While you’re enjoying nature and sleeping on the green, the article “12 ways to have a fun, guilt-free camping trip” by Julia Austin lists 12 ways that will help make your camping experience an eco-friendly one.

  1. Use BPA-free reusable water bottles or canteens
  2. New to camping? Borrow your camping gear- Some seasonal campers can donate their old gear to second hand stores so that when others want to start camping on a regular basis, that’s where they can go to buy it.
  3. Bring extra reusable bags to throw trash in- Trash bins on the site could be full and there could also not be one close by.
  4. Check for campfire restrictions- Your firewood could introduce pests or diseases into the area that you’re camping in.
  5. Bring LED flashlights and lanterns- They have a longer service life and require less power than regular flashlights.
  6. Bring reusable supplies
  7. Bring biodegradable soap and wash dishes away from water sources
  8. Use Citronella candles- Its lemon scent and essential oils are used to repeal insects
  9. Bring dishtowels from home rather than paper towels.
  10. To reduce packaging waste, grab your friend with a Costco card and buy food and other items in bulk.
  11. If you hike during your camping trip, stay on the set path- Going off the trails can cause soil erosion and stomping of native plants.
  12. Leave your vanity at home- Particles from makeup can be toxic to the environment.
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What does resource efficiency mean? Which materials should you use? Choosing green building materials that meet the following criteria are an ideal way to accomplish resource efficiency and build green:

  • Recycled Content: Products with identifiable recycled content, including postindustrial content with a preference for postconsumer content.
  • Natural, plentiful or renewable: Materials harvested from sustainably managed sources and preferably have an independent certification (e.g., certified wood) and are certified by an independent third party.
  • Resource efficient manufacturing process: Products manufactured with resource-efficient processes including reducing energy consumption, minimizing waste (recycled, recyclable and or source reduced product packaging), and reducing greenhouse gases.
  • Locally available: Building materials, components, and systems found locally or regionally saving energy and resources in transportation to the project site.
  • Salvaged, refurbished, or remanufactured: Includes saving a material from disposal and renovating, repairing, restoring, or generally improving the appearance, performance, quality, functionality, or value of a product.
  • Reusable or recyclable: Select materials that can be easily dismantled and reused or recycled at the end of their useful life.
  • Recycled or recyclable product packaging: Products enclosed in recycled content or recyclable packaging.
  • Durable: Materials that are longer lasting or are comparable to conventional products with long life expectancies.

Have you ever wondered why some cities are classified as green? In the article “10 Things That Make a Great Green City” by Care 2, Care 2 lists what these cities have that makes them so green.

  1. “Plentiful Parks- parks provide both a place for harried city residents to take a deep breath, relax, and connect with nature, and a cooling counter to the heat-island effect created by all that asphalt.”
  2. “Efficient Public Transportation- transit solutions that allow people to get around quickly and easily without a car are a key element to a green city.”
  3. “Quality Public Space- this encourages getting around on foot, and reduces the need for large private dwellings by creating communal space for people to enjoy.”
  4. “Bike Lanes- the most bike-friendly cities create separated bike paths, provide parking (and even solar-powered showers!), institute bike-sharing programs, and allow cyclists to bring their bikes on buses for longer trips.”
  5. “High-profile Green Buildings- as long as they’re not all a city’s doing, a prominent, striking eco-friendly structure such as the San Francisco Federal Building or the green roof on Chicago’s city hall provides a very visible symbol of green intentions and draws attention to the latest technologies.”
  6. “Comprehensive recycling and composting programs- the greenest city initiatives are going further than gathering cans and bottles, by adding electronics and food waste to the list of items recycled and composted, and by instituting larger-scale programs to recycle water for industrial use.”
  7. “Mixed-use and Infill Development-“recycling” existing space that’s already woven into the urban fabric, makes places easy to get to and get around.”
  8. “Green Leadership- an active citizenry provides leadership from the ground up to prod or encourage politicians in the right direction.”
  9. “Smart Energy Policies- buying renewable energy and mandating efficiency measures are two ways a city can use its economic clout to help build a market for greener products while lowering its own environmental impact (and, often, operating costs).”
  10. “Good Green Fun- the best green cities celebrate their eco-friendly lifestyles with farmers’ markets full of tasty (and unusual) treats, bars and restaurants serving the best organic fare, intriguing exhibits by ecologically minded artists, and music festivals that offer bike valet parking and solar-powered stages.”

When it comes creating a green kitchen in your home, there are tons of sustainable options. From green kitchen decorations, to organic cleaners, having an ecofriendly kitchen is great for a healthy family and clean environment . Following these 4 tips is a super simple way to an eco kitchen in your home.

Recycled DIY Garden Wall: 

Want to decorate your kitchen with an awesome recycled diy project? Displaying plants in your kitchen is a great design element that’s completely green, (literally). Just recycle old tins or pots, plant leafy herbs inside, then neatly hang them along a bare wall.

Eco-Friendly Flooring:

Need new kitchen flooring, but want sustainable options? There are several materials which are aesthetically pleasing, but still eco-friendly.  Check out this list of the top six eco-friendly flooring materials—bamboo, cork, linoleum, wood, tile and stone—and a list of the distributors/stores where you can buy them.

Eco-Friendly Counter Top Cleaners:

From butcher block, to granite top- there are eco-friendly counter top cleaners for every kind of kitchen counter. Using eco-friendly counter cleaners is a non-toxic and hypoallergenic way to sanitize your kitchen. Derived from all-natural or renewable resources, these are safe for your family and the environment. Using a green cleaner like helps you avoid petrochemicals, VOC’s dyes, ethers, fragrances, and other harmful and toxic ingredients. There’s even eco-friendly marble spray! Buff and clean while still going green.

Green Dish Soap:

Green Dish soap is non-toxic and won’t contaminate water systems like other dishwashing detergents. Choosing all-natural dish soap for your eco-friendly kitchen is beneficial, as it is biodegradable, hypoallergenic, and chlorine-free. These green dish washing liquids are highly concentrated and just as tough on grease as your general dish soap. An added bonus? Eco-safe dish soaps are especially gentle on hands!

Homeowners and renters have always sought after having a green lawn. There’s no denying that a healthy lawn with lush grass and shrubs is a reason to be proud. Today, going green and eco-friendly in your lawn is another important part of having a “green lawn”. Eco-friendly lawn and garden care is healthy for your yard, and for your family. Certain plant fertilizers may seem harmless, but are often toxic and harmful to your children, and pets. Eco-safe lawn care goods are a great way to make your lawn the greenest on the block, and the healthiest for your family. Here are some great suggestions for how to get started on making your lawn and garden eco-friendly:

  • Testing Soil. Testing the pH of your soil is always a good first step in the process. It allows you to identify deficiencies and plan for the problems that may plague your lawn throughout the year.
  • Cleaning and Aerating. Cleaning your lawn of debris and weed growth will provide a fresh start for seedlings. Use spiked thong sandals to aerate as opposed to the gas-guzzling machines that are typical for this duty.
  • Organic Herbicide. Apply an herbicide that is made from corn gluten meal. Corn gluten fertilizer is the only proven pre-emergent organic herbicide on the market. Apply 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet of lawn.
  • Organic Fertilizer. Look for blended organic fertilizers that are made from biodegradable materials. A tip for applying Organic Fertilizer is 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet early to late spring.
  • Periodic Mowing. Keep your lawn at a height of three inches throughout the year. You should only cut it shorter than 3 inches at the conclusion of the growing season.
Find a huge selection of eco-safe lawn and garden care when you visit http://www.sustainablesupply.com!
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More info at: http://www.allaboutlawns.com/lawn-maintenance-care/landscaping-and-gardening/eco-friendly-lawn-care-tips-for-the-organic-soul.php

Sustainable Building is a great way to save money and make less of an impact on the environment. Using energy-efficient products in our homes seems to be the smartest bet for healthy living and a sustainable economy, right? All of these new green building initiatives leave us with new questions, though. Is green building really effective? Here are 6 of the most popular green building myths, squashed.

1: Green homes cost more.

Not really. Sustainable building supplies sometimes do cost more than conventional building products, but as technology moves forward, we’re seeing the cost of eco-friendly products become much more affordable. And on top of that, green building always saves money in the long term. Sustainable materials are more efficient, and thus don’t have to be replaced as often. So while initial costs may seem like a lot, green building offers better values when you consider the long term savings.

2: Green homes look weird.

Green homes can look like your home! It’s true; some of the early green buildings didn’t have a focus on design or architecture. The builders’ focus on features for self-sufficiency and lower costs took away from the overall aesthetic of homes. But if you’ve watched 5 seconds of HGTV, you know that now there are tons of options for sustainable building companies and green architectural designs. These days, green homes don’t have to look strange unless you want them to. And let’s be honest, some of the weirdest designs are pretty cool.

3: You can’t make an existing home green.

Wrong! Any home can have sustainable features. Incorporating energy efficient products and making upgrades on insulation, lighting, and solar panels, can make a huge difference without changing the appearance of a home. Upgrading windows, switching to HVAC equipment, sealing air leaks, and installing energy-recovery ventilation equipment are all examples of upgrades that will make a house more energy efficient.

4: Green homes can be too insulated or too tight.

Your breathing ability and air quality depends mostly on mechanical ventilation. Some traditionalists argue that houses need to breathe, and they caution against “too much insulation” and “building too tight.” However, uncontrolled air movement wastes energy, and doesn’t filter air efficiently. Minimizing air leaks and adding insulation helps control air movement to maximize benefits for home owners. To offset any “tightness”, a mechanical ventilation system not only circulates air flow, but also ensures that the air is fresh and filtered.

5: Low-flow toilets don’t work well.

Today’s low-flow toilets work great! At first, when the federal government limited toilets to 1.6 gallons of water per flush, early models of the low-flow toilet didn’t work very well. But neither did the first version of the iPhone, and how many more improved, awesome generations have come out since then? Times have changed, and homeowners now have more options. Today’s low-flow toilets, high-efficiency toilets, and waterless urinals work as well or better than older water-guzzling models. And they save you money every month on your water bill.

6: “Green” is just a passing fad.

Sustainability lasts. Eco-friendly, green, eco-safe- all of these terms are current buzzwords in our society. From kitchen cabinets to skylights to siding, consumers are looking for eco-friendly features for their homes, perhaps in part for the attractiveness of the green trend. However, there is no denying that sustainable houses last longer, have fewer problems, are cheaper to live in and keep people healthier and happier. High energy costs, limited natural resources, awareness of global climate change, better understanding of building science and growing health concerns are all contributing to a lasting sustainable economy. Green is a shortened term for a sustainable movement that will benefit our health, economy, and environment. Who doesn’t want that to last?

http://www.hgtvpro.com/hpro/photo_template/article/0,3140,HPRO_28216_6025723_01,00.html

Getting LEED certification is an ideal way to conserve energy and save money. The good news is- you can still make sustainable energy-saving options in your home to save money, without LEED certification. In the engineering industry, the certification stands for “Leadership in Energy or Environmental Design”, and consists of a suite of rating systems for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings, homes and neighborhoods. If you can’t attain the certification, don’t giving up on energy conservation! Here are 10 key ideas and tips on energy saving tips for everyday living:

1. With the onslaught of shale exploration and development, natural gas could be the answer to long-term energy consumption in our nation. The abundance of demand has given people the incentive to switch their heating systems from oil to natural gas, which will be a big savings over time. Stay tuned for future developments – your car may be next in the transition!

2. Reduce idling in your car – it gives you 0 miles per gallon
3. The strategic use of trees and landscape can be a natural coolant
4. Summer is approaching – collect rain water in barrels or buckets to water your plants and flowers
5. Take advantage of any information or program your electric company offers for keeping track of your energy consumption
6. The use of outlet plug covers is not just for baby proofing – they can also help stop the warm and cold air from escaping your home
7. Install foam gaskets behind outlet covers to insulate the area
8. Check for leaks and cracks in all of your doors and windows throughout the house
9. Unplug appliances or items you are not using on a daily basis
10. Adding insulation to your attic can make your home more comfortable year-round

Gigaom

Of all the sectors in technology, cleantech is one of the trickiest when it comes to investments. This is particularly true now, with much of the funding going towards late-stage companies and leaving many wondering where early-stage financing for new energy innovation will come from. We put together a survey of five questions for GigaOM and GigaOM Pro readers to poll you guys on your thoughts about the state of cleantech investing — will you continue to put funds in the sector, what’s influencing cleantech investing in 2012, and what do you think the outlook will be for 2012? Weigh in with your answers below.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

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ImageGoing Green in the laundry room is extremely easy, and affordable. Green detergents and homemade cleaners are even cheaper than other harmful cleaners, and clean just as well! Get a green laundry room by learning these 4 easy eco-friendly cleaning tips:

1. Use Chalk to Rid Your Clothes of Greasy Stains: Instead of using extra laundry detergent to pre-treat, turn to our old school friend: white chalk. Simply rub onto greasy stains and the chalk powder will absorb the grease, making the stain easily removable by the laundry soap in the wash.

2. Use Lavender Water to Freshen Laundry: Put some lavender water into a spray bottle and give your laundry a quick spritz before throwing it into the washer, in addition to an eco-friendly detergent. Just enough scent will remain after drying to keep it smelling fresh for a long time. Don’t love lavender? Try your favorite essential oil, rose water would also smell very clean.

3. Use Affordable Eco-Friendly Fabric Softener: Using a green fabric softener such as Eco Cleaner Natural Fabric Softener, softens your clothes without using harsh chemicals or toxins that can be harmful to you, the environment, and water systems. The formula is made from the best natural ingredients available such as vegetable based softening agents and soy derivatives that are hypoallergenic.

4. Use Green Laundry Detergent: Eco-friendly laundry detergent, like Method Laundry Detergent, has a 35% smaller carbon footprint than conventional detergent while maintaining awesome cleaning power. Completely toxin and dye free, Method Cleanings’ naturally derived products give you a clean feeling that’s safe for you and safe for the environment. Choosing an eco-safe laundry detergent is a non-toxic option that is safe for you and the environment.

ImageMaking the most eco-friendly choices for a sustainable lifestyle can sometimes take a lot of energy, ironically. Not the kind of energy that makes a negative impact on the environment, but the kind of mental energy that can sometimes leave you feeling like you’re fighting a loosing battle. It’s important to stay inspired when going green; keep in mind that sustainability is the basis for healthy living, and that every little eco-conscious contribution counts. There’s a lot that goes into sustainability, especially when you are a passionate planet lover. As in all socially active fields, those who work for other causes can sometimes feel burnt out trying to change a world that sometimes seems set in its ways. Mother Nature Network has some great tips to remind you that you can continue that strive for sustainability by taking some inspirational breaks. Here are 3 sustainability inspirations:

1. Get into nature: Sometimes we can forget exactly what we are fighting for. When I get particularly morose, I head to the woods or my local beach. Digging my feet in the sand (even if it’s cold), watching the waves and the birds, or getting my heart rate up on a forest path never fails to both bolster my resolve (THIS is what I’m fighting for!) and also serves to help me calm down.

2. Go for a run, swim or yoga class: Get yourself out of your head and into your body instead. It’s basically a distraction from what’s bugging you, but it’s a healthier one than downing half a six-pack. And all those endorphins and feel-good chemicals inherent to working out are bound to make you feel better.

3. Read up on inspiring leaders: Anyone who has ever worked to make a difference has had dark days, disappointments and setbacks. Many of our most revered leaders faced jail time, expulsion, torture and worse on their road to making change. Check out the writings or biographies of Rachel Carson, Martin Luther King Jr., Jane Goodall, Wangari Maathai, Henry David Thoreau, Dian Fossey or Al Gore. Just reading their Wikipedia pages is inspiring!

More info: http://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well-being/blogs/where-do-you-turn-for-green-inspiration