Thursday, December 6, 2018

Sustainable Cities: Four Ways to Go Green in the Community

“A sustainable human community is designed in such a manner that its ways of life, technologies, and social institutions honor, support, and cooperate with nature’s inherent ability to sustain life.” –Fritjof Capra

How often have you seen people on your social media news feed publicly denounce the careless regard humankind has for its surroundings? While we are at that, how many of you have noticed the emergent popularity of metal and biodegradable straws?

These recent turn of events did not just happen overnight. It is a testament to the fact that more and more people are becoming self-aware about the growing problem in environmental sustainability. Indeed, sustainable living has certainly become somewhat of a buzz phrase. With this in mind, more people are looking at the ways they can mitigate their ecological footprint by driving less and using fewer plastic materials among many more. However, if you are blissfully unaware, to you this might seem like a fad. But, if you had paid any heed to the growing problem in sustainability—a pressing environmental concern—you would notice that the ban on single-use plastics is more than just a movement, but a lifestyle. It is no question that if we wish to make this world habitable for the next generation, we should make a conscious effort in reducing our carbon footprint. While some might argue that this recent advocacy in sustainability is merely a gimmick—a passing trend—this mounting environmental problem should be a cause for concern and as a result, should be taken seriously. Sustainability is more than just the usage of metal straws; it is a lifelong commitment to lead a lifestyle that mitigates your impact on nature and the environment. It means favoring shops that practice eco-culture and sustainability over those that do not. It means going that extra mile to ensure that you are using as little of nature’s resources as possible. It might be a major cause for inconvenience to some, but what little you can do will eventually culminate in a significant contribution to a greener and more sustainable earth. Remember, just as the saying goes, it might be only one straw or piece of plastic to you but imagine the impact that would have on the world if a million more people said the same thing? 

However, going green goes beyond the individualistic lifestyles we lead. Whether we live in Avida Settings Alviera or elsewhere, it is imperative to involve our communities for a more concerted effort in sustainable living---and you might just make a friend while you are at it. In any case, here are some of the ways you can go green in the community:

Buy Local

More often than not, we tend to shop in the bigger cities under the impression that big cities tend to have more products than the ones we have in our local community. However, shopping in bigger cities constrains you to use gas mileage, so opt for the alternative of shopping locally. Apart from reducing food miles, it keeps local resources circulating within the community. More importantly, it encourages you to get to know your neighbors and socialize with them. Plus, it allows you to have a conversation with the person who sourced your food which gives you a better insight as to how it was grown.

Rethink the way you travel

Instead of reaching for the car keys immediately when you are heading out, try to think if there are alternatives where you can reduce your individual carbon footprint. Is the distance between your destination and your point of origin realistically walkable? Can you commute or carpool? Or better yet, do you have a bicycle which you can ride going there? Learn to assimilate with your community and interact with the locals by taking the local public transport. After all, it is so much easier for people to strike up a conversation with you and vice versa when you are not inside a car.

Reconnect with your neighbors

Sometimes, all it takes is a single passionate individual to inspire a joint movement and see significant changes. Unfortunately, we tend to be so disconnected from our communities and neighbors that spreading the word about your environmental advocacy might be a little daunting at first. In this regard, it is best to reconnect with the people you live in proximity with. If you wish to have a greener community, you need to take part in it, and at times, you might even need to inspire it. Talk to your neighbors and get the general idea of what is going on around you and start getting involved. After all, it might only take a single idea to effect change.

Spread the word

Although you cannot realistically expect everyone to share your views and advocacy, people are increasingly curious about living green. And much like anything that effectuates change, it starts with education. More importantly, most of your neighbors might view your lifestyle as unconventional and might want to do the same thing—especially if they see you bike to work, buy local organic produce and do your own compost. More often than not, it starts with a handful of interested and curious individuals who would want to try it themselves. Show them and teach them how. However, be careful so as not to be too preachy about your advocacy. After all, nothing turns people off a particular movement more than a pushy individual who is slamming their beliefs down their throats. Be careful in your approach, encourage and inspire without judgment. People can either take it or leave it, but do not try and convince them otherwise if they have already heard your piece and decided it was not for them.  

Monday, October 29, 2018

5 Ways to Have a Merry Yet Sustainable Christmas

homemade christmas gift with pinecones decoration

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

The holiday season is the most festive time of the year. There is the gift giving to look forward to along with the kiss under the mistletoe, decorating gingerbread houses and drinking eggnog. After Christmas, there's New Year—the time to leave the past behind and start anew. Most people look forward to coming up with resolutions and following them.

All of these are fun and exciting especially when you have a full house this holiday season. But, the holiday season comes with spending and other activities which are wasteful and harmful to the environment. Even in the comfort of a house and lot for sale in Bulacan, you and your family can be guilty of posing as a threat to your community and the environment. Instead of contributing damage to the Earth, why not try to become an eco-warrior? Encourage family members and friends to have a merry yet sustainable Christmas.

Adopt a new tradition with these eco-friendly lifestyle choices.

1. Give homemade gifts

The great thing about handmade gifts is that they are highly customized. As the giver, you are the one responsible for looking materials to create the stuff you give out to your loved ones. You can avoid harmful chemicals or wasteful production practices. You are in charge of what to use and how to use the materials you need to make your present. With this in mind, you can minimize your waste and consumption even if your goal is to give something new.

There are several ways to make homemade gifts. You can look for inspiration on the Internet. You can also come up with ideas to improve or personalize store-bought items. If you wish to create something from scratch, it’s best to use organic and naturally-sourced products and ingredients. These are less destructive than their commercially-produced counterparts. Another green method of making homemade gifts is to reuse and upcycle. Give a new life to items you think are junk by decorating them or adding a new feature to enhance its components and quality.

2. Decorate using real trees, twigs, and wreaths

The great thing about fake decorations is that they last for a long time. You can use the same thing over and over while still looking new and fresh. Unfortunately, supporting manufacturers of fake Christmas trees, wreaths, and garlands means that you are using twice the resources needed to cut fresh pine trees. To produce the decorations, it uses large amounts of PVC which takes a lot of valuable resources to make. On top of that, companies transport the decors from factories to stores. The transport vehicles burn a lot of fuel that adds to the fake Christmas decors already high carbon footprint.

This year, opt for a real Christmas tree especially if you aren’t looking for long-lasting decorations. A fresh pine tree is biodegradable. As long as you dispose of it properly, you won’t be adding to the Earth’s accumulating junk pile. You can even re-plant it. That way, you won’t have to buy a new one next holiday season. Don’t forget about other naturally-sourced decorations. Not only do they add to the natural feel to your home. They are also cheap. If your home is near the woods or a park, you can gather twigs and a few greens you can use to create a centerpiece, a wreath or small decors that complement different parts of your home.

3. Replace burnt out bulbs from your festive fairy lights

Nothing says Christmas than your several meter-long blinking lights on the tree. Your idea of a Christmas tree is almost complete, but a few bulbs don’t light up. Before you decide to throw it away, you should check if the fuse is still working properly. You can do this by taking out the fuse and looking inside. If the fuse is functioning, then you need a bulb tester. The tester gets rid of the hassle of identifying which are busted bulbs. All you must do is to hold each bulb against the tester to see if it lights up. With a bulb tester, you can find out which ones to replace. Bulb testers are available in most hardware stores.

4. Create a new recipe using leftovers

The holiday season also means there is a lot of food on the table. With Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve feasts, there is bound to be pounds of turkey, savory slices of meat, creamy sauces and decadent cakes on dining tables. Since these are celebrations, no family is going to be stingy and frugal with their food selection. It leaves a lot of people with leftovers. Every year people dump millions of food and fresh produce in the trash which shows how much effort and money goes down the drain.

To avoid wasting food and money this year, you should try to salvage as much as you can from the dishes you prepared from your banquet. Keep untouched cold cuts, cheese and other desserts on the fridge. Leave a plate or a few slices of what you made for a family member who might get hungry after the festivities. It avoids spoiling the rest of the dish. Most of all, it leaves you with something to work with for the next day. You can use dips and sauces for salads. Leftover meat is perfect as a protein-source for sandwiches, wraps, and other recipes. There are a lot of things you can do with holiday leftovers as long as you keep an open mind to the possibilities.

5. Switch the lights off before heading to bed

Though part of Christmas is turning on the lights, you are better off unplugging them before you sleep. Leaving electronics and lights switched on the entire nights consumes a lot of energy. You might feel like Scrooge doing this, but doing it goes a long way. Once it becomes a practice, you won’t have to remind yourself to unplug lights on the tree, on your windows and the ones outside.

Christmas is fun and magical. The decorations, activities and other festivities make it the most awaited holiday. However, it is also the time when people become wasteful. Instead of contributing to Earth’s degradation, it’s time you revolutionize how you spend Christmas. These tips can be your guide in making lasting changes.

8 Eco-Friendly Burial Options to Think About Now

Be peaceful and inspiring with a bed of daisies. However, you don't allow the planet to rest when you use chemicals and toxins to decompost your dead body.

A few days from now, you get to spend time with loved ones to visit deceased family members. You have plenty of time to drive to Heroes' Cemetery or The Heritage Park Mortuary & Crematory if you stay at Arbor Lanes. But, it doesn't matter if it takes an hour or more to get to visit the people you love. Since it's a long weekend, you have enough time to prepare for Halloween and mull over your plans for your grave.

Think Ahead

Nowadays, it's best to stay on top of things. Whether it's preparing for college or moving forward with career, you must create a plan. If you don't have one, it's time you make one. Planning doesn't only apply to immediate needs. You must also factor in your death. Others might think it's morbid to think about one's passing, but it's the most practical solution.

When you plan for your passing, you ensure that the people you leave behind won't have to think about the casket or your grave. Having a plan covers all these details and more. You have the option to go green if you want.

Die and Contribute to Sustainability

Sooner or later, your body reaches the end of the line. It's time you pay attention to how to leave the Earth but still contribute to sustainable efforts. With that in mind, here are 8 green ideas for your body besides being buried six feet under the ground.

1. Serve as an artificial reef

Instead of scattering your ashes and praying the waves to take you to places, you should sign up to become an Eternal Reef. An Eternal Reef is an artificially-designed reef that uses cast concrete to serve as a home for various marine creatures and life forms under the sea. It utilized the cremated remains or "cremains" of an individual and mixed into environmentally-safe cement mixtures. The result is a formation placed in a permitted ocean location chosen by the individual, family member or friend.

The organization encourages families and friends to participate in the creation of the reef. Participants assist in mixing the remains with concrete. They are also the ones in charge or personalizing it with handprints and written messages. Small mementos are also allowed. Eternal Reefs currently operates in the United States. Some local states and federal agencies grant access and support it. You can find the reefs on sites designated for recreational fishing and diving areas.

Indeed, being an artificial reef is much better than embalming the body and burying it in the ground.

2. Grow a tree

Instead of a traditional burial, why not become a tree? The body goes in a biodegradable bio-polymer resembling an egg where you can find a tree on top. The tree gets the nutrients from the remains of a dead person in the egg-shaped bag.

Aside from this, you can opt for a biodegradable urn made from sustainable options. The Bios Urn, for instance, uses coconut shell, compact peat, and cellulose. It claims to have no preservatives or any additives to hold it together. The container comes with soil mix and expansion disk. Below is space for the ashes. Once you place the remains, it's time to plant it in an area to allow the seed to grow and germinate.

3. Play the anthem of your life

Andvinyly, a company in the UK, presses cremains into discs. Each disc features 24 minutes of audio (12 on each side). The sound can come from you, your significant other and from other people you cherish. However, each disc features the company's standard artwork and labels which include your name, date of birth, and date of death. Still, you can provide original artwork by providing a photo or allowing others to set a picture for you.

4. Become a diamond

LifeGem creates a certified, high-quality diamond using the remains of the body. Transforming the remains into a gem is one way to celebrate life and maintain the connection with loved ones. The diamonds are timeless and endure the test of time. It's the perfect family heirloom and memento to leave behind.

5. Wear a mushroom burial suit

Jae Rhim Lee, founder of Coeico and the maker of the suit introduced a new way to save the planet even during death. She came up with a head-to-toe "ninja pajamas" with special mushroom spores that feed off human tissues. Mushrooms can absorb and purify toxins. The process is called mycoremediation, wherein the toxins become nutrients absorbed by the trees. With the suit, a dead body becomes highly useful for the Earth.

6. Try water cremation

Aquamation, alkaline hydrolysis or water cremation are all the same. The process requires full submersion of the body in a stainless steel vessel containing 95 percent water and 5 percent potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide. The combination of water and high temperature allows the body to melt and leave it with the skeleton or parts of it. The leftover becomes a powder with a pearly sheen which loved ones can scatter or place in a biodegradable urn.

7. Be part of a body farm

Body farms allow scientists to study body decomposition in different decomposition scenarios. Thanks to the body farm a lot of developments happened in criminal science and the study of death, thanatology. Though it can be creepy and disturbing to know that your body lies in the forest infested with maggots or eaten by hungry carnivores in the desert, it's still a greener compared to the chemicals they place to preserve the body.

8. Order biodegradable caskets

You can skip embalming fluids and other toxic chemicals. A green burial ensures you won't have any of that. At the same time, there are no machines used to dig the grave. It must be done by hands. It also uses a casket made of wicker or unbleached cloth shroud wraps the body. Since the burial process is shorter than usual, it costs less than the average funeral.

Halloween and other life events can make you think of death. Preparing for death isn't necessarily a bad thing especially when you think of the loved ones you have to think of when you leave the planet. Choosing any of these ideas extends the health of the earth and their future.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

5 Tips to Prepare and Enjoy the Fall Season

fall autumn woman throwing maple leaves

Photo by Jakob Owens

Wherever you are in the world, you can feel the cool breeze that comes with the fall of the leaves. Even if you aren't aware of it, the weather can influence your feelings and thoughts. Seeing the leaves turn to orange or brown can make you feel moroseness. Though other people enjoy the turning of leaves, some don't feel the magic of the fall.

Most of the time, autumn is a busy season. Students must finish their school work before the winter break. Professionals and other worker bees must catch up with the demands of their job. Athletes train for summer competitions. They spend all day at Vermosa Sports Hub, the community pool or the gym.

At one point, it seems as if everyone is busy with their lives. Fortunately, the change of the season brings a unique experience for everyone. Fall, in particular, can be the season you most enjoy if you allow yourself. With that in mind, here are the tips to help you prepare for fall and enjoy it.

1. Prep your home for weather changes

The best move for home prep is to ensure it remains weather-proof. Most of the time, you experience heavy rainfall, strong winds, and thunderstorms during autumn. Hence, you must insulate your house to retain the heat. If possible, you should replace your window and door frames. But if that is not a viable solution, you should consult a carpenter or a professional on how to best insulate doors and windows.

You should also check if your heating system still functions properly. Make sure to fill it with fuel or natural gas. You should also have a spare tank in case you run out of fuel in the middle of winter. If your heating systems run on electricity, then you won't have to think of refills. However, it's necessary to ensure there are no faulty lines and everything connects to the primary source.

Other than these preparations, you can also add rugs and carpets to maintain the heat. Changing your lightweight curtains to thick drapes are also effective insulators.

2. List the activities you wish to do

Some areas experience fewer rainy days making autumn for family outdoor activities. Before you begin planning an excursion, you should list all the thing you wish to do together. When coming up with stuff to do, take note of the location and resources you need to accomplish your goal. It'll help you identify which ones are feasible within the amount of time you have. Most of all, it allows you to schedule all the activities and ensure they fit in a day.

You should include all the members of the family when deciding which fall activities to pursue. You can invite them over a family dinner at a restaurant or home-cooked meals. If you have kids, your list must comprise a few of their favorite fall activities. You can also suggest to include separate activities for adults and children. That way, everyone has a chance to enjoy their time trying out different fall activities.

3. Come up with a new tradition

After you have a list of things you want to do for fall, it's time for you to go out and do them. Whether it's visiting a local pumpkin patch, getting pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks, or driving to the closest park to watch the leaves turn, you must pick one activity that becomes part of your fall tradition. Having something to look forward to helps you enjoy the season.

If you're coming up with tradition, you must ensure it's an activity you can do as a family. It should also be something that is fun or exciting. That way, everyone has a great time. It also helps to have a goal. If you wish to connect with family members, you should pick activities that are chill and requires a slow pace. But if you want to encourage them to move and sweat, then you should go for outdoor activities which are physically challenging.

4. Engage the family in meal planning

Autumn is one of the seasons where everyone is at home. The kids only have to be in two places - home and school. There are no vacations anytime soon so you can't go out of town for a holiday or a mini-vacation. Hence, everyone goes to where they have to be during the day and heads back home. Use this time to gather everyone to enjoy home-cooked meals. Bring out your family heirloom recipe and get busy. Put your cooking skills to test with different autumn menu recipes.

It's best to get the suggestion of everyone before you immerse yourself in the kitchen. Ask the household about the nutritious meals they want to eat. Let the kids decide what the vegetables and ingredients they wish to try are. When you allow them to make decisions, you teach them about nutrition, cooking, and budgeting - all of which are valuable life skills.

5. Observe your mood

The weather can significantly affect your mood. As the weather cools, you might find yourself feeling blue. You might also experience frequent mood swings. All of these can change how you perceive the season. Other people can experience the opposite. Some people are happy that they don't have to deal with the heat anymore.

You can better understand your reaction as you observe how you react to weather changes. Track your emotions so you can find suitable remedies to change your mindset.

Fall is the beginning of winter. If you aren't ready to face the cold weather, then you might not feel comfortable with the coming months. To prepare for the changes in the environment, you should try following these tips to enjoy the fall weather.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

8 Eco-Friendly Home Features to Install in Your Home

People are now more aware of the adverse effects of climate change. It's a global phenomenon wherein everyone experiences the disastrous consequences. Some countries have typhoons. Others experience hurricanes, continuous heavy rains, and drought. The effects are endless.

Fortunately, businesses are beginning to understand the detrimental impact collective human consumption and habits. A lot of companies are now changing how they conduct their business. From their products to their services, businesses are coming up with eco-friendly solutions for their consumers.

One key industry, real estate, is also part of the game-changing business platform. You can now find eco-friendly developments and properties in cities and other urban locations. You have the option to have an energy efficient home in the midst of a polluted community and Fairview Terraces mall. You can enjoy having a garden and a few breathing spaces even if there's concrete all around you.

If you already have a property, you can still partake in the green movement. An effective way to do this is by incorporating eco-friendly features into your property. Below is a list of eco solutions you can install in your home.

1. Solar Panels

Solar panels are highly useful in generating electricity if you live in a warm and sunny area. Solar power generation converts sunshine into energy you can use for your household. You won't have to rely on large electric companies to supply your energy.

2. Satellite controlled sprinkler systems

Instead of the regular sprinklers, you should try having the ones that turn on based on local weather conditions. These types minimize your water bill and conserve water. It also allows you to become efficient with your gardening. You can tend to the plants when the sprinklers are off. Plus, you won't have to worry about your plants drowning.

3. Cellulose wall insulation

Most homes have insulation. You need them to maintain the heat in your home. But, you should go for the ones with blown-in insulation. You should also pick the ones made of cellulose. The material is non-toxic, and it increases your home's fire resistance by 22 to 57 percent.

4. LED lights and dimmer switches

A LED light bulb is more energy efficient than traditional lights. Incandescent and CFL bulbs use twice the wattage you need for LED lights. To maximize your energy savings further, you can install dimmer switches in all areas in your home. They allow you to set the level of brightness in the room making them 10 percent more efficient than regular on/off panels. It also helps to have occupancy sensor light switches. That way, the lights automatically switch off when no one is around.

5. Energy star appliances

Whether its a refrigerator or the iron, Energy Star-approved appliances use half the resources consumed by their counterparts. If you're worried about bloating your electric bill, then you should always pick these types of devices.

6. Rainwater storage

An eco-friendly home doesn't only think of what's indoors. It also considers how it can harness resources outdoors. Besides the solar panels, a great addition to have in your home is rainwater storage. It allows you to gather water you can use for the garden or washing your car. You can also transform it into potable water as long as you install filters on your storage tanks.

7. Greenery in the roof

A green roof allows the homeowner to grow plants on the roof of their house or building without inducing leaks or any damage to the roof membrane. Green roofs are efficient. They also naturally cool your home's interior. Most of all, it adds to the beauty of your habitat.

8. Dual pane, low-emittance windows

Low-emittance windows extend your insulation efforts. They are the best windows for heating and cooling systems. On top of that, they block UV rays which can damage your skin and your belongings.

Now that you know which are the eco-friendly features you should have in your home, it's time for you to consider real estate developments that combine comfort and eco-solutions. You don't have to stay in the same place as your hometown or office district. You should think about moving in areal estate development that offers rest, encourages recreation and sustainability, and allows you to grow your roots.

With that, here are some of the features you must look into when considering an eco-friendly real estate in the Philippines.

  • Wide open greeneries

Green real estate properties have wide open spaces for you to enjoy. The greeneries are for you to relieve your eyes and mind from the monotony of the concrete jungle. With pocket gardens, tree-lined parks, and meditation patches, you get breathing spaces while still being in the midst of real estate sites.

  • Beautifully crafted landscapes

There is an advantage when you own an eco-friendly real estate property. You have access to beautiful landscapes. Other than fresh blooms, you have a view of tall, branching trees, clear bodies of freshwater, and manicured lawns. It becomes easy to get closer to nature when all of these are a few steps from your front door.

  • Conveniently located near the metropolis

Developers are now leaning into developing sustainable, environment-conserving properties. You'll find homes use durable yet organic, biodegradable materials. At the same time, they are made energy efficient. You can enjoy all of these perks when you relocate in an eco-community in a major Philippine metropolis. One example is Ayala Land’s Montecito properties in Nuvali.

You don't have to be an environmental advocate or an eco-warrior to live in an eco-friendly community or have these features in your home. If you value your life and your family, you should look into their benefits and find a way to make them part of your life.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Try Gardening to Get These 8 Benefits

Photo by rawpixel

Everyone needs a patch of green. Whether you're in the city or looking to live in a house and lot for sale in Laguna, you must get your hands busy. Once in a while, you should spend time on your porch or backyard. If these aren't available, you can make an indoor garden or grow a few seedlings on hanging pots. The possibilities are endless.

There are different things you can grow. If you have space, you should try growing some produce. You can save on grocery shopping when you don't have to purchase your fruits or vegetables. Other than crops, you can also tend flowers. Get some seeds of your favorite herbs and watch them bloom. But if you don't have the patience and the skill to grow greens, then you should turn to succulents and ferns. These plants don't require a lot of tending. They only need water now and then.

These are some garden ideas you can try in your new home. But, why should you try gardening? Would you get something out of it besides free food? Unknown to a lot of people, cultivating plants and spending time with soil has a lot of benefits. Below is the list of benefits you get when you immerse in gardening.

1. It relieves stress

Most of the time, gardening requires you to be outdoors. Even succulents need sun exposure now and then. The fresh air and sunlight can uplift your spirit. Meanwhile, moving back and forth will make you sweat. Sweating can lessen the levels of your cortisol which is also the stress hormone. Low levels of cortisol support your immune system, boosts your memory, and minimizes your risk of heart disease. Meanwhile, constant movement prevents you from getting obese.

2. It makes you confident

Gardening also makes you sure about yourself. You can feel a sense of pride and achievement when you see the seeds transforming from a tiny plant into a fruit-bearing tree.

3. It connects you to other people

You should consider gardening to your list of interests. It doesn't only give you a chance to be outdoors. It also offers you a chance to get to know other people in your community. It's a chance for you to be part of a group of people who are into the same things as you are. You can talk about your plants, how you grow them, and the different methods of propagating plants. You can get advice from seasoned growers on herbs, flowers, and vegetables. In exchange, you can offer a few nuggets you learned along the way.

4. It gives you a break from being indoors

Some plants need water twice a day. Thus, you need to be out of your couch if you want your plants to survive. When you have plants, you don't have to stay all day indoors. You need to go out. You must bring in your succulents after an hour, or they'll wilt under the sun. You have to check if the fruit is ripe and ready for harvest. In short, it keeps you busy. Time in front of the TV is now a luxury.

5. It imparts values to your children

If you want the kids to get their eyes off screens and devices, you should make gardening part of their lives. You children can learn several values when they learn how to tend to your backyard greens. For one, they will learn to be patient. They will realize that growing plants don't happen in an instant. At the same time, they get to appreciate the value of hard work. Plants don't thrive by themselves. They need a few things to survive which they won't get by themselves. 

Lastly, it will teach them things about nature and wildlife. It will show them where food comes from and how it grows. It can influence them to pick healthy, fresh food over processed ones. Most of all, it can help understand the limitations of natural resources.

6. It's your ticket to Vitamin D

Being outdoors exposes you to sunlight. You can feel the sun on your skin and enable it to absorb as many nutrients as it can get. Gardening pushes you to soak up Vitamin D which helps the body break down calcium to make the bones strong.

7. It's a form of exercise

Gardening will make you bend, lift, stretch, and twist. These movements all warm up and work the small muscles in your body. All of these can improve your strength, stamina, and flexibility.

8. It positively impacts the environment

Even if you're starting out with a plant or two, these have a positive impact to the Earth. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and other toxins in the air. When you raise a garden, you are combating air pollutants. You are also making use of run-off rainwater. Your plants can absorb the harmful pollutants to prevent them from reaching lakes and other bodies of water.

You won't miss out on these benefits when you consider growing a garden. You won't only see your plants thrive, but you can also watch them positively impact your life and the community.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Business and Farming: The Basic Steps of Organizing Your Accounts

If you want to transform your small weekend affair into one of the highly-earning organic stores Manila, then you must know the basics of handling your finances. You won't know if you're making a profit if you don't understand the formula on how to tally your income and expenses. Moreover, you need to put your money in a safe place. You don't want your hard-earned money mixing with the budget you set for your home. It can result in a disaster.

Whether you're in it for the safety of your finances or hoping to grow your keep, you should know the necessary steps of organizing your accounts. Staying organized minimizes mistakes and ensures you're on the path to hitting your targets. Lastly, it can make things easy once you start expanding your business. You won't have to look for receipts, tax records, and other essential documents.

Below are the things you must know when organizing your accounts.

1. You must have a separate bank account.

Your business account should not be the same as the account you use to save for retirement or other big-ticket purchases. You can start by setting up a business checking account. You can also get a business credit card for your business to build credit. At the same time, having a credit card lessens the incidence of mixing business assets and personal buys.

2. Pick the right bank

Don't open an account or transact with the nearest bank in your area. You should survey which bank offers the least fees. Most business checking accounts apply charges higher than most personal bank accounts. You should pay close attention to these, so you don't end up with expensive rates.

3. Learn the items on your financial statements

Your business financial statement shows your company's performance. At the same time, financial statements can be your guide to assessing past performance and managing expectations. These can also be your means of communicating with interested parties. You can reach out to creditors, investors, and analysts through your financial performance.

Accountants are the only ones who can prepare your financial statements. It's easy to leave everything to their hands to ensure you have the papers you need in your hands. However, you must also know which things are part of your statements. That way, you can check if there are wrong entries or discrepancies in your balances.

4. Establish a way for organizing receipts

You should keep all the receipts from all your business transactions. You never know when you might need it. Thus, you should have a system for storing your receipts. You can keep it in an envelope or a box. You can store them in any place as long as you can bring them out when you need them. Also, they must be separate from your family records and other personal papers.

5. Categorize your expenses

When you're running a small business, you can easily mistake a fee from the other. For instance, your family luncheon can be part of your "meals and entertainment" category even when you didn't discuss business the duration of your meal. To separate your expenses, you must first identify the groups they would fall. Separate meals, travel, transportation, utilities, and business-related purchases. Knowing the divisions helps you easily categorize the costs incurred. It also enables you to determine if the fees should be filed under your business or not.

6. Have a bookkeeping system

Bookkeeping is different from accounting. It is the daily process of recording transactions, putting them in the right category, and reconciling bank statements. Meanwhile, accounting makes sense of these records to create the financial statements. Now that things are clear, it's time you determine the bookkeeping method to use.

You can design a system of your own, or you can hire a part-time bookkeeper to oversee your cash flow. Once you have enough revenue, you can have an in-house bookkeeper and an accountant. You also have to determine if you will use the cash or accrual method of accounting.

7. Establish your payroll system

When you have people helping you out or working under you, you must first establish if they are regular employees or a freelancer. You'll need to have a payroll schedule and ensure your paying taxes correctly. Be sure you know how much you spend on each person and that you are providing the right compensation.

8. Know which payment schemes to offer to your customers

You must find different ways to accept payments. You can set up a merchant account or a third party processor. A merchant account is a type of account that enables you to process credit card payments. The payment gateway you choose depends on you and your customers. If most of your customers prefer to use their e-wallet or swipe their cards, then you should have a merchant account or a third party payment processor.

When setting up your business, you should not only think of your products and the overall setup of your store. You should also take care of your accounts, think of how you accept payment, and how you will record your expenses. These tips are your guide to covering the necessary aspect of your accounts. That way, you won't get lost once you move your shop from a weekend farmers market to your official store address.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Business and Farming: The Baby Steps of Joining Weekend Markets

Photo taken by Tomas Anton Escobar

Nowadays, people are becoming smart shoppers. They are expanding their shopping and food options. They become open to the idea of buying their food from organic stores and going to weekend market Manila. They support farmers, small businesses and establishments who are selling organic produce and homegrown products.

Thus, it's an excellent time for farmers to take part in bazaars or weekend markets. Setting up booth helps them connect with customers and showcase their crops while earning more money than usual. But to be successful in starting the business, you must first know a few things. The tips below serves as your guide on how to combine farming with business and start selling.

1. Visit different markets

Not all markets are the same. Before you join one, you must first find a market that fits your needs and helps you accomplish your goals. Taking a look at the bazaars enables you to see if they're a good fit for you.

Each market has a culture and a vibe. Some markets are filled with busy shoppers while others focus on providing a social setting. They have music and activities for kids. If you want to get to know how the market is like, you should talk to other merchants and growers. Recurring shoppers can also give you a sense of how things work in the market.

2. Ask about the rules

Markets have a set of rules for all sellers to follow. You should check in with the organizers to see what types of items are allowed. You can also ask if they provide the tables and booth set-up. Last but the least, you should clear up the selling methods they practice before settling on a particular market.

3. Choose a small market

If it's your first time to be an entrepreneur, you can go ahead with a small market that doesn't require a vendor fee. You should also choose a setup that doesn't need you to invest a lot of equipment. You must first learn about the process, so you're bound to make mistakes. Knowing there is minimal risk ensures your mistakes won't have a negative impact on the business.

4. Be unique

You can find a lot of farmers already selling tomatoes and lettuce. People won't come to you if you have the same products as the rest of the vendors. Instead, you can offer a variety of unique type of produce. You can also try assembling bundles or kits to increase your products' appeal to customers.

You must also differentiate your products. It must be unique to those who see it. It can be different in size, shape or texture but it should come out in a positive light. You should highlight these characteristics to the people who pass by your booth.

5. Do a dry run

Before the actual selling day, you should set up your booth at home to see how it looks. It shows you everything fits helps you spot the areas you can improve.

6. Create a checklist

To ensure you don't leave anything at home, you should list everything you need to bring to the market. The list must contain the items to sell, tools and material you need to set up the booth and displays.

7. Pack the essentials

You'll be out for the whole day and interacting with people. You need the energy to think clearly when someone wants to bargain and to compute the change to give to your customers. Thus, you must have snacks and drinks for you and your team. Having something to quench your thirst and ease your hunger helps you feel comfortable and at ease while working.

8. Put the best products on display

When setting up your display, you should always pick the best ones. Go for the healthy looking vegetables and plump fruits. Avoid those with wilted leaves and bruises. Place your best display in front and center.

9. Stack your items

The arrangement of your items dictates how people perceive them. When you stack your pieces, it creates the illusion of abundance. Of course, people are drawn to things that look good or make them feel good. If you want customers to come to your stall, you should pile the goods instead of laying them out on the table. You can also hang them so shoppers can easily spot what's on sale.

10. Think of presentation

Other than the arrangement of your goods, you should also take note of your decorations. You should try placing tablecloths, trays and a few photos. All of these add interest to your booth. You should consider how customers perceive you. Don't show up in the market with messy hair, torn and dirty clothing. You should wash up and wear comfortable and clean clothing. People appreciate sellers who remain professional. They are also likely to buy from stores with sellers who look sharp and take care of themselves.

Weekend markets and fairs can be your first step to building your business. It can be your chance to find other growers who are interested in partnerships and exchanges. It also an avenue to meet and find loyal customers. To get these, you first must get started, and these tips are what you need to guide your journey. They are the pillars to your farming and entrepreneurial success.

Friday, July 27, 2018

8 Reasons Why Organic Food is Worth The Hype

Are you worried about your health? How about your wellness and overall condition? Do you have an idea on how to take care of yourself?

One way of taking care of your body is by selecting the right food to eat. There are plenty of food sources in a weekend market, but you must be picky when buying your produce. You must select those that offer you the nutrients your body needs to function properly.

Lately, local food stalls and organic market Manila are becoming a popular destination. People prefer to purchase their food stock from these stores. Are they worth the hype? Are these stores worth the visit?

Read on to find if organic food is worth the hype.

1. The produce and livestock are naturally-grown. 

It is healthy and safe to eat organic food. Farmers use natural fertilizers to grow their produce. They also use naturally-derived pesticides to control pests. They use crop rotation, hand weeding, mulching and tilling to control weeds.

Meanwhile, animal raisers provide hormone and GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms also known bioengineered genes) -free feed to their livestock. They prevent diseases through natural methods. They place their livestock in clean houses and ensure the animals have a healthy diet. Most of all, the animals have access to the outdoors.

On the other hand, conventionally-grown produce has chemical fertilizers, pest control, and herbicides. Animal raisers inject growth hormones, antibiotics, and medications to their livestock.
They also provide GMO feed to the animals because it is cheaper compared to organic feed.

2. Organic farming methods reduce pollution.

All-natural farming methods keep the water clean. The run-off water won't contain poisonous and harmful pesticides that won't break down in water. Thus, there won't be chemical deposits into the soil and the waterbed of lakes, rivers, and oceans.

Organic farming methods also increase soil fertility. The absence of pesticides decreases soil contamination. It also maintains the soil's natural structure and acid level.

3. Consumption of organic produce saves the animals.

Organic farming and animal raising methods protect the environment. Consequently, it protects the animals. The natural farming and animal raising methods protect the animals' sources of food and habitat.

The lack of chemicals and pesticides in natural farming minimizes the degradation of the environment. It also educates people on the effects of consuming organic food. People begin to realize the long-term benefits of all-natural, sustainable agricultural methods as they support organic farms.

4. Organic food is fresh.

Most organic produce doesn't contain preservatives. You are sure of their quality because the stock is often available only in small farms where they are raised and grown.

5. It is safe to consume.

Conventional food produce often has hormones and pesticides. These chemicals are poisonous as they are designed to eliminate insects and pests that feed on the crops. At the same time, high levels of sex or growth hormones in animals can contribute to health complications in humans.

People exposed to high levels of these chemicals developing health complication. Pesticides, for instance, can result in neurological problems, infertility,  allergies, and skin problems. It can also cause diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting when ingested. Growth hormones contribute to early puberty in girls and development of different cancer types.

You are sure to be free of worries when you choose organic food since they do not contain artificial and harmful pesticides and GMO.

6. It is has a distinct taste.

Organic food preserves the natural taste of the produce. Since it has a limited shelf life, you can get the most out of its natural flavor.

Organic agricultural produce tastes better than conventional ones because of the quality of the soil. A well-balanced soil produces healthy, strong plants. The health of the plant contributes to the fruit's or the vegetable's outstanding flavors.

7. It is becoming affordable.

Though organic food is slightly more costly than conventional food, it is becoming readily available in the market. As people choose to consume and learn more about organic food, companies will try to meet the demand which will result in better, more competitive prices.

Government and business understand the need for quality and affordable organic food. They are sure to supply the market with quality organic produce once people pick up the trend of buying in co-ops and weekend markets around the city providing all-natural food.

8. It supports local farmers.

Most organic farmers are backyard growers and animal raisers. You can find some in your neighborhood if you live in a small town. If not, you can visit nearby towns or organic stores to discover one that sells the products you need.

When you prefer organic over conventional products, you support the local economy. The profit goes directly to the farmer instead of other channels of distribution. You also minimize costs for transportation and marketing.

These are eight of the compelling reasons why buying and consuming organic food is worth your time and health. Good health is an investment, so you need to discern your food sources. High-quality organic food provides the nutrients your body needs while saving the environment. Think of these benefits to get the most value when grocery shopping.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

10 Eco-Friendly Friendly Products for a Chic, Sustainable Lifestyle

Buying eco-friendly products is one way to save the Earth. These items are safe for the environment as they are either biodegradable or have a long staying power. They are also made of Earth-friendly material and are non-toxic. Several organic store Manila have these items to encourage consumers to spend and consume ethically.

1. Eco Bag

First, the average plastic bag takes 15 to a thousand years to decompose. It can clog landfills, pipes and damage bodies of water. Pieces of plastic are the most common cause of death of sea creatures as they resemble plankton or a jellyfish. The cost of recycling plastic is high, so most people dump them on the landfill.

An "eco bag" or reusable bags are made of cloth. The sewn bag is durable. It can carry more weight than a plastic bag. It also encourages quick bagging during checkout. Most, of all it is washable.

2. Metal Straws

According to the Pocholo Espina, the Chief Executive of Sip PH, "Straws are the third most pollutants you can find during coastal cleanups." Using a metal straw does not only reduce personal plastic consumption. It also reduces waste that goes into the ocean and other bodies of water.

There is the standard metal straight one, straw with a bend, and the "milk tea" straw for bubble teas. A set comes with a flexible brush with tiny bristles to clean the inside of the metal.

4. Mesh shopping bags

Mesh shopping bags are stylish. You must have one if you are an eco-warrior. The see-through produce bag is made of biodegradable cotton to keep you stylish while shopping for fruits, flea-market finds, and vegetables. Is a canvas bag is bulky, mesh shopping bags are a viable alternative.

5. Preloved Clothes

Fashion fades, but a person's style is eternal. Why not purchase old clothes from garage sales and online stores? Give life to the sellers old faves by dressing them up according to your own style.

There are several hidden gems when scouring consignment stores, bazaars and other local standees. Opt for these instead of the mass-produced products of the fast fashion industry.

6. Plants

Plants are free. Place a seed into the ground and voila! You have a  source of garnish, insect repellant or spice. Most of all, you have an oxygen factory and a toxin zapper.

Plants thrive in carbon dioxide and toxins from people, animals, vehicles, and other devices. They save other beings from lack of oxygen. They also prevent soil erosion. Plus, flowering plants beautify the area!

7. Bamboo Toothbrush

A bamboo toothbrush uses natural bamboo wood handle while its bristles are nylon infused with charcoal. The handle breaks down in eight months. Remove the brush using pliers to use the handle as compost. The brush is also BPA (bisphenol A - used to make plastics and resins) free! It is genuinely a double-duty product.

8. Konjac Sponge

A Konjac sponge is small and made of veggie fibers, but they are perfect for exfoliating the sensitive skin of the face. The sponge comes in pastel colors with the combination and natural infusions of bamboo, green tea, charcoal, and other biodegradable materials.

9. All-Natural Body Care Products

Choose organic, plant-based treatments for your hair, skin, and teeth. The body reacts to phytonutrients, especially when layering each product. Plant and herb treatments have actives that support our energy and the planet.

10. Wooden Spoons

Wooden Spoons are versatile, practical and they almost last for a lifetime. They are insulators. It minimizes burns and scalding accidents when cooking (and eating). It is durable. It can stir and scrape things without breaking. But, it's not hard enough to scratch non-stick pans and other surfaces.

Living an eco-friendly sustainable lifestyle should not be alienating. It should not only be for people who can afford it. It must be for everyone. Take your part to save the Earth. Try not to be wasteful or a waste contributor by using these products.

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Friday, June 22, 2018

Green Cities: A Liveable and Sustainable Place to Live

new york city, street, buildings, trees, urban life, lifestyle, green cities

Urban planning is essential especially since people's lifestyle shifts from the jet-setter to wellness. Land development and environment merge with urbanization, which integral in the modern world. Various real estate properties in the Philippines come up with clean, healthy, efficient, and sustainable architecture to provide an affordable house in Cagayan de Oro.

Creating an eco-friendly environment is a step towards the improvement of real estate in the Philippines. Developers begin to stay away from destructive practices of building a community with the conveniences of a house and lot for sale Cagayan de Oro. They keep making green cities a top priority for habitable and sustainable development.

Clean and Healthy

Future homes must be clean and safe. It must also maintain its state so its inhabitants can have access to clean and safe drinking water, effective wastewater treatment, fresh air, and efficient waste disposal systems. These are the essential elements of a community.

At the same time, these elements contribute to the high quality of life in a city. These qualifications make a city liveable, despite the continuous evolution of the metropolis that is vastly happening. Thus, a development must maintain a two-way approach to keep a clean and safe area. The green and eco-centered establishments must push and influence its neighboring communities to follow its path to revolutionizing green real estate.

The two-way approach also involves its homeowners and property owners. They must spearhead the changes in policies and community guidelines to keep their place clean and safe.

Green and Pleasant

Green doesn't only translate to cleanliness. It is also part of a quiet and serene oasis. An ideal green environment has open spaces, quiet streets, and recreational parks aimed towards the citizens' relaxation, health, and social activities. These developments encourage sports, nature watching and social events.

Quiet places are essential in urban cities to minimize stress from the environmental noise, one of the sources of anxiety to city-dwellers. The sounds come from the increasing demand for mobility through vehicles. The volume of cars, trains, and planes in developing areas cause a level of noise considered as pollution.

Real estate developers in the Philippines and government agencies build more properties catering to a market of homebuyers and property seekers who value green and pleasant advocacy. These buyers want open areas and green parks despite living in an urban environment.

Efficient and Sustainable

Living in an ideal community is a place with resources at the plan of your hands. Energy and water should not be sources of stress for folks who wish to stay in a place for the rest of their lives. The development must be an area of sustainability to prevent problems in the long run.

Research excellent properties and developers who can give provide the service and expectations that you want. These firms satisfy their clients as they push for environmentally friendly homes. Realty corporations apply proper engineering and architectural strategies to achieve sustainability and construction efficiency.

As a property seeker, you must aim for an affordable yet high-quality home at CDO. Modern, durable houses often use recycled products that passed quality control and international standards. Thus, most recycled construction materials last more than traditional products.

Utilizing durable materials in construction spends less time and money during property maintenance. Effectively cutting costs and maximizing the use of resources is the key to an efficient and sustainable real estate development.

Well-Managed and Democratic

An urbanized location is well-governed. It enables citizens in environmental decision-making. Democracy becomes the basis of the law and welfare management of the community.

A comfortable place to live is under proper management. The governing council or sector finds ways to protect its communities. Safety is one reason why a person buys a property, with the location as its second item on the list. Real estate developers must look at these points to figure out their priorities for their customers.

Green cities bring out the best in people and its location. Therefore, developers must be mindful of starting eco-living for a well-managed community. Most of all, they must involve their homeowners in decision-making and household management to capitalize the quality of the area.

Green Cities Raise Home Value

These are some of the reasons green cities are the best for family and retirement life despite being urbanized. Home values in these cities are twice the traditional setup because of their eco-friendly houses and set up. The quality and sustainability of the materials and other home features lower utility bills and emit less toxin in the air improving the quality of the lives of homeowners.

Constructing, maintaining, and raising the value if a green community is and always two-way stream. Cooperation between home and property owners, developers and the government is the key to fostering helping hands to a live a little longer in a house and lot for sale in CDO.

Image source: 1, 2

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Using 5S in Home Decluttering

5S stands for five Japanese words prominent in Japan's production and manufacturing lines. It is a methodology stemming from Toyota's Production System aiming to maximize efficiency and quality. Fortunately, the practice isn't limited to the manufacturing and production. It also applies to other industries such as UX, graphic design, admin work, management systems like home decluttering.

Home decluttering won't amount to profit, but it is work done at home. Applying the 5S principle in your home makes household items accessible and clears the area of unwanted items. The philosophy of 5S enables you to redecorate and rearrange the stuff in your home based on your liking. Moreover, it allows you gain more space to maximize movement and function of each nook and cranny. Using 5S in decluttering benefits homes with limited floor area. A condo unit at Avida Towers Cloverleaf will appear twice its size when each item is in its proper place.

The 5S Philosophy

Seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu and shitsuke makes up the 5S philosophy by Sakichi Toyoda. These Japanese words comprise the steps of managing and organizing each aspect of your home. They also have an English counterpart which is the literal translation of each word. Thus, it is easy to apply the concept and follow its flow.

1. Sort

Seiri means 'to sort.' Sorting is a strategy toward the visual organization and maintaining order in the working area. Sorting is not the same as rearranging home items by location. The process involves segregating your thing by the frequency of use. You can also separate the stuff by its use. Use tags to mark your items or place them in bins with labels. That way, you know where to put them afterward.

If you plan to use tags, you can follow a color scheme. Use red markers for rarely used or unnecessary home items and green for those which frequently catch the light of the day. When using a bin, you must label it based on use and importance or relevance to daily living.

2. Set in order

Seiton is all about 'setting in order.' Once you identify your stuff through sorting, you can proceed to place them in order. You can store appliances and household objects you seldom use at the back of cupboard, drawers or overhead storages. Meanwhile, those essential to everyday living and activities are best on open-shelving, multi-use furniture, and surfaces. Cleaning agents and tools, reference books, school or office supplies, cooking utensils, and spices are some home items you must store within sight or easy-to-reach spaces. Doing so reduces the time spent on looking for them. However, don't forget to apply caution. Chemicals and other harmful materials such as sharp cutting tools must be out of children's reach.

3. Shine

' To shine' or seiso involves deep cleaning. However, cleaning won't only apply after the initial sorting and setting things in order. It must be consistent. You must keep parts of your home neat after each use. Polish your tools, sweep and mop the floor, wipe each surface to keep everything in order. Remember to inspect the condition of your devices and the workplace to attend to repairs and defects.

4. Standardize

The next step is seiketsu or 'to standardize' the method of sorting and tidying after finding a place for your home items and cleaning them until they shine. You must establish a standard to help you formulate rules to employ the 3S effectively. Involve each person in your household when creating standards and securing the location of each item. You can also implement other visual management ideas to ensure each person contributes to the upkeep.

5. Sustain

The last part of 5S is shitsuke. For 5S to become active, you must sustain the procedures of order and neatness. You and your family must be consistent in the process of sorting, organizing, and cleaning to keep the state of your environment. Maintaining the habit helps you refine the steps and discover innovative ideas to keep clutter out of your home.

The Dual Nature of the 5S Philosophy

The process of 5S is a way to declutter and instill discipline within the household. Your home becomes an eco-friendly environment when you learn to store the items required for daily sustenance. Each member of the family will minimize harboring unnecessary items and save your home's spaces for the essential stuff for everyday life. The habit makes your home easy to maintain and decorate.

A clutter-free, tidy space is also visually appealing. It grants the viewer a peace of mind which opens different possibilities for different home layout.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Beautiful Indoor Plants for a Good Night's Sleep

Plants are the most underrated home decorations. Most homeowners forget that living greens aren't only perfect to fill empty spaces. They also carry benefits. They clear the air of toxins, release a fresh batch of oxygen, and retain room temperature. Some species of plants are only alive at night which provides restful sleep. Moreover, adding plants to your home encourages a green environment.

If you are looking for bedroom decors, then you must include plants on the list. Below are some species of plants you can nurture indoors if you want an extended shut-eye. You can purchase a pot of garden shops or plant boutiques at Ayala Malls Cloverleaf. Have fun checking out these plants and learning how to care for them

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a favorite medicinal plant and succulent. Its leaf produces a gel used as a remedy for several skin conditions, e.g., burn, sunburn, frostbite, cold sores and, psoriasis. It releases oxygen at night which increases the oxygen levels in your bedroom. Those with asthma, heart conditions and pulmonary diseases can benefit from the high levels of oxygen while sleeping.

Care Tips:

1. Aloe vera must be in a cactus potting soil. Regular potting soil works as long as you add perlite or building sand.

2. Place it on a surface with bright light.

3. Water it when the soil is parched.

Chinese Evergreen

One of NASA's approved indoor house plants, Chinese evergreen is tropical plant thriving in humid air. It has tiny red berries which break of the lush green hue of its leaves. It emits high oxygen content and absorbs chemicals such as benzene and formaldehyde.

Care Tips:
1. Chinese evergreen is best on a well-draining soil which is an equal mix of fertilized soil, perlite, and sand.

2. Spray water on its leaves especially when the air is dry.

3. Avoid overwatering to prevent root rots.

4. Fertilize old plants once or twice a year using water-soluble houseplant fertilizer.

5. Trim its parts once it gets large or leggy.

6. Save the cuttings in water to propagate new plants.

English Ivy

Ivy, the common name of the genus Hedera, is a plant that crawls along the ground, tree, or wall to access sunlight. English Ivy is known to treat inflammation issues in the body. It can also relieve irritation and other skin conditions due to its anti-bacterial properties. Hanging the climbing vine in your sleeping quarters eliminates airborne mold. Thus, you can minimize acquiring of respiratory tract congestion.

Care Tips:
1. Hang the ivy in corners with low light or filtered bright light. This prevents the plant from drying up.

2. Keep the room temperature stable.

3. Water it on a regular basis as growth accelerates in a moist environment.

4. Trim the long stems that have few leaves to support its growth.


There are hundreds of species of Jasmine, and they have one thing in common. Their scent decrease anxiety levels which can help people struggling with depression. The aroma also allows people unwind before heading to bed. Its flowers are also aesthetically pleasing. It has five to eight petals that unfold to form a star. Having a plant in your home saves you from expensive doctor's fees as each of its parts can be used to cure ailments and fight illnesses.

Care Tips:

1. Jasmine needs soil combined with bark, coir, and other organic materials.

2. It can tolerate direct sunlight along with cold temperature. Place them near the windows during spring and fall. Lessen sun exposure during winter.

3. Prune your plant to keep under control.

4. Repot during springtime. 

Rubber Plant

Rubber plants have large leaves that absorb high quantities of air contaminants. They can stand up to 50 feet. The plant directs pollutants to the soil so microbes can break them down and deposit them in the ground. Hence, it provides its nutrients while improving the quality of air in the area.

Care Tips:

1. The rubber plant must be in a shadowy area. That way, it won't be hot for the temperature won't be too hot for the plant.

2. Its soil must be moist especially during the growth stage.

3. Wipe its leaves with a damp cloth or spritz it with water.

4. Water it once or twice a month during dormant stage. Increase the amount of water once its leaves start to droop.

Snake Plant

Snake Plant, also known as "Mother-in-Law's Tongue," converts carbon dioxide to oxygen during night time. It is one of the three houseplants that can filter the air while you sleep. Besides formaldehyde and benzene, it also takes in trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene. A potted plant for each person is sure to reduce respiratory problems and headaches from waking up.

Care Tips:

1. Snake plants prefer a dry environment. Allow its soil to dry between waterings.

2. Position them in areas with no sunlight.

3. Propagate it through leaf cuttings and place it on land an inch deep.

Indoor plants are low on maintenance, so there's no reason for you to skip them. They are perfect people who don't have the luxury to tend to their greens. Think of the benefits of a well-oxygenated bedroom before passing up on a pot or two.

Image Source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ,6

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Simple Sustainable Living for the Non-Conformist

People are busy to go green. What's worse is that multi-billion companies are using the Green Movement to bolster their sales and make people think that they are on their side. Though the Green Movement sprung a hundred years ago, it's relevance to daily lifestyle remains. Industries continue to obliterate natural resources which are irreplaceable. The destruction ends up endangering human health and various ecosystems.

Different nations celebrated the first Earth Day on the 22nd of April, 1970. Its goal is to maintain an environment of decency, quality, and regard for all living creatures. To ensure environmental protection and consciousness, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created. On top of the agency are legislations pointing towards the negative impact of several profitable industries such as forestry, fisheries, mining, and manufacturing.

Why the Green Movement is Limited to Specific Groups

Being eco-friendly is beneficial to all yet people prefer not to go green. Even homeowner and renters who choose to live in a sustainable estate like Cloverleaf would dwell on the reasons not to go green. Every non-conformist know this while the public may not be aware of their choices as it became part of their daily life.

To shed light on this thinking, here are the top reasons why not everCloverleafyone is a follower of the Green agenda:

1. Most people don't have enough time. An average person spends 9-16 hours at work in Cloverleaf offices including travel time and sleeps for an average of 6-8 hours. That leaves them with 9 hours to take charge at home, run errands, bond with family, or do activities they are passionate. Unless sustainable living and being green is their passion, there is not enough time to think of the idea.

2. Some are not aware of the impact of individual actions. A mainstream consumer prioritizes their comfort over anything else. They don't think that minimizing usage of plastic bottles or straws can save the ocean and the planet that will house future generations. They can't see the big picture because they aren't conscious of the effects of their decisions. They won't give up their comfortable lifestyle and switch to eco-friendly alternatives just because they are accustomed to it.

3. Companies brainwash their consumers. Most consumer goods are either in plastic or not sustainably manufactured. Clothing and textiles use synthetiCloverleafc dyes and other chemicals to color and design their product. Supermarkets and groceries sell consumable goods in plastic containers or place them in a non-biodegradable bag. These stores also sell eco-bags which most consumers dump upon using them.

4. Organic and all natural products, as well as eco-friendly solutions, are expensive. Alternatives to mass-produced products have high prices because the supply is less than the demand. These products also have a high production cost as they often employ traditional methods of manufacturing.

There is an opposing side to everything even if the things or advocacy will benefit the people and its habitat. Group, companies, and other individuals will disagree with the Green Movement and do everything in their power to persuade the population to do the same. There are no right or wrongs as each person has their opinion on the matter. Some people choose to live sustainably, while others would instead stick with what's comfortable.

How a Non-Conformist Can Shift to Green Living

A non-conformist always has a choice. Thay can reflect on their current lifestyle to think about its long-term effects or stick to it and watch the planet decay. Change comes from a decision and being part of the Green Movement begins from the changes at home. There are several ways to include sustainability in a simple home living.

Below are some ways to become an eco-friendly homeowner:

1. Relocate to a mixed-use township like Cloverleaf in Quezon City or Arca South.

A mixed-use community has residential towers, commercial spaces for dining, shopping, and entertainment as well as establishments for healthcare and office complex. These types of township minimize carbon footprint as institutions and structures are within reach. People's needs are within walking distance. Hence, there's no need to use a vehicle to get to the area.

2. Patronize homegrown brands.

Locally-manufactured furniture and home accessories, town specialties and other native products are examples of items within the country. These brands acquire their materials within their location. Therefore, they burn less gasoline over imported ones. The same goes for pieces of clothing and quick bites. The ECOlta Fair at Escolta features brands with innovative products such as The Real Happy Cow, Indayog, and A Beautiful Refuge.

3. Decorate with purpose.

Fill a room with greens instead of synthetics or plastic decor. A plant is exciting and challenging to have for its needs and benefits. It cleanses the air in the area as it absorbs toxins and releases carbon dioxide. To minimize the hassle of maintaining a plant, choose one which doesn't require regular watering and steady source of sunlight. Some indoor plants can survive without weeks of watering.

Besides plants, bedsheets, pillowcases, cushions, and fabric shower curtains are some of the functional home items which make a statement. Go for one hundred percent organic cotton when shopping for these pieces. The material uses water-based dyes.

4. Use all-natural hygiene and cosmetic products.

Soap, shampoos, conditioners, and lotions from store shelves all contain chemicals to preserve and enhance their performance. Unfortunately, exposure to these compounds results in a negative impact on people's health in the long run. All-natural products use plant-based materials and other organic compounds. These goods are less likely to produce skin reactions because of their mild ingredients. However, they may have a short shelf life as they lack preservatives.

5. Modify the features of your home.

Install a low flat toilet for less gallon per flush consumption. Use LED (light-emitting diode) or CFL (compact fluorescent lamps) to reduce heat and energy. Insulate your home using borate-treated newspapers (a combination of oxygen and boron which is fire-retardant). Plant tall trees to have a shield from UV rays. Place programmable thermostats, so the air-condition runs only at the designated temperature.

These five steps to sustainable living don't mean becoming a blind conformist. Freedom to choose is still with people. It's up to them to decide how to accept the benefits of the challenge of living in green.

Note: This article was originally published on July 7, 2014 as "Making Your Home More Green." It was revised and updated to increase public awareness on the impact of their collective actions.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

4 Simple Home Proposal Ideas that Won't Add Carbon Footprint

Almost all activities on Earth that involve machines contributes to carbon production. Dining, communicating, shopping, and travel are some of our daily activities that are major sources of carbon footprint.

It's empowering to know you are saving the planet once in a while. Considering the effects of your choice is one way to minimize carbon footprint. That's why think about an important milestone in your life like a wedding proposal. Make it as impactful to the planet as it is to your loved ones by going for home proposal ideas that won't add carbon footprint.

Below are four ideas to improve your proposal.

1. Bring Out the Dessert

Ask your loved one to a backyard picnic. If you have a rest house in the countryside, pick a spot with a view of the sunset. Get on one knee during the golden moment to have a picture-perfect moment.

You can also pop the question after eating the delicious meal you brought. Place the ring on top of the pie, pudding, cake or with it. You can ask your partner to get it out of the container. If it's IN the dessert, take the initiative to get a slice and give to him or her.

Maximize the picnic set by extending the event until the night. Leisurely walk in the area or watch the stars in the sky. The gem on the ring will seem like a star in your hand once the warm glow of candles and backdoor lights shines over it.

2. Follow the Flowers

There's nothing more romantic, elegant, and eco-friendly than walking to a path lined with fresh flowers. The type of flowers depends on the part of the home you want to propose. If the way leads indoors, consider potted plants and petals to spell it out or enclose the ring box.

You can also go the high route by growing the flowers in your garden or nursery and replanting them once you are ready to ask the question. That way, you hit two birds with a stone. You have a decorated outdoors and partner who'll walk down the aisle.

3. Blindfold Suprise

It takes some trusting before someone agrees you guide them to a path. It doesn't matter if it's just walking in the house. Living without vision is terrifying. That's why placing a blindfold over a loved one is challenging. They might fight back or curse at you for taking them on an ambush.

Go on a trust walk by pulling down the blindfolds in your home and going on different routes to get to your destination. Make sure it's a secluded spot they'll be happy to stay. A backyard camping in a house and lot for sale Cavite is one exciting way to finish the outdoor proposal idea.

4. Take Some Notes

You are taught to write correctly since your youth. The next DIY marriage proposal is easy to execute but requires a few elements. If your home is near the beach or has a beach house available for rent or visit - think Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind - you can draw on the sand. Once done, bring your loved one over to what you created while you get down on your knee. Ask someone to capture the moment so you can recall on the silly yet one-in-a-lifetime moment.

If you want to propose during winter time, you can gather some snow and pack them until they form the letters. Use red coloring or food color to spell out the "Will you marry me in the snow?"

Wedding proposals need not be grand or expensive. They don't have flashy and store-bought materials. There are no right or wedding proposals, just eco-conscious and Earth-friendly ones. Utilizing what you have in homes such as the areas of the house or the supplies are enough as props to an intimate marriage proposal.

Healthy Lifestyles: Five Compelling Reasons to Go Organic

“To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” –Gautama Buddha Hav...