Blog by Jill Pennefather
Did you know that in ancient Rome, the month January is named after Janus the god of the doorway? In fact, it was a tradition to symbolically close the door on old troubles and open another to new possibilities. Nice idea!
So my wish for you and your family is that this year be filled with wonderful possibilities.
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did."
1) Set a project goal, not a dream goal.
2) Don't go it alone.
Microwave ovens are safe most of the time, but it's important to be aware that hazards exist if they're not operated properly. The fact is microwave exposure can be dangerous - that's why they have a protective outer shell and door, which must be closed to allow operation. (Note: If your microwave door does not shut properly, do not use it).
Fuel-fired water heaters that use a constantly burning "pilot light" are considered wasteful. The pilot light can be replaced with an electronic sentry that ignites the heater as required, without burning extra fuel.
If you have an electric water heater, install a timer that turns it off when you don't need it or during peak electricity demands. At the very least, reducing the temperature at which the water is maintained will help save heating costs.
To keep hot water hot in an electrically heated tank for a longer period of time and for less money, get a pre-sized insulating jacket from your local plumbing suppliers. (Note that gas or oil-fired heaters can make tank insulation a little more difficult, so consult with a professional before making such an attempt).
To prevent the water in the pipes from cooling, wrap pipe insulation on the hot water pipes between your tank and your faucets. This is easy to do.
When purchasing any product, whether natural, synthetic and/or manufactured, it is important to know that the product can be easily recycled when it is beyond its usefulness, without causing environmental detriment as landfill, especially if it could release undesirable compounds.
Flooring made from old building structures (e.g. posts, beams, walls and planks) is a viable alternative option vs. grown and harvested resources. Likewise, recycled glass, plastic and rubber provide ample raw materials for creative flooring effects and using them also reduces landfill. These products can be found through decorative flooring dealers.
Bamboo and cork are popular natural resources that renew relatively quickly. It should be noted that traditional woods are also renewable, as long as they are managed through sustainable practices. Before you buy natural flooring products, ask if the harvesting methods are verified through an accredited authority.
Eco-friendly Choices for Household Floors
Choosing eco-friendly new or replacement flooring is one of the emerging trends among house and condo owners. Eco-friendly flooring is generally identified as being made from and with more sustainable resources, materials that don't deplete or permanently damage the enviornment (such as as toxic laminates) or material that is easy to reuse or recycle ...
When cleaning up broken glass, use a fresh piece of bread to gather up, and hold onto, tiny shards that are often hard to pick up with a wet cloth.
If you have wax crayon markings on your wall, apply a little heat with a blow-dryer to soften the compound. This will make it easier to wipe clean with mineral spirits or rubbing alcohol. (Be sure to test in an inconspicuous area before wiping finished surfaces.)
If your feather pillows seem too bunched up or matted, toss them in an automatic clothes dryer for a tumble that will give them a fluffing up. (Make sure there are no tears in the fabric.)
"What we learn from history is that people don't learn from history"
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters."
Ursula Le Guin
"You will never find time for anything. If you want the time, you must make it."
As the weather warms up, it's useful to know about products or ideas that make outdoor living easier, more convenient or more pleasant. Here are a few that might interest you:
1) Pre-seeded "garden mats" are a convenient way to plant a small garden. Just lay them in prepared soil, add water and watch them grow!
2) A stationary "garden camera" can be positioned next to your favourite bloo ...
When diluted, it is a mild alternative to chlorine bleach and can be used for stain removal and mild bleaching of natural fabrics.
And that concludes the 5 simple and traditional ways of cleaning and stain-removals for a Greener Household.
As a natural emulsifier, it can be mixed with oil-based stains and other compounds to help "lift" them off a surface.
It can be safely used to lighten stains and cut grease. It also cleans tarnished brass, copper, bronze and aluminum. (Do not use on silver).
2) Baking Soda (Bicarbonate of Soda):
When mixed with water, this mild powder can remove stains from pots and pans, oven glass, refrigerator interiors, stovetops and tile.
When diluted with water, it can be used to deodorize and disinfect cookware, countertops, sinks, tubs and toilets (avoid marble and tile grout). Its odor does not linger.
Traditional Cleaners and Stain-removers for a Greener Household
Many conscientious consumers want cleaning products that perform well without causing undue harm to the environment (or the pocketbook). Here are 5 simple, old-time cleaner/stain-removal solutions to consider - but be sure to consult mixing instructions, and always test remedies on safe, inconspicuous areas.
#1 starts tomorrow ( ...