Eco Tips

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 Homemade Camping Equipment (DIY Camping Stove)

 

For anyone who has ever tried to boil water over a campfire, portable stoves may seem like a convenient luxury employed only by seasoned campers. But did you know that you can make your very own compact stove using only household tools and a couple of tin cans? We recently saw a great video on making your own camping stove from The Outdoor Adventure:

 

What you’ll need:

• 4” and 3” diameter unopened tin cans • 1/8” and 3/8” drill bits • tin snips • file • drill • can opener

 

Directions:

• Begin by removing the lid of the larger can, making sure to preserve the top rim of the lid. This can be accomplished by using the can opener with gears facing downward to cut along the side.

• Center the smaller can on top of the large lid and use a file to score around it where the can will attach (it will likely fit nicely into the grooves of the lid).

• Punch holes along the scored ring on the lid, and use tin snips to cut out the center circle. This ring will attach to the larger can and house the smaller can, so ensure the cut is smooth and even.

• Remove the lid of the smaller can, and with the 1/8″ bit, drill many holes throughout the bottom to allow for ample airflow.

• Use the same bit to drill a ring of holes at the top of the small can, approximately 3/4″ apart.

• Use the 3/8” bit to drill a ring of holes approximately 1” apart on the bottom of the small can and drill a second ring with half as many holes just above that. Drill matching holes in the larger can.

• Slide the lid ring up the smaller can until it rests just above the ring of small holes at the top. Punch four small holes above the ring from the inside out to hold it in place.

• Crimp the top of the larger can inward to support the smaller can, then place the smaller can with attached ring inside it. You now have a personal wood gasifier stove!

• Fill the small can with slender pieces of wood and bark and ignite from the top. This will be sufficient fuel to boil a pot of water, which will take less than 10 minutes with your new stove.

• A third large can with both ends removed can be used as a pot stand. Simply make cuts halfway down the can and bend the flaps outward.  –Holly Young

 

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Green Valentines Day Ideas

 

We here at Green Global Travel are all in favor of romance (our site was founded by a couple whose last name is Love, after all). But let’s face facts: Valentine’s Day is without a doubt one of the most consumer-driven holidays around. Between the paper greeting cards, boxes of chocolate, flower bouquets and exquisitely wrapped gifts, it can quickly become one of the worst holidays for the health of our environment. Fortunately, the solution doesn’t have to be swearing off Feb 14th celebrations altogether. Instead, check out Tiny Green Bubble‘s for green Valentines Day ideas, including our three favorites below:

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Coffee Compost

 

People love coffee: In some countries, average consumption per person per year totals more than 10 kilograms – that’s nearly a thousand cups per year!

 

When composted, all those coffee grounds make a great source of slow-release nitrogen, or can be diluted with water for a fast-acting liquid fertilizer. Worms love the grounds too, so they can be added to vermicompost systems or directly to the garden to naturally promote worm activity. The acidity can also help correct alkaline soils while simultaneously promoting larger plants and blooms. The beans shouldn’t get all the glory, though – wet filters also degrade quickly when composted, but unfortunately end up in the trash all too often.

 

But there’s an easy solution: reusable coffee filters. Even better than being merely reusable, filters made from hemp are also sustainably-sourced. Some even insist that hemp fibers contribute to a better-tasting cup of coffee, too. The filter simply needs to be rinsed after each pot is brewed for a long-lasting, durable alternative to conventional paper filters. And at less than $10 a pop, reusable hemp filters are good for your wallet, too. –Holly Young

 

If you like Coffee Compost, you might also like:

GO GREEN TIP #59: Reuse Coffee Grounds

GO GREEN TIP #87: How To Compost At Home

KIDS CORNER: Composting

Best Coffee in the World: A Gourmet’s Guide

La Roya: Central America’s Coffee Crisis

 

In a ideal financial market, we’d all love to be able to buy all organic foods all the time. It’s been well documented by now that conventionally-grown produce contains pesticide residue, which is harmful to both farm workers and consumers, and can even cause allergic reactions in some people. Some fruits and vegetables contain more than 50 different types of pesticides.

 

While purchasing exclusively organic isn’t always a viable economic option, since it’s pricier, certain produce is worth splurging on. Some types contain significantly higher amounts of pesticides, while others contain very small amounts. By switching to organic varieties on just a handful of fruits and vegetables, studies have shown that you can reduce your overall pesticide consumption by up to 80%. Here are the top foods to buy organic:

 

These items contain HIGH amounts of residue and are worth spending the extra buck on:

  • Apples
  • Bell peppers
  • Berries and cherries
  • Celery
  • Leafy greens
  • Lettuce
  • Peaches
  • Potatoes

 

These items are relatively clean, containing little to no pesticide residue:

  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Cabbage
  • Corn (though most grown conventionally in the United States is genetically-modified)
  • Eggplant
  • Melons
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Pineapple
  • Sweet potatoes

 

Keep this list on your smart phone or print it out (on recycled paper, of course) the next time you go grocery shopping to help you make smart choices in terms of your grocery budget and your family’s health!  –Holly Young

If you like Top Foods To Buy Organic, then you might also like:

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 DIY Aquaponics- The Future of Green Gardening

 

What is Aquaponics? It’s a growing movement. It’s a Millennium Development Goal. In short, it’s sustainable agriculture, and it’s becoming an increasingly big deal.

 

To meet the food needs of a growing population– including the nearly one billion people around the world who are currently undernourished– the future of agriculture will need to include more sustainability-minded efforts. What if two different production systems could be combined to increase output and reduce input? In the case of aquaculture and hydroponics, it can.

 

Aquaponics is the combination of tank fish production and traditional hydroponic horticulture. Though it’s in the early stages of implementation, it clearly has huge potential. The cycle begins with the fish: A tank of tilapia or other easily managed species is fed, and their waste subsequently travels to the plants and nourishes them. In turn, the plants filter the water as they absorb the nutrients and nitrogen, and clean water is returned back to the fish. It’s an ingenious solution that turns two forms of waste into two forms of nourishment, creating an efficient symbiotic relationship.

 

 

There’s even better news: ANYONE can do it. DIY Aquaponics systems range from small indoor setups to large commercial units, making aquaponics suitable for everyone from small-scale gardeners to large-scale farmers. Aquaponics systems are surprisingly cost-efficient: Small systems cost merely the price of a fish tank, water pump and growing media. Even larger setups are relatively inexpensive, with a single-tank commercial system and equipment totaling about $5,000.

 

In addition to being sustainable, eco-friendly and energy efficient (using just 2% of the water and 1/10th the energy of traditional farming)outdoor Aquaponics systems also encourage farmers to use native fish and plant species, as they require little temperature correction and environmental control. Expect to see more of these systems being implemented in the next few years, and don’t be surprised if Aquaponics emerges as the future of food.

 

For more info on how to build your own Aquaponics system, check out sites such as Backyard Aquaponics and Friendly Aquaponics.  –Holly Young

If you liked DIY Aquaponics, you may also like:

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