The Top 5 Reasons to Join a CSA
Posted by July 19, 2016 at 1:51 PM under Environment Home Living Tips

You might not be familiar with the term “CSA,” but if you want excellent produce, then you’ll want to know about these initials. CSA stands for “community supported agriculture.” Unlike the typical method of food delivery, CSAs give people direct access to the regional farms that grow their food.

There are many substantial benefits to the CSA approach. Typically, CSAs let members opt for weekly or bi-weekly options. Simply purchase a share and for several months out of the year, you’ll receive the freshest produce available. The only way to receive fresher produce is to, of course, grow your own. Let’s explore the world of CSA and take a look at the 5 top reasons that you’ll want to consider joining a CSA.

 

Reason #1 to Join a CSA-Quality

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The food quality for CSAs is usually much better than what people expect. The reason that CSAs provide people with excellent food is that you get food directly sent to you; this bypasses the normal distribution chain process. Avoiding the typical process is no small matter when it comes to food quality. If you want great tasting produce, then nothing beats farm fresh. That is exactly what CSAs consistently deliver. You’ll be impressed at the difference when it comes to flavor.

 

Reason #2 to Join a CSA-Nutrition

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Produce quality and nutrition truly go hand-in-hand. Fresher produce contains more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than food that has been sitting around, sometimes for weeks, waiting to be bought. The simple fact is that the nutrition levels of fresh fruits and vegetables is completely superior to vegetables that have been farmed and then shipped, often across country or from around the world, only to sit for days or weeks until consumed. Produce from a CSA is usually vastly fresher than produce at your typical grocery store or even co-op. Those looking for the best tasting and most nutritionals food possible will want to join a CSA.

 

 

Reason #3 to Join a CSA-Lower Your Carbon Footprint

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As the name indicates, CSAs are community based; this means that your food isn’t traveling from hundreds of miles away. Instead, you can be certain that your food is produced locally and then consumed locally. By opting to consume as much local food as possible, you are taking a big step in lowering your carbon footprint. The food that you find in most grocery stores has been transported hundreds or even thousands of miles. However, with a CSAs, this is not a concern. Join a CSA and you’re sure to lower your carbon footprint.

 

Reason #4 to Join a CSA-Produce Makes People Happy

Having more fruits and vegetables on hand, especially those with superior taste, will encourage you to eat more produce and that has a wide array of positive benefits. A recent study reached a very unexpected conclusion. The study sought out participants who consumed very low levels of fruits and vegetables. These “low vegetable and fruit” participants were instructed to consume 8 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. The results were, in short, amazing.

 

The participants reported a dramatic spike in overall happiness levels. In fact, the increase in happiness levels was roughly on par with the increase in happiness levels experienced by unemployed people when they landed a new job. Again, this dramatic spike in overall reported happiness levels resulted from the simple act of consuming more fruits and vegetables.

 

Fruits and vegetables make people feel better. Medical science has told us for decades that fruits and vegetables can boost our health, but now we know that fruits and vegetables can boost our mood in a dramatic fashion. Joining a CSA will increase the number of fruits and vegetables you consume and that will boost your mood.

 

Reason Number Five to Join a CSA-Better Health

 

CSA food is some of the healthiest food that you can find. If you’ve been looking for a way to improve your diet, then a CSA is a great place to begin the process. The vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and disease and cancer fighting properties of fresh produce are greater in fresher produce. Very fresh produce doesn’t just taste better, but it is also better for you in a range of ways. Modern medicine knows that fresh fruits and vegetables improves overall health as produce boosts immunity and contains compounds that fight diseases including cancer.

 

One of the single greatest steps you can take to safeguard your own health is to opt for a CSA. CSAs bring great produce directly to you. The produce is far fresher, far tastier and far better for you.

One of the most striking aspects of joining a CSA is the surprising taste that comes along with it. Farm direct food is often completely different than food that has been shipped thousands of miles.

 

It is no accident that many chefs at top restaurants carefully choose their own food from nearby farms. Chefs understand that great taste, of course, begins with the food itself. Fresh ingredients can be an inspiration.

 

The food is the foundation of a great meal. If you are a foodie, then you owe it to yourself to join a CSA. By joining a CSA, you are supporting small farms while boosting your own health and enjoying truly amazing food and lowering your carbon footprint. It is a win-win all the way around!

3 Ways to Make Your Business Eco-Friendly
Posted by June 22, 2016 at 3:56 PM under Alternative Energy Environment

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There are good reasons to consider making your business more eco-friendly. It’s one thing to consider the fact that your customers live on the planet, but you live on the planet as well. Close to 100% of all scientists around the globe agree that modern human industrial society has had a serious impact on the planet and the climate.

When You Care, You Win

In the coming years and decades, global temperatures will continue to increase, and this increase in temperature has a range of implications. On the list of climate change concerns are disrupted and decreased crop yields, water shortages resulting in the potential for so-called “water waters,” climate change refugees, economic disruptions, famine, an increased risk in the spread of disease globally and the list goes on.

From the direct perspective of your business, demonstrating to your customers that you are aware of climate change and its consequences as exemplified by taking pro-active eco-friendly steps in your business. This approach can help you win new clients and retain old ones.

Summed up another way, any step you can take to make your business more eco-friendly will be rewarded both for you personally, your descendants as well as your business. Creating an eco-friendly environment at your company just makes sense.

The bottom line is that every bit helps. While climate change and its consequences may be a massive global problem there is a great deal you can do personally to help reduce the impact of climate change.

Tip One-Buy Local and Be Thoughtful About Your Choices

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Every business has needs and things that it uses. Whether those items are large, small or on the spectrum somewhere in between, they require energy. Manufactured goods take a great deal of energy to produce. Not only is it necessary to factor in the raw materials that go into a good but it is also necessary to consider the associated transportation costs involved getting a manufactured good from one location to another.

Concern about the carbon produced in manufacturing a good and shipping it around the country or around the world is part of what drives the “buy local” movement. For example, let’s say you need a new desk for your office. Buying a locally made desk constructed from locally sourced wood will have a far lower carbon footprint than a desk manufactured thousands of miles away. Additionally, wood is a renewable resource and one that very likely too less energy to harvest than for example metal that goes into a metal desk. There are literally dozens of choices like this one that even a small business can make and obviously the larger the business the greater the potential impact.

Steps you can take include the following:

  • Buying less paper
  • Unplugging computers and equipment when not in use
  • Composting more
  • Sustainable materials for your building and furniture
  • Donate to charities doing great things for the community and the planet

The SBA (U.S Small Business Association) offers a list of great suggestions for going green with your business.

Tip Two-Avoid Products Made with Harmful Chemicals and Opt for Alternatives When Available

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Thinking about the material from which a good is manufactured is something that should never be overlooked. Many manufactured goods are manufactured using harmful chemicals. Even if chemicals had zero negative impact on the environment, which is not the case, it still takes a great deal of energy to manufacture chemicals.

When buying new products, it is important to look for products that have been manufactured in an eco-friendly fashion. Simply looking for eco-friendly products that incorporate recycled or repurposed materials can help you lower your business’s carbon footprint.

Another step for businesses to take in their quest to be eco-friendly is to ask a very simple question: do we really need this item? Do we really need to replace this item? Quite often upgrades are made not out of direct necessity, but instead out of a drive to modernize. Of course, some modernization is necessary from time to time. But like anything else, the drive for modernization can overcome basic commonsense. When you are done with your supplies, consider Freecycling, which refers to how businesses can give away unwanted items.

For this reason, it is prudent to periodically step back and evaluate the need for a particular good or a particular upgrade. Upgrading and buying new goods and equipment may be an unnecessary expense and one that can harm the environment. Again, it takes energy to produce any manufactured good.

Tip Three-Re-evaluate All Travel

plane-50893_960_720One of the most common sources of carbon comes in the form of travel. It is difficult to overemphasis the importance of rethinking your business’s approach to travel enough. Much of the good work your business does in a week with recycling, repurposing old equipment or goods, delaying the purchasing or equipment, buying eco-friendly products and more can be undone or partially undone with one unnecessary plane trip.

Plane trips, especially long ones, generate a great deal of carbon. How your business deals with the issue of travel can make a tremendous difference in your business’s overall carbon footprint. Other eco-friendly travel steps you can take include encouraging employee carpooling, finding ways for employees to work virtually, reducing and consolidating trips and more. Once you begin to think about how your business utilizes travel you will find many eco-friendly tips to employ.

There are many ways your business can help the environment. None of the eco-friendly business tips outlined in this article have to be disruptive to your business or your bottom line. Additionally, outlining for your customers the steps you are taking to be eco-aware will help you build brand loyalty. The environmental problems the planet faces were created by people and in order to solve those problems people will have to take action. Talking about climate change and its impact on humanity is not enough; it requires each and every one of us to modify our behaviors.

7 Ways to Take an Environmentally Friendly Vacation
Posted by May 21, 2016 at 4:51 PM under Environment

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At first glance, you might think that taking an environmentally friendly vacation sounds like a lot of work. But in reality, it is surprisingly easy. Like most good vacations, an environmentally friendly vacation takes a little planning. The sooner you begin making arrangements, the greater your overall benefits and rewards will be.

Environmentally friendly vacations have a range of important benefits. Any traveler looking to lower her or his carbon footprint and save money at the same time will love what they have to offer! In this article we will take a look at six easy to implement tips that will help you plan a wonderful vacation that will make memories you’ll enjoy for years to come. So let’s explore some of the environmentally friendly steps you can take so that your next vacation is both fun and enjoys a lower carbon footprint.

Tip #1 Think About Geography

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Nothing increases your carbon footprint quite like traveling. The longer the car ride or air flight, the larger your carbon footprint will ultimately be. But a couple of easy decisions can help point you in the right direction.

At the heart of lowering your carbon footprint is selecting your destination. The closer you stay to home, the more environmentally friendly your travel adventure will be! That means of course that longer flights, such as international flights and cross country flights, have a greater impact than shorter flights or trips. The best place to begin planning your environmentally friendly vacation is to start with a map. Looking for travel adventures close to home will not only lower your carbon footprint but will also help you save money. And look beyond the plane! Taking a train or even driving can reduce the amount of resources that are used.

Tip #2: Take the 1-1-1 Approach

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Did that last tip let you down because you’re dreaming of an overseas adventure? Well, you don’t have to give up that dream. If you take a vacation every year why not take a 1-1-1 approach? One year take a vacation close to home, the next year take a vacation a little farther away and then once every three years take that big vacation far from home that you’ve been looking forward to for years.

This approach can be used to dramatically cut your overall carbon footprint and, as an added bonus, you’ll be able to learn more about your own geographic backyard. Now for those of us living in more isolated areas with limited attractions, following this tip may seem a little tricky. But there are workarounds. The key point is to think about your travel and then take steps to lower your overall miles traveled; this simple step will lower the amount of fuel and resources that you use when you travel.

Tip #3: Use Eco-Friendly Vehicles Once You Arrive

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When it comes to eco-friendly travel, or any kind of travel, it is important to opt for low energy consumption modes of transport whenever possible. Travel locations that allow for a good deal of walking or biking can be great in this regard.

That is why a trip to a highly walkable city such as New York City can make for an unexpected eco-friendly vacation. Also, your selection of hotel or other accommodations can also play a big role in lowering your carbon footprint. The right hotel choice can translate to less time spent in cabs. Selecting a hotel that is closely situated to a large percentage of what you want to see will help you keep your traveling to a minimum.

Tip #4-Leave Something Good Behind

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When you travel to a new part of the country or the world, find out ways that you can help improve the environment of the location you are visiting.

There are many ways to achieve this goal ranging from planting a tree to volunteering for a day or even a few hours with an environmental group such as a water conservation group. Where environmental travel is concerned, the possibilities are almost endless!

Tip #5:  Create as Little Impact on Nature as Possible

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If your travels take you into the great outdoors, do what you can to help make the location you visit beautiful. The simple decision to not litter is in fact one of the greenest decisions you can make. Recycling doesn’t stop when you travel. Just as you recycle at home you should also remain committed to recycling while traveling.

When you encounter plants and animals, make sure that you tread lightly. Don’t take plants and avoid feeding critters. Be sure that you stay on all marked trails when hiking.  Knowing that you left a place as nice as you found it will leave you a sense of satisfaction.

Tip #6: Find the Right Hotel

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Not all hotels are created equally. With this fact in mind look for hotels that have an eco-friendly approach to how they serve their visitors. A dedication to low water consumption as reflected in low-flow toilets and recycling are two factors to look for when selecting an eco-friendly hotel. When you’re on the road, take showers rather than baths to reduce water consumption.

And remember one of the best eco-friendly choices you can make when selecting a hotel is to look one that reduces your travel time as this will reduce your carbon footprint. Find an eco-conscious hotel that is in the middle of your travel zone and you have yourself a true winner!

Tip #7: Think about What You Buy

Sure, it’s nice to bring home some mementos from your trip. But steer clear of anything that could negatively impact the region you visit. For example, products made from animal hides or parts of endangered animals&7 are a serious no-no.

Make the Most Out of Your Next Vacation

Together these 7 simple tips can help you dramatically reduce your carbon footprint. An eco-friendly and planet friendly vacation doesn’t have to be difficult to plan. Making some simple adjustments can make a big difference. Plus, an eco-friendly vacation can actually help you save a good deal of money in the process!

5 Inexpensive Ways to Green Your Home
Posted by April 09, 2016 at 10:06 PM under Environment Home Living Tips

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There are many diverse ways to make your home greener. Many of the ways to make your home greener and eco-friendly are also inexpensive. Rather surprisingly many of the best ways to green your home are also completely free or can even help you save money!

Greening your home doesn’t have to be a difficult, time consuming, confusing or laborious process. Quite the contrary, the path to a greener and healthier home can be a pleasant, easy and even fun journey! If you’re already using our clotheslines, you already know well that this is the case.

We think that these five simple tips can make a tremendous difference in your life and the health of the planet. Let’s dive in and explore some of the best low-cost ways to make your home a greener and healthier one. Adopt these simple tips and you’ll be helping the planet while boosting your health and the health of your family.

Tip Number One-Be Highly Selective in What You Buy

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One of the single best tips for greening your home is to be very selective about the products you buy. Cleaning products are a great example of where it pays to pause and consider what products you should and should not be buying. In short, refrain from buying any cleaning products that have chemicals or contain ingredients that are not naturally based.

The odds are great that you don’t need industrial strength cleaning products, so what should you do? Just don’t buy them at all.

Instead, you can make your own cleaning products for a fraction of the cost of buying cleaning products, for example, soap and water goes a long way in cleaning countertops, toilets, showers and more. The idea that you have to constantly clean using “tough” cleaning products is an idea created by marketing firms over the last half century!

Tip Number Two-Adjust Your Thermostat, Save Money and Help the Planet

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Heating and cooling your home isn’t just expensive, but it is also tough on the planet. The less energy you use, the better off everyone will be. Using less energy means that you lower your carbon footprint while at the same time putting more cash in your pocket every month.

Start by turning down your thermostat a couple of degrees in the winter and leaving it a couple of degrees higher in the summer. After a few months your body will adjust to this small change and you’ll love the savings. Everyone literally benefits from this no-cost approach to greening your home! In fact, you’ll actually save money.

 

Tip Number Three-Remember that Weeds are Not the Enemy

dandelion-99394_960_720Without a doubt one of the most significant environmental disasters of the 20th and early 21st Centuries has been the rise in popularity of the lawn and the treatment of that lawn with toxic and dangerous chemicals. Weed killing products, such as Roundup, should be avoided in all circumstances. The scientific community has raised a significant alarm regarding the safety of such products.

You do have options. First, remember that weeds are not the end of the world; they are just weeds! Secondly, weeds can be treated with a vinegar spray bottle. While this approach takes more work, it is far safer for you, your family and the planet as a whole.

Weeds cannot give you or your family cancer or neurological disorders. Toxic weed killers, on the other hand, are likely a very different story. Additionally, these harmful chemicals make their way into our water supply.

Tip Number Four-Natural Insulation for Big Results

House wrapped in a scarf isolated on whiteSo far our previous three tips were all free or even helped you save money. Tip Number Four isn’t free, but it can be inexpensive and save you a great deal in the long run.

The day you insulate a previous uninsulated space you will begin to save money. Many home improvements can take years before homeowners see a return on their investment; however, insulation is unique in that insulation immediately begins paying for itself.

An uninsulated space means that you invariably use more energy. Insulating an uninsulated space, however, means that you save energy and do so while lowering your carbon footprint. It is a true win-win for you and the planet! When you opt for insulation it is a smart move to select insulation that is green. Some green insulation options include blue jean insulation and wool insulation. However, it is important to check and make certain that these insulations are not treated with dangerous chemicals as some wool and blue jean insulation is treated.

Tip Number Five-Simple Changes to Your Dinner Plate

fruits-82524_960_720One of the single greatest steps for greening your home is to eat less meat. Meat takes a tremendous amount of water and resources. Simply cutting back or eliminating your meat consumption will help lower your carbon footprint and take pressure off water and energy resources. If you are not a vegetarian or a vegan, consider reducing your meat consumption just one day a week. Medical studies indicate that this simple move will also help your health.

Five Small Changes Produce Combine for Amazing Results!

Together these five tips can be used to lower your carbon footprint, save you money, improve your home’s resell value, lower your water consumption and help the planet. The good news is that regardless of your budget, there are many easy to adopt changes that will help the planet. If you want to “go green,” there are plenty of wonderful options!

5 Fun Plastic Bottle Projects for Kids
Posted by March 23, 2016 at 6:10 PM under Environment Home Living Tips

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No doubt the world has a plastic problem. One of the key parts of that plastic problem comes in the form of the ubiquitous plastic bottles. Plastic bottles are everywhere and come in an almost endless array of forms; however, there are many real and practical steps that you and your family can take to keep plastic bottles out of landfills and out of the ocean. Finding ways to showcase to children that items have value is time well spent. It’s also a perfect activity for Earth Day!

 

Kids love special projects that allow them to display their creative side. Finding fun plastic bottle projects is a great way for kids to have fun while recycling. If you want your children to have a positive association with recycling, then fun recycling projects such as the ones we will outline in this article is the perfect place to start. Children love special projects like these and many children will find it exciting to take something that is considered to be trash and transform it into some fun, useful and even beautiful!

 

Fun Plastic Bottle Project Number One-Decoration

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Kids love seeing their artwork displayed across the house. For younger children, simply decorating a plastic bottle with glitter, stickers, pasted on drawings or other simple items can be both entertaining and satisfying. A simple bottle decoration project is great as it allows children of all ages to participate. Encourage your children to use everyday items that they can find around the house to make their decorated bottle as eye-catching and unique as possible.

 

Fun Plastic Bottle Project Number Two-Bracelets

 

With just a little patience it is possible to create your own plastic bottle bracelets. Once cut into rings, your children will love decorating their own bracelets. While this idea is simple, parents are often surprised by how much effort children will put into creating complex and interesting bracelets from scratch.

 

Fun Plastic Bottle Project Number Three-Colorful Artwork Masterpieces

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All it takes to create a colorful and very fun plastic bottle artwork is an unfolded cardboard box, some different colored plastic bottles and plastic bottle tops. Plastic bottles and plastic bottle tops come in just about every color imaginable. Gluing cut plastic bottles and plastic bottle tops onto a cardboard surface is an essentially free way to create wonderful new art. This is one of the best plastic bottle projects for kids when it comes to expressing creativity.

Any shape or pattern imaginable can be created using this simple plastic bottle trick. If you really want to get the most out of this idea then save up as many different plastic bottles as possible. The more different circumferences and colored plastic bottles and caps you have, the better! Once your kids have practiced with smaller plastic bottle and plastic cap projects, feel free to branch out to larger and larger projects. You and your children are only limited by your imagination!

 

Fun Plastic Bottle Project Number Three-Transforming an Old Tent

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Do you have an old tent? Plastic bottles can transform that tent into a magical play land for children in surprisingly little time. By taping cut circular sections of plastic bottles to your tent, your children can build an amazing play area. This is also a great activity for you and your family to enjoy on a camping trip.

Attach the cut plastic bottle sections either the inside, outside or even both the inside and outside of the tent and you’ll have a wild and crazy looking creation. When taken outside on a sunny day, this festive toy will create hypnotic patterns on the inside of the tent. This one is very easy, very fun and sports a high replay value!

 

Fun Plastic Bottle Project Number Four-The Plant Holder

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If you are looking for ways to help your children get more time outdoors, then you’ll love the plastic bottle plant holder idea. All you need for this idea is to cut a plastic bottle in half, turn it upside down, put in dirt, seeds and a little water. Of course you’ll need some way of hanging your plant, which can be as easy as attaching a hook. For homes with outdoor plant hanging areas this idea is cheap and a great conversation starter for parents. Most children love the idea of growing plants, and with this trick your children will feel as though they’ve played an important role in the process.

 

Fun Plastic Bottle Project Number Five-Animals!

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A plastic bottle and a little imagination can be all it takes to create a new toy. Eye stickers, yarn and other simple items you already have around the house are perfect for transforming a plastic bottle into almost any animal imaginable. You can create paper feathers for striking birds, use bottle caps for noses, pencils for legs, partially blown up balloons for ears and the list goes on and on.

One of the key reasons that this plastic bottle activity is so much fun for children is that it gives them endless ways to express their creativity and, in the process, create a new work of art.

 

Transforming Plastic Bottles Into Artistic Wonders is a Fantastic Way to Create Lasting Memories

 

No doubt there are plenty of other ways you can turn plastic bottles into hand made treasures. The best part of these simple plastic bottle projects is that you and your children are creating them together and in the process forming lasting and fun mementos. Once these creations have been completed, don’t forget to display them with pride somewhere in your home.

7 Easy Steps to Declutter Your Closet
Posted by February 14, 2016 at 9:31 PM under Home Living Tips

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If you are like most people then you probably have a lot of organizing and declutter that needs to be addressed. One of the main problems is knowing where to start and how to begin. Clutter is definitely not your friend. Clutter leads to disorganization, which can and does lead to stress and an overall lowering of one’s quality of life. Avoiding clutter is a must. For most people, that means tackling areas such as the garage and closets. Let’s take a look at some of the leading ways that you can get your closet organized and decluttered so that you can improve your quality of life.

 


1. Take Inventory

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Before any discussion of closet organizing specifics, tips and tricks, we truly do have to start with the basics. When it comes to organizing your closet, you’ll want to begin by taking inventory of what is actually in your closet. Start thinking about what you want to keep, what you want to store somewhere else and what you need to get rid of immediately! Most people have at least a little “pack rat” in them, and that means you likely have stuff you don’t need cluttering up your home and, in particular, your closets.

 

The time you spend deciding what to keep and what to donate or store elsewhere will be time well spent. Trying to keep too much stuff is likely part of what created your closet clutter in the first place. So get rid of the clothing you don’t wear in one way another sell it, donate it or give it away but whatever you do, don’t keep any clothing or other items you are not using in your closet. Conquer this step and you’re truly ready for the decluttering big leagues!

 

  1. Install More Shelves

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No doubt this tip sounds simple and it is. But this tip is also the cheapest and most effective route towards achieving greater and long lasting decluttering. Most closets don’t have enough shelving. If you think you have enough shelving, you are probably wrong. Older homes are notorious for lacking shelving. Even newer homes and apartments can be lacking in this territory. You know how you want to live and you know your lifestyle. That, of course, also means that you can look at your closet and your “this stays” pile and get a pretty good idea of where you might need some extra shelves. Now the next step is to use shelving to maximize every square inch of the closet wall space. If you have a few inches to spare, “shelve it!” Even reality small shelves will get used and be useful once you begin living with them on a daily basis. Conquering clutter has many parts and shelving is one of your greatest tools.

 

  1. Shoe Racks Solve Headaches

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When it comes to great closet decluttering tools, it is pretty hard to beat the simple, but oh-so-effective shoe rack. Multi-level shoe racks are, in fact, the best. Look for shoe racks that are three levels high or even higher. Don’t worry about losing some floor space, unless you only have a couple of pairs of shoes. You will easily regain your floor space once you slide in a shoe rack!

 

  1. Hooks, Hooks and More Hooks

 

Adding a little extra closet space can often be as simple, easy and inexpensive as installing a few coat hooks. This tips is often overlooked, but it’s a winner. A word of caution: don’t go overboard on this tip. The end result is that your closet will begin to look and feel cluttered, just in a different way. After all, you don’t want to walk into your closet only to feel as though you are totally surrounded by your stuff.

 

  1. Slide-in Baskets and Narrow Laundry Baskets are a Real Space Saver

 

The idea that a closet decluttering has to be an expensive affair is just plain wrong, wrong, wrong. Slide-in baskets and narrow laundry baskets are an easy way to store items such as sweaters, sweatpants and sweatshirts and do so on the cheap.

 

Of course, such a method doesn’t allow for instant identification of items, but this approach is a great way to organize bulkier, less used items that you don’t have to worry about wrinkling. Organizing items that don’t wrinkle easily with items that do wrinkle easily can often lead to the lose of precious “prime” closet organizing real estate. Follow this cheap and easy tip and you’ll be rewarded!

 

  1. Considering Adding a Closet Hanging Rod

 

Another pro-tip is to simply add another rod. Many organizing experts simply add a second lower rod below an existing rod. This approach works very well when combined with pants folded across coat hangers. Use this tip, and you’ll suddenly feel as though you’ve doubled your closet space and done so on the cheap.

 


7. Stackable Boxes Can Work Wonders

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A few stackable and labeled boxes can work wonders for reducing closet clutter. Like the other tips in this article, this declutter tip is cheap, easy, quick to implement and works!

 

By following these tips you’ll achieve a new level of closet organization. A well organized closet is about more than looks, as it is also about function. A well organized closet can help you save time and reduce stress. So explore your options today!

4 Effective Ways to Clean Your Bathroom without Chemicals
Posted by January 18, 2016 at 10:25 PM under Home Living Tips

cat-1052060_960_720The number of chemicals found in bathroom cleaners can be a little depressing. What makes this fact all the more shocking is that for virtually all homes and businesses harsh chemicals are not needed to achieve an effective cleaning.

Over the years cleaning product manufacturers have worked hard, and spent lots of money, in an effort to convince us that our homes are remarkably filthy and only they can save us from ourselves. In most cases this is an overreach, as simple cleaning products will work just fine for cleaning homes.

 

The issue of chemicals in bathroom cleaning products is no small issue. Not only are the chemicals potentially dangerous for human health, but also they are also bad for the environment. Not only are chemicals used to create these products, but the chemicals also make their way into the water supply harming both humans and wildlife alike. So let’s explore some of the best ways to clean your bathroom without chemicals.

 

Option One-Soap and Water Just Like Grandma or Grandpa Would Have Used

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Soap has earned a good reputation over the years for one simple fact: it works! Soap and water are great cleaners, but somewhere along the way most of us started to believe that we needed something more “powerful” as though the germs that grandma and grandpa faced were somehow completely inferior to today’s modern super germs.

 

No doubt there are places where the supergerms do reside such as hospitals, but the odds that your home has MRSA or some other supergerm is probably very low. Powerful cleaners have their place, but often good old fashion soap and water will areas such as kitchen countertops, toilets, bathroom sinks and showers clean.

 

Option Two-A Water and Hydrogen Peroxide Mix

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Hydrogen peroxide is a very effective cleaner and is far safer than many of the well marketed and shiny bathroom cleaners that are on the market. This mix is great for periodic cleaning of toilet bowls, countertops and more.

 

If you are cleaning with soap and water and feel as though an area might not be as clean as you would like, then a hydrogen peroxide and water mix will do the job. If you are cutting meat, fish or poultry on your countertops, then it is a good idea to go with a cleaner that is a little stronger than soap or water, or play it on the safe side and use a cutting board that you then toss in the dishwasher.

 

Option Three-Vinegar What Can’t You Do?

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Vinegar is something of a household cleaning superstar. Vinegar and baking soda combine nicely and make for a great, all-natural cleaner. Vinegar wipes out mold, removes soap, stains and a great deal more. Simple, run-of-the-mill vinegar can be used to keep your entire home clean and best of all it is very cheap. When you dilute vinegar in water, it is possible to stretch a single bottle of vinegar for weeks or even months. While vinegar is, of course, very acidic, it is still far easier on the environment and far safer for people than virtually all mass producer chemical cleaner options.

 

Those looking for a safe way to clean everything from bathroom showers and tubs to countertops and toilets will find that vinegar does a great job. In addition to being very cheap, the vinegar and baking soda combo can be used for a wide variety of bathroom cleaning chores and can even help unclog sinks. So don’t reach for chemical drain cleaners when a clog comes your way, instead try this time honored option. As always, test a small area before using any cleaning product across your entire bathroom or kitchen area.

 

Option Four-Other Options for Tackling a Clogged Drain

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One of the most dangerous chemical mixes that most people ever bring into their homes is when they need to unclog a drain. Clogged drains are a nightmare and that is why it is vitally important to periodically clean them out with our vinegar and baking soda mix. However, eventually you will run into some drain problems that vinegar and baking soda just won’t cut. When that day comes, first try to remove the u-shaped pipe under your sink. This area traps a lot of debris and build up. There are plenty of “how to” guides available online that can guide you through the process, and you might just save a small fortune over hiring a plumber.

 

Another big reason to tackle a clogged drain yourself and without chemicals is that drain cleaners put a lot of toxic chemicals directly into the water supply. Additionally, these products are quiet dangerous to have around especially if you have pets or small children.

 

The bottom line is that chemical bathroom cleaners are unnecessary, dangerous to people and pets, harm the environment and are expensive. You simply don’t need them for most household cleaning situations. If you feel that you need to “call out the big guns” then turn to simple rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.

 

Keep in mind that most hand sanitizers, cleaning wipes and even hospitals use alcohol. Good old-fashioned alcohol is an amazing cleaner and cleans even the dirtiest and scariest germs. Don’t be afraid to clean like grandma and grandpa once did; after all, they survived just fine with soap and water and a little baking soda and vinegar and so will you!

 

 

 

 

 

The 3 Most Effective Building Heating Systems Ever Devised
Posted by January 02, 2016 at 2:51 PM under Alternative Energy

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During the cold winter months, it is impossible not to think about indoor heating, unless, of course you are living in a warm, sunny and tropical climate. For the rest of us, wintertime heating is a frequent thought, especially when it comes time to pay utility bills. Today, there are more options than ever when it comes to heating one’s home. Over the years, there have been many novel and highly effective ways to heat both homes and businesses. In this article, we are going to explore some of the most effective ways to heat buildings. The world of heating goes well beyond heaters and heat pumps.

 

  1. Geothermal Heat Pumps

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Geothermal heat pumps have a lot going for them. The concept of a geothermal heat pump is fairly straightforward, in that they work to concentrate heat naturally found in the earth. Pipes are buried a few feet under the earth, where it is warmer. Then that heat is transferred through the heat pump. This approach saves both energy and money.

While businesses both small and large can receive their power from geothermal energy, increasingly homeowners are realizing that they can benefit from the same approach. There is a substantial upfront investment to get your geothermal heat pump up and running, but in the near future the system should pay for itself.

 

  1. The Wonders of Passive Solar and Solar Heating

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Solar power is quickly becoming a reality. In fact, solar power technology is moving forward so quickly that regional monopoly power companies are scrambling. The idea that millions of people may soon be putting solar panels on their roofs has become a true reality. Solar home heating is a spectacular option for those looking to save serious money while at the same time help the environment.

 

Solar energy utilizes the sun to great effect, turning sunlight into energy and then into heat. Adding passive solar to the solar heating equation makes for a powerful one-two combination. Those looking for the most impressive way to heat one’s home using today’s technology are turning to solar power and passive solar. It is no accident that large corporations are beginning to place solar on the rooftops of their stores, warehouses, factories and beyond!

 

The simple fact is that passive solar is quite incredible. Passive solar, as the name indicates, is about taking advantage of what the sun has to offer, passively. Passive solar is all about thinking ahead and designing a home so that it takes full advantage of sunlight. The sun’s energy is used to heat a home and in sunny locations such as Colorado for example, passive solar can do wonders in both saving energy and cutting down on electric bills. Of course passive solar does have some requirements.

 

Just how good can passive solar homes be? Some proponents of passive homes and builders state that passive solar homes can heat and cool so efficiently that little or even no additional heating or cooling sources are usually needed. Of course this depends on factors such as region and the availability of sunlight. That stated, this approach to solar energy is remarkable in that it can help homes stay warmer and cooler without any additional energy use. Every dollar spent towards passive solar will save a tremendous amount of money in the long run. Those looking to substantially lower their carbon footprint may want to begin with looking at the passive solar options.

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Frequently people feel that taking advantage of passive solar is something that one must do in the initial building stages of a home; however, it is often possible to take advantage of passive solar in existing homes. A good example would be building a sunroom or adding a skylight or windows in the optimal location. Beyond making sure that a home has enough strategically placed windows, passive solar also benefits greatly from a home being well insulated. Adding high quality insulation to your home in the attic and insulating spaces such as crawl spaces and wall interiors with blown in insulation helps to make passive solar more effective. A well insulated home is a must for any home regardless of how it is heated and that is why passive solar is a true “no brainer” when it comes to heating your home.

 

  1. Underfloor Radiant Heating

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Underfloor heating can be seen as being one of the most energy-efficient methods of heating a home. Heat is spread throughout a home from underneath piping installed under floors. If you love having warm cozy feet, radiant heating may very well be something you want to consider. The idea is that the warmth not only heats up your feet, but that it spreads to your whole body. While this may seem like a new and novel approach, the truth is that it has been around since the days of the ancient Romans. A common practice was to have people fan small fires under their marble floors.

The only drawback to this highly-efficient system is that it must be installed when either a home is being built or remodeled. The good news is that the cables are very thin and don’t raise the height of the floor at all. Often this type of heat is installed where people will appreciate it most- bathrooms, mudrooms and kitchens.

 

A Promising Future for Efficient Building Heating Approaches

 

You may not feel that the systems outlined in this article are right for your immediate needs. That’s okay, but just remember that there are steps you can take today to decrease your energy usage and put more money in your pocket. If you do buy a new HVAC system, look for an energy efficiency one or consider a heat pump which is a more energy efficient way to heat and cool your home.

 

Geo heat pumps may be more expensive but they can dramatically reduce your overall heating bills for decades to come. Insulating your home with eco-friendly insulation such as wool or blue-jean insulation is another way to start seeing a return on your money from day one. As soon as you invest in insulation, you start saving, which helps to make insulation one of the best home improvement options around.

 

In the future, a combination of solar, passive solar and geothermal heat pumps will likely play a huge role in heating and cooling around the world. These technologies and building approaches have a vital part to play in lowering carbon footprints and helping the world avoid potentially dangerous climate change.

How to Wash Clothes with Poison Ivy
Posted by November 19, 2015 at 8:53 PM under Clotheslines and Laundry Home Living Tips

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The bad news is that you’ve been exposed to poison ivy. Obviously this is no fun; poison ivy is a truly unpleasant and painful experience. Its ability to negative impact your life goes beyond the rash. Once exposed to poison ivy, you’ll want to wash all exposed clothing to reduce the chances of experiencing yet more pain!

 

You are most likely to come into contact with poison ivy or poison oak while hiking or in the woods. One of the easiest ways to avoid poison ivy or poison oak is to stay on pathways, but the simple fact is that when it comes to enjoying the great outdoors you might not always want to stay on the “beaten path.”

 

Understanding “The Enemy”

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Adventuring out into the best of the great outdoors comes with a little poison ivy risk, but there are steps you can take to reduce that risk. At the top of the list is wearing clothing that will protect your skin such as long pants and long sleeve shirts and in some cases even gloves. Of course, knowing how to spot poison ivy and poison oak is an excellent form of prevention. A picture is worth a thousand words. Using an image search tool such as Google Images or Wikipedia to see images of poison ivy and poison oak is very prudent move.

 

Time for Cleaning

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Once you have come in contact with poison ivy that means you’ll want to wash all of your clothing as soon as possible. The first step is to carefully remove and store any contaminated clothing so that you don’t have to touch them. When you do touch any contaminated clothing using gloves is a smart move. Rather shockingly, the problematic compound in poison ivy, urushiol, can stay active not just for months, but for years. This factor also underscores the tremendous importance of properly cleaning any clothing, including boots and shoes that may have come into contact with poison ivy.

 

Once you’ve removed poison ivy contaminated clothing, you’ll want to wash the clothing in a washing machine; however, it is very important to avoid cross containing other clothing in the process. This means transferring your poison ivy contaminated clothing directly from your “poison ivy bag” directly into the washing machine and then dispose of or wash the bag immediately. Don’t forget to either dispose of the gloves you are wearing or to use disposable gloves when handing poison ivy contaminated clothing and items.

 

Use Multiple Washings
When it comes to washing the clothing you should absolutely use soap and hot water. Additionally, you will want to be on the safe side and leave your clothing in the washing machine and perform at least three washings, perhaps even a forth washing for good measure. While this may seem excessive if you’ve ever experienced the irritation and pain of poison ivy firsthand, then you know just how memorable of experience it can be. In short, take every imaginable precaution.

 

Avoid These Mistakes

Next, don’t wash non-contaminated clothing with contaminated clothing. You will also want to keep the loads small as this will allow the clothing to agitate more easily and increase the chances of removing the rather sticky and persistent urushiol. You’ll want to open up the lid to your washing machine, set your machine and pour in detergent before putting on your gloves and removing your poison ivy contaminated clothing.

A failure to adhere to this step could lead to poison ivy contamination of your machine surfaces.  No doubt this is an easy mistake to make, but it is also one that can serve to spread the poison ivy. There are times to worry about water conservation but when it comes to successfully tackling poison ivy doing a couple of extra loads of laundry is most definitely in your best interest. If you are worried about the extra water used, simply skip a couple of showers!

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Keep in mind that poison ivy is an expert at lurking in unsuspecting places. Poison ivy can make its way onto your hiking gear, jackets, the bottom of joes, shoe laces, car interiors, your bike seat, your backpack, your home’s rugs, seats or just about everywhere else. This serves to highlight the importance of immediately removing contaminated clothing and then thinking, quite carefully, about any objects you’ve come into contact with while wearing the contaminated clothing.

 

It May Be Time to Say “Goodbye” To a Few Garments

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If you are thinking that the precautions are quite serious, you are, of course, correct. Considering the pain involved with poison ivy, there are many that feel the best option is to simply bag up and throw away any contaminated clothing. While this may feel wasteful, there is something to be said for this logic.

 

Ultimately the best choice for dealing with poison ivy contaminated clothing may be to simply say “goodbye” to the items and move on. If this is not a financially viable option then you may want to consider washing the contaminated clothing even more times than the 3 to 4 suggested in this article. Poison ivy is a uniquely painful experience and one well worth the price of even a favorite pair of pants to avoid.

 

Urushiol is oil-based and quite powerful. It doesn’t come out of clothing very easily and once poison ivy gets into your skin you are in for a rough ride. Remember that poison ivy most definitely earned its poisonous name. It must be treated with respect.

The 5 Psychological Benefits of Decluttering
Posted by October 18, 2015 at 4:00 PM under Environment Home Living Tips

 

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Decluttering is your friend and, to be blunt, is nothing short of awesome. If you’ve never before experienced the wonders and joys of getting rid of your clutter then you are in for a real treat! Decluttering really can change your life and for the better.

 

The simple fact is that decluttering can and will suck up a great deal of valuable time. In the “old days” decluttering was a bit simpler than in the modern era.

 

Decluttering meant that you donated, recycled, organized or tossed out things no longer had any worth or value, such as old paperwork. However, storing digital information did serve to complicate matters a bit. Today, decluttering one’s computer is a major concern. Our smartphones, computers and other digital devices all contribute to a sense of chaos.

 

Clutter may have become more complicated and involved but the benefits of decluttering are the same as they ever were. Let’s take a look at the five psychological benefits you’ll experience when you start to say goodbye to the mess.

 

Benefit #1-Stress Reduction

Stress is an unavoidable fact of life, but that doesn’t mean you can be proactive and find ways to reduce your stress. Some of the stress we face is fixed or virtually fixed, for example, going to work, sitting in traffic, waiting in life and so on. Yet there are steps you can take to distress and one of those steps is to declutter your workspace and your home.

ache-19005_640It is stressful to have too much stuff sitting around and getting in your way. Clutter makes simple tasks more difficult and that triggers a stress response. Many of your old items are tied to things you find stressful or unpleasant bad memories. So why are you still holding on to this stuff? As it turns, out decluttering is a great stress reliever. It can provide a tremendous sense of relief.

 

Benefit #2-Improves Your Focus

 

Improving your focus can improve your life and mental health in a variety of ways. Clutter is amazing distracting. Now you may believe that your clutter no longer distracts you, but think again! Once you’ve removed it from your life, you will notice the difference.

 

You may think that those stuffed overflowing file cabinets or boxes in your workspace are not impacting you in any way, but the truth is that they can contribute to an overall sense of frustration and distraction.

 

With greater focus, you’ll be able to tackle jobs both large and small with less stress and greater efficiency. The benefits of greater focus are surprisingly diverse, for example, greater focus can lead to everything from promotions at work to tackling chorus at home to starting a new business, going back school and on and on.

 

The list of ways that greater focus can improve your life is almost endless. Embrace a decluttering mindset and you will see an impressive difference.

 

Benefit #3-A Sense of Accomplishment

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Looking around at a cluttered home or workspace can be depressing. Clutter often makes us feel as though we have failed to accomplish something important. By contrast, however, decluttering can infuse one with a real sense of accomplishment.

 

After all, many of us putting off decluttering because it can be unpleasant. The longer you’ve waited to get rid of your old stuff, the more unpleasant it may be. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tackle it head on.

 

Since we spend almost every day in our home or work spaces, the psychological benefits of decluttering can be surprisingly profound. The next time you feel as though you are not accomplishing what you want to accomplish, try getting rid of unnecessary items. You’ll feel better and you’ll enjoy the other diverse benefits that decluttering has to offer!

 

Benefit #4-Improves Your Environment

Much of your clutter is, in fact, unhealthy in nature. Many products that we are accustomed to having in our homes are toxic, degas harmful chemicals, collect dust that harms indoor air quality and more. Sadly, clutter can be more than ugly or unpleasant, as it can even be harmful.  If you want a very easy way to improve your indoor air quality and, in turn, improve your physical and mental health, then consider saying goodbye to items you never use or need.

living-room-457793_640Just remember that when you start moving around items that have remained untouched for weeks, months, years or even longer that a lot of potentially harmful dust may be released.

With this mind keep windows open, HVAC systems on if possible and leave areas if you start feeling ill, coughing or sneezing.

 

Benefit #5-Boosts Your Mood

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If you want a quick mood booster, then decluttering is the answer. Now it is important to note decluttering may feel stressful while you are actually doing it, but hang in there! Once you have your space organized, you’ll feel much better. Most people like having organized living and workspaces. Consider the work you put into achieving such a space a gift to your future self’s mood and well being.

 

A good rule of thumb is that if it’s not something you really need or that’s currently making you happy when you see it, it’s time to say goodbye.

 

Embrace Decluttering for a Better You

 

Above all else, never lose sight of the fact that decluttering isn’t a waste of your time. It will actually return far more time to you than you lose. In the end not only will you gain time, but you will also reap considerable mental and emotional benefits as well. Decluttering may be a difficult or even a little stressful, but it is also your friend.