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4 Tips for Winter Composting

4 Tips for Winter Composting

A lot of people wonder, once Autumn hits, whether or not they should abandon their composting efforts when the ground freezes. This would, initially, make sense. Your garden doesn’t really grow during the winter, so why would you need to create quality compost during these months if it won’t go to use? However, you’ll still be producing quality compost materials via kitchen scraps during these cold months, so why would you waste these when you could still use them? If you follow these tips and keep your composter going through the winter, you’ll have an amazing fertilizer ready for when spring comes around. Carbon, carbon, carbon   Your compost needs to be fed the right combination of green(nitrogen) and brown(carbon) ingredients. Green scraps are things that will have been produced in the kitchen, and you’ll continue to produce throughout these cold winter months. Brown scraps are things such as dead leaves, that you probably added to your composter during the fall. If you didn’t add all of your brown scraps when you gathered them, it’s a great idea to keep these handy to add to your composter to balance out the green scraps as you add them this winter.   Insulate the active compost   It’s important to make sure that you keep the microbes in the compost alive, even when it’s cold and frozen outside. This means, make sure that your compost stays warm. Keep it in the sunlight, somewhere warm. Place your active compost on top of a bed of brown matter, and then add more brown matter on top. This keeps the active, or green, matter...
3 More Tips for a Greener New Year

3 More Tips for a Greener New Year

We’ve talked a little bit about the importance of recycling and caring for the environment. Things like eating organically and shopping local aren’t just good for the environment, though. They’re good for you and your body! Even things like switching your cleaning supplies to greener methods will help improve your health, as there will be an absence of harsh and harmful chemicals lurking in your home. Here are just a few more ways you can live a healthier and greener life this new year. Coffee isn’t just for drinking   After you brew your morning cup of joe, what do you do with your coffee grounds? You probably dump them promptly into the trash, like most people do. However, there are other things you could be doing with those coffee grounds! We have two things that we love to do with our leftover coffee grounds. You can use those grounds, and mix them with your favorite hand soap to make a great exfoliant. Another way to use these coffee grounds as an exfoliant, is to mix them with your favorite body wash, and then use them as an exfoliant for your full body in the shower. One unexpected way to use these used coffee grounds, is to scatter them at the base of your evergreen shrubs and trees – it acts as an energizing fertilizer!   Turn down the heater   We know that it’s cold. It’s January, after all. During the winter, your utilities and electric bills tend to skyrocket. Not only is this bad news for your wallet, but it’s also bad news for the environment. Try...
3 Tips for a Greener New Year

3 Tips for a Greener New Year

Now that we’ve entered the new year, it’s time to think about our new year’s goals and resolutions. Some people believe fervently in setting new year resolutions, while others don’t care to create goals that they feel like they won’t follow through with. No matter which category you fall under, or if it’s somewhere a little in between, you can probably admit that the new year is a great time to make positive changes. Think of the new year as a clean slate. You don’t have to create definite goals in order to create positive changes in your life this year! Here are a few of our favorite ways to live a greener lifestyle this new year. Use less plastic   While, yes, you can recycle plastic, and you always should recycle used and unused plastic, wouldn’t it be better if you just didn’t use plastic in the first place? Obviously, there are situations where it’s unavoidable. In these situations, make sure that the plastic you use is reusable AND recyclable. For example, use reusable tupperware containers for food leftovers, rather than using plastic bags that will be thrown away after just one use. Another great thing to make sure you do, is bring your reusable grocery bags with you to the store, so you don’t have to bring home the plastic ones! If you forget your bags, make sure you recycle the plastic or paper ones as soon as you can.   Clean green   There are a lot of reasons that most mainstream cleaning supplies wreak havoc on the environment. The chemicals contained in these cleaning supplies...
4 New Year’s Recycling Resolution Ideas

4 New Year’s Recycling Resolution Ideas

The start of a new year can be so refreshing. It’s the perfect opportunity to leave everything in the previous year that you didn’t like. It’s a time to start better habits, trashing the habits that don’t make you a better person. The new year is also the time to have a fresh slate, you don’t have to bring anything into 2018 that you don’t want to. With this fresh start, there are a few things you should consider starting to make not only you a better person, but to also better the world around you. Donate   Recycling is one of the best things that you can do for the environment. It’s your part in preserving the Earth we get to live on. Recycling doesn’t always mean making sure you sort your papers from your plastics, though. It also means making sure that waste isn’t created and too many items aren’t manufactured. One great way to do your way and recycle this new year is to donate.Take a day and clean out your closet, and then donate everything that you no longer use. Old clothing isn’t the only thing that you can donate, though. You can donate old paint, home goods, and used hardware. Look up where in your community your donated goods would do the most good, and then donate there.   Compost   Utilizing compost for your garden is one of the best ways to recycle. Any food waste that’s natural, such as eggshells and unused vegetables, make the perfect compost. The nutrients found in these foods will make a great fertilizer for your garden. So...
How to Live Sustainably on a Budget Part 2

How to Live Sustainably on a Budget Part 2

Living a green, sustainable lifestyle may seem impossible and much too expensive for you to pull off. This simply isn’t true. The idea that living sustainably is incredibly expensive is a misconstrued one. You don’t need to break the bank in order to make a positive impact on the environment with your living habits. Plan accordingly so you don’t waste   This is one of the areas where people waste the most money, whether you live sustainably or not. In the United States, 40% of food ends up in landfills, uneaten. Another way to look at this is, for every $10 that you spend on food, you throw away about $4 of that food. That’s ridiculous! You may as well just not spend that money in the first place, right? The way to fix this is to plan better. Before you go to the store to do your grocery shopping, make a menu and write out a grocery list. This will help you drastically decrease how much food you waste. This way you only buy what you’ll actually use, and therefore you throw out considerably less food. Another way to make sure you use your grocery money efficiently, is to plan multiple meals around one type of food. For example, buy a head of broccoli, and then use that for 2 or 3 different meals, so you use the entire thing.   Another way to make sure you don’t throw out uneaten food, is to make sure that you save and actually eat your leftovers! The best way to store your leftovers is in wide mouthed mason jars, which...
How to Live Sustainably on a Budget Part 1

How to Live Sustainably on a Budget Part 1

Whether you already live a green lifestyle, or you’re new to the idea and are unsure of how to get started, there are always ways to improve the way you live and the impact you have on the Earth. One issue a lot of people have with the idea of living a sustainable, eco-friendly life, is that they think it’s going to be expensive. It’s true, green living can sometimes be pricey. But just because it can be pricey, doesn’t mean it has to be pricey. Buy less   This may seem like an impossible tip. We live in a consumer culture. When we want something, we just buy it. A lot of this is subconscious. When making the transition to green living, it’s natural to want to blow your savings on all of the latest power saving gadgets. This is, quite honestly, where most of the idea that living a green lifestyle is expensive comes from. There are expensive items that are sustainable, yes, but the same is true of any lifestyle.   When it comes time to buy something that is generally an expensive purchase, hold out until you can afford one that’s of really high quality. When you buy something that isn’t as well made, because it’s less expensive, it’s going to break sooner and need replaced. It can be hard to feel good about making such a big ticket purchase, but rest assured that you won’t need to spend as much in the long run as it will be much longer before it needs to be replaced.   Buy used   When you’re in the...
3 Tips to Help You Declutter For The New Year

3 Tips to Help You Declutter For The New Year

Every New Year it seems that we try to promise ourselves that we are going to get more organized and declutter our homes. It’s a perfect time to use that new year resolution momentum to give yourself the motivation to finally get it done and we are here to help. Organization is no small task, but there are many ways to make it easier and feel less impossible. Decluttering can be great for your mind and for your physical space, providing more ease of mind and reducing stress. Whether it takes a weekend, or it takes a few months to finish your project, it will be worth it in the end! The first steps to decluttering are deciding what to remove, how to remove it, and where to begin. Here are some tips on all three of those first steps:   What to remove There are always options for decluttering your home. Things like expired food in your pantry, old clothes you never wear in the back of your closet, or even things you’ve been meaning to get rid of for a long time that you just never got around to. Now is the time! What is collecting dust, tucked into hard to reach places or dark corners? It may be a good thing to even go through book cases or movie collections!   How to remove clutter It’s always hard to remove clutter because it seems too daunting and too large a task. It is tough to know just what to do with the various items you may have decided are okay to get rid of. It is...
Simple Ways to Recycle During the Holidays

Simple Ways to Recycle During the Holidays

The Holiday season is upon us and believe it or not, this is a great time of year to recycle, upcycle, and reduce waste! Think of all the candy wrappers from Halloween or the wrapping paper on the many Christmas presents under your tree. Did you know that household waste can grow up to 25% more during the holidays? To help you make the most of your holidays, here are some ways to reduce waste during the holidays that will be sure to get you on Santa’s nice list. First things first Before you can begin recycling and planning your great holiday green initiative, you need to be aware of when your recycling/trash day is. If a holiday happens to fall on your regular recycling day, collection will be taking place on a different, alternative date. Check with your city and local waste department to see when your recycling day will be. This will make things a lot easier so you have more time to spend with family.   Give gifts with a creative touch Everyone loves receiving thoughtful gifts, and those gifts can be even better when we are thoughtful of how we give gifts. Some ways to be creative with your gifts are.. Give gifts of your time that don’t require packaging or wrapping like babysitting, chores, or fun activities Gifts that require very little packaging like tickets to an event, or you can even look for recycled products. Wrap using creative or reusable wrappers, like newspaper, maps, or other paper materials that you can either reuse or recycle afterward.   Live and plan with waste in...
Easy Ways to Manage Leaf Cleanup This Fall

Easy Ways to Manage Leaf Cleanup This Fall

Autumn is in full swing and winter is on it’s way! If you have not cleaned up all of those pesky leaves cluttering your yard and property, now is the perfect time and we are here to help you do it the easiest way while still disposing of them properly. Leaves can be a hassle, and it is great to know what specifically to do with all of them once you have finally managed to get them all cleaned up. Here are a few tips for cleanup and disposal: Regulations and Decisions When cleaning up leaves, you generally have a few options and it all depends on your personal situation. Before doing this common fall chore, be sure to check your city website and see what kind of regulations are in place for vacuuming, mowing, leaf blowing, or bagging. This will help you decide what option is best for you.   Bagging If you are choosing to bag, be sure to check to see what bags are allowed. Some towns require that you use recyclable bags. Also check to see when your town picks up compost or bagged leaves so that you can dispose of them correctly!   Natural Areas If applicable, and permitted, you can blow your leaves into woods or fields by your home where they can decompose and naturally recycle themselves. Be careful to not let them fly back into your yard on a windy day by blowing them deep enough into those natural areas.   Vacuuming A lot of towns have curb vacuuming service available and if you coordinate your cleanup with the timed they...
Sustainable Roofing Options

Sustainable Roofing Options

There are ways that you can reduce your environmental footprint and make a better impact on the world, ways that you wouldn’t think about initially. There’s actually a lot more ways you can help the environment than you’d originally think, you can do a lot more than just recycling your discarded soda cans and eating local, organic produce. In fact, you wouldn’t expect it, but you can actually replace your roof with a more sustainable, environmentally friendly roofing option.   Eco-friendly metal roofs   There’s no need to waste the roof you already have, but when it’s time to repair or replace your roofing, you should explore your options and figure out what’s going to be the best option for both you and the environment. A metal roof is a great eco-friendly roofing option. Most metal roofs are made from some sort of combination of tin, steel, copper, and aluminum. You can easily purchase a roof made from recycled metals. A metal roof will last about 50 years, making it a great option. When that metal roof is ready to be replaced, you can recycle all of the materials in your metal roof, making this a fabulous option for both you AND the environment.   Living roofs   Unfortunately, a living or “green” roof, isn’t always an option, depending on your location and the type of building you live in. A living roof is made of a material that absorbs water and provides a home for wildlife. You can even add a garden to this material, so your roof will be covered in lush plants that are impacting the...