Using Native Plants in Your Natural Landscaping Design

Using Native Plants in Your Natural Landscaping Design

There really are no rules, rhyme, or reason when it comes to choosing your natural landscape design. You can utilize natural landscaping in all or part of your backyard or even front yard design. Be aware, however, that once you start utilizing natural landscaping in your design for your home, you may never go back to traditional planting. Natural landscaping incorporates more vegetation, native plants, wetland, and prairie systems to highlight the quality of water-filled areas.

What Are Native Plants?

Native Plants are plants that are typically grown naturally in their particular region and have been there for hundreds, perhaps, thousands of years. Native plants thrive in their particular climate and soil.

Native Plants Have Many Benefits including:

Aesthetics Native plants offer many benefits not only to homeowners, but also to business owners, organizations, groups, and even golf courses. There is no better way to attract new customers than to be a business owner or golf course that is environmentally conscious, friendly, and aware. Playing golf on a golf course that utilizes native plants, vegetation, and tall grasses also enhances the atmosphere for the players.

Environmental Utilizing native plants instead of brick and mortar, concrete slabs, and asphalt helps the environment tremendously. These items are not as porous and water receptive as native plants. Native plants can aid in the reduction of storm water runoff. Communities that live along bodies of water that has mostly concrete surrounding them are negatively affected by flood and overflow from storms. Having fewer floods means also having less exposure to mosquitoes and other bugs that flourish near water.

Curb appeal For curb appeal, native plants have a tremendous impact, especially on resale value. For homeowners wishing to sell, the impact of native plants in their front yard or in their back yard alongside a small stream has great resale value. For business owners, native plants give the impression of an organization that is down to earth at its core and is appealing to draw new business or customers into it.

Other wildlife Native plants are imperative to the existence of other wildlife such as birds. Berries on certain shrubs help to maintain the ecosystem, which is vital to birdlife.

Insects Without native plants, insects could not thrive. Insects make many people’s skin crawl; however, insects are a necessary part of our ecosystem as they provide food and nourishment for other wildlife. Using native plants in your landscaping design not only benefits the homeowner or business owner, but is also beneficial to the ecosystem and all its critters.

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Energy Saving Tips for Kids – Teaching Your Kids To Be Energy Efficient

Energy Saving Tips for Kids – Teaching Your Kids To Be Energy Efficient

Saving energy and saving money should not be your sole responsibility as parents. Your kids must also learn to contribute in keeping the electric bills down. This way, your effort will not get wasted and at the same time, your kids will learn good values while growing up.

Because teaching your kids to be energy efficient requires some effort, here are easy to follow suggestions you can do:

Education

Teaching your kids the importance of saving energy should be your first goal. Take note that making them understand the value of being energy efficient is more effective than enumerating the ways to save energy and leaving it at that. Teach them how conserving energy helps the environment. Tell them stories or read educational books about the importance of energy.

Lead by example

You know very well that kids tend to follow what elders do. Practice what you preach. You may have listed and posted a litany of things-to-do to conserve energy but if you donít follow them yourself, you cannot expect your kids to follow it too. Do not just tell them to turn the lights off before leaving their room; show them by always turning the lights off every time you leave a room in your house. Education and leading by example are a good combination if you want to make good habits stick.

Make it fun

Find educational materials where your kids will learn the value of conserving energy as well as the ways on how to save it. Computer software, educational websites, books and television shows that educate and entertain kids would really make a difference on how well they will respond. This is especially applicable to kids from 5 to 10 years old.

Get your kids involved

Family activities should not limit to eating, playing and entertainment. Chores can also be a good way to bond with your kids. Manually wash the car, water the plants, clean the table, wash the dishes, clean the house etc. These are some of the things you can do with your kids while conserving energy.

Teach your kids according to their age.

Kids of different ages have different attitude on things around them. If your 5-year son doesnít know how to turn off the lights before leaving the room, all you need to do is to talk to him well about its importance and showing him that you practice what you teach.

Your 10-year old daughter may require different approach like showing her your electric bill and explaining to her that it will greatly help if she will change her bad habits. You are teaching your 5-year old good habits while you are teaching and emphasizing your 10-year old good habits and responsibility.

Same thing applies to kids of different ages. The point is, make sure that you teach your kids proper ways to conserve energy using an approach suited to their ages.

Energy saving tips for kids

  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.
  • Always turn the lights off before leaving the room.
  • Turn the computer off after use.
  • Do not hold the refrigerator open.
  • Unplug unnecessary appliance.
  • Use natural light if possible.

Saving energy is not so hard if your kids are involved. And just like any family activities you do, energy conservation should be fun, educational and driven by good motivation.

 

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Recycling: Are You Doing Everything You Can?

Recycling: Are You Doing Everything You Can?

It may come as a surprise to you, but there is a really good chance that the town or city you live in offer a service you may not have heard of; an energy audit. Cities and towns all over the country have started doing this, where an auditor comes to your home and goes through your living space and helps you to see where you could make changes that will not only help you conserve energy but will help you save money! What a bonus it is to save money by doing the right thing.

There are so many changes you can make in your home to impact the way we recycle and in the end, will help you keep some of the money in your pocket.

Having recycling bins set up so that you can properly sort the items that are recycled is a great first step. That activity alone can cut down greatly on the items that end up in the landfills rather than where they can be recycled.

Keeping your televisions, DVDs, stereos and computers plugged in to a power strip or surge protector rather than directly into the wall and then turning off the power strip will cut back greatly on power “leaks” that can cost you money on your utility bill. Being aware to turn these items off, is the first step, and then having them plugged into the power strip will just further the action for saving money and energy.

Don’t leave a light on when you walk out of a room and no one else is in there. And have you changed your light bulbs from the traditional ones to the compact fluorescent fluorescent kind? Did you know that the newer lights use 75% less energy to run and they will out live a traditional light bulb by up to 10 years? Make the changes that need to be made in your home.

Don’t run the dishwasher or the washing machine unless they are full. It’s a waste of energy and water to run a cycle through the dishwasher when it’s only half full. Don’t turn it on until you have a full load to wash and then just wash them all at once.

Use microfiber cloths for cleaning all kinds of surfaces like furniture, counters and sinks. The bonus is that these items can be tossed into the washer and are perfectly able to be reused again and again. Think of the savings in paper towels alone! Talk about a win-win; if we use fewer paper towels, then that means fewer trees need to be cut to make them in the first place. How can we go wrong with thinking like that?

Take shorter showers and see if you can pick up a shower head that is a water-conserving item, already in place, that will save you money and you’ll never even notice the difference during your shower.

There is so much you can do in the efforts to recycle, just be sure you’re doing your part.

 

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