Category Archives: Environmentally Friendly Ideas

Thoughtful Gifts Combine Fun and Function

Finding fun gifts that are also useful can present a challenge.  Gifts that are purely fun can quickly become space hogs when they lose their appeal.  Gifts that are purely practical in nature are, frankly, pretty boring.  There are quite a number of great gift ideas out there that successfully combine the fun with the practical, but the key to choosing the right gift is knowing the recipient.

If you have a football-loving friend who also loves to cook out on the grill, it would be hard to go wrong with a gift like the Portable Football Grill.  Shaped like a football, it definitely offers a unique and fun spin on grilling out.  Because it is portable, this grill can be used on the back patio and at the tailgating party.

Football Grill

If, on the other hand, you have a friend who is environmentally conscious but also enjoys fun home decor, a smart gift idea would be a Solar Mosaic Glass Lantern.  These colorful and casual lights are solar powered, so no wiring is involved, and there are no operating costs.  Solar lanterns are ideal for illuminating backyard patio tables since they require sunlight to operate.


How about the friend who loves spending time outdoors, but who also appreciates quiet time in front of the television watching movies or shows with the family?  The ideal gift would combine the fun of watching TV with the ability to enjoy the fresh, clean air of the great outdoors.  The solution comes in an Outdoor Weatherproof TV.  Outdoor TVs are designed to withstand weather exposure, and they make a welcome addition to outdoor patios, sunrooms, pool areas, and covered decks.

SunBriteTV 22 In Outdoor LCD HDTV 2220 PRO

Fun and functional gifts are everywhere, but they provide the most joy to the recipient when you take time to consider your friends and what characteristics they would most appreciate in a gift.  It really is the thought that counts.

A Greener Approach to Gift Giving

Environmentally Unfriendly Gift Wrapping

If you or someone you love is conscious about environmental issues, then gift giving times can be less than joyful occasions. Wrapping paper, ribbons, packaging materials, and even the gift itself often demonstrate our wasteful tendencies when it comes to giving gifts. Being more environmentally considerate about what we give as gifts and how we present those gifts can go a long way to show our loved ones that we care about them as well as about the environment.

One unique gift ideathat is itself environmentally friendly and that would also appeal to anyone who loves to spend timeEarth Friendly Hammock Swing relaxing is a recycled rope hammock swing.  A hammock swing is a gift idea that is rarely considered, but it’s one that many people would love to receive. Unlike a traditional hammock, a hammock swing allows you to sit up comfortably and enjoy reading a book, having a conversation, or just taking in the surroundings. Hammock swings can be constructed from weather-resistant outdoor fabrics or woven with rope materials, but the most environmentally friendly hammock swing is one whose ropes are made from 100% recycled polyester fibers. These ropes are extremely durable and resistant to harsh weather, but they are also soft to the touch like cotton.

While you may not want to install a hammock swing gift before presenting it to your loved one, you can add value to the gift by installing it yourself once a location is chosen, or you can hire an installer to do the work. No wrapping is necessary for a hammock swing, but tying a reusable decorative fabric bow around the gift before you present it can provide a festive touch.

Don’t Let Autumn Leaves Go to Waste

Did you know that upwards of 60 percent of the waste generated by the average U.S. household could be recycled or composted? Unfortunately, only 8 percent of American waste is composted, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. Did you also know that yard waste, such as fallen autumn leaves, makes up nearly 20% of all garbage created every year? When put into landfills, organic matter like food, leaves, and grass trimmings take up a significant amount of space and play a large role in the creation of methane gas, a greenhouse gas that “remains in the atmosphere for approximately 9-15 years…and is over 20 times more effective in trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide” (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).

Compost BinComposting food and yard wastes is easy, especially when using a purchased compost bin. Building a compost pile on your own is certainly an option, but compost bins on the market come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and often make the process of composting much simpler. No matter how you choose to compost your organic wastes, the advantages of composting are undeniable. Composting helps the environment by reducing greenhouse gases and other air pollutants that would be generated as a result of simply throwing organic wastes into the local landfill or incinerator. Composting also saves money by providing you with free fertilizer for your garden. Finally, compost puts nutrients back into the soil, making your garden soil richer and plants healthier.

Solar Lighting for Your Backyard

Solar lighting is a great way to provide light sources to “off the grid” areas of your home, lawn, and outdoor structures, but it also lowers your environment footprint. Solar lighting is low maintenance and is usually very easy to install, requiring no power lines or additional sources. Your main concern with solar lighting is location! To ensure that the panel receives the most possible sunlight, it should be mounted on a south-facing slope (give or take 30 degrees off of south). The location should be left unshaded by any tree, or other solid structures. There is never any recurring cost (like electricity), no charging, and no use of resources other than the powerful rays of the sun. Below are a few examples of outdoor solar lighting options for your home. Do you use solar lighting? If so, how and where? We are always looking for great ideas to save money AND the environment.

Solar Shed Light

Solar Shed Light

Solar Security Light

Solar Security Light

Solar Lamp

Solar Lamp with Planter

Solar String Lights

Solar Star String Lights

A Mosquito Eliminator That’s Different from the Rest

Mosquito Eliminator

I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting products that can safely reduce mosquito populations in my backyard.  With pets and kids running around, I’m wary of using foggers or other chemicals to kill the pesky blood suckers.  But, because I have pets and kids, eliminating mosquitoes takes on a higher priority.  Enter the Mosquito Eliminator.

This nifty gadget doesn’t look, smell, or work like most existing mosquito devices, which is why I was so intrigued by it.Mosquito Cartridge  It looks like an attractive piece of outdoor decor, doesn’t emit any noxious odors, and traps mosquitoes using a unique method of attraction.  Using ultraviolet black light technology and specially formulated attractants, the Mosquito Eliminator lures mosquitoes and other flying insects into the unit where they are captured on the patented auto advancing cartridge trapping system.  The Mosquito Eliminator provides a coverage area of 1,000 square feet, and it can hold about 6,000 mosquitoes before the cartridge needs replacing.

It’s refreshing to be able to enjoy the backyard without first dousing our bodies in chemical sprays or lighting up an ineffective candle.  Thanks to the Mosquito Eliminator, the pets can romp, the kids can play, and we can all have a relaxing, bug-free summer outside.