharger and reusable batteries with them. Avoid over packaged items. Buy secondhand: “Try flea markets, antique jewellery and vintage shops for gifts.” Better yet, make your own presents. Homemade jam or chutneys, art, baking, seasoned nuts or dried fruits, or even just a hand designed card with a poem in it create meaningful memories. Or you could give a certificate for childcare, a movie, or a donation in the person’s name to an environmental group or charity. Reuse wrapping and ribbons. Pop the presents in a bag. Don’t forget to recycle all the paper products at the end, instead of adding to the “million extra tons of garbage” that Christmas has been known to produce!

The Food:

Order your organic, free range turkey early. Budget if you can to select only organic vegetables for the feast. Plan your grocery list carefully so that you can save gas by making only one trip to the store. If you can use public transit or walk, do. Carry the food home in canvas bags. Cook only what you and your family can eat, either on the day or as leftovers. Try not to overuse the stove. Compost any food wastes in a backyard or countertop composter. And give thanks for the feast, knowing you’ve done your best to have a truly green holiday!…

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Eco-Friendly | Green Living | Home | Home Appliances

Latest Eco-Friendly Home And Appliances Ideas

It is not only a matter of trend to move into an eco-friendly house, and it is not a secret that such home can save money for the owners. Unconventional energies are now available for more and more people, and you don’t have to spend a fortune today to live in such comfort.

Most common unconventional energies today are able to save up to 50-80% costs, but it is not only about that. A well designed house where angles are calculated to consider heating and air is a major improvement for health as well.

Best materials to use

Materials used to build such a home don’t pollute the environment significantly in any stage of building: design, mounting, or transport. Such materials are not toxic and they have to leave as less debris on the site as possible. A house with a wooden structure ensures a reduced heating cost. Other efficient building materials are straws, mud bricks or even vegetal insulators.

What appliances to get for your green home?

While researching for home appliances for your green home, check for the energy rating and green certification. Appliances like microwave ovens, refrigerator, dishwashers with low energy usage rating, save you money in terms of running costs and also reduce your carbon footprint. Even if they cost a little more it is worth spending on them since the ROI is definitely worth it.

Are there any dangers?

Eco-friendly houses building is relatively new, therefore the demand for such houses is bigger than the offer. If an eco-friendly house is not built right, it might bring more problems than benefits. A wooden framed house which is not well finished is vulnerable to mold, humidity and insects. Moreover, the insulation of such house has to be made of a material that lets the wood breathe and reduce thermal transmission at the same time. It is why you need to make sure the house is built by experienced builders with eco-friendly projects and structures.

The concept of green-house appeared from the need and will of people to protect the environment and to replace traditional concrete buildings with something new. Even if the materials from which these houses can be built are still limited, they are resistant on the long term and they sometimes look like architectural wonders.

Usually, green houses are built to be well exposed to the sun during the winter and shadowed during the summer. The concept of ‘natural’ building means a construction that uses natural elements for maximum effects. A green building is made with care about minimizing the impact on the environment. Besides the actual building projects, other aspects such as efficient illumination and flexibility of the interior space are considered.

What about the costs?

The costs of maintaining such a house are only diminished if the building is also passive, meaning it does not generate pollution. Considering the percentage of energy that you obtain from natural resources, it is possible to save 30-40% on costs yearly. Surprisingly, this is not the main reason for which people choose to move in such houses.

People looking to make this change are usually more interested about their health. The decision to have a baby is one of the most common reasons for which families want to move in a house where it is easy to benefit of natural light and fresh air. Moving in such a house is a decision on the long term; therefore make sure you are choosing the builder with care. As we are talking about relatively new building concepts, most of traditional building companies are not able to build such houses just yet.

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Eco-Friendly

Making Eco-Friendly Changing Mats: VOC-Free Diaper Pads Make Great Baby Shower Gifts

 

Most baby changing mats, or diaper pads, are made of a soft, wipeable surface to ensure a hygienic change. However, most are coated with PVC (polyvinyl Chloride) a plastic that has been linked to asthma and other breathing difficulties. PVC does not biodegrade quickly, and when discarded it leaches greenhouse gasses into the air, as it breaks down.

 

Biodegradable Changing Pads

When choosing a fabric for a changing pad, an organic cotton or fabric means that no pesticides were used in growing the material. When the use of the changing pad is over, it can biodegrade quickly. Organic versions of cotton, bamboo fibre, and flannel can be found online, if a fabric store doesn’t supply unbleached or naturally dyed fibre cloth.

Using Online Resources to Buy Organic Fabric

Buying fabric online may make some people nervous: If it’s not the quality of the fabric, or the texture, not being entirely sure if the colour on seen on the computer monitor matches the actual item are all considerations when buying anything over the Internet. However, if the store has a return policy for items bought online, buying organic fabric online may be worth it.

In many cases yardage costs less online than in a store, as shopkeepers don’t have to pay for storage, inventory and staff. If an online purchase is truly an eyesore, sending it back to the warehouse if the purchase policy allows may still be worth the cost of shipping.

Where to Find Organic Fabric Online

Some sites that sell organic cloth online are:

 

  • Organic Fabric Online (Australia)
  • Atlantis Fabrics (USA)
  • Rawganique (Canada)

An online search using words like “sustainable fibres” or “organic, unbleached” along with the name a destination closer to delivery will also reduce the carbon footprint for making this homemade gift.

Making A Changing Pad

Some changing pads are as decorative as others are simple: Some use quilted fabric for texture, and others sandwich a thin foam rubber between two sheets. Using a plastic based foam padding is not recommended for children; the glues and the materials often release deadly Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOC’s, for short.

Once a style of fabric has been selected, making one doesn’t have to involve long and complicated sewing patterns. The average diaper pad should be a foot longer at the head and the foot to accommodate a child who may be up to two years old, and slow to potty training.

Online patterns for making your own diaper pad can be found on the craft blog, Sew Take a Hike, which includes photographs and a step by step tutorial. Another option is modifying a pattern for placemats by making them a foot longer at each end; eHow has several options that include photographs.

A changing mat as a baby shower gift is especially well received when it includes the colours of the baby’s nursery: A discrete peek or some questions can make this gift an eco friendly delight.

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Eco-Friendly

Keep Toxic Chemicals Out Of Trash: Dangerous Wastes Can Enter Food, Water Chains in Household Garbage

 

Your home’s medicine cabinets hold potential dangers not only to small children in your family, but to the environment and — ultimately — all of us.

That’s because disposing of old medicines, especially by flushing them, can allow a virtual cocktail of pharmaceutical chemicals to enter the sewers, natural water ways and, eventually, our freshwater drinking supplies. It’s definitely not a case where “what you can’t see can’t hurt you.”

Scientists are discovering more and more how many ordinary household products end up contaminating water resources and harming aquatic life and other creatures higher up the food chain. Their findings go way beyond the already-alarming recent revelation of the presence of numerous pharmaceuticals in municipal drinking water supplies in the U.S.

Chemicals linked to detergents, perfumes, antibacterial soaps and medications, for instance, have been found in earthworms, which play a fundamental role at the beginning of the human food chain. And discarded birth-control pills, hormone-replacement medications and livestock hormones have been linked to sexual and developmental abnormalities in fish, frogs and other animals.

So how can you avoid contributing to the problem? These three recommendations can help:

  1. Check with your pharmacy before discarding old prescription medications. Initiatives like the Teleosis Institute’s Green Pharmacy Program now accept certain unused pharmaceuticals for environmentally safe disposal. Some aid organizations also collect medications for use in developing countries or after natural disasters. If old drugs you no longer need can help someone else rather than end up contaminating the environment, why not take the time to find out how?
  2. Keep disposed drugs from leaking into the environment. First, to discourage anyone else from using old medications, crush pills, mix with salt, flour or charcoal, and return to the original container. Then, tightly wrap the container with duct tape and seal in a plastic zip bag before throwing in the trash. Tossing out old medications this way helps reduce the chances of chemicals seeping into landfills and eventually entering natural waterways.
  3. Finally, avoid unnecessary medications whenever you can. While some medicated products are essential, you can easily do without others such as antibacterial soaps. These soaps not only contain triclosan that can harm algae and fish, but they’re increasingly being blamed for encouraging the rise of antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” that are dangerous to animals and people alike. Stick with old-fashioned soap and water for hand-cleaning, and consider — carefully — natural remedies for other conditions. You can find helpful information about such remedies at MayoClinic.com and the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Complementary and Alternative Medicine Index.

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Environment

Go Green Simply – April: Tips to Help You Make Environmentally-Friendly Changes

Here are this month’s five steps you can take to modify your lifestyle and practice more environmentally-conscious choices. To date a total of 15 tips have been provided and hopefully you have been able to incorporate most of those into your lifestyle already.

With each resolution you incorporate into your daily routine, you will find practicing these environmentally-friendly lifestyle tips easier and you will soon notice a difference in how you go about your life on this fragile planet, not to mention the financial benefits of living eco-friendly.

Use only 100% Post-Consumer Recycled Paper

Your toilet tissue and computer paper might say they are from recycled sources, but were they derived from 100% post-consumer recycled paper? If not, you might be surprised to know that trees were still used to produce your products. Post-consumer content is paper that has been collected back from consumers and then remade into a new product. When a product just states it is made with “recycled” materials and does not include a high level of post-consumer content, this simply means that the leftover tree products at the mill were reused during production. Therefore, recycled paper does not mean that it has helped to reduce landfills or conserve forests. By buying only 100% post-consumer recycled content ensures that no virgin fibre was used.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

We have been hearing about the three “Rs” for years, but don’t underestimate the importance of this simple slogan. Take a mental inventory of your home and the things that you can do to minimize your environmental impact. Go from room to room to conduct your mental inventory and think of items you can reduce your use of and overall consumption. Are there any items you could be recycling that for one reason or another you have not yet been doing? What items in your house can be reused instead of discarding or recycling immediately after using? Remember that recycling still takes energy and resources so the more you can reuse an item before recycling, the better.

Avoid Harmful Chemicals

Going back years ago when reduce, reuse and recycle first became popular, there was plenty of talk about the damage caused by aerosols and the Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) contained within them. While the production of CFCs has basically been banned in much of the world, this is not to say that there are not plenty of other regularly household items that may have harmful amounts of chemicals and toxins. One way to avoid harmful chemicals is to only buy natural cleaning products and toiletry products, which are formulated only from naturally-occurring elements. If a cleaner is corrosive to human skin, one can only imagine the damage those same chemicals must do to the soil. With young children or any pets in the house, there are a plethora of reasons to ditch the chemical cleaners and other products and opt for a more natural alternative.

Eat Local

This has become the latest catch phrase in the environmental movement and everyone is talking about “eating local.” There is a simple logic behind it: eating local means eating products that were grown in the vicinity of your city or town and was not shipped or transported by truck from around the country or world. This is a better environmental choice because eating locally uses fewer resources, energy and helps to support a sustainable farming economy in your region without relying on other jurisdictions to provide food items.

Switch your Light Bulbs

If you haven’t already made the transition from incandescent light bulbs to Compact Florescent Light (CFL) bulbs, you have a lot of catching up to do. Despite the small amount of mercury contained in CFL bulbs (which means that these bulbs must be properly disposed of at the facilities provided by your municipality to handle dangerous waste), these bulbs have emerged as the best choice for the environment and for your energy bill savings. They are available in a variety of sizes now and have a drastically longer life than regular light bulbs, while consuming just a fraction of the energy of incandescent bulbs.…

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