Ideas for charging and order with cables!
Think of it as organizing + recycling + life hacks + being extra crafty. These are all such great ideas.
Ideas for charging and order with cables!
Think of it as organizing + recycling + life hacks + being extra crafty. These are all such great ideas.
Looking for a fashionable (though small) home made completely out of found and recycled materials? Look no further than Tiny Texas Houses out of Luling, TX.
You can build this raised garden bed mini-greenhouse to extend your growing season with used railroad ties for the base and some scrap wood and sheet plastic for the cover.
Attention Backyard Gardeners! Check out this outstanding upcycled mini-greenhouse that’s been built primarily with recycled materials. Best yet - it’s designed to help you extend your growing seasons in certain parts of the country.
Can We Make Computing Greener? on We Heart It - http://weheartit.com/entry/56668437/via/AttwoodDigital
This delightful infographic outlines few ways that we could make computing and technology just a bit greener. And by reducing the amount of energy you use at your home or business, you can save money and reduce the strain on the environment!
I’m definitely a fan of making sure all the computers in your home or office go to “Sleep” or “Power Saving” mode as often as possible.
This beautiful poster outlines 8 different ways that you can “grow up” your vegetables in small spaces. It’s perfect for urban dwellers wanting to do some gardening!
DIY project du jour:
Got milk (crates)? Turn plastic crates into a credenza.
Find more crate reuse here.
Check out this upcycling goodness! A few milk crates + DIY aesthetics = Shoe bins!
Question: What’s more important - your family’s health or 100 percent cleanliness?
The answer is obvious – you’ll probably always choose your family’s health over complete cleanliness. But for this year’s Spring Cleaning, you can have both. You see, those cleaning chemicals that you buy at your local supermarket to use for touch-up jobs or deep cleaning - yeah, turns out that, while they do a good job of killing germs, wiping away dust and dirt, and clearing smudges, they’re not exactly good for indoor air quality. Those chemicals can be very harmful if ingested and/or breathed in by your kids, your pets or even, accidentally, by you.
We know what you’re thinking: “How can I get my home extra-clean and still protect the health of my family?”
The answer is simple. You should make your own cleaning products. Even better, you don’t have to be an expert chemist to create your own eco-friendly cleaning products. These homemade products will do just as good (or better) of cleaning your home, while still maintaining a healthy indoor environment. What’s more is that you can buy the necessary ingredients at your local supermarket, and your own cleaning concoctions can be made for cheaper than you could buy namebrands in many cases.
Here’s a look at five easy DIY green cleaning products for you to make and use around your home for your Spring Cleaning:
Tub and Tile Cleaner
Ingredients: 1 2/3 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup vegetable oil soap, 1/2 cup water, 2 tablespoons of vinegar.
Mix the ingredients in a jar or spray bottle and shake well before using. Then apply the chemical to the surface you want to clean with a cloth or sponge, let sit, and rinse well after using. The baking soda is a natural deodorizer that also scours and does a remarkable job at cleaning as well. The vinegar in this mixture is a degreaser that kills the likes of bacteria, mold, and viruses, and the vegetable oil soap also helps clean. And compared to most “industrial strength” cleaners of this nature, these ingredients are all non-toxic.
Ingredients: 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon dish soap, 2 tablespoons of vinegar.
Using a funnel, combine the ingredients into an empty spray bottle, shake it, let it sit for a few minutes, then add warm water. Shake it up some more, let it sit for a few more minutes, and now you have your all-purpose cleaner. It’s ideal for kitchen counters, bathroom counters and many other hard surfaces throughout your home.
Ingredients: 1/3 cup of baking soda, warm water.
This one is real simple - just mix the above ingredients in a bowl until it forms into a paste-like substance. Then, simply dab the product with a sponge or brush and get scrubbing. You’ll be pleased with the results, pleased with the simplicity to make this product and pleased that you won’t have to fork over extra dollars at the store next time you’re out to buy that specialty stovetop cleaner that’s always recommended.
Ingredients: A lemon, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of water.
If you have hardwood floors or wood tables in your home, a great time to spruce them up is part of your greater Spring Cleaning project. Why hire a professional or buy some facny product when you can make your own product that’s just as effective and green? To make your own wood polish, cut a lemon in half and squeeze its juice into a container. Then, add in a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of water, and shake the mixture up so it’s ready to use. Then, just simply dab the chemical with a cloth or rag and start wiping down your wood to have them looking good in no time.
Ingredients: 1/2 cup baking soda, 1 cup of vinegar
While there are lots of specialty chemicals you can purchase to do this for you, the truth is, thought these chemicals may work well, they’re also known to corrode your plumbing, and they’re not exactly safe for your skin. So, this spring, you should go the green, DIY route. Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down each drain and chase that with a cup of vinegar. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes, and then rinse it with hot water. Repeat as necessary, or wait longer periods between rinsing.
The best part about all of these DIY cleaning products we’ve discussed is that, not only are they easy to make, but most of them are made from the same materials, so you can ensure that the component parts won’t go to waste. Also, they’re much more effective than people might recognize, and, of course, they’re all green. So, you can use them with the confidence that your Spring Cleaning won’t impact the indoor air quality or the health of your family.
Image courtesy of Alan Cleaver.
I quite enjoy this breakdown of how you can recycle 10 difficult items you find in your backyard.
Whether you are looking to save a little money or to eliminate your family’s exposure to potentially harmful chemicals and toxins as you begin your annual Spring Cleaning, making your own DIY cleaners is an easy way to make that change. In fact, you might be surprised by just how few ingredients you will need to mix together as you create quality laundry powder. Often, homemade cleaners, are more eco-friendly than store-bought options, simply because you have less packaging waste and there are less harmful ingredients used in its production. With these 4 recipes, you can make organic laundry detergents and soaps for your home Spring Cleaning with ease. The recipes for powdered laundry soaps vary slightly from the liquid varieties, but each contains ingredients that can easily be found in local stores.
Powdered Laundry Soap
One of the easiest homemade cleaners you can make is this homemade laundry powder. This simple recipe only has two ingredients - washing soda and borax – and it requires that you just mix equal parts of the two ingredients and store it in a container with a lid. The great thing about this laundry powder is that you can make as much or as little of it as you want at one time. If you want to reduce the amount of time you spend making the mixture, get a 5 gallon bucket with a lid and fill it up as much as you want.
You will find that DIY cleaners like this simple powered laundry soap clean as well as the store brands, but without all the harsh chemicals, making these the perfect homemade cleaners for your family if you have a child with a lot of allergies. For a standard size load of laundry, you only have to use 2 tablespoons of the laundry soap.
Liquid Laundry Detergent
If you prefer liquid laundry soap instead of powder for your DIY cleaners, then you will find this recipe equally as easy to make on your own. If you do not already have these items at home, you will need to buy some washing soda, borax, and a natural soap bar (castile soap, for example). Once you have all the necessary ingredients you will need to boil one quart of water. Once the water is boiling, you need to add your ingredients to the water in equal parts, which comes out to around 2 cups of each. The soap bar does need to be finely grated when you add it to the water so that it will easily dissolve. If you want to hasten the soap dissolving process, you can melt it a bit before adding it into the mixture.
After you have mixed everything together to where it’s all dissolved, put in around 2 gallons of water and transfer the mixture to a container with a lid for storage. You will notice that this recipe just builds on the powdered laundry soap recipe, which also makes it safe for allergy-prone family members. Use 2 tablespoons of the detergent for an average size load of laundry.
Scented Liquid Laundry Detergent
If the smell of fresh laundry is one of your favorite scents, you shouldn’t have to give that up just because you are replacing store-bought detergents with green, environmentally friendly ones. In fact, you have more control than ever before when it comes to the scent of your laundry detergent. To make this scented DIY laundry detergent at home, just follow the previous recipe for simple liquid laundry detergent and add in your favorite natural essential oil. To appropriately scent your detergent, add five to seven drops of your favorite essential oil for every one gallon of detergent you’ve made. To keep the detergent free of chemicals, ensure that you are only using natural essential oils and not artificial fragrances.
Scented Powdered Laundry Soap
If you want some scented laundry soap but prefer the powdered variety to the liquid, you can do this, but not with the essential oils mentioned earlier. The ingredients that you will need are baking soda, borax, natural soap bars (like castile soap), and some citrus fruits. In a large bowl or bucket, you need to finely grate the bars of soap and then mix in the following:
The number of citrus fruits you need for zest is really a matter of personal preference in terms of how strong you want the scent to be. Try zesting two or three at first to determine how you’ll respond to the scent of the laundry powder after mixing everything together. Like the other homemade laundry soaps above, you should use around 2 tablespoons per load of laundry.
You can use any of the homemade cleaners above and make green laundry soap for Spring Cleaning at your home. To so this, be sure to choose only organic natural soap bars and organic essential oils. This will ensure that your laundry is only getting washed in high quality organic laundry soap without harsh or toxic chemicals. For more information, tips, ideas, and recipes, we recommend the following two links:
Image courtesy of shalommama.
“Energy efficient homes” is one of the buzzwords of the ever-growing “green movement”, and making your home energy efficient makes sense on a financial level as well as an eco-friendly one. However, the initiative requires more than just turning down your heating and using less hot water. In…
Here are a few helpful tips on improving the energy efficiency of your homes.
With spring right around the corner, now is the perfect time to begin planning your garage sale. Granted, this task can be quite daunting for many, but never fear – we’ve collected these 11 tips to help get you started on your way to a successful event.
#1: Organize One Room at a Time
Many people simply get overwhelmed with where to start when they begin clearing out items to be sold at a garage sale. In fact, this is generally the step where most folks get frustrated and stop trying to eliminate excess clutter. The trick to get past this blockage is to work through the whole home and do it one room at a time.
To start, have three plastic totes or cardboard boxes available: one for keeping, one for trash, and one for the garage sale. Begin the room by sorting out the items into these three piles.
Once separated, put away all items you’re keeping where they belong. Next, throw away all trash immediately – get it out of your home. Finally, designate a specific section of your home for the items you want to sell and start collecting. These three steps must be done for each room before moving onto other rooms, which will help keep the feeling of discouragement to a minimum.
#2: Organize All Year Long
It’s important to remember that organizing does not have to happen right before a garage sale. It would help to keep a box or plastic tote handy around the home for adding items to all year long. This will make next year’s organization process much easier and allow you to get a jump start!
#3: Find Out If Any Local Permits Are Needed
One of the most overlooked parts of holding a garage sale is checking with the rules of your homeowner’s association, neighborhood, and/or community. Some cities and towns actually require a permit, usually for a small fee, to have garage sales. Furthermore, a signage permit is also often needed for you to advertise your sale. Failure to account for these permits could often result in you being assessed a fine.
#4: Discover Any Days for Community Garage Sales
While you are checking on local permits, be sure to ask if there are any specific dates when your neighborhood or community holds a collective garage sale. By paring with neighbors, you are giving yourself easy access to more shoppers and free advertising for your sale. You can also check with your homeowner’s association to determine if they have any similar events planned.
None of these options apply to you? Ask a few neighbors if they have any items they want to get rid of. By having multiple houses on a single street or block hosting sales all at once, there is a greater chance yours will be a bigger success.
#5: Include Your Children
Including children in the garage sale process is an excellent time to teach them about commerce. Help them sort through old toys, clothing, and possessions to find items to sell. Help them price the items at a reasonable rate. When it comes to make signs or start advertising your sale, allow them to assist.
#6: Have a Backup Plan for Bad Weather
Bad weather can occur when you least expect it, and it could definitely hinder your garage sale (unless you magically have a huge indoor space where people can congregate to buy your stuff). It is important to have a backup plan for another weekend, if any projected bad weather grinds your sale to a halt. Remember, the goal is to get rid of clutter, so you shouldn’t put off that sale indefinitely just because of some rain!
#7: Get Started Early & Advertise to the Masses
People who frequently hold and visit garage sales will often tell you that getting started early is key, and usually, this means before 7 AM. Shoppers often have coffee and money in hand at that time of morning, looking for the best items. To attract these diehard shoppers, you will also want to do a bit of mass advertising. This can be through free websites (Craigslist is the best place to start), your community or neighborhood newsletter, social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, newspaper ads, or by placing signs up in your area.
#8: Get Change Ahead of Time
Garage sales are cash-based endeavors. Many people selling items often forget to get small change for their customers, causing them to have to run to the bank in the middle of the sale. By remembering to get change ahead of time, you could save yourself a lot of unnecessary irritation (and sales stoppages)!
#9: Know Your Limits and Keep a Schedule of Events
It is also important to know ahead of time when you want to wind down the sale. Know this time and stick to it. This is often when you can sell a lot of items by offering them in bundles or at rock-bottom prices. Remember, the goal is not to have a ton of leftover stuff after the sale! This tip is also important because you don’t want to tire out yourself or your family by keeping the sale going in hopes that one last customer comes up to buy everything.
#10: Responsible Cleanup and Closing of the Sale
When you have finally reached a point in which you decide it is time to close up your sale for the day, it is important to do so in an organized fashion. Combine any unsold items into a single location. Break down any cardboard boxes or any other items that can be recycled, and ensure they make it to a local recycling center. Also, remember to remove any signage you have put up around the neighborhood or in your local area.
#11: Keep a Plan for After the Sale
It is important to develop and keep a plan for dispensing with items that have not sold after the sale. Know of local Goodwill locations that take donations – these donations are often tax-deductible, so get a receipt. Consignment shops/sales, women’s shelters, and homeless shelters also make a great drop-off location for items that were not purchased during your garage sale. Anything that can be recycled (electronics, metal, plastic items, etc.) should be taken to the appropriate locations in your community.
And remember, the biggest key to having a successful garage sale is remembering that it is “just stuff.” Even though the clutter has been removed from your home, it does not mean all your fond memories have been erased. Don’t be afraid to clear out your house!
Other Information on Hosting a Garage Sale:
Now THIS is a creative way to upcycle some trash in a creative way that will catch people’s attention - especially at SXSW.