Shrinking houses: a new age of space-efficient living

Urbanization and desire to dwell in the city, close to all amenities have led to the outcome of shrinking houses. The study shows average UK home has almost reduced to half the size it used to be in previous centuries. Builders are opting for creating small living spaces so more and more people can afford and own a house in the capital cities.

Yes, the water stream & the surrounding woods near these abodes are missing but this new age space efficient living is designed so that we can protect our forest areas with minimal invasion to the natural resources.

Here is an Infographic from Flexispace, which divulges some incredibly small homes developed in the bare minimum area as well as the pros & cons of living in the petite homes.

Shrinking Homes

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Posted by Eco Warrior - September 20, 2017 at 3:28 pm

Categories: Eco Home   Tags:

How to Grow an Indoor Garden

The benefits of growing and cultivating a garden cannot be overstated. But if you live in a tenement house or apartment building you may not be able to develop or reap the benefits of a backyard garden. If you relocate often due to the nature of your work, starting your own garden may be unrealistic without outside help and participation.

In case shopping at your local farmer's market isn’t enough to satiate that aching green thumb you have stuck in your pocket, try starting a garden inside your home.

While it may seem farfetched at first, think back and try to recall someone you knew or met that had their own herb garden out on a window sill, what we’re talking about here isn’t that different.

In the end, gardening boils down to space, soil and light.

Start by picking out a dedicated location for your garden. In its beginning stages heat will be more important than sunlight as seeds do best in warm soil. As your bulbs begin to come in you can transition them to a more illuminated location, but a major advantage to having such a setup will be its mobility. The manner in which you build your setup will allow you to transition your garden to and from optimal locations depending on the time of day.

You can use the same type of soils and fertilizers for an indoor garden as you would outside, but an advantage with this method are the recycling opportunities. You can plant your seeds in a majority of containers and items consumers typically throw out on a weekly basis, thereby saving money on pottery and plant holders.

The containers can be anything from empty yogurt cups, used plastic bottles and containers, recycled wine bottles and tin cans, etc. These options are not only cheap and eco-friendly but they have a great shelf-life, and allow for specialized alterations to fit your crops specific needs.

Also, the presence of plant life inside your home can improve air quality.

Anyone who has taken a high school biology class knows trees and plants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, so having potted plants inside your home can be a very healthy practice. Not only will your indoor garden reinforce the health of your heart and brain, but it will improve the air quality of your home.

Plants absorb harmful particulates in the air when they take in carbon dioxide and the microorganisms in the potting soil help clean the surrounding airspace. By maintaining your interior garden and finding ways to expand it throughout your home, you’re changing the quality of your home’s atmosphere.

In order to make these particular improvements you should have at least two plants per 100 square feet of space, or 15 to 18 houseplants in a 1,800 square foot house.

Choosing the right “crop” for your indoor garden is important, but you would be surprised at the versatile options available.

Including herbs like basil, parsley, oregano, and cilantro which grow well and plentiful inside the home, you can also grow tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, carrots, radishes, mushrooms and potatoes. There are also a number of fruits like strawberries and blueberries which flourish under both fluorescent and filtered sun light.

Gardening overall increases hand strength and dexterity, can help combat depression and provide stress relief. Having a limited amount of outside space or opportunity should not keep you from reaping these excellent advantages.

A home garden, whether inside or out, inspires a positive change to you and your family’s eating habits and household overall.

Take a look around your apartment, home or loft and see if you can identify a location inside that could be perfect as a small indoor garden plot.


Bio:

Emily is a freelance writer, covering wildlife conservation, sustainability and green technology. To see her latest posts, check out her blog, Conservation Folks, or follow her on Twitter.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - September 18, 2017 at 9:01 am

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How to Heat a Mountain Home in a Green Way

Heating a mountain home is no easy task. The lack of connectivity and (sometimes) electricity can be an obstacle, especially for our generation that has grown so accustomed to it. Fortunately, there still are those who want to experience life in the most natural and green way possible. With that in mind we have elaborated this article! Just like you, we too like to embrace the earth, to live where others dare not to live, to experience different lifestyles and environments. Today, we explore green ways to heat a mountain home. It’s always important to acquire all possible knowledge, to make sure you can have a cozy atmosphere in the mountain while keeping everybody warm.

This being said, let’s find out how we can heat a mountain home. Either you are going on a holiday, a new job in the mountain or even if you decided to live the city and focus your life around a rural area, this is the guide you have been looking for.

Pellet Stoves

In terms of both size and design, pellet stoves are very much like wood stoves. However, they have a big advantage, they use highly renewable resources such as sawdust and switchgrass. They also burn at a lower rate than wood, therefore, being much more efficient and durable. You practically need no fuel to keep a pellet stove on. Consider having 1 pellet stove per 1,500 square feet (140m per square). You can easily get switchgrass, it is grown on soil which is too poor for crops; sawdust from mills. Keep in mind, before buying a pellet stove, that having a nearby source of resources is highly important. If you don’t have one of your own, a neighbor, or even a local supplier, you are better off with one of the following options.

Note: Pellet Stoves emit less Co2 than traditional wood stoves. They burn fuel that would otherwise get tossed away as waste. U.S. Department of Energy confirms Pellet Stoves are the cleanest solid-fuel burning appliance.

Masonry Heaters

Allow me to begin by being straightforward, masonry heaters are not cheap, they are very expensive. However, they are highly efficient, beautiful, and eco-friendly. It has been used for centuries in Scandinavia. A masonry heater is designed to capture and store the heat energy from a solid fuel fire through internal heat exchange flue channels. Thus, enabling a charge of solid fuel mixed with the proper amount of air to emission of unburned hydrocarbons. This allows the Masonry Heater to keep emitting heat after the fire has gone out. In shorter words, Masonry Heaters capture the heat from burning of fuel (mostly wood), and then radiate the heat at a constant temperature for a long period of time. As I said, if you can afford one of these for your mountain home that is great! Unfortunately, it is a very expensive product, we have more cost-effective options on this list that function just as great.

Electric Fireplaces

Of course, this had to be on our list, one of the eco-friendliest solutions to heating your mountain home. It is also the most common way people chose to heat their homes nowadays, just plug it in to an electrical socket and it’s ready to heat your home while creating a simple flame effect. It also allows you to adjust the heat temperature it produces.  However, it has some cons to it, requires electricity and it will never give the feeling of an actual flame.

Ethanol Fireplaces

Ethanol Fireplaces popularity is quickly growing, the world is discovering the wonders and benefits of Ethanol Fireplaces and bioethanol fires. Why? Well, firstly, it is highly eco-friendly. Ethanol is a renewable energy source, produced by fermenting sugar and starch, it is a carbon-neutral fuel with clean emissions, consequently having no harm to our planet earth. Secondly, it produces a good amount of heat, enough to heat a large room. It only takes on average 15 to 20 minutes to heat a room, you will quickly start feeling the hot air flowing from the flames. Thirdly, it has real flames with none of the danger of fumes and particles, no smoke ash and it requires no electricity.

Note: Bio-ethanol fireplaces are very easy to install, requiring no chimney.

 Propane Lamps

Of all the tips on our list, this is the one that we can say is the least “green way-ish”, mainly because it uses fuel. However, it is the one that is accessible to everyone. Of all the fuels, propane is the less harmful to our environment. In fact, According to Education Seattle, propane is a “relatively clean-burning fuel compared to diesel or gasoline”. However, only consider this option if none of the above are available to you.

Note: use Propane, not Kerosene, the latter is especially bad for the environment.

How are you Going to Heat your Mountain Home?

Tell us how you heat or are going to start heating your mountain home. We value our reader’s opinions and are always ready to start a healthy debate around news ways to protect our environment. Leave a comment below telling us what you think and asking any question you may have. Have a great day fellow earth-lovers!

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Posted by Eco Warrior - September 17, 2017 at 7:28 am

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Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly

Homeowners have become much more eco-conscious in recent years, with energy-saving appliances often preferred to older, less efficient models. This shift towards a ‘greener’ home has been triggered by a greater knowledge of, and commitment to, eco-friendliness, along with the realisation that efficient use of resources leads to drastically reduced utility bills.

EZ Living Interiors created this infographic which features several intelligent ways in which we can make our homes more environmentally friendly. Sometimes all it takes is a modification in behaviour, such as making a point of turning off the lights as soon as you leave a room, using the dishwasher or washing machine only when it is full or ditching baths in favour of a quick shower. Other changes might require simple purchases such as energy-efficient LED light bulbs which last for far longer than standard bulbs.

In the longer-term, you can improve the eco-friendliness of your home through greater insulation in walls and attics, or perhaps the addition of solar panels on your roof. Poorly-insulated homes result in needless heat loss, hence the heating doing overtime in the drab winter months. Investing in heavy curtains is another way of helping to retain heat in colder periods.

Check out the infographic below for further tips on improving your home’s energy efficiency and environmental friendliness – tips which will also improve your bank balance through lower energy costs.

Being Eco-Friendly in the Home-

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Posted by Eco Warrior - September 16, 2017 at 10:45 am

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Two Year Study Reveals Almost 400 New Amazon Rainforest Species

Experts estimate that our planet is home to around 8.7 million species, more than 80% of which haven't yet been identified. The Amazon is the world's largest area of tropical rainforest, and it's home to the biggest collection of plants and animals. Now we've found 400 more new species there.

A place rich in magical new flora and fauna

We all know that rainforests are absolutely stuffed with magical flora and fauna, many of which are yet to be discovered. But nobody predicted that a two year study would deliver almost four hundred new species in the Amazon rainforest alone, hinting that the remarkable richness and diversity of the world's forests are probably even greater than anyone imagined.

The study, which ran between 2014 and 2015, revealed 381 new species in the Amazon region, according to a report by the World Wildlife Fund and Mamiraua Institute for Sustainable Development. Apparently the researchers tracked down a new species every two days or so, finding in total 216 new plants, 93 fish, 32 amphibians, 20 mammals, 19 reptiles and one bird, all previously unknown. The discoveries were made across all nine countries covered by the Amazon's tropical forest.

At more risk than ever from human activity

It's amazing news. But the flip side is that these new species could so easily be lost forever, at constant risk from mining, logging, road building and climate change. All the new species were found in areas of the forest that are already at risk from human activity, and the sheer, unprecedented level of habitat change we're seeing right now means many species may go extinct before we discover their existence. That's terribly sad.

2000 new species found over three periods of research

The report is the third of its kind. The three research projects together discovered 2000 or so new species in the past 17 years.  The report's authors are determined to continue research in the area to monitor and preserve biodiversity because the sheer wealth of biodiversity found there is unique and unparalleled.

Let's hope their work plays a part in protecting this absolute treasure of an environment.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - September 8, 2017 at 6:12 am

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Spend £40 and save 15% at Green People

This month Green People got some great offers lined up for you, including a month long exclusive promotion.

Spend £40 or more and receive 15% off

Code: SEPTSAVE
Dates active: 01.09.17 – 30.09.17
Link: September Offer

3 for 2 on all Organic Young (Oy!) products

Code: TEENSKIN 
Dates active: 11.09.17 – 30.09.17
Link: Organic Young

FREE Intensive Repair Conditioner when you purchase the matching shampoo

Code: HAIRTREAT
Dates active: 13.09.17 – 14.09.17 (not active yet)
Link: Intensive Repair Shampoo

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Posted by Eco Warrior - September 5, 2017 at 5:19 pm

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The Eco-Friendly Way to Clean Your Bathroom

Are you sick of all the expensive and toxic chemicals that don’t clean all the stains and scale properly? These chemicals are not only expensive, they are also very dangerous and the harmful to the environment. There are probably many people who are trying their best to keep their houses clean without all the harmful substances; if you are one of them and want to try the eco-friendly ways of cleaning your bathroom, then you’re in the right place.

The sacred trinity of the eco-cleaning is vinegar, lemon, and baking soda.

Vinegar

Alcohol vinegar is very useful for cleaning because it removes almost everything, from stains to odors. You should use white, plain alcohol vinegar, nothing more. Although you can pour some baking soda or squeeze some lemon in it. You only shouldn’t use it on stone or marble surfaces. In combination with baking soda, it’s a lifesaver when it comes to clogged sinks.

Baking soda

This ingredient we use at home is a mildly abrasive, and you can use it for washing and polishing in your bathroom. If you put some in warm water you can wash your bin, shower curtains and all of your brushes, and you can use it to wash your windows and get rid of all the water stains on them.

Baking Soda

All that sweet lemon juice

Lemon juice is often used in cleaning because it is a highly-effective stain and odor removal agent. Also, it can serve as a natural bleach. You can easily use it to remove, so be free to soak your taps in it from time to time.

Lemon Juice

The secret trinity of cleaning

We’re giving you the recipe to make your own homemade cleaning product from these three powerful ingredients. You will need 7 cups of water, ½ cup of the baking soda, 1/3 cup of the lemon juice, and ¼ cup of alcohol vinegar. Dissolve the soda in water, add a lemon juice and pour vinegar at the end, slowly. Wait for the chemical reaction to settle and then you can use it. This recipe is perfect for tile and grout cleaning. You can always use a toothbrush to clean grout lines.

The taps and faucets, the shower and shower curtains

The water scale is your worst enemy, we all know that. All those ugly white marks on your faucets and inside your shower are simply terrible to look at. Don’t worry, some lemon juice and white vinegar will remove all the scale in a matter of minutes. On the other hand, clogging can be a terrible headache. The clog inside your shower or a sink can cause damage to your bathroom; so, if this happens, we recommend relying on reliable plumbing services in your neighborhood.

Plumber

Mirror, mirror, on the wall

Believe it or not, one of the best ways to clean your mirrors is clean water and some newspapers. Yes, you heard correctly, newspapers. Put some water in your spray bottle and spray the mirror, afterward clean it well with one newspaper sheet. You will be amazed! If you like to have your mirrors disinfected, on the other hand, you can always use just alcohol, instead of any other glass cleaning products.

Bathroom

As you can see, eco-friendly cleaning is really not that hard. It can save you a lot of money since the ingredients are always inside your home. It can save your time for buying all of the expensive products and it helps the environment. We believe these are quite enough for you to start thinking more about our lovely planet and start cleaning eco-friendly.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - September 2, 2017 at 8:09 am

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The World’s Most Energy Efficient Countries

Annually the ACEEE (American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy) publishes a league table of results which charts countries efforts in terms of reducing their emissions. It was founded in 1980 and since then it aims to highlight the importance of such activities to the wider world.

Climate change in itself is a controversial topic. We saw at the COP 21 in Paris in 2015 that nations came together to sign the agreement to work on specific areas to reduce emissions which were seen to be contributing to climate change. Of course since then, the agreement has been dealt a severe blow with the withdrawal of the USA under President Trump. Whether that will eventually be turned around is anyone’s guess but in the meantime, efforts to be more environmentally aware can stretch to individual home owners because even small changes can make a difference to wider and more long term behaviours.

With the ACEEE’s chart of countries, it is interesting to see what countries “performed” best and what countries need further work. This infographic below from the people at Senator highlights that main points of the ACEEE report and examines the variables involved in the “scoring”. Check it out below.

The World’s Most Energy Efficient Countries

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Posted by Eco Warrior - September 2, 2017 at 7:37 am

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Why clean with eco products

Since people are becoming more and more busy with their hectic schedules, they are looking for a quick way to do their house cleaning. This is why the new cleaning products on the shelves of the markets have a pretty big consumption. You may be fooled by the colourful packaging and the claim of making the chores much easier and faster, however, have you asked yourself what are the actual ingredients in these solutions?

Unfortunately most of these products are cocktails of harsh chemicals which are harmful not only for the environment but also for your health. This is why using eco products may be a much better and healthier option for you. There are a lot of benefits in choosing green solutions for the cleaning chores.

A safe and clean home

We all know that a proper cleaning of your home includes a good disinfection, however, the toxic chemical in cleaning products can cause serious health issues for you an your family. Recent studies have shown that these harsh chemical are very harmful for people with asthma and they can seriously deepen the problem.

If you choose to start using eco products for the cleaning of your house, you can be sure that there will be no harmful ingredients to put your health in danger. Green solutions are a great weapon to make your home a healthier place.

Less harm for yourself

If you use cleaning products with harsh chemicals regularly, you risk burning your skin or get an eye irritation. These toxic ingredients are extremely dangerous if you are not careful with them.

If you replace all the commercial products in your household with eco-friendly solutions, you can always be sure that you are completely safe from any irritations and burns because the natural ingredients in them are not harmful for you.

A pleasant scent

Most people with allergies are having quite a hard time with the smell of the chemicals in cleaning detergents. If you hate the strong and unpleasant smell of most of the solutions, you will highly appreciate the light and nice aroma of the scented oils in the environmentally-friendly cleaning products.

More budget-friendly

Why should you spend an enormous amount of money on cleaning products when you can use ingredients which you can easily find in every household. One of the biggest benefits of going green with your house cleaning chores is that you can safe significant sum of money. For some tasks you can use everyday items such as lemon, baking soda and vinegar. Making your own solutions of these ingredients will be great for your budget, because they offer efficient cleaning.

Protect the environment

As we all know the ozone depletion and as a result of that the global warming are serious issues which have a great impact all over the world. The waste from the cleaning products which we use is polluting the air and contributes for the worsening of the conditions of our environment.

If you decide to use eco products for the cleaning around your house, you can help to prevent the increase of toxic emissions in the air. We are all responsible for our planet and we must keep it clean and safe for the future of our children.

Don’t be tempted by the colourful shelves in the markets which are full with cocktails of different toxic chemicals. Those cleaning products may not only not be of any help, but on the contrary, they may cause a lot of serious problems for your home and your health. If you choose to use eco products you can get the same great results but you won’t be hurting yourself and you will take proper care of your health.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - August 25, 2017 at 6:47 am

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4 Poop Pollution Facts Every Business Should Know

Poop is good for the environment. However, in large amounts that aren’t properly dealt with, poop pollutes the environment. For thousands of years, humans have been trying to find a way to deal with the enormous amount of waste we create, while keeping the environment safe. For businesses, this should also be a big concern, so here are four facts about poop that mustn’t be wasted.

1. Poop Pollution Has a Long History

When humans were hunter-gatherers who lived off the land and didn’t settle anywhere, the waste they produced helped to nourish the soil in the same way other animals’ waste nourishes soil. We were once another natural part of the nitrogen cycle and carbon cycle. Our man-made fertilizer was a net-benefit to the environment.

Then came the Agricultural Revolution and the rise of human settlements, ancient civilisations and, eventually, cities, empires and modern-day nation states. From the first day we began to settle down around 15,000 years ago, our ancestors immediately noticed a problem: the poop was starting to pollute. It’s for this reason that sewer systems were developed as far back as Ancient Rome.

Jump back 150 years ago and the Great Stink of London is gripping the nation. It was an event caused by the dried sewage of the Thames baking in the sun and causing a stench so foul that historians made a point of writing about it. This historical turning point was followed by the Sanitary Movement and the development of sewers and effluent plants across the world.

However, with the global population continuing to grow, poop pollution continues to be a problem, as we are once again faced with the issue of dealing with more poop than our current sewage systems can handle. This is something to bear in mind when your staff are producing wastewater like there’s no tomorrow. Speaking of which…

2. Your Staff Produce a Lot of Poop

It’s might be an uncomfortable thought, but it’s a realistic one. The greater the number of staff you have and the more time your staff spend at your workplace, the bigger your responsibility.

First of all, it may surprise you to discover that the average person produces 158 litres of wastewater — per day. That figure doesn’t just include poop. It also includes urine, toilet flushes, washing machine water, shower water, dishwasher water and any other used wastewater. Still, to a sewage system, it doesn’t matter, as it all goes to the same place.

Now, let’s say that your staff spend 22% of their week at your work, based on the 37.5 hours a week the average British person works, and that your staff consists of 150 people, which is the magic number for businesses. Those figures mean that your staff would produce 38,465 litres of wastewater at your workplace every week. Over the course of a year, your staff could fill over five-and-a-half Olympic-sized swimming pools with the wastewater they produce at your workplace. If you have more than 150 staff, or if you make them do a lot of overtime, that figure could be closer to six.

Olympic-sized swimming pools are 25 metres wide, 50 metres long and 2 metres deep

 

3. Doing the Bare Minimum Is Not Always Enough

Knowing how much waste your staff can produce, it’s fair to assume that you’d take every precaution to make sure that you are not polluting. However, not every business does do this. After a recent Glastonbury Festival, it was discovered that the sewage treatment systems they had in place were not enough. As result, human waste from the festival was found to have polluted a nearby river.

4. Each Business Requires a Different Solution to Poop Pollution

For the 35% of Irish businesses or the 25% of American businesses not connected to a public sewage system, on-site sewage treatment systems are a must. While saving money might be a tempting option, this isn’t an area where you should be trying to do so. If your septic tank doesn’t have the capacity to deal with your staff’s wastewater, you’ll quickly regret it.

In this case, it’s most definitely better to have extra space and not need it, than to need extra space and not have it. This is why big, on-site concrete septic tanks are such popular choices for businesses. Their sheer size can accommodate for between 50 and 500 workers. If you want your business to grow, it’s important to know that your septic tank’s size isn’t limiting you.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - August 23, 2017 at 2:59 pm

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