Enviro Giving – 5 Eco-Friendly Gifts for Friends or Colleagues

eco friendly giftsPhoto by Vítor Santos on Unsplash

Reusable Coffee Cups

For the office worker or avid coffee lover, a reusable coffee cup could be the very gift to put a smile on the recipient’s face. Every day, thousands of workers make their way into cafes, lured by the smell of a rich espresso or creamy chai latte to kick-start their day. However, armed with a throw-away coffee cup, they are contributing to the growing waste problem.

Every year, we are putting millions of throw-away coffee cups into landfill, without them ever having a chance of seeing a recycling plant. In fact, of the 6.3 billion tonnes of plastic waste produced since the 1950s, including those coffee cups, only nine percent has been reused in some way. By gifting your friend a reusable coffee cup, you may just be preventing thousands of additional coffee cups from ending up in tips too.

Vermicompost Bin

It might not be for the squirmish, but a worm farm is the perfect gift for the eco-minded friend with a green thumb. Once established with a colony worms, you can recycle your kitchen scraps and turn them into the most amazing fertilizer for the garden. Microorganisms from those worms even help your plants to become more resistant to pests and disease. Vermicompost bins are available in various sizes and are easy to maintain. Just add your food waste and let the worms do all the hard work. Your friend is sure to appreciate the option to reuse food scraps opposed to throwing them away.

Fabric Shopping Bags

Several governments around the world have taken a stand against single-use lightweight plastic bags. Many countries have chosen to ban them, while others have imposed taxes for their use. You can make a difference by gifting your friends and family with fabric shopping bags. There are so many styles and colors to choose from, and by giving them a reason to stop using plastic bags, they are no longer taking their share of non-renewable resources.

Recycled stationery

For something a bit more tactile that will be useful for home or office, consider a beautiful stationery set made from recycled materials. Often, these sets are specifically designed to be gifted and feature cardboard encompassed pens and recycled paper bound with recycled cardboard covers.

Handmade soap

Body wash gift sets have long been a favorite gift option for your nearest and dearest. However, did you know the products you choose could be harming the environment? While a decision was made to ban microbeads in the United States, there are still many countries that allow these environmentally harmful practices to continue.

If you want to make a difference and not support those manufacturers who still insist on using plastic, consider handmade soap. You can try your hand at making it yourself or purchase it from an eco-friendly or local supplier. When beautifully gift wrapped, it makes for the perfect gift.

Healing the planet begins with the decisions that we make every day. When you’re looking for eco-friendly gifts for friends or family, know that whatever decision you make, you’re doing your part for the environment. Consider any of these five options for the perfect environmentally friendly gift.

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Understanding Shale Gas Mining

Shale gas development has been revolutionized in the past ten years by fairly recent events. Geologists have known for some time about large deposits of natural gas in areas of the Northeastern United States. However, antiquated methods of extracting this resource made mining these areas financially unfeasible. These huge shale deposits are known as the Marcellus and the Utica Plays, named for the areas in which they originate. They formed thousands of years ago in the shale sedimentary layers deep under the mountainous regions of New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio. Recent technological advances in drilling methods have finally allowed this vein to be tapped. The success of this harvesting method, called hydrofracturing, in the Barnett Shale deposit in North Central Texas made it possible to bring the technology to gas-rich shale deposits in other regions.

Shale gasAn illustration of shale gas compared to other types of gas deposits.
Image Credit: www.wikipedia.org

Why is This Such a Big Deal?
This discovery has re-energized the natural gas industry in the United States. Finding new sources of clean domestic fuel drives down the price of this resource and allows the United States to lessen it’s dependance on foreign oil for fuel. It also brings the supply closer to demand. Previously, the cost of transportation to the Northeast region made the price of natural gas prohibitive to many in an area that relies on fossil fuels for heat during the cold winter months. The ability to mine this resource in the region will lower the cost considerably.

Is Shale Gas Mining Safe?
Industry-wide protocols and best-practices in the exploration and harvesting of natural gas greatly reduce the risk of methane leaks and other environmental pollution. Proper industry regulation and oversight to ensure that companies involved in the exploration and production of shale gas, along with full disclosure of hydrofracturing methods, should ease dissent from some residents and environmental groups. The benefits of natural gas over coal and oil, including lowering CO2 emissions, makes the positive aspects of this practice outweigh any possible negatives.

How We Benefit From Shale Gas Mining
A large supply of natural gas from these regions will have a number of benefits, nationally and globally. Natural gas is a safe, clean-burning source of fuel for cooking and heating. Increased supply means a drop in the cost, making it more affordable. That means less reliance on coal and oil, and by extension, less air pollution. It also helps the United States become less dependent on foreign fuel imports, and helps us to become more competitive in the global natural gas market. Bringing natural gas exploration, extraction, and production to the Northeast also helps the economy in areas that have been hard hit. Currently, shale gas is in the first phase of a three-phase exploration and production, or E & P schedule, which consists of pre-drilling, drilling, and production. A recent report by the Pennsylvania Statewide Marcellus Shale Workforce Needs Assessment estimated that phase one jobs account for 98 percent of current shale gas E & P employment market. Once this phase is completed, the drilling phase will begin, and it will last for an estimated 10 – 70 years, dependent on fluctuations in price, the economy, and further technological developments during that time-frame.

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Energy Saving Tips for Your Home

energy savingSaving up these days is one of the most important skills that a household member should possess. In most cases, it’s the wife who will do the budgeting of the finances while the husband will do the work. However, in this modern era wherein both husband and wife are working, the budgeting can sometimes be taken for granted.

There are several energy saving ways to save up at home that doesn’t need frequent follow up. Budgeting doesn’t only apply on shopping for consumer goods but could also apply on how you’re using your appliances effectively.

Some people would sought for energy audit firms to have a detailed saving up activities for their household. However, it isn’t just a normal work that you can avail anywhere. You can never go wrong if you’re going to check azenergyefficienthome.com. Among the numerous energy audit companies, they have the best offer. AZ Energy Efficient Home is a full-service Arizona energy audit company lead by Jonathan Waterworth, who happens to be a LEED-accredited and BPI-certified general contractor.

With Waterworth’s credentials, he has a solid understanding of the entire structural envelope, and applies tools like a blower door, infrared imaging and other tools that are necessary to determine your home’s energy performance as it is related to cost, comfort, safety and health.

If you will just spend that much in order to save up in the long run, make sure you’re dealing with a person who knows what he is doing. With AZ Energy Efficient Home you can be assured that every penny is worth it. Skills wise, their company possesses it.

Saving up through the proper structuring and building your homes are the best energy saving steps you can take. Not everyone knows how to do it but it is never too late to learn. Utilize, research and listen to energy saving experts.

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Green Living

With the alarming destruction of the natural environment and resources, more people become environmentally conscious. I am glad that more people are now aware of the plastic’s adverse impact on our environment. Major supermarkets and malls nationwide are offering eco bags. There are also establishments that are offering points for using eco bags. A supermarket near our place will give you 3 points each visit if you will bring your own eco bag. Points earned can be deducted to the amount of your next purchase. It’s like giving rewards to those who are helping to save the environment. I just hope more establishments will do the same to encourage more people to use eco bags.

If you are not using eco bags yet, you must start using one now for it takes 1,000 years for the plastic bags to degrade back into the soil thus continued use of plastic bags means tons and tons of it that will be dumped to the landfills which will contribute to the green gas and to the global warming.

eco bags

I have five eco bags of different sizes and the latest one I have is this green eco bag. It looks like the plastic sando bag that is commonly used in the wet market and if not for its material, I have might have mistaken it for a plastic sando bag. It’s not as sturdy as my other eco bags but I love its color which I think means “green living”.

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Sky Garden and Green Roofs as Insulators

Lush greens everywhere we look. Your guess is right…these pictures were taken from a garden. Not garden on the ground but garden on the sky! We went to SM North Edsa last Sunday to celebrate hubby’s birthday and visiting that place is not complete without visiting their sky garden.

SM North Sky Garden
green roof
sky garden

Sky garden and green roofs are now popular in other countries for they are good insulators. A roof of a house or building is partially or completely covered with plants, planted over a waterproofing membrane. It helps to lower urban air temperatures. By minimizing heat absorbing surfaces it helps to reduce energy cost inside the house or building as well. It is best for tropical countries like ours where the sun is shining the whole year. I can’t imagine how much energy we can save if we all have green roofs.

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