EmmaSturgis

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.