When a person decides to live a green lifestyle usually they turn their attention to the interior of their home. The truth of the matter is, there are just as many ways to green up your lifestyle outdoors. Often the landscaping choices we make can add the biggest impression to our eco footprint.
In some areas of the country, people spend just as much time in their outdoor living spaces as they do indoors most of the year. Comfort and design are just as high a priority as sustainability. With a little forethought and the suggestions below you can have an exterior that’s comfortable, chic and sustainable.
Lush Lawn Without the Water and Pesticides
Nothing gives a homeowner more pride than a lush, green yard. Many environmentalists have settled for xeriscaping, only because they didn’t realize grass can be eco-friendly. Planting grass can be very beneficial to the environment – as long as you do it in a responsible way.
Planting grass seed that’s native to the area is one of the best ways to get a green lawn with the minimum amount of resources. Some “eco” seed varieties have been specially developed to be more drought resistant so they require less watering. Native grass seeds also tend to be better equipped for the local environment so they’re more likely to survive without fertilizers and pesticides.
Choosing grass seed over sod is the economical option but, for many people, the real benefit of cultivating a lawn by seed is knowing you’re making a responsible choice. The experts at Nature’s Finest Seed have put together a handy regional seed map with a dozen different climate zones across the country. Just choose your region to find out which grass seed blend will work best for your local soil, sun coverage and temperature.
Use Green Gardening Tools
If you’re spending time, money and energy to make your landscaping more ecofriendly, then why use tools full of toxins? Today you can find a variety of green gardening tools that minimize the eco-footprint of your yard while you work in it.
Two tools to focus on are the weed eater and lawn mower. These two gardening tools can be gas-powered or electric. Of course, the latter of the two is more ecofriendly, particularly if it utilizes solar power. But an old-school push lawnmower is just as green and it’s just about the least expensive option.
Creating a Compost Heap
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that up to 30% of the materials in U.S. landfills could have been composted instead. That’s a huge portion of the second-largest source of man-made methane on the planet. Deciding to compost is one of the most impactful things you can do to green up our world.
Few people realize how easy it is to incorporate composting alongside recycling. All you really need is an airtight receptacle for compostable materials, like:
- Food scraps
- Coffee grinds
- Coffee filters
You can even throw your lawn clippings and other yard waste into the compost pile as well. The compost can be used in place of chemical-laden fertilizers for healthier soil without adding toxins to the environment and unnecessary garbage to landfills. Even people without a garden can create compost and donate it to local community gardens or a city composting service.
Use Natural Pesticides
There is a wide selection of pesticides that have been deemed safe to use, but many still contain unnatural chemicals. Even if the FDA and EPA have approved their use, there are greener options for keeping garden pests under control.
For starters, green gardeners should learn to identify beneficial bugs. There are a number of insects that feed off of other harmful bugs and can provide natural pest control. Some insects to invite into your yard include:
- Praying mantises
- Garden spiders
- Green lacewings
- Ground beetles
- Damsel bugs
- Soldier beetles
If you aren’t too squeamish about bugs hand-picking them off of plants is preferred over using a pesticide spray whenever possible. Using a chemical pesticide not only puts toxins into the environment, it also kills the beneficial bugs along with the bad ones.
For times when you need to spray away an infestation, be very careful with the formula you choose. There are a number of natural pesticides you can mix up at home using everyday products. For example, you can mix up a solution of mint, citronella, cedar oil or garlic oil with water to deter certain pests with aromas alone.
Green Weddings Trend: Why 70% of Newlyweds Are Going Green
A couple of months ago, my best friend got married to her new husband. They are both very eco-conscious people, so they decided to have a unique twist on their wedding. They asked for the following:
- They arranged a carpool with their friends.
- They didn’t have any balloons. Instead they used umbrellas.
- They used plant materials instead of plastic confetti.
- My friend insisted her husband not purchase a diamond. In addition to being ecologically conscious, she didn’t like the idea of having a stone that was used in conflict zones.
My friends aren’t the only ones making these changes. In fact, nearly a quarter of all newlyweds are organizing green weddings.
Green Weddings Are Becoming the Norm
People are more concerned about green living than ever before. They are trying to incorporate environmental protectionist ideas into every facet of their lives, even the most intimate, such as marriage. A growing number of people are trying to have green weddings, which can make a big difference in reducing their carbon footprint.
How much of a difference can this make? Here are some statistics to bear in mind:
- The Center for Disease Control reports that about two million marriages are formed every year.
- Approximately 70% of all marriages have green elements today.
- This means that 1.4 million marriages are green.
There are a number ofreasons that green weddings are becoming more important. Here are a few.
People Are More Worried About Environmental Preservation than Ever Before
Green living in general is becoming a greater concern for most people. Even younger conservatives are breaking from their older counterparts by insisting on fighting climate change. According to a poll from Pew Research earlier this year, 75% of Americans say that they are very concerned about protecting the environment. Having green weddings is a good way to act on this concern.
One of the biggest changes people are making is using recycled products for their green weddings. This is explained by the research from Pew:
“Overall, 32% of U.S. adults say they are bothered a lot by people throwing away things that could be recycled. Roughly six-in-ten Americans (61%) who say they always try to live in ways that protect the environment say it bothers them “a lot” when others throw away things that could be recycled. Among those who are less focused on environmental protection, only a quarter say it bothers them a lot when others don’t recycle. People who are environmentally conscious are also twice as likely as others to say that seeing someone incorrectly putting trash in recycling bins bothers them a lot (42% vs. 21%).”
Indifferent Politicians Are Driving them to Take More Initiative
Many politicians in power have been very hesitant to take action on climate change. Many of them have openly stated that it is a hoax. These politicians are forcing people to do what they can in their own lives to make a difference. Making small changes, such as hosting green weddings, is a great way to improve the environment without waiting for political momentum.
Cost and Simplicity
A couple of the biggest reasons that people want to host green weddings have nothing to do with their concern for the environment. Running green weddings is simply cheaper and simpler than having a massive, traditional one. One of the biggest changes is that they are buying green engagement rings from the best brands.
Green Weddings Are the Future
Green weddings have become very popular over the past few years. They will probably account for close to 90% of all marriages by 2025. People that are planning to get married should look into the benefits and plan accordingly.
Green Tech Start-Ups: Are they the Future?
Endless innovations are occurring in green companies, reinventing the industries they belong to. Gradually, they are beginning to amass more success and popularity. Consequently, these factors serve as a good indicator for green technology businesses, and their development must begin somewhere.
Green tech start-ups boast a wide array of opportunities for the economy and environment, while boosting recruitment openings with valuable services. While the technology industry is littered with high revenues and competition, the green tech start-ups are the clear sign of a cleaner future.
Fulfilling a Genuine Need
Many tech companies will market themselves as the ultimate tech giants to shift stock and make profit. As they all vie for attention through warped corporate rhetoric, there is only one ethical winner; the start-up green tech company.
Some argue that mainstream tech businesses have grown far too big, branching out into other industries and standing between the consumer and practically everything they do. However, green tech start-ups go beyond the shallow ambitions of a company, answering a call to sincerely help the customer and climate in any way they can. Of course, this is an attractive business model, putting customers at ease as they contribute to a humanitarian cause that is genuine through and through.
After all, empathy is a striking trait to have in business, and green tech start-ups maintain this composure by their very nature and purpose.
Despite the pursuits for clean energy still needing more awareness, green tech is an area that is ripe for contribution and expansion. There’s no need to copy another company or be a business of cheap knockoffs; green tech start-ups can add a new voice to the economy by being fresh, fearless and entrepreneurial.
Technology is at its most useful when it breaks new ground, an awe that eco-friendly innovations have by default in their operations. Of course, green tech start-ups have the chance to build on this foundation and create harmony instead of climate crisis. Ultimately, the tech advancements are what revolutionise clean energy as more than an activist niche, putting theory into practice.
Despite the US gradually becoming more disengaged with green technology, others such as China and Canada recognise the potential in green technology for creating jobs and growth in their respective economies. The slack of others spurs them on, which creates a constant influx of prospects for the green tech sector. Put simply, their services are always required, able to thrive from country to country.
A Fundamental Foresight
Mainstream technology can seem repetitive and dull, tinkering with what has come before rather than turning tech on its head. Since 2011, technology has been accused of stagnation, something which the internet and petty app services seem to disguise in short reaching ideas of creativity.
However, green tech start-ups aren’t just winging it, and operate with a roadmap of climate change in the years ahead to strategize accordingly. In other words, they aren’t simply looking to make a quick profit by sticking to a trend, but have the long-term future in mind. Consequently, the green tech start-up will be there from the very start, building up from the foundational level to only grow as more and more people inevitably go green.
They can additionally forecast their finances too, with the ability to access online platforms despite the differing levels of experience, keeping them in the loop. Consequently, with an eye for the future, green tech startups are the ones who will eventually usher in the new era.
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