Green News

Insulating Your Windows

If you live in an area with a cold winter climate, you might be starting to think about what you should do regarding your drafty windows. Winterizing them with plastic is a practical option. It will certainly help to reduce your winter heating costs. Debbie Anderson’s video and description on how to insulate a window against winter is easy to follow.

To get you started you will need to visit your hardware store for a couple of window insulation kits. A patio door kit is enough for about two average sized windows. You will also need a roll of double-sided tape (to supplement what comes with the kit), a pair of scissors, and blow dryer and a clean towel. If you are a resourceful person, you may want to contact a packaging company for some end-of-roll shrink wrap. This is the end of a roll of shrink wrap film that is used on a shrink wrap machine. There is often still 25’ to 100’ left on the end of the roll when it needs to be replaced. That is enough to keep you going for a few years (depending on how many windows you have). It is certainly a cheaper alternative to the window insulation kits.

Posted by Environment Smart on 09/17 at 10:18 PM
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Composting Your Fall Leaves

Composting your fall leaves is really quite easy. It can be as simple as making a big pile that sits and composts over the winter. This will give you some rich compost for the spring, but perhaps not as much as if you layer your composting more carefully. Mixing dry brown leaves with fresh green leaves will allow the composting process to work more efficiently. Here are a few tips on composting your fall leaves.

 

Posted by Environment Smart on 09/17 at 12:21 PM
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How to Build a Garden Compost Bin

There are many ways to build a compost bin for your backyard. Some bins are quite elaborate with separate compartments for garden and kitchen compost. Some bins are mere piles with a bit of mesh around them. Allen Smith uses an easy and attractive design that he developed from playing with Lincoln Logs as a kid. He explains how to build this compost bin in the following video:

 

 

Posted by Environment Smart on 09/17 at 12:13 PM
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Leave It To Nature

Fall is just days away. Many leaves are already starting to change colour and fall to the ground. If you do not already have a composting area for your leaves, then now is the time to get a good spot ready. You can build an open compost pile or an enclosed bin. Your area of choice should be a relatively sunny spot that is open to receive rainfall.

Why you should compost your leaves:
- Compost enriches soil with nutrients
- Compost helps sandy soils retain moisture
- Compost helps to loosen compact clay soils
- Mix compost with potting soil for indoor plants
- Use compost as mulch
- Composting saves transportation and disposal cost
- Composting saves landfill space and tax dollar

The “Don’t Bag It” - Compost plan offers some great tips on how to get started with composting.

Posted by Environment Smart on 09/17 at 11:33 AM
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Backyard Vegetable Gardens

There are dozens of reasons why you should start a vegetable garden in your backyard. Not only do the vegetables taste better than store bought ones, but you can guarantee that they will be organically grown. No need to be wrapping or bagging your veggies either. Just put them in a bowl and take them into the kitchen. Don’t be put off by thinking that maintaining a garden is difficult. Start off small to get your bearings and build from there. Before you know it, you’ll be saving money and the environment the practical way.

Posted by Environment Smart on 09/16 at 01:40 PM
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Action and Learning with Environment Canada

“You CAN make a difference! There are many simple actions that you or your organization can take to reduce waste, save resources and prevent pollution.”
Environment Canada.

Environment Canada offers and excellent resource for what you can do to help the environment in various areas of your life. Visit What You Can Do for hints and tips to use at home, on the road, at work, at school, in your community, for parent and for youth and kids.

Posted by Environment Smart on 09/16 at 12:56 PM
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Reduce Smog – Check Your Vehicle

Giving your personal car, van, SUV or truck a regular check-up goes a long way in reducing the pollution it puts out into the environment. It is our responsibility to make sure that our vehicles are in the best shape they can be in. It should not only be our personal driving safety that we are concerned about, but also the health of our environment.

Posted by Environment Smart on 09/16 at 11:56 AM
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Tire pressure and air filters - increase your fuel mileage

A lot of people lately have been telling us that we need to ensure that our tire pressure is up to snuff. Meaning, check your tire pressure, and check it regularly. Low tire pressure is not only dangerous, but it can also result in poor mileage. Take our vacation to Prince Edward Island a few years back. Relatives who were visiting from Holland had rented a camper for the trip while we packed our car with our camping gear. Their tank was full, and yet, after only 200 kilometers the tank was empty! Surely something must be wrong we figured, and it was suggested they verify the tire pressure. They found that two of the tires on this rented camper were very soft. Once the pressure was topped up, they started getting the proper mileage for the camper which was closer to 450 kilometers per tank.

Another item to check, which I had forgotten about for two years is your air filter. Our vehicle is nine years old and we do some of our own maintenance, like changing the air filter. Our mileage was just below 400 kilometers per tank, and after we changed the air filter we jumped back up to 450 kilometers per tank. Okay, our air filter was abnormally dirty, but you get the picture.

So go outside right now, take two minutes and check the tire pressure on your vehicle(s), and the air filter. You can usually find the recommended tire pressure on the car frame inside the driver’s door. 

If you have other hints and tips and would like to share them, feel free to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or post them in a comment.

Posted by TheGreen on 08/24 at 03:34 PM
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