Getting Your Backyard Ready for Winter
TAGS: BAckyard, Winter, Gardening
Canadian winters are long and cold. We often go into hibernation mode as early as the first snowfall but doing this leaves some of those important household duties and tasks forgotten until the snow has left the ground.
Getting your garden ready for the winter seems like one of those mundane time consuming tasks that often gets left off the list of pre-hibernation. This is why many spend countless dollars trying to revive our lawns come springtime. With just a little pre-winter preparation, we can avoid the large expenditure in spring and avoid using harmful chemicals to make our gardens look pretty again. Please see a list of helpful tips below to prepare your garden for the winter.
- Begin by cleaning up and disposing of old and rotten plants. Some plants can be holding on to disease, pests and funguses. By removing spent plants, you can ensure that nothing is being trapped on your soil or your grass once the snow piles down.
- Start building your compost. Keep your kitchen scraps and regenerate your compost over the winter months so that come spring, you have a natural fertilizer for your grounds. This will only improve your plant life. Have a harvested compost ready? Top up your soil with your existing compost before the snow falls. This will make it all the more easier to revive your crops in the spring.
- Cut your grass every 10-14 days and leave the clippings. This will also serve as a natural fertilizer.
- Aerate your lawn. Aerating the lawn will provide oxygen deep down under by creating holes in the soil that will only help your grass to grow fuller and healthier by encouraging worms, microfauna and microflora to gather. Lawn aerators can be rented at Home Depot
- Prune your perennials. While it is recommended to prune some perennials in Fall, for some species, it is not required. Educate yourself on which species should be pruned and which should be not in the following list: https://distefanolandscaping.com/perennial-maintenance-cut-back-fall-spring/
For more helpful gardening tools, please refer to the links below!
Greenhouse Gases - Wondering how you can reduce your carbon emission footprint at home?
TAGS: GREENHOUSE GASES, CARBON EMISSION
Let’s begin with what exactly a carbon emission footprint is. A carbon emission footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions that come from the use of products and services that include carbon dioxide, methan, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases. These gases get trapped in our atmosphere, ultimately resulting in the cause and increase of too much heat on our planet.
The majority of carbon emission comes from a person’s daily transportation, day to day housing habits and food consumption. To dive further, the amount of mileage done of cars, buses, trains and airplane travel, the energy usage in the home and the composition of one's diet.
The best and most effective way to reduce your footprint, is to regulate and track the amount that you travel. Ah carpooling - we’ve heard this term so many times but it really is important! By carpooling with a friend, coworker or spouse you cut your daily carbon emission contribution in half! Think about it… if you can reduce your carbon emission in half everyday, that is half the times you are emitting greenhouse gases in the air
For more information regarding reducing your carbon emission, please refer to the links
Doing Your Part - Energy Conservation and the Shift to a Greener Home!
TAGS: ENERGY CONSERVATION, GREENER HOME
Earth hour is great but it only happens once a year… Energy conservation should be top of mind and adopted into our everyday lives. There are easy ways to conserve energy in your home at all times. Making the shift to a greener home is important for our environment and better for our pockets in the long run.
While we may know the most basic way to conserve energy is by turning off the unused lighting in your home, basically turning off or unplugging anything not being used will help conserve energy and lower your electricity bill.
Here is a list of additional ways to conserve energy in your home:
- Replace your light bulbs with LEDs
- Use smart power strips
- Install a smart thermostat
- Think about replacing your appliances with more energy efficient ones
- Consider a energy efficient water heater
- Install energy efficient windows when it comes time to replace them
- Upgrade your HVAC system
- Weatherize your home
- Ensure proper insulation in your home
Now, you’re probably thinking all these changes are really going to leave a dent in your pocket, however, we have found resources to help make the shift to a greener home affordable! Check out these links to see how you can ease into the process.
Composting - Why is it so Important?
TAGS: COMPOSTING, TIPS
Ah, compositing. Such a foreign term to so many.
Composting is an important part of our daily lives for many reasons. To name a few, it can help to limit food waste, grow a healthier garden and contribute to the well-being of our planet. Most people do not compost because they do not know of the benefits it can bring. Composting is the mixture of decaying organic substances such as fruit skins, the parts of the vegetables that you throw away, dry leaves, manure, etc. A great rule of thumb to help to distinguish what is compostable from what is not is, if it comes from the ground, you should be able to put it back there. Natural fertilizers can help in the garden and on farmland. These organic substances can be used to fertilize soil and help with the growth and prolonging of plant life.By using natural fertilizer, we can limit the use of harmful chemicals in our homes that can have an effect on wildlife.
So how do you compost you may ask? Ideally, a flat bin placed in a sunny area where it can remain moist is best. Dry twigs, leaves and fruit skins can help with the breaking down of food particles. Empty your bin every 4 - 5 days. Full decomposition can take anywhere from 4 - 6 months to turn into soil, which can then be used as you would any other fertilizer in the garden. Fertilizing the garden 2 - 3 times a year will help you plants grow taller and make your garden that much healthier.
How do you get the family onboard with composting? Sometimes it is difficult to get everyone onboard with composting, especially when you have young kids. It takes practice and education but every little bit helps.Take a look at the links below for ways to make composting fun for the kids.
Fun Composting Projects For Kids
Activities To Teach Composting For Kids
Fun Composting Activities For Kids
Upcycling – How To Get Creative With Your Recycling
TAGS: UPCYCLING, HOW TO, CREATIVE, RECYCLING
Are you sitting at home, running out of things to do while waiting for life as we know it to go back to semi-normal? Are you running out of craft ideas to keep the kids busy, or is the recycling bin piling up so much that you are having to make two trips out to the curb each day? We have a solution for you! Give upcycling a try.
Upcycling is the creative reuse and transformation of by-products, unwanted and/or useless materials into something new that can be used as décor or as a common household item. Items you never even thought you could reuse can be made into something practical and exciting. Not only is upcycling a fun new way to get creative, but it helps to reduce our footprint on the planet. With more people staying home these past few months, the garbage has been piling up and we may not have been always thinking about the importance of recycling.
To name a few things you could consider before you toss them into the recycling are: Fabrics from old clothes or blankets, corks and old wine bottles (we know you have those lying around), wood from old furniture, aluminum foil, bottle caps, wax, paper, crates, tires, leather, etc., the list goes on!
But what can you make from these items you may ask? You can make anything from centrepieces, furniture, storage, toys, blankets/quilts to lighting, décor, art and so on.
The founder of Sparrows Stitching, Lianne Witt, has taken it up herself to create to use her talents to help our frontline workers by creating masks. Check out her Facebook page to see all the fun and creative stitching projects she has come up with!
Need more ideas? Check out the links below for more upcycling projects.
- 15 Ways to Recycle Everything Around You- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGqfWvm4TnQ
- Cool Stuff From Junk - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQKk7gefnx4
- Save the Environment! - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Obm4Noauhh8
What is an Eco-friendly Lifestyle Anyway?
TAGS: ECO-FRIENDLY LIVING: RECOGNISING THE NEED FOR CHANGE, ECO- LIVING, POOJA KAUSHAL'S BLOG ON SUSTAINABLE LIVING, OAKVILLE, TORONTO, MISSISSAUGA
The term ‘eco-friendly’ has been around in our culture for a few years now. Along with ‘environmentally friendly’, ‘green’, climate change’, ‘recycled’ etc. it is common-place in our daily lives but I bet not all of us understand these terms intrinsically.
Being Earth Friendly
Simply put, eco-friendly is being earth-friendly i.e., the opposite of inflicting damage to earth and our environment.
We are all at least aware of how human action is contributing to negative climate change. Mostly, we think about it and then move on, perhaps making minor adjustments in our lifestyle, not really inconveniencing ourselves. So how do we go from paying just lip service to fully living these concepts? The first step is to consciously educate ourselves and accept that the threat of climate change is real. Keep in mind, our kids are watching, so let us not let them down. Where appropriate, let them take the lead.
Step two, put that knowledge into action i.e. actually caring for our environment more and living consciously to avoid doing harm to it. So what can you do to start living an eco-friendly lifestyle? Here are just a few handy tips:
- Reduce, Re-use, Recycle
- Choose transit whenever possible. Consider cycling and walking more
- Eat more plant based foods
- Reward your business to organisations which are more eco-friendly
- Talk to your friends, family (even strangers!) to exchange ideas and tips
- Hold yourself accountable for these positive behaviours
- More useful info here: https://zerowastecanada.ca/
That’s it! Once you include these habits into your daily life, you will begin to live a responsible, eco-friendly lifestyle. And you should be proud of it!
The Joy of Eco-friendly Living
TAGS: THE JOY OF ECO-FRIENDLY LIVING,POOJA KAUSHAL’S BLOG ON SUSTAINABLE LIVING, OAKVILLE, TORONTO, MISSISSAUGA
I’m excited to share with you my new blog, The Joy of Eco-Friendly Living. A platform for sharing thoughts and ideas on living a mindful, earth friendly and fulfilling life through the power of making the right decisions. I started this blog with you the reader in mind — because I found that my experiences and concerns are shared by so many. I believe that by making a few positive changes in our lives, we can live responsibly and in harmony with nature which is a joyful reward in itself.
Sure, the governments, the big corporations need to do something about it. But what about the rest of us? I believe that change can and should start from us individually.
With that in mind, I decided to write this series of easy-to-read blogs on mindful, eco-friendly living - and the joy and fulfillment it can bring each one of us. I am certainly no expert on the topic, just a concerned and responsible citizen who believes in leaving a clean, healthy environment for future generations. I am here to learn as much as you, so please do feel free to share ideas, feedback, tips etc. so that we all may benefit. Thank you!
January 2020 : Eco-friendly Living: Recognising the Need for Change
As humans, we instinctively know that a clean, sustainable environment is good for everyone. Less pollution, less waste, more recycling and using biodegradable materials is better than living with a large carbon footprint. But how many of us give serious thought to actually living a responsible, eco-conscious lifestyle? The reasons are not hard to find. Many of us don’t know where to start, we think it’s too hard, or it’s too expensive to change our habits. And so, we keep making unsustainable choices.
Although we want to do better, but are too busy living our lives. So when we think about living sustainably, we typically think about personal sacrifice (“what will I have to give up in my life?”). Does preserving the environment always have to mean personal sacrifice? Maybe yes - but only in the short term.
Once we get used to the change, it can actually be very fulfilling. Knowing that we’re doing our best to keep the environment healthy and that it will continue to provide for us and our future generations is a very comforting thought.. Environmental sustainability thus enhances our personal emotional well being. There are multiple other advantages, but we will talk about them another day!
Where do we start?
You might ask, “sure, I do want to live more responsibly and recognise the need for change. But where do I start?”... or, “I already do what I can. What else should I do?”
Here are a couple of simple tips to start living an eco-friendly lifestyle:
- Be mindful: Give some thought to becoming more aware about the need for change.
- Decide to learn: Educate yourself on how you can personally make a difference
Also, do check these great resources to learn more: