Brighter Futures – What You Should Consider Switching to Solar Power



Cutting the cost of heating our homes can be a long and daunting project. Just keeping the water warm can be costly enough, let alone the whole house. If you live in an older house that is difficult to keep warm or are considering building a new house, you should consider switching to solar power and do your part for the environment.

Solar panels are a great way to go to keep costs low but they also cut back on non-reusable fossil fuels for electricity. With solar panels installed you don’t need oil, gas, coal or timber to keep your home warm and cosy. Solar panels work by absorbing power from the sunlight, storing it in the panels and converting that power into electricity. The result is truly clean energy and it never runs out. It’s a great alternative to using fuels that pollute the environment and run up your monthly household bills.

Keep reading to find out what you need to consider when making the switch to solar.

Invest in the Future

Costs of panels can vary, however, it’s important to invest in a quality setup to save yourself money down the line and get the most from your panels. Despite the initial investment, solar panels will pay for themselves with the amount of money you save on fossil fuels and the reduced impact you will be making on the environment.

When it comes to getting the best return form your solar panels, more is more. If you want to install enough panels to make your home generate enough to be self-sufficient, then it will be more expensive than just installing a few to help ease the cost of heating. Make sure to consider the size of your home and what your expectations are before choosing a setup.

A solar panel can store about between four and five watts per square metre, so for every kW you generate, you need about forty to fifty square metres of solar panels. Many companies offer incentives and there are also tax benefits for businesses for having these panels installed, and the costs saved in the long term are definitely worth it.

Your Usage

Usage and other factors will play a big part in these equations, as well. If you have several people living at home, all taking showers, running appliances, and are in your home around the clock, it will cost more than a couple who are not home much, eat out or go away at the weekend.

The cost of installing enough panels to meet your usage will vary between suppliers. Other factors, like where you live, if you are running a hot tub or air conditioner and whether incentives are offered, are also worth considering.

Having panels installed in a new house or an older one can make a difference in the overall cost for installation, as more work or materials may be involved in an older building and this can be worth taking into account.

Ask around for pricing and talk to your neighbours and friends about their solar panels. It’s always good to go with a reputable company that someone you know can vouch for.

Spend Now and Save Later

The savings solar panels offer in the long run are well worth it, not only for the money you save in electric bills but also the reduced impact on the environment. Once the systems are in place, they need very little maintenance and will pay for themselves for years to come.

The beauty of solar panels is they produce zero waste and cut your costs considerably. You will need to shop around for the best pricing and for what will suit your needs best. It’s also important to consider the size of your home, your energy usage and what your goals are with your new panels before starting your installation. However, once your panels are in place, you’ll be ready to enjoy all of the benefits they provide now and long into the future.



I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

More Posts

Green Roofs and Commercial Buildings


Green Roofs and Commercial Buildings

Green roofs, which are also known as rooftop gardens, are becoming ever more common in this day and age. Green roofs are extensions of existing roofs on both residential and commercial buildings

Green roofs on commercial and residential structures provide an array of different types of benefits. In a growing number of municipalities, a requirement exists for the inclusion of green roofs on certain types of commercial buildings. If you are contemplating a green roof for your business, whether because of a requirement in your community or because it is your voluntary decision, there are some factors regarding rooftop gardens that you need to bear in mind.

Basic Components of Green Roof or Roof Garden

At the heart of a roof garden system is layers that form the foundation of a green roof. A key to the system is to ensure that it is fully waterproof and does not allow seepage into the building.

The typical rooftop garden has between six to seven layers. Beginning from the bottom and moving upward, a green roof “foundation” begins with a high quality waterproof membrane. On top of the membrane is a root repellant system followed by what sometimes is considered an optional layer of insulation.

Next, a green roof is layered with a drainage layer followed by a filter cloth for fine soils. The next lawyer is a lightweight growing medium or type of soil substrate. Finally, at the top, a green roof is completed with plants of different types.

In most cases, an additional step is taken to assist with drainage, fire control, and access to permit roof maintenance. This usually consists of a shallow layer of gravel, or pebbles, that is placed around the outside perimeter of the rooftop garden.

Essential Benefits of a Green Roof

As noted previously, there is an array of different types of benefits associated with a green roof. One of the key benefits associated with a green roof is a reduction in heat loss and in energy consumption during colder months of the year. In warmer months, a green roof can assist in reducing the cooling load on a commercial building.

A broader benefit of a green roof is that it can lower urban air temperatures. For this to be accomplished, there must be a concentration of green roofs in metropolitan area. This is one of the reasons why some municipalities are making green roofs a requirement for certain types of commercial structures.

A green roof also assists in reducing storm water runoff. It also provides increased sound insulation. The installation of a green roof improves a building’s LEED rating. A roof garden also increases the lifespan of a roof.

Types of Green Roofs

There are two primary types of green roofs in place in this day and age. These are intensive and extensive. The primary underlying differences between these two types of green roofs are accessibility and required maintenance.

Intensive green roofs are designed for human interaction. These types of green roofs have easy access and more elaborate landscapes. These roofs include things like small trees, shrubs, fountains, and walking paths for human enjoyment. As a result, these types of green roofs require more in their construction and maintenance.

Extensive green roofs are designed to be self-sustaining and require minimal maintenance. These types of roofs are not designed to human interaction. Extensive green roofs also feature different types of vegetation. These types of roofs feature vegetation like self-seeding sedums, certain types of grasses, mosses, and meadow flowers which require very little irrigation and maintenance of any type.

Scaffolding and Creating a Green Roof

In order to fully install a green roof, and tend to perimeter matters, scaffolding oftentimes is utilized. Scaffolding can be an invaluable piece of equipment in the creation of a green roof.

The key to making the best use of scaffolding in creating a green roof is to make sure all safety considerations are met. This includes properly assembling and placing the scaffolding in the first instance, making sure people are properly trained on use of a scaffold, and ensuring that materials used on a scaffold are secured appropriately.

Cost of a Green Roof

The cost associated with a green roof depends on a variety of factors, including whether an intensive or extensive derivation will be selected and the location of the building on which a rooftop garden will be created. With that noted, there are now professionals with experience in installing green roofs in many major municipalities. These pros can provide estimates on the cost of installing a green roof on a commercial structure.

Jessica Kane writes for Advance Online, a leading provider of web-based OSHA. DOT. and HAZWOPER training.


I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

More Posts

Grow your own Avocado Tree at home with AvoSeedo!



Do you love Avocado? How about delicious homemade guacamole? I honestly cannot get enough of Avocado. I eat it on  my sandwiches, love it on burgers and of course I love making fresh guacamole to enjoy. I was contacted by a company called AvoSeedo to review their product to grow my very own avocado tree!


About AvoSeedo:

AvoSeedo is a small plastic bowl that features an indentation with a hole in it. A single avocado seed can be inserted with the “flat” end facing down. Afterwards, AvoSeedo can be placed in a sufficiently large, water-filled pot. Due to its low weight and high displacement, AvoSeedo will remain at the surface all the time; as the water level lowers, AvoSeedo will sink accordingly.

With AvoSeedo, you can significantly raise the success rate when it comes to avocado germination. Without any risk, you can decrease the watering intervals drastically. Only from time to time you will have to check the water level of the pot containing AvoSeedo plus avocado seed. Compared to the original toothpick method, there’s another advantage: the avocado seed doesn’t need to be perforated, reducing the risk of damage (and thus, failed germination efforts).

And finally, AvoSeedo features a mounting that can be used to attach small flags. These can be inscribed with the date when germination started, with strain names or with additional information. Thus, you can easily keep track, even when germinating several avocado seeds at the same time.


The AvoSeedo website offers great information on Avocados and on how to grow your own Avocado tree. They offer many products to choose from. I was able to review the AvoSeedo in the transparent color. They offer transparent, green, blue and pink. Directions are simple, all you need is an avocado pit. The website offers great instructional videos too.

Here is how it works: 

1. Get an avocado, cut it open and remove the pit
2. Peel away the thin skin from the avocado pit
3. Put the pit flat part down into the AvoSeedo tray
4. Place the AvoSeedo tray with avocado pit into a bowl of water
5. Change the water every two to three weeks
6.The seed will sprout and a tiny avocado tree will grow after one to three months
7. Transfer the budding tree into a pot
8. Reuse the AvoSeedo to grow more avocados

My pit has already started the process of roots and I am excited to continue to watch it become an avocado tree. My kids really enjoyed the whole process, it was a great educational experience for them. It will increase kids’ understanding of ecology, interconnections in nature, responsibility and care for the environment in a participatory and concrete way. Great for all ages!

This would make a great holiday gift for any avocado lover you may know. The AvoSeedo is on sale for $12.99.

Save 20% on any AvoSeedo avocado grower or other product and enjoy FREE shipping too. Visit the AvoSeedo Shop today and get growing today! Use Code: sp20 #avoseedo


*I received this product in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own. 


My name is MJ. I have two wonderful children and work part time as well as volunteer at my children's school.

More Posts

6 Ways New Moms Can Be Eco-Friendly

There are few experiences so exciting and nerve-wracking as being a new mom. Whether this is your first time being a parent or you are simply adding to your family, you are likely overwhelmed and wondering how to manage life with your new bundle of joy. Your baby is your first priority, but you also care about the environment and want to minimize the impact you are having. With the market of baby products claiming to be eco-friendly, this might seem easy, but you likely know it isn’t that simple. Being an eco-friendly new mom is a deliberate lifestyle choice.

With the right attitude and approach, you can be supermom and save the environment all at the same time. Simply being conscientious is half the battle, and for the rest of the struggle, the following tips should give some guidance. Get ready to save the world, one diaper at a time.

Consider Your Diaper Choice

Diapers, in fact, are one of the most important considerations for new moms. It is not shocking that disposable diapers may not be the best choice for the environment. They create massive amounts of waste and are generally not recyclable. Some suggest that cloth diapers are the better alternative, but according to the Washington Post, these are not necessarily any better. As a mom, it’s up to you to decide what works best for your baby and your family. While the environment is important, your child’s wellbeing is more important. Find the diaper that meets your eco-friendly standards.

Read the Baby Food Label

How often do you read the label of the food you are eating? Every day…or rarely? If you are like most people, you probably pay little attention to exactly what you are consuming, but you are likely far more careful when it comes to the food your baby eats. Not all baby food is created equal—some are filled with harmful and synthetic ingredients, while others are organically produced. Needless to say, one of these is better for both your baby and the environment. Choose the food your child eats wisely for the sake of their health and the environment’s.


Be Smart With Resources

Natural resources are limited. As a new mom, though, you may be relying on such resources heavily. Water is just one example. A new baby necessitates baths, additional laundry and plenty of other activities that take up more water than you might usually use. This might be fine were it not for the many areas experiencing droughts. Southern California is notoriously dry, and using excessive water can be irresponsible. Initiatives such as the Cadiz Water Project aim to remedy that, though, by providing sustainable access to water even throughout droughts. Still, you should use natural resources sparingly.

Invest in Sustainable Products

While buying the right products certainly won’t fix all of the environment’s problems, it is a good place to start. Shopping responsibly is an important undertaking, and this is especially true when you are a new mom selecting the products you will use for your baby. Investing in sustainable products means more than just buying items that are labelled “green,” though. It means researching companies, looking up reviews and educating yourself on the different products you are considering. This process can be overwhelming, but it is certainly worth it for both the environment and your new baby.


Be Aware of Community’s Needs

As a mom, you are automatically attuned to the needs of your child. Perhaps it is more difficult—and seemingly less important—to determine what the needs of your community might be. Immersing yourself in your community is a great way to build a support system as a new parent. You might consider, environmentally, what your community needs. Do you have access to sustainable produce, for example, through a farmer’s market? Is there consistent access to water, or are there issues complicating this? The Cadiz Water Project is a great example of community response to issues with resources.


Favor Hand-Made Over Store-Bought

One of the best ways to minimize your environmental impact is to ditch store-bought baby goods and go for hand-made. This is beneficial for so many reasons—of course, you are eliminating the wasteful packaging that so often accompanies items bought in a store. More importantly, however, you are creating completely unique artifacts of your child’s infancy. Rather than buying diapers, for example, sewing simple cloth nappies can be a simple alternative. There are a myriad of other ways for new moms to make the switch from store-bought to hand-made and support sustainability in the process.

Caring for a new baby is overwhelming, but it is also an incredible journey. Any parent who cares about the environment can be eco-friendly while also ensuring their child is nurtured and loved. Invest in your child and the environment by following these tips and becoming the environmentally-minded supermom you were meant to be.



I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

More Posts

How to Run a Green Household on a Budget

*This is a guest post. 


More and more people nowadays are getting into the green movement. They are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and save the environment. But even in these times, some people think going green entails spending a lot of money. But that’s far from the case. If you are one of those homeowners who want to run an environmentally friendly home without spending more than you can afford, the following are some budget-friendly tips you can follow:

  • Switch to a programmable thermostat. You don’t need to heat your home during the hours that you and your family are not there. Upgrade to a thermostat that you can easily program so you can choose when to heat your house and when not to.
  • Unplug all electrical appliances when they’re not in use. These appliances and devices still use up energy even when they’re not powered up, so make sure you remind all your family members to unplug them when they’re not using them.
  • Learn how to compost. Not all your household waste needs to be collected by the local garbage collection company. You can use your biodegradable waste and to create a compost, which is useful for conditioning and fertilizing your garden or backyard. Some examples are leftover food and even your fireplace ashes.
  • Go paperless. If you subscribe to a local newspaper, cancel your subscription and go online instead to update yourself with the news. Do the same for your magazine subscriptions. You can use your old newspapers and magazines for your compost or donate them to organizations that collect used goods.
  • Buy and display house plants. Plants are useful for enhancing the air quality in your house as they absorb dust and pollutants emitted by electrical devices, furniture, and the like.
  • Repair any leaky faucets you have around the house and install low-flow faucets for your bathroom and kitchen sinks. You don’t need to have water flow that has the strength of a fire hydrant just to wash your dishes or clean your face.
  • Store your own water. Make use of the resources that nature gives us and store rainwater in containers that you can buy from Rain Water Tanks. You can use your stored water for chores such as watering your garden and even as a backup supply.
  • If you and your family have hoarded a lot of unnecessary stuff or things that you no longer need, this is your opportunity to get rid of them by organizing a yard sale. Not only have you earned a bit of money out of the endeavor but you’ve also made your home more spacious.
  • Make the switch to non-toxic, eco-friendly cleaners instead of traditional cleaners that have a variety of harmful chemicals that wreak havoc not only on your family’s well-being but also on the environment.

With the costs of food and utilities increasing, as someone who runs a household, you have to find creative but effective ways on how to make your home more environmentally friendly without going beyond your budget. You just need to educate yourself and practice the value of resourcefulness.


I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

More Posts