Andrew Newitt

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Everything posted by Andrew Newitt

  1. It is no secret that going green is today more import than ever. For this reason, many homeowners decide to turn their houses into real environmentally-friendly places. What’s great about this is that by aiding in preserving the nature this way you can also manage to save a lot of money. This is the case because the goals of every cautions homeowner should be using less energy, using less water and recycling. So if you decide to contribute to saving the environment, here are 5 low cost upgrades for your home that can do wonders for both nature and your wallet. Add More Insulation Insulation is something you should always consider when turning your home green. If there is more insulation in your home, you will be using less energy to keep it warm during the winter and cool during the summer. There are quite a few green insulation materials you ca choose from, with aerogel and cotton being among the most popular options. No matter which material you opt for, you will be guaranteed to use less energy during the whole year. Of course, this will also reduce the cost of your energy bills significantly. Replace Old Windows We have already mentioned how not letting either hot or cold air escape your home is one of the best things you can do when going green. Another great way to do this is to replace any old windows in your home. If there are any cracks in the window frames or the windows are simply too old, air can escape quite easily through them. If this is the case with your home, you are probably using much more electricity than it is necessary. Therefore, getting new windows should be your no.1 priority. Plant Some Trees Of course, you shouldn’t just stick to your house when going green. If there is a lot of place in your backyard planting a new tree is always a good thing to do. And if you want your tree to be even more useful, you should make sure you plant it on the west side of your home. That way, the branches will block the sunbeams during the summer, while in winter, bare branches will help allow infrared radiation that will warm up your home get through. Nuttall oak, red maple and weeping willow are just some of the trees you can opt for. Go for Water-Efficient Fixtures If you want your home to be more environmentally-friendly, you will also have to think about using less water. Even though turning off the tap when washing your hands and brushing your teeth is always a good thing to do, you should also consider installing some water-efficient fixtures in your bathroom. There are low flow shower heads that are just a perfect option for every green home. Also, there are aerators that maximize the flow rate of your faucets. If there are any leaks make sure you contact a 24 hour plumber in order to minimize the amounts of water that go to waste. Get Solar Panels A large number of homeowners also decides to install solar panels when going green. With these, you will be utilizing natural power and minimize your use of electricity. Even though getting solar panels seems like an expensive investment at first, if you are planning long run, these will in fact help you save quite a lot of money. It is also important to mention that in some countries, homeowners who decide to get these receive bonuses and huge tax breaks. Having all of this in mind, getting solar panels is always a great thing to do, both for the environment and your wallet. Make sure you do all of these upgrades and you will be guaranteed to contribute quite a lot to preserving the environment. Bear in mind that you can never do too much when going green so keep looking for some further upgrades you can do.
  2. Running an unsanitary home is a known cause of many complications and allergies are one of the most common ones. Cleaning a home with non-toxic materials, however, should be of utmost importance and priority – not only do toxic chemicals poison the environment, but can also be quite damaging for your own health, as well. This article will guide you through the main points of non-toxic home cleaning and care, towards an allergy-free home. Cleaning by Room Although it is vital that you keep each room clean and, therefore, healthy, different rooms require different cleaning approaches and means to reducing allergens. Bedroom – Your bed is a perfect home ground for mites and allergens, so taking care of your bed cleaning should be done at least twice a week and vacuuming on a daily basis if you are prone to allergies. Encasing your pillows, mattresses and box springs in cover that are dust-mite-proof is also recommended. Living Room – The room where you spend most of your personal time naturally needs a lot of cleaning. Perform dusting and vacuuming at least every other day in order to keep the allergies at bay and pay special attention to allergens’ breeding grounds, such as curtains. If you are especially prone to allergies, think about removing your carpeting and opt for hardwood or linoleum flooring. Given the fact that dust is the most common cause of allergies, think about browsing through air purifiers for your living room – these are great ways to fight dust and make your air fresh and clean. Kitchen – Not only is keeping your food clean a key factor in maintaining your health, but the kitchen can also turn quite filthy, unless cleaned regularly. Make sure you wash your dishes on a daily basis – mold and food debris shouldn’t stay untended to for more than a couple of hours. Think about installing a vented exhaust fan, in order to remove cooking fumes and reduce mold-causing moisture. Bathroom – Now perhaps the biggest problem with bathrooms is the mold – unless you have tiles installed on your shower walls and next to your bathtub, you are bound to experience mold on your walls, which is a known cause of health problems. When it comes to bathroom flooring, use tile, vinyl or linoleum to make cleaning easier. Additionally, an exhaust fan will reduce moisture greatly, after steaming baths and showers. Basement – Although this is the least frequently visited room within your house, it is likely to turn into a cesspool of germs if not cleaned regularly. Water-damaged carpeting should be removed and the foundation and stairwells checked for any sources of leak-caused water damage. When it comes to your clothes dryer, make sure that the moisture is vented outside. The biggest problem with basements is clutter, so properly arranging your stored items is of essence, in order to avoid health hazards Your Home in General When it comes to the general cleaning overview of your house, it is essential that you establish a weekly cleaning routine. This is not to say that a bit of cleaning on a daily basis shouldn’t be performed, but that you should thoroughly clean your home at least once a week. Pro tip: if you aren’t a smoker, be strict about your non-smoking policy within the walls of your house Keeping your house clean is vital for keeping the allergies at bay, even if you don’t have any significant allergen problems. These, however, aren’t the only health hazard an unclean home might cause, so exercising proper cleaning is vital, even if you do not suffer from allergies.
  3. Going green has been a growing trend in the world for many years as more and more people become aware of the negative consequences of using chemical-heavy products. Women, in particular, are seeking alternative, natural and healthier solutions to their everyday problems. Following this trend, even the cosmetics industry has made organic skin care and beauty products a standard. Because choosing these products shows that we are responsible and make smart choices not just for ourselves but for the environment as well. If you’re still indecisive about making the switch to organic makeup, here are a few reasons why you should go for it. 1. It’s safe for your health Unlike conventional cosmetics, organic beauty products contain natural ingredients that have not been chemically treated in any way. They don’t contain synthetic additives, like artificial pigments, fragrances, preservatives, etc. Consequently, they cause far less undesired reactions and are considered to be truly hypo-allergenic. This makes them perfect for all skin types. Even the most sensitive ones. However, bear in mind that skin care and makeup ingredients are only loosely regulated and are considered to be harmless, until proven otherwise. Besides, a cosmetic product may contain as little as 1% of organic ingredients and still be labelled ‘natural’ or ‘organic’. And our skin is like a sponge, which absorbs everything that you apply to it. If you put on conventional makeup every day, the toxins from it will accumulate in your body over time and this may lead to serious health repercussions. For your own safety, always pay attention to the ingredients list and make sure that at least 95% of them are certified. 2. It’s eco-friendly Synthetically produced beauty products are packed with chemicals. When they’re used, these chemicals are released into the environment and pollute the air, water, and soil. On the other hand, natural makeup and skincare products are a result of environmentally sound manufacturing – from organically farmed ingredients, to biodegradable packaging (not all of them, though, so look for that three chasing arrows sign on the container before making a purchase). For all the above reasons, they release much less pollutants into the environment both while produced and while used. Another reason to switch to organic makeup is the fact that it’s never tested on animals. Even the big-box brands including organic options into their offer as proof of their social responsibility. Be a responsible consumer and show that you care for Mother Earth by switching to organic products. 3. It’s nutrient-rich Another feature that has become a standard in cosmetics industry is dual-purpose makeup. It serves both to beautify you and nurture your skin. Of course, organic makeup is unrivalled here, since it contains only the good stuff and none of the aggressive ingredients found in the conventional products. Vitamins A, B, D and E are some of the main nutrients that keep your skin youthful and fresh-looking. Let’s not forget vitamin C, which has superb sun-shielding properties and provides a very strong anti-aging effect. Argan oil is also often used, especially in lipsticks, as an excellent moisturizer for chapped lips. Green tea extract soothes irritated skin, liquid foundations may contain maracuja oil or shea butter, which are known for their anti-oxidant properties and help you get smoother skin. Although not the most important aspect, there’s also the financial benefit of switching to organic makeup. Some people argue that organic products are much pricier than the conventional ones. But with this nutrient-packed makeup you will need much less skincare products and your wallet will thank you for that.
  4. Luckily for all of us environmentally savvy consumers, designers constantly keep coming with new eco-friendly flooring materials. So now there is a vast of flooring materials we can choose from when decorating our homes. Here is a list of both new and old flooring solutions green homeowners can turn to. Cork Cork is one of the relatively newer flooring materials and is a great option for eco-friendly homes. It is harvested from the bark of cork oak trees. A great thing about it is that no trees have to be cut in order to get this material. Bark grows back every three years and that is what makes it a perfect renewable source for flooring materials. Cork flooring has anti-microbial properties which can help you in reducing allergens in your home. It is also fire retardant and it can act as a as a natural insect repellent as well. Because of the many colors you can choose from and its durability, cork is a great option for almost all rooms. Wool Carpet People have been using carpet floorings for quite a long time now. Still, many toxins and volatile organic compounds are used in its production which made it a bad choice for the green homeowners. Luckily, now we can find some eco-friendly options as well. Carpet floors made out of wool are something you can go with. Wool is a natural resource that can be a perfect option for flooring. It can be dyed in any color and then be woven into a carpet. It is very durable and soft to walk on. Reclaimed Hardwood Some of the most beautiful floorings are made out of hardwood. Still, hardwood is not considered an eco-friendly due to the deforestation concerns. But there are the ways you can use hardwood and still make your home eco-friendly. Reclaimed hardwood is a perfect option if you want to do so. Such flooring is made out of wood that has been cut down long, long time ago for some other purposes. Reclaimed hardwood can be a great choice for beach cottages and some older homes. Marble Marble is another great material you can choose. Made out of natural materials, marble tiles can be a perfect option for your bathroom or kitchen. You can also get a marble fireplace which will help you use less electricity and go perfect with your marble flooring. Marble tiles can also be a great solution for outdoor flooring and pool coping. It is quite durable and easy to clean material. Marble will also give your home that natural look you were hoping for. With today’s technology and a designers’ imagination we now have many eco-friendly materials to choose from. But not only that these materials are green but they do not cost much as well. So today environmentally savvy consumers can have a perfectly green home without spending much money. Consider these flooring options and make sure you choose other home features that are nature-friendly as well.
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    From the album floor ideas

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    From the album floor ideas

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    From the album floor ideas

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    From the album floor ideas

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    From the album floor ideas

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    From the album floor ideas

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    From the album floor ideas

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    From the album floor ideas

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    From the album floor ideas

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    From the album floor ideas

  15. Shaping an eco-friendly business

    Running a profitable business is extremely important but it is not the most important thing in the world. Just think of it this way, what good is all the wealth in the world if we ruin our planet in the process. However, the best thing lies in cognition that eco-friendly business and profitable business are not in contrast. In fact most of the planet-friendly practices are also friendly towards your budget. With this in mind, there is lot to be gained by going green and here are some tips and tricks on how to do so. Power Saving Appliances First step you need to do in order to significantly improve eco friendliness of your business is revolutionize your power management system. On this front, whatever is good for your budget is good for the planet as well so one could safely call this state of things a win-win scenario. By investing a bit into low spending appliances, you are bound to make a difference. Now, word investment terrifies some people but, observing things in this fashion is pretty short-sighted. Keep in mind that you will need to buy these appliances only once, but they will continue to save your money for ages to come. In a manner of speaking, given enough time, these appliances pay themselves off. Replacing Your Bulbs One more thing you can do in your eco-friendly endeavors is replace all your traditional light bulbs with LED ones. Seeing how this can slightly reduce your power bills this is another small victory for both your business and the environment. The most important thing here is to be realistic and know what to expect from such a change. If you aim to buy a new car off of this saved money you will be quite disappointed, but if you plan to make nothing more than a noticeable difference you will do just fine. Recycling Paper Next pressing matter that requires your full and undivided attention is the issue of pollution. Namely, it is estimated that an average office worker prints over 10,000 sheets of paper annually. Alarming as this figure may seem, there is a way to remedy the effects of this devastating statistic. First of all, you can switch from regular paper to recycled one. There is no difference in quality whatsoever and plus sides of buying the latter one are that it is both cheaper and endorses recycling endeavors. Printer Ink Still, taking care of your paper needs is not the only pressing matter here. You need to do something about your ink spending as well. Seeing how 10,000 sheets per one member of your staff is not a figure one should take lightly, you need to look for the best deal on printer ink that you can find. Another planet friendly thing to do would be to refill your own ink cartridges. Even though it may sound complicated, this process is actually quite. All you will need is some basic gear like rubber gloves, one syringe and some old newspaper to place underneath. Changing The Commute Finally, you can also make a difference by changing your commute to work and urging your staff to do the same. Carpooling or using a public transportation are vast improvements over driving to work. Furthermore, for those not lacking in spirit and stamina, cycling or walking to work are even better since they are free, healthy and completely green means of commute. In the end, raising your awareness about any of these things is equally as important so make sure to preach the word amongst your employees. By managing to introduce some or all of these changes you will leave a better world to our descendants. One more way in which all of this helps is that these practices will make your business labeled green which is something that both your clients and partners are going to appreciate.
  16. Green marketing is a strategy many companies today choose to adopt. A big number of consumers want to take part in preserving the environment and this creates a great opportunity for smaller businesses to promote themselves as environmentally conscious. This strategy has proved to be quite effective and it has even created a couple of “green” brands over the years. It does not matter if a company’s products or services are connected with saving the environment, declaring it eco-friendly will always attract you some customers. If you want to do this, be sure to try out the following green marketing tactics. Choose the right logo If you have already decided to make your company eco-friendly, it is the right time to make it clear for your customers. Mentioning it on your flyers or commercials may not be enough. What you can do is use a green element while designing a logo for your company. First of all, you should actually make your logo green. This color is associated with nature and freshness. Also any natural elements you use in your logo design will only make your customers sympathize with the company even more. So make sure that your customers know your company is eco-friendly from the very first moment they notice it. Use recycled paper Using the recycled paper is one of the best ways to show people that your business is eco-friendly. So use the recycled paper when printing flyers or posters and make sure no one goes without noticing it. Have a sign somewhere on it that says you have opted for recycled paper. Do the same thing with your business cards. No trees will be cut down so you can promote your business and the customers will know how to appreciate this. You can also encourage them to use recycled paper as well. Organize donations and charities This is another great way to make sure customers are aware your business is pays some effort into preserving the environment. Organizing a charity event like planting new trees or collecting garbage shows that your company cares and promotes your name as well. It won’t cost you too much to organize something like this, but it will definitely pay off. Another thing you can do is make donations. Take a percentage of your latest sales and make a donation to an environmental organization. This is a great way to assure your customers you actually do what you are preaching. Give eco-friendly promotional material It is no secret that promotional material is a great way to attract new customers. It is even more effective when that material is eco-friendly. Not only that your customers will be getting something form you but they will also have the feeling of taking part in helping the environment. What you can do is give them pens that are made completely out of recycled materials, for example cardboard barrel pens. You can also use bags as a way of promoting your business. Instead of giving your customers plastic bags which take much time to decompose you can give them printed non-woven bags which are a great way to send the positive message about your business. All of these tactics will actually make some difference and help preserving the nature. So not only will you be doing the right thing but you will also gain more attention from the consumers who are always more than happy to do business with eco-friendly companies.
  17. Even though some farmers who grow their plants in conventional way say that organic agriculture does not have more environmental benefits, facts speak for themselves. The Organic Trade Association claims that if all farmers in the United States switched to organic productions, we would stop around 500 million pounds of dangerous pesticides from entering the environment each year. This would have a major impact on all aspects of the environment, and here it is how. Water Many practices of conventional agriculture require extensive use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides that pollute underwater. This is a major issue in many agricultural areas. In organic agriculture no synthetic fertilizers are used. Instead of these, organic farms rely on the use of natural fertilizers such as compost, animal manure or green manure. Besides enhancing soil structure this also increases water infiltration. Organic systems that are managed properly have better nutrient retentive abilities and reduce the pollution of underwater. In some countries like France and Germany, where underwater pollution is a big issue, the use of organic materials is encouraged as a restorative measure. Climate In conventional agriculture, many fossil fuels are used. Not only are they used on farms but also in the production of pesticides and fertilizers. These all contribute to the greenhouse effect and global warming. On the other hand, organic agriculture does not have negative impact on the climate. The use of renewable energy that is encouraged in organic agriculture actually mitigates global warming. These practices reduce the use of fossil fuels and provide carbon sequestration in the soil. Organic agriculture thus strengthens agro-ecosystems and helps farmers learn how to confront and challenge changes that appear in the climate. Soil Some of the most important organic agricultural practices are crop rotations, crop covers and inter-cropping all of which help build the soil. This does not only improve its formation and structure but also encourages flora and fauna and helps build a more solid structure. These practices also help control the soil erosion. It is less exposed to the erosive forces and its productivity is increased. Even though organic agriculture relies heavily on the use of renewable resources, sometimes it is necessary to supplement organic soils with some other resources such as calcium, magnesium or potassium. GMOs GMOs are one of the most discussed issues of today. Even though the GMOs’ impact on environment and health is not yet entirely understood, their use is not permitted in organic agriculture. Still, since a big number of farmers that deal with convention agriculture use GMOs the organic farms won’t be able to ensure that their products have not GMO free. This will happen because of the GMOs are transmitted into our environment through air (by pollen for example). Biodiversity Without the use of dangerous pesticides and fertilizers the soil is able to attract more species of plants and animals to it. The use of renewable resources actually creates a healthier gene pool which makes a perfect home for some re-colonizing species. Some of these species are pest-predators or pollinators and their presence is of great importance. Organic agriculture also offers farmers to grow certain plants with improved flavor and aroma. For example, when growing cannabis not only that these are improved but with some strains its potency is increased as well. Be sure to learn more about strains if you plan to start an organic garden. It is obvious that organic agriculture has many benefits for our environment. So if you are thinking about starting a garden, deciding on organic farm would be a great option. Be sure to grow plants which are perfect for this type of garden.
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    From the album Organic agriculture

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    From the album Organic agriculture

  20. Greening up your home so that you can live in a more eco-friendly environment can be perfect not only so that you can protect Mother Nature, but because you can also save up money in the long run. Remember that a lot of green solutions will require work from your part, but, it will be worth it, as it will usually repay itself over time. Insulate your home to lessen heat loss Many homes have creaks and holes which we are not even aware of, and they can be what is letting heat out during colder weather. Moreover, if you insulated your whole house, with green insulation solutions of course, you can make sure that you have completely sealed your home. On the other hand, when you are in the middle of this project, be sure to check for any entrances pests could be using, so that you seal it off immediately. Be careful which curtains you use Most modern curtains can be made from organic material so that they can last longer and that you have an easier time cleaning them as well. But, pay attention to which curtains you are going to hang, because a thermal one can help you in preventing heat loss, and you will have to use less energy to keep your home nice and toasty. A relatively small investment to keep your home warm and to cut down on energy consumption. Heat your own water Although it is possible to use alternative power sources to heat your home, it is often best to install a solar power unit. This way you will drastically cut down on energy dependence, and you will be able to heat your own water, which can be as high as half your energy consumption otherwise. Do not be afraid of the initial investment, as over time, it will handsomely pay itself off. Though, remember to take good care of the solar panels, so that they can last for years. Use reclaimed wood When it is time to change your flooring, be sure to use reclaimed wood, as it is not from freshly cut down trees, but rather from recycling. It will be easy to remodel it into something new, and because it will be reworked, durability and versatility will be an option as well. Keep in mind that by opting for reclaimed wood, you are helping preserving your environment. Moreover, your only concern once you get it will be proper maintenance to keep the wood looking good. Recycled fire in your home Going green in your home does not mean that you should give up on some things you enjoyed before. Having a fireplace is still possible, and all you have to is get eco fire glass by Blazing Glass. The material will burn for longer, give off more heat, and because it is eco-material, there will be zero pollution to worry about. And after a long hard day of work, you will be able to sit down with your family, get some hot cocoa and enjoy the fire. You should update your home every time you get a chance, so that you can really green up your life. However, be sure to handle changes step-by-step, so that you do not spend a lot of money at once, and that you have the chance to look into every little detail. You will have to invest a bit initially, and you will have to put in effort to make it all work, but in the long run, you will have a cozy and green home to enjoy.
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    From the album Eco home

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    From the album Eco home

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    From the album Eco home

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    From the album Eco home