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I write about the environment and green topics.

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EmmaSturgis

As a homeowner, one of the most satisfying parts of owning your home is having a beautiful yard to take care of. Owning your own piece of land is something to take pride in. While having beautiful landscaping on your property is a sign of elegance and grace, it can also be quite damaging to the environment and at times dangerous. It is important to make sure you are creating a beautiful landscape that will be safe for your family and guest as well as being eco-friendly. Here are four ways to safely landscape your yard while protecting the environment.

 

Use Native Plants To Help Save On Water

It is no mystery that we are facing a shortage of water in many different places in our country. This is especially true in states like California. There are some very strict rules that apply to residents of these dry states when it comes to watering your lawns. When trying to protect the environment, it is important to incorporate native plants that will help you save on water.

 

Do Not Create Attractive Nuisances In Your Landscaping

You need to be careful what types of attractive nuisances you are bringing into your landscaping. While a natural rock wall may be fun your children to use during the summer, neighborhood children could injure themselves on this attractive nuisance which would result in a nasty lawsuit. Even with stairs that are harder to use in your yard, you could have a slip and fall case on your hands that could otherwise be easily avoided.

 

Plant Shade-Giving Trees To Cut Down On Cooling Costs During The Summer

Everyone loves beautiful trees in their yard. These trees can help to protect the environment and your savings account. You can greatly cut down on the amount of energy you spend during the summer cooling your house if you have a tree shading a large part of your property. This one-time investment of planting a large tree in your yard could save you thousands of dollars in cooling costs over the years.

 

Use Electric Landscaping Tools

Electric power tools are becoming more and more popular as the years go on. While an extension cord might seem like a hassle at first, you will find that it becomes easier to use one of these electric landscaping tools after you have gotten the swing of things. These electric landscaping tools will also help you to do your part when in protecting our environment.

 

There are many ways that you can landscape your yard to be better for the environment and just as beautiful for your home. Above we discussed four tips to help you landscape your yard more easily. Be sure to plant native plants, think about safety risks, plant trees to cut on heating costs, and use efficient tools. You may also be able to find extra tax write offs for protecting the environment, depending on how green you go with your landscaping and home. Be sure to talk to a tax fraud attorney if you have any questions about what you can and can't claim.

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EmmaSturgis

Decision makers at many conventional power and associated equipment vendor companies who rely on fossil fuels to generate public energy have started to recognize that green technologies aren't going away any time soon. They also understand that a lot of the technologies and business practices utilized by green energy suppliers produce energy in cost-efficient ways that can both protect the environment and generate revenues. As a result, they are incorporating green ideas into their business models. For example, these companies:

 

Reuse Parts And Materials

Instead of using entirely brand new parts, businesses like Solomon Corporation, a company that produces pole mounted transformers, create usable parts by rebuilding old ones and giving them a second life. These companies are also creating parts and equipment with a mix of unused raw and recycled materials.

 

Invest In Byproduct Filtration

These traditional power companies know that they can't continue to allow airborne byproducts to contaminate local environments. For example, they have invested in high-end filtration systems that reduce fine particulates in the air that occur when burning coal. They have also invested in a wide variety of systems that decrease the level of toxic emissions from coal-burning power generation that typically contain mercury, arsenic, nickel and acidic gases.

 

Create Protected Wildlife Habitats

Traditional energy generation decision makers have also seen how byproduct storage accidents can ruin local ecosystems. Instead of dealing with toxic spills and millions of dollars of combined fines and clean-up costs, they work diligently to make certain that multi-level contamination prevention measures exist. They also invest in environmental protection programs near their plants and set up small protected habitats near their corporate headquarters.

 

Purchase Consumer Solar Energy

Lastly, since solar power and whole home backup batteries can eventually remove homeowners completely off the public power grid, traditional energy providers have tried to find methods for retaining their customers that benefit everyone in the long run. One of these practices involves the purchase of the surplus solar energy generated by some home and business owners. Consumers who sell this energy enjoy a little extra cash or an electric utility bill credit each month.

 

A conventional energy supplier or equipment vendor doesn't need to close its doors and shutter its windows to make way for green energy. It can still produce energy for the masses and transition into the modern age by mixing old ways with these surprising cleaner green technologies and practices.

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EmmaSturgis

With big renovations come big changes. What better way to change your home after renovating your basement than to go green (or at least greener)? Below are three ingenious ways to have a greener home after renovating your basement, and the best part is they're all extremely affordable. There's no need to go far out of pocket after you've just overhauled a section of your home.

 

Use Green Chemicals

When most people think of going green, they think of large scale things. Natural energies such as solar power and cars that run off of cleaner burning fuels are usually at the forefront of 'going green'. However, there are many small things you can do to help green up your home.

One of those things is to use green chemicals when you clean your home. They're usually easier on plumbing, definitely better for the environment, and recently there's been a lot of talk that they're substantially healthier for your family.

 

Switch To Eco-Friendly Air Filters

Having pure, clean air is important. This is especially true for anyone with pets or children or anyone who lives in the city.

But air filters have to be changed often. They create a lot of waste, and a lot of models are made out of plastic, which is hard for the environment to break down once it quits working.

While there's no 'perfect' air filter, finding a more eco-friendly air filter is a great idea. Look for one that doesn't need to have its filter changed as often, one that is made out of materials that can break down, or one that doesn't have parts that need to be changed out at all.

 

Ditch The Clutter And Recycle

This is duel-ended but well worth the effort. How often have you put boxes away in your attic or basement only to forget about them? You inevitably have to go clean it out, and half the stuff is ruined due to pests, mold, or other unforeseen problems? You end up tossing so much stuff out. Using a storage unit, like Sentry Mini-Storage Inc, to store your stuff ensures that you get to keep your keepsakes safe and help to cut down on the amount of garbage you're throwing out.

Similarly, while a lot of areas charge extra for a recycle bin, it's great to have one around. It helps to eliminate trash in landfills and is better for the environment.

 

These are only three of the many things you can do to help make your home a greener one. Choose from any of the tips we listed above, or do some research of your own to help you figure out ways you can be more green.

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EmmaSturgis

The term “carbon footprint” refers to the overall amount of carbon that normal living puts into the environment. It includes all types of greenhouse gases that are produced as a result of various activities. For example, the carbon footprint of driving a vehicle includes not only the emissions it produces as it burns gasoline, but also emissions created in the production and refining of the fuel, as well as emissions that are created from the car’s manufacture and maintenance. A number of carbon footprint calculators are available online. When you begin to understand how many of your normal activities creates emissions that impact the environment, you can begin to alter your lifestyle to improve the health of the planet. Here are just a few simple ways you can begin to reduce your carbon footprint:

 

1 – Recycle More

If you find ways to re-use and recycle household items, you can dramatically reduce the amount of carbon that goes into the environment each day to create new ones. Look for products that use recycled materials, reuse rainwater and find another use for items such as plastic containers, so they don’t wind up in landfills as quickly.

 

2 – Change the Environmental Impact of Your Home

When caring for your landscaping, be aware that trees and shrubs have a beneficial impact on the environment in many ways and try to maximize their good effects. Plant trees that help to shade the parts of your home that are open to cold winds in winter and blazing sunlight in summer. These efforts can help to reduce your home energy use and reduce your overall carbon footprint. When caring for your landscape plants, use organic fertilizers, like the products found at Nature Safe, that have less of a negative effect on the environment. These compounds can prevent the runoff that causes ecological imbalances in nearby waterways. Organic types help to keep landscape plants healthier over a longer period of time, so you can apply less frequently.

 

3 – Drive Less and More Efficiently

Walking helps to improve your health while it reduces the amount of carbon in the environment. Use your feet instead of the car to do neighborhood errands, or get on your bicycle for longer trips. Carpooling can be a good way to reduce the amount of gasoline emissions in the environment. If you must drive, make sure your tires are properly inflated for better mileage.

 

Reducing the amount of carbon you use for everyday activities is not difficult. It simply requires an awareness of simple techniques that can make a significant impact on the amount of energy used every day.

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EmmaSturgis

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Cutting back on your energy usage can have benefits to both your wallet and the globe. According to data from the Alliance to Save Energy, the average American household spends $2,100/year on energy, so reducing energy costs by just 10% or 20% could equal big savings. By making your home more energy efficient, you'll also help make a positive impact on the environment

 

Ways Energy Efficiency is Beneficial

1. Improving the Environment

It's no secret that the creation of traditional forms of energy releases carbon dioxide and pollutants into the air. By making their homes more energy efficient, people are decreasing the emissions released by power plants. Energy efficiency can lead to improvements in air quality and the level of water pollution.

 

2. Tax Credits

When you make your home more energy efficient, you may qualify for an energy tax credit. The Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit applies to installations of solar, wind, and geothermal energy systems. If you've made improvements to your home's insulation or added Energy Star windows, you may qualify for the Nonbusiness Energy Property Credit

 

3. Immediate Savings

Making energy-efficient improvements to your home will decrease the amount of your utility bills, and you won't have to wait long to see the savings. In addition, your home will probably be more comfortable during the summer and winter.

 

Tips to Increase Energy Efficiency

There are many things you can do to enhance the energy efficiency. Some options, like putting in LED or CFL lightbulbs, are pretty simple and don't require much of an investment. Other improvements may require an up-front investment that will pay for itself over time.

 

A large portion of your energy usage is probably spent on heating and cooling your home. One option is to get a ceiling fan installed. Ceiling fans use much less energy than air conditioners, and they can help redistribute warm air in the winter.

 

Replacing your old windows and doors with durable materials can also be a money-saving option. There are many different options, like the products offered at Statewide Energy Solutions, that you can use to easily upgrade your home and make it more energy efficient.

 

The process of making your home more energy efficient will take time. In order to decide which steps will benefit you the most, you could consider getting a home energy audit. A professional will conduct the audit and explain how you can decrease your energy expenditures.

EmmaSturgis

leaf-leaves-jack-fruit-leaf-green-57726.It's difficult to avoid coming into contact with toxic chemicals. They're used routinely by homeowners and gardeners to perform lawn care and landscaping tasks, clean home interiors and exteriors, eradicate pests, maintain or protect surfaces inside and outside the home, and maintenance the family vehicles. Most suburban homeowners' garages contain caches of toxic chemicals; if you have a garage, yours probably does, too.

 

Do you ever worry about what could happen if your kids come into contact with the chemical products you have stored in your home or garage? How about your pets -- what could happen if they were to interact with your chemical stash? Each year, pets die from exposure to and / or ingestion of toxic chemicals including pesticides, antifreezes and cleaners. For the sake of your children, your animals, your own health and your environment, we encourage you to consider implementing these 4 strategies to go greener around the house.

 

Replace Your Chemical-Based Household Cleaning Solutions With Green Alternatives

Does it make sense to use toxic or questionable chemicals for cleaning your home when many household cleaning tasks can be performed with natural, non-toxic and completely affordable ingredients? You can clean almost anything using combinations of simple ingredients such as water, white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, baking soda, castile soap, tea tree oil, lemon juice, lemon oil, orange oil, and Borax.

 

If you prefer to use fancier household cleaning aids, look for certified organic products including soaps, sprays, detergents and cleaners.

 

Substitute Natural Oils for Varnishes and Polyurethane Products

Chemical-based products such as polyurethane aren't your only choice for sealing hardwood floors or finishing home furnishings made of wood. Safer, greener substitutes include walnut oil and tung nut oil.

 

Get Rid of Your Toxic Chemical-Based Pesticides and Lawn Care Products

There's no need to treat your lawn or garden with toxic chemicals. There are abundant organic alternatives, like the products found at Nature Safe, that can keep your landscape looking healthy, lush, fertile and gorgeously green. These sustainable alternatives include organic lawn fertilizers and organic pest control products with natural ingredients. Look for OMRI-approved organic landscaping fertilizers to find third-party verified solutions offering the best results.

 

 

Utilize Natural Pet Care Products Instead of Chemical Ones

It's important to ensure your pet's flea and tick control methods are not harmful. This is particularly critical if you have cats or kittens. You should never apply toxic chemicals directly on a cat's fur; your cat will consume the poisons as he grooms himself, and it could end up harming or killing him quickly. Dogs are not immune from harm caused by flea and tick medications either.

 

There are many effective natural alternatives to toxic chemical flea and tick medications. Most of them are cheaper than chemical treatments you buy at your vet's office or at the drug store.

 

If you live in a coastal area, simply taking your dog to the beach and dunking him in the salt water will rid him of fleas. It's a free treatment that's surprisingly effective for those who are able to take advantage of nearby beach areas.

 

If you'd rather treat your dog or cat for fleas at home, spritzing his fur with raw, unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar is another effective remedy. Apple cider vinegar has many health benefits for your pet, and it can reduce or eliminate the parasite population living in his fur if used regularly.

 

These are 4 of the most important things you can do to rid your garage and home of toxic, hazardous chemicals to create a safer and greener environment for your family. Even implementing one or two of these strategies can make a significant difference in your family's health; for best results, we encourage you to consider implementing all of these things in order to truly go green around the house.

 

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