Author Archive | Tim Werth

5 Tips For Making Your Own Eco-Friendly Garden Oasis

A garden oasis at home is a great idea, especially if you don’t have a lot of space in your yard for a sprawling garden. It will create a peaceful environment that will improve your home while helping keep the environment green. If you’ve been thinking of making one, have a look at the five tips below and see if they inspire you to start one today.

Make Plans With Why You Want a Garden in Mind

When you think about it, there are many reasons you may choose to plant a garden. You may want to plant one so you have access to fresh herbs and vegetables, or simply to add pretty flowers and color to your space. You may also want to create an oasis where the birds and the bees can thrive, intentionally creating potential homes for them. In a survey, 30% of the people said that they started gardening to get fresh vegetables while 25% said that they did it in order to get food that tastes better and is of higher quality. Gardening for fun was the reason for 22% of them while 15% did it to save money. The reasons you start a garden will influence how you do it and what you plant, which is why this is an important step.

Harvest Rainwater

For your home garden to thrive, it will need a good supply of water. For it to be truly green, it will need water that is sustainably sourced. Rather than use piped water to keep your garden going, consider harvesting rainwater and using it for your garden. It will be economical, sustainable, and is a great way to keep the natural cycle. You may invest in setting up a rain bank or simply use runoff barrels to harvest the rainwater and watch your garden thrive.

Invest in Materials That Can Withstand the Outdoors

For furnishing and decorating, make sure to use materials that won’t get destroyed by outdoor conditions as this is where they will permanently be. If you can, source natural materials which are made to stay outdoors as this will be sustainable. Think of seats woven from natural fiber and pots baked from clay, which will also add more character to your garden. Using material that will last long outdoors will help keep the materials from the dreaded landfill while also saving you money you would have used in fixing and replacing items. For instance, tempered glass would be better than normal glass as it’s four to five times harder to fracture.

Get Good Varieties

Before you actually start planting, do research on which varieties are native to your location and favor these over foreign ones. This will improve their chances of thriving and you won’t have to work as hard to get a good garden going. If you do get non-native plant life, make sure that it’s not invasive as this could lead to a hard time trying to get it in control so it does not ruin the chances of native, beneficial varieties thriving.

Look Into Natural Insect and Pest Repellents

A big part of green living is avoiding chemicals, whether they are used to repel insects or fertilize your garden. There are many natural options you can choose from, so read up on these alternatives. Note that food crops have to compete with 3,000 species of nematodes, 10,000 species of insects that feed on plants, and 30,000 species of weeds. Find a sustainable way of keeping these in check to ensure that your garden is fully sustainable.

The decision to go green is a big one, considering the current condition of the environment. When you do what you can to ensure a positive change, you give biodiversity a chance to thrive. Follow the tips above to create a lovely green garden that will put a smile on your face as well as nature’s!

Promoting Your Vegan and Organic Bakery Business

Whether you start a vegan business in your home or rent an office, you need to know how to promote and market it to customers. We have some ideas for you if you own a vegan business or are developing an idea at home in the planning stages. We’ll discuss using social media, creating a product or menu that stands out, coming up with a good business idea, using digital marketing, and designing a good website.

Using Social Media

Vegan food restaurants, bakeries, and organic products are now a popular mainstream business. Social media is a good way to promote your business and connect with customers. Decide what age group you want to reach with social media. Facebook and Twitter are ways to reach all ages and people over 40 years and older. Do not exclude older customers, as many are interested in vegetarian food and ideas.

Instagram is a platform that relies on photography and videos to share your food product or idea with others. It reaches adults 18-49 years old at work or home. YouTube is a popular video-sharing platform that reaches the same age group. You can film a video about your restaurant, bakery, or food product showing staff and what you are selling. This can be a great platform for appealing to customers of all ages who desire to lose weight and eat healthily. In 2016, over 38.9% of adults 18 years and older with disabilities were obese. You can help a variety of people improve their health while effectively marketing your business.

TikTok is another social media platform that reaches people between 18 and 24, a big sector in the vegetarian market. You should watch some vegetarian chefs on TikTok to learn what viewers are seeking. Some vegan chefs are Remy Morimoto Park, Tabitha Brown, Will Edmond, or George Lee. They produce delicious recipes and entertaining ideas about vegan food at home and work.

Creating a Menu or Product That Stands Out

Whether you own a vegan restaurant or an organic bakery, focus on developing a unique product or menu that stands out. When you have a vegan bakery, focus on vegan muffins, gluten-free bread, banana bread, sourdough bread, or something that makes your business stand out. Offer specials and promotions on these items. On your restaurant menu, create some exciting new recipes for customers to try, like vegetable paella, spicy vegan mac and cheese, lentil soup, vegan lasagna, curry with rice and vegetables, or a Greek salad. Try to appeal to customers that are not vegetarians but like to eat a variety of foods.

Getting Experience and Help to Run Your Business

No matter what type of vegan food business you’re starting, these ventures require long hours and hard work to succeed. Working for a restaurant or food company before venturing out on your own is a good way to gain experience and training. There are many health food stores, bakeries, food trucks, and vegan food businesses you can gain experience with. When you start your business, make sure you have some money saved and a business plan. About 70% of small businesses employ tax professionals to help with accounting and IRS concerns when starting a small business. Don’t be afraid to get this type of professional help if you need it.

Using Digital Marketing Strategies

Pay attention to search engine optimization by using keywords for your vegan business or product. Learn about local Internet advertising on Google and other web search engines. When customers search for your business, where do you rank on the search engine? Build a blog or content on your website that customers can learn from and hold an interest in. Paid advertising and articles called native advertising are good ways to promote your business. Email marketing is another inexpensive way to use digital marketing.

Designing an Appealing Website

Vegan products require a good website to promote your business or products. About 94% of users reject a product or service due to poor web design. Hiring a professional web design agency that specializes in food or vegan web design can help. Photography and videos are often used in the vegan food industry to showcase food and products. A website that is easy to use and is mobile-friendly is an asset. Good recipes, content, and advertising help you promote and market your vegan business.

These are some promotional ideas for your vegan business to consider that can really help you make your mark. Keep these marketing ideas in mind for more help promoting and growing your business for years to come!

5 Eco-Friendly Pet Adoption Tips

(This is my love, Noodles the Pug!)

If you’re interested in adopting a pet, you may be wondering how you can lessen your environmental impact during the pet ownership process. Below, you’ll find where to adopt, eco-friendly products, composting and removing pet waste, food, and having everyone in the family participate.

Adopt Don’t Shop

Instead of shopping at pet stores for a dog or cat, adopt one from a local non-profit organization near your home. The ASPCA is one great organization that has animal shelters in most states, and they were the first humane society in North America. You can shop online and then visit your local shelter to adopt a pet, and most adoption centers will have the currently available pets posted online.

Most organizations will try to match the pet with the right owner by filling out assessment forms, so be prepared to fill them out. An online pet adoption organization called Adopt A Pet has an online database where you can find pets in your local area. You enter your zip code and look for a pet nearby.

Another searchable online database for pets is Pet.com. Sometimes pet stores like Petco and PetSmart have special adoption events where consumers can adopt cats and dogs for free. Check with your local stores to see if any such events are planned near your home.

Another place to check is your local town or city pound. They sometimes offer pets for adoption. Over 85 million households own a pet, according to The American Pet Products Association. Why not use these resources to be one of them.?

Use Eco-Friendly Products

Try to feed your pet eco-friendly pet food made by responsible companies and that use packaging that is recyclable with no plastic. Do not overfeed your pets and look for a brand that uses organic ingredients and locally sourced products. Places to find these pet foods are your local health food store, pet stores, and on websites like Chewy.com and Amazon. Some companies will deliver the food directly to your home, like The Farmers Dog. When you buy leashes and toys, look for ones made of recycled natural materials. Be sure they are safe and easy to play with.

Compost Pet Waste

Disposing of pet waste should be done in an eco-friendly way. Dog and cat poop can be added to your compost pile if it is done safely. The compost pile needs to be heated thoroughly for several days at 145 degrees to kill bacteria. Many stores sell electric composters that heat the compost using the hot composting method, the safest way to use pet feces. If you have a compost pile, this would be the safest way to do this. The compost should not be added to vegetable gardens or areas where children play. It can be used in landscaping and for lawns and around trees. You should wear gloves when handling the compost.

Over 39,900,000 families in the United States own cats. Disposing of animal waste is a major concern for pet owners. You should put it in a plastic bag or one that is biodegradable and squeeze out the air. Put it in another bag before you put it in the garbage. Always double bag pet waste before you dispose of it.

Use Products That are Safe and Sustainable

Try the new eco-friendly cat litter that doesn’t use clay and silica gel that creates dust. Your pet can breathe it in and it causes respiratory problems. There are many brands that use natural materials better for your pet’s health. They use dried wood shavings of cedar or spruce, paper, and grass seeds. These products are safer for your pets and family. Try to use shampoos and grooming products without harmful chemicals added. Overall, this is better for the home environment.

Make Sure Everyone in Your Household is Doing the Same

When you decide to feed your pet healthy foods, make sure all the members of your family agree. When you remove pet waste, have one way you will do it and have everyone follow the rules. Pets need exercise and care. All members should participate in caring for a pet. Many couples live together unmarried. In fact, 5.5 million are in the United States. Whether married or not, pets are good companions for couples, singles, and families.

Adopt a pet as there are many that need a home, and it’s possible to be responsible for the environment and your pet. Be sure you have the financial resources and time to care for them properly.

Ways to Make Your Home More Sustainable

There are many ways to make your home more sustainable this spring and summer. You can remodel using eco-friendly materials and appliances, grow native plants, cook more food at home, cool your home without using the AC all the time, and upgrade appliances. Below are some ways to make these changes.

Remodel Using Eco-Friendly Options

Did you know that over 10 million kitchens are remodeled every year? When you decide to remodel your kitchen, look for Energy Star appliances rated for saving water and energy. Use sustainable materials for your cabinets, countertops, and backsplashes. Wood, stone, and tile are all materials that are natural and recyclable. Use wood materials free of toxic materials in your home. Install low-flow faucets in your sinks because they reduce water usage by about 30%. Paint your walls with paint and finishes that are low in VOC or harmful chemicals. These paints are safer for your whole family. Visit antique stores and salvage shops near you to find furniture, accessories, outdoor fixtures, crafts, and art you can put in your home.

Choose Native Plants To Grow in Your Garden

Native plants grow best and adapt to your geographic area better than other plants. They are often easy to care for and you can find them at your local garden center. You can purchase native flowers, vegetables, and herbs already growing and transplant them into your garden. Native plants will attract birds, butterflies, bees, and local wildlife. These plants provide food for local wildlife to help them survive. Finding out about native plants means visiting your local garden center or clubs to learn what is grown locally. These plants will save you money and are usually easier to maintain.

Make More Food Products at Home

Start by buying a sheet pan and parchment paper to cook more fresh vegetables for your meals. Wash and cut the carrots, potatoes, squash, peppers, cabbage, add olive oil and salt, and roast in the oven. Roast at 350 or higher for 20 to 30 minutes. The vegetables should be soft and slightly browned and you can roast them individually or mix them. Learn to saute greens, spinach, swiss chard, or cabbage. Look for recipes and follow instructions. Rice is easy to make in the microwave and is a great side dish with meats, seafood, stir fry, and stews. Learn to use beans in chili and soup recipes. They add protein, vitamins, and nutrients to meals. Try whole wheat or gluten-free pasta they have more nutrition than white pasta.

Prepare more food at home and skip frozen and prepared dinners. Over the last 7,000 years, people have fermented plants and grains to make alcohol. Learn to make healthier meals and cut down on alcohol, as too much is bad for your health. Other easy recipes to prepare at home are pasta dishes, homemade salad dressings, sandwiches, eggs, salads, and sauces. Start with simple recipes with fewer ingredients when learning to cook new dishes.

How to Cool Your Home Without AC

You might want to cut down on using your air conditioner and find ways to cool your house without it. Place box fans in the windows to run at night or a ceiling fan to make your air conditioner more efficient. Many evenings you will find the ceiling fan cools the room enough so you do not need air conditioning. Use cotton or bamboo sheets that breathe and do not trap heat and moisture. Open the window and slider door in the late evening and let some cool air come in. Shut shutters, blinds, and shades during the day to keep heat and the sun out. Wear comfortable lightweight clothing at home; shorts, tee shirts, and comfortable shoes. Try taking a cold bath or shower before going to bed. Cook meals outside on the grill or prepare early in the morning when it is cooler.

Update Older Appliances and Features

Did you know that 85% of the homes in the US were built before 1980 and need improvement and updates? Start slowly to replace old appliances with new models one at a time. Look for Energy Star appliances that save money on water and electricity. Buy a smaller-sized refrigerator or a dishwasher that saves on water when you wash dishes. Buy sustainable products for flooring or wood paneling or even recycled materials that can be reused. Install low-flow faucets and a shower head to save on water use or use LED lightbulbs to save energy. Paint your cabinets or stain them instead of installing new ones.

Finding ways to make your home more eco-friendly and sustainable will improve your health and make it more comfortable to live in.

5 Reasons You Should Start a Gardening Club In Your Community

Green living is increasingly becoming more popular and more important in many communities. With so many people turning toward green energy and greener lifestyles, you might be considering how you can positively impact your community with these improvements. Gardening clubs are one way of implementing this eco-friendly change, and there are many reasons to look into starting one for your community. Here are the five most considerable benefits you should think about.

1. Advocate for More Sustainability

Sustainable practices have been gaining steam in recent decades, and today recycling and eco-living have become a main practice throughout the nation. More than 69% of all steel — over 80 million tons — is recycled every year, and in 2018 three million tons of plastic were also recycled. While remembering to reuse and recycle materials is important, this can also correspond to gardening and composting. By being able to grow your own community produce and compost acceptable food items for fertilizer, you can further cut down on the waste produced by your area. These sustainable practices can help make your community much greener and more eco-friendly over time.

2. Make Your Community a Better Place to Live

A community gardening club can also help build a stronger sense of community while creating lasting relationships among neighbors. With everyone working together and growing produce to share, you can make a more welcoming and inclusive atmosphere that gets people invested and involved in the area. This sense of community is something that many places lack, and by being proactive and creating a way for people to interact meaningfully, you can help build your community up.

3. Work Alongside Local Small Businesses

With over 400 million entrepreneurs worldwide, it’s important to look around your area and see who can help support your goals. Local small businesses shouldn’t be overlooked when building your community gardening club, especially those that sell the resources you need. Even businesses that don’t sell gardening supplies could help sponsor or promote local farmer’s markets that you might hold once your gardening club kicks off. This can be a great way to draw in folks from other communities who then might go on to create their own gardening club. Often you might find that you have more produce than your community needs, and hosting a public sale advertised by local businesses is a great way to spread the love.

4. Produce Healthy Food and Beautiful Green Scenery

A local garden green space is capable of producing both food and a gorgeous piece of scenery. In places where concrete and pavement may be the norm, it’s refreshing to break that mold with beautiful greenery. This neighborhood beautification can also help increase the value of the neighborhood overall, which benefits all of the homeowners in the area. Green spaces like this can also create a productive place for kids to play and learn about gardening at the same time!

5. A Local Garden Can Help You Meet Like-Minded Neighbors

Lastly, starting a community gardening club can be a great way to meet local folks who value green living as much as you do. You may be surprised at all the people in your neighborhood that you will be able to draw in and create meaningful relationships with. To help get the word out, you can consider creating posters to place in mailboxes and local shops. You may even want to create a unique domain webpage to help further get the word out. However, nearly 900,000 domains are registered every week, so make sure yours stands out so locals can easily find you.

A local gardening club has many benefits, and if you’re looking for a great way to bring your neighborhood together, this is one of the best ways possible. Not only does it benefit you, but it can benefit your community and the environment as a whole.