Spring is a season of stirring anticipation. As the ground thaws and flowers start to bloom, house-dwellers get eager to throw open the windows and embrace the warming air. With that comes a sense of renewal that's most evident in the annual tradition of spring cleaning. Cleaning out your home can be a great way to expel clutter accumulated over the winter, but if you want to do it while being environmentally friendly, you'll need to take stock of your current cleaning habits.
Picture Credit- madamenoire.com
Going green when cleaning doesn't require a drastic overhaul of your current cleaning approaches. Rather, you only have to make small adjustments, and in some cases this simply means investing in new products. Here's a list of steps you can take to go green as you spring clean.
Use washable cleaning rags
Paper towels are a convenient cleaning resource, but they're wasteful. Instead, use (Read More....)
When I grew up plastic bottles and containers were not wide spread. Glass bottles and jars along with boxes were mainly used as containers for items we would pick up at the store. You did not hear a lot about recycling then but even during these years my parents were always teaching us kids to be conscientious about such things.
The main way my folks encouraged us to take care of our environment was just ingraining it into us from the time we were small. Mom was always pointing out different plants and trees and giving us the names. She shared what the different types of plants were and the care they needed. She was also pointing out trash to us and would go out of her way to pick it up. Before anti-littering laws, signs, and commercials there was mom. She was adamant that we not litter but beyond that she would see a parking lot or a beach with litter and we just knew we were going to be cleaning it up. That was just how we were raised.
This is what I see as the main way to encourage our children to save our environment. Teach them from the time they are small, make it a habit just like brushing your (Read More....)
This is a question that takes on more and more importance every year that goes by. The fact is that most of the time when someone starts talking about the planet and the environment, many people listen but then file it away for future reference rather than act immediately.
Yes, it is true that many of these issues will not have a great impact for many years or even decades. That does not mean that nothing should be done and it also does not mean that there is not an effect right this moment.
What Can Be Done
Use of Alternative Fuels for Cars, Trucks and Electricity
Many people carry with them the memory of the first electric cars that hit the common market in the 1970’s. These were not the most attractive cars on the road and needed to be charged frequently. They could not achieve anywhere near highway speeds and had some major issues.
This is not the reality of the electric and hybrid cars of today. The fact is also that electricity is not the only option when it comes to alternative fuel sources. Ethanol is another option that has no set of drawbacks (Read More....)
Now, when some people go about saving the Earth, they go in all the way. No little steps here, they recycle ad reuse everything. They go green in every way they can, with all the knowledge and effort they can muster. One of those people is architect Michael Reynolds, who builds Earthships.
What is an Earthship? Well, think of it as the ultimate recycled housing. Fully autonomous and created using what the rest of the world would deem to be garbage, Mr. Reynolds’ Earthships are home that the environmentally conscious can enjoy without a qualm.
An Earthship is a radically sustainable home made of recycled materials. They make their own electricity using solar and wind power. Even geothermal power if it is available. They heat and cool themselves naturally using solar and thermal dynamics. They harvest their own water from rain and snow melt and use it at least four times. They use and reuse all household sewage (greywater and blackwater) in indoor and outdoor botanical cells. The produce a significant amount of food, usually enough to sustain a small family.
Earthships are constructed using the byproducts of modern society like cans, (Read More....)
Have you ever wondered why certain materials are recycled? People used to be able to discard anything into the trash. Now most cities and communities require people to separate specific items and materials for recycling. Here are some of the top recycled items and the reasons they are not being discarded straight into the trash bin.
Aluminum is the only recycled item on this list and any list that has no limitations on recycling. It is 100% recyclable and is a very common item being discarded by users from soda and beer cans, to packaging, to items used around the house.
Recycling aluminum saves an enormous amount of energy that would be needed to make brand new aluminum materials. As of today, the beverage industry is the biggest user of aluminum, which also has an enormous consumer market that utilizes its aluminum products.
Plastic materials are everywhere in a household but most plastic items that are used and recycled are food and drink containers, bags, eating utensils and various bottles such as shampoo and detergent.
As a result of the growing need for plastics, many communities have required (Read More....)
What? You’ve never heard of Freecycle? Let me be the first to tell you that Freecycle is an awesome network of great people doing their part to keep the environment clean while helping meet the needs of other people in their communities. Instead of throwing their used stuff into a landfill, Freecycle members post their unwanted items online and freely give them to other members. Freecycle successfully keeps about 500 tons a day out of landfills by operating on a simple principle: One person’s trash can definitely be another person’s treasure!
There are over 5,000 Freecycle email groups around the world organized into local chapters. Volunteers who donate their time and energy to moderate these local email lists help others turn trash into treasure. You can find anything and everything on Freecycle including clothes, appliances, furniture, bikes, baby products, collectibles and more. Best of all, everything is absolutely free! No strings attached! Membership is free, and it’s always free to post or request items.
Freecycle Rules and Etiquette
To keep things on the level, Freecycle has a general list of basic rules and etiquette. Every item (Read More....)
Americans are hearing a lot of talk these days about the over-sized "carbon footprint" that we are leaving on the environment. While some of us have a general understanding of this topic and the negative environmental repercussions surrounding it, there are many of us who still do not even know what this concept means.
As our country becomes more eco-conscious, it is important to educate Americans on what a carbon footprint is, its relationship to climate change, how it impacts the environment, and what we can do to reduce the carbon footprint that each citizen generates.
Carbon Footprints and Businesses
A carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide and methane, known as typically as greenhouse gases, that is emitted into the atmosphere by our daily activities as individuals, businesses, and a general population. Both consumer practices and manufacturing processes contribute to the carbon footprint left on our environment. Much of the carbon footprint that comes indirectly from American households is a result of the manufacturing processes used to make items that we buy and use in our everyday lives.
That is why (Read More....)
Making green changes in your home doesn't have to feel burdensome. Sometimes it's easier if you work through your space one room at a time. In many houses, the room that gets the most use and has the most impact on the environment is the kitchen. Try out some of these environmentally friendly changes you can make to use less energy and waste fewer resources.
Older appliances, particularly refrigerators and dishwashers, may be using twice as much energy as newer models do. When you're making the switch, look for models with a good Energy Star rating and make sure you're getting machines that are the right size for your households. Refrigerators and freezers use less energy when they're full, so buying the biggest model on the market isn't always the best idea. Dishwashers, too, should only run when they're full to conserve energy.
Gallons of water each day go down your sink drain. One of the best ways to limit this waste is to install a low-flow aerator on your (Read More....)