We all know what it’s like to rack up a huge energy bill in the summer. You’re constantly running the A/C to keep your family cool, all while using lots of electricity to power various activities and summer parties. To alleviate some of the energy burden as a homeowner, you should take the time to update the exterior paint on your house. Even though there are environmental concerns involved in painting, it is possible to paint your way to a lower electricity bill and still be kind to Mother Nature and your environment.
Here are five great tips to spruce up that paint job while also taking care of the world around you:
Going Green can seem like a mountainous task, but starting to live a greener lifestyle can be simple. Below are 20 simple tips that save you money as well as save the earth! They may seem like little things but you would be amazed at how much difference can be made by taking some of these little…
Even though this list is billed as being for “beginners,” it’s chock-full of tips that everyone should be implementing every single day. We specifically recommend the following:
- Get off junk mail lists. (Tip #3)
- Turn off lights and electronics when you exit a room! Unplug your cell phone charger from the wall when not using it. Turn off energy strips and surge protectors when not in use (especially overnight). (Tip #4)
- Go paperless with statements and bill paying and do it online. (Tip #9)
- Stop using plastic bags; instead, buy some reusable shopping bags and keep them in your car. (Tip #13)
- Stop buying plastic water bottles and invest in a re-usable, re-fillable metal one. (Tip #14)
What are some of your favorite recommendations to help someone go green?
There is a stunning metallic dome floating on the Bronx River in New York City right now—this fragile-looking structure is made of discarded umbrellas salvaged from the city’s streets and recycled plastic bottles.
Created by husband-and-wife design team Amanda Schachter and Alexander Levi of SLO Architecture, the Harvest Dome 2.0 had a predecessor that was accidentally destroyed while being installed—this newer and better version has been made possible by a successful Kickstarter campaign.
What a glorious fusion of design aesthetics and upcycling know-how - umbrellas have been re-fashioned into this dome installation on the Bronx River in New York.
Attention crafty people who love DIY activities mixed with a strong portion of upcycling goodness! The creative folks over at Buzzfeed DIY have collected a fantastic list of 31 different things that you can make out of cereal boxes.
Some are definitely kid-friendly activities that can keep your family engaged and having fun together on a rainy day or extra-hot summer day. Others require the sort of skill and finesse that mere mortals like myself can only envision in my wildest crafting dreams.
Check out our favorites:
Courtesy of babble.com, this flashlight idea is fantastic.
Creme de la Craft gives us the idea for cool mini notebooks.
At Whimsy Love, you and your kids can learn how to make seed planters for your window or backyard.
Amy J. Delightful shows us how to make photo frame mats with relative ease.
From Cut Out and Keep, you can learn how to make puzzles.
All images courtesy of Buzzfeed.
It’s time to start planning healthy lunches for your kids as they’re heading back to school. This year, along with organic fruits and energy-packed proteins to fuel those learning activities, consider these intriguing green lunch ideas that will get your kids showing their love for the planet.
Ditch that Plastic Lunchbox
Let’s start with the basics. Plastic takes decades to decompose in the landfill, and many lacquered paints have harsh, damaging chemicals that will seep into the water supply when they are no longer used.
You can make your own lunch containers at home with organic cotton, or you might browse this Etsy selection of reusable sandwich bags, lunchboxes, and environmentally friendly containers for every family member can use (even the parents). This stainless three piece set from ecolunchboxes.com features air-tight boxes to store fruit, sandwiches and veggies securely — and without disposable wastes after each meal.
Snacks and Desserts
Fruit roll-ups made with certified organic fruit and zero sugar are perfect for dessert with lunch or afternoon snacks. This Homemade Fruit Roll-ups recipe only has two ingredients – dried fruit and water – and it’s relatively easy to make on a regular basis.
Organic peanut butter on celery slices or rice cakes is delicious and filling. For your green lunch ideas, choose brands such as MaraNatha, whose products are made with USDA certified organic nuts, or grind your own with fresh nuts available at the Fresh Market in your area. You can also use simple home recipes from Michelle Borboa of Sheknows.com and a home food processor to make butter from almonds, cashews, pecans and more.
Other sandwich fare includes low or no-sodium, nitrate free turkey, certified organic cheese, and mixed veggies on a rice roll or baguette — Panini style. Kids also love banana sandwiches, so try a combination of soy-nut butter and thinly sliced bananas on Spelt bread or organic barley for a healthy option that is as healthy as it is nutritious.
Bento Boxes and Healthy Lunches
Shredded chicken, dried pears, chocolate chip cookies and string cheese lay the foundation for this beautiful bento meal with mixed greens, cucumber slices and pretzel rods for crunch and texture.
Want more fun green lunch ideas for your kids? We recommend HealthKicker.com, as that site offers several creative ideas for back to school menu items, especially if you’re planning to make meal time fun.
What are some ways that you get your kids to live and eat green?
It’s time to go back to school, which means that it’s time to buy new school supplies! This school year, you might want to choose school supplies that are Earth friendly and produce minimal waste. It’s important for the next generation to know just how important preserving the environment is. What better place to start than with the items that everyone needs to get and uses every day? Here is a comprehensive list of green ideas and products that will you’re your family keep a small carbon footprint this year.
Plastic bags are terrible for the environment because they literally NEVER biodegrade and are usually only used once. Say goodbye to these Earth destroyers this year by introducing the Wrap and Mat, a cloth sandwich bag made from natural fibers. It is completely reusable and washable. After taking a sandwich or other treat out of this stylish, eco-friendly bag, it doubles as a place matt. You can teach your kids how to be kind to the environment while simultaneously making sure their eating surface is clean!
Parents start thinking about back to school wardrobes for their kids in August, and thankfully, there are more choices than ever before for families that are looking for eco-friendly clothing options. Since most of us aren’t able to spin our own wool to knit winter socks (much less sheer our own sheep), there are many companies in the market that practice sustainable harvesting and manufacturing methods.
Thus, we’ve compiled this great list of green wardrobe ideas for your kids, complete with links to environmentally conscious companies that market hip, trendy, and fun clothes. This way, you can keep the planet in mind as you get your family ready to head back to school.
On the surface, the ubiquitous pallet seems ideal for reuse: It’s wood, it’s recycled and it’s free. Before reusing a pallet at home, though, read this to protect your health.
While we often extol the virtues of upcycling wooden shipping pallets, this article discusses some potential health concerns with reusing this wood. Like so many things in life in general, it’s important to consider the source of your materials before you use them.
7 Ways to Go Green at Work!
What a great infographic for going green at your workplace. These tips apply to employees and employers in different ways.
I’m definitely a fan of the tips encouraging people to use less paper, go paperless with bills, unplugging electronics at night, and using a reusable water bottle.
Ever catch yourself thinking “Gee, I should reuse this for something…” right before you toss some plastic packaging into the recycling bin?
Well, why not go ahead and think about reusing before you recycle? As it turns out, much of the plastic packaging used for food and other stuff can be cleaned easily so that you can reuse it again and again. Let’s start with this plastic container holding those lovely strip steaks. As you’ve noticed, plastic goods of this nature now come in lots of shapes and sizes these days. They are easy to clean and most survive the long, hot voyage through the dishwasher. Plus, they have tons of other uses.
Here is the plastic container serving a paint tray for a paint roller. It’s just the right size to work with a standard 7-inch roller.
Here it is now as a planter base. It holds water nicely and will last for years.
Here’s another use for the plastic container. It holds cooking oil bottles and keeps any spilled oil from running all over the counter top. We also use a pair of small decorated ones used for sushi to hold soap in the shower. It’s much safer than an expensive ceramic holder anyway.
Following are 15 tips to help you reduce your impact on the environment.
1. Bring your own bags to the grocery store. If you’re only picking up a couple of items that can easily be carried, forego a bag all together.
2. Remember the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. If your school…
This is a great batch of recommendations for going green in your every day life with relative ease. With most of these tips, all you’re required to do is be even slightly conscious of what you use and how you use it.
Afraid of trying all 15 at once? Then let me suggest that you start with the following:
#1 - Bring your own bags to the grocery store.
#7 - Pack your lunch for work or school in a reusable container.
#8 - Reduce your household energy use by adjusting your thermostat to be slightly warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter.
#13 - Use a BPA-free water bottle instead of always buying disposable water bottles.
What are your favorite green living tips on this list?
Originally posted on MommyGreenest.com by Rachel Sarnoff I am not great about remembering my reusable water bottle. Unless Iâm going on a picnic, I tend to
Check out the answers to these Top 10 Recycling FAQs. Pay special attention to #6:
Q: “I’m buying a soda. Bottle or can?”
A: “Can, definitely. Most cans contain 50% or more recycled aluminum. And a used aluminum can is recycled and back on the grocery shelf as a new can in as little as 60 days.”
#10 is a good one as well:
Q: “So what can’t I recycle?”
A: “Aerosol cans (you aren’t still using those, right?), ceramics, diapers (as if), household glass like window panes and mirrors, light bulbs and CFLs (because of the mercury), and tires. Oh, and hazardous waste, of course.”