eco living

New Electricity Levy on household bills: Is it fair?

New Electricity Levy on household bills: Is it fair?

New Electricity Levy on household bills: is it fair?An electricity levy that was previously suspended in 2007 has been revived and will now be imposed on all electricity customers come this October. The new levy will see an increase in electricity prices of up to 5% and plans to raise €156 million in order to improve the security of energy supply and for the development of renewable energy.

Leo Varadkar, the Fine Gael spokesman on energy said “Consumers and businesses are going to have to pay the bill for Eamon Ryan’s green energy revolution and his unwillingness to squeeze the ESB.” The Labour Party described the increase as…

Garden & Outdoors
Synthetic Grass for your back garden?

Synthetic Grass for your back garden?

Synthetic Grass When you hear the words synthetic grass it wouldn’t be a surprise if astro turf and the game of soccer were the first things to spring to mind. While its common knowledge that astro turf is widely used in the commercial market it’s now starting to make headway into the residential market as an alternative option to traditional garden grass.

For many the very idea of replacing a natural lawn with synthetic or artificial grass would probably be greeted with plenty of cynicism and derision. However…

Household Waste: What’s with illegal dumping?

Household Waste: What’s with illegal dumping?

Household waste: What’s with illegal dumping?In a time when our economy is fairly broke and grasping at straws the last thing we need is a bill for illegal dumping totally €36 million – however it serves us right.

Between 2002 and 2004 some 250,000 tonnes of Irish domestic and commercial waste is believed to have been illegally dumped at 20 identified sites in Northern Ireland. To avoid large fines from the European commission, Environment Ministers from both sides of the border have agreed to “repatriate” the waste over a 5-year period to the Republic. More than 70 prosecutions involving the illegal dumping of waste from the South have already been taken by the Northern Ireland authorities, 4 landowners have received prison sentences for allowing Irish waste to be dumped on their lands and fines totaling about £800,000 (€965,000) have also been imposed.

While we are now taking responsibility, how did we allow the illegal dumping happen in the first place?

Garden & Outdoors
Grow your own Carrots

Grow your own Carrots

Grow you own CarrotsDid you know the first carrots grown were purple, yellow, white, even black! In the 1500’s, Dutch growers developed orange carrots in honour of their Royal Family, the House of Orange! This is what we all love today.

Freshly pulled carrots taste fantastic compared to shop bought or processed carrots in ready to eat dinners, or microwave bags. These really are tasteless.

Carrots grow great in tall containers, such as old dustbins, long pipes, high deep pots as their roots can grow long and straight and the plants are high above their enemy – the carrot root fly. There is even a special new Carrot bag, just for the purpose!

Garden & Outdoors
Growing your own Strawberries

Growing your own Strawberries

Growing your own StrawberriesYou can grow your own fresh Strawberries in a pot outside the door. A strawberry pot can hold 6-8 strawberry plants and will fruit with delicious fruits all summer long if you water and feed it well. This is the time to plant them up. First they will flower with bright eyed white flowers and then the fruit starts to swell. Expect to pick your first delicious strawberry in early June.

You can also sow strawberries in hanging baskets, window boxes and big flower pots. This method suits them very well as the fruits can hang over the edge and be free of soil. In pots and borders, strawberries are best surrounded by a few handfuls of straw. It keeps the soil warm, stops the soil losing moisture and stops the strawberries lying on the soil. That is why they are called STRAWberries after all! …

Garden & Outdoors
Grow Your Own Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

Grow Your Own Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

You don’t need a farm, or a large garden, even a small garden, you can even grow vegetables in a pot or a bag on a balcony, doorstep, window sill, patio, or deck. You can even grown some salad sprouts on the office desk for lunch! How cool is that?

Since we believe its so easy, here are a few simple steps to get you started.
The Salad sprouts are the easiest of all to grow. You can grow them indoors in a seed sprouter. In just 3-4 days you can have crunchy, healthy, bean sprouts, baby beetroot leaves, baby radish, black eyed peas and lots more growing in your kitchen or office to eat for a healthy salad lunch. Just add water! …

How to clean your microwave

Like your oven, your microwave can quickly become home to an array of food that has escaped during the cooking process. From ‘burnty’ bits, drops and splashes from soups and sauces and of course the odd explosion of beans and peas you might think avoiding or ignoring the food design on the inside of your microwave would be easier than cleaning it. BUT thanks to lemons the process of removing the caked food is so easy you will wonder why you haven’t done it sooner!