6 Tips to Help You Design an Eco-Friendly Bedroom

After you’ve tackled some of the major infrastructure projects that will make your home greener, you’re going to want to start working through individual rooms as well. Small, simple changes throughout your house can help make your home more eco-friendly.

Right now, harmful toxins and chemicals are probably lurking all over your bedroom. With a few changes, you can turn your bedroom into a healthy, sustainable space that you can enjoy for years to come. Here are 6 tips to help you create a sustainable bedroom:

1. Consume fewer materials with recycled furniture

Instead of buying new furniture for your bedroom, extend the life of an existing piece of furniture! Head to a thrift store. You’ll likely be able to find a few high-quality pieces that have lots of life left in them.

By buying used furniture, fewer materials will be consumed to build new furniture. Another positive of buying used is that any toxic paint or stain will have already had time to off-gas.

When buying used furniture for your bedroom, don’t settle for the first piece you see. Shop around and find furniture that is built to last. Many prefer antique wood furniture because it was built to higher standards than today’s furniture.

2. Eco-friendly mattresses are easy to find

Most mattresses are filled with toxic chemicals, including flame retardants and formaldehyde. These toxic chemicals are released into the air, which could lead to you breathing them in for hours while you’re sleeping.

Non-organic mattresses are known to lead to health problems such as chest tightness and trouble breathing. Luckily, several companies are starting to produce organic mattresses that are eco-friendly and free from toxins.

Look for mattresses that are composed of organic wool, organic cotton, and natural latex. If you’re unable to afford a new eco-friendly mattress, air out your current one outside to help with off-gassing and use a dehumidifier within your room.

3. Plants improve air quality

Plants are a great addition to any room. They look pleasant, add natural odors to the room, and can also improve your air quality.

Certain types of plants can help purify your air. They reduce CO2 and increase humidity. Adding a plant to your room can get rid of that stale, toxic air and improve your health.

Plants that you might want to consider for your bedroom include peace lilies, Boston ferns, snake plants, and aloe veras. All of these plants can purify your air and are easy to take care of.

4. Go green with natural bedding materials

With such a wide choice of materials available for your bedding, you might wonder what the most eco-friendly option is. You’re going to want to look for sheets and comforters that are made of organically grown materials that are free from chemical dyes.

Hemp is a popular choice for sheets. Hemp sheets are breathable and can also help protect against dust mites.

For comforters, consider organic cotton or wool. Cotton comforters are great for the summer, because they’re lightweight and breathable. Wool is a popular choice for the winter because it holds in heat.

5. Stay away from toxic paint

Painting your room is a good way to quickly freshen up your space. Unfortunately, most paints emit harmful VOCs into the air.

Now that we have a better understanding of how toxic paint is, many companies are producing eco-friendly paint options. Look for paint that uses natural pigments and that is low in VOCs and biocides.

Many assume that eco-friendly paint only comes in natural shades, but this isn’t true. You can get paint in most colors. If you’re struggling to pick a color, most stores will provide several smaller cans of paints so you can test it on your walls.

6. Hemp rugs are stylish and natural

While there are carpets made of renewable materials available, not everyone wants wall-to-wall carpeting. Rugs are a great way to quickly make hardwood or laminate floor cozier.

The fibers of the fast-growing hemp plant are used in a variety of items, including in rugs. Hemp rugs are durable, come in a variety of natural colors, and are mildew-resistant. They’re also very easy to maintain—they just need to be vacuumed regularly.

Some people find hemp rugs to be stiff, but the material does soften over time. Other natural-fibers used in rugs include jute, seagrass, and sisal.

Final thoughts

It’s time to get rid of those toxic chemicals in your bedroom! Being mindful of what materials you’re using in your bedroom and focusing on improving your air quality are among the steps you should take to create an eco-friendly bedroom.

The Best Warm Winter Getaways in the US

After working for a long time, it is always advisable to go on vacation especially if there is enough cash. Going on a getaway is one of the few things to do to have fun and keep body and soul together. There are lots of places that one could visit for a getaway especially if one’s family will be going as well. The best getaway is ways the family getaway where you go with your family to a new land. This is always a good thing to do as it binds family love. To enjoy getaway, it is importance to look for a perfect destination that will offer everything needed to have a memorable getaway.

United States is a good destination for getaways as there are lots of beautiful things and amazing places that will make the getaway awesome. The United States also has a record of hosting a lot of tourists every year because of the numerous tourist attractions and beautiful places in various cities and towns. Getaway in the United States is always unique because you will find your choice of interest in the various cities.

Also, no matter your budget you will always find good places that are suitable for getaways. If you want your getaway to be fun, easy, and straight forward, you should know your targeted locations in the US before leaving your country.

There is a big difference between winter getaways and planning a trip in every other season. The winter is always cold, and it could be extremely bad in some cases. It is always advisable for every visitor to visit some of the perfect warm locations in the US whenever the trip falls in winter. Here are some of the best warm winter getaways in the US that one could visit to have a good time.

1. Leavenworth

This is a popular town in the state of Washington that is suitable for a winter getaway. There are lots of warm locations in the town that makes it easy for tourists to have a great time in the town. Since the weather is always closed during winter, it is better to go with a good winter jacket.

Another way to have great time in the town during winter is to visit some of the warm locations. There are good parks to host family picnics, good restaurants to eat both native and foreign foods, and other sightseeing locations that will make you want to visit the town again.

The good thing about visiting Leavenworth for vacation is that a lot of things are cheap making it easy for foreigners to access almost every activity and event in the town. No matter where you come from, you will always find something interesting about Leavenworth town. Memories are very important, and it is good to keep a record of good events thus try as much as possible to take a lot of pictures in the beautiful town of Leavenworth.

The ESTA is compulsory for every citizen of VWP countries that are planning a trip to the US. ESTA check online to know if your country is eligible.

2. Truckee

This is another town that is suitable for getaways, especially during winter. It is a town in California that attracts a lot of new visitors now and then. Truckee is a place to be during winter as there are several warm locations that will enhance excellent satisfaction. This is a place to be if you want to impress your kids because they will enjoy their time in the town. There are numerous children fun centers that provide children with top-notch services that keep them busy.

Choosing Truckee as a getaway location will provide you with a lot of amazing things needed to have a fulfilled vacation. You will meet a lot of other tourists that have come to explore the small town thus try as much as possible to make new friends and buy the best cheap luggage. It is also important for one to take pictures to save good memories, and also make use of green ways to travel.

3. Ithaca

This is another good location for a good getaway. It is one of the most visited towns in New York. There are lots of sightseeing locations and landmarks that will make your getaway an unforgettable experience. Apart from exploring some of the amazing places in this town, you can also visit some of the popular cities in New York to explore some popular landmarks and sightseeing locations.

Ithaca town has a lot of warm locations making it a suitable location for a winter getaway. Visit some of the parks and recreational centers with your kids because this will go a long way. Exploring this town maximally will show you the beauty of Ithaca town and New York. There are a lot of beautiful places to take good pictures; try your possible best to take a lot of pictures.

The Impact of Smart Homes on Generations

America is already feeling the impact of smart homes. A large industry based on this technology is forming. But, what is the effect of it on the different generations? Here you can find a brief discussion of the impact of smart homes on generations.

What is a Smart Home?

Smart homes consist of all the different smart products owned by the user. These products are interconnected. It makes use of the internet to connect to other products. This technical feature is called the Internet of Things (IoT).

There are all kinds of products. Every room or space in a home can be automated by smart home products. You can even install smart devices into your backyard like smart lawnmowers and irrigation systems.

Benefits for all generations

Smart home products are designed to benefit its users. The technology is developed for all generations. So there are benefits to its use that applies to everyone.

These benefits include:

  • An increase in comfort of the user’s lifestyle.
  • Increased life expectancy caused by the usage of these products (i.e. smart security products).

Impacts on different generations

Three larger generation groups have been defined for the purpose of this discussion. It’s been split into the retirees, the working force, and the youth.

Retirees

Smart home products can connect to all kinds of services and devices. Elderly people can enjoy minor medical check-ups from the comfort of their homes. Video calls and domestic smart medical equipment can supply all the information a doctor needs. Doctors can keep an eye on patients that are too far from their offices.

Retired people can make use of smart home technology to automate simple tasks. Grocery shopping and other basic services are accessible through these products. Retirees will enjoy the improved elderly care and greater access to basic services caused by smart homes.

The working force

Smart home products like smart thermostats have been known to save its users an average of 20% in yearly warming and cooling costs. According to a study conducted by SafeAtLast, 57% of American smart home owners save about 30 minutes per day. Automating your home will save you lots of time and effort in the process.

The working force who owns smart home products will be more productive. They will also have more cash on hand due to extra savings. Smart homes can help to create a wealthier economy by assisting the working force.

The youth

The youth of today is the promise for tomorrow. Smart home technology is indirectly designed to increase the life expectancy of its user. All these benefits will help to cultivate a better tomorrow. The youth who grow up with smart home technology will have an advantage over their lesser privileged youths. Though, the psychological effects of this technology (over the long term) is yet to be studied.

Conclusion

This technology wants to make your life better. It will benefit every generation. Give it a try to experience the benefits yourself. Read on to for interesting facts on smart homes.

10 Ways To Be An Eco-Friendly Student

Environmental degradation has led to many devastating effects such as the depletion of the ozone layer, health problems for people living in areas where toxic fumes and chemicals are released and a change in weather patterns. Everyone can contribute to a better and healthier environment by living eco-friendly lives on a daily basis.

As a student, you can be able to change this and influence others towards getting the environment back to a better place to the extent possible. Here are some tips on how to be an eco-friendly student.

 

1. Use Little to No Paper

Reduce your use of paper as much as you can. If you want to take notes while in class, use your mobile phone, tablet or laptop to do so. Instead of buying books, download them and read from your device. Not only will you be saving trees from being cut but you will also save a lot of money.

2. Avoid Disposable Eating Utensils

Using disposable cups, plates, and spoons seems like the easiest thing to do to save time. However, this harms the environment in the long run. Choose to use utensils that you can wash and reuse over a long period of time. The money saved from buying these items can be used for eco-friendly projects you would like to participate in.

3. Drive Less and Cycle or Walk More

If your destination is not so far away, you can cycle or walk instead of driving. If the distance is too long, you can choose to travel by public transport. If many people opted to follow this and drive only when it is absolutely necessary, pollution would decrease significantly, contributing to positive effects in the environment.

4. Conserve Water

At all times, be conscious of the amount of water you use whether you are bathing, washing your hands after using the washroom, washing dishes or doing anything else that requires you to use water. To contribute to a green college, use an amount of water that you actually need when showering, brushing your teeth or when suitable.

5. Buy Reusable Bags

Buying plastic bags every time you go shopping is a waste of money and these bags take up so much space in the home. You can opt for reusable bags which you can use more than once when going out for shopping. Apart from saving money, you will save yourself from having to pile a lot of garbage from plastic bags.

6. Save Energy

This is one of the best ways on how to be eco-friendly. One way to save on energy is by reducing the degrees on your thermostat slightly. You can also power down any devices that are not in use such as your electronics. Switching off the lights when you do not need them also helps. Using energy-efficient bulbs is also helpful as they last longer and consume less energy.

7. Participate in Eco-Friendly Projects

Take advantage of every opportunity you get to participate in projects that lead to a better environment. This can be a challenge due to the amount of academic work you may have. You can always receive help with your assignment at any time.

If you are wondering who will do my essay Australia, then worry no more as there are professional writers in online writing services ready to help you anytime you need assistance. With no excuse now, you can participate in cleaning projects, tree planting and any other environmental projects.

8. Buy Reusable Water Bottles

Buying water each time you feel thirsty may not be economically and environmentally beneficial. You can opt to buy 2 or 3 reusable water bottles for carrying water at any time you are outdoor. When buying a water bottle, choose BPA free water bottles as they are more environmental-free.

9. Reduce Meat Consumption

Eating less meat can actually contribute to a better environment and slow down global warming. Harmful gases are usually released to the atmosphere during cattle rearing for meat production. Reducing the consumption of meat will mean less harmful gases being released thus slowing down global warming.

10. Use Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Products

Many cleaning products contain ingredients that are harmful to humans, animals, and the environment. One of the best sustainability tips is to use eco-friendly cleaning products as much as possible. Products such as baking soda, lemons, white vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide are all-natural cleaning products that are not toxic and are easily available.

To get the right ingredients to get rid of any type of stain, you can research on the internet to get suggestions on what you can use.

Conclusion

Whether you know anything about living an eco-friendly life or not, you can always learn and there is always something you can do to make the earth a better place. Keeping up-to-date with the condition of the earth can help you know what you need to work on.

Apart from doing all the above to be an eco-friendly student, you can also join environmental clubs and take part in any events and projects that are geared towards saving our environment. Conducting personal research on how to be more eco-friendly and sharing information with others is also a good way of being an eco-friendly student.

3 Ways To Improve Your Bathroom

Both the first place we visit in the morning as well as the last stop before we go to bed, bathrooms are used as regularly, if not more so, than any other room in the house. So why don’t we dedicate the same amount of time and resources to making it as aesthetically and practically successful as, say, our kitchens? Besides helping you re-evaluate the importance of the bathroom within the home, we are here to help you enact some changes that will not only improve the appearance of your bathroom but its utility too.

bathroom-remodel

Boost water pressure and flow with a shower pump

A shower is an almost inviolable component of the daily routine and ensuring that it works as efficiently and effectively as possible is imperative. There are a number of different ways this can be achieved. The one change you should be prioritising is the addition of a shower pump. Without sufficient water flow and water pressure, a shower fails to be enjoyable. A shower pump can remedy this.

The kind of shower pump you will need however depends on the positioning of the water tank in relation to the pump. Efficient negative head shower pumps have the ability to act against gravity and will work regardless of their relative position to the accompanying water tank while positive head shower pumps will only work when positioned above or equal to the water tank.

Similarly, you need to determine whether your home is better served by a single or twin impeller pump – the difference being that twin impeller pumps are more adept at propelling water from far apart cold water and hot water tanks.

Ventilate your bathroom and ward off threat of damp

Bathrooms are invariably seen as somewhat of an afterthought when it comes to allocating space within a home. Often, but not always, cramped and confined, small bathrooms do little to hamper the presence of moisture in the air that will eventually condense to form water droplets on the cooler tiled or even wallpapered walls which can lead to host of damp problems.

The best way to impede the appearance and advance of damp is to properly ventilate your bathroom. Outside of taking a hammer to the walls to create a custom-made window, your options are relatively limited. The most inexpensive and practical solution is to install an extractor fan or purchase a dehumidifier. Either will help to remove excess moisture – preventing the development of damp and mould in the process.

Lighten up your bathroom

A complete bathroom décor overhaul can be expensive and time-consuming. Sometimes small alterations can be just as transformative. Electing to lighten up the room is one such example.

Going for lighter hues and tones throughout your bathroom creates the illusion of space, leading to a more spacious and airier-feeling room. This modification doesn’t necessarily require a top-to-bottom repainting; putting up posters, investing in a new and expansive mirror, and altering existing cabinets with fresh exteriors can elicit the same kind of response.

Recycling: Where to Start in Reducing Your Waste?

Millions and billions of garbage are accumulated every year. In America alone, each individual produces up to 4 pounds of waste material every day. Improper disposal of this garbage is harmful not only to you but also to everyone around you. Waste from landfills can emit greenhouse gases, pollute the soil, and can contaminate your drinking water.

However, in a simple way, such as recycling, you can make a difference. You can recycle your garbage in various ways, including reselling, donating, collecting, manufacturing, etc. Recycling is a lifestyle you can choose that requires a vast amount of dedication and a sense of responsibility.

recycling-waste

Here are some tips and tricks that can help you start your recycling journey.

What  You Can Recycle

First, you need to distinguish what garbage you can and cannot recycle.

Recyclable

  1. Plastic – Any plastic containers and bottles with the recycling symbol, and inside are the numbers 1 or 2.
  2. Paper Products – Items including phonebooks, magazines, mails, newspapers, food boxes, cardboard boxes, and printer paper.
  3. Glass – Objects like food containers, bottles, and jars, which are emptied and rinsed.
  4. Metal – Mainly aluminum cans, steel cans, tin, and other metals as long as it’s also empty and rinsed.

Non-Recyclable

  1. Plastic shopping bags
  2. Plastic food wrappings
  3. Plastic straws and silverware
  4. Foam containers, cups, and egg cartons
  5. Soiled food or biological waste
  6. Broken glasses
  7. Medical waste
  8. Dirty diapers
  9. Ink cartridges
  10. Phones

There are still more items to be included in the list, feel free to read the label or go online for them. It’s good to make it a habit to check if an item is recyclable or not.

Purchase Your Recycling Bins

After knowing what garbage is recyclable and non-recyclable, you can now buy your recycling bins. You can shop in malls or other marketplaces that offer bins in your desired size and shape at affordable prices. Some bins have a recycling logo that would help you to easily distinguish it from your other trash cans.

The basic rule in how many bins you should acquire depends on how many trash cans you have in your household. Also, set up your recycling bins next to your trash cans so that every time you throw an item away, you will be reminded to check if it’s recyclable or not. Remember not to use plastic bags in recycling because they are not recyclable.

Aside from your home, you can also keep recycling bins in your car and your office at work. Wherever you are, you can always sort and recycle your garbage.

Find Your Local Drop-Off Location

Depending on where you live, there may be different rules on what you can recycle and how to prepare your recycled items. Moreover, public drop-off areas are also important information to know together with the local garbage collection schedule.

Some states would allow you to leave your recycled items in the curbside, but if not, be sure to know where the designated areas are so that you can dump your recyclables before garbage collectors pick them up. The collection schedule could either be once a week or once every other week. It wholly depends on where you live.

Be sure to inquire to your local government or information desk about these rules and instructions before you start recycling. Print out the vital information and instructions, and post them somewhere visible so that you can’t forget about them.

Other Actions to Consider

Recycling your garbage helps in reducing your household waste and lowering your carbon footprint. But besides recycling, there are many other activities and practices you can do to help the society and the environment more. Remember to reduce, reuse, and recycle the items in your household instead of immediately throwing them out.

You can avoid buying or using single-use plastics to reduce the waste you produce. Another trick is to use recyclable bags instead of paper and plastic bags. Utilize your jars for your leftovers instead of plastic containers. You can also create your garden fertilizer by using food waste and other compostable garbage to set up a compost pile.

However, for wastes such as expired medicines, one should not, in any way, recycle and reuse expired or unused medicines as they can pose a risk to one’s health and safety. Throwing it anywhere is also harmful to the environment.

There’s a specific disposal process you must follow, which includes mixing the medicine with cat litter or referring to the FDA’s Flush List. Visit BuzzRx to learn more about proper medicine disposal.

Takeover

The way you live can impact the world and the environment. By recycling, you can help lessen waste, conserve resources, and not contribute to the pollution already prevalent in our world. No matter how tedious recycling can be, remember that it will be developed into a good habit that will help improve the society, environment, and especially yourself.

5 Ethical, Sustainable and Eco-friendly Cost-Saving Tips

Consumers are no longer solely interested in catching a great deal. In fact, it’s the quick and cheap, disposable living mindset that has put the world in such a precarious state. Studies have shown that a business’s impact on the world plays a key role in their purchasing decision. Here are five ethical, sustainable, and eco-friendly cost-saving tips to help you cut back on your spending, and your carbon footprint.

Green SMEs

Evaluate your Utility Providers

Take a look at your utility providers to see what they’re doing to make a positive impact on the world around them. For those that are bill tracking, it is important to note that many energy service providers offer special rates and rebates for lower consumption. Using Energybot, you can contrast and compare providers in your area. You can visit their website to find the most affordable, eco-friendly option for you.

In areas where providers are limited, you can still look at their environmental initiatives and programs that will save you money while making a positive impact. Many utility providers conduct energy audits or provide rebates for swapping out appliances and faucets for eco-friendly versions.

Hit the Thrift Shop

Online shopping makes it easy to get anything you could dream of at an affordable rate. However, there’s a good chance that someone like you had a similar item and discarded it.

Hitting the thrift shop before shopping online will not only save you money but will also have a positive environmental impact. The clothes you buy online are manufactured and shipped from all over the world. This creates carbon emissions that have a detrimental effect. There’s a hidden cost to affordable online shopping; buy local whenever possible.

Eat Seasonally

Eating food from local sources is better for the environment and the economy. By ensuring that your money stays in the local economy, you’re stimulating growth that will ultimately benefit you over time. Furthermore, you aren’t paying to have food manufactured, shipped, and stored from thousands of miles away.

Eating seasonal produce will help you save money on fresh food and improve the diversity of your diet. By consuming seasonal, local produce, you’re saving money, boosting the local economy, positively impacting the environment, and improving your health. It’s a win for all involved.

Be Water Savvy

Minimizing your water consumption will help keep your budget low and the environment thriving. Start by monitoring your consumption at home and making small changes. Shut the water off while brushing your teeth. Don’t rinse your dishes before putting them in the washer. Wait until you have a full load to do laundry.

To take it to the next level, swap your faucet and showerheads out with aerators and low-flow alternatives. Start collecting and reusing rainwater for gardening. Replace your hot water tank with a “tankless” alternative. Look at your meter usage and set reduction goals.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Recycling is a great initiative that can make an incredible difference in the environment when done correctly. However, recycling is just one of the “Three R’s” to remember.

Circular-Economy

 

Reduce and reuse often go hand-in-hand. Reduce your packaging consumption by buying food in bulk and using reusable grocery bags. Before you recycle something, think about ways to give it new life. Mason jars can be used to store dry goods and pack lunches rather than using plastic containers. Keep a few large jugs handy to fill with water, rather than adding to the single-use bottle problem. Instead of plastic toothbrush, use a bamboo toothbrush from Ecoy.

There are plenty of ways to lower your spending while taking care of the environment. Use a budgeting app like Mint to gain awareness about where your money is going. Then, use a carbon footprint calculator to evaluate your consumption. By making some simple changes to your lifestyle, you can limit harmful spending.

Simple Ways to Transform Your Condo Into an Eco-Friendly Space

Global warming and climate change have been at the forefront of news headlines nowadays. This brings to attention the need to protect the environment. When it comes to going green, every step matters and you can do your share with through your condominium unit.

Whether you own a condo unit for personal use or as an investment, you should think about how to transform your space and make it green.  Get started with basic maintenance care when you read this post. Then, incorporate 8 lifestyle changes and remodeling tips listed below to reduce your carbon footprint and make your condo eco-friendly.

Parquet wood floors are back in vogue

1. Switch to LED Lights

This is one of the simplest changes that you can adopt into condo living. LED lights are the new standard for modern and eco-friendly lighting at home. If you are still using incandescent and fluorescent lights or lamps, you need to consider getting new LED lights.

Light-emitting diodes (LED) are more energy-efficient and can last up to 20 years. They are, therefore, a good option to use for condo lighting if you want to minimize your carbon footprint. They are also practical since LED lights are affordable and last a long time, giving more value to your money.

2. Install Eco-Friendly Air Conditioners

The traditional air conditioners are notorious for consuming large amounts of energy that also hike up utility bills. If you want to save on power and optimize cooling within your home, it is best to find eco-friendly air conditioners. It can help you save up to 90% off your current energy bill.

But it is not just your air conditioner that you should consider replacing with eco-friendly ones. Make sure you choose other energy-efficient appliances, too.

3. Use Natural Cleaning Products

Going organic when it comes to your diet is one of the best ways to develop an eco-friendly practice at home. But when you cannot fully commit to altering your diet, it is best to start with the products you use. For example, you can switch to green cleaning products. This will not only benefit the environment but anyone living in your condo as well.

When you use natural cleaning products, you are exposed to fewer amounts of harsh chemicals. The fewer chemicals you use, the less harmful it is to your health. Also, if you have small kids, the use of chemical cleaning products should be a no-no!

The best part is that natural cleaning products are often less expensive than chemical-based ones. If you are not sure which to choose, research on brands that manufacture or specialize in natural cleaning products.

4. Furnish Your Condo with Reclaimed Materials

Have you inherited antiques from your grandparents? Do you have any unused furniture lying around? Instead of opting for new furniture items and accessories to decorate your home with, it is best to opt for those made of reclaimed materials instead. This will help reduce the waste dumped in landfills and maximize the shelf life of these materials. The use of antiques and old furnishings can also add an interesting decorative flair to your home.

Reclaimed wood materials are one of the most common recyclable materials that are used for home and interior decorating. You can repaint them to make them look brand new and fit into your interior décor theme.

5. Spruce Up Space with Plants

The addition of plants to your condo is a great way to enhance its aesthetic appeal. At the same time, add color and vibrancy to interior space. But there is also an eco-friendly benefit to incorporating plants as decoration–it improves indoor air quality.

Some of the plants that act as an air purifier are:

  • Aloe Vera
  • Areca Palm
  • Elephant Ear Philodendron
  • Lady Palm
  • Bamboo or Reed Palm
  • Rubber Plant
  • English Ivy

Before you move into your condo, get one or more of these plants for a healthy home for you and your family.

6. Be Eco-Conscious in Your Choice of Kitchen Sink

If you need to renovate your kitchen, make sure to choose eco-friendly sinks.  As the most important part of your kitchen, choose stainless steel or kitchen sinks that are made from copper recycled materials. This will add a modern look while making it eco-friendly. Sinks made of renewable materials are also great options.

Pair it with low-flow faucets to conserve water easily. Another alternative is to install a low-flow aerator with existing taps. This will significantly reduce the flow rate of 4 gallons per minute to just 0.5 gallons. That’s a huge volume of water saved.

7. Invest in a Smart Home System

A smart home might seem like an expensive investment. But when you live in a condo, you will find cheaper systems that will make your life more efficient and eco-friendly, too. A smart home system will adjust the control of various appliances and equipment, such as lighting, heating, and cooling.

With its data-driven system in place, control of indoor temperature, lighting, and the like are automated. By adjusting to the optimal level, you won’t waste energy heating or cooling your home. It also helps to ensure that no unused light is turned on (as it automatically turns the light off when you leave a room).

This is a simple step that you can take to transform your condo into an eco-friendly space. While the one-time investment might be big, it can help you save more in the long run (in terms of lower energy bills).

8. Repaint Furniture, Not Replace Them

This is another simple step that you can do if you want to promote sustainability in your condo unit. Does any piece of furniture look old? Is your cabinetry looking a little dated? Don’t throw them away just yet to get new ones!

Make sure you look at the possibility of repainting or re-facing any furniture or cabinets in your home instead of replacing them with a new one. This is true for appliances or furniture that are still in good working condition.

What steps are you taking to make your condo eco-friendly? Why not give these tips and try and let us know what benefits you gained from doing so?

7 Ways to Live a Stress-Free Life in College

Everybody knows that college is not just about long lessons, wise teachers and interesting acquaintances. Sometimes it’s get harder to be in a harmonious and amicable mood when everything starts to fall apart, and students are trying to fix it but at the same time making the situation much worse.

The most common reasons of stress in college are as follows:

  • Different conflict situations with teachers and other students;
  • Huge lack of sleep and ineptitude to manage time;
  • Getting low grades and not completed homework and tasks;
  • Fears of the unknown and uncertain future;
  • Large amount of educational materials to study;
  • Difference between expectations and reality of chosen profession;
  • Intensive mental activity with a huge quantity of information.
  • Environmental crisis

There are some ways and tips how to live without stress at college, which can help you tackle with stressful situations by yourself.

1. Think about your time management

Try to do all the complicated lessons first and don’t leave your homework until midnight. Start with compiling a task list every week. Write down at least three important, short-term goals that you want to achieve. No matter what kind of your goals are, stick to them and do your best to achieve them! You can do more and you will feel better without delaying things “later”. Make small changes in your life and self-organization —find a place for each thing. Self-pity is a waste of time.

2. Acquire colorful and bright stationery

It will always make you smile in any way. Notebooks with your favorite flowers or animals will bring you peaceful mood and it will help you to be concentrated on pleasant thoughts. Buy some nice pens, pencils and other stationery and you will feel the difference and motivation to do something with these cute things.

3. Eat only healthy and wholesome food

“We literally are what we eat”, says chief editor at Pro-Papers. If you feel stressed, instead of reaching a pack of biscuits or the nearest fast-food chain restaurant, try to eat something healthy and it will help you manage the stress.

For example, avocado and bananas are loaded with potassium, a vital mineral which can keep blood pressure within normal parameters. Feeling low? Eat some almonds, pistachios or walnuts and your immune system will be boosted by vitamins and zinc!

4. Sleep well, at least 8 hours per night

Lack of sleep can cause bad mood, concentration problems and a general severe fatigue. It also affects our ability to perceive and memorize information, which can cause a strong stress when you have to learn a lot. If you have good sleep, it increases your attention, self-confidence, memory, social skills, and appetite. Use a weighted blanket in order to reduce stress and anxiety.

5. Think of your new hobbies

Do you know the best way to put an end to all the stressful situations? Knitting and painting increases the activity of the prefrontal cortex and improve your creativity skills. Scientists have found that gardening improves mental health and physical health, as well as reduced levels of depression.

Cooking is a rather meditative exercise and a great way to deal with stress. Everything that you need to do — is to find your own hobby and get the benefits from it!

6. Listening to peaceful music

Music not only affects our mood, but also inspires, relieves stress, calms and even heals. Gentle music with a harmonic tune will help reduce the level of the stress hormone cortisol, which causes damage to our mind and body. Just turn on the new album of your favorite band and start relaxing after nervous day at college.

7. Go to shopping

Sometimes all we need to feel happy is a new dress or new sneakers, isn’t it? According to psychologists, shopping is one of the most effective ways to help relieve depression.

The main thing is not to get nervous about some little things. It’s undeniable that these little things cause a serious stressful condition which is too destructive for our nervous system and mental health. Avoid contact with people who are sources of negative emotions, thoughts, moods. If you think, “I will never finish on time,” stop thinking that way. Better imagine your success — visualize how you will feel, shaking the hand of your professor, how he says that you have done a great and important job.

Your hard work will pay off as soon as you leave the tears and regrets behind you. Do not accumulate anger and negative, make a decision, shake off the burden of negative emotions and go on. When you arrange your priorities properly, you will become more organized and have your stress relieved by focusing more on your success. Only then, you are likely to become a confident student for whom studying is just a piece of cake.

Behavioral Drivers Behind Food Wastes

By 2075, the United Nations estimates the global population will peak at 9.5 billion, an extra 3 billion mouths to feed by the end of the century. Meanwhile, while we produce about four billion tonnes of food annually, it is estimated that 30-50% of this never reaches our plates. Of the food that does reach us, some western societies throw away up to a third of all food purchased. This has enormous implications for the global environment, from wasting the water used to grow the food to adverse effects on climate, land and biodiversity.

food-waste-behavior

The drivers behind the phenomenal levels of food waste are complex and include public behavior, food pricing, logistical and storage issues. However, given the significant level of waste that happens within the households of societies like the UK and US, it is useful and informative to consider those behaviours that drive this level of waste.

The quality of data around food waste, as with much of waste data, has historically been poor. To this end, WRAP commissioned groundbreaking research in the UK in 2006/7 to act as a baseline to their Love Food Hate Waste campaign. This came up with the alarming statistic that 1/3 of food bought by a UK household was thrown away. Until this time, there had been no comprehensive research, either by food manufacturers, retailers or interest groups, suggesting the importance of government, or some other dis-interested party, taking a lead on the issue.

Back to Basics

There may be a link between the amount of time spent preparing food, and the skill and effort that goes into this, and the amount of food waste produced. This has led to a loss of confidence in the kitchen, with individuals losing basic skills that allow them to cook with leftovers, understand food labeling, including Best Before and Use By, even basic storing. WRAP had found little evidence of best practice storage advice so carried out the research themselves – leading the (surprising for many) conclusion that fruit such as apples and pears are best stored in the fridge wrapped in a plastic cover.

However, this has masked a larger trend of less time spent in the kitchen, due to demographic changes. This of course begs the question – how should we use this when trying to reduce food waste? Should we encourage people to cook from scratch as a principle?

Although waste prevention and recycling are clearly separated within the waste hierarchy, there are apparent links between the two when considering food waste. There is an urgent need for legislation to enforce separate food waste collections, not only to ensure it was diverted to anaerobic digestion or composting, but also as it led to greater self awareness around food waste. WRAP research has clearly showed a fall in food waste when separate food waste collections were introduced.

Role of Packaging

Historically, packaging has always been a high priority to the public when asked about priorities for reducing waste. However, as awareness of food waste has grown, a more nuanced position has developed among waste managers. While excess packaging is clearly undesirable, and, within the UK for instance, the Courtauld Commitment  has helped reduced grocery packaging by 2.9 million tonnes of waste so far, there is a realization of the importance of food packaging in preserving food and hence reducing food waste.

food-packaging

Making food easily accessible and affordable by many, it could be argued, is one of the crowning achievements of our age. Over the last century, the proportion of household income that is spent on food has plummeted, and there is a direct link to malnutrition and food prices, particularly for children. But does cheap food mean that it is less valued and hence greater wastage? Is the answer expensive food? The evidence from WRAP in the UK is that food waste is still a serious economic issue for households, and underlining the economic case for reducing food waste a major incentive for households, especially as food prices are not entering an era of increase and instability, providing added economic urgency

Political Persuasions

Different political persuasions often differ in the approaches they take to changing behaviours and food waste is no different. In the UK, the Courtauld Commitment is a voluntary agreement aimed at encouraging major retailers to take responsibility mainly for packaging, later growing to encompass food waste, voluntary and so far has seen a 21% reduction in food waste post-consumer.

Meanwhile Wales (in the UK) effectively banned food waste from landfill. Scotland has ensured that businesses make food waste available for separate collection – again it’s only once you see it, you can manage it. Campaigns like the UK’s Love Food Hate Waste have been successful but measuring food waste prevention, as with all waste prevention, is notoriously difficult. But, people are now widely aware of food waste as an issue – we even see celebrity chefs actively talking about food waste reduction and recipes involving leftovers or food that is about to go off.

Food-Waste-UK

There is clearly a balance between food waste and food safety, with a commitment to reducing food waste throughout the retail and catering world, not just at home. By engaging environmental health officers to help deliver this, a potentially conflicting message can be delivered in a nuanced and balanced way. Indeed, environmental health officers in Scotland will be responsible for ensuring that Scottish food businesses present their food waste for separate collection.

Role of Communication

It is worth considering how the message should be communicated, and by whom. The community sector are more trusted by the public than government and the private sector are more effective at imparting personal, deeply held beliefs – the sort of beliefs that need to change if we are to see long term changes in attitudes towards consumption and hence waste production.

Furthermore, communications can engage wider audiences that hold an interest in reducing food waste that is perhaps not primarily environmental. The health and economic benefits of issues and behaviours that also result in food waste prevention may be the prevalent message that fits with a particular audience. So whilst the main aim of a training session might be food waste prevention, this is may not be the external message. And this has wider implications for waste prevention, and how we engage audiences around it.

Municipal authorities tasked with waste prevention will need to engage with new groups, in new ways. They will have to consider approaches previously considered to be beyond their powers to engage new audiences – should they be partnering with public health authorities with an interest in nutrition, or social housing providers that are focused on financial inclusion.

Should waste prevention even be a discipline in itself? After all, across material streams it is a motley assortment of behaviours with different drivers. Furthermore, with the knots that one can tie oneself in trying to measure waste that doesn’t get generated, – therefore doesn’t exist – should we integrate waste prevention in to other socio-economic programmes and position it as an “added benefit” to them?

Note: The article is being republished with the permission of our collaborative partner be Waste Wise. The unabridged version can be found at this link. Special thanks to the author Mike Webster.