Tjalvas DIY Logo

Interested in starting to help protecting our planet? Get the FREE pdf "15 tips on starting a Greener Life"!

Blog

Saving electricity to reduce your carbon footprint

Saving electricity to reduce your carbon footprint! I will show you easy ways you can implement today, most without having to spend extra money. Going green the easy way!

Today we are going to continue with the word “reduce” by saving electricity to reduce your carbon footprint. I will show you several ways you can start saving electricity easily today 🙂

All of the ways I will show you here are easy to implement in your home today. And, in case you wonder, you don´t need to get solar panels. Solar panels are great if you have the space and the chance. But if you live in an apartment or in countries that rather fine you than help you in this respect…

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything using them, I may receive a small commission at NO extra cost to you. I only provide links to products of which I think they are useful to you and I try to link to eco-friendly products at the same time. For more information please read my disclosure & privacy policy.

 

Saving electricity to reduce your carbon footprint! I will show you easy ways you can implement today, most without having to spend extra money. Going green the easy way!

Change energy supplier to reduce your carbon footprint

The first thing I am going to recommend you was the best I have ever done. Research electricity companies in your area supplying green energy! And don´t worry, you will find that most of them are actually cheaper than you think. We changed 3 years ago to a company supplying 80% from green energy. Now 100% of their energy is green and our bill shows: 0% carbon emissions produced. And the best of it all: we now pay about half of what we used to pay with our previous supplier!

Saving electricity to reduce your carbon footprint

Take a piece of paper or open a note on your phone and go through your home. Check where you can replace normal plug sockets with plug strips with a switch and write those down to change. Then look at your light bulbs and write down which ones need to be replaced with energy-saving ones once they are gone. I know that energy-saving bulbs are a bit more expensive to buy, but they last a lot longer and are therefore cheaper in the long run.

While you are making your round, unplug everything that doesn´t need to be plugged in, including your phone chargers. Most appliances use electricity even when they are turned off. It might not be much, but keeping with it you will notice you are saving electricity. Same counts for things in standby mode: just unplug them or turn the switch off when they are not used. Don´t leave your phone, tablet etc. on charge for longer than needed, specially not over night.

Interested in starting to help protecting our planet? Get the FREE pdf “15 tips on starting a Greener Life“!

Coming back to your light bulbs: help them to last longer! Energy saving light bulbs don´t like to be turned on and off all the time. So instead of going into the kitchen, turning the kettle on, leaving and turning the light back off, leave the light on as you will go back in within a minute or so. I know this seems against what we are taught, but it saves energy as well leaving the light on instead of turning it off and on within a short period of time…

Saving electricity heating and cooling

Let´s start with heating: The ideal room temperature is, depending on if you live in a warm or cold climate, between 19° C and 22° C (66° F and 72° F). Bedrooms should be at the lower end as the ideal sleeping temperature is between 15° C and 20° C (59° F and 68° F), again depending on where you live. Rooms that you don´t use still should be heated slightly, as it will keep the rest of your home warmer.

Let in fresh air, as it heats up quicker and better than used air. If you can, do it when it is the warmest outside. Just open your windows wide for about 10 minutes, this is enough.

Wanting to start a greener life, but feeling overwhelmed? Then my E-book “Ease into Green Living” is the right fit for you! Special offer: 30 minute call with me where you can ask me anything you want 🙂

Other ways to save electricity while heating: Thick curtains keep the cold out and in summer the heat. Open your curtains when the sun shines on your windows to let the heat into the room in winter and close them when the sun is gone. Carpets keep your home warmer as well. Cooking generates extra heat in your home. And if you leave the oven door slightly open after using it, this will provide extra heat for a while more.

A fact a little less serious: Throw a party or organise a get together in your home. The more people are in your home, the less you need to heat 😉

In summer, save on air conditioning by opening your windows at night and leave your blinds down during the day. This will keep your home cooler.

And a very important thing: service your heating and air conditioning regular to avoid problems and unnecessary cost. This includes cleaning your air con filter regularly, it will keep it working longer.

That´s it for today about saving electricity. I hope, you have enjoyed this post and have learned a few new things. What are your best tips on saving energy?

Do you want to know what else I offer? Then check out my Let´s start a Greener Life Together page

You might also enjoy reading: Saving water to start protecting the environment, 25 ways to protect the environment on a budget, 10 good reasons to start going green, How to teach your kids the importance of green living, and Green living & feeling guilty.

Saving electricity to reduce your carbon footprint! I will show you easy ways you can implement today, most without having to spend extra money. Going green the easy way!


How to easily make your own beeswax candles

I LOVE Christmas, it´s one of my favourite times of the year! Specially as you get to make a lot of things yourself, like decorations, ornaments, cookies… And then the evenings with candles lit all around you and a fire in the colder countries. That´s why I decided to show you today how to easily make beeswax candles yourself 🙂

But, before we get into making some, let me explain to you why you should use beeswax candles instead of paraffin ones.

Learn how to easily make your own beeswax candles and why you should use them instead of paraffin ones! Eco-friendly, healthier easy DIY

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything using them, I may receive a small commission at NO extra cost to you. I only provide links to products of which I think they are useful to you and I try to link to eco-friendly products at the same time. For more information please read my disclosure & privacy policy.

The reason you should choose beeswax candles over their paraffin rivals

Beeswax candles are made by, you guessed it, bees. Bees work to make the honey for the wax. It is all natural. Beeswax candles have many advantages over paraffin candles.

Paraffin is the wax that comprises most of the candles on the market. It is made from vegetable, animal, and petroleum wastes. You’d never know it looking at the candles, but this is what is in them. Most people don’t read the labels on candles anyway.

When you burn these substances, toxic substances have the potential to be given off in the flame. Have you ever seen black smoke coming from a candle flame? It occurs when the candle is getting close to being burned out because there is no more wax to burn. These are the chemicals being released into the air.

Decorative candles of this type do not burn clean. When the wax re-hardens you will see the black residue in the wax. The wax creates a pitting phenomenon in the center of the candle and the wax also drips down the side and ruins the look of the candle.

A little known fact is that the wicks in the center of the candles contain lead. The metal button that holds the wick can also be dangerous. When burning the wick, the lead can be released into the air as well. As we burn candles, we are polluting the air around us. People with respiratory problems shouldn’t burn paraffin candles.

Advantages of beeswax candles

On the other hand, beeswax candles are available. But, they cost more, so many people think: why buy them when there are cheaper better smelling candles on the market?

Beeswax candles are environmentally safe, they burn clean. That means no pollutants are released into the air. The air is actually cleaner because what is given off by the beeswax works to eliminate odors and other pollutants from the air.

If you like the way that your candles look, beeswax candles do not do any pitting when the wax is burned. In fact, the wax burns out towards the end of the candle and doesn’t drip over. It continues to burn until there is nothing left.

Beeswax candles are not scented artificially and give off a smell of sweet honey which I love. The colour of the candle is the natural colour of the wax.

Beeswax candles burn longer than paraffin wax candles. For your money you will get over 100 hours of candle burning pleasure. So, use candles for aromatherapy and setting the mood, but clean the air and freshen your home in the process with beeswax candles.

Interested in starting to help protecting our planet? Get the FREE pdf “15 tips on starting a Greener Life“!

Learn how to easily make your own beeswax candles and why you should use them instead of paraffin ones! Eco-friendly, healthier easy DIY

Stop Paying for Deforestation! Switch to tree-free paper with a FREE 6-piece Grove Collaborative gift set for with your 1st purchase of $20+

A bit of candle making history

Candle making has a long tradition in Europe. In the City of London there has been for centuries a society called “The Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers”, created before 1330. Obviously the first candles have been made over 5.000 years ago, being the only alternative to fire to give light at night… The first known dipped candles have been produced by the Romans about 500 BC.

Hanging wicks and dipping them in wax until the candle is the correct consistency was something we did in art class. Get the family together during the holiday season and teach the kids how to make beeswax candles. We used to make candles as Christmas presents for our teachers, grandparents… My favourite one was in a “snail” shape…

Beeswax candles can be made with beeswax sheets. True beeswax candle makers don’t use these sheets but for homemade candles, beeswax sheets are easy and safe for children to use. The wax is pressed into sheets for use in making different shapes of candles. Any wax left after burning can be molded with more beeswax to create new candles to burn.

Wanting to start a greener life, but feeling overwhelmed? Then my E-book “Ease into Green Living” is the right fit for you! Special offer: 30 minute call with me where you can ask me anything you want 🙂

Okay, so now we know the why and a bit of history, let´s get into the DIY part!

Learn how to easily make your own beeswax candles and why you should use them instead of paraffin ones! Eco-friendly, healthier easy DIY

How to easily make your own beeswax candles

Before making beeswax candles, prepare by getting all of your supplies together and setting up an area to work. To make these candles you will need:

  • beeswax sheets, I get mine from a local supplier, but if you haven´t got the possibility, you can get them and the wicks here
  • scissors or a knife,
  • candle wicks,
  • a cutting board or other hard surface for cutting.

When purchasing the supplies, check to see that the wicks do not contain any lead or other chemicals.

Beeswax usually comes in a light color which is the color of the wax. Adding colour introduces chemicals into the wax that can be burned off in the flame. You can get beeswax candles in different colours, but they may not burn as clean.

First, watch the children when sharp objects are around. Do any cutting that needs to be done and keep the knife pointed away from the body. Work on the kitchen table so the kids can lean as they work.

UNIQUE chance right now! Jump onto my LIVE training “A Quick Start Guide To An Eco-friendly Home Without Overwhelm & Frustration

How to easily make your own beeswax candles; Instructions:

Lay out a sheet of beeswax. If using colored wax in combinations cut the sheet and add other colored pieces. Lay them close together so they overlap.

Take the wick and place it near the beginning of the wax sheet. Let an inch or so of the wick hang out of the bottom of the candle and two inches out of the top of the beeswax sheet.

Press the wick gently into the beeswax sheet. The wick needs to be secured so that it will not be displaced during rolling. After the wick is firmly in place, it is time to create the candle.

Slowly, roll the beeswax sheet over itself. Keep the rolls tight so no gaps are present in the wax. Continue rolling until the entire sheet is finished or the candle is as wide as you would like it. Larger candles like pillars have one or three wicks depending on width.

Cut the wick at the bottom even with the bottom of the candle. Trim the wick at the top of the candle until it is about half an inch long.

Create beautiful candles in various sizes and shapes. Kids can use their creations as homemade gifts or to decorate the house for the Christmas holiday.

See, it was extremely easy! And now you know how to easily make your own beeswax candles 🙂

You might also enjoy reading: How to make eco-friendly glitter with your kids, Eco-friendly toys you can buy this Christmas, 10 good reasons to start going green, 25 ways to protect our environment on a budget and  How to teach your kids the importance of green living.

Why cotton clothes are NOT eco-friendly

My son came home from school telling me that we should wear more cotton, because it’s natural and therefore more eco-friendly. I thought the same for a long time and many of us too. Let me explain why cotton clothes are not eco-friendly, at least not the normal, mass-produced ones.

Why cotton clothes are NOT eco-friendly and a list of alternatives. Did you know that the "normal" production of cotton uses a lot of water and pesticides? I will explain this and more environmental and health impacts before giving you a list with eco-friendly, sustainable alternatives

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything using them, I may receive a small commission at NO extra cost to you. I only provide links to products of which I think they are useful to you and I try to link to eco-friendly products at the same time. For more information please read my disclosure & privacy policy.

Growing cotton and it´s impact on the environment

Let me take you on a little journey around the world. First, we are going to Lake Aral, which in 1964 still was a big lake. If you have a look at it now, it has more or less disappeared.

This is in a great part down to Uzbekistan´s cotton farms. Cotton does need a lot of water to grow. Did you know that just for a pair of jeans 15.523 liters of water are used in the whole production? 15.523 liters! This is to grow the cotton and then the water used in the fabrics. And we haven´t even talked about other toxins used in the production!

Using up most of the water from the lake had a big impact on the climate in the region. Instead of it being mild, it now is either hot or very cold. Sand storms are now very common carrying the pesticides used in the cotton production far out.

Those pesticides have shown to have an impact on the population with TB, strokes, cancer and other health issues rising.

Another negative impact: the fishing industry has been wiped out with 10s of thousands of jobs lost.

So, here you can see that within the growing industry cotton clothes are not eco-friendly.

The government of Kazakstan has built a dam to be able to save at least part of the lake, but it is uncertain if the damage done can be reversed.

Why fast fashion is not good for the planet

Fashion used to be for 2 seasons mainly when I was a child: summer and winter. Later came spring and autumn fashion. Now, I can hardly keep up with fashion anymore, because it seems to change every week! Do we really need that much?

300.000 items of clothing get dumped every year, partly just because of being out of fashion! Synthetic clothes break down in the landfills into microfibers. Those then get into the water, not only the ocean, but as well into our drinking water. And from there into our food chain…

Did you know that scientists now have proven for the first time that our bodies contain microfibers?

Most fashion manufacturing uses a lot of chemicals that are toxic to our environment and everything living in the surrounding. So, even if you don´t buy synthetic clothes, this shows you why cotton clothes are not eco-friendly.

Interested in starting to help protecting our planet? Get the FREE pdf “15 tips on starting a Greener Life“!

This brings us to another part of the world I want to tell you about. Indonesia.

Textile production and it´s impact on the environment

If you have a look at the Citarum river, it is totally polluted. Years of fabrics letting their waste and toxins flow into the river have damaged it to extremes and the smell is unbearable.

There are laws that should prevent this from happening, but this still doesn´t stop anything.

There is purple liquid flowing in the river, foam, dead rats poisoned by the water… It is actually the most polluted river in the world!

28 million people depend on this river for their drinking water, irrigation of their fields and much more. This in turn means that they drink the toxins and eat them! As a result people and animals living close to the river suffering from various health issues, like skin problems, cancer and many neurological problems.

Just those facts on their own should stop anyone in their tracks and think twice, if they really need to buy the latest fashion or if the clothes they have are still good enough.

These facts have been taken from a documentary on BBC1: Stacey Dooley investigates.

But now to the more positive part of this post. I have researched into eco-friendly fashion companies and give you a little list of them now.

Shop Now for Bodum Coffee Sale and enjoy up to 70% Off. (728×90)” >

Why cotton clothes are NOT eco-friendly and a list of alternatives. Did you know that the "normal" production of cotton uses a lot of water and pesticides? I will explain this and more environmental and health impacts before giving you a list with eco-friendly, sustainable alternatives

Wanting to start a greener life, but feeling overwhelmed? Then my E-book “Ease into Green Living” is the right fit for you! Special offer: 30 minute call with me where you can ask me anything you want 🙂

Environmental friendly fashion companies

I will put the companies I have found in alphabetical order, so no preference set.

Coalatree:

Coalatree designs eco-minded gear and apparel for the adventurer in everyone, from athletes and photographers to your average city folks and weekend warriors. Every year they use surplus fabric to create warm blankets for the homeless and they work with several organisations to maintain hiking and biking trails.

Darn Good Yarn:

Apart from yarn and craft supplies, Darn Good Yarn also sells clothes. Their yarn is made from recycled silk and their goal to create a better world by caring, not only for all workers involved in the process. In their 10 years in business they have saved over a million pounds of material waste and helped create hundreds of sustainable jobs.

Elvis & Kresse:

Elvis & Kresse creates amazing bags and accessories all from recycled materials, like fire hoses, parachutes, leather offcuts, etc. They have rescued over 170 tons of fire hoses in London from the landfill so far. And 50% of the profits they make are going to charities.

Infinite Earth Apparel:

Infinite Earth´s surf apparel products are all made from quality sourced organic, recycled and sustainable materials. They want their products to make customers happy while also helping to preserve our oceans, land, rivers and mountains. They believe that protecting our planet is just as important as producing stylish clothing.

Manduka:

Manduka is the company to go for yogi. Apart from high quality environmental friendly yoga mats and towels, you can also get sportswear. Their clothing is made from fabrics sourced from environmentally responsible materials like recycled polyester, organic cotton and plant-based materials. They also work with several charities.

Natural Collection:

Natural Collection is a UK-based eco-friendly online department store where you find everything you might need, including fashion. All their products are fair trade, organic and eco-friendly. You can browse products they offer by ethics and tags: Fair Trade, Organic, Eco friendly, Education, Health & Wellness, Locally produced and Charity

Nest Bedding:

Nest Bedding is not a fashion company as such, they sell affordable organic and natural mattresses, bedding and pillows for adults, kids and pets. As family run business they serve several areas in the US. But this is not all, you can also buy sleep apparel like bamboo pajamas, as they call them and much more.

Organic Basics:

Organic Basics is a Copenhagen based clothing company that creates sustainable, better made basics, shipping worldwide. If you are looking for basic clothing that is sustainable in every way, this is the place to go. Plus, every order made with Organic Basics will clean up 30 kilos of trash from urban waterways.

People Tree:

People Tree is a UK-based fashion company selling fashion made with respect for people and the planet. The cotton used in their fabrics comes from organic cotton farms and use sustainable methods to minimise environmental impact. Some of their clothes are made from recycled materials as well.

I hope this post has helped you find out why cotton clothes are not eco-friendly and has given you ideas on how to find eco-friendly fashion. Always remember though, before you buy anything ask yourself: Do I really need it?

Why cotton clothes are NOT eco-friendly and a list of alternatives. Did you know that the "normal" production of cotton uses a lot of water and pesticides? I will explain this and more environmental and health impacts before giving you a list with eco-friendly, sustainable alternatives

You might also enjoy reading: 10 good reasons to start going green, 25 ways to protect our environment on a budget, Green living & feeling guilty, How to teach your kids the importance of green living, Gardening tools for your climate-friendly garden and Eco-friendly toys you can buy this Christmas.

Interested in starting to help protecting our planet? Get the FREE pdf “15 tips on starting a Greener Life“!

Wanting to start a greener life, but feeling overwhelmed? Then my E-book “Ease into Green Living” is the right fit for you! Special offer: 30 minute call with me where you can ask me anything you want 🙂

 

 

Eco-friendly toys you can buy this Christmas

This holiday season, parents will flock to stores to buy all types of gifts for their children. We’ve all seen the videos of parents fighting over the hottest new figurine or doll. This year, shirk the plastic type toys and instead invest in some wooden toys and other eco-friendly toys. I will give you several options for eco-friendly toys you can buy this Christmas.

In this post I give you ideas on eco-friendly toys you can buy this Christmas! And you can use those not only for X-mas. Eco-friendly toys for any ocasion! From wooden toys to subscription boxes. Protect our environment by gifting thoughtful and environmental friendly!

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything using them, I may receive a small commission at NO extra cost to you. I only provide links to products of which I think they are useful to you and I try to link to eco-friendly products at the same time. For more information please read my disclosure & privacy policy.

Wooden toys

Wooden toys were the first type of toys kids knew. Dads would whittle a piece of wood to create toys in the shapes of animals, wooden dolls, puppets on strings, and toy cars. Kids would play for hours with these toys. Once the kids outgrew them, they could be passed on to younger kids.

Wooden toys have not lost their luster or durability but they have been passed over for the more colorful plastic types that talk and move. When kids are young, the one thing they have is their imagination. Wooden toys inspire the use of the imagination during play.

Wooden toys are also environmentally friendly. Many are used in their natural wooden state. Paints used on eco-friendly toys are non-toxic and safe for kids. You can argue about trees getting cut down for the production of those toys, but many companies plant at least 2 new trees for each they cut down. So, if you look for companies doing that, there is no problem.

Shop Now for Bodum Coffee Sale and enjoy up to 70% Off. (728×90)” >

?Claim your special gift for BLOGmas! 15 eco-friendly Christmas gift ideas ?

Why wood instead of plastic?

When other toys are broken or the kids get tired of them, they are thrown away. Each year something new will replace the old favorite and they will no longer like it as much. In a landfill, those toys just sit and take up space.

Even worse: lots of toys that are thrown away still have their batteries inside. Toys filled with harmful substances still contain them when they are disposed of. These chemicals can be released into the ground as the housings break down. This poses a potential hazard.

When wooden toys are broken, they can be fixed. If you know someone good with their hands, they can fix it for you. The point is that you don’t have to throw them away. Wooden toys you can pass down from generation to generation.

They maintain their shape and if scratched, the imperfection can be sanded out. Wooden toys hold together better than modern toys created on an assembly line. Small parts that break off of new toys can choke a young child.

If wooden toys are old and no longer usable, they can be disposed of. Because they are made of natural wood, you can chop them up and use them in compost. Colored wooden toys can’t be used for that, but maybe someone can  refurbish and donate them to local charitable organizations.

Introduce kids to wooden toys when they are young. Puzzles come in wooden and paper shapes instead of plastic. Most wooden toys have rounded edges so they are safer to play with and handle. Even if they gnaw on wood it won’t hurt them.

Choose wooden toys for the young’uns. They are environmentally friendly, safe for young children, durable, and repairable if they are damaged.

Other eco-friendly toys you can buy this Christmas

Subscription boxes give a lasting fun experience, not only on Christmas. There are many choices depending on the interests of your child. I will give you a few options here which I really like.

In this post I give you ideas on eco-friendly toys you can buy this Christmas! And you can use those not only for X-mas. Eco-friendly toys for any ocasion! From wooden toys to subscription boxes. Protect our environment by gifting thoughtful and environmental friendly!

More eco-friendly options

At Natural Collection you can find many eco-friendly toys for babies, kids and toddlers. Apart from wooden toys, they sell as well plastic toys made from recycled plastic, so you can buy those without feeling guilty.

?Claim your special gift for BLOGmas! 15 eco-friendly Christmas gift ideas ?

Then books are always a great present as they last longer than just a day. The most eco-friendly way here would be to buy used books or go to a book bank where you can swap books. Don´t have one in the neighbourhood? Why not start one?

If you are looking for eco-friendly finger paint and dough for your kids, then you can find those at EarthEasy along with many other options. My son is out of the age for those, but I am sure he will love the power house kit 🙂

Last I want to recommend instead of eco-friendly toys as Christmas present: giving experiences! A special day out to somewhere they like or would like to go to in form of a voucher will make kids happy and gives them something to look forward to. I know this is not for very small children, but from a certain age on they will love this gift. A day pony riding, a visit to a bigger park, museum… You know your kids best and I am sure you find the right idea. My son wants to try archery and there is a place not too far away we could go.

I hope you have found lots of ideas of eco-friendly toys you can buy this Christmas. Let me know which ones you are getting 🙂

?Claim your special gift for BlogMas! X eco-friendly Christmas gift ideas ?

You might also enjoy reading: 10 good reasons to start going green, 25 ways to protect our environment on a budget, Green living & feeling guilty, How to teach your kids the importance of green living and Gardening tools for your eco-friendly garden.

In this post I give you ideas on eco-friendly toys you can buy this Christmas! And you can use those not only for X-mas. Eco-friendly toys for any ocasion! From wooden toys to subscription boxes. Protect our environment by gifting thoughtful and environmental friendly!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin