5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Urban Garden

So you’ve gotten green thumb and want to try your hand in gardening, but fear that the city life may stifle your plants? Or maybe you’re struggling with the garden you have going on now in your urban setting. We all know that plants need plenty of sunlight and sufficient room to grow, however ideal gardening conditions aren’t always available in an urban environment. With the right tips and tricks, you can get the most out of your garden, no matter where you live!

Here are 5 tips in getting the most out of your urban garden:

Don’t Drown Your Plants

Over-water your plants is a no-no. Make sure that you thoroughly soak the entire container each time you water, but pour away any extra water that fills the saucer underneath the container. Forcing the plant sit in water encourages root rot. Since the signs of rot include wilting, many people think that the plant needs more water, which does even more damage. If you’re not sure whether the wilting is from too much or too little water, gently pull the plant up out of the container. If the roots are brown and gross and slimy, it’s root rot. Water it less.

Grow your Plants in Containers

Since an urban garden may not have the luxury of actual soil and grass in the ground, containers can help. Even if you have yard space, containers can be an easier way to plant. This way plants can be moved if needed and still give you the option of a garden without the space!

Use Plastic Pots instead

Instead of the clay pots, use a plastic one. Plants in plastic dry out less quickly because the pots aren’t as leaky as clay ones. 5 centimeters of mulch on top of the soul in your plastic container will reduce water evaporation from the soil.

Timing is Important

Keep a waterproof watch or stopwatch close by your planting section to show how much time is passed. This can help you keep track of watering times and sunlight times. Some plants need a certain amount of time in the sunlight in order for the plant to grow in optimal condition. With a stopwatch, you can give the plant the perfect times needed more efficiently and accurately.

Try Vertical!

If space is what is limiting your urban garden, try having a vertical garden. his type of garden yields the same amount of produce without taking up space, and it’s also easy to do. You can create one of these gardens using shelves, hanging baskets or trellises. Since most vegetables can be easily grown in containers, shelves allow you the benefit of growing different types of vegetables on each shelf. You can even position containers so that all plants receive enough sunlight. In addition, slatted shelving will allow for better drainage.

Ideas for Green Transportation – Still Getting Around But In An Environmentally Friendly Way

The world relies on gasoline and oil in order to get around, but the problem is that cars that run on both of these things cause a lot of pollution in the air. Everyone has the right to get around in any way that they can other than using a car that are just as effective. Green transportation is in these days, and here are some ideas that can be used to help people get to where they need to go, but without doing any kind of damage to the planet.

Consider Switching To a Work-At-Home Job

To help with the cost of a gallon of gasoline, a lot of major Fortune 500 companies and even small businesses are offering their employees the chance to do the same work from the comfort of their own homes. Working from home can mean that employees can do all the work they need to do without driving those long miles to and from work.

Further, companies are discovering that setting up their employees to work from home is very inexpensive, and people tend to work better from home because they can get coffee when they need to, they can take bathroom breaks, and best of all, they can stay in their pajamas and slippers! Companies are getting a lot more productivity out of their home employees, and more companies are starting to add work-from-home programs, making their employees very happy.

Try Switching To a Hybrid Car

Another way to look at green transportation is to consider looking at the environmentally friend cars that run on a combination of gas and electricity. The cars are equipped with factory rims just like every other car, and they are also offer the same kind of equipment upgrades that other cars are offered like replacement rims that are more stylish and made out of different material like aluminum. After all, just because the car also use an electric engine does not mean it has to be unattractive and stylish.

Also with these hybrid cars, people do have to use the gas station to fill up their car, but because of the electric engine, they only have to get gas about once a month, which is going to save people a lot of money. The electric engine gives the hybrid cars a smooth ride, with no noise, and it does not release pollution into the air like gas-powered ones do. People are able to save a lot of money owning one of these hybrid cars, and they are also doing something to keep the air ice and clean.

Ride a Bike As Much As Possible

A lot of cities are giving a lot more rights to people who ride bikes, and more bike lanes means that people are now able to take their bike around town to a lot more places than ever before. Though people may think they will be limited in what they could do with their bikes, they can always have a large basket attached to either the front or pulled in the back, which will open the bike up to be able to be used for many things like going to the grocery store or to the local retail store. Riding a bike will not only save people money on gas, but it will also help get them in really good shape. What could be better than riding a bike in the nice weather, and also get those errands done without having to take the car out of the garage?

Everything is green these days including transportation, and people can do their part to keep the Earth clean, and yet still find ways to get around their hometown and go to work, and best of all, they will save a lot of money every month because they will hardly go to the gas station at all.

Green Ways To Keep Your Home Smelling Fresh

Have some stinky trash? Need a way to get rid of those unpleasant bathroom or pet odors? Are those dirty clothes causing your bedroom to stink? There are a variety of smells and stenches that can permeate your home and assault your senses on a daily basis. These smells may even be so bad that you’re embarrassed to host your friends and family. Fortunately, there are a variety of “green” ways to keep your home smelling fresh and great.

One of the simplest solutions is to invest in a number of candles. Candles are a cheap and effective solution to help your home smell nice. They come in a huge variety of scents, so anyone can find a scent that they enjoy. Candles can range from neutral scents, meant to mask odors, to seasonal varieties like pumpkin spice which can help set the mood for a special occasion like a Thanksgiving dinner. Incense is also a great, inexpensive tool to create a fantastic smelling home.

If you would prefer a do-it-yourself method to freshen your home’s scent, you can use a number of common ingredients found in most kitchens. You can simply fill a small saucepan with water, add ingredients, and simmer for 15 minutes to fill your home with a pleasant scent. Common ingredients that work well include cinnamon sticks, vanilla extract, slices of lemons, limes, apples, or oranges, peppermint extract, ginger, rosemary, black peppercorn, cedar twigs, cranberries, coconut extract, tea, and thyme.

Another option is to try to treat specific areas of your home that may be the source of horrible smells. If your trash cans tend to stink, you can use scented biodegradable trash bags. If you have a garden, you can create a compost heap in it with the organic material that you would normally toss away. Instead of having it rot away in your kitchen trash can, you can allow it to decompose naturally outside and then use the compost as fertilizer in your garden!

If you want a quick fix or need to remove pet odors from carpet or furniture, there are a number of “natural” air freshener sprays available. These sprays may also help hide the stink from dirty laundry or bathroom odors, making them an invaluable tool for day to day use. Cleaning your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room frequently will often help make your home smell fresher.

Another fantastic way to keep your house smelling great is by using perfume or cologne. A “personal” scent can go a long way in making your home seem comfortable and fresh to any visitors you may have. There are a number of great colognes to help men keep both themselves and their homes smelling nice. Cologne’s made from “natural” ingredients are becoming more and more common, as shown by the emergence of natural cologne in major cologne producer lines. Guess, Ralph Lauren, Royall Spyce, and Burt’s Bees all produce colognes made with natural ingredients, and these colognes can really help a man to improve the scent and atmosphere of his home.

Going Green In Every Day Life

I focus on going green and helping the environment in my job so why wouldn’t I take my work home with me? Ever since I have worked in this field I have had an avid interest outside of work on recycling and being as green as I possibly can be.

I have a lot of friends who don’t and they find my interest in it a bit bizarre. Just last week I was round a friend’s house for dinner and I couldn’t believe how different our views were on the environment. She threw her milk carton in the bin that was full of food, put a glass wine bottle on the doorstep and said she’d be throwing it in the general waste when she got chance and her heating was on full blast – despite it being quite a balmy evening. When I suggested that we wore our jumpers to avoid putting the heating on she laughed and her face fell completely when I told her I have a separate bin for disposing of food. I’m not sure whether its because I have worked in this industry for a while or whether it’s just that I have a keen interest in the environment but I truly believe there are little things we can do everyday that can make a big difference.

Although my friend was shocked at some of our differences she did say she’d always meant to ‘go green’ but got so confused with the multiple rubbish bins and what went where, that she often just gave up. And I think this is a common problem for most people. It can be pretty daunting having to divide your rubbish up or use a water-butt in the garden. But little changes to lifestyle can definitely help the planet.

And here’s what I told my friend. My journey to sustainable living hasn’t been ground breaking – it’s been doing things little by little. Once I used to job search, print off multiple copies of my CV and have them binned by employers. Now if I were to job search I would use a site that specialises in free CV templates, create my CV online and email it to an employer. Once I would have left the lights on all day whilst I worked from home, now I leave them off all day and have replaced the bulbs to energy saving CFL bulbs.

There’s a number of things anyone can do – small things – that can lead to a greener way of living. Stop commuting to work in your car and instead opt for using a bike. If you work too far from home then offering a car share with colleagues or getting on public transport can help the environment. Every time you go to the supermarket stop using plastic bags and start using bags for life. Not only are plastic bags a threat to the environment but they also pose threats to marine life. Actually the BBC recently reported that the government intend to charge people 5p per plastic bag in the coming future – some supermarkets already do this but in the future it looks like most will charge. I think this is a good idea to decrease the number of plastic bags used in England but a ban would probably be more effective.

Other ways to save energy include turning off plug sockets at night, walking to run errands, paying bills online to avoid the need for paper and creating a compost bin. Using the local farmers market to source food is also a great way to support your local economy.

So, it may sound daunting at first, but ‘going green’ doesn’t have to be as complicated as you might think and the benefits are worth it!

Convert your old trampoline into a chicken coop.

Turn your trampoline into a chicken coop!

While I was visiting a neighbor’s hobby farm the other day, picking up some seedlings for the new season, something caught my eye that I had not seen before. My neighbor had set up a little chicken coop in the corner of his yard. What I loved about it though, was that this chicken coop was actually the frame of his old trampoline that he had been a little creative with and repurposed! Talk about been green, recycling, and adding self sufficiency to your life!

I decided that I would tackle this project for my own little urban farm! I have been wanting to add some chickens for a while, so I thought this would be the perfect addition to the homestead.

The project actually requires very little in the way of materials. You can get fancy, or you can just stick with the basics. For my chicken coop I needed:

I was able to pick up a trampoline for free on Craigslist! I felt pretty thrifty, and the person was just glad to have the thing off his property. The trampoline mat itself was pretty battered, but it wasn’t going to be used for jumping anymore anyway.

I friend of mine down the street had a bundle of coop mesh sitting in her shed which I picked up for a couple of bucks (and the promise of farm fresh eggs in the future).

The project wasn’t very hard to set up. Once I got the trampoline frame back to my property, I positioned it where I wanted the coop to sit behind the house. The mesh was easy enough to wrap around the outside of the trampoline frame. All that is needed is to measure, cut and secure using wire (or zip straps, if you insist on using plastic).

One span between the legs of the frame was left unsecured along the top and bottom so that I could enter and exit the coop. I meshed over the top of the frame and used a spare tarp to create some shelter from the rain for the chickens.

I actually had a left-over rabbit hutch from back when I decided owning rabbits would be a good idea (it wasn’t), which I was able to use for the hide box and placed along the tarp covered end of the coop. I cut a couple of doors and added small hinges and locks so that I could reach in and collect eggs without actually entering the coop.

The entire thing took me 5 hours to piece together (minus the collection of materials).

The only thing left was to go get my chickens! An organic farmer across town had several for 5 dollars each, I ended up with 5 hens which are now settling in nicely.

I highly recommend getting some chickens if you’ve got the space. Not only am I provided with more eggs than I know what to do with, but I have left overs to give my family and friends. The chickens themselves are very low maintenance and add a little liveliness to the yard, which is welcome.

This little project turned out great. Who knew you could get so much use out of an old trampoline?

5 Eco-friendly Building Materials for Your Home

As a civic Engineer, I often get asked about eco-friendly building materials and how you can identify such. This post is about 5 of such materials and how you can use them to remodel your home into a ‘green’ home. Even though the ‘green’ movement is popular, you have to tread with caution (not every product that carries the ‘green’ badge qualifies to be such).

For instance, Brick veneer isn’t essentially the best eco-friendly building material for your home. Why? It provides poor insulation, requires more energy to produce and can be difficult to recycle.

You can tell an environmentally-friendly product by looking at how it was manufactured (did the material come from a sustainable source like timber?), its insulation properties (does it require less energy to heat and cool your home?), the durability and longevity as well as its recycling ability (a product that can be recycled is definitely environmentally-friendly).

Below is a list of eco-friendly building materials:

* Steel

If you really want to build a ‘green’ home, consider using steel walls. This gives your home an attractive, contemporary look. And steel can effortlessly be recycled or reused. Another advantage is that it is lightweight and cheaper to transport. A house with steel walls can be expected to last a couple of hundred years. The only caveat is: it takes a lot of energy to make steel but the benefits far outweigh the time used in producing it.

* Green roofs

Still in the sustainable living mode, you can cover your roof with a sheet of earth with a living lawn (like the Parliament House in Canberra, Australia) or other plants which can offer outstanding insulation and protection. If you want to stretch it further, you could even use your roof to grow food.

* Strawbale

When straw is bound with mud and compacted into blocks by wires, you have what we call Strawbale. Surprisingly, Strawbale is extremely durable and offers first-rate insulation. It is a sustainable natural material which can be covered and protected (with organic matter like leaves to prevent evaporation of moisture), after use but it takes a lot of energy to produce it (just like steel).

* Timber

Timber or wood is just like Strawbale (a renewable plant-based material that can lessen greenhouse gas emissions, because growing trees absorb CO2, which is then kept in the timber). Timber can be recycled, or even composted, after use. The main thing to look out for is whether your timber comes from an ecological source, such as a sustainable plantation, and not from old-growth forests or endangered tropical hardwoods.

* Bamboo

This attractive eco material can be used within the home and outside for decking, flooring, countertops and even wall panels. It can be grown without fertilizers, pesticides or irrigation and is also one of the fastest growing plants on Earth, meaning it’s a highly renewable resource

Aside building your house with environmentally-friendly materials, you can buy energy-efficient appliances for your bedroom and kitchen. Several green mattresses exist in the market these days. You can avail yourself of these options and enjoy your sleep every night without hiccups.

Before You Grow, Get Your Bookkeeping in Order

Making a business from your love of everything green

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you may well be like many other readers who contact me to say that they’ve decided to throw in the towel of 9 to 5 and make their living from being green. Some decide to get involved in green transport schemes, others promoting healthier communities or sourcing and re-selling eco-friendly building materials. This is great news. Often, these people ask me for advice. The best advice I believe I can give is this: no matter what your business, no matter where your potential clients are, in this day and age, it’s essential that you don’t let yourself become a slave to anything that isn’t a route to profit.

Things like administration, bookkeeping and even marketing, although essential parts of running any business, can result in you take your eye off the ball of the most important elements of your business if they’re not in perspective. Making sure you have the filing done, that you have all your invoices produced on time and that you’re promoting your business is essential, but not at all costs. Often, when people start a new business in particular, they try to do absolutely everything themselves and can wind up losing out in the end.

Take bookkeeping as a prime example. There are several ways to deal with it and getting the balance right is essential for your business success. You may well have time to do it yourself, but if you don’t (and you probably shouldn’t), you need to be very confident that the time you spend doing your books isn’t time that you could be spending customer facing or making sales. Otherwise it truly is false economy.

Bookkeeping looks different in 2014

In the good old days, if you didn’t want to do your bookkeeping yourself, the only real alternative was to add someone to your payroll to do the job. Doing this meant that you suddenly became responsible for sick pay, holiday pay and providing a workplace that met with all the relevant Health and Safety requirements. Thankfully today, you have real, and cost effective options, and one of the most popular is outsourcing.

If you decide to outsource your bookkeeping, not only will you free yourself from the burden of having to do your bookkeeping yourself, but you’ll also free yourself from the need to worry about meeting deadlines laid out by the tax authorities. Companies like Virtual Business Source Ltd, which covers the whole of the UK, takes over the bookkeeping responsibilities of all different types of SME, enabling those business owners to get on what they do best, running their business.

Low cost and completely up to date

When you make the decision to work with a reputable outsourcing company you should know that your bookkeeping is in safe hands. You don’t even need to meet your bookkeeper if you’d prefer not to. Most of these types of bookkeeper work remotely, quite often in a low cost part of the country, thus saving costs that they can pass on to you, the end user. All you need to do is scan or post your bookkeeping documents, then sit back and let them do the rest. They will stay up to date with what technology will do the job best of all, and they’ll make sure that they’re completely up to date with current methods and obligations from an accounting point of view.

You choose the frequency

Depending on the number of transactions you have each week or each month, you will be able to determine the frequency with which you need to get your bookkeeping done. It may be that you require a monthly, a quarterly or simply an annual service. Either way, you get what you need, when you need it, and you only pay for what you require.

Access 24/7

Because companies like Virtual Business Source work with technology that’s ‘in the cloud’ you have access to your accounts 24/7, which means that even when your bookkeeper’s sleeping you can access your accounts.

Now that’s a real bonus!

How the New F-Gas Regulations Will Benefit the Environment

The European Commission has recently published the new F-Gas regulations in the Official Journal of the European Union – and it has, as always, resulted in industry experts getting into somewhat of a frenzy.

The changes will, hopefully, result in the industry moving away from less potent alternatives of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Its impact is believed to be 1,000 times that of CO2, and it is therefore detrimental to our environment. So, while the new F-Gas regulations will result in a huge sigh of relief, not only by me but to the industry, it does not mean the changes will come without complications.

The law, which was passed on May 20th, will most likely significantly boost refrigerant prices, which will put a dent in customers’ budgets. The industry will also be forced to embrace the changes quickly, as planning and education will need to be introduced before the laws come into place on January 1st 2015. However, most of the bans, restrictions and changes will not be enforced until 2020.

I, for one, am concerned the phasedown could have a negative impact on the industry, as supply and demand issues could become a major factor in the future. While many regulations won’t be introduced until 2020, it is imperative that companies take the necessary action now to avoid a detrimental impact to the cooling sector and customer operations.

One of the biggest regulation changes is the swap to lower GWP gases by 2020, with many bans ensuring the controlled servicing of GWPs in large systems that offer refrigerants over 2500 GWP. Experts within the cooling industry are now recommending that manufacturers move away from R404A refrigerants, whilst also encouraging customers to steer clear of them, too – or it could result in that supply and demand issue many of us are so worried about.

It is apparent the industry can no longer continue as usual. One regulation change will most likely result in the changes to several processes, and the sooner action is taken, the more prepared companies will be for the new regulations.

However, it is hard to introduce changes when there is so much cloud surrounding the new regulations. Further clarity is needed on many on the thresholds, such as leak detection and labelling. Due to the tighter leak detection regulations, there could be additional complications for convenience stores. Also, details have yet to be released on the new C02 labelling information that will be added to all refrigerants, systems and products – and this law will be introduced in 2017!

It is essential that customers concerned about refrigeration systems contact reliable, professional refrigeration companies that adhere to the European Commission’s practices, so it is worth heading to Fridgehub who offer a database of accredited refrigeration companies nationwide.

While the new F-Gas regulations is welcome news in the industry – it is not without its challenges. The cooling sector will therefore have to change their practices now, work together to offer support and break away from old habits that will not only break the law, but will have a significant impact on our planet.

The Future Of Environmental Home Construction

As people around us become more environmentally aware, it is becoming apparent that people are trying to make a difference. We recently ran into this website that a family is converting an old school bus into their home. I find this intriguing on many levels not only are they reusing materials to build a home they are also doing their best to live in a smaller space. This family seems to be dedicated in what they’re doing. They are trying to break the mold as far as housing goes, they seem to be trying to fit five people into the bus. If that wasn’t difficult enough, they seem to be doing it themselves building it from scratch and documenting the whole processes on their website. They seem to be following tiny home model that is an ever growing movement.

Off The Grid Living

I feel that is more time goes on, and environmental concerns grow this type of repurposing of materials would become more important. This is one of many of these type of projects that I have been seeing on the Internet lately. This family seems to be trying to achieve off the grid living with this home also. If they are able to set this bus up for off the grid living. It would allow them to be closer to nature. Some of the components they want to add is solar panels, Rain catchment and the ability to use a gray water system. They also seem to be interested in putting a self-composting toilet. All of these things combined would definitely give them some level of off the grid living.

Environmentally Friendly Business

Another thing that comment attention about this family is there environmentally friendly products. They are producing many handmade products, including greeting cards and assortments of gifts. These products, are made from recycled materials and assembled by the family by hand. These small businesses are important to support because they are not part of the corporate structure. Since they are not big business. It is easy to maintain a personal relationship with the products and the creators of the products. With this personal relationship it allows us to make sure that the products that we are purchasing our in line with our environmental beliefs.

Housing Prices and Eco Homes

Besides the environment, housing prices seem to be rising in America, giving people less options to purchase conventional homes. Many people will have no other choice but to follow in this family’s footsteps. If housing prices continue to go up. I feel in the near future this type of alternative living will become a more commonplace and accepted. Many people may see this as a negative, but I see it as an opportunity that would allow us to have more homes available to American people. The ability to use things over again like school buses or shipping containers as housing for people that are environmentally conscious or simply don’t have the money to purchase a traditional home. This type of recycling the use of prebuilt structures for home construction is a good thing for the future of our planet and the people that live on it.

It gives me hope when I run into examples like this. The fact that people are taking matters into their own hands, not only for the future of the planet, but for their own future. I will continue to keep my eyes open for examples like this and bring them to you whenever possible.

How To Individually Save More Than 10,000 Liters of Water Per Year

I’m all about sustainable living and as part of that is not wasting when you don’t need to. So things like composting are essential. Also, when you cut your lawn leave the clippings on the grass so you don’t need to fertilize. But one of the absolute easiest ways to be sustainable is to use, for example, an electric Karcher 1.4 gallon per minute pressure cleaner to wash your car weekly. By using the pressure cleaner you save over 10,000 liters per year instead of using a garden hose. Let’s do the math.

So if you look at this garden flow rate calculator you can see that even the smallest hoses at the least pressures give 6 – 12 gallons per minute flow rate. Compare that with the pressure cleaner’s 1.4 gpm. Now when washing a car with a garden hose and sponge you probably water the car, soap, then rinse. All up let’s assume 10 mins is spent using the garden hose. And to be fair (even though it would take less time) let’s say it also takes 10 minutes with the high pressure water. That would mean the garden hose uses about 16,000 liters per year if you wash the car once per week. The power washer uses about 3000 liters – or, 13,000 liters less. Look at this image to see how much just 10,000 liters of water is.

It should be illegal to wash your car with a garden hose. And how much does one of these cleaners cost? Well, to save this 10,000 liters per year only cost about $250 at most. So that’s even if you splurge and get a 2.3 GPM Generac brand gas powered power washer. And getting a pressure cleaner will not only save you water when washing your car but also allow you to keep your driveway and surrounds eco friendly by removing the oil stains so that when it rains it doesn’t go down the storm drain.

But hold on. All’s good and well to save water but let me give you some further tips on cleaning your car this way. Because technically you’re not allowed to let this water down a storm drain. It’s bad for the lakes and rivers that it ends up in. So first tip: wash your car on the grass so the water absorbs into the lawn instead of leaving your property and ending up in a lake or river. Tip 2 is to take it to a local car wash to pressure wash because they will be connected to a sanitary sewer system. Third tip is to just not use soap or hot water. Even if you think biodegradable soap is safe you can still not let it down a drain because biodegradable takes time to degrade. If you must use soap look at tip 1 or 2 above.

There you have it. We just learned how to save more than 10,000 liters of water per year for less than $250. If just 1000 people do this in the US that’s 10 million liters of water saved. Now that’s sustainable living!

Healthy Communities Begin With Healthy Families

It’s no secret that the building block of any community is the families within it. In today’s eco-friendly environment, this means maintaining the health of your family and the greater community by taking initiatives such as recycling, opting for public transportation over private transportation, and other actions that take place within the home.

As a result, more and more families are looking for tips on how to make their families a helpful building block of their greater community. Luckily, there are a few easy steps that you can take to ensure that your family is doing their part.

Tips on How to Keep Your Family, and Community, Healthy

Staying healthy means countless different things to different people. However, there are some basic tips that you can follow to make sure that you’re doing everything you can for your family.

  • Healthy Eating – Healthy eating involves everything from the food that you cook to the cookware that you prepare it in. This means straying from cookware with Teflon. Instead, you can browse through various ceramic cookware reviews to see why it’s not only the best choice to cook your lean proteins, vegetables, and other healthy foods, but how it’s also one of the best options from an environmental perspective.
  • Recycling – Recycling can mean more than just taking the time to separate cardboard, plastic, and paper for disposal. In fact, you can even choose to purchase second-hand furniture or other belongings for your home. When you do so, you give yourself a chance to also personalize and customize the pieces according to your preferences. This makes your house a home while also promoting values of sustainable living within your community.
  • Doing Your Part to Start a Community Garden – A community garden is one of the best choices that you can make within your community because everyone can play a role and then benefit from what is produced. In fact, a community garden can help teach children the importance of sustainable living while also encouraging them to eat their vegetables.
  • Transportation – Green transportation doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to purchase a hybrid vehicle. In fact, doing your part can mean that you simply take public transportation instead of taking your own car everywhere that you choose to go. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to exclusively use public transportation. However, it is important to remember that every little action helps in preserving your community.

Get Started on Doing Your Part Today

There are countless ways that you can choose to protect the health of not only your family, but your community as well. By taking the tips above into account and translating them into action, you can do your part.

Everything from looking up Wearever Pure Living ceramic cookware reviews to ensure that your meals are healthy and free from toxins to figuring out how to incorporate recycled furniture in your home can help.

This means that even the littlest actions can make a huge difference. By encouraging every member of your family to communicate, you can rest assured that your community will remain a beautiful place for countless years to come.

Sunrise to Sunset – Chronicles of a Transformed Solar-Powered Community

“What is an ideal name for a group of like-minded people, living together, sharing living and work space, and powering up their everyday power needs through renewable sources of energy?” If I asked you to suggest a short and crisp name for such a group, your answers will, most likely, include phrases like ‘community’, ‘well-planned community’ or even ‘self-help group’. However, from where I come, we call it an Eco-village – a place that is self-sufficient in every possible context, including power generation.

Living with my grandparents, I developed an alternative style of living over the years. The usual way of doing things didn’t appeal much to me. It was all about finding the best and the most effective alternative to everything, thanks to my grandparent’s theory of alternative lifestyle. This is perhaps the reason I took up Civil Engineering, a totally different line of study, along several successful projects in the field of solar energy. Today, with all the knowledge and experience I gained through my years of work, it feels great having empowered my community to become self-sufficient in terms of power generation, while enjoying a green living.

It all started with an enlightening conference on energy conservation and sustainable living, which I was a part of during my early days at college. The talk about why energy conservation is critical to the environment, and how solar energy is a wonderful replacement for the declining and non-environmental friendly natural resources; is what made me believe in the hidden potential of this relatively new source of power generation. Making use of my skills, knowledge, and professional approach, I dreamt of creating a better energy future for my community by educating them about the benefits of the Sun’s energy over non-renewable sources and helping them in the solar installation project.

As the cities continue to expand their boundaries and the resources are depleted at amplified rates in terms of quantity as well as value, the need for sustainable living has become critical. For those, to whom it doesn’t come naturally, the industrial revolution is adequate to enlighten them about the fact that technological advancement comes at a great cost to Mother Nature. It is this growing awareness that I connected with to encourage people in developing personal lifestyles that are conservative in nature, while taking every possible environmental issue into consideration.

In my case, with the day-by-day increasing popularity and effectiveness of solar energy, it wasn’t difficult to persuade the community. It certainly led to a massive transformation as several, small as well as large scale, community solar projects come into picture at that point of time. This helped remove the common barriers to utilizing the Sun’s energy as a renewable source of power. It helped in eliminating the public disinterest in this alternate source of energy, which was primarily due to the complexity of finding a reliable vendor, choosing the most effective photovoltaic panels, and acquiring permits from local authorities.

Today, every house on my block has installed solar panels to deal with their daily energy requirements. Apart from that, several industrial enterprises have also acquired permits to install industrial grade solar power units to compensate for a part of their daily power needs. One of the biggest benefits that people are enjoying is the cost savings. Community solar projects are far more economical than private sector solar system installation services, and enable every member of the community to participate without making a big initial investment. Instead, they only pay in shares to the program, draw the needed amount of power and enjoy net-metering savings in their utility bills.

As the concept gained momentum in the nearby regions as well, companies like Vista Solar decided to serve the community with its unique, effective, efficient and economical business model. Their innovative approach along with helpful financing and solar leasing options have enabled homeowners and businesses to become self-sufficient in their power needs. Even the negligible amount invested in solar power systems is recovered over the years, thereby offering free, clean, and abundant power after a certain point of time in the future.

Currently, though solar power accounts for about 1% of total electricity generation only, with more concentrated efforts of companies like Vista Solar and the local authorities, and increased support of the community members; solar energy can be used to its full potential for achieving 100% efficiency in the years to come.