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Tag Archives: eco-friendly
It’s great if you already buy organic but wouldn’t it be even better to exactly know where your food is coming from? How about growing your own garden using bamboo poles? It may sound daunting at first but with the right tools it’s not as difficult as it sounds. Also it’s a great way to keep an active lifestyle and spend some time outside! From large backyards to compact condos or apartments, gardening is a wonderful hobby to keep. Not only is it an activity that has a low carbon-footprint it will keep your body healthy as well.
For a fledgling garden, bamboo poles make fantastic stakes. Not only are they an attractive addition to your garden but they are extremely durable. Add bamboo poles to support your plants such as tomatoes, long stemmed flowers, and other weak stemmed plants. Plant can also be trained to grow certain ways using stakes. Bamboo poles are eco-friendly so they will not harm your garden or the environment in any way.
Bamboo Pole Arrangement
Arranging your bamboo poles in a tripod shape is the most stable and effective way. Tie up your bamboo pole stakes using a gardening clip, ties, or rope. Use your bamboo poles in a “Grid System” aka “Square Foot Gardening.” You can also use solitary bamboo poles for smaller plants.
The grid system style of gardening saves a lot of space, energy and time. It also saves a lot of water since the plants take up less space instead of traditional row planting. Planting, re-planting and harvesting the plants in grid system is less time consuming. Also you can customize how big you want the blocks to be since this garden style is scalable.
Christmas is less than two weeks away. Hopefully, everyone has completed all their holiday shopping, decorating and organizing. Now it’s time to wrap!! In our traditional “green” spirit, we have come up with suggestions to curb the another wasteful holiday habit: tossing tons upon tons of the wrapping waste in the garbage. Countless rolls of dyed wrapping paper, non recyclable tape and tissue paper are thrown out every year during the holidays. We believe that if we are committed to going green throughout the rest of the year, there is no reason that commitment should waver during the holiday season.
We all have stacks of newspapers, magazines and various scraps of paper lying around. Give these odds and ends that are now useless to you a new life. The comic section is colorful and adds a bit of humor to gift giving. You can really use anything to wrap with – old calendars, wallpaper samples, last years greeting cards, children’s art work. We can all admit to hoarding things for sentimental value that wind up just taking up space in our closets and garages. Make this year the year you go green AND create more space in the attic.
Remember when we had to use maps to navigate? Now with smart phones and GPS, we always know where we are and also where all of our Facebook friends and acquaintances are at anytime of the day or night. But what happened to all those colorful maps that were all but required on any road trip? They are sitting in the backseat of your car, in your glove box and in that drawer under the sink just waiting to reincarnated as creative wrapping paper.
Transforming your backyard into a tropical escape from reality doesn’t have to be a monumental and intimidating project. A few simple tips can save you time, energy and headaches.
First of all, calculate the space you have to work with. This will keep you from buying too much outdoor furniture or too many accents.
Secondly, select a focal point or area. This can be a central location for serving drinks and food, like a tiki bar, a place to sit and talk or eat, like a patio set or a place to play like a pool, hot tub or outdoor swing. The focal point is where you will spending the most time and should be considered highly functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. We recommend eco-friendly outdoor furniture options like a bamboo tiki bar to provide a setting for entertaining or a thatch umbrella kit with furniture for relaxing under. These items don’t have to take up too much space, require little upkeep, are eco-friendly and provide an interesting visual scene.
Next comes the decorating. Remember that with accessories, usually less is more. You want to keep your outdoor escape simple and inviting. Bamboo rugs are an affordable accent and bamboo fencing is extraordinarily versatile, durable and visually appealing. A bamboo fence can be used indoors and out and can therefore extend the look of your home to the backyard. Use a bamboo or reed fence outdoors to cover an old fence, create a privacy screen or add shade to a patio. Thatch can also be used to create shade and provide insulation to an outdoor room.
To all our wonderful readers, customers and followers,
All of us here at Backyard X-Scapes would like to wish you and yours a very happy, healthy and safe Christmas weekend. We hope that your holidays will be filled with the love and joy that this magical season is all about. Whether you are making a big trip or just staying at home, be safe this season. Remember that no matter what, the most important things about Christmas are telling those that are special to you that you love them and taking time to appreciate all the blessings in your life.
As always, we would like you to remember the environment during your holiday season and if your situation permits, do something nice not just for your family and friends, but for the planet we all share as well.
Happy Holidays and thanks for reading!!
Christmas is this weekend and if you’re anything like me, you haven’t bought a thing. At Backyard X-Scapes we are always looking for ways to help our customers “go green” without breaking the bank or pushing too far outside the box. We believe that Christmas gift-giving can be meaningful, generous and eco-friendly. The following are 5 of our favorite ideas for green gift-giving.
iTunes or Amazon.com Gift Cards – While it goes without saying that digital gifts cut down on waste by eliminating packaging and carbon emissions by eliminating production and shipping, they are also in high demand in today’s tech savvy society. We all know that both iTunes and Amazon offer gift cards for downloading music, but they can also be used for video streaming. Instead of buying DVDs as gifts, give your loved ones the gift of waste-free entertainment; they can stream almost any movie as well as entire television series.
Homemade Gift Coupons – Give the special person in your life many gifts in one without costing you a dime. Coupons for massages, breakfast in bed and babysitting are all great options that only require time and effort on your part. This gift is ultra-personal, won’t drain your checking account and doesn’t produce an ounce of waste, especially if you use recycled paper to craft each coupon.
Sony Ericsson GreenHeart Cell Phone – The techie in your life will love Sony’s new GreenHeart line of cell phones and accessories. These phones create 15% fewer carbon emissions than traditional phones by eliminating the paper manual (it is stored digitally within the phone), utilizing recycled plastic in the phone’s structure, employing an energy efficient display and waterborne paint. The packaging is also eco-conscious.
These days, just about everything can be made from some derivative of bamboo. At Backyard X-Scapes we try to make our dedication to the environment and our belief in bamboo as a viable renewable resource apparent in everything we do. With the increase in technology we see more and more of our everyday commodities constructed from better, more eco-friendly materials. Recently Dell Incorporated figured out how to integrate bamboo into their shipping and packaging practices.
Dell’s Inspiron models and their Streak tablet are now packaged and shipped in environmentally responsible, custom designed bamboo shells that fit neatly into an outer box made of 25% recycled materials. Currently, the bamboo casings are constructed specifically for these two Dell products but Dell hopes to expand the use of bamboo across its product line as well as initiate an industry-wide trend.
In addition to its eco-friendly construction, bamboo packaging is entirely compostable. That is, the packaging will biodegrade as well as other all-natural materials and produce soil capable of sustaining plant growth. Composting at home is a virtually effortless way to go green while simultaneously creating all-natural gardening fertilizer. Simply pile organic materials on top of each other outside and wait. After about a year, the bottom of the pile will have decomposed into an effective soil additive. Keep adding organic waste to the pile to ensure you always have a supply of supplement.
Whether or not you are a Dell consumer, their packaging methods and environmental conviction are certainly up-and-coming trends to keep your eyes on. And remember, when it comes to protecting our planets, every little bit helps.
The summer months are coming to a close and students and parents alike are looking towards the start of a new school year. Typically, back to school time entails lots of shopping and preparation. The “starting on a clean slate” mentality engenders cravings for new school supplies and clothes. However, in today’s day and age, it is becoming increasingly important and fashionable to save resources, monetary and otherwise. Luckily, with the development of new and more creative ways to conserve it’s easier than ever to go green while remaining on a budget. Approximately 56 million children will attend elementary and secondary schools this year and each one will produce approximately 240 pounds of waste, so it’s important to save and reuse where we can. Here are some helpful ideas and products to help you save this school year.
The first important step to leading a greener lifestyle is to stay organized. Make a list of all the things you need (or think you will need) before doing any shopping. This will keep you from going overboard when you see all the shiny new equipment offered at Target or Staples.
Secondly, take stock of what you already have. Most times, at some point another, you’ve overbought pencils, pens, paper, notebooks and other school supplies. Using them now will not only save you money this year, but will also free up the house of a little clutter.
If you must purchase new back to school products, there are plenty of ways to go green. Everything from lunch boxes and pencils, to clothing and backpacks exist in an environmentally-friendly form and include such developments as a solar paneled backpack from Voltaic that can charge your cell phone, laptop or iPod while you walk. Big name brands have also embraced the green trend; just check the labels and avoid excessive packaging.
We are all aware of the country’s dire need for clean water. The summer months are especially tough for dry southern areas, including southern California and the entire southwest. A few simple changes can affect your overall water use immensely. This summer, make the most of your water consumption with the following tips on water conservation.
- Turn off the faucet – Whether you’re brushing your teeth, shaving or cooking, simply turning the water off when you’re not directly using it can save untold gallons.
- Reuse where you can – Catch the water your shower wastes while you’re waiting for the temperature to warm up. This water can be reused to water houseplants or for pets.
- Go natural – Collect rain. Water collection units are a great way to catch and store 40-80 gallons of water at a time. Additionally, these units can serve as decorative accents and are easily camouflaged so they will not ruin your outdoor aesthetic.
- Work with nature, not against it – Water the lawn early in the morning. By getting up a few minutes earlier, you cash in on the help provided by natural dew that accumulates on grass and other plants and can save up to 25 gallons of water a day.
- Wait – Only wash full loads of laundry or dishes. By just waiting for enough dirty items to accumulate you can save 15 to 50 gallons of water per load.
- Get in and get out – Shortening showers by only one minute saves up to 5 gallons a day.
- Sweep - Use a broom to clean off sidewalks and driveways. Hosing them down just wastes water that can be used for the lawn or washing the car. It also adds more sewage to storm drains which ultimately flow into the ocean. Sweeping helps save water and prevents water pollution.
It’s nearly impossible to not hear about going green, the 3 Rs (reduce reuse recycle) and the infinite ways in which you can help the planet. For your next home decorating or landscaping project, we wanted to give you 5 reasons why we are buzzing about Bamboo and what makes it so great!
1) Bamboo is STRONG
Different species of bamboo are stronger than oak, harder than cedar and have the tensional strength comparable to steel. By purchasing bamboo, you’re getting a quality building material at a fraction of the cost, and is also incredibly versatile.
2) Bamboo is GREEN
Being that bamboo is not a woody tree but in fact a weed like grass, it grows at an incredibly fast rate. Unlike traditional trees that can take years or decades to grow, Bamboo can be grown and harvested at a much quicker rate. It’s a renewable resource that serves as an alternative material that can be used for an infinite number of possibilities for goods.
3)Bamboo is VERSATILE
From sheets to cutting boards, fencing, tiki bars, furniture and so much more, Bamboo is being used world wide in various types of production. You can even customize your own building project with rolls of fencing or individual poles.
4)Bamboo is AFFORDABLE
Let’s face it, economic times have not been at their greatest in the past few years and investing in upgrading your home or landscape can be a hefty investment. Bamboo offers an affordable way to instantly give your home and garden that tropical or zen revival. Replacing a wall or fencing around your yard can also be quite expensive but at times necessary if you’re looking to sell your home or are required by home associations; Bamboo fencing can offer a cost effective and easy solution.
In addition to longer days and warmer temperatures, summer seems to also bring out a lot of un-welcomed pesky visitors in and around your home. Insects seek refuge from the heat and can find a world of resources and food supply in your home. Chemical pesticides are available to take care of these invaders but can also be harmful to the environment, you, your children or pets. Just like natural homemade cleaners, there are also green and safe ways to help take care of insects in your home. Here are some things you can do and natural ingredients you can use to help deter and remove common household bugs.
In any efforts of deterring insects, one of the things that have to be done first is removing any attractants. Ants are usually in search of food and water. Clean up floors and counters of any crumbs or food stains. Water sources such as faucet drips, left out cups of water or soaking dishes will also invite ants, so be sure to keep things dry or sealed. Here are some more tips if you already have an ant problem.
– Cucumbers, especially bitter ones, are a natural repellent to ants. Cut slices of the cucumber and skin to leave at points of entry or along their pathways.
– Leave garlic cloves or mint tea bags at highly active areas.
– At night for areas of high ant activity, leave a low wattage night light on. The change in light patterns can help discourage their rummaging patterns.