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25 Ways to Conserve Water at Home

25 Ways to Conserve Water at Home

Ways to Conserve Water At Home

Ah – water! One of the Earth's most precious resources! With the increase of population and more areas struggling with drought & conservation efforts, making a conscious decision to cut back on water usage means a lower utility bill, a better environment, & a continued effort to keep water drinkable and affordable for all humans & animals on our Earth.

We’ve gathered some ways to help conserve water at home. We recommend picking a few to start out with, and gradually adding more to your conservation list! Deciding on just a few small challenges can make an impact on water usage, reducing hundreds of gallons of water each year.

  1. Switch to a low-flow shower head. Switching your shower head to a low-flow can save you 15 gallons of water during a ten minute shower.
  2. Turn off the faucet when you are brushing your teeth or shaving. Running a faucet flows about 2.2 gallons of water per minute. Turn off your faucet after you wet your toothbrush or razor, and leave it off until it’s time for your rinse.
  3. Turn off the faucet while you’re washing your hands. Use a squirt of soap, lather, and turn on the faucet to rinse. If you wash your hands for 15 seconds, 7 times a day, you’re using about 7.7 gallons of water. Use water only after you’re done with your lather and ready for your rinse!
  4. Upgrade to water conserving models of dishwashers and washing machines. There are energy & water conservation machines available that help to conserve water while they’re cleaning for you! This might be a bit pricey at first, but your utility bills WILL go down, and you will be helping the planet big time!
  5. Run the dishwasher or washing machine only when it’s full. Doing half loads, or small laundry loads add up to gallons of wasted water. Adjust washer machine setting if you must do a small load.
  6. Don’t have a dishwasher? Fill your sink up with warm soapy water instead of letting the faucet run the whole time that you are scrubbing. Scrap foods in your compost bin to decrease the amount of times you may need to change the water.
  7. Create a rain catcher. Harvesting rain water is a fantastic way to keep your plants hydrated without using your hose or sprinklers.
  8. Water plants early in the morning. It’s cooler in the mornings, which translates to using less water. The cooler the temperature, the less the water will evaporate.
  9. Fix your leaks! Fixing leaky faucets or running toilets can save gallons and gallons of water and hundreds of dollars per year.
  10. Frugal Flusher. Be a frugal flusher – if it’s yellow, let it mellow. Flushing your toilet just 5 times a day with a conventional toilet uses about 3.5-5 gallons per flush; if flushed 5 times a day, this equates to 17.5-25 gallons used! If you install a high-efficiency toilet, 5 flushes equates to only 6.4 gallons used.
  11. Switch to a low-flow shower head. An 8 minute shower with a low-flow shower head uses about 12 gallons of water; 1.5 gallons per minute, versus 24-64 gallons with other shower heads.
  12. Take shorter showers. An easy way to cut down on water is to turn off the shower while soaping up and turning it back on to rinse. An 8 minute shower uses anywhere between 12-64 gallons of water depending on what type of showerhead you are using. *cough cough* see number 11 *cough cough*
  13. Plant drought-resistant lawns & plants. They have drought-resistant grasses, as well as artificial grasses that are a great option for decreases your utility bill and the amount of water you use. Plant succulents and native plants to your area. It’s also smart to group plants together according to their watering needs – that way, you do not over water.
  14. Position your sprinklers. We’ve all walked by that one house or park where we get nailed with water from the sprinklers! Cement doesn’t grow taller with water. Position your sprinklers to water the things that need water to grow, yaknow, like your plants. It’s smart to check this positioning often, as sometimes external factors such as children or animals can move these out of place.
  15. Check for leaks. Checking leaks both inside and outside can dramatically save a lot of water, as well as money. If you’ve experienced a huge spike in your water bill, call a plumber and have them check your water lines for you.
  16. Use a shower bucket. While waiting for your hot water, plentiful water gets drained from the shower. Get a bucket or pail and stick it under the faucet until it’s your preferred temperature. You can use this water for watering plants, flushing the toilet, in your tea kettle, etc.
  17. Use a car wash that recycles water. If you wash your car at home, don't leave the hose on; use buckets instead or install a hose nozzle 
  18. Wash fruits & vegetables in a pan or pot of water instead of letting the water run from the faucet. 
  19. Install gutters and downspouts. You can re-direct rain water runoff to trees & plants essentially addressing two water issues at once!; Watering your plants, and upcycling rain water! 
  20. Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Garbage disposals use a lot of water. Compost vegetable food waste instead, and save gallons of water while reducing food waste. 
  21. Keep a pitcher or water bottle of drinking water in the fridge. While waiting for the tap water to get cold for a fresh drink of water, collect the water in a pitcher or water bottle so it's not running down the drain instead, this way, you have fresh cold drinking water while helping reduce water waste!
  22. Throw leftover ice cubes or ice chunks on a plant that needs watering. 
  23. Soak pots & pans. Soak pots and pans with water instead of scraping and cleaning the food off while the water is running. Quick cleaning tip: Soak with water, add a few drops of dish soap, and put onto the stove with low heat; this will help clean stuck on food and debris easier with less water waste. 
  24. Don't use running water to de-thaw frozen foods! For both food safety and water conservation, defrost food in the refrigerator. 
  25. Ever have cups of water laying around your house from guests, your kids, or significant others? Instead of throwing this water down the drain, pour in a tea kettle to boil and make tea or use it to water plants. 

Some other articles you might enjoy:

Creating An Ecofriendly Work Place

Eliminating Food Waste

Why Are You Still Using Plastic In Your Kitchen?

 

 

 

 

Sources used:
Avonlakewater.org

 

  • Gabriella De Luca
Why Are You Still Using Plastic In Your Kitchen?

Why Are You Still Using Plastic In Your Kitchen?

Why are you still using plastic in your kitchen?

Knowing that the majority of plastics contain something called BPA or bisphenol A, which is known to be a TOXIC endocrine disruptor meaning that it disrupts the body’s hormonal system and can also affect your immune system, why are you still using plastic in the kitchen???

 
Many researchers believe BPA can produce many health-related problems, such as early puberty in females, reduced sperm counts, altered functions of reproductive organs, obesity, altered sex-specific behaviors, and increased rates of some breast, ovarian, testicular, and prostate cancers. BPA is especially dangerous for fetuses, babies, and young children who are still developing and who don’t have the same detoxification abilities as older children and adults. Kids who are exposed to higher levels of BPA have been shown to have more obesity, depression, and inattention, for instance.”[5]

 

Even Tupperware that is claimed to be “microwave-safe”, might not be all that safe.  Prolonged exposure to heat can cause plastics to break down and leech chemicals that no one would want inside their bodies if they could help it. Some labels even confidently show “BPA-FREE” on the front of it, however, just because it’s not made with BPA doesn’t mean that the company didn’t just substitute for a different hormone-disrupting chemical in place of the BPA. "However, recent studies provide evidence that some BPA free plastics aren’t really BPA-free, while other studies show that the BPA-free plastic alternatives may not be any better, and may be even worse, in terms of their toxicity"[5]

So why don’t you help it?! It can be a simple task to reduce your exposure to BPA.

 

Ways to reduce your exposure to BPA:

  • Switch to Molded Bamboo® cooking utensils, serving utensils, dinnerware, and bowls
  • Avoid using plastic cooking utensils when cooking over the stove - opt in for these instead
  • Switch to a different type of storage to store leftover in, such as glass, or Molded Bamboo®
  • DO NOT microwave food in plastic containers
  • B.Y.O.B (Bring your own bottle) - there are so many alternatives to using plastic water bottles, choose one that's healthy for YOU & the planet!
  • Avoid leaving store bought plastic water bottles in a hot car and drinking from them

So What is Molded Bamboo®?

  • Molded Bamboo® is our patented technology, created from 100% sustainable bamboo, and natural fibers

  • It's 100% plastic free, BPA free, melamine free, & chemical free

  • Its shiny appearance is due to our special molds during the manufacturing process - there are absolutely zero chemical coatings

  • Molded Bamboo® won't leach chemicals or toxins when exposed to heat, or extensive use, because, well - there are no chemicals to leach!

BPA Free & Plastic Free Molded Bamboo Bowls

Shop All Molded Bamboo

Some other topics you might enjoy:

 

 

Sources:
[1]http://universityhealthnews.com/daily/nutrition/is-tupperware-bpa-free/
[2]http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0300483X13000565
[3]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23994667
[4]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23485653
[5]https://universityhealthnews.com/daily/nutrition/bpa-free-plastics-get-canned/
Creating An Ecofriendly Work Place

Creating An Ecofriendly Work Place

Creating an Ecofriendly Work Place

 

Creating an ecofriendly work place

As an ecofriendly business who takes great initiative in being an active part of the sustainable lifestyle, we think it’s important for not only homes to be ecofriendly, but work places as well. The majority of work places are slowly catching onto to this green wave of sustainability, but the rest of work places, aren’t with the times yet! If you work for a company that doesn’t do their part in being eco-conscious, you can definitely help!

 

Reducing Paper Waste

                Reducing paper waste is one of the easiest places to start! There are documents that will of course, always have to be printed – but we can reduce this printing efforts dramatically if we made a few tweaks. Print on both sides of the document and use a post-consumer waste paper or recycled paper. Spell check and revise your paperwork BEFORE printing, so that only one version needs to be printed. If you have paper documents that don’t need shredding, cut them down and upcycle the paper into small sheets and use these for personal notes or scratch pad paper. If your company doesn’t recycle – urge them to! American use about 85,000,000 tons of paper per year – this equates to 680 pounds per person. Recycling paper products in the past has saved more than 90,000,000 cubic yards of landfill space, so every paper counts! Designate a paper recyclables only bin (or box) to contribute to reducing paper waste.

 

Travel via Teleconference

                Save on travel time & travel expenses by opting in on video conferencing technology. There are dozens of companies that offer video chatting that make collaborating with team members in other states, and countries, more sustainable and economically efficient. This will not only reduce the company’s cost, but will reduce travel emissions due to flying & driving as well.

 

Reduce Printer Use

                This goes hand in hand with reducing paper waste. Don’t print things that are unnecessary, and create online drafts to preview & read before hitting that final print button. Try printing in black & white whenever you can.

 

Recycle Your Printer Cartridges

                Most people don’t realize that you can actually recycle your printer & toner cartridges. The majority of the time, if you purchase thru companies like Office Depot, they offer a recycling program and charge $0 for doing so. Simply save your cartridges and toners and request a box from your office supply store. There are also many locations that will even pay you in exchange for your empty cartridges.

 

Invite Nature In

                Inviting nature into your workplace can have a big impact on how your company and employees view your commitment to being environmentally friendly. Encourage the use of window opening to let fresh air in instead of pumping the air conditioner. Bring in a few low-maintenance plants – these plants help keep the air clean & purified! Take advantage of energy efficient lighting & encourage the use of motion sensor lighting so lights don’t get left on.

 

Encourage Healthy Air Flow               

Use chemical free or non-toxic cleaning products & encourage staff & coworkers to do the same. Reduce paper towel use by using reusable cleaning cloths to help clean work areas and break room areas. Again, open your windows! Let that fresh air flow! Designate a smoking area for employees who do smoke, away from areas where it can get inside the building.

 

Break Room Supplies

                Break rooms items vary from company to company. Plastic utensils & paper plates are almost always a break room staple. Start bringing your own cutlery & reusable items to eat lunch with. If you must buy, choose a compostable brand of items that will compost down in landfill.

 

Compost

                Composting things like food waste & paper towels can help reduce unnecessary landfill waste. Offering a place to compost items like food, paper towels, and coffee grinds can encourage the motivation to keep a green lifestyle outside of the work place as well.

 

Get rid of the Keurig & Single Brew Coffee Systems

                Yes – we know they are quick & easy, but in the big picture, these single serving coffee pods aren’t ecofriendly in any way. With all the packaging from the box it comes in, to the actual pod of coffee, only 1 part of the coffee pod is recyclable, and to do so, you have to pretty much deconstruct the pod and remove the recyclable part and toss the rest in the garbage. They do make reusable coffee pods for these machines – this could be a good present for employees to show them that you are serious on taking your stand on being more environmentally friendly. Best part about the reusable ones is that you can fill it with whatever coffee you like!

 

Conserve Your Computer’s Energy

                A computer is required for many people with a desk job. It’s estimated that people waste over $1 billion in electricity every year just in computer use. To help conserve energy from your work computers, you can invest in an energy saving computer, monitor, or printer. These are usually labeled with an Energy Star label in the USA. You can also adjust your energy saving settings so your monitor & display sleeps & turns off after a certain amount of time of not being in use. Set your computer to sleep mode when you are away from it for short periods of time and turn off your computer when it’s not in use – like leaving work!

 

Recycle!

                There are so many items in your office or work place that you can recycle! If you don’t have one at work – start your own and encourage others to follow. Paper, water bottles, soda cans, etc. Designate a small recycle receptacle by your desk, better yet, talk to upper management about putting one in the break room if your work place doesn't have one yet.  

Recycle!

 

Eating Green

                The best time of the day is usually lunch break! By bringing your own lunch to work, you can save a good amount of money by not going out to eat.

  • Pack your lunch in a reusable bag or box and if you bring it in a paper or plastic bag – recycle it!
  • Use food containers & utensils that can be washed again
  • Recycle your water bottles, soda cans, and aluminum foil
  • Use a washable & reusable napkin
  • Bring your own reusable coffee or water bottle

 

Travel Green

                Traveling green can help reduce carbon dioxide gases that are released into the air that contribute to greenhouse gases. Join a carpool or ride share or take public transit. If you live close enough, get exercise and ride your bike or walk to work. If your work place allows it, see if you can work from home a few days a week – this can reduce your carbon footprint, along with gas cost.

 

Get Others Involved

                Chat it up! Stay involved in your green efforts and encourage others to do so as well. Set up a carpool calendar, contribute your thoughts and actions on getting your workplace to recycle, or recycle better!

 

Some other articles that might interest you:

Why are you still using plastic in your kitchen?

Why Composting is so important

20 tips to go green in the kitchen

 

               

  • Gabriella De Luca
Eliminating Food Waste With The Go Green Save Green Program

Eliminating Food Waste With The Go Green Save Green Program

Eliminating Food Waste

Most people don’t realize how much food they toss out and waste every day. Food waste can be from scraps and leftovers, vegetable peeling (like potato skins or the ends of celery stalks), or spoiled food. Recent studies has shown that about 95% of the food we toss out ends up in landfills. Let’s do the math. For every million homes, 1.5 billion tons of organic waste gets thrown away and tossed into landfill. This is like having 22,000 Olympic sized swimming pools filled with organic materials. That’s like having a road from San Francisco to New York, 2,960 miles of organic waste! We’ve created a program to aid this growing food waste epidemic that is simple, and hassle free.
Our million home challenge to reduce food waste starts with you! We are giving away a free stainless steel counter top compost bin with the purchase of 150 compostable compost bags that line the inside of the compost bin for $29.99 per year.
These bags are 100% compostable, and break down within 180 days. When your compost bin and compost bag is full, simply toss it in your green waste organics bin to be collected on garbage pickup day, or toss into your outdoor compost pile. Waste management companies country-wide are joining in on the food waste efforts to help decrease landfill and reduce methane emissions.

Along with your efforts and contribution to our Go Green, Save Green Program, you will get 25% off our entire website throughout the duration of your membership along with monthly member discounts and newsletters. You will also get $5 off for each person you refer!

 

I want to join the Go Green, Save Green Program!

 

Some benefits of reducing food waste:

  • Reduces methane emissions from landfills and lowers your carbon footprint
    • 7% of all global greenhouse gas emissions/3.3 billion tons of Co2 are due to food waste
  • Conserves energy & resources by preventing pollution

Some ways to reduce food waste:

  • Start composting at home! Reduce the waste you have control over.
  • Plan before you shop – scope out your fridge and pantry so you don’t overbuy/plan meals ahead of time so you can prevent spoiled foods.
  • Learn how to properly store produce so they stay fresh longer (Our veggies bags can assist with that!)
  • Freeze foods that you know you won’t be able to eat before its expiration
    • Meats, breads, fruits
  • Cook or eat whatever you have in your pantry or fridge first before you buy, this can save money and prevent food waste!
  • Save and actually eat leftovers
  • Wait to wash berries until you want to eat them to prevent mold (there’s a lot of little nooks, crannies, and crevices that water likes to hide in!)
  • Safe, untouched or unopened food can be donated to food banks to help those who are in need of a meal

Some Other Blogs You Might Be Interested In:

Why Are You Still Using Plastic In Your Kitchen?

Why Is Composting So Important?

Plants That Help Purify & Clean The Air

Shop Ecofriendly With Us Everyday At https://www.naturalhomebrands.com/

  • Gabriella De Luca
Why Is Composting So Important

Why Is Composting So Important

The following article is from goop, the lifestyle website and brand created by Gwyneth Paltrow. Goop is a daily resource for recipes, products, and advice, from a range of trusted experts. 

Who Knew Composting Is So Important? (Whether You Garden or Not.)

Photo: L.A. Compost

We always thought of composting as the dominion of hard-core gardeners—while we’re big proponents of eating locally-grown, organic produce, we’re more inclined to buy it at the farmer’s market than build the raised beds ourselves. But then we learned that when food scraps and lawn clippings—ideal compost fodder—end up in landfills and decompose without access to oxygen, they release methane gas, which is many times more potent than carbon dioxide, and decided we needed to learn a bit more about how to make composting happen at home. Below, L.A. Compost founder and grassroots activist Michael Martinez expounds on the miracle of closing the food-to-table-to-soil gap and how composting can be quick, easy, and smell-free. Prep the coffee grinds.

A Q&A with Michael Martinez

What is composting?

Composting is the process of giving life back to your soil using organic materials. In a forest, this process happens naturally. Trees drop their leaves, shrubs wither away, seeds break down, and these materials then naturally decompose, becoming part of the soil they came from and delivering nutrients that made up their bodies back to the earth. In an urban setting, it’s possible to recreate that process using food and yard waste (it’s a bit like baking with specific ingredients). With the right ingredients and the right environment, your compost system will create a finished product that is extremely valuable.

 

Why is it so valuable?

The soil under your feet (what you’d find if you went for a hike near your house) is made from all kinds of minerals and other materials, and depending on your location, it will differ in quality and texture. In Los Angeles, there are loamy soils, and there are heavy clay soils. Not many soils are naturally high in organic matter (which is needed to grow food). Compost is made entirely from organic matter, which means it’s filled with minerals and nutrients that are ideal for growing food. Compost is way more valuable than regular soil in many ways.

Drought

Compost acts as a natural sponge, storing water and holding moisture in the soil for plants to use when needed. When it rains, water that falls on land covered in compost can actually soak into the soil, rather than washing off into the storm drains. That means that plants can draw on water (and thereby, nutrients) even days after a storm, reducing our need to water and use commercial fertilizer.

Climate Change

Healthy soil removes excess carbon from the air and stores it in the ground (that carbon then becomes part of trees and other plants that grow out of that soil). Depleted soil, which has less organic material, doesn’t have the ability to absorb carbon. Our buddies at Kiss the Ground just released a great video explaining how different agricultural methods that rely heavily on compost could make a big difference in the fight to stop global warming.

Landfills

Keeping food and plant waste out of landfills is essential. When food sits in landfills and isn’t exposed to oxygen, or provided with the proper materials for decomposition, it releases methane gas (more potent green house gas than Co2) into the air. Making food waste part of the solution to climate change as opposed to part of the problem is an enormous benefit to composting. We already have a huge problem with waste but when 1/3 of materials being sent to landfills are food products it’s a bit embarrassing. Composting eliminates any need to send organic materials to landfills to rot away, and re-purposes them to sustain life.

Healthy Food

This is the obvious one—you can’t go into the Santa Monica wilderness, clear a plot of land, and grow beautiful vegetables without adding a lot of fertilizer. Compost is a natural and crazy-effective fertilizer that provides your garden with all of the materials it needs to grow beautiful vegetables. We all eat, and we prefer when our food is both healthy and grown without synthetic fertilizers. Healthy soil=healthy food, healthy food=healthy people.

 

What are the components to make good compost?

Compost has two main ingredients: green material and brown material. You’ll also need oxygen and water to create the perfect environment for breaking those materials down.

“GREEN” MATERIALS

  • Grass Clippings
  • Green Leaves
  • Tea Leaves & Bags
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Fruit & Vegetable Scraps
  • Plant Prunings (Avoid Diseased Plants)
  • Crushed Eggshells
  • Pulp From Pressed Juice!

“BROWN” MATERIALS

  • Dry Leaves
  • Dry Grass
  • Straw & Hay
  • Shredded Paper
  • Wood shavings
  • Twigs

GREENS: Provide protein and moisture for organisms. To start off your pile it’s safe to add the same amount of brown material as you do green.

BROWNS: Allow airflow throughout the pile and provide energy for organisms.

OXYGEN: Allows organisms to survive while keeping the pile odor-free. This is why you need to turn your pile—if the materials aren’t exposed to the air, they’ll start decomposing anaerobically, which smells terrible and doesn’t make for good compost.

WATER: Moisture allows organisms to move around and digest material. When you have the right amount of water, your pile will be the same consistency as a wrung-out towel or sponge.

 

What sort of bugs does decaying food attract? And what should be kept out of a bin? Doesn’t it start to smell?

 

When you compost correctly, it won’t smell. Unwanted odors are typically a sign of a bin that hasn’t been turned or a bin that has way more “greens” than it does browns.

Although meat, bones, dairy, and breads can be composted on a large scale (see below about city composting), it’s best to keep these items out of backyard compost bins. These are the items that typically attract unwanted vermin and odors.

Bugs in a compost pile are completely natural—the bugs (yes, that means worms) and much smaller organisms that you can’t see with your eyes are the ones you can thank for actually doing the work to break down the material. If you have too many fruit flies, it typically means your compost pile is too wet. To solve that problem, you can aerate the pile by mixing the ingredients, and add some more brown material. Another good way to prevent fruit flies is to cover green material with brown material every time you add them to the pile.

 

Is homegrown compost better than store-bought?

 

When you make your compost at home, you know exactly what goes into it—which is valuable, particularly if you’re growing organic vegetables. It’s a thing of beauty when you grow your food, eat your food, and compost it all at home.

Compost is alive and teeming with microorganisms that can only be seen under a microscope. The life in the soil allows the plants in your garden to thrive. Store-bought compost is wrapped in plastic, packed in a truck, and delivered from hours away; all of those processes kill microorganisms. Although the store-bought version can still be valuable for some purposes (how do you think you got good enough soil in your backyard for your lawn to grow?), it does not possess the same amount of life as homemade compost, and it lacks the other positive side effects, like keeping food and yard waste out of landfills.

 

Is vermiculture a good option if you don’t have a lot of access to falling leaves and other “browns”?

Composting with worms, also called vermicomposting, uses a slightly different method than traditional composting, but can be just as effective in the right environment. Because you’re relying on efficient and fast-moving worms more than the other microorganisms in the soil, vermiculture also works much more quickly than traditional compost. If you don’t have much space or access to any “browns,” worms might actually be your best option.

The first thing to remember is that compost worms have no eyes, teeth, or noses, so there’s no need to be frightened. Worms also tend to thrive in dark, moist conditions in temperatures under 80 degrees, which means they aren’t going to escape your compost bin and go wriggling around the garage or back porch. It also means you’ll want to keep a compost bin with worms in a cool, shaded environment and have a top on it at all times.

Unlike traditional bins where you’re placing equal parts of brown and green material in your compost, you only have to place food or vegetable scraps in a worm bin. Worms eat and process close to their body weight in food scraps per day. So, if a family of four produces 2 pounds of food scraps from their daily meals, two pounds of worms would be able to break down the material into beautiful worm castings within a day. When the material enters the body of the worm, it passes through several process that support plant growth. Worm castings, or worm poop, are like a magic potion for your garden. You can either dress your garden directly with worm castings or use them to brew compost tea, which is a natural (and unbelievably effective) fertilizer.

 

So what’s the deal with compost tea?

Making compost tea is essentially multiplying the biology that is found within your finished compost. In the same way you steep a teabag while brewing a cup of tea, you can place a bag of compost in a bucket of water, then aerate it either with a pump or simply by stirring over a period of time. The finished product is liquid compost that can be sprayed directly on leaves, or at the base of existing plants and acts like a natural fertilizer to support plant growth.

 

What if you live in an apartment, or don’t really have the space or inclination to compost but still want to help?

Many cities have systems where they offer composting via curbside pickup. Municipal composts are also enormous, which means they can often process dairy, meat, and bones. Use of finished municipal compost varies greatly depending on what city you live in, so accessing the “building healthy soil” part is where things get a little complicated. But it’s generally a great solution, particularly for people who don’t garden.

If your city doesn’t have a municipal system in place, you’re not off the hook. Check to see if you can drop off your food and yard scraps to a local community garden or community compost hub (pro-tip: keep your food scraps in a paper grocery bag in the freezer until you can drop them off to keep them from stinking). Some cities even have pick-up services for this kind of local effort. Community composting is gaining steam all throughout the country, and within a few years I’d imagine every state having multiple composting options.

 

If you do want to do it at home, what’s the best way to start?

 First, determine how much space you have and how much brown and green material you generate. Then, purchase a compost bin (you can purchase some here), or see if your city provides them for free. Establish the right environment and appetite for your system and begin to add your inputs throughout the week. All organic material will eventually break down with or without you, but giving a little attention to your compost system can go a long way to keep things from getting gross and to ensure that you have a product you can use in your (or your neighbor’s, or your community’s) garden at the end.

Here's a great resource for getting started:  L.A. Compost Guide

How-To:

LOW SOIL TOLERANCE:
Drop-offs as part of your municipal system or at a community hub might be your best bet. (See above.)

MEDIUM SOIL TOLERANCE:
Backyard compost in a tumbler or other enclosed system.

Composting in your own backyard is a beautiful process. There are so many effective systems available that you can use one, or several depending on your needs—just create the right environment and add the right mix of browns and greens. Systems that allow for easy removal of finished materials are beneficial in the long run. Also keep in mind that even if you’re not a gardener, you might still benefit from composting. It’s a hugely educational process for kids, and good compost you can’t use on your landscaping will be (gratefully) accepted by local community gardens.

HIGH SOIL TOLERANCE:
Vermiculture, i.e., composting with worms, is your best bet. Worm composting is easier than most people imagine (no, the worms, do not escape from their bins). Plus, worms take care of the work for you buy breaking down the materials rather quickly. Instead of turning the entire pile with a pitchfork or shovel, worms move all around the bin to ensure that all food that you placed in the bin has been consumed. Once you establish bedding made of coir, newspaper, or cardboard, the worms will take a few days to establish themselves in their new home. After they’re comfortable in their new environment, you can start (slowly at first) feeding them food scraps. In a few days, you should have some beautiful worm castings (a.k.a. garden gold) ready for harvesting. To harvest the castings without taking all of your worms with you, move all of the castings over to one side of your bin and fill the other side with a fresh batch of moistened, shredded newspaper and cardboard. The worms will naturally migrate over, leaving the fresh compost ready and worm-free for harvesting. 

Michael Martinez is a certified Master Gardener, a former elementary school teacher, and the Founder and Executive Director of L.A. Compost. The vision for a community-wide ecosystem of compost hubs throughout Los Angeles began when Michael was teaching fifth grade and running his school’s first edible garden. Today, L.A. Compost manages four composting hubs in the city of Los Angeles and educates children and adults about composting through workshops, after school programs, and events. Michael believes that the soil is the heartbeat of our food system, and L.A. Compost is working to create a strategic program that will keep food waste out of landfills, provide quality soil to community gardens, and educate the community about completing the farm to table to soil circle.
See a few of Natural Home Brands Blogs About Ways To Stay Ecofriendly:
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15 (Affordable) Ways To Keep Cool This Summer

15 (Affordable) Ways To Keep Cool This Summer

15 Affordable Ways To Stay Cool This Summer

Some savvy tricks to keep the heat away and at bay!
Air conditioning is AHHH soo nice, but let’s face it, blasting it all day everyday (and sometimes night) isn’t cost or energy efficient. Not to mention, many people have homes where air conditioning isn't even an option!
We’ve got a few ideas below to help beat the heat wave and keep your temperature down without sending your energy bill up!
Popsicles
  1. Close the curtains during the day

If you’re going to be at work all day or simply just not home, prevent the sunlight from warming your house up by closing the curtains and blinds. If you are home and prefer to not live like a vampire, opt to opening the curtains partially in the rooms that you are currently in.

 

  1. Avoid the oven

As you may have already realized, using the oven to cook heats up your kitchen quickly! Try outside BBQing, or stove top meals. Remember to cover your pots and pans so food cooks faster and keeps heat inside the pan!

 

  1. Invest in some floor fans

Position fans in areas that need a cool down. Window fans are a great investment too, for night time especially. These push cool air in and hot air out! Create a cross breeze and set up a few fans so the breeze hits you from all angles!

 

  1. Turn the lights off

Light bulbs give off heat. If they must be on, opt in for environmentally friendly ones as these don’t get as hot as the old school bulbs. Take advantage of natural light as much as possible! Summer night are longer anyhow. Entertaining? Swoop some LED candles to keep your guests cool and comforted in the right ambiance.

 

  1. Wear light fabrics

Choosing loose cotton or linens will help keep you cool or dry. Clothes made with bamboo are often loose and naturally wick away sweat. Wearing dark colors attract the sun, skip the blacks and dark colors while hanging out outside.

 

  1. Drink to think!
Keeping hydrated is the most crucial part about summer time heat. It keeps you cool, hydrated, and helps your mental clarity. Invest in a water filtration pitcher and keep in the fridge for ultimate coolness. Freeze fruit or mint leaves in ice cube trays (with water of course) and add the cubes to your water to keep your motivation for drinking water easy!
7. Freeze water bottles or ice packs

Keeping frozen water bottles or ice packs handy ain’t such a bad idea. Grab either one and place behind your neck, under your knees, elbows, groin or wrists for an instance and quick cool down.

 

 8. Ditch the comforter

Put your heavy sheets and comforters away! Purchase Egyptian cotton or cotton sheets and a light blanket to sleep with.

 

 9. Keep cool treats on hand in the freezer

Let your inner child out! Shop for Popsicle's that are made of fruit for a refreshing and cool treat, or make your own. Stores often carry Popsicle makers – simply add juice, or your own smoothie blend and add to the Popsicle maker. Let it freeze and VIOLA! Homemade Popsicle's. Opting in for a less sugary cool treat will prevent you from becoming too thirsty.

 

 10. Chill Out

You can cool down a whole room by hanging a wet sheet in front of an open window. The breeze from outside will bring down the rooms temperature. OR place a fan behind it for a DIY breeze.

 

 11. Cool Off

Take a cold shower to reduce your core body temperature. Rinsing off sweat and cooling off before bed is best!

 

12.Take a dunk

Visit a local swimming pool, lake, or river, and take a dunk. Find a shady spot or bring a beach umbrella and cool off outside!

 

 13. Sleep and hang out with your hair up or in braids

If you have long hair, tying it up or keeping it in braids can help keep sweat and heat from developing behind your neck.

 

14. Open your windows at night

Open up your windows and if you have it, add a window fan to help push out hot air and bring in cool air. Remember to close them all before the day starts because you might be letting in warm air which is not what we are shooting for!

 

 15. Freeze your pillowcase

If it’s still unbearably hot before going to bed, stick your pillowcase in the freezer for a few minutes before lying in bed. Remember to stick it in a plastic bag first. You can even do this with the top sheet so you can sleep in the ultimate chill zone.

 

 

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  • Gabriella De Luca