Installing and Maintaining a Japanese Zen Garden in Your Backyard

Installing and Maintaining a Japanese Zen Garden in Your Backyard

Zen gardens were originally created by Buddhist monks as a place for meditation and contemplation. In earlier times, they became known as a space for the ruling elite in Japan – a place where they could find calm and peace while the country was in the midst of war or strife. But with the passing of time, Zen gardens became associated with a way of life deeply rooted in Japanese culture.

A traditional Zen garden is a miniature landscape of mountains and water. It is created using artistry infused with tranquility that can inspire a homeowner as well as visitors seeking peace and comfort in their lives. Installing and maintaining a Japanese Zen garden in your garden will not only add beauty to your premises, but will also add value to your house. Here are the steps you should take in building this type of garden in your home.

Read More

Eco-Labels Around the World (Interactive Infographic]

Eco-Labels Around the World (Interactive Infographic]

Guest post and infographic by Customlabels.net

Nowadays, people are more aware of the impact their purchasing decisions can have on the environment. In order to reduce their ecological footprint and negative impact on the natural world, a growing number of consumers have decided to buy products that will do less harm to the environment. They avoid buying bottled water, use their own grocery bags and choose eco-friendly products as much as possible.

Today, various products can have an “eco-friendly” or “green” inscription on their packages, but sometimes these statements can be false. So if you want to be sure that you are buying a product that is produced with a more controlled, less detrimental impact on nature, you should look for eco-labels on its packaging.

Eco-labels are certificates that mean that higher standards of environmental protection are upheld during all stages of the product's life cycle. Eco-labels are often mixed up with environmental labels, but they are actually a subgroup of environmental labels.

Check out the infographic below to learn more about eco-labels. It will give you an interactive overview of their meanings, managing organizations, and the industries they apply to.

Read More

Short on outdoor space? Why you should try container gardening

Short on outdoor space? Why you should try container gardening

Spring is here! For some of us, spring is finally here. Although the crazy weather patterns we’ve been experiencing in the mid-Atlantic region where I live have left many of us anxious to go out and dig around in the dirt, others may only be thinking about making this the year they grow some of their own food (or the year they grow more of their own food). If you’re ready to stop thinking about it and start doing but are challenged for space (maybe you live in an apartment of condo, or maybe you have a tiny yard, or your yard doubles as your dog’s bathroom), this post is for you. Maybe you have a healthy growing operation in place already but are starting to suffer from back problems because of all the bending involved in maintaining your garden. If so, this post is for you, too. Or maybe you’re just interested in trying something new or adding new elements to your garden. This post is for you, too.

Read More

Why Are Today’s Homes Still Unhealthy?

Why Are Today’s Homes Still Unhealthy?

Guest post by Will Sandford

Do you think your home offers a clean and healthy living environment? If you answered yes, you are thinking like the majority of people. However, unfortunately, you are wrong. Even in 2018, many houses and apartments are unfit for living, and we will explain why. So, let’s begin.

Read More

Can you really go green when buying new electronics?

Can you really go green when buying new electronics?

Guest post by Zack Gallinger/Revolution

I’m going to level with you. If you’re buying brand new electronics, which is a necessity in our day and age, it’s almost impossible to really go green.

Electronics are complicated items, containing thousands of different components constructed of hundreds of different elements. They are literally the most complicated stuff we know how to build and are also inherently difficult to recycle. So how can we do our best to keep it green? How can we minimize our impact and be good stewards of this Earth while still having the newest, fastest, highest resolution and most powerful handheld device ever conceived?

Read More
Comment

Decluttering for your home and health - made easy

Decluttering for your home and health - made easy

Blog post by Green and Prosperous, with infographic by EZ Living Interiors

Did you know that there are a lot more benefits to decluttering your home than just aesthetics?

Spring has officially been here since March 20th, even if the weather may not be cooperating where you live. Whether you’re still waiting for the winter thaw or enjoying the sunny days, you can do your part to usher in the spring by decluttering your home. Spring cleaning and decluttering has a long and storied history, but the 21st century benefits to this ancient ritual are many. In short, spring cleaning is good not only for the aesthetic improvement it brings to your living space; it also has several mental and physical health benefits. Our ancestors were well aware of this fact.

Read More

Here’s Why You Should Recycle These Electronics (and How)

Here’s Why You Should Recycle These Electronics (and How)

guest post by Tiffany Jersey

When you think about your smart phone or tablet, or even the batteries that you use in your remote, do you think about much more than their capabilities? Probably not: you’re mostly worrying about the Wi-Fi connection speed you have or the apps you want to download, or even just how long the batteries will power your remote.

But what goes in to all that tech is important because of what happens to it after you’re done using it. The U.S. is the biggest contributor to electronic waste on the planet, and we’re churning it out at an ever-increasing rate of about 8 percent more each year. When we don’t recycle that e-waste, we’re doing more than just building up landfills (although that’s important to consider). We’re also pushing small amounts of dangerous metals back into the soil and water, where they can eventually contaminate what we consume. What can and should we do about it? The suggestions in this graphic can help.

Read More
Comment

Beyond the Hype: The Science behind developing healthy eating habits

Beyond the Hype: The Science behind developing healthy eating habits

Americans’ thinking about food has shifted dramatically over the past 2 decades. With major changes to the food industry (think the introduction of GMOs, the mainstreaming of organic foods, the popularity of celebrity chefs, and the growing number of documentaries about our eating habits – e.g. “Super Size Me”, and the problems with the industrial food complex), a growing number of people now think that eating healthy is important.

However, although many of us want to eat healthy, or think that we are eating healthy, the evidence says otherwise. In fact, most Americans do not get the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables and consume waaaay more sugar and saturated fats than they should...

What if you’ve been trying to eat healthier but can’t seem to break your unhealthy food habits? What if you eat pretty healthy already but want to make some small improvements to your diet? What if you know someone who has a very unhealthy diet and wants to improve his or her eating habits?

Read More

How to Turn your Car into an Eco-Friendly Vehicle

How to Turn your Car into an Eco-Friendly Vehicle

Guest post by Adam Fuller

Air pollution is one of the major factors that affects the spread of global warming. Certain inventions can help lessen the effect of harmful gases into our atmosphere, and one prominent innovation that has been contributing positively to reducing the burden on our the ecosystem is an eco-friendly vehicle. Over the years, and after consulting numerous studies about the best solutions for reducing harmful vehicle emissions, car manufacturers have offered one of the most effective ways to reduce vehicles’ hazardous impacts to the environment: manufacture and sell more hybrid and electric cars. While it is arguably one of the best solutions to reducing vehicle emissions, it is an undeniably expensive option, and thus ultimately not for everyone.

Even if you can’t afford to purchase a hybrid or electric car, there are things you can do to help reduce the impact of harmful emissions from your current vehicle.

Read More

The Case for Conservation-Friendly Construction

The Case for Conservation-Friendly Construction

Guest post by Roof Stores

With the population ever-growing, the construction of residential and commercial properties is encroaching more and more into wildlife habitats, affecting how animals are able to live. The expansion of urban areas is leading to 1 in 10 UK wildlife species facing extinction, and this is something that we have a responsibility to try and change.

An important focus is being placed on solutions to allow us to continue to construct and build infrastructure, whilst also allowing us to peacefully coexist with the surrounding animal species and cause as little harm as possible to their natural habitats; this shift in focus is leading to the term ‘conservation-friendly construction’.

Not only is the construction of houses changing, specific elements within buildings are being developed to further help animals. Very specific innovations, such as changing the glass in windows to a different reflective nature so that birds don’t confuse them with flying into foliage or clear sky, are becoming more advanced. This is a simple addition to any home, one which shows that conservation-friendly construction doesn’t need to take over the whole house. Instead, small touches like these can make a difference to the welfare of wildlife.

Take a look at the infographic by Roof Stores below to get a better sense of existing issues and see how conservation-friendly construction can remedy them.

Read More

Servicing and Upkeep of Solar Panels – Solar Power Services

Servicing and Upkeep of Solar Panels – Solar Power Services

guest post by Sara Oliver

Solar panels are by nature designed to withstand everything that nature can throw at them and are therefore low maintenance items. That’s the point – low maintenance, not no maintenance. Anything, no matter how well engineered, must take account of Mother Nature.                         

The cleaning of solar panels is very important to the output of your solar system. Think of a clean car windscreen versus a windscreen that has not been cleaned in 6 months.

Dust build-up during the summer months can result in 5-10% loss of your entire solar energy system. It is recommended that you have your modules expertly cleaned, using only the right materials to ensure system optimisation.

There are a few obvious things that you can pay attention to ensure the most efficient output of your system.

Read More

How Good Stress Can Help You Become More Resilient in Life

How Good Stress Can Help You Become More Resilient in Life

Let’s face it, stress is a major part of life in the world today, especially if you are working (inside or outside the home), have children, or live in an urban environment.  As a divorced mom of 2 kids with a full-time job, consulting work, and running my business, www.greenandprosperous.com, I manage a fair amount of stress on a regular basis. During the course of my regular workweek, as a professor, I also see – and try to help mitigate – the stress my students face. With so many responsibilities to handle, and so many of them juggling long commutes, internships, volunteering, financial problems, or managing families (since most students these days are non-traditional) in addition to going to school full-time, I sometimes wonder how my students deal with it all, at such young ages. In fact, many of them do not deal well with stress, and a select few end up dropping or failing out of their programs. At worst, they become dependent on medication to manage their anxiety, or suicidal.

Read More

5 Reasons Why Going Green Will Futureproof Your Business

5 Reasons Why Going Green Will Futureproof Your Business

guest post by Jane Rodinson

With the environment consciously being at the forefront of people’s minds currently, going green is perhaps the most important things businesses should consider. And, with added efficiency comes extra benefits, futureproofing your business being one of them. Here’s why.

Read More

How Growing a Garden Improves Your Health

How Growing a Garden Improves Your Health

Guest post by Clara Beaufort

If you’re looking for a way to get more active, eat healthier, and improve your overall mental and physical health, look no further than your backyard. Gardening is one of the best activities people can do to benefit their overall health and well-being, and we explore how growing vegetables and flowers can pack such a powerful punch below.

Gardening Benefits Your Mental Health

You don’t have to be an adventurous whitewater rafter or mountain climber to get the mental health benefits of being in nature. When you work with the soil and plant bulbs and seeds, you are beginning a journey to better mental health. Gardening has therapeutic value, and spending time outdoors boosts people’s moods, reduces their depression and feelings of isolation, and relieves their stress.

Read More

6 Decadent chocolates worth the splurge

6 Decadent chocolates worth the splurge

Valentine’s Day may be over, but our love affair with chocolate continues. From its MesoAmerican origins to its migration eastward into the fashionable salons of the European aristocracy, chocolate has captivated our imaginations. Despite its sometimes-dark history and questionable health effects (some sacrificial victims of the Mayans and Aztecs were forced to drink chocolate mixed with blood, and wealthy European elites undermined the supposed health effects of chocolate by (over)processing it with alkaline salts, milk, and sugar), the global market for chocolate continues to expand. And although some of the chocolate that makes its way into retail stores in has been harvested by modern-day child slave labor in cocoa farms in Ghana and the Ivory Coast, the expansion of fair-trade, ethically sourced, and slave-free varieties of chocolate has meant that we can continue to enjoy our chocolate pleasures, guilt-free.

Read More