Food For The Poor – Wider Sustainable Living – As Individuals

Food For The Poor

Food for the poor! Now there’s an idea. I’m sure other people must have thought of this already, but in terms of wider sustainable living as a concept where individuals can make a difference, I really believe it is possible. The more voices that suggest options like these, the more chance for our voices to actually achieve something towards making this planet sustainable for continued life and actually continue life for people who need food. It’s a no-brainer really.

 

food for the poor

Togetherness, Working as a community with love to introduce sustainability and to provide food for the poor

 

What can we do as an individual to help our communities embrace sustainable ideas, and at the same time show kindness for our fellow man? One thought literally springs to mind. With our attempts at reducing carbon footprints, saving the forests, fighting for animal rights, and focusing on climate change, why aren’t we integrating sustainable lifestyle ideals, with providing things like um, food for those without it? This is the first in a series of articles considering how wider sustainable living may be achieved while providing a food source for those less fortunate than ourselves.

 

Look First At Our Own Land, Let’s Put It To Good Use

 

There are many people that are in a bad situation, weather it be due to poverty or drought, etc that keeps them in a starving, or near starving state. I think we have all become caught up in our property rights and entitlements that no one has considered that there is a way to help these people right from our own yard so to speak, merely by planting a few plants and trees that produce food and making it available for those who could use it. This idea literally oozes of all the sustainable living notions that we are trying to achieve.

 

Healthy Planet, Healthy People

 

Healthier planet means healthier people, happier people equals happier planet, leads to peace on Earth. It sounds simple, but can it truly be done? I’m sure there are a lot of logistics involved in achieving something like this, but what if? Again, it may be that we all just need to start small and at home and hope it spreads to more and more people. I am aware that precautions must be taken to prevent such people from becoming reliant on this and therefore not be able to help themselves break free from their situations.

 

Free Food – How Does That Sound?

 

Food-For-The-Poor

Help Yourself To Free Food

Yes, I really did say free food. I’m sure that many of us would have a small piece of accessible property that we could use to grow a few fruit trees or a vegetable garden for the benefit of our community’s homeless or financially challenged families. What I am suggesting is that we have a lot of unused land in our midst so why not use it for something worthwhile?

 

Can We Go One Step Further?

 

You have probably seen the slogans for growing food not lawns around, well I believe we can go one step further and contribute as an entire community to helping people survive in their darkest hours.

 

I Don’t Mean Put The Farmers Out Of Business

 

I don’t want to take away from the farmers at all, that would put them on the bread line too, but I really feel that planting fruit trees in particular, would be a very helpful way to contribute in some way to these people in need and would most likely not put too much of an extra workload on the people who choose to offer their small piece of land to provide a food source for the needy. It would save on the cost of these foods for them as well, cutting down their own expenditures. Those communities that already have allotments in place have got it so right.

Charity Begins At Home, So Let’s Show Some At Home

 

Food_for_the_poor, fruit and veggie box

Box Of Fruit Veggies That Are Spare And Ready To Give To A Person In Need

Many of us have a garden, some of us even grow our own vegetables and fruits in it. What if you expanded what you already do to provide an area somewhere at the front of the garden, with easy access, to use as a secondary veggie patch and/or fruit tree grove?

 

If You Need Help, You Are Welcome To Help Yourself!

 

You could put a sign up welcoming people to take a small amount while leaving plenty for those others in need. You may find that people will just take the food even if not in need, so you may wish to think of a strategy, some way of making them think twice about it, perhaps find a way to help them feel guilty about taking what they don’t need.

 

Some Will Care, Some Won’t!

 

Unfortunately there are some people out there that really wouldn’t care, but thankfully I believe they are few. Most people would be honorable I feel. And grateful for the opportunity to eat food that they don’t have to pay for.

If they do happen to feel guilty, perhaps have them help you harvest the fruit and vegetables, kind of like a work for your food situation. I know there are many people out there who are too proud to accept handouts, so if you make it something they can earn, that may eliminate their objections to taking it.

 

Maintaining Privacy And Making It Clear What Is Expected

 

If you don’t actually want anyone coming in to your garden, you could create an alcove on the outside of your fence line but still within your property so that the patch or grove is better accessible to a person wishing to take some, yet still deters them from coming onto your property. The other option is to pick the food yourself and leave it out on the ground or on a shelf or cart of some kind like they do in the country when they offer the fruit they’ve grown and picked for sale. You may decide to charge a very small fee for a whole box of something although that does take away from the whole concept of providing a free source of food for the poor idea. You could always plant fruit trees along the outside of the fence line the entire way along, providing a different fruit tree for each section.

 

Mango Tree

Mango Tree

Rewarding Those Who Help, Don’t Be Concerned About Wastage

 

If you struggle to get the fruit out of a fruit tree in your garden, why not put a sign up and ask for someone to come and help you pick your fruit? You could offer an all you can take with you bargain as payment for their efforts, or split the load and allow them to take half away for them to use, give away or even sell as they see fit. I have a mango tree in my back garden that I would love to be able to get more mangoes from. I would so much appreciate someone to come and help me pick them at the right time and I would gladly give them half or even more of what they have helped me pick so that they have been rewarded with food and a source of money if they choose to sell what they don’t need.

 

Wastage Is A Normal Process In Nature But I’d Rather Put The Excess To Good Use

 

So many go to waste, or the bats and other creatures get to them, that I don’t often collect that many from my tree. I don’t mind providing a food source for the animals either, but they certainly don’t leave many for me at this rate. One of my neighbours asked if they could have some and I happily said yes. She wanted it to make a mango curry sauce which sounded yummy.

 

food for poor, helping hands, helping each other

Lend A Helping Hand To Your Fellow Man. Many Hands Make Light Work And May Feed The World.

These are just a few ideas I was thinking about as to how we, as individuals could help provide a source of food for the poor. On a wider scale there would need to be much more planning involved, however this is a small way to contribute to society as one person or one family and hope that others follow suit. If we, as individuals of a wider community, take the initiative and reach out to people, much would be accomplished in improving our sustainability.

 

Don’t Stop There

 

My readers are looking for ways to reach out and help their fellow man and providing food for the poor fits that criteria that’s for sure. Please help out where you can and leave a comment below. What are you thoughts on this idea? Can you see any potential problems that may need to be addressed with this idea? I would welcome your thoughts on how you might do something like this yourself.

 

 

Thank you for reading.

Warm wishes

Ange

Easter Basket Ideas For Kids And Still Maintain Sustainable Living

Easter basket ideas for kids

Dr. Seuss and Green Eggs And Ham

Coming up with Easter basket ideas for kids and still maintaining your sustainable living ideals is not so easy. Easter is often more about the wrappings and the commercial sales of shiny, colourful easter eggs, than about Easter itself. We think more about that yummy chocolate underneath those fancy, delightful patterned papers or foil, and less about where all that waste will go. I began to think how can we keep the impact on our own immediate environment down to a minimum?

 

Did Dr. Seuss Just Invent The Idea Of A Green Easter?

 

Not that it has anything really to do with Easter, but once I started thinking about a green Easter, green eggs sprang to mind and the famous book by Dr Seuss, Green Eggs and Ham. It just reminded me of Easter eggs and served to make me realise that there are other Easter basket ideas for kids, while doing it the sustainable living way.

There’s More Than One Way To Celebrate Easter

 

You can make up different ways to celebrate Easter, it doesn’t all have to be about chocolate eggs and rabbits and fancy trimmings. There are plenty of ideas of how to make this Easter as green as possible by using homemade techniques and a little bit of creative design. After all, Easter can be so much more than the commercial money making event it has become, it can be used to achieve a real family connection if you can make a special event of it. So here is what I came up with.

Homemade Easter Eggs To Put In Your Baskets

 

Here is where you can have some fun with your children if you like, or you can do these ideas on your own and keep them as an Easter surprise so that Easter Bunny has not skipped right over the house. You could create new family traditions where Easter Bunny leaves real eggs, not chocolate eggs that are store bought, why not do an Easter egg hunt with them too?

 

The Easter Bunny Is Real

 

If your children still believe in the Easter Bunny, why not suggest that you have asked Easter Bunny to bring eggs that are completely biodegradable after they have been eaten in line with the family’s efforts to be living a cleaner, greener lifestyle. In other words, we eat the egg and the shell which is effectively the colourful wrapping, can be used in the compost bin. We would would not only reduce the waste coming from our homes, we are promoting healthy eating using whole foods as well.

See? Healthy eating can be fun after all! If the family are not too keen to be rid of the chocolate bunnies, you could suggest doing this alternate years until they warm up to the idea.

Decorating Your Own Eggs.

 

The Natural Look

 

Homemade Easter Eggs, Easter-basket-ideas-for-kids

Homemade Easter Eggs

This homemade basket of eggs reminds me of the eggs we used to make as children, except ours were brightly coloured. I’m not quite sure how these eggs have been coloured, it’s possible they may have been placed in tea, or brown vinegar perhaps.

My mother made use of wax candles, such as birthday candles, although in this case perhaps beeswax may work instead. We would get up on Easter Sunday and after we saw what the Easter Bunny had brought, we would sit down to have our breakfast which usually consisted of boiled eggs. Soft boiled with little ‘soldiers’ to use to dip into the runny egg yolk. Yum!. Soldiers are merely sliced bread that has been buttered and sliced lengthwise into smaller slices. One slice of bread can make 5 or 6 soldiers.

Wax Works!

The fun part was the process before we cooked the eggs. We would use the candles/wax to draw pictures or patterns on the eggs before cooking them, but you had to be really careful otherwise you might break the eggs. You could do any pattern you liked but because you couldn’t actually see where you had drawn because while the wax stuck to the egg shell, it was not necessarily visible, which meant that it was pot luck how your egg turned out.

It was important to make sure you went over the section you were drawing a few times to make sure the wax was well attached. Then she would place them in different pots with red or blue or green food colouring in the water and we would boil them ready for eating. Where the wax had been on the egg, it left a white outline of whatever you had drawn after the wax melted away.

The wax had effectively blocked the food colouring from staining the egg in those places, leaving the image we had drawn intact, simply through it being the part that was not coloured. Naturally our soft boiled eggs were followed by hot cross buns. Yum!

 

Simple Yet Colourful

 

There are other simple ways to produce an effective Easter-look using chicken eggs from your very own property if you have chickens, or store bought eggs if not (might I suggest finding a local supplier with free range eggs for sale). This next method is done using pre-cooked hard boiled eggs. You can see here in this image how well it produces very beautiful bright shades. The recipe and method for colouring these hard boiled eggs is as follows:

 

Coloured Easter Eggs, Easter_basket_ideas_for_kids

Coloured Easter Eggs

You Will Need:

1/2 cup of boiling water

1 teaspoon vinegar

10 – 20 drops of food colouring

 

Method:

Add water, vinegar and food colouring (only one colour per bowl) to a bowl or cup

Do this for each of the colours you are using

Submerge the hard boiled eggs into the dye and leave for 5 minutes before removing them with a slotted spoon or tongs.

Continue until through all the colours to be used and refrigerate.

 

Place them in a lovely basket and use them as a centerpiece, or scatter them around the garden for a fun Easter egg hunt with the children. Then you can eat them (as long as they haven’t been out in the sun too long of course). You might choose to do these as the Easter gift from the Easter Bunny if you have made them yourself and the kids don’t know you have made them.

 

Have Fun Designing Your Own Intricate Patterns.

 

Hand drawn Easter Eggs, Easter basket ideas for children

Hand drawn Easter Eggs

This method is similar to the first idea where you will be cooking the eggs after decorating them, ready to eat as soft boiled. You can also do this and continue to boil them to make them hard boiled. Or you may draw your design after they are hard boiled and cooled.

 

What Do You Need?

 

You don’t need much for this activity either except a good quality food colouring (if you decide to colour them as well, otherwise you can leave them as is), that you should be able to buy from a cake decorating shop, a set of pencils with thick cores, such as Derwents, and some water and saucepans.

If you are planning to decorate the eggs like this after they are cooked, you might try oil pastels or even markers if the eggs are not wet. I find it is handy to use the egg carton to place the finished products in as you are waiting for them to all to be completed before starting to cook them.

 

How Is It Done?

 

Basically you do a similar thing with the eggs as the wax drawing above, but you draw any design that you want, using any colour that is dark enough to stand out underneath whichever food colouring you choose to boil your eggs in. Treat it as your very own masterpiece or canvas. Some people just use markers to draw their outlines and to fill in the patterns. Personally I find that if you are boiling them after you have drawn on them, the pencils stay on the egg shell better than what a marker would.

 

Decorate Using Bits And Bobs Around The House

 

Ribbon Decorated Easter Eggs. Easter-basket-ideas-for-children

Ribbon Decorated Easter Eggs.

 

Sometimes the simplest of decorations can look elegant, such as these lovely eggs decorated purely with ribbons. This may be leftover ribbon from other sewing efforts, or scraps bought from the store over the years, but they look lovely regardless. Thin or thicker ribbon would look just as effective, likewise bows or other decorative additions to the ribbon would be pretty.

If you don’t have ribbons made from material, there is always coloured cardboard, or scrapbooking paper ribbon, probably more ‘green’ than those made from material. These are just examples, I’m sure you can come up with plenty more ideas. Actually, it would be lovely if you have other ideas to pop them into the comments section below for the interest of other readers who may be stuck for ideas.

 

Or Blown?

 

If you prefer, you could use the old blowing method of decorating eggs, but you wouldn’t be eating the insides of the egg. To do this, you prick a small hole in one end with a pin or even a wooden skewer, and then prick another hole at the other end the same. Place inside the hole a thin straw and blow the contents out through the other end of the hole.

This may take a while. Then rinse the inside of the egg out with water. Once dry, use acrylic paint to create your design and leave to dry. Use these as you would Christmas decorations and decorate the house for Easter. They are a still very delicate, even with the paint coating, so be very gentle when handling them. They look lovely in a bowl, or as hanging ornaments if you can be bothered blowing out that many eggs.

 

But Where’s The Chocolate?

 

Prefer Chocolate Eggs? You still can and also keep it green. These are not the only Easter basket ideas for kids, there is also everyone’s favourite Easter treat to consider and that is what to do about chocolate eggs. I have written an article dedicated to chocolate Easter eggs and how to keep a green outlook. I’m sure you will find a lot of ideas there too.

 

 

Happy Easter! Easter_basket_ideas_for_children

Happy Easter!

 

Thank you for reading this article and please if you have any suggestions or ideas to add to this, please feel free to add them in a comment at the bottom of this page. I look forward to reading all of them. Happy Easter from my family to yours.

 

Warm Wishes

 

Ange

 

 

 

 

10 Simple Gardening Tips: Even If You Aren’t Into Self Sufficient Living

I’ve compiled a list of 10 simple gardening tips that I found to be most valuable, and not too difficult to implement. Lately I have been thinking about tips for any garden, not necessarily only a self sufficient one because a greener environment can start right at home. No matter whether you are building a full self sufficient garden, a vegetable garden or even an urban garden for those small little patches of green that some of the more built up areas possess, these tips will be very useful.  There are a few common elements to take into consideration, or to put into place that people are recommending.  I plan on writing more articles on tips as I come across them but for now, let’s start with these.

Ta-Da! Here They Are! My 10 Favorite Tips To Date.

 

The following tips are not placed in any specific order.

Number 1 – Friendly Fertiliser

 

10 simple gardening tips

For a nutrient rich fertiliser, place 10 – 20 crushed eggs shells in 1 gallon or 3.8 liters of water that has been boiled and soak overnight. Strain the following morning. The resulting solution is full of nutrients for your plants that you can pour straight onto the soil of the plants and even put the soaked shells in the compost bin..

 

Look At These Nutrients

 

Egg shells soaked in water release calcium, potassium, and some phosphorus, magnesium and sodium, which will all benefit your plants.

This solution also provides a fertiliser that is completely non-toxic to you or your plants, you can’t overdo it, however please note that plants do not only require these nutrients, they need other substances also.

 

 

Number 2 – Keep A Record

10-simple-gardening-tipsBy keeping a garden diary, you will be able to remember what you planted, when and where, and use it to plan for your future garden needs.

 

Versatility Plus

 

If you noted any particular patterns in terms of growth rate, if something grew well or not, what you used and when, overcrowding situations, etc., you will be able to do it better next time or maintain what you did.

This would also serve to draw out your plans for a plot, or to start looking into planting items in a complementary fashion or seasonal growth. It helps to lay it all out on paper.

Record the costs as you go so you can work it into your budget too.

 

Number 3 – Your Greenhouse Needs To Breathe

 

10_simple_gardening_tipsYour greenhouse needs to breathe as well. Open the vents, door or windows daily for a couple of hours. This helps maintain the temperature a little better by preventing the heat from becoming too hot, and also helps recycle the air for more fresher air. The ideal temperature for a greenhouse is around 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit or 27-29.5 degrees Celcius

 

Hot And Cold Weather Needs To Be Monitored

 

You are able to keep it cooler in a very hot environment by placing shade cloth over it and in winter by using layers of horticultural fleece attached to the walls. In very cold climates, a solar powered (or other green energy source) heater can be used if you can find one.

 

Number 4 – Integration Of Compost Into The Soil

 

10 gardening tips10-gardening-tipsIf you are patient and can wait a few weeks, you can leave the planting for a little while until the compost becomes ready to produce maximum benefits.

When you add the compost, allow it time to settle before planting.

Waiting 2-4 weeks before planting anything gives the compost time to integrate into the soil and accomplish this.

 

Number 5 – Be Careful Of Planting Conifers

 

10_gardening_tipsAs beautiful as they may be, there are certain considerations to take into account if you are planning to add Conifers of any kind to your property.

Conifer trees apparently cause the soil around them to become acidic, therefore making it almost impossible to grow anything underneath them and they also have an extensive root system that competes with other plants. Avoid planting your garden underneath conifers if you want anything to survive there.

 

Conifers Are Gorgeous When You Pay Attention To Where You Plant Them

 

If you love conifers and truly feel you want them in your garden, place them well away from the house and other parts of the garden. There are some plants that will thrive underneath conifers and add aesthetic aspects too. Cyclamen and Crocus can work well, and some forms of Ivy as well.

 

Number 6 – Tea Bag Fertiliser

 

Tea, simple gardening tipsYou can recycle used tea bags as another source of nutrients for your garden. The tea bags add nitrogen to the soil allowing it to provide a balancing affect against the carbon-rich matter already in the soil and plant.

 

Choose Biodegradable

 

Tea bags suitable for using are those that are biodegradable such as muslin, paper or silk, otherwise tear the bag open and disregard. You can put the bags into the compost bin or place them directly into the soil around your plant.

This is another non-toxic fertiliser and helps with keeping moisture in the soil. It also helps with oxygenation and encourages earthworm activity.

 

Number 7 – Water Features Need Some Love Too

 

simple-gardening-tipsIf you have any water features, it is necessary to oxygenate the water to keep it fresh. You can do this by using other plants. I have heard water violets can do the trick, but you could look for other styles too. There are nearly always some kind of water lily in ponds that are bound to be serving just that purpose.

 

Beat Those Mosquitoes

 

It is also a good idea to make sure you keep your water clear of mosquito larvae, otherwise you won’t enjoy your water feature as much if you are continually slapping at mosquitoes. There are several non-toxic to humans and to the Earth options out there. One is to use a Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (or Bti), which is a bacteria toxic to the larvae of mosquitoes. Another is to use is a kind of barrier that uses garlic juice as a deterrent. More on these items in another article to come.

 

Number 8 – Give Them Some Elbow Room

 

organised planting, simple_gardening_tipsvegetable-garden, 10 simple tips for gardeningPlants compete for space and nutrients, if they are planted too close together the soil will be stripped of nutrients and the resulting produce will be of poor quality and size. Space them far enough apart to give them room to grow.

When in doubt, many seed packets have the instructions on them as to how deep and how far apart to position the seeds. If not remember Google is your friend. You can simply research the most common recommendations provided and go with that.

 

Number 9 – Aeration Is Required

 

10-simple-tips-for-gardeningOur lawns need care too. We rely heavily on the belief that rainfall and the existing nutrients in the soil for the most part, will keep our lawns lush and green. Making sure our lawns are mowed, fertilised and watered can go a long way to mastering a happy lawn. But there are also other factors in terms maintaining the health of a lawn.

Did you realise air is also a nutrient?

 

Who Would’ve Thought?

 

Soil gets compacted which makes it difficult for air, water and nutrients to get through. Aerating the lawn involves poking little holes in it to allow this movement of water, air and nutrients to get down to the roots of the grass. A pitchfork is probably one of the most versatile and appropriate tools for this purpose, or you can purchase aerating plugs and spikes. Aerating on a regular basis enhances drainage. The process is much simpler if you first ensure the lawn is moistened already.

Aerating also encourages the insects beneath to keep moving around and doing their bit to improve the nutrient quality of the soil.

 

Number 10 – Not Quite Sure Where To Put Everything Yet? Never Fear A Tip Is Here.

 

10_simple_tips_for_gardeningIf you are like me, you may find it difficult to make a final decision on how you would like your garden to be laid out. You can make your decision a bit simpler by creating a movable garden.

What do I mean? If you plant your seeds and seedlings in large pots or tubs, it allows you the luxury of being able to move them around until you find the perfect layout for them. You may like to put the tubs or pots on boards with wheels to help you move them from one place to another more easily.

 

Experiment First And Get It Right First Go

 

This way you can experiment a little and find the right planting system that suits your climate, soil, sunlight, watering needs, style and location. You may find an area that suits one plant better than others, or a spot in your garden that doesn’t get the right amount of sun or shade for a particular plants. If you let them grow a little, you will be able to get a better visual picture of how they will look certain way.

 

 

I hope you have found these 10 simple gardening tips useful. You may even choose to write them down in your gardening diary so that you will remember them. If you have any questions or other ideas that you have found useful yourself, please let me know in the comment section below.

 

Warm Wishes,

Ange

 

 

Best Energy Saving Light Bulbs; While Keeping It Green

Best energy saving light bulbs

You Can Save Money And Be Green Using Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

When seeking information on energy saving in the home, and keeping it green, you might be interested in finding good quality, energy saving light bulbs. I think it stands to reason then that the best energy saving light bulbs would also be the best money saving light bulbs and would ideally be green in their usage.

 

There Are Two Main Contenders

 

There seems to be a popular consensus that the two main ones to consider are, LED’s (Light Emitting Diodes) and CFL’s (Compact Fluorescent Lights) when it comes to internal lighting. This article will shed some light, if you will pardon the pun, on the subject of environmentally, and economically friendly, bulbs.

Did you realise that you can lower your carbon footprint, your energy bill and still maintain your green living lifestyle by simply making this one change throughout your home?

 

 

 

Why Is This Important To Your Overall Energy Costs?

 

Best-Energy-Saving-Light-Bulbs

Incandescent Bulbs Are Outdated and Not Energy Efficient At All

It has long been known that conventional incandescent bulbs are not very efficient in terms of cost and although they are relatively cheap to buy, you are not doing yourself any favours in the long run by using them. They require frequent replacement due to breaking easily and burning out quickly, and many times the filament has already been broken before you even bring it home from the shop. The latter even means that you are literally spending double the amount you did on the purchase of the broken bulb.

 

It’s Your Loss Whichever Way You Choose

 

You have a choice, throw the broken one out or take it all the way back to the shop to get a replacement. Either way you lose out financially.

Option 1 – The first choice means that you have literally just thrown away however many dollars or cents that you spent on the broken bulb and regardless of whether it was cheap or not, it is still money you won’t be getting back.

 

Option 2 – The second choice means you have to spend more petrol money driving back to the shop and then back home again, or if you took some form of public transport you have the fares to pay all over again there and back, to replace the broken bulb. I doubt very much the store you bought it from will offer you a refund on your traveling expenses and time that you spent making the trip twice on top of the replacement bulb or refund for the broken one.

 

Do You Ask Yourself Where Is All The Money Going?

 

Best_Energy_Saving_Light_Bulbs, Help To Save Money

Where For Art Though Money? Not Going Into The Piggy Bank That’s For Sure

When you think about the energy use of an average home, it has been said that approximately 25% of the energy used in a home is burned up in the costs of lighting. Try this little experiment: start to take note of how many lights get left on in the home, and for how long in a day and night. Do it over a week and you will start to get a picture of just where a fair chunk of your energy bill has just been spent.

 

Weigh Up How You Can Reduce Energy Consumption

 

Now consider how you can take steps to reduce the consumption of energy on lighting by simply turning them off when not in use. If you find it compelling enough and have the patience for it, try turning the lights off when you are not in a room or during the day when the daylight is enough to give light to your home, and maintain this vigilance for the entire billing period, then compare to the previous bill. That is just one dimension to the energy efficiency of Conventional light bulbs and the fact that it costs more money using them than that of one of the energy saving type bulbs.

 

Compare The Costs

 

Here is another; for example, a traditional 60 watt bulb, when compared to a 6 watt LED bulb, costs approximately $280 more over the life of just one of the LED bulbs. Did you get that? One 6 watt LED bulb has the capacity to save you $280 before it needs to be replaced in comparison with a 60 watt bulb. Now ask yourself, how many light fittings do you have in your home that you could replace the bulbs with LED ones and times that by $280. In my home alone, I have 13 light fittings indoor and outdoor, 13 times $280.00 adds up to a potential saving of $3640 for the life of each of those bulbs. That’s a holiday just there, or extra money for unexpected bills, or that course you wanted to do to better your financial situation.

 

What Are LED Bulbs And What Are The Benefits & Drawbacks To Using Them?

Energy Saving Light Bulbs: LED

Considered The Best Energy Saving LED Globe

 

LED stands for Light Emitting Diodes. They were originally manufactured for small, single bulb uses such as in that of an instrument panel, or electronic equipment and we can’t forget the strings of Christmas lights that boast LED bulbs. To harness their use in indoor lighting, they have been put together in clusters instead of single bulbs to enhance their applications. One bulb can house up to 180 bulbs in a cluster. To increase the light emission, they are placed in diffuser lenses that spread the glow all around in a much wider coverage. Newer designs have added reflectors to help disperse the direction of lighting.

 

Benefits of LEDs

 

  • Environmentally preferable to incandescent light globes
  • Long lasting, more efficient and cost effective – Last up to 10 times longer than CFLs and much longer than incandescent bulbs. Initially expensive but less replacements costs due to long lasting. Only uses 2-17 watts per globe where CFLs use about 3 times more, and incandescent globes use up to 30 times what is required.
  • Durable – LEDs do not have a filament, they are solid, therefore do not break as easily.
  • Cool to touch – Less heat build up than incandescent bulbs which get 25 times more hotter. Less heat contributes to lower air conditioning costs due to a room heating up less.
  • Suitable and recommended use for solar panel lighting and small portable generators for emergency back up power
  • Mercury free – unlike CFLs
  • 50,000 hours life span therefore frequency is zero over the life span of one bulb.
  • Available wattage ranges from 4 – 28 watts compared with standard incandescent bulbs that range from 40 – 150 watts.
  • Lowest energy costs of usage, uses lower wattage to CFLs and incandescent bulbs.
  • Frequent switching on and off has no effect on life span
  • Not affected by humidity
  • Can buy coloured bulbs; green, red, blue, amber, white.
  • Can buy buy bulbs that dim.

Disadvantages of LEDs

 

  • Expensive to begin with, but offset by long-lasting value in comparison to incandescent bulbs
  • Were not necessarily better options for table lamps originally, however manufacturers have recently adapted bulbs to better suit them using the diffuser lenses and deflectors previously mentioned.
  • Finding a source of LED light bulbs that have been produced to a poorer quality. This becomes a very expensive venture to change bulbs for the entire household if the manufacturers products fail repeatedly and they do not offer guarantees on their products.

 

What Are CFL Bulbs And What Are The Benefits & Drawbacks To Using Them?

 

energy-saving-light-bulbs: CFL

CFL – Considered One Of The Best Energy Saving Light Bulbs options

CFL stands for Compact Fluorescent Lights. They are a mini version of the full-sized fluorescent lights that we are all used to seeing in garages, hallways, kitchens, factories, etc.  The light they emit is similar to incandescent bulbs and have become a popular energy saving alternative as a result, which is unlike their larger standard counterparts. Personally they are not my favourite choice for reasons I will outline shortly, but they are still a more preferable option to incandescent globes for the purposes of being economically and energy efficient because they use less energy, and therefore are greener from that respect, and cost less money to run.

Benefits of CFLs

 

  • Environmentally preferable to incandescent light bulbs
  • Energy and cost efficient
  • Cheaper to buy than LEDs presently
  • Similar light emitting ability to incandescent without the need for many smaller bulbs clustered, making them more economical to manufacture than LEDs. Pricing is not that much more than the standard incandescent bulbs.
  • Significant reduction in watts needed to produce quality lighting.
  • Reduces air and water pollution, likewise with LEDs, each CFL reduces the carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere per the life span of each bulb by half a ton as opposed to the incandescent variety.
  • Higher quality warmer light than the older style larger fluorescent bulbs that had a cooler glow.
  • More versatility of use and more rounded, non-directional glow of light. Can be used in many fitting types or locations.
  • Can buy bulbs that dim.
  • 10,000 hours usage for the life of 1 bulb compared with 1200 hours for an incandescent bulb
  • Available wattage ranges from 8 to 55 watts compared with standard incandescent bulbs that range from 40 – 150 watts.
  • Lesser heat output than incandescent bulbs

 

Disadvantages of CFLs

 

  • Contains hazardous materials. For me the biggest disadvantage and the reason it is my lesser preferred choice is that CFL bulbs contain Mercury, even small amounts of mercury, a toxic metal, can become a serious health risk if the bulb is broken. See the end note at the bottom of this paragraph for an explanation of mercury, health, safety and disposal concerns. So for me, that counteracts some of the claims for being a greener option due to environmental impact if broken. I do have CFLs in my home currently as I am replacing my bulbs when burnt out rather than add them early and unnecessarily to waste disposal centers.
  • Almost as fragile as incandescent bulbs, being glass thus increasing number of times a bulb might need replacing in terms of the cost of the bulb alone.
  • Outdoor use requires protective considerations such as placing them undercover or in the shade.
  • Much more sensitive to turning on and off frequently, it shortens the life span.
  • Not designed to be a spotlight because they are more of an area lighting
  • Heat can also shorten the life span of a CFL bulb. As well as areas with low ventilation.
  • Not as economical as LED bulbs. To obtain 50,000 hours usage, it would take 5 bulbs, instead of the 1 LED for the same result
  • Sensitive to high and low temperatures and moisture too.

Mercury Is Hazardous To Health And The Environment

 

Energy_Saving_Light_Bulbs, CFL, Mercury

Liquid Mercury Found In CFL Light Bulbs

Mercury is a toxic metal linked to contaminated water, fish and other food supplies. It is found in amalgam fillings in our mouths. Only a small amount of mercury is contained in a bulb and is safe around humans while inside its encasing. However, if a bulb breaks, a vapor of mercury is released into the immediate surrounding air. Mercury is considered by WHO, the World Health Organisation, as one of the top ten chemicals of major public health concern.

 

By merely inhaling it, Mercury can cause all kinds of adverse health affects such as:

 

  • Central Nervous System effects
  • Peripheral Nervous System effects
  • Digestive system effects
  • Immune system effects
  • Cardiovascular (heart and circulatory) system effects
  • Effects in utero and on the development of young children, especially brain development
  • Effects on the thyroid system
  • Lung and Kidney problems
  • Neurological disorders
  • Behaviour disorders
  • Tremors
  • Emotional instability
  • Insomnia
  • Memory loss
  • Neuromuscular changes
  • Headaches
  • Effects on skin
  • Effects on eyes
  • Is a suspected carcinogen (cancer causing)
  • High exposures have lead to Death

What should I do if I break a CFL bulb?

 

If a breakage occurs, don’t breathe it in, open a window and vacate the room for at least 15 minutes. Then use a wet cloth to pick up all of the pieces and put them, and the cloth, into a plastic bag. Then tie them up in a second plastic bag. The best option is to find out if your local waste disposal center accepts them and will hopefully dispose of them properly. Otherwise it should be placed in your normal garbage bin. If you are lucky enough to have a community household hazardous waste collection this would be ideal as they would send them to the correct place for recycling, treating and retrieval of the mercury.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.

My Personal Preference And Why

 

Based on what I have written here it is probably easy to determine what my personal preference or recommendation for the best energy saving light bulbs available. LED bulbs are my utmost first choice because overall they are much more energy efficient, cost effective, longer lasting therefore take up less space in waste centers and thus greener on the environment, and simply do not contain the harmful chemical mercury. I believe in avoiding even the potential of a breakage, just in case, so why not choose the safest option in my opinion?

 

I do still have CFLs in my home while I slowly replace my bulbs as required because they are still better by a long shot than incandescent bulbs. They may not be my first choice, but they are my second. I do believe that if proper care is taken with CFL bulbs, they are the next best thing to LEDs because they certainly are more cost effective, energy efficient and greener than incandescent bulbs and will save you money and the environment for these reasons. At least until a better alternative is developed.

 

 

I hope you have enjoyed reading this review of the best energy saving light bulbs and it has helped you in your decision to become greener in your usage of lighting in your home. Please feel free to comment if you have had any experiences, positive or negative with LEDs or CFLs. I would love to hear your thoughts.

 

Warm Wishes

Ange

 

 

Resources

http://eartheasy.com/live_energyeff_lighting.htm

http://eartheasy.com/live_led_bulbs_comparison.html

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs361/en/

http://www.greenfacts.org/en/mercury/l-2/mercury-2.htm

Mercury image courtesy of Material Scientist (bionerd)

 

Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe That Is Eco Friendly, Safe And Economical

A liquid laundry detergent recipe that is Eco friendly, safe and economical is just a few short steps away. If you read my other article about why I choose to use a homemade laundry detergent, you may have been searching for laundry alternatives that don’t have all of those harsh chemicals in them already. Chances are you have been looking, but you also found that many are quite expensive to buy, or aren’t always available at the store each time you need it. My experience has been that the more popular brands of standard laundry detergent never seem to be absent from the range due to their popularity, but those that are labeled Eco friendly and safe, never seem to get replenished as quickly.

 

It’s Both Cheap And Easy!

 

This isn’t so great if you are trying to live a green lifestyle but have washing to do. With this recipe, never be caught short for laundry detergent again. For a fraction of the cost of a bottle of laundry liquid, when you buy the ingredients, there will be enough for up to 4 batches to be made. Simply replace your ingredients after 4th batch has been made and you will be able to make a new one next time you run out. Be aware that this recipe does require standing overnight, if you remember this and make it ahead of the time you will be needing to use it, you will always be prepared.

 

What You Will Need – Nothing Too Complex Here

 

liquid laundry detergent recipe

Homemade Laundry Liquid

  • A 10 litre (2.5 – 3 gallons) bucket with a lid (I use my father’s old wine making tub)
  • A measuring cup and measuring jug
  • A wooden spoon
  • Laundry soap (I found this in the laundry aisle in the supermarket, a box contains 4 cakes of soap)
  • Lectric Washing Soda (Again I found this in the aisle for laundry items)
  • warm water (you will be partially filling the bucket with this)

 

Some people have been known to use borax with this recipe, but I am still undecided about the safety of borax and so I choose to avoid it instead.

 

It Is Very Easy To Make – Takes About 10 Minutes

 

  1. Grate 1/2 to 1 whole cake of soap and put aside
  2. Put 3 litres of water into a large stock pot or saucepan and bring to boil
  3. While waiting for water to boil pour 7 litres of warm water, not too hot, into the 10 litre bucket
  4. When the water is boiled turn down the heat to a simmer
  5. Place the grated soap into the water in the pot on the stove and stir until the soap is dissolved, stirring all the time, do not allow to boil over otherwise it will be messy.
  6. Then Pour 1 cup of Lectric soda into the pot and stir until you can’t feel the grittiness anymore and it’s dissolved
  7. Take the pot off the heat and being careful not to burn or scald yourself, slowly pour the mixture into the bucket of warm water
  8. Stir with the wooden spoon
  9. Place the lid on tightly
  10. Wait 24 hours, the mixture will have cooled and turned into a gel. It’s now ready to use. Scoop 1 cup of gel and place into washing machine as per usual. Wash as normal.

What Can I Do To Make It Smell Even Fresher?

 

Add Essential Oils For Added Fragrance, liquid-laundry-detergent-recipe

Add Essential Oils For Added Fragrance

If you find you would like to add a little fragrance, you can add essential oils to the mixture. Wait an hour or so until it cools down a little, prior to it settling into a gel and then take off the lid. Stir in a few drops of essential oils.

You may have to play around with the quantities of drops of oil. Some companies, such as the one I use, have very potent oils and you would not need as much as what you might use if you bought an essential oil from a chemist, supermarket, cheap variety store, health food store or other aromatherapy standard essential oils.

 

Find A Good Company

 

My personal favourites are Lemon, Lavender, Thieves or Purification. The latter 2 are proprietary blends of the company I buy my oils from. I might suggest 5 – 10 drops of oil to begin with and work with the resulting strength of smell from there.

If you have any really strong odours in your washing, you may like to add some white vinegar to the rinse cycle of the washing machine to remove them.

 

Is This Cost Effective Like Promised?

 

The answer to this question is yes, very much so. I find that even buying a cheaper laundry detergent, I still might spend nearly $10 a week on getting the laundry done and then there is the added disadvantage that it is not helping the environment if I don’t choose wisely enough. I can buy a packet of the laundry soap for around $2.00 AUD and the Lectric soda for around $4.00. I only need 1 cup of Lectric soda, which leaves another 3 cups in the packet, and only 1 cake of soap, leaving 3 still in the packet.

$1.50 per 10 Litres

This means it only costs around $1.50 AUD to make one whole 10 litre bucket of detergent, that might last me one month. So for $6.00 I have now bought 4 months worth of laundry detergent. I’d say that’s a win win situation, win for your pocket, and win for the environment.

Are There Other Options?

 

If you are struggling with time and would find it too difficult to use this recipe and make it yourself, you might consider using the most earth friendly liquid you can find. I personally have used this company for purchasing laundry detergents that are safe, and also the company I use for my oils also produce a washing liquid. Try checking out their safe washing powders or liquids, but you will pay a bit more for it than at the store.

 

Check Out What Other Eco-Friendly Options There Are

 

There are also laundry balls, soap nuts and other options (see below for details), that are Eco friendly and available to buy online or in a store, and while they may be expensive to start with, they are well worth the investment because it works out to be cheaper in the long run.

 

I hope you enjoy making your new liquid laundry detergent recipe that is eco friendly, safe and economical. If you enjoyed reading this article please share it with others so that they too can help to save our environment and keep our planet sustainable. If you have any problems, comments or questions, feel free to mention them in the comments section below.

 

Until next time

 

Warm Regards,

Ange

Please find below some suggested products.

 

soap nuts

Soap Nuts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

balls

Eco-Friendly Laundry Balls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recycle Bins At Home – Start By Getting It Right

How To Become a Self Sufficient Wiz

It All Starts With Getting It Right!

 

recycle bins at home, start by getting it right, how to recycle, recycling,

Recycling Sprite

Recycle bins at home! They are not just there for show, they have specific rules to follow. Are you wondering how to use them properly? Learn some of the more simple aspects of what you can and can’t recycle.After all, how can one live a self sufficient lifestyle if they don’t have a clue on the subject of recycling? Many of you already have a good understanding of this but there are also many people who may find some of this information somewhat as a surprise, like I did. Living a sustainable lifestyle means I have to develop the correct habits and therefore I needed to find out all I could about what rubbish goes where.

 

There’s A Bit More To It Than I First Thought

 

It really is quite important to put the right things into the correct bins, for several reasons and I must admit, I didn’t really know some of this before investigating the matter. I THOUGHT I knew, but it turns out that I didn’t. Your council may be different but our council provides us with two garbage bins for collection. One is for general rubbish, the other is for recyclable items. A third, most likely for garden rubbish, will be added soon. Most states in Australia have a colour coded system where a yellow lid represents recyclable materials, and a red or green lidded one for  general household waste. It would be helpful to separate further with other colour coded bins.

 

Do ALL Countries Need To Recycle?

 

Countries, states, towns and individuals generate enormous amounts of rubbish on a daily basis. Such rubbish consists mostly of packaging for our convenience foods and various throw away items. Yet some countries don’t have that kind of rubbish because the option of packaged items or throwaways is non-existent. Those countries wouldn’t even need to be concerned about recycling, minimising their garbage or their impact on the planet, let alone need educating on it. I would so love to go back to basics and live somewhere that problems like this don’t exist, I guess that’s what the crux of sustainable living is about.

Oh My! I’ve Been Doing It Wrong!

 

I recently found out that I have been doing it all wrong. I had the wrong information about recycling and was not aware of it. I had no idea there were some things that while seeming to be recyclable, they aren’t necessarily placed in the recycling bin. This upsets me a lot because I now know that I have hindered our recycling efforts by throwing things in the wrong bin while feeling like I was ‘helping’ the environment. I can’t go back and change it, but I can do something about it now. One, I can educate and inform other people of this mistake, and two, I can do it right starting this very moment. I also realised there is a common misconception about the little triangle on the plastic containers that has a number inside. I remember being told that this triangle meant that it was recyclable, but apparently it means no such thing. The number represents the type of plastic it is, and has nothing to do with recycling at all.

 

The following is a list of recycling can’s and can’t.

 

Items You CAN Put Into Your Recycling Bin

We Recycle, Recycle-bins-at-home

We Recycle

 

It’s rather a small list really

 

  • glass bottles and jars
  • steel cans
  • aluminium, such as foil cooking trays and soft drink cans
  • paper and newspaper
  • cardboard, greetings cards, or magazines
  • plastic containers, for example milk bottles, ice cream, yoghurt, margarine and soft drink and juice and water bottles.
  • Milk and juice cartons

 

I thought that was everything, but there is actually a very comprehensive list here to help you work out if you can recycle something or not. It tells gives you information on just about anything you can think of and whether you can recycle, or put it in a bin, or even if it’s something that can’t go into any bin. It is well worth bookmarking. If in doubt, check it out.

Items You CANNOT Put Into Your Recycling Bin

recycling of shredded paper

Shredded Paper. Which Bin Would You Have Picked?

 

Some of these items might be obvious, but some may not

 

  • furniture
  • car parts
  • foam rubber
  • clothes
  • toys
  • sharps (as in needles and syringes)
  • white goods
  • pyrex
  • crockery
  • drinking glasses
  • nappies
  • mirrors
  • window glass
  • white goods such as toasters
  • toys
  • polystyrene
  • light globes
  • plastic wraps
  • plastic bags
  • shredded paper!!!

 

Some of the above list might be already known by many, but there are definitely a couple of them that may shock you.

So What Happens At The Other End?

 

I have never really given much thought to what happens to the recycled materials once they left my premises until now, when I am trying to learn all I can about recycling the right way. Here is a list of what your waste can be recycled into:

 

  • Glass is melted down and remade into other bottles, jars Etc.
  • Steel cans can be melted down to make new steel products
  • Aluminium and foil trays often travel to different manufacturing places for recycling options and usage.
  • Cardboard and paper are recycled back into more paper
  • Milk and juice cartons produce high quality office paper when recycled
  • Newspapers can be recycled back into newspaper printable paper. Newspaper also often ends up as insulation too.
  • Plastics depending on what they are originally made from are granulated. They can become sleeping bag fillers, storm water pipes, plastic lids, plastic fencing stakes, electrical conduit, waterproof jackets, plastic poles, garden stakes, even used to hold oyster nets and so on. [Please note that the use of such plastic poles and stakes are not detrimental to the environment and replace wooden poles that may be treated and thus contaminate the soil or water they are used in]. Plastics are not recycled back as food containers due to the high risk of contamination during the sorting process. Another lesser known but rather new method of recycling plastics can be found in this article where plastics are turned into useful items like furniture, jewellery, footwear, Etc.

Some Simple Guidelines To Follow

 

Did you know these materials are actually mostly hand sorted by people and also by high tech equipment? Now would be an appropriate time to mention that if you follow a couple of simple rules you will be saving the planet so much more efficiently. If we aren’t doing the most simplest of tasks properly then the process we put into place to do it becomes null and void. In other words if we aren’t correctly recycling our waste then our efforts are literally wasted. It is very simple to just drop your recyclables into the bin and wheel it out for collection. Please be mindful of the following;

 

Recycle_bins_at_home

Recycled Waste Is Manually Dealt With

1. Rinse the recyclable items before putting them in the bin. The items are hand sorted and they should be free from contamination prior to being sent for manufacturing into other items. Crush them into smaller compact sizes.

 

2. Do not use plastic bags in a recycling bin. While plastic bags are designed to break down over time, and some supermarkets ask that you recycle plastic bags by bringing them back to the store and placing them in a special bin, they are not meant to go into a recycling bin. They break down, they are not recyclable in this way.

 

3. Plastic bottle tops can’t be sorted by hand easily so do not put them in the recycling bin. However, you can put them in the recycling bin if you fill a plastic bottle with tops (and plastic bread tags too) and put a lid on it. This will then be sent and recycled as mixed plastic.

 

4. Shredded paper, this was the mistake I was making, cannot go into the recycle bin due to impossibility to sort by hand. There are so many tiny scraps of it, that to attempt sorting would be very labour intensive and not very viable. The suggestion is to put into a garden or food garbage collection bin.

 

What About Recycling For Other Things?

 

For items such as white goods, furniture, clothing, toys or car parts, often there is a shop at the dump where you can take them to be resold. Charity organisations accept items to be dropped off and some offer a pick up service.  Car parts can be taken to an auto-wrecker where people can buy second hand parts for their cars if they are mechanically minded and prefer to fix their own cars, or sold for scrap metal.

What’s The Next Step?

 

Now that I am better educated, I hope you have learned something about recycling that perhaps you didn’t know either. There was such a lot of media exposure in the early days about what to recycle and what not to, that it may be assumed that everyone just automatically knows the ropes. I wish I had paid more attention back then so that I wouldn’t be making the mistakes I had been up until now. But the good thing is we can correct our mistakes and choose to recycle better.

 

These are not the only options for recycling so I urge you to check out some others. Start by getting it right at the first port of call, your recycle bins at home. I would love to hear about your recycling woes or tips and tricks so please leave a comment for other people to gain the knowledge too and save our planet.

 

Thank you for reading,

Ange.

 

 

Acknowledgments

Recycling Sprite image is ‘Young Free’ by Boians Cho Joo sourced from www.FreeDigitalPhotos.com

 

Resources

http://nawma.sa.gov.au/material/recycling.asp

http://recycleright.wa.gov.au/what-bin-to-use/

http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/live/waste-and-recycling/recycling

 

What Is Going Green?

What Is Going Green, going green, what is going green all about, how do you go green, why go green.

We Hold The Earth In Each Of Our Hands

We are hearing on a daily basis the words green living and ‘going green’ but, what is going green, what do we mean by it? Many people are not truly aware of how important these simple words really are. Going green really means striving in every way possible to abide by a standard of green living. To live your life in as environmentally and eco-friendly responsible way as possible so as to reduce the impact we make as individuals on the ecology of our planet.

 

We All Need To Practice Keeping Our Planet Healthy

 

We can, and should, all practice ways in which to conserve the resources of our planet to keep it as healthy as possible and reduce harm from every individual’s perspective. Commonly these methods, which is the basis of this website, incorporate sustainability, alternative energy sources, green construction measures, recycling, choosing organic foods and other topics of environmental origin. There are more but they will be considered in other articles.

 

Where Else Is There To Go If We Ruin Our Own Planet?

 

Educating ourselves on how to choose a greener lifestyle and how we can lessen the impact we make on our environment is the first step to creating a safer and more eco-friendly world. They say charity begins at home, well I’m feeling very charitable towards our world. After all, we are living on this planet as if we have another place to go instead of using our resources carefully and thoughtfully to preserve it in as natural state as possible. If we are choosing better options, it may be easier for others to follow our example and lead a combined effort to fight for the same cause. Only then can we start ensuring that our children and grandchildren will have healthier lives and follow in our footsteps to keep it that way. We have to start NOW! Not next year, next month, not even tomorrow.

An Abundance Of Information Abounds

 

What-Is-Going-Green,Knowledge is Wisdom

Knowledge is Wisdom

If you are unsure of how you can participate in this attempt to rectify our world, then a visit to your local library, council, and searching the internet offers much information. My website here will help you to take those first steps.

Say no to heavily processed foods, a major culprit our decline in the health of our planet and our physical health, and yes to fresh fruit and vegetables and other whole foods.

Say no to global warming and yes to living on a healthy planet.

 

PLEASE JUST SAY NO!

 

I know there are several views as to the validity of the global warming statistics, some even refuting it altogether, however I don’t want to take that chance with our future, do you?

There are always people who are going to cast doubt and stir up dissent. But truthfully, I think it’s quite obvious the direction this world will take if we keep using up our resources, not replenishing them, polluting our water and atmosphere, and it’s all downhill for the human population. We don’t need studies to prove or refute the theories out there. All we need is common sense.

 

Convenience or Life, Which Will You Choose?

 

Convenience is a thing of the present, but while it saves time and energy, the result is that it adds to the already polluted state of our world. Many things are made from plastic and often cast out in the trash, to degrade slowly, very slowly over hundreds of years. Start right now with some simple ideas with regards to small changes you can make today and begin to make a difference.These are easy, simple ways to begin to reduce your own carbon emissions

 

  • Walk sometimes, or ride a bike.
  • Grow your own herbs and vegetables.
  • Plant some trees, preferably some that grow fruit or nuts.
  • Eat a salad instead of MacDonalds
  • Make a fruit salad instead of buying a dessert
  • Sit outside under a shady tree where possible, instead of indoors in air conditioning
  • Turn all the lights off in the home at night when not in use, and also during the day. Many people are guilty of leaving lights on even during the day.
  • Being more mindful in everything you do

Baby Steps

 

If these ideas don’t seem like much, just remember the huge contribution they will make to living green if everyone adopted these small changes in their individual lives. No one expects us to change everything we do and use overnight, but we can still make a difference in how we, as individuals impact our immediate surroundings. Small baby steps will still get the job done and help others see the ease and value in doing something similar too. Doing the same things but choosing to do them in a slightly different, more environmentally aware choices is one of those small baby steps.

 

 Starfish In The Ocean

 

What_Is_Going_Green ,Starfish Story

Starfish Story

Have you heard the starfish story? There are a few versions but I like this one. An old man is walking along a beach where he comes across a boy throwing starfish back into the ocean. Looking around, the man sees there are hundreds, maybe thousands of starfish littering the beach.

 

It Does Make A Difference

 

The old man wonders what the boy is doing so he asks him. The little boy told him he was throwing them back. The man tells him why bother? He can’t possibly make a difference with so many of them strewn all over the place. To which the boy calmly picks up another one and throws it back in. He says to the man “it made a difference to that one”.

 

Profound Words

This story had a very profound effect on me and stuck in my mind. Whenever I feel lost and overwhelmed in what appears to be an enormous task, such as impacting our environment in a positive way, I think of this story and remember to keep plodding along the same path and eventually come at the destination I am aiming for. Complete environmental awareness and a healthy planet for all.

 

Make A Promise To The Starfish!

 

So here’s a promise to all the other starfish out there. We will make a difference too if you and I take these small steps towards living that greener life that is preferable to the Earth being destroyed. Share your knowledge and desires with your family, friends and neighbours, because only then, when more people become aware and start doing things to change it, we will create more and more changes. When someone asks you what is going green and why do you do it? You can tell them the starfish story and talk about taking baby steps, one at a time, to create a sustainable planet.

 

Thank you so much for reading and if you have any comments please feel free to leave them, we are all in this together, let’s work together and help each other.

 

Warm Wishes

Ange

 

 

Green Living Ideas: For The Classroom

green living, green living in the classroom. in the classroom

What better way to start children learning about the environment and green living, than to bring green living ideas for the classroom into the curriculum of every school. This is a subject I will revisit other times having taught in schools before. I firmly believe that change in the world begins with children and takes the form of teaching children how to live well or better. This hopefully will set off a snowball effect for those children to then go home and help parents put it into practice, even if it is done as an assignment or experiment. At least this way the next generation have a chance to recognise the importance of caring for their planet and continue to use green living practices through their lifetimes, in turn teaching their own children.

All Schools Should Teach About Gardening For Food!

 

green living, green living ideas, green living ideas for the classroom. in the classroom

ALL SCHOOLS SHOULD TEACH THIS, BECAUSE IT REALLY IS IMPORTANT!

 

If there were to come a time in our children’s future, that they need to become self-sufficient, what they learn in school in terms of gardening for food, may well save their lives at a later date. Natural disasters aside, if we continue destroying the planet, we may force our children to have to live like this because we will have left them without resources.

We’ve Come A Long Way, But Is It Enough?

 

When I was young and at school, we heard all about global warming and the ‘hole in the ozone layer’, as they referred to it back then. But the solutions seemed to span long into the future as they were only just beginning to look into solar, wind and hydro power. Many of the things we see today in terms of alternative energy solutions could only be found in a science fiction novel or movie the likes of Star Wars or Isaac Asimov’s work. It appeared to me as a child at the time, that it would take hundreds of years to make the changes needed in those days. Boy we have come a long way in a short time.

Daily Routines To Simplify Green Living Practices

 

Living in an environmentally friendly way should be part of our daily routine therefore creating daily routines in the classroom will lead to children beginning to implement the ideas at home as well. It’s something everybody should strive to do something about, and I am very passionate to see schools start raising awareness of the simple things that everyone can do to protect our planet and environment. Suggestions of how to do this are many. Here I will touch upon a few that as a teacher you could use in the classroom with your students to get things started. Let’s make learning to live a greener lifestyle a compulsory part of the curriculum. It can only serve to teach self-sufficiency, as well as caring for the environment if ever there was a natural disaster and food and shelter was scarce.

Recycling Can Be Fun And Educational

 

Global Education Is Important, green-living-ideas-for-the-classroom

Global Education Is Important

After setting up a lesson structure on recycling, teachers set up a recycling program in the classroom so that all students can participate in it in a fun way and learn how to recycle. As a suggestion, use a series of boxes or bins of differing colours for the varying types of recycling to be done. For me, my personal choices are green for compost, yellow for recycling and red for non-recyclable items, but use whatever is suited to or more representative of your own communities recycling patterns.

 

Remember To Educate On Types Of Waste Suitable For Composting Or Not

 

Please bear in mind that food items that are prone to rotting and attracting flies, such as meat, cheeses, anything animal based, would not be considered able to be composted. While you wouldn’t put egg waste in a compost bin, you can however compost egg shells. Leave the compost bin outside the classroom instead of inside due to the smell they accumulate.

If you can, separate the recyclables a little more, select more colours and bins for this task. Yellow could be kept for the cans and plastic bottles of any sort. Blue might represent paper and cardboard items and so forth. There are many ways in which recycling can be organised.

 

Creative Recycling

 

recycling, green_living_ideas_for_the_classroom, green living ideas

Recycle Tree

Adding in another aspect, a white bin or large box would be very handy for the children to bring things in to school from home that would be recyclable. Just perfect and ready for those construction activities and projects, that could also be a part of the learning activities, to teach the children just how recycled items can be reused.

 

Devise An Assignment Or Have Them Construct Something From The Future

 

Why not develop an assignment for them to construct something purely from recycled items? Have them create new inventions, something imagined from the future, a future with a clean and safe environment, this would be fun and educational. Choose class monitors to be responsible for taking the recycling and general rubbish (red bin) to the larger bins found within the school grounds if the school participates in this kind of rubbish collection.

 

Get Outside And Into The Thick Of Things

 

Most students love the prospect of getting out of the classroom and doing activities outside. Outdoor lessons could incorporate an exercise where small groups work together to collect rubbish from the school grounds and record the number count of each type of rubbish and note whether it is recyclable or not before putting it in the bin. At the end the groups might gather and collate their information as a class on the whole. Encourage a discussion on just how much of the rubbish could have been recycled. They would most likely find the larger quantity to be the recyclable material. Get them to hypothesise what they expect it to be and consider their results.

 

There’s A Lesson In Everything

 

Of course I do encourage wearing gloves during this exercise. If collection is an issue, the exercise is still possible by just doing a tour of the school grounds and simply making a note of all of the different types. Same exercise, just done differently. The school would certainly benefit from a school clean up and students will be encouraged not to litter the school yard and eventually planet as well. Thus opening up a lesson on how long certain waste products take to break down or decompose. Another school project may have students participating in yearly community clean up days if that is available.

 

Let The Creative Juices Flow

 

green-living-ideas, for the classroom

Ladybug Enjoying Nature

For another lesson hold the class outside to just enjoy the sunshine and breathe in the fresh air. The teacher then invites a class discussion about what it feels like to have nice clean air and sunlight. Sit quietly and listen to the sounds heard, birds singing, bees buzzing, and feeling the stillness in the air. Perhaps incorporate a meditation or yoga exercise to encourage students to find peace in their surroundings and add another aspect to instilling a desire to protect the environment.

 

Help Them To Find Peace In Their Surroundings So They Won’t Want To Lost It

 

Try talking about the future implications of what might happen to that fresh air and sunlight if nothing is done in terms of caring for the environment before it’s too late. Get them to think about what would happen to the plant life and animal life should that air become too thick with pollution. Students should write some pleasant poetry or prose during this outdoor lesson depicting their thoughts about now and the possible futures of a healthy planet or a polluted planet.

 

 

Grow Their Minds And Plant The Seeds Of Thought

 

There is also something special about planting trees and gardening and seeing new life sprout out of the ground. For children to learn about how plants grow and contribute to the ecosystem, the concept of planting their own seeds and gardens, to grow trees and vegetables that can be admired or eaten even, lends more weight to discussions. Let alone a lesson or two in the care of plants, patience and long term effects of allowing our resources to become overused and then have to wait months, sometimes many years for new growth to become established to a point of usability.

 

Get The Community Involved

 

Why not have a planting party where each child can plant their own tree or seedling? There are some communities where the city council or landscaping companies offer free or low cost trees, Etc. especially native trees, for schools or even in the general community. Many council websites would have that information, or plan a visit to the local council to find out. Ask for donations from parents or companies that regularly sponsor the school.

 

Use The School Grounds To Teach Life Lessons, Not Just Theory

 

Start a school veggie garden and use the products that grow in a cooking lesson down the track, or make a healthy salad. Tending the garden, weeding, watering, watching the plants grow can be such an amazing feeling for the children to see something they’ve created and planted, sprout, develop and become something so precious in terms of the future of the Earth. If the school doesn’t have the space to plant gardens or trees, then perhaps look for a neighbouring park, playground or nature strip that permission may be gained to do this.

Teaching respect for nature at an early age so that they continue to respect it as they get older and move into adulthood is such an important lesson. There are so many other areas that lessons could be created from that veggie garden but I’ll leave those for another article.

 

true farmacy, classroom green living ideas

A real farm-acy, not the pharmacy that we are all used to.

Teaching At Home

 

Continuing this trend at home, the students might gift their parents on their birthday or mother’s/father’s day by planting a tree in the garden for them. I remember getting a tree from school when I was only about 8 years old and planting it in the garden of my family home. I drove past that old house many years later to find that tree still right in the middle of the front garden of the house. It was huge. I felt so proud and was so tempted to go and knock on their door and tell them I planted that tree some 30 years ago. I thought I’d best not do that just in case they thought I was a tad on the odd side and called the police or something.

But that is how significant the planting of one tree was to me and how it impacted my life to the point where I felt pride at the simple gesture of planting one single tree. When I was young I didn’t know that I would be contributing to helping the planet by planting that tree, but now I know more and I feel more motivated and encouraged, and even a little excited at the prospect of planting trees.

 

Where To Go From There

 

From this point, continue on with the lessons that relate in some way to the topic or unit of study. Other relevant topics to incorporate into this particular subject are other ways recycling might be used. For example, the article I wrote on Will-I-Am and 3D printing, global warming, the condition of the planet and the environment for future generations and us, energy conservation and alternative energy sources to name just a few.

 

 

Thank you for reading. If you are a teacher and are already incorporating these green living ideas for the classroom or other lessons into your planning, please feel free to leave a comment below and some suggestions for other teachers who will read this.

 

Warm Wishes

Ange

 

Images:

Global Education Image by jscreationzs from www.freedigitalphotos.com

Recycle Tree image courtesy digitalart from freedigitalphotos.com

Ladybug by digitalart from freedigitalphotos.com

This Is A Farmacy Image courtesy of David Wolfe’s Facebook page

Green Living Ideas: From Unexpected Sources

I was talking to a lady recently about my sustainable living blog and how I believe we should be including green living ideas specifically for saving the planet on the whole, in the same definition. Part of that task involves learning about the kinds of things that people are doing to reduce wastage, or to discover what things could be recycled to make mankind move towards a more environmentally aware population and green up our planet. She mentioned to me about an interview she saw where British comedian/actress Joanna Lumley met with singer will.i.am from the pop group The Black Eyed Peas. I didn’t realise that Will.i.am is rather full of green living ideas, especially from unexpected sources.

 

green living ideas, recycling, will-i-am, recycled water bottles, joanna lumley, joanna lumley documentary

Plastic Bottles plus Recycling Leads To The Production Of Suits And Other Clothing

Will.i.am – A Green Ideas Man of the Future?

 

What my friend found fascinating was will.i.am’s interest in technological advances, some of which are based around the use of greener technology along with converting waste into useful products. During the interview, will.i.am drives Joanna around in his very modern, flashy electric car with all the futuristic conveniences. It was a beautiful looking car and I’d love to do an article on electric, or other, powered cars at a later date. For now I want to focus on his idea for using waste and recycling it into something practical and even valuable, clothing.

 

For the full interview watch this You Tube video clip. For information about this particular endeavour of will.i.am’s watch from between 39 to 42 minutes into the video.

 

 

What To Do With Those Nasty Plastic Water Bottles

 

Will.i.am has been behind a move to turn empty used plastic water bottles into other products. They have developed a way for the bottles to be recycled and reduced down to flakes, and then processed even further to create a kind of cotton as the end product that is apparently very silk-like in texture. This cotton has then been used to make fabric and clothing. Wow. Imagine how many coke bottles would be just lying around at a refuse collection station or recycling plant that could be used for something like this. That would be a VERY large and valuable contribution to saving the planet for such a hugely popular product to be used for. I can only speculate at the amount of waste that is produced by a company such as Coca Cola, let alone any of the other brands of soft drinks alone.  What a great idea.

Let’s Get The Big Companies Involved

 

Fabric, it seems, is only one of the products that this material made from recycled plastic bottles can be recycled into. Will had a set of plastic headphones in his hand as he was describing the technology and its my understanding that there are all kinds of other products that can be produced in a similar way. I had a look at a website where he apparently works in collaboration with companies such as Coca Cola to produce items from recycled bottles where waste is converted into 3D printed creations.

Nike Say – “Just Do It!”

 

Other popular companies such as Nike are being encouraged to produce their inventory partially using recycled components. I saw a variety of products ranging from jewellery and phone cases, shoes, chairs and other furniture. The term he is using is called Ekocycle, which is a trademarked name for the company that he works with. It’s pretty interesting stuff to see, especially since I’m fairly new to the whole concept of 3D printing. I saw the film The Fifth Element in 1997 where they printed a live woman from her DNA and that was the stuff of the future. I had no idea how close we were to achieving something like it, and now only 18 years later, here we are in 2015 with at least part of the concept becoming a reality.

 

 

Green Living ideas

The Making Of Leeloo. What looks like something similar to 3D printing was a concept used in the film The Fifth Element, to construct a person from their DNA blueprint. Here the bones are being built. Image courtesy of a blog on i.imgur.com submitted by poolhouse

 

But Will It Make A Difference? Only Time Will Tell

 

I don’t know how much this new idea of utilising waste and turning it into something useable and practical will help towards a greener environment in the long term. This is due to not having any information on the mechanics of how the places that manufacture the 3D printers operate in terms of how much of a carbon footprint they happen to be leaving to produce these machines. But at least if we can just cycle, recycle and remake whatever we decide we don’t need or like anymore with the items we have already made, we can rest easier knowing that eventually less and less new plastics will be produced and hopefully we can halt their slow destruction of the planet. And that would be a fantastic and ideal solution to the build up of current waste.

 

3D Printing In The Future Is Already Here!

 

If they can already make handbags, fabric, jewellery, shoes, furniture and headphones, who knows, this may be the beginning of a new construction method for homes, vehicles, appliances, and basic everyday items. Something to look forward to. Ideally we would want to halt the production of new plastics altogether and use only what is already in circulation, which is why I would not recommend switching over to using these materials in place of other greener materials, but at least it is a option of what to do with our current waste. Green living ideas are out there, and as you’ve seen they can come from very unexpected sources too. It just requires extraordinary people to think outside the box and create them.

What are your own thoughts and ideas on how we could use this 3D printed plastics? Please leave a comment below. We may just yet start a revolution of green thinkers.

 

Thank you for reading.

 

To A Sustainable Future

Warm Wishes

Ange

 

Images:

Images collected and compiled into one by myself,  were courtesy of digitalart, Natara and Salvatore Vuono from freedigitalphotos.com

How To Do My Own Pest Control – Chemical Free Ant Solution

How to do my own pest control, chemical free, chemical free pest solution, chemical free ant solution

Home Sweet Home

A significant trend today is people asking themselves this question; how to do my own pest control? Can I find a chemical free ant solution, or an alternative to sprays for spiders, how can I keep cockroaches away? More and more people are discovering the large numbers of chemicals that are bombarding our homes and our bodies. Many of these chemicals are doing a lot of physical harm, some of them accumulating in our tissue for many years before the damage they have done becomes apparent. Pesticides fall into this category. This is why people are now looking for alternatives.

 

Today We Delve Into Ants

 

In this particular article I will be discussing the problem of people finding themselves suddenly getting overwhelmed by ants? Yes, you guessed it. A colony of ants moves into your house and what is the first thing they do? They make themselves at home, eat anything and everything, getting in all kinds of nooks and crannies, and before too long you are left pulling your hair out wondering what to do with them.

 

Want to go ‘Pink Panther’ on these ants?

 

In other words – Dead ant, dead ant, dead ant, dead ant, dead ant, dead ant, dead ant.

 

Would you like to try a chemical free ant solution to get rid of these pests without causing you to be inhaling all kinds of nasty chemicals found in those insect sprays? I know I would. I recently came across a solution that I am going to tell you about. It certainly is a much cheaper option, much more safe, and very easy to apply.

 

Got Ants? Never mind. They’ll be gone in a jiffy and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

 

 

How-To-Do-My-Own-Pest-Control

An Anteater is a possible solution, but that’s not it.

How To Do Own Pest Control

Warning, warning, anteater alert.

Is an anteater the solution? Well perhaps if you have access to one and you don’t mind cleaning up after them, it wouldn’t hurt. But I had something different in mind. Something that will have the ants shouting warnings to each other and packing up their food and homes to leave you to your own.

How_To_Do_My_Own_Pest_Control

Grab the Food and Run

Bathroom Ant-ics.

 

How-To-Do-Own-Pest-Control

Pesky little critters these can be.
Image courtesy of SweetCrisis at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you are reading this article it may be that like me, you have a problem. I have an ant infestation in my bathroom. They seem to be living behind my wall mirror and it’s becoming a real nuisance causing me to have to wipe everything down of all the dead ants on a daily, if not more, basis. I’m not seeing their trail, and I’m not seeing any live ones and I don’t know why they are dying, although I suspect it is from something they ate.

I thought wiping down where I thought their trail might be coming from might confuse them and cause them to move away, having broken their scent trail, but it doesn’t appear to have deterred them from living behind my mirror.

 

Hundreds Of Them

 

There are hundreds of them and every day without fail, I come into my bathroom after having cleaned them all up the day before, and lo and behold, there’s more of them. And hundreds again. I think they are eating the glue behind the mirror, thankfully the mirror is screwed on too, but I can’t be sure that is what they are doing. All I know is there are hundreds of them and they are all dead when I find them the next day

 

Here Are More Ant-ics

 

Why did the ant-elope?

Nobody gnu!

Is There A Safe, Chemical Free Solution?

 

I heard there was an easy fix, using of all things, cornflour, or cornstarch. The solution is to sprinkle a little cornflour at the point where they are coming in to your home, and I would also sprinkle some across any trails you find, and apparently they will just go, disappear, voila, poof, gone. So, today, I am going to go and buy some cornflour from the supermarket (I’ve run out at home) and try this to see what kind of results I get.  Cornflour is so cheap to buy, usually you can pick it up for a dollar or two, and you can use it many times before the packet runs out. So easy, cheap and natural to use, especially seems that most people would already have cornflour on hand in their pantries anyway.

 

So What Next?

 

Now it’s time to go and find the place where they are entering my home and getting behind my mirror. This will probably be the most difficult task as I haven’t seen them coming in from anywhere. Failing that, I will just sprinkle the cornflour around a few places and sit back and wait. I will come back and let you know how it all goes. The cornflour appears to work for two reasons, it has a tendency to block the area where they might enter and due to its light powdery consistency it must make it difficult for them to breathe with the cornflour coating their exoskeletons, along with impaired senses and ability to climb without slipping.

 

Meanwhile, if you try this at home, please drop me a comment to me to let me know if it worked for you. If this doesn’t work I will look for something else to share with you.

 

Update

How_To_Do_Own_Pest_Control,Purification, therapeutic grade essential oils, essential oils, young living

Purification blend of therapeutic grade essential oils.

 

I wasn’t able to find the entry point of the ants currently, but sprinkling cornflour around has made a difference in one area where I think they might have been coming in. No more ants there.

I also found a huge trail of ants in my garage just the other day and because I couldn’t get to them with cornflour, I placed a drop of Purification Essential Oil across a few areas of the ant trail ahead of where they were going and herded them back towards their point of entry. Because this particular brand of therapeutic grade oils is very potent, the aroma was very strong and so I left the garage and closed the door, leaving the ants to run away from the scent and out of my garage.  The scent would have been extremely overpowering for their little bodies to cope with.

 

The Little Tykes Don’t Like Essential Oils

 

Purification is a proprietary blend of oils including Lemongrass, Rosemary, Melaleuca alternifolia, Myrtle, Citronella and Lavandin and is only available through Young Living. Because of their seed to seal guarantee of quality, and non-use of chemicals in their extraction process, I only trust this company when purchasing essential oils.

You may also make your own deterrent spray using this oil. The aroma will get into the areas you can’t and will help to drive the ants away. You simply need to add about 10 – 20 drops to a 60oz spray bottle and fill with 30 oz water and 30oz neutral spirits. Or you may simply use a smaller bottle and reduce the liquid quantities and drops of oil accordingly.

 

Thanks for reading and please let me know if you have used any other safe, non-toxic ways to rid your home of ants. Other people may be asking themselves “how to do my own pest control”, and they too may benefit from all of your answers.

 

Happy Ant Removal

 

Ange