Bamboo Poles for Organic and Green Home Gardening!

bamboo poles for garden stakes

Organic Living

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.

bamboo pole row garden

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.

bamboo pole stake square foot gardening

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.

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Wrap Without Waste

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.

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Great “Green” Products You Didn’t Know Existed

We all know that the “Green Revolution” is upon us. It is becoming more and more en vogue to “go green”; large corporations, small businesses, individuals and families are all doing their part to reduce, reuse and recycle. With a little homework and a little extra effort, we can all make small changes in our daily routines to decrease the negative impact our actions can have on the planet. Here are a few one-time purchases that can save a significant amount of waste in the long run.

Reusable Coffee Sleeves
If you can’t seem to remember to carry that reusable plastic coffee cup or water bottle with you, consider at least purchasing a fabric coffee sleeve. The sleeve is small enough to fit in your glove compartment (for drive-thu coffee stops), in your purse for walk-in coffee excursions) or at your desk for your office coffee breaks. These ones are handmade in Maui and come in a variety of colors and patterns for under ten dollars to fit your personal style and budget. Most are machine washable; just toss them in with your regular load to quickly and easily reduce the amount of waste produced by your coffee habit.

iPad Case
This particular iPad case is fashioned from old suit jackets and then padded with fabric and foam. The case utilizes the coat pockets so you can carry small personal items as well as the charger. Why purchase a brand new case processed from new materials when you can have a one of a kind and earth friendly one?  All of the “I” products are so ubiquitous anyways, make yours stand out with a truly unique and “green” covering. You can find them on etsy.com for about $5 or grab a sewing machine and make your own.

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Corporations Begin to Green

In light of the recent economic downturn, small businesses have suffered in every sector of the market – this includes marketers and retailers of so-called “green” fashion statements. The environmentally conscious dresser could find everything from jeans to blouses to shoes boasting entirely green beginnings. However, these eco-brands have become fewer and father between making it difficult to find garments utilizing the once highly touted organic cotton. On the bright side, large retailers have adopted more sustainable production practices and are considering everything from water use to soil health and fair trade.

In 2006, Levi’s introduced a line of jeans using organic cotton called “EcoJeans” but shortly dropped it to develop its “Water<Less” line. A pair of Water<Less pants requires 96% less water than traditional jeans to produce, a difference of 40 litres for some styles. Levi’s is promoting efficient use of water by encouraging users to wash their jeans once every two weeks.

Other large corporations that have taken to using organic cotton and other eco-conscious production methods include Nike, Walmart, H&M and Target. Nike will construct all of its cotton based products with at lest 5% organic products by the end of 2011. In 2006, only 52% of its products utilized organic cotton. Nike also employs recycled polyester in its All Conditions Gear and only the most environmentally responsible leather suppliers.

Walmart is striving “to be supplied 100% by renewable energy, create zero waste and sell products that sustain people and the environment” while simultaneously donating money to green initiatives around the world. In October, Walmart announced its commitment to sustainable agriculture and will donate upwards of $1 billion to small and mid-sized farmers to help stimulate both small business and responsible farming methods.

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The Benefits of Bamboo Are Not Lost on Dell

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.

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Go Green for Back to School

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.

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The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Size of Pacific Garbage Patch

Floating in the Great Pacific is an enormous patch of garbage in which is composed of 80% plastic and said to be twice the size of Texas.  Also known as the “Pacific Trash Vortex”, the garbage in these areas of water are so dense with debris and garbage that have been collected by the water currents of the North Pacific Gyre.  Water samples taken from recent years in comparison to collected samples in the past, shows an increase in the abundance of broken down plastics in the water.

garbage beaches

“Researchers believe this enormous trash zone accumulated over many years from trash being dumped off boats and ocean-going ships, and from trash accumulated on beaches, where it eventually washed in the Pacific Ocean and into the huge zone.” ~cnn.com

Water bottles and plastics from consumer packaging rarely make it to the recycling bin and are the largest contributors to our landfills and in our waters.  The pollution of plastics in the ocean not only presents eco-system and environmental concerns but also health risks as well.  Larger plastics breakdown into smaller pieces in which small fish eat and as they are eaten by larger animals and fish, the toxicity concentration of the plastics multiply by the time they reach our food supply.

The Great Pacfic Garbage Patch on Good Morning America

Because of the abundance of debris, and the constant accumulation of more trash, cleaning up the waters is becoming a near impossible task.  The best way to start is to prevent the further build up of pollution in our oceans.  The next time you’re at the beach or by a river, be mindful of the garbage left and dispose of trash properly.  Save money buy investing in a re-usable water bottle!

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Home Remedies for Pest Control

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.

Ants

ants
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.

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