Sustainable Summer Holiday Travel Tips

 

Summer is only a few weeks away, so it’s the perfect time to begin planning your sustainable holiday!  No matter where you go, how you get there or what you do upon arrival, the following tips will keep your itinerary green.

The most eco-friendly way to get to your destination of choice is to hop in a hybrid or electric car and drive the distance. If your route requires more mileage than you’re willing or able to drive, consider taking the bus or train, rather than opting for air travel.  Flying emits three to seven times more greenhouse gases than shared road or rail travel.

However, if you must travel by plane, make your trek more environmentally efficient by purchasing your ticket on a larger plane (they consume less fuel per capacity pound-mile than their smaller counterparts) with more economy class seats (more people per flight equates to fewer total flights), more filled seats and on a non-stop itinerary. Planes use the most fuel at take off, so the fewer connections you make, the fewer greenhouse gas emissions are produced.

If you’re debating your holiday destination, we suggest an eco-tour: outdoorsy adventures that won’t leave traces on the environment and that educate visitors on preservation and conservation efforts in the world around them.

Better yet, save some cash and take a stay-cation. Hang out in your hometown but explore it like a tourist:  check out a museum you haven’t been to, wait in line at that tourist trap restaurant you always pass up or catch a summer baseball game. You’ll only make a tiny environmental impact by traveling to a location that’s close to home.

Whether you travel to a far away place or explore your nearby surroundings, don’t forget about the green practices you keep when you’re not on vacation. Walk and bike when you can, be on the look out for recycling bins, take along a refillable water bottle and eat local and organic as often as possible.

For more environmentally-friendly tips and ideas, stay connected to the Just Energy blog and make sure to like Just Energy on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Sources:
http://www.ecotourdirectory.com
http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/ecofriendly-vacation-travel-options.html

http://news.travel.aol.com/2011/06/28/eco-friendly-flying-how-to-reduce-your-carbon-footprint-in-the/
http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/staycation

Photo Source:

http://www.chemistoncall.co.uk/Green_suitcases.jpg

Green Mother’s Day Gift Guide

 

It’s that time of year.  That day we honor and lavish love and attention on the one person in our lives who has likely shown up for everything – from carrying us for 9 months and enduring many  sleepless nights to sorting out the tiniest details in each and every birthday party, managing homework chaos, fine tuning our weddings and later, taking care of our children as if they were her own. This Sunday is the day to show mom (and aunties, grandmas and mother in laws) how much you adore her and give back a little of the love she has shown those around her. Make this Mother’s Day even more special by giving back to our other mother: Mother Nature.

For the Wine-Loving Mom

Made from recycled wine bottles, these stemless wine glasses come from a sustainable source and will look great at your mom’s next dinner party or cocktail get-together.

While you’re in the vino mode, treat your mom to a case of eco-friendly wines that have been organically grown, produced efficiently in organic vineyards or sustainably farmed. Read on about this brand that instantly became more eco-friendly by simply changing the shape of its bottle.

For the Bubble-Bathing Mom

Skip the throw-away flowers and shower mom with this this “bouquet” of shampoos, soaps, lotions and bubbles – all made from natural ingredients, safe synthetics and no animal products.

Give your mom something yummy to wrap herself in after getting out of the tub, such as this velour robe, made from soft organic cotton. Better yet, have it delivered to her via CarbonFree shipping, using minimal packaging made from recycled materials.  Also note that any unavoidable emissions will be offset by supporting renewable energy through CarbonFund.org.

For the Garden-Tending Mom

If your mom can only dream of having a beautiful, outdoor garden, help her set up an eco-friendly indoor garden with Growbottle. Made from re-purposed wine bottles, these innovative products (which also come with starter seeds) will allow mom to grow herbs and micro-greens inside the house.

We think your mom will love marking her seedlings and sprouts with these reclaimed wood garden spikes.

Whatever you decide for the moms in your life, this Mother’s Day, remember to make it all about them, their likes and interests. It’s mom’s day to be queen!

For more environmentally-friendly tips and ideas, stay connected to the Just Energy blog and make sure to like Just Energy on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Sources:

http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/recycled-wine-glasses

http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/growbottle

http://www.totalwine.com/eng/gallery-ecofriendlywine

http://casquarewines.com/anything-but-square/
http://www.lushusa.com/Flowers-For-Mom/05871,en_US,pd.html#prefn1=vegan&prefv1=Vegan&start=7
http://www.bambeco.com/Spa-Accessories/Coyuchi-Organic-Women’s-Grand-Velour-Robes.asp

https://www.bambeco.com/faq.asp#carbonfree

 

 

Eco-Friendly Garden Activities for Kids

 

Are you looking for ways to get your kids out of the house and into nature?  As parents, that seems to be a universal goal.

If you’d like to have your children spend more time outdoors – in the fresh, spring air – why not organize some fun, eco-friendly projects for them to do in the garden? When children spend time gardening with their parents, grandparents or siblings, it helps their communication skills, builds strong relationships and shows them a thing or two about working toward a common goal. Plus, from an early age, it teaches them the importance of eco-systems and preserving and protecting the environment.

For a simple project, start by saving the eggshells from breakfast tomorrow morning and create some eggshell seed starters with your kids. There’s no need to run off to the store to purchase a seed starting kit when eggshells will work perfectly.  Eggshells make it easy to transplant seeds to soil, plus, eggshells are a good source of calcium carbonate (which all plants need to grow) and they’ll keep slugs from eating the seedlings.

Not sure what seeds to start? We recommend a vegetable garden, as it is a great way to get your kids excited about spending time outdoors and serving fresh vegetables from your garden also provides the perfect opportunity to get children on a healthy eating path early in life. The little ones will love planting seedlings, using a watering can and (most of all) digging in the dirt. Plus, nothing will make them more excited than seeing their seedlings sprout after only a short waiting period (veggies tend to germinate quickly and can be eaten once mature).

While your kids are waiting to see the fruits (or vegetables, in this case) of their labor, create some very cute garden markers to remind your little ones (and you) where everything was planted. Or, try this eco-friendly option, recycling old wire hangers and the lids to tin cans.

You can also teach your kids about the important role certain animals play in the garden, like birds who help pollinate the pretty flowers they’ve helped to plant. Grab an empty milk or juice carton you plan on recycling and create a bird feeder to attract some beautiful feathered friends.

For more green ideas and tips for raising eco-friendly children, stay connected to the Just Energy website and make sure to like Just Energy on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Sources:
http://www.kidsgardening.org/family-gardening
http://www.mrspotter.com/eggshell-seed-starters/
http://www.tetrachemicals.com/Products/Agriculture/The_Importance_of_Calcium.aqf

Children And Vegetable Gardens: How To Make A Vegetable Garden For Kids


https://www.parentmap.com/article/15-garden-crafts-for-kids
http://inmyownstyle.com/2010/06/jewelry-for-your-garden.html

Photo Source:
https://dirtgarden.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/p1030722.jpg

 

A Nice Day for a Green Wedding: Simple Steps for an Eco-Friendly Spring Wedding

If you’re one of the many brides or grooms planning a wedding this spring, you’re probably facing an endless stream of appointments, to-do lists and budgets to follow. Fortunately, keeping your wedding’s carbon footprint small is a much easier task than putting together seating charts or keeping the best man away from the bar before his toast. Here are five simple ways you can keep your spring wedding green.

  1. The Invitations: Send your friends and family members an invitation that they will remember for seasons to come. Print your invites on eco-friendly seed paper that guests can plant and watch grow into pretty flowers or sweet herbs.
  2. The Dress: If the hefty price tag on a designer wedding gown that you’ll only wear once makes you tear up (and not in a good way), search for a pre-loved wedding dress at a deep discount. Not only will you find a dress of your dreams, but you’ll help the environment by sending fewer yards of tulle and taffeta to the landfill. Check out StillWhite.ca or OnceWed.com for once-loved gowns.
  3. The Cake: By selecting local and organic ingredients for this traditional and delicious wedding centerpiece, you’ll up the eco-friendly factor of your big day. By opting for a vegan confection, you’ll score bonus points.
  4. The Decorations: One of the best things about a spring wedding is that Mother Nature has her best blooms on display in everyone’s backyard. Locally-grown flowers that you’ll use for arrangements, bouquets and boutonnieres are fresher, more eco-friendly and come at a lower price. Save even more by DIY-ing your wedding flowers with these tips.
  5. The Photos: Did you ever consider that your wedding photos could have less of an environmental impact? Make sure your photographer shoots digitally, rather than on film. Digital cameras also usually run on rechargeable batteries, so there won’t be additional waste.

For more green ideas and tips for the big day, stay connected to the Just Energy website and make sure to like Just Energy on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Sources:

http://www.botanicalpaperworks.com/blog/read,article/402/colorful-and-eco-friendly-spring-wedding-ideas

https://www.stillwhite.ca

http://oncewed.com
http://www.greenbrideguide.com/content/tips-eco-friendly-cakes
http://www.greenbrideguide.com/blog/locally-grown-diy-spring-wedding-flower-bouquets
http://www.greenbrideguide.com/blog/3-diy-tips-growing-your-own-wedding-flowers
http://www.preownedweddingdresses.com/blog/tag/eco-friendly-wedding

Photo Source:

http://cdn.sheknows.com/articles/2010/03/eco-friendly-wedding-dress.jpg

Tips and Tricks to Prepare Your Garden for Spring

Set them free! Your outdoor orchids have been held captive indoors, safe from the frost, for months. But now, finally, FINALLY, it’s time to take them outside, along with the rest of your warm weather garden. Before you start tilling the soil, we’ve put together a few tips to get your outdoor space ready and in super spring shape.

  1. Get Your Tools Ready: Take the time to clean the tools that you will use to clear, prepare and plant your garden. Remember that dirty shovels, rakes, spades and trowels can spread fungus and insect eggs to the rest of your gorgeous garden. No thank you!
  2. Put Your Compost Heap to Use: Remember all those coffee grounds and Thanksgiving leftovers you let fuse into one wonderful trashy mess? Time to put them to use! Blanket your garden with a half-inch or more of compost to provide the soil with a nutrient-rich layer of organic matter.
  3. Select Local Plants: Just as buying local foods are better for the environment, native flowers and plants are, too. Indigenous plants are more attractive to wildlife, require less maintenance and can stand up to most local weather conditions.
  4. Start Seeding, The Green Way: There’s no need to go out and buy a fancy seeding kit to start your vernal plot. You likely have plenty of items around the house  – items that you planned on throwing away – that will work perfectly. A few pieces of newspaper, some cardboard egg cartons, egg shells, yogurt cups and empty toilet paper rolls will function as ideal seed starting pots.
  5. Soak, Don’t Water, Your Garden: Slow and steady wins the race and the same rule applies when it comes to watering your garden. Sprinklers and hoses waste tons of water and just deposit moisture to the top of your plants, allowing most of it to evaporate. Opt for a soaker hose that lets water get up close and personal with your plant roots.

For more green ideas and tips, stay connected to the Just Energy website and make sure to like Just Energy on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Sources:

http://www.goodgirlgonegreen.com/gardening/how-to-prepare-your-garden-for-spring

http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/how-to-prepare-your-garden-for-spring-planting-zm0z15fmzsor.aspx

http://justenergyone.com/blog-justenergy/make-it-a-green-labor-day/

http://www.abnativeplants.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/home.why/

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/10-seed-starting-pots-made-from-recycled-materials.html

http://inhabitat.com/9-green-tools-for-a-bountiful-spring-garden/green-tools-spring-garden-egg-shells-2/?extend=1

Photo Source:

http://img1.sunset.timeinc.net/sites/default/files/image/2013/04/spring-growing-guide-trellis-0413-l.jpg

 

 

Sweet, Green Bundle of Joy: Your Eco-Friendly Baby

One of the greatest things about babies are their teeny, tiny feet. One of the not-so-great things? Their adult-sized carbon footprints. With our tips, below, you can keep your little one’s environmental impact to a minimum – at least until they’re big enough to start protecting the planet on their own!  Diapers: The average baby uses about 6,000 diapers before potty-training.  That’s a lot of diapers and a lot of trips to the store! If you’d like to scale back on your contribution to the landfill, consider a diapering solution that’s greener than disposables.

The most eco-friendly option for covering and protecting your pride and joy’s tushie is to make the plunge into cloth diapers, which can be washed and reused over and over. For those who find the cloth diaper cleaning process too much to bear, this is how one couple greenly changed their baby’s bum with success.

If you’d rather have a backup for those days when you don’t have the extra time to clean cloth diapers, opt for reusable covers and fully biodegradable inserts. As a perk, many cloth diapers and covers expand as your baby grows. Say goodbye to midnight runs to the store for disposables!

Food: A baby’s first food, mother’s milk, has been proven time and time again as the best-for-baby option over formula. Better yet, it’s totally free and has no environmental impact. But if breastfeeding isn’t your choice, opt for fair-trade organic formulas.

When your baby is ready for solid foods, making your own baby food is the most environmentally and wallet-friendly way to go. Steam up some vegetables and throw them in the food processor for 100% organic and sugar-free baby food.

Cleaners: Every parent (or person who has been around a baby, ever) knows that whenever possible, a baby will put anything and everything in his or her mouth. Given this, it’s critical that your household cleaners are non-toxic and chemical-free, which is healthier for your bundle of joy and the planet! It’s important to remember, however, that just because the label on a cleaning product says “non-toxic” or “biodegradable” doesn’t mean it’s completely safe. Here are a few more best practices when selecting safe-for-baby cleaning products.

Now…carry on with the household baby-proofing and “greening” of your little one!

For more green ideas and tips, stay connected to the Just Energy website and make sure to like Just Energy Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Brought to you by justenergy.com

Sources:

http://justenergyone.com/blog-justenergy/ways-your-children-can-help-make-the-world-a-greener-place/

http://www.younghouselove.com/2010/08/the-much-requested-cloth-diaper-post/

http://www.treehugger.com/slideshows/health/10-best-green-baby-diapers-on-the-market/#slide-top

http://www.parenting.com/article/green-cleaning-products

http://www.treehugger.com/htgg/how-to-go-green-babies.html

Photo Source:

http://img.howcast.com/thumbnails/514769/6_Green_Baby_xxxlarge.jpg

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