Of course, you know by now that lighting your yard, pathways, and garden with solar lights can both improve the ambiance of your space and reduce your carbon footprint. Manicured lawns can have a very high negative impact on the environment, but that doesn’t mean that your outdoor space has to be an eyesore. Here are some ways that you can make your yard and garden beautiful without harming the environment.
Solar Lights- Illuminate the beautiful parts of your outdoor space, make walking paths clear for after-dark visitors, and help your guests see all your hard work. Solar lights use no outside source to collect energy, so you’ll know that you’re increasing your carbon footprint with your outdoor lighting source.
Compost- Make sure you put your garden to hard work by composting leftover materials. For a simple concept, there are a lot of little details that go into composting. Here is an infographic that explains some of the basics.
Don’t kill- You can keep bugs away without using pesticides that can harm your yard, pets, and family. Look into organic pest control options. Sometimes the solution is as easy as sprinkling sugar and vinegar around your garden.
Be local- When choosing decorative plants for your space, make sure to choose native species, not exotic items. This will prevent invasive species from spreading, and will attract native birds and beneficial insects to your garden, allowing it to flourish.
Do it by hand- Avoid gas and power mowers and other landscaping tools. It will take more work to maintain your space by hand, but using a manual push mower will benefit your yard, your body, and the air in your area.
Join your Community- Make sure to share excess produce with your neighbors, and see if you can coordinate your gardens to fill each others’ needs. This will allow for greater variety in the area and will prevent excess of certain items from being produced and going to waste.
All in all, you can have a beautiful lawn and garden without having a harmful impact on the environment. It just takes a little more intentional thought! What are your favorite ways to decrease your garden and lawn’s carbon footprint?
So what is all this talk about “fracking” and is it a good solution for our energy needs? Well, it depends on what you mean by “good”. If you are talking about a short-term emergency energy solution, then you could say it is “okay” (but certainly not “good”.) If you are talking about long-term and sustainable practice, then it’s a great big “NO”. You can argue for it until you are blue in the face, but when it comes to the final product and what it takes to get that product, “fracked” products are bad news. To put it in a short essay, the folks at gracelinks.org have put it succinctly, so we will repost their work in its entirety for you here:
“The United States is home to what some estimate to be the largest known shale gas reserves in the world. Often referred to as the “bridge fuel” that, according to the oil and gas industry, will aid in the country’s energy transition from coal to renewable sources like wind and solar, natural gas now fuels nearly 40 percent of the country’s electricity generation. Natural gas use has soared in recent years, but so too has the controversy surrounding the environmental, public health and social impacts of how the fuel is obtained.
The Marcellus Shale formation, located in the Northeast U.S., is of particular interest to the oil and gas industry, not just because of its large, untapped reserve, but because of its proximity to major population centers. That proximity, however, also raises significant public health concerns. Of primary concern is the potentially damaging impact of natural gas drilling on water resources. A new process conducted by drilling companies has the potential to increase pollution exposure, and concerned members of the public; some state and federal regulators and the environmental community are keeping a close watch on the process.
The method combines a new form of horizontal drilling with hydraulic fracturing – more commonly known as fracking. The process blasts open fissures in underground shale-rock formations by injecting a high pressure combination of fluids, chemicals and proppants causing the fossil fuel to flow to the production well. During the fracking process, millions of gallons of fracking fluid – a mixture of water, sand and toxic chemicals – are injected into the ground to break up the shale and release natural gas. While each company’s formula is a closely guarded secret, in some cases the mix includes known carcinogens.
Some of the fracking fluid remains underground where it could potentially contaminate groundwater in the future, but much of it is brought back to the surface as wastewater. That wastewater contains fracking chemicals as well as naturally occurring radioactive materials and metals found in the surrounding soil. The wastewater is often pumped into holding ponds where it can leak and settle into surrounding groundwater, and impact wildlife. The contamination of groundwater is of major concern for those who live near drilling operations and rely on drinking water wells. And the contamination of watersheds that provide drinking water for millions of people in cities hundreds of miles away from any natural gas drills poses a significant threat as well.
While the natural gas industry argues that fracking will create new jobs, the potential harm to water resources could endanger existing economies. Most proposed gas drilling projects are located in rural areas where a ready supply of fresh water is essential to agriculture, tourism, sport fishing, hunting and manufacturing. Drilling accidents, which can and do happen, can have a profound impact on these industries, and the boom-bust cycle of energy extraction can irreparably change the way of life in rural communities. For a cautionary tale, just look to mountaintop removal mining for coal and the devastation caused to Appalachia’s ecology and public health.
Federal and state responses to the threats to water resources posed by fracking have been mixed at best. At the federal level, regulation is insufficient due to certain explicit exemptions from the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Clean Water Act granted by the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The EPA is just now starting multi-year research into the impacts of fracking on water resources, and while preliminary results will be available in 2012, the final report is not expected until 2014.
At the state level the picture is mixed. New Jersey’s legislature, for example, has approved an outright ban on fracking (pending the Governor’s signature), while New York is proposing to ban the practice from certain sensitive areas. Pennsylvania has already received billions of dollars in natural gas drilling investment, making tougher regulations a difficult sell. In all states, however, proper enforcement of any regulations on this rapidly expanding industry will be difficult for overburdened, underfunded and underprepared environmental agencies.
The role that natural gas fracking will play in the United States’ energy future is quickly evolving. The nation is shifting towards electricity generated by natural gas – over the past ten years 81 percent of new electricity capacity has been gas-fired – and state governments are playing regulatory catch-up with the drilling technology’s rapid expansion to meet this burgeoning demand. As states debate how best to protect air and water resources from any potential fracking side effects, the federal government is taking another look at its own imperfect research and oversight. New technologies like “micro-LNG,” which allow production of natural gas for markets without pipeline networks, add to the need for regulators to get a firm grasp on the changing natural gas landscape. Please check this page often as we will update with the latest fracking news and research.”
So, why are we reposting this and giving you the dirty details on the fracking debate? Well, being as we are purveyors of sustainable energy, there is no better autonomous solution (at the time of this writing) than solar technology. The other side may say that solar uses vast amounts of energy to create the panels and resources for the LEDs, but the same can be said about the initial costs and materials for the fracking and dirty energy industries. Let it be known that we are talking about sustainability and appropriate technology here, neither of which fracking is sustainable nor appropriate.
Go solar today! Don’t let them scare you into thinking it is not a viable option (okay, it isn’t so great of an idea at 90 degrees latitude, but how much of the world population lives at the north and south poles?) Once you have broken from the spell of a 100-year conditioning, you will find that there are alternative energy solutions out there (check Your Solar Link and their supply of off-grid solar lighting) and available to you at this very moment.
Take the power back!
Looking for some rechargeable batteries for your solar garden lights? Did you know you can replace the batteries? Many people are under the impression that once their solar lights stop working that it is time to throw them out (at best, recycle them). But a quick changing-of-the-guard will get your lights up and running again.There are some things to consider when replacing your rechargeable batteries, such as:
1. What size do I need? Are my batteries AA or AAA?
2. What is their chemistry? That is, are they NiCd, NiMH or Lithium?
3. What is the mAh (milliAmp hour) rating?
4. How many are there?
Once you have determined which type of batteries you need, you will be able to place an order for the correct batteries and get your lights up and running in no time.
Your Solar Link does not have any hidden charges. So when you see the price on the website, that is what you will pay out-the-door. No hassle of going to a store to look for batteries (which will probably be more expensive, in addition to driving there, parking, fumbling for a credit card, etc.) Get yours today while supplies last and save money for tomorrow!
Juicebar Pocket Solar Charger.
This stylish, sleek and reliable pocket size Universal Battery Charger (Juicebar Solar Charger) is proven to be your best friend in a situation when conventional electric supply is not available or if you are trying to use eco-friendly renewable power supplies.
Great as a solar phone charger for any type of Mobile Phones, IPhones, PSA, PDA, Mp3 Players, Satellite Navigation, and much more.
Get it HERE.
SOLAR PATH LIGHTS.
Stainless Steel Conical Solar Path Light (Set of 2).
Path solar lights are an excellent choice for lighting your garden paths, walkways, driveway perimeters and other regions in your landscape. They are often used in multiples to guide the way along a set of stairs or a dark walk.
Featured Stainless Steel Solar Light set uses 2 ultra-bright LEDs for maximum light output and minimum battery usage.
The lights are safe around kids and pets and water and corrosion resistant.
Read more HERE
STONE SOLAR SPOT LIGHTS.
Stone Solar Spot Lights (also known as Solar Rock Lights) completely camouflage with existing landscapes and look like any other rock in your garden.
SOLAR GARDEN FOUNTAINS.
How to start using ecologically friendly energy to power up your garden fountains and other garden water features?
Why not go with a solar powered water pump?
To accommodate your needs the Solar Fountain Pump Systems we carry range from 2 to 8 Watt. Browse our collection of solar water pumps for your fish ponds and solar fountains.
Enjoy your garden water features and your energy savings at the same time. Make a note of the various power levels and the flow rate of the solar water pumps before your purchase.
Please write us your review after your purchase. Your opinion is important to us!
DECORATIVE SOLAR ACCENT LIGHTS.
Solar accent lights (Set of 2) create an enjoyable and inviting glow for your landscape.
They are designed to mark a place.
Solar Spot Light - $26.99
Super High Output Spot Light (4 Super Bright LEDs). Free Shipping!
Solar spot lights like this one rely on energy from the sun to charge their batteries and provide light throughout the night.
This means that there is no need to tap into the electrical grid for these lights to operate.
The solar spot lights will work consistently, even if the whole neighborhood is dealing with a power outage.
Learn more about Solar Spot Lights at http://www.yoursolarlink.com/solar-spot-lights, where we have a great selection of solar spot lights to choose from.
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