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11 Ways to Go Green at Home

Doing our part to reduce landfill waste, create cleaner air and protect Mother Nature isn't as hard (or expensive) as it seems. As Earth Day (April 22) approaches, boost your eco-friendly lifestyle with these easy tips and tricks for going green.

Plant a Garden

Not only will a garden serve as a subtle reminder of where food originates, but you'll reap the benefits of having fresh produce at your fingertips. Start with seeds or even try re-growing vegetables from store-bought leftovers. For example, Mother Nature Network instructs how to re-grow celery from the base of a used stalk. Using a similar technique, you can do the same with the onion bulbs.

Change Light Bulbs

Slowly phase out your incandescent bulbs for LED bulbs. These use up to 80 percent less energy than incandescents and can last up to 25 times longer, according to Earth911.com.... read more

Why You Should Carbon Offset Your Flight

carbon offsetting flightsWe all love to travel to broaden our horizons, our experiences and our cultural boundaries, but planes consume fuel, generate carbon emissions and pollute the planet. In fact, air travel is the fastest growing source of the greenhouse gas emissions that are responsible for climate change. If you dream of heading off to a far flung and exotic part of the world but you’re worried about the damage you’re doing to our planet, you should think about carbon offsetting your flight.

 What is carbon offsetting?

Carbon offsetting scheme providers, such as Carbon Footprint, Carbon Neutral Company and Climate Care agree that while everyone inadvertently produces carbon dioxide emissions (some more than others of course!), there are ways that you can help to reduce the earth's total emissions to balance it out. By making a small contribution to one of these offsetting scheme providers, you can render the carbon emissions produced by your flight neutral. This is usually a tiny percentage of the cost of your flight and can be simply done online after making your purchase.... read more

Gardening Tips for Beginners

Spring has definitely sprung and tis the season to start your gardens!    Growing your own food is a wonderful way to be green and save money, too.  Even if you think you might not have a green thumb, gardening certain things can be easier than you think.  

Here are some tips for someone just trying to get into gardening:... read more

Frugal gardening tips for a small backyard


small backyard gardeningIf you enjoy gardening but have only a small backyard, do not despair for you can still come up with some great ways of making it bountiful. You can make your backyard come alive with a neat lawn, plants, vegetables and flowers. Apart from the beauty of the garden you will also benefit from growing your own vegetables for the kitchen. This will save you a lot of money in the long run, although the initial cost may strain your pocket a bit. Here are some frugal gardening tips which will help you to maintain a small backyard garden throughout the year.

Make your own compost

Start collecting all your kitchen waste items like coffee grounds, vegetable peelings, tea leaves and eggshells to make your own compost. If you have no space in the corner of your garden to make compost pile then bury the waste right inside the soil. This organic compost will enrich your soil and will save you a lot of money on readymade compost.

Trade with a neighbor

If you have excess seeds and seedlings, trade seeds and cuttings with neighbor. It takes a little longer to start a plant from seeds but works out cheaper in the process. Look out for seed sales and stock them up and grow them indoors before the gardening season. You need not buy expensive containers for the seeds as you can use recycled containers which you might have at home. If you are starting from scratch, then invest in heirloom seeds for the first year so you can harvest and keep your own seed supplies for the next season.... read more

Why is Hemp So Great?

hemp is awesomeFirst of all, hemp is awesome.  There are so many uses for hemp from food to fuel to home insulation.

One thing is that hemp is extremely versatile.  You can use either the seeds or the fiber.  From hemp seeds, you can make milk, oil, or other foodstuffs.  It’s a source of omega-3s, protein, and calcium.   The fiber is used for paper, clothing, jewelry, and lots more

Hemp has been used as a material throughout time.  The Western Han Dynasty in China used hemp paper as far back as 200 BC and historically hemp ropes have been used by sailors.  In recent years, hemp has been making a comeback in terms of popularity because it’s touted as an eco-friendly alternative to a variety of common materials.... read more

Using Hemp as an Alternative Fuel

Although the majority of eco-friendly car headlines relate to the advances in hybrid and electric battery technology, there are many other alternatives to petrol out there. Alternative biofuels can be created out of cooking oil, algae, and liquefied petroleum to reduce carbon emissions and improve efficiency. Another type of plant that can be used to fuel cars is hemp. This humble plant can be used to create paper, clothing, and food, but it's often overlooked as an alternative fuel source. Yet there are signs that hemp is on the rise as a potential alternative fuel. Canada has given the go-ahead to fund research into hemp oil, while university studies have shown that it could be a viable alternative to petrol.

hemp as fuel 

Hemp's Eco-Friendly Qualities

Some of the concerns that have been put forth related to biodiesel or biofuel include the fact that crops such as palm and corn oil can put strain on the environment, somewhat defeating the purpose. Unlike olives, peanuts, or rapeseed, hemp doesn't need to use up high-quality land that could be used for food instead. Hemp can grow without clearing land, and is able to flourish in a variety of climates. It's a hardy plant that leaves the ground in a better condition than when it was planted, which makes it unique among biofuel sources. Hemp can be grown without a great deal of water, fertilizer, or other input, and the plant is used in many parts of Europe and Asia for the fibrous stalks. Yet the oily seeds are often discarded as a waste by-product. These could instead be used for fuel, while still producing fibres used in other products.... read more

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Europe’s Most Spectacular Train Journeys

Sure, it’s not the fastest way to get from A to B, but train travel has ten times the romance of that hectic and overcrowded flight you’d normally be squashing yourself into and it’s a hell of a lot better for the environment. So why not slow down the pace of life and enjoy not just the winning, but the taking part? Here we share a few of the most stunningly scenic train journeys through Europe – so pack your bags and hop aboard! 

bergen to osloThe Bergen Line

Route: Bergen to Oslo      Time: 7 hours

Boasting the highest altitude train track in Europe, the Bergen-to-Oslo journey is often described as one of the most beautiful in the whole world. Journeying between striking mountaintops, deep blue fjords, stunning glaciers and sprawling pine forests, you’ll feel like you’re voyaging through an enchanted kingdom, millions of miles from the nearest civilisation. Built in 1875 and the highest point standing at 1,222m above sea level, the Bergen-Oslo journey is nothing short of magical. Check out nsb.no for more information. ... read more

Go Green, Go Alternative, Help Save the Planet

image from sxc.huEvery day, people around the world do, deliberately or unconsciously, some activities that would affect the environment. No matter how big or small these activities are, they would still create an impact. Some of those effects would create an irreversible damage that also build ripples affecting humanity and all life forms. 

 

 

While it is true that scientists, environmentalists, enthusiasts, and advocates are working hard to protect and help the planet recover from the tremendous problems, the real truth is, the earth is everyone’s responsibility. We think it is a very difficult job to help, but there are actually a lot of simple things we can do to take part on this environmental rehabilitation and protection program.... read more

What You Need to Know About Net Metering

net meteringIn today’s age of green initiatives encouraging at-home energy resources, there are many people taking advantage of generating their own electricity through solar power. With these types of self-produced energy, many residential customers are not using the city- and state-provided utilities network. In fact, the energy that they produce at their homes is often funneled back into the power grid where other local customers can use it. This phenomenon has led to the concept of net metering.

Defining Net Metering

Before the advent of net metering, the extra energy produced by solar-powered homes was simply unused, then lost. In order to take advantage of the excess energy produced by solar-powered homes, utility companies in charge of the grid began to credit those producers for adding home-generated energy for their own use and for the use of other customers. This billing and crediting system became known as net metering.

For example, a home with solar panels on the roof may be able to generate more energy during the daytime than the home needs to run electricity lines and appliances. If this solar-powered home is enrolled in net metering, its electricity meter will actually run backward during the hours it is over-producing, thereby creating energy credits. The homeowners can then use these credited hours either during the nighttime when solar energy is inapplicable, or for donation to the electric grid for other customers to use. With this system, energy-producing homeowners are only charged for the energy they consume from the outside grid, also known as their net use.... read more

Springtime Tips for Conserving Water

rain conservationWelcome, springtime!  Our days in New England have yet to warm up, but I know that the warmer weather will be right around the corner.  Soon, my days will be filled with watering our garden, filling up the kiddie pool, and collecting raindrops in our rain barrell.... read more

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