6 Green Living Principles Every Household Should Learn (The Basics)

By: Guest Contributor, Jonathan James More

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Sometimes, you are presented with too many ideas on how to maintain sustainability in your living space and are unsure which ones are the most effective. The challenge is to put those concepts together and come up with the best game plan for a greener living.

Here are 6 green living principles your household should learn and live by.

1. Your Electricity Bill Tells a Lot

You can start at home. Try to consume less energy and you’ll realize that it will not only benefit the environment, but it would also yield higher savings for your family. Use natural sunlight rather than electricity during the day. Sunlight is a great source of vitamin D and can boost your mood.

2. Meals Should Be Well-planned

Obesity rate among children ages 2-5 decreased 43% in the past 10 years, based on a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in February 2014. This means that healthier habits are being practiced by more Americans. Do your part by preparing healthy and delicious organic food that your kids would like. As much as possible, have a good estimate of the food you will prepare for your family to avoid throwing away leftovers.

3. Make Play Time More Fun

Aside from preparing healthier meals on the table, you should also be concerned about your kids’ physical and mental development. Being active in the playground allows children to run around freely with other kids. Having fun playground time is one great trick that can prevent your children from watching too much TV, or playing too often using electronic gadgets, or spending too much time in front of the computer. Allow them to exercise at the playground with other kids in your community to make play time more enjoyable for them. Look for commercial playground equipment that would not only address their playground fitness, but also develop their cognitive and social skills.

4. Reduce Waste

Do your share by purchasing items in bulk to reduce the amount of packaging. Buying reusable items rather than disposable single-use products can also help in avoiding waste. And when doing the groceries, bring tote bags to avoid the use of plastic bags.

5. Transform Waste into Treasure

Look for second-hand furniture or previously-owned home pieces that are useful and in great condition. If there are unused toys or old clothes that do not fit anymore, hand them down to other people in need. Donating them to the less fortunate is better than just throwing them away. Glass and plastic bottles are good for decorating the house. Use your creativity and give the house a makeover.

6. Grow Greens

If you have a spacious backyard, consider growing various vegetables in it. This can be a source of food available for your household, so you don’t need to buy them when you do your grocery shopping. If you do not have a yard where you can plant a fruit tree, you can still create a small herb garden. Grow them in a pot and place it on the front porch or windowsill. It’ll be a fun learning experience for the kids to watch the plants grow as well.

Jonathan James More is a medical writer. Connect with him via @JJMore022.

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EPA Adds Seven New Superfund Waste Sites.

 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has added seven hazardous waste sites to the National Priorities List (NPL) of Superfund sites. They are:

MacMillan Ring Free Oil (former oil refinery) – Norphlet, AK

Keddy Mill (former sawmill, grist and wool carding mill) – Windham, ME

PCE Southeast Contamination (ground water plume) – York, NE

PCE/TCE Northeast Contamination (ground water plume) – York, NE

Unimatic Manufacturing Corporation (former chemical manufacturer) – Fairfield, NJ

Wolff-Alport Chemical Company (former metal extraction facility) – Ridgewood, NY

Walker Machine Products, Inc. (former machine screw products manufacturer) – Collierville, TN

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Keddy Mill Windham, ME

Superfund is the federal program that investigates and cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country to protect people’s health and the environment. “Cleaning up contaminated land is critical to the protection of human health and the environment,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “Superfund cleanups also play an important role in advancing the economic well-being of communities by turning formerly idle properties into productive community assets that can broaden tax bases, create jobs, enhance property values and support improved overall well-being.”

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the law establishing the Superfund program, requires EPA to update the NPL at least annually and clean up hazardous waste sites to protect human health with the goal of returning them to communities for productive use. A site’s listing neither imposes a financial obligation on EPA nor assigns liability to any party. Updates to the NPL do, however, provide policymakers with a list of high priority sites, serving to identify the size and nature of the nation’s cleanup challenges.

The Superfund program has provided important benefits for people and the environment since Congress established the program in 1980.Those benefits are both direct and indirect, and include reduction of threats to human health and ecological systems in the vicinity of Superfund sites, improvement of the economic conditions and quality of life in communities affected by hazardous waste sites, prevention of future releases of hazardous substances, and advances in science and technology.

Superfund actions frequently convert contaminated land into productive local resources and increase local property values by eliminating or reducing real and perceived health risks and environmental contamination associated with hazardous waste sites. A study conducted by researchers at Duke and Pittsburgh Universities concluded that, while a site’s proposal to the NPL reduces property values slightly, making a site final on the NPL begins to increase property values surrounding Superfund sites.

A popular brand name of Azospirillum Brasilense

Azospirillum Brasilense Bacteria (Azos) And Why Every Gardner Needs It.

Once again this is an example of how one must feed the SOIL not the plant. Nature has already thought of everything you need and provided it somehow, all you have to do is learn to restore what has been lost. Many fungi and bacteria have been killed off by spraying and other pressures of modern Western life. So here is a knowledge bomb of one of the hardest working bacteria in your garden, and maybe on the planet,

Azospirillum Brasilense, commonly referred to as Azos or A.Brasilense, is one of the most well-studied plant growth promoting bacteria. It is considered a free-living soil bacterium that has the ability to affect the growth of numerous agricultural crops worldwide through the excretion of various hormones and the bacteria’s ability of nitrogen fixation.

Pull Nitrogen From Thin Air.

Even though you and I breath oxygen and plants breath carbon dioxide, the atmosphere is actually comprised of around 80% nitrogen which is in the form of N2 atmospheric nitrogen that is not conventionally available to plants. Nitrogen is a key component in growing anything. it drives chlorophyll production keeping the plants dark green and happy. It is a huge part of amino acids and other compounds that keep your plants strong and healthy. It is a part of every major protein molecule, and yet soil is often lacking enough N. Chemical fertilizer could provide this N, but they are expensive and can be dangerous.

 

Somewhere along the evolutionary development of the “Plant – Soil – Microbial Matrix”, certain bacteria began to specialize in tasks to enhance plant growth, which in return provided the microbes with a food source exchange opportunity.  A select group of bacteria classified as “Diazotrophs” began to supply nitrogen to plants from a range of sources, including decomposed plant litter, dead micro-organisms, and sequestration of atmospheric nitrogen.

Azos is a particularly efficient agent originally isolated in the Amazon Basin where the lack of soil, the reapid breakdown of any vegetation by hungry microbes, and the environmental conditions which require growth to survive is a fundamental proposition of the ecosystem. Azos specialized in the highly-efficient conversion of the N2 form of nitrogen into plant-available NH3 ammoniacal nitrogen. Azos is so efficient that between 50-percent and 70-percent of all the nitrogen required by most crops can be supplied by this organism. Azos benefit to plants is not limited nitrogen-fixation alone. Azos also acts as a growth simulant, catalyzing the release of a natural growth hormone in plants. This naturally-released hormone increases root development and optimized the harvest potential of your garden. Together, Azos and mycorrhizae fungi work symbiotically to help ordinary plants become the fullest they can be (read about mycorrhizae in this post).

Azos can be used as a cloning solution, though I have not tried it personally.

So grab some for your spring transplants and improve your crop this summer.