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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

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Outdoor Furniture: Eucalyptus – A New Type of Wood


eucalyptus table

The most familiar wood on the market for outdoor furniture is Red Cedar, treated Pine, Teak and Oak. But another type of wood available on the market is eucalyptus. Eucalyptus which is native to Australia, Tasmania and nearby islands is a fast growing very hardy plant. It has been harvested for years in its native lands as timber and for fuel; but the trees have been introduced worldwide. In California, San Diego, eucalyptus was introduced as wood for the railways. In China the trees were introduced through reforestation efforts; but were turned to plantations now exceeding 170 million hectares.

eucalyptus bench

So eucalyptus is an abundant wood. But what makes eucalyptus a good option for outdoor furniture is that it is strong, long lasting and as attractive as teak yet less expensive. Also its straight grain, smooth finish and high oil content make it exceptionally durable and weather resistant. Aside from these attributes which make eucalyptus ideal for outdoor furniture, eucalyptus has the following pros.

eucalyptus chair

  • Eucalyptus has a fast turnover rate, harvest can be done in 3-5 years.
  • Eucalyptus can grow in heavily eroded soil and needs only limited amounts of artificial fertilizer.
  • Eucalyptus can be harvested and grown back from the trunk allowing for plantation like planting instead of logging in natural forests.
  • Eucalyptus oil is used in medicinal, cleaning, deodorizing and bug repellent products.
  • Eucalyptus can be used in paper making, tissues and for fuel.

sproutSome of the problems that might make eucalyptus less sustainable are the following. Firstly – eucalyptus is a heavy water consumer. The trees put a strain on the environment drying up water tables, local streams and ground water. Secondly – not only is eucalyptus invasive everywhere except for its native lands it also provides few environmental services to other species and in some cases the trees hinder them.

So in areas of high rain fall, controlled plantations of eucalyptus can be sustainably grown without causing too much damage to the native environment. But in the meantime if you are on the market for patio furniture eucalyptus is a good and abundant candidate. You can check out some furniture options on Plow and Hearth but they are widely available.

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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sustainable Restaurants on the Rise


green business

Without a doubt, the green revolution is in, and it is probably here to stay. Yes, in the past, people would change some habits, but they would not think of the bigger picture, which was a pity as people can really make a difference if they change the way they shop, commute and eat. With that being said, sustainable restaurants are on the rise, and here are a few things to ponder about their rise in popularity.

Recycled materials: First and foremost, when building a restaurant or adding onto it, many owners spend a lot of money to fix up the inside of the place. While it’s great to have a nice dining area, you can do so without spending too much money. At the same time, when adding new furniture, one will probably hurt the environment. Luckily, the trend is in, and people now often use recycled or old furnishing. Not only will it help reduce the cutting down of trees, but it has a certain cool, rustic look. Yes, you can impress people when you use the right used restaurant equipment as they will like the rustic look.

Reduce waste: When you know how to start your own restaurant, you will; probably know that you need to reduce waste, drastically. Not only will you save plenty of cash when you don’t waste food or other resources, but you will help the environment, and your customers will appreciate this fully. Remember, due to inefficiencies and stupidity, lots of restaurants waste food, which costs people a lot of money.

Think local: When thinking on a local scale, a company can save money and resources. Think about this in regards to a restaurant. Ideally, a restaurant owner should buy all of his or her produce and other supplies from local companies. Not only is this good for the planet, but it’s good for business as a lot of people love buying local. Since items are shipped to the restaurant, often from hundreds of kilometres away, if not more, it’s wise to buy local so you can do your part to save resources.

Buy recycled: IF you have the time and a little know-how, you can buy old materials and create your own benches, tables and chairs. If you don’t have that knowledge, you can still buy old furniture. When doing so, not only can you save cash, but you will see as your customers are impressed that you didn’t buy a brand new table made from old-growth trees. Remember, used restaurant equipment is not expensive, and you should consider this in your overall eco plan.

Find local suppliers and minimize e waste: If you want to do well, you should find local suppliers. This is not that hard if you are in the right area. Not only can you reduce your shipping costs and get better quality, but local suppliers won’t truck your food hundreds of kilometers, which will cut down on emissions.

If you want to know how to start your own restaurant, you should think green, this free eBook might even help you figure out some of the business specifics. When doing so, not only can you use fewer resources, but you can enjoy higher profits as people will flock to your restaurant.

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