Increase your home’s energy efficiency by addressing these areas

Your home is your castle, but if that castle is drafty and inefficient, your energy usage could be much more than you thought — not to mention the extra money you are wasting trying to heat and cool your living space.

Increasing the energy efficiency of your home, so that it is not consuming more gas or electricity than it needs to, can also help reduce negative impacts on the environment.

“Almost every home (unless it is newer and built to be high-performance) could be more efficient and benefit from an energy audit and energy-efficient upgrades,” said Elizabeth Sanfelippo, energy consultant, HERS Rater, LEED Green Associate, BPI Certified Infiltration and Duct Leakage Professional, and vice president of Operations for Eco Three. Continue reading “Increase your home’s energy efficiency by addressing these areas”

Plastic usage is impacting our food, water systems… It’s time to make changes

Single use plastic bottles.

If you like eating plastic, you can stop reading now. On the off chance that you are concerned about consuming plastics, or the chemicals they could be leaching into your food and drinking water, read on.

Plastic waste has been a problem for years. If you need evidence of that, do a quick internet search on the Great Pacific garbage patch, or even better, take a walk along a local river or ocean beach. Most likely you will see some sort of plastic trash along your journey. But, not all plastic pollution is easy to see, and not all of it is as simple to remove as plucking a flower.

Our lives are enmeshed with plastics — from the computer or phone you are most likely reading this on to the toys your children play with to the containers your food comes in. It’s literally everywhere, and it’s even becoming a part of our food system.

“Ultimately, now, we are seeing the fish that we like to catch and eat have microplastics in them,” said Patrick Schwing, research associate at the University of South Florida and adjunct professor at Eckerd College. “The things that we have produced and thrown away are now ending up on our dinner plates, so that is a direct impact on how plastics affect the environment.”
Continue reading “Plastic usage is impacting our food, water systems… It’s time to make changes”

North Carolina agrihood seeks to redefine community living

Rick Bagel, managing partner of Wetrock Resources, LLC, holds the plans to Wetrock Farm.

In the small, rural community of Bahama just north of Durham, N.C., a freshly paved road winds through the middle of two pastoral fields filled with wildflowers, past a burgeoning orchard, and into the middle of a clearing surrounded by a lush green forest. This road is the beginning of a first for the area — an agrihood.

What was once a working farm and then a hunting club, the land is being transformed once more to create a sustainable community where local food is at the center. This is where the agrihood, Wetrock Farm, is growing from the ground up. Continue reading “North Carolina agrihood seeks to redefine community living”

Welcome

Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Photo: Cheryl Johnson, CMJ Photography

Today’s disposable lifestyle is not sustainable. Fast fashion, chemical laden beauty products, highly processed foods, copious amounts of screen time, and one-use plastics create waste in the environment and in our bodies. The word “natural” once signified safe choices, but not so much anymore.

Living a natural, sustainable lifestyle is about daily choices — choices in the foods you eat, choices in how you spend your money, choices in how you live your life daily, choices in what products you utilize, and so much more. The almost Natural Mama explores ways to help increase sustainable living for everyone.