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Posted by on Nov 19, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

How To Reduce Water Usage In Your Home

When you’re running water from your faucet, it’s easy to imagine that there is an endless supply. In fact, the average person uses 80ā€“100 gallons of water every day, and this is having a huge impact on freshwater supplies. Fortunately, there are some fairly simple things you can do to significantly cut your home’s water usage.

Avoid Letting Water Flow

Never let water just pour out of the faucet when you don’t need to. Just turning off the water when you’re shaving or brushing your teeth can save a lot. Keep in mind that the water pressure in an average household can result in a faucet using 6 gallons in three minutes. If you’re washing dishes by hand, fill up the sink with soapy water rather than running the water.

Create a Compost Pile

The garbage disposal in your kitchen sink uses a lot of water. This is why you should compost as much as you can of your garbage rather than putting it down your garbage disposal. Create a compost pile for all of your vegetable matter scraps.

Take Smarter Showers

Showers can also use an enormous amount of water. There are two ways to cut water usage for showers. The first is to install low-flow showerheads. These will get you just as clean as standard showerheads, but with a fraction of the water. The other is to take faster showers. If you normally take a ten minute shower, try to do it in five.

Fix Any Leaks

Locate any leaks in your home and repair them as quickly as possible. One way to determine if you have a leak is to read your water meter, wait two hours without using water and then read it again. If there’s any change, you have a leak somewhere. Look at the connections on your water heater, the pipes under your sinks, and the faucets themselves. You can literally lose thousands of gallons of water every year just because of dripping faucets.

Go Low-Flow

In addition to putting a low-flow showerhead in your shower, you should also install low-flow faucets and toilets throughout your home. Many low-flow toilets use as little as half as much water as older, standard models. Some toilets also have a full flush for solid wastes or a half flush for liquids.

Use Rain Barrels

If you have a large yard and a garden, you can use a lot of water taking care of it. Cut or eliminate this water usage by using rain barrels attached to your gutter system’s downspout to capture water to use in your garden.

Get more information here.

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Posted by on Nov 19, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Starting A Garden In Your Yard

If you’re thinking about starting a garden in your yard, you want to make sure you make choices that ensure you’re going to have an overall good experience. You should follow the tips below to have a successful gardening experience.

Decide on what type of garden you want

You will have different options available to you when it comes to the type of garden you want to start. You need to decide whether you want to go with a flower garden, a vegetable garden or even an herb garden. If you want, you can do all three but you want to start off small until you see success and then add more to your garden a little bit at a time. This also allows you to see whether or not you have better luck with one type of garden over the others.

Choose the location

When you’re deciding where you want your garden, you want to be sure it’s going to get enough sunlight. You also want to put it where it’s easy for you to get to on a daily basis and where you’ll be able to get a lot of enjoyment out of it. You also want the garden to be located near your watering source.

Start your garden

To get your garden started, you want to follow the steps listed below:

  1. Remove the sod on the area where you plan on putting your garden. You can dig it out for the fastest results.
  2. Improve the condition of your soil by mixing in old manure, lawn clippings and rotting leaves.
  3. Use a spade to gently turn at least 8 inches of the soil when it is moist, not wet.
  4. Plant your plants and/or your seeds. You want to make sure you pay attention to the instructions and plant them during the suggested months.
  5. Seedlings need water every day, so make sure you are able to water the garden on a daily basis until the plants are larger.
  6. You want to cover the soil with a couple of inches worth of mulch in order to keep the weeds out. It will also help to keep the water in.

Once you get your garden going you’ll see that it can be a very rewarding experience. You should pay attention to your garden daily and look for signs of damage from pests and/or animals. You also want to be sure you prune when necessary and add a comfortable seat near the garden so you can relax and enjoy all your hard work.

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Posted by on Nov 19, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Bring A Bit Of Aromatherapy To The Home Gently

There are many ways to use aromatherapy, and it can help to induce a certain mood around your home. Many find that specific scents will help reduce anxiety, increase energy, and even alleviate pain when used in conjunction with other treatment alternatives. Aromatherapy products and supplies make wonderful gifts, too, when you want to give someone special a great gift that feels indulgent.

Consider the following aromatherapy products to add scents to your home:

Tealight oil warmer

There are some amazing tealight oil warmers, and if you are uncomfortable with lighting candles, many are electric. These gently warm the essential oil to exude the therapeutic fragrance that you select. For all-day use, add a few drops of water to the oil in the burner for a slightly lighter scent.

Some benefits of essential oil include:

  • Peppermint oil can help a headache, and it will give the home a holiday scent.

  • Citrus scents, such as lemon and orange, can increase energy and fight fatigue. These also bring a fresh, clean scent to the home.

  • Reduce chronic pain with the scent of rosemary and eucalyptus.

Wax cubes

Wax cubes are a great alternative to a candle, and don’t require an open-flame to emit fragrance. These are pieces of scented wax that can be gently melted, in the same fashion as an oil warmer–often in the same device! Look for slow-melting cubes, of beeswax or soy, for gifts that will be adored by others.

Tips for using wax cubes include:

  • Clean your wax burner in-between uses to keep the scents clean and fresh.

  • Before washing, submerge the burner with wax in cold water. This will make it scrape clean easily.

  • Look for scents that could be mixed and matched, to create custom fragrances. For instance, buy a package of apple scented wax and one of cinnamon scented wax, and melt together for a fresh baked pie scent.

Oil diffusers

Oil diffusers are another way to enjoy the scents of your favorite essential oils. These don’t require burners or tealights, and are often found in decorative styles that bring an aesthetic quality to the home. The scent of these may be a bit fainter than when you warm the oil, but it could be a practical all-day option for the bedroom or bath.

Diffusing essential oils is easy; here’s how:

  • First, purchase diffuser sticks from a craft store or aromatherapy site.

  • Drop oil on the end of the stick, saturating as desired for a stronger scent.

  • Place the sticks in a tall vase or glass, with the oil-soaked end up.

  • Add a couple drops of oil every day or so, and replace when the sticks seem oily and stale.

If you haven’t tried aromatherapy in your home, you could be missing out on a wide range of therapeutic benefits that this trend provides. Try giving someone else the gift of aromatherapy with a clever oil burner and some alluring essential oils this holiday!

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Posted by on Nov 19, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Tips For Winterizing Your Evergreen Shrubs

Evergreen shrubs, bushes and hedges provide year-round greenery to your landscape. They require proper care to survive and look their best through the cold winter season. A little bit of preparation this fall, along with regular maintenance throughout winter and into spring, will keep them healthy.

Lessen the Snow Load

Heavy snow can split open an evergreen hedge or bush. In most cases, the shrub will recover. Occasionally, however, a heavy load can cause broken branches or a fractured trunk.

To lessen the weight of the snow on top your evergreen, brush it off with a broom. Sweep upward from the bottom of the bush towards the top. Downward sweeping can damage branches.

Watch the Wind

Loss of moisture during cold, windy weather can leave evergreens looking desiccated or burned. You have two options to protect them.

  1. Wrap the evergreen with burlap. Wrapping burlap around your evergreen protects from wind damage, but it can also overheat or damage the bush. Make sure you remove any wrapping before temperatures warm above freezing.

  2. Erect a windbreak on the windward side of the bush. Install two stakes on either side of the evergreen and stretch the burlap between them. It won’t damage the bush, since it’s not in contact with the needles or leaves.

Protect the Roots

Frost heave occurs when the roots begin to lift out of the soil during winter freeze and thaw cycles. Cover the ground around your evergreens with a 2 to 4 inch layer of mulch to insulate the roots and minimize frost heave. Avoid mulching against the trunk ā€“ leave a 3-inch space between the trunk and mulch to avoid trunk rot problems.

Water is also important during dry periods when the ground isn’t frozen. Your evergreens are only semi-dormant, so they may need a drink in the winter if temperatures don’t drop low enough to freeze.

A Timely Trim

Spring and early summer is pruning time. Wait until your evergreens begin to put on new needles or leaves before you prune out any damaged wood. Your tree service company can tell you the best time to prune in your area.

When pruning the shrubs, avoid the flat-top cut. Instead, prune them in a pyramidal or rounded shape. This allows snow to slide off the bushes the following winter, instead of sitting on top and splitting the branches.

Evergreens are typically hardy plants. Even if your shrubs suffer some winter damage, they will likely recover over the summer, especially with careful tree care.

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