It’s A Nice Day For A Green Wedding

Have you been to a wedding recently, where the bride didn’t wear white? These days, anything seems to go when it comes to weddings, and our traditionalist take on wedding attire and customs has been replaced with a much more easygoing outlook. There are a number of different reasons for this – marriages being conducted in unusual places have led to a relaxing of the rules. Another reason could be down to the vast environmental impact which a traditional white wedding can have, and the realization by the bride and groom that they can dispense with tradition and go for a green, rather than a traditional white, wedding.

Because of the chemicals which go in to making the wedding dress, the impact upon the environment for having a big white wedding can be immense. Chlorine bleach and other harmful toxins are often used to make wedding gowns the brilliant white which we associate with the traditional bride, and they are a far cry from the eco-friendly dresses which we can source today.

Getting a dress which has been whitened with vegetable dyes can be just as visually stunning, but without the associated cost to the environment. If you’d rather opt for something a little less mainstream, why not consider going organic with your dress, getting one made up from bamboo, hemp fibers, silk or organic cottons? All of these fabrics can come unbleached, meaning your wedding dress is truly eco-friendly.

With the current passion for vintage sweeping the fashion scene at the moment, another great way of doing your bit for the environment while having a dream wedding is to opt for a second-hand wedding dress. Choose from a wide range of eras to get the best style to suit your personal taste, and recycle in the best possible way by making a real fashion statement at the same time. Vintage Edwardian, Victorian or Georgian dresses can be hired or picked up second hand, in addition to cheaper versions from the sixties, seventies and eighties eras depending upon your ideal fashion preferences. If you’re not sure where to start looking for vintage, head on to Ebay first for ideas, and narrow your search down once you have gained an idea of the type of wedding gown you’d like to go for.

If you do decide to go vintage, you can take things one step further and provide a themed wedding for your guests,. Tie in the groom’s outfit and even the décor of the venue in to your theme, to make your wedding dress the focal point of the day. A sixties-inspired wedding, or a more classical and traditional Victorian event can make a huge style statement, and also offer ample opportunities for recycling, reducing the cost of your day overall, and (best of all) staying green, for your white wedding.


Baby Steps For Saving The Environment

Anyone who has had children knows that when it comes to looking after a new baby, everything goes out of the window with the exception of the quest for sleep and the endless cycle of feeding, changing and rocking, for the first month. Good intentions about eating well, being responsible and ethical in the choices we make, and the various things we can do to help the environment can easily slip by the wayside in favor of convenience and cost cutting.

However, when it comes to bringing up your kids in an environmentally-responsible way, there are a few things we can do that make a real difference without making life harder for ourselves in the first few critical years. A recent trend looks set to enhance the way we plow through resources at such a rate, and even looks set to improve life a little along the way – welcome to the latest craze in green parenting – the reusable baby wipe.

Young children get through baby wipes at a rate reaching in to the hundreds every week. From changing diapers right through to mopping up spills, it seems that these little cleaning gems are the unsung heroes of childcare. Milk being thrown up? Reach for the baby wipe. Hiccup with a bottle? A baby wipe will sort it. While they are indispensable for all of life’s little accidents, the humble baby wipe can also take a huge toll on the environment, ending up in landfill and needlessly clogging up our bins.

The good news is, reusable wipes are not only great for the environment, they are also much more cost-effective than their disposable counterparts. Why bother spending money on something that will be used once and then thrown away, when you can make reusable cloth baby wipes for next to nothing? Using home-made wipers is not difficult to do, and they can be easily washed along with diapers to cut down on laundry and make sure you always have a steady supply to hand when you need one.

There are two ways to benefit from the new trend in eco-parenting – either make your own wipes, or buy them online from a cloth diaper retail store. Kind on your baby’s skin, they are also great news for people who like to keep things super sensitive. If you simply don’t have time right now to make your own wipes, head online and get them delivered along with your next batch of diapers.

Making your own baby wipes

To make your own supply of reusable cloth baby wipes, all you need to do is pick out an economical absorbent fabric. One hundred percent cotton is the best for this, or you could opt for a blend of both cotton and bamboo. Cut your fabric in to even sized squares and hem them with a zig zag stitch. Second-hand fabric works just as well – pop along to a thrift store for a ready supply, which will reduce your costs even more.

An eight inch square will work best, but experiment with different sizes for different needs. Once you’re washed and dried your cloths, you can prepare a spray to assist with cleaning, made up of warm water and add in some olive oil and a mild liquid soap such as baby shampoo. This will smell great, and also moisturize the skin and keep it clean. If you like, try out different types of oil including avocado, jojoba or almond for different scents. Popping a couple of drops of your favorite child-safe essential oil, such as lavender or tea tree, will also assist the antiseptic properties of the spray and add in a scent to your wipes, but use these sparingly as they can irritate your baby’s skin if they are added in with too much of a concentration.

How Green Does Your Garden Grow?

Now that a new season is upon us, our thoughts inevitably turn to the great outdoors, and the things we can do to get our gardens shipshape after the long winter months. In between weeding, planting and clearing away dead foliage, it’s a great time to consider some of the ways we can make our garden more eco-friendly.

It may sound odd, as of course gardens are the last place you’d expect to find things which are harmful to the environment, but our back yards and gardens are one of the best places to utilize green gardening in order to maximize the potential of our outdoor living space and contribute to offsetting our carbon footprint.

One of the best things we can do in our gardens to save energy is to conserve water. Rather than using sprinklers to water the lawn and flower beds, a drip-irrigation system works more efficiently, by providing a slow and steady amount of water where it is most needed. In addition, use water butts to collect any rain which may fall, that you can then use to keep your pots and beds hydrated. If you have no choice but to use a hose or sprinkler, keep it in an optimal condition and doesn’t get clogged up, which can reduce its effectiveness.

Using local plants rather than exotic ones in your garden will support you to grow things easily, with as little chemical intervention as possible, native plants which are developed and grown in their own soil and natural conditions are more likely to thrive, and will require much less attention than non-native varieties., additionally, they stand to do better with the minimal intervention and support, meaning your garden will thrive better than if you populate it with plants which are used to that environment. Choosing fruits, plants and vegetables which are native to the soil will go a long way towards reducing work for you, while reducing the need for chemical fertilizers.

If you use chemicals in your garden, these can run off in to your water, and end up in the local sewers and drains. Because of this, and the harmful toxins which can end up in the environment, it’s a good idea to avoid chemicals where you can. Opt instead for organic versions of pesticides which you can buy in any reputable garden center or home improvement store, keeping your water supply clean and pure.

Steer clear of peat-based products, which are usually used by people to retain moisture and for decoration. However, this substance is not easy to produce, and doesn’t do the environment any good as it is not a sustainable resource. Instead, opt for soils and composts which are easy to replace, and don’t cost the earth.

Tapping In To The Eco Car Market

Unless you’ve been lying under a rock for the past couple of years, you’ll probably have heard about the new trend for eco-friendly cars. Hydrogen fuel is the latest fashion when it comes to green transport, and it’s currently at the top of the list for manufacturers looking to tap in to the potential of an environmentally-aware customer base. It’s unsurprising that a hydrogen fuel cell can swing a consumer in to making a purchase, as green travel also has the additional benefit of being cheaper than conventional fossil fuels. There are a number of other advantages for having a green car, which make it a simpler decision than just offsetting your carbon footprint…

Getting Tax Benefits through IRS incentives

As the UK and US government are encouraging more vehicle owners to switch over to hydrogen water cars as their preferred mode of transport, drivers are benefiting from an enhanced level of benefits for making an environmentally-friendly choice in their driving habits. Moving from a traditional fuel to hydrogen through conversion can encourage the government to offer a significant tax deduction for vehicle owners, of between $5 to $50 thousand. What’s not to like?

Save money on repairs, maintenance and fuel costs

Taking the decision to use hydrogen instead of petrol or diesel can deliver the traveler huge costs savings when it’s time to re-fuel. There are less repair costs, lower maintenance service requirements and hydrogen lasts longer than regular fuel, so overall the vehicle owner saves a large amount following their initial investment. Great news on the environment, and even better news on the pocket!

Experience improved performance from your vehicle

Hydrogen brings the car owner a noticeable list of improvements in terms of performance for their cars. The vehicle will offer an enhanced number of miles for the amount of fuel purchased, which brings benefits both when driving through the city or on the open road. In addition, the engine performs better with hydrogen fuel, with a large reduction in the amount of noise generated and enhanced use of fuel. The engine will actually be greatly improved through the use of a hydrogen converter, keeping it in tip-top condition for the coming years.

Support the environment

With an HHO fuel cell in your cars, you will be vastly reducing your carbon emissions as a responsible vehicle owner. Cleaner emissions from the car will support you to bring your part to the battle against carbon offsetting, when compared with the pollutants emitted by gasoline-powered vehicles. Hydrogen brings the following benefits to the environment:
• Hydrogen is available in abundance, and brings no threat of running out as a depleting resource like gasoline
• It is easy, simple and cost-effective to produce hydrogen
• The fuel can be generated through water treatment sites or wind apparatus, making it a simple, easy and sustainable source of power
• The government has shown an ongoing commitment to the production of hydrogen, ensuring that there are enough fueling stations available to make it convenient and easy for the vehicle owner to top up their cars as necessary.

Green Is The New Black When It Comes To PC Cases

If you thought that technology and the environment did not sit comfortably together, think again. Savvy PC marketers are catching on to the fact that we don’t just want products that look good and fit our budget, we also want to make sure that we make the minimal negative impact on the environment when we purchase our accessories for work and home.

Because of this, a range of companies have come up with superb solutions that are affordable, look great, and don’t have an associated cost in terms of their environmental impact, meaning that we can have it all when we kit out our offices and homes with the best gadgets and gizmos for our technological requirements.

The following PC cases have been picked for their unique blend of stylish looks and eco-friendliness, showing that it is possible to be both green and cool!


‘Sarah’ by Lameco

It may have a bit of a strange name for a PC case, but this green PC case is as good as it gets when it comes to combining usability with eco-awareness. The ‘Sarah’ case by Lameco is made completely of environmentally-friendly recycled woods, so doesn’t have any harmful toxins or chemicals involved in its manufacture. Even the mouse and keyboard for this eco treasure are completely wooden, meaning that the whole ensemble looks great and can be purchased without losing your green credentials. The downside of ‘Sarah’ is that it is very expensive, retailing at a sturdy $1,600. With the best will in the world, only the seriously committed (and slightly well off) green warrior can shell out for something quite so expensive, even if you are saving the environment along the way.

Cardboard casings are the new plastics

If you’re looking for the ultimate PC casing with minimal environmental impact, then cardboard has to come pretty high on the list of eco solutions. The Lupo Corporation now provides just the thing, with a one hundred percent cardboard casing which can be assembled as you would a box – just push out the perforations and your case is ready to use. Biodegradable and funky to boot, the casing is great to look at, but not overly practical if it happens to get wet, or is mistaken for something that needs to go in to the recycling bin…

Valerie Beetle

The Valerie Beetle case was invented by a Ukraine person, who came up with only one of its kind. The very unusual nature of the case means that it is highly sought after, and it is unusual because it looks as if it is made of metal, even though the casing is actually wooden. Read more about it here.

The Green Way For Pest Controlling Your Home

With spring firmly established, and summer on its way, our thoughts turn to positive aspects of the new seasons. We look forward to the increased light which boosts our mood, think of picnics, leisurely walks outside and more time spent in the great outdoors.

Unfortunately, the onset of better weather also brings some negative traits – usually coming in the form of insects and pests which wake up and seem intent on sharing their joy of the great outdoors with you, at every available opportunity.

While some bugs and critters are welcome as part of the change in season, the majority can tend to wreak havoc in the home and garden, and can be highly unwelcome visitors. For those of us with pets or children, a colony of insects can not just be an annoyance, but pose a threat to the safety of our families and home life.

Most people approach pest control in the same way as they approach most aspects of their domestic environment, reaching for harsh chemicals to control the problem. However, these chemicals can be just as tough on the surrounding area as the bugs themselves, leaving us caught up in a hazardous environment which can quickly pose a threat to our homes and gardens. Despite this tendency, there are a number of great ways to control pests in the home and garden without resorting to the harsh chemicals which can have a negative impact on our surroundings.

Keeping ants under control

Ants are never welcome in the home. They seem to take great delight in colonizing domestic areas with great ease, becoming firmly established before you even notice they have moved in with you. To get rid of these pesky bugs in a safe and ecological way, the best way is to use neem seed oil, mixed up with a coconut oil soap solution. Neem seed oil is made up of a compound of azadirachin, which prevents the ants from reproducing. You can make the solution by mixing 1-tbsp of neem seed oil, 1-tbsp of coconut oil soap and 10 ounces of water together in a spray bottle. Shake the mixture and then spray it liberally around where you have an ant infestation.

Deterring cockroaches

Cockroaches are unwelcome visitors to any home, and they don’t choose a household based on whether it is clean or dirty, so don’t worry! They breed prolifically, and need to be eliminated as soon as possible through use of a number of natural baits, powders and traps. One of the most effective ways to get rid of cockroaches is by putting diatomaceous earth in the cracks and crevices where the cockroaches have been spotted. As long as this is placed out of the reach of pets and children, it should be safe. It works by dissolving their waxy outer covering, which leads to water loss, dehydration and eventual death.

Combating fleas

Fleas can drive your pets to distraction, and are highly irritating when they move in with you. Because they are difficult to get rid of and have a tough breeding cycle, they can be resident in a household for far longer than they need to be, unless tough action is taken to get them to move on somewhere else. Chemical flea products can be nasty for children and animals, so it’s best to go for a natural deterrent if possible. Combing pets regularly with a flea comb, sprinkling baking soda and salt on carpets and thoroughly vacuuming are all great ways to keep them at bay, as is washing any pet or human bedding often to keep them away.

Going Solar

For many of us, solar power is most commonly associated with the installation of large solar panels on your roof or in your garden. But solar power has come a long way in the last few years, and we’re now seeing a significant increase in the number of solar appliances available to consumers. A growing number of products including refrigerators, cookers and air-conditioning systems are coming onto the market, giving us more reasons than ever before to consider going solar.

Solar power enables your household to harness the natural heat and energy of the sun, and transform it into a renewable and inexhaustible energy source which will help you run your home. The cost savings associated with solar energy are also impressive, with potential savings of over 75% on your electricity bills. What’s more, solar power doesn’t just help to reduce your household utility bills – it can also help you make a profit by selling the surplus solar energy you generate back to your local grid.

Getting started
Switching to solar energy is a great way to reduce your household energy costs, giving you the opportunity to go ‘off-grid’ and generate a sustainable energy source to power your home. However, if you’re keen to make the switch, it’s important to recognize the upfront investment that’s required. Purchasing solar panels for your home can be expensive – and depending on the size of your home and your energy needs, they could cost anywhere between $10,000 and $100,000.

The good news is that there are cheaper alternatives. As well as ready-made solar panels, you can also build your own solar panels at home, reducing the costs significantly. Many states also offer tax credit incentives for individuals who decide to improve the green credentials of their homes – so you could attract additional funding to help you make the switch.

Check out the neighborhood
Being the first person in your neighborhood to switch to solar energy can be daunting, so if you’ve spotted solar panels in your local area, why not drop in and have a chat with your neighbors about their experiences? They’ll probably be able to give you some top tips and suggestions which will help you make the right choice about switching to solar. And if you really are the first, then it probably won’t be long before your neighbors start calling on you to find out more about the benefits of switching!

Although the upfront costs to install solar power are considerable, it won’t be long before you start to reap the benefits of generating your own energy supply. Alongside cheaper utility bills, you can also make a tidy profit by selling excess energy back to local electricity companies, so that eventually your solar panels will pay for themselves not just once, but several times over.

Ready to switch?
Switching to solar is a big decision – and you may feel the need to learn a bit more about solar powering your home before you dive in. And of course there are other ways to introduce solar power to your daily life, including trying out some of the many solar powered products and appliances that are now available to consumers. From garden lighting to digital radios, from pool heaters to cell phone chargers, there’s sure to be a solar product to meet your every day needs. Why not start with one product – it might inspire you to join the solar powered revolution!