Recent Posts

Fire Safety Gear

5 Reasons Why You Should Use Eco-Friendly Fire Safety Gear

Oct 10, 2018

Businesses throughout Australia are opting for eco-friendly fire protection options as opposed to more traditional methods that can cause significant environmental damage. Being environmentally friendly is a huge positive for pretty much any business in the modern world, as consumers are becoming more aware of their carbon footprint and overall impact on the planet.

There are many reasons why you should use eco-friendly fire safety gear when developing a fire safety plan for your business. Our top five reasons include:

  1. Being Environmentally Friendly Can Help Attract New Customers

As noted above, people throughout the world are becoming more aware of their environmental impact. Being able to show that your business is doing what it can to be environmentally friendly can help you stand out as the obvious choice for many consumers. This will help you increase your income, profits, and will make your business more successful in general.

  1. You Will Be Less Likely To Be Exposed To Chemicals

In general, eco-friendly fire safety gear has a lot fewer negative health effects when compared to traditional toxic chemicals. Using is will help reduce the risk of either you or your employees being exposed to chemicals, reducing the potential for negative impacts on your health.

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Natural Hair Care

Should You Use Natural Hair Care Products

Sep 5, 2018

More and more people are finally beginning to realise why it’s so essential to swap to natural hair care products. According to Dianne Caine, aside from featuring organic and natural ingredients that are beneficial for your skin, hair, and body, they also don’t feature any harmful chemicals. Your everyday supermarket shampoo and conditioner still does.

Here’s what you may find lurking in your current hair care products. If that’s not enough to convince you of the benefit of a natural hair care regime, then nothing will.

Phthalates

Phthalates, in the scientific world, are known as endocrine disruptors. They mimic and interrupt hormone production, dramatically impacting men’s reproductive development. Yet, they continue to feature in a range of products. You can find them in your shampoo and conditioner to start with, but then you will notice them in laundry powder, deodorant, and almost anything with fragrance. While they can help to make things smell pretty, they are doing nothing to help your body.

Parabens

While studies into parabens are not conclusive, there is some evidence to suggest that the use of parabens may increase the risk of breast cancer and reproductive toxicity. What’s more, in a British study in 2004, parabens were identified in breast tumours.

However, with research in various stages to prove parabens aren’t entirely safe, they still feature in body lotion, make up, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, and even toothpaste. If you needed another reason to try natural hair care products, this might be it.

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Office Cleaning

5 Tips For Eco-friendly Office Cleaning

Jul 2, 2018

In the modern world people are more aware than ever about climate change, environmental destruction and the impacts simple everyday actions are having on the Earth. If you think of yourself as an environmentally friendly person who is conscious of the effects that their actions are having on the planet, then you should consider adopting eco-friendly cleaning practices. If you own a commercial building that you don’t clean yourself, you can still use eco-friendly cleaning – simply choose the right commercial cleaner!

Our top 5 tips for eco-friendly office cleaning include:

  1. Find The Right Cleaning Contractor

If you own a large commercial or residential building, you probably don’t clean it yourself. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t adopt environmentally friendly cleaning practices. Simply search for a cleaning contractor who is happy to clean the way you want them to. There are plenty of options out there, so make sure that you do your research and speak to a number of companies before you make your choice.

  1. Make Sure You Recycle

If you own or manage a building, then you can keep it clean in a way that is good for the planet by providing recycling bins in communal areas. Many buildings don’t do this, instead opting for general rubbish bins, which result in a lot of recyclable material being sent to landfill.

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Self-Sustaining Garden

Creating a Self-Sustaining Garden in Australia’s Tough Conditions

Jun 23, 2018

Landscape design can be complicated at the best of times. However, it is even more so when Australia’s tough conditions are involved. In many parts of the country, the climate is among the harshest in the world, which means that ‘normal’ landscaping rules don’t apply.

Instead, gardens must be designed with the specific climate conditions in mind, especially if they are to be self-sustaining in any shape or form. There are a lot of pressures to contend with, including poor soils, heat, and low rainfall (in most of the country). This means that you should plan your garden around these things.

Some of the best things that you can do to create a self-sustaining garden in Australia’s tough conditions include:

Use native plants wherever possible:

Australia’s native plants are incredibly diverse, unique, and beautiful. Despite not being used extensively in gardens – particularly in urban environments – they are actually very well suited to sustainable gardening. Our native plants have evolved here to cope with the country’s tough conditions.

Many natives come from extremely dry or arid areas themselves, and are therefore drought resistant and don’t require a lot of water. They won’t suffer if it gets too hot, and in fact, many natives thrive in the heat. A lot of small native shrubs are actually adapted to grow in poor quality soils, which makes them perfect for a sustainable garden – you won’t have to use a lot of synthetic fertilizers.

Use some method of water recycling:

As noted above, the the majority of Australia is very dry. This means that water shortages are common, and it simply isn’t sustainable to use a lot of water on your garden. Obviously, planting drought resistant plants is a good first step, but you can do more. Implementing some water collection system, such as gutters and a small tank to collect rainwater, can help you reduce your environmental impact, while still giving your garden the water it needs.

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Environmentally Friendly Plumbing

Environmentally Friendly Plumbing

May 19, 2018

The first things that come to mind when you think about environmentally friendly living are recycling and gardening. Would you believe it if you were told that plumbing can also be sustainable?

Sure, it’s not the first thing that pops into your mind when you think ‘world greening,’ but think of water and the cost of that as a utility. Your home plumbing, utilised for sustainable living, can have some enormous benefits. If you look at the broader picture, energy conservation and waste reduction are all part of sustainable plumbing practices. The end game is that the equipment already in your home, and adapted differently, can be used to reduce waste. The choice of pipes, low-toxic fixtures and equipment that are made locally (if possible) and ethically, all add to the growth of sustainability. You can also consider how plumbing has an overall impact on the environment.

Using Sustainable Plumbing on DIY

  • Cleaning

It’s not always the job of plumbing professionals to be environmentally conscious. There are some neat ‘green’ plumbing tricks you can use on your own DIY projects. Cleaning around the house doesn’t have to be a chemical party. Use vinegar, bi-carb and lemon for different cleaning jobs. Environmentally much safer and a heck of a lot cheaper too.

  • Water Wise

Environmental plumbing means being water-wise too. Rain water that usually runs down the drain can be diverted to your garden. Watering the garden in the cooler part of the day is another basic water-clever idea. Your dishwasher and washing machines should have the highest energy rating and lowest water usage. Every little bit helps.

  • Maintenance

You can go crazy with enviro-plumbing if you really wanted to as there are lots of small but effective changes you can do around the house. Start with leaky taps, then insulating your water pipes and follow up with mulching your garden to keep the soil damp for longer.

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Sustainable Packaging

6 Sustainable Packaging Mistakes Made by Many Businesses

Jan 21, 2018

Most businesses understand that when they send freight, the more sustainable the packaging, the less it will cost them both for the transport company costs and the costs of purchasing the packaging. Many types of packaging have a reason for their use and existence. Companies try to keep their goods in top shape and packaging can help with this.

However, most people are aware that it is often a marketing ploy alone that dictates the type of packaging.

  • One ‘mistake’ that most companies make on purpose is using a bottle or package that is much larger than needed for what it contains. We’ve all seen vitamin and other pills in large bottles that are only filled to two thirds capacity. The reason for this is to make the product more visible on the shelf and to make the customer think they are getting a lot for the cost of the product.
  • Things like cereal come in two packets. One to keep it fresh and the other to prevent the contents being crushed in transit and handling. While the amount in the packet goes nowhere near to filling it, companies cite the contents ‘may’ have become more compacted during transport. In fact, they too, want their product to take up a large amount of shelf space in the shop so it is highly visible – and they also like it if the customer believes they are getting more than is actually in the packet.

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Bamboo Fencing

Fencing with Bamboo

Dec 1, 2017

If you want a look that is going to be somewhat different to most other homes, then bamboo screen fencing is a smart choice. It’s sustainable and cheap and a great choice for your garden. It’s natural looks are so distinctive that it is even used inside the home. Check out websites like Lone Pine Fencing that supply and install bamboo fencing and you can talk to them about a wide range of bamboo colours. It makes a great alternative to using traditional timber.

The fencing and screening comes in a number of lengths and diameters and this makes it versatile enough to suit just about any home project. That includes outdoor garden spaces in which bamboo will certainly enhance the boundaries. It can be used for any landscaping project.

Extremely Durable

Words like resilient and with a long life, bamboo is known also to withstand all types of weather and pests. There are particular bugs or insects that have a party with normal timber, but they have no effect on bamboo. If you erect bamboo fencing, it’s going to be there for a long, long time. As well as it’s durability, it’s very strong and difficult to break with weights or pressure.

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Sustainability in Building

4 Easy Ways to Incorporate Sustainability in Building

Sep 13, 2017

No matter whether you are a sole trader, a larger building company there are good reasons to add sustainability practices to your business strategies – and easy ways to do it. Being environmentally friendly has become fashionable and for good reason. It not only saves you on costs, but it can give your business an edge over the competition if you offer people sustainable building advice.

Here are 5 easy ways to implement sustainability –

  • When ordering building supplies, if you don’t deal in bulk supplies take care to order only what is needed, in timber especially. If you do happen to run out you can save by profiting from other builders who order too much and end up dumping it in  landfill or giving it to the recycling centre where they could make recycled furniture or save them time and the effort of on-selling it.  There is a great deal of new timber that finds its way into landfill, which is a shocking waste of a resource that takes years to be ready for cutting.
  • Suggest your clients salvage such things as windows, doors, tiles and other materials from the recycling plant. They – and you – can save  quite a bit doing this where you couldn’t really do it on their behalf unless they asked you to. They would need to choose the patterns and colours of the tiles, anyway.

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Going Green

5 Ways to Go Green In Your Business

Aug 12, 2017

Going green in your business is not only important to help save resources, it often means a savings in costs that you didn’t expect. Since both these things are positive, there is really no reason for not making at least some changes towards sustainability, whether you run a small SEO business or a coffee shop.

Here are 5 ways to go green in your business –

  1. Saving on water usage is easy.
  • Install low-flow toilets
  • Fix dripping taps or leaking cisterns
  • Choose low-flow taps and shower heads.
  • If you have an outdoor area to maintain, use drought tolerant plants and mulch to prevent soil drying out. Install irrigation with a sensor so water is not wasted.
  • If you clean with a hose, use a high pressure washer because it will use less water
  1. Waste reduction in the office
  • In the office kitchen use bulk supplies of condiments rather than single serves, which are way more expensive.
  • Encourage employees to bring refillable water bottles and their own coffee mugs, instead of using bottled water and plastic mugs.
  • Compost kitchen waste and offer it to local growers
  • Consider warm air hand dryers if you want to go paperless
  • Save documents digitally if possible.
  1. Fuel consumption
  • If possible, leave the car at home and ride a bike to work
  • If that’s not possible, consider car-pooling or using public transport
  • Business owners need to look at locating their office close to bike tracks or public transport. They should also provide safe bike racks.
  • Nominate a day for employees to leave their car at home – with the chance to win a prize.
  • Working from home will also save fuel.

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green-office

Is Your Office Green?

Aug 8, 2017

It is the trend these days to make your office green. Even if you work from home in web design or a similar type of work, if you have an office or work in the living room you’ll be inside a lot of the time, so it’s important that your work environment is green. Sustainability is about more than saving the earth’s resources or even making it a more pleasant place to be. It touches each one of us at a personal level.

If the environment is not clean and green, the air you breathe is not going to be healthy. If you don’t breathe healthy air, you won’t be healthy either. At the very least you’ll feel tired and lethargic much of the time. By making your office green, you’ll be doing a good thing for your own health as well as for the environment you live in.

Having a green office can be simple. Adding some greenery in the form of pot plants helps to add more oxygen to the air and so it is healthier for you.  Having a growing plant or two to look at also has a positive effect on people. Studies have shown that people work more productively when there are plants around them.  So if you want to become more productive, add a plant – or three.

Natural lighting is another positive element as far as going green is concerned. Being under fluorescent lighting or even LED lighting all day long is not good for us. It emits what is called blue light, which tends to interfere with sleep patterns. People who work from home late into the evening or who take work home with them to do at night are at risk of having poor sleep patterns.

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Sustainable Fence

Sourcing Materials for a Sustainable Fence

Jul 5, 2017

Some people don’t consider timber fencing to be sustainable, but much depends on where the timber comes from. Many fencing contractors like Eline Fencing Perth use pine that is grown especially for such needs, so it could be said to be a sustainable source. However, pine is a softwood; it will need to be painted regularly to keep the water out so it doesn’t rot.

If you are intent of having a timber fence, there are other places to source the timber from apart from what the contractor offers. Here are a few examples.

    • Old railway sleepers – this is hardwood with still plenty of use in it and is ideal for fences. While hardwood is more difficult to hammer a nail into without drilling it first, it will certainly last for ages and using it saves the waste of it being burned as rubbish, just because it has been replaced by concrete sleepers.
    • Bridge decking – can be cut up into lengths suitable for a fence and will last for many more years when it doesn’t have to be strong enough to hold the weight of vehicles crossing it.
    • Piers – any kind of timber that has been used for piers or other used in water is the kind that will not break down easily.

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Beautiful Lawn

Roll On Turf for a Beautiful Lawn

Jun 2, 2017

If you are deciding to replace your lawn there are two questions that need to be asked:

  1. When is the best time to start the project?
  2. Do you opt for roll on turf or grass seed?

If you opt for a roll on lawn, it can be installed almost any time of the year in Australia, unless you live in a really cold or wet area. Example – Tasmania. If you decide to spread a few seeds, then you would be well advised to do this when spring has sprung. Warmer soil temperatures certainly aid germination.

The ground preparation for both options are rather similar and a critical requirement. Obviously, planting grass seed is a long-term solution, and if you haven’t done your groundwork (pun intended), then the ominous march of weeds will soon begin and be competing for moisture and nutrients.

It can take months for a seeded lawn to become established and turn into a hard wearing, firm, and attractive grassed area. Roll on turf though, takes just a few weeks to become established. It is capable of withstanding kids playing on it within 2-3 weeks, and certainly after a month, you can set up the stumps for a game of cricket. The big advantage and a preference for many people selecting to use roll on turf is that it has the finished look after Day 1. Both options have the same aftercare from installation – keep off it and keep it moist.

Here are a few tips on ground preparation:

  • It might be an idea to spray the old grass with a strong weedkiller before you start. Remove the old lawn. Use a flat spade, but if you have a large area then hiring a turf cutter is the best solution.
  • Turn the soil to a depth of about 12 inches (25cm)
  • Remove stones, big chunks, and other debris.
  • Apply some fertiliser and rake it into the soil
  • Level as much as possible
  • Water the area and allow it all to settle

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Wedding Clothes

How to Make Eco Friendly Choices with Wedding Clothes

May 9, 2017

Clothing for the wedding is always going to be a high ticket item, but there are ways to reduce the expense and this in turn, will help to reduce the carbon footprint of your wedding.  According to Kiss and Tell Photo Booths there are many other ways to do this too, from photo booth hire to save on the use of chemicals in printing out photos – and in a good choice of food that is organic. But how can you make the wedding clothes eco friendly?  Here are several ways.

  • Chose a pre-worn wedding dress. You can find these on special websites or even in an op-shop. It could be your mum’s or another relative’s wedding dress and/or veil that is available to you. While it may not feel right wearing someone else’s dream bridal finery, if you choose one that is from several years or decades back, it is a pretty good bet that no one will remember it. And vintage is always cool.
  • Choose a dress that can be worn again. Whether it is in the style that can be easily adapted to look like a party dress instead of a wedding dress, or whether it is in the colour, choosing a wedding dress that can be worn several more times will certainly help to save the earth’s resources as well as your own.
  • Allow the bridesmaids to wear a dress they already have. This is an excellent choice for the less formal wedding and can be a big save. You can bring the ensembles together by having them choose styles or colours that are similar or by adding accessories that all match or even just in the length.

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Eco-Friendly-Use-of-Computer

Eco Friendly Ways to Use Your Computer

Mar 12, 2017

With billions of kilos in computer waste being generated every year it is a good idea to ensure your computer usage at least, is eco friendly. If you use your computer a lot you might be into web design or digital marketing, but even if you just use it at home and not for a business, the computer has a high rate of energy consumption. Using it in eco friendly ways is not just good for the earth’s resources, but good for your budget as well.

Here are some tips on how to save power with your computer.

  • Make sure your monitor’s sleep feature is set to power down automatically when you are away from it for a while. Look for ‘Power Options’ in your control panel. While sleep mode still uses some energy it can also save a great deal
  • Make sure you turn your monitor off each night and when you are going to be away all day, or for a few hours. This will save a great deal on power usage
  • Lower the display brightness. The brighter your monitor is, the more power is being used. Another advantage is that a dimmer light reduces eye strain
  • If you have an animated screen saver, turn it off. These were to protect the old monitors. Newer LCD or LED monitors don’t need this type of protection and animated screensavers take up a lot of power, even if they are fun to watch.

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airconditioning

How to Get the Most Eco Friendly Air Con

Feb 26, 2017

These days with the constant use of air conditioning and heating, we may want to make sure we use the air con in a way that is eco friendly. This not only helps to save our precious resources; it also saves on running costs and will preserve the life of your air conditioning unit. Most people consider keeping the filters clean to be sufficient, but there is much more you can do to help the planet that requires little effort.

  • If you are getting a split system, make sure it’s an inverter. These have variable speed so rather than switching the compressor on and off all the time, they simply reduce its speed automatically to match demand. This results in less power use and less wear the tear on the compressor.
  • Before purchasing an air con, make sure it is the right size for your needs. If you get one that’s too big for the area to be cooled it will be constantly turning on and off, which costs more to run. If it is too small, you won’t be as cool and the unit will always be working harder to cool the area. This will make it wear out much more quickly.
  • A licensed electrician and authorised air conditioner installer will know how to estimate your heat load and tell you what size unit would be best.
  • Look at the energy rating labels on the air con before you choose what to get. The blue band is for cool air and the red band is for heat. In some cases, there is another short band above the bottom one that also contains stars. If they are solid in this area it means that air con is super efficient. 7 to 10 stars is good for efficiency and so sustainability.

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Eco-Friendly-Office

How To Be Eco Friendly In The Office

Jan 12, 2017

These days, with just a little bit of effort, everything we do can be eco friendly to some extent, whether it is at home, or at a home or work office. You may have set up business as a digital marketing agency such as Slinky Digital and work on your computer all day long. If everyone does something to reduce their carbon footprint, the result will be incredible and our precious resources will last a lot longer.

If you have a computer, you will most likely also have a printer. Not all printers are efficient, but laser printers can be said to be better than inkjet printers because the ink will not smudge if it gets wet. So when you print out a sheet, you won’t have to reprint it due to any smudges, thus saving ink. And you can usually print more with one toner cartridge than one container of ink.

Another way to ensure your printer is eco friendly is to purchase one that spits out those pages quickly. All printers use power while they are printing; if a printer takes 30 or even 10 seconds to print one page of type, it will take a lot longer and so use more power than one that can print a page in 1 or 2 seconds. So it’s important to look at the specifications of a printer before you purchase it.

So look at the pages per minute the printer will do, but also look at what other features it has that you may need. Having a printer that can hold 250 pages is a lot more convenient than one which can only hold 10 pages.

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Environmentally-Friendly-Holidays

How to Have an Environmentally Friendly Holiday

Dec 27, 2016

According to villa booking experts Easy Bali Villas when you book one of the many villas in Bali for your holiday, you may not think about being environmentally friendly, but sustainable living should be done in every country, not just the one you live in. Many people don’t consider it necessary to practice sustainability when they go overseas, but it is still just as important and can save you money as well.

So just how can you be environmentally friendly while on holidays? There are plenty of opportunities.

  • Don’t scatter your rubbish around. Instead, look for a bin, even if it is out of your way. If there are none in sight, keep your rubbish and dispose of it in a bin at your accommodation.
  • If you are purchasing gifts to take home, make them environmentally friendly choices. They should have been make in a sustainable way and be useful, rather than junk that will end up in the bin.
  • Purchase goods made locally and this includes food. Local products have not had to be shipped to Bali, so they have a smaller carbon footprint. Besides, Bali has some of the best food ever.
  • Don’t use expensive, glossy wrapping paper for your gifts as much ends up in landfill. Instead, place the gift in a nice bag that can be reused and recycled.
  • Purchase only one gift per person. Let’s face it, our kids get many presents; they don’t need to be inundated with more just because you took them on holiday. Consider the holiday itself as their gift.
  • Rather than buying a heap of cards to send back home, send digital ones. If you don’t want to go digital, use cards made with recycled paper.

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Renewable Energy & Sustainable Living

How Green Home Improvements Can Save You Money

Nov 19, 2016

If you are looking for home improvements that will save you money in the long run, you can’t go past the ‘green’ or eco-friendly type. Often these kinds of improvements are not even that expensive when compared to others such as upgrading the kitchen or bathroom. So if you are not looking to hire a removal company such as Brilliance Removalists Melbourne just yet but are content to stay put, make your home cost-effective by considering to these suggestions.

  • If you need to have lighting outside, solar lights can really help light up the way as well as spotlight your feature plants. Garden lights that have a little solar panel in the top are really inexpensive and add charm to the garden.
  • Upgrade your old appliances. Most older appliances are just not energy efficient. You’ll notice the difference in your power bill once you have new ones. Most will also be water efficient, giving you a double savings. Be sure to look at the star rating labels on the outside of the appliances to ensure they are truly efficient.
  • Call a good electrician and upgrade the lighting to LED or other energy efficient lights. The initial cost will soon be recouped by the savings in the cost of power. Plus, the bulbs will last much longer, so you will save on the cost of replacements.
  • Consider solar power, but do your research carefully to make sure it will really save you money. Only if you intend to stay in the home for over 5 years will getting that loan be worth it. Of course, if you can pay for it without getting a loan that will certainly save on the cost of the interest.

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How Kitchen Design Can be Environmentally Friendly

Oct 28, 2016

Every person who cooks in the kitchen will recognise the need for good kitchen design according to Kitchen Professionals. It is very likely the dream of every housewife to have a modern kitchen with lots of bench space and storage. But the design for your kitchen can also be environmentally friendly and when it is, it will save considerably on the costs of running the home.

Most kitchens in older homes were not designed to be ‘green’ or eco friendly, but with a few upgrades you can have a kitchen that looks attractive and saves on costs as well. How? Here are a few design tips to ensure your kitchen is environmentally friendly, whether you are planning a new one or upgrading your older kitchen.

  • Put in a larger window. This will let in more natural light so you don’t need to switch the light on in the middle of the day to see what you are doing.
  • A larger window can also be opened to cool off and air a hot kitchen, saving on the costs of running the air conditioning or the extractor fan in the range hood.
  • New large appliances are usually much more energy efficient than older ones.
  • Choose only the size appliance that you need for your lifestyle, or may need in the next decade. For instance, if you plan on having children in the next few years, a larger refrigerator and dishwasher will be extremely worthwhile.
  • But if the children are all about to leave home and you need a new fridge, you might not need a large one. Much depends on your lifestyle.

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Environmentally Friendly Landscape Design for Seniors

Aug 5, 2016

Many older people enjoy gardening and get some much needed exercise as they do it. Unfortunately it often becomes impossible for them to keep on working in the garden due to failing health or just through becoming frailer. However, the right landscape design will ensure that seniors can still potter around in and enjoy their garden without the need for constant digging, weeding or heavy lifting.

Professional landscaping makes use of many different types of components to create a haven of green for anyone to enjoy. While change is never easy, allowing your garden to be changed into one that you can manage for several more years will benefit you and the environment, because many such changes are simply more environmentally friendly.

Low maintenance gardens are all the rage these days as few people have time to spend in the garden anyway. And what time they do have, they’d much prefer to spend relaxing in the garden rather than working in it. One of the major changes would be to remove annuals and replace them with perennials. Annuals are showy, but they don’t last long and require a great deal of work.

You have to replant every season and that means digging, fertilising and watering a great deal more than you like when a senior. It is not environmentally friendly, either; it’s much better to have plants that will last for several years. You can plant them out, add compost and mulch to feed them, keep the soil moist and the weeds away and that is it. Sit back and enjoy.

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carpet-cleaning-products

Are Your Carpet Cleaning Products Toxic?

Apr 13, 2016

Most people need to at least spot clean their carpets in between professional carpet cleaning. While you can choose professional carpet cleaners, like brilliancecleaning.com.au who only use environmentally friendly, safe cleaning products, it is still possible to accidentally use toxic products to clean the carpet yourself, if you don’t take care when purchasing products.

Sometimes this happens because you are in a hurry and don’t even think about the product being toxic. Other times it is because the list of ingredients on the tin or packet is in such small print you just can’t read it without your reading glasses – which are at home next to that book you were reading.  Or it could be that you don’t know which ingredients are toxic – many have long names and it is easy to forget them, even if you try to get it right.

There are four main times when toxic products can affect you.

  1. If you get some on your skin while using them
  2. When you inhale the fumes while using them.
  3. When anyone sits or lies on the carpet and gets some on their skin
  4. Breathing in the air after cleaning while toxic fumes are still rising.

The latter two times you may not even be aware of it happening, but if you can smell it, you can breathe it in. And even a small amount of dried carpet cleaner on your skin can cause a rash, eczema or itch of some kind.

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enhanced-lifestyle-sustaina

How an Enhanced Lifestyle is Part of Sustainability

Dec 6, 2015

Sustainability is not just about saving the environment. Most people would agree that it includes enhancing your lifestyle in a way that is in line with sustainable practices. For instance, adding patios in Perth, pergolas or carports can enhance the lifestyles of many people; choosing the materials that are eco-friendly and sustainable then enhances and saves the environment.

There are other ways in which a patio or a pergola can be considered eco-friendly.

  • When you spend time outside, say for alfresco dining, you can enjoy the cool of the evening without having to run the air conditioner. This saves on your costs as well as saving the earth’s resources. You may think that it would only be a small saving, but if many people do it, that small amount grows exponentially.
  • Having a patio against the side of the home will also shade it and keep it cooler, reducing the need for the air conditioner to be on, so again, the environment and your budget are both winners.
  • Here’s another way a patio or pergola can be eco-friendly. Having children’s birthday parties in them will save a great deal of wear and tear on your carpets. Eventually, this will filter back to a few less carpets being needed, so all the power that is used to make them will be reduced.  This too, may seem like a saving too minimal to count, but when taken over the whole of the country it can really mount up.

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eco-friendly-limestone

Limestone – the Environmentally Friendly Product for Homes and Gardens

Sep 28, 2015

Stone is an amazing natural product that can be used in so many ways. Some stone is produced locally and others are sourced internationally from places such as Bali where they are used extensively on easy villas. Homes and larger buildings have been made from stone for centuries and are still standing, making stone such as limestone blocks one of the most environmentally friendly products there is. It can be used for paving or stone cladding that will last almost forever.

While stone does not always withstand disasters such as earthquakes, especially if it topples from a height, neither do most other building materials. However, in places that are not prone to such disasters it has proven to weather other climatic conditions exceptionally well.

Stone is environmentally friendly not only because it lasts such a long time, but for other reasons as well. Here are some of them.

  • There are no toxic chemicals or glues used in making it, so it is a safe product with no toxic fumes.
  • It is low maintenance. It does not require painting or waterproofing, although both of these can be done to it if necessary. For instance, if used for flooring outside, and particularly around a swimming pool, it would need to be waterproofed.
  • It is recyclable. If a stone wall needed to be taken down, the stone could be used elsewhere, for instance, for a garden bench, edging or another wall.
  • Cutting the stone doesn’t really harm the environment because nothing can grow there anyway, since the ground is all stone.
  • The pieces that break off, or any limestone slab that happens to crack can be recycled by crushing them and mixing with concrete to form an even stronger building or paving product, so there is no wastage.
  • It has not one, but several uses, from pavers to stairways and footpaths, and from retaining walls to feature walls and even cladding.

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Packaging-Freight

Sustainability When Packaging Your Freight

Jul 25, 2015

When sending freight it is important to pack it in such a way as to prevent movement and breakage.  While your transport or logistics company may have rules and regulations for packaging, they may not consider sustainability to be important. But depending on the kind of freight you have, you can use environmentally friendly packaging quite easily if you put your mind to it. There are several ways of doing so.

  • Re-use old packaging from freight you’ve received in the past. It is not difficult to keep and re-use things such as boxes and bubble wrap. Most boxes can be flattened without any harm so it doesn’t take too much room to store them.
  • Find larger crates that have been used by watching the classifieds where people who have recently moved may advertise them.
  • Visit a recycling centre to see what’s on offer for packaging up your goods. You’ll find many handy packaging goods there.
  • If you receive goods on pallets that have been surrounded by plastic wrapping, it might be worth unwrapping them carefully to re-use it. The downside is that it will take more time, but not everyone is in a rush to get things done.
  • Use crumpled paper to safely pack small items. Ask friends and family to save their newspapers for you.

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environmentally-friendly-kitchen

How to Use Your Environmentally Friendly Kitchen the Right Way

May 21, 2015

When it comes to environmentally friendly kitchen design, most cabinet makers understand that newer appliances, natural lighting and no or low VOC finishes all add up. However, it is still up to the users to develop habits that are also environmentally friendly to get the most out of their kitchens.

Here are some tips to help you use your kitchen in ways that are environmentally friendly.

  • You may have chosen a refrigerator that has all the stars coloured in so you know it won’t gobble up electricity like the old-fashioned monsters of yesteryear. But if you are going to stand in front of it with the door wide open all the time wondering what to snack on, then you might be in for a shock when the power bill arrives.
  • The same goes for the dishwasher. You might have carefully chosen a dishwasher that takes the least amount of power and water, but if you use it before it is full, you will certainly waste both.
  • Cooking can often be done in a way that saves power too. Consider using a steamer that has additional stack-able containers. This will allow you to steam several different kinds of food using the same source of steam and only one element.
  • Even if you boil vegetables, you can place potatoes, pumpkin and carrots in the same saucepan together, while things like broccoli or cauliflower can go on top of peas or beans.

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moving-in-an-environmental-friendly

10 Tips to Moving in an Environmentally Friendly Way

Jan 15, 2015

People move house for many different reasons and some have many moves over their lifetime. It seems they no sooner get settled and they have to contact a furniture removals company like Brilliance Removalists Perth. Then they start with the whole deal of packing up their goods and taking them to another new home. This may be inconvenient, but at least moving can be done in an environmentally friendly way. Here are 10 tips to show you how.

  • Use some of your linen or out of season clothes for wrapping breakables and for padding in and around the boxes. This will save on the cost and usage of bubble wrap and prevent yet more plastic going into landfill.
  • If you move a lot, flatten and store your cardboard cartons to use next time. They don’t take much room when stored flat.
  • Many retail stores receive their products in strong cartons, which are then sent to the recyclers. You can divert some of them for your own use. Try electrical goods stores and pharmacies to get free moving boxes.
  • If you don’t move much, offer those cartons to someone else who will soon be moving.
  • Some of the boxes can be used to store toys, blankets, tools and other items.
  • Sell or give larger tea chest boxes away if you don’t want them. A free ad. on gumtree will often find them a home.
  • Moving is often accompanied by cleaning. Don’t spend money on toxic cleaning products; make your own. Got mould or mildew? A ¼ of a teaspoon each of lavender oil and tea tree oil with 2 cups of water. Spray it onto the mould and don’t wipe it off. It will destroy the mould. Windows can be cleaned with equal parts of white vinegar and water.

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sustainable-property-mainte

How to be Sustainable with Property Maintenance

Oct 17, 2014

Perth property maintenance is something that should always be done on a regular basis if you want your home and property to look cared for and its value sustained. Often, the best way to get it done is to hire a professional handyman, who can care for the garden, do the mowing and also do any other maintenance tasks that crop up.

This is the kind of maintenance that is sustainable or eco-friendly. When you have someone to care for your gardens, they will soon be covered with compost and mulch and that will save on a great deal of water, not to mention fertiliser. Unnecessary fertilisers get washed into the waterways and is thought to be responsible for the death of some of our beautiful coral reefs. You can’t get much more environmentally friendly than taking steps to reduce use of purchased fertiliser.

However, there are several other ways in which professional property maintenance can benefit the environment.

  • An automatic irrigation system will save water usage – and wastage – especially if you get the kind that senses when water is needed and if rain is likely. It may cost a bit more to start with, but you’ll be saving quite a bit on the cost of water. And every bit saved helps water reservoirs to remain at a good level in dry times.

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eco-friendly-landscape-design

How Landscape Design Can be Environmentally Friendly

Aug 22, 2014

According to Landscaping Sydney, professional landscaping your property can pay dividends, especially if it is done by a professional. Not only will it increase the sales potential and value of your home, if done properly, landscape design can save a great deal on the costs of water, fertilizer and losing plants. How?

A professional can ensure your plants are suited to the area and that they are in a position in the garden that suits them best. Placing shade-lovers in a dry, sunny position and sun lovers in the shade is a recipe for plant loss. And it happens more often than you may imagine simply because we purchase plants that appeal to us in looks, not to suit the garden we have. Choosing the right plants in vital.

Some of us also tend to stick plants in the garden wherever there is a spare space and we don’t think about their watering needs. Some plants will rot away if they get too much water while others thrive on it. Put the two close together and one of them is not going to survive. The same applies when it comes to fertilisers. Some plants prefer one type while other plants don’t like any or not so much.

Australian natives especially, don’t thrive if they have a lot of fertiliser, so if they are planted with anything that is known as a gross feeder – that is, it likes a lot of fertiliser – then one of the two is not going to thrive and indeed, is likely to die off completely.

Landscape design can also be environmentally friendly when the whole property is designed to retain natural rainwater by placing garden beds in a location to catch the run-off, by terracing and by planting water lovers in damp spots. Automated watering systems that have sensors to indicate when watering is needed can save on the use and cost of water.

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equipment-hire

Eco Friendly Equipment Hire

Feb 15, 2014

If you need to hire equipment to do a job of home renovation the last thing on your mind is likely to be caring for the environment, but equipment hire can also be eco friendly. Many people these days actively look for an eco-friendly business to deal with because they believe that everyone can do their bit for the environment and even if it’s only a little bit it all mounts up.

The first step in eco friendly plant hire is to hire the best machine for the job. This will both conserve fuel and save on costs. It will also make sure the least damage possible is done to the environment. If you get in a huge bulldozer when only a tiny one is needed a lot more land will be ruined as it manoeuvres around the work to be done. Those tracks can churn up the dirt and make a big mess that is almost impossible to fix.

A machine that is too small for the job is likely to break down. This could leave oil and other fuel leaking into the soil. It will take extra parts to fix and it means the job will take longer to finish. Not only is this bad news for the company, it’s also bad for the environment, especially the oil spill.

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designer-garden-pots

Designer Garden Pots and the Environment

Sep 18, 2013

If garden pots had a pecking order, designer garden pots would be at the top and the humble black plastic ones would be at the bottom. As far as being eco-friendly is concerned, designer pots have it covered, while at the bottom of the list, not much can be said for black plastic except that it is re-usable to a certain extent. That is, it can be repainted and decorated to look much more attractive and to help it last longer.

However, when it comes to designer pots, plastic is not involved as such pots are made from more durable materials such as glazed terracotta which is baked clay, fibreglass and other materials. Some are made from concrete, which is really too heavy, especially if the pot is to go on a balcony or has to be moved around much.

Some designer pots are made from stone, an environmentally good choice, since there seems to be a never-ending supply of stone available. Harvesting stone does not harm the environment because nothing can grow where stone is. Even if it is underground, the roots of many larger plants such as trees will not be able to penetrate it.

Most of the materials that such pots are made from are highly durable; they have to be to survived the natural effects of soil, fertiliser and water that is in them for most of their life. They don’t need to be maintained in any way except for an occasional wipe over with a damp cloth on the outside to keep them clean and shiny. So you could say that such pots are sustainable and certainly friendly to the environment.

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carpet-making-you-ill

Is Your Carpet Making You Ill?

Feb 19, 2013

Many homes have carpet for at least some part of the floor covering. It is soft, comfortable, quiet to walk on and saves toddler’s many bruises. However, it is not quite as easy to clean as a hard floor surface. Professional carpet cleaning should be done by experts like Brilliance Carpet Cleaning Perth every year, but it is important to ensure they use products that are non-toxic.

Meanwhile, you will probably need to have some carpet cleaners in the cupboard so you can deal with spots and spills as soon as they happen. The only trouble is that many cleaning products for carpet contain toxic ingredients that stay in the carpet long after they have dried and release fumes that can cause a whole host of problems. Skin irritation, asthma, bronchitis, dizziness, headaches, nausea and many more symptoms can be caused by the toxins in your carpet.

Studies have shown that a carpet can hold up to eight times its weight in dust, dirt and allergens. You may think that throwing the old carpet out and laying new carpets will solve the problem. However, many new carpets are made from products that are actually very harmful to our health. These products release fumes into the air and we breathe them in. Have you ever noticed that new carpet smell? It is very likely toxic.

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frameless-glass-showerscree

The Beauty of Frameless Glass Showerscreens

Nov 16, 2012

If you are designing a new home or renovating the bathroom, you may want to consider installing frameless glass shower screens. This modern trend is one that is sure to last as people find out all the benefits.  One is that you can see right to the end of the bathroom so the perceived distance is greater, meaning your bathroom looks a lot larger.

The beauty of using frame-less glass for the walls and door is that glass is one of the most environmentally friendly building materials there is.  Of course, it doesn’t break down in landfill ever, but it can be totally reused and there is an increasing number of recycling plants springing up to do that very thing. The heat needed to remelt glass is not nearly as high as it is to make it in the first place. And the strength of glass is not compromised by the recycling process. Whatever is made from it will be just as strong and last just as long as the first item.

At least some councils are now providing sorting bins for glass waste to make the recycling process easier and more sustainable.  Glass comes from sand and while there seems to be no shortage of that, recycling glass is the best way to keep it out of landfill, where it can last for hundreds of years.

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fibreglass-swimming-pool

Are Concrete Swimming Pools Better Than Fibreglass

Jun 19, 2012

Many homeowners these days add a swimming pool to their property to enhance their lifestyle. Having a swimming pool gives the children a reason to leave their electronic devices and get some exercise, all in the name of fun. Most pool builders will tell you that concrete swimming pools have certain advantages over fibreglass.

If you look around at public swimming pools you will see they are made of concrete. This is because concrete is stronger and more durable than fibreglass. While the latter does have its good points, if you want something that is going to last you would choose the former.

Not all properties can be flat and even and not all blocks of ground are square or rectangular. Some have odd shapes that make it difficult to fit a pool in that comes in standard, stock sizes like fibreglass. This is where homeowners find a concrete pool more viable. Pool builders can make your concrete pool any size and shape to fit in a corner or anywhere you want it.

In addition, since the pool is being designed and built from the ground up, you can have a lot more accessories such as fountains, slides and underwater lighting in it. Concrete is a sustainable product made from limestone, of which there is plenty worldwide. It can also be made out of waste products from steel mills and power plants, making it even more environmentally friendly.

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salt-water-pools

Are Salt Water Pools Environmentally Friendly?

Feb 15, 2012

No matter whether your pool is saltwater or chlorine you will need help with cleaning it. Robotic pool cleaners that do the job without any help from you are the best way to decrease your workload.  All an automatic pool cleaner needs is to be put into the pool and switched on. Some may need to be connected to the pool pump and filter also, but this is much quicker and easier than scrubbing the pool out by hand.

When choosing the type of pool to have, you may be wondering if salt water pools are environmentally friendly. In fact, even though the ocean is full of salt water, a pool full of salt water is not really eco friendly. For a start, all that salt can really rust and erode any metal in or near the pool, even if it is galvanised. You need to change all those components to brass, especially in places where salt water comes into contact with them on a regular basis.

Salt water is also bad for plants, so if you have a garden in or near the pool it is not likely to thrive. It is not only the salt in the water, but any fine mist that is swept off the top of the pool by strong wind would contain salt. Salt water may also have an adverse effect on the pool pump and the pool cleaners.

Many people think that a salt pool is a safer alternative to chlorine, but in fact there is also chlorine in a salt water pool, so it is doubly bad for the environment. Chlorine is a dangerous chemical that is a carcinogen and has been linked to asthma, rashes, skin irritation, headaches and other problems in cases where people spend a lot of time swimming in it.

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sustainable-scaffolding

How to be Environmentally Friendly with Scaffolding

Oct 6, 2011

If your company is looking for ways to be environmentally friendly, that is all to the good, because many people prefer to deal with a business that takes care of the environment.  If you have to make or use scaffolding, there are ways in which you can be eco-friendly right on your doorstep.

For a start, using strong steel to make it will not only ensure safety for all those who must use it, but means it will last longer. You can then deconstruct the structure after use and re-use it elsewhere. It can be used many times over and if you store it out of the weather it will last for an even longer time. This will reduce your costs as well as reducing the cost of purchasing more steel to make more.

Steel is highly recyclable even though it doesn’t break down in landfill quickly. In fact, it can take years for it to rust away. But it can be melted down and reused to make many other things. Better still, this can be done over and over with the last item made from it being just as strong as the first one.

It is strong, durable and needs little maintenance over its lifetime. However, it can corrode if used in a marine environment, so some kind of finish is needed to help it last longer. Powder coating or painting on a regular basis will help to keep it in top shape. Steel is rather heavy, but it can span quite a long distance without support, so it is well liked in the industry for this alone.

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sustainable-colorbond-roofi

How Sustainable is Colorbond Roofing?

Mar 1, 2011

If you are re-roofing your home, you will want to choose a sustainable option.  A roof is one of the most important parts of the home; without it you cannot even live there.  But if choosing Colorbond roofing you will want to know that it ticks all the important boxes.

  • Durability
  • Strength
  • Low Maintenance
  • Aesthetic
  • Suits a wide variety of cladding
  • Offers a good number of colour options
  • Will blend into the environment or stand out as you require
  • Is quick and easy to erect, thus saving costs in time
  • Is affordable

Colorbond ticks all those boxes and more besides.  It is one roof that is approved for use in bushfire prone areas. This is not only because it is flame retardant, but because it offers very few niches for burning embers to get stuck in. Each sheet is quite long and the overlap has no niche under it, like you find on most tile roofs.  So, hot embers from an approaching bush fire simply blow off, rather than lodging on the roof and catching it alight.

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Wedding Photographs

Making Your Wedding Photographs Sustainable

Dec 9, 2010

A wedding is a wonderful time that should be enjoyed by all. If you are into sustainability you’ll want to add some ideas for keeping your wedding eco-friendly. It’s not as hard as you may think. One thing common to all weddings is the photographer. Many commercial photographers don’t use digital cameras, so you might want to think about having a photo booth from Lumin8 Events at the reception instead. Why?

A photo booth is digital, so there are no poisonous chemicals being used to develop the film and no paper wasted printing out photos that you might feel are not just what you want. Rather, you can download your photos straight from the internet and examine them carefully before choosing which ones to print out.

In fact, you can also choose not to print any, but to have them all placed onto a CD or DVD or other media – even a coffee mug – so you can enjoy them whenever you like or send them to friends and family who couldn’t be at the wedding, for gifts. Besides, printed photos are at risk of loss or degradation over the years, while a DVD will last for a long time with the images on it always looking just as fresh and new as the day they were taken.

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eco-friendly-home-renovatio

How to be Eco Friendly with Home Renovations

Jul 9, 2010

When you are planning a home renovation it is very exciting, especially if it is for your own home. It is wonderful to see the change as the home renovation progresses and know that it will really enhance your lifestyle.  You can be eco- friendly with home renovations during the equipment hire phase as well as in choosing building materials and finishes.

Choosing the right equipment for the job is essential and will save time as well as help to reduce the impact the renovation has on the environment around you. Plant hire need not be difficult; the hiring company will help you choose the best machine for the job.

You will also need to choose building materials that are eco-friendly. Bamboo is a good choice for kitchen cupboards and other built-ins. Bamboo grows quickly so it a renewable resource. You could also think about using recycled materials. There are many recycling places especially for builders and carpenters. You can find windows, doors, bath tubs, kitchen sinks and cupboards, flooring and left over cut timber from other home building projects. Why waste all that, especially when it will save money as well as the environment.

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Saving the Environment

15 Tips for Saving the Environment

Jan 9, 2010

Whether you have a large business or a small one such as doing web design from home, sustainability is important. Not only does it help save the earth’s resources, it usually helps the bottom line of your business as well.  Even if you can only implement one or two sustainable practices it all helps; if every business did the same the earth would soon become pristine again.

There are many green practices that can be implemented by small and large businesses alike. Here are some of them.

  • Use natural light and ventilation wherever possible.
  • Pop on a jumper before switching on the heater or air conditioner.
  • Using an air-con takes less power than a radiant heater – so long as it’s a modern one
  • Use scrap paper for note-taking. This is easier when you have a box or tray especially for waste paper. You might print out something you don’t need now or that had an error. Keep those sheets to use for scrap. You can write notes on the back of them
  • When printing, use greyscale or toner save mode for in-house copy. Make sure recycled paper does not contain sensitive information.
  • Recycle toner cartridges or have them refilled instead of purchasing new ones.
  • Take old printers, monitors, phones and laptops to a recycle centre, not to landfill.
  • Light sensors save on the cost of lighting, especially in places such as amenities or meeting rooms that are not used all the time.
  • Automatic power shut down devices will ensure your office equipment is never left on overnight.
  • Choose energy efficient lighting. Simply replace bulbs as they wear out with LED or compact fluorescent bulbs.

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security-fencing-environmen

Why Security Fencing is Classed as Environmentally Friendly

Dec 1, 2009

Security fencing is an essential part of everyday life in most western countries these days. It does a great job of keeping intruders out of certain secure areas while protecting those within, but is it environmentally friendly? Fencing of all kinds is there for a good reason and sometimes this is to protect our unique flora and fauna from harm.

Consider these reasons why such fencing is environmentally friendly:

  • If such a fence is not there, plants and animals can be injured or killed from being driven over, or walked on. This may not necessarily be done on purpose, but the result is the same; the destruction of habitat and thus, of the species that need it for their survival. So it can be said that such a fence is environmentally friendly.
  • Such fencing is usually made from wire, steel or galvanise iron, or a combination of all these materials. In many cases there may be concrete posts or footings as well. All these materials are durable and long-lasting, requiring little maintenance over the years, another tick for being friendly to the environment.
  • There are many different kinds of fencing and what is used depends on the purpose of the fence. Commercial fencing can be made to look visually appealing by the use of such elements as limestone blocks, but in most cases a fence looks neat and tidy anyway, as it separates one area from another and defines space.
  • It can be used to ensure foot or vehicular traffic causes the least amount of harm to the environment and can keep many different types of native or farm animals and pets separated from each other and thus, free from harm.
  • Security fencing is also used to keep our precious children safe from wandering away and from other dangers, so it does many essential jobs well.
  • Many types of fencing can be recycled by being dismantled and used in another location when necessary, so that too, makes it environmentally friendly. Steel and iron can also be melted down and re-formed into something else, making those kinds of fences highly recyclable.

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