3 Tips to Help Keep Your Sewer Line Cleared

A sewer back up can be one of the costliest, messiest and most stressful problems you will ever have to deal with. It is possible that raw sewage can back up into your toilet, sink and bathtub, eventually overflowing into key areas of your house. It’s admittedly a disgusting topic to talk about, but it does happen, and it is important to know how to prevent it. So, here are a few tips on how to clear a mainline blockage:

1. Clear Roots

These are the most common culprits behind sewer backups. Roots belonging to trees and shrubs seek moisture underground and can, therefore, make their way into sewer lines through cracks in the pipe. Typically, they start small but grow and eventually obstruct the line, allowing waste to build up and back up. Here are some tips on using salt to get rid of such tree roots.

  • Obtain 4 pounds of rock salt and flush it down the toilet in the evening before the family goes to bed. That will give the saltwater at least 8 hours in the sewer line. For that duration, do not use any drains in the house to avoid diluting the saltwater.
  • After 8 hours, flush the toilet again and resume use of the drains in the house.
  • Follow this practice about once or twice a month. Any tree roots in the sewer line will die from the excess of sodium, and the lines will soon be clear.

2. Clear Paper Products

These include such products as paper towels, sanitary towels and diapers that are not intended for flushing. These products aren’t like toilet paper in that they do not disintegrate easily. They can, therefore, block the sewer line and cause a backup. To prevent this from happening, they should not be flushed down the toilet but should instead be thrown in the garbage.

Sanitary towels and diapers should never be flushed down the toilet as they tend to clog the sewer line the fastest. This also includes tampons. All of these should be disposed of in a specialized garbage bin placed next to the toilet, such as the ones in public restrooms.

3. Avoid Putting Grease in Drains

Grease is another culprit that has a way of causing backups. You should avoid, as much as possible, pouring grease down a drain. This also applies to cooking oil as it often has the same effect. Some people believe that using hot water to wash grease down the drain helps. That is not true. The grease will go down the drain more easily, but it will eventually cool off further down the drain and solidify. When it does that, it will clog the drain and cause a backup.  The line will have a harder time letting water through and get clogged.

The best solution is to pour the grease into a container that is resistant to heat and let it cool off. You can then dispose of it in the garbage.

Sustainable Wood Flooring – What You Need to Know Before Fitting New Floors

Updating the flooring in your home is one option if you want to make an impact without breaking the bank. It’s also going to increase its value, especially if you choose wood flooring. Design trends come and go but you’ll never go wrong with a wooden floor. An increasing number of property owners are looking for ways to be more sustainable with their home improvement projects and, when it comes to sustainable flooring, engineered wood fits the bill perfectly.

engineered-wood-flooring

Why Engineered Wood is a More Sustainable Choice

The process of manufacturing engineered wood flooring uses far less of the tree per plank than a solid hardwood floor. This alone makes it a more sustainable, environmentally friendly, and natural wood product. Because the process doesn’t involve and toxic glue, engineered wood flooring is also better for your health. They manufacture bamboo floors and LVTs using toxic glues which are not good because they can contaminate the air you’re breathing.

How can you tell whether the wood flooring you’re looking to buy is really sustainable, and what does sustainability actually mean? Let’s see if we can answer these questions for you.

Is There a Difference Between “Sustainable” and “Green”?

The terms “green” and “sustainable” have become marketing buzzwords but what do they mean? “Green” is a term generally used to describe any type of product that has a positive environmental value. It’s a pretty loose term and can be used to describe a product that a company has manufactured using renewable resources. If the product brand falls short in production and disposal, it doesn’t make a difference to its “green” label.

Sustainable, on the other hand, is a label with far higher standards. It should not impact the environment in any way, throughout its life cycle, from harvesting to disposal.

Buy Your Flooring From a Supplier With an Excellent Reputation

Spend any time researching engineered wood flooring before you make your choice and you’ll encounter a number of different retailers. Most of them are going to be reputable, but you have to be careful if you want to avoid the misleading and unethical ones. If you find a retailer with a sustainable or green logo on their website, check to see what it actually means. It may be that all their products and ethical but equally, there could be just one product that fits the bill.

sustainable-wood-floor

If you can’t find the information, you need to clarify the product you want is sustainable, don’t be afraid to contact the retailer. They are obliged to make things clear.

A Glance at Environmentally Friendly Certifications

Across the globe there are around 600 environmentally friendly labels, 36 of which relate to forest products. Some of these may also indicate a product is sustainable. For the flooring industry, you need to be looking for the following:

  • GREENGOLD Gold – interior materials and products with low chemical emissions.
  • Indoor Air Advantage Gold – products comply with the strictest of indoor air quality emission standards.
  • FloorScore – products meet strict air quality requirements for indoors.
  • FSC (The Forest Stewardship Council) – promotes responsible management of the world’s forests. Together with the Programme for the Endorsement of Forestry Certification they help guarantee wood comes from sustainable sources. This means it is replaced after harvesting and does not harm the environment and neighbouring ecosystems.

Carefully Read Product Instructions

Manufacturers customise their installation and care instructions. Follow those instructions to the letter and your perfect floor will last. This applies even if you’ve hired a professional to install your flooring. Don’t leave them to rely on their previous installation experiences. It doesn’t matter whether the flooring being installed in plank flooring, chevron flooring, herringbone, or Versailles panels.

When it comes to cleaning and taking care of your flooring, make sure you use eco-friendly products and follow the advice of the manufacturer. Don’t be tempted to use home-made cleaners that contain vinegar or other types of acidic ingredients. They will destroy the finish of your floor. Make sure these cleaning products are available for the installer to use as well. Also bear in mind that if you fail to follow the manufacturer’s instruction, the flooring will not be covered by any warranty.

If you want to respect the environment, choosing sustainable wood flooring is the best way to do it. The tips we’ve shared above will help you find the best flooring for your home.

About the Author

This article was written by Martin O’Callaghan of Wood Flooring Ireland who are have been providing the Irish market with Wood Flooring sourced from sustainable European Forests.

All You Should Know About Utility Bills in Calgary

Money is a scarce resource. Don’t let monthly bills break your bank while there are numerous things you can do to minimize them. From adding attic insulation to insulating outlets, and installing programmable thermostats, you’ve countless options for reducing your utility bills.  Check out the following tips for cutting down your monthly expenses affordably and more effectively. Plus, you will learn everything utility bills.

eco-friendly-business-practices

Incorporate Attic Insulation

Most of the energy people use at their homes goes toward heating or cooling. Research shows that most of this heat escapes to the attic. Most homes lack enough insulation up there to prevent heat from getting out.

Fiberglass insulation is extremely cheap and easy to install. In fact, you can quickly install them on your own. By effectively insulating your home, you could actually save up to 20 percent on your heating, as well as, cooling costs.

But if you can’t install attic insulation yourself, you can always get help online. There are numerous DIY tutorials that can help you through the process.

Install Programmable Thermostats

By installing a programmable thermostat, you’ll be able to save up to 10 percent on your utility bills. Set your unit’s temperature to drop during winter months and raise them during the summer months when you aren’t home. You can then program the unit to return to more comfortable temperatures right before you get home.

This will go a long way in reducing your energy bills and saving you substantial amounts of money. So, what are you still waiting for? Act fast! For more information, visit http://regionalenergy.ca. 

Insulate Outlets

Did you know that outlets and light switches can be a major source of air leaks? To prevent this, consider insulating them, particularly if they’re positioned on an outside wall. There are numerous types of specialized seals and insulation materials to choose from. And they’re specifically designed for outlets, as well as, switch plates, so you don’t need to worry about fire risks.

Upgrade to Low-Flow Showerheads

Older showerhead models generally put out 5 gallons of water per minute. On the other hand, low-flow showerheads put out a mere 1.5 gallons per minute and still allow you to enjoy forceful showers.

Even more, they’re easy to install. If you want something more efficient and affordable, then go for a low-flow showerhead.  It will help conserve water and save substantial amounts of water every day.

Insulate Water Heaters

Did you know that insulating an older water heater could help you save up to 9 percent on water heating costs? Well, now you know. Insulating hot water heater jackets can prevent standby heat losses by 25 to 45 percent, allowing you to heat your water easily and more efficiently. 

Why you should install a Smart HVAC Based System

The HVAC system accounts for more than half of the energy consumed in your home. That’s why a fault system is likely to increase the overall energy consumption in homes. However, with proper maintenance, you can lower these energy bills and still have comfort in your home. So, if you are planning to install an HVAC system in your home, keep reading. Among other things, you will learn about the benefits associated with installing smart based HVAC systems in your home.

Lowers Electricity Bills

Energy bills can be annoying, especially when they skyrocket. Even more, the global energy sector is strained. That’s why energy costs keep on increasing. But does this mean letting nature take its course? No. You can do something to lower these bills. In particular, switching to a smart based HVAC system can be your answer as far as reducing the energy bills in your home is concerned.

hvac-repair

According to the stats, installing smart system in your home can save you up to 20 percent in terms of energy bills. Plus, they are more efficient and reliable. They utilize smart technology that heavily uses sensors to cool or heat your interiors. Even more, these systems are great at lowering your overall carbon footprint since they are environment friendly.

Superior Temperature Variability

One of the biggest pluses of these smart HVAC systems is superior temperature variability. With a smart system, you have an HVAC that will give you the power to control tempt variability according to your needs. This means that users can cool and heat specific rooms effectively without moving from space top space. This saves time and gives you an easy time as you relax or go about your activities.

Clean Air

Another good thing about smart systems is that they give you access to smarter air. Remember, the quality of air is important when it comes to your health. And that’s where smart HVAC systems come in. With these systems, you have a solution that will reduce stuffiness as well as drafts. So, if these are the things that you are looking in an HVAC system, then go the smart way.

You Can Access Then Remotely

Smart technology gives users access to their systems from remote settings. This means that even if you are at work, you can still monitor the functioning of your system. Thus, it’s possible to set the temperature of your room from your workplace before reaching home. This not only reduces energy costs but also improves the overall efficiency.

smart-homes

Why Utility Bills Keep On Increasing

The dreaded energy bill is coming. It can be annoying. If you are unlucky, it will deflate your bank account. Of course, you can try several measures to control the energy budget. However, things may not work out, especially if you don’t pay close attention to your HVAC system. According to research, the HVAC is responsible for almost half of the energy costs in homes. Thus, if you need to bring these bills down, work on your HVAC system. It’s one of the best starting points. So, if you have been wondering why your monthly bills are steadily increasing, sit back. Here are the top reasons why your energy bills are not going down any time soon.

Age, Maintenance

Age has a big say when it comes to the performance of your HVAC system. An old system tends to be less efficient. This means that it will work more to cool or heat any space. So, if your system has served you for years, expect the bills to continue going up. Similarly, a poorly maintained HVAC system tends to be inefficient. This means that it will consume more energy and pump up energy costs. However, don’t let these factors continue draining your money.

You can install a new HVAC system and drive the bills down. If you have the cash, consider going for a smart system. It’s efficient, convenient, and highly reliable. Also, consider maintaining your system on a regular basis. Consult with your heating and cooling contractor to schedule maintenance. According to experts, it’s advisable to do it twice per year.

Operating Costs

The operating costs at a particular time can influence the amount you pay towards offsetting your energy bills. For instance, systems that were developed in the 1990s are less efficient than their modern counterparts. This can be attributed to the emergence of technological advancement. For instance, sensors have made these systems more smart and efficient. Thus, they consume less amount of energy, which plays a key role in bringing the energy bills down. Customers are advised to install the newest HVAC systems to bring the energy bills down.

Features

Features also play a key role when it comes to cutting down energy costs. Modern systems come with sophisticated features that make them more efficient. For instance, the efficiency standards of modern equipment are on an upward trajectory. This means that modern systems have superior performance and efficiency than their older counterparts. Standard such as SEER, HSPF, as well as Annual Fuel Utilization is important in determining the efficiency of any system.  Also, energy features like variable-speed fans, heat exchange technology, as well as variable speed based compressors can make your system more efficient.

The Locality’s Climate

Your local climate can also increase or lower the amount of money you pay towards energy bills. For instance, if you are located in an extremely cold setting, you will need more energy to heat the interiors. Consequently, your energy bills will be higher. On the other hand, those located in extremely hotter environments will spend more money to cool the interiors.

Additional Factors

Also, the following additional factors play a key role when it comes to the energy bills of any home.

  • The thermostat and other control settings in your system
  • How the unit was installed
  • Maintenance levels of your system
  • The level of insulation in any home
  • Windows, doors, and other openings in your home.

The Bottom-Line

Are you looking for quick ways to reduce your energy bills? Well, there are actually several measures you can undertake to minimize your electricity costs. According to http://www.regionalenergy.ca/alberta-natural-gas-company/, these measures include insulating outlets and switches, installing a programmable thermostat, insulating your water heater, and installing a low-flow showerhead. Doing this will go a long way in reducing your utility bills and saving you junks of money.

A Guide On HVAC System Repair

HVAC maintenance and HVAC repair sometimes become necessary in certain situations. This is especially the case during hot summers. A malfunctioning unit can not only reduce comfort in the house, but also set the homeowner back large sums of money due to inefficiency.

hvac-repair

Heating Service Repair

Like with other domestic appliances, there are several things which could go wrong within a HVAC unit. Some of these problems occur more frequently than others. It’s possible to fix some issues without having to call an air conditioning expert.

If the house starts becoming unbearably hot, the first thing to check would be the thermostats. Older units can be accidentally switched from cool to off, especially when bumped into. Their digital counterparts are also affected when the battery starts losing power.

If lowering the thermostat fails to make the unit turn on, it could be due to a blown fuse or a tripped breaker. If this is reset or the fuse replaced and the problem still persists, it’s advisable to contact an electrician. Outdoor units that run constantly also tend to freeze up. This can be rectified by turning the unit off for some hours to let it thaw.

DIY AC Repair

Not many homeowners can undertake such a task on their own. This is because the expertise and equipment involved are usually advanced, which brings in the need for a trained specialist. Nevertheless, there are several things that one could check on their own to enhance the performance of their unit.

If the compressor fails to turn on, the breaker and fuse would be the components to check. A running unit that isn’t cooling could be due to low refrigerant level. This would require professional help to replenish. The condenser coils on both sides should also be checked to see if they’re dry. If this is the case, one would need to brush and vacuum them. One can do this at least twice each summer.

Hiring Expert HVAC Technicians

At best, the things that a typical homeowner can do on their own are limited. Typically, an issue will be too complex for even well-acquainted individuals to handle. Once it’s established that the hitch is outside an individual’s scope, there are several things one needs to consider before hiring an expert.

Ideally, a HVAC unit should be repaired before the summer season starts. This is because technicians get quite busy as the hot season progresses. This high demand makes it hard to schedule an appointment.

It would thus be prudent to call a furnace contractor in Brownsburg Indiana before the season starts. Typically, one is likely to land a convenient appointment time, and could even save some money. One will also be prepared for high temperatures that could occur later on in the season.

Going Green – Are Green Finance Deals Really Worth It?

Whether you are looking to go green because you are selflessly trying to help save the planet, you want to save some of your hard-earned cash, or, most likely, a combination of the two, deciding to make your lifestyle and your home more environmentally friendly does come at a cost.

Green Finance

Fortunately, lenders are now offering more cost-effective ways for you to embrace sustainability. From solar panel agreements to energy improvement mortgages to short-term loans for smaller green changes, keep reading to discover all the green finance deals on offer.

Energy Improvement Mortgages

If you are looking to make eco-friendly improvements to your home, such as more energy-efficient windows, additional insulation, or a better heating and cooling system, an energy improvement mortgage can help you to achieve your goals.

For those that already have a mortgage, you can increase your loan amount to cover the costs of your new upgrades. Although this will increase your monthly mortgage payments, you will recoup this over time through lower energy bills.

In fact, by simply installing double-glazed windows in your home, you can expect to save $250-$300 per year. Given that these windows can last up to 20 years, this could save you $6000 over their life span. Furthermore, if you choose to install triple-glazed windows, you can expect further savings of between 5%-10%.

Short-term loans

If you are looking to make a series of smaller changes to your home, which do all add up to significant savings, your best bet may be to take out a short-term loan.

Cashlady offers quick cash loans that can be approved almost immediately, typically lending lower amounts that are paid back within short timeframes.

Small green upgrades that you may want to consider making include:

  • Installing LED lights that last longer and waste less energy than standard fluorescent bulbs – save up to $75 a year.
  • Fixing any inside or outside leaks – save up to $35 a year.
  • Replacing an old toilet with a WaterSense model – save $100 per year.
  • Planting shade trees – save $35-$199 a year.
  • Purchasing energy-efficient appliances. By upgrading all of your appliances, including your dishwasher, oven, fridge-freezer, and kettles to ones with a higher efficiency rating, you will use up to 40% less energy.

Solar leasing or PPAs 

Did you know that more than 75% of American households have access to third-party owned solar power?

What exactly is this?

Both solar leasing and power purchase agreements involve the solar provider in question paying for and being the rightful owner of your solar power system. They will take care of the system installation, the maintenance, and any repairs that need carrying out.

solar-leasing

Solar leasing can be advantageous, as you do not need to pay for any upfront costs to install the solar system. However, the savings you make will be less than if you purchased the solar panels outright, plus the provider is entitled to the financial incentives for going solar.

Alternatively, if you want to purchase solar panels outright, you could consider a home equity loan. Buying solar panels is not a cheap option (you can expect to pay between $10,000 and $30,000 depending on the size of your home). However, they are expected to last for at least 25 years with a less than 10-year payback on the system, meaning you could potentially enjoy 15 years of free electricity.

How to Reduce HVAC Energy Consumption at Home and Cut Your Power Bill

Heating and cooling account for more than 50% of home energy consumption. If you are paying a lot in the name of energy bills, your HVAC system is most likely the primary cause. It is vital to cut down on the energy consumption of utilities to save money (and energy). Energy companies such as American Power and Gas, suggest consumers and homeowners pay special attention to their HVAC system. as heating and cooling cost make up about 40% of your energy bills.

It may also be wise to consider switching to a system that operates on solar or other forms of renewable energy––Providing if it can be afforded.

Here are some ways you can reduce HVAC energy consumption:

Programmable Thermostat to The Rescue

HVAC units can be made to consume less energy with the help of programmable thermostats.

The DOE recommends reducing room temperature to 15 degrees in winters when you are not home for 8-10 hours. Similarly, they suggest increasing the temperature by around 15 degrees in summers when you are not going to be home for half the day. This will help you save about 15% more energy annually.

The benefit that programmable thermostat gives you is that you won’t have to manually adjust the temperature every day. You can simply program it to change the temperature and save energy. It also has the added plus of operating on a timer so you don’t have to worry about leaving it on throughout the day.

Maintain The Coils Of Your AC Unit

The outdoor unit of the AC can allow dirt and debris to pass through it and gather around the coils and reduce the efficiency of the AC, as a result the unit consumes more energy to keep the room cool.

Keep your outdoor unit clean from dirt, fallen leaves, and other debris to make it work perfectly. If you believe that your outdoor unit needs cleaning, shut it off and use a vacuum to pull out all the dirt.

Inspect Air Filters 

Air filters need special attention as they can get blocked due to dirt and debris. They need to be replaced every season as damaged filters put extra pressure on the unit causing energy to be wasted.

Other than this, you should also replace the filters every now and then. This is not a very tough job and you can do it on your own.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Remove the filter and check for debris stuck in the filters.
  • Keep the filters under light to see if it’s able to pass through. If it doesn’t then you will have to wash the filters.
  • Clean the filters with a toothbrush, or another such tool first.
  • Put the filters in soapy water for a few hours, dry and see if the light passes again. If it does then you can re-apply those, otherwise, you may have to change the air filters.

The average life expectancy of air filters is about 2 to 3 months if they aren’t maintained. Otherwise, they can easily run for a year.

Out With The Old, In With The New

HVAC systems can be costly but if you have been using one for more than 10 years now then it’s time to replace it with a modern and an energy efficient HVAC system.

AC Coils of HVAC systems require regular cleanup

A Clean Way to Cool Down

You can also consult with your energy provider regarding making the switch to renewable energy services. You can also look into energy storage systems such as Tesla’s solar panels that can drastically cut your power bill and provide clean sustainable energy for your home.

The Verdict

Around 48% of US home energy consumption is directly attributable to HVAC use and heating or cooling. These are some of the most efficient ways which you can reduce the amount of energy consumed by your HVAC system.

4 Reasons Why LED Lights are Saving the Earth

Saving the Earth is on top of the list of most product designers these days. On a daily basis, we contribute to global pollution. From our homes to our jobs, lighting is a big factor in our everyday life. Our goal is to find life-changing ways to save Mother Earth from destruction.

Let’s start in places we usually go to like the house, office, restaurants, and malls. One of the factors contributing to environmental pollution is lighting materials. Most lighting materials increase the consuming of carbon footprint and chlorofluorocarbon. With the advancement of technology comes the birth of LED (Low Emitting Diode). It is the next big thing when it comes to interior and exterior architecture without compromising the Earth’s current state.

With these in mind, we have four convincing reasons why LED lights are saving the Earth.

Made of Non-toxic Materials

Unlike incandescent and other traditional lights, LED lights are made of non-toxic materials. This does not just affect the environment but as well as its users. LED lights are carefully manufactured with the idea that it frees the Earth from contamination and pollution. Efficient disposal is also what makes it environment-friendly. It alleviates the toxic waste produced by the material composition of traditional lighting.

LED lights are established to lower the environmental impact of lighting. The absence of mercury makes it easier to use and to dispose of. Traditional lighting can produce a toxic gas which can harm both the environment and the people.

Moreover, LED lights sold in the market is a big step to the people they cater to. They do not contribute to the increase in temperature because they don’t produce ultraviolet rays. Their excessive heat and vibrancy can cause a hazard to our environment.

Durable Lighting Design

What we loved the most about LED lights is their durable design. On average, an LED bulb can last from 10 to 15 years. Their lifespan is six times more than a traditional bulb. Even after a decade, the vibrancy of the light is maintained regardless of the daily usage. Since it’s energy efficient, it reduces the number of times required for replacing your lights. The longer lifespan offered by LED lights results to lower carbon emissions.

The durable lighting design of LED lights ensures the safety of the Earth. Lowered number of replacements mean lowered costs in purchasing, delivery, and installation of lights. In line with this, you get to minimize the waste product produced by your home or establishment. The composition of LED lights promotes the efficiency of utilization and disposal. Even at the last second, you get the best value for your money without compromising the safety of the Earth

Comes in Different Variants

Apart from the amazing specifications of LED lights, they come in different shapes and sizes too. The birth of LED lights introduced the art of lighting. Some light variants feature different colors and vibrancy you can play in just a click away. Smartphones and remotes are used to take control. Moreover, LEDs are more than just bulbs. They come in different types too. Bulbs, floodlights, decorative, strip, and downlights are what the LED light family is comprised of.

LED-lighting-workplace

With these features, you can choose the best LED lights depending on utilization. Some can work indoors, outdoors, and some can be used in both. They are considered as a piece of unique lighting equipment because it gives you the ability to be creative with lighting design. You can use it for home and establishments’ to promote its atmosphere. These lights are commonly found in factories, restaurants, offices, streets, hotels, and walkways.

Energy-efficient Lighting

On average, you can save up to 90% of electricity costs with LED lights. Unlike traditional lighting, they are an economical choice. Their lighting capability will not require you to fill the room with a number of lights. LED lights are the best example of direct lighting. Lesser number of lights are required to give you the same amount of lighting as traditional lights. There is no energy wasted because it is capable of emitting lights in all directions.

Using LED lights are ideal especially for office buildings and factories. Since they light a bigger space, they save a bigger percentage designated for electricity. LED lights convert 95% of their consumed energy into light and 5% into heat. They will give you the same amount of light as traditional lights with 36 watts consumed. This is a big help to the environment considering that they will demand less energy from power plants and fewer greenhouse gases emitted.

Promotes Productivity

LED lights have different benefits for their users. They the ability to promote productivity since the lights give you a cool relieving feeling compared to incandescent. These lights enhance your sense of concentration and energy. Incandescent lights, on the contrary, give you a warm and lazy atmosphere. The heat they produce tends to make you feel cozy. That is why most occupational buildings switch to LED lights to give the employees a sense of focus.

Conclusion

Switching to LED lights alleviate the demand and pressure on the resources of the Earth. We save money and energy from using these and at the same time, we are saving our environment. Knowing that the quality and brightness are not compromised, it’s an economical choice to make. Use these 4 reasons as an eye-opener on why you should switch to LED lights!

What To Do and What To Avoid When Redecorating Your Home

Do you long to redecorate your home? If you’ve been looking at all the interior trends for 2020 and feel inspired to make some changes to your current décor, you can start making plans to reimagine your home.

However, before you begin it’s worth having an idea of the good and bad elements of decorating so that you know what to look out for. To help point you in the right direction, here’s a roundup of the dos and don’ts to keep in mind.

home-redecoration

Do use textures

Whether you live in a compact apartment or a large house, having a mixture of textures can make a room interesting, especially if you have a neutral colour scheme. So, if you combine grey woolen throws with grey leather cushions, the clashing texture of the two lifts the décor, even though they’re the same colour.

Don’t add small items to a big space

If you’re redecorating a large space, think carefully about the accessories you’re including. Small paintings and other art pieces will be lost on big walls, so it’s worth considering the area you’re trying to fill before hanging anything.

Similarly, rugs need to fill the room. The edges of the rug should sit just underneath your sofa or armchair by a few inches. If you have anything smaller, it can make your room appear to be out of proportion.

Do be clever with colour

If you have a small room, filling it with bold jewel tones might make it seem even smaller, especially if you spend time in there. However, adding a splash of hunter green in the downstairs toilet or a burst of yellow in the hallway can make your entire home feel colourful. This especially the case if the rest of the décor is fairly neutral as the bolder colours stand out more.

Don’t use white if you have children or pets

Mud, paint, and food are more likely to end up on walls and carpets when you have children or pets running around the house. Therefore, white is a colour that doesn’t work well as you spend a lot of time wiping everything down.

Do test colours

Once you have a colour palette in mind, it’s worth buying a selection of tester pots. Add a huge block of the colour you have in mind for the room to the wall so you can see what it looks like in the light and how it fits in the space.

Don’t go over your budget

Home decorating can be expensive, so you’ll need to budget for the updates you make and account for this expense. By shopping around and planning your finances, you’re more likely to stick to what you set out to spend.

What do you have in mind for your home? Will you add a splash of colour or invest in a new rug?

Dealing with Household Hazardous Wastes

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) are leftover household products that contain corrosive, toxic, ignitable, or reactive ingredients such as paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, pesticides etc. HHW contain potentially hazardous ingredients and require special care and safe disposal. 

household-hazardous-wastes

A typical home can contain a vast array of household hazardous wastes used for cleaning, painting, beautifying, lubricating and disinfecting the house, yard, workshop and garage. The chemical-based household products from a single home may seem insignificant; but, when millions of homes use similar products, handling, storing and disposing them improperly may have the combined impact and becomes a major problem.

The health and safety of our families, neighborhoods and environment is threatened when household hazardous waste is stored or disposed of improperly. These products should not be put in the garbage bins or disposed in the storm drains or burned, as they pose a threat to human health and the environment. Thousands of consumer products are hazardous. The general categories are:

  • Automotive products: Gasoline, motor oil, antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, car wax and cleaners, lead-acid batteries, brake fluid, transmission fluid etc.
  • Home improvement products: Paint, varnish, stain, paint thinner, paint stripper, caulk, adhesives etc.
  • Pesticides: Insecticide and insect repellent, weed killer, rat and mouse poison, pet spray and dip, wood preservative etc.
  • Household cleaners: Furniture polish and wax, drain opener, oven cleaner, tub and tile cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, spot remover, bleach, ammonia etc.
  • Other: Household batteries, cosmetics, pool chemicals, shoe polish, lighter fluid, prescription medicines etc.

Each year, thousands of people are injured by exposure or accident involving hazardous household products.  Because of the dangers they pose. These products require special awareness, handling, and disposal.  In order to protect health and environment, every consumer should know how to properly use, store, and dispose of hazardous household products. 

Many common household products contain hazardous chemicals.  Once released into the environment, these substances may pose a serious threat to living organisms.  Small quantities of hazardous substances can accumulate over time to reach dangerous levels and contaminate the air, water, and soil. 

Here are some basic guidelines for managing household hazardous wastes:

  • Select the least toxic item and buying only the minimum quantity as required.
  • Read the entire label carefully for health warnings and use good judgment when choosing any product.
  • Store the product at a safe place and away from the children reach.
  • Avoid aerosol products.
  • Always use hazardous products in a well-ventilated area.
  • Never leave containers open.  Many products are volatile, evaporating quickly into the air. 
  • Always seal containers tightly after use.
  • Never mix chemicals and hazardous products. 
  • Do not use spent chemical containers for other purposes.
  • Wear protective clothing such as gloves and a mask when dealing with any hazardous material. 
  • Wash clothing exposed to hazardous materials separately from other clothes.
  • Do not eat, drink or smoke while using hazardous products.
  • Clean up the place after using hazardous products. Carefully seal products and properly refasten all caps.
  • Never put hazardous products in food or beverage containers.
  • Keep products away from sources of heat, spark, flame or ignition.
  • Know where flammable materials are located in your home and how to extinguish them.
  • Keep a multi-purpose dry chemical fire extinguisher in your home.

Summer Activity! Start an Indoor Garden!

If you’re worried about your kids losing academic skills over the summer, you might be searching for activities to keep them mentally stimulated. You might have already signed up for a summer reading program or researched some fun math activities. However, throwing in some hands-on science activities can also be fun and educational for kids!

bees-garden

Kids learn best when they’re actively engaged in an activity. If you’re looking for a fun hands-on science activity that you can start this summer and continue into the school year, consider growing your own indoor garden!

Benefits

Aside from providing a fun activity, there are additional benefits to starting an indoor garden.

  • Having plants around your house improves your air quality because they aid in air filtration.
  • If you opt for herbs, veggies, or fruits, you can use what you grow in your cooking
  • Plants are aesthetically pleasing
  • A garden will attract birds, bees, butterflies etc.
  • Taking care of plants can provide your child with a sense of responsibility

Gardening options

An indoor garden doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You can make it as large or as little as you would like.

A small garden can be as simple as getting a few small pots and placing them in your windowsill. Even watching a single seed grow can provide some good educational talking points. If you opt for this option, you’ll want to make sure you choose a window that gets a good amount of sunlight.

If you want to take your indoor level to the next level, you can invest in an indoor garden box to put near your windows. These are raised boxes specifically designed for indoor gardening. Most gardening stores sell them, or you can build your own. A bonus of building your own is that you can build it at the perfect height for your tiny gardener!

If you have older children who already have a good understanding of gardening basics or if you’re living in a small space, you might want to consider a hydroponic system. Hydroponics involves growing plants using a nutrient-rich solution instead of soil. You can find a number of hydroponic kits to get started available online, or you can build your own system.

For hydroponic systems, the kind of water you use is very important. If your home gets hard water or water mixed with many additives, it may be worthwhile to filter the water through reverse osmosis(https://ro-systemreviews.com) before using it for your plants.

What you’ll need

Plants

Decide if you want to grow flowers, fruits, vegetables, or herbs. After you pick what you want to grow, decide if you want seeds or cuttings. Starting with seeds is a great option if you have kids because they’ll get to see the entire life cycle of a plant. Seeds also tend to be less expensive, which can be useful if some of your plants end up not making it.

Containers

You can use almost anything for a container as long as there is proper drainage. You can buy plastic or clay pots meant for gardening. These pots will have drainage holes at the bottom.

For a less expensive option, you can dig through your recycling bin for old milk cartons, butter containers, or egg cartons. Just make sure to punch holes in the bottom of your recycled container for drainage!

Grow lights

If you live in a house or apartment that doesn’t receive a lot of natural sunlight, you’ll either need to invest in plants that don’t need a lot of sunlight or invest in grow lights. Grow lights are a great option because they are specifically designed to provide indoor plants with the light they need. Even if you live in the darkest of homes, a grow light will have you saying “Look at our new indoor garden”!

Growing medium

You’ll, of course, need something for your plants to grow in. If you’re going with the traditional container or the garden box approach, you’ll want to invest in a quality potting mix. If going for the hydroponic approach, you’ll want to choose a medium that works well with your chosen system.

Child-size gardening tools

Your child will enjoy having their own tools to garden with! Invest in shovels, trowels, and watering cans that are the right size for your child.

Connecting it to learning

The best way to connect your new garden to learning is by taking your child’s lead. Children are naturally curious, so wait for your child to ask questions. You and your child can then research the questions together, either on the computer or at the library.

Possible topics you’ll explore together include why do plants need sunlight, what the life cycle of a plant is, and how can you tell if a plant is healthy.

Remember — keep it fun! The whole point of your new indoor garden is to allow your child to explore the world around them. A great indoor learning environment creates happy and healthy kids.