Author Archive Groovy Green

The Benefits of Using Biodegradable Dental Materials

ByGroovy Green Jun 6, 2024

The Benefits of Using Biodegradable Dental Materials 

It is a known fact that dental practices produce a large amount of waste, much of which is not environmentally friendly.

However, in recent times growing awareness about climate change and environmental pollution has led to increased calls for eco-friendly or “green” dentistry.

A great way to heed this call, which is gaining momentum each day, is by using biodegradable dental materials. This will reduce the environmental impact of your practice as a dentist to a large extent. It will also enhance your appeal to environmentally-conscious patients.

Without mincing words, using biodegradable products is one of the easiest and most impactful steps Dental O So Gentle takes towards sustainability in dentistry.  However, some people may struggle to grasp the necessity of biodegradable dental materials.

Is it really important? Are there any benefits or positive outcomes to be derived from it? How do you build and maintain an interest in this eco-friendly initiative?

We shall discuss the answers to these necessary questions in this article.

Let’s start by addressing the front-burner question – What are biodegradable materials in dentistry?

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Fun Themes to Try in Your Landscape Design

ByGroovy Green Mar 26, 2024

If you’ve been thumbing through the pages of a home and landscape design magazine, you’ll quickly learn that there can be a lot more to the process than you might have first thought. While you can have a few ideas and designs in mind, the best landscape design is one with a theme. But what theme is going to work for you? Here are a few fun options to show your landscape expert before you begin.

An English Country Cottage

While many parts of Australia are far too hot to really pull off an English cottage look, some boast the perfect conditions. Talk to your local landscaping experts about the best flowers to offer premium ground cover and colour.

It also helps if you have the basis for that cottage appeal, such as a country-style home, rolling lawns, and shady trees. Your landscaper can then work their magic with a pond or waterfall renovation and dozens of beautiful cottage flowers to complete the look.

Cool, Calm, and Collected

If you want your garden to be a reflection of your ‘cool, calm, and collected’ personality, then maybe a touch of European in your landscape design is the answer. Europeans love their hedges to be meticulously pruned and maintained with straight lines and dense bush.

European yards also have spacious courtyards with minimal hassle or fuss, a feature fountain, and resting areas. Talk to your local landscaper to see what they can do for you.

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4 Advantages of Landscape Design

ByGroovy Green Feb 18, 2024

When your yard is not as functional, beautiful, or practical as you hoped it would be, you’re likely thinking about improvements you can make. Some landscape design ideas you come up with might be an outdoor entertainment area, pathways, and improved lighting.

While these are all grand ideas achievable with the DIY spirit, that doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from expert advice and assistance from someone who makes a living from landscape design.

If you’re unsure about hiring the experts, the following advantages of landscape design may change your mind.

Year-Round Enjoyment

Intreeg Landscapes advises that many homeowners find that they can only use their yard at certain times of the year. The grass might be too muddy in winter, or there is not enough shelter from the elements. You might even struggle with bugs, which means you’re limited to use at certain times of the day.

When you hire someone with experience in landscape design, these can all be considerations. They can create functional spaces that look beautiful year-round while also being usable year-round, as well.

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How to Get the Most Eco Friendly Air Con

ByGroovy Green May 26, 2023

These days with the constant use of air conditioning and heating, we may want to make sure we use the air con in an eco-friendly way. 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 sufficient, but there is much more you can do to help the planet that requires little effort.

  • If you are getting a split system, ensure it’s an inverter. These have variable speeds, so rather than switching the compressor on and off constantly; they reduce its speed automatically to match demand. This results in less power use and less wear the tear on the compressor.
  • Evaporative air conditioning are one of the most eco-friendly cooling options. They utilize a natural process and lack harmful artificial refrigerants. Additionally, they constantly circulate entirely fresh, cooled air within your home.
  • Before purchasing an air con, ensure it is the right size. If you get one too big for the area to be cooled, it will constantly turn on and off, which costs more to run. If it is too small, you won’t be as cool, and the unit will always work 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, air con is super efficient. 7 to 10 stars is good for efficiency and so sustainability.

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10 Innovative Uses Of Solar Energy In Your Home

ByGroovy Green Apr 5, 2023

Solar energy, including solar panels,  has become a hot topic for good reasons. Not only is it a renewable energy source, but it also helps homeowners save money on their energy bills. With the rise of innovative technology and smart home automation, homeowners can use the solar energy they have saved from investing in a solar energy system from a professional solar panel company. In this blog post, we explore ten innovative uses of solar energy at home that can help save money and reduce your carbon footprint.

Solar Panels: This is the best-known and most popular choice for homeowners using solar energy to power their homes. They convert sunlight into electricity, which is then used to power your home. Solar panels are an excellent investment for homeowners who live in areas with plenty of sunlight, as they can help you save considerable money on your electricity bills over time.

Solar Water Heaters: Solar water heaters use the sun’s energy to heat water for your home. They are ideal for families that use a lot of hot water, as they can help reduce heating costs.

Solar-Powered Lights: Solar-powered lights are inexpensive and an excellent option for those who want to light up their outdoor spaces without using electricity from the grid. They work by absorbing sunlight during the day and then using that energy to power the lights at night.

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What To Look For In A Pair Of Sustainable Pair Of Western Boots

ByGroovy Green Jun 29, 2022

Some will buy a pair of leather western boots from kaderbootco.com.au and think of no more than whether they like the style and that the price seems good value for money. There is nothing wrong with that approach. However, if you are someone whose radar is tuned, not only to buy the best western boots at a reasonable price but also how the products you buy impact the environment, then your thought process when buying your western boots will be somewhat different.

It will be different because a factor in your buying decision will be the level to which any pair of western boots can be considered sustainable. In addition, there will be varying degrees by which people will measure sustainability, and they may even have contrasting definitions of what sustainability means.

For some, sustainability means that every element of a product has to be proven to be from an ethical source and that nothing used to make it can come from any living creature. At the other end of the scale will be those where the level of sustainability does not need to reach such heights and as long as they feel the manufacturing of the boots and the materials used come from sustainable and renewable sources, they are content.

Our intention here is not to specify which of these two approaches or any approach in between is the right one. If you are happy with your approach, then it is right for you, which is the important point. What we will do though is give you pointers as to what to look for, or to ask the retailer or brand selling the western boots, so that you can determine their sustainability credentials.

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How are Pearls Made? 

ByGroovy Green Jul 2, 2021

A pearl engagement ring may not be on the cards for you, but what about another piece of jewellery like a bracelet, earrings, or necklace? Pearls can be a beautiful focal point of any jewellery, while also being something that can suit any outfit you wear.

Still, have you ever been curious about how pearls are made? The following information may just surprise you.

The Three Pearl Types
You may not be aware, but there are three pearl types with three very different production processes. These consist of cultured, imitation, and natural. They come with different price tags based on how they form.

Natural pearls are, of course, formed naturally. We’ll go into more detail on this process below. You can also purchase a cultured pearl that has a little bit of human intervention into the “natural” process.

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15 Tips for Saving the Environment

ByGroovy Green Jun 9, 2021

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.

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5 Great Outdoor Lighting Ideas For Your Concrete Swimming Pool

ByGroovy Green May 23, 2021

One of the great things about having a concrete pool on your property is that you have an almost unlimited choice of how to design it and the surrounding area with your pool designers. Not only does it add value to your property but the way in which the aesthetics of your property can be enhanced by a concrete pool is incredible

An option for enhancing it further is with the use of outdoor lighting, which can turn what might look like a pleasant and attractive pool area during the day, into a stunningly beautiful location at night. To get the wheels turning in your mind in terms of ideas, here are 5 of our favourite options for outdoor lighting for pools.

Underwater Lights

This is one of our favourites as nothing makes a pool more appealing for a swim at night than the lights that are underwater. Not only can they make a pool look stunning, especially if they are coloured lights, but they perform a more practical function in terms of making the pool safer. With the water lit from underneath it is easier to see that someone is in the pool especially if the surrounding light is not particularly bright.

Spotlights

These are great when you want specific features in and around the outside of your property to be highlighted at night. You may have a tree, certain flowers, or it could be some items of the garden and poolside furniture that you want to shine a light on. If you install some adjustable spotlights they can be positioned to shine on the pool when it is being used, and again the use of coloured lighting will enhance the atmosphere.

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5 Ways to Go Green In Your Business

ByGroovy Green Apr 12, 2021

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 like SEO Perth 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.

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Common Causes Of Landscaped Garden Flooding

ByGroovy Green Mar 22, 2021

There are not many things that cause more despair than looking out and seeing that your beautiful landscaping has been flooded. Whilst water is something that we should cherish, especially as it keeps us alive, it does take on a different persona when it is responsible for creating what can only be described as a soggy bog in your garden.

According to Sydney based landscapers www.divinelandscapes.com.au we always automatically assume that our landscaped garden gets flooded due to rain falling from above, and whilst that will normally the source, there are others which are below, and not above.

When we say below, what we mean is that there may be poor drainage in and around your garden, and this can occur for reasons that do not become apparent until the first time you have a prolonged spell of rain.

Examples of where flooding in your garden has causes under the ground include a neighbours drainage system diverting water to your garden, building work close by, normally in neighbours, causing water to be diverted, or it could be that the water table under your garden is simply too high.

Others causes can be that your property, including your garden, is built on ground which contains water-retentive clay, is built at a level lower than your neighbours, or is at or near the foot of a hill.

Now unless there has been a burst water main nearby, obviously, the original source of the water will likely be rain. The real problems start when this rainwater is not able to drain properly or is diverted in some way into your garden for the reasons we have cited, and thus causes the flooding in and around your landscaping.

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Eco Friendly Ways to Use Your Computer

ByGroovy Green Feb 12, 2021

With billions of kilos of 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 energy consumption rate. Using it in eco-friendly ways is good for the earth’s resources and suitable for your budget.

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 much.
  • Ensure you turn your monitor off each night and when you will 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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Why Your Dental Clinic Could Be Harming The Environment

ByGroovy Green Nov 17, 2020

In recent years, every business, and every profession, including dentists, has had to do a ‘green audit’ on itself, and think seriously about how the way it operates impacts the environment. Long gone are the days when the only industries that were thought to be harming the environment were the big polluters. Now, even the smallest one-person business operating from home should be thinking of its green credentials.

Of course, dentists have also had to look at how they operate, and this has been an ongoing progress, both at an industry level, and at those levels where an individual dental clinic considers its day to day practices.

Now it might be the case that how your dental practice operates has not been measured against how green it should be. After all, a visit to the dentist for most patients is not something they would associate with harming the environment.

However, whether it is in the reception area, waiting room, treatment room, or staff room there is almost certain to be something that can be changed, replaced, or improved to make your dental practice more environmentally friendly.

In fact, many studies have shown that the dentistry industry produces more than its fair share of chemicals and materials that are harmful to the environment, is responsible for a great deal of energy usage, and generates literally millions of items of waste that are thrown away, which could otherwise be recycled.

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How Can We Reduce Paper Usage in the Office?

ByGroovy Green Jul 28, 2020

In the modern world of digital devices and fast, secure messaging, there’s very little excuse for excessive paper use. Unfortunately, many small businesses continue to waste huge amounts of paper every day.

Fortunately, there are plenty of things that you can do to reduce paper usage in your office, thereby reducing your overall environmental impact. In the rest of this article, I’ve looked at a few of these methods. You might be surprised by just how basic some of them are, because I know I was!

Anyway, let’s jump straight into it.

Print Less

This should be relatively self-explanatory, but it’s amazing just how many companies continue to print huge numbers of documents when they absolutely aren’t necessary. Next time you’re thinking about printing, consider whether or not you really need to. Some alternatives include:

  • Sending out digital copies of presentations of meeting agendas, rather than handing out hard copies.
  • Emailing a document, rather than printing and delivering a hard copy.
  • Taking notes and saving them online, rather than printing and filing hard copies.

As you can imagine, reducing your printing volume will not only save paper – it could save your business a lot of money as well!

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How Do I Know When My Exhaust System Needs Repairing?

ByGroovy Green Mar 5, 2020

Of all your car’s numerous and complex components, the exhaust system is probably the most important. It’s crucial for filtering toxic exhaust fumes and ensuring that your vehicle isn’t overly polluting.

However, exhaust systems are often the first thing to break when your car starts wearing out. Cracks and holes can occur, which can cause the release of toxic gases to the surrounding environment.

This is a natural symptom of an overworked system, but it should be addressed by the driver as soon as possible. Exhaust leaks can cause the engine to work even harder, reducing fuel efficiency. Even worse, such leaks can cause inhalation of toxic fumes for anyone in the car. This can lead to serious health and safety issues for you and your passengers, not to mention the impacts on the planet.

The following signs indicate that it could be time to take your car to a mechanic for exhaust system repairs.

There’s a Decrease in Fuel Efficiency
An exhaust leak often means that fumes which are supposed to be expelled from the engine instead are left floating around inside. This will lead to the engine operating at temperatures hotter than normal and will reduce fuel efficiency.

More practically for drivers, less fuel from an exhaust system leak will mean more trips to the fuel station and more unnecessary dollars spent. If you notice a significant drop in your kilometers per liter, it can be a telling sign that your exhaust system is failing.

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Why Green Cleaning Might be Right for You

ByGroovy Green Jan 30, 2020

We’re all guilty of making poor purchasing decisions because we’re short on time. We buy takeaways when there’s no time for dinner, and we take the car instead of walking to get where we need to be a little quicker. We also might choose a toxic oven cleaner over a green, sustainable cleaning product because we believe it will work in far less time than one we make ourselves.

No one’s perfect, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a few subtle changes that can have surprising benefits. Read on to learn why green cleaning might be for you.

There are Fewer Chemicals in Your Home

According to Office Cleaning Services experts, welcoming more sustainable and eco-friendly cleaning products into your home ultimately means that you will have fewer chemicals in your home – and that has to be a good thing. You don’t have to worry about getting chemicals on your skin, breathing them in, or even touching them. You’ll be amazed at the peace of mind that can offer, which is one of many reasons why green cleaning might be for you.

Better for Your Health

Not breathing in chemicals while you clean your home is a pretty decent reason why green cleaning might be for you. Studies have shown that the asthma risk in your household can increase if you use a household cleaning spray a minimum of once per week. Green products can ultimately even out or decrease that risk.

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What to Use Instead of Plastic?

ByGroovy Green Jan 9, 2020

In recent years, the world has completely 180-degree turned on plastic use. Instead of being the most versatile and convenient option around, according to its users, it has become the most burdensome for the planet and a thorn for sustainability.

Because most of this generation has grown up with plastic products, it can be hard to flick that switch off right away to focus on sustainable, eco-friendly materials. Some people may not even know what they can use instead. So, what can replace plastic in your everyday life? Read on to find out.

Single-Use Servingware

When you are hosting a barbecue or community event, it can be hard to find serving ware that’s both convenient and safe for the environment. While you could encourage people to bring their plates and cutlery, it’s just not practical. Sometimes, plastic seems like the only way. But it’s not.

Instead of plastic cutlery and plates, which will end up in the rubbish bin within minutes of its one-time use, you can use wood or bamboo. There is now a myriad of different eco-friendly serving ware options. While they, too, can be single-use, they break down in the environment and release nutrients into the soil. You can’t say the same about plastic.

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5 Eco-friendly Tips For Cleaning Your Glass Pool Fences

ByGroovy Green Feb 15, 2019

Sustainable living has become the latest trend – for a very good reason! Without a significant portion of the world’s population adopting at least some sort of eco-friendly, sustainable lifestyle, problems like climate change and toxic pollution will continue to grow in magnitude. Installing a glass pool fence has also become popular due to its relative sustainability and non-toxic composition.

However according to the experts at clearazglassfencing.com.au, glass pool fences need cleaning very regularly if they are to maintain their sparkly, trendy look. Cleaning glass is simple, but it can be hard to find the right eco-friendly methods to clean your pool fencing, especially if you’ve never really been taught different methods of environmentally friendly cleaning.

To help you clean your pool fences without releasing toxic chemicals and pollutants into the environment we’ve put together the following list of 5 tips:

  1. Use Warm Water & Natural Dish Washing Soap

As long as your glass pool fence isn’t too dirty, you should be able to clean them with a simple mixture of dish washing soap and warm water. Use a clean sponge and a simple shower squeegee to remove dust and grime without using and toxic chemicals.

  1. Use A Pressure Cleaner

If you’re glass is very dirty or hasn’t been washed for some time, then you should consider using a pressure cleaner to break up the bulk of the toughest dirt. Most glass pool fence panels are treated with some sort of nano protection, which means that they won’t be hurt by pressure cleaning. Blast your fence with the pressure cleaner and then move on to

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What Is Mulching & Why Is It Important?

ByGroovy Green Oct 26, 2018

Landscape design can be very fun and rewarding, especially if you’ve got a decent sized outdoor space to work with. There are a lot of different things that you have to consider when planning a new garden or outdoor space. These include what sort of plants you’re going to include, where you’re going to plant/install certain things, and how you’re going to keep your garden healthy.

In my opinion, mulching is one of the most important parts of designing and maintaining a healthy garden. Mulching has a huge range of benefits, and it’s generally used to make sure that you’re plants are living in a healthy, sustainable environment.

What Is Mulching?

Mulching refers to the action of placing mulch around the base of your plants. Mulch can be anything from composted organic matter to straw or wood chips. It has a range of functions, including keeping moisture in (See: Are you watering your garden right?), reducing the amount of weeds in an area and providing a slow, consistent flow of nutrients to your plants.

Why Should I Mulch My Garden?

Mulching has a huge range of benefits. In general, it will make your garden look better, will make your plants grow better and will reduce the amount of garden maintenance you need to perform. Some of the more specific benefits of mulching include:

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

ByGroovy Green 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 and also have a plan for the safe disposal of fire extinguishers 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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Should You Use Natural Hair Care Products

ByGroovy Green Sep 5, 2018

More and more people are finally beginning to realise why it’s so essential to swap to natural hair care products. 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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5 Tips For Eco-friendly Office Cleaning

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

ByGroovy Green 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.

Australian landscaping company Principal Landscapes advise that 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

ByGroovy Green May 19, 2018

The first things that come to mind when considering 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 of ‘world greening,’ but think of water and the cost of that as a utility. Your home plumbing, utilised for sustainable living, can have enormous benefits. Considering 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 made locally (if possible) and ethically all add to the growth of sustainability. You can also consider how your 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. You can use some neat ‘green’ plumbing tricks 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. Rainwater that usually runs down the drain can be diverted to your garden. Another basic water-clever idea is watering the garden in the more remarkable part of the day. 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 environmental plumbing if you want to, as there are lots of small but effective changes you can do around the house. Start with leaky taps, then insulate your water pipes and mulch your garden to keep the soil damp for longer.

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6 Sustainable Packaging Mistakes Made by Many Businesses

ByGroovy Green 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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Fencing with Bamboo

ByGroovy Green 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 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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4 Easy Ways to Incorporate Sustainability in Building

ByGroovy Green 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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Is Your Office Green?

ByGroovy 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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Sourcing Materials for a Sustainable Fence

ByGroovy Green 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 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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Roll On Turf for a Beautiful Lawn

ByGroovy Green 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.

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How to Make Eco Friendly Choices with Wedding Clothes

ByGroovy Green 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.  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 or bridal robes 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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How To Be Eco Friendly In The Office

ByGroovy Green 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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How to Have an Environmentally Friendly Holiday

ByGroovy Green 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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How Green Home Improvements Can Save You Money

ByGroovy Green 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

ByGroovy Green 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

ByGroovy Green 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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How to be Eco Friendly with Home Renovations

ByGroovy Green Jul 9, 2016

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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Are Your Carpet Cleaning Products Toxic?

ByGroovy Green 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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How an Enhanced Lifestyle is Part of Sustainability

ByGroovy Green 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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Limestone – the Environmentally Friendly Product for Homes and Gardens

ByGroovy Green 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.

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Sustainability When Packaging Your Freight

ByGroovy Green 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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How to Use Your Environmentally Friendly Kitchen the Right Way

ByGroovy Green 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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10 Tips to Moving in an Environmentally Friendly Way

ByGroovy Green 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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How to be Sustainable with Property Maintenance

ByGroovy Green 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.

Property owners can hire a professional property maintenance company to ensure their property is kept in tip-top condition. Often, the cheapest 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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How Landscape Design Can be Environmentally Friendly

ByGroovy Green 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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Eco Friendly Equipment Hire

ByGroovy Green 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 and the Environment

ByGroovy Green 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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Is Your Carpet Making You Ill?

ByGroovy Green 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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The Beauty of Frameless Glass Showerscreens

ByGroovy Green 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 bathroom 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 in your bathroom renovation, 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.

Another good thing about installing glass shower screens is that you minimise the use of other materials. All that is needed are a few short chrome or stainless steel holders to ensure the sheets of glass stay upright. It is strong enough to support itself, does not need painting or any other kind of maintenance, and it easy to clean, especially if you use a rubber scraper to remove water drops.

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How Sustainable is Colorbond Roofing?

ByGroovy Green Aug 1, 2012

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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How to be Environmentally Friendly with Scaffolding

ByGroovy Green Jul 6, 2012

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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Are Concrete Swimming Pools Better Than Fibreglass

ByGroovy Green 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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Are Salt Water Pools Environmentally Friendly?

ByGroovy Green 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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Biome Smart Terrarium for Gadget-Loving Green Thumbs

ByGroovy Green Nov 29, 2011

A sign of the times – but one that may be welcome from the digitally connected among us – is this smart terrarium concept by designer Samuel Wilkinson.

Called the “Biome”, the beautiful flora terrarium is controlled exclusively (climate, water level and nutrients) via your iPad or other smartphone device. Wilkinson told MocoLogo that the idea “promotes ‘digital downtime’ by finding an alternative use for smartphones and encouraging their owners to consider a slower life. The control and nurturing of a real mini eco-system takes patience and care, contrasting with the immediacy of messaging or tweeting that is so characteristic of the smartphone generation.”

Biome was developed for a recent exhibition titled “Slow Tech – Designs for Digital Downtime”. There’s no word yet on if the Biome or its companion app will ever see the light of day as a real product

Windowfarm Kit The Latest Wonder in Micro Gardening

ByGroovy Green Nov 24, 2011

Like something straight out of scifi, this hydroponic “Windowfarm” kit is the latest solution for urban dwellers looking to grow their own food in a limited space.

It comes to us from a crowd-sourced community of 22,000 windowfarmers around the world; utilizing an approach called R&D-I-Y, or Research & Develop It Yourself. Since 2009, this collective has been working towards perfecting a micro-hydroponic kit that can grow just about any vegetable if you’ve got direct sunlight.

Their latest version has a new design, environmentally-friendly cups and wires, and an awesome reduced price (down from an original $249) of $99. To manufacture the kits, they’ve taken the Kickstarter route and, with 13 days left, have already surpassed their goal of $50,000. If you’re not keen to start your own plants, you can pick up a pack of baby plants for $49, which include 8 varieties like “Genovese Basil, a peppery watercress, perfect-caesar romaine, red leaf lettuce, tangy red-veined sorrel.”

For those that are thinking, “I could make this!” – they’ve got you covered there as well with instructions online for a “Standard 3-bottle Airlift Windowfarm” or a “Hanging 2-Column” variety. Sounds like a pretty decent holiday gift for anyone you know that’s tight on space but keen to grown their own food.

Izaak Walton League Enlists the Help of Goats

ByGroovy Green Aug 4, 2011

Faced with invasion by alien plants, the Izaak Walton League calls upon the goat justice league (well, not the real goat justice league…) to help save them from being overrun at their 33 acre property in Gaithersburg, MD.  This selective grazing technique will be employed to control the populations of Japanese honeysuckle, Garlic Mustard, Autumn Olive, and Oriental Bittersweet.

From their website:

Eliminating invasive plants – permanently – improves wildlife habitat as well as human habitat. But traditional methods of doing this over large areas involve repeated application of chemicals that could leach into our waterways. A new program is fighting nature with nature.

Eco-Goats brings a herd of goats to large properties infested with invasive species. The goats are contained within an electric fence to tackle invasive plants one acre at a time. Goats eat the invasive plants down to the ground, and goat handlers either dig up stumps or kill them with very targeted use of an herbicide.

We wish them luck, and are curious to see how this selective grazing turns out!

The goat army prepares for battle with aliens

Urban Farming, The New Way to Handle Unemployment?

ByGroovy Green May 17, 2011

Depending on which figures you choose to use, unemployment in America is approaching 20%, a figure that is quite remarkable.  Fully 1/5 of the people in America who could be working are not currently working.  I think urban farming could be this generation’s way to handle unemployment, sort of like a 2011 version of the CCC.

When you are willing to trade your labor for less space and less machinery you can create an amazing income from a small land base.  SPIN farming is a method developed by a farming couple in Canada when they realized that they could make more money by growing intensively on less land if they grew the right crops at the right times.

They have a farm income calculator on their site that suggests that a farmer with 1/2 an acre can generate $24,000 in gross sales on the low end up to $72,000 on the high end.  I think this is doable as well, but it does require a bit more marketing and growing of high value crops.  We use a CSA model for our urban farm and I don’t think that will get us to those dollar figures because a CSA model is similar to a bulk food model vs. a model where you would grow exclusively high value crops like exotic green, radishes or beets for restaurants.

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Making Your Wedding Photographs Sustainable

ByGroovy Green 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 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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Rosalie Bay Resort Features Dominica’s First Wind Turbine

ByGroovy Green Dec 8, 2010

Resorts around the world continue to impress me with their commitment to sustainable practices — but Rosalie Bay Resort on the island of Dominica in the Caribbean is truly a standout.

Five years in the making, the 22-acre getaway was built on principles of conservation and preservation, surrounded by an undisturbed natural setting of mountains, lush forests, and gardens. In addition to solar panels, the resort also features a Norwin Turbine 225 kW — which provides some 70% of the power used by the 28 beautiful rooms in nine cottages. With these renewables in place, Rosalie is effectively self-sustaining; an epic achievement that’s yet still rare in today’s world of “green resorts”.

“Nature should be preserved and shared,” said Dr. Ken Watson, general manager. “Rosalie Bay Resort was designed to be environmentally sustainable while showcasing one of the most beautiful natural settings in the Caribbean. Many resorts claim to be green, but we’ve made a legitimate commitment with the wind turbine being the centerpiece of our pledge.”

My review of the NREL Western Wind and Solar Integration Study

ByGroovy Green Dec 7, 2010

The NREL/GE Energy WWSIS study appears to be built on several questionable assumptions, each allowing the modeled system (of up to 30% wind/5% solar in the West Connect within the great Western Interconnect) to withstand the inherent difficulties of large scale renewable integration. The primary issue, consistent with my dissertation research, is that the authors assume that we can afford to massively overbuild the capacity of the system, adding the large percentages of renewable generation on top of newly built and existing plants. This allows one to be able to ignore the hourly or sub-hourly periods with extremely low output from renewables, as well as the days or weeks at a time during the summer when wind production is well below yearly average output levels. An ample reserve is at the ready to step in when renewables perform poorly. Secondly and equally important, the authors assume that coal plants, which have traditionally run in a base load capacity, will be able to be operated very flexibly – on par with combined cycle gas plants.

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Green Poetry: “Streams of Consciousness”

ByGroovy Green Nov 19, 2010

The biggest environmental challenge we face is educating people

Our globe is a big community

We interact

We affect our surroundings

Without knowledge there is consequence

Specialization is prominent

But familiarity with all systems is essential

To know a tree dies but not why

Could be a plague

We care about trivial things at times

What is on TV?

No, where will my next sip of water come from?

Once we understand

We can adapt

Systems can be in balance

A quiet lake, a deep ocean, and a steep mountain

What can we learn about life?

Careful observation and ongoing education

One day, our world will be of one mind

——————–

Ed Note:  Thanks Jessica for being the first from SUNY-ESF to submit a post.  Interested in posting at Groovy Green?  Use the “Contact” tab above.

Coming Next Week – College Bloggers

ByGroovy Green Nov 13, 2010

Students from SUNY-ESF will be taking over Groovy Green next week.  Get the perspective of the future environmental leaders of America (and places beyond).

Come back and see us next week, starting Thursday 11/18/10 and see what they have to say.

Can a “One-legged” Man Stay Green?

ByGroovy Green Nov 12, 2010

I’ve had the humbling experience of undergoing ankle surgery about 2 months ago.  As a father of a near-two year old, and a husband, it has been extremely difficult to shift from the role of a provider and equal member of the household to a person initially very dependent on others.

My family and friends have been very supportive, and where we still needed some help, we were able to find babysitters, someone to help clean, and someone to do the annual fall clean-up.

I’ve progressed  over the last month from a doped-up, leg-elevated, impression in my couch to a semi-functioning member of my family and society.  I’m back to work, and trying to catch up on my PhD studies.  Still, its a big challenge to hop from place to place, and occasionally catch a ride in a wheelchair during longer outings.  Let’s just say that I’ve had plenty of time to think.

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Cleveland’s RFID-enabled Recycle Bins Report When You’re Not Using Them

ByGroovy Green Sep 9, 2010

Cleveland’s City Council recently passed a $2.5 million measure to bring RFID-equipped recycling bins to 25,000 homes over the course of the next year. Hey, nothing like encouraging a little green behavior. But this one carries a catch:

The chips will allow city workers to monitor how often residents roll carts to the curb for collection. If a chip show a recyclable cart hasn’t been brought to the curb in weeks, a trash supervisor will sort through the trash for recyclables.

Trash carts containing more than 10 percent recyclable material could lead to a $100 fine, according to Waste Collection Commissioner Ronnie Owens.

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The Facts About Bottled Water

ByGroovy Green May 22, 2010

Bottled water is surely one of the biggest jokes ever played on humanity. With plentiful supplies of clean water, first world countries still spends a horrifying amount of money on boutique water — some sourced from half-way around the globe.

The image above is but a piece of a stunning infographic from Online Education detailing the damaging effects of bottled water on our planet — and wallets. Check out the full image after the jump below:

bottled_water

Paper Mate Pens – Now with Less Waste…

ByGroovy Green Apr 19, 2010

Paper Mate sent me a few of their new pens and mechanical pencils to try out in honor of Earth Day.  Now while I don’t think that compostable pens are the solution to the world’s problems – I guess I have to give credit to companies for trying to reduce waste and come up with solutions to our overflowing landfills.

The pens work just as well as the normal Paper Mate varieties, I’m a blue ink kind of guy.  They’re also very comfortable, but that comes at the expense of a non-compostable grip.  The ink hasn’t run out yet, but when it does, I’ll throw it in the bottom of my composter and see what happens.  It’s supposed to take a year to break down, but with the generous heat from my food waste-leaves-grass combo, maybe it’ll take less time.

Just don’t forget to break the pen down before composting.  There are many non-compostable parts that still need to be removed.

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Offshore Oil :: Drill Baby Drill :: The Obama Plan

ByGroovy Green Mar 31, 2010

usoilconsumption

What follows is something I posted in September of 2008. The US presidential campaign was building up steam and I was sick and tired of hearing ‘Drill Baby Drill.’ It made me ill because of the stupidity of the entire argument. I wrote,

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Review: The Book of Rubbish Ideas

ByGroovy Green Feb 21, 2010

The Book of Rubbish Ideas is anything but rubbish. It is FULL of excellent tips to help eco-newbies and hard-core Greens see rubbish as a resource, cut down on waste, and save time, money and resources as a result.

Don’t be put off by the quirky cover; author, Tracey Smith, a contented downshifter, aims to take the freaky out of eco, and her book is accessible, practical and positive. There’s no holier-than-thou attitude to reusable nappies, washable sanpro and chicken-keeping; we are encouraged to ditch the guilt for what we are not doing and start feeling good about what we are doing.

Tracey takes you on a tour through the average family home, from bedroom and bathroom through to the kitchen and out into the garden, including the Usually Male Domain of shed and garage, which so often get missed out where decluttering’s concerned.

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A Groovy Green Reader Gives Up Her Car

ByGroovy Green Feb 17, 2010

[ed note:] This post was sent to us by Tammy Roberts, from West Yorkshire, UK:

I’M GIVING UP MY CAR

I didn’t learn to drive until I was 30.  Up until that point, I hadn’t seen the point of having a car or even having the ability to drive, as public transport was convenient enough.  However, 2 months before my 30th birthday, I moved to Plymouth for a new job and for the first time, I discovered how difficult it was to do my outreach work without a driving license – my job covered the whole of Devon and Cornwall.  Within 6 months, I passed my driving test and around 4 months later, I bought my first car – my beloved Fiat Tipo.  Yes, it was cheap and a bit of a banger and had all the quirks and faults that are found on most Italian cars (it’s a standing joke on Top Gear), but I loved it nonetheless!  And, my goodness, did I love the freedom that being a car owner gave me!  I was off to the beach at weekends and I drove back home to Yorkshire once a month to visit family and friends.  No more sharing my personal space on a 7 hour train journey, and trying to carry my own weight in luggage.  It was fantastic!  I even moved back to Yorkshire with my car full of my belongings, with a friend following behind, his car equally laden with my stuff.  I could not believe that I hadn’t learned to drive sooner and found that I needed my car for work more and more as I moved from job to job  When I had my son, 4 years ago, having a car was a bonus.  I remember a childhood of long bus journeys to shopping destinations with my mum, gran and my sister and it was so nice to be able to jump in the car with William in his baby seat and set off on day trips or to visit friends.

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World’s Largest Wind Turbine To Float Off Norway

ByGroovy Green Feb 16, 2010

We’ve seen mega-turbines before — but never one with an output of 10MW, and certainly not one that floats!

When completed, the world’s largest turbine will stand at roughly 533 feet with a rotor diameter of 475 feet. At three times more powerful than current turbines, it will be able to power over 2,000 homes. From Treehugger,

It will be built by the Norwegian company Sway and tested first on land in Oeygarden, southwestern Norway. Unlike most offshore wind projects where turbines rest on the seafloor, Sway turbines float. This means further offshore development where winds are stronger and more consistent.

The floating tower is a pole filled with ballast beneath the water creating low center of gravity. Anchored to the seabed with a single pipe and a suction anchor, it can tilt 5-8°, and turn around with the wind.

It’s expected that the prototype will cost close to $70 million and be completed sometime in 2011.

If Darth Vader Built A Treehouse, It Would Looks Something Like This

ByGroovy Green Jan 18, 2010

A lot of people are comparing this beautiful treehouse in Portland, Oregon to a hobbit dwelling. Personally, add a little black paint and it looks like something Darth Vader would retreat to when things get a little to hectic on the Death Star. It also looks like it would double as a swanky TIE fighter. From the architect,

Located on a flag lot, a steep sloping grade provided the opportunity to bring the main level of the house into the tree canopy to evoke the feeling of being in a tree house. A lover of music, the client wanted a house that not only became part of the natural landscape but also addressed the flow of music. This house evades the mechanics of the camera; it is difficult to capture the way the interior space flows seamlessly through to the exterior. One must actually stroll through the house to grasp its complexities and its connection to the exterior. One example is a natural wood ceiling, floating on curved laminated wood beams, passing through a generous glass wall which wraps around the main living room.

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Biosphere 2, Meet the Second Law of Thermodynamics

ByGroovy Green Jan 13, 2010

My graduate school advisor, Charles Hall, is a very intelligent man, though he frequently defers to his doctoral advisor’s talent and knowledge.  Howard Odum explained the first and second laws of thermodynamics concisely and in a manner easy to understand:

The quantity of energy within a system is maintained (first law).  However, the quality of that energy degrades over time (second law).

Entropy is defined as

a function of thermodynamic variables, as temperature, pressure, or composition, that is a measure of the energy that is not available for work during a thermodynamic process. A closed system evolves toward a state of maximum entropy.

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Up is Down. Black is White. Night is Day. GM’s Lutz Advocates for Increased Gas Tax

ByGroovy Green Jan 13, 2010

From CNNMoney.com:

Lutz was asked if that means he would favor higher gasoline taxes, as in Europe where taxes drive fuel to more than $5 a gallon. He said he couldn’t speak for GM, but he said he saw a lot of value in a steady tax rise to much higher levels.

“You either continue with inexpensive motor fuels and have to find other ways to incent the customer to buy hybrids and electric vehicles, such as the government credits,” he said. “Or the other alternative is a gradual increase in the federal fuel tax of 25 cents a year, which in my estimation would have the benefit of giving automobile companies a planning base, and giving families that own vehicles a planning base.”

Lutz continued, noting that if families knew that the price of gasoline were going to steadily increase over the next few years, they would change their buying habits and lean towards more fuel efficient vehicles.

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Renewable Energy Company Creating The Biggest Green Party You’ve Ever Seen

ByGroovy Green Jan 4, 2010

We love raucous festivals like Burning Man and music jamborees like Bonaroo, but we’ve never heard of one that combines the spirit of these events with the mission to actually accomplish something. Like building a build a micro wind turbine farm.

Such is the idea behind “Villages in the Sky: DIY World Change” — a a family-friendly renewable energy and sustainability celebration located in the Ozarks and scheduled for June 2010. Unlike gatherings that strive to leave things the way they were before anyone arrived, Villages in the Sky is looking to take advantage of crowd sourcing to create a better place than existed before. Participants will help build a micro wind turbine farm and bio-mass systems as well as giant play structures (zip lines, tree houses, ropes courses, etc). The entire event is internally cash free event which promotes a volunteer ethic and strangers working cooperatively for a shared goal. In fact, the main goal is to leave behind the beginnings of a locally self sufficient eco-village. Perhaps even one inspired by the Ewoks. From the website,

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Spyware Disguised As Eco Antivirus Tricking Users

ByGroovy Green Jan 3, 2010

Environmentally-conscious PC owners beware! There’s a fairly recent spyware virus out there that takes advantage of the green movement to promote an entirely different agenda.

Called “Eco Antivirus”, the app poses as green security software — offering to help conserve the energy your computer consumes while searching for malicious bugs. Unfortunately, the app is a malicious program itself that “bombards the screen with a series of fake security warnings, deceiving scans and aggressive marketing designed to persuade the user to visit the Eco AntiVirus website to purchase the malicious software.”

While those infected have reported it being something of a nightmare to remove the spyware, there are now legit apps to handle this wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Lesson here? Don’t download suspicious software without first doing a bit of googling to pull back the curtain on any BS green claims. Even software can greenwash.

Buying An Electric Car? You Might Want To Order Your Charging Station Now

ByGroovy Green Jan 3, 2010

2010 will most likely go down as the year electric cars were (once again) made available to the public through Big Auto. Both Nissan and Chevy have plans to release the Leaf and Volt respectively — and both focus on getting energy from being plugged in. (Although the Volt can charge its battery utilizing its small “range-extender engine”, but then what’s the point of having an electric car?)

If you’ve got the deep pockets for one, the most conventional way of charging the vehicle will be to simply plug it into an ordinary wall socket. Charging a Nissan Leaf would take up to 16 hours, and charging a Volt would take eight. If you’re in a hurry, however, the best thing to have on-hand in the garage is a “quick charger” — which pushes a much more considerable amount of juice to your car. Instead of 8 hours, you can now have a fully charged Volt in under 2.5 hours.

Unfortunately, having a quick charger installed in your garage is not something just anyone can do.

Why Security Fencing is Classed as Environmentally Friendly

ByGroovy Green 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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Crazy Treehouse Could Probably House A Small Village

ByGroovy Green Oct 28, 2009

When you were a kid, did you ever dream up the goal of one day building the largest treehouse ever? For Horrace Burgess in Tennessee, that dream became a reality with this gargantuan structure that features 11 floors and more than 8,000 sq.ft. of real estate. From ZuZuTop,

The greatness of Horrace Burgess treehouse is not subject to the tree on which it is based alone though. As it turns out, while the tree in question does contribute something to the height of the treehouse, the owner’s efforts also go a long way towards this greatness possible. The tree’s contribution to the 97 foot edifice is only 80 feet, so that the other 17 feet on top of the basic 80 foot are from Horrace’s sheer effort. To be sure, we can’t begrudge the base tree of a claim to greatness too: a tree towering at 80 feet in height and with a diameter of over 12 feet is a real wonder.

Incredibly enough, Burgess isn’t done yet. This whole project, which he estimates to have cost north of $12,000, is still a work in progress. Tower of Babylon anyone?

The Bike Hearse: Your Green Trip To The Afterlife

ByGroovy Green Oct 12, 2009

How’s this for a unique and eco-friendly way to get from the funeral home to your final resting place? Wade Lind, owner of Sunset Hills Cemetery in Eugene, Oregon came up with the “bike hearst” as an option for those really looking to limit their impact once they’ve passed on. Let’s hope there aren’t many hills along the way.

The Green Picture: How Far Away Is The Nearest McDonald’s?

ByGroovy Green Sep 25, 2009

Thanks to Stephen von Worley at Weather Sealed, we now have a pretty decent visual of how fast food chain McDonald’s dominates our country. Worley mapped the 13,000+ locations of McDonald’s across the lower 48 states — presenting a beautiful, but depressing look at the density of the Mickey D’s empire. From his report,

“For maximum McSparseness, we look westward, towards the deepest, darkest holes in our map. There, in a patch of rolling grassland, loosely hemmed in by Bismarck, Dickinson, Pierre, and the greater Rapid City-Spearfish-Sturgis metropolitan area, we find our answer. Between the tiny Dakotan hamlets of Meadow and Glad Valley lies the McFarthest Spot: 107 miles distant from the nearest McDonald’s, as the crow flies, and 145 miles by car!”

Note to self: Move to Dakota.

Auerworld Willow Palace: Celebrating 10 Years Of Growing Green

ByGroovy Green Aug 18, 2009

Continuing on our post from yesterday about the living root bridges of India, we present to you this beautiful creation now celebrating 10 years.

Started in 1999 by architect Marcel Kalberer and a group of 300 volunteers, the Auerworld Willow Palace is a canopy of strategically-placed trees woven together. The project was based on ancient techniques used in both Mesopotamian and European structures. The Willow Palace has proven so popular, that it is now the focal point of “Full Moon” celebrations that draw thousands.

Since Kalberer began creating natural structures back in 1984, he’s helped design more than 70 additional projects throughout Europe — and inspired thousands more willow designs around the world.

Solar-Powered Sleeve Coming To iPhone, Blackberry, Other Mobile Handhelds

ByGroovy Green Jul 29, 2009

We’ve seen plenty of solar-charger accessories for mobile phones and other gadgets, but this is the first one that appears to attach seamlessly. Created by product design firm MotionTouch for a company called Powcell, this solar-powered sleeve slides onto the back of a mobile phone handset and uses light to charge the unit.

The large solar panel provides the greatest surface area for light-capture and maximises the sleeve’s efficiency, including working in some ambient light conditions. And Powcell continues to charge its internal battery even when removed from the phone – so when reconnected it provides talk-time even if the device battery is exhausted.

Ahead of full production the sleeve has attracted considerable interest from major phone manufacturers, which have even approached Powcell about sleeves for future, yet-to-launch models of their phones.

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IZIP Trekking Enlightened Hybrid-Electric Bike: First Impressions

ByGroovy Green Jul 16, 2009

If you’ve ever lived in or visited Ithaca, NY your probably familiar with the phrase “Ithaca is gorges”. It’s a funny little saying that gives a good indication of the region’s topography — hills, hills, and steeper hills. In fact, the inclines we have around here would make even Lance Armstrong break a sweat. So, it was with great expectation that I took advantage of an opportunity to review the IZIP Trekking Enlightened hybrid-electric bicycle from Currie Technologies. Could it be possible to bike to work and not immediately have to take another shower?

I’m still figuring that out — and will have a full review shortly — but so far, I have to say that I’m very impressed with the technology being utilized in this bike. First off, this isn’t one of those bikes that you hit a switch and kick back while the electric motors putts you along. The IZIP instead is an electric-assist — giving you some extra torque to help you up some tough inclines. To that end, you still have to pedal. The beauty of this system is that you can choose to have it on or off — or at different levels of assist. About to hit a hill and want some support? Simply press the “+” button on the left handlebar and watch the LCD indicator light a few bars higher. Want to back off? Hit the “-” button. It’s as simple as that — and believe me, you still get a workout.

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New Balance 070 Eco Shoes Review: Green Kicks, Low Impact

ByGroovy Green Jul 9, 2009

More often than not, it’s great to have some solid connections in the green world. Shea Gunther— one of the top green bloggers on the web and twitter — casually threw a question my way earlier this week: Would I like to try a pair of New Balance’s first ever green shoe for their “Eco-prefer Collection”. Would I?!

Less than 12 hours after I accepted, a shiny pair of New Balance 070s arrived on my doorstep. I tore open the box, admired the bold colors, and have pretty much been wearing them since. But first, let’s talk about what it is exactly that makes these shoes “green”.

Obviously, New Balance set out to completely re-think they way they design shoes in as environmentally-friendly a manner as possible. To that end, the 070 fits together like a kind of puzzle to reduce waste. The outsole features a rice husk fill that decreases the amount of rubber used in the production of the shoe. The insert, as well as all synthetics, are made from recycled materials. The upper materials use a combination of recycled polyester and natural materials. The upper is also designed so that everything has a symmetrical opposite. This was done to minimize waste as much as possible when cutting the material for the shoes.

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Enjoy A Private Solar Shower In This Personal Pop-Up Tent

ByGroovy Green Jun 19, 2009

Enjoy solar showers, but really want to be completely naked in the process? Unless you’re in a nudist colony, that option might be not available on a public beach. However, this innovative (and stylish) pop-up privacy tent from Guide Gear will hide your bits and bops while giving you a clean, hot rinse. The 6.5 lb tent is quick to setup and includes a 5-gallon PVC Solar Shower. Said one recent reviewer:

Our family has always been more on the “minimal” side for car camping trips, but with my 23 year old daughter and her friends along on our recent trip, we needed a shower. We bought a Zodi water heater and this pop up shower tent. Great decision! The tent pops up in a second, nothing to put together and added almost no weight or bulk to our gear. The olive green material provided total coverage, blended nicely with the outdoor terrain, and had plenty of room for big guys. The 3 adjustments we made were adding a clip/clothespin to attach the shower head to the top, a chair right outside to hang towel and clothes (it cannot support much weight), and a large plastic pan to stand on. With those items, we had eight of us showering daily with no hitch.

That being said, you could also just go and jump in the nearest river. While this item is indeed handy, it may just be another piece of “baggage” that’s rather unnecessary when camping. To each their own, however — you be the judge.

Solar Trees Offer Semi-Portable Solution For Energy Generation In Tight Spaces

ByGroovy Green Jun 6, 2009

I just came across this “Solar Tree” design from Gurdeep Sandhu and thought it to be a creative take on energy generation. As he explains,

With a little space in your backyard, installing this solar tree will not be a problem. During the day just wing-out the panels and let them absorb the glory of the sun; and in the evening fold them back. If you need to move house, just uproot it and take it along with you. Else if technology changes, you can even upgrade the panels for maximum benefit. Silent, efficient, cost effective are some of the virtues that sound music to my ears. What’s more you can either directly hook it up to appliance during the day or store the energy for later use. The sturdy metallic silver aluminum frame looks neat and tidy when packed up.

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Colorado Legalizes Rain Water Harvesting. Kind Of.

ByGroovy Green Jun 3, 2009

Back in June of last year, we dropped the story that harvesting rain water in Colorado was actually an illegal activity. We commented on just how dumb this law was — and over 100 comments later, many of you agreed. Almost a year later, the Colorado legislature has revised the draconian law to give some homeowners rights the water that falls from their roofs. But not everyone will be happy. From the article,

If you live in the city, don’t install a barrel under your gutter spout just yet. The legislation lets residents on wells collect rain and establishes 10 pilot projects for new developments. Residents on municipal water still can’t legally collect rain, and water suppliers are leery of legislation that would let them. “All the water was spoken for here in the Arkansas Basin 100 years ago or more,” said Kevin Lusk, water supply engineer for Colorado Springs Utilities. “If the water falls as rain, that’s water that was going to get to the stream system, and somebody already has dibs on it, and if somebody intercepts that, it’s the same as stealing.”

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Worm Bins: Three Effective Wiggly Composting Machines

ByGroovy Green Jun 2, 2009

I have a healthy appreciation for Worm Bins after managing to get through a winter with a DIY version in my basement. Those little red wigglers made fast work of my food scraps and were a nice alternative to trudging to the compost pile in the cold. Plus, the “instant compost” went right into the soil mix for my seedlings and proved a nice boost for spring planting. However, I know my system rather sucks — not enough aeration, poor drainage, and no easy way to access the all-valued “worm tea”. There are plenty of excellent instructions for making your own worm bin online (I took over my current bin from a friend) — but I thought it would worth it highlighting some of the brands out there for those that want to get started right away.

Can-O-Worms | Price: $129.00 (can probably find it cheaper)

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Global Warming Swimming Pool Delivers Clever Message

ByGroovy Green May 28, 2009

Back in November, British banking giant HSBC did a clever thing with a swimming pool: they took a picture of New York City from above and applied it to the bottom to make a point about climate change and rising sea levels. The effect is nothing short of amazing. My eyeballs are still having trouble not believing these people aren’t swimming a thousand feet above the NY skyline. Granted, sea levels would never rise that much — and the water probably wouldn’t be crystal clear (or toxin-free) — but, it still makes you think.

Global Warming Pool

gw swimming pool

Google Street View Camera Goes Low-Tech With Trike Version

ByGroovy Green May 21, 2009

Google’s Street View fleet has a new low-tech edition: the Google Trike. For those not familiar with the street capture technology, it’s a feature on Google Maps that allows you to view actual images of a street location — in 360 degrees. Beyond the fascinating technology that puts this all together — what’s even more impressive is the army of employees out there on the roads of America (and almost every other country) taking panoramic snapshots using the Google camera vehicles.

Of course, cars (thankfully) aren’t allowed to go everywhere. But that hasn’t stopped Google. The search engine giant has instead hacked a trike to carry the necessary equipment to get the digital deed done. From Autobloggreen,

The three-wheeled, human-powered overgrown tricycles carry 250 pounds of ballast in the form of “a mounted Street View camera and a specially decorated box containing image collecting gadgetry,” says the internet giant. All that extra heft reportedly requires a “specially trained super fit” rider. Google’s new trikes will be deployed first in Genoa, Italy, this spring. Assuming that launch proves successful, Google will send its pedal-powered cameras to the United Kingdom, where they’ll point their lenses towards a slew of famous British landmarks.

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Wind Turbines On High Voltage Power Line Towers Wins NextGen Contest

ByGroovy Green May 19, 2009

I’m sure many environmentalists have passed power line towers while cruising in vehicles and wondered aloud, “Why can’t we just throw some wind turbines up there?” In fact, earlier last year, Ericsson unveiled the first-ever cell phone tower with a vertical-axis wind turbine integrated. If we can do it in cell phone towers, why not transmission towers?

That’s the question two architects and an engineer from France used as the starting point for their “Wind-It” concept — a a design to place wind turbines inside existing high-voltage electricity pylons. They’re also the winners of the 2009 Metropolis Magazine Next Generation Prize Challenge: “FIX OUR ENERGY ADDICTION.” $10K was given to the team to take their idea to the next level. From the article,

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Recycled Seatbelt Hammock Will Rock You Safely To Sleep

ByGroovy Green May 13, 2009

After discovering this recycled seatbelt hammock from TING, I’m convinced that there’s no limit to the clever reuse of discarded materials.

These gorgeous handwoven hammocks are made from reclaimed seatbelt webbing. They are water resistant, comfy, and most-definitely a conversation starter. Colors available include bright shades like hot pink, orange, camel, turquoise, chocolate or black. The company also makes a line of recycled pillow covers that look just as pretty. But recycled art comes with a price: $585 for each hammock. Ouch.

The Largest Wind Turbine Propeller We’ve Ever Seen Is 6MW Of Enormity

ByGroovy Green Apr 23, 2009

Remember that picture we had a few months back of a helicopter taking off of an enormous wind turbine? Yea, that 3.6MW behemoth today looks normal compared to this 6MW monster being installed in Germany. Apparently, it’s one of the two currently going up in the city of Hamburg. Huge — just huge.

Inflatable Shower Curtain Will Help Save Water, Kill You

ByGroovy Green Apr 21, 2009

There are lots of ways to take shorter showers — saving you money, water, etc. We’ve seen shower timers and spouts that turn different colors as time goes on — but the inflatable shower curtain is the first one that seriously forces you to get in and get out, lest you want to suffocate or become trapped.

The idea was designed by Elisabeth Buecher who answered the question: “How can your shower fight water overconsumption in either a disturbing or a gorgeous way, using innovative materials, printing techniques and inflatable technology?” Her response: This shower curtain slowly inflates around you while you shower. It leaves you only a few minutes to take your shower before trapping you.

She’s also got one with inflatable spikes that slowly push you out over a period of time. I actually prefer that one to getting trapped in plastic.

Developing Rooftops for Solar Power

ByGroovy Green Apr 15, 2009

It has come to my attention recently that the real estate trust Prologis is developing the rooftops of their existing buildings by contracting to lease the space to power companies to install solar panels.

From the press release:

Headquartered in Denver, Colo., as a manager and developer of real estate, ProLogis is actively seeking out electric utilities to lease out its rooftops as a way to earn extra income with no capital investment, while meeting the company’s goal of contributing to global sustainability.

As a real estate investment trust, ProLogis isn’t interested in owning the solar installations, but rather in engaging utilities as a renter of its space. Utilities make solid tenants that will enter long-term leases, as most power-purchase agreements for solar power generation are for 15 to 20 years.
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The Green Picture: Glowing Array Of Fluorescent Bulbs Powered By Ambient Electricity

ByGroovy Green Apr 10, 2009

You know those electric fields from power lines that some people are always complaining about? Turn out they may have something be worried about. At least, that’s what I can surmise after viewing these photos of an art project on an English farm. The installation is called FIELD and creator Richard Box came up with the idea after hearing about a colleague playing light sabergames with a fluorescent tube beneath power lines in his backyard. So, he bribed a local farmer to let him take a crack at installing 1301 fluorescent bulbs underneath his power lines and “voila” — instant ambient energy. The UK Guardian explains a bit more:

A fluorescent tube glows when an electrical voltage is set up across it. The electric field set up inside the tube excites atoms of mercury gas, making them emit ultraviolet light. This invisible light strikes the phosphor coating on the glass tube, mak ing it glow. Because powerlines are typically 400,000volts, and Earth is at an electrical potential of zero volts, pylons create electric fields between the cables they carry and the ground. Box denies that he aimed to draw attention to the potential dangers of powerlines. “For me, it was just the amazement of taking something that’s invisible and making it visible,” he says. “When it worked, I thought: ‘This is amazing.’”

My home is right under some power lines. Needless to say, I’m moving.

Recycled Bike Swag: Detours Toocan Juicy Travel Bag

ByGroovy Green Apr 8, 2009

While baskets are the eternal favorites for lugging things around with your bike — there may be times when you’d like those groceries or books to be a bit more contained. That, or you just need some additional space. Either way, these travel bags from Detours are a fantastic option — and with a very green characteristic: they’re made from recycled juice packs.

Each bag is made up of about 100 juice packs — with the company quick to add that no two bags are alike. Each features a bathtub rubber bottom, wide mouth, removable rain cover, reflective tail-light tabs on both ends, and will hold about 15lbs of your stuff. The only caveat is to beware placing sharp objects inside your Toocan — as the pouches can rip and tear up the seam. Otherwise, the company says the bag will last many years and then when done, you can just recycle it!