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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

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eco news roundup


Battery Park statues during Sandy

Battery Park statues during Hurricane Sandy: photo via shutterstock.com

related: more green news via The Alternative Consumer

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Eco-Camping Trips for Family Holidays


burgundy coutryside

Camping and glamping are very in vogue. Something about the recession has spurred families and couples alike to swap weeks in hotels for breaks as happy campers. Of course, it’s not just the financial benefits of camping that have us all heading en plein air, there are also environmental advantages to consider.

Campers tend to travel overland, which creates far less of a carbon footprint than air travel and this needn’t necessarily mean staying put in your home country either. Thanks to strong ferry and train links it’s fairly easy and affordable to travel within Europe with the purpose of taking in a bit of countryside, culture and sunshine. Minimizing what equipment you take with you can help minimise your carbon footprint and make travel that bit easier.

france camping

Several big firms are very switched on when it comes to green camping and will even allow you to book ferry travel as part of a package deal with them and if you want to make sure your campsite is as committed to eco issues as you are there are ways you can check. Keycamp – who own several campsites in France and across Europe – have been awarded a Five Star Award for responsible Tourism by AITO. You can read the AITO guidelines here and also check if your holiday providers have been accredited.

Campsites tend to be fairly green by nature – they have few permanent buildings, lots of grassy space and encourage environmental consciousness with shared taps and showers. However, if you are staying on a site, that’s a real home away from home that comes complete with all the mod-cons, make sure you apply the same energy-saving steps you would at home. It’s common for families who are holidaying in foreign climes to buy lots of bottled water, so consider whether water purifying tablets may be a friendlier option.

For those who are planning to get closer to nature, a quick check of your equipment may be in order. If you are planning on cooking your own food in a traditional camping style, try to avoid using disposable barbecues and head to a site that has facilities on site. Think about the products you choose to wash up too – washing your campfire pots and pans with biodegradable detergents will be far nicer for the grass around you.

This post is published in association with www.keycamp.co.uk, a travel company specialist for camping holidays & mobile home holidays in Europe.

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industrial style: upcycled drain pipe wine racks


upcycled drain pipe wine racks

An interesting fact: 20 to 30% of the waste from construction projects is recycled or reused. Why not make stylish use of some of this recovered industrial material in your home? Case in point — these handsome wine racks (above) made from the marriage of a chunk of reclaimed beam salvaged from a demolished 1800′s home and upcycled sections of salvaged industrial drain pipe recovered from an abandoned construction project. Modern, rustic and eco-friendly — what’s not to love?

You can find these wine racks and more stylishly sustainable, upcycled products @ hipycle.com

 

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Monday, October 29, 2012

sustainable home decor: reclaimed wood dresser


reclaimed wood dresser cu

Both rustic and modern — this minimalist wood dresser would make a perfect addition to a modern urban loft… or rustic country cabin.

reclaimed wood dresser

The handmade chest of drawers is made of reclaimed, old-growth wood recovered from architectural salvage and stands atop a modern industrial steel base. $1,575 @ blake avenue furniture

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a mixed bag of green news


violent wave

violent wave photo via shutterstock.com

related: more eco news from The Alternative Consumer

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Happy Holidays for the Planet


earth horizon

The holidays are an exciting time when friends and family can celebrate the magical beauty of the winter season. Unfortunately, as families begin to decorate for their celebrations, the holidays can suddenly become a source of excessive waste of important resources such as energy and trees. For this reason, the following ideas have been offered in order to help you and your loved ones decorate for the upcoming holidays while using environmentally-friendly practices and products that will ensure your decorations preserve the natural beauty of the season for many more years to come:

fallornament.jpgLook to Nature: In many families, there is an age-old debate of whether artificial or real trees are better. While each of these choices both has advantages and drawbacks, the best solution is to purchase a live tree that can be replanted. Then, natural ornaments can be chosen to decorate the tree such as pine cones and popcorn strands. Additionally, pine needles and boughs can be found outdoors. These can be made into beautiful wreaths and garlands that can then be decorated with berries and other natural ornaments.

Choose Reusable Décor: Sometimes, natural products are not enough to decorate an entire home. For these decorations, it is best to choose ones that can be reused year after year. For example, cloth place mats can be selected in holiday designs that can be washed and stored to be used the next time the holidays come around. Additionally, outdoor decorations such as garden décor can be selected in cloth and other reusable materials that will last for many years. By choosing to use reusable décor, a person can also continue to build their decorating supplies to create an impressive display each year.

Reduce Energy Use: Christmas lights are beautiful for everyone to enjoy. However, they can lead to a significant increase in a household’s electricity usage. For this reason, it is best to purchase indoor and outdoor LED lights as this type of lighting uses less electricity and will outlast other versions. Additionally, setting lights on a timer can help to make sure that they are turned off in the late evening hours when they will be less likely to be viewed. Candles and other natural forms of light can also further reduce the energy use for a home this holiday season.

When a family chooses to take an eco-friendly stance for their holiday decorations, then they will also be making a strong statement about their commitment to caring for our planet. For this reason, you should look for natural and reusable products that can help to create a festive atmosphere while also protecting the precious resources and natural beauty of the earth.

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