Home & How-To

Home and How-To Content

We’ve talked about common cold weather myths, and one of the most common misconceptions about this time of year is that you don’t need sunscreen.  In fact, snow and ice can reflect up to eighty percent of harmful UV rays, so lather up with sunscreen even in the winter.


Winter is here and with it comes some outdated information about the cold temperatures, but don’t let winter health myths get the best of you!  For starters, cold air does not make you sick.


Unwrapping gifts this season is so much fun, but that gift wrap accounts for much of the twenty five per cent spike in waste during the holiday season.  So reuse paper you already have to avoid extra waste.


Olive Oil is a staple in many kitchens, but did you know that there are a slew of uses for olive oil that don’t involve the stove?  For instance, olive oil can be used as a natural eye make-up remover and a moisturizing shave cream.


Our schedules tend to be jam packed with work, school, and everything in between, but if you can carve out ten to thirty minutes for a nap, you may feel a boost in your mental and physical well-being.  There are many benefits to taking a nap including improved cardiovascular health and healthy weight management.


Pizza Box Recycling

Dec 13, 2016

You’re doing your part to recycle, but it can be confusing to navigate the waters of recyclable food containers.  Plastic jugs and milk containers are pretty easy; you can rinse those and send them out with the newspaper and other recyclables, but what about pizza boxes?


If you haven’t begun your holiday shopping yet, it’s time to start thinking about your gift list.  Save yourself the stress of long lines and crazy holiday traffic by staying home and making gifts.


LED Holiday Lights

Dec 9, 2016

Holiday decorating is a fun part of the season, but all those extra lights can really pack a punch on your power bill!  What’s a decorator to do?  Opt for LED holiday lights.  LED's consume seventy five per cent less energy than traditional bulbs and because they emit less heat than traditional bulbs, using LED's reduces the risk of a home fire.  LED's aren’t made of glass, so they’re less likely to break, and they last twenty five times longer than traditional bulbs. 


Dry Skin Remedies

Dec 8, 2016

Winter is here and along with it comes dry, flaky skin.  If you’re worried about some of the chemicals or compounds in common lotions, here are some natural alternatives to help relieve dry skin.  Although it may feel relaxing, avoid using very hot water in the shower or to wash your face as the heat can zap the natural moisture in your skin.


Emergency preparedness is a good idea any time of year, and your car is one place where you should definitely have a few emergency items on hand all the time.  Consider keeping things like jumper cables, a flashlight, a small first aid kit, water, and flares or reflective triangles.


Winter Heating

Dec 6, 2016

As the weather gets colder, you can really start to feel the pinch of heating your home when you receive that monthly power bill!  But your heating system, and the way you use it account for a lot of that bill.  Before you upgrade your system, improve the efficiency of your house- this will allow you to purchase a smaller unit and save you money on the upgrades.


Wood Pellet Stove

Dec 5, 2016

Heating your home in the winter accounts for a large portion of your power bill; that’s why many people are looking for thriftier ways to stay warm.  Freestanding wood pellet stoves, or models that fir into an existing fire place, are becoming more popular.


You’ve heard the term “living off the grid,” and maybe you’ve wondered how difficult it would be to wean yourself off the high energy costs of our modern times.  Luckily, alternative sources of energy are becoming more readily available.  Things like solar panels and wind mills can help lower your monthly power bill, but before you pull the plug, plan an experiment to see how well you can live for a full weekend by simply using less energy.  


So, you’re thinking about updating that bathroom.  You’ve learned about dual flush toilets, low flow faucets and shower heads, and maybe you’re thinking about hitting the flea markets this weekend in search of reclaimed items that you can use in your fresh bathroom.  Have you considered going a step further by installing more green elements like motion sensors for light sources so that the lights will automatically turn off when no one is in the room?  


We’ve been talking this week about ways to update your bathroom in ways that are eco-friendly and efficient, but that don’t cost a lot of money.  We’ve talked about upgrading your toilet, faucets and shower heads so they use less water, but let’s talk about decorative and aesthetic aspects of your bathroom.  Perhaps you’re ready to overhaul the entire room and you’re looking for cabinets, sinks, and even bath tubs. 


We spend a lot of time in our bathrooms and this is one room where water waste can get out of hand.  There are many things that you can do to mediate this waste like taking a shorter shower or installing a dual flush toilet.  But another thing that you can do is retrofit or replace your faucets and shower heads with low flow versions.  


Are you thinking about upgrading your bathroom or retrofitting it with green and eco-friendly fixtures?  When it comes to home improvements, your bathroom may be a room you’re avoiding because it can get expensive to update.  But you can install fixtures and materials that are easier on your power bill but that don’t cost a lot of money.  


If you’ve got a large family, then you know that laundry can pile up quickly and detergents are only getting more expensive.  You could try skipping detergent all together and let your machine do the scrubbing for you.  Or you could make your own detergent for a fraction of the price you pay for store bought brands.


Laundry Savers 2

Nov 24, 2016

You now have some good ideas to help save you money in the laundry room, so let’s keep the momentum going!  You’ll save money if you wait until you have a full load, but try not to overload.


Laundry Savers 1

Nov 23, 2016

We’re all looking to save money and one place you may not have thought to cut corners yet is the laundry room.  These are a few things you could try to help save money on your laundry.


When it comes to your laundry it can be difficult to know how to treat a stain so your clothes aren’t ruined.  But make it easy on yourself by printing a stain removal guide and post it in the laundry room!


  

Don’t you just hate it when you drop that big glob of spaghetti sauce on your favorite pants?  And then how can you make sure that stain comes out in the wash?


Sweater Re-purpose

Nov 18, 2016

It’s my favorite time of year: sweater season!  But if you’ve found a few sweaters in your collection that have just seen better days, don’t throw them out!  Cut squares from your favorite old sweaters and sew them together to make a comfy blanket.   If you’ve got a large sweater in just the right shade, turn it into a trendy pouf ottoman or decorative pillow for your living room.  


Gutter Cleaning

Nov 17, 2016

It’s not a fun chore, but if you’re a homeowner, then you should be cleaning out your gutters one to two times a year to avoid moisture build up and mold.  So, put on your rubber gloves, grab your ladder and a bucket, and follow these steps to keep your gutters clean.  Start in the corners or tight spots where debris builds up.  


Pest Free Home

Nov 16, 2016

Insects in your kitchen can be a real pain, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to march the little suckers right back outside again.  Washing your countertops with a mixture of equal parts apple cider vinegar and water will deter ants.  A mixture of one half cup of rubbing alcohol and one quart of liquid soap can make an effective pest control for whiteflies, aphids, mealy bugs, and scale insects.  


Dust Free Home

Nov 15, 2016

For those who suffer from allergies, asthma, or any other breathing condition, dust can be a real problem.  But there are steps you can take to moderate dust in your home.  Of course, step one is to change that HVAC filter regularly.  Invest in doormats – both exterior and interior to reduce dirt being tracked in from outside. 


Dangerous DIY

Nov 14, 2016

I’m all for doing a job yourself to save a little money, but in some cases, it really is best to call in a professional.  For example, decaying trees can be a real hazard, but pruning or removing one without a pro could cost you big time.  If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could drop large branches on your home.  And there are about 400,000 power tool related emergency room visits annually in the US, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.  


Trash Day Hacks

Nov 11, 2016

You’re doing your part to reduce waste, but trash day is just a fact of life.  Here are some everyday hacks to make trash day a little less annoying.  Don’t you just hate the struggle of getting a full trash bag out of the trash can?  Put an end to the tug of war by drilling a couple of holes in the bottom of the trash bin – this will reduce suction at the bottom making it easier to get that trash bag out.  


Mitigate Mosquitoes

Nov 10, 2016

Seems like mosquito season lasts forever!  But if you’re having problems with the little blood-suckers, search your property for any standing water that could be their breeding ground.  Birdbaths are great for inviting feathered visitors to your yard, but you should empty and refill that birdbath every day to prevent it from becoming a stagnant home for mosquitoes


We see them at work, we usually have them under the sink at home, and they can be found in most public spaces; but have you ever actually used a fire extinguisher?  Could you use one if you had to?  If you have a fire extinguisher at home, keep in mind that you should check it regularly to make sure the pin is still in place and the pressure gauge reads in the “ready” zone – if not, you need to replace it or have it serviced.  


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