Let’s Go On A Green Vacation

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Due to the increase in environmental awareness green vacations and green travel are becoming more popular. So what qualifies as an eco friendly vacation or travel?
The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), describes green vacation as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” TIES recommends following these eco friendly travel principles:

  • Leaves a minimal impact
  • Try to stay in local, eco-friendly accommodations
  • Support local businesses that promote sustainability. This also supports the local economy.
  • Use local guides or tour services

get green vacationSo as a green traveler you want to do two things:

1. Protect the places you visit and lessen or compensate for the carbon footprints from your travel. This means preserving, natural resources, plants, wildlife, and culture in the local communities.

2. It also means making a more eco friendly choices about transportation and lodging. You can choose to stay at a resort that practices sustainable operating practices. Since planes and cars give off the most carbon dioxide you may choose to travel by bus or train. If you must fly, consider purchasing a carbon offset or stay in a green hotel to compensate for the flight’s carbon emissions.
Carbon offsets are a form of trade. When you buy an offset, you fund projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon offsets let you pay to reduce the global greenhouse gas emissions instead of making radical or impossible reductions of your own. So it’s similar to restoring a balance.  Carbon offsetting is always voluntary.

Be aware though that some environmental activists believe that staying close to home is the best form of a green vacation or traveling.  There are downsides to this belief.  For example, developing countries rely greatly on tourism for their development. Well managed tourism can help fight poverty and promote growth. Also traveling far from home can provide long term educational benefits as in students exchange and learning first hand abroad. It also promotes opportunity to volunteer.

Some green vacation ideas are house swapping and camping. Consider an eco friendly travel adventure to places where you can camp and use your car and fuel minimally. This type of green vacation has the added benefit of allowing you to explore nature in a sustainable way.

Be careful of businesses who pretends to be environmentally friendly just to get your money. Pick up the phone and ask questions to verify their authenticity. Ask them exactly what they do to promote eco friendly travel and sustainable practices.  The following are some of the things that the hotels, and lodges can be doing to promote an eco friendly way of living:

Do they have a consumption reduction plan. For example do they use alternative energy sources like solar or wind power? Do they have low-flow toilets and showers, energy-efficient lighting?  Are they saving water, are there options for guess to re-use towels and sheets rather than every day changes? Do they recycle and what type?  Do they operate local or use local hire, how does the hotel contribute to the local community?

Also are the parks and beaches conserving energy by using energy-efficient lighting, enforcing recycling, and planting trees, etc?

Contrary to what some might think, green travelling doesn’t necessarily have to cost more. The sustainable operating techniques such as mentioned above can save an establishment a considerable amount of money.  What saves them money saves you money as a guest.  In fact you may find green travel is simply cheaper.

Supporting green travel makes way for better ecotourism growth for the future. So supporting places and countries that seriously endorses green vacations and travel will allow better funding for green trips and sustainable tours, allowing for a more enjoyable, healthier experience while saving the environment.

What Are Laundry Balls?

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If you are looking for a greener way of doing your laundry there are now more different products to choose from that allows you to have have a clean, healthier, green laundry.  One such product we are going to focus on today is known as “laundry balls,” “wash balls,” and even “eco wash balls.”  Laundry balls are small and come in various shapes.  There are round plastic balls, spiky rubbery oblong ones, while others are disc like.  You put them in your washer to clean your clothes.

Benefits of laundry balls

Most eco wash balls tend to be reusable up to hundreds of washes depending on the brand.  Some of them come with natural stain removers and refills. They are easy to use and better for the environment as they do not use harsh chemicals.  They soften clothes even in hard water, thus eliminating the use of fabric softener.  They do not fade bright colors or damage clothing fibers.   These entire great benefits end up saving you loads of cash while being gentler on the environment!

Laundry balls are hypoallergenic.  Therefore, they are great for sensitive skin, allergies, babies’and children’s skin. They also have anti-bacterial properties.
Different variations of laundry balls

There are different types of laundry balls.  Some laundry balls clean your clothes with alternative washing agents.  Instead of detergent, this kind of wash ball usually contains specialized natural ingredients.  One such mixture contains a blend of minerals and salts.  This is as effective as conventional washing powders but without the harsh chemicals.

There are other laundry balls that washes your clothes with the aid of “ionized oxygen.”  The ionized oxygen raises pH levels of the water.  This process softens both water and fabric causing the water to penetrate the fabric and lift the dirt.  The ionized oxygen is released throughout the washing cycle.

Yet there are laundry balls that wash clothes without any detergent.  They are supposed to help clean clothes by providing motion and extra agitation.

There are also eco-wash balls to use in your dryer.  They are used for tumble-drying.  They work by helping separate fabric and allowing clothes to dry quicker.  With the quicker drying time, the machine is in use for a shorter period then without them.

Cost of  laundry balls

So as you can see there are different varieties of laundry balls to choose from.  They are a better eco-friendly choice then conventional harsh detergents. Wash balls are gentler on your skin and clothes.   The price range can be from $3 dollars to upwards of $75.  Although some of the cheaper ones do work, consider the quality of what you are getting, as the more expensive ones do tend to last longer and come with refills and extra supplies. Even with the more expensive ones, you still end up saving loads of money.

Where to buy laundry balls?

Laundry balls are sold at some health food stores but they are more readily available online.  When buying eco balls make sure you have read all the info pertaining to them.

How To Get Green: One Shade At A Time

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There are plenty of things you can do as an individual, and a household, that can reduce the damage done to our environment. You can get green gradually, one shade at a time taking it one step at a time. The most effective changes you can make to your lifestyle begin, as all the best things do, at home.

The best part is these changes require nothing more than small alterations to your normal routine. The best way to start is to cut down on your energy uses. There are a variety of ways to do this, but start by always ensuring that appliances that are not in used are switched off at the plug – stand-by is not your friend. The same goes for lighting – if you’re not in the room, switch the light off.

get green friendly

You can also save water and energy by only boiling as much water as you need. A good way to do this is to fill whatever mug you’re going to use with cold water, put it in the kettle, half fill the mug again and add this, and boil. You need slightly more than a full cup as boiling produces steam and causes evaporation. On the same water-saving vein, having a bath is far more eco-friendly than using a shower.

Other small changes that will drastically reduce your energy consumption include relying less on heating – if you’re just a bit chilly, put a jumper on rather than reaching for the dial. And for whatever heating you do use, if you foil back your radiators, you will get more heat into the room for the same energy use.

There are still plenty of options to get green outside of the home. Most companies now offer paperless statements and bills, so switch over to that. This usually means your bill is sent in full to an email account and this is turn really helps the environment. It is also worth investing in some sturdy, long-term canvas bags to use while shopping for groceries – the carrier bag is one of the worst eco-enemies in use today. Complete eradicate it from your weekly shop and your carbon footprint will go into freefall.

The last, and perhaps most obvious, green friendly tip is the three Rs:

Recycle, recycle, recycle

Separate all your waste products in their appropriate places, so instead of just putting it all in one bin, split it into categories like, paper, glass, plastic, etc. and then send them to be recycled.

As you can see in order to get green just making  small changes to your habits can make a huge difference to the earth and yourself. Read more

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