Generally, people think of burning wood as the villain of the renewable energy family. Although it is a renewable resource, it causes environmentalists to shake their heads. Mostly they worry that burning wood means cutting down precious trees for fuel and smoke pollution. Not to mention that wood stoves are not as technologically sexy as glittering solar panels and whirling wind turbines.
As much as some hate the burning of wood as an energy source, wood is a conditionally renewable fuel, period. And as all environmentalists and alternative energy aficionados know, there aren’t too many renewable options available–especially ones that aide in large amounts for the cold weather months. For some, relying on wood burning fuel as a source for heat is a must for survival.
There are many of us that would rather use wood burning heaters rather than electrical or gas heaters. For those select few, do your part for sustainability by purchasing wood that comes from a sustainable source. Firewood should be cut, split and stacked in an open area in early spring to be ready to burn in the fall. Very hard woods like oak may take longer to dry–especially in damp maritime climates. When it comes to burning other elements besides wood–steer clear. Burning waste paper and trash produces elevated emissions of toxic gasses. Burn clean, dry, uncoated, untreated wood and just enough newspaper to light the fires.
Another tip for burning wood users: the not so beautiful wood piles that include wood from less desirable species tend to be more sustainable than perfect piles of maple or oak with regular pieces in the classic wedge shape. This is because straight lengths of these high value, slow growing species should be used for furniture, not wood heating. Ugly wood piles are created from a milieu of woods.
The bottom line on the argument of whether or not to burn wood is the cold hard facts. Wood is considered to be a renewable fuel and almost carbon dioxide neutral with the help of trees absorbing CO2. When trees mature and fall in the forest and decompose there, the same amount of CO2 is emitted as would be released if they were burned. When we heat our houses by burning wood, we are flowing along with the natural carbon cycle in which CO2 flows from the atmosphere to the forest and back.
Moving is overwhelming, we empathize with you on that but since we are here to help you with this process, we hope to make the transition as smooth as possible into your new home. Cleaning is a whole other story that we do not like to get involved in. Even though we do not provide any type of cleaning service, we will provide tips on cleaning products and quick easy tips to help your house look spickety span.
When cleaning mirrors or windows, use coffee filters because they do not leave any cotton residue on the surface.
The kitchen sink can harbor more bacteria that the floor of your bathroom. Stick to natural cleaning products, we suggest a vinegar based solution.
Baking soda is a natural deodorizer and is also awesome for scrubbing and unclogging drains.
To make a homemade furniture polish, we suggest mixing about ½ cup of olive oil and 1 cup lemon juice.
Speaking of furniture, if you find candle wax hardened on any surface, use a hairdryer to melt it and wipe any excess wax off the surface.
To get that unwanted pet hair off clothes, bed linens and other pet covered areas, mix a teaspoon of fabric softener with water in a spray bottle to create an anti static solution.
A good rule of thumb to abide by when cleaning is to remember not to use any harsh chemicals on any surface or anything you eat from. When cleaning the microwave, we suggest using white vinegar as a natural solvent. How to get off baked on foods we suggest using plain old, baking soda.
Lemon, baking soda, and vinegar are all inexpensive gentle cleaning solutions and will keep your home smelling and looking fresh and will not take a toll on your bank account.
However, there are many cleaning solutions that cannot be made at home to get the best and cleanest results. For those, we recommend 7th Generation products as well as Shaklee’s products.
During the Holiday season, your busy schedules probably just got slammed with a number of dinner parties to attend. Attending dinner parties are fun but hosting dinner parties can be fun too! Whether you are having a small get together or many people over for a green celebration, planning does not have to be stressful hopefully this article will ease your list of things to do.
So you’ve decided you’re going to have a dinner party. Next step is figuring out how you’re going to send your invitations. To go green and ease the carbon footprint on getting your attendees attention to save the date, may we suggest using social media? What a quick and easy way to contact your network of friends. Remember, just because its online doesn’t mean you can’t get creative. Send your invites a jazzed up email, they will be excited to open it making them even more excited to attend, we like to use Evite.com. Another idea is to suggest a prize for those who arrive by alternative forms of transportation other than by car, but whatever the prize is, make it green and make it good. When you decorate for your party create displays of fresh flowers and candles and get creative with the seasons offerings. Pinecones, lemons, leaves, and oranges are all things found in or around your house that can add to the fall season and add to the mood of a comfortable environment. Don’t forget to invest in some ‘green wine’ no, the color of the wine is not green but you can compliment any dish by supporting an ecologically sensitive winery. Or, you can have green drinks by supporting a local micro brewery, such as New Belgium Brewery, O’Dell’s Brewery and Fort Collins Brewery. When shopping for your dinner party, don’t forget about the after dinner coffee which you can go green by supporting fair trade. If there are leftovers, send everyone home with whatever is left, or compost your scraps for your garden. You should always seek out green household cleaning products because they are good for your health and good for the environment too.
As you can see these are quick easy steps to plan for your green Holiday celebration. All of these things are easy on your wallet; health and the environment too, have fun and stay green this holiday season.