It is remarkable how resistant humankind has become to working with nature, all too often preferring to dominate and exploit the world around us – a trait which is detrimental to human and non-human life in the long run. Thankfully, more and more people are waking up to the idea that it is the processes and lessons of the natural world, rather than its exploitable properties, which are our most valuable assets.
As the renewable energy movement becomes truly mainstream, everyday people are beginning to turn their backs on the excesses of 19th and 20th century consumption and to instead look forwards and embrace an ecosystem of which we are not the master – but rather just another essential component.
One in way in which you can do so is to take a stand against the decimation of bee populations in a constructive manner – by making your garden a bee-friendly place. Patterns and techniques of crop farming have left the insects in increasingly hostile territory, with bee numbers falling dramatically enough to hit the headlines. But it’s possible even for individuals to make a difference just by the flowers and plants they choose to put in their garden.
Bees are crazy for the kinds of wildflowers that have been torn up by industrial-level farming, and a good variety of local, colorful blooms can brighten your days while providing a delicious stopping point for the stripy critters. Even just allowing your garden to grow naturally – without clamping down on weeds and dandelions – can make it a more inviting environment for the right kinds of insects.
Bees are crazy for wildflowers
While it’s okay to use a smattering of non-native plants in your garden, this should always be done in sensitivity to the surrounding area, as unwelcome plant-life can create environmental imbalances. If in doubt, stay local – and consult this new chart from Budget Direct, which lists some of the best choices you can make for the bees in your garden, wherever you are in the world.
Several years ago and nobody had quite caught onto the phenomenon. Now, climate change is completely real – and everyone is attempting to take responsibility for their own impact on the world.
Home-occupiers certainly don’t fall outside of this category and there are umpteen ways in which you can make your home greener if you put your mind to it. Let’s not forget that this doesn’t just benefit the environment, but it should also have a healthy impact on your back pocket as well. Bearing this in mind, let’s now take a look at some of the easiest ways to make your home green in 2020.
Plan your renovations accordingly
If the media are to be believed, we’re in the era of renovations. In other words, homeowners are preferring to stay hold of their home and improve or remodel it, rather than move somewhere else.
However, there are good and bad renovations when it comes to staying green. We’re not talking yet about doing the right amount of planning and if you will consider storing your belongings, but other practical issues.
For the purposes of an example, let’s look into the notion of open plan living and being aware that this is going to have significant heating ramifications. This is something that a lot of people forget, and they find that their radiators are working overtime in a bid to heat their new space.
Always dry line your clothes
Sometimes, the best new technology isn’t actually that beneficial for the environment. This is certainly the case when it comes to drying your clothes.
For example, while great strides have been made with washing machines and energy efficiency, the same can’t be said for dryers. They can use five times more electricity, and little else needs to be said on the matter.
Instead, line-dry your clothes, and the benefits are there for all to see.
Make the most of the rain
Next, it’s onto the garden. This is something that is often not thought of when it comes to sustainability, but particularly if you are based in a country where it rains frequently you can make a difference. Rainwater collection tanks might not be overly fashionable, but they can collect enough water over time which can allow you to maintain your garden without tapping into the mains water supply.
A lot of the modern options allow you to hook the tank up to your guttering system as well, meaning that it becomes all-too easy to collect any water that accumulates around your property’s roof.
Use your kitchen intelligently
How many times have you left the fridge door open as you venture across the room to grab another ingredient? Or, how about leaving the oven door open for similar reasons?
Put simply, this is resulting in a lot of lost energy. It might be small at the time, but it does build up and it can result in your home becoming a lot less green than it really should be.
The importance of saving water cannot be understated, especially as many countries around the world are facing drought conditions. Of course, there is an endless list of small changes you can make as a homeowner to improve the water-saving efficiency of your home, and they add up to a potentially significant difference in the long-term.
A staggering amount of water literally goes down the drain each day, when there are plenty of smart, safe ways to conserve as much of it as possible. Your bathroom is a key contributor to single-use wastage, and by keeping a container on the floor of your shower you can collect liters with each use. Meanwhile, in the kitchen, even seemingly small things like using a container to catch the water used in washing fresh produce can make a difference over time.
Get Smart About Lawn Care
It’s a common misconception that maintaining a healthy lawn requires a plentiful supply of water. Even during water-restricted periods, keeping your grass green is possible – you just have to get clever about your lawn care practices. Depending on the severity of restrictions, you may only be allowed to water your garden and lawn on certain days and at set times of day, and this will probably be enough, as long as you follow a few guidelines.
If possible, it’s best to water your plants and grass in the evening so that the water has plenty of time to soak into the soil and roots without the threat of evaporation. In case you’re unsure whether to water or not, feeling the topsoil for dryness will give you the best indication. Another interesting option for a smart and healthy lawn is to go for artificial grass.
Use the Half-flush
The second button on the toilet is more than just an aesthetic feature. In fact, the half-flush button can save as much as 70% of the water used in a full flush, owing to the difference in flushing design. A wash-down design and a large trap way make it easier for waste to flow down the drain, meaning less water is required. If you can afford to replace an old, inefficient system, you stand to save a lot of water (and by extension, money) in the long-term.
Use Dual Sinks
Washing dishes by hand gets a bad rap in terms of water efficiency, and it often uses more water than a dishwasher, but it’s possible to prevent a great deal of wastage by using your sink effectively. If you have a double-barreled sink, using one side for washing and the other for rinsing will allow you to wash an unlimited load without needing to refresh the water.
Check the Ratings
Every water-using device has an efficiency rating, and choosing a well-rated model will help you prevent unnecessary wastage at the source. In some countries, large devices like dishwashers and washing machines come with a star rating to give an indication of their efficiency, and even if they don’t, you can still do your own comparative checks.
In the US, the toilet is typically the biggest source of water wastage, followed by the shower and faucets, but with modern water-efficient designs like water-saving vacuum toilets and low-flow showerheads, much of that water could be preserved.
Install Water-Saving Faucets
The only thing more efficient than collecting and re-using run-off from the shower is using less water at the source, and the right faucet can help with that. Just like dishwashers and washing machines, faucets often come with a water-efficiency rating, but they can also be made more eco-friendly through simple add-ons like aerators. An aerator installation is a perfect project for eco-conscious lovers of DIY – once it’s done, the difference will be practically undetectable, and you’ll be saving liters without even trying.
Buy Smaller Machines
Devices like dishwashers and washing machines are becoming more water-efficient with each passing year, but the fact remains that large machines tend to use much more water than their smaller counterparts. A smaller device will also make it easier to commit to only running full loads, since it will take less time to fill.
You might even consider investing in a double-gallon dishwashers, designed to run smaller loads with half the amount of water – there’s plenty of technology available to help in your quest to use less.
Install a Water Tank
If you have the money and the space available on your property, a water tank is one of the best long-term water-saving investments you can make. Even the average backyard water tank allows for the collection of several hundred liters, which is more than enough to keep your yard in good condition or fill your bathtub many times over. Tanks can be expensive to buy, but the savings you stand to make on your water bills will make it all worthwhile.
Fresh drinking water is a precious resource, and developing efficient usage habits has never been more important. The bottom line is that saving water isn’t difficult, and with a few tips and tricks up your sleeve, you’re fully-equipped to start doing your bit for the environment and the world as a whole.
When it comes to your home, it is natural that you want it to look great. However, it is not just the interior of your property you need to focus on but also the exterior. If you love to spend time in your garden, there are various ways in which you can make it look better. One of these is to use the right lighting and for many people, this means investing in solar lights for the garden.
Choosing solar lights offers a range of benefits including making a big difference to the overall appearance of your garden by using these lights. There are many different designs and types of solar lights, which means you can find the perfect ones for your garden. If interested to get one, bestoftools.com has reviewed the best solar-powered garden lights and many other useful gardening tools.In this article, we will look at some of the key benefits of using solar lights for your garden.
Key Benefits of Solar Lighting in Gardens
There are multiple benefits you can look forward to when you choose solar lighting for your garden rather than other types of lighting. One of the key benefits is financial, as you can expect far lower bills from your energy company if the lights you use are solar powered according to an expert from Provision Power & Gas. The great thing about this is that you can enjoy having a garden that looks beautiful and lights up as it gets darker, yet you won’t have to worry about your energy bill rising.
Another great thing about choosing solar lights is that you can do your part for the environment. When you turn to solar lighting, you can draw on the energy from the sun to light up your garden and make it look more attractive. We all need to do our part when it comes to the planet and by conserving energy by using natural sources, you won’t have to worry about wasting energy and paying higher bills as a result. Everyone wants their garden to look nice so they can enjoy pleasant surroundings when outdoors, and this is a great way to make your garden look magical.
Of course, one of the key reasons people choose solar lights is so they can boost the aesthetic appeal of their garden. With so many different lights to choose from, you can select the perfect ones for your garden. This includes everything from outdoor fairy lights through to ground lights, hanging solar lanterns, and much more. The right lights will help to add not only light to your garden but also color and stunning beauty.
Transforming Your Outdoor Areas
By investing in solar lighting, you can help to transform your outdoor areas and enjoy having a wonderful place to relax. You can use solar lighting both at the front and back of your home so you can help to improve the appearance of all of your outdoor areas. The simplicity of these lights makes them even more appealing, as you simply need to position them in the right place where they can get plenty of sun during the day.
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