Avoid a Bad Air Day by Checking Your Air Quality

Posted by on Apr 15, 2015 in Care Tips, Earth Friendly Activities, green living, Repairs and Maintenance | 0 comments

Image credit: flickr.com/Boa-Franc

Many people already realize that certain parts of the country suffer from poor air quality at specific times of the year. People are so concerned about the air outside that many fail to consider the quality of the air inside their homes. In some cases, the air inside a house can be exponentially worse than what’s outside. Don’t have a bad air day; check the air quality inside your home and take action to make it better. 

What Causes Bad Air Indoors?

The air inside your home is directly affected by the quality of air outside the home. In addition to the regular pollutants found in the air outside, indoor air can be laden with cleaning solvents, viruses, fungi, formaldehyde, and all kinds of other pollutants. Pollen and dander can come in from windows and doors. Pets carry hair and saliva, in addition to airborne fecal matter. Paints, perfumes, and even chemicals on a new piece of furniture affect the quality of air inside your home. This may be even more noticeable if you have family members who suffer from allergies or respiratory problems. How can you combat the bad air?

Change Your Filters

air, air quality, indoor air

The ductwork in your home should have filters connected to it. These filters are supposed to help keep contaminants out. Over time, however, the filters become dirty from all of the contaminants they catch. This means that they need to be changed regularly in order to be most effective. Filters should be changed at least every six months, and your AC should be tuned up one to two times per year. Dust around the duct registers or settling on furniture around your home is a clear sign that not only your filters need changing, but you should probably also have your ducts examined and cleaned.

Go Green—Literally

Changing out your filters can dramatically improve your indoor air quality, but don’t underestimate the power of plants. There are many indoor plants such as spider plants, snake plants, English ivy, pothos, philodendrons and more that help to pull formaldehyde and a variety of other pollutants out of the air, replacing them with oxygen. If your home is lacking a little bit of green, then invest in some air-purifying plants strategically placed around your home.

Turn Bad Air Good

It’s possible to avoid a bad air day with proper air filter replacement and duct cleaning. Air-purifying plants are also beneficial if anyone in your family suffers from allergies or other respiratory issues. If you notice an inordinate amount of dust around your home or family members who are sneezing and coughing more than normal, then it’s time to take action.

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Advantages of Using Rainwater Tanks

Posted by on Feb 23, 2015 in Earth Friendly Activities, How To's | 0 comments

Water is undeniably abundant, in fact most of earth is made up of water. Sad thing though, because only a little portion can be used to sustain life. There are already many ways to harvest and endure the lack of water supply, one of these is rainwater harvesting. The infographic below helps you better understand what rainwater harvesting is about and how this helps your household.

rainwaterIn a few month’s time will be spring and we know that spring means more rain. Why not start building your own rainwater tanks and take advantage of your harvests to save up water and help Mother Earth?

 

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How Your Home Can Benefit from a Beautiful Garden

Posted by on Feb 20, 2015 in Earth Friendly Activities, green living, Home Design Ideas | 0 comments

When building a new home, it’s easy to put all of your attention on the house and neglect your front and backyard. And that makes total sense; after all, the structure of your home, its interior, and its general layout are immensely important, and you’ll want to make sure everything is to your liking. But, with that said, don’t forget about your yards. Here are five ways your new home can benefit from a beautiful garden.

It Can Extend Your Entertainment Space

garden, home garden

Image from flckr

A well manicured backyard garden can increase your at-home entertainment options. And this is perfect during summer and on those days when the weather is almost begging you to come outside. Instead of having to entertain guests in the living room or kitchen, homeowners with a beautiful garden can take everything outside and catch up with friends or family surrounded by colourful flowers, tons of plants, and the sound of trickling water.

More Privacy

Depending on what kind of garden you build and how high your fence is, a home garden can give both you and your family more privacy in your backyard space. Shade trees are best for creating a more private and secluded space, but they will take some time to grow. Just be patient and you’ll have a nice little private retreat just outside your back door in no time at all.

It Will Increase the Value of Your Home

According to landscape economist John Harris, a well-landscaped garden can increase the value of your home by up to 28%. In general, home buyers are looking for a home that’s fit for moving in right away and doesn’t require much work. A home with a poorly maintained garden, or none at all, can scare away potential buyers and lower the value of your home. This is why quality landscaping is valued by any home building agency that offers house and land packages, such as Coral Homes.

It Can Save You Money

vegetable garden

vegetable garden (Image from flickr)

Not only will a beautiful garden get you more money when it comes time to sell your home, but, if you plant shade trees as soon as you move in, the added shade these trees provide can cut your cooling costs by as much as 40%. Large trees can block out much of the sun and leave your home naturally cooler during those scorching hot summer days. Also, if you create a little herb and vegetable garden in your backyard, then you can also save both time and money as you won’t have to make those short trips to the supermarket to grab some thyme, rosemary, or a fresh lettuce; you’ll have everything on hand, right in your own garden.

Better Air Quality in Your Home

Finally, if your garden starts or ends inside your home, then your plants can actually clear the air of environmental toxins. Plants such as English ivy, gerbera daisies, peace lilies, and bamboo palm are especially good at improving the quality of the air in your home.

Can you think of any other ways a beautiful home garden can improve your home? Leave your comments in the section below and help others see the light in building a garden in their backyard.

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Get a Fill of Travel Experiences in Spain

Posted by on Dec 16, 2014 in Earth Friendly Activities | 0 comments

They say that the best gift you can give your family is time. Not the five minutes chat over breakfast or a ten-minute phone call while you’re working late in the office. I’m talking about quality time with undivided attention – time to share experiences and build memories together. The best way to have this precious time without distractions from work is to travel discover the world together.

A travel destination with a nice mix of beach, nature, food, culture and nightlife is one of the best places where a family like ours can spend a holiday. Having these options available makes it easy to satisfy any travel experience each family member may want without hopping from one country to another. Those who are looking for such a destination can check out what Spain has to offer because when it comes to travel “Whatever I need, I need Spain”.

spain, tour spain, beaches in spain

It is quite common for countries to boast of their beautiful beaches and countryside to entice people to visit their country. But you can have so much more than this if you know where to go. Turespaña’s campaign “Whatever I need, I need Spain” points us to the right direction by showcasing the variety of travel experiences that Spain has to offer. You can match any travel mood from gustatory, adventure, or culture with a destination in Spain. For instance, a trip to Vitoria Gazteiz or a Tapas Tour of Madrid will be a perfect opportunity for food adventurers to experience the true flavors of Spanish cuisine. The white towns of Cadiz offer a romantic and enchanting ambiance for couples or those who are simply romantic at heart. There are also plenty of nature and adventure experiences for the whole family or those who would like to rough it out in nature. The Pyrenees in particular caught my attention and is now in my travel agenda.

Spain is also rich in arts, culture, and history as can be seen in their various world heritage sites and museums. This makes a great destination for artists, historians, students and people who would simply like to enrich themselves with the country’s culture. Those who would like to spend their time partying all night will not be disappointed with what Ibiza, Madrid and Barcelona has to offer. These are well known venues for some of the hottest parties in the world.

Before viewing this video, the wonderful beaches and the renowned nightlife in Ibiza were the only destinations on my list. Learning about Spain through the “Whatever I need, I need Spain” campaign opened my eyes to new travel possibilities in just one country. This is definitely a country my family would love to explore together. I wouldn’t mind spending all our holidays in Spain until we get my fill of everything that they have to offer.

Visit www.spain.info/whateverineedspain/en and find out more about the travel experiences that your own family can share in Spain.

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Downsizing Your Home: What To Do With Your Excess Furniture

Posted by on Oct 28, 2014 in Earth Friendly Activities, green living, Home Furniture, How To's | 1 comment

Downsizing! Whether you’re moving into a new life phase, getting rid of the past or making a fresh start, there’s always the dilemma on what to do with your excess furniture. Having trouble deciding on what to do with your excess furniture? Check out these ideas to help with downsizing.

furniture, excess furniture

Pack It Into The Garage

Of course, the first place many think of to put excess furniture is in the garage. Why not – it’s close and it’s free. The problem many face when storing excess furniture in the garage is we tend to store too much. That antique or heirloom furniture often becomes something to store things on, in or around. Creepy crawlies love making homes in old draws, mould creeps in and before you know it, that beautiful furniture that you were hoping to keep for the kids has been scratched, rotted or infested.

Put It Into Storage

Without a doubt, storage comes at a cost. You’re paying for someone else to give you more space. A good storage facility will be mould and pest free, will ensure that old furniture does not have other peoples stuff stacked on it and will still give you easy access to your goods, if need be. Some storage companies such as http://www.yourlocalmovers.com.au/ will even come and collect everything you need to store. Look into the storage options in your area – you might even be amazed at how cost-effective it is!

Give It To The Kids

We all started out with second hand or used furniture, right? Your kids aren’t going to want your furniture. Not yet anyway. Why? Because that heavily stained chipboard table will look terrible in your kids townhouse, that’s why. The only time it is really appropriate to palm off excess furniture to the kids is if they need it AND they ask for it. Your kids aren’t going to want a bulk ‘donation’ of your old stuff.

Give It To Charity

We’ve all given a dodgy barbeque or brown couch to charity, but what about that furniture that is just that bit too good to turf? With most things in your home, furniture has a certain sentimental value. That couch you used to snuggle up on to watch the Saturday night movie. The table you spent many evenings eating around. That bed you spent many hours… sleeping in! Giving to charity is a great way to give things you truly don’t need or want anymore – but things with a special memory?

Those things you really ought to keep. Downsizing your home can often mean a change in life stage. The kids have left, maybe you’ve re-partnered and have excess furniture. Maybe it’s just time to update or upgrade. What have you done when you’ve downsized? Have you found any of these tips helpful, or would you do things differently? Leave your ideas in the comments, below.

Image credit: habitatgsf.org

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How to Store Practically Everything

Posted by on Oct 16, 2014 in Care Tips, Earth Friendly Activities, green living, How To's | 0 comments

When clutter starts to encroach on every room of your home, it’s time to purge what you can and organize everything that remains. Finding a place for everything can go a long way in reducing your stress, making your home look more inviting, and removing tripping and choking hazards (especially if you have young children or pets). Check out the tips below to get ideas for how to better store a wide variety of common household items.

Food: Is your refrigerator nearing maximum capacity after an overzealous trip to the grocery store? To keep food from spoiling, familiarize yourself with what can go in the freezer—and how long it will last in there. Beef and chicken can both last up to a year in the freezer if they are tightly sealed in plastic bags or their original packaging, while bread products can last up to 6 months, for example. Dairy products shouldn’t be frozen and will last between 7 days (for milk and yogurt) and 3-4 weeks (for hard cheeses). Fresh produce will last between 2 days and 2 weeks, depending on the thickness of the rind and how ripe it was when you purchased it.

Clothing: If you have a lot of seasonal clothing or hand-me-downs that you’re just waiting fo your youngest child to grow into, you should consider moving it to a climate-controlled storage unit. The clothing should stay in good condition indefinitely if stored in a space between 66-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Whether you’re storing clothes in a closet at home or a storage unit, remember to rotate them every 18 months or so to keep them fresh.

Furniture: Climate-controlled storage units can also come in handy when you have too much furniture but don’t want to sell it because you’re anticipating moving to a bigger place. If you go this route, disassemble furniture as much as you can to make it easier to move and reduce the risk of damage. If you end up with a bunch of screws and bolts, put them in small plastic baggies that are clearly labeled with the name of the piece of furniture they go to. Clean fabric furniture before moving it into the storage unit, and cover it in plastic wrap to protect it.

Makeup: Small containers of makeup can become disorganized quickly, so get your makeup drawer organized by purchasing some drawer dividers. Keep any makeup brushes in a roll-up holder to protect the bristles, and store any unused makeup in airtight containers to make it last for longer. Mascara and foundation that you’ve had for more than three months or powdered makeup and lipstick that you’ve had for more than 18 months should just be tossed.

Jewelry: If you don’t already have a jewelry box with dividers and a soft fabric lining, it’s worth the investment, as it will prevent your jewelry from getting tangled or scratched. If you have a box without compartments, you can also prevent tangling by wrapping each piece of jewelry individually in tissue paper. Make sure you keep the box in a safe, dry area.

Medication: You’re probably using your bathroom’s medicine cabinet to store medication, but heat and humidity actually speed up many medications’ breakdown processes, so that may not be the best place to keep it. Look for a dry location away from heats, lights, humidity, and the reach of young children, such as a high shelf in your bedroom closet.

If you want even more storage tips for household items including electronics, facial creams, and ceramic dishes, check out this detailed infographic from Next Door Self Storage.

how to store everything, storage tips

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