Archive for the ‘Earth Friendly’ Category
The following guest post is from Water for People - an organization that works to establish reliable safe water systems for developing countries. The first hand volunteer story below highlights the importance of water conservation for everyone.
Don Gregorio Understands the Water Challenges in His Community
As we leave the rural Peruvian town at 6:30am, the only sounds heard are those of motorbikes and trucks accelerating rapidly toward their morning destinations on narrow, paved roads. Pavement covers the road until the edge of town, turning into dirt roads meandering around the jagged foothills of the Peruvian Andes. Climbing higher and higher, the number of mud-brick homes lining the roadside thins out. Water becomes scarcer with each foot gained, with the highland households heavily dependent on mountain springs for their domestic and agricultural water needs.
At 9,000 feet, our van halts in our first community. My monitoring team slowly scans the central square for our guide for the day, Don Gregorio, the mayoral representative in the community of Casman. As an elected official tasked with overseeing the community’s development, Don Gregorio knows the exact location of the water sources and the challenges experienced by his neighbors in accessing potable water.
He warmly greets us on this cold, breezy morning. It’s rare to greet guests from across the world, so Don Gregorio is eager to host us in his home, giving him the opportunity to properly introduce us to the land, the water struggles facing the community, and their efforts to improve access for households and agriculture. After being treated to coffee and snacks, Don Gregorio outlines the route we’re taking and invites a fellow resident to accompany us.
Knowing his guests are not accustomed to higher altitudes, both gentlemen keep slow paces ascending the mountainsides.
Hiking to the first mountain spring is no easy task. Trekking at this altitude is a challenge. Armed with a machete, our guides chop and hack through thick brush grown to deter animals or passers-by from easily accessing the spring. There aren’t many mountain springs near the community Don Gregorio explains, “We must protect and conserve the ones we have so our children can raise their families in this same place.” In total, two springs are used for the town’s day-to-day activities, with one large irrigation canal cutting through the territory. Due to the demand during the dry season and the scarcity of water, the agricultural user water association must ration the water for each community.
Data collection for reporting and monitoring is not easy, but for this team it’s the reward of knowing efforts have made an impact to improve water delivery and its quality that inspires individuals on such an adventure. One volunteer whispers to me “my life will never be the same after this trip.” Indeed, many who have the privilege of experiencing Water For People’s country programs in person rarely leave without being affected in a profound way. For more information, please visit www.waterforpeople.org.
To enter for a chance to win a water saving faucet from BLANCO – visit www.anyluckyday.com/blanco.
To continue with our celebration of Earth Day! Here’s a guest post from BLANCO Design Council member, Leslie Clagett of KB Culture:
On an individual basis, it’s often easier to modify our behavior than it is our environment. While Finnish manufacturer Puustelli has developed an innovative, sustainably-produced line of kitchen cabinets called ‘Miinus’ that utilizes recycled—and recyclable—materials, it also offers advice on how to use the kitchen to further an eco-friendly lifestyle. From growing your own veggies to shopping and cooking smart (a 2012 study by the Natural Resources Defense Council reports Americans, with a propensity toward large-sized servings, throw away 40% of their purchased food every year), there’s a lot we can do for the planet that will also help ourselves. URL: www.puustellimiinus.com
For a chance to win a BLANCO water saving faucet, please visit: www.anyluckyday.com.
This guest post by designer and BLANCO Design Council member Andie Day speaks to looking good and feeling great with a lifestyle modification that will improve your quality of life and help the planet too. If you’re on the fence about becoming a vegetarian, pescatarian (diet includes fish but no other meat) or simply becoming more health conscious by reducing your weekly consumption of red meat and poultry consider the following:
”As environmental science has advanced, it has become apparent that the human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future: deforestation, erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, social injustice, the destabilization of communities, and the spread of disease.” Worldwatch Institute, “Is Meat Sustainable?”
“If every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetables and grains, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off of U.S. roads.” Environmental Defense Fund. Reported by the Daily Green (http://www.thedailygreen.com/)
Personally, I haven’t consumed red meat for years and poultry since November. It’s been a surprisingly easy transition as alternatives are readily available. Most restaurants offer at least a vegetarian plate or two and savvy supermarket chains with an eye toward the trending vegan lifestyle boast more options than ever before. Two of my favorite lifestyle brands are Gardein (mandarin orange crispy chicken-delish) and Amy’s (California Veggie burger or easy to prepare and frozen meals).
Happy Earth Day. Enjoy and be healthy! Andie xo
For more information visit
For a chance to win a BLANCO water saving faucet, please visit: www.anyluckyday.com.
BLANCO Design Council Member, Grace Kelly of Kitchen Designs by Ken Kelly, shares helpful tips on how to better care for the planet both on Earth Day and in our daily lives.
Saving the planet is such a large goal, that sometimes it can become overwhelming. The steps we can take as individuals to benefit society may sometimes be overlooked. If we each pay close attention to change our own consumption patterns, then the earth can become a more environmentally safe and friendly place to live. If we each do our part, the earth can be cared for not just on Earth Day, but every day.
“Being green is not an “all or nothing” proposition — focus on smaller things that are in your power to do.” -Grace Kelly
Watch for Wasted Water
When you wash your fruits and vegetables, try washing them in a pan of water. Running water from the tap wastes water, because unneeded water is going down the drain. After you have washed your foods, think about how you can reuse the used water. Hydrate plans or flowers with it! Instead of dumping it down the drain, use water from your pet’s dish to replenish the outside environment. You can also turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth. An estimated 25 gallons a water per month can be saved simply from monitoring how much of this water is wasted.
Become Familiar with Food
Familiarizing yourself with the food you buy and where it came from is important. You can buy local food that does not have to travel many miles to get to you. Paying attention to where food came from, and how you use it can help reduce waste. Make unavoidable food waste a resource, not trash, by composting and using it as fertilizer.
Create Better Consumption Habits
Don’t over-purchase. Buy only what you need and consume only that. Anything that you do not use, try saving for the future or consider returning. Returning unused items gives other people a chance to buy and consume resulting in less waste.
Enter to win a BLANCO water saving faucet today by visiting AnyLuckyDay.com.
Vicki Payne, host of PBS show For Your Home, and member of the BLANCO Design Council, shares her advice on how we can be better parents for our Earth.
Without us, the planet would struggle to survive. It needs to be nurtured and well cared for. With chemicals, hazardous waste, and using numerous natural resources, the Earth fights to remain green. It is our responsibility to battle pollution and other dangers by making intelligent choices in our daily lives, which ultimately makes our world a better place to live.
Select Furniture Wisely
Selecting new furniture can be fun and earth friendly at the same time. Select natural upholstery. Avoid synthetic materials such as polyester, simulated leather, and polyurethane foams that are derived from fossil fuels; instead, look for latex foam and cotton, wool, linen, or help fabrics that have been minimally treated with chemical dyes or coatings. Extend your green efforts by buying antique or secondhand furniture, or by reupholstering your existing furniture using environmentally friendly materials.
Organize a Seed Swap