Independence Day Décor: Red, White & Green

Red and Green FireworksIndependence Day is right around the corner, and with it comes barbecues, fireworks, and celebrations. But this year, take some extra steps to make your celebration greener. It can be as simple as changing how you cook, using reusable plates and cups, or purchasing greener fireworks. That’s right, even though explosives are not very environmentally friendly, there are some fireworks that are better for the environment.

If you’re hosting a party this year, there are several things to consider. If you still have decorations from last year’s 4th of July celebration, break them out. Decor doesn’t change much year to year, so it’s easy to reuse. Instead of having disposable dishes, use reusable plates, glasses, and silverware. This helps eliminate heavy amounts of waste. Having everyone bring food helps cut down on the workload, but having everyone bring a plate or glass for themselves can reduce waste too. It’s sort of a potluck of dishware. If you’d still prefer to use disposable dishware, there are biodegradable options.

If possible, do as much cooking as possible outside. With the high summer temps coming into full swing, the last thing you want to do is raise the temps inside your home and overwork your AC. Cooking outside ensures the cooking heat doesn’t add to your AC’s workload. When it comes to grilling, there are many different preferences when it comes to how to grill, namely coal or propane. Propane actually cooks faster and more efficiently than coal, but actual charcoal is renewable since it comes from wood. If you do use propane, check to see if a local retailer has a trade-in option where you can get a discount on more propane when you trade in your expended tank.

Instead of providing dozens of plastic water bottles and aluminum soda cans, use large containers for water and purchase larger bottles of soda. This will help cut down on the waste, but it’s also helpful to recycle what is leftover at the end too. Try to get larger groups of people to come together in a single vehicle to cut down on carbon emissions from people coming to your party. And when it comes to the fireworks, visiting a local, professional display means you won’t contribute to the smoke produced from setting off your own. If you do want to set off some fireworks, find some that are rich in nitrogen, as these will produce less smoke.

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About Us: Beyond Power LLC is an independent sales and marketing company based in Houston, Texas. Through its passionate team of sales affiliates, Beyond Power markets renewable energy and energy-efficiency products and services offered by its channel partners. Beyond Power has exclusive, special offers and is the exclusive sales agent for the renewable power supply contracts offered by Source Power and Gas LLC dba Beyond Power, branded as “Beyond Power” products. Learn more about us by visiting www.beyondpower.com or by following us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, and Instagram.

Green Business Ideas

Business Person OutsideIf you’re looking to start a business, why not make it a green business? Many of us already try to be greener in our homes by cutting back on our electricity usage and reducing waste. By starting a green business, you can help others follow in these green footsteps! A sustainable business model is sure to grab attention and it can benefit you in a multitude of ways.

  • Landscaping — Landscaping can take a toll on the environment, depending on water necessity and maintenance. However, proper landscaping can reduce energy costs and improve the value of a home. Plant drought resistant plants that require less water, and plant trees where they will benefit the home. Planting trees on the south and west sides of a home will shade the home in the summer and reduce the amount of time the AC needs to run.
  • Recycled Decor — If you’re fashionably inclined, you can make clothing, furniture, and decorative items from recycled materials.
  • Green Apps — Smartphones are incredibly common these days, so you can literally put the power of green into people’s hands. Develop an app that encourages green behavior, whether it’s a reference guide, helpful energy saving tips, activity trackers, or a game.
  • Event Planning — Help reduce the waste of event planning by helping others find eco-friendly locations to use, invite and track guest lists with e-vites instead of paper invitations, and reduce waste from event meals by using companies that provide biodegradable plates and cups.
  • Consulting — Evaluate homes and offices and provide ways to improve the efficiency of energy use and reduce waste. This can include recommending energy efficient appliances or setting up a recycling program.
  • HVAC Cleaner — You may not think of this as a green job at first, but especially in regions where air conditioners run non-stop during the summer, it’s important to keep the ducts and filters clean. Clean filters means the unit runs more efficiently, reducing energy waste.
  • Bike Shop — If you have a healthy love for the great outdoors, you can use that enthusiasm to promote bicycling. Like vehicles, bikes need to be repaired, and repairing bikes is a great way to encourage their use instead of driving. If you have the knack for it, purchase older bikes, fix them up, and sell them as well.
  • Farmer’s Market — If you grow your own food, look to join a local Farmer’s Market as a vendor.
  • Organic Products — Making your own organic soaps, cosmetics, and cleaners can save a lot of money and they won’t be harmful to the environment. Better yet, packaging some of these together and selling them will help others protect the environment.
  • Green Housekeeping — You can take some of those organic cleaners you’ve made and start a cleaning business as well. Start out offering your services to friends and colleagues, and let your reputation build. Before you know it, you’ll be a green cleaning hero!
  • E-cycle — Offer to pick up old computers, cell phones, monitors, and other electronic devices for recycling. These items can’t simply be tossed into a recycling bin and must be taken to specific facilities. Some facilities even pay for these items, so you could make a bonus on top of charging to pick up the items.
  • Composter — Composting can be a dirty job, but it makes excellent fertilizer. If you have room to dedicate to composting, you can sell the compost to community supported agriculture organizations or right to local people looking for organic gardening.
  • Franchising — Got a favorite green business in the area? Ask the owners about franchising and opening up your own branch. This allows you to jump into an established business and spread green knowledge even further.

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About Us: Beyond Power LLC is an independent sales and marketing company based in Houston, Texas. Through its passionate team of sales affiliates, Beyond Power markets renewable energy and energy-efficiency products and services offered by its channel partners. Beyond Power has exclusive, special offers and is the exclusive sales agent for the renewable power supply contracts offered by Source Power and Gas LLC dba Beyond Power, branded as “Beyond Power” products. Learn more about us by visiting www.beyondpower.com or by following us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, and Instagram.

Sustainable Flooring Ideas

Sustainable Flooring - BambooAccenting your home with beautiful furniture, carpeting, drapery, and other accoutrements will make it feel more inviting, warm, and happy. You can add green to that list with these sustainable flooring ideas. You can even find some of these items in box stores. These rugs, hard floors, tatami inspired bamboo floors, and recycled material flooring will give you the look that ties your room together and keeps it earth friendly.

For starters, West Elm offers a reversible, hand-woven Indian jute rug. Jute is a vegetable fiber that can be woven into durable threads. The rugs come in a variety of neutral colors for that subtle decor look. Bamboo is becoming a popular option for home decorating, likely because bamboo is one of the most rapidly growing plants on the planet. The neutral, miniature hardwood look is great for just about any room design. Nazmiyal gives a vintage look for your home with a handmade Moroccan style rug made from recycled fabrics and old clothing. The result is a unique, one of a kind accent for your home.

Spanish tile manufacturer PLAZA offers ceramic flooring that looks much like hardwood. The EcoWood material has a wood like texture with differing levels of color, is made from 85% recycled material, and won’t fade in the sun, making it great for outdoor decks. PLAZA also makes a porcelain tile made from the EcoWood material that looks like hardwood, but doesn’t require shining. The light grey color is perfect for modern style homes.

Recycled materials contribute highly to sustainability. They remove much of the energy and materials needed to manufacture new products and reduce the emissions needed to harvest, transport, and combine the source materials. Carpeting is cheaper and much more comfortable than hardwood flooring, but it’s difficult to recycle. That hasn’t stopped Bentley Prince Street from offering recycled carpets that look and feel great. The company also promises to eliminate its negative impact on the environment by 2020.

While we’re on the subject of recycled materials, did you know you can get rugs and decks made from recycled materials you wouldn’t think of making up those things? Hipcycle has a floor mat made from the discarded excess rubber from a flip flop shoe factory in the Philippines. The brightly colored mats are eye catching and easy to clean, making them great for shower mats and pool entrance mats. Rill Architects is a LEED certified company that sells a wraparound outdoor deck made from Fiberon, a recycled plastic bottle material that looks like and is just as sturdy as wood. They guarantee this product with a 20 year warranty. This company also offers reclaimed oak flooring for indoor use. The reclaimed wood flooring is an excellent choice for colder climates, as it is great for radiant heating, and it is rot and wear-resistant.

There are quite a number of ways to make your home greener, and sustainable flooring is only one of them. Beyond Power offers 100% renewable energy for your home, so you can take comfort in the knowledge that the lights, electronics, and appliances in your home are powered by renewable, sustainable methods.

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About Us: Beyond Power LLC is an independent sales and marketing company based in Houston, Texas. Through its passionate team of sales affiliates, Beyond Power markets renewable energy and energy-efficiency products and services offered by its channel partners. Beyond Power has exclusive, special offers and is the exclusive sales agent for the renewable power supply contracts offered by Source Power and Gas LLC dba Beyond Power, branded as “Beyond Power” products. Learn more about us by visiting www.beyondpower.com or by following us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, and Instagram.

World Environment Day 2014

World Environment DayToday is World Environment Day (WED), a day for recognizing the growing need to take care of the planet we live on. WED is part of the United Nations Environmental Program and is designed to focus on the effects of climate change and environmental protection by bringing communities together to celebrate the Earth through tree planting or clean-up projects, as well as promoting sustainable living. Over 100 countries participate in the global cause. As individuals gather to form communities of environmentally conscious participants, waves of progress are made to ensure the Earth remains a haven for all the humans living on it. The UN has decided to focus the efforts of this year’s WED on the Small Island Developing States (SIDS). SIDS are under the gun when it comes to climate change, facing some of the heaviest threats posed by the changing environment.

Island nations and states like those in the Azores and New Zealand are threatened by the rising ocean levels. The arctic glaciers are melting faster than originally predicted, and scientists believe this will cause global ocean levels to rise enough to flood these nations as well as any other coastal town. Bringing the SIDS into the spotlight for this year’s WED will show the world how it can be affected by climate change.

For 2013’s World Environment Day, more than 200,000 blog posts and 26,000 articles were published about the event. More than 120 million people watched videos of the event in several cities all over the globe. Twitter users made WED one of the top 10 topics in 15 countries for June 5, 2013. More than likely, that number will increase this year, bringing awareness to many more.

Climate change affects everyone. Rich or poor, healthy or sick, famous or unknown, it will affect the entire planet if it goes unchecked. Joining in World Environment Day will help spread the message about how to make the Earth a sustainable home for all of its inhabitants. You can join by participating in or organizing an environmentally friendly campaign. Gather people in your community to clean up roadways and parks, organize a tree planting ceremony, or even just encourage carpooling or walk to work days. Gather people together using electronic means, like social media to eliminate unnecessary paper waste. If you want to organize an event, register with UNEP so your deeds can officially become part of the global initiative to combat climate change. The more people that participate in these events, the greater the impact will be.

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About Us: Beyond Power LLC is an independent sales and marketing company based in Houston, Texas. Through its passionate team of sales affiliates, Beyond Power markets renewable energy and energy-efficiency products and services offered by its channel partners. Beyond Power has exclusive, special offers and is the exclusive sales agent for the renewable power supply contracts offered by Source Power and Gas LLC dba Beyond Power, branded as “Beyond Power” products. Learn more about us by visiting www.beyondpower.com or by following us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, and Instagram.

Are You Green?

Beyond Power 2014Being green means saving energy and reducing your carbon footprint. There are many ways to decrease your carbon footprint, which include changing old light bulbs to efficient LED bulbs, carpooling, and recycling. By following some of the tips we will share with you here, you will be able to see what kind of an impact you can have on the environment. The average, non-hybrid car emits about 12,037 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year. You can use this as a reference to compare how much you are saving.

Recycling is an excellent way to conserve energy and reduce carbon emissions. Recycling materials like aluminum and steel reduce manufacturing energy consumption by 95% and 74%, respectively. In one year, recycling these materials can offset 414 pounds of carbon emissions. If everyone in the US recycled these materials for a year, the emissions offset would be equivalent to taking almost 4 million cars off the road. Paper is another highly recyclable material and it often gets wasted. By recycling it, one can save 581 pounds of carbon emissions each year. That equates to 5.5 million cars if everyone in the US also recycled paper. Recycling paper also saves trees, which also help offset CO2 by releasing oxygen.

There are other things you can do around the house to help offset carbon emissions. Washing clothes on cooler settings uses 90% less energy and saves 249 pounds of CO2 emissions. Switching out five light bulbs from incandescent to CFL can save about 500 pounds of carbon emissions per year. A 75 watt equivalent CFL uses about ⅓ the energy of an incandescent bulb. A 75 watt equivalent LED bulb uses almost half the energy of that same CFL. Composting biodegradable garbage can save 832 pounds of carbon emissions. Curbside trash requires trash pickup, which expends fuel. Compostable trash cans also exert greenhouse gases when decomposing in landfills.

Changing your thermostat setting by just a single degree can affect your energy use for heating and cooling by as much as 5%. Adjusting it by four degrees with a programmable thermostat can save 1300 pounds of carbon emissions while keeping about $130 in your wallet each year. When driving on the highway, keep your speed at or below 65 mph. You will save about 1500 pounds of emissions and about $200 in gas each year. Driving a hybrid vehicle will greatly increase these savings as they tend to get much better gas mileage. If everyone in the US drove hybrid vehicles, enough emissions would be offset to equal more than 68.5 billion non-hybrid cars. Plugging all of the electronics for an entertainment center into a single power strip and shutting that strip off when they are not in use can save 1608 pounds of CO2 each year.

Finally, you can save carbon emissions by purchasing renewable energy from your local energy provider, like Beyond Power. Many retail energy providers offer renewable energy plans in addition to fossil fuel and natural gas energy, but Beyond Power only offers 100% renewable energy plans. Switching to renewable energy for your home can save 20,508 pounds of carbon emissions per year. If everyone in the US switched to renewable energy, it would be like taking almost 195 billion cars off the road.

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About Us: Beyond Power LLC is an independent sales and marketing company based in Houston, Texas. Through its passionate team of sales affiliates, Beyond Power markets renewable energy and energy-efficiency products and services offered by its channel partners. Beyond Power has exclusive, special offers and is the exclusive sales agent for the renewable power supply contracts offered by Source Power and Gas LLC dba Beyond Power, branded as “Beyond Power” products. Learn more about us by visiting www.beyondpower.com or by following us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, and Instagram.

20 Easy Ways to Be Green

RecycleSwitching to a greener lifestyle sounds like it would be difficult. Giving up using daily amenities, living in the dark, and buying expensive green cars sounds like a lot. In reality, you don’t need to sacrifice much to live greener. There are many things you can do to cut down on waste, energy and water use, and be more efficient. You can make yourself a much greener person by changing one thing each week for a year. That’s it! Just one thing a week and you can be green.

 1.    Heating/Cooling — Install a programmable thermostat to help manage your heating and cooling needs. You can set the thermostat to remain off while you are asleep or away at work to really save on energy.

2.    Refrigerators — Clean the condenser coils behind your refrigerator to keep it running efficiently. If you have unused space in the fridge, fill some jugs with water and place them inside. They’ll keep your fridge cool for longer periods of time, reducing the amount of time it runs.

3.    Vehicles — Carpooling or using public transportation can really cut back on carbon emissions caused by driving. If you’re going on a road trip, consider renting a hybrid vehicle.

4.    Subscriptions — If you have a magazine or newspaper subscription, consider opting out of physical copies and read the news or articles online instead.

5.    Batteries — Reduce harmful waste by investing in rechargeable batteries. You’ll not only reduce waste, but you’ll save money by not buying so many batteries.

6.    Dryer Lint — This may sound counter intuitive, but toss your dryer lint outside. Birds can use it for nest building.

7.    Recycle — Recycling glass, metal, plastic, and paper is a great way to cut back on waste. Some places like scrap yards will even pay you for these items! Purchase a canvas bag to use for grocery shopping instead of using plastic bags. If you have plastic bags already, recycle them by reusing them at the grocery store.

8.    Coffee — If you buy your coffee from a cafe or donut shop, bring a mug with you. Sometimes, these places will give a discount if you use your own mug and it cuts back on waste.

9.    Electronic Paperwork — Purchase e-tickets for concerts, plays, or shows. File taxes online. Pay bills online. All of these will reduce paper waste.

10.  Cleaning — Clean out the trunk of your car, as the extra weight decreases fuel efficiency. When cleaning your home, be sure to clean any vents or filters for your air system. This improves airflow and efficiency.

11.  Litter — This goes without saying, really, but don’t litter. If you see a piece of trash lying about, throw it out. Keeping your community clean is just as important to being green for yourself.

12.  Stairs — Instead of riding an elevator or escalator, take the stairs. This reduces electricity usage and is good for your health.

13.  Lights — Switch from inefficient incandescent lighting to CFLs or LEDs. These bulbs use about 80-90% less electricity and LEDs are especially good for the environment, as they don’t contain any mercury.

14.  Cleaner Products — Using an all-natural detergent for clothes and dish washing will prevent the release of harmful chemicals into the air.

15.  Clothing — Dress appropriately for the season. Put on a sweater or bundle up in a blanket before turning up the heat in the winter, and wear light colored, loose fitting clothes in the summer.

16.  Tune-Ups — Tuning-up your car can improve fuel efficiency and tuning-up your AC can improve cooling efficiency.

17.  Water — Purchase a reusable thermos with a filter to drink water from, rather than buying cases of bottled water.

18.  Appliances — When replacing appliances or electronics, look for Energy Star certified models to save 20-30% more energy than standard models.

19.  Vampires — Stop electronic vampires by unplugging electronic devices like game systems, computers, and entertainment centers. Plugging multiple devices into a power strip will make it easy to cut power to all of them with the flick of a switch.

20.  Manual vs. Auto — Use manual devices like push mowers, can openers, and rakes rather than their powered counterparts. Some manual labor may be a bit of a workout, but it will reduce emissions and improve your overall health.

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About Us: Beyond Power LLC is an independent sales and marketing company based in Houston, Texas. Through its passionate team of sales affiliates, Beyond Power markets renewable energy and energy-efficiency products and services offered by its channel partners. Beyond Power has exclusive, special offers and is the exclusive sales agent for the renewable power supply contracts offered by Source Power and Gas LLC dba Beyond Power, branded as “Beyond Power” products. Learn more about us by visiting www.beyondpower.com or by following us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, and Instagram.

What’s Your Water Footprint?

Water FootprintWe’ve probably all heard of the term “carbon footprint,” which is a measurement of how much carbon emissions we are responsible for. It takes into account electricity usage, fuel consumption, and waste produced. In addition to the carbon footprint, we also have a water footprint, which is the measure of how much water was used by drinking it directly, using it to bathe, and in creating some seemingly small things. Those of us who get monthly water bills can keep track of how much we consume in our home through drinking it, bathing in it, or washing our dishes and clothes with it. However, it’s a lot harder to keep track of how much water was used in creating, say, a pound of ground beef.

Water is used for many things such as cleaning, diluting, and of course drinking. A lot of this use goes unnoticed in external use such as the making of milk. A single gallon of milk requires almost 900 gallons of water. This comes from the need to raise crops for cattle feed, plus water for the cows themselves. A pound of ground beef requires even more at 1800 gallons of water. This goes toward the crops for feed, drinking water, and processing of the meat. Chicken is on the lower end of the spectrum for water consumption at 468 gallons per pound.

Let’s look at grown crops for a moment. Wheat, a primary ingredient for bread, requires 132 gallons of water per pound. Worldwide, this accounts for 27.9 trillion cubic feet of water each year. This is 12% of the global water use. Including the production of wheat, one single slice of bread requires 11 gallons of water. A pound of rice needs about 450 gallons of water per pound and accounts for 21% of global water use. Corn needs 108 gallons of water per pound, accounting for another 8% of global water use.

Fuel is no exception to the water necessity. Oil needs just about a gallon per kilowatt hour and coal needs 0.15 gallons per kilowatt hour, and these are at the low end. Hydropower, electricity generated from the flow of water requires about 21 gallons per kilowatt hour. Biomass, one of the green methods of creating electricity requires over 66 gallons per kilowatt hour. Wind energy requires no water, making it quite possibly the most efficient form of renewable power.

There are many other external uses of water in food, energy, and clothing production, and several can be seen in National Geographic’s article “The Hidden Water We Use.” So the next time you grab a burger, you’ll be able to appreciate the staggering amount of resources that went into creating that tasty meal.

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About Us: Beyond Power LLC is an independent sales and marketing company based in Houston, Texas. Through its passionate team of sales affiliates, Beyond Power markets renewable energy and energy-efficiency products and services offered by its channel partners. Beyond Power has exclusive, special offers and is the exclusive sales agent for the renewable power supply contracts offered by Source Power and Gas LLC dba Beyond Power, branded as “Beyond Power” products. Learn more about us by visiting www.beyondpower.com or by following us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, and Instagram.

Eco-Friendly Vacays

Earthship Under ConstructionMany vacations occur on scenic road trips, on cruise ships, in family fun parks, and other fun or entertaining locations. Some people go to amusement parks to enjoy themselves and spend time with their family. Others like to trek cross country in an RV. Still others prefer the open sea with a cruise to a tropical destination where they can relax. While all of these ideas are wonderful, they aren’t really green. Amusement parks draw a lot of power, RVs are not efficient vehicles and emit a lot of carbon dioxide, and cruise ships also expel a lot of noxious fumes. However, there are some locations that can allow you to relax and feel good about it.

Located around the world, you will find eco-friendly hotels, bungalows, and “earthships.” These locales tend to be off the grid, meaning devoid of power lines, Wi-Fi connectivity, and people. If you’re looking for a place to escape to, this is it. Off the coast of Tanzania, you will find Chole Minji, the “jungle island retreat.” Nestled into the jungle coastline are seven treehouses with thatched roofs that give a good sense of the relaxed nature of the area. The king sized beds offer a spectacular view of the sunsets over the sea. The Lapa Rios eco-lodge in Costa Rica sits in the rainforest with 16 bungalows that were all built from local resources. Any guests of Lapa Rios are encouraged to wander about and explore the 930 acres of land, which is home to many species of animals. There are guided hikes and bird watching tours, as well as kayaking, surfing, and whale watching activities.

Perhaps a little closer to home are the Earthship rentals of New Mexico. Earthships are buildings constructed entirely of recycled materials like tires and metal, and are solar powered. These homes are designed to be sustainably livable homes that still offer modern amenities like running water, Wi-Fi, and internet TV. All four of the Earthships for rent in Taos, New Mexico offer grown food to eat and three of the four are dog friendly. Two of the Earthships house 1-2 people, while the other two can host up to six, making them great family getaways. These green homes offer peace of mind, body, and spirit with their peaceful locations, guilt free energy, and relaxing home feel.

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About Us: Beyond Power LLC is an independent sales and marketing company based in Houston, Texas. Through its passionate team of sales affiliates, Beyond Power markets renewable energy and energy-efficiency products and services offered by its channel partners. Beyond Power has exclusive, special offers and is the exclusive sales agent for the renewable power supply contracts offered by Source Power and Gas LLC dba Beyond Power, branded as “Beyond Power” products. Learn more about us by visiting www.beyondpower.com or by following us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, and Instagram.

Eco-Friendly Cinco de Mayo Ideas

Cinco De Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is just a few days away! If you are planning on throwing or attending a party, there are ways you can contribute to a greener, more eco-friendly celebration. You can decrease waste by having a potluck dinner, cut pollution by barbecuing with lump charcoal, and reduce the heat inside of your home by cooking outdoors.

Throwing a potluck dinner helps lessen the stress of preparing a huge meal and is a great way to cut down on waste, as people will bring food in reusable containers. With such an array of possible foods people will bring, it is likely that not everything will require cooking, which will in turn save on the overall energy consumption for the celebration.

Cook outside by barbecuing with lump charcoal, an eco-friendly option that is made of wood burned in an oxygen deprived pit underground. The fire burns off nearly all of the sap and water from the logs, leaving almost pure carbon. Despite being pure carbon, which when burned can be harmful to the atmosphere, the charcoal gets very hot, very quickly. Ultimately, you will use less carbon to barbecue with lump charcoal than you would using charcoal briquettes and lighter fluid.

In choosing food to prepare for a celebration, look to a local farmer’s market. Supporting local growers is important to the local economy and often allows you to purchase higher quality produce. After getting as much as you need from the farmer’s market, head to the grocery store with your own reusable bags to cut down on waste. Making a meatless dish is another way to cut back on carbon emissions. Preparing a veggie fajita or burrito can be quite delicious, despite lacking meat. You could also prepare a large fresh salad, macaroni salad, or a grilled pizza. Set up separate bins for trash and recyclables, and ask people not to stuff trash into empty cans.

If you are organizing the event, send out invitations using a site like eVite or invite them using the event creation feature on Facebook to eliminate paper waste from mailed invites. Use biodegradable or compostable plates, cups, and utensils. If you are feeling crafty, you can make a piñata out of paper bags. The leftover paper can be recycled when the party is over. Finally, encourage carpooling for guests to reduce the number of vehicles on the road. And of course, have a happy and safe Cinco de Mayo!

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About Us: Beyond Power LLC is an independent sales and marketing company based in Houston, Texas. Through its passionate team of sales affiliates, Beyond Power markets renewable energy and energy-efficiency products and services offered by its channel partners. Beyond Power has exclusive, special offers and is the exclusive sales agent for the renewable power supply contracts offered by Source Power and Gas LLC dba Beyond Power, branded as “Beyond Power” products. Learn more about us by visiting www.beyondpower.com or by following us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, and Instagram.

The History of Arbor Day

Planting A TreeJulius Sterling Morton was a migratory settler in the Nebraska territory in 1854 who was extremely taken with the wilderness and the natural beauty of the outdoors. When he settled in the Nebraska territory with his wife, he planted flowers and trees all over their land. During his time as an editor for the Nebraska City News, he wrote articles about agriculture, informing his neighbors about the benefits of gardening, landscaping, and being actively involved in preserving nature. After he served as Secretary of the Nebraska Territory from 1858 to 1861, he turned back to promoting agriculture. On January 4, 1872, he proposed a tree planting holiday. This day became Arbor Day, and was set to be celebrated on April 10, 1872.

To encourage participation in the green holiday, Morton offered prizes to the communities and individuals who participated in the festivities. For that first Arbor Day, about one million trees were planted throughout the state. A few years later in 1874, Nebraska Governor Robert W. Furnas officially proclaimed Arbor Day to be observed on April 10th of that year. In 1885, it became a legal holiday for the state with Morton’s birthday, April 22nd, as the annual observance date.

That first official holiday saw a great parade held in Morton’s honor and a speech given by the man himself. Schools were organized by grade and each grade would plant at least one tree, with that grade’s responsibility to care for that tree from then on. After planting the trees, all of the students began their parade. A thousand students marched toward Nebraska City’s Opera House carrying colorful satin and silk banners. As they marched, many more townspeople joined in, resulting in a packed Opera House.

At 11 in the morning, Morton gave his speech to the enthralled celebrants. At the close of his speech, he was applauded before the whole crowd joined in singing “America (My Country, Tis of Thee).” The Nebraska City News reported afterward that “To say it was a complete success but faintly expresses it. A celebration of this kind results in good to all, and is worthy of imitation by every school in the state.”

Today, Arbor Day is frequently celebrated on the last Friday in April, but it varies by region according to planting seasons. In the southern states, the celebration is in January to February, whereas in the north, it occurs in May.  Visit the Arbor Day Foundation for more information!

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About Us: Beyond Power LLC is an independent sales and marketing company based in Houston, Texas. Through its passionate team of sales affiliates, Beyond Power markets renewable energy and energy-efficiency products and services offered by its channel partners. Beyond Power has exclusive, special offers and is the exclusive sales agent for the renewable power supply contracts offered by Source Power and Gas LLC dba Beyond Power, branded as “Beyond Power” products. Learn more about us by visiting www.beyondpower.com or by following us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, and Instagram.

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