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6 Green Products Every Homeowner Must Have

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As a homeowner, you have a responsibility to manage your property and do your part to make the world a cleaner, more sustainable place. And while there are many different ways in which you can promote eco-friendly habits, it all starts with the products you purchase.

6 Green Products You Need

From the bedroom to the garage, there are green alternatives to just about every wasteful product on the market. Let’s take a look at a few of the things everyone should consider.

1. Natural Latex Mattress

If you’re in the market for a new mattress, consider going with a natural latex mattress. Whereas memory foam mattresses are made from artificial materials, many latex options are totally natural. Just make sure you read the fine print.

“Unfortunately a ‘natural’ mattress doesn’t necessarily mean 100% natural in this industry,” expert Joe Auer explains. “Sometimes companies will use 10% natural latex and 90% synthetic latex and still call it a natural mattress.  The reason is that natural materials are significantly more expensive, and at the end of the day people frequently choose their wallet over fear of chemicals or desire for an eco-friendly product.”

2. Rechargeable Batteries

Batteries remain one of the most complicated items on the market in terms of recycling. They contain large amounts of dangerous metals – such as lead – making disposal difficult. The best solution is to use rechargeable batteries. They cost a lot more when you purchase them, but they’ll save you in the long run. Most importantly, though, they’ll save the environment.

3. Organic Cleaners

Believe it or not, the household cleaning industry is largely unregulated. The products you find on supermarket shelves are full of harmful chemicals that damage the environment and your family. The great news is there are plenty of healthy alternatives. Using materials like baking soda, vinegar, water, and various oils, you can make your own cleaners that are healthy and less abrasive.

4. Solar Powered Outdoor Lighting

Landscape lighting makes a great addition to any home. Not only do lights provide safety and protection, but they also accentuate the best features of your home. Unfortunately, standard lights are inefficient and expensive. If you want a green alternative, go with solar powered lights. They use energy from the sun and don’t hike up your monthly utility bill.

5. Cloth Napkins

“When you factor in all of the components of making a paper towel or napkins (harvesting the material, processing and bleaching it, packaging it, shipping it, stocking it at a supermarket, transportation to and from the store to purchase it, etc.) all for a single use, you find that the paper towels and napkins are about twice as energy-intensive [as cloth napkins] and create more greenhouse gases overall,” Organic Authority points out.

In other words, you need to start using cloth napkins instead of napkins and paper towels. While it does require the extra effort of washing, it’s exponentially cheaper and more effective to trade paper for cloth.

6. Electric Lawn Equipment

Finally, it’s worth mentioning electric lawn equipment. While gas-powered lawn mowers, blowers, and trimmers are powerful, they guzzle gas and release harmful emissions. Go with an electric alternative for a quieter and healthier solution.

Be a Responsible Homeowner

There’s a common myth that it’s more expensive to be eco-friendly than it is to purchase normal products and follow the same routines that everyone else does. This is nothing more than a fallacy. As you can see, purchasing green products may cost more on the front end, but they almost always provide savings down the road. Take cost out of the equation, and there’s no excuse for an unsustainable home.

 

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Road Trip! How to Choose the Greenest Vehicle for Your Growing Family

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When you have a growing family, it often feels like you’re in this weird bubble that exists outside of mainstream society. Whereas everyone else seemingly has stability, your family dynamic is continuously in flux. Having said that, is it even possible to buy an eco-friendly vehicle that’s also practical?

What to Look for in a Green, Family-Friendly Vehicle?

As a single person or young couple without kids, it’s pretty easy to buy a green vehicle. Almost every leading car brand has eco-friendly options these days and you can pick from any number of options. The only problem is that most of these models don’t work if you have kids.

Whether it’s a Prius or Smart car, most green vehicles are impractical for large families. You need to look for options that are spacious, reliable, and comfortable – both for passengers and the driver.

5 Good Options

As you do your research and look for different opportunities, it’s good to have an open mind. Here are some of the greenest options for growing families:

1. 2014 Chrysler Town and Country

Vans are not only popular for the room and comfort they offer growing families, but they’re also becoming known for their fuel efficiency. For example, the 2014 Chrysler Town and Country – which was one of CarMax’s most popular minivans of 2017 – has Flex Fuel compatibility and front wheel drive. With standard features like these, you can’t do much better at this price point.

2. 2017 Chrysler Pacifica

If you’re looking for a newer van and are willing to spend a bit more, you can go with Chrysler’s other model, the Pacifica. One of the coolest features of the 2017 model is the hybrid drivetrain. It allows you to go up to 30 miles on electric, before the vehicle automatically switches over to the V6 gasoline engine. For short trips and errands, there’s nothing more eco-friendly in the minivan category.

3. 2018 Volkswagen Atlas

Who says you have to buy a minivan when you have a family? Sure, the sliding doors are nice, but there are plenty of other options that are both green and spacious. The new Volkswagen Atlas is a great choice. It’s one of the most fuel-efficient third-row vehicles on the market. The four-cylinder model gets an estimated 26 mpg highway.

4. 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

While a minivan or SUV is ideal – and necessary if you have more than two kids – you can get away with a roomy sedan when you still have a small family. And while there are plenty of eco-friendly options in this category, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is arguably the biggest bang for your buck. It gets 38 mpg on the highway and is incredibly affordable.

5. 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Diesel

If money isn’t an object and you’re able to spend any amount to get a good vehicle that’s both comfortable and eco-friendly, the 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Diesel is your car. Not only does it get 28 mpg highway, but it can also be equipped with a third row of seats and a diesel engine. And did we mention that this car looks sleek?

Putting it All Together

You have a variety of options. Whether you want something new or used, would prefer an SUV or minivan, or want something cheap or luxurious, there are plenty of choices on the market. The key is to do your research, remain patient, and take your time. Don’t get too married to a particular transaction, or you’ll lose your leverage.

You’ll know when the right deal comes along, and you can make a smart choice that’s functional, cost-effective, and eco-friendly.

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Environment

How Climate Change Altered this Engineer’s Life

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Living the life of an engineer likely sounds pretty glamorous: you are educated and highly regarded, typically have high paying gigs, and with the breadth of knowledge and array of fields of specialty, your possibility for jobs is usually immense.  But what if there was something else that needed your attention? Something bigger than just being an engineer, going to work every day and doing the same technical tasks typically associated with the profession?

For Kevin McCroary, that is exactly how it played out.  A successful engineer, gainfully employed in a prosperous job, a simple trip to the Philippines made him see that there was a bigger issue at hand than using his engineer training in a traditional profession.  This bigger issue was that of climate change.  And working as a volunteer for underprivileged children in the Philippines, he saw first-hand the extensive pollution and poverty that existed here and that impacted the livelihood of these kids and their families.

Upon returning home, from his trip to the Philippines he had a new perspective of the impact we as individuals and as humanity have on the earth, and more than that Kevin wanted to know more.  He started to do some research and study these human-environmental interactions, and shortly thereafter ended up in Greenland.  There, he spoke to a man who had lost his home in a tsunami, and, who, through consistent weather tracking could indeed confirm that the current weather trends were “strange:” there was undeniably a general warming tendency happening in the arctic, causing an array of negative effects.

The combination of these observations, as well as his own research, led Kevin to conclude that something had to be done.  With that in mind, he launched his project Legend Bracelet.  The mission is simple: create a reminder of the legacy we are leaving behind.  As individuals and as humanity, we are leaving behind an imprint on the earth, and the magnitude of it is something that needs to be brought to the forefront of public awareness.  The idea is to have a bracelet that can serve as a daily reminder of the impact on the earth that each of us can have every day, regardless of how big or small.  The bracelet has two capsules: the first is filled with sand or earth, and the second is empty.  As the owner, you are to fill the empty one with your own earth, carrying it with you as a reminder and symbol of your connection and commitment to helping look after our environment.

We are all impacted by climate change, and we all have a responsibility to help.  And it can start with something as simple as putting on a bracelet.  Support Kevin on his Kickstarter campaign for Legend Bracelet, tell others about it, or take action in your own way and play your part in slowing down the effects of climate change.  You may think “but I’m just one person!” You are indeed.  But so is he.  Every change starts with one.

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