6 Easy Ways to Keep Your Lawn Pristine

Having a beautiful lawn says a lot about you and your home. Having an attractive yard is very desirable; however, it takes a lot of work to keep it looking fantastic. If you are a very busy person or simply can not meet the physical demands of keeping up with your lawn, then you need…

Having a beautiful lawn says a lot about you and your home. Having an attractive yard is very desirable; however, it takes a lot of work to keep it looking fantastic. If you are a very busy person or simply can not meet the physical demands of keeping up with your lawn, then you need a little extra help. Care and maintenance for your yard can be a lot easier than you think.

Hire a teenager to keep up with the lawn.
Typically in just about any neighborhood, there is a young person who needs some extra money. Ask around your neighborhood to find a willing young person to take care of your harder lawn work. This help can be through watering, mowing, trimming, and whatever else you need to have done to keep your space looking neat. A young person may not have the skills that other professionals have, but they are a lot cheaper and get the job done nicely. Unless you are very picky about your yard, hiring a person from the neighborhood to do it is a great choice when you can not do it yourself.

Hire professionals to landscape your yard.
Professional landscapers can come out to your house as often as you'd like. They can make a plan for you that you will be able to handle on your own, with a little help or with professional help entirely. The choice is left up to you. Choose a plan that fits your budget and the amount of time that you can spend on your garden.

Stick with plants that you can manage or know how to grow.
If you are not sure what type of plants might be suitable for you, contact your local gardening center. Someone who works there should be available to educate you on the type of plants you can take care of based on your own preferences and abilities. If you find that there are very few options available for you, you might want to consider letting someone else take care of your garden or choose another option.

Keep your yard free of debris.
This may seem like an obvious thing to do, but many people do not realize that leaving toys out in the yard, a garbage can out of place, or simply keeping unsightly materials out in the open can have a very damaging effect on the look of your lawn. Make sure your children put away their toys and put things back where they came from when you are done with them. If leaves are a problem, consider purchasing a leaf blower or hiring someone to rake your leaves. You may want to delegate this chore to your children if you have any that are old enough to help out. You will be surprised at how a simple lawn can look great if it is kept clean and free of debris.

Consider faux plants to decorate your lawn.
There are certain options that look just like the real thing. From artificial grass to faux flowers, there is an option for everyone who does not have the time or ability to take care of a lawn. Make sure the product that you purchase is made of high quality materials that will last through many seasons of harsh weather.

Install a sprinkler on a timer.
If you decide to keep a natural lawn, you may want to consider installing sprinklers to water the lawn. It will keep it thick and healthy looking and you will not have to worry about the grass becoming dull and brown. However, watering grass can make weeds grow, and of course you will have to mow the lawn more often. If you have hired someone to do this for you, then that should not be a problem. Otherwise, opt for artificial lawns.

7 Ways to Improve the Appearance of Your Home

Everyone wants to have a nice looking home, but not everyone has the time or the money to make their homes look as amazing as they would like. If you have the same issues as those people, you might not realize that there is a great deal of things that you can do that do…

Everyone wants to have a nice looking home, but not everyone has the time or the money to make their homes look as amazing as they would like. If you have the same issues as those people, you might not realize that there is a great deal of things that you can do that do not cost a lot or require too much effort on your part.

Make the entrance look beautiful and inviting.
When people look at a home, they often look right at the front door. If you can manage to make your door look clean and fresh, you are halfway there. If your door has seen better days and you can not buy a new one, consider prepping it for a new coat of paint. Choose a nice complementing color of paint to the rest of your home and paint the door with it.

Now you can make sure that your porch or front of your home is free and clear of any clutter.
If you store anything on your porch, it will almost certainly look less appealing. Move recycling containers and other items off of your porch and out of view. Clean the windows around the front door that you can reach. Consider putting a decorative item, such as a wreath, on or near the front door.

Keep the sidewalk and pathways to your home clear.
Sweep them to get all of the dust and grime off of them, and then make sure the pathway stays clear of leaves and other debris. If the pathway is crumbling or missing, you may want to consider replacing it. Stone pavers are not very expensive and can make a lovely addition to any home.

Keep the yard tidied up and free of clutter.
For people with children, this can sometimes require an entire household's effort. Make sure your children put away any outdoor toys when they are done playing with them. If you have a pet, make sure you clean up after it as soon as the animal uses the outdoors. Try to keep your yard as clean and free of excess clutter as much as possible. Take care of your lawn and any plants you may have. Do not let your grass grow out of control. If you can not mow your lawn, hire someone else to do it or consider installing an artificial lawn which requires low maintenance. Plant only plants that you or a hired hand can take care of. Pull out any unwanted plants right away before they grow out of control.

Repair any broken items as quickly as possible.
If a shutter on your home begins to fall off, fix it right away. If your fence gets knocked over, put it back the way it was. Broken down items always make the aesthetics of a home deteriorate. If you can not fix the items yourself, hire someone to do it as soon as possible.

Install adequate and appealing lighting.
Lighting adds a beautiful ambiance to any home. Line a walkway with solar lawn lights, or install an attractive light next to your front door. You will be amazed at what a difference a little bit of light makes at night. If you are worried about the costs of outside lights, consider installing LED lights. They are expensive up front, but they will quickly pay for themselves when they save you money on your electric bill.

Keep the house as clean as possible.
If your siding gets dirty, hose it off. Keep the front door free from dirt and fingerprints. Stand back and look at your home. Simply fix what is out of place and clean what you can. Your home will look so much better and you will be glad you put a little effort into making your home welcoming and appealing.

5 Items You Need to Recycle

Whether it's time for spring cleaning or you just need to remove the clutter from your home, your first instinct may be to just throw everything in the trash. However, there are certain household items that can not be recycled because they are made of materials that are harmful to the environment. So when you're…

Whether it's time for spring cleaning or you just need to remove the clutter from your home, your first instinct may be to just throw everything in the trash. However, there are certain household items that can not be recycled because they are made of materials that are harmful to the environment. So when you're cleaning out those junk drawers or wondering what to do with that cell phone you no longer use, be sure to peruse this list of five items that you always need to recycle.

Batteries

If you have children with lots of toys, you likely go through alkaline batteries often. It's easy to just remove them and toss them in the trash. In fact, many of us do this without even realizing it. However, batteries contain metals and chemicals that can be harmful to the environment. In addition, they can be reused to make new batteries and metals. That's why it's a good idea to recycle them.

Other types of batteries that can be recycled include rechargeable ones from phones, cameras, power tools and other electronics. There are drop-off locations at popular retailers such as Lowe's, Home Depot, Target, Sears and Radio Shack.

Appliances

Appliances – both kitchen ones and electronic ones alike – contain many toxic chemicals. By recycling them, you keep chemicals such as mercury, lead and arsenic from harming the environment. Plus, many of these items can be reused to create new materials.

Because kitchen appliances, such as washers, dryers, stoves and refrigerators, are often large and bulky, they take up a lot of space at a landfill. There are many junkyards that would be happy to take yours for free. Some manufacturers even offer free pickup for various appliances.

For electronic appliances, such as computers and printers, you can usually recycle these at office supply stores such as Best Buy, Staples and Office Depot for a small fee. Smaller appliances, such as cellphones or tablets, can often be recycled for free.

Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Although fluorescent light bulbs are energy-efficient, they do contain small amounts of mercury. If they are broken, they can release this chemical into the ground and air, which is not good for the environment.

Hazardous Substances

This category includes items often found in garages and sheds, such as paints, gas, motor oil and pesticides. These items are highly toxic should never be thrown away. Instead, contact local hardware stores or automotive part retailer and ask if they offer any sort of recycling. If not, many towns hold repeating events for these types of substances.

Plastic Bags

This may seem like a surprise to many, but plastic bags should not be thrown away because they take a long time to decompose. They contain petroleum, which is not renewable. Instead of tossing them, take them to a local grocery store. Many have trash removal bins where you can recycle them.

Easy Ways To Lower Your Water Bill And Help The Environment

Water conservation has become an issue even in those areas that have a seemingly abundant water supply. We waste a terrifying amount of this non-renewable resource! Global water shortages seem imminent if we do not change our habits. With water companies that keep hiking up the bills, it's time to consider some strategies for lowering…

Water conservation has become an issue even in those areas that have a seemingly abundant water supply. We waste a terrifying amount of this non-renewable resource! Global water shortages seem imminent if we do not change our habits. With water companies that keep hiking up the bills, it's time to consider some strategies for lowering your water footprint!

Make water conservation your way of life! You can both help the environment and lower your utilities bill by adopting a few simple lifestyle changes.

It is estimated that fifteen percent of your indoor water use is lost on leaks. With time, small drips add up to a lot of water! To stop wasting all that water, repair all the leaky faucets, running toilets, and any other household leaks.

More than twenty percent of indoor water use comes from doing laundry. Old washing machines are the worst offenders when it comes to wasting water. If you can, replace your old washing machine with a new, water-efficient model. Only run your washing machine when it is completely full, using the cold cycle.

It is estimated that the sixty percent of all water an average household uses, is used in a bathroom. All that clean, drinkable, precious non-renewable resource is going, quite literally, straight down the toilet! Make sure to switch to a dual-flush toilet, or use a displacement device in an older toilet.

When you are using water, you are also using energy: the energy that goes on heating that water! Turn your water heater temperature down 10 degrees. Insulate your hot-water pipes.

Instead of filling a bathtub, take a (quick!) Shower: it is a more water-efficient way to bathe. You can additionally save if you use water-efficient shower head, for example an aerated model. After you've initially wet yourself in the shower, turn off the tap while you lather up, until it's time to rinse yourself clean.

Turn off the tap while you're washing your teeth or shaving. Avoid wasting water from running taps while waiting for hot or cold water. It's better to keep drinking water in the fridge, than to wait every time for the tap to get cold.

Water your plants early in the morning or late afternoon, using leftover water. For example, with the dirty fish tank water, which is also rich in phosphorus and nitrogen. Mulch your plants so that the ground around them retains moisture longer. Use a can instead of a hose, or simply – if you dare – give up on your lawn.

How Rainwater Harvesting Helps The Environment

Rainwater harvesting has become a massively popular way of collecting natural resources at virtually no cost at all. It is both an incredibly rewarding way to use what naturally occurs and can also save you money too. The benefits are great and it is so easy to start doing too. Most of these benefits are…

Rainwater harvesting has become a massively popular way of collecting natural resources at virtually no cost at all. It is both an incredibly rewarding way to use what naturally occurs and can also save you money too. The benefits are great and it is so easy to start doing too. Most of these benefits are quite obvious from the outset, such as the economic factors.

What many people do not know is rainwater harvesting is great for the environment too. It can reduce the amount of carbon emissions used and have a positive impact on energy output in your local area. That's because any water treatment plant creates plenty of emissions, whilst pumping water through all the waterways and into our towns. By more of us harvesting the rainwater, treatment plants reduce their energy output, meaning less harmful emissions.

So, we've seen how rainwater harvesting can reduce the energy used by local water plants. Collect rainwater can also help the environment too. This is because huge amounts of runoff water during storms can elevate the levels of sewage. This untreated excess can lead to environmental damage. By collecting rainwater, especially during downpours and storms, we reduce the risk of this problem and keep the unhealthy water where it should be.

Using rainwater for your garden and plants can only be of a benefit to your soil. Being 100% natural, the rainwater is clearly better than waterway liquid that has been treated with chemicals etc. So, by watering your garden this way, you are doing your bit for the environment.

One of the great bonuses of rainwater harvesting is when it comes to droughts. By having a store of water collected already, you end up using this, instead of city water coming from Reservoirs that are struggling to maintain the supply for everyone.

Setting up a rainwater harvesting system is very quick and easy to manage and uses up little to no energy at all. This makes it an environmentally friendly way to operate as a whole. For you and your energy bills, it reduces both the cost and the overall energy used, so it's a wise choice all round.

With so many benefits to collecting rainwater, it's little wonder that more and more people are starting to adopt their very own harvesting techniques. With more options available on the market all the time, there's a great opportunity to save money and the environment.

The Role of Bacteria in Soil Water Management

Better water management is important for the plants in the soil but it is also important for the environment. Water will become more and more expensive and difficult to obtain. Soil structure is not the only property that determinates the water retention capacities of the soil. A method that is readily obtainable and economic is…

Better water management is important for the plants in the soil but it is also important for the environment. Water will become more and more expensive and difficult to obtain. Soil structure is not the only property that determinates the water retention capacities of the soil. A method that is readily obtainable and economic is the application of beneficial bacterial and humic substances found in aquatic based humus compositions. Not only do these substances improve water retention but they improve water absorption and provide for the nutrient uptake of the plants. All of this enables the growth of the plants.

The bacteria and microbes create this water absorption and retention in several different ways. The bacteria themselves are large made of water. When water is available the bacteria multiply and absorb the water in their bodies providing a healthy and controllable water storage mechanism. The bacteria can release this water when the plants need it in much the same way they control the release of nutrients to the plants. Most soils have organic nutrients that would not be available to the plants if there were no microbial life to make it available to them. The bacteria also store water in biofilms that prevails the water from evaporating or flowing out of the soil. There are billions of these bacteria in an ounce of soil providing constant control of water retention and release.

The humic substances in humus compost also help retain and release water in the soil. Humus compost is made by decomposing organic matter with a small amount of clay added. The decomposed organic matter binds to the microscopic clay particles and remains in the soil as organic matter. These minute particles bind and retain micronutrients near the root system of plants. Humic substances contain a mixture of large, highly charged organic molecules. These organic molecules can hold many times their volume in water. These substances are in the root area of ​​the soil providing moisture and nutrients where they are needed most.

Controlled tests using fish manure humus compost on lawns show a significant improvement in the ability of the soil to absorb and retain water. Equal amounts of water on treated and untreated lawn areas show water standing in the untreated areas and completely absorbed in the treated areas. These benefits were observed with applications of only 1 pound of fish manure humus compost per 60 square feet. This treatment is significantly more economic and requires much less manpower than applying the large amounts of regular compositions required for lawn treatments. Another result that was observed was the treated areas had healthier grass in areas where the grass competed for water with trees. In untreated areas the grass suffered from drought because the trees consumed the available water. Humus compost made from aquatic based fish manure contains a diverse population of microbial life and this makes a big difference in the results.

Wait, Before You Throw That Out – 6 Hidden Treasures Discovered in Trash

When it's time for spring cleaning, we may get overzealous and end up throwing away too much stuff – stuff that we may have thought was junk, but it turned out to be rare or collectible items worth many thousands or even millions of dollars. Many people have found hidden treasures in the trash. What…

When it's time for spring cleaning, we may get overzealous and end up throwing away too much stuff – stuff that we may have thought was junk, but it turned out to be rare or collectible items worth many thousands or even millions of dollars. Many people have found hidden treasures in the trash. What could you find in yours? Do you have any valuable? These people did. Read on to see why you should pay attention the next time you take out the trash.

Artifacts

A professional mover from New York City once found artifacts from the Mayans – a group of people from 300 BC. They were found in an old barrel that was being thrown away in the trash. These pieces of history were worth $ 16,000.

Artwork

There have been several reports of people finding valuable artwork in the trash. One unique instance was when a New York woman found a painting by Rufino Tamayo, a Mexican artist. The funny thing was that the painting was stolen more than 20 years ago. The original owners paid $ 55,000 for the painting. After it was returned to them, they auctioned it off for $ 1 million.

Baseball Cards

Sure, there are plenty of baseball cards worth barely a nickel, but there are some that can be worth thousands of dollars. A California woman who owns an antique shop near let an old baseball card go for only $ 10. It was an antique baseball card from 1849 valued at $ 40,000.

Wedding Rings

Rings often slip off or get misplaced. Many times, they are quickly found, but sometimes, they end up in the garbage bin in your yard . One woman took off her 55-year-old wedding ring before doing chores and placed it in a paper cup. Her husband mistook the cup for garbage and thread it out. They were able to track down the garbage truck, but they still had 10 tons of trash to search through. The husband and several garbage men looked for the ring and found it after 45 minutes of searching.

Money

You would think that money would be the last thing that people would throw in the trash, but it's happened multiple times – but of course, not intentionally. Many people store cash, checks and bonds in items and forget where they put them. In one case, a woman accidently somewhat some checks in the trash and ended up having to chase down the garbage truck after realizing they were missing. The woman gathered several friends and they went through the garbage at the local dump. Fortunately, it did not take long for the woman to find her checks – valued at $ 188,000.

Savings Bonds

Savings bonds are commonly found in the trash, locked up in a chest or stuffed in a barrel. There have been several occasions where garbage men have found bonds worth tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. When it's time for spring cleaning, we may get overzealous and end up throwing away too much stuff – stuff that we may have thought was junk, but it turned out to be rare or collectible items worth many thousands or even millions of dollars. Many people have found hidden treasures in the trash. What could you find in yours? Do you have any valuable? These people did. Read on to see why you should pay attention the next time you take out the trash.

Being Environment Friendly

All of us are guilty of indulging in practices that harm our environment. But it is never too late to stop in our tracks and change that. Like everything else, the first place to begin change, is at home. Open your cabinet and take a look at all the products you use to keep your…

All of us are guilty of indulging in practices that harm our environment. But it is never too late to stop in our tracks and change that. Like everything else, the first place to begin change, is at home. Open your cabinet and take a look at all the products you use to keep your home spotless and sparkling.

Chances are these products are composed mainly of chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Now, if you open your kitchen cabinet you will find environment friendly products that can be used to keep your home spotless and disinfected. The added advantage is that you will find this cost effective, as commercial products can be very expensive.

Here are some environment friendly household hints:

Grime surfaces: Sprinkle baking soda on a grimi surface, after a few minutes use a moist sponge and scrub it off. For more stubborn grime, sprinkle on an additional layer of salt and then scrub. That should leave surfaces grime free.

Bathroom tiles: Make a mixture of 2 parts vinegar, 1 part baking soda and 4 parts water. Mix this thoroughly; apply the mixture on the tiles and allow about ten minutes for it to react with the dirt. Scrub with a brush and wipe away with a sponge.

Toilet bowl: Bring out that good old baking soda again to clean the bowl. To disinfect it, scrub it with borax. To get the outside of the bowl sparkling, wipe it down with vinegar.

Clogged drains: Empty half a cup of baking soda into the drain and then pour in some boiling water. For a more stubbornly clogged drain, pour in some vinegar. This will cause the mixture to fizz and loosen up the dirt. Pour in some boiling water to complete the cleaning process.

Floors: Add four cups of white vinegar to a gallon of hot water. You can add a few drops of any fragrant oil to leave your room smelling sweet. Use this mixture to mop your floors.

Furniture: Make a mixture of lemon juice and olive oil in equal parts. Dip a cloth into this and use it to clean your wooden furniture.

Glass: To make your windows sparkle, mix together one part of vinegar to four parts of water. Pour this into a spray can and spray onto the glass. Wipe away using some old newspaper.

Mold: Dip a cloth in vinegar and wipe moldy surfaces.

Save Our Environment – Don’t Burn Trash In Your Outdoor Fire Pit

In a perfect world we would not need articles like this one, but we all know that common sense is not a flower that grows in everyone's garden. So here is one of the more important things to remember when enjoying the great outdoors this fall. Do not burn trash in your backyard fire pit.…

In a perfect world we would not need articles like this one, but we all know that common sense is not a flower that grows in everyone's garden. So here is one of the more important things to remember when enjoying the great outdoors this fall. Do not burn trash in your backyard fire pit.

This is the 21st century, and in case you have not noticed the radical change in our local and global weather patterns lately, greenhouse gas emissions have reached critical levels on our planet. Think of the earth as a very crowded elevator in which everyone gets on has eaten bean burritos for lunch, only there's no ventilation and the doors do not open because there's nowhere to go. It keeps getting warmer. How long do you think it would take for the quality of life to go south in such an environment? How long do you think life would even last?

This is very much the current situation of our little planet which shifts around the sun encased in a relatively limited amount of atmosphere.

The impact of open burning on the environment and human health is well recognized today, and the wanton burning of trash and leaves is prohibited in most places. But with the luxury of an open fire pit in your backyard you might still be tempted to do a little burning here and there, especially if you live in a more rural area where the laws are not strictly enforced. What's the harm? you might ask. The harm is that the practice of burning trash in an open container like a barrel or fire pit is useless when it comes to combustion efficiency. The largest fire you can make in your fire pit still burns at a reliably low temperature, and as a result, many pollutants are generated and emitted directly into the air. Not only are you adding to the growing level of pollution and greenhouse gases that threaten to change life as we know it on a global scale, you're also putting you and your family's immediate personal health at risk.

Carbon monoxide is just one product that results directly from the incomplete combustion of garbage. It's colorless, odorless, and pregnancies oxygen from being absorbed into the bloodstream. The visible smoke that you can actually see when you burn trash is made out of tiny particulate matter which contains all manner of toxic pollutants. Inhaled particulates can stay in the lungs for months or years, and can cause many health problems. Burning plastics or PVC's (polyvinyl chloride) produces hydrogen chloride gas or hydrochloric acid that can create fluid buildup in the lungs and sores in the respiratory tract.

But wait, there's more.

A very common compound released into the air during a trash burn is benzopyrene, a well-known carcinogen and one of the ingredients contained in cigarette smoke. It's been majorly linked to lung cancer, and some experts say that smoke from burning trash contains 350 times more benzopyrene than cigarette smoke. But one of the worse pollutants you can unleash into the environment by misusing a fire pit is dioxin. Dioxin is a heavy-duty carcinogen and is related to birth defects. Dioxin can be breathed in directly, or fallout from the atmosphere can contaminate soil, water, and often crops. The most menacing pollutants are the ones that become part of the food chain.

Be responsible. Recycle. Burning trash in your backyard fire pit not only adds to our growing environmental conundrum, it's also just a huge waste of material and resources. Most things we throw away can be recycled in some way. Most towns and cities offer pick-up or have stations to receive recyclables. Create a compost heap with your leaves and other organic matter. It may be a little inconvenient, but there's nothing convenient about weeks or months of one hundred plus degree temperatures, rampant wildfires, mega-storms, or possible global starvation.

If you're going to burn trees every winter, plant a few new ones in the spring. Do not create monstrous bonfires in your pit when a modest fire will do for warmth and ambiance. Use only seasoned wood from sustainable resources. It burns cleaner with less smoke. And never burn treated lumber. Not only will you extend the life and attractiveness of your fire pit, you'll be doing the same for yourself, and the enclosed system in which we all have to live and make do with for the next 4.5 billion years. Join the human race, not the race against humans.

Wise Water Use Is a Collective Responsibility

Green Living is all about what is best for our planet. Water is the most valuable natural resource on Earth yet it is something we take for granted in the Western world. It is amazing how many people around the globe do not have access to clean safe water and the demand increases daily. As…

Green Living is all about what is best for our planet. Water is the most valuable natural resource on Earth yet it is something we take for granted in the Western world. It is amazing how many people around the globe do not have access to clean safe water and the demand increases daily. As it is absolutely necessary to sustain life, experts warn water access could be the root cause of the next global conflict. Political fallout has already compromised access in developing countries. Industrialized areas are already clamoring for water rights. This is serious stuff!

Water conservation is a must for our future. We are beginning to feel the squeeze of the need to manage water as multi-year droughts, overdevelopment, and pollution are all factors that place intense demands on the fresh water supply. This is not something to take lightly as misuse could lead to irreparable problems.

Judicious water use is our collective responsibility. But how can we help? What can each of us do? Keep in mind that small steps really add up and if all of us arrested our water waste, the demands on fresh water could be minimized. Here are five opportunities to incorporate wise water use in everyday life.

  1. Do not let the water run when brushing your teeth or washing dishes. This is standard procedure for most – water running the entire time but it is wasteful beyond measure.
  2. Run full loads in the dishwasher and washing machine. A half empty load uses just as much water as a full one. And if you buy new appliances, make sure they are water efficient.
  3. Take your car to an automatic car wash. This may seem odd but this industry is at the forefront for water conservation as they recycle better than anyone. Home car washing uses at least twenty times more water than an efficient car wash.
  4. Monitor your ventilation system. Do not water sidewalks or driveways and make sure it does not run so long that water starts to flow down the street. Once a landscape is established, cut back on watering to make sure the plants are not overly dependent on irrigation.
  5. Minimize showers. Get the job done but relaxing in the warm vapors for 20 minutes is an epic, selfish waste.

These are five easy steps you can incorporate into daily life that can have a tremendous impact on the volume of water you use. Conserving water is the ultimate green living mindset as it preserves Earth's most valuable resource.

Some Glaziers Have Joined The Ranks Of London Merchants Who Have Gone Green

Glass is the one material on earth that can be recycled over and over without losing its structural integrity. Unlike materials like paper and cardboard, which rapidly degrade over generations of recycling, glass retains its strength and appearance. Plus, everyone knows that recycling glass responsibly saves tons of potential waste from ending up in the…

Glass is the one material on earth that can be recycled over and over without losing its structural integrity. Unlike materials like paper and cardboard, which rapidly degrade over generations of recycling, glass retains its strength and appearance. Plus, everyone knows that recycling glass responsibly saves tons of potential waste from ending up in the many landfills that accept London's refusal. But as any environmentalist will tell you, with London garbage collectors picking up an average of 4 million tonnes of rubbish annually, the Mucking Marshes Land Fill is filling fast enough as it is.

But unfortunately, despite the desire to go green in dealing with waste from their homes, when it comes to reusing PVC window and door glass, it's far more complicated than recycling a standard wine or beer bottle. Many people do not know what to do with this material in the event that it gets shattered, or if, after five to ten years, the warranty is up, and the seal is no longer as air tight as it once was, and the glass develops an unsightly misty or murky appearance and needs to be replaced.

Odds are pretty high that you can not simply bring this glass to your local recycling plant. Most recycling centers in London do not accept treated glass, such as that which is used in light bulbs, mirrors, and windows. This is because the additives that are used in the manufacturing of these products, including the fibers that are added to strengthen or block UV light in window glass, are not accepted by most plants. They would contaminate the entire load of regular recyclable glass, much of which goes towards making packages for edible products. This means that much of the window glass London residents need to be rid of ends up in the bin.

But there is good news for residents looking for a gerner alternative in dealing with their old window glass. Some London glazing companies have actually started accepting the broken glass so that it can be melted and remoulded, and turned into replacement glass windows. This lean-and-green practice not only saves consumers money by dropping the price from a brand new replacement, but also helps contribute to reduced waste, while helping create attractive new, energy efficient windows for the home.

If you are looking to get rid of window glass, but would rather not chuck it in the rubbish bin, then do your research. London is made up of 32 boroughs, which are serviced by literally dozens of glaziers. When selecting which of the many glazing companies to do the replacement job, ask if they will work with you in recycling old glass, and if they do, be sure to seek out discounts for providing some of the materials yourself. Your wallet and your planet will thank you.

5 Tips To Purify Your Home Before The New Year

New Year symbolizes a new beginning in our life. It is a time when the past ills are discarded and every effort is made to have a sparkling clean start. This new year, do not just clean your house with a broom and mop. Go further and surround the inside environment with purity and a…

New Year symbolizes a new beginning in our life. It is a time when the past ills are discarded and every effort is made to have a sparkling clean start. This new year, do not just clean your house with a broom and mop. Go further and surround the inside environment with purity and a pleasant sense of smell, sight and health. If you are wondering how to go about it, read on to find five tips to purify your home before the New Year.

1. Organic Air Fresheners:

Air fresheners are standard household items due to the pollution levels of our external surroundings. However, instead of purchasing artificial chemical air fresheners, which may not be suitable for everyone, choose an organic air freshener. They come in many varieties focusing on seasons, exotic locations, flowers etc. Some of them are even conducive to a peaceful sleep at night. These organic air fresheners help to develop a sense of well being around your house. The specialty of such air fresheners is that they are aerosol free and non-polluting to the environment.

2. Vastu Wind chimes:

Vastu is long considered an art that brings positive energy and prosperity in the house. You may or may not follow Vastu, but the products are a value addition and also aesthetically pleasing. One such product is Vastu wind chimes. These wind chimes are different from other chimes in that their design is linked and intricate for maximum energy flow. The melodious tunes generated naturally provide a sense of peace and relaxation. Get a Vastu wind chime for your home and experience a serene and meditative ambience at your home. Buy this lifestyle shopping option from an online store before the New Year kick-starts.

3. Vedic Chant CDs:

For inner peace, try listening to Vedic Chant CDs and observe the calming difference. It is said that the kind of music played in your home defines the in-house energy. Vedic chants give you a sense of belongingness to God, naturally filling your home with a sense of holiness. This kind of music invites positive vibes, which extremely purifies your house.

4. Incenses and Agarbattis:

In Asian homes, especially in Hindu households, incenses and agarbattis occupy a special place in a house of worship. The fragrance emitted by them is pleasing to both humans as well as Gods. Variety is not a problem for incenses as it ranges from Ayurvedic to Wood fragrances. There are also special incense holders that are a great addition in your place of prayer. Will not you want to have your place of worship to be as pure as possible? Therefore, go ahead and select incense kits from a home decor online shopping store. You can get natural and aromatic incenses online.

5. Insect Repellent Tools:

The presence of small insects, rodents and mosquitoes in the house are unhealthy and also considered to be bad omens. Mosquitoes' infections like dengue and malaria are widespread. So, make a New Year's resolution today and undertake steps to protect your home from such ailments. You can take the help of Mosquito repellent tools that are organic, safe and comes in many varieties. They are available as incenses, liquids and also in coils.

Follow the above five tips to make sure you enter the New Year on a pure and natural note. Make sure to buy these products from a certified eco home product retailer only.

Understanding the California Building Code – California Green Code (CALGreen) 2013

The Building Code for California is administrated by the California Standards Commission. Each year, California makes revisions to its Building Code using Supplements and Errata (corrections to the code). Every three years, California releases major revisions to the California Building Code (CBC). The 2013 CBC goes into effect January 1, 2014 and represents a major…

The Building Code for California is administrated by the California Standards Commission. Each year, California makes revisions to its Building Code using Supplements and Errata (corrections to the code). Every three years, California releases major revisions to the California Building Code (CBC). The 2013 CBC goes into effect January 1, 2014 and represents a major revision.

The triennial updates for the CBC generally go into effect the year subsequent to the code year. In other words, the 2013 CBC will go into effect January 1, 2014.

The 2010 California Green Building Standards Code referred to as CALGreen, and part of the CBC, went into effect on January 1, 2011. CALGreen's mandatory measures include requiring new buildings to reduce water consumption, employ building commissioning to increase building system efficiencies, divert construction waste from landfills, and install low pollutant emitting finish materials.

Beginning January 1, 2014, significant CALGreen effort begins to make all new construction in California be Net-Zero Energy Building's (NZEB) by 2020. A NZEB is a building with zero net energy consumption and zero carbon emissions annually.

Most zero energy buildings use the electrical grid for energy storage but some are independent of the grid. Energy is typically harvested on-site through a combination of energy producing technologies like solar and wind, while reducing the overall use of energy with highly efficient HVAC and lighting technologies. The zero-energy goal is becoming more practical as the costs of alternative energy technologies decrease and the costs of traditional fossil fuels increase.

For California, solar, LED lighting, and highly efficient Heating, Ventilation, and Cooling (HVAC) systems will be paramount in meeting CALGreen's objectives and requirements. Expect to see these and additional requirements when building new homes and renovating / remodeling existing homes.

Key measures of CALGreen include cool roofs (reduce attic temperatures – lowering cooling bills and using less electricity), performance and prescriptive energy measures (reduce electricity use throughout the home), and increased reduction in landscape potable water irrigation (use less water for landscaping) .

  1. Cool Roofs: This includes using roofing materials that reflect the suns heat and insulating materials to reduce the transfer of heat into the home. This also includes heating and cooling duct work that keeps the air inside the duct cooler; which uses less energy.
  2. Performance Energy Measures: This includes using high efficiency lighting such as Light Emitting Diode (LED) recessed lighting, Compact fluorescent lighting (CFL), exhaust fans using a humidistat sensor, and tankless water heaters. This also includes insulating water pipes, higher “R” value thermal insulation and where used, efficient attic ventilation, water saving toilets and facets, and more efficient furnace and air conditioning systems. Recently, residential solar systems are becoming key components in reducing energy consumption. This also includes home charging stations for clean air electric vehicles and low-emitting resilient flooring.
  3. Landscape Irrigation: These include pavers for drives, walks, and patios, drought tolerant plants and trees, artificial lawns (fake grass), drip irrigation, mulch, decorative stones and pebbles.

One example of what is possible to significantly reduce residential energy consumption and save a large amount of money is LED recessed lighting. According to Halo®, a leading high quality manufacturer of LED recessed lighting:

LED recessed lighting at 600 Lumens is equivalent to a 65 Watt light bulb using only 13.8 Watts. These LED's are designed and manufactured to last almost 23 years or 50,000 hours; saving over $ 10,900 (or almost $ 1,100 per year, per light) in operating and energy costs (based on 6 hours average use per day). Considering 6 LED recessed lights in a typical kitchen, that's a savings of $ 6,600 per year compared to the 65 Watt incandescent light. These LED recessed lights have an operating and energy savings payback of only 4.7 – 4.8 months! This means the cost to install is essentially free in less than 5 months.

LED lighting uses very little electricity. Consider the following: On a typical dedicated 15amp circuit breaker, up to 24 standard 65 watt recessed lights can be installed. With LED lighting, up to 128 recessed lights can be installed on a typical dedicated 15amp circuit breaker. That's 104 or 433% more recessed lights on a single dedicated 15amp circuit breaker. The savings are real and very large. I do not know of anything else offering these huge savings so quickly.

Changes are coming beginning January 1, 2014. However, as you can see, these changes will save money – lots of it. The cost to install these new energy saving measures cost a bit more. The savings to both your wallet and the planet significantly offset any short term additional costs.

How to Start Your Own Junk Removal Business

Do you have your own truck? Do you have number of friends who consistently ask you to help them move or haul away old couches? If you said yes to the above, and are in the market for a new job, the junk removal industry might be just what you are looking for. This may…

Do you have your own truck? Do you have number of friends who consistently ask you to help them move or haul away old couches? If you said yes to the above, and are in the market for a new job, the junk removal industry might be just what you are looking for. This may not be the most exciting or desirable career path, but as the old adage goes “It's a dirty job, but someone's got to it” and that someone could be you! For as long as there is human consumption and consumerism, there will be a need for trash removal. Here are some steps necessary to get started in the biz!

· Look into the permits, by-laws, and small business regulations in your area

Before advertising or charging residents for removal, make sure you are abiding by your town's laws for serving the community. Look into permits and insurance for work vehicles, employees, and equipment. Get information on where you can take the junk you have collected and look into the costs, safety, and legality of where you can drop-off collected materials. Do not forget to register your small business!

· Look into renting, leasing, or buying the vehicles, equipment, and materials needed to launch your business.

This may be putting together a fleet of trucks or vans, obtaining a collection of dumpsters and bins of various sizes for leaving on job sites or renting to people for personal use that you will haul away, and even researching what small machinery or tools you may require to remove items or dumpsters from location.

· Do your research!

Aside from knowing where to dump the trash, recognize what needs special disposal like toxic materials, batteries, or recyclables. A keen eye will also know what may have some resale value such as older but usable furniture, scrap metal or even old cars.

· Start your marketing, advertising, and word of mouth promoting.

This will be how you get your name and business out to the public. Look into costs of print vs. online advertisements, check out your community paper for deals for local businesses, create a website which houses your information and hours of operation, think about business cards, and do not forget to use social media as an outlet low-cost marketing (ex. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.) Friends and family, though low-profit, will be your best word of mouth referrals so treat them as you would any paying client!

· Get started!

Starting your own business can be a fun and exciting challenge. Make sure to do the research involved, fulfill your legal obligations, and get out there and kick some trash! This business can be founded on a relatively low start-up cost, with potential for high incomes and the chance to be your own boss!

Common Accidents When Working With Tree Chippers

Before we launch into the list of accidents that are prior to occurring when workers are using tree chippers, we should start by saying that fatalities from these sorts incidents are not common. Even so, injuries can be quite common and they are often the result of the worker not following the rules. Chippers are…

Before we launch into the list of accidents that are prior to occurring when workers are using tree chippers, we should start by saying that fatalities from these sorts incidents are not common. Even so, injuries can be quite common and they are often the result of the worker not following the rules. Chippers are actually reliably safe pieces of equipment – they have been designed to be this way – and the chance of accident should be relatively low.

  • Accident # 1
    The worker stands directly in front of the tree chipper feed chute as they throw in a branch. The moment that you stand in front of the feed, there is a chance that it could catch hold of you and pull you in.
  • Accident # 2
    The worker is wearing gloves, which can become snagged on a branch; if it is being rolled into the chipper when this happens, the worker may not be able to read let go. The machine is known to pull debris at at two feet per second, which does not give you much time to break free.
  • Accident # 3
    The worker is wearing loose clothing, which can easily become snagged on a branch; if it is being rolled into the chipper when this happens, the worker may not be able to free themselves in time. This also often causes the worker to topple over onto the feed chute, making escape even more difficult and reaching the emergency stop button near impossible.
  • Accident # 4
    The worker uses their foot to kick in a stubborn tree branch or to dislodge a branch that has jammed the cutting mechanism. All it takes is for the blades to begin moving again and the worker has been dragged directly into the chute without warning.

If the above accidents do not result in the immediate death of the worker, they can result in all sorts of other injuries. The most common of these include the loss of limbs (especially hands and feet, but arms and legs may also need to be amputated) and the loss of digits (especially fingers, but toes are known to be removed, too). Broken bones, deep cuts and minor scrapes are also known to find their way to the emergency room.

But why do these accidents occur? Most workers believe it comes down to a lack of instruction in how to use a tree chipper properly, lack of training, lack of common sense and even a language barrier (but only if workers have come from overseas). Some people also believe that, if the worker has been doing this for a long time, they become over confident and let their guard down. It is the company's responsibility to ensure that rules are adhered to.

So, how can you avoid becoming the victim of one of the above accidents when it comes to using a tree chipper in the course of your daily work? The main piece of advice that we can offer you is to use it properly! Make sure that you stand to the side of the feed chute whenever you are loading branches in; try not to wear gloves if you can help it; never wear loose clothing and tie back long hair; and never use your foot to push branches into the chute.