• Garden Housekeeping

    Posted by Marc at 12:14 pm on 07 October 2010


    By Kathy Anderson


    Garden housekeeping is done for two reasons. Keeping the garden neat and clean is done to maintain the aesthetics of the garden, and also to maintain the health of the plants in the garden.


    Keeping the garden free of weeds is a simple step that will improve both the beauty and health of any garden. After all, it’s difficult to enjoy your beautiful flowers if they are hidden amongst weeds. Weeds also attract and harbor plant diseases and insect pests, both which will happily spread to your garden plants. Not only that, weeds will also compete with your desirable plants, using more than their fair share of water and nutrients.


    The best way to keep weeds out of the garden is to eliminate the weeds even before you plant anything. At you’ll find an excellent article on weed control that explains how to eliminate weeds from your garden. Of course, more weed seeds will constantly be blowing or carried in to the garden, but you can stay on top of the problem by pulling or hoeing the young weeds weekly, before they get a chance to grow large and set deep roots.


    While you’re weeding, remove any trash and debris that may have blown into the garden. Watch for over-ripe fruit and vegetables and discard them before they rot and attract insects or rodents. You can also take this time to examine your plants for insect or animal damage. After determining what insect or animal is damaging your plants you can take appropriate steps to prevent further damage.


    Try to walk through your garden every day that you can, not only to admire blossoms that have opened that day or to harvest any ripe vegetables, but also to keep an eye on the overall health of your plants. This way you can identify and deal with any problems immediately and not give diseases or pests the chance to become established. Carry a pruning shears with you whenever you’re in the garden and deadhead any faded flowers, especially on your annual flowers. Deadheading simply involves removing flowers that have already bloomed and are no longer attractive. For many annuals, this will encourage more blooms.


    It is very helpful to keep a garden notebook for a number of reasons. In your garden notebook you can keep track of the names of all your plants and make a map showing where each one is planted. This is especially useful when you want to share plants with friends so you can tell them the name of the plant they’re receiving. It’s also helpful if you sell your property. The new owners will be grateful to have that information about the plants on their new property.


    In your garden notebook you can also make notes to remind yourself when each plant blooms or is ready for harvest, what vegetable varieties you planted and which of those performed best or weren’t worth planting again, and how you dealt with any insects or diseases that attacked your plants. If you found that your garden was too cramped, make a note to create wider paths between the rows or beds when you plant again the following spring.


    It’s particularly important to make a map of your vegetable garden each year. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, a simple sketch would be sufficient. The purpose of your vegetable garden map is to remind you where each crop was planted the previous year so that you can rotate the current year’s crops. Since many plant diseases and even some insects are harbored in the soil, moving your crops from one area of the garden to another will help reduce disease and insect damage.


    Some vegetable crops should never be planted in the same area two years in a row. Tomatoes, corn and potatoes are good examples of crops that should be rotated. Several common tomato diseases will overwinter in the soil and will infect tomatoes again if they’re planted in the same spot as the previous year. Colorado Potato Beetle larvae overwinter in the soil and will have more difficulty finding a potato meal if the potatoes are on the other end of the garden when the larvae emerge in the spring. Corn is a heavy feeder and depletes soil of nitrogen. Where the corn was planted the previous year, beans or peas should be planted the following season, as these legumes will fix nitrogen in the soil, replacing what the corn depleted.


    Finally, garden housekeeping involves cleaning up the garden at the end of the growing season. Any diseased plants should be removed from the garden and discarded. Do not add diseased plant material to your compost pile unless you are confident that your compost pile heats up enough to kill any pathogens. Woody material such as cornstalks and sunflower stems should be removed from the garden and composted. You may want to break these down into smaller pieces as they tend to decompose very slowly.


    Vegetable plants that are not diseased or infested with insects can either be removed and composted or tilled into the soil in the fall, where they will break down over winter and add organic matter to the soil.


    Blooming annuals can be pulled from the flowerbed after the first killing frost. Perennials should be allowed to go dormant before the dead foliage is trimmed back close to the ground.


    Garden housekeeping is an important step towards a healthy and bountiful garden. It does require a little effort, but garden housekeeping is still more fun than vacuuming and dusting in the house.


    Kathy Anderson has been an avid gardener for many years and has grown tomatoes by the acre, along with many other vegetables, flowers and landscape plants. Kathy recommends http://www.freeplants.comas a great place to learn more about gardening. Article provided by


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  • How Going Green Saves You Money

    Posted by Marc at 02:14 pm on 11 March 2010

     How Going Green Saves You Money


    There are many examples of how going green saves you money. Kermit the Frog was wrong - it IS easy being green, and it saves you money at the same time. As the planet faces a period of warming where our actions are believed to be the prime cause, it makes sense to seek out examples of how going green saves you money and act on them.


    That cell phone charger that stays plugged in, the DVD player that waits for the occasional playing, and the TV that sits on standby all night, these are prime examples of how going green saves you money - if you unplug them, that is. For even if the items are not working, they are consuming energy!


    Another of the prime examples of how going green saves you money is switching from bottled water to filtered tap water. The average family spends some $1,400 a year on bottled water. And the worst part is that 95% of the plastic bottles are not recycled! For less than $100 you could get a high quality staged water filter to make your tap water perfect.


    Examples of how going green saves you money are everywhere. Do you drive as fast as the law allows? You shouldn’t. Car engines perform most efficiently at around 55 miles an hour. If you combine that with gentle driving on properly inflated tires, you will save money and help the planet too.


    You could always use a bicycle to travel around town. Or you could simply walk for those short trips. You won’t be pouring hydrocarbons into the atmosphere, warming the planet, you will save money, and you will get some good exercise at the same time. Walking and cycling when you can are excellent examples of how going green saves you money.


    Some 65 million newspapers are printed every day in the US. Some 70% of them will not be recycled. What a waste of trees! You can do your bit to help, and read whatever news you want to read at the same time simply by going online. Very few newspapers don’t have an online presence these days, so save some money and read from the web pages.


    Do you want more example of how going green saves you money? They are all around you. Just look and you certainly will find them.




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  • Can Earthworms Replace Your Garbage Man

    Posted by Marc at 10:37 am on 15 February 2010

    by Amity Hook-Sopko

    Ever stop to think about what it means to throw something away?

    Where is “away”?

    Just because you throw itaway from where you are, does that mean it’s gone?

    What if there were no weekly garbage pick up?  If we were responsible for our own waste disposal, would the average American family still throw out more than a hundred pounds of food a month?

    Would we have a mini-landfill in our backyard for all the food scraps, plastic wrap, and other product packaging we toss each day?  Can you imagine what an eyesore that would be?  Not to mention the smell…

    No, I don’t think we’d actually stand for that.  After all, Americans are notorious for our Not-In-My-Backyard attitudes.  Most likely, we would become a nation of recyclers and composters.  And since recycling is getting easier all the time with curbside pickup and e-waste drop offs, the one we might need a little convincing on is composting.

    Why Compost?

    Homeowners choose to compost for a variety of reasons.  Some do it because it’s the least expensive way to get the greenest lawn on the block.  They’d rather nourish their soil for free than spend money or risk their family’s safety with chemical fertilizers.

    Some people use compost to fertilize the soil for houseplants, or vegetable and flower gardens.  Pretty soon, it becomes a self-sustaining process.  And that’s a big plus for those of us who value self-sufficiency.

    Others choose to compost to avoid contributing to the 30%-40% of household waste that unnecessarily ends up in the landfill.  On Oprah’s Earth Day 2008 show, Julia Roberts shared that she started composting because her food waste had grown tremendously with three children.

    Composters Do it with Worms

    The most common question about composting is, “Food breaks down anyway.  What’s so bad about throwing food in the landfill?”

    The EPA tells us the problem is “the decomposition of food and other waste under anaerobic (without oxygen) conditions in landfills produces methane, a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide.  Landfills are the largest human-related source of methane in the United States, accounting for 34% of all methane emissions.”

    The more crowded the landfill, the slower the breakdown of waste.  Proper composting doesn’t produce harmful amounts of methane, and the most efficient way to compost is to add the power of worms.

    Recycle up to 40% of Waste You’d Typically Throw Away

    If you caught the same Oprah show, you may recall those rowdy earthworms competing for their 15 minutes of fame as Gorgeously Green author Sophie Uliano explained what these little guys do for your compost.  You may have missed the fact that some worms can eat and digest as much as their own body weights in waste each day.

    Elsie Konzelman of Cascade Sales in Bellingham, WA, says composting with worms is growing in popularity.   Thanks to today’s convenient and efficient composters, homeowners are now recycling up to 40% of the waste they used to throw out.

    With no more than 15 minutes maintenance on your part, these creepy crawlies can dramatically reduce the number of garbage bags you fill each week.

    How To Start Worm Composting

    Amy Stewart, author of The Earth Moved – On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms, says, “There are plenty of Do-It-Yourself plans to make your own worm composter.   A plastic tub, some scrap lumber, a trip to the hardware store, a stop at a bait shop and about 40 bucks and you are in business.”

    If you’re not interested in DIY, Stewart says, “A single investment of about $100 gives you a commercially made worm composter.  The worms are self-sorting, and excess moisture is easily managed.  You need a special worm found on that may cost another $30.  But that’s the extent of your investment.”

    Some composters can make effective use of more than just food waste.  Elsie Konzelman says easy-to-use products like The Worm Factory allow paper, cardboard, coffee grounds, dryer lint, and vacuum cleaner dust to be safely recycled.

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  • Composting with Red Wigglers and Night Crawlers

    Posted by Marc at 03:02 pm on 08 January 2010

    Earlier we’ve talked about the differences between compost bins and compost tumblers, and let you, our wonderful composting audience, decide for yourselves on what you thought would work better for your needs. Well, let’s put our differences aside and talk about worm composting, also known in the composting world as vermiculture or vermicomposting. There’s really not much to it, we use worms, right? Right, but not just any worms; red wiggler worms or night crawlers are the preferred types of worms to use. Why not earthworms, you ask? Well, I’ll explain that in a second, but let me first tell you why red wigglers and night crawlers are so beneficial to the composting process.

    Red wiggler worms, also known as red worms and by their scientific name of Eisenia fetida, are recognized as the best kind of composting worm. Thriving in darkness and swearing off light, red worms are hardy workers and can eat half of their own weight. Additionally, they have hearty appetites and can live off of food scraps such as banana peels and chicken mash (a yummy mix of cornmeal and chicken meat, this is usually used only if you plan to raise your red worms as fish bait). Red worms also live well in damp places, and as fish bait, will wiggle around on the hook since they can survive in water for several days at a time.

    Night crawlers which are popular amongst fishermen can also be used as composting worms. With the same performance level as red worms, they’re not really considered your number one composting worm. One reason may be that even though they thrive in cool, shady areas, they don’t seem to fare too well if there’s too much moisture; in fact, once they hit water they’ll pretty much just die. Unusually enough, fisherman seem to like using night crawlers as bait probably because they’re pretty big and fat.

    Using earthworms such as the kind that show up when it starts raining is not recommended. Earthworms are great burrowers and excellent soil aerators, but they won’t digest the organic matter and leave behind worm castings, which is what you want. Your best bet is to stick with red wiggler worms. Though not necessary, mixing red wigglers with night crawlers is okay, but you’re fine with sticking to one or the other.

    Vermicomposting can be a fun activity for families, classrooms, or even just solo. Just be sure to feed your worms and watch them as they do the work for you.


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  • How Composting Worms Work

    Posted by Marc at 03:00 pm on 08 January 2010

    Perhaps you have heard the age old adage that you can't get anything for free. This is true for most things in life with the exception of Irma composting or what many call worm composting. Basically, worms will take your organic garbage and transform it almost magically into a type of compost that is rich and ready to be planted with your garden plants to enhance their growth and make your food that much more rich. There are a few things you should know about composting worms that will show you clearly why they work so well.

    Regardless of the affordability factor, worm compost is one of the richest forms of fertilizer that you can use in your garden today. Though this is a very simplified idea, it simply has to do with you taking a handful of composting worms, dumping them in a pile of dirt with some newspaper, a little water, and your every day organic trash such as leftover vegetables and in a few weeks you will have your worms producing the richest fertilizer that you may every news for your indoor or outdoor garden.

    The reason why this is possible is that worms are ultimately natures greatest recyclers because they can take your organic garbage and turn it into expensive gardening real estate. Red worms are typically used in any worm composting bin which can be as small as a Tupperware container with holes or as large as a rain barrel depending upon how much compost you actually want to produce.

    Be careful how much food that you give the worms because over time they will begin to overcrowd themselves and you may need to expand your operation which can only be good for you especially if your garden is in need of extra compost from time to time. Some people will actually use buckets and harvest the compost in as short as two to three weeks. Often times 50 to 60 days is necessary in order to keep a proper balance of happiness with your worms as well as moisture content and cocoon productivity.

    Probably the most expensive thing that you will have to invest in is in the worms themselves which run about $25 to $35 a pound, which is about a thousand worms. Also remember that the container that you keep them in should be relatively warm as red worms do not produce well or create compost well in colder climates.

    As far as a worm bin goes for your worm compost, you can usually pick one up for $20-$30 for a medium-sized one or if you are interested in a barrel, it would be a good idea to get a plastic one. Typically water barrels are made from Oak because Oakwood is used in wine barrels that are commonly seen in many landscaping schemes. Oak wood has an acid which is detrimental to your worm population so you would be better served to spend her money on a sturdy plastic container.

    The average worm compost harvesting will net you around 50 to 55 gallons a year. Make sure that the bottom of the barrel or the container that you are using has drainage holes for the excess water and if you have a lid on top it needs to be aerated with holes on the sides as well as on top of the container itself. Worms can be very finicky and you will have to get to know how the dirt fields with your hands in order to make sure that it is moist enough for the worms to continue breeding and creating compost area

    Once you have your worms supply, and you have your bedding and dirt ready in your worm container, simply put the worms on the top about six to 8 inches beneath the soil and add the food scraps on a regular basis on the top making sure to close the lid because worms despite the fact they do not have eyes are photophobic and will not come to the food if there is too much light.

    That is it! You are now on your way to creating worm compost for your garden. By following the simple steps provided, you should have enough compost to add to your small garden and create and enough food for your family on a regular basis all year long.

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  • Organic Gardening Guide

    Posted by Marc at 10:31 am on 06 January 2010

    Organic Gardening Guide

    Bottom of Form

    Growing a garden in the backyard is not a new concept nowadays. The hobby of organic gardening makes you focus on natural phenomenon and also ensures you some healthy food for consumption. Planning your own garden for the first time might seem difficult but with the help of some relevant guides and tips you can easily perform the required functions and activities.

    The concept of organic gardening purely relies on the organic products which are chemical and pesticide free. Following are some important tips and guidelines which you must follow in order to produce some healthy vegetables in your own backyard.

    First thing which you require is
    fertilizers and bug repellent. As you are planning organic garden, you won’t be using any chemical or pesticide. You can easily find organic fertilizers in local nursery stores which can easily be approached by you.

    Next thing which comes under consideration is the type of climate that you are in. climate is one of the most important things to consider because the
    plants you want to grow in your garden must be suitable for the climate of your area. For example if you live in warm area where climate remains warm for most of the year, you must go for the plants which grows in warm climate.

    Apart from this another consideration of organic gardening is the type of soil which you currently have. Your soil must be enriched with organic matters and nutrients. You must add compost to your soil for enriching your soil with nutrients which are required.

    Location also plays a vital role. Some plants need more exposure to the sunlight while some require less exposure to sunlight. Make sure that your garden must be located in such area where plants can be exposed to sunlight (depending upon the types of plants).

    There’s an additional task which has to be performed by you. Weeds will automatically grow in your garden, in order to stop them from spreading you must remove them as quick as you can on regular basis. You must also water your plant on regular basis, as water is the most important requirement of plants.

    This is a small organic gardening guide, but if you want to know more about it you can consult local gardeners in your area. They will provide you with some additional information and will also help you in finding right materials for your garden.

    Gardening can be fun, but you must remember one thing that in order to execute the required tasks correctly, you must plan your courses of actions after considering the things which we have already discussed.




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  • Toward a Greener Lawn

    Posted by Marc at 02:10 pm on 23 December 2009

    Dr. Leonard Perry, Extension Professor
    University of Vermont
    If you have a lawn you undoubtedly want it to be green in color.  Here are a few tips to make a lush, green lawn "green" ecologically as well, adapted in part from NOFA Notes by Wendy Sue Harper, Ph.D (
    Why think "green"? Much of the chemicals you put onto lawns, whether fertilizers or pesticides, synthetic or organic, wash into surface water and lakes.  Most lawns don't need phosphorus, yet it is still added by many, ending up causing algae in ponds and lakes.  This can be a huge amount, considering there are three times as much lawn area in our country as corn.  Lawns in the U.S., both residential and public spaces, are estimated to cover over five times the size of Vermont.  A few environmentally sound lawn care practices will help you prevent such contamination, save money, and save labor.
    Add fertilizer according to soil tests, so you apply only what is needed.  Test kits are available at Extension service offices and many garden stores.  A thin layer of compost, only one quarter inch thick, will improve many aspects of lawns and the soil.  Make sure and brush any compost or fertilizer on impermeable surfaces (such as walks), back onto the lawn.
    Leave mowing clippings on lawns.  Mowing regularly, and with a mulching mower, will make these clippings barely noticeable.  You'll save both time and fuel in collecting clippings, plus you'll save money in fertilizer.  Grass clippings contain about 50 percent of nitrogen lawns need, about two pounds per 100 square feet.  If you mow with a rotary mower, make sure clippings are blown back onto the lawn, as they contain phosphorus too that you don't want washing into waterways.
    Related to leaving grass clippings is mowing at the proper height, and as needed.  Mowing high (about three inches) helps the grass shade out weeds, keeps soils cool and moist, and this in turn encourages healthy root growth.  Mow no more than one-third of the grass blades at a time in order to reduce stress on your lawn.  I like to not set my mower on the highest setting, in case the lawn gets too high.  I can then mow it higher, and in a couple days mow it back a bit lower or normal.  Make sure when buying a mower that you can set it at these high levels.
    Keeping a sharp mower blade reduces injury, and so stress and disease, on your lawn.  A sharp mower blade also can increase mower efficiency and life, and decrease gas consumption as much as 22 percent.  Sharpening blades at least once a month is recommended by professionals.
    Adding seeds to your lawn, or "overseeding", is good once a year to replace the grass plants that die out naturally.  A thick, dense lawn better resists weeds.  If you are overseeding, a diversity of grasses will be more adaptable to soil and climate changes and extremes.  April or late summer are good times to overseed.
    Water properly.  The usual recommendation is at least one-inch of water per week, either from rain or irrigation.   If you need to irrigate, do so deeply, once a week, and early in the morning if possible.  Watering late in the day keeps grasses wet at night, and makes them more susceptible to diseases.  Light watering more often will encourage roots near the surface that die with drought and stress.  Topdressing your lawn with compost each year will improve the soil water-holding capacity.
    A lawn of diverse species will be healthy, more resistant to pests and diseases and weeds, and will stay greener with less care.  If using chemicals, look for natural or biological ones first.  Only apply what is needed, and when needed, following label directions.  Make sure your full service garden center or lawn professionals help you identify the problem correctly at the beginning.
    Give thought to how you might reduce mower use, which in turn will reduce gasoline use and carbon dioxide emissions.  These changes might include electric or push mowers, (even rechargeable ones), reducing lawn size (perhaps with beds of groundcovers), and designing lawn edges properly.  A good lawn edge can reduce or eliminate the need for gas-powered weed trimmers.
    Consider design.  If you have a large mown area, consider letting it grow up with only high mowing once or twice a season.  You can regularly mow strips or high-traffic areas, such as near the home and drives, to still have useful recreation areas and the effect of a mown lawn.  Avoiding sharp angles and cul-de-sacs, using curving lines instead, will reduce time needed to mow.  Avoid "islands" of turf surrounded by gardens or paving that take extra time to mow.  Plant these with flowers or groundcovers instead. 
    More design ideas on using groundcovers, and low-maintenance plants to choose, can be found in the book by Barbara Ellis, Covering Ground (Storey Publishing).
    source - University of Vermont Extension


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  • Our Sustainable World: Composting

    Posted by Marc at 12:08 pm on 03 December 2009

    Small Recycle Symbol Making compost is a very simple process. If you throw the stuff in the dustbin it will be wasted and end up in an expensive and undesirable landfill site, where it will do no good at all. The result of composting is a free supply of the best possible soil improvement material for your garden and an alternative to all the expensive artificial fertilisers and peat.

    Nah, not really. It's all based on natural processes that ensure most living things that die rot away (or decompose). The world is full of organisms that feed on dead material, breaking it down to products at the foot of the food-chain - they are Nature's Recyclers. Wherever you find dead things you'll find a concentration of them doing their job. In composting we simply utilise their natural abilities to turn waste vegetable matter into a nutrient rich humus which you can add to your garden soil to boost it's growing power, improve it's structure and moisture content.

    Composting cartoonYou don't need any fancy equipment to begin a compost heap. Start in an out-of the-way spot in your garden on bare soil, not on paving or concrete, and simply start to build a heap from all of your waste vegetable material. It's best to start off with a course layer of prunings, bark and twigs to allow air to enter the heap more easily (more of that later). You can knock together a rudimentary three-sided frame out of old pallet wood to hold the heap in place and help it's efficiency (Click here for instructions); or you can make your heap in an old plastic dustbin with the bottom cut off.

    Once the heap has reached a reasonable size, those tiny organisms will really get to work. In fact they work so hard that the temperature in the middle of your heap can reach 70ºC within two or three weeks (although it is more usual to find temperatures of around 50ºC). It will take four to eighteen months (depending on conditions) before your heap is ready to add to your garden soil. You'll know when it's ready when it's dark in colour and has a sweet earthy smell. Of course, the recently added material at the top of the heap won't be ready yet, so simply use the stuff from the bottom of the heap and put the rest back to continue.

      - Fruit and vegetable peelings
      - Prunings and broken-up twigs
      - Grass cuttings*
      - Cut flowers
      - Autumnal leaf falls
      - Horse, rabbit, pigeons & chicken manures
      - Straw
      - Feathers, hair and fur
      - Tea leaves/bags and coffee grounds
      - Shredded wood/branches
      - Crushed egg shells
      - Shredded newspaper
    - Meat, meat products, fish or cheese
    - Cooked scraps or scrapings
    - Persistent weeds** or weeds in seed
    - Diseased plants
    - Soot or coal ash
    - Human faeces or used nappies
    - Pet litter or pet waste
    - Metal, glass, plastic, artificial textiles
    * In layers not exceeding 10 cm. ** Especially bindweed.

    The micro-organisms and bacteria that turn your heap into compost require three things: vegetable matter, moisture and air. Excluding air means that you'll encourage "anaerobic" organisms to get to work and turn your heap into a smelly, slimy mess. So one essential bit of heap maintenance is "turning". This means turning the heap over with a garden fork once every fortnight to mix and aerate it.

    Your compost heap needs to be kept moist, but not wet, so keep it covered to keep out the rain and water it a little if it becomes too dry.

    Heat is essential for rapid maturing of the heap. The heat is self-generated by the organisms as they break down the vegetable material, but the heat may be easily lost in cold weather. You can help by covering the heap with old carpets as the days get colder.

    Things that will help accelerate the composting process are nettles (especially young ones, but avoid putting the roots in), chicken manure and human urine.


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  • 5 Cheap & Easy Ways to Go Green

    Posted by Marc at 10:18 am on 25 November 2009

    5 Cheap & Easy Ways to Go Green

    Switching to CFL light bulbs, recycling old cell phones, not mowing your lawn as often; little changes can make a big difference, and people are embracing the "green" lifestyle like never before. Fortunately for most of us, this doesn't require a complete lifestyle overhaul. In fact, there are quick and easy ways that you can make your life a little more earth-friendly - without sacrificing your savings or your time.

    1. Use your computer.

    Surfing the Web for information rather than purchasing multi-volume encyclopedias or newspaper and magazine subscriptions can save you hundreds. And, since you only print out the pages that you need, you save precious resources, not to mention space. Say goodbye to newspaper clutter and those magazines that you toss after a week anyway - there are tons of sites out there that provide the same articles and information at no cost.

    2. Remember to turn off that light (or air conditioner or TV...).

    Saving electricity is easier than you think. Make it a habit to turn off the light every time you leave a room and use natural lighting when it's available. Also remember to turn off the heat or air conditioner when you leave for the day. Many thermostats have programmable options that may be worth investigating.

    3. Invest in a water filter.

    It's hard to say no to an ice cold glass of water. By using a water filter pitcher or even one for your tap, you eliminate the need to purchase and consume bottled water - and the excess plastic they generate. An added bonus - no more $4 bottles of water.

    4. Start a compost pile.

    Starting a compost pile can be a benefit beyond just reducing your trash output - it can also be a major asset to your garden. Do some quick research (see number one) and you'll be amazed at all of the compost pile options that are out there. Believe it or not, there are hundreds of thousands of web pages out there about this very topic.

    5. Put your recycling bin to good use.

    Remember that little blue bin? Of course you do. Dig it out and put some recyclables in there. It may not save you any money directly, but it will give you something to feel good about, and it will help ensure that future generations maintain access to necessary materials. If you have children, it is a great idea to set the recycling example for them.


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