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When it comes to the whole problem with the global warming, sooner or later everyone will realize that we have to do a lot more, even individually, to prevent a major catastrophe that is about to happen. But when it comes down to it, we are a particularly lazy species, and even though we are faced with inevitable threat, we are not so quick to make all the needed adjustments. For example, even switching from simple increscent light bulbs to a fluorescent kind has not happened everywhere around the world, which means that somewhere, people are spending energy inefficiently. It might sound funny, but that is just a small example of how small things can influence the bigger picture. When it comes to taking care of our gardens, there are many thing we are still doing wrong. We spend too much chemicals and pollute the soil, we use excessive amounts of water, or the total opposite – we simply don’t care about our gardens. But, what can be done to truly create an eco-friendly garden? We’ve made a few notes for you to remember. 1. Do Not Be Wasteful This is what being green is all about. Just look at nature, nothing is wasted there, everything has its purpose, and once nature is done with it, it is used again and again, in one form or another. Humans, on the other hand, are not as clever. Humans throw away so much food each year with which we could easily solve world hunger once and for all. The clear solution to this is to think about everything that you do and eat more carefully; the next time you see a banana go brown, do not throw it away – use it to make compost, and all the kitchen scraps can be used for that purpose as well. Composting is adding nutrient rich humus that plants would later use to grow and develop. This is also done to restore depleted soil so that it returns to its normal state. 2. Do Not Be Harmful The next important thing to know is that you should try and do no harm to the existing ecosystem that already exists in your garden. Sure, you are going to arrange it the way you want it to look, but do not use chemicals or other kinds of unnatural fertilizers that can pollute nearby water, rivers and ultimately – oceans, and even damage the plants that naturally live there. Pesticides and herbicides, usually do more harm than good, and there is certainly a better way to achieve weed-free garden – use your hands and physically remove them. By creating this eco-friendly habitat, you will create a suitable place for many organisms to live and thrive, both under and above the ground. 3. Eco-Friendly Can Be Pretty Too Once you’ve prepared everything, you will need to carefully select the plants that you will use for your garden. The best thing would be to use native plants and flowers, because those are already accustomed to your type of climate and specific regional conditions. They will require less care and water to grow, while they will be beneficial for the local habitat. Plant a tree – it will not only produce oxygen for you, but it will also provide you shade, housing for the birds, and not to mention a few tasty apples if you choose to plant an apple tree. Use natural pebbles or rocks or other kinds of decorative aggregates for additional aesthetic effects, as they can create walkable paths and emphasize certain areas, creating the effect you want. 4. Water with Care Water is an especially touchy subject, especially if you are used to turning on the garden sprinklers whenever it is too hot outside. Remember that some regions of this world are still struggling with clean, drinkable water, and you are wasting it. Altering your habits might save a lot of water, especially during hot spells in the summer. More compost the soil has, the more likely it is to keep all the vapor inside, and prevent further evaporation. Soaker hoses use much less water than sprinklers during the summer and provide you with the same results, as each and every drop is directly transferred to the ground, without having time to be evaporated by sun or carried away by wind. Having an eco-friendly garden is not hard as people might think, and the effect it will have is small, but if everyone does it – it will quickly add up.
chloehashemi posted a blog entry in chloehashemi's BlogUK housing is amongst the least energy efficient homes in the whole of Europe. Running a fully-functioning home accounts for nearly half of the UK’s yearly carbon emissions. Housing is so poorly insulated that a third of all UK homes (6.7 million) are rated E or worse on their energy performance certificate, meaning they have a low standard of energy efficiency. Not only are Britain’s poorly insulated homes having a negative impact on the environment, but also on their inhabitants’ standard of living. According to recent research, the UK comes bottom of a fuel poverty league table for Western Europe and figures from 2011 revealed that a quarter of the people in question were living in fuel poverty, amounting to a grand total of 4.5 million homes. As UK homes are so poorly insulated, any in the house heat is lost very quickly, meaning that Brits are spending a small fortune on energy bills and are essentially burning cash to stay warm for only a short period of time. With energy prices substantially increasing this year, many simply can’t afford to heat their homes during the cold winter months, forcing them into fuel poverty. For example, British Gas has increased their gas prices by a staggering 8.4% and its electricity prices by 10.4% in recent years. The older generation are among the worst suffers of fuel poverty with Age UK estimating that 1.7 million older people in the UK cannot meet the expense of heating their homes, and over a third (36%) of older people in the UK say they try to spend a majority of their time in a single room to save money. This can cause major health issues and up to 24,000 older people could die in the cold during the winter months. With conditions in UK housing becoming rather serious, the Government has already made a conscious effort to help reduce household bills, reduce carbon emissions and improve the general standards of living. For instance, the Green Deal was introduced at the beginning of 2013, with the objective to encourage household’s to take out loans to cover the cost of making their homes more energy efficient. However, the scheme hasn’t been as effective as hoped – the government aimed to convert 10,000 homes into the scheme for 2013, when actually there was not one live deal in the first half of the year in spite of 241 household’s agreeing to the funding. Therefore, the question is what else can be changed to develop the efficiency of homes within the UK? One of the major issues is the fact that so much of Britain’s housing in the UK is relatively old, and therefore the UK would benefit from newer housing which has less impact on the environment, such as the new generations of manufactured homes like mobile homes and park homes. Mobile housing is popular in the U.S and according to research carried out by the U.S. Department of Energy, this type of housing can save up to 55% of energy when compared to a house without energy efficient facilities and appliances. Furthermore, Omar Homes a company that provide mobile homes and park homes, are built with ‘being green’ in mind. The homes can be built with water heat pumps, solar photovoltaic panels and ground source heat pumps. Therefore, taking this into consideration; could more manufactured housing be the answer to helping Britain become more green? The manufactured housing industry has already seen considerable interest towards mobile and static housing. For example, companies like Harvey Longsons, who focus on static caravans for sale have seen outstanding results in recent years. Conversely, if more mobile housing communities were more available it could also help solve the problem of fuel poverty for the ageing population, as these types of communities are often a suitable lifestyle for retirement. The retiree can be surrounded by similarly aged neighbours and have communal activities more available to them. As opposed to elderly people continuing to live in their family home, (which can often be s too large for their needs, and are not cost efficient), perhaps if they had the option, more retirees would move to manufactured housing communities that will not only save them money on energy prices and provide them with a more fulfilled lifestyle, but will also significantly reduce their carbon footprint.