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Meghan Belnap posted a blog entry in Green Living BlogA “green” lifestyle is one which, once it grabs hold of you, doesn’t let go easily. At the same time, unfortunately, getting your family on board with the idea of making major changes can be a bit more challenging. To get them interested, it’s important to take baby steps so they can fully realize the benefits of a “green” lifestyle. Here are a few steps you can take when you have a family member who’s resistant to making eco-friendly changes. Provide a Few LED Bulbs Led bulbs have advanced tremendously in technology and dropped significantly in price since their invention in 1962. Still, many people are hesitant to change over to them, worried about the quality of light or the upfront cost of the bulbs. If the people in your life who you’re trying to convince don’t live with you, you may want to provide them with a few LED bulbs as a gift. Once they see the instant-on, cool-to-the-touch, and energy-sipping capabilities of LED bulbs in their own home, they’ll be hooked. Make Recycling Easy One complaint that some people have about recycling is that it’s time-consuming to take the recyclable materials to a recycling center, which may be quite far away. By providing eco-friendly skip bins, recycling suddenly becomes a lot more convenient. Depending on an individual’s usage, you can select from a variety of sizes to ensure they can recycle to their heart’s content. Stay Clean It may seem odd, but one of the best ways to encourage family members toward energy efficiency is to keep yourself clean. A common hesitation that people have with low-flow shower heads and faucets is that they think they don’t clean as well as their traditional counterparts. By regularly successfully utilizing a low-flow shower head, you can show that these devices truly do work and truly do help protect the environment. Let Them Eat Composting is a great way to create rich soil that is great for growing a vibrant and beautiful vegetable garden. By utilizing various ingredients that you obtain from your garden in your cooking, you’ll quickly assuage any concerns your family members may have about the cost and effort involved in successful composting. Since there are so many ways to do composting, it’s also a good idea to have plans ready for your family members to follow once they start asking how you’re able to do it. Give Them Time As with any major change in another person’s life, the change to a “green” lifestyle is bound to take time. Though it may seem like progress is coming at a snail’s pace, over time you’ll be able to look back and see just how far your family has come, with the added satisfaction of having played a role in that transformation.
HannahWhittenly posted a blog entry in HannahWhittenly's BlogIt 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.
HannahWhittenly posted a blog entry in HannahWhittenly's BlogOngoing 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.
Herb gardening is as easy as the fresh herbs are flavorful. Small flower beds, vertical spaces, and even odd corners can be turned into a productive herb garden with these helpful hints and inspirational ideas. If you don’t want to do all the initial digging and planting work, a local Utah landscaping company would be glad to do the ground-breaking work for you, and help make your herb garden idea a reality. Small Spaces Apartment and condo dwellers that have small outdoor spaces can still enjoy the satisfaction of growing an herb garden. As long as there is some type of sunny outdoor space, such as a porch, or accessible roof top, there is the opportunity for planting a container garden. Select a location that receives bright sunlight for 4-5 hours a day to place your planting containers. Fill them with a good quality potting soil mixture and mix in some slow release, granulated fertilizer into the soil. Start the herbs of choice from seeds and place them in a small container of water (use separate containers for each seed variety), then place the containers in the refrigerator for 48 hours. This cold water soak will cause the tiny herb seeds to germinate quicker. Drain seeds, and plant in prepared soil. Keep soil moist and seeds will germinate in 4-7 days. Container Companion Planting Herbs make excellent container companions for other garden favorites like tomatoes and flowers. Select planters large enough to accommodate the root system of the plants, and place a tomato plant in the center of the container with oregano and chives seeds tucked in around the sides. Basil and cilantro make good growing companions for a pepper plant, and the mixed containers are interesting to look at wherever you place them. Containers will dry out quickly, and the growing plants will need a steady supply of water and food. Water daily during the heat of summer and feed plants weekly with a water soluble plant food. Grow Vertical Decorative and space-saving, a vertical herb garden is an easy DIY project. If you have an exterior wall or fence you can plant and grow herbs of your choice upon the structure. Just attach any type of individual planting containers in an upright position on the vertical wall, low enough so that herbs can be tended and harvested as needed. Create a decorative vertical pattern with the containers, then fill them with good quality potting soil that has a good fertilizer mix, then plant herb seedlings or seeds of your choice. Give seeds a cold soak as described above prior to planting and water vertical container daily. Odd Spaces Herbs have shallow roots and are happy growing in most any location as long as they receive 4-6 hours of direct sunlight, and the soil is kept moist. Since the plants are easy to please, think outside the garden plot and look for odd spaces in which to plant and grow your favorite herbs. An old tree stump can become a prime growing location. Hollow out the stump center, fill with good quality potting soil, and plant seedling or seeds. Suspend a window box or two from an easily accessible window and fill with fragrant and flavorful herb plants. Window boxes can also be suspended from porch railing. Tuck in a nice trailing vine, such as a petunia, in the window boxes for some extra flowers and color. Herbs are easy to plant and take care of, even year round. No matter what your outdoor space looks like, you can find a way to make it a happy place for herbs of all kinds.