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MarlenaStoddard

Growing Family 4 Tips for Planting a Family Garden.JPG

Many households have their way of family bonding, whether it be a family game or movie night. Some households bond through on-going or long-term projects, such as family gardening. Although a long-term pastime such as family gardening may take more care, it is worth the health benefits and happiness it will bring to your literally growing family. If you follow these four tips, the entire home will flaunt their green thumbs with pride for a long time to come.

Tip #1: Purchase Seeds with Short to Long Growth Times

An inevitable component to gardening is the waiting game. Germination and growth times vary greatly among flora. To keep your children involved in the family garden, it would be best to put them in charge of sowing fast-growing seeds such as pumpkin (whose vines being to rapidly spread within a week), radishes, and wildflowers. While seeing fast and consistent results from their plants, the kids can also track the growth of other plants, like a giant sunflower.

Tip #2: Choose a Safe Pesticide

When developing a garden, all green thumbs out there know that their plants face threats from the environment. Dying and decaying gardens can be disheartening to the growing family, but there are number of ways to deal with these threats through the use of pesticides. However, the pest for your specific garden must be identified first. Once you identify whether its weeds, insects, fungus, or plant disease, you need to find the safest pesticide for your garden. For instance, a family with crawling pests and dogs would need an insect pesticide that was safe for canines to be exposed to. Many use natural alternatives such diatomaceous earth to keep active pests at bay.

Tip #3: Mix and Match Garden

A colorful garden that brings fragrance, decor, and harvest will be a beloved family garden. When purchasing seeds, don't just think of a flowery landscape. Think of flower beds, butterflies, and ripe cherry tomatoes. There is nothing wrong with having different sections to your family garden. In fact, you may find that family members prefer to tend to one type over another. Many garden and farming supply companies, like Central Farm and Garden, actually using many different types of plants. This not only makes things more colorful—and more fun—but can make plants healthier and help them grow larger.

Tip #4: Plant Everyone's Favorite

No matter the growth time or plant type, every family member should sow his or her favorite plant. It will bring so much joy and personal fulfillment when it blooms.

 

These tips should have your family growing in no time for a long time. If the space permits, you could even grow a family tree.

MarlenaStoddard

Environmentally friendly solutions for the home might seem overwhelming and expensive, but if done correctly they can save a homeowner money without much worry or effort. Some solutions yield immediate savings while others take longer to materialize but may be even more cost saving. All of the examples below are smart ways to help the environment through lower use of water and electricity while saving money in the process.

4 Ingenious Ways to Make Your Home Eco-Friendly and Save in the Process.JPG

Synthetic Grass

Planting and maintaining grass is not only ecologically wasteful, it’s also expensive. The constant watering that grass requires, especially in drought stricken areas, is extremely wasteful and all that wasted water costs money. According to the experts at Green Planet Grass, there is a practical and aesthetically pleasing alternative: synthetic grass, or artificial turf. Synthetic grass allows all of the same activities as normal grass, so families can still play catch and soccer, but without the associated water costs and waste of a normal lawn.

 

Improved Insulation

Upgrading the insulation in your home is a one-time cost that will lead to energy savings for a long time to come. A lot of insulation methods are associated with toxic chemicals and high prices, but they don’t have to be. By using recycled, non-toxic, but high quality insulation you won’t be polluting the environment, and a well insulated home means lower heating and cooling costs year round.

 

Grey Water Recycling

Installing a grey-water recycling system might sound overwhelming, but it can actually be as easy and straightforward as diverting laundry water to a bucket used for watering plants. This simple step can save a hundred dollars every year in water costs with just the cost of a bucket. While easily diverting used water can be affordable and simple, more complex and efficient grey-water recycling methods can also be installed, just be sure to check your state’s policies on water repurposing.

 

Energy Efficient Appliances

Energy efficient appliances can make a huge difference in electricity consumption and therefore utility costs. Switching all appliances at once probably won’t fit in most people’s budgets, and no one should be getting rid of brand new appliances, but it’s a good idea to consider replacing things that already are old and need to be replaced with appliances that will use less water and electricity. Not only will washing dishes and laundry become easier and faster, but all utility costs will drop as well.

MarlenaStoddard

Planet Savers 4 Things You Should Always Recycle.jpg

Many people understand the importance of recycling. In fact, almost a fourth of Americans recycle their water bottles. But other than cans, glass, and paper, what else are you supposed to recycle?

 

Why Recycle?

Before we dive into what should always be recycled, let’s outline why it is so important to recycle in the first place. Although it seems like every product we purchase replenishes itself, every item we consume is made from a limited resource. If we are not responsible, we may run out of these resources someday. When we choose to recycle our goods, the material that was used again to create the products we love will be used for a similar product. Every time you recycle, you contribute directly to a sustainable future.

 

Car Tires

Although it may sound odd, car tires are extremely bad for the environment. According to the experts at Discount Tire Center, you should always recycle old automobile tires. When they are decommissioned, they are merely a large rubber, hollow donut. Old tires laying around create an environment that is prone to flooding, vermin, and mosquitos. Furthermore, rubber is conducive to fire. Fires born from the rubber of a tire will usually last longer to extinguish, thus causing an unrelenting amount of pollution to the environment. On the bright side, tire-derived fuel or TDF is responsible for a large portion of energy. One tire can produce up to five gallons of fuel, so it is in the best interest of this planet to continue recycling car tires.

 

Mobile and Desktop Computers

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates accomplished their dreams of putting a personal computer inside every home, but that also created a large amount of waste. Fortunately, old computers and laptops can be recycled as well. Best Buy, Office Depot, and Staples all accept larger electronics for a small recycling fee to ease your stress. These products contain dangerous chemicals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, and brominated flame retardants that continue to destroy environments surrounding landfills.

 

Plastic Bags

The importance of recycling plastic cannot be explained in a better way than looking at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Alternatively, the act of recycling plastic will decrease the need for petroleum (a non-renewable resource) and increase our levels of sustainability.

 

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Although they demand less energy, these light bulbs contain mercury. When they are smashed in a landfill, they release mercury into the soil, polluting the surrounding area. Alternatively, recycling one light bulb can produce one light bulb and it is easily completed at your local Home Depot. Simply find their Lamp Recycle area, and they will recycle the bulb for you.

 

 

Recycling is difficult to begin but easily maintained. Once you begin the process of changing the way you dispose of unwanted products and materials, you will acclimate within weeks. When it comes to recycling, it really is a decision between sustainable living and the opposite.

MarlenaStoddard

Upcycled Circuitry 4 Creative Uses for Old Tech.JPG

Technology often has a nostalgic link to the era in which it was in vogue. However, just because a piece of tech is found to be behind the times by modern standards, this does not mean that its usefulness has vanished. Sometimes it is when an old piece of tech has lost its appeal that someone discovers a new purpose for it. Then, that which was believed to be condemned to the shelves at the rear of the storeroom gets a new purpose—and sometimes new popularity. Old technology can give life to new and innovative ideas. Here are a few of those innovations to consider.

 

That Old Transistor Radio

While the younger generation is busy with their iPods and MP4 players, the older generation remembers the days when hand-held transistor radios were all the rage. Despite being less popular today, many might be shocked to learn that blind people still use transistor radios to help them to navigate screen changes on other electronic devices. Since the radio provides an audible change in the static hum of AM frequency channels when the screen of a nearby electronic device has changed, this can be used to help a blind person know that something has taken place on a screen they cannot read. Some blind people have successfully used this method to navigate the use of drum machines and other previously inaccessible electronic devices.

 

All Those Unused Monitors

Often people buy new computer gear and stick their old monitors in the garage or at the back of their closet. Before long they realize they have a slew of old monitors. Removing the monitors from their base makes it possible to arrange the monitors in a vertical, homemade frame. The more monitors you have, the more you can use to make a multiple screen video display. With enough video cards to drive their use, a person can finally have that multiple display they always wanted for watching television or running their home security system through. Sometimes, a broken monitor is just a simple repair away from being incredibly useful. Research what the problem might be online, or contact a service like Contec Direct to see if it’s worth the trouble.

 

Phone Cameras

If you are the type to have a bunch of old cell and smartphones laying around in a box, it might be time to put their on-board cameras to work. Instead of spending a fortune on new cameras for your home security system, simply making use of these older cameras is one way to outfit your home with 360-degree monitoring. One perk is that old phones, even when they aren’t connected to a phone network anymore, can still connect to your WiFi network. You can have a home security system without having to run wires to every corner of your house!

 

The Old Bulky Television

Many people have an old broken television they are no longer using. Many of the older televisions are bulky and served as a place where the family gathered around on movie night. Now broken, it is okay to wait until the television has had time to drain its power and start gutting out its insides. With the inside empty, the display box with the glass screen front can be used for displaying some other scene or object of your choice. You could even completely gut it, and plant some flowers inside for a contemporary urban art piece!

 

Old tech is all around us. Some of this tech may still have a lot of useful functions. With a little creative thought and hard work, you would be surprised what can be made out of your collection of outdated technology.

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