Follow these 8 sustainable gardening tips for the greenest garden on the block.
There are few things as soothing and grounding as gardening.
Putting your hands in the dirt and getting in touch with the earth is a beautiful way to escape from day-to-day stressors.
On top of these soulful benefits, gardening is also an excellent way to stock your kitchen with fresh, flavorful foods.
To grow the healthiest crops, you need to protect your environment.
These sustainable gardening ideas will ensure your seeds and starter plants provide more help than hurt to your garden.
Top Sustainable Gardening Tips for Eco-Friendly Planting
1. Use an empty milk jug as a watering can
You have no need to buy a new container for pouring water on your plants. Just use an empty milk jug, juice container or other large bottle destined for the landfill to give your plants a drink.
2. Save kitchen scraps for use as compost
Be patient with your compost pile; it will take a while for your discarded carrot tops, leaves, greens, egg shells, fruit peels, yard clippings and other biodegradable debris to become usable compost. Do not add meat, oil or other fattening substances.
You can follow recipes that call for adding earthworms and bugs to the mix. The addition of these living organisms will make your pile decompose even faster.
You can store your compost waste in a wood, wired fence, or screen container that allows for air circulation. Commercial composters are a good way to ensure you’re composting correctly.
3. Use scraps around the house to deter worms, bugs and other pests
Use toilet paper rolls to keep out animals that thrive on the stems of starter plants.
Scare away garden pests with used aluminum foil scraps. Some small animals and insects do not like the shiny reflection from the sunlight.
4. Save wasted water and reuse it
Any leftover pet or cooking water works. Ice cubes do, as well.
Do not use any liquid supply that could be contaminated or that might have animal fats in it. Examples: dirty toilet water or liquid you used to boil a roast in a Crock Pot.
You can also harvest rainwater to use when giving your plants a drink.
5. Use old wine bottle corks and/or old seed packets for markers
Write on the corks the name of the seeds or plants that you placed in specific rows. Then, insert the corks into the ground.
Place an opened, empty seed packet over the top of a wooden stake used as a marker.
6. Use old branches and clippings as insulation
Place any small twigs, leaves and grass clippings you gather in the fall. Place them over the soil surface of your spring-blooming tulip beds.
7. Reuse old, cleaned-out containers and pots
Repurpose leftover plant pots and old food containers to use as pots to grow seedlings.
Make sure they have a few tiny slots or holes cut into them at the bottom to drain liquid after watering.
8. Use recycled materials as planters or anchors
If you’re planting flowers in pots in front of your house, and you don’t want them to fly away, you need heavy planters.
Do the earth a favor by using heavy, recycled containers like thick glass bottles.
Keep them stationary by using anchors made from unwanted kitchen utensils, which require few resources to produce.
If in need of sustainable gardening supplies, you will have great success at stores like: Lowes,Home Depot, and Walmart.
Each has a wonderful home & garden section. Always remember to ask for eco-friendly options!
There’s no better way to enjoy these gorgeously warm days than some peaceful, meditative planting.
So you love to cook, but worry about the negative effect your heavy use of kitchen gadgets has on the environment? Spend less time fretting and more time cooking with these 6 guilt-free, eco-friendly kitchen gadgets.
Many household kitchen items aren’t exactly energy efficient or harmonious with Mother Nature. Not the case with these 6. We scoured through the top earth-friendly kitchen appliances to bring you the best of the best. Do we smell cookies baking in the induction-technology oven?
Best Eco-Friendly Kitchen Gadgets
1. FoodSaver V2244 Vacuum Sealing System
This foodsaver allows you to vacuum-seal any leftovers or unused food. Its vacuum-sealing technology locks in the freshness and keeps out air, which means the food lasts for much longer in the refrigerator or freezer.
Stop throwing away leftovers after a few days or worrying about freezer-burned meat. Vacuum seal your food and use it when you need it without worrying about it spoiling.
2. LG – 23.8 Cu. Ft. Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator – Stainless-Steel
This LG refrigerator is highly energy-efficient. It also uses LED lighting, which means the bulbs don’t need to be replaced as often as traditional refrigerators.
And with its smart-cooling technology, you can direct the most airflow and cooling to specific areas of the refrigerator, which means less spoilage and longer-lasting food.
This dishwasher is Energy Star-compliant, and it features some heavy-duty cleaning power. Instead of rinsing or scrubbing your dishes before loading them in the dishwasher, you can load them straight into the racks.
The extreme cleaning power of this Maytag dishwasher blasts any food residue and particles, leaving your dishes sparkling clean without using additional water or detergent. Best of all, the food dissolves during the cleaning process, so it can’t get stuck inside the hoses or filters.
4. PUR Faucet Mount – Stainless Steel
Water straight from the tap can taste metallic and may contain contaminants. Bottled water can provide clean filtered water, but the plastic bottles never disintegrate and pollute landfills.
With this PUR faucet filter, you can get refreshing, ice cold filtered water directly from your kitchen sink. Just install a disposable filter inside the device, connect it to your faucet and enjoy clean water that’s free from mineral deposits and other particles that affect taste and purity.
5. Waste King Food Waste Disposer, L-8000 1 HP, EZ-Mount
Stop wasting money and plastic buying garbage bags for unused or spoiled food. With this garbage disposal from Walmart, you can dispose of your food quickly and without filling up your trash bin with spoiled or leftover food.
This garbage disposal’s stainless steel design means it will hold up to even the toughest jobs and will last for years. It’s also insulated, which means its operation is much quieter than most garbage disposals on the market.
6. Electrolux Wave-Touch 4.2 cu. ft. Slide-In Double Oven Induction Range with Self-Cleaning Convection Oven in Stainless Steel
This high-tech oven and stove top uses induction technology during cooking, which uses less than half the energy compared to a traditional stove. In addition, the faster and more efficient heating process means your food will cook 30 percent faster.
The oven also has two compartments for cooking different items at different temperatures, as well as self-cleaning features that eliminate the need for harsh cleaning products. Finally, the oven has an automatic shutoff feature if the oven is ever left on for more than 12 hours, giving you peace of mind and energy savings.
List of Kitchen Gadgets + Where to Buy Them
Here’s a quick compilation of our 6 best ec0-friendly kitchen gadgets, complete with where to shop for them!
Waste King Food Waste Disposer, L-8000 1 HP, EZ-Mount (Find at Amazon, Sears, and Walmart).
Electrolux Wave-Touch 4.2 cu. ft. Slide-In Double Oven Induction Range with Self-Cleaning Convection Oven in Stainless Steel (Find at Amazon, Sears, and Lowes).
Enjoy Cooking with these Top-Notch, Eco-Friendly Kitchen Gadgets!
With these gadgets, you can cook, bake, re-hydrate and clean to your heart’s content without worrying about its effect on the environment. Best of all, these gadgets are built to last and are beautiful in design and appearance, increasing your home’s appeal and value for years to come.
We do diet detoxes and even stress detoxes, but what about detoxing our homes? These super quick 5 steps to a green home will leave you with a natural, energy saving, eco-friendly abode in just 48 hours!
Home is a place to relax and feel safe. If you’re inhaling toxic chemicals and racking up horrific energy bills, you’re more likely to feel fatigued, sick, and stressed than cozy and calm. We don’t want to overwhelm you with, say, a list of 48 changes for a greener home. Who has time for that? These 5 simple swaps are all you need to transform your space (and our planet).
Save the Planet, Your Family, & Your Energy Bill!
Sure, you volunteer for beach cleaning projects, support organic farms, and drive a Prius (all extremely helpful!). Still, many of us forget that one of the biggest impacts we have on the environment, every day and night, rests right under our very own rooftops. If all of us decide to create eco friendly homes, we can change the world.
Even if you protect the people you love (and yourself) by implementing the healthiest of lifestyles, you may be missing some sneaky, scary health hazards. Kids touch (and sometimes – if you have a toddler – lick!) everything. When you choose toxic, chemical ridden cleaning products, your children absorb and inhale them. If the fertilizer in your yard is not organic, your kids are rolling around and playing in grass full of harsh chemicals.
Simple changes, such as switching to energy-efficient light bulbs and energy-efficient appliances, reduce the cost of your energy bill dramatically. You will be astounded by your monthly savings!
Detox: 5 Steps to a Chemical-Free, Green Home!
1. Use Chemical-Free Household Products
Many of the common household products, such as spray cleaning products, disinfectants, air fresheners, beauty products and cosmetics, drastically reduce the air quality in your home. The heavy chemical load in these products may stay trapped in your household and potentially cause serious health conditions, including: asthma, eczema, and lung conditions.
Green Home Fix:
Products with natural ingredients not only cut down on pollution, but are much safer and healthier for you and your family. Seventh Generation Cleaning Products is a wonderful brand.
Affordable, natural cleaning products can be found at Walmart and Target.
2. Change the Light Bulbs to Save Energy
Many of us waste extremely high levels of energy at home on a daily basis.
Green Home Fix:
By using energy-efficient light bulbs, you’ll save on energy resources and reduce your energy utility costs. It’s easy to quickly change all of the light bulbs in your home in one day.
Lawn fertilizers promote the proper growth of grass and plants, keep the lawn green, and add nutrients to the soil. That said, harmful chemicals in fertilizers can cause groundwater contamination and pollution in the air. Chemicals in fertilizers have been linked to several illnesses, including: gastric cancer, stomach cancer, cardiac disease and respiratory problems. Kids and pets love spending long days playing in the grass … rolling around in chemicals.
Green Home Fix:
You know your kids and pets love spending long sunny days frolicking in the grass. Help them enjoy their favorite playtime activity safely by switching to organic fertilizers. Organic lawn fertilizers improve the quality of the air and water both in and around your home.
Common household appliances in your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room may be causing soaring energy costs (especially if they are outdated).
Green Home Fix:
Replace old, energy hungry appliances, such as refrigerators, dishwashers, washers and dryers, room air conditioners and water heaters, with Energy Star qualified appliances. Extra perk: you get tax credits for purchasing energy-efficient appliances for your home! Don’t forget to unplug your small electronics when they are not in use to save even more!
Buy Energy Star Qualified Appliances at Lowes and Target.
The solar power movement is making a serious splash amongst eco-friendly individuals, and we have the scoop on the latest sunny trend: the solar powered tent.
Designed to bring convenience and connectivity to your camping experience, the solar powered tent essentially allows the outdoorsy to have as much internet access in the great outdoors as is available in the not-so-great indoors.
This tent will do you the favor (or hindrance, depending on how you look at it) of charging up all those techy devices we so heavily rely on – iPhones, laptops, you name it.
It does subtract from the earthy, wild experience just a tad — picture this: you’re huddling around a toasty campfire, enveloped in a blanket of expansive starry skies, soaking up the tranquil orchestra of rustling leaves swaying from towering trees – when, you’re jolted by that familiar interruption – that dull vibrating and buzzing noise. Text messages and email alerts snap you right out of your trance.
All technology bitterness and back-to-nature advocacy aside, we do see some perks to this innovative gadget.
Here, we’ll break down how it works, features of the most popular brand, and the pros and cons of following the trend.
What is a Solar Powered Tent?
Solar powered tents are traditional tents with a tech twist. Equipped with a solar panel, these tents allow you to charge all your devices (mobile phones, tablets, laptops, cameras, speakers, and mp3 players), so you never have to truly unplug. That’s right: any low-voltage device is chargeable from the energy of the sun.
The tent’s solar panel must be facing the sun as much as possible throughout the entire day. As the panel brings in the energy from the sun, the lithium solar storage bank stores it for use later. This energy transfers directly to your device.
How Do Solar Tents Work?
Intimidated by gadgets? Don’t sweat it. The setup and application of the solar powered tent hardly varies from that of your typical regular old tent. Here, we’ll outline how a major brand quickly growing in popularity, Bang Bang Tents, harnesses the sun’s power.
Popular Brand: Bang Bang Solar Powered Tent
Bang Bang Solar Tents were originally designed for a target audience of outdoor music festival go-ers. The trend has since caught on as an option for campers of all destinations. The details:
Inside each tent is a small 5w solar panel which captures the energy from the sun during the day and a lithium solar storage bank which stores the energy until you need it.
How-to: place solar panel in pocket located at the rear of the tent. Make sure the solar cell is facing direct sunlight. Plug the solar panel into the power bank. The energy of the sun will charge your device.
Each tent comes with: 5w solar panel, lithium solar storage bank, and mobile phone/USB charging adaptors.
What it can charge: mobile phone, laptop, speakers, mp3 player, and camera.
Size: Sleeps 4 people.
Perks of the Bang Bang Solar Powered Tent
Quirky colors make tent spotting a breeze. Seasoned campers are all too familiar with the frustration of losing one’s tent in a sea of grayish blue or brown look-a-likes. With Bang Bang Solar Tents, this will not be an issue. You may even get a few odd looks, but you certainly will have no trouble standing out. Bang Bang tents come in a variety of flashy styles, some of which include: geometric shapes, jellybean pattern, butterflies, chopped wood, and grass.
These durable tents are made to last, set up quickly, and can withstand anything from a downpour to the scorching sun thanks to waterproof polyester fabric.
The Plus Side
Sadly, vacation doesn’t always mean leaving work responsibilities behind. Family camping trips to Yellowstone or romantic Yosemite backpacking adventures are often forgotten and dismissed because fully unplugging from work feels unrealistic. In such cases, solar powered tents are highly convenient for people who crave nature but can’t afford to flee to the woods with reckless abandon.
We wouldn’t suggest wasting days cooped up inside the tent, laptop in hand. Still, one could argue that the ability to check in and connect with the “real world” makes long treks in the wilderness easier for the tech-reliant.
On that note, you could potentially extendyour trip now that you’ve released the need to hurry back. You know what … if this makes camping so ridiculously convenient and comfortable, why not pack up for good and just live in a solar powered tent? We could certainly get on board with working from Sequoia Nat’l Park or Zion Nat’l Park.
Downside: Isn’t the point of camping to disconnect from tech?
Like it or not, our fast-paced, tech-hungry society lives and breathes convenience and distraction. We must be plugged in and reachable 24/7. Have a few moments of silence? Better fill it with music, texting, facebook, instagram, twitter, pinterest, or insert your preferred go-to distraction.
The daily demand to be hooked up to our devices is relentless. Until now, trekking out to peaceful, undisturbed, untouched, untarnished nature – the only place resistant to our materialism and petty problems – has been our 1 and only escape from it all. Our last chance to cut free from the clutter, clear our busy minds, and gain a fresh perspective on what is truly valuable and beautiful in this lifetime.
So, now we’re hauling our clunky, cumbersome devices out to the place we’re meant to escape from it? You may as well just stay at home.
“Experiencing nature is about recharging our souls, bodies, and minds. Not about recharging our iPhones.”
Think about it: when you’re tuned into screen time, you’re tuning out from the world around you. This moving short film makes the sad, raw truth very clear: when we choose to focus on our tech devices, we are choosing to disengage from experiencing the actual moment.
Many of us head to the mountains to restore, relax, and heal. There is nothing as detoxing and cleansing as crisp mountain air and the fresh scent of pines.
But hold up: screen time in the mountains? That doesn’t cut it. A study from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden found that heavy technology use has been linked to fatigue, stress, and depression in young adults. Pitching a tent and chillin lakeside with your laptop doesn’t negate the effects.
One last thing: you know how annoying it is to overhear someone’s loud cell phone conversation at a coffee shop? Meet, your new fellow campground neighbors.
Where to Buy a Solar Powered Tent
To buy a solar powered tent online we recommend you try:
We won’t judge. We are big fans of solar power, and we don’t want to downplay the eco-friendly strides being made by the solar powered tent.
We see the convenience perks, and if it helps more people get outside and enjoy nature, then there is a lot of good in that!
Just make sure you only use it for brief moments of tech time. Be strict with yourself – 10 minutes to check your work email is one thing. Watching an episode of Modern Family (and missing the sunset because of it) is another.
Tech Lovers and Tree Huggers: 10 Must-Have Eco-Friendly Gadgets
Don’t get us wrong, we love a good gadget. Yet, with such a vast, ever-growing selection of new products to choose from, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. That’s why we are bringing you our Top 10 favorite additions to the market, each designed with a healthy dose of eco-friendliness.
It’s just another way to make your life easier and give back to the environment. What can we say, we like to multi-task.
Bad News: Disposable plastic water bottles take thousands of years to dissolve and contribute to huge landfills throughout the world.
The Fix: It is always an excellent idea to stay fully hydrated – may it be at work or at play. Still, that’s no excuse to overflow our trash cans with discarded bottles. Instead, we can choose reusable water bottles. You’ll stay just as refreshed, with less plastic mess.
Our favorite: Infuser Water Bottle from Amazon. This bottle allows you to add slices of fresh fruit inside it for a drink both sweet and vitamin packed.
2. Biodegradable Laptop by Asus
The Bad News: Laptops are made with plastic and other heavy metals that use large amounts of natural resources to manufacture. They are also very difficult to breakdown.
The Fix: Eco-friendly adjustments to laptops have made a much appreciated appearance! The idea is to reduce the use of metal and replace it will natural materials.
Our Favorite: Asus released the U2E Bamboo-series of laptops to provide consumers with a laptop made of renewable sources.
The Bad News: While diving into a good book is always an excellent way to spend an afternoon, we know that those captivating pages are made from our friends the trees. Not to mention, stashing several heavy books in your bag can really weigh you down!
The Fix: E-readers significantly cut back on paper waste and provide a convenient way to have hundreds of books on hand everywhere you go.
Our Favorite: Sleek and sturdy, the NOOK HD 9” Tablet from Walmart is an e-reader made to last.
The Bad News: Washing machines are one of the greatest conveniences of the modern age, but many are wasteful and use enormous amounts of water and electricity to wash a single load of clothes.
The Fix: There is now a better, faster way to get through Laundry Day. High-efficiency washers cut down on the amount of water used and wash time. You conserve water and lower your power bills.
Our Favorite: The LG High-Efficiency Washer from Best Busy helps protect the environment, while still ensuring your clothes are bright and clean.
5. Apple TV
The Bad News: Cluttering your home with plastic CD, DVD, and Blu-Ray cases and disks is both wasteful and a hassle to organize!
The Fix: You can switch all your favorite media from hard copies to digital streaming.
Our Favorite: The sleek Apple TV device from Target hooks up to your HDTV and allows you to stream movies, music and television shows directly to your television. You can even store your purchased library or rent media on-demand.
6. LG 60LA7400 60-Inch HDTV
The Bad News: For years, big-screen televisions were notorious for sucking up electricity and putting out huge amounts of heat directly into people’s homes.
The Fix: Thankfully, LCD and plasma technology has made televisions lighter, thinner, and less power-hungry.
Our Favorite: LG has taken that one step further with this 60-inch model available at Amazon. It is one of the most energy-efficient on the market.
7. Bedol Water Clock
The Bad News: Alarm clocks are big energy wasters.
The Fix: Creative companies are coming up with alternatives to battery-operated alarm clocks, such as water alarm clocks.
Our Favorite: With the Bedol Water Clock at Bed, Bath and Beyond, your morning shower won’t be the only water waking you up in the morning. This alarm clock is powered by water and will last up to six months before the water needs to be replaced.
The Bad News: MP3 players use batteries that degrade and can be harmful to the environment over time.
The Fix: People are wising up about the negative environmental effects of our tech gadget use, so innovative companies have found ways to get power from natural sources, like the sun!
Our Favorite: The Sol’e Solar Powered MP3 Player, available at Overstock.com, is the perfect music player for hikes, bicycle rides or just hanging out by the pool.
9. i-Ecko Eco-Friendly Speakers
The Bad News: Materials used to create your speakers are often toxic to the earth and build up in our landfills.
The Fix: You can now choose speakers made from recycled materials and natural fibers. Pair your eco-friendly speakers with your solar powered MP3 player, and you’ll be grooving your way toward a better world.
Our Favorite: i-Ecko Eco-Friendly Speakers available at Amazon. These maintain a great sound and are made from natural and recycled materials.
10. Grovermade Bamboo iPad Case
The Bad News: iPad cases are commonly made with unsustainable materials.
The Fix: It is all too easy to bump and scratch up your iPad, so proper protection goes a long way. Now you can find durable, long-lasting cases made from natural alternatives, such as Bamboo.
Our Favorite: This eye-catching and beautiful Bamboo iPad Case from Grovemade will protect your tablet and the environment.