The phrase, "growing green" just means that it is time to make decisions based on conservation when landscaping the yard. Native wildflowers, grasses, shrubs, and trees can add value to your home including curbside appeal. Using native plants also has many positive effects that you may want to consider including saving money, improving your health, and provide food for you and the local wildlife.
They’re Easier to Take Care Of
The advantage of going native in the yard is that the plants are already acclimated to the environment. According to Celebrity Greens, around 70 percent of homeowners’ water bill is from watering their lawns. If using local grasses, trees, flowers, and shrubs, this cost should lower considerably as the plants are used to the rainfall amount. Another benefit is less fertilizer and mulch is needed for the plants to thrive. Planting native perennials also mean that once established, they will not need to be replaced next year. Not only is the yard easier to maintain, but it is also easier on the pocketbook.
Better for the Ecosystem
Would it give you a sense of pride knowing that you are helping stabilize the local ecosystem? The local pollinators will love you also. According to Cornell, one of the most positive impacts you can make to the environment is to create a sanctuary to support and encourage thriving wildlife. If you enjoy the local wildlife, research what are native food sources will attract the animals you enjoy watching. Also, check to see what plants make good companions. Plan your Choose a landscape that helps the local ecosystem, requires easy care, and is pleasing to the eye.
Not All Local Plants Are Native
There is some research to be done here. Over the years, plant species have been introduced from other places around the world. You may have seen a plant all your life, but that doesn't mean it’s native to the area. Prairie Nursery advises that you make sure what you are planting is a true native of the area. One reliable source to use is your local agricultural center. You can also learn more about native wild foods as well as local herbs. These have several uses including: culinary seasoning, well-being, teas, and first aid. Many of these plants can be harvested from the wild.
With all of this in mind, are you ready to become a part of the native "green growing" movement?
Here’s another article you might enjoy: 10 Tips for Urban Gardening
(BPT) - Log onto almost any news website and in just a few clicks you’ll probably come across some story about the environment. Whether it involves international agreements, alternative energy sources or fuel-efficient cars, the discussion is often abstract and far removed from our everyday lives.
Consumers want to know what they can do and how they can contribute to making a cleaner, greener planet.
Minor changes can make a significant difference, particularly with cleaning your home. You can trade in harsh chemicals and wasteful cleaning products for sustainable methods that are just as clean, if not cleaner. Here are five ways you can clean your home the eco-friendly way.
1. Your own all-purpose cleaner. One of the easiest solutions is to make your own all-purpose cleaner. This effective solution only requires three ingredients: Two cups of distilled water, half a cup of white vinegar and 10 to 20 drops of your favorite essential oil. Mix all the ingredients into a spray bottle and voila! The vinegar is a natural antifungal that effectively kills germs and bacteria, and an essential oil like lavender will leave your house smelling great.
2. A cleaner way to mop. Unfortunately, many of the most effective ways to sweep and mop are also incredibly wasteful, requiring you to use a new disposable pad with each cleaning. The new O-Cedar ProMist MAX Microfiber Spray Mop features a reusable microfiber mop head that can be machine washed up to 100 times. Plus, the reusable bottle allows you to clean with any solution you choose — whether you DIY or buy your favorite brand. Its double-sided mop head flips and covers a surface area that is over twice the size of the previous version.
3. A sparkling toilet. Many of the harshest products under your counter are probably there to get your toilet sparkling clean. But you don’t need chlorine or bleach to disinfect your toilet and leave it looking like new. Instead, once or twice a week, pour a few tablespoons of baking soda into the bowl and scrub it with a toilet brush. In addition, make a toilet cleaner out of one ounce of eucalyptus oil — a natural disinfectant — and a quart of water.
4. Want clean air? Think green, literally. Especially in the winter, smells around your house can become stagnant and it can be a real challenge to chase them away. One of the most effective and visually pleasing ways to freshen up your air quality is with selective house plants, such as:
* Rubber plants thrive in rooms that don’t get much sunlight.
* Boston ferns are some of the best indoor plants for removing pollutants such as formaldehyde.
* Peace lilies are one of the few flowering indoor plants. As such, they bring a little spring to your room and naturally remove VOCs and more from the air.
5. Castile soap. In certain sectors, castile soap enjoys a virtual cult following. This olive oil-based soap is incredibly versatile and can be used as a furniture polish, window cleaner, dish soap and more. Best of all, most varieties you find in stores are all natural and free of toxins.
Though many of the environmental issues we read about may seem like insurmountable obstacles, it is possible to make a difference just by changing how you clean your house.
(BPT) - Looking for some easy ways to breathe new life into your home? Whether it's the air inside or the decor itself, freshening things up can make your home look and feel more welcoming at any time of year. You don't need a lot of time or money to reinvigorate your home; just a few simple and affordable, yet high-impact DIY projects will do the trick.
Here are a few projects you can easily accomplish in a single weekend:
* Paint an accent wall, trim or ceiling. Decorators often say painting is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to freshen your home's appearance. You don't have to redo an entire room in order to leverage the freshening power of paint. Simply painting a single accent wall for a pop of color, using paint to create graphic wall art, or repainting the trim or ceiling will create a whole new look. If you're looking for inspiration or simple solutions to help seamlessly transform your space, Dutch Boy Paint offers unique project ideas and easy-to-follow how-tos that will make the process a breeze.
Choosing the right paint for the job can also ensure the painting project is a breeze, from start to finish. Dutch Boy Refresh paint + primer with Arm & Hammer odor Eliminating Technology, eliminates the need for a separate primer. It saves time since you don't have to take that extra step of priming first. Plus, it's great for reducing common household odors. Refresh paint is a perfect choice for laundry rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, mudrooms and even kids rooms. It gives you added assurance that your home will smell fresh and clean.
* Don't forget about your furry family members. You may love your pets, but the truth is they can contribute to a stuffy atmosphere in your home. Wash pet bedding, litter boxes and cloth toys regularly. Contain pet clutter by placing your pup's or kitty's toys in a pretty basket where he or she can reach them.
* Add some indoor greens. Plants not only make a room look bright and homey, their ability to filter carbon dioxide and other airborne pollutants can help make your home smell fresher, too.
* Give your kitchen some TLC. Like most, you probably spend a lot of time in your kitchen. However, you don't need to do a complete makeover to give your kitchen a fresh look. Start by decluttering countertops and dropping some lemon rinds down the garbage disposal. Next, replace dated cabinet hardware with new handles, knobs and pulls. Adding in a faucet in a contemporary finish will go a long way too; as a focal point of the kitchen, it will help tie everything together in a subtle way.
* Upgrade your entryway. The front door is one of the first things visitors notice. If yours is old, worn and outdated, replacing it with a new one can be an easy, cost-effective way to improve the appearance of your home's exterior. Even if your door is in good shape, painting it a bright, appealing color can make your home's facade look fresher and more inviting. Be sure to use a paint formulated for doors, such as Dutch Boy Cabinet, Door & Trim paint. Add decorative lighting fixtures like sconces or a hanging light, dress up front steps with potted flowers and wash sidelights and windows around the entry.
* Some sources of stuffiness may surprise you. That old shower curtain not only makes your bathroom look shabby, it can detract from the air quality in the room as mildew builds up over time. Replace old shower curtains with something bright and appealing, and be sure to clean the grate on the bathroom vent fan. Stuffiness hides in the laundry room, too. Cleaning dryer vents and the washing machine regularly, and keeping laundry items and accessories organized can help make even a small laundry area feel fresh.
Freshening around the home doesn't have to be a seasonal project. With a few simple steps, you can create a new look and feel in and around your home at any time of year. For more on these products and inspiration for your next paint project, visit www.dutchboy.com
While the stress-relieving capabilities and health benefits of gardening are well known, a twist on this timeless hobby offers a way to add charm and a whimsical feel to your home and garden. Creating an enchanted fairy garden, such as the Fairy Garden Broken Pot or Naturalist Fairy Garden projects, can boost imagination and offer a family-friendly way to hone your green thumb.
Gardening with an Enchanted Twist
(Family Features) While the stress-relieving capabilities and health benefits of gardening are well known, a twist on this timeless hobby offers a way to add charm and a whimsical feel to your home and garden. Creating an enchanted fairy garden can boost imagination and offer a family-friendly way to hone your green thumb.
These miniature landscapes, often hidden in a secluded area of your garden or planted in decorative containers, are an easy way to refresh your interior or exterior decor and can be revamped seasonally to align with any design theme. The possibilities and styles are endless, so to help you get started, the crafting experts at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores created these fairy garden projects featuring a host of tiny details to bring your scene to life. Pottery, moss and tiny figurines will make your garden complete.
Fairy Garden Broken Pot
Crafting time: 3-5 hours
Supplies and Tools:
Tightly fill bottom of planter with smaller pots and packing peanuts or bubble wrap. Cover packing peanuts/bubble wrap with moss, gluing in place with hot glue.
Place fairy items as you desire, securing with hot glue. Trim bottom of plant to a 1-inch stem and secure it in place with hot glue.
Naturalist Fairy GardenCrafting time: Weekend project
Skill level: Some experience necessary
Supplies and Tools:
Flip wooden tray over so bottom is facing up. Spray paint bottom and sides gold. Allow to dry. Using old rag or paper towel, rub on wood stain sparingly, allowing gold to show through stain in areas. Allow to dry.
Measure width of opening between sides of tray. Transfer measurement to green floral foam and cut with serrated knife.
To create hillside for house, cut green foam to resemble a hill with highest point in back corner of long side of foam. Slope downward to create impression of hill toward a river, and contour other side to go slightly uphill, forming river bed. Hot glue foam to bottom of tray. Add foam at top of the hill for more height, if desired.
Place sheet of adhesive moss on top of foam, cutting out areas for river and hut. In river area, apply path of hot glue and dump pebbles on top. Use bigger stones on sides to create river bank. Pour bottle of nail polish onto riverbed, brushing stones to look like water.
Place hut at highest point, gluing it down with liberal amount of hot glue. Nestle bushes and trees around hut, varying sizes of round mosses and trees, and hot glue in place.
Glue white birch rounds behind hut for backdrop to glue trees and shrubs around; giving off appearance of a hut nestled in the hillside. Attach bushes to outside of sidewalls. Glue stepping stones in place to create path to river.
Add additional fairy items to fill out the scene.
Find more inspiration to create magical little villages from start-to-finish at joann.com.
Interested in Publishing on The Home Idea?
Send your query to the Publisher today!