Pay Your Electricity Bill Effortlessly

Utilities like water and power can end up costing nearly as much as your rent or house payment in a bad month. Unfortunately, you can’t cut off your water service to save money the way you could cut the cable. Here are a few tips to tame your utility bills and make it easier to pay your electric bill with ease.

Clean Up

Cleaning the coils on your refrigerator helps it work more efficiently. Cleaning the coils on your air conditioner can do the same, but your AC uses far more power than your fridge. Remove any debris from the air intakes, whether it is leaving piles up by the AC or the air vent to your furnace. Rinse the air filters for your room air filters, the air conditioner, and your dehumidifier.

Turn It Off

While the appliances that are sleeping may use less energy than when on, the reality is that they use almost as much power in standby as they do when active. The solution is to turn things off. Unless your game station is downloading updates, unplug it to save power. Turn off the TV instead of letting it sit in standby, or worse, use it as background noise.

When gadgets are fully charged, disconnect them from the charging station and turn off the charging station. If you can’t stand to turn off your computer, turn off the monitor instead. Turn off lights when they aren’t in use, and consider when you can utilize natural light instead. Don’t let appliances idly run while you’re busy. Get the clothes out of the dryer instead of letting it run every five minutes to prevent clothes from wrinkling.

Turn off the oven when you’re done with it. The same might be said for your pool pump or air filters. Does it need to be running? If not, consider turning it off for a while.

Track Energy Usage

You can get apps that report energy usage in your home. These apps can tap into your smart meter and tell you which appliances are consuming the most energy. If you can’t cut back on energy usage, you could get advice on how to shift energy usage in order to reduce your electric bill.

For example, running the clothes dryer at night may allow you to get utility discounts. One of the advantages of hydroelectric energy is that despite facing daily and seasonal variations, utility companies will still provide discounts when the demand for power is lower.

Set up the dishwasher to run a heavy load when you go to bed, and the cost per kilowatt maybe a third of what you’d pay if it ran during the day. You may also find that the AC is running heavily during the hottest part of the day.

Could you alter the thermal profile of your home so that it uses less energy while keeping you comfortable, such as not trying to keep the house at 65 when you’re at work? If you cannot get the house comfortable without the AC running full blast all the time, you may need to have the air conditioner repaired or replaced with a more powerful unit.

Check for Leaks

If you’ve ever heard the joke that you’re not heating the neighborhood, recognize that there is an element of truth to that joke. When you leave the door open while you’re bringing in groceries or getting the mail, you’re wasting the energy used to heat or cool that air. Gaps in your window frame and window stripping cost you the same way.

Leaks in your hot water heater waste both water and the energy used to heat it. Look for water leaks when you suspect them, too. Not only does this damage the structure of your home and wastewater, but damp insulation has a fraction of the thermal value of dry insulation. This is how a water leak could be contributing to your higher energy bills.

There are a number of things you can do to reduce your energy and water bills without radically changing your lifestyle. Then you’ll be able to save the Earth’s resources and money at the same time. It is truly a win-win for everyone.

Alternatives for Plastic Wrapping and Packaging

There’s no denying that plastic wrap has been a convenient product in most households for many years. However, as most waste disposal companies will tell you, its convenience is only for you – not the environment. It stops your sandwiches from going stale, but it also takes centuries to break down. Your one sandwich wrapper could be responsible for killing a myriad of animals while it sits there waiting to lose its structural integrity. Fortunately, there is a better way. Read on to discover many wrapping and packaging materials that could end up being better for the environment.

Glass Containers

One of the many reasons why people want to make the switch from plastic is because it can take centuries to break down. However, so does glass, so why use it? Unlike plastic which tends to lean toward being a single-use product, glass is something you can have forever. It’s one of the longest-lasting materials and will prove to offer no end of convenience.

In most cases, you can use glass containers in your fridge, freezer, microwave, and even oven. You couldn’t do that with most plastic products. Glass containers are also an excellent alternative for plastic in almost every way. You can put your unwrapped sandwiches in them and seal the lid shut. You can also put leftover dinner into them for reheating later.

Glass containers are even something you can take to the grocery store. Instead of a supermarket filling a plastic container with their deli items or bulk groceries, you can fill your glass jars. One product can end up having many uses, saving thousands of plastic wrap rolls and containers from requiring waste disposal.

Mason Jars

Mason jars have been around since the 1850s, but it’s only in recent years there has been a resurgence in their use. As consumers come to realize that plastic is not environmentally-friendly, they are starting to use sealable mason jars that serve a whole variety of purposes. Cafes are using them for beverages, and you can even use them for serving at home. What’s more, there’s nothing wrong with using them for produce, soup, grains, and more. Move aside plastic; there’s a new player in town.

Parchment Paper

If you are trying to minimize how much rubbish you send away for waste disposal, then consider swapping your cling film for parchment paper. Wax or parchment paper is an excellent alternative, while also breaking down far quicker than plastic wrap. It will still keep your sandwiches fresh, but with a much less detrimental impact on the environment.

Bees Wrap

Bees wrap is a relatively new product to hit the market, but it’s already making waves. It consists of cotton muslin cloth dipped in beeswax, tree resin, and jojoba oil. When you heat them with your hands, you’re able to seal food within. Both the jojoba oil and beeswax are also antibacterial which can offer exceptional benefits with preservation.

When you have eaten your sandwich, you don’t need to worry about impacting waste disposal. You can clean the wraps and reuse them.

Cardboard

Many countries around the world have banned single-use plastic bags, with New Zealand the latest nation to join the movement. It will only be a matter of time before waste disposal businesses notice the dramatic impact in plastic waste. That’s a good thing – but how will people package their goods, or carry their groceries? Cardboard is about to become far more popular than it is now.

Instead of packaging your items in plastic, you can store them neatly in cardboard boxes. They break down into the environment, are effortless to stack, and you can use them more than once.

Go Nude

For the sake of waste disposal, why not consider going nude? We don’t mean take all your clothes off, but why not avoid packaging altogether? Grocery stores are not making this process easy with the number of plastic-wrapped items they have, but you can be more conscientious about the purchasing decisions you make.

Put your vegetables and fruit in cloth bags and your loose bulk bin items into glass jars. Instead of buying pasta, rice, and other ingredients in plastic packets, buy them from bulk stores that encourage you to bring containers to put them in. If you can’t seem to avoid plastic, then draw up a meal plan that differs from what you usually do. You can then make an effort to eat food that will not arrive in packaging.

Conclusion

People used to cope without plastic for packaging and wrapping, and they can do so again. Think of the effects of waste disposal and how you can stop your contribution to the growing problem. Use glass jars and containers, buy ingredients in bulk, and stop using plastic wrap for your sandwiches. These might seem like small changes, but when 7.7 billion people follow suit, we can make a significant difference.

Top 5 Tips For Reducing Waste in Your Home

Reducing waste in your home is more important now than ever. As the environment is becoming more in danger because of greenhouse gases, climate change, and pollution, the need for humans to reduce their carbon footprint is imperative. However, even if people want to make an effort to save the environment, many people don’t know where to start and how to go about changing their everyday lives in order to become more eco-friendly.

Starting in your home is a great way to begin working towards an eco-friendly lifestyle. A custom home builder in Cherry Hill New Jersey, said, “Making your home environmentally savvy can mean installing something as large as solar panels or it can mean something much smaller; like using reusable shopping bags at the grocery store and not buying plastic products. Either way, making your home eco-friendly is important.”

Reducing waste in your home is easy and will have an outstanding impact on the environment. Here are some quick and easy tips to keep in mind that will help you reduce waste in your home:

1. Start Composting

Starting a compost pile creates less trash by recycling leftover food that would otherwise go in the trash. The point of a compost pile is to put the leftover, and even expired, food back into the earth rather than letting it sit in the garbage or in landfills.

compost_strategies

A compost pile is easy to start, all you need is a bin and some extra space. After you’re done eating something (as long as it isn’t meat, a milk product, or greasy processed food), you can put it in this bin and then incorporate it into your garden or yard every few weeks. Your food won’t go to waste and your garden/yard will get the nutrients it needs.

2. DIY Beauty and Household Products

Buying less plastic products is another great way to reduce waste in your home. However, most beauty and household products are packaged in plastic containers which makes reducing plastic in this way a major obstacle.

A possible solution to this issue is making your own beauty and household products like floor cleaner, deodorant, and toothpaste. Though buying the ingredients to make these products may create a small amount of waste, the ingredients are easier to buy in bulk so you will have to buy them less frequently and will be able to create ample amounts of beauty and household products.

Creating homemade products is also a great way to ensure you aren’t getting chemicals in your products that are damaging to the environment and will create waste or harmful toxins.

3. Meal Plan

Food waste is a huge issue in households. Often, between ¼ to ½  of a household’s weekly produce, meats, and milk products are thrown out at the end of the week. This is preventable with the incorporation of meal planning and meal prepping in your life. By starting a meal plan, you will only buy what you need and will be less likely to waste products because they expired.

food-waste-management

This will generate less waste in terms of food that will end up sitting in a landfill but also in terms of plastic packaging waste that food is packaged in.

4. Repair Instead of Replace

This is an easy way to create little waste in your home that many people don’t think about. When something in your home breaks, whether it is a small kitchen appliance or something large like a heater or part of a couch, take the time to repair it instead of getting a new one. If you repair an item, the original one won’t make its way to a landfill and you will get more life out of your products.

If an appliance or piece of furniture is unable to be repaired, make an effort to recycle some of the important parts; or, if you are in the market to buy a replacement, look online for used products or go to a secondhand store. This will create less waste and will also save you money.

5. Cancel and/or Recycle Junk Mail

Easy and free, by canceling and recycling junk mail will immediately reduce waste in your home. Most people don’t even look at the junk mail and toss it right in the garbage can. Canceling subscriptions only requires a phone call or email and will significantly cut back the waste that is generated in your home.

If you receive junk mail that is not sent to you via subscription and you are unable to cancel it, make sure to at least recycle it.

Eliminating junk mail will also help with decluttering your coffee tables and countertops, an added benefit to helping the environment.

Bottom Line

There is always room for improvement when trying to improve your lifestyle in terms of creating less waste. These tips are a great way to start making an impact on saving the environment before it’s too late. Reduce the waste in your life with minimal effort and small, simple changes.

CBD Oil Dosage: How Much Should You Take?

Cannabidiol or CBD is an active compound found in hemp and cannabis. Unlike Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, CBD doesn’t have addictive and intoxicating effects. That’s why CBD oil is a preferred alternative option for treating a wide array of medical conditions, such as pain, insomnia, anxiety, and seizure disorders. However, the question is how much should you take? In this post, learn more about the right CBD dosage so you can apply what’s best for your needs.

General CBD Dosage Considerations

Since CBD is obtained or extracted from a natural plant, it’s generally considered safe to consume. Like any other herbal plant, CBD is a plant medicine, and you can view here for more information about the therapeutic benefits of CBD. The right CBD dosage depends on a lot of factors that affect your bodily response, immediate effects, and outcomes.

Here are the important factors when determining the right CBD dosage for you:

  • Major complaint
  • Existing medical conditions
  • Body weight
  • Body’s response to CBD
  • Allergy or sensitivity

Standard CBD Dosage

The standard CBD dosage ranges from 10 mg to 100 mg per day. Standard doses are applicable for treating pain, infection, inflammation, arthritis, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, autism, autoimmune disorders, multiple sclerosis, and other health conditions. It’s also the suggested dose for weight loss.

Here are the recommended standard CBD dosage guidelines:

  • CBD dose per day: 45 mg to 60 mg.
  • Use 15% or 20% CBD oil. One drop of the 15% CBD oil has 5 mg of CBD, and one drop of the 20% oil contains 6.7 mg of CBD.
  • For the 15% CBD oil: three drops thrice a day for a total of 45 mg of CBD daily.
  • For the 20% CBD oil: three drops thrice a day for a 60mg of CBD daily.

Staggered Dosage

Gradually increasing CBD dose or dose staggering is generally recommended for first-time users. One study points out that staggering drug dose is an effective way to reduce drug interactions, which also applies to CBD dosage.

Here are the essential benefits of CBD dose staggering:

  • Assess the initial effects or body reactions of CBD, most especially among first-time users.
  • Find out if you have allergy or sensitivity to cannabis products like CBD.
  • Precisely determine the right amount of CBD oil that fits your needs.

CBD Microdosing

The Father of Microdosing is Dr. Albert Hofmann, a Swiss chemist that first synthesized LSD and lived up to 102 years old. His long life was associated with his minuscule LSD doses during the last 20 years of his life. Microdosing complies with the medical standards of starting low and doing it slow. It aims to manipulate cellular receptors to gain the desired physiologic responses or therapeutic effects with less doses.

Here are the general CBD microdosing guidelines:

  • CBD dose per day: 0.5 mg to 20 mg for stress, sleep, nausea, headache, mood disorders, PTSD, and metabolic disorders. This CBD dose is also applicable as a daily dietary supplement.
  • Use 5% CBD oil for microdose. One drop of 5% CBD oil contains 1.67 mg of CBD. Taking three drops thrice daily will give you 15 mg of CBD, which is the average recommended dose per day.
  • Make dosage adjustments according to your tolerance level.

CBD Macro-dosing

CBD macro-dosing or therapeutic dosing involves high-range CBD doses of 50 mg to 800 mg of CBD per day. It is recommended for treating seizures disorders, like epilepsy, cancer, liver disease, and other severe, life-threatening medical conditions. 

CBD Oil Dosage Guidelines

Every person is different, that’s why you have to find the right CBD dose for you. The average CBD dose is 25 mg for most people. For first-time users, it’s best to start with the lowest dose and increase slowly until signs and symptoms improve. For treating medical conditions, it’s always advisable to consult your doctor before consuming CBD.

Here are the different methods in consuming CBD:

  • Oral Administration: CBD is not absorbed into the bloodstream. Expect to feel the effects or benefits of CBD about an hour after intake.
  • Sublingual Administration: It usually takes 20 minutes for the effects to kick in when taking CBD oil under the tongue.
  • Smoking CBD: The absorption of CBD via the respiratory system provides rapid relief. It’s highly recommended for those who prefer immediate relief and can’t tolerate oral and sublingual CBD administration.
  • Vaping CBD: Vaping devices are now available which are specifically designed for CBD use, ranging from e-liquid pens, portable vaporizers, to desktop units. This method of consuming CBD oil is recommended for medical patients. 

Conclusion

The dose of CBD oil you need depends on your body chemistry. The effects and benefits of CBD are influenced by the manner of administration and your body’s response to a particular dose. For treatment of medical conditions, seeking a doctor’s advice is highly recommended for the best results.

Pet Waste Management in UK – Prospects and Challenges

Pet waste is a growing public health and environmental risk. According to a report commissioned by the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association, 13 million UK households (45%) keep pets of some kind. Cats and dogs are each kept by 8.5 million households (these numbers are not additive, as some will of course keep both).

pet-wastes

Can those of us who want both the joys of animal companionship and waste minimisation, find ways to cut down, or better manage, the huge amount of pet waste generated in the UK every year? With so many cats and dogs in the UK, pet waste must represent a significant mass of organic matter within the residual waste stream.

Does this waste represent a floater in the residual waste stream by necessity—due to inherently unpleasant and possibly dangerous characteristics of the waste—or is it only there out of convention and squeamishness?

I’ve written before about the relationship between waste management and squeamishness, and talking about faeces really brings the point home. There are some undoubtedly nasty pathogens present in pet faeces, notably the parasites Toxocariasis and Toxoplasmosis. But might these be safely killed off by the temperatures reached in anaerobic digestion (AD). If so, provided any litter and bags were made of organic matter, might pet waste be collected along with food waste?

I began by contacting a local authority waste officer, but was told that no one had asked this question before, and that I might be better off talking to AD plant operators. This I did, but most seemed similarly baffled by my query. However, one mentioned that AD digestate goes through a pasteurisation process, where it is heated to a temperature of 70oC for one hour, in order to make it safe for land application. I also attempted to contact some technical specialists in the field, but to no avail.

There are some theoretical indications that this pasteurisation should be sufficient. Hanna Mizgajska-Wiktor and Shoji Uga’s essay Exposure and Environmental Contamination states: “Anaerobic waste treatment kills Toxocara spp. eggs at temperatures in excess of 45oC”, well below the 70oC mentioned by my operator. The susceptibility of Toxoplasma to heat is less clear, although numerous internet sources suggest this can be killed in meat by cooking at 66oC. So far, then, I haven’t confirmed or falsified my initial inkling, and so the collection of pet waste in the municipal organic stream remains a theoretical possibility.

Motivated dog owners can already turn their pet’s waste into a resource within their own home. The website London Worms explains how you can turn your dog’s poo into rich and useful vermicompost, although it warns that the results will only be suitable for use on non-edible plants.

Foul Pay

Household pet droppings may still be largely fated for disposal, but even when binned this waste is at least moving through proper waste management channels. Unfortunately, not all pet poo is binned, and we have real data measuring public perceptions of the disamenity resulting from dog fouling. For most, the presence of this unwelcome waste in our streets, parks and footpaths is of much higher concern than its diversion from landfill. Therefore, it is necessary to make use of biodegradable dog poop bags to keep our environment clean.

A 2011 Defra-funded study on local residents’ willingness-to-pay — via an increase in council tax — for improvements across a range of environmental factors found that dog fouling was the third most important issue out of the presented range (with litter and fly-tipping taking first and second place). Surveys were conducted in inner-city, suburban and rural/semi-rural areas around London, Manchester and Coventry.

In order to move from the current level of dog fouling to the best possible scenario, it was found that inner-city residents would on average be willing to pay £8.87 per month, suburban residents £7.79 per month, and rural residents £2.72. Combining these figures with population statistics allows us to place a disamenity value on dog fouling. National statistics only allow for an urban-rural split, but based on a 2012 Defra rurality study which found that 18.9% of the population lives in rural areas, we can calculate that across England we would collectively be willing to pay £462m per year to achieve best case scenario improvements in dog fouling.

This somewhat crude calculation gives an indication of the perceived disamenity of dog fouling. Presenting the matter in terms such as these may allow economically minded policy makers a means of engaging with this important street scene issue and evaluating the costs and benefits of interventions.

Food for Thought

Let’s wash our hands of poo (with plenty of soap and warm water) and look to the other end of the pet waste problem. According to a report published by WRAP, the UK uses around 75,000 tonnes of primary packaging annually. This holds 1,263,000 tonnes of wet and dry cat and dog food, of which 9,000 uneaten tonnes are thrown away. Although this wasted food constitutes less than 1% of the total sold (if only we were as careful with food for human consumption) the estimated cost to the consumer is still £21m a year.

WRAP examined a number of designs intended to cut to down on the amounts of both pet food and packaging thrown away. A major problem with packaging design is the need to account for portion sizes, which vary from animal to animal and change depending on age and level of activity. Single serve packaging may actually lead to regular food wastage if the portion provided is too big for a particular pet; indeed, this is a problem I am experiencing with my own cat, whose appetite seems to fluctuate wildly. Re-sealable packaging that allows owners to dish out meals in accordance with the changing appetites of their pets is therefore preferable.

The material that packaging is made of is also significant: for example, relatively heavy tins are recyclable, whereas lightweight plasticised plastic foil packets are not. Pet food and its packaging can be pushed up the waste hierarchy by simply choosing a recyclable and resealable container which will allow them to adequately provide for the appetite of their pet. However, these issues are likely to be given less weight compared with health, convenience and cost in the minds of most householders. The onus has to be on manufacturers to develop packaging which is both low cost and easily recyclable.

Love pets, hate waste?

People love animals, but are rather less keen to engage with pets as an environmental issue. Leaving aside questions of whether it is sustainable for so many of us to have pets at all, there are clearly ways in which we can reduce their impact. The convenience of single serving pouches of pet food seems to win out over more recyclable and waste-avoiding alternatives, although pet owners might be willing to change their choices if presented with a better option.

While worrying about recovery options for cat poo might seem somewhat academic, it may be easier to tackle than dog fouling. It might even help to tackle the common psycho-social root of both issues. Cultural distaste perhaps lies behind the lack of information available on dealing with household pet waste, and the persistence of dog fouling as a street scene issue. Things were very different in Victorian London when “pure finders” earned a living by seeking out doggie doo to supply the tanning trade. But for us this kind of waste is a disagreeable fact of life which we deal with as simply and with as little thought as possible. But as a nation of animal lovers, it’s our responsibility to engage with the waste management issues our pets present.

Note: The article is being republished with the kind permission of our collaborative partner Isonomia. The original article can be viewed at this link

10 Small Ways to Make a Big Difference in Waste Reduction

At this point, pretty much everyone is aware that plastic drinking straws are bad for the environment, namely the animals that inhabit our oceans, rivers, and lakes. But that’s just one small aspect of the global waste problem we’re currently facing.

Becoming aware of the impact of straws began a major change in the way we drink beverages. Similarly, understanding how other wasteful behaviors negatively affect our world should help us all reduce our waste and become better consumers.

While it will take major changes amongst the masses to turn our trajectory around, it all begins when individuals start adjusting their personal habits.

Start making an impact on our Earth by reducing your waste in these 10 small ways:

1. Reduce Consumption

The first step to reduce waste? Reduce consumption. Start by logging where you are spending your money. Notice which areas cost the most and begin reducing in that area. Once you improve there, find the next budget category to tackle. By simply buying less, we can make a big difference.

2. Avoid Plastic Wrap

Instead of relying on plastic wrap to preserve food or make it portable, consider other eco-friendly alternatives, like Super Bee beeswax wraps. These can be washed and reused over and over again. They work for anything including sandwiches, partially used produce, and a bowl of leftovers.

3. Shop with Reusable Bags

You should strive to always bring your own shopping bags rather than getting a single-use one from the store. This will cut down on the clutter in your house and save a few bags in the process. If you forgot your bags, opt for paper instead of plastic and find a way to re-use it afterward.

4. Support Local

Locally made products require much less packaging, shipping, and manufacturing overhead. Buying these kinds of products supports lower-waste businesses and contributes positively to the environment. Farmers markets are great for purchasing delicious produce without any packaging.

5. Whatever You Do, Don’t Litter

Of course, you should never litter. Throwing trash on the ground with the assumption that someone else will pick it up is incredibly flawed. You should always pick up after yourself. In addition, you can make a difference by simply picking up after those who haven’t.

6. Reuse Food Containers

If your takeout is transported in non-environmentally friendly packaging, find a way to reuse it. Even if you only find one more use for it, you will have just doubled its life span and done a small part in reducing waste.

7. Start Your Own Garden

One way to really reduce the amount of wasteful packaging you consume is to start growing your own food. This will be a fun hobby, provide nutritious food, and cut your produce-related waste down to zero.

8. Stretch Your Groceries

Challenge yourself to stretch your groceries an extra day or two. This practice can help save you a nice bit of money each year and will ensure you’re using what you already have rather than consuming more.

9. Repurpose Furniture

Instead of buying a new couch, consider just reupholstering the fabric. Finding ways to repurpose old furniture cuts down on heavy item shipping costs and reduces the large amounts of waste that commonly come along with these types of products.

10. Recycle

If you’re not already, get on the recycling bandwagon. By separating your recyclable waste from your general trash, you can give many of your consumer products a second life!

Conclusion

Even if you are unable to accomplish all of the things on this list, working towards a few sustainable goals can make an impact. By becoming more mindful of how we consume and waste products, we can slowly improve Earth’s environmental state.

6 Tips to Help You Design an Eco-Friendly Bedroom

After you’ve tackled some of the major infrastructure projects that will make your home greener, you’re going to want to start working through individual rooms as well. Small, simple changes throughout your house can help make your home more eco-friendly.

Right now, harmful toxins and chemicals are probably lurking all over your bedroom. With a few changes, you can turn your bed room into a healthy, sustainable space that you can enjoy for years to come. Here are 6 tips to help you get started.

Consume fewer materials with recycled furniture

Instead of buying new furniture for your bedroom, extend the life of an existing piece of furniture! Head to a thrift store. You’ll likely be able to find a few high-quality pieces that have lots of life left in them.

By buying used furniture, fewer materials will be consumed to build new furniture. Another positive of buying used is that any toxic paint or stain will have already had time to off-gas.

When buying used furniture, don’t settle for the first piece you see. Shop around and find furniture that is built to last. Many prefer antique wood furniture because it was built to higher standards than today’s furniture.

Eco-friendly mattresses are easy to find

Most mattresses are filled with toxic chemicals, including flame retardants and formaldehyde. These toxic chemicals are released into the air, which could lead to you breathing them in for hours while you’re sleeping.

Non-organic mattresses are known to lead to health problems such as chest tightness and trouble breathing. Luckily, several companies are starting to produce organic mattresses that are eco-friendly and free from toxins.

Look for mattresses that are composed of organic wool, organic cotton, and natural latex. If you’re unable to afford a new eco-friendly mattress, air out your current one outside to help with off-gassing and use a dehumidifier within your room.

Plants improve air quality

Plants are a great addition to any room. They look pleasant, add natural odors to the room, and can also improve your air quality.

Certain types of plants can help purify your air. They reduce CO2 and increase humidity. Adding a plant to your room can get rid of that stale, toxic air and improve your health.

Plants that you might want to consider for your bedroom include peace lilies, Boston ferns, snake plants, and aloe veras. All of these plants can purify your air and are easy to take care of.

Go green with natural bedding materials

With such a wide choice of materials available for your bedding, you might wonder what the most eco-friendly option is. You’re going to want to look for sheets and comforters that are made of organically grown materials that are free from chemical dyes.

Hemp is a popular choice for sheets. Hemp sheets are breathable and can also help protect against dust mites.

For comforters, consider organic cotton or wool. Cotton comforters are great for the summer, because they’re lightweight and breathable. Wool is a popular choice for the winter because it holds in heat.

Stay away from toxic paint

Painting your room is a good way to quickly freshen up your space. Unfortunately, most paints emit harmful VOCs into the air.

Now that we have a better understanding of how toxic paint is, many companies are producing eco-friendly paint options. Look for paint that uses natural pigments and that is low in VOCs and biocides.

Many assume that eco-friendly paint only comes in natural shades, but this isn’t true. You can get paint in most colors. If you’re struggling to pick a color, most stores will provide several smaller cans of paints so you can test it on your walls.

Hemp rugs are stylish and natural

While there are carpets made of renewable materials available, not everyone wants wall-to-wall carpeting. Rugs are a great way to quickly make hardwood or laminate floor cozier.

The fibers of the fast-growing hemp plant are used in a variety of items, including in rugs. Hemp rugs are durable, come in a variety of natural colors, and are mildew-resistant. They’re also very easy to maintain—they just need to be vacuumed regularly.

Some people find hemp rugs to be stiff, but the material does soften over time. Other natural-fibers used in rugs include jute, seagrass, and sisal.

Final thoughts

It’s time to get rid of those toxic chemicals in your bedroom! Being mindful of what materials you’re using in your bedroom and focusing on improving your air quality are among the steps you should take to create an eco-friendly home.

The Best Warm Winter Getaways in the US

After working for a long time, it is always advisable to go on vacation especially if there is enough cash. Going on a getaway is one of the few things to do to have fun and keep body and soul together. There are lots of places that one could visit for a getaway especially if one’s family will be going as well. The best getaway is ways the family getaway where you go with your family to a new land. This is always a good thing to do as it binds family love. To enjoy getaway, it is importance to look for a perfect destination that will offer everything needed to have a memorable getaway.

United States is a good destination for getaways as there are lots of beautiful things and amazing places that will make the getaway awesome. The United States also has a record of hosting a lot of tourists every year because of the numerous tourist attractions and beautiful places in various cities and towns. Getaway in the United States is always unique because you will find your choice of interest in the various cities. Also, no matter your budget you will always find good places that are suitable for getaways. If you want your getaway to be fun, easy, and straight forward, you should know your targeted locations in the US before leaving your country.

There is a big difference between winter getaways and planning a trip in every other season. The winter is always cold, and it could be extremely bad in some cases. It is always advisable for every visitor to visit some of the perfect warm locations in the US whenever the trip falls in winter. After getting to the US, below are some of the best getaway locations that one could visit to have good time.

Leavenworth

This is a popular town in the state of Washington that is suitable for a winter getaway. There are lots of warm locations in the town that makes it easy for tourists to have a great time in the town. Since the weather is always closed during winter, it is better to go with a good winter jacket. Another way to have great time in the town during winter is to visit some of the warm locations. There are good parks to host family picnics, good restaurants to eat both native and foreign foods, and other sightseeing locations that will make you want to visit the town again.

The good thing about visiting Leavenworth for vacation is that a lot of things are cheap making it easy for foreigners to access almost every activity and event in the town. No matter where you come from, you will always find something interesting about Leavenworth town. Memories are very important, and it is good to keep a record of good events thus try as much as possible to take a lot of pictures in the beautiful town of Leavenworth.

The ESTA is compulsory for every citizen of VWP countries that are planning a trip to the US. ESTA check online to know if your country is eligible.

Truckee

This is another town that is suitable for getaways, especially during winter. It is a town in California that attracts a lot of new visitors now and then. Truckee is a place to be during winter as there are several warm locations that will enhance excellent satisfaction. This is a place to be if you want to impress your kids because they will enjoy their time in the town. There are numerous children fun centers that provide children with top-notch services that keep them busy.

Choosing Truckee as a getaway location will provide you with a lot of amazing things needed to have a fulfilled vacation. You will meet a lot of other tourists that have come to explore the small town thus try as much as possible to make new friends and buy the best cheap luggage. It is also important for one to take pictures to save good memories, and also make use of green ways to travel.

Ithaca

This is another good location for a good getaway. It is one of the most visited towns in New York. There are lots of sightseeing locations and landmarks that will make your getaway an unforgettable experience. Apart from exploring some of the amazing places in this town, you can also visit some of the popular cities in New York to explore some popular landmarks and sightseeing locations.

Ithaca town has a lot of warm locations making it a suitable location for a winter getaway. Visit some of the parks and recreational centers with your kids because this will go a long way. Exploring this town maximally will show you the beauty of Ithaca town and New York. There are a lot of beautiful places to take good pictures; try your possible best to take a lot of pictures.

The Impact of Smart Homes on Generations

America is already feeling the impact of smart homes. A large industry based on this technology is forming. But, what is the effect of it on the different generations? Here you can find a brief discussion of the impact of smart homes on generations.

What is a Smart Home?

Smart homes consist of all the different smart products owned by the user. These products are interconnected. It makes use of the internet to connect to other products. This technical feature is called the Internet of Things (IoT).

There are all kinds of products. Every room or space in a home can be automated by smart home products. You can even install smart devices into your backyard like smart lawnmowers and irrigation systems.

Benefits for all generations

Smart home products are designed to benefit its users. The technology is developed for all generations. So there are benefits to its use that applies to everyone.

These benefits include:

  • An increase in comfort of the user’s lifestyle.
  • Increased life expectancy caused by the usage of these products (i.e. smart security products).

Impacts on different generations

Three larger generation groups have been defined for the purpose of this discussion. It’s been split into the retirees, the working force, and the youth.

Retirees

Smart home products can connect to all kinds of services and devices. Elderly people can enjoy minor medical check-ups from the comfort of their homes. Video calls and domestic smart medical equipment can supply all the information a doctor needs. Doctors can keep an eye on patients that are too far from their offices.

Retired people can make use of smart home technology to automate simple tasks. Grocery shopping and other basic services are accessible through these products. Retirees will enjoy the improved elderly care and greater access to basic services caused by smart homes.

The working force

Smart home products like smart thermostats have been known to save its users an average of 20% in yearly warming and cooling costs. According to a study conducted by SafeAtLast, 57% of American smart home owners save about 30 minutes per day. Automating your home will save you lots of time and effort in the process.

The working force who owns smart home products will be more productive. They will also have more cash on hand due to extra savings. Smart homes can help to create a wealthier economy by assisting the working force.

The youth

The youth of today is the promise for tomorrow. Smart home technology is indirectly designed to increase the life expectancy of its user. All these benefits will help to cultivate a better tomorrow. The youth who grow up with smart home technology will have an advantage over their lesser privileged youths. Though, the psychological effects of this technology (over the long term) is yet to be studied.

Conclusion

This technology wants to make your life better. It will benefit every generation. Give it a try to experience the benefits yourself. Read on to for interesting facts on smart homes.

5 Ethical, Sustainable & Eco-friendly Cost-Saving Tips

Consumers are no longer solely interested in catching a great deal. In fact, it’s the quick and cheap, disposable living mindset that has put the world in such a precarious state. Studies have shown that a business’s impact on the world plays a key role in their purchasing decision. Here are five ethical, sustainable, and eco-friendly cost-saving tips to help you cut back on your spending, and your carbon footprint.

Green SMEs

Evaluate your Utility Providers

Take a look at your utility providers to see what they’re doing to make a positive impact on the world around them. Many energy service providers offer special rates and rebates for lower consumption. Using Energybot, you can contrast and compare providers in your area. You can visit their website to find the most affordable, eco-friendly option for you.

In areas where providers are limited, you can still look at their environmental initiatives and programs that will save you money while making a positive impact. Many utility providers conduct energy audits or provide rebates for swapping out appliances and faucets for eco-friendly versions.

Hit the Thrift Shop

Online shopping makes it easy to get anything you could dream of at an affordable rate. However, there’s a good chance that someone like you had a similar item and discarded it.

Hitting the thrift shop before shopping online will not only save you money but will also have a positive environmental impact. The clothes you buy online are manufactured and shipped from all over the world. This creates carbon emissions that have a detrimental effect. There’s a hidden cost to affordable online shopping; buy local whenever possible.

Eat Seasonally

Eating food from local sources is better for the environment and the economy. By ensuring that your money stays in the local economy, you’re stimulating growth that will ultimately benefit you over time. Furthermore, you aren’t paying to have food manufactured, shipped, and stored from thousands of miles away.

Eating seasonal produce will help you save money on fresh food and improve the diversity of your diet. By consuming seasonal, local produce, you’re saving money, boosting the local economy, positively impacting the environment, and improving your health. It’s a win for all involved.

Be Water Savvy

Minimizing your water consumption will help keep your budget low and the environment thriving. Start by monitoring your consumption at home and making small changes. Shut the water off while brushing your teeth. Don’t rinse your dishes before putting them in the washer. Wait until you have a full load to do laundry.

To take it to the next level, swap your faucet and showerheads out with aerators and low-flow alternatives. Start collecting and reusing rainwater for gardening. Replace your hot water tank with a “tankless” alternative. Look at your meter usage and set reduction goals.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Recycling is a great initiative that can make an incredible difference in the environment when done correctly. However, recycling is just one of the “Three R’s” to remember.

Circular-Economy

 

Reduce and reuse often go hand-in-hand. Reduce your packaging consumption by buying food in bulk and using reusable grocery bags. Before you recycle something, think about ways to give it new life. Mason jars can be used to store dry goods and pack lunches rather than using plastic containers. Keep a few large jugs handy to fill with water, rather than adding to the single-use bottle problem.

There are plenty of ways to lower your spending while taking care of the environment. Use a budgeting app like Mint to gain awareness about where your money is going. Then, use a carbon footprint calculator to evaluate your consumption. By making some simple changes to your lifestyle, you can limit harmful spending.