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.

Continue Reading...

Environment

Green Gifts for Gourmets: Foodies Get Environmental

Today there is a huge emphasis on supporting local farmers and shopping locally. Utilize your co-op and fill up on locally grown goodies. Purchasing goods grown, harvested or produced close to home boosts your local economy as well as ensures that the products are fresh and have not impacted the environment via extensive transportation. As the saying goes, think globally and act locally.

Even better make something of your own. In days of old people gave plates of cookies, baked goods and other homemade treats as part of a Christmas gift. When you make food items yourself you have control over the quality of ingredients. Use fresh locally grown organic products and make a homemade gift from the heart. Some common Christmas food gifts items include sugar cookies, gingerbread, banana bread and party snack mixes. Switch it up a little and make a custom granola blend.

This year reusable shopping bags are all the rage. Stores across the nation are selling bags with their logo. Fill one with cheeses, nuts or local brew from a favorite local food hot spot or brewery. A great bag of local specialty coffee, bottle of wine or growler is always in vogue no matter the season.

For the DIY foodies consider putting together a gift that will return the favor through the bleak winter months, an herb garden gift. Even the most garden inept will be interested in a basket of fresh herbs. Give your foodie friends a gift that will continue to produce throughout the year. Basil, rosemary and thyme can easily be grown in a kitchen windowsill. A convenient location for most cooks. Prepare a do-it-yourself basket with herb plants, growing instructions and harvesting shears.

When it comes to being environmentally responsible there is no better way to make an impact than switching out traditional household cleaning products for eco friendly ones. Try making a gift out of dependable eco friendly cleaning products for the foodie who may not have time to test drive alternative household products for themselves.

There are several companies proclaiming eco benefits but many have very little environmental initiative. Go for tried and proven brands such as Seventh Generation that are generally accessible at most health food or chain stores as well as environmentally beneficial. A gift basket filled with non-toxic, earth-friendly cleaners will reduce exposure to harmful household chemicals. And fewer chemicals mean fewer toxins introduced into the watershed as well as cleaner indoor air quality.

Continue Reading...

Green Living

Hip-Hop Goes Green

 

The idea of Young Jeezy and Al Gore walking into a bar—together—may now not be so entirely far-fetched. Perhaps after an initial hasty gander, sure, hip-hop and environmentalism seem like an unlikely pair. But the two social movements actually share more commonalities than they do differences.

Both movements can trace their lineage back to fiery subculture groups that emerged around the same time. Not long before Grandmaster Flash rapped about having a “bum education” and the endless cycle of poverty and violence on “The Message” in 1982, sustainability had become a part of the American consciousness as a notch on the hippie agenda in the 1960s.

Since the days of Public Enemy and the birth of Greenpeace, hip-hop and environmentalism have both benefited from commercial exposure, but grassroots activism remains at their essence. The day when hip-hop artists would work to forward green initiatives was inevitable, and today prominent figures in hip-hop are extolling the values of going green.

 

Not So Eco-Friendly Music Industry Practices

Each year, the music industry leaves a sizable carbon footprint on the planet. From the flashing lights used to power arenas, to the environmentally taxing process of manufacturing and distributing CDs across the country, the industry could use a major makeover.

Rapper Drake Goes Green

While artists and groups like Sheryl Crow and Linkin Park have taken up greening the music industry as a cause, rapper and Toronto native Drake has become a pioneer amongst hip-hop artists working towards reversing dirty energy practices.

In 2010, Drake joined forces with Green the Block (a campaign developed by Green for All and the Hip Hop Caucus) to embark upon the Campus Consciousness Tour. As part of the tour, Drake traveled on a bio-diesel fuel bus to venues with carbon-offsetting practices. The tour also featured a Green Jobs Rally to promote green economy jobs in minority communities.

The Roots Brings Composting to Schools

The Roots are founding members of Green Music Group, a coalition of music artists, industry professionals and fans that aim to bring environmental change to the music industry. The eclectic hip-hop group launched Feed Your Roots in 2007, a campaign to get composting programs into schools. Like Drake, The Roots also travels on a tour bus that runs on bio-diesel.

Russell Simmons, Hip-Hop’s Green Entrepreneur

It would only make sense that one of hip-hop’s most influential figures would be at the vanguard of eco-consciousness within the hip-hop community. Russell Simmons is not only a mogul and an entrepreneur but also a vocal proponent of green issues. In 2009, Simmons was the spokesperson of a contest to find America’s Greenest Campus and was also featured in a commercial that aired on BET about going green. Simmons also follows an environmentally-friendly diet as a vegan.

Continue Reading...

Green Living

Green Living Gift Choices for Pets: Natural Pet Care and Natural Pet Foods

 

Environmental gifts are healthy for your pet. You can recycle products as a green lifestyle gift for your pet. Making green choices in pet gifts will help the quality of the environment. There are different types of environmental pet gifts from which to choose.

You can choose gifts for comfort, safety and nutrition for your pet. Your pet’s skin absorbs whatever is put on it. You can choose natural formulas for pet care such as natural shampoos, flea and tick repellents, skin products, dental products, odor control products, hair care products and litter. Look for natural fabrics and fillers in furniture and beds.

You can buy sturdy pet furniture, steps and gates for your pets comfort. You can make or buy natural pet kibble, goodies, treats and even a pet celebration recipe. Check out your local health food stores for their stock in natural pet foods, treats, supplements and pet care supplies.

Recycling is earth friendly because it reduces pollution and the waste of energy and resources. You can recycle pet products and supplies for your pet’s gift. You can find recyclable pet supplies at second hand stores, flea markets, farmer’s markets, garage sales and through the classified ads. You can recycle grooming supplies, furniture, dishes, collars, clothing and accessories in your area.

Buy sensible pet gift items that will truly enhance your pet’s life. Avoid one time use items or items that will be infrequently used. Look for gifts without unnecessary packaging. Buy supplies in bulk if appropriate. Buy quality items that will last and will not become junk in a short time. Choose items that can be reused.

Choose hemp clothing, collars, accessories and supplies because hemp is a renewable and useful plant source. Do not buy real leather accessories. You can invest in a pet psychic, a pet consultant, dog training classes, and even have your dog join you in yoga classes. You can even also make your dog a promise to take regular long walks as a wonderful gift to be enjoyed by both you and your pet.

You can have a natural celebration for your pet with ethical gift choices as an important part of the event. Do not forget that you will be doing your pet and the environment a great favor when you recycle items for your pet’s gifts. It is possible for your pet to enjoy a variety of environmentally aware gifts for any celebration. Your pet’s level of health and happiness can be raised with the right environmental gift.

Continue Reading...

Green Living

How to Be a Member of the New Greener Generation: A Good Place to Start is Active Participation in Earth Day

 

Since Earth Day was founded in 1970, awareness about various environmental issues has become more and more widespread across the globe. Today, children and young adults are increasingly well informed about eco-related concerns and are more willing than ever to help make a difference. This 40th anniversary of Earth Day is a great time to get involved and join the up-and-coming greener generation to help conserve the planet.

 

Attend a Green Rally

Earth Day, April 22nd, offers an opportunity to be involved in activities beyond the norm as hundreds of millions across the globe participate in Earth-related events. Local rallies should be easy to find, particularly in urban areas: look for flyers around town; check the “Events” section of CraigsList; or contact the city events board to see what’s been planned for this Earth Day. Rallies present the opportunity to connect with others who are passionate about saving the planet, and help to raise awareness about current environmental issues.

Be Proactive and Get Educated

Those who want to be part of the greener generation will be best able to make an impact if they are educated about the facts of certain concerns. Choose an interesting topic and research it to find out applicable information. With controversial topics like global warming, look for studies that present unbiased information about scientifically proven facts. Use credible sources for these sorts of topics – not Wikipedia, volatile comment boards on the Internet, or authors with a political agenda; but websites or books written from a purely scientific angle. The ability to quote well-founded factual information when speaking to others about environmental concerns should be helpful to everyone involved.

Work Hard and Make a Difference

To truly become a part of (rather than an observer of) the greener generation, it is imperative to get off the sidelines and work toward making a difference. Sometimes that takes really hard work but it is for a very worthwhile cause – our planet.

Find a good environmental cause and, after researching it more thoroughly, find out what to do to contribute in a positive way. Link with others through social networking outlets, plan or attend local events, and chip in personally to take action and help make a change.

 

Since 1970, Earth Day has provided an amazing opportunity to connect with other environmentally minded people and get involved with saving the planet. Don’t waste the chance in 2020 to join the greener generation and make a meaningful impact.

Continue Reading...

Environment

Majora Carter: Greening The Neighbourhood: Award Winning Environmentalist Speaks About Urban Renewal

 

New York Post awarded Majora Carter the Liberty Medal for Lifetime Achievement for her work in ecological and social awareness. The MacArthur “Genius” Grant was hers for calling attention to what she terms “ecological racism.”

However, the people of South Bronx, New York, know her as the woman who transformed an illegal dump along the waterfront to a tourist-worthy spot of lush greenery and lovely views: In fact, Ms. Carter had her own wedding at the very spot that was once a garbage-strewn wasteland.

A compelling speaker, Ms. Carter addressed issues that everyone who lives in a city – be it Canadian or American or anywhere in the world – asks: Can we afford to be green? How much would cities lose in revenue if they opted for more sustainable industries? Carter addressed these issues in a speech as part of a panel titled, “Greening the Neighbourhood & How Much It Won’t Cost Us.”

University of Toronto’s Hart House seated a crowded room on March 13, 2018. Students, environmental activists and fans of Majora Carter crowded The Great Hall to hear Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone, Youth Activist Ben Powless and Professor Dr. Blake Poland tackle problems about the cost of greening and raising awareness towards environmentally friendly industry.

Majora Carter Discusses “Greening the Ghetto”

Environmental Racism is defined as the tendency for governments or large businesses to place toxic, dangerous or otherwise unattractive industries in poor neighbourhoods, as she phrased it “the ghettos.” Less affluent neighbourhoods that feature house subsidized housing, or concrete industrial wilderness are less likely to be sustainable, and therefore become less affluent.

Carter’s Jacobean analysis of urban living reveals that cities with concrete jungles are less likely to thrive economically, if surrounding areas are unattractive. Broken windows make a neighbourhood appear derelict, which draws neither tourist industries, nor any investors to that part of town.

Broken Window Theory: Broken Branches

Referring to the “Broken Window” social study that maintains that a building in poor repair invites further vandalism, Carter insists that her mission is not to create a sense of ill will towards neighbourhoods with more advantages, but to create as much opportunity for neighbourhoods like South Bronx as its wealthier counterparts have.

“This is what I would call the ‘Broken Branch’ analysis of the city,” says Carter. While she doesn’t condone vandalism, she does feel the city comes down much too militantly on transgressions. Carter repeats that there are opportunities to use the many skills the residents of South Bronx have and branch out their abilities to teach and learn from others.

“If we give people an opportunity to thrive, people will respond positively. I believe that green industries improve people, improve business – the two work together.” The Sustainable South Bronx (SSBx) project boasts green roofs that reduce the reflective heat as well as providing edible vegetation for the locals.

The garbage recycling programs provides jobs for various individuals, as well as job training and bringing money into the neighbourhood in the form of investors. A sustainable and attractive street is one that generates more income and businesses than a barren, concrete runway.

How Aesthetically Appealing Streets Prevent Crime

An example of community improvement, Carter cites the example of Sustainable South Bronx planting trees on street corners. Trees not only reduced the heat in summer and provided more ambient temperatures in winter, but it also reduced street crime.

Streets that looked pleasant drew more people to sit comfortably and socialize under the boughs. With more neighbours in the street, fewer crimes occured where there were witnesses. With more people getting outside and socializing during daylight and evening hours, the crime rate in the area dropped dramatically.

Part 2 of this article features how she raised awareness and garnered funds towards transforming her neighbourhood towards sustainability.

Continue Reading...

Green Living

Make Your Celebrations Green Year-Round: Mom-Daughter Book Shows How to Have Greener Holidays

 

After hauling in one sugar-laden goodie after another, the girls came to a house where the featured treat was a small jar of bubble-blowing soap … and the reaction was pure joy.

“Suddenly it occurred to me that Halloween didn’t have to be about candy,” Colwell-Lipson recalls. “I began to wonder, couldn’t Halloween be healthier and still fun? And while we’re at it, couldn’t Halloween be more earth-friendly too?”

The answer to both questions was, “Sure, why not?”

That revelation led first to a Green Halloween movement, and has now blossomed into an all-out mission to make year-round holiday celebrations more eco-friendly. So Colwell-Lipson and her Mom, Lynn Colwell, have come out with a new book, Celebrate Green!: Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations & Traditions for the Whole Family (The Green Year).

“Our goal in writing this book was to open minds to potentials and possibilities,” writes Lynn Colwell. “We are not the green police. We want everyone to enjoy every single celebration, but not to walk through them mindlessly as if the choices we make, as easy as they are, are unimportant.”

All it takes is a quick look through Celebrate Green! to realize that the concept of environmentally aware holidays isn’t difficult, dull or dreary. Colwell and Colwell-Lipson present their ideas in a light and entertaining way, making the book fun to read and easy to digest. But there’s ample substance as well, with plenty of statistics and facts to back things up. And, best of all, lots and lots of tips and instructions for greening the holidays.

Among the book’s many highlights are:

  • Lots of suggestions for healthful or non-candy Halloween treats, eco-themed costume ideas and natural face paints
  • Tips for a healthy and sustainable Rosh Hashana
  • Suggestions for a green Diwali
  • An extensive look at how to prepare an ethical and small-footprint Thanksgiving meal
  • Eco-friendly Christmas decorating tips
  • A comprehensive and clever guide to natural egg-decorating at Easter time
  • Creative and green gift ideas for Father’s Day
  • Tips for Earth-friendly summer grilling
  • And lots of unique and appealing recipes for dishes like Beet Hummus, Cranberry Ginger Cider, Eco-Egg Salad and Vegetable Enchiladas Guatemalan Style

In fact, from birthdays and baby showers to weddings and graduations, Colwell-Lipson and Colwell cover practically every celebration imaginable, presenting a wealth of ways in which everyone can lighten their footprint on the Earth while still having plenty of fun with family and friends. That makes Celebrate Green! a book that’s not only a pleasure to read, but a valuable guide that is sure to referred to time and again throughout each year.

Continue Reading...

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.…

Continue Reading...