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RVs and Sustainable Campgrounds

On December 25, 2012, in Automotive, by admin

Part of going green with your RVs includes encouraging RV parks to support sustainable camping. The definition of sustainable, as defined by the UN Commission on Environment and Development is “…development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”

Put another way, it means that we need to be aware that we are caretakers of our environment for our children, and grandchildren. What should you look for in a sustainable campground?

Leave the land as undisturbed as possible

When building a campground, the ultimate goal should be to maintain and support the natural environment.

o There should be a sense of seclusion for each hookup with greenery providing privacy screening.
o Walkways should be wooden boardwalks above the ground level to avoid disturbing the eco-system as little as possible.
o Ideally, waste from the toilets, and gray water from showers should be used to nourish the plants.
o Any buildings on the campground should be prefabricated, and heavy equipment activity kept to a minimum.

Information should be readily available on the campsites blog or website.

Conscientious use of energy and resources

Look for energy efficient electric lights and appliances – and use them in your own motorhome.

o Do you see any labor saving devices being used that conserve energy?
o Do they use solar paneling as a power source?
o Have you begun using solar paneling instead of a generator in your toy hauler?
o Check for the quality of air indoors, and for signs of water conservation such as showerheads that help reduce water use.
o How pure is the water?
o Does the campground recycle organic matter into compost to be used in the plantings, and reusable containers?

Cultural and local preservation – an important part of being green

On a green campground, safety for wildlife and people will be visibly important. Respect for both the earth, and the people who live in the area will be evident.
o Does the campground store demonstrate that they encourage the local economy?
o Fresh produce and other food should be purchased as locally as possible to be cooked while fresh in your Class C motorhome.

The more aware you are of what it means to support sustainable campgrounds and camping, the more things you will find to incorporate into your own camping routines. Being “green” is no longer a fad. It’s a way of life for many people who have discovered how much richer it makes them feel.


Go Eco-Friendly With Seed Paper

On December 20, 2012, in News And Society, by admin

The impact of paper mills on the environment has been felt in the recent years and hence there has always been the demand for an eco-friendly alternative to paper.

It is estimated that the demand for paper will double in the coming decade and we certainly cannot afford to lose out on the precious forest cover.

Recycling came as a boon but in more recent times, there have been a spurt of attractive options, for example seed paper. Seed paper as the name suggests is paper made out of used seeds and is easily recyclable.

Apart from the environment friendliness, the surface of flower seed paper is highly elegant and it is widely used for greetings, invitations and decorative wraps.

The options are endless when it comes to patterns, colors and thickness in seed paper. The best part is that each type of seed paper has a charm of its own. Traditional crafts have received a new lease of life with this kind of paper.

Saving on investment

Making seed paper or flower seed paper does not require any big investment and most of the companies are small scale industries which do not utilize any hazardous chemicals or materials to manufacture the paper.

Seeds and flowers are used to create wonderful imprints and designs on the paper which finds a wide range of uses and applications. In fact, you will find that most greetings today are created on seed paper. The traditional mill paper is hardly used anymore.

Now that seed paper and flower seed paper is widely sought after, there are special and beautiful flowers that are grown just for using in the paper.

Custom Paper and patterns

Also, several companies now allow you the luxury to choose your flowers and patterns when it comes to seed paper. This lets you explore your creativity as well.


It’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s Uncle Ben!!

Rice throwing at weddings originated in ancient times to guarantee happiness and fertility for the bride and groom. The new couples were showered with grains of rice as they left the wedding site. This practice was meant to wish the couple well and to bless them with hopes of fertility.

The popular practice of throwing rice at weddings has been debated in recent years. Some experts have proposed the idea that consuming rice is hazardous to birds’ digestive systems. Many argue that the swelling property of rice, when wet, is not compatible with a bird’s anatomy. Legend has it that when birds eat rice and then drink water, their stomach will explode.

Other experts have speculated that the mere suggestion of rice exploding inside a bird’s stomach is nonsensical. Some argued that although rice can double in size when wet, it is not necessarily capable of exploding a bird’s stomach. In fact, many birds have been unaffected by the consumption of rice.

Moreover, those in the wedding planning industry have discouraged the tradition of throwing rice at weddings. However, their reason has nothing to do with birds. Instead, some wedding planners have suggested that throwing rice at the happy couple may cause someone else to slip and fall, later on.

Many wedding planners suggest using garden wedding favors. Not only are they environmentally safe, but they are great as a gift for guests to take home and plant. Planting the seeds is a way for your family and friends to celebrate your new life together with your spouse.>Seeded wedding favors are unique, economical, and mother nature-friendly. These wedding favors are a fun way for your guests to commemorate your new beginning.

Whether the belief that rice can kill birds is an urban legend, an old wives’ tale, or a fact, it is obviously safer to throw bird seeds or garden seeds after a wedding. Not only are these seeds more appealing to nature’s flying animals, seeded wedding favors are also safer for the environment. So, save your rice for a side dish to serve at your reception— and invest in seeded wedding favors for your guests as a symbol of your appreciation.

Maria Romain, founder of Academic Success Management, Inc. is a writer for HQ Wedding Favors. A family owned company that offers the most unique wedding favors that fit any budget. Find more articles on wonderful wedding favor ideas by visiting today.


A bankruptcy is one of the worst experiences any person can go through. Most likely there have already been terrible things happen to cause the bankruptcy. On top of dealing with the first tragedy there is even more stress and sleepless nights with foreclosures and bankruptcy looming overhead.

People who are trying to survive bankruptcy are a lot like those that are lost in the wilderness. In both situations you’re trying to recover from having everything taken away from you. Just like surviving in the wilderness there are some guidelines that will help you survive after bankruptcy. This is still life and death.

Step One – Stay Positive.

In all the turmoil it’s critically important to stay mentally positive. Those that are lost in the wilderness and survive have one thing in common: they stay positive. Remember to stay calm, get your bearings, and think positive. Once you have your directions stay the course. Changing directions over and over will only get you even more lost. Find any clue that indicates your direction. Once you find your true north work very hard toward that direction.

Step Two – Avoid Excess Risk

When people get lost they are disoriented, confused, and make poor decisions. One of the poor decisions they make is taking on unnecessary risk. Many people have died in the wilderness while trying to climb a cliff face, cross barren wastelands, or swim turbulent waters. At the time these seemed like the only option to get where they needed to go. This is simply not true.

Avoid doing anything financially risky after bankruptcy. Betting everything you have in Las Vegas, starting a high-risk business, or buying lottery tickets with grocery money are all bad ideas. Remember, your purpose is to survive. Surviving takes patience. Being rescued right away doesn’t always happen so don’t expect it, or even worse, force it. Time and good judgment will bring you through.

Step Three – Be Creative With What You Have

A safety pin can save your life in a wilderness setting if you can catch fish with it. Most people that make it in a survival setting use anything they can find. They think outside the box and use every item creatively to make it work for them.

The same idea works in recovering from bankruptcy. After the process is final, most creditors won’t want to work with you. You need to start building good credit quickly. Use your car, your jewelry, or even some cash to use as collateral to get any kind of credit. A great place to start is by getting secured or bad credit credit cards. After you’ve got that card set it up on automatic payments and let it fix your credit on autopilot. Survival takes a lot of energy and patience. You will do great if you stay positive, avoid risk, and are creative with the things you already have. Good luck, you can do it!


Eco-Friendly Promotions For Campgrounds

On November 19, 2012, in Business, by admin

Campgrounds are private parks specifically designed for camping. These parks commonly have designated areas and facilities for camping activities including: fire pits, RV parking areas, picnic benches, and hiking trails. Campgrounds also commonly require an entrance fee needed for maintenance of the park.

Apart from appreciating the beauty of nature, conservation and sustainable practices go hand in hand when promoting nature parks and campgrounds. These parks make use of eco-friendly promotional materials to help protect the environment. They can benefit from eco-friendly printing as this aims to reduce dependency and promote sustainable use of forest resources. Below are examples of these eco-friendly printed materials and practices.

Brochures – Brochures are handy, promotional materials perfect for campgrounds. They can be used as informational materials featuring maps, directions, or even first aid tips. As promotional materials, they can feature special camp activities, seasonal discounts, and holiday camping packages. They can also outline an offering of eco-friendly sporting activities like mountain-biking, rock-climbing, canoeing, and hiking. Online printing companies practice eco-friendly printing by bringing all printing scraps to recycling plants for recycling.

Pocket Folders – Pocket folders can serve as informative survival kits. They can also serve as promotional materials for tradeshows and travel expositions. Inside the pocket folders, a variety of marketing materials can be found. These include business cards, flyers, brochures on park rules, and tips on living a sustainable life. Apart from recycling, online printing companies also make use of less harmful vegetable inks and aqueous (AQ); water-based finishes for printed materials.

Magazines – Magazine printing can serve as an entertaining collection of glossy images and articles on topics pertaining to campground living. Park owners can print magazines with features on the campgrounds, a history of its native flora and fauna, and its current eco-friendly projects. Other eco-friendly printing practices include the use of 10 to 30 percent recycled paper stock certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and the Sustainable Forest Initiative.


You looked at installing a underground sprinkler system on your property. And then stopped short when you realized the thousands of dollars it would cost! How could plastic pipe and sprinkler heads cost so much? Here is a lasting inexpensive water irrigation system that is near maintenance free and will have your neighbors wondering why they never see you watering your garden and plants. You can claim yours to be an environmentally friendly garden soaker system (or water drip system), using the minimum amount of water to sustain your plants and shrubs.

Get the water as close to the plant roots as possible. Using less water is important to our global environment.

Communities now encourage water soaker systems instead of sprinkler systems. Water applied near the ground will mostly be absorbed into the earth where it is needed by the plant and grass roots. Water sprayed above the plants and grass lands on the leaves and flowers before dripping to the ground. This longer exposure to the air will cause much of the sprayed or sprinkled water to evaporate into the hot summer air.

More than ever now communities control the watering of lawns and gardens during the summer months. Sometimes you are restricted to garden watering only – not lawns. An automatic water timer system combined with a soaker hose system makes plenty of sense in reducing the amount of water dispensed to water your garden plants and shrubs.

So how can I make an effective soaker system for my garden for under $500?

With some off-the-shelf components, you can have a simple but elegant soaker system that with be automatic and near maintenance free. With a simple water timer system, Y-connectors, faucet multipliers, some 1 1/2″ ABS pipe, quality 1/2″ garden hose and your choice of soaker hoses or irrigation hoses for potted or hanging plants, border gardens, row gardens or (dare I say) even lawn sprinklers. You now have the elements for a simple soaker irrigation system for your garden. This do-it-yourself automatic water irrigation system will ensure you water plants at the best time every day; specifically, early morning and late afternoon. As an added home security feature, when you are away from home your garden will sustain its beauty and make it look like someone is at home.

Here is the material list required for your automatic garden soaker system. (Note: there is a complete Picasa image gallery of all the required components of this inexpensive soaker system at ):

1) Select your water timer – I selected Orbit from Home Depot. Make sure it has a battery timer so power outages won’t alter your scheduled watering times. It should allow for at least 3 watering zones.

2) Select your main faucet multiplier (or Valve splitter) that will attach to your outside water faucet and can accommodate the 3-4 water zones plus a spare to allow for regular garden hose watering. You can secure these special faucet multipliers from garden centers or at Lee Valley Tools

3) Enough 1 1/2″ ABS pipe (and glue) and 22.5 degree elbows to run underground (6″ – 10″ depth). Use the 22.5 degree elbows only to allow for easy insertion of the garden hose into the ABS pipe. You can cut further costs by burying the garden hoses directly underground. The ABS piping does provide added protection from accidental puncture from aerators, pitch forks and other garden tools. This ABS pipe can also serve double duty to run low voltage wire or speaker wire to the remote areas of your garden.

4) Enough quality garden hoses to run through the ABS pipe and connect to the soaker hoses in all your garden beds.

5) Soaker hoses for all your garden beds.

6) Enough Faucet multipliers (Valve splitters) to extend each watering zone with soaker hose as required.

Creating your automatic garden soaker system involves more of a landscaping effort than anything else. Here are 3 steps to completing your eco-friendly automatic garden soaker system (Note: refer to the Picasa image gallery for details of component assembly):

1) Bury the ABS pipe feeding the garden hose through it as you connect and glue the pipe sections. Bury the pipe 6″-10″ under your lawn or sidewalk. Have both ends extend out of the ground using the 22.5 degrees elbows so that the stiff hose can still be easily pulled through the pipe.

2) Connect the soaker hoses to the ends of the garden hoses and weave the soaker hoses through your garden under plants and around shrubs. Follow the installation instructions of the soaker hose manufacturer.

3) Install the water timer and water zone valves on the faucet multiplier. Connect the hoses for each zone. Follow the installation instructions of the water timer manufacturer. Do not set the water time for each zone more than 20 minutes each. Set two water times – early morning (around 6 am) and late afternoon (around 7 pm).

Maintenance of your Irrigation System and Preparation for Freezing Winter Temperatures:

1) Disconnect the [zone] hoses at the main faucet where the Water Timer is located.

2) Using a Shop Wet Vac, suck the excess water from each zone hose. Use electrical tape to secure the vacuum pipe against the end of the hose. Turn on the wet vac and let it run for 10-15 minutes. Empty the water extracted before repeating this for each hose at the main faucet. You will extract enough water from the hoses so as not to incur any winter damage to your hoses from freezing water.

3) Tape a plastic bag over the ends of each of the [zone] hoses. This will prevent little critters from getting in the hoses and clogging them when you reconnect the system in the spring.

4) Remove the water timer and faucet multiplier. Store them in a warm place where they will not freeze.

5) Note: you DO NOT need to disconnect and remove the soaker hoses. They should last 4-6 years before you need to replace them. Check the soaker hoses each spring for holes. You can patch these holes with high-friction Silicone tape. You may also leave outdoors all-year-round any valve splitters that were used to increase the soaker hoses in a particular water zone.

You now have an inexpensive water soaker system that won’t break the bank. You have saved thousands of dollars and can boast of being a friend to our environment. You clearly are doing your part for water conservation and the ecology. Nice going!


Seven Tips For an Eco-Friendly Bathroom

On January 20, 2011, in Home Improvement, by admin

People use–and waste–more water in the bathroom than in any other room in the house. Add all that water use with polluting soaps and shampoos, the energy used to heat the water, and more–and your bathroom could be doing damage to the environment.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are many things you can do to bring a little green into your upcycled bathroom. Here are just a few.

Energy-efficient light bulbs. Fluorescent bulbs are 90% more efficient than incandescents. Incandescent bulbs lose most of their energy as heat–which makes them a fire hazard as well.

The best lighting for a bathroom is bright enough to let you shave or apply makeup without squinting, but soft enough to look flattering while you do it. Choose bright white energy-saver bulbs, and soften the light by hanging them at eye level on either side of the mirror or putting them behind frosted glass.

Dual-flush toilets. Most new toilets use about seven or eight litres of water every time you flush. Older toilets use 9-12 litres. However, you don’t need this much water to flush a toilet.

If you want to save water, replace your toilet with a dual-flush model. Dual-flush toilets have one flush for water waste, and another for solids. Naturally, you need less water to flush water waste.

Faucets that conserve water. Leaky faucets waste millions of litres of water per year, and cost you money as well. To prevent leaks in your bathroom taps, replace your old fixtures with self-closing taps that shut off the water as soon as you stop pressing a button. This ensures your water isn’t left on while you brush your teeth or shave, and it keeps your faucet from leaking.

Think green in the shower. We waste a great deal of water in the shower–plus massive amounts of energy used to heat the water we waste. If you want to save water and save the planet at the same time, consider installing a low-flow showerhead or an air shower.

A typical showerhead delivers 25 litres of water per minute, while a low-flow showerhead delivers only 6 to 15. Cut your shower time in half and use a low-flow showerhead, and you’ll save a great deal of water.

If you really want to save water, however, consider an air shower. An air shower device can be attached to your existing showerhead. It pumps each water droplet full of air. This makes each water droplet bigger, so it feels just as wet and strong as a typical showerhead. Studies show that air showers can cut your water use by an additional 30%.

Recycled tiles. If you’re redesigning your bathroom from scratch, choose recycled materials such as reclaimed glass tiles. Glass is completely water-resistant, making it a great choice for bathroom walls, flooring, and countertops.

Choosing glass makes good ecological sense as well. Each glass bottle recycled saves enough energy to run a 100-watt bulb for about four hours. In addition, glass accounts for about 6% of all landfill waste and takes over a million years to break down.

Heat your water efficiently. Most people wait until their water heater breaks down to buy a new one. This puts you in the position of having to find one quickly, without the luxury of shopping around. But if you take your time in finding the right water heater, it could pay off in the long run.

The most common type of water heater is a storage heater: a big storage tank that’s constantly heated. Because it’s always kept warm, this type of heater loses energy even when it isn’t used. However, there are some new models that are designed to minimize standing heat loss.

If you want a truly efficient hot water heater, however, look for a tankless heater or a solar heater. A tankless heater passes water pipes directly through the boiler, while a solar heater uses the sun’s energy to heat water. Both of these will cost more to install, but they will cost less to run.

Use nontoxic shampoos and soaps. Many ordinary soaps and shampoos contain chemicals that could put your health at risk. There are many carcinogenic chemicals in deodorants, soaps, shampoos, and body sprays. Some of these persist in the environment, build up in the food chain, and return to haunt us long after they’ve gone down the drain.

Be skeptical of products labeled “natural;” under current marketing legislation in the U.K., only 1% of a product needs to be naturally derived in order to use the label. Look for soaps and shampoos that don’t use artificial fragrances–essential oils are fine, however. Avoid mineral oil, which is just another name for petroleum oil. In addition, choose soaps and shampoos that use minimal, biodegradable packaging.

Making your bathroom more eco-friendly doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Making a change in the soaps you use, limiting your time in the shower, and installing water-efficient fixtures can make a big difference. Whether you plan a few simple changes or a big overhaul, a greener bathroom is within your reach.


With the ongoing trend for more sustainable and environment-friendly energy sources, around $155 billion was invested last year in alternative energy funds. This fund does not even include large hydro, proving that the cause is getting wider and wider as time passes.

The awareness for more alternative energy sources has spurred even the large companies and powerful investors to invest their money to support the cause. This year, this is even expected to go higher. Among the alternative energy funds, $13.5 billion were given to companies who are developing new technologies to have more sustainable energy resources. Around $117 billion was invested in projects focusing on renewable energy sources such as wind, biofuel, solar and geothermal.

This increase in alternative energy funds is four times higher than that of 2004. Even as the global economic crisis loomed over most companies, there was still a high turnout in terms of alternative energy funds.

Different countries are showing large support in this cause for more sustainable energy resources, providing more awareness and support coming in from around the world. Emerging economies such as Brazil and China contributed to the five percent increase in the total amount of funds dedicated to alternative funds.

According to UN undersecretary general and the executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme Achim Steiner, the economic crisis has definitely affected the campaign for clean energy. This is most especially true in the United States, where investments decreased by 2 percent. However, the efforts are still just as overwhelming, especially now that sustainable energy is becoming mainstream.

To be noted are the efforts of China, which is currently the second largest market in wind energy. This is in terms of new capacity, as well as photovoltaic manufacturing. Geothermal energy has been getting more and more utilized, especially in countries such as Kenya, Japan and Australia.

Even developing countries such as Chile, Brazil, the Philippines and Peru have been bringing in efforts to introduce policies and laws which would encourage energy conservation and more environment-friendly ways of living and energy-production. These countries have taken note of alternative energy funds, and have been seeing mobilization even in non-government organizations.

Among all the energy resources, wind was able to attract the largest amount in alternative energy funds. However, solar energy had the largest increase in terms of market share, while biofuel energy dipped a little bit by 9 percent.

One of the responses of the countries to the economic crisis is creating stimulus packages that have specific provisions for energy efficiency, boosting renewable energy sources. These new deals can significantly contribute to the efforts of having cleaner energy. These alternative energy funds would most certainly help support the market for cleaner energy.

Because of these efforts, it is assumed that prices of green energy tools would also fall down. Solar modules, for instance, is expected to soon fall by 43 percent in terms of price. This is because the supply bottleneck have been easing down, allowing for more suppliers to be able to produce according to the demands of the countries. The drive for sustainable energy has also been increasing alternative energy funds even for the companies producing them.

This proves that the private sector is soon catching up to the trend. Investments were also seen in bottleneck last year, but this year, they are expected to catch up and even increase significantly. Investments for sustainable energy are also one of the biggest stimulus packages in governments around the world. Efforts have been noted and reported in different occasion. In Asia, China remains to be the giant even in alternative energy funds.

There is a strong message that is beyond all of these alternative energy funds coming in from around the world. Banks are encouraged to increase their lending to the energy sector, tax exemptions or deductions are being asked for renewable energy funds, and more efforts have been on the way to get the alternative energy funds and investments flowing.

The plans that are backed up by alternative energy funds are scattered among short-term, medium-term and long-term goals. As long as the different governments of countries around the world continue to support the cause, we will soon be living in a more sustainable earth.