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Found 15 results

  1. Getting your family and home ready for an emergency doesn’t need to be bad for the environment. In fact, many homeowners are surprised to hear that “prepping” can actually reduce their carbon footprint when done correctly. Here are some eco-friendly tips that will help you get your family ready for emergencies such as storms, floods, and power outages. Buy Supplies That You Are Going To Use Anyways Many of the food products that are put in survival kits aren’t designed to be very tasty. The point of an emergency ration is to be as lightweight as possible while still providing you with enough calories to survive. Instead of buying bland survival food, you can stock up on nonperishables that your family will end up eating anyways. Most experts agree that families should have a good mixture of canned and dried foods that will last for at least a year. That includes dehydrated fruit, cereal, canned vegetables, canned meats, nuts, rice, and pasta. Invest In Second-Hand Gear Even though emergency gear can be expensive, there is a large second-hand market for most of these items. Those who spend a little extra time searching for supplies might be able to stock their entire home with second-hand items that have never even been taken out of their packages. In addition to scouring the internet for deals, you can also take a look at local military surplus stores in your town. Buying brand new flashlights, first aid kits, and other emergency supplies is only going to send more unused items to the dump. Make Your Home Self-Sufficient Making your home as self-sufficient as possible is good for the environment and a great way to prepare for emergencies. The first step in this process is to make sure that your home has an alternate source of energy, like a standby generator from Anderson Water Systems. If a natural catastrophe causes rolling blackouts, then you will be able to take your entire home off the grid so that electricity can get to hospitals and other emergency organizations. Those who live in a colder climate should also consider investing in a secondary heating source such as a wood furnace. Having a well-stocked home and comprehensive plan for emergencies will keep your family safe during these terrible events. With some research and a little bit of planning, you can make sure that your emergency preparations have almost no impact on your neighbors and the environment around you.
  2. If you are concerned with your carbon footprint, there are things that you and your family can do to reduce it. The good news is that many of these ideas will not significantly alter your lifestyle. Therefore, you can do good for the Earth without having to go without the things that you want or need. Recycle Whenever Possible That plastic soda bottle or milk carton is likely eligible to be recycled. The same goes for the cardboard box that your cereal came in or the soup can that you just made dinner from. In lieu of putting those objects in your recycling bin, you can use them as flower pots or fill them with soapy water to use as a fly or pest trap. Find Ways to Limit Your Water Use There are many ways to limit your water usage such as washing your dishes only once a day or by taking shorter showers. You can also save water by watering your lawn once or twice a week instead of once or twice a day. Tightening loose pipes or making sure that the hose is completely turned off may also conserve water. Install Appliances That are Friendly to the Environment Appliances that have an Energy Star rating are ones worth having in your home because they use less energy. The only way to earn this label is to pass a government inspection, and there is no way for a company to buy its product onto the list. You should also look for central air units from Cape Fear Air Conditioning & Heating Co. Inc. or a similar company that have a higher SEER rating than what you have in your house. The higher the rating, the more efficient the item is. Carpool Whenever Possible Instead of having each member of the family using their own car, a family can carpool and save on gas and other emissions. It may also be a good idea to walk or bike to school or work if you live close enough. Using public transportation such as a bus or subway may also be an effective way to reduce the emissions created by your family's driving habits. If you are concerned with how society is treating the environment, you should lead the charge for change by example. By demonstrating the changes that you have made, it could inspire others to follow your lead. Over time, this could cause entire communities or even entire parts of the country to follow through on the momentum that you have helped to create.
  3. Perhaps Earth Day has put thoughts into our mind of what you and your family can do to improve the environment. You may feel as if you are unable to make any significant changes especially on a limited budget. However, you would be surprised to learn how much the following five changes affect the environment of the world and how little they could affect your wallet. Change the Thermostat Making a change of even a few degrees can eliminate a significant amount of the energy that must be used to heat or cool your home. Plus, this can actually lower your electric bill in the summer and your natural gas bill in the winter. Consider switching to a programmable thermostat, which will cost less than $50. This will help you automatically adjust the temperature when you are at home, at work or asleep. Change Light Bulbs When compact fluorescent bulbs first came out, you were most likely not very impressed with the color or quality of light they provided. However, numerous changes to CFLs as well as to halogen and LED bulbs have made these bulbs appear just as good as incandescent bulbs do. Do not let the initial cost scare you. They last much longer than incandescents do and require less energy to run. Get a New Ride For a slightly uncomfortable up-front cost, you can upgrade your family car to an eco-friendly option, which will save you plenty of money in gas in the long run. Consider a hybrid car, or if you need a car for running errands around town, consider investing in the Nissan Leaf, which is a fully electric car that can run for up to 107 miles on a single charge. Unplug Appliances Many appliances continue sucking energy while they are plugged in even if they are not actively running. In particular, place your computer and televisions on electrical strips that can easily be turned on and off with a single button. In the kitchen, unplug appliances when you are not using them to save energy. Grow Your Own Food Even if you do not have a green thumb, you can easily grow a vegetable garden in your backyard to save on trips to the store and to remove non-organic foods from your diet. With today's surge in container gardening, you can have a healthy garden full of tomatoes, lettuces, peppers, cucumbers and strawberries on your patio. You can make a difference in the world no matter how small or large your budget is. Discuss changes you would like to make as a family. Getting your significant other and children on board will make them more enthusiastic to help with this vital cause.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Many households have their way of family bonding, whether it be a family game or movie night. Some households bond through on-going or long-term projects, such as family gardening. Although a long-term pastime such as family gardening may take more care, it is worth the health benefits and happiness it will bring to your literally growing family. If you follow these four tips, the entire home will flaunt their green thumbs with pride for a long time to come. Tip #1: Purchase Seeds with Short to Long Growth Times An inevitable component to gardening is the waiting game. Germination and growth times vary greatly among flora. To keep your children involved in the family garden, it would be best to put them in charge of sowing fast-growing seeds such as pumpkin (whose vines being to rapidly spread within a week), radishes, and wildflowers. While seeing fast and consistent results from their plants, the kids can also track the growth of other plants, like a giant sunflower. Tip #2: Choose a Safe Pesticide When developing a garden, all green thumbs out there know that their plants face threats from the environment. Dying and decaying gardens can be disheartening to the growing family, but there are number of ways to deal with these threats through the use of pesticides. However, the pest for your specific garden must be identified first. Once you identify whether its weeds, insects, fungus, or plant disease, you need to find the safest pesticide for your garden. For instance, a family with crawling pests and dogs would need an insect pesticide that was safe for canines to be exposed to. Many use natural alternatives such diatomaceous earth to keep active pests at bay. Tip #3: Mix and Match Garden A colorful garden that brings fragrance, decor, and harvest will be a beloved family garden. When purchasing seeds, don't just think of a flowery landscape. Think of flower beds, butterflies, and ripe cherry tomatoes. There is nothing wrong with having different sections to your family garden. In fact, you may find that family members prefer to tend to one type over another. Many garden and farming supply companies, like Central Farm and Garden, actually using many different types of plants. This not only makes things more colorful—and more fun—but can make plants healthier and help them grow larger. Tip #4: Plant Everyone's Favorite No matter the growth time or plant type, every family member should sow his or her favorite plant. It will bring so much joy and personal fulfillment when it blooms. These tips should have your family growing in no time for a long time. If the space permits, you could even grow a family tree.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. When you consider that household cleaners are the number-one cause of poisoning in children, it’s important you’re vigilant about which products you use to clean your kitchen. This room is probably the most important, since you prepare food and spend the most time here, especially with kids. What’s more, the toxic chemicals in household cleaners are about three times more likely to cause cancer than air pollution. If you’re anything like the average home in the U.S., which has more than 1,000 different chemicals in it, it’s time to clean up – the safe and green way. All-Purpose Kitchen Cleaner There are plenty of all-purpose cleaners on the market that will take care of tough stains while being hard on your health. For a green all-purpose kitchen cleaner, combine two tablespoons of vinegar, a teaspoon of borax or baking soda, and two cups of hot water in a spray bottle. Shake it, and then add a quarter-cup of liquid soap. Spray your counters and appliances, and wipe clean. Dish Soap When purchasing a dish soap for your kitchen, stick to detergents that are non-phosphate. To make your own detergent, purchase a bar of plain castile soap, place it in a bag and add water in a ratio of one part soap to four parts water - by height. Let it sit for five days, adding 10 to 15 drops of your favorite essential oils like lemon, orange, and lavender for even more disinfecting power. Drain Cleaner To clean your drain without losing cells in your brain, pour a half-cup of baking soda down it followed by a half-cup of vinegar. Let it bubble for about 15 minutes and pour a pot of boiling water over it. It's that easy! Oven Cleaner Typicaly oven cleaners often include some of the harshest chemicals to your health. Have you ever used one and once you smelled the fumes, literally choked? That's a clear sign that whatever is in that cleaner shouldn't be around you or in your home. To clean your oven safely, generously sprinkle water over the bottom of it. Cover the water with baking soda, leave overnight and wipe clean. TIP: Ovens are notoriously hard to clean if they're spills are abandoned. To help, sprinkle salt on spills immediately while the oven is still warm. When the oven cools down, scrape the area and wipe it clean. Stain Removal If you're unable to lift the stains with the green all-purpose kitchen cleaning solution that you've made, try sprinkling the surface with salt and squeezing lime or lemon juice over it. Let it sit for a few hours and then rub it out. Pest Problems With a clean kitchen, you'll keep the critters away. But if you do have a pest problem, investing in an organic pest service instead of a traditional one is also important if you want to save you and your family's health. Examples like Greenleaf Organic Pest Management specialize in “low-impact” solutions to get rid of bugs easily and safely. What green cleaning solutions do you rely on to keep your kitchen and home clean?
  10. If you're like most people, many of the habits you formed as a child remain second nature to you as an adult. Consequently, as a responsible parent, helping your children form their own positive habits is something you have to think about daily. When caring for the environment is concerned, the habits and thoughts kids have now can forever shape the way the earth holds up. Here are a few eco-friendly habits worth passing along to the next generation. Buying Products with Green Credentials Besides reducing harm to the planet's delicate balance, buying eco-friendly products encourages corporations to clean up their act. Involve your children in purchasing decisions for everything from LED light bulbs, to phosphate-free dish soap. Explain to them why you're avoiding products with certain substances and making a statement with your wallet. Recycling Appliances & Materials Wisely There's more to recycling than separating aluminum cans from plastic bottles. Finding a quality recycling company that can properly handle more problematic refuse like PCs, TVs, and smartphones is the key to eco-friendly recycling. Bring the kids along when you take in your recyclables to get them familiar with the process. You should also use companies like Ware Disposal to help get you on a regular cleanup and pickup schedule. Scheduling Activities to Reduce Energy Usage If you're a savvy consumer, you know that energy waste can be easily curtailed with a little forethought. Plotting routes using Google Maps to reduce unnecessary car trips can eliminate literally tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year. Show your kids the ropes by setting a forward-thinking example in everyday scenarios and kill two birds with one stone by helping lower energy and waste as well as your bills. Considering Potential Environmental Impacts Nearly everything we do affects the environment in some way. Demonstrate the importance of making those effects positive by involving children when undertaking a landscaping or home renovation project. If you're a city dweller without a yard, start a balcony garden and educate your kids on the importance of cultivating non-invasive plant species. Going with the Local Option When Possible As you should know by now, transporting goods from one end of the world to the other generates a ton of carbon dioxide. Buy local products instead to cut back on emissions and get started by creating a compost heap with your kids rather than buying commercial topsoil for your organic garden. How to Make Those Teachable Moments Count Getting your children on the green bandwagon isn't terribly difficult. Focus on areas that interest each child so that green life lessons don't seem like homework. Parcel out tidbits of wisdom gradually so that they have a chance to sink in. If you keep things light and take your time, kids will form eco-friendly habits that last a lifetime.
  11. Ongoing trends in kitchen designs and interior home designs in general seem to be going the way of "green" and sustainability, and it helps homeowners to find ways to reduce their carbon footprint on the planet. By simply selecting eco-friendly materials, avoiding use of toxic chemicals, using low-flow faucets, and energy-efficient appliances, your new home design can reduce energy use and improve your own health at the same time. Bigger Is Not Always Better In designing sustainable kitchen areas, a smaller space consumes less building material, and less energy to both heat and cool the interior. Designing a smaller layout for cabinets and counter-tops ultimately makes wise use of a smaller kitchen space as well, and you can find other options like hanging pot and mug racks for simple and clever storage solutions. Creating Kitchen Gardens And Indoor Herb/Veggie Stations Connecting with nature and staying healthy in the kitchen can be done by creating an indoor herb or veggie station by a sunny window, or an outside small container veggie garden nearby the kitchen door. In doing so, you may find that even your indoor air quality improves significantly. Composting Composting, even on a small level, prevents up to 140 pounds of waste from ending up in landfills annually. As you begin composting practices, kitchen scraps turned to compost reduce your own need for fertilizer, pesticides, and even water. Keeping a container by the sink for collecting kitchen scraps goes a long way to help reduce your carbon footprint and make your garden more sustainable. Utilize Biodegradable Materials When Possible Buying kitchen counter-tops made from recycled paper, recycled glass, and reconstituted wood is one option. Likewise, natural paints made from natural ingredients are more environmental-friendly than other varieties. Floor coverings made from reconstituted wood is another good choice, as are tiles made from recycled materials. Consider Buying Energy Star® Appliances Think about retrofitting with energy-saving water efficient appliances. Incredibly, doing so is the equivalent of having 15,000 cars suddenly disappear from the highway. Yes, Energy Star® Appliances are more expensive to buy; however, their savings in energy costs may be worth it to many consumers as well as their long mechanical life. Window Replacement Having an environmental-friendly window arrangement in your home means a lot more energy savings in the long run. New window materials and the use of double-glazed Gilkey windows and fiberglass, are all viable means to help either reduce, or maintain heat in a home. When speaking of eco-friendly or environmental-friendly advice in creating kitchen sustainability, the options are almost innumerable. Since this seems to be an ongoing trend in today's home designs, careful research and selection is a must, so choose wisely.
  12. In an era of information that esteems the progress of science, today’s populous is becoming keenly aware of the impact human activity has on the environment. Particularly and prominently, the decline of the planet has steadily come to international attention. With a cataclysmic global crisis impending, people are left to wonder what is being done. Is there anything proactive, or are our communities continuing in detrimental disinterest? One of the most important variables we can control is our waste output. By mitigating the waste our community produces, we decrease the size of landfills and preserve the earth’s most precious resources. Recycling Communities recognize that most of us can contribute less waste simply by not wasting anything. The average household produces over four pounds of garbage daily. It is becoming more and more important for everyone to pay attention to what is being thrown away. Some of these efforts have been put to good use by recycling plants. Recycling plants are established specifically to reuse resources such as paper, cardboard, and plastic. Companies like Lakeshore Recycling are even making an effort to make it more convenient and easy to recycle by providing bin rentals to communities and private companies alike. Ascribing to a Lifestyle Part of recycling effectively, is making it a part of a daily lifestyle. Families toady are constantly looking for different forms of recycling. Rather than allowing old clothes to go to waste, communities consider passing them on to another, and online sellers and purchasing make it easy to get rid of and recycle old materials all over the world. This way less is contributed to landfills, and more waste is reduced. Families also purchase items that are eco-friendly, such as reusable shopping bags, rechargeable batteries, washable water bottles and other items that have been recycled. A Call to Action Communities are willing to respond to good information about causes that matter. This is what is happening across many communities in the United States. As we encourage more people to live eco-friendly lifestyles, and make them aware of the waste that they produce and how it has compromised the planet, people are willing to listen and change their behavior. Information and education is key. With the internet as pervasive as it is, communities are able to spread information and make their causes known and more easily fought for. Leading an eco-friendly life, and finding better, easier ways to recyle is all a part of how communities today are changing and becoming more aware of limited resources. We are concerned with the sort of world we are leaving for our children and grandchildren. By reducing our landfill waste, they will not be plagued with a dying world.
  13. While we likely won’t see a world in which every home is solar powered, trash is turned into fertilizer, and everyone grows their own produce, there are a number of things that you do at home to be a little greener. Going green once meant you simply recycled all your trash bags and conserved water when brushing your teeth, but today there are so many more things you can do. If you want to do your part to make your home environment more green, check out these environmentally friendly living tips to help you reduce your carbon footprint from the inside out. Conserve Energy Energy conservation is one of the first steps you can take toward going green, and today it’s easier than ever to implement these energy-saving practices. Here are just a few ways you can start reducing your energy consumption. • Switch your light bulbs. – Incandescent lightbulbs use up to 75 percent more electricity than compact fluorescent bulbs. Switch all of your existing bulbs to fluorescent bulbs and save energy (and money). • Turn the lights off. – Another great way to save energy is making sure lights get turned off when not in use. If you and your family forget to do this, then consider either installing automatic light sensors or timers on your lights to regulate when lights are turned off. • Unplug unused appliances. – Even when not in use, your appliances and other electronics are using electricity. Conserve energy by unplugging unused appliances and electronics, including your television, computer, lights, toaster, and other items. • Install an alarm system with energy efficiency options. – We have all left a light on at home, or even left the heat running when we were going to be gone for the day or even for several days. This is one of the biggest drains on energy, so help yourself and the environment out by installing an alarm system that will help you manage your energy. NorthStar alarm reviews show great options that allow you remotely power off appliances, control your lighting, and monitor and manage your home energy usage. Improve the Air Quality Another way you can go green at home is by improving the air quality around you. This measure is one few people think about, but is just as effective as other options. • Grow indoor plants. – Plants function as natural filters for the air, removing harmful pollutants and even odors. Fill your home with natural air cleaners including spider plants, palm trees, and Boston ferns. • Install a carbon monoxide detector. – If you heating unit is emitting carbon monoxide, it is polluting your home and the environment, which can even be deadly. Prevent this type of pollution by installing a carbon monoxide detector available from your local hardware store. Reduce Toxins Make an effort to reduce the toxins you use and bring into your home. While this effort isn’t always easy, there are many more options today than ever before. • Get rid of toxic chemical cleaners. – Start with the cleaners you use throughout your home. Ditch toxic chemical cleaners, and choose more natural options instead. There are many varieties available today, but you can also make your own with regular household products like vinegar and baking soda. • Reuse cleaning cloths. – Instead of using paper towels and other disposable items to clean, opt for reusable cloths you can toss in the wash. You’ll cut down on waste and save some money at the same time. Doing your part to go green at home makes a big difference, and it’s not that hard to do. Start on your path today to a greener home environment with these simple tips.
  14. We've all heard the words "reduce, reuse, recycle" as a mantra for going green. Most people say they support it, but when it comes to actually applying it to your own life, we all tend to fall short. The most common reason people don’t keep up a greener home is because they aren't sure how. The majority of us would like to be more eco-friendly, but consider it to be too difficult or just don't know where to begin. Here are three cost effective and simple ways to make your home greener today! Change your Heating Methods It takes a lot of energy to heat and cool a home, and paying for it can get pretty pricey. Ceiling fans have become a fairly common and cheaper alternative to cooling homes during the summer, but a lot of people don't know they can also be used in the winter. Warm air rises, so running the ceiling fan in reverse helps to circulate the warm air throughout. Another energy efficient way to heat your home is via a boiler. Boilers use a pump to distribute hot water, or steam, through pipes in the baseboards. Using a boiler to heat your home saves energy and money. A supplier of used boilers like Nationwide Boiler might be able to get you a discount which can save you more money. Use Sunlight to your Advantage The summer sun can easily make your home stiflingly hot. A good way to keep the sun out is to use blackout curtains. These curtains come in many styles, but all provide much needed insulation. You can keep the curtains closed during the summer to block out the heat, and leave them open in the winter to let more in. This natural method of controlling temperature will allow you to run your air conditioner and heater less frequently and at lower settings. Reduce your Waste Reducing the amount of garbage you are contributing to landfills is an excellent way to become more green. One way to do this is to start composting. This eliminates waste, while improving your garden. It is also a fun family activity. Another way to reduce your waste is to purchase beverages in glass containers. These containers can be recycled and reused around your home. Try not to look at everything you throw out as simple garbage. There are a lot of ways you can reuse and reduce your home waste. Making a greener home is easier than it seems. These methods are just some of the practical ways you can improve your home by reducing, reusing, and recycling. Modifying your lifestyle to be more eco-friendly is a wonderful way to benefit the planet and your bank account.
  15. It doesn't matter if you want modern, sleek decor or you'd much prefer the shabby-chic look; upcycling can result in treasured pieces you customize to fit your taste. The following is a list of ways to convert trash materials or worn-out chairs, into works of art. Decoupaging an Old Chair's Surface To update a chair that's nothing but an eyesore, gather up newspaper and magazine clippings, multicolored tissue paper, or scraps of fabric leftovers from a recent project. Apply them to the chair's surface using either decoupage glue, or lacquer from a nearby craft store and set aside to dry. Reupholstering Dingy or Torn Seats To fix rips, outdated patterns, or unattractive sun fading, simply reupholster all the tired padding. Quilting is an easy way to upcycle leftover fabric into seating that makes a statement. Crafty people could also use duct tape in varying designs to cover over ugly padding. Turning Home Improvement Leftovers into Conversation Starters Did you recently have a custom home builder in Regina revamp your bathroom or kitchen? You can upcycle the items that were replaced into eye-catching seating that is sure to turn some heads. Cut the side out of a claw-footed tub and modify it into a cozy reading nook. Using Old Chairs to make a Fashionable Bench When you want to get rid of an old patio set, consider turning the chairs into a bench instead. Line up two or three and use a shipping pallet to create a seating area that joins them all together in a cohesive way. Alternatively, you could line up four or five pieces of plywood in a row to achieve the same effect. Converting an Old Trunk into a Loveseat Modify the lid of an old trunk so it permanently sits at a 90-degree angle with the bottom half. Add upholstery to the hollow areas in the top and bottom sections for a comfortable seat and back rest. Attach four wooden legs to raise it off the ground. Relying on Old Accessories Gather up the family's old belts and weave them in and out of each other to create new upholstery. This can also be done with strips of cloth from old clothing items as well. Upcycling is a fantastic way to refurnish a home and add a decorative touch while also getting rid of useless junk you might have just lying around. The possibilities are as endless as your miscellaneous materials and imagination.