Green Your Home on a Budget

Each room of your home represents your personal style. From the mocha café walls in the great room to the brilliant red abstract painting you found at a local art show, your tastes, style and personality can be found throughout your home. And wouldn’t it be great if each room conveyed your personal style and was eco-friendly too?

Making eco-friendly, green choices can be challenging, But when you take the time to learn about how products are made, what ingredients they use and where they come from you may find a greater appreciation for the items you interact with everyday. And fortunately, making more eco-friendly choices doesn’t have to cost a fortune or take a lot of time. Read on to discover some simple, affordable ways to add green style to throughout your home.

Kitchen

Admit it. You have a drawer full of items saved for special occasions, many of which never see the light of day. And chances are hidden deep inside the drawer are those linen napkins you received as a wedding or house warming gift. Never used, but ready for the day they will be. Well, today is the day.

Using cloth napkins instead of disposable paper napkins not only adds style to the table everyday, it also saves valuable resources and money. Unlike throwaways, cloth napkins can last several years which means you can save hundreds of dollars over the life of the napkins. And since cloth napkins are so compact in size, you can easily throw them in with your weekly load of towels without adding extra loads to your laundry. Or if you prefer a more casual look, consider turning old t-shirts into napkins. Fun and whimsical, soft and absorbent, once your favorite t-shirt becomes too worn out to wear, turn it into napkins by cutting into 6 x 6 squares and stitching the edge. The t-shirt napkins are simple to make, and easy to care for since no ironing is required.

Before giving old pots and pans the old heave-ho, consider turning them into a decorative accessory. Teflon pans, recently cited by the EPA as a possible cancer risk when used to cook at high temperatures, can now transform to become a holder for dish towels, plants or even cook books. Remove the handles from smaller pots and pans and they transform into a cabinet organizer for clips, twist ties or packets of seasonings.

Bathroom

Possibly, the least favorite room to clean, the bathroom is surprisingly simple to green. Simple things like losing your plug in air freshener which can actually emit toxins into the air and replacing it with essential oils can create the air quality of the room. Simply place a drop of essential oil of cinnamon, lavender, peppermint, or eucalyptus on a cool light bulb. When the lights are turned on a toxic-free, fresh scent filters through the air. Another trick to keeping your bathroom smelling fresh is to dab a cotton ball with your favorite essential oils and hide inside a basket of towels or discreetly on a shelf. The scent will fill the air and can be refreshed as often as needed.

Bedroom

The perfect place to start greening your bedroom is with bedding. Although cotton is a natural fiber, it typically requires pesticides and fertilizers to grow. The Sustainable Cotton Project estimates that 12 pounds of synthetic chemicals and fertilizers are applied to every acre of cotton in the United States. Organic cotton is grown without the harsh and toxic chemicals that often end up in the waterways and pollute the earth for years to come making it a more eco-friendly choice.

Another luxurious, yet green option is bedding made from bamboo which is naturally environmentally-friendly, antibacterial and soft. Bamboo fabrics are made from bamboo fiber yarns which are naturally silk-like and easy to dye, making it possible to find the perfect color to match the color scheme of your room.

Consider transforming your room into one inspired by the tropical colors of Caribbean or the warm colors of the American Southwest with clay and milk paints. Made naturally from clay, clay paints and plasters are available in a range of natural earth tones and textures. Another …

Going Green at Home is Easy Buying Guide

Going green in your home is easier now than ever before. There is a wide selection of recycled, non-polluting or otherwise green products for your home on the market to help you go green.

The Simple Green company has a green cleaning product that works good and smells wonderful. Naturals. Simple Green Naturals Multi-Surface Care is derived of chicory, coconut, corn, palm, naturally occurring minerals, salt, sugar, and water. There is nothing else added. The combination is biodegradable, non-toxic, and has never been tested on animals. The bottle is 100 % recyclable PETE and is made with at least 25 % post recycled content and printed on with soy inks. Naturals Multi-Surface Care is available online at Simple Green for only $3.99 for a 32 ounce bottle.

Garden hoses have a bad reputation for being toxic and adding more trash to the landfills. However, the Gator Hyde is trying to lighten up things a bit. This garden hose is drinking water safe and non-toxic, made with 50 % recycled material. This garden hose is up to two times lighter than leading hoses, and up to three times tougher. There is a nickel plated ends to prevent harmful substances from transferring to the water. Available online at Green Home at $32.50 for 25 feet or at $90 for 100 feet.

Everyone knows that composting is good for the environment, but many people don’t want to do the work of traditional composting. The Tumbleweed Compost Maker is going to change their minds because it is so easy to do. Just thrown in the food scraps and yard clippings, give a daily spin and the compost will be finished in as little as 21 days. The Tumbleweed Compost Maker can produce up to four times the amount of compost in the time it takes to make one by traditional methods. This is available online at Green Home.com for $199.

Dental floss isn’t usually thought of as a polluting product, but it also has a green counterpart. Silk Floss by Radius is a luxurious way to keep your teeth healthy. Dental floss made from pure and natural silk is low abrasive and removes plaque effectively. Silk Floss comes in a six pack and you will receive two packs for $40 at Green Home.com.

Dogs can also go green with a Hemp Dog Harness. Made with Eco-Tech webbing and sturdy side release buckles, the Hemp Dog Harness is a wonderful green dog accessory. The hemp harness is fleece lined, adjustable and comfortable. Comes in Apple Green, Orange and Purple. These are available at Green Home.com and comes in packs of two for $38.

This is only a small section of products that you can use in your going green quest. However, this is a great starting point.…

Finding and Buying a Green Home

About ten years ago we were considering solar panels for our home, but found the price a bit prohibitive for our budget at the time. Looking back, we should have figured out a way to do it. Now being green is so much more expensive.

The good news is because of the current economy housing prices have dropped significantly so purchasing a home that is already green or finding a less expensive home and making green renovations is definitely an option.

If you are thinking of buying a new home and want to take steps to ensure the home you buy is eco-friendly, here are some things to look for as you shop.

Location is an Important Green Consideration

Actually, whenever you purchase a home experts will remind you that location is an important factor in your decision, because while you can change the look of your home, it’s a lot more difficult to change the location. So make sure you put location high on your list when shopping for a green home.

Specifically consider how the home is set on the property in order to take advantage of the sun all year round. If it’s an older home, look for vegetation that offers shade (properly placed trees that protect rooms from the hot summer sun) and noise abatement. Look at the lot for things such as rainwater runoff and possible rodent infestation from nearby fields.

Another green consideration is the home’s location to retail, schools and public transportation. Being able to walk or ride a bus or train to work, school or shopping not only helps the environment, it may reduce your home insurance rates.

Make Sure the Home Was Built Green

While many people think of LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) certification when it comes to commercial buildings, there is actually a LEED for homes, too.

While the certification process for homes is extensive, some of the things required include the use of products which are locally produced (this means extracted, processed and manufactured within 500 miles of the home), fitting the home with ENERGY STAR® lights and a programmable thermostat, and using water resistant flooring in the entryway, kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room and spa areas – no carpeting.

You should also be sure the home is properly insulated (i.e. insulation with the appropriate R-factor, a measure of heat loss) and that there is weather-stripping on all doors and windows. And speaking of windows, while they are great for the natural light they offer, look for eco-friendly, energy-efficient windows that are NRFC rated (National Fenestration Rating Council).

Finally, make sure the home was built with a good plumbing system. An ENERGY STAR ® tankless water heater which eliminates the need for a 40-gallon hot water tank and heats the water immediately (no wait time), plus you’ll want low flow toilets, showerheads and faucets. And check to see if there is a graywater (also spelled greywater) disposal and recycling system for reuse of irrigation and laundry water.

Select Green Flooring, Appliances and Landscaping

If you’re moving into a new home, you may have the opportunity to select many of your own amenities such as flooring, appliances and landscaping.

When we were recently shopping for new flooring for the dining room, they steered us toward bamboo and cork because they are natural, non-toxic, and durable. They are also quite beautiful. In addition to reclaimed wood, linoleum, and stone tile, they are considered the top eco-friendly flooring choices.

As for appliances, keep the ENERGY STAR ® label in mind for your refrigerator, ceiling fans, dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer.

On the outside of your home, look for non-invasive, drought-tolerant, native plants with low irrigation needs. Use mulch to retain moisture in the soil and plant trees along sidewalks, patios and driveways to offer shade. Also consider landscaping which discourages invasive species to minimize demand for synthetic chemicals.

There are a lot of ways to make your home more eco-friendly and these are just a few of the things to mull over as you look for you new green home.…

How to Make Your Home Greener?

There are so many people in this world who really likes their home to be green. But, it happens that they won’t be able to make out, how they can make their home greener. There are people who make the efforts to keep their home greener but they struggle to keep the home greener because they don’t know how to maintain it. Here are some ways that can help you to make your home greener and will help to maintain it.

First of all let us consider the people who want to make their home greener and there is nothing at their home. Some people believe that making their home greener means planting trees and plants. But, that is their misunderstanding. There are so many other things apart from planting trees that can make your home greener. But, yes planting trees is also an important option. When you are thing to make your home greener, that is the first option to be used.

Let us talk about the plants you can plant in your home to make your home greener. The first plant you can think of in your house is one of your favorite plants, a Christmas tree. Yes, Christmas tree is one of the best trees that is easy to plant in the house because normal home temperature conditions are best suitable for it. Place a Christmas tree at a place in your house that is safe from direct sun light because direct sun light is not suitable to this plant. The biggest advantage of planting this tree in your house is that it gives your house a fascinating look.

Another plant you can think of planting in your house is the money plant. Yes, it is known as money plant that gives the beautiful looks to your house. It is a plant that takes the support of straight bar (or any other support) to grow on. Probably, you might think that why it is called as money plant? Because, it is said in the history that by growing these plant in the house, people can grow richer in terms of wealth.

The above shown examples are most favorite ones that people likes to have in their house otherwise there are so many other plants that you can consider to plant in your home that can give an attractive look to your home and can make your home greener.

Another considerable option with growing trees is to paint the walls of your house with the greenish color. This will certainly help you to feel greener house. There are so many options available in the green color, it always depends on you what color you want to have to have your house greener.

Another option with planting tree is to tie green nets in the windows from where direct sun light is coming in a day time. Because of this, direct sun light coming into your house will be converted into the green color that will help you to make your home greener. Go for dark green option while you think of tie a net on the windows.…

Green Life After Death

Many of us do our best to live an environmentally green lifestyle, making changes in our routines that include everything from adjusting the thermostat to putting bricks in our toilet tanks. But what about continuing that green commitment into our deaths and even beyond? The preparation of our bodies and subsequent rituals upon our deaths can be environmentally destructive. From carcinogenic embalming fluids to hardwood caskets, following traditional funeral and burial protocols take their toll on the environmental health of those we leave behind. We do have options, however, that allow us to leave this world in the same manner we occupied it – eternally green.

Embalming – One of the major components in traditional embalming fluid is formaldehyde, which is a proven carcinogen. A study released in 2009 by the National Cancer Institute reported a link between exposure to formaldehyde and a higher incidence of death from myeloid leukemia. There are eco-friendly options for embalming, however, including one substance that is formulated from nontoxic and biodegradable essential oils. In addition, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), no US state actually requires embalming. So unless a body is being transported in between states or on an airplane, it may not even be necessary.

Burial Vessels – The UCS reports that, ” Caskets, grave liners, and vaults in U.S. cemeteries use more than 30 million board feet of hardwood, 100,000 tons of steel, and 1.6 million tons of concrete each year.” Green alternatives include sustainable soft woods, or even biodegradable cardboard. You will need to shop around for an accommodating cemetery, however, as many have their own requirements, including some that are mandated by state law.

Cremation – The process used in traditional cremation produces significant amounts of carbon dioxide, and with about one-third of Americans choosing this option, that’s a lot of greenhouse gas. A more environmentally-friendly option is called resomation. This process “uses water, heat, pressure, and potassium hydroxide to decompose bodies; the bones that remain are processed into a fine powder.”

The Eternal Gift of Green – If cremation is your decision, you may want to take the ultimate green step and consider having your cremated remains mixed with concrete and fashioned into part of a memorial reef to provide valuable habitat for hundreds of aquatic species of both flora and fauna. Family members can even be involved in the casting of the reef, and choose their loved one’s final resting place from a list of reefs in progress. See Eternal Reefs for more details.

Sources: 

“Formaldehyde: Understanding the Newest Study On Cancer and Exposure in Funeral Service,” National Funeral Directors Association

“FAQs and Fictions,” Green Burial Council

“When It’s Time to Leave, Go Green,” Union of Concerned Scientists

“The Memorial Reef Process,” Eternal Reefs…

How to Live a Green Life: Four Books to Help You Get Started

As the call goes out for industries, businesses and the all important consumer to become more eco-conscious and live green lives you may find yourself wondering, “What Can I Do?”. In fact it’s a very good question I am surprised to hear more and more often from those interested in going green. If you did not have the advantage of say, growing up in a huge scouting family where the organization’s appreciation for nature and conservation practices trickled into everyday family life then you might need some help getting started.

Just changing a few ways we do things each year really does make a difference. Some of my friends start small, making a couple changes that do not fit into their everyday lives, and when they cannot directly see the results they stop. Other friends of mine have noticed big changes right away and gone completely fanatical annoying even me, a self proclaimed flower lover and occasional tree hugger. So, rather than starting your new green life by adopting a panda (which is admirable if this is your passion) or by installing a new roof entirely made from solar panels try changing fours to six ways you live and I guarantee you will notice the results while your new habits become second nature.

To help you decide what changes are right for you and your lifestyle check out some new great reads, all available from amazon, that offer more than the usual recycle/reuse story. A couple books offer new innovative ways to go green and clean up your act while others are full of inspiring stories to make this planet of ours cleaner, safer and better off.

 

Worldchanging: A User’s Guide To The 21st Century

At first glance I thought the only types that would enjoy this book were the fanatical friends of mine installing solar panels that I mentioned earlier. After thoroughly reading through the many sections of this book I have found that there are simple as well as huge ideas for helping you live a green life. In fact using this book you could design an entire house from the ground up using eco friendly materials in eco friendly ways. Along tith the more ambitious projects are simple everyday things we can do in our lives to help curb our impact on the planet.

365 Ways To Change The World: How to Make a Difference One Day at a Time

I like this book for the variety it has giving the reader tasks to do every day of the year allowing you to directly notice change or inspire you to create your own changes. Not every day calls for a new project or a change in the goods and services we use. There are days you simply meditate and others asking you to talk to others about a global crisis.

The Rough Guide to Shopping With a Conscience

The information presented in this book will change the way you as a consumer shop forever. At times thinking back on the way we have shopped in the past may lead to feelings of guilt, do not let it! Put that energy and thought into positive change that the author helps you achieve.

The Business of Changing the World

The stories offered in this read are not so much ways to change how you life but stories of how others have changed the lives of others or the world around them. This book describes big businesses at their best, detailing the ideas and actions taken by company leaders and employees. Some of the stories are truly inspirational and give you a new appreciation for the companies and the fundraising efforts they support.…

Green Methods for Removing Paint

Removing your old paint can be a messy and time consuming process-especially when chemical paint strippers are involved. But besides being a pain in the neck, chemical paint strippers and removers can pollute our land, air and water. No matter what type of painting removers you plan on using for your next home improvement project, be careful. Paint that was applied prior to 1978 can contain lead. You may need to hire a lead abatement service to prevent exposure to this deadly toxin.

Isopropanol Alcohol

This is one of the best paint removers for soft woods and other delicate materials because it doesn’t leave stains. This ecofriendly paint remover evaporates quickly, so any residue that’s left behind is only old paint-and not the stripper itself. Typical rubbing alcohol that is bought at the store for medicinal supplies might not be strong enough to use to remove more stubborn paints. Higher concentrations of rubbing alcohol can be bought when stronger and tougher paints don’t come off with conventional isopropanol alcohol.

Canola Oil

When latex paints or other light water based paints are being used, canola oil can help to remove them quickly, safely and eco consciously. To remove paint using canola oil, spread a small amount onto a terry cloth towel or wash cloth. Rub the paint vigorously to begin the process of cleaning up the old paint. Canola oil shouldn’t be used on clear stained wood products as the heavy oils will permanently stain the wood. Older oil based paints have a hard time coming clean with canola oils.

Adhesive Backed Stripper

Exterior paint products that are stuck on difficult-to-clean material like stone, brick or stucco can be super tough to remove. That’s where adhesive backed paint strippers come into play. They help keep the messy paint chips and other paint materials from scattering all over the ground. By adhering to the paint with its super adhesive backing, it bonds permanently with paint-but not the materials underneath. Once hardened, peel it away and toss it in the trash.

Electric Heat Guns

These blow dryer looking devices work excellent for removing paint without any dangerous chemicals. These will peel even the most stubborn of paints away from their base material for easy and safe disposal. Electric heat guns should never be used on plastic materials that may melt under the extreme heat.

Citric Acid

This fruit based paint remover uses citric acid-typically found in oranges-to safely remove paint in an environmental friendly way. These materials are safe for all household cleaning as well as removing many paints from their substrate. Be careful not to use any citric acid-based cleaners that have dyes or scents as these can easily stain wood materials for good.

However, when I picked up the bottle of the new formula of Windex at the store last week, and it was simply labeled “vinegar,” I realized that all these years, I have been duped. I was about to pay over $3 for a small spray bottle of chemically enhanced vinegar and water! I promptly determined to go home and make my own green cleaners. So after some quick research online, I began using my trusty vinegar cleaner on everything, my glass tabletop, doors and windows, mirrors, kitchen countertops, stove top, and more! You would not believe my sparklin’ house, ya’ll! Even Juan was pleasantly surprised, it does not smudge, smear, or streak!

Here are a couple of quick tips for any first-timers out there wondering how to get started on making your own green cleaners. (I know I wasn’t the only one still buying those chemical cleaners, cuz the products are still on the store shelves!)

1. To make the vinegar and water cleaner, simply put half water, half vinegar into a spray bottle ‘” Voila! No really, it’s that easy ‘”

2. When I first start wiping the vinegar with newspaper, paper towel, rag (your choice ‘” you already know what’s greener!) it looks as if it is going to smear ‘” keep wiping, and you will see the shine!

3. There is a great green bathroom cleaner you can use ‘” hydrogen peroxide and water ‘” see http://www.using-hydrogen-peroxide.com/ for valuable information on this green product, as …

Affordable Family Fun at Green Meadows Petting Farm in Orlando, Florida

If you and your kids want to get up close and personal with some cute cuddly animals then Green Meadows Petting Farm in Orlando, Florida is where you want to go. Green Meadows Petting Fun offers affordable family fun for all ages. Here is everything you need to know about Green Meadows Petting Farm in Orlando, Florida.

 

Green Meadows Petting Farm is located at 1368 South Poinciana Boulevard in Kissimmee, just a short while from the Walt Disney World resort area. The farm offers tours continuously between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., and remains open until 5:30 p.m. every day of the week.

Green Meadows Petting Fun offers affordable family fun. Tickets for adults and children cost just $21 per person, and children under two years of age enter for free. Senior citizens pay a discounted rate of only $15, and Florida residents who show their state identification are admitted for $19. Individuals in groups of twenty people or more pay just $10 each. Be sure to check out their web site at greenmeadowsfarm.com for a money-saving coupon.

Green Meadows Petting Farm boasts more than three hundred farm animals that kids can see and pet. Their quaint country setting is relaxing for adults, and fun and educational for kids. They will pick up tidbits on animals such as cows, pigs, ducks, geese, turkeys, chickens, goats, sheep and donkeys. Kids can take a pony ride and everyone gets to milk a cow. You will enjoy a tractor-drawn hay ride and an entertaining ride on the Green Meadows Express.

Kids will love Green Meadows Petting Farm’s two-hour guided tour. During those fun-filled two hours, your kids will get to learn and explore. Green Meadows Petting Farm is an ideal way to spend a day away from Universal Studios and Walt Disney World.

For adults, Green Meadows Petting Farm offers a little peace and quiet, and some cool shade trees. It’s definitely a chance to unwind from the stresses of Disney vacation. Even older kids will enjoy the experience and take away some fascinating little known information about farm animals.

So if you’re kids are growing up in the big city, don’t waste this opportunity to educate them a bit on farm life. Allow them to experience nature and get up close and personal with some of their favorite farm animals at Green Meadows Petting Farm in the Orlando, Florida area. For more information, visit their web site, or call them at (407) 846-0770. Enjoy the tour!…

Scent of Green

 

The trees whispering
thoughts and communicating
to the peaceful soul
God’s creation reaching out
Of beautiful translations untold
Whispering and plotting
To give, to share, to take
The wind blows
Leaves felling to make
Turning brown and gold
New life comes in Spring
As the branches shed the frost
For the scent of green.

 
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