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About this blog

In this blog I would like to inspire people to de-clutter their homes, lives and minds for a better health and quality of life.

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danabarkerdavies

 

There has always been a debate about bugs – most people fear and hate them, others don't. To be honest I have to agree with the old saying that goes “the only good bug is the dead bug”, but either way these creatures are unique in the ways they organize themselves, how they adapt and the survival mechanisms they employ. Not to mention that they are extremely functional and most times I wish I was so useful to nature!

Do you know that you don't always need chemicals in the war against insects? There are different pest control techniques you could try in your house. This way your home will simply be unattractive to different types of pests. One of the most common question in the bug business is “ How to prevent pests from getting into our home”. There can never be a straightforward answer to this question. Keep in mind that sometimes whatever you do there will be an occasional insect trying to disturb you.

When making your house unattractive to pests start from removing litter, loose boards, etc. away from the foundations of the house. Litter is attracting pests and loose boards provide hiding places. Keep bushes and tree branches trimmed in a way they don't touch the walls of your house. Branches and bushes provide excellent pathways for ants to climb. Avoid using the outside lights all the time, because they also attract insects, especially mosquitoes, and these guys are annoying.

Remove dead wood from your premises as it makes a great home for termites. In addition, fill any cracks in walls and doors as ants find them and use them. Make sure windows close tightly and there is no space between them and the window frames. When cleaning your house, pay more attention to the corners. Spiders prefer them for their webs. Clean thoroughly and remove all webs. This way you can make sure that you will get rid of them. You probably know this, but unless you don't, spiders are smart animals and they never build a web in a place where it will keep getting destroyed. Clean behind furniture as this might be the next place they build a web.

When you clean the carpet and especially when you shampoo them, make sure they have dried well before introducing them back to your home. Dust mites and other insects love damp places and carpets are a great breeding spot. Occasional carpet cleaning through hot water extraction will eliminate them and will make your carpets clean and safe again. Similarly your mattress will also need a thorough cleaning once a year or every two years. Find out about bed bugs here.

If cockroaches are a problem make sure you keep the drain covers on sinks, baths, etc. By following this simple step, their “way” will be blocked. You can occasionally pour a cupful of bleach down your drains, or freshly squeezed lemon juice at least once a week. The fumes from the bleach will keep the cockroaches away.

Keep in mind that sometimes you will stumble upon insects, even if you have followed this advice and completed all the steps thoroughly. It is inevitable, but keep in mind that no all insects and pests. Check out what Russell Brand said: "Say a fly comes in me house; I tolerate that little asshole. He is just passing through life like I am!" If a pest or insect enters try to get rid of it without inflicting harm or spraying toxic solutions. You are harming yourself too this way. Of course, don't let things get out of hands.

danabarkerdavies
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With all the research, nowadays, revealing that the air in our homes is about 200% more polluted than the air outside, people increasingly turned to more natural cleaning agents such as vinegar and baking soda. And it is a fact that many of the commercial cleaners nowadays are not only more expensive and cause pollution, but are actually damaging, and could even trigger asthma if someone is genetically predisposed.There are many benefits from cleaning with natural products only. Vinegar is so popular because it is cheap, efficient and perfectly safe to use at home. You, probably knew all that, so I won't waste your time. What you may not know is the variety of things that you could clean with vinegar.

You can use vinegar:

1. To clean the floors. Mix a few cups of vinegar in a bucket full of hot or lukewarm water and use it to clean your flooring.

2. Remove Stains. Vinegar works quite well with non-oily stains. Simply mix some vinegar with water and apply on the stain, than rub gently with a soft sponge and rinse with tower dipped in clean water. Let it dry.

3. Carpet cleaning solution. Vinegar is a very good carpet cleaner for a few reasons. As we established it is quite effective when it comes to stains, but that's not all to it. As vinegar is acidic it is quite good in eliminating dust mites, germs and bacteria. Often when you have a carpet and pets, or it is situated in a high traffic area, it could become dusty. So washing it with a solution made of vinegar and water would help eliminate the bad odors and all the mites.

4. Use it as a multi-purpose cleaner. Simply get a spraying bottle and fill with vinegar and water. Spray on your dining table, kitchen counters and other areas that you think need cleaning. Wipe with a damp cloth. Because of the acidic qualities of vinegar all the surfaces you use it on will be bacteria and germ-free.

5. Windows. Believe it or not a mix of white distilled vinegar and water doesn't leave marks and streaks on your windows. Instead it leaves them gleaming and really clean.

6. Drains. You could use vinegar to freshen up the drains and get rid of all the grease build-up. Simply pour a couple of small cups down the drain, which will eliminate the bad odours, the grease and other nasty stuff down the drain. You could the same with your garbage disposal/ Switch it on and while it is working pour down a cup of two. In addition, you could add a few pieces of cut in halves lemon.

7. Oven. In order to clean the oven properly you will need another ally in the face of baking soda. All you need to do is make a paste of baking soda and water, apply everywhere inside the oven equally and wait for a couple of hours. After that you spray vinegar, again, all over and if it starts fizzing then it is working.

8. Microwave. In a heat-resistant bowl make a mix of vinegar and water. Put inside the microwave and heat for 2 minutes. The fumes and vapours will soften the grease which you will only need to wipe with a damp cloth.

9. Mattress. vinegar will do wonders with your mattress. You can make a mix and apply it on an affected or stained surface of your mattress. Or you could wash your mattress covers in hot water and vinegar, which will kill the dust mites, which are known to be triggers of asthma.

Professional cleaners warn against the use of vinegar on some of the following spots at home. Careful, you don't want to damage these and make your landlord unhappy!

Vinegar is not to be used on:

1. Grease. Vinegar cannot do much when it comes to grease. So clean other stuff with vinegar, but when it comes to greasy frying pans and dishes, reach for the dish washing solution and leave the vinegar for the salad. Actually, if you want another green cleaning alternative for grease stains and build-ups you can get baking soda. Making a paste of baking soda and water will usually be enough to get rid of the annoying stain.

2. Waxed surfaces. Not only you should avoid using vinegar on such, but you must never do it, as it will damage the finishing. If you are looking to remove an old coat of wax use vinegar as much as you like, but if you just want to clean the surface go for something else.

3. Stone. Do not use on stone flooring, or other stone surfaces such as counters etc. Stone could corrode if you clean it with vinegar.

4. Sensitive screens. Never use vinegar on sensitive screens such as plasma screens and other lap top screens. They have special layers that could be damaged if you apply vinegar on their surface.

5. With bleach. Never use vinegar with bleach. It is acidic and when mixed with bleach it makes powerful weapon. No kidding. The fumes that your mix will release will resemble closely a gas used in World War I.

danabarkerdavies
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Water is one of out the most precious resources we have and it is a crying shame that we pollute and waste it in the manner in which we do. Just because water is now available to us within a press of a tap, though, doesn't really mean we should let it go to waste. I know that sometimes saving water is hard work and I get lazy too, that's why I put those tips together and I hope I can change some of my habits and maybe inspire you to do the same.

#1 We all know this one - Turn the taps off when you brush your teeth, soap your hands, shampoo your hair, scrub your body, shave, etc.

#2 Fix Leaking pipes and faucets. Did you know that a leaking faucet can waste up to 1000 gallons a day?

#3 Take shorter showers - it will make a big difference for your water bill and not such a big difference to your hygiene.

#4 Use a bucket instead of a hose. It is slightly more work but it saves a significant amount of water. Last year in the UK they banned the hose due to a water saving plan by the government.

#5 When you drop an ice cube, put it in a plant, instead of the sink. It's the little things :)

#6 Collect the water that falls when you wash fruit and vegetables. You can use it to water the garden and plants, wash the patio, or soak your dirty dishes later on. According to Sydney lease cleaners you can use it for all sorts of cleaning purposes.

#7 While you wait for the hot water, put a bucket on the shower or bathtub floor and collect the cold water that falls. You can use it to wash your clothes later. Did you know that cold water is better for dark wash anyway?

#8 Use a bathtub divider if you have a toddler. You don't have to fill the entire bathtub in order to give the little fella a bath + it is convenient for you as you don't chase him around.

#9 Raise the blades of your lawn mower. Longer grass needs less water.

#10 Mulch Around Your Plants - it will help to hold water in the soil.

#11 When you boil eggs take them out and wait for the water to cool. You can use this water to water your plants. It will be rich in Calcium, because of the egg shells.

danabarkerdavies
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Texas professor Dr. Jeff Wilson moved in a dumpster to make a bold statement and to inspire a nation to consider micro-living. The environmental studies professor wanted to show his students and the world that you can be happy and healthy in a very small space.

Dr. Wilson took this extreme step to live in a dumpster for a year, because he wanted to raise awareness of the growing population (past 7 billion people) and the limited resources we have. The "mad" professor wanted to get his students out of their seats and get them excited about environmental problems. He wanted to pull everything out of the classroom, do something extreme, radical, crazy and meaningful. Ideally people will take away a lot of things from this project and ideas how to implement the lessons learned in further environmental projects.

The dumpster itself got cleaned and equipped with a few necessities such as blanket, pillow, Persian rug, lights, hanger, etc. Ideally, Wilson wanted the dumpster to "be designed to a standard that even my mother would give it a go for a night". He plans to make it even more attractive by introducing an xBox. He considers his dumpster as a "luxurious camping" opportunity with convertible roof that provides an excellent view under the Austin stars. Sounds magical doesn't it? Before you decide to move in to one yourself, you should know it is not all butterflies. Dr. Wilson has battled leaky roofs, endured bucket-style showers and his dumpster was carted off by the council once.

To donate for the cause, or read more, visit: http://dumpsterproject.org/

danabarkerdavies

Have you heard of the 7 days of garbage project carried by Gregg Segal? It is as interesting as it sounds! Despite just highlighting how much Americans consume in a week's time, it also raises awareness of how our rubbish affects the environment. After all, no one wants to lie in their own trash like this, right? Someday we may have to, if we don't cut pollution.

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Here is an interesting fact - the average American produces around 4 lb (nearly 2 kg) of rubbish everyday. The figure has doubled since 1960s. A single person, therefore, produces 14 kg a week, or roughly around 728 kg a year. A family of four thus, produces around 2912 kg (nearly 3 tons) of waste a year. When Gregg Segal found out about this disturbing rate at which we swamp our planet earth, he came up with "7 days of garbage". He hopes he can expand his project, shoot different locations and help people understand how pervasive clutter and garbage is and how important repurposing and upcycling are. He wants to show people that most of their clutter is unnecessary, anyway.

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Gregg says some of the participants volunteered because they believed the cause is worthwhile and others endured the shootings for monetary benefits. Either way he got different people from a variety of socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds. He even participated with his own family, because in his own words he believed: "we are all a part of the problem"

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And if Gregg's project can't inspire you here are a few more thoughts. According to professional carpet cleaners there is no cleaning a cluttered home. Clutter stands on the way of performing elementary tasks effectively. It stands on the way of having a productive day and puts pressure on the individual. In fact, de-cluttering might help you conceive, as according to Fung Shui when you have clutter, you have a leakage of energy.

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