How to Throw a Green Party

Parties are fun and a great way to bring your family and friends together. Unfortunately, parties also cause the wastage of a huge amount of energy and resources. However, you can reduce your party’s carbon footprint and make it green by making just a few eco-conscious decisions. Read on to find out how!

Send out green invitations

Start your party preparations on a green note by ditching paper invitations in favour of online invites. If you still prefer doing things the traditional way, make your own custom invites and thank-you notes on recycled paper or paper made from non-tree materials such as hemp. In your invitation, don’t forget to encourage your guests to choose eco-friendly modes of transportation or carpool to get to the party destination!

Dish up green food and drinks

Plan an ecofriendly party menu with locally grown meat and produce. Not only do you avoid the huge wastage of resources in packing and shipping exotic ingredients from halfway across the world, fresh food is also healthier, tastier and cheaper. Your local farmer’s market may be a great place to buy fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables. Many grocery stores now also carry organic eggs and hormone-free, antibiotic-free meat.

If you are short of ideas, have a look at this website for more than 70 ecofriendly meals and recipes. You can even choose to go a step ahead and plan a complete meat-free, dairy-free vegan menu. Pair your food with sustainable cocktail drinks and wines or locally brewed beer and you have a sensational party on your hands!

Now you are done planning the menu, try cutting down on the large amount of trash your party will contribute to the landfill by choosing environment friendly tableware. If you are expecting a large number of guests and don’t have enough matching plates, try mixing and matching sets for an eclectic touch.If you still must use disposable plates, cups or napkins, choose products that are made from biodegradable materials.

Make it fun

Green parties do not have to be boring, that’s right! Help your guests return to their childhood by organizing fun, ecofriendly party games such as newspaper dances, guessing games and treasure hunts. You can even offer a prize for the guest who took the most ecofriendly mode of transport to reach your party!

Send your guests home with green party favors

Bid goodbye to your friends with ecofriendly party favors such as seeds or potted plants, organic linen, all-natural cosmetics, handmade soaps, fruit baskets, tickets to a local play or gift certificates. Instead of using traditional wrapping paper and bows to wrap your gifts, pack your gifts in reusable gift bags or baskets.

It’s time for a green post-party clean up

The post-party clean up is a much loathed, but inevitable part of hosting a party. You can, however, reduce a small part of your burden by sending the leftovers and party décor home with your guests. Hopefully, you had set put separate bins for recyclable materials and food waste before the party began. Transfer all the food scraps to the compost bin to create natural manure for your garden. Wash your dishes with green, ecofriendly cleaning products that do not release toxic gases into the atmosphere.

Kurt Jacobson is a writer and vacation rental manager. Knowing what it takes to maintain pristine appearances for customers, he thrives on sharing what he’s learned from his experience. When he’s not managing a property, he writes about Bloomington home cleaning for Professional Home Cleaning Inc.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - November 29, 2015 at 7:03 am

Categories: Eco Friendly   Tags:

Autumn Budget & Spending Review

In reaction to today’s Autumn Budget & Spending Review, Phil Foster, MD at business energy comparison website Love Energy Savings, has provided the following analysis.

Phil Foster comments on energy…

“It was refreshing to see so much attention being paid to the Energy sector in the Autumn Budget. With the Paris climate talks only days away, it had already been discussed in PMQs before the Spending Review was announced when Jeremy Corbyn tackled David Cameron on the issue of solar job cuts and meeting the 2020 climate change target. Cameron responded by repeatedly claiming that renewable generation had trebled over the last Parliament, harking back to the successes of the Green Investment Bank and EU Climate Change funding commitments.

The Autumn Budget did not shy away from the subject of renewables, despite opposition criticism surrounding subsidy cuts. Osborne promised a doubling of low-carbon and renewables funding, and vowed to increase funding by 50% at the Paris talks. The RHI will continue to run (but it will be reformed to save £700m) and he proudly announced that 24 million homes would be helped to ‘go green’ while keeping energy bills low, saving domestic homes £30 a year on average.

However, despite waving the green flag, Osborne also announced a doubling of funding into small nuclear reactor research and spoke of a community shale wealth fund of up to £1bn to continue exploration of fracking opportunities, which environmental campaigners may not be best pleased about.

Furthermore, heavy industry will now be permanently exempt from environmental tariffs in order to keep running costs low and keep industry in the UK. While this may not be ideal, the more pressing issue of steel industry decline makes this a necessity.

Green campaigners will also not be best pleased at the cuts announced for department funding. The Environment department will see day-to-day spending cuts of 15% & the Department of Energy & Climate Change will see day-to-day cuts of 22%. However, this comes with cuts to departments across the board, so it should not be exaggerated.

It is promising that energy is now a more substantial part of the agenda and the Paris talks will only ever increase the debates around our green responsibilities.”

Author Bio:

Phil Foster is the MD of Love Energy Savings, a business energy comparison service designed to help business owners not only improve their profits, but also save valuable time in the process of comparing and switching suppliers. Advocating energy efficiency and awareness of energy usage, alongside tariff comparison, Love Energy Savings are committed to helping businesses save money so they can continue to grow.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - November 25, 2015 at 5:21 pm

Categories: Energy, Issues   Tags:

Going Eco-friendly at Work

If you are an eco-friendly oriented person, you have undoubtedly taken steps to turn your home into a green heaven. Often times, however, this might not be the case in your office. It seems that no matter how environmentally cautious we are, it’s always someone else’s job to implement the green solutions at work.

This is partly true, as obviously you work with what you are given. You are not responsible for the electrical appliances and machinery used in the office and the fact that they are not energy efficient. You also have nothing to do with the fact that someone has decided to stock the office with dangerous commercial cleaners, instead of green office cleaning recipes. Still, there are some things and changes of habit that you can follow to make the office a better and greener place.

Conserve energy

Since you are most likely using a computer or another electronic device in your work, you must make sure that it doesn’t consume more electricity than it should. This means shutting down and turning off the device till the next time you need it. Everything left on standby consumes electricity, even when the device itself is not in use. That said, you will be able to save some money on electricity if you don’t leave printers, fax machines, computers and monitors on standby mode till you next return to them.

Don’t use too much paper

We live in a digital age, and yet still use tons of paper coming from trees. It sounds absurd, but is in fact true. Ask yourself before you print any information if you really need it on paper. Can’t you store it on your computer for future reference instead?

Resort to recycled materials

You are going to need some paper for printing, but at least you can ensure that it is recycled. Replace the disposable with refillable, the plastic with biodegradable and the traditional commercial cleaning product with a green recipe one.

No plastic for your food

If your office has a dedicated kitchen space, make sure that it is equipped with no plastic containers and cutlery. Invest in solid glass containers, which are not only a better eco-friendly option in the long run, but also provide for easy cleaning service. Consider the fact that plastic can be really bad for your health when heated directly in contact with food.

Green your travelling to the office

It is best if you walk to work, or use other means of transportation different from driving your personal vehicle there. See if there are any co-workers in your area that you can share a vehicle with. Car pool is great, because it will reduce the cost of travelling, since you share the expenses for fuel and things like cleaning service for the vehicle.

Share these tips

One thing you can do is share your green way of living with your co-workers. Discuss these topics with them and get them to join you in protecting the environment through such simple changes. The more people that are in on the act, the better.

Going green at work is often a question of changing your habits and paying more attention to how you can improve your routine. It is such steps that make a difference and contribute to a greener future.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - November 25, 2015 at 7:16 am

Categories: Eco Business   Tags:

Environmentally Efficient Roofing – Survey

The University of Cambridge are working on a project about environmentally efficient roofing. They have teamed up with an R&D company that has developed a new roofing solution that incorporates both solar thermal and PV technology to produce heat and electricity for homes.

They are currently trying to understand the dynamics of individual choices behind self-designed eco homes and created a survey to obtain feedback directly from individuals regarding their choices around PV and thermal. If you would like to take part in the survey, here’s the link.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - November 22, 2015 at 6:47 am

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Want To Start an Orchard – Here’s What You Need To Know

Orchards may not be as popular as they once were, but more and more people understand their importance nowadays. An orchard is not just an area for your fruit trees, but also a source of calmness, peace and enjoyment in these stressful times. Therefore, here is a quick guide to starting an orchard.

Gathering Knowledge

Planting an orchard is not as simple as you may think – there is more to it than sticking a few trees in the ground, watering them from time to time and hoping that something will grow. On the contrary, an orchard requires patience and planning, so it is important to know a lot of things in advance.

The best way to gather proper knowledge is by reading books written by experienced orchard owners or consulting a professional orchardist. Only after you are completely certain what you are doing should you start this venture.

Deciding on a Location

You cannot take just any piece or land and decide to plant fruit trees there. Knowing that orchards last decades and surpass several generations, you need to think their location through over and over. It needs to include four important factors that will help your trees grow – soil, water, air and sun – and the best location for an orchard is a south-facing slope.

Some of these four elements can be manipulated, regulated and enhanced if necessary. Soil can be drained, aerated and its pH factor can be manually adjusted, while the water supply can be regulated with a drop-by-drop irrigation system. Furthermore, if your slope is on a small hill surrounding a valley, your trees will receive enough natural light.

The Size

Growing Orchard Fruits: A Directory of Varieties and How to Cultivate Them Successfully

Growing Orchard Fruits: A Directory of Varieties and How to Cultivate Them Successfully

The size of your orchard depends on the size of the land you have dedicated to it. “The more, the better” is what many orchardist might say, but it is not always the case. With bigger orchards comes more responsibility and work, so you should decide how much effort you want to include in it.

Most people opt for about ten acres of land when starting a commercial orchard, but, if you want to go bigger than that, do not forget that you will have to hire additional work force, as well as machinery and equipment.

The Cost

When thinking about investments and predicting a budget for an orchard, you have to take several things into consideration – preparation, planting and maintenance. In case your land is not in perfect conditions, you might have to spend some money on enhancing the soil, while the amount spent on planting depends on which types of fruit trees you choose and how much their retail price is.

Finally, maintenance includes irrigation, the workers you will have to hire to handle mowing, picking and spraying pests, as well as the money invested in fertilizer and pesticides.

The Spraying

It is essential to spray your orchard against pests and insects in the late winter or early spring. Also, another spray is generally applied when the trees are in bloom and then again before the summer. Both are absolutely necessary if you want to eliminate diseases and help your fruit trees become healthy.

The best way to spray them is by using backpack sprayers with an accessible pump and sprayer – they are placed on your back and can turn your spraying into an enjoyable stroll through your orchard.

Additional Protection

After all of these have been taken care of, you need to think about protection against intruders, fruit thieves and wild animals that might want to feast on your fruits. Once that is done, your orchard is ready to start making a profit.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - November 20, 2015 at 10:17 am

Categories: Eco Garden   Tags:

What are our biggest energy concerns? Love Energy Savings speaks!

It is always incredibly interesting to hear the public’s opinion on a subject such as energy, as it is one that affects their daily lives a great deal. Wave 15 of the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s Quarterly Public Attitudes Tracker Survey was released this week, and it highlights some positive results. Phil Foster, MD of leading energy price comparison website Love Energy Savings, examines three of the main findings from the report and what these could mean for the future.

Worries over energy bills

Given the steadily increasing energy prices that we have seen over the past few years, there is little wonder that people are worried about keeping up with their gas and electricity payments. However, it seems that things are improving, with the new report showing that the number of people who are worried about paying energy bills had dropped to the lowest levels recorded since the survey began. Wave 15 indicated that in September 2015, just 24% of the public were either very or fairly worried about paying for their energy bills, a finding consistent if not slightly better than the Wave 14 findings from June 2015, where 25% of respondents stated the same.

While it’s encouraging to see this figure slowly coming down, it’s important that the government continues to take measures to ensure people can afford to keep their homes warm. Fuel poverty is still a pressing issue and there are still far too many people who are paying over the odds for their energy.

Number of people planning to switch remains stable

Solar Electricity Handbook - 2015 Edition: A simple, practical guide to solar energy - designing and installing solar PV systems.

Solar Electricity Handbook – 2015 Edition: A simple, practical guide to solar energy – designing and installing solar PV systems.

The report also showed that the number of people planning to switch their energy supplier in the next year had remained stable. In Wave 15, only 6% of respondents stated that they had firm plans to switch in the upcoming 12 months, whilst 59% said they would not, a slight increase from Wave 14.

Given the decreasing number of people who are worried about their bills, it makes sense that fewer people would make switching a priority. No doubt many are questioning why they should swap if they can afford their bills already. However, it is still important that all energy users are aware of their right to switch. The government has stated that the average household could save up to £200 by changing their energy supplier, so it’s essential that the remaining 57% understand the benefits.

Households and businesses need to know just how quick and stress-free it is to switch to a cheaper tariff. The whole process really is easier than ever.

Support for renewables

Support for clean and green energy remains solid amongst the public with 76% giving their backing to sustainable gas and electricity. Solar proved to be the public’s most popular source, with 80% saying they were in favour, while support for onshore wind remained unchanged at 66%. This shows that in spite of subsidy cuts, the public still perceive renewables as the way forward. Hopefully this will make the government look twice at the subsidy cuts, and change their policies on renewables to reflect the public view.

About Love Energy Savings

As one of the leading domestic and business energy comparison websites in the UK, Love Energy Savings specialises in helping people across the country find cheaper energy tariffs. Over their many years in business, they have developed unique relationships with the top energy suppliers, allowing them to source the best deals for each customer.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - November 13, 2015 at 11:10 am

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How ocean pollution affects humans

Oceans are fundamental to the health of our planet – the very lifeblood of Earth’s ecosystem. However, every year more than 8 million tons of plastic is dumped in the ocean.

How does that affect humans and what can we do to stop this behaviour? Take a look at the following infographic produced by Divein.

How ocean pollution affects humans

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Posted by Eco Warrior - November 13, 2015 at 7:52 am

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Private rainforest landowners in Peru suffer deforestation and damage

We hear a lot about deforestation in conservation areas and on state-owned lands. But in Peru the owners of vast chunks of private land are also struggling in the battle against illegal logging and mining, unauthorised clearance and road-building.

Peru’s hidden private gems

There are more than 80 legally-registered private and communal conservation areas in Peru, totalling an enormous quarter of a million hectares. But many owners have set aside land for conservation and eco-tourism without notifying the authorities, which means they haven’t been officially designated.

Remote lands under threat

The land being conserved is often very remote, which means illegal incursions by loggers, miners, poachers, farmers and road builders are more common. And the impact is starting to hurt, even though private lands are better protected by law. Law enforcement is weak in the middle of nowhere and there’s sometimes none at all.

Add local corruption and the outlook gets even more complex. Drug crops and squatters compound the issue. As a result of all this, big and invaluble areas of rainforest and other pristine natural landscapes are under real threat. But the very fact that these lands aren’t registered officially as conserved means the issues get much less attention, if any.

It might be the tip of the iceberg, too. It seems likely that the remoteness of some of the lands in question means illegal activity won’t even get reported.

What’s the solution?

From an official standpoint it’s a land-use planning thing, aggravated by conflicting land claims and the gap in law enforcement. The Peruvian government is taking steps.

From a human perspective it would help to have better income-generating opportunities for local people. It’s good to know that one pioneering landowner is doing exactly that, building a plantation of açai palm to boost the market for the fruit and provide jobs.

Article by The Rainforest Foundation.


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Posted by Eco Warrior - November 8, 2015 at 8:49 am

Categories: Conservation   Tags:

Fridge Recycling

When householders and businesses dispose of their old fridges and freezers they know that they get recycled, but what does that mean? When you put your old fridge in the pile of white goods or have it taken away from your home do you know what happens to it or where it ends up?

A fridge contains harmful gases and hazardous components that require specialist treatment in a licensed facility. They undergo a step by step process to ensure hazards are removed, treated and the materials that can be reused in manufacturing are broken down and separated. Pure Planet Recycling have created the following infographic to explain exactly how a fridge is recycled and what happens to the materials.

fridge recycling

Rubbish and Recycling (Usborne Beginners)
The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle: A Story about Recycling (Little Green Books)

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Posted by Eco Warrior - November 7, 2015 at 11:38 am

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A Brighter Future for Renewables?

Phil Foster, MD at Love Energy Savings, comments on new DECC Energy Trend statistics, offshore wind investment and the upcoming COP21 Conference.

With only a month to go until the annual Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11), the topic of renewable energy sources is hotter than ever.

New DECC statistics released today (29th October) have shown that the development of renewables is going from strength to strength, despite government subsidy cuts threatening to harm the sector earlier this year. Wind power generation has increased by 49%  over the last year, due to increased capacity and higher wind speeds, while renewable production overall  has experienced 43% growth, mainly due to the growth of biomass and hydro power sources.

What does this mean for businesses?

For businesses across the UK, increased renewable energy generation could result in lower energy bills, but this will only occur once these clean energy sources are operating at full capacity.

In the meantime, ambitious climate change targets will be putting additional pressures on the UK Government to invest in green energy, possibly resulting in short-term cost increases.

Having said that, the government’s subsidy cutbacks don’t seem to be having an adverse effect on the amount of money being invested into the development of renewable energy technology in the UK just yet.

Renewable Energy Finance: Powering The Future

Renewable Energy Finance: Powering The Future

DONG energy, a Danish energy company, has recently announced that it will be increasing its investment in the Cumbria-based Walney Offshore Wind Farm, creating more local jobs while also benefitting the local manufacturing and engineering businesses that will be charged with supplying the new turbine blades, foundations and cable installations.

The Walney expansion will see clean energy being delivered to 460,000 UK homes, according to Samuel Leupold, executive Vice President at DONG Energy, which will bring the UK one step closer to the low-carbon societies envisioned by COP21.

Whatever the future holds for renewables, it is down to businesses, large and small, to voluntarily begin putting mechanisms in place to champion energy efficiency and reduce energy use, before they are forced.

There are easy, quick fixes that businesses can implement that will help reduce their bills such as those outlined in a recent blog post produced by business energy experts Love Energy Savings. A conscious effort now will make it easier to adapt as those 2020 targets loom.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - November 1, 2015 at 8:32 am

Categories: Energy   Tags:

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