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Monday, August 31, 2009

Top Green Tips for becoming more Green and Environmentally Friendly

Here are my top green tips - These have come off the top of my head, but I will add more when I think of them and then I will update this post.

Did you know that car parts and old electrical items can be recycled and used to make things like pens and pencils? I was given a few recycled pencils and a pen and when I read the information on the side, they were made from recycled car parts.

Selling off unwanted and used electricals - You can easily sell your unwanted and used electricals to people who need and want them, or you can give them away. Some people use the parts of these machines for spares or to build things. This will save landfill, which is where most of these items go once they are no longer in use. If not in this country, then they go to developing countries where they pollute the land for innocent people.

Buy re-usable or rechargeable batteries - If you buy re-usable batteries, you can use these for a number of years without throwing them away. This will not only save you money, but it helps to preserve the environment as single use batteries contain mercury which is not only poisonous but also toxic. There are many places that now provide battery recycling such as your local library and various retail outlets.

Recycle your old and unwanted clothing, shoes and accessories - You can give these to a reputable charity. Old clothes and accessories can easily be used to make new material such as quilts and blankets and can be re-used by others. If your shoes are in good condition, you can give these away as well. Also, someone, somewhere could make good use and appreciate this clothing. Instead of throwing these items away, give them to people who need them.

Use natural products - Natural occurring products are good for the environment as they require minimum manufacturing, energy, chemicals etc. These also have the added bonus of being biodegradable, decomposing and wearing away once left out in the open environment for a considerable length of time.

Use biodegradable products - These will waste away and disintegrate easily and naturally and will not litter the environment and pollute the sea.

Use a water butt - You can use one of these to collect water. The water can be used to water your flowers, as well as house and garden plants, these have an added bonus as plants like rain water. If you look at your house plants which are watered with tap water, you can see a white film and build-up around these plants. This is caused by the calcium and other minerals in tap water. The plants hate this. I used to have this on my plant, so I started using filtered water on the house plant and I sometimes leave the plants outside when it rains, this will help to wash away the calcium.

Related Blog Links

Organic Foods - The Benefits of Going Organic

Related External Links

Electric hire car scheme spreads

Monday, August 24, 2009

Some pictures of my plants and pictures of flowers taken on my travels

Since this is an Environmental blog, I am going to add a few pictures of my plants and other flowers I come across on my travels. I used to have about four plants, which I put outside, but people keep coming to steal  them in the middle of the night. My favourite was a nice rubber plant that I promised to look after for someone who was going back to America, many years ago. My neighbour appears to have this problem too, thieves in the night. It is either my plants get stolen or they die. My African violet died. *big sigh*. I have had about 4 African violet plants and they have all died on me, I am just not good with that plant.

Flowers on display at Westfield Shopping Centre

These are some purple flowers I saw when I was at the Westfield Shopping Centre in Shepherd's Bush. Nice aren't they?

At the moment I have one Crassula ovata otherwise known as a jade plant, good luck tree, or money plant. It appears to have a number of names, which I have maintained for well over a year now. For some time the leaves were looking a little yellow and the plant did not look so well. I went to buy some fertiliser and met a lady who gave me some of her liquid fertiliser while I was out hunting for some. We had tea and a long chat too and she told me how to maintain the Crassula ovata, which she said I had over watered. She advised me to leave it outside and take the plant out of the pot completely in order for it to dry out a little bit. Unsurprisingly, this worked as these plants do not like too much watering. They are known as succulents.

I plan on buying an aloe vera plant soon. Aloe vera plants are great because you can break off a branch, squeeze the juice out and rub it all over the skin to keep mosquitoes away, this was a good mix with citronella spray to avoid getting bitten.

Crassula ovata

Below is a rosemary plant I spotted on my travels.

Rosemary Herbs

I have tried my hand at growing my own fruit and vegetables both here and abroad. I have also grown scotch bonnet peppers successfully there and my brother grew some brown beans on a few occasions.

I have grown potatoes, spinach, onion, water cress and mustard. Potatoes and water cress are fairly easy to grow. Potatoes like lots of water and with a lot of sunshine you can easily get some really big potatoes. The spinach gave me a few headaches and had some kind of parasite growing inside it and eating the leaf from the inside out. I used to pluck off the leaves that had this problem and eventually the spinach grew big and strong and were able to withstand the pests. On many occasions, we enjoyed the spinach and it feels so good to be able to grow your own fruits and vegetables from time to time.
As part of my science course at college many years ago, we had to grow flowers from their seeds, but that did not go too well. As you can tell, I am not so good with maintaining flowers but I am better with plants.

Update 6th May 2011

Beautiful flowers on the concourse at Victoria station

Here is one of my Jade plants. When I bought it it was really small. I've changed the pot once because it has grown so big. I have others.....Nice isn't it?

Crassula ovata or Jade plant

Crassula ovata, Jade plant or Good luck tree
(Seems to have lots of names)

Some African violets in a flower bed at Bankside

Related Blog Links

Healthy Eating - Living Salads

Related External Links

How to care for African violets

Care and Growing African Violet Plants – Easy to Grow Colour

Friday, August 21, 2009

Teenage Entrepreneurs Sow Seeds of Hope in their Community

This is so inspiring... These entrepreneural teenagers along with their mentors are helping their community, making some money and learning essential business, horticultural and environmental skills all in one.

Watch the video....

Greenpeace - Making Waves

Earthquake Report