Public Gardens Day

May 11th is National Public Gardens Day. From more information check this out.

June 2, 2012 is National Trails Day

National Trails Day Celebrates the Nations Hiking trail system. Check this out for more information.

What is your Event for World Population Dayworl population day 2012

July 11, 1987 was the pinnacle that started World Population Day. Now, it has become an annual event and twenty -five years have gone since we started marking population trends and issues. World Population Day was established by the governing Council of the United Nations Development Program in 1989. The UNFPA focus's attention on the issues and problems pertaining to an increasing population.

This years population should overtake last years 2011, 7 billion.  Population becomes a concern as the death age increases due to better medical care and nutrition as well as the birth rate is increasing because of so many women reaching child bearing years all at once. So, World Population Day focus's on events and functions that help people get creative about solving the issues that such a large population creates.

Feeding such a large group of people takes a tole on our planet and fresh water systems. By participating in events that support world population day you create international awareness.

Maybe we will be able to find ways to support our planet and live along side in harmony.


National Public Garden Day Care Is Important.national public garden day


The 4th Annual National Public Gardens Day is coming up! May 11, 2012 is National Public Garden Day 2012–that special day set aside for the appreciation of North America's public gardens and green spaces. This year, more communities than ever across North America are sponsoring events that highlight the need for environmental awareness and green space conservation.

National Public Garden Day 2012 is a chance for every community in America to show their efforts in land stewardship and public garden involvement. National Public Garden Day was started in 2009 by the American Public Gardens Association in partnership with the RainBird Company. This special day, was set aside to bring the public into awareness of the importance of green spaces, plant and water conservation, home gardening practices and sustainable living techniques.

In the few short years that this day has been celebrated, National Public Garden Day beds have sprouted all over the country and are serving as learning environments for children and adults. National Public Garden Day Beds also serve as community reminders that to have a green future, we must all become stewards of our environment.

gardening by the yardNational Public Garden Day is growing in popularity and has been recognized by organizations and governments at all levels. These include the states of California and Florida and the United States Congress itself. NPGD is also gaining widespread exposure because of its distinguished representative Paul James. Paul James is the host of HGTV's "Gardening By the Yard" and is making a world of difference in bringing awareness of NPGD to the public. His efforts are keeping our neighborhoods green.
There are many mainstream commercial and media organizations jumping onto the NPGD bandwagon. Better Homes and Gardens, this year, is offering a voucher for free admission for groups up to 10 people to their local public botanic garden. These vouchers can be found by logging onto www.npgabhg.com and downloading a quick pdf voucher file.

National Public Garden Day Care Opportunities.

One event that is worth highlighting this year for NPGD is the free admission the Idaho Botanical Gardens is offering for National Public Garden Day 2012. Idaho has more wilderness area than any other state and is known for residential areas that integrate green space and promote land stewardship. The Idaho Botanical Gardens are located on Penitentiary Road in Boise, Id and maintains a world class green facility.


Also here is a listing for Pennsylvania National Public Garden Free Admissions


Bartrams Garden
www.bartramsgarden.org
Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve
www.bhwp.org
Goodell Gardens & Homestead
www.goodellgardens.org
Morris Arboretum of the University
of Pennsylvania
www.morrisarboretum.org
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
www.phipps.conservatory.org
Shofuso Japanese House and Garden
www.shofuso.com
The Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College
www.scottarboretum.org
Tyler Arboretum
www.tylerarboretum.org


June 2, 2012 is National Trails Day

National Trails Day June 2, 2012

National Trails Day is an American celebration of Americas hiking trail system.  Throughout the United States you will see over 2000 scheduled events celebrating our outdoor trails. I have a few listed below for Pennsylvania and my local area. This celebration is an annual tradition, so make sure you check out your local park or municipality to see what kind of celebration is planned.


If you want to celebrate at home this year’s National Trails Day slogan is “Americas largest TRAILgating Party.” I am sure you can come up with some creative ways to support this slogan.


Valley Forge will host a Trails Fair. The event will be held at the Betzwood Picnic Area from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Free programs will include guided hikes focusing on nature and history. Environmental organizations and conservation, health, and trails groups will offer educational clinics and presentations at outdoor exhibits.  There will also be a showcase of the latest in outdoor equipment and gear. Also, this year the Girls Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania will be partnering with the park with special activities and exhibits as they celebrate their 100th Anniversary.


Pike County is having a celebration, everyone is welcome to come and have a fun morning of light trail work.  Refreshments provided.


Keystone Park in Westmoreland County invites everyone out for a morning of moderate hiking and to help improve the Parks Stone Lodge trail system. We will also learn about Leave No Trace and sample some free Cliff Bars.


This event sounds fun…you ought to check it out. RADNOR TRAIL MOONLIGHT HIKE SATURDAY – JUNE 02, 2012 – RADNOR TRAIL MOONLIGHT HIKE (WAYNE, PA 19080.) Meet at Septa's Wayne train station (inbound side) at 6:00 PM. Enjoy an easy, leisurely late spring evening walk along the asphalt Radnor Rail trail. Afterward, we'll stop at a pub in downtown Wayne for your choice of food and/or drink as we watch the (nearly) full moon rise. Hike is approximately six miles total. Leader: Carol Seelaus, 610-617-7977


In my area they are showcasing the Green Ribbon Trail. Upper Wissahickon Walk Explore the upper section of the Green Ribbon Trail that begins in Upper Gwynedd Township Park, located on Parkside Place, off of Sumneytown Pike in North Wales. View the stream restoration work that WVWA completed this year! Meet at the parking lot across from the swimming pool.

Be prepared, these celebrations are working to help promote relationships, so you might walk away with some new friends.

Whatever you choose to do on June 2nd, National Trails Day, have a great time and stay safe! 


Go Green

Go Green

Go green is a term that many people are beginning to pick up on over the recent years and many companies alike are beginning to use. Indeed, the term itself seems to have been commercialized, but to go green is more about a lifestyle than it is a commercialized selling point.

In simple terms, going green is about becoming more environmentally oriented. With global warming becoming a reality of the 21st century and natural resources being depleted more and more everyday, global warming has become more than just the right thing to do, it has become somewhat of a moral obligation.

What this article will attempt to accomplish, is to give the everyday reader some ideas on how to go green themselves.

One of the biggest contributions that can be made to go green is the effort to recycle. Recycling bottles, cans and paper contributes a lot to renewable energy sources. It costs much less in terms of energy conservation, to create a new product from recycled material than it does to create that same product from new materials.

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Secondly, turn off the lights. Although this may seem like a silly way to "go green", you would be surprised at how much energy you can save the Earth by simply cutting your lights off when you are away for extended periods of time.

Switch from using Incandescent lights to using Compact fluorescent lamps. These lights generally only use 20-30% of the energy required by incandescent lights to create the same amount of light. So not only will you end up saving the environment, but you will also end up saving some money by making the switch.

One million tons of bottles go into landfills each year, so by refilling your water bottles with tap water instead of buying more bottled water, you save the environment from a lot of pollution.

Reduce the amount of meat you consume. This may sound like another silly one, it probably is one the biggest things that we as individuals can do to reduce global pollution. Why is that? Because methane gas that is produced from the large amount of feces dropped by cows is the main contributor to global warming.

In fact, methane gas is ten times more powerful in terms of deteriorating our ozone layer than the carbon monoxide gas in car exhaust fumes.

So when you are wondering how to go green you can follow these couple of tips.

 


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When is Earth Day 2012


The quick answer is Sunday April 22, 2012, when we are supposed to be celebrating our planet. Originally, Senator Gaylord put together this holiday in 1970, when everyone was supposed to celebrate, learn and teach others about our planet. Encouraging our population about the environment and how we can live an eco-aware life. He also wanted to raise awareness about the growing problems our environment was going to encounter over the years. So, every year we set aside one day to come together and talk, teach and learn about our environment and the problems we face.

When is Earth Day 2012


This year I would like to see if we can live every day like its earth day. It won’t be easy every day. Some days you will want to take the long luxurious bubble bath or that 15 minute hot shower, but we need to start conserving our resources now, today! Putting this off any longer helps our decision makers come up with bizarre solutions.


For example, we need another option to oil as an energy source, instead of looking for something a bit safer for our environment; our decision makers think fracking is a good choice as another energy source. Pumping out shale gas instead of looking for an alternative is their solution. The problems with this choice are huge, chemicals in the water supply and possible earthquakes in the area of the fracking site. Not to mention the toxic waste that humans are exposed to. How long before the workers get sick? I have already seen articles about people loosing animals to toxic runoff and people with rashes and sore throats. When will our leaders stop putting us from the frying pan into the fire?


So I challenge us, can we live everyday like its earth day? Can we consume fewer products? Can we make due with a one year old phone instead of trading up immediately when the new one comes on the market? Is it possible to be just as happy with less?


Okay let’s look at the benefits. The first major benefits that come to mind are less stuff, more money in your pocket. More money so you can retire earlier, take the grandkids on a fun day trip, more money to help people you want to help, not just put things in a house or on your body.  The next benefit of being conscience of what resources you are using is smaller bills, again saving you money. Now I have focused on money here because the quality of your life and others can be based on whether or not you have the money for a roof over your head, a car to get you places and food on the table. So more money helps you achieve those things.


Money isn’t the only reason to keep earth day in your mind, time is. How much time do you use up cleaning things in your home? How much time do you spend buying things or putting away things to keep your home less cluttered? If you had more time what would you do? Who would you visit or what book would you read? Would you invest in a different career? Go back to school and learn something different.


Stress is the last thing I’ll talk about, stress is a leading killer of people, yet we continue stress ourselves out working for the next big thing. What is the next technology for the cell phone or computer, not to mention flat screen TVs or DVD players.  If you had less stress in your life, what would you do, not eat the donut; take a walk with your son or daughter. Talk about the next experience you want to have with them. Decide to invest in yourself for the next 20 years. Get you in shape or helps someone else get in shape.
I know I can do each of these, can I do them consistently maybe; some days will be harder than others. I challenge all of us, do it this year, get a calendar write down what you do on a daily basis, and share it with a friend. Help someone else be good to themselves and our planet.


Earth day is Sunday April 22, 2012.


Starting with Seven in the Fall – #5

  • Get the flower beds and vegetable beds ready for the winter. Clean and fertilize. Plant any fall/winter vegetables.


 
  • Bring all the patio furniture in close to the house and cover or bring in the house, which is better, less wear on the outdoor furniture means less replacement. Yes, this common sense idea is green, you are saving resources with this idea.
  • Recycle any summer clothing and look into what you need for the fall and winter. Check out your local thrift stores first before you head out to the department stores.
  • Look into caulking leaks around the windows. If you don't want to caulk you can hang insulated drapes over the windows to keep out the drafts in the winter. Some people like putting up plastic wrap around the windows but that idea isn't necessarily green unless you are reusing your plastic wrap year after year.
  • Look into public transportation. Yes even in the winter. I found out that we have a bus at the end of my block which goes to the local shopping center and another bus that goes to the local High School. This way I don't have to just drive one or tow to the mall or school they can hop a bus. We are in the suburbs and this is huge for our community. Save wear and tear on your car in the winter.
  • With all the holidays coming one right after the other, using coupons to stock up can save you money and time. Make that list and double check for coupons. Plan ahead.
  • Invest in warm slippers and a comfy robe or sweatshirt for when the chill is on but we want to keep the heat as low as possible.

Looking for different ways to start living smarter and greener can be challenging if you're not used to thinking about a green lifestyle but it can be done. Keep reading up on ways to go green and some will work for you. Just start with seven in 2011 and keep going from there.

 

Starting with Seven – #4

Comparing Electric Companies to One Another

Who knew we would be talking electricity like we are? I thought electricity was all the same. Now we come to find out it's not all the same, some is coal created, hydro created, wind created and solar created. Enough creations to make your mind spin.

I keep getting asked what electric company are you going with? What electric companies have you compared? Do you have a preference on how your electricity is created? All I know is when I flip an electric switch, I want electricity, I want my lights to turn on. Where the electricity comes from is secondary.

Now,  fast forward to me writing this article. I have had some electricity awareness. I personally think that no matter which method you choose to create electricity, you create some sort of toxic something. Nothing is clean, but the fact of the matter is we need power.

So, what are Americans going to do? We have deregulated electricity and every electric company is touting better prices better service and cleaner services just for us. As we are reading all the materials put before us, please make sure you whip out your magnifying glass and read the fine print! Ask questions. Don't just change your service to change. If you start looking to compare electric companies here's some criteria the companies should meet.

Pricing Should Be Simple and Clear:  When you look at your energy bill, you know it can be complicated and difficult to understand. What all those calculations and numbers mean can be beyond a simple glance and once over read.

One easy way to learn how to save, is learn how your energy usage is calculated. Your energy use is billed at a rate per kilowatt hour (kWh), when you start to compare companies you need to know what you’re being charged per kWh. A question you should ask is if the rate is variable or fixed.

To help you understand, if your home uses 2000 kWh/month and your rate is 11 cents per kWh, your bill would be $220 per month (plus taxes and other fees). It does become important to understand and know how many kWh per month you’re using up. This way you can look for simple ways to save or look into switching energy supplier that charge less.

Flexible Billing Plans: Looking for a company that offers a form of budget billing can help your finances, especially if you are on a fixed income. Most Pennsylvania electric companies offer a form of flexible billing that allows you to save money.

PUC Licensed: One other item to look for, is a license.  Pennsylvania electric companies are licensed by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC). If they don't hold a license, move on to another company, don't do business with them.

You can call your energy provider and ask if they have different rates. You can take advantage of the different offers major electric companies are putting in place. Whatever you choose to do, comparing electric companies to one another isn't a bad thing. It will help you understand the way electricity is measured and billed out to your home or business establishment.  


Summer Slowdown the Green Way How many nights do you sit out on your back porch and just watch the birds and squirrels play? You sip lemonade or something stronger depending on the kind of day you had, relaxing in the warm early summer evening. Sounds great right!

How many of us take the time to appreciate our surroundings and slow down? Unfortunately, not enough of us do. We are so busy trying to keep up with lifestyles that we created, that we are missing all the good stuff. The stuff our kids remember about us. How we would be relaxed and laugh more in the summertime. Blow bubbles with them for no reason at all. I don’t want to keep missing the good stuff.

So, l am going to do something about it. I challenge you to take the journey of a summer slowdown with me. Let’s start with not buying anything new this summer other than items we absolutely need.  Eg: You need to replace the filter in the air conditioner or screening to repair the holes on the back porch. You know what I mean. This way we will have less new things to put away or keep clean.

 

Next, we should try to cook double meals, what I mean by this is cook two meals at once. This way you can relax on the back porch earlier in the evening because you already cooked dinner. I suggest using a grill a lot if you own one. You might have to think a bit about ideas, for example if you cook a chicken you can make chicken soup or chicken stir fry, possibly  chicken wraps for dinner another night, saving you time and money.

After that, take a look at your daily chore schedule. If you work full time, I am sure you’re already juggling your schedule, but try and remove something from the schedule. Delegate some chores to the kids or the sitter. If you have a significant other maybe they can pick up a chore. This way you get more time to just be yourself without having to continue with chores in the evening.

Relaxation lets your mind calm down and helps you slow down and focus. Finally, pick a little something that you love to do. I love to swing in the hammock in my yard and just watch as life unfolds. You need to pay attention to yourself. For you it may mean re-rigging old fishing rods because it feels good. Maybe, swinging on a swing with someone pushing you will let go of your adult responsibilities.

There are so many ways to channel the inner you, the summer time is the perfect time to slowdown and do it! So, let’s just do it! Tell your family and friends you are taking a summer slowdown! Watch, I bet they do it to.

Spring Garden Preparation:Green Guide Tips

  1. Location, location, location: This is an important factor when starting a garden. How much sun does the area get in the morning and afternoon?  Does it have shade over part of the garden? You will have to think briefly about what kinds of plants you will be planting, full sun, partial sun or shade plants? Typically vegetables need 6 to 8 hours of full sun a day. I would also be thinking about garden convenence. How far is the walk to get to your garden? Picking parsley for tonight’s dinner is easier if it’s closer to your house. Try to avoid areas that have toxic materials, known dumping grounds or high pesticide residue which can affect the quality of the food you are growing. At this moment soil quality isn’t as important, soil can be improved through additives like manure, sand and organic matter. You can also choose to use raised box garden bedding.
  2. How do you prepare the ground: Well, if you are starting from scratch, you will need to remove the grass. You can cut up grass in rows and replant in your yard. I have done this in low lying areas, where water builds up. If you want a raised bed garden you will need something to contain the dirt. Cedar ties or cement boxes may help. A good way to  find out the type of soil you have is picking up a soil testing kit. This way you will know what you have to add to make it a fertile soil.  Next, you should turn the soil over or till the soil. Then, at this point you may want to add some organic matter such as sawdust, hay or grass clippings. Finally, to help keep weeds under control you will need weed block landscaping fabric.   
  3. What do you want to grow:  Do you want strictly vegetables? Would you like a flower bed that incorporates herbs or just an herb garden?  You can choose strawberry plants or berry bushes. You will need to group your choices into full sun, partial sun and shade. Also look at what type of soil is needed. You may want to group your plants this way. Grouping  will help you decide what to do with the plot of ground you are working with.
  4. Do you prefer a conventional or organic garden: This decision is important, it will help you when choosing watering options, seed selections, fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. There are many selections of both types. Conventional gardens use more toxic chemicals in the soil and on the plant. Organic gardens utilize natural fertilizers and pesticides such as Organic Miracle Grow or certain insect’s to get rid of an aphid problem.  You receive less toxic chemicals on your harvest and in the fruit itself.
  5. Best sources of watering: There is always the single can watering style, but for larger gardens this is a lot of extra work. You can set up a sprinkler system that goes off with a timer or use a hose. You also have the option of putting in an underground watering system. Run hoses under the dirt through the rows and when you turn on the water it only goes to the roots of the plant. Saving water for future use and saving you money. When you have high sun you should not be watering. The water evaporates  to quickly.
  6. How are you going to approach the  job of weeding and pruning:  You can pick a time to weed and water daily. A hoe or small rake will work very well with weeding, you won’t have to bend and stress your back. You are just looking to turn over the roots of emerging plants in the middle of the rows plus picking out any plants near the base of your seedlings. Being careful not to cut into the seedling roots.  Pruning starts after your seedlings come up. Having 12 plants within a 2 inch space will not work so you must thin or prune them out. When your plants get larger you may want to prune off leaves towards the bottom of the plant depending on the plant type. You might want to get the family involved in this, it's a great job that can be worked as a team giving you the opportunity for family time.
  7. Bringing in the harvest:  Now you have nurtured your baby plants till they have been pollinated and created fruit. How do you know when to pick the fruit? Each type of fruit is different. Generally your seeds will come with a length of time for germination till harvest. Follow that first. If in doubt check this out…Here

Talk with other gardeners on Green Guide Tips Forum Start with Seven in 2011 – #3

Start with Seven in 2011 # 5

Green guide TipsIf you own a Vitamix juicer and want to add accessories to your Vitamx 5200, take a look at this page. Vitamix has a selection of additional pieces to enhance the convienent quality of this powerful machine.

CLICK HERE TO BUY ACCESSORIES

Drinking smoothies full of live vegetables and fruits is a healthy way to pump up your nutrition. Getting up to three times more nutrition in your drinks may help prevent disease. Who wouldn't want to save time in the kitchen and help your health? I know I do!

When I am organised and have a plan I even save money on groceries.  I also get to help the environment by creating less waste I use all the peels and seeds from my fruits and vegetables. Going green has never been easier. Finding Vitamix accessories makes my job easier, I have the right stuff! 

FIND VITAMIX FITNESS AND HEALTH  HERE

Do you want to make your lunch in the morning with your Vitamix blender and then carry it to work in a Vitamix smoothie cup. There are so many ways to create healthy lunches with your Vitamix machine. Now more then ever this company, (by the way, Vitamix is made and owned by Americans), has come up with Vitamix machine accessories. Making healthy even easier .

Do you need to replace your Vitamix tamper or would you like to purchase the Vitamix glass container? Do you want a second blade to switch out when you are creating more complex recipes? You can do both here.

VITAMIX ACCESSORIES HERE

***On a personal note*** I have been using Vitamix for quite awhile now and I love this machine! I have a Kitchenaid mixer and food processor and an Oster blender. I don't use the food processor anymore and I removed my old Oster blender off the counter. Two out of three machines are obsolete. If you have a kitchen with limited space this is the machine for you. If you are a healthy eater or want to be a healthy eater, take advantage of the 30 day free trial. If you have any question about this machine you can email me at kathy@greenguidetips.com or click any of the above links to get a representative from Vitamix.

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