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Kick off Your Urban Home Reno by Bringing the Outside In



Living in a city has an enormous amount of perks. Shopping, dining, culture, and more are always right within your grasp and it’s easy to become accustomed to the trappings of urban life. However, despite the many green spaces that are located within city limits and offer ample opportunities to experience the great outdoors, it’s not always easy to incorporate those elements into an urban home.

However, if you’re planning to renovate your house or apartment or you simply want to update your decor with a more natural feel those things are easily accomplished. Whether you’re contemplating major changes or not, adding a natural feel to your space is much easier than one may think.

If you want a beach theme or you’d like to feel as if you’re deep in the forest when sitting in your living room, these tips can help you make the changes you need in order to bring the outside in.

Play With Color

Gone are the days of white walls as a canvas for your home. More and more designers and decor experts now recommend painting your walls with color to add depth and dimension to a room, and these colors can also dramatically change the atmosphere of your home.

Most of the major paint brands have online tools that help you determine what colors are complementary and will look best in your space. Play with blues and greens if a tropical feel is what you’re after, or try shades of brown and gray to mimic the colors of the earth. No matter what colors your choose the results are going to be much more natural than you expect.

Reconsider Your Flooring Choices

If your home renovation includes a change in flooring, you’re in luck. You’re no longer limited to carpet or tile, and if your home isn’t blessed with natural hardwood flooring there are ways to replicate that beautiful look and feel.

Reclaimed wood is always going to look beautiful on your home’s floor, but the price tag can scare many people away. Consider innovative bamboo laminate flooring for a true outdoorsy feel. Not only is this type of flooring durable and beautiful, but bamboo is also a very sustainable and environmentally friendly material so you can feel good about your choice. Bamboo flooring also comes in a variety of colors and grain styles to perfectly accent your space.

Replace Your Windows

Windows are incredibly important to give your home the more natural look you’re craving, but the wrong windows can directly inhibit that look as well. If your windows are old or improperly sealed you’re also losing money on your heating and cooling costs.

Consult with a contractor about new, energy-saving windows that also fit with your new design theme. Wide windows, especially on south facing walls, let in more light and serve to highlight the rest of your natural decor. Also consider bushes or trees near ground floor windows.

Update Your Furniture

The right furniture can go a long way toward achieving your goal of a more natural looking home interior. Whether your style is modern or rustic, furnishings crafted of natural materials will always serve to highlight your decor and make your space feel more inviting.

Antique furniture is always a good choice, as is furniture crafted from reclaimed wood or rich leather. The true colors of wood also work well with a number of color schemes, so you don’t always have to decorate around your furniture.

Use Natural Decor Elements

One of the easiest ways to bring more nature to your space is with truly natural elements. Bring out your creative side and decorate with twigs, leaves, flowers, and grasses. Not only is this incredibly easy to do, but you can also change your decor theme with the seasons.

Visit your local nursery to investigate houseplants. Someone with experience in gardening can recommend plants that will work well with the amount of light you have in various parts of your home, and there’s nothing better than a bright green plant or beautiful flowers to make your space feel like the outdoors.

Renovating your home to create a more natural environment is easy and doesn’t have to be expensive. Whether you just want simple decor changes or you’re taking on a complete renovation, creating your perfectly natural space in an urban home is a wonderful way to bring the outside in.

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Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage



water conserving

While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.

If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.

Repair and Maintain Appliances

Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.

Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.

When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.

Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full

It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.

The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.

Recycle Water in Your Yard

Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.

You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.

Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants

Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.

Install Water-Saving Features

The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.

There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.

Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City

Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.

If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.

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Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism



When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.

After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.

How was it started?

It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.

How to go about it?

So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.

If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.

What can be learned?

Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .

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