11 of the World’s Most Eco-Friendly Cities

Cities often compete with each other, whether they’re seeking to have the highest quality of life or fostering innovation. However, the increasing world population and a changing climate have made eco-friendly living a priority for residents and city leaders alike. This has now led to cities competing to be the most environmentally friendly. The global movement towards more sustainability is also pushing for more innovation and change. Here are 11 of the world’s most eco-friendly cities as well as a brief overview of what they’ve done to achieve that status.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland and ranks among the most eco-friendly cities in the world. This is partially due to their harnessing of abundant geothermal energy for power and keeping the freezing northern city warm. Their small population is densely packed into the city, so people can get around by walking, biking or via public transit.

The city is offering incentives to encourage people to drive electric cars, such as free parking and lower taxes. They’re also going the old-fashioned route by encouraging the other 96 percent of the population to ride public transit, including their brand-new hydrogen powered buses.

Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver is sandwiched between the ocean and the mountains, though the surrounding coast is covered in forests. The local administration found out that the city’s environmental footprint was just too big to be sustainable and decided to make some real changes. As a result of these initiatives, the city now has the lowest greenhouse gas emissions level for any major city in North American city.

They are doing yet even more to reduce the city’s footprint. For example, the city is doing a lot to attract clean technology companies and increase the number of green jobs. They’ve seen a 23 percent in green jobs since 2013. They’re also encouraging local food production so they can feed people without wasting energy transporting food from thousands of miles away.

San Francisco, California

San Francisco is one of the most environmentally conscious cities in the world. Where San Francisco stands out is the sheer number of ways it is lowering its ecological footprint from the top down.

recycling-in-offices

For example, consumers and city agencies systematically shop for organic and locally sourced food. Living waste-free seems like a dream, but the city itself has that as a goal by 2020. The city is roughly eighty percent of the way there. They’ve dramatically reduced waste and increased recycling, while they encourage businesses and individuals alike to switch to reusable containers. As a matter of fact, San Francisco became the first city in the US to completely ban plastic bottles. A large part of the organic waste produced in the city is turned into compost and used by local farmers.

San Francisco is also ahead of the curve in terms of renewable energy. The city has many zero emissions and hybrid electric buses. Solar installations in the Bay Area are surprisingly common. This is in part because they pay themselves off in less than seven years when you take rebates and tax credits into account. For example, San Francisco’s GoSolarSF program encourages people to install solar panels. The average homeowner receives 300 dollars per kilowatt and up to 2000 dollars per kilowatt if the residents are considered low income. This will remain in effect even if the federal tax rebates for solar installations start to phase out.

Another side effect of the eco-conscious population is that renewable energy becomes a selling point for properties that have it. The best solar companies in the Bay Area, including firms like Semper Solaris, install quality solar panel systems that add value to your home. They also make it easier for people in the region to afford systems by adjusting them to their particular needs. Not only that, but they also offer battery storage so users can still use solar energy when the sun isn’t shining. The increased home value is based in part on the future reduced utility bills the homeowners expect to receive.

Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki sits on the Gulf of Finland. It stands out for its delicate balance between eco-friendliness and tourism. Roughly three in four hotel rooms in the city are certified as eco-friendly. Most of the remainder have some environmental impact reduction plan in place to reduce energy consumption, minimize waste, and lower the environmental impact of their food and water supply.

The city makes use of wind energy and solar power. The “green district” Viiki is an experiment in sustainability. This is why the first solar powered apartment building in Finland is located here.

Capetown, South Africa

Capetown is another example of a city that has gone above and beyond to reduce its ecological footprint. One of the ways they are doing so is by reducing their reliance on unsustainable energy sources and turning to alternatives like solar energy instead. And it has paid off, especially when considering the amount of sunlight the city enjoys every year.

They’ve also heavily invested in wind power. As a matter of fact, the city has started focusing on building wind farms since 2008. And the city made it a goal to meet 10% of its energy needs using renewable energy sources by 2020, which could very well be possible given all the different initiatives they’ve started.

They’re also trying to pattern the behavior and habits of residents and push them to adopt a more outdoorsy lifestyle. Not only that, but they’re facilitating bike transport by allowing bicycles for free on their My Citi express bus service.

Berlin, Germany

Berlin is one of the most famous and historical cities in the world, and the reason why it made that list is also tied to history. After WWI, residents in the city were forced to become very self-reliant, and had to find ways to grow and raise their own food, which is a tradition that continues to this day. Germans in general also value their green spaces and gardening.

electric-cars

Berlin is also doing a lot to accommodate electric vehicles owners by adding over 400 charging stations around the country. They’re also trying to raise awareness among gas vehicle owners and trying to sway them into going electric. Not only that, but Berliners also are more prone to using public transit or sharing vehicles then using their personal car.

Portland, Oregon

This is the second west coast city in this list, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise considering that the west coast is and has always been a hotbed for the environmentalist movement. And while the city’s population keeps on growing, they are continually working to minimize the effect of the city’s activity on the environment. They also put a ban recently on plastic bags to curb their effect on the ecosystem, with other cities on the west coast following suit.

But one of the main reasons why Portland made this list is the people of the city. Environmental consciousness is part of the city’s DNA, and Portlanders take it to the next level. Did you know that roughly 25% of the city’s workers do their commute through carpooling, biking, or public transit? Out of all the people in the city, 8% also stated that they only use their bike for transportation. This is thanks in part to the city’s massive bike path and lane system.

The city also gets 33% of its energy from renewable sources and recuperates roughly 1,200,000 tons from the 2,434,840 tons of waste they produce every year, which is pretty impressive for a city its size. The city also managed to cut their carbon emissions by as much as 17%, even with the increasing population.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam is bar none one of the most avant-garde cities when it comes to environmental initiatives, and has worked for a long time to limit its energy consumption from unsustainable sources. As a matter of fact, the city was one of the first to introduce widespread sustainability initiatives with a goal to reach a wide variety of benchmarks by the year 2020.

One of the main things people remember when they come to the city is the sheer number of cyclists, and Amsterdammers do love their bikes. But the city also did a lot to popularize electric vehicles, and owners can charge their vehicles in one of the 300 charging ports you’ll find all over the city. People in the city are also increasingly turning to solar energy and sustainable local farming. More people from the city are starting to grow their own food as well.

Stockholm, Sweden

With over 50 bridges and 14 islands, Stockholm has done a lot to improve the city and allow citizens to live a more sustainable life. The city also set a goal to eliminate the use of fossil fuels by 2040. In addition, they’re getting assistance from the European Union to become a smarter city.

 

waste-management-sweden

One of the ways the city has managed to be more energy efficient was by turning to biofuels, which are created from the city’s sewage waste. A large portion of cars in the city are powered using this biofuel. They also managed to recuperate some of the heat generated by their massive stadium. This heat can be used to heat over 1000 units in the city.

Copenhagen, Denmark

The capital of Denmark has also started to build a reputation as an ecofriendly city, and is taking steps to continue in the right direction and support eco-friendly initiatives. And this is mainly due to the city’s sustained and massive investments in clean infrastructure and renewable energy sources.

They also set the lofty goal of becoming the first major city in the world to achieve CO? neutrality by the year 2020. And residents in the city are also doing their part for this goal to become a reality. Less than a third of households in the city own a car, and people in Copenhagen are also big on cycling. As a matter of fact, it’s not uncommon for hotels in the city to provide guests with a bicycle upon arrival. The city also has one of the most extensive bike lane networks in Europe.

Another thing that sets the city apart is how many people choose to eat organic there.  About a quarter of all the food sold in the city’s markets is organic, and they’re also big proponents of local farming, which further reduces their carbon footprint.

Curitiba, Brazil

Considering the amount of natural beauty Brazil is nestled in, it shouldn’t be a surprise to see a Brazilian city on this list. Curitiba might not be as well-known as Rio and Sao Paulo, but it is known as one of the world’s green capitals. Where they excel is when it comes to recycling. As a matter of fact, it is said that about 70% of the waste produced in the city is recycled in the form of derived products or energy.

The city also puts a lot of importance on urban planning and has one of the best public transit systems in South America. Most people in the city rely on public transport too. The city is also not overly developed and has tons of green spaces with over 16 parks and 14 forests near and around the city’s core.

Presence of trees make a city appear more vibrant and eco-friendly

To incentivize cleanliness around the city, they installed a program that allows people to return and exchange recyclables for things like tokens, sweets, snacks, and cash. Not only does it encourage people to recycle more, but the program is also feeding over 7000 people in need in the city.

Bottom Line

The most eco-friendly cities in the world are seeking to provide a better environment for residents while reducing their impact on the planet, and they’re providing an example to the world that the rest can follow. We can only expect the trend to grow from now and into the future, and for residents from cities all around the world to start pushing for more green initiatives where they are.

What Are The Environmental Effects Of Remote Work

Remote and hybrid work environments have become increasingly common in the past 18 months. There have been downsides for businesses and employees. For example, IT teams are trying to manage cybersecurity in a remote work world. For employees, while they might like the freedom and flexibility of working remotely, there may be a sense of isolation or a lack of connection with corporate culture they don’t like as much.

Even with these downsides, there are plenty of benefits too. Some of these are environmental. We’ve seen more remote and hybrid work does help reduce detrimental environmental effects that come with traditional work, but are there downsides to this as well?

Below, we explore the environmental impacts of remote work in detail:

Environmental Effects of Remote Work

1. Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions

One reason that initially so many environmentalists were on board with remote work is that it can reduce greenhouse gas emissions stemming from commutes. When you work from home, it reduces gas emissions from vehicles or public transport. Fewer commuters across the board tend to mean less greenhouse gas emissions.

According to Global Workforce Analytics, if who everyone worked in an office originally were to work from home for only half the week, it would reduce emissions by 54 million tons a year.

Current remote workers before the pandemic avoided the emission of 3.6 million tons of greenhouse gases annually. With this also comes a reduced demand and consumption of fossil fuels.

Reduced GHG emissions and consumption of fossil fuels can then help reduce air pollution and improve air quality. Air quality contributes to many respiratory illnesses, including infections and asthma.

2. Less Paper Usage

Even without the push for remote work due to the pandemic, more and more businesses and office environments were moving toward a paperless model.

This is environmentally friendly not just because there’s less consumption of the paper itself but also other supplies related to paper, such as printer ink.

The benefits from a business perspective include fewer overhead expenses, more efficiency and productivity, and a more digitized work environment that’s secure.

a paper free office

3. Reduced Consumption of Plastic

A lot of the things people typically do during a workday have a significant environmental impact, yet we often don’t consider them in our day-to-day thinking.

For example, when you’re working in a traditional office setting, you may be using a lot more plastic than you do at home.

If you pack your lunch or buy lunch, you’re probably using plastic utensils, cups and more.

It creates a lot of waste, whereas if you’re working at home, you’re probably using your own coffee pot and mugs, and dishware. You’re likely preparing more of your meals, cutting down on packaging.

The world is in the midst of a plastic crisis, so this is especially critical.

4. Cutting Down on Energy Consumption

Most offices utilize more energy than their employees would working from home. There are computers constantly on, as well as massive printing stations. The lights in an office are probably always flipped on, and it’s not common for employees to turn things off when they leave a room. There could still be people in the room, or they might not be as conscious as they are when they’re in their own home and responsible for paying the utility bill.

Energy-Saving Tips for Small Businesses

Heating and cooling a large office is always expensive. Reports show that energy consumption in office spaces is almost twice as high as when people work from home.

5. Migration Away from Urban Areas

We saw a striking move during the pandemic of people away from major urban areas to suburban or even rural places. They were no longer tied to cities for work and could do their jobs from anywhere. That has a positive benefit on the environment, by reducing the harmful congestion in cities.

It’s better for people to spread out, rather than being concentrated in a few areas that can bear the brunt of the effects.

Are There Also Negative Impacts of More Remote Work?

While the benefits of remote work can be significant from an environmental perspective, are there potential downsides too?

One example is that employers may be less likely to support green and renewable energy initiatives. When their employees aren’t working in the office, they don’t have to think about costs and how that might affect them.

It’s also possible that because people are dispersed and can work from anywhere that they might have to fly or travel long distances when they do go into the office or have meetings. That’s not good from an environmental perspective.

With those things being said, the benefits environmentally and on renewable energy efforts of remote work do seem to be greater than the downsides.

Everyday Habits That Can Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Every day we make decisions that affect the earth in many ways. By making simple changes in our daily routine, we can make a huge impact on the planet. The most important thing you need to accept is that small changes often reap bigger rewards than big ones. Although it is not possible to reduce our carbon footprint entirely, there are many ways of living sustainably.

There are many ways to go about it which include eliminating junk food, using reusable bags, cooking at home more often and using eco-friendly cleaning products. These eco-conscious lifestyle habits can help people reduce their homes’ environmental impact and save money in the long run.

growth of organic food industry

Ditch Electronic and Appliance ‘idling

One of the most common habits that people have is that they turn unused appliances on for hours even though they are home. A new study has found that about 40% of energy goes to waste on standby mode, only accounting for 20% of electricity usage. With the rising cost of electricity and rising concern for our environment, it’s time to ditch your appliances and reduce your carbon footprint.

This way, you’re saving money and reducing your impact on the environment at the same time. The most significant way to save money on electricity and contribute to reducing your carbon footprint is investing in solar energy. If you are looking for professional assistance, you can find reputable Bakersfield solar companies.

Optimize your water and HVAC Settings

The temperature of your home affects the energy you use. When the air is freezing outside, you need to heat up your house. Or if it is scorching hot, you might want to turn on your AC. Optimizing your water and HVAC settings can help you save a lot of money and reduce your carbon footprint. By doing this, you can also contribute towards a more sustainable lifestyle for future generations.

eco friendly business practices

Use the Bike, Bus, or Train

Using the bike, bus, or train is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and be eco-friendly. The bike has been a popular choice for commuters in recent years. It has a low cost of ownership and no emissions while providing a healthy commute option for many people. The bus is another popular option due to its low cost of ownership and zero emissions.

It is also a good option for people who live in areas without bike lanes or bike trails. The train has been on the rise recently due to its ease-of-use and reduced carbon footprint compared to other transportation options that.

green travel

Choose Roads Less Travelled

The studies have shown that there are many roads less travelled, so it is important to know these alternatives. It is also important to think about your future when making decisions in life. There are quite a few ways that you can reduce pollution in your daily life. For example, if you are driving, take the alternate route when possible and avoid congested intersections on the road. By doing this, you will save fuel and reduce traffic congestion in the long run.

Care for your Vehicle

If you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint or find out what care for your car can do for you. Eco-friendly lifestyle is an issue that many people are concerned about nowadays. They want to reduce their carbon footprint and live a sustainable life by following the sustainable living guidelines.

One easy way to do so is by taking care of your vehicle. Car maintenance helps to maintain the vehicle, while reducing your carbon footprint at the same time. It also helps to protect against damages caused by unforeseen accidents and natural hazards, such as the rain or snowstorms.

car-scanner-diagnostic

Support Local, and Think Eco-Friendly

The rise of local and organic food is a great thing for the environment. However, we should still mind the packaging and avoid the products that come in plastic or other non-sustainable materials. Eco-conscious lifestyle means thinking about your everyday habits.

It means reducing your carbon footprint by choosing sustainable materials, not using too much packaging, buying local, in-season produce, and doing more research on how you can live an eco-friendly lifestyle with your everyday purchases.

Eat More Plants and Less Meat

It is possible to live an eco-friendly lifestyle that is sustainable and healthy at the same time by eating more plants and less meat. Meat and plant-based foods can both be healthy and environmentally responsible. But it takes a conscious effort to consume less meat and more plants.

 

There are many ways to reduce your meat consumption, but the most important is to focus on other daily habits that support an eco-friendly lifestyle as well as reducing your carbon footprint. For instance, if you eat plant-based foods for all of your meals, you can benefit from a reduced carbon footprint. According to The World Health Organization (WHO), the dietary guidelines for health should be focused on fruits and vegetables – not meat.

Don’t Touch Bottled Water

If you carry a refillable canteen and choose not to buy bottled water, you can save up to $300 a year and help the Earth. The earth is in danger because of bottled water. There are many reasons why we should stop buying bottled water and start drinking from the tap instead. One of the most important reasons is that it’s not safe to drink from the tap. Drinking from the tap is good for both your health and for the environment.

ecofriendly plumbing practices

You need to take precautions if you want to avoid getting sick or spreading disease through your tap water. One of the most important things you can do when it comes to saving money is staying hydrated and drinking more water than usual so that you don’t have to buy as much bottled water.

Purchase Consciously

The term “Conscious Consumer” has become synonymous with being eco-friendly. With the ever-increasing demand for products, people are encouraged to buy consciously and reuse items rather than buying brand new ones. One way of living an environmentally friendly lifestyle is by purchasing second hand whenever possible.

sustainable-habits-for-ecofriendly-home

Buying second hand instead of new is becoming more popular as people realize how wasteful it is to make everything brand new. Buying used also keeps the cost down and helps reduce waste generated from manufacturing these items in the first place.

4 Top Benefits of a Hybrid Car

Are you thinking about buying a new car? If yes, then you may seriously want to consider getting a hybrid car as there are many benefits to this type of car and more and more motorists are making the switch. Read on to discover a few of the main benefits of hybrid vehicles.

advantages-hybrid-cars

1. Eco/Power Balance

One of the primary advantages of owning a hybrid is that you get a good balance of eco-friendly driving and power. You get the best of both worlds with a hybrid because they are more environmentally-friendly than a typical car but they also still have a lot of power, so there is no compromise on performance which is key for those that spend a lot of time behind the wheel.

2. Battery Charging

Many motorists are hesitant to make the switch to electric due to range anxiety. This is less of a concern with hybrid cars because you do not need to use or own a charging point as the vehicles charge up their own batteries, meaning that you can easily travel long distances without having to worry about stopping and recharging the battery.

3. Reliability

Reliability is key when deciding on a car and modern-day hybrids are highly reliable. The technology has come on leaps and bounds in recent years as the demand has soared, so you can be sure that any hybrid vehicle that you purchase will be a car that you can rely on each and every day.

4. Running Costs

Of course, another major advantage to buying a hybrid is that you can make huge long-term savings when it comes to running costs. Hybrids consume less fuel and emit less CO2 which means that you are spending far less on petrol than a typical automobile and you will pay less in road tax, plus you will also avoid congestion charges which are on the rise and being introduced in cities up and down the country. While they can cost more to buy, you can recuperate the cost that you save on fuel and you can make the cost easier to manage with a finance deal from somewhere like Go Car Credit.

These are the main benefits to buying a hybrid car over a conventional automobile but there are many others. It is easy to see why so many motorists are now making the switch and there are many excellent models to choose from, so it should be easy to find one that fits in with your lifestyle.

5 Best Premier League Football Apps for 2021

Football is as much about fans as it is about the players on the field. It is not easy being an ardent football fan. You have to be updated on all the news, transfer speculations, critical injuries, takeovers, and much more throughout the season. Thankfully, you have dozens of apps that meet all your needs of football fandom. Here are concise reviews of the 5 best Premier League Football Apps for 2021:

Best Premier League Football Apps

1. Buaksib – Live Football Scores, Results & News

For thousands of football fans, this ecosystem is one place to go for news, games, transfers, as well as in-depth articles. It has a great UI/UX, which means the interface is intuitive for the users. The design and aesthetics are appealing as well as convenient for you to know where everything is.

You can follow multiple teams and be updated on their upcoming games and livescore while not being perturbed by too many notifications as you can set your preferences. There are also detailed statistics for super enthusiasts. However, you cannot save articles for reading later, which we hope will be introduced soon.

2. Premier League – Official App

The official app of Premier League is found in almost every football fan during the season. You get regular updates, detailed statistics, and in-depth profiles of all the players who have played for a Premier League club. Besides features and news from the Premier League, you also get results, fixtures, and tables from Champions League, U18, and PL2. Further, this is the place where you get to watch some of the greatest moments in the history of the Premier League and in-action video highlights of the best players of the universe.

Finally, you also get to create your Fantasy Premier League team and enjoy the virtual game and its rewards with this app.

3. Sky Sports Football Score Centre

If you are interested in matches from Europe, Sky Sports Football Score Centre is the best app for you to follow. It provides exceptional coverage of all the top leagues in Europe, domestic, European, and international Cups, especially in England and Scotland. The news feed keeps you informed on news, takeovers, transfers, injuries, etc., all in one place. While, for the matches that are important to you, you can use the “My Scores” features which allows you to be updated on the matches that you choose.

4. BBC Sport – News & Live Scores

This BBC app does its job of providing news and updates pretty well. You get timely notifications, updates, scores, and everything you need to know during the season. However, if you try to tune to the commentary, you would be a bit disappointed as it drops out every 10 minutes or so. Also, many users experience bugs and problems with the interface. We hope these issues will be improved soon.

5. World Football League

You might not be expecting this here, but we know you install one or the other football video game every season. This is a 3D game where you play for all the players on the team and d everything on the field. The interface of the game is wonderful, and the game is highly enjoyable. The overall game resembles a lot with the Pro Evolution Soccer saga. Playable in several different modes, this game app is a must-try for Android users.

7 Best Reasons Why Composite Decking is Becoming Popular

Since it arrived in the market, composite decking has become popular. Homeowners who are not aware of composite decking before are now beginning to purchase it. Composite boards have now gained more popularity compared to wood decking. What are the reasons composite decking is becoming popular?

Why Composite Decking is Becoming Popular

Composite decking is becoming popular for a lot of reasons. To know the reasons behind these, let’s consider some of its benefits.

Why Composite Decking is Becoming Popular

1. Composite decking is cost-effective

Composite decking is a cost-effective flooring material. It is one of the reasons why composite decking is becoming popular. The amount you use to purchase a composite board is worth it because of its benefits. More importantly, composite boards are also easy to maintain.

If you use composite decking to build a deck, you will spend less on maintaining your deck. Composite board is not like wood that is cheaper but will require a huge amount for maintenance. Maintaining a wood decking is thrice the amount you will spend in purchasing composite decking. Homeowners who are aware of these prefer to purchase composite boards instead.

2. It is aesthetically pleasing

Installing composite decking in your outdoor space will make your home beautiful. The board is available in lighter and darker colours that you can choose. Some homeowners even install different board colours and solar decking lights to create a beautiful focal point in their outdoor space.

A good thing about composite boards is that they don’t fade. It has protection on its outer layer that prevents ultraviolet rays from fading its colour. If you use composite decking to build a deck, the deck will remain beautiful for a long time.

3. Composite decking adds value

Composite decking can also add value to a home. It is a reason why composite decking is becoming popular. Homeowners who want to make their homes luxurious are now installing wood-plastic decking in the outdoor space.

Additionally, homeowners who want a high ROI on their property can build a deck with composite boards. When potential buyers see how beautiful your property is with composite decking, they will be willing to purchase your home at your price.

4. It is durable

Another reason why composite decking is becoming popular is that it is highly durable. It is more durable than timber and plastic decking. Every homeowner will want a strong flooring material that will last longer. No wonder composite decking is becoming popular.

Many people have started using composite boards to build a deck in their garden, knowing that it’s highly durable. A composite deck will not get damaged if there are a lot of people on it. It is a durable material that can withstand heavy foot traffic. Also, composite decking will not wear or tear since it is durable.

5. Composite decking will last longer

Composite board is a material that has a longer warranty. If you install it in your outdoor space, the decking will last for decades. You can use a composite deck for as long as 25 to 30 years, depending on your purchase brand. Composite decking is not like other flooring materials like timber that can only last for a short period. Since wood-plastic decking has a longer lifespan than other decking materials, it is now increasingly popular.

green-deck

6. It is easy to maintain

Furthermore, composite decking is becoming popular since it is not difficult to maintain. It does not need painting since the decking colour can not fade. Also, you don’t have to bother about sanding or staining a composite decking. Apart from that, composite decking does not need the application of sealers to make it last longer. Regular cleaning of the decking is all that is required to make your composite board look great.

7. Composite decking is resistant to the elements

Composite decking is also resistant to the elements. It is resistant to water or moisture. Wood-plastic boards are also resistant to rot. Apart from that, it is also resistant to termites. Termites will not be able to damage a wood-plastic decking.

Conclusion

The reason why composite decking is becoming popular is that it is durable and long-lasting. Besides that, composite is beautiful and will add value to your property.

How to Find Off-Grid Land To Build Your Home

A recent Forbes report states that nearly one-third of Americans are considering moving to less populated areas, in wake of the pandemic. Besides safety, off-grid living offers the chance to become more self-sufficient and less reliant on others. Off-grid living can mean a less stressful, healthier lifestyle.

If you are comfortable with doing things with your own hands and enjoy privacy and quiet, off-grid living in the State of Texas, or another state, may be an ideal lifestyle. But how can you find an appropriate property? Here are some things to consider, before we discuss finding the ideal location.

How to Find Off-Grid Land To Build Your Home

Proximity to Civilization

Ideally, you want to be away from the hustle and bustle, but realistically, you want to be close enough in case of an emergency. There are some good reasons for this. At some point, you will likely need to utilize a hospital. Some communities offer emergency flights to metropolitan hospitals. At any rate, you shouldn’t be terribly far from medical care.

Even though you may grow a vegetable garden and hunt, you will still probably want to have a grocery store less than an hour away. From buying gas to propane, from hardware stores to pharmacies, there are things you will need. According to professional Texas brokers, a property with too long of a drive will be impractical. Look for a property near a town that offers amenities.

Look for land with a water source

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of having a water source on your property. This may be a pond, a spring, a creek or river, or a well. Hauling water is impractical and difficult. You may be able to install storage tanks, but then you are still reliant upon finding a water hauler.

Drilling a well is not inexpensive, so unless you know others in the area have had success with drilling, this is not a good solution. Even if there is a creek, laws may regulate how much you can draw. This is vitally important to check on.

Check the Road Conditions

Has a road been bulldozed to the property you are considering? Is it paved, or does it have gravel? Could a fire engine get in and back out? Can a propane truck deliver propane? If you are going to have snow and heavy rain, having a good road is extremely important.

You may be planning to build your own, but remember, it’s an expensive proposition. If the above hasn’t scared you off, then you can begin the process of looking. When looking at various states, remember to check to see if off-grid living is allowed in that state or county.

Places to Look

Craiglist offers some intriguing deals, but it’s buyer beware. If you are considering a Craigslist purchase, our advice is to thoroughly do your homework. It is a site known to attract scammers. Never buy anything without seeing it and confirming the ownership records with the County. Traditional real estate firms offer a safe, and legal, method to search our properties. You have the advantage of employing someone to do the legwork. However, you will also pay for that privilege, in the form of a real estate commission.

Ebay, surprisingly, has some interesting, legitimate real estate offerings. Again, it’s recommended  that you actually go to the property and do your homework. People can take great photos, but reality can be something quite different. Auctions are another good source of inexpensive land, but you need to research the parcel prior to putting in an offer. Remember our advice: water, roads, proximity to towns. You will also need to be prepared to pay for the land, right away, at an auction. There may be a small grace period but cash is king.

sustainable forestry

Meanwhile, off-grid publications often contain advertisements for off-grid properties. As these are folks who understand the lifestyle, these ads can be intriguing. Social media often has “groups” or people to “follow” who are living off-grid life. This is a good opportunity to join and read about the lifestyle and see what properties are for sale.

Off-grid living has its challenges, but the rewards more than outweigh them. Make sure you do your homework before purchasing and keep in mind the above recommendations for success.

10 Ways to Reduce Plastic Waste While Camping

The plastic problem is always a big one and will continue afflicting many parts of the world. Plastics fill our rivers, lands, and even oceans. It is having a great impact on our lives and even affecting marine life.

The single-use of plastic is bad, we should always strive to recycle or avoid them altogether. Unfortunately, when you go camping, you will have very few options. It may not be easy to avoid plastics. Luckily, there are things you can do to reduce plastics consumption.

camping-plastic-wastes

The best camping site will be an off-grid location situated in a remote area. Obviously, you will not have a designated place where to dispose of the plastic bags. Here are 10 ways to reduce plastic waste while camping

1. Pre-Plan Your Trip

If you do not plan in advance, it is easy to get trapped. You will end up picking plastic and paper plates. The results will be creating unnecessary plastic waste. Pre-planning helps you to get organized.

If you are tech-savvy, you may use an app to help you plan. If the campsite has Wi-Fi, it will make things better for you. It will allow you to utilize your phone. Also, plan to shop for groceries in bulk. This way, you will avoid the small plastic container.

Instead, you will have the foods packed in big containers that can be recycled and reused. It reduces the number of plastics you carry to the camping site.

If you will prepare some of the meals at home, pack them in reusable containers. It allows you to easily dispose of some of the plastics you carried from the grocery.

2. Store Food Wisely

You don’t need to pack the food in sandwich bags. Instead, use bowls, food coolers and mess kits. These items can be used to pack food and could be reused multiple times. Using them ensures that you have enough food throughout your camping trip.

Also, it guarantees to keep the camping environment free from plastics. Packing glass and silver cutleries may look cumbersome when going on a camping trip. But, it is the only way to ensure that your camping environment is plastic-free.

So, ensure you shop for enough sporks, and mess kits beforehand. It will help you reduce the plastics you carry to your camping site. Mess kits could be the best option when you go camping. You can use them to store the food and put them to multiple other uses.

However, if you are going to a bear trail, all your items should be bear proof. A traditional storage won’t work. You must use a bear canister to store foods.

However, to keep the foods in good shape in warm weather, you must have the best bear proof coolers from IBC7 Outdoors. Bears are very sensitive to smell. Hence, you must plan wisely.

3. Pick Simple Foods

You will get involved in so many activities while in the camp. So, it requires that you carefully select the dishes to prepare. Thus, picking on simple foods could help to save your time. It greatly reduces the plastics you will need to deal with.

Some of the foods you may consider are:

  • Dehydrated Foods

The foods are easy to pack and require little cooking. Besides, they are nutritious, and you will not need to worry about flavor. If you have challenges in cooking food, they are among the options you may need to consider.

  • Nuts, Trail Mix and Bars

They make an enjoyable camping snack. They are easy to make and can be packed in renewable containers. Packing these foods in mess kits reduces the need to carry unnecessary camping bags.

  • Dried Fruits and Beef Jerky

They contain protein and are the best option if you are looking forward to something to reduce hunger pangs quickly. They are easy to pack in containers and may not require the use of plastic bag.

4. Use Safe Plastic Bags

Buying reusable oversized BPA free plastic containers will reduce the plastic bags and containers to carry. Besides, the BPA free bags can easily be packed transported and reused. They are easy to clean and reused.

5. Rubbish Disposal Point

By organizing a rubbish disposal point, you reduce sending wastes to a landfill. You can do this by setting aside a few specialized vessels to collect plastics and other waste products. If you are camping in a remote location, be proactive if the bin service is not available.

You may sort this out by selecting an ideal place where all the wastes and plastics can be stored. It allows you to organize to dispose of the plastics in a designated area. But as you do this, ensure that it doesn’t lead to an unpleasant odor.

Also, don’t let them overstay to attract flies, rodents, and other unwanted animals. Later, the litter must be collected packed and taken to the nearest collection point. If no such a point exists, take it home.

6. Store Dehydrated Food in Mess Kit

If you buy dehydrated food packed in a paper bag, portion them in the mess kit. This should be done at home to avoid carrying unnecessary plastics to the camping site.

To preserve the food, you will need to boil some water and pour it into the mess kit. The content should then be shut with a lid. It will rehydrate the food and will be ready to be prepared for lunch or dinner.

7. Prepare Trail Snacks

Energy snacks can make great snacks when you are on the trail. But they are always packed in plastic bags which create an eyesore if disposed carelessly.

So, instead of buying snacks that are already packaged in plastic bags, make some at home. They are better compared to the ready-made snacks that come packaged in the sandwich bag.

8. The Bamboo Mess Kit

Having a bamboo mess kit should be encouraged. It reduces the number of plastic bags you are likely to carry to the camp. It is heavier than the mess kit, but it saves you from taking plastics to the camping site.

9. Bring Your Mess Kits

When going to the grocery or your local farmer, make it a habit to carry your own mess kits. Let the vendor pack whatever you buy in the kits.

It helps you to avoid carrying home plastic bags that would be difficult to dispose of. It also reduces plastic waste that you will carry to your camping site.

10. Carry Reusable Items

Having a reusable water bottle is essential. Choose only environmentally friendly bottles. It will save you from the need to buy water bottles that are always laced with microplastics.

reusable-straw

Many manufacturers are replacing plastic drinking straws with titanium.

Consider reusable containers made from stainless steel. They are sustainable and will allow you to enjoy your outdoor adventures. Double-walled stainless-steel bottles are the best. They can keep your drinks either hot or cold.

That aside, carrying reusable conditioners and shampoo when on a camping trip is a great idea. The reusable conditioner bars and shampoos do not contain carcinogenic chemicals.

Also, the conditioner bars and shampoos last for long. It saves the environment from plastics associated with bottle shampoo.

Conclusion

It feels daunting and inconveniencing to limit the number of plastic bags you use during camping trips. But if you remain consistent, it can make a huge difference. It keeps the environment clean and reduces pollution.

Summer Activity! Start an Indoor Garden!

If you’re worried about your kids losing academic skills over the summer, you might be searching for activities to keep them mentally stimulated. You might have already signed up for a summer reading program or researched some fun math activities. However, throwing in some hands-on science activities can also be fun and educational for kids!

bees-garden

Kids learn best when they’re actively engaged in an activity. If you’re looking for a fun hands-on science activity that you can start this summer and continue into the school year, consider growing your own indoor garden!

Benefits

Aside from providing a fun activity, there are additional benefits to starting an indoor garden.

  • Having plants around your house improves your air quality because they aid in air filtration.
  • If you opt for herbs, veggies, or fruits, you can use what you grow in your cooking
  • Plants are aesthetically pleasing
  • A garden will attract birds, bees, butterflies etc.
  • Taking care of plants can provide your child with a sense of responsibility

Gardening options

An indoor garden doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You can make it as large or as little as you would like.

A small garden can be as simple as getting a few small pots and placing them in your windowsill. Even watching a single seed grow can provide some good educational talking points. If you opt for this option, you’ll want to make sure you choose a window that gets a good amount of sunlight.

If you want to take your indoor level to the next level, you can invest in an indoor garden box to put near your windows. These are raised boxes specifically designed for indoor gardening. Most gardening stores sell them, or you can build your own. A bonus of building your own is that you can build it at the perfect height for your tiny gardener!

If you have older children who already have a good understanding of gardening basics or if you’re living in a small space, you might want to consider a hydroponic system. Hydroponics involves growing plants using a nutrient-rich solution instead of soil. You can find a number of hydroponic kits to get started available online, or you can build your own system.

For hydroponic systems, the kind of water you use is very important. If your home gets hard water or water mixed with many additives, it may be worthwhile to filter the water through reverse osmosis(https://ro-systemreviews.com) before using it for your plants.

What you’ll need

Plants

Decide if you want to grow flowers, fruits, vegetables, or herbs. After you pick what you want to grow, decide if you want seeds or cuttings. Starting with seeds is a great option if you have kids because they’ll get to see the entire life cycle of a plant. Seeds also tend to be less expensive, which can be useful if some of your plants end up not making it.

Containers

You can use almost anything for a container as long as there is proper drainage. You can buy plastic or clay pots meant for gardening. These pots will have drainage holes at the bottom.

For a less expensive option, you can dig through your recycling bin for old milk cartons, butter containers, or egg cartons. Just make sure to punch holes in the bottom of your recycled container for drainage!

Grow lights

If you live in a house or apartment that doesn’t receive a lot of natural sunlight, you’ll either need to invest in plants that don’t need a lot of sunlight or invest in grow lights. Grow lights are a great option because they are specifically designed to provide indoor plants with the light they need. Even if you live in the darkest of homes, a grow light will have you saying “Look at our new indoor garden”!

Growing medium

You’ll, of course, need something for your plants to grow in. If you’re going with the traditional container or the garden box approach, you’ll want to invest in a quality potting mix. If going for the hydroponic approach, you’ll want to choose a medium that works well with your chosen system.

Child-size gardening tools

Your child will enjoy having their own tools to garden with! Invest in shovels, trowels, and watering cans that are the right size for your child.

Connecting it to learning

The best way to connect your new garden to learning is by taking your child’s lead. Children are naturally curious, so wait for your child to ask questions. You and your child can then research the questions together, either on the computer or at the library.

Possible topics you’ll explore together include why do plants need sunlight, what the life cycle of a plant is, and how can you tell if a plant is healthy.

Remember — keep it fun! The whole point of your new indoor garden is to allow your child to explore the world around them. A great indoor learning environment creates happy and healthy kids.

Is There A Cheaper Alternative To Dental Implants?

If you’re looking for a tooth replacement, dental implants might be an ideal option of all. They’re strong, can last a long time, and can give off the impression of a real tooth. The thing, however, is that dental implants are not suitable for everyone. There are many considerations to make before your dentist will allow you to undergo the whole process, and truth be told, implants also cost a hefty sum. To others, this process might be a hard pass.

Dental implants might be too expensive for your budget, but this doesn’t mean you can’t have a chance at achieving polished, brighter, and well-built new teeth!

Here’s a list of some of the best tooth replacement alternatives you can go through that are as good as dental implants but cost way less than it.

Cheaper Alternative To Dental Implants

1. Partial Dentures

Are you trying to replace just a single tooth or two? Partial Dentures might be the best choice that doesn’t require as much as a dental implant. If you’re looking for a great clinic that offers this service around the area, you should inquire to VIPcare best Tampa dentist. They are known for their budget-friendly and professional treatments and their competent and highly trusted dentists.

Partial Dentures are done by attaching the false teeth with your natural teeth by using metal clasps. This is to ensure that the replacement is stable and can withstand your everyday needs. Like dental implants, partial dentures also give off a natural look, so you don’t have to worry about getting noticed. It’s also made to make you feel comfortable, so they’re ideal for your day-to-day use.

2. Tooth-supported Fixed Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are one of the highly recommended restorative treatments you can take in case of a missing tooth. From the name itself, dental bridges aim to “bridge” the gaps between your teeth and help you achieve a natural-looking smile with just a few processes at a much lesser cost.

A fixed dental bridge is done by crowning the existing teeth or the anchor teeth with the fake teeth that will later fit in the middle of the two crowned anchors. Most fixed bridges are porcelain, so you don’t have to worry about it looking too “fake” because it certainly will give off a natural-looking impression. This process won’t make it too hard on your wallet because you can do it in just a couple of weeks compared to dental implants, so it would cost less and can be done quicker.

3. For loose teeth: Gum Disease Treatment

If your teeth aren’t missing yet, but you notice them getting loose, a gum disease treatment might save you from all the hassle and costly process of a dental implant.

This is a process meant to rejuvenate a damaged tooth by cleaning out the bacterial infection surrounding it. Other clinics offer to splint the loose tooth with the more stable and regular teeth to help support and stabilize the damaged teeth. This will enable a more healing time for the tooth and a faster way to recover as well.

alternative to dental implants

Because this doesn’t require any operations, gum disease treatments cost lesser than dental implants. The procedure is more like prevention rather than a cure. When this process works, you can keep your natural teeth and avoid spending money on artificial dental.

Your smile shouldn’t cost so much. With these cheap dental implants, you will be able to bring back your genuine grin from ear to ear without the fear of getting frowned upon. Always remember, dental care is also a part of self-care.