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Found 178 results

  1. How Brexit Could Affect the Green Agenda

    If you haven't heard of Brexit then you are probably living under a rock. Most of the financial world was rocked this Friday as British voters decided to leave the EU. The pound dropped to it's 30 year low, and American stocks tanked as a result. What it means for small businesses is that there is likely to be some ripples across the pond," said Richard Williams, director for regulatory studies at George Mason University. He also believes that some of the ripples, at least, could be good for American businesses. A deep dive into why the EU referendum ever happened was British frustration at Brussels. Brussels is where all EU regulation is written and decided. A lot of British small business owners were fed up with choking regulation that made it hard to smart and maintain a business. I'm sure small business owners in America can relate. The hope is that US Congress will see the signs and perhaps reconsider some business-killing regulations that they are either considering, or have already passed. There is also a definitive downside to Brexit for a lot of American businesses unfortunately. A lot of analysts are worried about what the affect will be on Europe's economy as a whole. With an already weak economy, it won't take a lot to stall growth and put most of Europe into an economic recession. JJ Kinahan, a strategist at TD Ameritrade, believes that the weak markets in Europe could easily transfer over to the US. When such a huge economy starts to stumble, the effect is usually felt worldwide. As Europe buys less, many US companies sell less, and the result is a worldwide recession. As a small business owner in America it would be a good idea to understand the driving forces behind the world markets. There are a few key points to watch on the US stock market, that if broken could signal a long economic downturn. Technical analysis teaches us that if the S&P 500 breaks below a certain number this year, markets will likely tank as sentiment turns bearish. That point is about 182. As long as markets can stay above that key figure, chances are that our economy will recover relatively quickly. As a small business owner there are a few ways to react to current conditions. One is to adjust your audience. If you are focusing on Europe and England in your sales efforts, it may be time to start looking elsewhere. The pound has lost a lot of value in the last 76 hours and buying just became a lot more expensive. Looking at the euro, there is a good chance of the same happening. The best thing you can do, however, is not focus on Brexit. As a small business there are millions of things to worry about and stress over. Chances are decent that Brexit will not affect you as much as you think, and there are definitly things to worry about more.
  2. Now more than ever, companies are more sustainably aware of their immediate environment, including contractors. In addition, homeowners are more apt to hire a contractor who is Eco aware. As a contractor, there are numerous ways you can be green and clean to help protect the earth. Using Eco-Friendly Materials Today going green is not just about saving the environment but it allows for more efficient heating and cooling. In fact, Energy Star HVAC systems lower your utility bill, have a higher resale value and increase the value of your home. Contractors can also be more “green” by using environmentally safe supplies that are non-toxic. For instance; using Eco friendly paint instead of conventional, buy supplies from sustainable sources and encourage customers to use Eco friendly materials. Contractors can also carry more sustainable supplies like stone tiles instead of vinyl and support Eco carpet instead of the toxic commercial carpet that can contain formaldehyde, benzene, acetone, toluene, styrene and a multitude of other volatile organic compounds. Recycle and Upcycle Another great way that contractors can be greener is to use recycled products. For instance, instead of using regular roofing tile you can look for recycled rubber roofing. In fact, according to the Green Building Supply, recycled rubber roofing is an investment that is tremendously practical and beautiful. The Eco friendly home center has some amazing examples. Other Applications Another way contractors can help the environment is by using less energy such as heated power blankets for keeping concrete sealant warm in the center. Heated power blankets, like those available from companies like Powerblanket, help keep concrete sealant warm so that it can be applied correctly. When compared to other methods like band heaters that can leave spots from concentrated areas and sometimes contaminate the entire container, heated power blankets are much more efficient and effective. If fact, they maintain optimum operating temperature at all times. Lumber Selections When it comes to protecting lumber, contractors can have a major influence on the reduction of waste, management of forests and sustainable options. As a contractors and home owner greener options include fast-growing bamboo, durable yet sustainable wood flooring and upcycled materials such as barn wood, well preserved whiskey barrels and salvaged wood from riverbeds. Things to avoid are products from or endangered tropical hardwoods and old growth timber. As well, look for lumber that comes from well managed and certified forests. Moreover, some contractors use recycled blends like hardwood-veneered medium density fiberboard (MDF) for cabinets and doors. Other Great Options There is a wide array of products that contractors can use to be more environmentally friendly. And it truly does not matter what kind of contracting you do, there are sustainable supplies that have an Eco price. For example, home builders can opt for recycled products. Roofers can use and upcycled rubber for a contemporary or traditional look. Cabinet makers can utilize the best sustainable materials around and so forth. Even the grounds and landscaping of a home or commercial property can be Eco conscience such as better drainage systems, water saving sprinkler systems, trees for better shade in the summer and using natural methods of pest control instead of hazardous chemicals. High performance windows are also important, especially windows that have low-emissivity (low-E) glazes. These windows save energy on both heating and cooling.
  3. Green living is finally starting to move from the fringes and into the main stream. More and more people are starting to understand that if we don't make changes, our future generations won't have a planet left to call home. One huge step we can take is to ditch the gas guzzling SUV sitting in the driveway. Here are 4 reasons you should invest in a green family car. Because PZEV Cars Are Good For The Air We Breathe What is PZEV you ask? That stands for Partial Zero-Emissions Vehicle, which means that a car has zero emissions that evaporate from its fuel system. The reason it's considered partial is because it's not utilizing a different technology. These cars are surprisingly easy to find you could even look at the St. George Subaru Dealership in Utah! All you have to do is some research and price checking and you should be able to find the best possible green car for you and your family in no time. Can You Say Tax Incentive You can get money back when you buy a hybrid. According to IRS.gov, you can get as much as $2,000 back when you buy a new clean-fuel car. Don't worry if you've recently bought a green car and didn't take the deduction. The IRS allows you to take the deduction on an amended return. The general rule of thumb is that you can file an amended return up to three years after the original return was filed. You do have to file the longer 1040 Form as opposed to one of the shorter forms, but for $2,000, the longer form is worth it! Green Cars Drive Just Like Conventional Cars Believe it or not, but a green car can go from 0 to 60 just as fast as your gas guzzler. The ride is smooth and the engine is quiet, and no you don't have to plug it in. The design of the car creates a seamless transition between electric and gasoline, so when your electric motor is engaged it acts as a generator that powers the batteries as you drive. Hybrid cars use the same type of gasoline as conventional cars so you don't need to worry about paying more or trying to find a special gas station. Save On Gas With gas prices averaging above $2.00 per gallon, the idea of having to spend more money on gas just to buy a new car is terrifying. With a green car, you can put those fears to rest. Green cars can actually save you money on gas. The fuel efficiency in a hybrid car will allow you to drive more than 600 miles between filling the tank. Of course, every car has a slightly different average miles per gallon rate, but regardless of which green car you choose, you could be looking at a savings of around $700 per year! Any one with kids knows an extra $700 could go a long way. The Environmental Protection Agency created a chart so you can quickly see the MPG's you can expect and compare the potential savings. Whether your goal is to live a completely green life, or you just want to get the best car you can for your family, a green car is where it's at. The expense for a green car is comparable to a conventional car, the gas mileage is tremendously better and the benefit to the environment is undeniable. By 2025, all cars sold in America will have the PZEV technology in keeping with the EPA's vehicle emissions and fuel standards program. This is proof that the green technology is not just a passing phase, it's the future.
  4. Keeping a home up to date and preserved can be a pricey endeavor for any homeowner. From lawn care and utility costs to regular maintenance and repairs, taking care of a home takes a lot of work and money. Make sure you're not overpaying for unnecessary expenses as you do these tasks. Here are some ideas to save more money on your home energy costs and keep your home running smoothly. Seal Up Any Leaks Leaky windows and doors can let your air conditioning escape in the summer, and let in icy breezes during the winter. Consider replacing any windows that are beyond repair and add a weather seal to those that can be fixed. Put weather stripping around leaky doors to seal out bad weather as well. Insulating your house is the best way to keep your heating and cooling bills lower. Adjust Your Water Heater Temperature Most people need their water heater kept really hot during the winter, but many forget that they don't need those hot temperatures when the weather outside gets warm again. Consider lowering the temperature of your water heater to save significantly on electricity costs. Most likely, you won't even notice the temperature difference. Get a Programmable Thermostat Keeping your home set to one temperature can be wasteful, especially if your house sits empty all day. Get a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature during hours you know you won't be home. When you're gone at work, set the thermostat to drop the temperature a few degrees, and program it to bump the temperature back up shortly before you return home. If this is a project you don't feel comfortable tackling on your own, consider hiring professionals to install these systems for you. Little changes can make a big difference on your utility bills bottom line. Get Energy Efficient Appliances As your appliances break down, replace them with energy efficient models. You can even shop for the most energy fficient models by comparing the annual energy use on the yellow energy guide tags. Modern appliances are required to be more energy efficient, as well as water efficient. Even if the new appliance is slightly more expensive, it will save you on your monthly utility costs. Swap Out Light Bulbs Incandescent light bulbs can use up to ten times as much electricity as newer, low energy bulbs. Multiply that usage by every light bulb in your home, and you'll see how quickly your electricity usage can add up. Talk to an Electricity Match professional to see other ways where your home might be lacking in efficiency. They can even Compare Electricity Rates for you to help you make the best decision for your house. Maintaining a home can cost a lot of money, but you can keep home maintenance costs down by being smart with your utility usage. Follow the tips above to minimize your utility waste and get the most bang for your buck out of your utility bill.
  5. Do you have any idea how many cigarette butts are littered in Australia each year? Billions. Those small things, combined together, have some serious impact on the environment around us. Let’s see how. For starters the cigarette smoke contains about 4000 chemicals, and every second the butt is alight those toxins are released in the environment. Another problem, that carelessly flicked cigarettes cause, are fires. But the true problem is caused by the material the butts are made from. The filters are made from cellulose acetate which causes a lot of problems, when not disposed properly. Now imagine what happens with all those billions of cigarette butts, when it starts raining for instance. They are washed off the streets and alleys to the nearest water reservoir or even worse the ocean, where the toxins from the filters poison the water. And that could be deadly for the marine life. And do you know how long does it take for one cigarette butt to break down entirely – up to 12 months. But in water that period is much longer – it could take up to 5 year. Can you imagine that?! And each year new cigarette butts are added to the pile, again and again. Cigarette butts could be mistakenly eaten by some of the sea animals, there are cases when cigarette butts are being found in the stomach system of birds and fishes. The chemicals contain in the cigarette filter ( lead and cadmium) could leach in the water. There are plenty more ways in which the cigarette butts affect the nature. What can you do in order to prevent all that from happening and preserve the environment. According to Paul's cleaning team in Melbourne, there's nothing easier that leading a green lifestyle. Dispose the cigarette butts the proper way not by flicking them wherever you like. Use ashtrays. It’s only a small step, but if everyone take it you will see how big impact it could have.
  6. There has never been a better time to go green with marketing than right now. Long gone are the days of bulky newsletters and flyers. Once you choose the right online marketing platform, your presence will be instantly accessible to whoever owns a computer or a smartphone. Here are 5 of the most effective green marketing models that can help you reach all of your business goals. Social Media Let’s start with the easiest and most common platform. Social media. Social media is a huge deal and is a really great way to draw attention to your business. You want to be sure that you can be found on Instagram, SnapChat, Facebook, Tumblr, StumbleUpon, Flickr, and Twitter and just about any other social media site you can find. Joining these sites will grant you immense opportunities to expose your logo and interact directly with your clients. Keep in mind, that each of these social media outlets can be used for different purposes. For example: · Instagram can be used for "behind the scene" action photos. · Facebook is best for ongoing posts of what the company is currently doing. Be sure to write spectacular social media updates in order to draw the most attention. · SnapChat is great for mini alert videos. · StumbleUpon is superb for exposing your newest blog posts in a way that users will share them with one another. · Twitter allows for quick customer interaction at 140 characters or less. · Tumblr and Flickr can be your company photo albums. There is no limit to what you can do, at a very cheap price, if not for free. Be everywhere! Community Outreach Go out in the community representing your business or brand by participating in socially responsible events. Examples include: · 5Ks- from entities such as the American Heart Association, Relay for Life, and World AIDS day. · charity events · school fundraisers · blood drives · LGBTQ celebrations · military support events To be there as a brand, wearing your logos, symbolizes support and active involvement. This can also give you an opportunity to spread the word about the business you believe in and really get involved with your community. TV, News Sponsorship, Local, and Satellite Radio Advertisement Yup! These things are still around! Use them! Contact your local news station and ask how you can purchase space time to show your logo during the nightly news. You can also buy a sponsorship that can mention your brand or company at that time. Just Think: "Tonight's community highlight brought to you by [YOUR BRAND]." No need for commercials. Just have relevant sources, such as the news, acknowledge that you have a presence in the community and in the media. Guest Blogging Services Guest blogging is a really great way to boost your business. It helps get your company’s name out there in a fast and respectable manner. Sites such as multifuse.com/guest-blogging-services/ offer great content marketing advice and services such as guest blogging. Places like this are great ways to find experts at keyword rankings, SEO, and those tricky techie variables that can be the “makers or breakers” of your online exposure. Finding these experts and getting help with guest blogging can really be a huge benefit for you. The more your brand is exposed, the better results you’ll get. This means more leads to bring traffic into your website. This can also translate into profits, likes, more free influence, and even strengthening your online credibility. Press Releases Press releases cause the same effect in the public as a “Breaking News” announcement. They are legit, give you a lot of credibility, and show that you are very serious about what you are merchandising. A press release is proportionally effective to the format and wording used. Make sure that you adopt effective and concise language, or else hire a content marketing agency to do it for you. Go for it! Nothing is an obstacle in a world where online presence is everything. Put your brand out there, and enjoy the beauty of "influencing."
  7. Learning earth-friendly habits at a young age can set your kids up for a lifetime of environmental awareness and a healthy mindset. As a parent you help your kids understand the world around them, and teaching them to care for it and to be considerate of their surroundings is a great way to help them in their future. Help them understand the concept of earth-friendly habits using these activities and other ideas. Go Camping Instill a love of nature in your kids by going camping on a regular basis. Maybe you encourage scouting trips or go as a family every summer. During your camping trips, talk about how litter and garbage can make plants and animals sick, and how to build fires by only using dead, fallen wood. This is a great opportunity to explore wildlife, talk about taking care of nature, and living green. Visit a Recycling Center Take your kids on a field trip to your local Main Street Fibers recycling center. Teach them about recycling and how it helps the Earth stay healthy. After your trip, go home and show them how to sort recyclables and discuss reducing, reusing and recycling. Make Recycled Art Show your kids that reusing materials can be a great way to help the environment, and a wonderful way to create artwork or new useful containers. There are many art projects that can be created using plastic shopping bags, string, wire coat hangers, and more. Your kids will have a blast, and will learn about reusing materials to keep them out of landfills. Plant a Garden Give your kid a spot in your backyard, or a window planter where they can grow their own plants. Talk with them about how plants help produce clean oxygen, and how planting an organic garden can help plants stay healthy and happy. Giving them their own spot in the garden and making it their responsibility not only teaches them a useful skill, it can also help them learn to love taking care of the Earth. Praise them for jobs well done, and your kids will learn to love the sense of accomplishment they get with each new vegetable or herb. Adopt a Public Place Find a park or other public land that is victim to a lot of litter. Make this place your family's spot to go and clean up together. Your kids will have fun taking care of a public place, and they will develop a passion against litter and harmful dumping. Teaching your kids Earth-friendly habits now can help them see the importance of taking care of the Earth in which we live. Use these great activities to help your kids understand the value of their contributions to the health of the Earth, and that living green can really make a difference.
  8. Thanks to our modern, busy lives, many of us experience health problems related directly with stress or improper lifestyle habits. The choices we make every day impact our health greatly and by making few simple adjustments, you can start living more productive and most importantly healthier life! Just follow these easy tips and you will start to feel the difference in just few weeks: #1 Try to Avoid Driving With most of us working stuck in offices most of the day, in front of a computer, the lack of exercise can cause quite a lot of health problems. A simple 15-20-minute walk can change everything and also since you will not be using your car, you are actually contributing to preserving the environment. #2 Go for Green Foods The local supermarkets are often filled with quite a variety of green foods, but many of them are not seasonal thus imported or grown in orangeries. Experts advise to always go for seasonal greens - these are packed with the exact vitamins and minerals you need during the particular time of the year. #3 Grow Your Food You don’t necessarily need to have a yard, you can place few pots in the kitchen and grown your own herbs or even vegetables. As simple as it may sound, growing your own crops can be beneficial for your health in many ways, plus you will always know what you eat. #4 Learn More About Herbs Herbs contain large quantities of important vitamins and minerals for your body. They can be combined with one another to deliver not only great taste for your meals, but a bunch of supplements you can’t get into your body. Once you try cooking your favorite meals using fresh herbs, you will never want to change this! #5 Get Comfortable Shoes Shoes are a lot more than just a fashion accessory – comfortable shoes can increase your energy and help you feel much better when walking or exercising. Furthermore, many studies show that a pair of comfortable shoes seems to be quite an effective weapon against fatigue, a lot better than coffee for example. #6 Garlic 101 Garlic is part of the everyday meal of humans for thousands of years, there are even studies that suggest the same people, who built the pyramids ate it on daily basis. With incredibly effective antibacterial properties, the garlic is the ultimate weapon against common colds and other health problems, common mostly for the winter season. Small amounts of raw or lightly cooked garlic can do miracles with your overall health! #7 Have a Casual Conversation Multiple studies conducted over the past few years suggest that casual conversations are great for maintaining focus and even help preserve memory. Take just 10 minutes to sit down and have a casual conversation with a friend! #8 Drink More Water Our bodies are made mostly from water and due to our modern lifestyle, many of us forget to drink sufficient amounts of water every day. Drink between 6 and 8 cups of water every day to ensure your body is properly hydrated. This has incredibly positive impact on many body functions and can greatly improve your overall health! These 8 green tips can do wonders for your overall health, but remember that its always necessary to consult with a general practitioner, like BroadGateGP.
  9. Do you want your home to be environmentally-friendly? Not only is that better for the environment, but it can also save you a lot of money in terms of utilities. It may even improve your home values if you ever decide to sell or take out an equity line of credit—home buyers today are increasingly interested in green renovations. Here are a few of the best modern green renovations for homeowners. 1. Smart Energy Use New smart energy systems can monitor the amount of electricity you use and let you control all of your appliances and electronics through your smartphone. Monitoring your energy usage enables you to cut back on your spending if it gets too high, while the ability to turn off appliances and electronics on the fly means that you'll never forget something on. These new smart energy systems are usually Wi-Fi configured so they can be used from anywhere, and they can be easily installed on a home's existing electricity system, making them convenient as well. 2. Eco-Friendly Water Filtration Water filtration systems are incredibly important for an eco-friendly home. Without water filtration and treatment, a fair amount of households rely upon bottled water. Americans use about 50 billion plastic water bottles each year. Not only does bottled water introduce unnecessary plastics into the environment, but it also takes waters from areas that may desperately need it, upsetting the local ecosystems. Water is also costly to ship from the bottling plants, which further increases its carbon footprint. Nevertheless, tap water is often not entirely safe to drink. A filtration system will give a homeowner the option of safely drinking water from their home. Visit a professional at Rooter Pro Plumbing for more information about the water filtration systems available for your home. 3. Indoor Composting Systems Indoor composting systems are state-of-the-art kitchen renovations with no odor or mess. These composting systems take your kitchen food waste and turn it into a nutritious compost to grow herbs and other plant directly within your kitchen. Not only does this improve your food's sustainability, but it also reduces the amount of leftovers you waste -- and replaces a garbage disposal almost entirely. An indoor composting system is run by small and harmless parasites that are able to compost your kitchen materials without the traditional odors of composting. These systems are generally built directly into a kitchen island. These are just three of the best green innovations for your home. There are dozens of ways that you can lower your home's carbon footprint, from simply improving your home's insulation to installing advanced smart home systems.
  10. You don't need to make the biggest adjustments to your life or even spend a lot of money to live a greener lifestyle. There are tons of little and simple things that you and your family can do for cheap or even for free. It really is amazing how much of a difference just your family can make when it comes to saving the environment. Here are six simple ways you and your family can contribute to a healthier environment. Bring Your Own Grocery Bags Many grocery stores bag your items in either plastic or paper bags, which are not the best options for saving the environment. Bringing your own reusable grocery bags is a much better choice, especially since some retailers pay you for every plastic bag you don't use. This may seem like such a simple little thing, but it can really be worthwhile. Brewing Morning Coffee If you and other members of your family like to drink coffee in the morning, make sure you're buying brands with a USDA Organic certified label, for this ensures that it was grown with natural substances and by sustainable standards. Not only is this good for the environment, but it can be good for you too! It is definitely worth a try! Unplug Devices You Aren't Using Electronics like your fully charged laptop, printer, the kids' video game consoles, and the TV should truly be turned off when not in use. If they are plugged into a power strip, the whole group of devices can be switched off during the evening so you can prevent electricity still being drawn through them. This can really help save you a lot of energy and a lot of money. Avoid Plastic Bottles, Invest in a Water Filter Plastic bottles are one of the biggest threats towards our ecosystem, especially in our oceans. Instead of spending money on packs of water bottles, consider investing in a water filter for your home which in turn can save you hundreds of dollars and reduce the use of plastic. Here's an Idea, Switch to Energy-Saving Lightbulbs Standard bulbs can suck up a lot of energy making your electricity bills horrendous. Energy-Star rated CFL lightbulbs use 75% less energy so they last up to 10 times longer than regular bulbs. You'll surely see a reduction in your electricity bill and your wallet will thank you. Water Saving Shower Heads and Less Shower Time Certain showerheads come with a water flow reducing switch which is ideal for the environment particularly if you have members of your household who like to take long showers. To avoid high water bills, consider implementing a shower time limit where each member should try only showering for 5-10 minutes, also turning off the water when they are applying body wash or shaving. How Can You Start? A common first step to families living greener is recycling, and with the help of services like Main Street Fibers, you’ll be on your road to recycling in no time! There are tons of great companies and resources out there for you to help you and your family figure out the best possible green living plan for you. This is definitely not something that has to be a lot of work or super overwhelming. If you do your research and utilize the right resources you should be able to really start making a difference in no time.
  11. There are some business practices that are obviously bad for the environment, such as mailing out unsolicited advertisements and giving away disposable, branded bottles of water. However, some green practices aren't so immediately obvious. If you're looking for ways to reduce the negative environmental impact your business has on the planet, there are plenty of options that may work for your company. Reduce the Paper You Use Even recycled paper has a huge impact on the environment. Instead of printing the company newsletter, email it to everyone. Instead of printing out fat bundles of materials for meetings and promotional events, put everything online. With the proliferation of cloud computing and document sharing, there is little need for the vast majority of printed materials. Reuse Your Paper Any paper that is used can be run through a shredder, crumpled and used as eco-friendly packing materials. Instead of paying for packing peanuts or plastic bubble wrap, using shredded paper gives you nearly free packing material and reduces the amount of waste your company produces. Encourage Distance Learning Encouraging your employees to continue their educations is great, but the never-ending procession of textbooks, commuting to and from class and climate control in enormous lecture halls makes online learning a much more Earth-friendly option. For example, a student earning their online civil engineering master’s degree may have all of their books and materials made available online, with no commuting necessary. Give Out Company Mugs The amount of plastic bottles and paper cups used by a company in just one day can be staggering. Give every employee a spill-resistant mug and then remove all the disposable options from the building. Not only is this a boon for the planet, it will save you a ton of money over the course of time. Consider Green Cleaning Supplies For most sectors of business, there is absolutely no reason to be using ammonia, bleach and other contaminants for cleaning. There are plenty of green options available that clean just as well without resorting to harsh pollutants. If you have a cleaning service, inquire about green products. Green products also have the added attraction of being less-irritating to those with allergies or sensitive skin, which in turn could improve productivity and employee happiness. There are plenty of small ways companies can reduce their negative impact on the environment. Carefully consider these strategies to reduce waste and be kind to the planet at the same time.
  12. Composting is the perfect way to replenish your garden with natural minerals and nutrients. It allows you to not only give back to the Earth, but to fertilize your garden without adding all those harmful chemicals. Here are some tips to help you get started. What Not To Compost What you don’t add to your compost pile is just as important as what you should add. One of the biggest things you want to avoid placing into your compost pile are fruit peels. Orange peels, banana peels, and peach peels may contain pesticides. Because it can be difficult to tell if any pesticides are on them, you should leave them out of your compost pile. Additionally, you want to avoid any meat, bones, or fish. These can attract pests and cause your compost to smell. Green Material When composting, you need a balance of green and brown material. Green material consists of grass clippings, table scraps, and manure. The nitrogen you need for your compost is found in the green material. If you do choose to add grass clippings to your compost pile, it is important you make sure there are no chemicals on the grass clippings. This can cause your plants to become diseased. Brown Material Just as you need green material in your compost, you also need brown material. Brown materials often include paper products, straw, wood chips, ash, and hay. Make sure there is no ink on your paper products when placing them into your compost pile. Brown materials are important because they contain carbon and make the soil more nutrient rich. Healthy Balance Now that you know what types of products and materials can be composted, it is important to understand the mixture of these two. Because all products decompose at a different rate, you want to make sure you have an even weight of brown materials and green materials. While storing your compost, you want to keep the green materials on the bottom and a layer of brown material on the top to keep the flies and insects away. It also helps control the odor surrounding the compost. You can also visit your local Central Farm and Garden store to get some soil to help mix in with your compost if needed. As the landfills fill up with recyclable materials, it is important to do your part in making the environment better. As you do this, you are also helping to condition your soil and help your plants grow healthier.
  13. It may surprise many business owners that there are many simple tips they can use to get a company on a greener track. Usually, the impetus to consider going green occurs when there is proof that eco-friendly methods are also more economically advantageous. The first step to get your company looking a little greener is to start with a plan and to learn your most local resources for basic assistance and information to make your plan more efficient and cost-effective. Tips to a Greener Track You probably already think about how much waste comes out of your company. Disposing of waste may incur unnecessary costs and is a huge burden for some types of industries. It is important to begin your plan by studying where, when, and how waste occurs within your company. For example in small offices, paper waste is usually a major source of unnecessary costs. This can be avoided by redesigning the office system so that less paper is used. This will also provide the added benefit of less problems with paper dust and paper mites. Look at how much food waste comes out of company provided lunches and see if a potluck or different catering service might be a better option. Saving Energy With the numerous advancements in using more modern energy, all businesses need to rethink their energy use. In a business with minimal hours of operation, install a programmable thermostat to save on the cost of energy and by association, contribute to a greener environment. Spend time reviewing energy upgrades from your local energy company. This offers a greener solution and lowers your energy costs. Companies like Lumo Energy can help you compare different electricity and gas packages so you’ll know if you really are saving money. Simple Tips for a Greener Track In most cases, businesses can encourage their employees to choose the newest, greenest products for home and business use. Purchase recycled paper and paper products like recycled coffee filters for business coffee makers. Use recycled paper towels and toilet tissue in company bathrooms. Opt for liquid soap made from natural ingredients rather than synthetics. There are many other small tips you can use as well so research well to see what work for your business. Recycling Recycling is a major step forward to put your company on a greener track. Many items in companies today are recyclable. This includes plastics, glass, aluminum, and colored and printed materials. Create a regular schedule of recycling for your company by engaging the services of a local recycling facility. Most of these facilities offer pickup services. The fastest way to implement a recycling program in your company is to provide recycling receptacles that are readily accessible at various locations within the building. Employees quickly adapt to recycling programs in your company when they have quick access for disposal of the most frequently used items. Helping your company go green really doesn’t have to be a huge paradigm shift, or even very expensive. Simply use what you have and the local resources available to make better overall choices and make more energy saving possible.
  14. Owning a home means sometimes your place will get fairly messy. You need a routine cleaning schedule to ensure the general protection of your home and family and maintenance to keep things preserved. As a greater emphasis has been placed on being environmentally friendly, people have begun to understand the need for a greener way to clean. Countless products exist that make this task simple, and most of the ingredients are probably already in your home. Here are some simple ways to get your house spiffy and still be kind to the earth. Craft an All-Purpose Cleaner The name of these ingredients speak for themselves by being safe to use on virtually anything, but there is also a multitude of ingredients that can be used in these cleaners, and each of them serves a different purpose. A common mixture includes mixing 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda with a drop of liquid soap and two cups of hot water. This mixture only takes on the odor of the soap and works to abate growing bacteria, caked on dirt, and is a great way to clean bathroom stains. The base of this cleaner allows for the incorporation of other important green items, like vinegar, as the acidity of the liquid kills all types of bacteria, ultimately making it ideal for kitchens and bathrooms. One Simple Fruit with Endless Possibilities Whether they are squeezed to make a drink, used to leave a house smelling fresh, or made into a heavy-duty cleaner, lemons are always a good idea. The acidity of a lemon works as a bleaching agent which makes it ideal for laundry, washing white surfaces and breaking down areas that collect a lot of germs like kitchen counters. Squeezing two lemons into a spray bottle with one tablespoon of baking soda makes for a profound, eco-friendly bleach. If you desire the fragrance to be more potent, though, consider reducing the baking soda to 1/2 tablespoon. Aside from mimicking a bleach, lemons are rich with citrus flavonoids which are powerful components that fight free radicals from entering the body. When used in rooms of the home where germs are the most concentrated, this cleaner guarantees a home free of sickness, disease, and even insects. Invest in an Energy Efficient Vacuum Cleaner Sometimes sweeping is not sufficient enough to rid your floor of debris and a broom is unable to reach every corner of a room. As a result, investing in a quality vacuum is essential to keep things truly dirt free. Some of the best Central Vacuum models are quiet, save energy, and have the ability to reuse the bags. The necessary power does the trick without straining valuable natural resources. For the Living Room: Corn Meal and Olive Oil People with children understand that spills are part of everyday life, but few cleaners exist that will remove the mess without harming playing children or pets. From the carpet to furniture, a natural, non-toxic cleaner is needed; this is where corn meal and olive oil are able to work their magic. Olive oil rubbed on a rag acts as a powerful furniture polish that will leave tables, chairs, and wood floors looking brand new. Corn meal on the other hand, acts as a powerful absorption tool that effortlessly lifts spills off of carpets and other fabrics. In sum, green cleaners are not only beneficial for the environment and the safety of your home and family, but work wonders on a household budget. All of the ingredients used in green cleaning are often already in the pantry or fridge and if they are not, they are easily attainable at stores throughout the world.
  15. Going green seems to be on all our minds these days. Recycling, saving energy, and living frugally are all becoming more a part of daily life. Your car can play a big part in the environment as well. According to experts, green cars benefit anyone concerned about the environment. Each automobile has highly unique technologies that increase performance without producing air pollution. Here are some of the top rated on the market today! 2016 Chevy Volt The technology in the 2016 Chevy Volt is very efficient because it helps the vehicle travel up to 53 miles on one charge. If the car has a full tank of gas and a complete charge, it can commute nearly 420 miles down a highway. When the Chevy Volt is operational, two unique motors with electrical components work together to save energy. Both engines also give the automobile extra power and plenty of torque. If you need a car that has an app, the 2016 Volt is a great choice. The software helps busy families because it has buttons that lock and unlock doors and icons for the lights. 2016 Toyota Prius The Toyota Prius is worth considering if your family wants a car that has some futuristic elements. In the cabin, you’ll find a convenient console with a touch screen that is useful during a variety of driving situations. For example, throughout a long road trip, the panel provides information about the vehicle’s ECO saving technology. Toyota engineers care about safety so the new Prius was built with a number of technologies that prevent accidents on the road. If you’d like to park strategically and safely without polluting the environment, Toyota’s Enhanced Parking Support technology will benefit you. The system has a sonar that can detect various objects, such as lampposts, bikes, and walls. If the technology senses a possible collision, it will produce an alert, slow down the engine, and press the brakes. Intelligent Parking Assist is also equipped with the 2016 Prius. This technology moves the steering wheel automatically and guides the car into a parking space. 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hyundai has a highly skilled technology team that develops tools for every one of their automobiles. The company’s smart phone app works on Android devices and when the application is used, it recognizes voice commands and compiles of a lot important information. If you drive this green vehicle to a grocery store or shopping mall, the process of packing various bags in the truck won’t be a hassle. Thank to Hyundai’s Smart Trunk technology, you can put groceries into the storage area effortlessly without using a key. The trunk opens automatically whenever the sensor in the car detects a trigger, which is found in the key. Commuting in the new Sonata is an enjoyable experience because the car has a convenient cruise control system with advanced capabilities. Hyundai engineers put a senor in a strategic location so that the car can automatically detect other vehicles in nearby lanes. When another car gets too close, the system will reduce the Sonata’s speed. In dangerous situations, the technology will increase safety by bringing the vehicle to a complete stop. 2016 Audi A3 The 2016 Audi A3 is an award-winning vehicle that has a number of beneficial safety and performance features. You may want to buy this car if you need transportation that’s dependable, classy, and green. In the cabin, passengers can access many of the car’s tools by using a unique scroll wheel. The technology controls the navigation system, telephone, and radio. 2016 Honda Civic Families enjoy riding in the 2016 Honda Civic since it has many eco-friendly features and heated seats. The EX-T trim gives consumers three heat levels that increase comfort in the front of the cabin. The Touring trim includes a system that produces heat in the back of the cabin as well. Going green is important in the car you choose as well as your everyday life. Each of these cars is a great choice for saving energy and getting the best in technology. An auto body shop in Summit County or local paint shop can make the exterior just as flashy as well. Don’t forget to research which features will be best for your family as you do your shopping.
  16. The success of any business is determined by the quality of the products and services it offers. Another key factor includes having suitable prices that meet client and customer requirements. Businesses need to set up strategic plans on how they can improve performance in order to succeed in the long run. Improving a company’s efficiency does not necessarily reduce operational costs, but it can motivate employees to perform even better and do wonders to help your overall bottom line. Engage Your Employees Create a conducive working environment for your employees. This involves fair and respectful treatment and open communication or an open-door policy. Taking time to lay a foundation that motivates and rewards your employees’ contributions will augur well with the success of the business. It shows your workers you care about them personally and can motivate them to do better in daily tasks. It is important to engage your employees so as to create better working relationships. Don’t let anyone fall behind and keep up with an evolving and employee-directed culture. Set Benchmark Goals and Measurements Most businesses use the acronym SMART to set expectations and goals that are timely, specific, realistic, measurable, and achievable. Apply this in every department. Then, create standard criteria to use in supervising the implementation of this strategy. The department goals may vary in each case. For example, the goal of customer service operations may be 100 percent customer satisfaction. For receivable accounts, and increase collection rate by 20 percent in six months. The IT department might focus on fully incorporating inventory management programs and point of sale systems in the coming year. Change your goals annually, and keep employees and departments accountable for what they are supposed to provide. An Ongoing Monitoring Plan Ensure all employees are engaged in process monitoring. Managers can analyze reports, conduct service level reviews, and divide current working processes. On the other hand, lower level employees can give information on current workflow and carry out quality testing. Organize frequent department and whole company meetings to check results to assess whether process change is required or not. Improve Management and Production An improvement in business management always leads to an improvement in overall production efficiency. To stay ahead of your competition, perform a daily oversight of your business. Diligent managers can quickly address inefficiencies to reduce waste and loss. They also recognize and put policies in place to boost production in the entire organization. Communicate effectively with your employees. This can be achieved by holding interdepartmental meetings either on the phone or in person. Inquire about the personnel and material supply issues that reduce production from department managers. For example, you might rent Arrow Truck Sales trucks for smaller deliveries that are needed at certain clients businesses sooner. This way you are helping speed up shipping processes and eliminating common bumps in the road for clients. Attend to problems with major impacts on the company’s production ability. Guide the management team to employ policies that reduce downtime and boost efficiency and compensate managers who increase production in their departments. Encourage managers to work in unity when solving problems and inform other workers of the successful techniques used by one manager. Endorse productive managers to higher positions of authority and eliminate practices that do not benefit the production process. Involve department managers when formulating attainable goals for your company. Encourage company managers to maintain good relations with clients and suppliers as well because most production issues are external. Take the time to improve your company’s efficiency by starting at all levels. Look at where improvements can be made and go in increments and small goals. When you have a good plan in place the rest will be easy.
  17. The manufacturing industry remains a topic when it comes to a lack of eco-consciousness. Its use of oil, coal, natural gas and toxic processes has labeled the industry a major contributor to waste, and air and water pollution. While other industries are lauded for implementing eco-friendly operations, manufacturing gets finger pointed for generating greenhouse gases and either depleting or harming natural resources. While it may be slow going, the industry is pushing for green initiatives. Improvement in waste management and clean production are on the drawing board of companies big and small. Here are some of the basic processes that they are looking at. Utilizing Alternative Energy Manufacturing companies are decreasing dependency on the traditional for electricity. Energy sources not harvested from eco-dangerous fossil fuels is a consideration throughout the industry. Alternative energy like wind, geothermal and solar are more affordable than ever, making them exceptional solutions for the bottom line. The reality is the complete elimination of fossil fuels may not be possible in the short term. Still, its implementation and the use of advanced tools like engine dynamometers will reduce energy consumption and play their part in minimizing carbon footprints. Professionals, like those at Power Test Inc., know that measuring power output can help reduce emissions in the long run. Most people in the manufacturing industry don’t realize this. Environmental Management Systems Environmental management systems are playing a significant role in reducing manufacturing's impact on ecosystems. Another upside is these systems are known to maximize operating efficiency. The systems use a framework that let management design and achieve goals by monitoring and reacting to inconsistency in company operations. Increased control enhances environmental performance. Management will be able to identify areas where going green makes the most sense. Inventory Management Many businesses have excess inventory in order to be prepared for anything. Stockpiles contribute to waste, especially as many products are overproduced to fill orders and, in turn, burn fossil fuels. Inventory management entails curtailing resources and having only what is necessary to complete tasks. Use and procurement control has to be a consideration. Repurpose and Recycle Along the lines of inventory management, manufacturing companies with over-extended supplies and excess resources can cut their carbon footprint by finding ways to recycle and reuse materials already in-house. They can initiate programs to recycle bottles, cans and plastic bags. They can compost paper and other rubbish, and repurpose crates and boxes. These operations would also save on the bottom line as the company would spend less to restock these supplies. With objectives like recycling, inventory and environmental management, and alternative energy on the agenda, the manufacturing industry is ready to challenge any question about its eco-friendliness.
  18. Sustainable living is becoming more popular over time. Plenty of people are trying to reduce their ecological footprint by doing things such as eating less meat, composting food waste and using reusable shopping bags. While all of these things are great, creating a greener community will increase the effects of these efforts. Here are five ways to get your community to live greener lifestyles. Eat Local Transporting food thousands of miles increases emission output into the air. This increases pollution, and experts tell us that this effects our climate. Purchasing local also keeps resources in the area and benefits local farmers. Create a community garden! This is a great way to get family and children involved in a project benefiting the residents and environment. Recycling Everyone knows our trash output is too high. Trash sits in landfills for decades before composing, if it ever does decompose. Communities need to have multiple recycling drop off points, and have a skip bin in each location from their local waste management company. Electronics often end up in the landfills as well. This is the improper way to dispose of old and broken electronics. Set up drop off points so residents have a safe way to get rid of these items. Transportation A large portion of the pollution in our air is caused by transportation. Reducing this will clean up the community. Here are some ways to help. Organize a carpool group. Have a walk-to-school program. This decreases emissions and provides exercise times for children. Petition for bike lanes on the roads. Encourage Political Participation Everyone has a voice that should be heard. Creativity is one of the things needed to create greener communities. Getting involved in local politics can make these visions come to life. This is also a great way to get the residents involved. Let them know about local butchers or farmers so they know where to purchase food products. People will participate if they know how. Volunteering People who volunteer their time can help create preserve and aid the land. Organize a group of people who are willing to take time and pick up litter along the roads. This is a great way to get children involved as well. Cleaning up the area and streams is beneficial to the land and animals as well. There are so many ways to get involved in the community. The first step is spread awareness and encourage a discussion on methods to better the community.
  19. If you want to increase your recycling efforts to be more earth-friendly, you’ll need to make some changes at home. Having an earth-friendly house is an admirable goal, but getting there can be a challenge especially when trying to change daily habits. Follow these tips to improve your family’s recycling of paper, metal, and plastic items to reduce the amount of trash that goes into landfills. Think before You Shop While shopping for food and other household goods for a family, think about what you are buying to avoid creating waste. Rather than using the store’s plastic or paper bags, bring along your own durable canvas totes to carry merchandise back home. In addition, don’t buy products that have a lot of packaging to avoid creating more trash from plastic wrappers and cardboard containers. Fill Your Own Water Bottles Instead of buying huge multi packs of bottled water, invest in several reusable metal or plastic bottles to fill at home. A reusable water bottle is easy to carry with you to work or school and can be filled up at any drinking fountain when you are out and about. If you want to have cleaner water to pour into these bottles, then install a water purification system onto your kitchen’s water faucet. This tip can keep you from adding hundreds of plastic bottles to a landfill each month. Don’t Waste Paper You probably waste a lot of paper in your home without realizing it, but you can break this habit easily. Avoid paper waste by making a few changes such as buying washable cleaning cloths to dust furniture and clean windows. Rather than using paper napkins during meals, buy cloth napkins to wash each week as well. Use the internet as a news source and cancel your subscription to the local paper. Buy a Can Crusher Empty metal beverage and food cans require a lot of space in a home, but there are inexpensive metal can crushers you can use to reduce space in your recycling containers. With one of these devices, you can smash a soft drink or soup can flat before placing it in a recycling bin inside a garage. Make sure to rinse the remnants of food or liquids from metal containers before smashing the items. Instead of needing to carry several bins of metal to a recycling facility, you will only have one. Check to see the value of certain cans at places like Main Street Fibers to see if you can even make money with your recycling efforts. Re purpose Items There are numerous ways to increase your recycling efforts, including contacting your utility companies and banks to stop mailing paper bills or statements. You can also find ways to purpose items such as using metal cans as flowerpots or making bird feeders from plastic milk jugs. Think of your trash as another item you can use around the house or garden. Recycling is a great goal to have and any family can improve and increase their efforts at home. Use these ideas to get started changing your daily habits and making your whole house more green.
  20. A lush, green yard starts with healthy soil, and that usually means using soil amendments to make sure that it's as nutrient-rich as it needs to be. With all of the different types of fertilizer on the market, it can be tough to make the best choice for you, your plants, and the surrounding environment. When it comes to organic fertilizer, there are some key advantages that shouldn't be overlooked. Long-term Improvement Most people don't really look past the nutrient boost that fertilizers give their soil, but a good organic fertilizer like Nature Safe has benefits above and beyond its nutrient content. As it breaks down, it can actually help improve the moisture-retaining capabilities and overall fertility of the soil itself over the long term. Better for the Environment Organic fertilizers are produced using the natural processes of decomposition, making them easily biodegradable. The production of conventional fertilizers relies on petrochemical byproducts, and is implicated in air, water, and soil pollution. Not only is it destructive to the environment to obtain the raw materials necessary to make it, its manufacturing process can actually damage vital ecosystems, drive out important plant and animal species, and spoil water sources. Wildlife Friendly Since they're so often hidden from view, it can be easy to forget just how much a yard depends on tiny creatures like earthworms and beneficial insects to stay healthy. While organic fertilizer has always been a part of nature, conventional fertilizers often end up adding nutrients to soil at the expense of the local fauna. Earthworms and other creatures have a harder time living in chemically amended soil, and the soil's overall quality suffers as a result. Slower Break Down This may not sound like a benefit, but it is. Conventional fertilizers deliver nutrients quickly, which is not the way plants or soil fauna have evolved to receive them. Organic fertilizers break down slowly, providing a sustained release of nutrients in a readily bioavailable form. Rather than having to cope with sudden gluts of nutrients, your yard can grow the way nature intended. When it comes to amending soil, organic fertilizers are far and away the superior choice. While it is possible to use them irresponsibly, organic fertilizers have far more benefits than risks even for novice gardeners. When used properly, the end result is a vibrant yard, healthy soil, and a cleaner environment.
  21. Seems like everyone these days is trying to become a little greener. You probably already recycle and if you’re lucky, maybe have even upgraded to a hybrid car. But what can you do for your home? There is certainly an environmental benefit of conserving energy and resources and can help the earth stay clean, but in the end it also saves you money to improve your energy at home. There are small things you can start doing today and more long-term solutions that you can plan for in the near future to make your living space much greener and more wallet-friendly. Close Doors Any rooms or spaces in your home that you use on a minimal basis do not need to be consistently heated or cooled. Any spare rooms or even closets that you can close off means less space that you are using energy to heat or cool. Just by simply closing a door or two, you can cut down on heating or cooling costs depending on the season. Use Curtains In the wintertime as soon as the sun is up, open your curtains. Free heat! It will come in through your windows and warm your space so your heater is not working as hard. Likewise, in the hotter months, draw the shades during the warmer hours of the day so you keep the sun out and cool air in. This will decrease the use of central air and any air conditioning units that have a built in thermostat. Insulate It's pretty simple to do at least temporary insulation around your home. Quick weather stripping around doors and plastic covering over unused windows are quick and easy insulating jobs that take minimal time and money. Less obvious insulating options are things like using a propane tank Powerblanket and insulating any indoor duct systems. Lighten Up If you are building a house, or planning to replace your existing roof, choose a lighter color shingle for your roof. It's one of the things that many people don't think of, but darker colors attract sunlight which in turn attract heat which makes for a much more difficult time cooling your home in the hotter seasons. This is a more long-term solution, but can really make a difference in how much energy you spend. Tree Time Obviously, planting a tree at all is a long-term commitment and although you can get fairly mature trees, it takes time for most to reach the point of maturity to offer shade. But it's one of the greenest ways to add shade to your home in a natural and beautiful way. Try deciduous trees for great results, and see if you can add bushes for added shade as well. Install Smart Systems Many new homes come equipped with smart systems for everything, but you can start installing these same systems in your home especially for energy purposes. The easiest solution is a thermostat you can control from your smart phone to regulate temperature and energy use of your heating or cooling system even when you're not home. There are countless small and innovative ways to maximize your energy resourcefulness in your home. Some you can easily start today, and many you can start planning today. Either way, make a plan to have a greener dream home.
  22. It seems inevitable that pollution and temperature levels around the world will increase with growing populations, mass consumption, and related industrial processes. The environmental toll will do more than impact wildlife though. Humans can expect more diseases, food and water shortages, and conflict over habitable land. Business owners have the means to lessen the negative impact that their companies have on the environment. Utilize the following earth-friendly shipping processes to help safeguard everyone's future and make your systems work a little better. Streamline Processes Whether you ship packages or raw materials, any process that forces you to waste energy adds to the ever growing amount of damage to the environment and climate change. Streamline your entire shipping process so you're wasting less electricity, clean water, and fuel. Identify areas where work might be slowing down and come up with a few solutions to speed up common practices. Ship Smarter Most consumers hate big retail shipping boxes filled with more air and packing materials than products. Instead of generating waste, invest in materials that provide better protection in smaller spaces and ship products in boxes that are only slightly larger than product packages. Upgrade Transportation If you are shipping anything using diesel-fueled trucks, it is time to invest in new or used semi-trucks powered by environmentally-friendly or renewable alternative fuels, such as vegetable oil and electricity. If you plan to stick to fossil fuels, invest in designs that cut down on tailpipe emissions. You can ask sellers like Arrow Truck Sales what models they might recommend for better mileage and gas economy. Additionally, try to only run your trucks when they have full loads so they are not pouring pollutants into the air for light shipments. Use Recyclables Make certain you use recyclable materials and previously recycled materials as much as possible throughout your shipping process, including recycled cardboard boxes, packing materials, invoices, and shipping labels. When you replace equipment or parts, ship the old elements back to manufacturers. Metal, plastic and e-waste recycling centers re-purpose the materials or have used equipment or parts repaired so they can be resold. Choose Wisely Some common shipping tools are incredibly cheap, but fail to degrade in landfills, come from environmentally unfriendly manufacturing origins, or waste precious resources. Use products labeled "biodegradable”, "environmentally-friendly", or "green" such as biodegradable packing peanuts and environmentally-friendly lubricants and adhesives whenever possible. Although many of these changes seem expensive and labor intensive, any business can achieve these types of results by making the changes through carefully planned out steps over a two to five year period. Some changes like switching to recyclables can be made even sooner. Make your shipments a little more earth-friendly by implementing some of these changes today!
  23. Nowhere is the phrase, "start them young and early", more appropriately applied than when referring to teaching kids about recycling, sustainability, and being good stewards of this planet. Hopefully they'll be learning about it at school, but the burden falls on parents to assume most of their responsibility and teach youngsters how to keep their environment green. Early Childhood Training Beginning as early as three years old, let kids see you set the example first. In other words, verbalize out loud what it is you're doing as you're doing it. For instance, as you drop a plastic bottle in the blue bin, you might say something like, "This is a plastic bottle, and plastic things always go into this blue container." Doing so can teach them how to sort items and how to dispose of them in their proper place. You might even have them scribble a sign to hang over the proper bins that read, Plastics Here! or Papers Here! You can also have children tape a small plastic jar to the blue bin acquainting with plastic materials. To further involve younger aged children, begin a reward system of giving out little sticker stars with a prize like a sourdough pretzel goes to the child with the most stars. As they grow older, you may substitute little stars for returning bottles, and encourage them to keep the change. Make a Game Of it At this environmental protection government (EPA) website, you'll find imaginative, interactive games to stimulate young minds in the vision for protecting their environment. The Dumptown Game actually makes your child into a city manager with critical decision-making activities that engage municipal residents in their own waste management and waste reduction at-home programs. Use games and prizes to make learning and treating the environment right fun and educational. Young Children to Teens Having learned the basics of colors and plastics, your next job as a parent would be teaching them about composting. Easily done by setting up a separate bin for discarded tea bags, grass cuttings, veggie peelings, coffee grounds, egg shells, toilet paper rolls, and paper towels, this cuts down not only on the waste, but saves you money on fertilizer supplies as well. It all comes down to example. Set the stage for how your home runs and try to make a habit of throwing natural waste into the compost pile, using safe fertilizers like Nature Safe on your lawn, and routinely picking up trash and debris from your yard and local parks. When kids see you doing the right thing, they will naturally follow. Reusing Usable Items As many items can be reused for other purposes, make your kids aware that a peanut butter jar, for instance, can be transformed into a coin bank once it's been washed clean first. Empty tissue boxes are great for storing grocery plastic bags and a small plastic bag can be used in the family car as a trash bin. If you visit your local waste management, you'll see what your municipality recommends as far as dumping and recycling materials go. However, all initiatives really must begin at home by educating the children early.
  24. Creating a garden or flowerbed that can come back for a season or two is a talent that requires not only a green thumb but soil and compost rich in nutrients and minerals. For the gardener who wishes to create their own compost, the process is easy and can save money on mulch or other store bought soils. Creating Compost When creating a compost pile, choose a spot in the yard that will not be disturbed by animals or children. This spot should be near the waterspout, but not so close it gets washed away. It should be relatively dry, unless there is rain and it would be ideal if there were shade in this spot as well. It will keep the compost pile cool while completing the decomposition process. Some gardeners choose to create their compost in a wooden box to keep it separated from the dirt. The box makes stirring the compost easier because it is in a separate container. Compost Materials Once the spot and container for the compost is chosen and built, choose the materials that will be placed into the compost pile. Typically, these include any unused fruits, peels, vegetable left overs, lawn clippings, dry dead leaves, any tree waste, like branches and twigs, and leftover coffee beans. Some gardeners use the remains of stalks and husks to help with the decomposition. After all the materials are placed into the container, water is used to wet everything. Then the compost pile is left alone to decompose. Optional Covering Covering the compost pile is also a good idea. It will keep bugs and other animals out of the pile and will allow the water to keep the waste moist enough to continue the decomposition throughout the year. A tarp, which can be purchased at any farm or garden online store, can be used to keep the pile exactly the way the gardener wishes. It will also help keep the smell of the decomposition in the container and not disturbing the gardener. Time Frame The decomposition of the materials depends upon how much heat and water is used in the pile. It can take anywhere from three months to a few years for the pile to decompose. If the decomposition of the pile is needed quickly, placing a few items into the box will start the process, allowing the gardener to have some compost when they need it. You can also find products like fertilizers that can speed the process up at places like Nature Safe. Creating a compost pile does not need to be difficult or overly-complicated. Using these easy steps will help create compost that will nurture a garden for several seasons.
  25. The key to living healthy starts with farming green. Organic farming is the most recent trend that has now become a billion-dollar industry. Millions of farmers are participating in new techniques that reduce the reliance on heavy machinery and toxic pesticides. If you are interested in green farming, know that this industry is new and growing fast. Learn about a few initiatives that have grown in this past decade. Organic Farming Organic farming is the boldest and most environmentally safe step farmers today have taken. This type of farming involves using few or no chemicals to plant crops and the fertilizers used are all natural without toxic or artificial ingredients. Many crops planted into the ground are eaten or put into skincare products. Organic farming has reduced the harmful effects associated with toxins and pest immunity. Farmers like organic methods because machinery is usually not involved and the instructions are easy to follow. Becoming organic means using the tools and materials that come from nature. No-Tillage Farming Soil is essential in any sustainable farming plan. No-till farming reduces the use of tilling to break up the soil which causes less damage, such as excessive drying and loss of nutrients. Instead of tilling the soil, farmers use herbicides to get rid of weeds. They engage in crop diversity to reduce the growth of weeds naturally. The use of heavy machinery is reduced, and the soil retains its natural state. Recycling Recycling is not a new technique but has increased in popularity over the years. In front of most suburban homes are recycling bins that were not found there a few decades ago. Most products nowadays are being reused and recycled. Glass, metal, and wood come in recycled versions that are exactly the same as the original ones. Green farmers are encouraged to buy recycled tools and most already use quality products like Accurate Products Inc. rubber grommets for their shipping and harvesting processes. Many of them recycle the materials used to produce crops. They build compost piles consisting of soil, leaves and rotting food and are used as natural fertilizers. In the past, green farming was an experimental approach to traditional farming. Few people knew about the idea or its practices. Today, it is an industry that is internationally practiced and regulated by governments it is important to know how farmers have reduced their effects on the environment.