Category Archives: Green Living

16 Ways to Live More Sustainably and Reduce Expenses


Modern life, it seems, is oriented in favor of maximum convenience. But maximum convenience isn’t always the most sustainable way to live, and convenience tends to command a price premium. On a rapidly warming planet with finite and diminishing resources, choosing to live more sustainably, even at an individual level, can make a real difference on the world we live in.

Living more sustainably doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive, though, and often the environmentally friendly decisions you make can actually save you money. Here are 16 practical tips to reduce your carbon footprint, curb waste, and pocket some extra cash along the way.

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1. Pay attention to your thermostat

Lowering your thermostat setting between 7 and 10 degrees for eight hours a day could help you save as much as 10% on your heating (or cooling) bill. You can make the energy-saving process even easier with a programmable thermostat, as long as you use it properly and are pragmatic about the temperature settings you choose. It pays off.

2. Insist on using rechargeable batteries

Rechargeables have come a long way in just a few decades. They’re less expensive than ever, they hold a charge so that they’re often ready to use right out of the package, and they last a long time between charges. You’ll definitely save money if you make the switch from those outdated, disposable alkaline batteries. Be sure to recycle your old batteries, though, as they’re especially toxic and shouldn’t be thrown away.

3. Ditch the bottled water

Bottled water is fairly expensive, and it often creates a lot of needless waste. If you live in an area with drinkable tap water, you can cut back on that unnecessary plastic by using your reusable container of choice. Sure, disposable plastic bottles are technically recyclable, but a lot don’t make it to recycling plants. With plastic pollution impacting nearly every corner of our planet, saying no to bottled water when you can is a great choice you can make in the name of sustainable living.

4. Choose reusable containers wherever you can

Reusable containers aren’t good for just water. Bring your own mug to your local coffee shop in the morning instead of wasting a cardboard cup, and remember to bring your reusable bags when you visit the grocery store. Some retailers will give you a small discount for your trouble, but helping curb the staggering volume of waste generated by typical consumers on a daily basis is reason enough to make an effort.

5. Practice sustainable shopping

Even at the grocery store, you can make good choices that help the planet along with your wallet. Buying dry goods in bulk is often cheaper per ounce—and it saves packaging if you bring your own reusable bags or jars. Meat, seafood, and produce grown locally also require fewer carbon emissions to arrive at your local market than those grown elsewhere. Select products with recyclable packaging wherever you can.

6. Reduce your meat consumption if possible

Due in large part to the rise of factory farming, raising animals for meat requires more resources and creates more pollution than an equivalent quantity of vegetables or grains. You don’t have to go vegetarian to make a difference, though. Merely reducing how much meat you eat (if your health and means allow) as with the popular “Meatless Mondays” concept, helps to minimize your personal carbon footprint. It’s a valuable reminder that even the dietary choices we make can have a broader impact on the world around us.

7. Prepare food mindfully

Eating at restaurants less frequently is a huge money-saver, but making food at home can also help you prevent waste. So if you have the time or ability to cook meals for yourself, be mindful of how much you make and save any leftovers. Seek to reduce the amount of trash you produce, and compost food waste for re-use in a vegetable garden. An incredible amount of edible food ends up in landfills each year, and being personally accountable for cooking and eating the food we buy is a great solution.

8. Consider solar power

Residential solar power systems aren’t as expensive or complicated as you might think, and nothing is more sustainable than reducing your reliance on the local power grid—or disconnecting from it completely! While it sometimes takes several years to recover the initial investment in solar panels and batteries, harnessing the sun’s natural energy will save more, long-term, than most energy-conservation tactics.

9. Turn off interior lights and the TV

Lighting makes up about 9% of residential electricity usage, so simply turning off the ones you’re not currently using can have an immediate impact. As for the television, modern flat-screen LED units don’t use as much energy as those old tube models, but even the most efficient model won’t save much money or electricity if it’s left on all the time in the background. If you’re not actually watching it, turn it off.

10. Unplug devices and small appliances

Many of the devices in your home consume power even when turned off, just by virtue of still being plugged in. This phenomenon is called “phantom power” or “vampire power,” and it adds up: sleeping devices may account for 5–10% of household power use. How many are plugged into outlets at your home right now? Consider your coffee maker, Blu-ray player, phone charger, toaster, hair dryer, and blender—how many of those can be unplugged when not in use?

11. Go paperless

Opt for paperless billing and paperless statements for all of your credit cards, bank accounts, and utilities. In a world as digitally connected as the one we live in, it’s just unnecessary to cut down trees in order to have a physical record of how much your cellphone provider auto-drafted from your account this month.

12. Curb your water consumption

Sure, wasting water inflates your water bill, but it also has a much greater negative impact from a sustainability perspective; clean water is a precious resource in many areas. Luckily, saving water is pretty simple. Run only full loads through your washing machine and dishwasher. Turn the faucet off while you’re brushing your teeth. See if you can trim a couple of minutes off your typical shower, and be sensible when it comes to watering your lawn.

13. Boost your home’s energy efficiency

Many homes, especially older homes, can benefit significantly from energy-saving upgrades like new weatherstripping or additional insulation. This kind of upgrade can be relatively inexpensive and will do a lot of good for energy conservation. You can also consider having your vents cleaned to improve airflow if your heating and cooling system has trouble keeping up when outside temperatures are especially hot or cold.

14. Take advantage of “green” energy credits

Many forward-thinking energy companies offer green energy plans for eco-conscious consumers. Some are backed by renewable energy credits, and others allocate electricity generated by renewable energy technologies like wind or solar power. Let your energy provider know that you’re interested in reducing your carbon footprint to see if a renewable-energy offset program is available in your area.

15. Carpool or drive less

Finding a carpool partner can be difficult, but sharing the ride—and splitting fuel expenses—with a coworker can mean significant savings for those with a longer commute. Few choices we make can reduce our environmental impact as directly as simply driving less, though. We’ve grown accustomed to driving everywhere, but try taking public transit, riding a bike, or even walking to the store if you can. It’s a nice chance to see more of your neighborhood, and it’s great for the planet.

16. Budget for sustainability

One of the easiest, and perhaps most frequently overlooked, ways to live sustainably and save money is to simply create a budget. Track your expenses, and take a look at where you’re spending money—and why. Are you buying things you don’t need or replacing items that could be repaired or used for longer? Western society is increasingly plagued by overconsumption, but one surefire way to live sustainably and save money is to avoid buying things you don’t need.

These tips won’t all work for every situation, so pick the ones that work for you. In the end, sustainable living starts with the small personal choices we make: how we shop, what we eat, how we get to work. No single decision we make in our households or personal lives will single-handedly end pollution or reverse climate change, but every time we skip a bottled-water purchase or leave the car in the driveway we abstain from actively participating in our planet’s destruction. Saving money in the process is the icing on the cake.

Image credit: Carl

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

20+ Solid Steps Towards Plastic-Free Living


The use of plastic is a big menace to the environment. Plastic lacks the ability to biodegrade and this means that it pollutes the environment. It is hence imperative to adopt a plastic free living to reduce the overall impacts plastics have on the environment.

Essentially, plastic free living means that one has to avoid or minimize using plastic materials. In other words, the plastic materials we use daily can be substituted by other environmentally friendly materials or can be avoided completely. Here are 20+ solid steps to plastic free living.

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1. Giving up bottled water. Bottled water comes in a plastic package, which requires effort to ship and extract. Using a reusable stainless bottle instead of using the plastic bottles is one step towards a plastic free life. The bottled water is normally filtered tap water so one can just purify tap water in their homes and bottle it in a stainless steel bottle. However, one should avoid reusable plastic bottles and aluminum bottles as they may leach chemicals in water and are lined by hazardous epoxy resins respectively.

2. Use reusable shopping bag The use of plastic bags are on the rise and they contribute greatly to pollution and their production also contribute to global warming. Instead of using a plastic bag next time when doing grocery shopping, you can use other alternatives such reusable paper bags, canvas bags, backpacks, and messenger bags. The reusable shopping bags should be kept in one’s bag or car at all times in order to avoid buying plastic bags.

3. Use reusable containers for take outs and leftovers. Next time you are out for food and you need to take out foods or leftovers use one of your containers instead of the takeout containers provided. Make sure you carry with you a container each time you go out to avoid promoting the use of plastic materials. The move will allow movement towards a plastic free living.

4. Use stainless steel bottles and cups for water or coffee as you move around. When moving around the world on travel or when running errands, one needs water or coffee. These drinks come in plastic bottles or disposable cups. To avoid plastics, you can choose to carry around stainless steel mugs or water bottles to store the drinks in. And to avoid forgetting the mug or bottle at home, you must have a personal policy not to take any of the drinks if you have forgotten the containers.

5. Eat ice cream cone instead of ice cream in a container. Instead of keeping tons of ice cream in the freezer in plastic containers you can treat yourself to cone ice cream occasionally when you have cravings. In addition to reducing the number of plastics in the world, it also reduces ice cream consumption hence a healthier individual.

6. Cut on plastic bottled beverages. Plastic bottled beverages include drinks such as sodas and juices, which increase the level of plastics or non-biodegradable components on earth. Choosing to take fresh fruits or drink fresh juice from the comfort of your home makes it easier to get rid of plastics or glass bottles or containers that accompany these beverages.

7. Buy fresh pastries that come in paper bags or no bags. When going to the bakery for bread or other pastries, you should opt for fresh ones that come in paper bags or no paper at all. A cloth bag or any other clean bag can be used when picking bread from the bakery or farmers market. Additionally, bread stay fresh when stored in an airtight tin or in a cloth bag so it’s an added bonus to using plastic bags.

8. Return used containers to suppliers for reuse. When buying groceries from the farmers market, you can use one shopping bag that you can take for a refill each week. As for the cherries, tomatoes, and jam that can be stored in containers, they should be returned to the farmers market for reuse. Instead of having a pile of containers in your kitchen that keep accumulating each time you go to the market, you can collect them and take them back for reuse.

9. Carry around a container for meat and prepared food. When you go out to for meat or other prepared meals that need packaging be sure to carry your own container from home to avoid their plastic containers. You can ask the butcher to measure the weight of the container you are using and deduct it from the total weight of the meat.

10. Buy milk in reusable glass bottle. When buying milk or yogurt you can opt to use glass bottles. The glass bottles can be yours or you can get milk packed in them in the supermarket. Instead of buying milk packed in plastic bags or disposable paper bags you can carry around your glass bottle that is specific to milk or yogurt. The glass bottles help get rid of plastic bags and paper bags coated with plastic on both sides a major step towards plastic free living.

11. Carry Cutlery and Straws that is Non-plastic. Plastic cutlery such as spoons and knives and straws are among the worst pollutants. They are normally overlooked but they are mostly used and disposed of leading to a pile of plastic disposed in the environment. In order to embrace plastic free living, it is important for you to stop using these plastic cutleries and straws and instead embrace the use of your own cutlery. Carry cutlery with you from home and keep it in the car. It could be made of stainless steel, wood or anything that is not plastic or disposable in order to keep this world plastic free.

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12. Shop in Bulk to Minimize Packaging. It is important to shop in bulk be it for personal effects, grocery, hardware products, cleaning supplies or other products that come in plastic packages. When you shop in bulk, you avoid using plastic packaging or minimize them. There are stores that weigh products you have bought in bulk and package them in personal containers. While shopping carrying these containers or bags, it can be essential in reducing and eventually putting a stop to plastic living.

13. Avoid Buying Foods that have been over packaged, processed, canned and those that are frozen. The ban of plastic completely in the world would mean that people would be healthier. Most of the unhealthy foods are stored in plastic materials whereby they are stored for future purposes. Vegetables and fruits are normally covered in plastic in order to keep them fresh. Frozen convenient foods are normally packaged in plastic bags to avoid keeping them fresh while in the freezer. Canned foods are also coated using plastic called epoxy. If you avoid buying these products, then you are taking a step towards a plastic free living.

14. Try Replacing Plastics in the Kitchen. Most small packages in the kitchen come in plastic packages, therefore bulk buying comes in handy here. Buying in bulk means that you can dictate the package that the product comes in say detergent, for example, and instead use mason jars. Plastic scouring pads made of plastic can also be replaced with copper scrubbers. Plastic ice cube and Popsicle makers can be replaced with stainless steel ones to cut on the use of plastic. Cutleries and other utensils made of plastics can be replaced with either wood or stainless steel.

15. Replace Plastics around the Bathroom. Looking around the bathroom and replacing plastic containers with alternative containers goes a long way in getting rid of plastic. Tooth brushes, combs and hairbrushes with plastic handles can be replaced with wooden handles. Furthermore, instead of using deodorants that come in plastic packaging one could opt for baking soda which is as effective in drying the underarm.

16. Choose Healthier Electronics. Instead of buying new plastic made electronics opt for second hand electronics that have less packaging and less toxics.

17. Forego the Idea of a Christmas Tree. Instead of buying the artificial Christmas tree made of PVC, one should consider getting the real tree. The natural trees are more environmental friendly and they are a step towards living a plastic free life.

18. Throw a Zero Waste Party. Hold a party that requires the use of no plastic materials. Replace disposable plastic plates, cups and cutleries with stainless steel utensils. In case you have limited utensils, ask the guests to carry theirs from their homes to reduce the use of plastic.

19. Modify old clothing and shoes. Next time instead of throwing away old clothes or shoes, you should try modifying it and creating something better out of it. Old clothes that are either out of fashion or do not fit anymore could be taken to the tailor for alteration or you can think of something to do with them. The same applies for shoes.

20. Get Rid of Plastic Trash Bags. Instead of using the plastic garbage bags for trash, you could get a recycled plastic Urban Compost Tumbler which allows you to decompose garbage instead of throwing it away. Therefore, the use of plastic bags becomes obsolete.

21. Repair Things when they Break. Repair things around the house or outside before you opt to replace them. Repair allows old appliances or tools to be utilized instead of buying new ones with plastic packages. This acts as a step towards plastic free living.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

7 Things You Need to Know About Sourcing Your Veggies Sustainably


Every day, you make decisions that make a difference for years to come. From cleaning the house with all-natural products to reducing paper usage at the office, you enjoy doing your part for the planet. Pause for just a minute. Take a look at the produce in your pantry and refrigerator.

Do the vegetables on tonight’s dinner menu meet your high standards for sustainability? When you buy fresh produce at a farmer’s market or grocery store, do you consider the source?

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The origins of that broccoli or those romaine hearts play a vital role in keeping both you and the environment healthy. When you stock up on fresh veggies, it’s easier to develop nutritious ideas for meal planning. When you know where and how your produce grows, you’re better positioned to make the best choices for our planet’s sustainability.

It Starts With Responsible Growers

Across the country, responsible produce growers are united by a deep-rooted commitment to sustainable agriculture. That sense of stewardship includes meeting and exceeding the highest industry standards. It involves staying on top of the latest science-based innovations and incorporating proven practices with ever-evolving technology.

From the largest operations to small produce farms, there’s a shared sense of pride in the progress that moves the industry forward. Sustainability has always been a part of farming, but today’s focus on responsible production represents a welcome union of tradition and science. The result is modern-day agroecology.

You may not be familiar with this discipline, but it plays a vital role in developing sustainable crops from lettuce fields to fruit orchards. Its application to agricultural production covers organic, conventional and large-scale operations. Produce growers embrace agroecology because it encourages responsible sustainability that preserves the long-term health of field operations.

Sourcing Sustainable Produce: 7 Ways It Makes a Difference

The next time you pick up Brussels sprouts at the grocery store, ask the produce manager which growers he relies on. Talk to vendors at weekend markets and find out who supplies their fresh vegetables. Use your online research talents to look closely at large and small brands. When you source sustainable produce, you really make a difference.

1. Sustainability Puts Healthy Produce on Your Plate

Vegetables grown with eco-friendly farming methods come to market in peak condition. You know you’re bringing home produce with top-tier nutritional profiles and the freshest flavors. Healthy field vegetables also deliver an extended shelf life, and that reduces kitchen waste.

2. You Help Support Good Stewardship

When you source produce from sustainable growers, you’re supporting their good stewardship of the land. Many produce companies are multi-family operations that trace their roots back over many generations. Responsible growers are deeply committed to taking the best possible care of their fields.

3. Sustainable Farm Practices Preserve the Land

Agroecology has become an important factor in developing new farming practices. This innovative field explores the balance between advancing industry technologies and addressing critical ecological concerns. When you choose a responsible produce source, you help both the hard science and the social movement behind sustainable agriculture.

4. You’re a Part of Soil and Water Conservation

Something as simple as knowing where your vegetables come from can keep top soil healthier and water supplies cleaner. Sustainable produce growers practice soil conservation by rotating crops and planting crop covers. Field packing helps maintain water tables, and drip irrigation conserves water. Smart sourcing supports these vital operations.

5. Increased Yields Hold Down Prices

The goal of every farming business is to maximize production. The goal of sustainability is to increase yields with minimum environmental impact. The industry’s ongoing investment in research and development advances techniques that accomplish both. The result brings quantity and quality to the table while holding down consumer prices.

6. It Make a Difference in Your Community

Responsible sourcing is good for the local economy. Large and small growers tap surrounding communities for their workforce. Many contribute to area food banks on a regular basis. You help make it happen with a commitment to sourcing from sustainable produce operations.

7. You Enjoy Long-Term Peace of Mind

It only takes a little time to identify produce companies in your area that practice sustainability. Your decision to source veggies from these growers has a long-term impact on our environment. That simple choice puts fresh, nutritious food on the table today and ensures its availability and affordability for generations to come.

Keeping the Industry Healthy

Green living is all about lifestyle choices that work for both you and the environment. Responsible produce growers share your commitment to doing the very best for our planet. Eco-friendly operations help keep the industry healthy and maintain the viability of sustainable sources for fresh produce.

As you make daily decisions that make a positive difference, you stand shoulder to shoulder with so many others who share your strong sense of responsibility. Know that large and small produce companies are doing their part too. They appreciate your support for businesses across the country that join you in caring about our environment and shaping our future.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Eco-Friendly Approaches to Interior Design to Conserve Energy


When it comes to refreshing, remodelling and redesigning the interiors of our homes we often only consider aesthetics. After all, this is a chance to express ourselves and create an environment that really makes our families feel comfortable. But shouldn’t we also think about the world around us?

In this article we’re going to show that it’s possible to have great looking interiors that are also kind to the planet. You might even find that a green approach saves you money in terms of materials and heating bills as well as saving and expending less energy.

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Rely on Sunlight

One of the biggest mistakes many of us make, when it comes to the environment, is to rely too heavily on artificial or man-made lighting. The way to rectify this is to make as much use of the sun as possible. Choose curtains that aren’t intrusive or heavy. Or, you could install natural and sustainable wooden blinds that can be folded almost completely to the side during the day. If you’re remodelling extensively, you might even consider installing a skylight. This way your home will be flooded with natural light and will save money and converse much less energy.

Change Your Bulbs

The truth is that we can’t always rely on the sun, which is why we also need to consider the type of artificial lighting we use. Switching to LED light bulbs is highly recommended and has been found in a recent study to save the average home up to $1,000 over a 10-year period. These bulbs may cost more initially but they are long-lasting and of a high quality, so they represent an investment worth making.

You could also try and use Energy efficient bulbs these are similar to old incandescent bulbs that respond well to a dimer and emit just as good quality of light however, you can save up to 80% on your electricity bills and waste a lot less energy as they can typically use about 25-80% less energy.

Improve Your Insultation

Another way you can save money in the long run and be kind to the environment, is to improve the insulation in your home. With better insulation, made from natural materials, your home will require less heating. This could be loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, plasterboard and even floor insulation.

Unlike many conventional insulations, natural insulations made from materials such as sheep’s wool, Earth wool, Thermal fleece, Warmcel etc. have low embodied energy and are all fully recyclable and disposable at the end of their natural use. In winter you will be able to really feel the difference, even if this is eco-friendly improvement isn’t always immediately noticeable.

Make Your Own Furniture

Creating your own furniture can be a fun way to give your home an eco-friendly makeover. A good suggestion is to use reclaimed wood for any DIY projects, so that even your materials are kind to the environment. Once again, this is a great way to save money. Plus, reclaimed wood can add a sense of authentic, earthy style to your home. Just be sure to remove any nails or other potentially dangerous pieces of metal from the wood.

Add Plants and Grow Your Own Food

When it comes to your decorations, it can be a good idea to go green – literally. Plants can soften spaces and really add life to your interiors. They can also provide stunning focus points. What’s more, they can help to improve the air quality of rooms and to filter out harmful chemicals. Along with traditional decorative greenery, you could also opt for potted herbs and even vegetables. You can planet seeds and grow your own fruit and vegetables. This way you will have an eco-friendly stock of ingredients for your kitchen.

Pay Attention to Labels

If you need to paint your interior spaces, you might want to carefully read the labels on paint tins or any associated products to make sure that you’re making eco-friendly choices. Products with low VOC (volatile organic compounds) ratings are the ones to look for, as these will contain smaller amounts of harmful air pollutants. VOC ratings can also often be found on furniture, carpets and other household items.

Some product brands such as AFM Safe coat, Benjamin Moore aura and Natura, Yolo Colorhouse, The old fashioned Milk paint company and Sherwin Williams even emit no VOC, making these ideal for eco-friendly redecoration.

Update Your Flooring

It’s also possible to choose eco-friendly options when it comes to the surface beneath your feet. Wooden, stone or marble flooring are all choices that are both natural and beautiful. This type of flooring may be expensive, but in the long-run it could pay for itself in that it might add value to your home. Plus, these materials are usually hard-wearing, which means that they will last longer.

Another advantage is that they are easy to clean, making them a good choice for families with children. Some other options you could consider for eco flooring are Cork (renewable material), reclaimed wool rugs, Bamboo flooring, reclaimed and sustainable hardwood, Linoleum flooring and recycled metal, glass and rubber tiles are all good options for an eco-friendly, durable nontoxic floor.

Maximise Your Space

Our final tip is to make the best use you can of the space in your home. This way you won’t be tempted to buy a bigger home, which won’t be as kind to the environment in terms of its carbon footprint. One way of doing this is to use multi-purpose furniture, such as fold-down couches, to get the most out of living areas. Another approach is to convert your garage, if you have one, into an office or additional living space.

There are many other ways of transforming your home into an eco-friendly haven, and you should consider this list to be a starting point. If you are considering the change to greener, kinder living, then good luck and may your redecoration and remodelling be a success.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

25+ Outstanding Benefits of Living a Minimalist Lifestyle


A minimalism lifestyle is the change in one’s need or desire to own very few material possessions. A minimalist targets to own, on average, about 50-100 things on a quest to own less stuff but most importantly, only those items that are of great value and highly essential. In other words, clutter is eliminated by all means necessary.

Minimalists prefer to survive on fewer things, for instance: not owning a car but instead walk or bike to work; not feeling the need to own big and expensive homes, but instead build a small comfortable home; not owning the newest technology but instead have the functional day-to-day appliances. Minimalism is thus a tool for helping humanity rid themselves of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what is really important in a bid to find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom. In this sense, here are 25+ outstanding benefits of living a minimalist lifestyle.

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1. It is an intentional rewarding lifestyle

Minimalism is a self-driven intention that comes from an individual and is not forced down on anyone. It comes from within a person, and that is, it is inspired by an internal decision and not by external forces. Therefore, it rewards by making us place value on only the rewarding things and avoid those that distracts us.

2. Freedom from the passion to possess – consumerism

“See it, buy it!” – This is the number one social disease most of us battle with in day to day life. With a minimalist lifestyle, however, it gives you the power to avoid the passion for material possession. Minimalist lifestyle advocates for minimal material possession and by adopting it, one is freed from the desire to buy things because others are doing it. Minimalism will help you avoid the influence and in the long-run, you get to save your hard earned money and spend it on more meaning things.

3. Freedom from modern mania

The comparison game and the race to own is the in thing in the contemporary era. Regardless, minimalist lifestyle assures that what one owns should not be dictated by advertisements. Therefore, it gives us the freedom to make decisions solely on the basis of needs and not dictated by greed. For this reason, minimalism gives one the freedom from modern mania by helping us purchase only the things that will last and of value.

4. A reliable, dependable and consistent life

A simple life is one that is consistent and dependable, which is very much realizable by living a minimalist lifestyle. With a simple life, it is easy to predict the future by noticing past failures in life and makes us more prepared for them. In the consumerism world, no one purchases a product again after the cons outweigh the pros. Based on this analogy, a minimalist lifestyle will always ensures the need to take responsibility and inculcate the trait of dependability.

5. Individual growth

With a minimalist lifestyle, one tends to appreciate the very little things which eventually address our deepest heart desires and only the ones that impact our lives positively for individual growth. Minimalist lifestyle significantly helps one to focus on his/her troubles. In most cases, we are always in the habit of focusing on the things that distract us instead of focusing on the little good things in our lives, which prevents us from addressing what is wrong.

A good example is dreaming for expensive vacations instead of having a simple nature/adventure tour within our localities. Besides, even personality development experts say that the little things we do like just taking an evening walk promotes well-being and productivity.

6. Minimalism offers dynamism on how we approach life

The approach to minimalist lifestyle differs from one person to another, but with the overriding principle of avoiding wastage and being content. In this sense, it is unique to anyone who adopts the lifestyle and makes it easy to be flexible so as to fit into relationships and other day to day life requirements. This benefit makes it easy for anyone to adopt an approach in life that specifically caters for their needs, without wanting to own the entire universe to prove how important or valuable we are.

7. It gives life meaning

A minimalist lifestyle gives meaning to the things that actually matter in our lives, ultimately providing direction for our entire life. The lifestyle teaches us to principally focus on the things that directly affect our lives and avoid those that are minor and do not directly affect us. This leads to living a life with purpose. For example, people attach too much importance to succeed instead of focusing on why they want to succeed.

8. Time saving and increased efficiency

A minimalist lifestyle is not time consuming. It fills our environment with less emotional and material needs or clutter in general, which makes decision making easier thus reducing time wastage and enhances efficiency. Further, it makes us only make time for what is important and not to waste time on things that do not matter.

9. It effects change

If you need to make change in your life, try a minimalist lifestyle. As discussed in the previous point of ‘time saving,’ minimalist lifestyle makes one more effective and efficient. It involves small changes in running our daily lives right from breaking away from the way we do things. Furthermore, the lifestyle requires minimalism and for this reason, it inculcates the same habit in our daily endeavors thereby changing how we perceive and do things.

10. Can help build better relationships

With the minimalist lifestyle, you’ll tend to spend more time with people that lift you up while you equally lift them up. The lifestyle also makes us contribute beyond our selfish desires and believing in greater purpose other than individual needs. As a result, it helps in building relationships with the people around us, our families, and friends.

11. Enjoy life- live in the moment

The lifestyle makes us focus on our hobbies and creating time to do only the rewarding and enjoyable things, especially the things we never seem to have time for. With all the extra time and less burden that comes with a minimalist lifestyle, it allows one to take risks and do the enjoyable things.

12. It rids you of baggage

In simple terms, the lifestyle makes you throw away what you don’t need in order to focus on what you need. The outcome is less stress and worry; and more peace of mind.

13. Enhances creativity

By consuming less and getting rid of excess clutter, both material and emotional, it gives the power and freedom to be creative. Moreover, minimalist lifestyle champions for creativity in looking for ways to reduce the amount of stuff consumed.

14. Organization benefits

A more organized house hold is easier to clean with less stuff and clutter. Have more space to arrange what you need. A minimalist lifestyle has a more aesthetic value.

15. Reduces fear

We accumulate stuff and give them meaning making us always terrified of losing our stuff. Gain confidence because you don’t have anything to lose by adopting a minimalist lifestyle. Taking back control of your life, for example, one can’t take a leap from a job they find draining and unrewarding to start their own business because most of their finances are tied up in maintaining a lifestyle that does not allow for that kind of risk.

16. Live a comfortable life

A minimalist lifestyle is packaged with a life full of comfort and freedom from stress as well as debt. It creates a calm and peaceful life.

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17. It makes you become self-reliant

Minimalist lifestyle helps you to become less reliant on material things and be more reliant on yourself. Your mood, should not be dictated by what you have, own or what you wish to own. You therefore get things done, and your ability to achieve is not dependent on possessions but on knowledge.

18. Better health

Minimalist lifestyle makes one to appreciate their health and take care of it. It also gives more opportunity for rest by decluttering your schedule to enhance your health, make your food, sleep or even spend time with family. It makes you take time to laugh, smile, and enjoy personal time, and even have time for a small polite conversation with a friend or a stranger. These things might seem trivial but eventually build up to one’s better health and well-being. It also preserves mental health.

19. Extra money

Buying and doing less leads to not spending so much money and eventually saving money and having extra money. You can use the money for emergencies or on things that matter.

20. Quality over quantity

Minimalism advocates for having less crappy stuff. Having crappy stuff means more spending on valuable resources. The lifestyle makes one spend money and time on only the really great stuff!

21. Owning investments instead of liabilities

Owning some things is more of a liability to growth than assets which boost your worth. You can only achieve this through a minimalist lifestyle because it assists you to get rid of the things holding you back from living life at your own terms. An example is owning a car when you are not financially flexible to deal with the expenses of owning a car like regular fuel and maintenance costs, which makes you spend more money on a non-rewarding item. A minimalist lifestyle doesn’t allow this by all means.

22. No Anxiety

Financial security is a huge anxiety relief. De-cluttering your life can help you let go of stress and clear space for the peace of mind. Instead of living with anxiety, a lifestyle of simple living offers happiness.

23. Lets you keep in touch nature and be part of its conservation

Not only is the minimalist lifestyle based on the concept of owning less things but it also reduces resource use which eventually helps the environment.

24. Freedom and feeling liberated

Freedom from stuff is liberating. The sense of freedom that comes from minimalism is truly amazing. A prime example is the freedom to do what you want with your time.

25. Charitable

The passage right to a minimalist lifestyle is getting rid of excess stuff that you don’t need. Nonetheless, because you don’t need it does not mean it is not helpful to someone else. Donating clothes to the homeless or books to library is not only a way to get rid of stuff but it is also a way to give to those people who need it most.

26. Happiness

True happiness is the ultimate benefit of living a minimalist lifestyle. Moreover, it is the best fruits of life that anyone can hope for. It adds a deeper sense of meaning to life and attaches purpose and fruitfulness of life itself.

Image credit: pixabay , Daniel

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

30+ Impressive Ways to Reduce Trash in Your Home


There are a lot of items in our homes that are unnecessary and in most cases, regarded as trash. Instead of having them pile up and then imagine of how hectic it is to clean it up, there are easier ways you can implement to reduce the present trash as well as items that are later turned into trash. Besides, having trash at home reduces the quality of life.

For this reason, it is fundamental to engage in appropriate ways of reducing trash to ensure proper sanitation as well as orderliness at home. If you are having problems managing trash at your home, this article gives you a guide on more than 30 impressive ways to reduce trash in your home.

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1. Start recycling plans for items in the house. Items such as plastic bottles and cans can be recycled for other uses such as storages. You can sing up with recycling agencies or trash collectors since most of them are recyclable. You’ll also be helping to better the environment.

2. Possess a fiber or cotton bag for groceries. It is a common feat that groceries acquired from the supermarkets as well as the stores will be packaged in plastic bags that are only used once, after which, they are regarded as trash. To avoid such an instance, it is of essence to acquire a reusable cotton or synthetic fiber bag that you carry with you when heading out for some groceries.

3. Obtain only what is needed for food. It is a shocking fact that there is a lot of food waste and it’s even worse in the U.S. If there is proper accounting for the food purchased, it is easy to avoid food wastage.

4. Proper outdoor composting. There is a lot of trash generated by most households in form of food. Through the use of outdoor compost such that the excess of food (food wastes) are thrown there, it can reduce the amount of trash at your home. The resultant compost manure can then be used to provide nutrients for crops in your home garden.

5. Repair rather than discard broken appliances and electronics. The space occupied by broken appliances in our homes can be astonishing. The fact that they are unused means they are trash waiting for disposal. Instead of having them disposed, they can be repaired and put back into proper use. Moreover, the disposal of such instruments leads to an increase in landfill waste.

6. Reduce mail by canceling subscription of unnecessary mail. Most of the times, we tend to have lots of paper in the name of mails, some of which are not necessary. It simply adds to the paper waste that will be trashed. You can have the bank statements and utility bills sent to you online instead of paper mail.

7. Use permanent plates and cutlery. There is a tendency of people to acquire paper plates to avoid the washing of utensils. It is worth noting that the pollution caused by the paper plates is alarming. People should thus use plates that can be cleaned after use for reuse.

8. Have in your possession a reusable water bottle. Plastic water bottles form a large part of the trash both at home, outside and in our offices. It is necessary to minimize this and the best way to do it is by acquiring a reusable water bottle. Reusable water bottles are portable and easy to refill.

9. Go paperless in the kitchen. It may seem like a small initiative but it will considerably aid in reducing the overall paper trash in your home.

10. Take your own reusable bags when doing shopping. There are a lot of plastic bags that come with shopping, be it at a boutique or the local shop. It is therefore rewarding to have a reusable bag when heading out for shopping.

11. Use homemade cosmetics. By making cosmetics at home, it reduces the trash that would have resulted namely the plastic bottles and packaging if the cosmetics were purchased. Plus, it reduces the budget costs. Cosmetics such as shampoos and cleaning items can easily be made at home with environmentally friendly products.

12. Visit the fresh farm market for groceries. Produce obtained from farmers market is fresh and is free of any packaging. With your shopping bag, you are able to obtain the best produce with minimal packaging and thus, promoting the reduction of trash at home.

13. Ditch processed and packaged foods. It may not be an easy feat but it is a worthy one. Preparing your own food gets rid of the excesses of plastic, paper and board packages that end up trashing your homes.

14. Use cloth diapers. There is an extra coin that is saved from using cloth diapers rather than the disposal diapers. In addition, cloth diapers are reusable.

15. Buy e-books instead of paper books. The evolution of the internet has made life very easy. It is now very easy and fast to download an e-book as well as read online. This is very efficient in trash reduction since there is no chance of paper waste.

16. Use old clothes as cleaning rags. With this strategy, old clothes are put into used as opposed to disposing them as trash. Furthermore, it saves on the purchase of paper towels as well reducing the number of trees cut down to manufacture paper. Also, rags obtained from clothes last much longer than brushes or paper towels.

17. Ensure you own a handkerchief. There are many uses for a handkerchief. It can be used to dry tears, blowing your nose or even wrapping up a snack. For this reason, it saves on paper napkins which are only used once after which, regarded as trash. Handkerchiefs only need cleaning for reuse.

18. Always use reusable cloth napkins. Cloth napkins are easy to come by and are equally easy to make. They have a myriad of uses and can be washed and put to use again.

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19. Obtain and use a non-disposable shaving razor. The use of plastic disposable razors contributes to lots of trash in our homes. The use of a permanent non disposable one will significantly reduce trash in your home.

20. Use rechargeable batteries. The use of rechargeable batteries means reduced disposal of non-rechargeable batteries and it is also economical.

21. Buy detergents and soap in concentrated forms. Detergents in concentrated forms last longer which means you’ll reduce trash in your home if you purchase them as opposed to the conventional ones.

22. Give away old clothes to charities. There are a lot of clothes that are not worn and just occupy space in the house. Because it is impossible to turn old clothes into rags, you can give some to charities to reduce trash in your home.

23. Ladies should have a menstrual cup in their possession. The use of tampons may lead to an increase in trash at home. In a bid to avoid this, the ladies can own a menstrual cup that will go a long way in helping them. It is advantageous as it can be washed and used again and again. Moreover, it is a onetime purchase thus cheaper than monthly purchase of tampons.

24. Refill printer ink cartridges. It prevents purchase of new ones and saves on cost.

25. Buy items in bulk. Purchase of goods in small quantities leads to a higher chance of waste generation. Numerous items in small quantities translate to more disposals of wrappings. Again, once goods are bought in bulk, you can use containers or mason jars to store the items in smaller quantities.

26. Clear things not needed at home. There are a lot of items that we have at homes that only add to the trash but are of no value. Such items should be donated or auctioned.

27. Stop buying CDs and DVDs. There is always need for entertainment. Regardless, the buying of movies and music in CDs and DVDs eventually adds trash in our homes after their usage. Instead, you can opt for downloading or streaming the music/movie online.

28. Borrow instead of buying. There are many items we only need or use for a short time at home. Instead of purchasing these items, we should borrow them, use them for the intended purpose, and then return them. Buying such items will only warrant trashing as they are rarely needed.

29. Have storage containers or mason jars. There are a lot of uses for storage containers or mason jars. For instance, they can be used for storage in fridges thereby discarding the use of plastic containers that often end up as trash.

30. Buy used items whenever possible, particularly for children stuff. There are lots of things we purchase for children that turn out to be trash. Examples include toys, books and clothes. If you buy used and in small quantities, you will certainly reduce trash in your home.

31. Only shop a few times in a year. This initiative will help you reduce compulsive buying – a move that leads to a lot of trashing with things such as clothes you never get to wear or items you’ll rarely use.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

5 Eco-Friendly Free Apps to Download


At this week’s World Economic Forum, one of the hottest topics (pun sadly intended) to be discussed is the role new technologies can play in averting the effects of climate change.

With so many of us attempting to make a difference by recycling our waste or saving energy, an area overlooked by many is the difference a phone can make in the struggle against climate change. Being eco-friendly can start with just simply downloading an App. Here are 5 trending apps that will help save money AND the planet.

women-using-app-mobile

1. Fat Lama

As the UN have recently warned, we are currently producing around 50 million tons of electronic waste per year that is highly toxic and (most gallingly) completely reusable.

Enter Fat Lama: the brainchild of a group of East-London Entrepreneurs.  Fat Lama is a peer-to-peer marketplace where personal belongings, be it the ordinary or the outrageous, are available to rent from your local area. In its most basic form, it is an efficient way to circulate both commodities and capital within communities. In its most eccentric, it’s a challenge to try new things by providing access to weird and wonderful items that might be otherwise unaffordable.

Started in 2016, the company began with a vision of making short-term rentals easy for suppliers and affordable for consumers, however has developed into something much more lifestyle orientated.  As far-reaching as it is simple, you can now rent anything from campervans to cameras, hot tubs to high-heels, barrel barbecues to bikes – and all without ever having to put down a deposit or a credit card.

On the other side of the arrangement, you can boost your income with items you seldom use. That Canon 1300D DSLR doesn’t have to just sit collecting dust while you’re at work; it can become an asset in its own right. What’s more, Fat Lama will fully insure lenders for every rental, so you don’t have to worry about your camera coming back in splinters.

Most importantly, nothing is wasted. Turning your living room into a home-cinema, or taking the perfect photo of your best mates wedding doesn’t have to involve any needless purchases. In renting rather than buying you are investing in an ever-growing circular economy that stimulates re-distribution, rather than mass production. Encouraging consumers to step away from the production line and towards a sharing economy is at the forefront of our environmental battle plan and companies like Fat Lama are leading the charge.

https://fatlama.com/

(Available on IOS and Andriod)

2. Carma Carpooling

It may sound old school now, but Carpooling is due a comeback.  Maybe some of you have considered it but finding a co-worker that lives next door was easier said than done.

Using much of the same technology as Uber, Carma Carpooling allows you to arrange lifts with other commuter’s near-by without having to ever approach anyone personally. It’s all done through GPS location services and your share of the fuel is charged to your bank account so you don’t have to count out coppers at the end of each journey.

The journey will cost you around $0.20 per mile and is a great way to spice up the mundane commute to work. It’s more flexible than taking the bus and you save on highway tolls. Right now Carma is limited to a handful of cities but the company is committed to expansion and will work with local governments to bring the app to your city.

https://www.gocarma.com/

(Free, IOS and Andriod)

3. GoGreen: Carbon Tracker

We all talk about our carbon footprint but how many of us actually keep track of it? With travel having become such an integral part of modern life it is now more important than ever to understand the impact our lifestyles are having on the planet.

GoGreen’s handy app is designed to provide data-based analytics of exactly what your carbon emission is per-day, where that ranks within your location and offers advice on how it can be reduced. This is done by identifying trends in your usage and providing alternatives. More importantly it gives you points for being green! If there’s one thing we all feel we deserve, it’s a pat on the back for separating the recycling.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gogreen-carbon-tracker/id1267386771?mt=8

(Free, IOS)

4. Ethical Barcode

It’s all very well separating your plastics from paper but when shopping, are you investing your money in sustainable companies? We all look for buzzwords like  ‘sustainably-sourced ‘or ‘free-trade’ but how much do we actually know about such terms?

Ethical Barcode is the answer to this issue. Launched all the way back in 2013, the app considers the environmental, ethical and social impact of supposedly any product found in your pantry. More than just a simple good or bad rating, Ethical Barcode will provide you with a statistical breakdown of categories ranging from employee welfare to company’s environmental policy, sourcing its information from 20 different Non-Profits and hundreds more external sources.

The aim is to instantly transform users into ethical consumers in a way that makes shopping responsibly easy and straightforward. The detail that is provided means that corporations can no longer ‘green-wash’ products without scrutiny.

http://ethicalbarcode.com/

(Free, IOS)

5. Dropcountr

Water usage is an aspect of the environment we tend to downplay; yet in Britain each of us uses on average 150 litres of water per-day. This means that 17 billion litres of water needs to pass through the UK mains water supply every day; that’s 70 times more water than the Thames river holds!

It was the absence of these hard numbers concerning water consumption that inspired founder Robb Barnitt to develop Dropcountr. Designed to prevent water wastage, the app connects itself to your utilities and helps monitor your daily usage. Similar to GoGreen the idea is that the app will provide you with data based analytics that help build a picture of how you can make your household less wasteful. For instance, if you’ve always toyed with fixing that leaky tap, Dropcountr can show you just how much water per-month you are wasting.

On average users can cut their mains usage by 9%, cutting the cost of monthly bills and saving water.

https://www.dropcountr.com/

(Free, IOS and Andriod)

Image credit: pexels

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

15+ Magnificent Reasons to Build Earthship Right Now


Pioneered by Architect Michael Reynolds, Earthships are sustainable homes because they encourage easy living and above all, they are cost-effectiveness to construct. Their sustainability is attributed to the fact that they utilize readily available natural materials as well as reusing resources that would otherwise harm the environment. The design and architecture of an Earthship is equally oriented towards environmental sustainability by optimizing on the use of natural resources such as solar energy and the harvesting of rainwater.

Besides, the presence of both solar energy and rain water supports the production of food which can be grown in the shelter. These are just a few of the many benefits of Earthships as there are a myriad of reasons individuals should build an Earthship home. This article thus seeks to unveil the 15+ magnificent reasons it is essential in this time and age to build an Earthship shelter.

earthship-visitor-center-near-Taos

1. They are easily sustainable. Earthships are very sustainable as they require less and provide a lot. For instance, it is easy to harvest natural water from rain and snow melt. Moreover, the house supports the growing of food which means one gets to eat healthy and cuts back on food expenses. The availability of water ensures the crops have constant supply of water for growth and there is also warmth in and out of season sustained by the solar energy conserved in the house.

2. Presence of free food. One of the most rewarding advantages of an Earthship is that it is very conducive for crop production. The construction design allowing for the utilization of solar and water harvesting guarantees there is adequate warmth and water for the growth of crops.

An individual residing in an Earthship therefore has the capability of producing own food which translates into saving on food budgets. For this reason, the more the care and attention taken by the owner, the greater the success of crop production.

3. There is an efficient way of recycling water. Through the effective water harvesting techniques of an Earthship from rain or melting of snow, the structures offer an efficient way of recycling water. The water is tapped through the help of gutters set up all round the house and collected in a cistern. The water is pumped to the showers and sinks for ordinary chores and cooking activities. The waste water recovered is used in a greenhouse for the purpose of watering the plants therein.

4. Presence of warmth in the shelter. Earthships are designed with a lining of thermal mass conduction which promotes the absorption of heat from the atmosphere while preventing it from escaping. The heat is therefore regulated which ensures the shelter is warm even in winter. Apart from the thermal lining, the Earthship has large glass windows facing the sun that facilities the entry of heat into the shelter.

5. Presence of sufficient energy. Earthships are built to encourage the tapping solar energy through the use of solar panels. Given that it is a self-sustainable shelter, the installation of solar panel is part of its essentiality. Consequently, there is adequate energy realized in the shelter. An individual who is a cautious user of energy in the house will find the energy sufficient and will see no need to install electricity.

6. There is a feel of freedom. Work is a necessity for people to get the finances for food, clothing, shelter and other needs. It is for this reason that globally, people work on a daily basis to put food on their table, have a place to call home, and have clothing. However, with this structure, there is recycling of water and growing of crops, which means less incentive to put much effort in working. It is through this rewarding outcome of the structure that gives one a chance of freedom to enjoy his/her hobbies as well as activities that are fulfilling.

7. It is easy to build. The design of the structure is very easy to comprehend and put up. It does not necessarily require the advice or supervision of a house contractor. Minimal knowledge is required to construct an Earthship. Besides, most of the Earthships are single-story making it even easier to build. Also, the construction does not require the use of heavy machinery but the output of an individual seeking to have the shelter.

8. It is cheap to build or buy. Earthships have a considerable low price when compared to other modern houses. The reason for this is that there is less use of expensive materials in construction. A basic Earthship requires readily available materials for its construction, making it cheaper than others.

Nevertheless, they differ in prices depending on the level of décor in the house as well as other factors such as available rooms, architectural design and space. In consequence of this, both the wealthy and the less privileged can have such shelters with different designs on the basis of preference.

9. It makes use of recyclable materials. Because of this, Earthships aid in environmental conservation. For instance, most landfills are full of waste that requires proper disposal. With Earthships, some of the materials found in landfills ranging from car tires, plastic, glass bottles to cans can be utilized in construction. The materials only require their reinforcement with concrete.

beautiful-earthship

10. Proper treatment of sewage. The design and construction of ordinary houses usually results in challenges especially regarding the proper treatment of sewer waste. Earthships, on the other hand, enable the treatment of sewage on-site as it is part of its design. Waste water from sinks is taken to the green houses or gardens for cleaning and watering the plants. The water is then piped to the toilets for use and later drained to the ground for crop growth.

11. Initiates a difference in thinking. Through the use of sustainable housing which is not only easy to build but also cheap, there is an influence regarding new strategies in environmental conservation. For example, the initiative has brought about the resourceful use or recycling of waste that is often regarded as useless.

It also conserves the water available and utilizes natural heat to keep the house warm. It is thus mind blowing to the point that people are now opting to go this way and to use their time to discover more on how best to preserve the environment.

12. It is possible to build as per individual preference. Most of the conventional houses have already been built and are rented out or purchased with a set of preferences as pictured by the contractor. In this case, however, there is a chance to build a home that suits your preference. What comes into mind when you hear of an Earthship is that it is a “stupid house.” If you do your homework, however, you’ll realize there are numerous beautifully built Earthship. This is possible since the design and modeling of the Earthship is up to the owner.

13. Little to no bills to cater for. Since Earthships main goal is self-sustainability, it is a huge plus. For starters, if you built the house, there is no chance of paying monthly rent rates. Also, through the use of solar energy self-installed in the house, there is no chance of paying electric bills and if so, in minimal amounts. With free flowing water, there is no need for water provided by the state that will subsequently bring about more bills.

14. Earthships can be built in almost all locations. The structures are easy to construct in any location with less difficulty. It can be built in the most adverse locations like the snow-laden areas, sandy areas, windy areas, forested areas and mountain tops. The possibility of this is attributed to the fact that there are a myriad of materials which can be used for the construction.

15. It is now possible to connect with nature and still be part of society. The world we live in today is characterized by a lot of modern technology from phones to laptops to the internet. Therefore, if you are an individual seeking to opt out from this kind of society without completely detaching yourself, an Earthship will provide such a company. Presence of solar energy instead of electricity, presence of food instead of going to the stores for groceries and much more. Moreover, one is able to venture in green house production which provides adequate connection with nature.

16. Presence of an Earthship community. There exists other people globally who advocate for the evolution of Earthship houses. On this basis, if you are an individual seeking to build such a structure, you will have the support of other like-minded people who will not only provide physical support in construction but also revolutionary support as the globe moves towards initiatives that bring about less destruction of the environment.

Image credit: Rong , Kyle

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

25+ Reasons Living in an RV (Recreational vehicle) is Better Than Living in a House


“It’s like a house!” That’s everyone’s reaction when they first see a recreational vehicle. But of course it’s like a house, and it is actually a house. A recreational vehicle is a towable motor vehicles fitted with bathroom, kitchen and sleeping facilities. In other words, an RV is a travelling permanent home. Those that use these movable homes on a full-time basis are commonly referred to as “full-timers” and live a location independent lifestyle.

As much as most folks think that living in a recreation vehicle is pathetic, it is in reality a lot of fun and it is time for the world to see it as for its true value. For those who see a recreation vehicle as a “joke,” here are 25+ valid reasons why you should change your perception and think of it as a better option than living in a house.

Datsun-Chinook-Gazelle-RV

1. Perfect for Vacationers

RV living is fit for people and families that are choosing an easier way to see parts of the world while maintaining their incomes. Vacations cost far more less when you RV travel as opposed to when you have to stay in hotels and have to eat in restaurants.

2. Environmentally friendly

Use limited essential resources in a manner that is not wasteful because it is not easily accessible for use, for instance, water. Some of the RVs also burn biodiesel or waste vegetable oil to make them more environmentally friendly than modern travelling. One can also use solar power for electricity by simply installing them on the RV.

3. Good for some career opportunities

RVers work remotely to support life on the road. Some careers can be easily started in an RV like scenic photography, software development, blogging, and videography. This gives one the freedom to travel without experiencing high transportation expenses because it is all about living on the move.

4. Retirement Benefits

RV can help you enjoy your retirement benefits while at the same time having fun. As a retiree, you can sell your home and buy an RV to travel around the world for as long as it can take you. As opposed to your home which is in a fixed location, the RV can take you to warmer climates during the winter and colder climates during the summer. Furthermore, your children will have grown and it will just be the two of you or just you, alone and bored.

5. Expand relationships

An RV guarantees you finding new and different social situations through social events as opposed to a fixed home. Some examples designed for RV livers include ice cream socials, dinners, live entertainment, and group exercises exposed through RV parks and camp grounds. People who live in RV parks tend to form cliques. It gives you more chance to meet people.

6. Enjoy travel opportunities

The benefits of travelling enjoying breathtaking views normally cost. But with an RV, one gets to be exposed to many new people, places, foods, and ideas than someone who stays at a fixed home is not able to enjoy.

7. Less work

For an RV, it takes a very short time to clean the whole house. There are no lawns to water and mow, large areas to clean, walls to paint or garages to organize. There is no yard work. Maintenance requires less work and money than a house, you can renovate the trailer by simply painting it again.

8. More free time

You definitely have more time to yourself because an RV has limited space. You will also use less time to clean and working from home cuts back the time for travelling to and from the office. At the end of a day work, you can just sit back and relax because there will be less to do than in a house.

9. Financial freedom options

RV living gives you many financial options. It gives you the flexibility and opportunity to choose whatever works for you financially. You can take advantage of seasonal work in different locations. This depends on the person’s ability to make sound decisions regarding how they spend their money and the circumstances in which they are in.

10. Save more

With an RV, you can use cost reduction methods to lower expenses such as not staying in one place for months which results in the payment for electricity, cable and water bills. Cooking your own food and limiting meals bought from restaurants also saves money. If you stick to simple choices, you can avoid spending much. If you do your math well by buying a reasonably fair priced RV, know how to economically repair and maintain the RV, finding an affordable campground, and locating where services are convenient; then you will save more.

11. Fit for outgoing personalities

If you have a sense of adventure and have a social lifestyle, an RV is better than living in a house. Notably, an RV will enable you get to meet new people and experience different ways of living. Furthermore, it is suitable for people that embrace a nomadic lifestyle. Also, it suites the lifestyle for those interested in travelling and camping rather than living in one location.

12. Own one loan-free

It is easier to own an RV loan free than owning a house loan-free. Owning a house means being overweighed and stressed by loan repayments and mortgages.

13. Spend time outdoors

RV lifestyle promotes outdoor activities other than sitting indoors. An RV has a tiny space that gets you sick after staying in for a while, encouraging you to go outdoors and stretch. It encourages one to spend time outdoors because it is a new place after a period of time, and most campsites have great places to enjoy outdoor activities.

Chevrolet-C30-Motorhome

14. Keeps you organized

Because it is a small space, it makes a small mess seem like a big mess and encourages you to clean up regularly. It is also easy to organize because you own less stuff. Above all, it is easy to maintain a regular routine.

15. Can relocate easily

If you don’t like your current living location, then get an RV. With it, you can easily move at an easier cost compared to relocating to a permanent home. Also during relocation in case of a house, you have to consider if you own the land you are currently living on, the sale of the land, or the purchase of new land and the additional cost of constructing a new home in a more suitable location.

16. Mobility

An RV gives you the flexibility of going wherever you want, whenever you like. You can never have to stay in one spot for longer than necessary. With an RV, you can travel practically anywhere in the country, knowing that you have a place to sleep and something to eat.

17. Less expensive

An RV Is less expensive compared to a house, especially in the terms of the money you spend on day-to-day basis. Parking fees are quite affordable compared to owning a piece of land to build a house and the payment of annual land rates.

18. Freedom

An RV gives you freedom and as such, you won’t be restricted by what you can do, and where you can go. You can wake up one morning and decide to go anywhere you want or do whatever you want. It also gives you the freedom to see the world the way you want to and do it on your own timetable.

19. Much more fun

No periods of time are exactly the same. The experiences you get from each location you visit with an RV is different as opposed to staying at the same place for a long time, sometimes even a decade without ever moving.

20. Quality of life is rewarding in an RV compared to living in a house

Living in an RV affords a good quality of life. You are more likely to live a healthier lifestyle. It allows you to keep eating healthy because you have home-cooked meals no matter where you travel. It also keeps you physically fit because you spend time outdoors as opposed to living in a house where you can spend all day watching TV.

21. You have fewer things in general

An RV is a big promoter of minimalism. The temptation to buy more things or things you do not need is gone because there is no room for storage. Without big closets and rooms for storage, you will be forced to adopt a minimalist lifestyle. Living in an RV helps you to be aware of everything you own.

22. Amazing views for less such as living near the ocean or lake

With an RV, you can live near the ocean on prime real estate without it being too expensive. You can also easily change your location views from the ocean, the rainy forest, or in the middle of a city at very minimal expense.

23. Grow closer relationships and spend time with loved ones

Whether you live as a family in an RV or just you and your spouse, people tend to grow closer with each other in adventurers situations. One is not limited by space between each other like in a house, but close to each other and can easily start conversations about the experiences and everything going on around you.

24. Good for personal growth

The exposure to different types of cultures and the numerous experiences during travel with an RV is great for personal growth. Totally moving away from the everyday people around you will give you a sense of independence and stability.

25. Flexibility

Apartment renting and home loans keep you stuck at the same spot whether you like it or not. Having an RV offers flexibility. Because of flexibility, one can up and move to a different city for a job opportunity without spending a lot of money.

26. Value experiences

With an RV, it teaches us to value the memories you make while on the road. It reconnects us with nature and exposes the natural world around us as opposed to living at a permanent place.

Image credit: Greg , flickr

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him. Follow him on Facebook here.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

18 Eco-Friendly Home Projects to Complete in 2018


Do you have any home improvement projects on the radar in 2018? Why not make them eco-friendly? Eco-friendly or environmentally friendly are those products that claim reduced, minimal, or no harm upon ecosystems or the environment. Environmentally conscious updates to your living space can save you money and help preserve the environment.

With just couple of days left for new year to set in, let’s start this new year with some easy and eco-friendly projects that have minimum impact on the environment. Here are 18 eco-conscious home improvement ideas for 2018.

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1. Start Composting

Instead of tossing organic waste into the trash, start a compost pile in your backyard. The EPA estimates nearly 25 percent of the waste dumped into landfills each year could have been composted. Additionally, composting improves soil quality and decreases erosion.

Composting also helps deter pests in your garden. You’ll save cash on pesticide costs, increase your produce yield and grow healthier, more organic food for your family.

2. Give Your Kitchen a Facelift

Are you in the market for a new kitchen? Instead of trashing your old cabinetry and drawers, try re-purposing them and changing their layout. Refinishing old cabinetry and changing out fixtures, knobs and handles is an environmentally friendly way to get a new look without breaking the bank.

3. Upgrade Your Flooring

New flooring can brighten and completely change the look of a room. Make your new choice eco-conscious by choosing linoleum over vinyl. Vinyl flooring can emit VOCs over time, which can degrade indoor air quality and lead to respiratory illnesses. Choose linoleum flooring instead. Linoleum is nontoxic and won’t leach noxious gases.

4. Repaint Your Home With No- to Low-VOC Paint

A fresh coat of paint can make any room look cleaner and more open. While color is important, so is paint quality. Choose a paint brand that won’t emit VOCs, or at the very least, emits them in low concentrations. Standard paints often release toxic VOCs, similar to vinyl flooring. You’ll improve your indoor air quality and your health.

5. Switch to Geothermal Heating

Geothermal systems use the Earth’s stable ground temperature to maintain a comfortable climate in your home. A pump sends liquid 300 feet beneath the Earth’s surface and returns it to a geothermal heater, which then distributes the temperate liquid through the flooring in your home. In the hot summer months, heat is drawn from the air and deposited back into the Earth.

On average, geothermal systems use 80 percent less energy compared to traditional heating systems. Additionally, they don’t require fossil fuels to operate. It’ll take approximately 10 years before your geothermal investment pays off.

6. Purchase Used Furniture

Consignment shops, antique stores and garage sales often offer excellent deals on high-quality, gently used furniture. Purchasing preowned furniture limits the amount of waste that may make it into landfills and usually costs less than newer options.

7. Add Larger Windows

Are you looking for a more drastic change? Add larger windows to your home or change their layout. Optimizing the natural light that enters your home can help lower your energy bill by reducing heating and lighting costs. Larger windows will also help improve air circulation throughout the year, which can help improve indoor air quality.

8. Install Solar Panels

The cost of installing a solar energy system is on the decline, thanks to technological improvements and solar energy becoming a more mainstream option. Additionally, many state governments, in addition to the federal government, offer tax incentives for homeowners interested in converting to solar energy.

Before you make the jump, have an expert or industry professional analyze your home to determine whether it’s suitable for solar panels. Factors to consider include your local climate, the slope of your roof and tree cover.

9. Reinsulate Your Home

New insulation won’t change the overall look of your home, but it will change the overall feel. Insulation degrades over time, leading to gaps in coverage. Poor insulation will allow air to escape from your home and can dramatically increase your heating and cooling costs throughout the year.

Some insulation can last up to 100 years, but leaking roofs, punctures, animals and other factors can drastically reduce this timeline. Review your home’s history and energy bills to determine if your home can benefit from new insulation.

10. Perform an Energy Audit

Hire an energy professional to perform an energy audit in your home to determine where you can make the most impact. Energy auditors review your home to see where you may be losing energy and provide recommendations on where to make the most impact. Energy auditors can help homeowners can save anywhere from 5 to 30 percent on their energy bill.

11. Invest in Energy Star Appliances

Appliances account for up to 30 percent of home energy usage. Switching the appliances in your home to those with the Energy Star label can save you money on your energy bill and help preserve the environment.

The government backs Energy Star appliances and guarantees they will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and operate more efficiently compared to non-Energy Star competitors. When shopping for replacements, check to see whether an appliance has the government-certified Energy Star label.

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12. Do a Little Spring Cleaning

Set aside time to dig through the attic, your closet and the other areas in your home where you’ve been storing unused or unwanted items. Instead of throwing things directly into the trash, donate them to a local thrift store or hold a garage sale to earn some extra cash. Repurposing unwanted items helps keep them out of landfills.

13. Greenify Your Living Space

Houseplants can help improve indoor air quality by reducing carbon dioxide and absorbing airborne toxins, including benzene and formaldehyde. Not all plants are created equal, however. Spider plants, snake plants and rubber trees are among some of the easiest plants to grow with the best indoor air quality benefits.

14. Switch to Energy-Efficient Windows

Poorly sealed or aging windows can decrease your energy efficiency dramatically. Consider investing in a more energy-efficient option to improve your home’s overall comfort and reduce your energy costs.

If new windows aren’t in your budget, try repairing or updating your existing ones. Improving the caulking around window seals, installing storm windows and adding treatments can also help reduce your overall energy consumption.

15. Install a Low-Flow Toilet

Low-flow toilets use 25 to 50 percent of the water used by conventional toilets per flush. Over one year, the average family of four can save up to 22,000 gallons of water, which translates to nearly $100 in savings on your annual water bill.

A variety of options exist depending on your budget and the type of toilet you’re looking for. Some systems recycle greywater from your sink, leading to further water conservation and even lower water bills.

16. Update Your Landscaping

Adding native plants to your yard can provide additional habitat for local wildlife and reduce your water bill. Local plants are better suited to your environment and won’t require the same amount of water or fertilizer to flourish.

Excess fertilizers can wash off plants and soil in heavy rain events and into local waterbodies. The excess chemicals are harmful to marine life and can lead to an overabundance of algae and other plants, which reduces oxygen levels in the water.

17. Invest in Rain Barrels

Rain barrels capture excess stormwater from your rooftop for future use. They are relatively inexpensive to install and provide a free source of water for use on your lawn or garden.

Additionally, rain barrels prevent excess rainwater from contributing to stormwater runoff. Water flows faster over hard surfaces and can lead to more instances of flooding.

18. Install a Rain Garden

Properly installed rain gardens act as small wetlands. They reduce excess stormwater runoff while the plants neutralize pollutants in the water. When stormwater runoff flows over hard surfaces, it picks up pollutants from oil and gas spills and fertilizers. Rain gardens prevent these contaminants from making their way into water bodies.

With a little effort, you can reduce your family’s carbon footprint and make your 2018 a little bit greener.

Image credit: pexels

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him. Follow him on Facebook here.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)