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How the UK Government is going to cut carbon one building at a time and what we can all learn

The UK Government has just launched their Green Deal earlier this month. It’s the UK’s largest attempt to retro fit homes with insulation and Green technologies. The Governments aim is to cut carbon output by 80% of 1990 levels by 2050, it’s a big ask and can’t be achieved by policy alone. The Governments aim is to get 14 million homes upgraded through the initiative. 

Incentives 

How are they going to achieve this? Well there is one big incentive to kick things off: no upfront costs to the home or business owner. This will hopefully get people motivated, because apathy is rampant when it comes to Green Technologies. If I said to you that you could save £80/$100 per year by insulating your loft properly you’d probably say yes—but that means clearing out my loft, and that’s a pain! 

With constant changes in lifestyle and behavior, there needs to be a motivation or incentive to drive the project forward. Luckily we have created international Gas and Oil markets that keep driving the cost of domestic gas and oil higher and higher; swaying the nay saiers is therefore becoming easier. Everyone understands the simple concept of saving money and finding cheaper alternatives. ... read more

Top ways to save money on gardening

gardening tipsGardening is considered to be one of the 'less expensive' hobbies. However, in reality there is a lot of expense incurred when you start gardening on a regular basis. Growing plants and greens in your backyard would include expenditure on seeds, soil, plants, tomato cages, pots, mulch and even lumber for raised beds.

Few ways to reduce gardening costs -

1. Plant seeds instead of buying seedlings - A packet of seed could help you grow about 100 plants for the cost of one plant or seedling that the nursery would sell you. Seeds require more work in the garden, but your savings would be worth the effort.... read more

Tips for Greening Your Lawn

Many homeowners want a nice green lawn - as in the color.  But, how about making your lawn greener, in terms of sustainability?  It's easy!  

Here are some tips:

Less Grass

Having a huge lawn uses a lot of water.  Lawn care equipment is also responsable for roughly 5% of air pollution in areas that don't meet federal air quality standards, according to the EPA.  Start off by cutting down on the grass in your yard and fill up your yard with a nice patio, native plants, and edible gardens.  ... read more

The New Sea Stories

As I plumped myself down to watch Greenfire Productions’ new documentary, Ocean Frontiers, I was ready for a fight. Not to actually be in a fight, mind you, I just wanted to watch one from the comfort of the plush seats at the New England Aquarium’s IMAX theater. Ocean Frontiers starts with a familiar setup; ecosystems stretched to breaking, rickety regulations that are hardly adequate, and everyone wanting a bigger piece of the pie, or at least to keep what they have. I anticipated such well-worn narratives as right vs wrong, perceptive vs blind, spiritual vs benighted -- the usual. But that’s not what I got. Ocean Frontiers shows four coastal communities who sidestepped the gridlock of their eco-struggles and found solutions that worked for everyone, and for the ocean. (Conflict of interest alert: I’m on Greenfire’s board.)
... read more

Top 5 Tips To Make Your Garden Green

Gardening is a beautiful experience not only for people who love flourishing greenery in their gardens, but also for busy individuals. Well maintaining your gardens green in the off seasons is definitely a difficult task, I am sure you agree with me. A few ideas are given below to help you keep your garden green by spending a few pennies or nothing at all.

1. Get the right place

Before you plant a new sapling or a seed you need to make sure of the right place. The right place means a spot in your garden that receives adequate sunlight, as most of the plants, be it vegetables or fruits need a minimum of 5 to 6 hours of sunlight daily. To confirm the right place in the garden also check the soil and its type before you set your plant.

2. Watering your plants... read more

Join a Coffee CSA on National Coffee Day!


Are you keen for caffeine?  If so, we hope you're enjoying National Coffee Day!

And here's a keen idea to celebrate National Coffee Day:  join a coffee CSA!  We all know about produce CSAs and even meat CSAs, but have you ever thought of joining a CSA to get your daily coffee fix?

CoffeeCSA.org lets you sign up for coffee shares from coffee farmers.   The organization is 100% owned and controlled by the farmers that they feature!  And it gives you the opportunity to get involved with the farms - you can even pay to plant a tree on a small coffee farm.  ... read more

Protecting your garden during a hurricane

Who lives in Hurricane Irene's projected path?  *raises hand*  Hopefully everyone makes it out safely, but extreme weather can be really tough on a garden.  

prep garden for hurricane

Here are five tips to help prepare your garden for high winds and serious downpours:... read more

10 Fun Composting Facts & Tips

Who doesn't love composting?  It's free soil, it cuts down on waste, and it's great for your garden.

compost heap

Here are 10 fun composting facts and tips:... read more

Is a CSA right for you?

The environmental benefits of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) are numerous.   From supporting small farms to lowering your carbon footprint to getting delicious locally grown food, CSAs are a great way to eat healthy and be green.

However, CSAs aren't right for every family.  Here are some good things to ask yourself before joining a CSA.... read more

The Dirty Dozen and The Clean Fifteen

The Environmental Working Group compiled 2011's lists of The Dirty Dozen and The Clean Fifteen.  They used data from the USDA to analyze pesticides in produce.

The lists are a little different than last year -- for instance, cherries dropped off The Dirty Dozen, but now lettuce is there.

Here's The Dirty Dozen, which are fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide residue:... read more

  1. Apples 
  2. Celery 
  3. Strawberries 
  4. Peaches 
  5. Spinach 
  6. Nectarines (imported) 
  7. Grapes (imported) 
  8. Sweet bell peppers 
  9. Potatoes 
  10. Blueberries (domestic)
  11. Lettuce 
  12. Kale/collard greens
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