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James White's blog

Companion Planting for Natural Gardens

Companion planting is basically just arranging your garden so that complementary plants are near each other. This can mean different things, including plants that deter pests, attract insects, or require different nutrients to reduce competition. Most gardeners will be planting a common assortment of vegetables, so we will try to focus mostly on those you’re likely to find in any garden.

Alfalfa

For starters, there are some plants that are pretty much good to plant near anything. Alfalfa is one of these. A drought-resistant crop, it has strong roots that help to break up soil and aerate it for others with weaker root systems. Its tap root also deposits nitrogen into the soil, reducing your need for fertilizer and making the soil richer for the next planting year.... read more

Running a Basically Self-Sufficient Home

Homesteading: a lifestyle of self-sufficiency.... read more

Swap it for Silicone — New Ways to Live Green

menstrual cup

So many everyday products increase our exposure to harmful chemicals, but the increased use of silicone is creating new ways for us to avoid these products. At the same time, silicone provides another way for us to reduce our waste and reuse products.

Since you're already in the early phase of spring cleaning, it's time to open up your supply cabinets and start swapping metal and plastic products for silicone.

What's the Big Deal?

Silicone is being used across the board in everything from medical devices to toys. Liquid silicone rubbers have a high level of purity and are even hypoallergenic. They can even withstand extreme levels of heat without a risk of releasing hazardous chemicals. Why? Because there aren't any.... read more

Green Ways of Responding to and Preparing for Natural Disasters

You love the planet, but there are times that it won’t love you back. It seems as though there’s a new natural disaster plaguing the planet every day. Whether it’s an earthquake, flood, tornado or tsunami, they happen unexpectedly and can completely change life as you know it.

Even in times of fear and chaos, you shouldn’t leave your green standards behind. It turns out that you don’t have to: There are plenty of ways to respond to and prepare for natural disasters that won’t hurt the planet. We’ve gathered some of the best ideas below to make it easy for you to get an idea of what it takes to repair the Earth – and yourself – when an unexpected storm hits.... read more

4 Weird Ways to Green Your Home Business

You refuse to purchase plastic water bottles, your home business is paperless, and you recycle and reuse whenever possible. You are at peace knowing your efforts to minimize your carbon footprint are making a small but meaningful impact on the planet.

But there’s always something more you can do. Consider the following 4 unordinary ways your business can continue to make progressive moves to better the planet’s health.

Create a Healthy Breathing Ecosystem

Plant life is important for filtering the air we breathe. Your home business will benefit from healthy plant life both in and outside of the house. Consider using a rain gauge to water your plants and conserve water. The presence of healthy plants is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it also adds more essential oxygen to the environment.... read more

5 Ways to Save Green by Going Green

Non-renewable energy comes at a price. The more of it you use, the more you’re going to pay. In the same way, our consumption of these energy resources comes at a price to our local, regional and global ecosystem – and its cost might be higher than we were ever willing to pay.

Unfortunately, there seems to be a commonly held misconception that it’s infeasible to offset our individual costs and those on the environment. Well, I’m here to tell you that this it’s totally feasible, and anybody can save green by going green.

You just have to do a little bit of homework before you get started.

Research, Research and More Research

What you’re trying to accomplish is a systemic switch in which type of energy you use, and how much you’ll be consuming. This is going to be a great deal more extensive than just changing out lightbulbs, so it’s going to require a good bit of research on your part.

Here are just a few questions you’ll want to ask yourself to give you a starting point:

  • Where do you live? You need to determine your region’s climate and how your energy is commonly supplied in your local area.
  • What is your living situation like? Do you rent or own? What are you currently using for energy utilities?
  • What is your current budget for the project? Think of this switch as more of an investment than an overhead cost.
  • What can you do (rather what do you want to do)? Some changes might not be possible, given your living situation, due to space or legal issues.

 

... read more

Top 4 Most Innovative Green Car Advancements

Green automotive technology is the future. With hybrid and electric optimized vehicles, consumers can get more bang for their buck. The biggest boon is that dependency on gas is lowered, and thanks to steadily climbing gas prices, green cars pay for themselves. It makes plenty of sense that consumers are demanding better fuel economy from their vehicles.

Ford EcoBoost

Companies like Toyota, Elon Musk, Chrysler, Honda and others have responded. For example, Ford has produced an EcoBoost engine family and they're being used in various models. Of particular note is the 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost, amped up with about 310 horsepower. That's not too shabby for a green tech car.... read more

How to Green Your Pool

In recent years, at-home pools have gained popularity; they’ve become more affordable and accessible than ever before and have presented a direct solution for those looking for ways to naturally improve their fitness, rehab certain injuries or treat certain conditions (and, of course, to just have good ol’ fun with friends and family).... read more

Keeping Your Garage or Warehouse Clean

When shopping the grocery store aisles, you see a lot of cleaning products that claim to be the best. They kill 99.99 percent of germs or remove 98 percent of stains from bathroom fixtures, they remove soil build-up on your hard floors or get rid of the smell left over from your pet’s accident on the carpet. Perhaps these chemicals and other products live up to their reputations, or perhaps they don’t; either way, it is worth considering whether those products do what they say they will as well as how they do it.

Garages and warehouses are some of the dirtiest places so you want to make sure you buy a cleaning product that works and is cost effective for such a large space.

Most commercially manufactured cleaning products contain chemicals that are harmful to humans and the environment, but they actually aren’t much more effective at cleaning than many green options. These tips can help you make the adjustment for a healthier and more environmentally-friendly cleaning process for your garage, shed or warehouse.

  1. Switch to Green Cleaning Products: A lot of the time commercial chemicals come with numerous warnings, but what if you didn’t have to take such care with your cleaning supplies? Try a new brand of healthy, biodegradable and nontoxic cleaning supplies to make sure that you are taking care of your health and your environment while you are cleaning. Whether you are cleaning the floor or a  high hard to reach place, most of the time a natural product, or even just vinegar or baking soda, does just as well as the commercial chemical brands. Using distilled white vinegar with warm water (1/4 part vinegar, 3 parts water) will also lower costs of buying cleaning products.... read more

Five Ways to Make Your Relaxation Routine Green

The world moves fast these days, which means that having a relaxation routine is vital if you want to feel refreshed and ready to take it on each morning. If you’re already living a green lifestyle, there’s no reason that this routine can’t be too! Here are five ways to relax in a way that’s both effective and earth-friendly.

1. Unplug

It’s almost impossible to feel relaxed with your cell phone buzzing beside you or your work e-mail ringing with each new message. In order to get the most out of your “you” time, turn everything off that will otherwise distract you or stress you out. There are plenty of good reasons for doing this too. For one, the LED lighting used to brighten these devices can interrupt your sleep pattern if you look at them too late, as light suppresses the production of sleep-inducing melatonin in the body. You can also cut down on your electricity usage and carbon dioxide emissions if you turn off your electronics for any period of time.... read more

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