10 Easy Ways To Go Green This Week

Every person on our planet has a responsibility for helping to conserve the environment. It’s important that we all work together to help combat climate change by lowering our carbon footprint. Thankfully, making the switch to environmentally-friendly or “green living” is becoming simpler. Consider these ten tips for greening up your life this upcoming week.

(1) Become a diligent recycler. Recycle all newspapers, junk mail, envelopes, used office paper, aluminum cans, glass bottles, plastic bottles and cardboard boxes. Go beyond basic recycling and make sure that you recycle batteries, cell phones and unusable computers.

(2) Pursue organic gardening and purchase plants, flowers, and shrubs that are native to your geographical area. Organic gardening is becoming increasingly popular, as people become more aware about the destructive effects of pesticides and insecticides. Think about growing your own organic vegetables and herbs.

(3) Conserve water. When you are brushing your teeth, turn off the water. Purchase a water-saving toilet. Buy your family a water-efficient shower head.

(4) Conserve considerable amounts of energy in your kitchen and laundry room by purchasing an energy-saving, sometimes labeled as “Energy Star” dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave, oven, washer and dryer.

(5) Be careful about turning off the lights when the room is not being used. Teach your spouse or partner and children to get into the healthy habit of turning off the lights when they leave a room, too.

(6) Change the temperature settings of your refrigerator and freezer. Many families consume untold amounts of energy and money by leaving their refrigerator and freezer at temperatures that are colder than necessary.

(7) Purchase organic fruits and vegetables whenever you can to help reduce the amount of pesticides and herbicides that your family unintentionally consumes. Aim to shop at local farmers’ markets, as they often sell wonderfully fresh, high-quality organic produce. Shopping locally is very important in helping to reduce your carbon footprint. An additional benefit is that you are supporting local small businesses.

(8) Think about slowly converting to a more plant-based, vegetarian diet. Many vegetarians cite environmental reasons as primary motivating factors for their animal-friendly lifestyle. Eat vegetarian at least one day per week. Tremendous amounts of water, grain and land are used to graze cattle. An alarming percentage of rainforests are destroyed by companies to graze livestock.

(9) Purchase eco-friendly, reusable cotton grocery bags. Many grocery stores are selling fashionable reusable bags for only a few dollars each. The problem with plastic bags, and all plastic products, is that they do not biodegrade in landfills. The problem with paper grocery bags is that is requires more trees to be cut down.

(10) Convert your home from traditional light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs, commonly known by the acronym CFLs. Although the cost more than regular light bulbs, your family will end up saving money on your electricity bills. A plus is that CFLs usually last ten times longer than traditional bulbs.

Suzanne Bucciarelli is the owner of Green Living Ezine and writes articles and tips on how to save money and go green at the same time. Read Over 125 Ways to Go Green and Save Money at Green Living Ezine.

Easy Tips in Home Staging to Guarantee Quick Sale

The tasks involved in selling your home are quite numerous. Firstly, you need to advertise it using several media and methods in order to guarantee its exposure to as many buyers as possible. Home staging strategies can make your home more appealing. This act specially puts special emphasis on the presentation and appearance of your property.

There are many techniques in staging your home. Initially, you have to understand that this process is altogether different from preparing your home for sale. Your pre-sale preparations before the house is put on the market usually includes major repairs, maintenance, frequent clean ups and sometimes, even renovations. Home staging is the process when you need to concentrate on the aesthetic value of your home. This includes organization, design and overall visual impact. The very essence of this act is to massively enhance the appearance of your home so as to ensure its quick selling with the highest possible price. And you can all do these techniques without spending loads of cash.

Improve your curb appeal

Here is a fun activity:

-         Stand a few meters away from your home. Take a good look of your property.

-         Take some pictures and jot down notes of areas you think need repairs, repainting or other maintenance task. Concentrate on several parts – roof, walls, landscaping, garden, garage and basement (if this part is also shown on the façade).

-         Walk away from your house. Compare it against other properties in your neighborhood. Evaluate objectively whether your home stands out or merely blends in.

-         Do this once in the morning and during nighttime. This is because the lighting may affect the way your house looks.

-         Once you are done with taking every detail into account, accomplish a working budget for all the areas that need enhancements.

Repainting chipped surfaces, mowing the lawn, adding homey furniture pieces on the front porch, eliminating weed from gutters, planting new flower beds, and cleaning up windows and shutters are only very few of other things you can do to improve your façade inexpensively.

Make every space look very relaxed

Especially the living area, entertainment room or any other family space indoors or outdoors, you have to make sure these emanate the feeling of relaxation. Arrange the furniture in a manner the space is inviting and comfortable. You can also try to repaint a particular room with warm colors. You can consult DIY sites about neutral paint colors appropriate for each room. These sites can also help you create a palette of contrasting and/or complementing colors within one space without making it look overly done or pretentious. You can also add plants into these rooms to make the room look more refreshing.

“Declutter” your spaces

Get rid of any fixture, appliances, utensils and other unnecessary things that would make your kitchen look cluttered. Keep this area look really spacious. You will give the buyers impression they can spend hours of cooking, eating and chatting in this area without easily bumping into each other all the time. Also, if it is “decluttered”, it would look cleaner and safer for food preparation. Additional items you can put here are pots of herbs and aromatic flowering plants. The area would then look more enticing and smell really good too. Mint, lavender and basil are great herbal plants that also give aromatic smells.

As for the bedrooms, you can highlight comfort in these areas by clearing out your closets. Once the cabinets are free from any article of clothing, they would appear bigger. Adorn the beds with soft sheets and plush pillows.

Make the buyers envision themselves living in your home

You can easily do this by removing all your personal belongings and photos in any space. For one, if you leave your family photos hanging on the walls, the buyers would feel like they are just visiting your home. Make them feel as if this is really going to be their new home.

With these very easy steps, you can entice and easily wow buyers. They might even try to out bid each other just to have your lovely home. And as you are faced with attractive offers, you then have the luxury to pick out the best deal.

The Real estate market can be an enjoyable, satisfying and lucrative experience for you. Whether you are a homeowner, a buyer, a landlord or simply a real estate enthusiast, get to know more about the latest in the real estate market now. Read more about it here: Trilogy at Power Ranch Golf Homes for Sale, Affordable Trilogy at Power Ranch Real Estate and Trilogy at Power Ranch Active-Adult Real Estate.

Useful Tips on How to Stop Smoking Easy

You have decided to quit smoking and this is great. Just imagine all the benefits that you are going to get from the lower risk of serious disease to being stronger and more beautiful and to have better personal and professional relationships. All this awaits you and should be the most powerful motivation for quitting. Still, the whole transition process might not be as smooth as you want it to be. In fact, there are usually a number of physical side effects such as headaches and dizziness as well as a range of psychological ones like depression and anxiety. The good news is that you can diminish or completely get rid of all of these and stop smoking easy.

In order to be successful in quitting smoking you need to be motivated. This will allow you to overcome the difficulties more easily every time they arise. Think about how rewarding it is for you to be a non-smoker every time you feel the urge to smoke. It also helps if you picture happy scenes that make you feel better, such as special memories or relaxing natural places.

One of the most useful tips on how to stop smoking easily is to quit lighting up all at once. It has been proven that reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke gradually will not help you in any way. It is true that this is very stressful for the body as well as for the mind, but again you have to remain firm and motivated.

It is a good idea to set up a plan for the quitting period. In this way you will definitely stop smoking easy. This will provide for the more normal and smoother change in your habits and will certainly help you deal with some of the side effects. Try to include as many meetings with your friends as possible. Pay more attention to your loved ones. This will take your thoughts away from the quitting and will give you pleasant experiences. You should also devote some time for doing sports or for some other relaxing hobby such as drawing or gardening or preferably dancing.

You can stop smoking easy by having the right diet. This may sound a bit far-fetched, but you will see how beneficial it is if you try it. You might feel very hungry when you stop lighting up so try to focus on eating healthy foods only so that you do not gain weight. Drinking plenty of water will allow for the quicker and easier detoxification of your organism, which will in turn reduce the negative side effects. It is a good idea to give yourself small sweet or other treats any time you feel like smoking. Enjoying a piece of chocolate or candy or just chewing a gum will do wonders.

Generally, you should reward yourself for not being a smoker in as many ways as possible so that you manage to stop smoking easy. Having a massage or another spa treatment every now and then will help you feel better and more relaxed.

Jack Sillow is an NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) expert who specializes in quit smoking treatments for normal people. He runs the site http://QuitGuide.net where he regularly posts useful advice, tips and tricks aimed to help people quit smoking.

How to Choose Childrens Beds – 5 Easy to Remember Tips

Is it time already to be shopping for the big childrens beds?

It’s amazing to see children grow up so quickly. From busy days of diaper changes and sleepless nights, you graduated to busy days keeping your toddlers curious fingers out of danger.

Today you have entered a new phase – the equally busy days getting them on the school bus on time and helping with their assignments.

Has their room been able to keep up with their growth spurts? The pastel colored nursery probably gave way to a character themed toddler room. Now this tween room is ready for its next transition – to get a bright and cheery but more sophisticated look. The central focus, as always, is the Childrens Beds.

There is a large selection of childrens bedroom furniture available both online and in stores. Do the choices and your kid’s demands make you feel lost and hemmed in? Don’t know which one to go for? Keep this checklist of 5 tips handy – they will help you keep your focus.

Know the Size – Note the size of the kids room. Is it small or big, square or rectangular? Does it have any architectural detail you would like to emphasize? Also bear in mind your child’s frame. The bed size must be in proportion to the size of the room, your child’s frame and all the activities that he plans to indulge in. Use these to determine between twin, full or queen size childrens beds.
Do you need Multi-Function? -Go through the plans and ideas as discussed with your tween before you started the project. If the room needs to cater for sleepover friends, storage and organization, Trundle Beds, Captains or Mates Beds, Bookcase Beds should be your focus here.
Space Savers to the Rescue – Do you have kids sharing the same room? Perhaps the room is small and his interests too many? Search the section for Loft Beds and Childrens Bunk Beds. A futon bunk bed would take care of seating and sleeping in the same space.
Theme for Many a Dreams – Your tween child has outgrown the toddler stage, but he is not yet a teen. A cute themed bed such as Soccer or Baseball themes, Little Lizard theme, Magic Garden theme, Pirate theme are a great addition to his room. Get him a great fitted bedroom furniture set in any one of his favorite themes and watch his face light up.
Something Fancy for your Special One – Didn’t you always (secretly) want one of these fancy beds yourself when you were a kid. Why not make it happen for your special one? Fancy childrens beds can add beauty and elegance to your tween’s room. Canopy Beds, Picket fence beds, beds with creative headboards should be the focus of your search.

Childrens beds are a big investment and one that should carry through for several years to come. Follow these 5 tips to help you keep your focus when you go shopping, both online and in stores. Forget them and you might find yourself spinning in circles and unable to decide.

Worse still, if you do not go through this exercise, you could find yourself burdened with a bed that does not serve its purpose. Shop wisely.

To better understand your options on childrens bedroom furniture, visit our site. There are many more tips and ideas to help decorate your tween’s room.

Richa Sinha has combined her twin passions for kids and home decoration in her writings for www.decoratingideas4kidsrooms.com, to help decorate rooms from nurseries to teen rooms.

Permission is granted to reprint this article, unedited, provided proper attribution is made and the above resource box is kept intact with links.

Raised Bed Gardening in 6 Easy Steps

By definition, raised bed gardening is to simply have a garden that is built on top of your existing native soil. You can either choose combine native soil in your raised bed garden or you can choose not to – it’s entirely up to you. You can plant vegetables, herbs and even shrubs in a raised bed garden. Read below for the six easy steps on how to start a raised bed garden for yourself.

Choose your planting site properly and carefully. Make sure that you pick a spot that gets at least eight hours of warm sunlight every day. The area must be flat with enough moving room for you to work around in as well as being near a water source.
Be definite on the size and shape of your garden. Be sure that you would be able to have enough space to move around in so you would not step on to the plant bed.
Make sure that you prepare your planting area according to what you are planning to plant in it.
Construct your plant bed carefully. Choose wood planks that are sturdy enough to hold the sides of your garden bed in. Raised bed gardening is not that hard if you have properly set up your garden bed.
Make sure that you use level frames in all four directions. This is important because your water will not be evenly distributed if you have un-level soil areas. It would fill one spot and run over another very quickly. Either way, your plants would not get the proper water they would need to grow.
The idea behind raised bed gardening is that it allows you the chance to be able to plant your garden by using flat, even soil. Be sure that when you start to fill your raised bed garden that you have appropriate amounts of topsoil, manure and compost and that the bed is raked flat and evenly before you start to put in your seeds.

If you were able to set it up correctly, you will be happy to know that raised bed gardening does not require a lot of maintenance at all. Just keep in mind that it is important to have as much moisture in your soil as possible to make sure that your plants will be able to absorb the minerals and nutrients that are in it quickly and more efficiently, thus giving you a healthier and more bountiful crop harvest.

Piper is a freelance writer who enjoys fitness, good nutrition, and the outdoors. She loves to work in the garden with her Mantis tiller. She enjoys nature, reading and fitness. Check out her website, www.smallgardentiller.org to learn all about getting the best small garden tiller so you can have a beautiful garden too!

Gardening Made Easy Gives More Beneficial

As you know, container gardens are quite trendy this time, but they have probably been around longer than you may think. They are first linked back to the ancient Egyptians and centuries upon centuries later when they are still one of the most used gardening techniques to date. Actually, in raising plants and vegetables in containers, homeowners and even people who are living in apartments have many versatile gardening choices. They are mobile and quite easy to maintain if you have known all of the right actions. It will be no matter, whether you live in a home or apartment your container gardens can still give your home a burst of color and freshness.

 

Another significant benefit that you can get from raising your own organic fruits and veggies is the knowledge that you can give for your child’s school. With this, you can help your child and their classmates set up their own organic garden. The immediate lessons they learn will be about how to help the environment, healthy eating, and teamwork. As you know, it also gives some fun learning for them. In other words, you and the children can get physical exercise from gardening made easy. As you have just known the benefits of organic gardening, you can benefit not only yourself and your family, but you can also reach out and make a difference in the world.

=>> Get More Knowledge about Gardening Made Easy <<=

Green Lifestyle Tips Easy Steps to Save the Environment

Green Lifestyle Basics – The Concept

There is an important logic behind the familiar slogan of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” that most people don’t realize. It is the ORDER of the words that make all the difference. Why? A major part of our current environmental problems stem from energy. We use energy for everything and in our everyday lives. From petrol in our cars, electricity to power our heating/cooling to making goods and watching tv, all these require energy. And the primary source of this energy comes from burning fossil fuels, which in turn creates pollution and then… You get the idea. So the most important step is to Reduce our consumption. Why? It’s simple. Reducing consumption means we directly use less energy. May it be driving less of the car, using one less plastic bag… Using one less leads to a direct impact of less harm to the planet! The next effective step is to Reuse. Again, this means that less energy would be expended to produce the goods and services we so desire. For example, writing on both sides of a piece of paper or using old clothes as rags. These would mean less trees cut down for paper, less energy to produce that piece of cloth. This directly means less waste! The last step is to Recycle. Compared to the first two options, this is like the “least of all evils”. Recycling requires energy too! For example, we can recycle drink cans, but energy is needed to melt and reprocess the aluminum in the can. Therefore, ideally, recycling should not be your first option! Read on on how to adopt a green lifestyle with the tips below!

Green Lifestyle Tip 1: Switch off all “vampire” appliances in your home

Electrical appliances like televisions and computers that remain plugged into the socket consume also consume electricity! There are 20 appliances in the typical American home that is bleeding you of money, costing from some studies an estimated $200 a household annually. That works out to about $3 billion a year! For what? Nothing! Appliances like TVs and VCRs aren’t actually “off” but rather on standby mode, and this takes up power. This also includes computers and modems. Remember Reduce? This is a classic example of reducing use and you get to save money too! Green Lifestyle

Tip 1: Unplug all unused appliances from the socket when not in use or at the end of the day

Green Lifestyle Tip 2: Give away your old stuff rather than throw them away

Say if you had a real lot of junk in your garage, you’d hold a garage sale right? There is a similar concept and it’s called freecycling. In contrast to recycling, freecycling means giving away your old usable unwanted stuff like your worn out sofa, your old Pentium PC, your old cellphone and assorted junk to someone who is in need of it (eg. the disadvantaged or needy) There are networks like freecycling.org online which would hook up would be givers and receivers. Rather than they ending up in landfill, think of it as a form of charity and environmental activism rolled into one! Again, this follows the “Reuse” principal that won’t cost you a single cent!

Green lifestyle Tip 2: Rather than throw away old stuff, give it to someone who would love to have it!

Green Lifestyle Tip 3: Sort your trash – Organics from Inorganics

Often, materials that can be recycled face problem of contamination. For example, if waste paper is mixed with food waste at home. This degrades the quality of the paper – this means that the paper may only be recycled to a lower grade of product. i.e waste still occurs.. Instead, a simple system of different bin systems within your home to sort the organics like food scraps from paper and glass would increase the efficiency of recycling efforts. The benefits are manifold. Organic matter, when sent to the landfill, produces problems of leaching and contamination of groundwater when it decomposes. Alternatively, if they are incinerated, their high moisture content translates into higher energy costs to burn them. Rather, the sorted organic matter can be added to a compost pile, which in turn can be used to make fertilizer for the garden. On a larger scale, such organic waste can be collected from neighborhoods and cities can be used to produce energy in biodigesters! Other materials like paper and glass can be collected with greater ease. This simple system does not cost much or create a lot of hassle but is highly effective in helping the environment.

Green Lifestyle Tip 3: Sort your trash!

I’m interested in the issue of sustainability and I love traveling and architecture. Somehow, the three does dovetail quite nicely.
Some other articles i write can be found here

and here

I blog at akihan.blogspot.com

HOW TO GROW CUCUMBERS THE EASY WAY GARDEN START

WHAT KIND SHOULD I PLANT?
I love to grow cucumbers, there are so many shapes and sizes to
choose from.. Let’s explore the different types. There are hybrid
cucumber seeds (seeds that are cross bred to enhance a feature)
and there are non-hybrid seeds (the kind grandma use to grow every
year and save the seed from). I use non-hybrid in my garden so I
can save my own seeds. In the south and places of high humidity,
the hybrids are more necessary because they have been bred to
resist certain diseases that come along with the heat and humidity.
Ask a neighbor gardener which seeds he likes best, this will give you
a clue as to which seeds will work best in your area. Any seed that is
a hybrid should have the word hybrid on the label. If it is not labeled
it should be a non-hybrid.

 

Burpless

These cucumbers have less “burp” in them. They are
milder on your stomach, if you have trouble eating regular cucumbers
because they make you burp then the burpless are for you.

 

Armenian (65 days)

Armenian is the mildest of all cucumbers. It is
actually in the squash family, but taste like a cucumber. These
cucumbers can get up to 3 feet long. They are light green and
ribbed. Harvest can start when the cucumber is 10 inches long.
They like really warm weather and will not do anything until the
weather warms up. They like to grow on a trellis. These are great
cucumbers and once you try them, you will want to grow them every
year. This cucumber is a non-hybrid and you can save the seeds to
grow a new crop.

 

Muncher (65 days)

This is a great burpless cucumber. It is a heavy
producer. Pick the cucumbers small for the best flavor. Our family
grows a lot of these burpless cucumbers. This is also a non-hybrid
and you can save the seeds off of it to grow a new crop.
Other burpless cucumbers that are hybrid but are not reliable for
seed saving are: Tasty Green Hybrid, Tasty King Hybrid, Sweet Slice
Hybrid, Burpless Orient Express.

Dan Lipsky Shares Easy Green Tips for Dorms or Small Spaces

Shared By Dan Lipsky

It seems that almost everyone is trying to do something to help the environment these days. Whether you are taking online classes to reduce the number of papers generated and to eliminate commute time or are trying to find ways to live greener, there is something you can do-even while living in a dorm. Take a look at the following tips to learn what you can do to green your dorm life.

Decorating and Furnishing

Your dorm room is a reflection of your personality, so how it looks is important to many people. Learn how you can decorate and furnish your dorm room so that it looks great and is good for the environment.

1. Live plants. Unless it is against your dorm rules, invest in a few live plants for your dorm room. Not only will it add a personal touch, but plants are a great way to improve indoor air quality.
2. Go used. While the shiny new stuff at the big box stores looks enticing, it is so much better to go retro and get used stuff instead. Visit a thrift shop or check out craigslist to see what is available.
3. Buy locally. Don’t mess with shipping or otherwise transporting a ton of stuff from your parents’ house to your dorm. Instead, buy locally to save on the transportation to and from each dorm move.
4. Get it free. Check out listings such as Freecycle or Freesharing that provide free classifieds full of stuff people don’t want anymore.
5. Recycled furniture. Get creative with your furniture and use recycled parts to make awesome, unique furniture. One idea is to place an old door across two file cabinets for an instant desk.
6. Photos. Decorate your walls with personal photos. Either tack them up on their own or create easy and fun frames out of anything from tin cans to leather belts.
7. Bulletin board. Make a bulletin board out of old wine corks for a one-of-a-kind board that costs almost nothing and keeps corks out of the landfill.
8. Organic bedding. Find sheets, blankets, and pillows that are organic when purchasing bedding for your dorm room.
9. Convert a halogen torchiere lamp. A simple conversion can turn a hot halogen lamp into a cool, green compact florescent one that looks great too.
10. Love your small space. Dorm life means you have limited space. Use this situation to practice reducing waste and curbing consumerism. You’ll find your space is not only cleaner, but you are living greener.

Conservation

These tips offer great ways to conserve energy and water in your dorm.

11. Hang dry clothes. Not all your clothes need to be dried in a dryer. In fact, some clothes actually do better when not dried that way. Buy a sturdy drying rack and use it for drying t-shirts, cotton and linen clothes, and lingerie.
12. Cold water. Wash laundry in cold water to save on the energy needed to heat water. Unless you have stubborn stains or odors, cold water will get your clothes clean. Cold water also preserves the life of your clothes so they last longer.
13. Full load of laundry. Throwing a blouse or a pair of pants alone into the wash is a waste of water, energy, and detergent. Make sure you are running a full load of laundry each time you use the washing machine.
14. No air conditioning. If you can, try to get by without air conditioning. If this isn’t possible, turn down the A/C while you’re away instead of turning it all the way off. It will take less energy to get it back up to a comfortable temperature.
15. Energy-efficient refrigerator. Refrigerators run constantly and require lots of energy to stay cool. Be sure the refrigerator you purchase for your dorm room is energy efficient.
16. Showers. Save both water and energy when you take shorter showers.
17. Report leaks. Immediately report any leaks such as dripping toilet, sink or shower to maintenance. A leak can waste incredible amounts of water in a short time.
18. Water off. Don’t keep the water running while brushing your teeth or shaving. Instead, turn off the water until you need it again.
19. Power strips. Connect all your electronic devices to power strips, then turn everything off with the flip of a switch when you are not in your room.
20. Sleep computers. Use less energy to power your computer by putting your computer in sleep mode after 15 minutes and turning it off at night.
21. Light bulbs. Whenever possible, switch the light bulbs in your room to energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs.
22. Natural light. If you get natural light from your windows, make sure your overhead lights are turned off whenever possible.

Personal Care Products

While making your own toothpaste and hair conditioner might not appeal to everyone, these tips are great ways to save the environment by eliminating packaging, transportation, and harmful chemicals.

23. No dryer sheets. If you want your laundry to smell fresh without the chemicals of the dryer sheets, put a few drops of an essential oil on a wash cloth and throw it in with your clothes.
24. Cleaning products. Clean your dorm with simple and all natural products such as baking soda, vinegar, tea tree oil, or lemon juice.
25. Dusting. Use an old piece of clothing or old towel to dust. Instead of one-time-use dusting clothes full of chemicals, these reusable rags can easily be thrown in the laundry with your clothes. If you miss your furniture polish in a can, try a natural version using olive oil instead.
26. Toothpaste. Skip the tube of toothpaste that uses manufacturing, packaging, and transportation to your store and use homemade toothpaste with baking soda and water.
27. Body scrub. Make a simple, yet luxurious, body scrub with just a bit of oil, sugar or salt, and a few drops of essential oil for scent.
28. Shampoo. No matter what hair type you have, there is a recipe for eco-friendly shampoo you can easily make right in your dorm room.
29. Hair conditioner. Another way to save on packaging and manufacturing is to make your own hair conditioner with simple ingredients such as eggs, avocado, honey, or yogurt.
30. Facials. For the ultimate in pampering, make your own facial scrubs that are also earth-friendly.
31. Mouth wash. Make your own eco-friendly mouthwash using herbs, mineral water, and essential oils.

Purchasing, Preparing, Disposing of Food

From buying organic food to spearheading a community garden for the whole dorm, these tips will have your dorm eating green in no time.

32. Crock pot. For simple cooking in your dorm room that uses very little electricity, try a crock pot.
33. Organic. You can be even greener by purchasing organic foods to cook in your crock pot.
34. Buy in bulk. Bulk products usually have less packaging material and cost less. Even better, split up the bulk products with other students and share costs.
35. Drink tap water. Bottled water not only requires manufacturing of the plastic bottle, but shipping that sometimes takes those bottles from half way around the world.
36. Water bottle. Use a reusable water bottle for that tap water you will be drinking instead of paper or styrofoam.
37. Purchase locally. Purchase from local grocery stores. If the local stores don’t have a location within walking distance, ask them to consider a campus-accessible store.
38. Skip the packaging. Some stores already have stopped packaging their produce. Try foregoing the produce bag and take a reusable produce bag for those times when you really need one.
39. Whole foods. Whole foods are those not processed that come straight from the source. These foods require less manufacturing and don’t have lots of added chemicals.
40. Eat locally. When you choose locally grown food, you are cutting out tons of transportation and handling that may harm the environment.
41. Community garden. Put your leadership skills to work and organize a community garden at your dorm. The food grown in the garden can be supplied to the dining hall.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Follow these tips to reduce, reuse, and recycle around your dorm.

42. Compost. Create a compost for food scraps for the dining hall and the dorm. The compost generated from this project can be used in a community garden or donated to a local charity.
43. Community board. Set up a community board for your dorm that facilitates swapping items so that used furniture, clothes, and gadgets don’t end up in the landfill.
44. Recycling bin. If your dorm doesn’t have a recycling program, set up one complete with bins throughout the dorm and a way to get the recycling picked up or delivered to a recycling center.
45. Batteries. Old batteries that go to landfills leak dangerous chemicals into the soil, so set up a collection bin in the dorm and take them to a recycling center instead.
46. Cartridges. Used ink jet cartridges are also harmful for landfills. Put a recycling bin next to the battery bin so you can collect cartridges to be refilled and reused.
47. Rain water. If your dorm doesn’t have a rain water collection system, work with the school to start one. They are simple to install and provide free water for your community garden or any other landscape usage.
48. Recycled paper. When purchasing paper for your schoolwork, make sure it is recycled. Also, when you are finished with the paper, put it in the recycling bin.
49. Bags. Take reusable bags with you to the store. If you forget and end up with plastic or paper bags, reuse them in creative ways.
50. Rechargeable batteries. Whenever possible, select rechargeable batteries in your electronic devices. This reduces the number of batteries that need to be recycled or might make their way to the landfill.

Shared By Dan Lipsky

Dan Lipksy

Raised Bed Gardening An Easy Approach to Growing

Perhaps as you drive around you have noticed beautifully laid out gardens. The ones that are neatly contained in raised planting areas with tidy paths between. These raised bed gardens are not only a joy to look at. They are a very productive way to grow plants.

Raised bed gardening is also called square foot gardening. The original concept was to help gardens grow better and produce a higher yield. This type of planting also cuts down on water consumption, and is a great way to grow a garden in areas that have poor soil.  

You begin by constructing a simple raised bed that is four feet by four feet square. A bed this size makes it easy to reach toward the middle from any side. Use wood that is eight to twelve inches wide, this will be how tall your raised bed is.  Fill the bed with fresh soil. You will want to mix in some slow release fertilizer. This will feed your plants all summer long and will help increase your crop yield.  

There are several different ways to plant your raised bed. You can section the bed off in one foot by one foot sections using string. This will give you nine equal growing spaces. This type of sectioning is perfect for small crops like peppers, herbs, etc. If you plant crops that have larger plants like tomatoes, you will only want to put one or two plants per section.  

Another option for sectioning the bed is to just divide it equally in two. This is a great way to grow crops like corn, beans, and potatoes. Large spreading crops like squash, pumpkins, and watermelons will each need their own bed so they have ample space to spread.  

As you plant your beds, keep in mind how large each plant will ultimately get. You don’t want large plants like corn shading smaller plants. Always keep your plants organized large to small and plant north to south.  

This type of planting encourages the plants to grow closer together and so that reduces the room that weeds would have to grow. Close planting also helps to shade the soil so it retains moisture longer and helps you to conserve water.  The plants are well fertilized from the slow release fertilizer you mixed into the soil at the start and they have adequate water. They also get plenty of light because you paid attention to their size when planting.  

As a result of careful planning, the crops in your raised beds will produce a great yield of fresh produce.  You will find that raised bed gardening is easier and more efficient than traditional gardens. The fruits of your labor will be worth it!

Cathy is a freelance writer who enjoys gardening and the outdoors. She loves to work in the garden using her yard cart to haul all her supplies. Check out her website, www.yardcart.net to learn all about getting the best yard cart so you can have help in the garden too!