The Wonderful World Of Compost

It’s 2019. Every day brings new advancements in technology and ways to improve our lives and how we impact the environment. You’ve probably already taken the usual steps; upgrading to Energy Star rated appliances, installing solar panels to your roof and replacing your old windows with energy efficient models. Recycling has been part of our lives for decades, but another way to cut down on waste that’s also been around for a while, but isn’t as widely used is compost.

Compost is the natural breaking down of organic material. That broken down material becomes fertilizer. Fertilizer from compost is actually the most nutrient dense fertilizer on the market – seeing as it is derived from nutrient rich foods and other organic material. But the benefits go far beyond that.

What Can Compost?

As mentioned, organic material is what creates compost, most of which is food. But not all foods. Prepared food will not naturally break down. However, the peels and rinds of fruits and vegetables do qualify. Also on the list are egg shells and coffee grounds. For anyone who eats a traditional breakfast of coffee, eggs, and bacon that’s a whole lot of compost happening in your trash can.

Other materials that can compost are grass clippings, wood chips, and most papers, though the jury is still out on whether or not newspapers and receipts are good for composting due to the chemicals in the ink. It will break down over time, but the toxic chemicals aren’t entirely safe for fertilizers.

Why Compost?

Great question, so glad you asked. There’s already a lot of trash in your can that composts under the right conditions. However, trapped in a garbage bag in the landfill with other non-compostable materials prevents it from serving the earth to its fullest potential as fertilizer. Separating out your compostables – like you do with recyclables – means you can put it to great use in your very own yard. But it doesn’t just stop at growing a healthy lawn and garden.

All water filters through the soil, which is why it’s important to be careful with the types of manufactured fertilizers you use. Ground that’s been fertilized with toxins end up polluting the water in the long run. So not only do you have the benefit of clearing out a landfill and putting trash to use, you also get to improve overall water quality. Makes you wonder why more people don’t do it.

How Does One Go About Composting At Home?

Another excellent question. There are actually a few ways you can compost whether or not you have the materials for it. If you’re bound to an apartment or condo living, larger cities like Los Angeles and Austin have community-wide compost programs; sites where you can learn how to compost properly and dispose of it for municipal use.

If you don’t want to participate in a community program, you can compost from the comfort of your own home with a composting bin you can purchase, or by creating your own DIY bin starting directly on the ground and layering between moist and dry materials. It’s important to keep your compost moist and in a full sun area of your yard. Some bins are designed to control the smell of compost, but there are also home remedies you can use to keep stenches at bay.

For the tech savvy investor, home compost systems like the HomeBioGas are popping up in homes around the world. These systems allow you to compost more than just the regular items. Not only that, but the entire system converts part of the compost into natural gas that is then funneled into a burner in your kitchen’s stove with which you can use to cook. Your food trash can actually beget more food prep.

In the end, however you choose to compost making the choice to compost is one of the best decisions you can make to improve the environment and your own home.

Instant Updates to Kitchens and Baths for a Greener Home

Instant Updates to Kitchens and Baths for a Greener Home

It’s the start of 2019 and there’s never been a better time to Go Green. There’s never been a more pressing time, either, given the  EPA’s recent analysis of climate change. While there are many big picture solutions that require government level attention, there are still a multitude of things you can do from the comfort of your own home to reduce the carbon footprint. The awesome news that goes with it? You can do that and give your home a little sprucing up at the same time. Focusing on the kitchen, laundry, and bath (where most of our water usage and waste occurs) here are two simple shifts you can make right now to brighten your abode that are eco-friendly.

Dispense with the Dispensers

This seems like a no-brainer, but switching out your disposable soap dispenser in the kitchen and bath for a decorative, reusable dispenser makes a world of difference in aesthetic and waste. It’s an inexpensive way to add a little personalization or pop of color to your sinks, and because you’re no longer needing to replace the soap dispenser every time it’s empty, you can now buy your soaps in BULK, which automatically cuts down on wasted packaging. You can do this with any soap from dish, to hand, to body wash, or even facial cleanser. You could even go the extra mile and grab one of those fancy drink dispensers for easy laundry detergent dispensing.

Ditch the Disposables

We are a disposable generation. Meaning everything can be made into a one-use product. Cotton balls, paper towels, coffee, dryer sheets, plates, cups, and utensils and the list goes on and on. And the trouble is, these habits have been so ingrained in us that it feels impossible to break them. But it isn’t. Start by switching these disposable products for their reusable counterpart:

Cotton Rounds – especially if you wear make-up, these little babies cost less than $10, can be washed and reused forever and always, and if you’re impressed by that sort of thing, come with cute designed storing cases. Or you can pop over to a home furnishings store and find decorative storage containers for your clean and dirty rounds. Made from the more sustainable bamboo plant, these rounds will save you money in the long run and reduce your waste instantly.

Wool Dryer Balls – Never will you have to risk the static cling of a load sans dryer sheets. Wool dryer balls reduce drying time (energy saving) and are completely reusable (waste saving). You can store them in a decorative bin to add a little life to your laundry shelves.

Tea Towels – Paper towels are about the only thing good at getting grease out of a pan. Grease shouldn’t go down your sink, so it should avoid your washer and dryer too, right? There are many brands that make a disposable paper towel from recycled products or are in some way “sustainable”. But paper towels can be replaced by good quality microfiber cloths, textured kitchen cloths, or decorative tea towels. From major spills to drying fruits and veggies, you can add some personality to your kitchen with some kitschy towels and keep messes at bay with a set of cleaning cloths. If you want a really budget friendly way of doing this, plain tea towels torn into quarters for cleaning the countertops, microwave, stove, and sink can cost less than a dollar. Anything absorbent will do for your kitchen and bathroom sanitation.

Go Green, Stay Green

While you’re switching things up, go ahead and get rid of anything toxic used to clean your home and your body. Switching to all green cleaning products keeps our water and sewers clean and their production draws from renewable resources. There are a variety of brands to try and choose from, so you needn’t feel limited in your options. Make 2019 the year your make your reduced carbon mark.

How upgrading your home’s energy efficiency can increase property value

We are living in the era of technology, which has greatly improved our lives. However, this also does not only make us solely responsible for how we portray ourselves, but also how we can help to save the environment from getting more damaged. Many home improvement tactics can help you to improve your home’s energy efficiency and also increase the resale value of your home.

Here is how upgrading your home’s energy efficiency can increase property value:

Install the latest and most energy efficient heating and cooling systems

You should never overlook how upgrading your heating and cooling systems can benefit you in numerous ways. Not only does it help you save money on energy bills, but also increases your property’s resale value. It may be a heavy investment initially, but in the long run, these systems can last for decades if properly maintained and can be hugely beneficial if you ever decide on selling off your home.

Installing solar panels

Solar panels are widely known in the world of energy efficiency to be one of the most environmentally friendly and sustainable assets of generating energy for your home. It may cost a large amount to install, however, there are many payment plans available according to your requirements. A professional can capably guide you on the procedure and amounts of solar panels that your home will need in order to efficiently absorb the suns energy and convert it to electricity. Also, it can impress prospective buyers, and increase your home’s value.

Installation of energy-efficient lighting systems

A very popular and easy way to improve your home’s energy efficiency is through installing LED lights. Many features are now available for people to utilize, such as motion sensors and mobile apps that can dim lights or even change colors according to what you want. You may think that this would increase energy bills, but due to its energy efficiency, you actually save money in the long run. Many potential buyers would spend more on the property as energy-efficient lighting is always a great asset to possess.

Installing the latest appliances

Kitchen & bathroom remodeling can allow for many energy-efficient upgrades to take place. From new refrigerators to the latest energy-efficient shower heads and taps, there are many ways to improve energy efficiency that will, in turn, increase the value of your home. Sockets, heating vents, ovens and dishwashers can all be replaced and can help your home be more energy-efficient as well as allow you to save costs in the long run and aid you in potentially making a profit at the time of reselling.
Not only will you benefit from having to pay less on energy bills, but also have a major leeway for an increased property value if you plan on selling your current home in the future. You can save the environment and your money all at once! What can be better than that?