Eco Tips

How to Conserve Energy & Beat The Summer Heat

So, is it hot enough for ya? I’m not sure what the summer temperatures have been like in your neck of the woods, but in Atlanta the “dog days” have been so bad, they’d send Florence + the Machine running back to England. As of August 8, our hometown had reached temps of over 90º F during 6 days in May, 24 in June, 27 in July, and 6 in August. On 12 of those days, temps hit 95º or above! Using the AC is a must, but there are many eco-friendly ways to cut down on energy consumption while keeping your cool. Here are few of our favorites:
• BECOME A FAN FAN- Ceiling fans can create a killer breeze, or simply circulate the air from your AC more efficiently. Make sure you buy Energy Starfans, which use 50% less energy than comparable models.
CLOSE YOUR WINDOWS- In addition to thwarting peeping toms, closing your windows, shades and blinds keeps the sun from turning your room into something Dante might have dreamed up. When night falls, you can open the ones oriented toward prevailing winds to catch the cool cross-breeze.
• INSTALL ATTIC INSULATION-  Insulation keeps the air in your crib from escaping through the ceiling, so it can benefit your energy costs year-round. Make sure you seal the ducts around the vents and registers, where we can lose up to 20% of our cooled air. You can also get a tax credit worth 10% of the cost of materials, up to $500.
• PLANT A TREE- Shield yourself from the brutal heat of the sun by planting deciduous trees on the east and west sides of your home. The broad leaves will provide shade in summer, while allowing warmth to shine through in the winter.
TURN IT OFF- Incandescent light bulbs create as much heat as they do light, and home electronics stay hot even when they’re on standby. Shut ‘em off to save energy and cool things down a notch, and consider replacing old bulbs with Energy Star bulbs, which produce 75% less heat.  –Bret Love

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Apartment Gardening

Container Garden by Shakespeare via Creative Commons

 Apartment Gardening For Wildlife

Love to garden, but don’t feel like you have enough space? Here are some simple steps for apartment gardening that can help turn even small-scale deck or patio garden into a wildlife haven beneficial to local birds, butterflies and other creatures.


• PROVIDE FOOD-  A bird feeder is a great way to attract birds and provide them with food. If you live in an apartment complex with limited deck space, there are bird feeders specially designed for hanging off balconies. There are also special hooks you can use to mount conventional feeders to your deck. Hanging feeders filled with nectar are also a great way to attract hummingbirds.


• PROVIDE WATER-  Another integral part of your backyard haven is providing the wildlife with water. Birdbaths and watering containers are a great way to replenish our feathered friends and keep them cool in the summer heat. For homes with limited spaces, you can mount birdbaths to your balcony or deck with special hooks. You also may consider hanging a waterer from a mounted light fixture, ledge or overhang.


• PROVIDE SHELTER-  Container gardening is a great way to provide your wildlife visitors with shade and protection. Potted trees and shrubs will provide them with shade and cover. Fragrant flowers and herbs will also help attract butterflies and beneficial bugs. In addition to any potted flowers you have, consider choosing some native plants, which are great for local wildlife and will grow well in your environment. Ensure all pots have a hole in the bottom to encourage good drainage.   –Holly Young

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How to go green in your neighborhood

How To Go Green In Your Neighborhood

Other than reading or meditating, few things are more fun without a group of friends or family… especially when that group is working towards a greater good together. That’s the idea the folks at Organic Soul promote, encouraging communities to get together to go green. And we don’t mean just organizing an organic tea party with your pals, either. We’re talking about how to go green in your neighborhood and get everyone together to change their way of thinking (and living). Here are a few ideas for getting you out of the house and into your local ecosystem, whether you’ve got a green thumb or just good intentions.


• Buy Local/Organic- Not only does this support the local community’s economy, but also when done on a large enough scale, it sends a pretty big message to the big-name producers (at your grocer’s) who aren’t practicing organic growing.


• Grow A Garden-  Don’t have enough time to prune your tomato plants on your own? Those intentions might make a bigger difference if the garden belonged to the neighborhood and everyone did their part. And just think of the potluck dinner all those fresh veggies would produce!


• Raise Awareness- You throw block parties every weekend. Party with a purpose next time by sharing information on local green efforts, or ways your community can play a more active role in the neighborhood’s eco vitality. Celebrate nation eco-based holidays and set goals for your community to meet once their thinking goes green!


• Create A Community Cleanup Day- Whether you live on the beach, near the park or along a main road, you know one stray paper cup is just the beginning of a trash pile-up. And even though picking up that one cup to do your part is a good start, imagine what you the whole neighborhood could? “Adopt” a section of your community and dedicate days to get everyone together for cleaning/upkeep.  –Jenni Williams

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Our friends who live closer to the heart of metro Atlanta mock us mercilessly for living OTP (a.k.a. outside the perimeter, or I-285, which loosely defines the city). But the best part of living in the ‘burbs is being 20 minutes from Lake Allatoona, especially during weeks like this when temperatures are soaring into the mid-’90s daily. We’ve made great efforts to become environmentally conscious boaters, and recently found a story from the Boat U.S. Foundation (of which we are members) on how to make your day on the water more eco-friendly


Keep It Clean-  Unless you keep your boat covered 24/7 (and what’s the fun in that?), it’s gonna get dirty. Dust, pollen, food and beverage spills, dead bugs, etc. add up quickly. Cleaning your boat regularly with fresh water and a sturdy brush not only shows you take pride in your vessel, but it also reduces the need for heavy cleaners. A simple solution of baking soda and lemon juice works wonders on carpets and upholstery, and make sure you use a hard, non-fouling paint if you plan in scrubbing the bottom of the boat while in the water.


Keep It In The Tank-  As the BP spill last year showed, one of the biggest threats to marine life is hazardous chemicals entering our waters. When filling your boat’s gas and oil, resist the urge to top off the tank, and use oil absorbent pads to catch any drips from the fuel nozzle that occur between the dock and the boat. If you keep your boat on a trailer, consider fueling up before you put your craft in the water.


Keep It In The Tank, II-  This time, we’re talking about poop. Peeing in the water may be a tradition as old as time itself, but untreated sewage is bad for coastal and inland waters alike. If you need to poop, do it in a restroom before leaving shore. If nature calls while you’re out on the water and your boat has a head, use a USCG-approved Marine Sanitation Device, preferably with enzyme deodorizers. 


• Keep Your Trash-  Nothing spoils the beauty of nature more than piles of garbage (OK, and maybe the noise of jet skis, but that’s a different story). If you take a picnic out on the boat, make sure to bag all your trash carefully before you drive away, using an on-board trash can that can later be divided into recyclable and non-recyclable elements. Don’t throw ANYTHING overboard, not even cigarette butts, and consider spending a few minutes bagging up trash from your favorite cove or beach to leave the place a little bit better than it was when you arrived. 


• Keep Only What You’ll Eat-  We love fishing just as much as the next family, but sustainable fishing is essential to ensure to future health of the species. Practice catch-and-release unless you plan on eating the fish, and always observe local catch limits. Using circle hooks and wearing gloves while handling the fish you plan on releasing will give them a much better chance for survival, meaning they can grow bigger, have babies and hopefully become the “Big One” someday.  –Bret Love

ways to attact birds

Water For Birds

April showers bring May… Garden for Wildlife Month! Maybe you didn’t grow up with that particular version of the seasonal rhyme, but it’s not too late to make it the next verse. Not only do flowers and other plants need showers to stand up tall through the season, but wildlife needs water to survive. There are some simple ways to attract birds for your own backyard wildlife show —it’s as easy as capturing the rain and making it a dependable source of water for birds and other animals.

• Set up a Bird Bath– The absolute easiest way to provide water for wildlife? Put out a birdbath and to keep it filled. Done! Once the local avian community chirps its arrival, there’ll be a steady stream of fine-feathered visitation for drinking and bathing.

Install A Mister– Husbands may not be known for green thumbs, but a good mister will help your garden grow by steadily spraying over plants or bird baths. It gives birds a chance to cool down, plus it encourages pollination, leaving tiny water droplets on flowers.

Ponds and Fountains– Are you willing to take things one step further in your quest for a more eco-friendly garden? Installing a pond or fountain will prove a treat for various wildlife varieties and create a great place for frogs, salamanders and other animals to make their home.  –Jenni Williams

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DIY Wildlife Habitat


Co-Founded by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett, Green Global Travel is an ecotourism, nature / wildlife conservation & cultural preservation magazine. More about us.

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Egypt- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Morocco- A Journey into the Atlas Mountains
South Africa- Londolozi Game Reserve Safari
South Africa- Kruger National Park
South Africa- South Africa- Zulu Memories
Tanzania- Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

How To Get To Antarctica w/out Doing the Drake
The Haunting Beauty of Icebergs
Penguins of Antarctica
Taking the Polar Plunge
Top 5 Eco Attractions in Antarctica
Whales of Antarctica
India- Ranthambhore National Park
Laos- The Pastoral Paradise of Muang Ngoi
Malaysia- Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre
Malaysia- Orangutan Conservation at Sepilok
Nepal- Hiking The Annapurna Circuit
Taiwan- Top 5 Eco Activities in Taipei
Thailand- Top 5 National Parks
Australia- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Australia-Kangaroo Island
New Zealand- Kapiti Island
New Zealand- Tongariro National Park
New Zealand- Top 5 Ecotourism Attractions
Tahiti- First Impressions
Tahiti- Photo Gallery
Tahiti- Moorea 4x4 Safari Tour
Tahiti- Moorea, Tiki Village Theater
Tahiti- Pearl Diving in Bora Bora
Tahiti- Ruahatu Marine Sanctuary, Bora Bora
Tahiti- Swimming With Sharks in Bora Bora
Tonga- Eua Island Eco Activities


Churchill- Into the Wild of Manitoba
Churchill- Polar Bear Fight
Churchill- Polar Bear Photo Gallery
Churchill- Tundra Wildlife

America’s Best Volcanoes
AK- Denali National Park
CA- Hiking The John Muir Trail
FL- Sanibel Island Eco Activities
FL- Crystal River, Swimming with Manatees
GA- Barnsley Gardens
GA- Top 5 Autumn Activities Around Atlanta
GA- Best Christmas Light Displays
GA- Top 20 Atlanta Christmas Events
GA- Jekyll Island Eco Activities
GA- Weekend in North GA Mountains
GA- Top 5 Eco Attractions in North GA
HI- Hawaii’s Big Island
HI- Hawaiian Mythology
HI - Top 5 Kauai Nature Attractions
LA- Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday
MT- Hiking Glacier National Park
NC- Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
NC- Asheville's Green Restaurants Scene
NC- Greensboro Travel Guide
NC- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
NC- Outer Banks Wild Horses
NM- Top 5 Eco Attractions
NY- Going Green in NYC
WV- Outdoor Adventures
Yellowstone- Mammoth Hot Springs
Yellowstone- Lamar Valley
Yellowstone- Grand Canyon & Hayden Valley
Yellowstone- Upper Geyser Basin
Yellowstone- Lower Geyser Basin

Cancun- Cancun Underwater Museum
Cancun- Mayan Museum of Archaeology
Cancun- Swimming with Whale Sharks
Riviera Maya- Monkeys, Pyramids & Pottery
Riviera Maya- Rio Secreto
Riviera Maya- Tulum & Coba