How Going Green Can Improve Your Life

download (27)Health and wellness, environmental impact, energy consumption, the economy – these are but a few major things that have a direct effect when we choose to go green. But what are these effects that we will be getting if we make a significant change in our lifestyle? Here are some of the benefits of choosing eco-friendly materials in our day-to-day living.

Going green can significantly extend your lifespan.

Think about eating healthy greens and local produce. You will be saving yourself from all kinds of chemicals and all other harmful ingredients that are being added to most processed foods in the market. Also, by using natural and non-toxic products at home, you are saving yourself from different kind of illnesses that might go with the chemicals that are used in making the things you are using every day.

Going green can give you cleaner air, water, and surrounding.

Our environment is becoming more and more polluted every day and the rate of the spread of pollution is much faster than the rate of restoration. The loss of biodiversity is putting every human and habitat closer to the risks of blight, disease and famine. By choosing to walk instead of riding public transport or by driving a bike instead of driving a car, you are reducing environmental pollution. The same goes with using energy saving appliance and eco-friendly pieces of furniture.

Going green can save you tons of money.

One common misconception about going green is that it is expensive. The reality is when you go green it means you are choosing to live a simpler yet sustainable life. It means frugal living. By using natural and local products, you can save tons and tons of money, which used to be spent on costly yet harmful products. Through buying from the local produce, going green also helps improve the local economy.

Going green helps you become self-sufficient.

When you began to think of living a truly sustainable life, you no longer rely on the unsustainable infrastructure coming from the shady political deals. Renewable energies and sustainable land care and other resources are necessary if you want to live off the grid of the typical environmental and political compass. Living a green and sustainable life means you have become self-sufficient.

So, why go green? Living a sustainable life is a deep personal choice that you have to make. Other than improving the quality of your life, it has a profound philosophical meaning that you have to embrace wholeheartedly.

Sturdy Planters for Year-Round Climates

download (26)How to Choose a Container

If you aim to have a year-round garden, it’s important to understand the most effective planters, as well as the most appropriate plants. Depending on the area you live in, you may experience harsh, cold winters. Even if the climate isn’t bitter, any water that freezes and thaws can cause certain planters to crack or break.

In this sense, ceramic and clay wouldn’t be the best choice if they would be exposed to cooler temperatures for extended periods of time. For those who live in warmer climates, cracking from expanding frozen water in the soil isn’t generally a concern. Some of the best choices for cold climates include high-quality plastic, concrete, and rot-resistant wood, such as cedar.

Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to each. For wood, it’s affordable, rustic, and durable – the only drawback is the possibility of rotting wood when left untreated. Whenever you purchase wood planters, ensure that they are moisture-resistant. High-quality plastic is affordable and can mimic a range of other materials – but in some cases, they will not weather well.

Concrete planters are extremely durable, however, they can be heavy once filled with soil – this only really matters if you often rearrange your garden. Some gardeners get creative and use half of a large barrel. Due to their large size and unique look, this idea can add a lot to your gardening space. Depending on the space available, you can source a variety of planters made from different materials to enhance the overall look of your garden.

Regardless of the material you choose, it needs to be durable and weather-resistant – standing up to all temperatures and conditions. Depending on your personal style, choose planters that add texture and color, like, resin planters. That way, you’ll instantly add an extra element of beauty without even considering plants. A planter can add an accent of color and depth during the colder, less vibrant months.

What to Plant within a Year Round Garden

You’ll want to select plants that will survive year-round for the most low-maintenance approach. Although this can be easier, it doesn’t look any less beautiful. There are a wide range of evergreens that look enchanting any time of the year. In fact, they often add a lot to a winter landscape. Even one larger tree can make your yard look more lush throughout the winter months.

If you do grow evergreens in planters, ensure that it’s located in an area that will be shielded from winter winds, yet gets enough light during the long summer days. If you choose a small tree, such as a dwarf spruce, you can even move a light wood or plastic planter in order to meet the tree’s immediate needs.

When you choose perennial plants – those which live for two or more years, you can enjoy a year-round garden without needing to undergo an entire makeover each growing season. Depending on the plants you choose and the region you live in, you may need to put certain beds ‘to rest’ for the winter. Once warmer temperatures return, these plants will regrow once again.

Vines are another beautiful addition to your planters – with many being sturdy enough to survive the winter months, blooming in the spring. Vines also look great on fences, adding interest when your garden looks a little bare. Some perennial flowering vines include trumpet vine and honeysuckle – whereas evergreen vines include English ivy and creeping fig.

If you wish, you could also change plants within planters based on the season. During the autumn months, warm tones of red, orange, and yellow add an inviting element to your garden, balcony, or front porch. During the summer months, bright vibrant colors are often enjoyed.

Regardless, be aware of what a plant’s needs are and plant them according to the most optimal conditions. The easiest way to ensure a successful year-round garden, is to make a seasonal chart based on the conditions and climate associated with your zone. This will help you decide when it’s most appropriate to plant, based on the shrubs, trees, flowers, herbs, and vegetables you personally grow.

Allplanters.com is your source for indoor, outdoor or garden planters. It offers one of the largest selection of pots, planters & garden containers for home decoration at best prices online.

UK Government ECO Scheme Provides Free Boilers to Low Income Families

images (17)ECO is short for ‘Energy Company Obligation’ which was set up by the government to combat fuel poverty. The scheme forces the 6 largest energy companies in the UK, British Gas, Npower, Scottish & Southern Energy, EDF Energy, Scottish Power and EON fund ECO initiatives to help those most in need of energy saving measures reduce their energy bills.

Eligibility criteria includes those receiving Pension Credits, Child/Working Tax Credits, Income Support/Employment Support Allowance or JSA, anyone receiving extra benefits to help people on a low income or no income at all, homes with a broken or faulty condensing boiler installed, plus applicants must be a home owner or private tenant.

Anyone who wishes to apply for a boiler grant will need to provide the details of the boiler, such as the make, model and the approximate age of the appliance, along with some proof of your tax credit or income related benefits to check your eligibility for the scheme. A new boiler is also less likely to break down or require as much maintenance, giving peace of mind and costing less in repairs.

There are significant benefits for landlords to encourage tenants to apply for the grant and from April 2016, landlords are legally obliged to consider the requests from tenants to make their homes warmer and cheaper to heat. Landlords are advised to take full advantage of the ECO grant now to save money on changes they will likely have to make in the future anyway. A new efficient boiler will contribute to raising the Energy Performance Certificate rating of the property and from April 2018, all landlords in England and Wales will be legally required to improve their properties to reach a rating of at least E – so this is a great opportunity to act now. In addition, having a new, modern boiler is an attractive prospect to future tenants and all of the boilers installed under ECO will be A-rated condensing models, which will greatly reduce the property’s CO2 emissions.

Once confirmed, a fully qualified surveyor will arrange to inspect the property and carry out the final checks before the grant can be processed. The replacement boiler installation is then carried out by a Gas Safe registered installer, who is also approved for the scheme.

After installation of the new condensing gas boiler, individuals and families will start saving money on their energy bills and help to heat their homes more efficiently. Savings are typically around £250 per year for an average home.

Will a Water Softener Be Enough For My Home or Will I Need Something Else Too?

images (16)Narrowing down to a choice between a water softener and a water filtration system for your home can be a complex process. The best way to start is to understand what each of these does and then figuring what fits the best at your home.

Why is a Softener Used?

A water softener is an essential product if your home gets a supply that’s filled with hard water. There are several clear signs which will indicate the presence of hardness in your water supply. The first one is the difficulty in leather formation when you use a detergent, soap or shampoo. This will be quite an annoyance for all your washing and cleaning applications not to mention bathing. What you will also notice along with this is some build-up or blockage in your electrical appliances, especially products such as your coffee maker and water heater. Your hair and skin might also bear the brunt by developing dryness, redness and sometimes acne. All this happens because the water you are using is hard and that hardness occurs due to presence of excessive amounts of minerals such as calcium and magnesium.

Now How Does a Softener Fix This?

A softener works on a very straightforward technique, it uses ion exchange phenomenon which involves an interchange of unwanted minerals with something that’s more acceptable for your consumption. A typical unit contains resins which contain sodium. The unwanted ions (magnesium and calcium) are absorbed and in return, some sodium ions are released along with water making it softer. Even though a softener is great at fixing hardness related problems, it might not be as effective in eliminating other impurities such as bacteria, virus and chemicals.

How Does Water Filtration Work?

Water filtration is a more comprehensive solution as it generally removes a wide range of impurities including bacteria, chemicals, microorganisms, radiations and much more. The most commonly used water filtration systems:

  • Ultraviolet Purification – Great at killing and deactivating germs and bacteria but might not be applicable if your supply has large particles
  • Reverse Osmosis – The most comprehensive when it comes to removing impurities. Eliminates not just bacteria, but destroys chemicals, microorganisms, dust and plenty more.
  • Sediment Filtration – Is effective in case of large particles but when used alone, it might not resolve your water worries adequately
  • Distillation – The most traditional method, great at removing most impurities. The disadvantages are that it can be expensive at all scales and is not capable of removing some stubborn chemicals
  • Candle Purification – Highly economical, great at killing chemicals but will lack the firepower required to remove the rest of the impurities.

It is plain to see that in most cases, Reverse Osmosis is the best choice. In order to establish the need of a water treatment system out of the two, it’s important to understand the state of your water supply.

If the primary problem of your water supply is hardness causing minerals, a water softener might suffice and in case your water supply contains bacterial or chemical impurities, it is appropriate to go for a water filtration system. What has been identified as the best solution for many supplies is a combination of a water filtration and a water softener. This is a surefire fix for taking care of whatever problems your water supply might be plagued by.

I love to research on technologies, business and anything that is interesting enough. A total web enthusiast, I obsessed with getting to the bottom of each problem. I believe in staying positive wins you all kinds of battles. When not writing, you can find her watching an intense movie or experimenting with the latest recipe in the kitchen.