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A Greener Move Back to the Dorms

Even before the semester officially begins one of the first things students must plan is moving into the dorms.

Decisions need to be made on what to bring and strong hands found to haul possessions from place to place.

At the same time thoughts should be given towards making it a greener move so the effects on the environment of thousands of students journeying back to school at once is lessened.

Some considerations include the following:

Bring less stuff: Not only will lightening the load make life easier when moving in (and vacating) but fewer possessions means the vehicle transporting them will use less fuel. Also, since dorms are only temporary settings it’s a good challenge to try and be a creative remodeler who only needs a few items to generate that cozy comfortable feel. ... read more

How to Recycle Your Unwanted Christmas Presents

So Christmas day rolled around at last and you were so excited to finally unwrap those shiny parcels twinkling wickedly at you from underneath the Christmas tree. But what if what you unwrapped was not everything your heart desired? What if – and don’t be shy here – you simply hated it? Now that it’s safely post-Christmas, we bring you our top tips on the best ways to recycle those lovingly gifted but simply off-the-mark presents.


Regift it

This one can be tricky! Don’t fall into the obvious trap of accidentally giving your unwanted present back to the very person who bought it for you. Combat this by jotting down who got you what and hopefully you’ll never make the ultimate gift faux pas. The golden rule with regifting is to make sure you give your unwanted present to someone who would actually like it - no palming it off at the first opportunity!... read more

Now is the Time to Switch to LED Lights

LED light bulb

With the New Year upon us, now is a great time to start reevaluating our energy consumption and the way our lifestyles impact the environment. One great step toward that goal is making the transition from traditional light bulbs to LED (light-emitting diode) varieties. Today, LED lights can be found in virtually any store where traditional bulbs are sold, and making that switch is easier than ever. With Christmas lights deeply discounted immediately after the holidays, it's also a smart time to invest in greening next year's decorations.

While some might hesitate to make the switch because of the higher cost of LED, for many, the following benefits more than justify the higher price tag.... read more

Save Energy and Money in the New Year

With some discipline and an $85 investment in energy-saving products, you can slash up to $500 off bills in the New Year. Even better, those savings will continue year after year, even if you don’t investment another dime. Projected savings are based upon the average home’s energy bill of $2200. If you live in a bigger than average house, your costs – and savings – will be greater. 

home energy

Begin where you spend the most

Heating and cooling costs account for between 45 and 50 percent of your home’s energy use, so it’s a good place to begin saving money. Adding insulation to attic floors and exterior walls, of course, can dramatically reduce energy use. Before making that investment, however, look for places where insulation was forgotten altogether. Common locations include over garages with living space above, inside cantilevered floors, and in cavities around windows. Consult with a company that performs home energy audits to help you decide where you need insulation the most and the best kind to use. It will have instruments and equipment that can literally let you see and feel exactly where you’re losing energy. ... read more

Simple Ways To Be Proactive With Your Home's Energy Efficiency

Antique homes are a sight to behold.  There's a distinct area of my town with a number of early 1920's style homes that still stand tall today.  The wrap-around porches. Big, brawny interior.  Solid oak flooring with that piercing creak as you walk.  High ceilings.  Shudders covering the windows.  The list goes on.  

But what most antique homes – and many modern homes – lack is a fundamentally sound, energy efficient setup.  There's the thin window panes, or the less-than-desirable air circulation.  As the home ages, there may be small, subtle cracks in the duct work, or gaps in the attic for air that interfere with temperature control throughout the home.

green home

Remodeling your home to be as energy efficient as possible obviously aids the homeowner in a number of ways.  But determining which areas of the home need the most patchwork, regardless of whether you're trying to update a historic home or modern one, is key.  From adding more insulation to replacing windows on down to regularly changing out air filters around the house, here are ways to survey and tackle your home's energy efficiency the right way. ... read more

Awesome Ideas To Cut Down Your Energy Usage Expenses

Especially with the bad economy we're facing, it is important to cut down on costs. One big bill for most families is the energy usage bill. Many families struggle to pay for electricity and costs related to keeping their homes warm. In this article you'll learn ways to cut down your energy usage expenses. 

#1 Contact Power Company

Sometimes help comes in the most unexpected places. One way you can save on your energy usage expenses is to get an energy audit completed by your power company. You may be surprised at the suggestions they come up with that could save you money on your bill. ... read more

Being a Greener House Guest


Green Goes Simple: Conservation at Home


By Marisa Belger for Green Goes Simple

If you’ve ever been on the hosting end for parties or overnight houseguests, you know that opening your home to guests is a great act of warmth and generosity. This year, try acknowledging the gift of a cozy bed and wonderful company with an eco-savvy hostess present that shows how much you appreciate being welcomed into someone’s home. Hey, think of all the money you’re saving in hotel costs!

Emily Anderson, author of Eco Chic Home, recommends giving gifts that are thoughtful -- without being showy. “When I give a hostess gift, I want it to be a nice gesture of appreciation, but not something over-the-top,” she says. “I’m also sure to think of something that my hosts will put to good use.”

While a bottle of (organic) wine or a pretty (soy-based) candle are classic options, Anderson also likes exercising a bit of creativity in her gift-giving. The results are meaningful and earth-friendly:... read more

Reusing Clementine Boxes

One of my favorite wintertime treats are clementines. The sweet satisfaction of eating candy with the nutrition of oranges. YUM!

reusing clementine boxes

Clementines often come in wooden crates. I hate to just throw out a nice wooden seems so wasteful, especially considering how many ways you can upcycle clementine crates!   Make sure to remove any staples from the boxes, especially if your children are going to be using them. ... read more

Planet-Friendly Holiday Parties


By Elizabeth Barker for Green Goes Simple

By making a few easy changes to your party-planning strategy, you can cut back on waste, reduce your use of natural resources and even slash your spending budget. Here, Green Chic author Christie Matheson serves up eight tips for eco-fabulous entertaining:

1. Ditch the disposable goods and use your own tableware. Not enough to go around? Consider renting what you need or borrowing from a friend. You can also check your local chapter of, an online community where members give away used household items.

2. Hold off on shopping for new serving platters, punch bowls and cocktail plates. "Before you buy anything for your party, see if you can borrow what you need from friends or unearth any hidden treasures from that box of stuff your grandmother gave you," suggests Matheson. If you do need to hit the store, swing by your favorite thrift shop or purchase new pieces made from sustainable materials (such as recycled glass or reclaimed wood).... read more

Keep your gardening techniques green

green gardening ideasNow more than ever, we are aware of eco-friendly ways to look after our homes; from recycling our waste efficiently, to choosing cleaning products with a minimum amount of chemicals. However, eco-friendly gardening methods are arguably not as well known. Eco-friendly gardening takes a little bit more effort than traditional gardening, however the payoff is worth it as you are not only helping your garden to prosper; you are helping the environment. Here are some simple tips to get you started. 

Eco-Friendly Soil 

Many people don’t realize that traditional commercial soil is made from a non-renewable resource. Peat is the main component of this sort of soil, but it is only grown in certain parts of the world and once it has been harvested it is extremely difficult to grow back. Peat has been harvested so much because not only it is a great material for cultivating plants; it’s also used as a source of energy. However, for your garden there alternative prod
ucts you can use to help your plants grow. Coconut coir is a natural byproduct of the coconut industry and it currently isn’t used as a fuel or food so there is an abundance of it. It promotes plant health and will prevent the coir from being wasted. Next time you’re looking for soil or fertilizer for your garden, see what alternatives are available for you go straight for the traditional products.                                                 ... read more

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