Dixie Somers

  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Dixie Somers

  • Rank

Recent Profile Visitors

2,750 profile views
  1. When you have a clogged drain in your home, your first instinct might be to rush out and buy a chemical drain cleaner to fix the problem. While these products do work when they are used as directed, they include harsh chemicals that are bad for the environment and your plumbing. Instead of caustic drain cleaners, consider some of these eco-friendly solutions instead. Baking Soda and Vinegar Baking soda is a base and vinegar is an acid. When the two substances are mixed together, they cause a chemical reaction that can bubble up through your drain and dislodge clogs. To unclog your drain using this method, pour ¾ cup dry baking soda down the clogged drain and follow it up with ½ cup vinegar. Immediately plug the drain with a rag or stopper to contain the resulting reaction, and wait about 30 minutes. Unplug the drain after 30 minutes, and slowly pour some boiling water down the drain to wash away anything that may be left to clog your drain. Salt and Vinegar Vinegar also makes a good eco-friendly drain cleaner when combined with salt. Mix one cup of vinegar and one cup of salt well enough so that the salt soaks up the vinegar. If you wish, you can add ½ cup of lemon juice to the resulting paste if you want to give it some extra cleaning power, but it’s not necessary. The abrasiveness of the salt and the cleaning power of the vinegar should clear out your drain. Follow it up with some boiling water to wash away whatever’s left. Boiling Water and Dish Soap If you have a kitchen sink clogged with grease, some boiling water and dish soap might be able to unplug it. Simply squirt a generous amount of soap down the drain and pour a kettle of boiling water after it. The soap should break apart the grease, and the boiling water should wash it away. To prevent clogs in your kitchen sink try doing this once a week. A Plunger and Snake Of course, you can always attempt to unclog a drain with a plunger and plumbing snake you have in your home. A plunger should make a tight seal around a drain and allow you to suction out whatever is keeping it clogged, while a barbed plastic plumbing snake will be able to go down the drain and either loosen the clog or pull it out altogether. These are simple solutions, but sometimes they work out the best. These are just a few ways you can unclog a drain without resorting to harsh chemicals. As always, don’t hesitate to contact a plumber from a company like Moody Plumbing Inc if the clog is too stubborn. A plumber will have the tools and techniques to clear out clogs that you cannot.
  2. Lawnmowers may be a lot smaller than cars, but that doesn’t stop them from releasing noxious fumes into the environment and contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, emissions from lawnmowers, leaf vacuums, snow blowers, and other outdoor power equipment are a significant source of air pollution. This is bad news for the eco-conscious homeowner, but there are eco-friendly lawnmower options available that aim to reduce fume emissions. In addition to being better for the environment, eco-friendly lawnmowers are also quieter than traditional mowers and often times, cheaper to run. Is an eco-friendly lawnmower the best option for you? Read below to find out more. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Around 5% of the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions come from gas lawnmowers. Considering the size of a traditional lawnmower, this is a huge percentage. Electric lawnmowers, on the other hand, generate no toxic tailpipe emissions and run on lithium-ion batteries. Gas mowers emit carbon monoxide and unburned hydrocarbons, which is bad for both the environment and the humans who breathe it in. Electric mowers keep the air clean and make a lot less noise, too. Visit a company like Cox Mowers to see if you can find a model that fits your needs best. Energy Consumption and Cost Most electric mowers are slightly more expensive than gas mowers, but cost less to run in the long run. The typical electric lawnmower can mow about one third of an acre with one charge. They need about 3.5 kilowatts to recharge, which equates to about $0.38 per recharge if the electricity rate is $.11 per kilowatt hour. While the price of gas can vary, a typical gas lawnmower will cost about $4.00 to $5.00 per acre. If you have a larger yard, the savings of an electric mower can be substantial. Electric lawnmowers need to recharge, which can be a downside for some. You can decide to purchase a replacement battery to swap with the other battery, which can make things easier. However, you will have the added cost of the extra battery and you’ll need to make sure you keep both batteries charged. Where to Buy a Lawnmower There are several good places to buy both eco-friendly and gas lawnmowers. Home Depot, Lowes, and Sears offer a variety of lawnmowers that will appeal to the eco-conscious homeowner. Online stores carry both gas and electric mowers. Some companies also carry environmentally friendly push mowers for those that prefer a simple, cost-effective lawnmower.
  3. Many are commonly unaware of how easily our water sources and surrounding environments can become contaminated by dirty water. Humans survive through the consumption and use of fresh clean water on a daily basis. Without properly filtered water to drink and bathe with, everyday life would be completely altered, if it continued to exist at all. Below are some ways that eco-friendly technologies like Econocycle affect wastewater for the better. What Is Wastewater? Any water that has been affected by human use is considered wastewater. Wastewater can come from domestic homes, commercial and industrial facilities. Any time you flush your toilet at home or hear the dishes being washed at your favorite restaurant, wastewater is being produced. Any tainted water coming from schools, hospitals, office buildings and farms is classified as wastewater. Most wastewater usually has a high composition of chemicals and toxins in which runoff into larger bodies of water. It is even possible for some of this dirty wastewater to find its way into your drinking water. Although most wastewater is filled with toxins and contaminants, graywater is clean enough to be used for things like watering plants. What Is Graywater? Different from highly polluted water, graywater is any kind of domestic wastewater aside from sewage. The difference between graywater and sewage (or blackwater) is its organic makeup. Being loaded with materials like food, yard, and human waste, blackwater holds to be much more organic thanks to its sources compared to that of graywater. Some sources of graywater include sinks, showers/baths, washing machines and dishwashers. All of which do not include fecal contaminants making the wastewater they produce much cleaner than that of toilets and industrial factories. Thankfully there is technology available making wastewater and graywater treatment feasible. Wastewater Technologies There are countless tools and techniques out there that help sustain the flow of clean filtrated water. Screening and floatation are great methods for commercial industries to use for water cleansing purposes. The initial investment for a proper wastewater purification system can provide organizations like hospitals can be sure they never run out of clean water for their patients. Not to mention the benefits one of these systems offers the environment. Constant upkeep on contaminated water leads to the release of strictly clean water back into the natural water cycle. Rather than disposing of chemically infected water in the backyard of their buildings, businesses can fulfill their social responsibility and help keep a clean and healthy environment. Thankfully these technologies are also available in your home! How Can You Help? By installing an effective home sewage system, you would be decreasing the decay of the natural environment around your home. Designed to treat wastewater left off from regular household and commercial activities. It is important to remember that some states even have certain waste discharge standards as well. Thankfully to your benefit, waste cleansing systems help regulate contamination of water. While adding to the welfare of the environment a proper wastewater care system can go a long way. Commonly used in the business world, it should be known that home filtration systems could be incredibly beneficial. Staying Eco-friendly saves you money and keeps your surrounding area free of toxic contamination. As result, this can only help you prosper in the business world or live comfortably and healthy at home.
  4. A well-maintained furnace should last for 15 or 20 years, but there will come a point when this important piece of equipment needs to be replaced entirely. Choosing the perfect model is going to keep your energy bills at a reasonable level during the coldest months of the year. These few tips and tricks will help you find a great high-efficiency furnace for your home. Determining the Right Size Residential furnaces come in many different sizes, and choosing the wrong size could end up costing you quite a bit of money. As a general rule, homes that are in cooler climates should have furnaces that produce around 40 BTUs of energy per square foot of living space. In a moderate or warm climate, those BTUs can be halved. A local HVAC contractor can help you decide what size furnace your home needs. Choosing a System Type Most homes have split HVAC systems, but you might be using a packaged HVAC system if your home is smaller or there is limited indoor space. A split system has an outdoor condensing unit that is attached to an indoor furnace and coil. Packaged systems, on the other hand, have a single outdoor unit that houses all of that equipment in one place. No matter which type of system you decide on, you will most likely want to go with a furnace that runs off natural gas instead of propane or electricity. Understanding Efficiency Ratings Many of the most popular furnace models are given an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating before they are released to the public. This rating is determined by how much fuel is converted into usable heat every year. A furnace will generally be classified as energy-efficient if it has a rating above 90 percent. Those models use much less energy, but they are also a bigger initial investment. A Look at Maintenance Costs The durability of the furnace is another important variable to consider. Before purchasing a furnace, you should take a look at some third-party reviews to see which units seem to be the most reliable. Almost every homeowner will need to contact a furnace repair company like HomeSmart from Xcel Energy at least a few times over the years, but those emergency visits should be relatively rare. Once your new furnace has been installed, you must keep it well-maintained if you want it to last for more than a decade. Most experts agree that modern furnaces should be serviced by a professional contractor at least once every six months to prevent serious damage and efficiency issues.
  5. Though there’s many aspects to being a healthcare administrator, one aspect that isn’t often discussed while you’re earning your master’s degree in health administration is how to make your facility more eco-friendly. However, pushing your facility toward a more “green” future can have a big impact in customer satisfaction, budget management, and even employee morale. Here are a few ways to help your facility have a smaller impact on the planet. Read on to learn more! Recycle Though a lot of the waste that your facility produces can’t be recycled since it is contaminated, recycling the portion that is available can lower your trash bill and even provide some income through raw materials purchasers who purchase some of your recyclables in bulk. The easiest way to promote a successful recycling program is to have bins available throughout your facility to make it easy for people to participate in the program. If people have to expend any extra effort over simply throwing something away, it’s unlikely the program will be very successful. Utilize Alternative Energy As of the third quarter of 2014, about 1,354 megawatts of solar power were being generated throughout the United States. This figure was 41% higher than the year before. This suggests that solar power is becoming more accessible for more people. As a healthcare administrator, it’s likely that you’re in charge of a fairly sprawling facility, making your facility a perfect candidate to utilize solar power. The upfront costs can be high in many cases, but with a facility of your size, the costs will be quickly recouped. Lower Power Usage A healthcare facility requires a lot of power to maintain a safe and stable environment for patients. Anything ,then, that can be done to lower power consumption will have a big impact on your facility’s bottom line. Consider first those components of your facility that are deployed on a large scale, such as computers and lights, and begin with programs to ensure those utilize less energy. This may mean adjusting settings on computers to put them to sleep sooner, replacing incandescent bulbs with LED variants, or something entirely different that makes sense for your facility. Whatever the case, most changes to utilize less energy are fairly simple fixes that can have a major impact. Use Less Paper If there’s one thing any healthcare facility is known for, it’s the mountains of paperwork that are required to ensure it operates effectively. From patient records to discharge papers to charting paperwork, so much of how you take care of those under your care depends on paper. By transitioning some of these functions to electronic versions, you will quickly notice a sharp reduction in your paper usage. Not only that, but electronic records make information easily available across the facility, as well as allowing patients to interact with their records once they’ve gone home. Be Aware So much of what goes on in a healthcare facility is based on rigid procedures that are in place to ensure the safety of the patients. While procedures are important, understanding why these procedures exist and then analyzing them to see if they can be done more efficiently are the best ways to help your facility operate more efficiently. One thing’s for sure: if you keep doing things the same way, you can’t expect anything to change. If you desire to see change, though, you’re going to have to do some things differently.
  6. Everyone today wants to find some ways to save money and stretch their paychecks just a little bit further. One of the best ways to do this is by lowering your monthly electric bill. Below are five ways homeowners can save on energy costs. Insulate Your Home to Regulate Temperature Heating and cooling costs make up a huge chunk of your electric bill every month, especially during the summer and winter months. Did you know that you could save a ton of money by stopping the air and temperature leaks by sealing the air into your home? Install better insulation in your walls and ceiling and replace old windows with energy-efficient ones. This can be a major remodeling job, but if you’re on a tight budget and can’t make those improvements right now, you can still reduce air leaks by replacing your old weather stripping around the doors and windows. This includes your garage door too, if you have an attached garage. Use Power Strips to Prevent Phantom Loads A lot of people don’t realize that their electrical appliances and electronics all draw power whenever they are plugged in, even when they are turned off! This constant energy leak adds up by the end of the month. To prevent these phantom loads, as they are called, all you need to do is plug your devices into a power strip and then turn it off when not in use. Make sure that the power strip you purchase has an on/off switch. Some power strips also include a surge protector fuse. This protects delicate electronics such as computers and smartphones from electrical surges. Switch to Energy-Saving Appliances When shopping around for clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators or any similar household appliances, look for Energy Star products. These machines are certified to use less electricity than their competitors. You can also switch from regular light bulbs to LED bulbs or energy-saving bulbs which require less power to put out the same amount of light. Install Solar Panels on Your Roof Installing solar panels on the roof of your home through a company like Solar Source can also help you save a lot of money over the years. You will probably still have to pay a small fee or tax to the electric company for maintenance, but your electric bill will be greatly reduced, depending on how many solar panels you have installed. Stop Wasting Electricity Lastly, the easiest way to save money on your utilities is to simply use less energy. Make sure that everyone in the household gets in the habit of shutting off lights and ceiling fans when they walk out of a room. You can also turn down the thermostat in your refrigerator a little bit without any negative impact on food quality. And you can wear more or less clothing while lounging around the house to avoid using so much power when running the air conditioner or heater. There are a lot of possible ways to save money on your electric bill. Whether you go all in on insulation and window replacements or just wear a hoodie and extra socks on colder days, you can save money with just a few easy steps.
  7. The sun produces a renewable form of energy that can be used to power homes and commercial properties much like fossil fuels are used today. While there are several different financial and non-monetary advantages to using solar energy, the prime reason why there’s such a huge push in developing new solar energy technology is that the implementation of these technologies could potentially help to save the environment. In the past, the government would offer tax breaks for individuals who installed large solar panels on their roofing systems. Now, homeowners have several different options as more and more types of solar systems have been engineered or improved upon. Here are some of the developments all eco-conscious homeowners will want to know about: Potential for Cheap and Continuous Power One piece of emerging news that is really sparking a lot of conversation in the industry surrounds the design and development of hot solar cell devices. Since the conventional solar panels that adorn rooftops all over the country are bulky and capable of absorbing only a small amount of the energy being emitted from the sun, it’s been argued that panels are inefficient. Hot solar cells are capable of absorbing and capturing a larger amount of energy by using an absorber-emitter that acts as a funnel of light above the solar cells and a more efficient absorbing layer so that energy can be stored and used later. As this new system developed by MIT engineers is improved upon, it is believed that it will be twice as efficient and capable of delivering continuous energy all hours of the day. New Solar Skin Designs Solar source cells are popular improvements but homeowners have been in agreeance that they are not the most aesthetic addition to a home’s rooftop. If the design is a concern but you don’t want to mess around with function, MIT has developed a new solar skin that installation companies can install. It looks much like a roof and doesn’t affect the production of energy with the use of 5 solar busbars as opposed to 3. This is why the skins will be branded as luxury products. Purify Your Water with the Sun Another nice development that has been researched by Stanford this time is a solar device capable of purifying drinking water. The difference between this system and many others is that the device would only need to be exposed to the sun for a few minutes instead of hours to produce drinkable water. Tracking the Path of the Sun The sun is constantly moving around Earth. If panels don’t take the sun’s path into account, then energy absorption will remain low. Solar tracking mounts have been developed for ground-mounted and roof-mounted systems. Trackers can follow the sun as it’s in motion to track the best location to absorb the UV rays. There is a lot of excitement surrounding the release of all of this new technology. As cells are made more efficient and devices are made smaller, the sun can start to fuel more than just residential power and families will save money as their efforts contribute to saving the planet.
  8. Countless US homeowners are investing in solar power installations. There are two primary reasons for switching to solar: to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions produced by fossil-fuel-burning power plants and save money on utility bills. So, how much money can you expect to save with a solar power installation exactly? Solar Power Installation Prices According to the Department of Energy (DOE), the average cost of residential solar power installations through companies like Solar Source has declined by roughly 60 percent since 2010. Depending on the type, size, market conditions and other factors, a typical solar power system now costs about $15,000 to $30,000. While that may seem expensive, you must consider the cost-savings benefits it offers over the course of many years. Breaking Down the Cost-Savings Benefits of Solar Power Statistics show the average residential solar power system provides 84 percent of the home’s energy needs. If you spend $2,200 in home energy expenses every year, a solar power installation will save you about $1,848 per year. Keep in mind, however, that new solar power systems have an average lifespan of 20 years. So, if you want to find the true cost-savings benefits of a solar power system, you can multiply your yearly savings by 20, which in this case would be $36,960. Net Metering Net metering can also save you money on a solar power installation. This mutually beneficial agreement involves selling excess, unused energy to a lower power company. If your solar power system generates more energy than what you need, you can sell it for utility credits. Most residential solar power installations produce more energy than what the home needs during the day due to increased sun exposure. With net metering, homeowners can obtain bill credits for this excess energy to offset the cost of nighttime power. Solar Tax Credit Furthermore, the federal government offers a 30 percent tax credit on new solar power installations. If you spend $15,000 on a solar power system, for instance, you can deduct $4,500 from your federal taxes. Just remember save your receipts for when tax time rolls around. To learn more about solar power and how it can save you money, contact a professional solar panel company. They can help you choose the right installation for your home while explaining the differences between different technologies like thin-film and monocrystalline silicon.
  9. If it is time to replace your roof, but you are hoping to reduce your carbon footprint, there are several options available that are environmentally friendly. The option you choose will depend on your budget, your preferences and the look of your home. If you’re looking for eco-friendly yet affordable roofing and gutters, consider the following options. Standing Seam Metal Roofs Standing seam metal roofs reflect sunlight and are 100 percent recyclable. In addition, you can purchase metal roofing material made from recycled metals as well. The lifespan of a metal roof is about 50 years, so they are durable and are also fire-resistant. Another benefit to metal roofs is that you can harvest rainwater for your garden without worrying about toxic materials seeping into your soil. If you live in an area prone to snow and ice, metal roofs allow frozen precipitation to slide off easier than other types of roofing. Corrugated Roofing When you think of corrugated roofing, you probably think of commercial buildings or old sheds with wavy metal roofs. Today’s corrugated roofing is much more sophisticated as technology provides a wide range of colors and styles. You are no longer stuck with translucent plastic or sheet metal. Corrugated roofing is easy to repair and is much lighter than its predecessors. Like other types of metal roofing, corrugated roofing is durable and recyclable. Reclaimed Clay or Slate Because they are created from recycled materials themselves, reclaimed clay or slate roofs are environmentally friendly. If you have a home with a Spanish look, clay or slate roofs work perfectly, adding to your home’s curb appeal. There is no question that clay and slate roofs are durable as many have lasted over a century. Clay and slate roofs can be heavier than other types of roofing material, so you will want to talk to a qualified roofing contractor to be sure the walls of your home can withstand the additional weight. Recycled Shingle Roofs Recycled shingle roofs mimic the look of slate and cedar shake, but are made from recycled plastic, wood fiber and rubber. They are considered one of the greenest roofing materials available. If your budget won’t allow for a slate roof, recycled shingled roofs that look like slate are your best option. The roof has a lifespan of more than 50 years, adds curb appeal to your home and helps protect the environment. If you are concerned about your family’s impact on the environment, speak to a qualified roofing contractor about the many options available in green roofing materials. In addition to these types of roofing, a qualified roofing contractor may be able to help you create a green roof, using plants to reduce rainwater runoff as well as additional cooling, or rubber roofing, which consists of materials made from old steel-belted tires. Roofing contractors today have many ways of creating a roof that is environmentally friendly, yet works well with the design of your home.
  10. According to research conducted by Stanford University, only about 60% to 80% of all eligible garbage is actually recycled. Why, though? Recycling is the process by which certain reusable materials are sorted from general garbage, reduced to their basic components, and then re-manufactured into a new product thus preventing unnecessary waste. Recycling is important because many of the materials that can be re-purposed through this process would otherwise become dangerous contaminants if they were left to slowly decompose in a landfill. Certain plastics, for instance, can poison ground water resources if left untreated and exposed in the local waste dump, and other recyclables like paper and cardboard can degrade and obstruct ditches, drains, and other public utility resources. But how do waste management companies help fight these problems? By Efficiently Streamlining the Recycling Process Waste management companies often provide a system by which different kinds of recyclables can be stored, sorted, and picked up. Many waste management companies provide their constituents with different, distinct, recycling receptacles that make sorting potentially conflicting materials much easier. This is particularly important, as it is the primary cause for the problems outlined in the Stanford Study referenced above. Certain kinds of materials cannot be easily recycled when they are mixed with other recyclable substances. Broken glass is a good example of this issue. Most types of glass can be recycled, and most types of paper can be recycled. But if paper is stored with used (often shattered) glass products, the paper can become so contaminated with tiny, minute, shards of glass that it cannot be properly deconstructed and reformed. In short, waste management companies like Green Bins provide a system that easily minimizes these issues. By Making Recycling Easier on You Most waste management companies also provide incentives to recycle like paying small amounts of money for the collection of certain valuable materials like tin from cans or copper from industrial goods. In this way, waste management companies can give participants an immediate reward for helping with the environment. Many such companies will also rent dumpsters out for private use. These dumpster renting companies help in waste management by providing small businesses a more eco-friendly way of disposing of their trash, sorting their recyclables, and storing environmentally corrosive substances like old paint and kitchen grease. Practical Environmental Responsibility By organizing recycling systems, giving incentives for community participation, and providing customers with things like for-rent dumpsters, waste management companies play a crucial role in local environmental health and safety efforts. If you’re about to begin a big project, or you just want more information on how you can help, contact a local recycling or waste management organization today.
  11. Purchasing energy-efficient windows for your home is a smart investment that can reduce your monthly utility costs. Climate control accounts for 48 percent of the average U.S. Home’s energy usage. The right windows, however, will reduce your home’s heating and cooling needs by trapping thermal energy indoors. ENERGY-STAR Windows Windows touting the ENERGY-STAR logo are designed with strict standards to achieve a higher level of energy efficiency. According to the organization’s website, replacing conventional single-pane windows with ENERGY-STAR windows yields an average savings of $126 to $465 per year. Low-E Windows Another type of energy-efficient window is low emission. Also known as low-e windows, they feature a special coating to better control thermal energy movement. You can expect to pay more than low-e windows than conventional windows, but it’s a smart investment that will save you money over time. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), low-e windows are 30 percent to 50 percent more energy efficient than conventional windows. Contact a window company like Pella Windows and Doors of Wisconsin for more information. Heat-Absorbing Windows Featuring a tinted surface to absorb solar energy, heat-absorbing windows are an excellent option to consider when replacing your home’s windows. Rather than simply reflecting off the surface, sunlight absorbs through these windows and into the home. For homeowners living in cold climates, heat-absorbing windows can significantly reduce heating costs during winter. Gas-Filled Windows It’s no secret that double-pane windows are more energy efficient than single-pane windows. The space separating the two panes insulates and protects against thermal loss. However, not all double-pane windows feature air between the two glass panes. Some are actually designed with gas. Gas-filled windows provide greater energy efficiency than air-filled windows. Argon and krypton, for example, are denser than air; thus, improving the windows’ thermal efficiency. Energy-Efficient Frames The frames used in a window’s construction will affect its energy efficiency level. Aluminum and other metal frames, for example, offer minimal protection from thermal loss. However, fiberglass and vinyl frames are often filled with insulation to achieve a higher level of energy efficiency. When used in conjunction with the right windows, energy-efficient frames can reduce your home’s energy usage and lower your electric or gas utility bills. If you’re ready to take advantage of the cost-savings benefits of energy-efficient windows, contact a professional window replacement company today. They can provide personalized recommendations to achieve the highest level of energy efficiency in your home.
  12. Proper dental care is essential to maintaining your overall well-being. Studies show that poor oral hygiene is directly linked to many common illnesses including dementia, diabetes, cancer, and kidney disease, not to mention an assortment of other life-threatening medical conditions. Considering the variety of illnesses caused by gingivitis and periodontal disease, it is essential to brush and floss daily and visit a dentist regularly for checkups. When looking for dental care Tampa, it is important to decide whether a traditional or holistic dentist is right for your lifestyle. What Is Holistic Dentistry? Often referred to as biological dentistry, the holistic approach considers the patient’s emotional and overall physical health when diagnosing, treating, and preventing diseases of the mouth and gums. This alternative type of dentistry focuses on the use of non-toxic chemicals to restore teeth, reduce and eradicate the likelihood of infections, as well as combining complimentary care to promote the structural integrity of the head, jaw, and neck in relation to the teeth. What Are the Differences in Holistic and Traditional Dentistry? While conventional or traditional dentists often perform complex, invasive procedures that often involve the use of metals and other chemicals, holistic dentists do not believe in the use of manufactured materials. Instead, those who practice holistic dentistry believe that the many of treatments conducted through conventional dentistry may be detrimental to the patient’s and lead to further health issues. Mercury Amalgam Conventional dentistry includes the use of mercury amalgam fillings, partly due to their endorsement by the American Dental Association (ADA) as stable and safe. In addition, the fillings are much easier to replace than their composite counterparts and the costs are primarily covered by insurance. On the other hand, holistic dentists do not condone the use of mercury, understand that it is toxic to humans, and even minimal amounts may be a risk to your health. Although mercury often lasts longer than composite and may outlast the actual tooth the material was used to fill, the fillings also apply a great deal of pressure to teeth. The result is weaker teeth that are more susceptible to breakage and decay. Root Canals In addition, while traditional dentistry may argue that a root canal is the preferred method to save a severely decayed tooth, proponents of holistic dentistry negate the practice. According to holistic beliefs, root canals are considered an ineffective remedy for saving damaged teeth. During the procedure, the infected pulp of the tooth is removed, then the canal is cleaned. However, sterilization of the canal of the tooth does not annihilate bacteria in its entirety; holistic dentists believe the treatment is not effective because it is impossible to disinfect the tooth 100%. In addition, the use of harsh chemicals, including formaldehyde, has been linked to further health issues including heart disease and even breast cancer some patients. Fluoride The use of fluoride among holistic dentists is a debatable topic. While some believe it is acceptable, others do not. Too much fluoride weakens the enamel of teeth and may also result in fluorosis. This condition identifies toxic levels of fluoride are already in the patient’s system and is characterized by yellow, brown, and sometimes white spots on the teeth. High levels of the chemical have also been linked directly to osteoporosis. However, traditional dentists condone its use since fluoride is thought to reduce the rate of cavities. What Dentist to Choose? Since no one knows you better than yourself, only you can answer that. Your teeth should last a lifetime—making an educated decision can make that a reality.
  13. Personal improvement truly comes one step at a time. It’s overwhelming to think about doing many different changes at once, but most of us can make a single change. You can reduce your family’s environmental footprint by looking through this list of five ideas. Choose one idea that you think would the easiest for your family to implement and do it. Once you are making a positive impact, choose another one. It can be from this list or you can brainstorm. One step at a time you can improve the environment in your home and community. Start Composting Landfills are filling up at a rapid pace. Think about everything that you toss out in the trash. There are cartons, cans, bottles, and other use containers. You are probably already recycling some or most of these. Another large component of your waste stream is food and other organic waste. You throw it away, it builds up in your trash, and then it gets shipped away to the landfill where it slowly decomposes. There is a better way. You can start composting your kitchen and food waste. A compost pile in your backyard will provide you with a rich source of organic material that can improve your garden or even your lawn. Utilizing a purpose-built compost system, you can compost your kitchen waste in as little as 2 to 3 months. Your kitchen waste will turn into rich black soil. To make the collection of kitchen waste easier, you can buy a kitchen compost container or you can use an old coffee can and take the waste to your backyard composter daily. Use Reusable Grocery Bags If you live in California, you are probably already using reusable bags. In 2016, the state passed a bag law that ended the use of disposable plastic grocery bags in favor of reusable bags that cost 10 cents each. These are durable plastic bags that can stand up to repeated use. If you aren’t in California, then you are probably still using the disposable plastic bags that are so problematic for the environment. You can change this today. Many of the disposable bags that you get from the store can be used more than once so take bags with you when you go to the store and ask the cashier to use them. You can also buy the reusable bags from the store and carry them along. It can be hard to remember to take them along when you go to the store so keep a few of them in your car at all times. Use Cloth Diapers Disposable baby diapers are a huge component of landfill waste. The plastic portions of the diaper take centuries to properly decompose. It’s estimated that a typical disposable diaper will take 500 years to decompose. Moreover, the untreated waste in a diaper can contaminate groundwater and lead to public health issues. Disposable diapers are clearly an environmental hazard. Fortunately, cloth diapers represent a good alternative. They can be cleaned out, washed, and reused over and over again without a negative environmental impact and can be stylish if you get the accessories from Chunkabuns. If you really want your family to help the environment and have a baby in diapers, changing to cloth diapers would probably bring about the greatest impact. You don’t have to go all in either. You could choose one day a week to use cloth diapers exclusively. This alone would result in a 14% reduction in your disposable diaper usage. Set Your Thermostat Properly If you are like most busy families, your house stays vacant during the day. Parents are at work and the kids are at school. There isn’t a real good reason to keep it well heated or air-conditioned during the day when no one is at home. Unfortunately, no one likes coming into a hot or cold house. It can take time to heat or cool your house down and frankly, it’s quite uncomfortable. If you already have an electronic thermostat, you can utilize the programming function in your thermostat to automatically set the temperature during the day to save energy and have it automatically adjust the temperature before family members arrive in the home. This allows your family to save money and help the environment while stay keeping things comfortable. Use Reusable Water Bottles If you are like most people, you buy a big pack of disposable water bottles when you hit the grocery store. They are convenient and easy to use, but they represent a tremendous environmental cost. Buy reusable water bottles and filling them yourself can save you tons of money and help the environment. Pick up a couple of reusable bottles for each member of the family and fill them from your water cooler. It’s easy and immediately brings about an environmental benefit. Taking the initiative to help the environment is easy and can bring about tremendous benefits for your family. It doesn’t have to be difficult and it doesn’t have to represent major changes. Changing one thing at a time is all that is needed to save the environment.
  14. Overtaxing the natural sources of water can seriously degrade the ecosystem. Water restrictions have become commonplace in urban areas. This is partly due to population growth. In addition, droughts in areas like California have become worse in recent years. There is also a personal incentive to save water. You will save money on your water bill if you by water consumption. Change Water Use Habits You would be surprised by how much water you waste due to habitual behavior. For example, you may routinely take a bath instead of showering. Baths consume up to 70 gallons of water a shower only uses 10 to 25 gallons. It’s also a good idea not to let the tap run while you brush your teeth or shave. That unused water is money down the drain. Another way to reduce water use is to run the clothes washer and dishwasher only when they are full. Avoid over watering your lawn. The Environmental Protection Agency says half of the water used outdoors is wasted. Do Simple Fixes Change your shower head for a low-flow model. You can do the same for faucets with few simple tools by installing flow restrictors. Check for toilet leaks by putting a few drops of food coloring in the tank. If there is color in the bowl after 30 minutes, buy a repair kit from your building supply store. Watch for Leaks Check for plumbing leaks periodically. A single dripping faucet can waste up to 3,000 gallons yearly. You may be able install a new faucet yourself, but call a professional if you need to. Leaks only get worse with time. Watch for signs of trouble. For example, drain cleaning is occasionally necessary, but a clogged drain can usually be cleared with a plunger or drain cleaner. Again, you may need a professional like King Rooter to do major drain cleaning. The thing to remember is that constant clogging indicates worn plumbing, which is likely to start leaking. Buy Efficient Appliances Clothes washers and Dishwashers are not inexpensive. However, there is a way of limiting the cost of water saving models. Wait until you are ready to buy a new one. Choose a water saving model and the only cost is the difference compared to traditional designs. Finally, consider a low flow toilet. These save 1.3 to 1.6 gallons per flush, which adds up to thousands of gallons each year. If you are handy with tools, you can install it yourself, and a low flow toilet isn’t very expensive Conclusion Admittedly, fixing some plumbing problems requires costly professional help. However, there are a lot of ways you can do to inexpensively reduce water use. The secret is to be proactive. Steps such as changing habits costs you nothing. In fact, lifestyle changes save you money.
  15. Eco-friendly or green plumbing products and technology have grown in popularity in recent years. Part of the reason for this trend is that consumers are more aware of issues like the need to conserve energy and water. However, more and more plumbers and consumers are opting for water saving and energy efficient plumbing products because modern technology now provides a wide range of options that reduce utility costs. Water Flow Restrictors The term “flow restrictor” is simple enough. It turns out that a properly designed bathroom or kitchen fixture can reduce the rate of water flow without giving up the performance and convenience people demand. Shower heads, faucets and hose pipes can be updated to low flow models. If you get a plumbing company like Rapid First Plumbing to replace old fixtures with eco-friendly versions, you can save up to 60 percent of the water use. Water Conserving Toilets Low flow toilets are another plumbing product designed to save water. These fixtures are typically engineered to using compressed air to push water through the system with extra force. This allows the toilet to work properly while using less water and saving money. Tankless Water Heaters When it comes time to replace your current water heater, you may want to consider a tankless model. Also referred to as on-demand water heaters, these systems do not store heated water. Instead, they use a powerful electrical heater or gas burner to warm the water when you open a tap. One advantage of this system is that you can enjoy a continuous supply of warm water that doesn’t run out like the preheated water held in a tank does. Tankless water heaters are good for the environment because they do not waste energy keeping water hot when it is not needed. Solar Water Heaters A solar water heater uses the clean energy of the sun to provide you with hot water. Solar concentrators transfer heat to a working fluid. This fluid passes through a device called a heat exchanger. Water is also passed through the heat exchanger, and it is here that it is heated for use in your home. Solar water heaters will work eve in freezing weather because they concentrate the sun’s rays to create high temperatures as long as the sun is shining. Conclusions Plumbers and plumbing contractors can be among your best resources when you decide to make your home eco-friendly. A qualified plumber can evaluate your home and help you decide which green plumbing products will do the most to save you money, water and energy.