Cutting back on plastics

 

Each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide. That comes out to over one million per minute! In today’s world, it is nearly impossible to eliminate plastic from our lives entirely, if you would like to try cutting back on plastic though,  we’ve got some simple tips to help:

1. Use recycled or biodegradable, compostable garbage bags. (We can recommend some fantastic ones!)

2. Use a reusable water bottle instead of buying bottled water.

3. Keep metal or wooden cutlery in a bag in your car or office so you won’t need to use plastic cutlery.

4. Bring a ‘Bag for Life’ when you do your grocery shopping.

5. Buy a coffee travel mug and use it when getting hot beverages on the go.

Or here’s a different take on the plastic bag: The Majestic Plastic Bag

By making small changes like these, you can drastically cut back on your plastic usage which can make a big difference to our environment. Do you have any tips of your own about how you cut back on plastic?

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Winter Gardening Tips

 

There is definitely a chill in the air, your garden has gone into a dormant phase, so what can you do to keep your garden in order during the Winter months? We’ve picked up a few tips to share with you here:

When the Ground isn’t Frozen, Water

Remember, the air above the ground gets cooler quicker than the ground itself, which means you may still have time to water your plants and trees depending on where you live. If the ground is becoming solid, try watering with some lukewarm water to loosen it up. Whatever you can do to get water to those plants in the coming weeks will help. On the plus side, most plants won’t be using much water because they are dormant.

Protect your pots

Protect pots and taps from frost by wrapping insulation around them. Bubble wrap is a great alternative!

Provide for the birds

Birds need a range of food provided in different ways and kept as clean as possible. Water is just as important as natural resources freeze up – create a pond or water feature and make sure birdbaths stay ice-free (a floating ball does the job, and if it freezes take the ball out to leave a hole).

Protect your Perennials

Perennials will succumb to winter frost if the crown is unprotected. To keep them safe until spring cover them with bark mulch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use a raised bed

If you had time in the early months of this year (or if you want to plan ahead for next year), consider using a raised bed. In a raised bed, the soil warms quicker and will stay warmer because of its limited space.

Check your lawnmower

It is a good idea to check your mower before setting it to rest for the winter. Clean the underside, sharpen the blade, and change the oil and air filter. Although the soil might not be firm enough to mow, take the opportunity to mow when you can if the soil firms up for a week or so.

We hope these tips help you care for your garden during the chilly Winter months. What are your favourite Winter gardening tips? We’d love to hear them!

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Leaf carving art

 

Art and nature often seem to go hand in hand. Artist Lorenzo Duran is no stranger to the art world, where he specialises in intricate leaf cutting art.

His latest work comes after he was hired by the Plant For The Planet for an ad campaign to show the leaf’s ability to absorb CO2. The artwork is astonishing!

 

For even more of his beautiful artwork, check out his website here.

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World’s First Biodegradable Mouse

 

Here at Powergreen we love sharing innovative and eco-friendly  products with you. So you can imagine our excitement when we discovered the world’s first biodegradable mouse!

Fujitsu has created the world’s first entirely plastic-free, biodegradable computer mouse. Substituting renewable materials for plastic, the ECO mouse is 100% recyclable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ECO model looks like a normal mouse and functions perfectly as a mouse, with even more accuracy thanks to an advanced optical sensor.

The mouse also sports a PVC-free USB cable and is made from a combination of the same Arboform and Biograde, which are plastic substitutes derived from wood-based materials.

Fujitsu estimates that by making the switch to renewable materials for this product, it saves approximately 60,000 kilograms of plastic per year. Which can only be a good thing!

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Catch up on our Autumn & Halloween Crafts

 

Last month we had spooky Halloween decorations and cosy Autumn crafts to share with you. If you’ve missed any, there’s no need to worry! We have them all here:

 

To keep up to date with all things Powergreen, why not follow us on Facebook and Twitter?

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Spooky peeping jars

 

We’ve been busy bees lately looking up fun Halloween projects for you to try out and uploading them Facebook and Twitter!

Today we want to show you this spooky peeping jar. Like the look of it? (pun intended!) Here’s how to make some of your own at home:

You will need:

  • A jar
  • Black paper
  • Scissors or a craft knife
  • Glue (PVA would be best for this project)
  • Pencil

1. Roll the black paper around the jar and mark where you’ll need to cut the paper to cover the jar from top to bottom.

2. Cut the black paper to size. Next, draw some circles on the paper to look like eyes and cut them out using your scissors or craft knife. Don’t forget to keep the paper you have cut out, you will need it later!

3. Apply some glue to the jar and stick the black paper to it.

4. Using the leftover paper, cut out or tear little pieces of paper to make a dot for the centre of the eyes. Glue these onto the jar to make the eyes.

5. Leave to dry. Once dry, pop in a tea light and enjoy your new peeping jar!

 

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The Sod Show hits the headlines

Last week we shared the news about The Sodshow winning an award for best podcast at the Blog Awards Ireland 2012. Did you spot them in the paper?

 

We also got a lovely mention! We’re so proud to be involved and love tuning into the show each week. Hats off to Peter Donegan, Niall O’Keeffe and Brian Greene!

 

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The Sodshow wins Best Irish Podcast 2012!

 

Here at GreenSax we are officially on Cloud Nine! The Sodshow, and their lovely presenters, Peter Donegan, Niall O’Keeffe and Brian Greene won the Best Irish Podcast award at the Blog Awards Ireland 2012.

Niall O'Keeffe and Peter Donegan with Awards Organiser Lorna Sixsmith

 

After winning their award, The Sodshow crew had this to say:

“It’s great for Irish gardening and horticulture. The Sodshow is a great Irish-born and bred radio show and podcast for those that are serious about their horticulture as much as it is for those that simply like to sit on their garden bench. Gardening and gardens in whatever format you enjoy them should at a very minimum make you smile. The Sodshow very simply retells that story.

We owe a massive note of thanks to The Sodshow sponsors Greensax.iewho are the best friends this garden radio podcast could ever ask for. Without them, this award and the hard work at this level and over the last twelve months would not have been possible.

The Sodshow team would like to dedicate this award to you the listeners, be it when we are live on air or in podcast. Your listening, your interaction and your words make it all so very worthwhile. More than that, you make us smile.

Thank you!”

We are so thrilled for them and very happy to be involved with such a fantastic and interesting show, worthy winners in our books!

If you want to tune into The Sodshow, they’re live every Friday at 3pm on Dublin City 103.2 Fm or if you’d rather catch the podcast, you can listen to it on their homepage.

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Spooky Skeleton Hands

 

We are getting closer to Halloween so we’ve decided to show you a spooky project for you to try at home. Today we see how to make spooky illuminated skeleton hands!

You will need:

  • Latex gloves
  • Permanent marker
  • Rechargeable votive lights
  • Jar or glass

1. Draw out the bones in the hand and fill in the gaps that aren’t bone. Leave to dry.

2. Turn the votive light on and put it in the jar or glass. Make sure that the glove fits around the jar securely or they won’t stand up straight!

3. Blow into the glove so it fills with air and quickly place it on top of the jar or glass.

4. For the full effect, turn off the lights and admire your handiwork!

It’s as simple as that. Super simple but super spooky!

Little tip: After Halloween you can dispose the latex glove, by cutting it up and popping it in your compost bin, or simply put it into a GreenSax bag along with your Autumn leaves for the compost bin!

Inspired by http://formalfringe.com
 
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Découpage Autumn leaf vase

 

Here at Powergreen we love this time of year, so we’ve decided to have a new Autumn or Halloween project every day on our Facebook and Twitter!

Today we’re showing you how to make your very own découpage Autumn leaf vase.

 

You will need:

  • A clean glass vase
  • PVA glue
  • Autumn leaves (or artificial craft leaves)
  • Paintbrush
  • Craft knife

1. First apply some glue onto the outside of the glass vase. Start applying the leaves individually, beginning from the centre of the vase and working your way down.

Little tip: For a more natural look, try to overlap the leaves slightly.

2.  Once the leaves are attached firmly to the glass, apply a layer of PVA glue on top to secure them. Leave to dry.

3. Once dry, you can remove any excess glue with a craft knife if needed.

You may wish to leave a gap at the bottom or cover it completely with leaves, it’s up to you! This particular crafter decided to decorate hers with twine. You could use straw, ribbon, muslin etc. Be as creative as you like!

Inspired by: http://www.addicted2decorating.com/cheap-easy-fall-decor-decoupaged-vasecandle-holder.html
 
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