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Found 3 results

  1. Living in an area where the climate is especially dry throughout the summer can be a challenging ordeal. You’re at greater risk of becoming severely dehydrated or suffering from heatstroke if your local weather is exceedingly hot and dry for long periods, so you’ll want to do everything you can to protect yourself. Here are some of the best ways to survive the summer months while living in a dry climate. Plant Some Trees Certain types of trees are known to tolerate the heat well and can provide more natural shade for your home. This natural shade can keep the inside of your home cooler and help you reduce air conditioner usage. Hotgardens.net recommends olive trees because they often require low water usage. Chitalpa is a hybrid of the desert willow tree that also provides ample shade. Other options include the Chinese elm, California pepper tree, and Palo Alto plant. Use the Right Bedsheets If you have sheets made from flannel or other materials that can make you overheat while trying to sleep, you should switch them out in the summer for sheets with more breathable materials. Cotton is an excellent choice for its natural cooling effect. Changing your sheets often is an additional way to help your bed feel cooler and less stale. You can also avoid getting too hot while in bed by sleeping on a buckwheat pillow that naturally traps in pockets of cooling air. Have Your Air Conditioner Inspected You’ll obviously want to have your air conditioner repaired if it isn’t working, but your unit may still not be performing up to standard without you realizing. Your system might not be blowing out as much air as it should. The air temperature from your system could also be too warm because of an unknown mechanical failure. A professional from an air conditioning repair service can inspect your unit and perform any needed repairs. Cook More Often Outdoors On days when the outdoor temperatures aren’t unbearably hot, you should consider cooking your meals outdoors to keep the inside of your home as cool as possible. An outdoor barbeque grill can be used to prepare chicken, steak, and grilled vegetables. If you don’t already have an outdoor kitchen, you may want to invest in a unit that includes an oven and a rotisserie grill. Staying cool in a hot and dry environment can be done with a little extra effort. By warding off the excessive heat, you’ll have a better chance of surviving the summer with less difficulty.
  2. Owning your own home comes with plenty of responsibilities, not the least of which is ensuring that your home has as small of an impact on the environment as possible. This sounds great in principle, however, in practice, this can be a difficult goal to achieve. Here are a few tips to beginning a “green” lifestyle while still maintaining the lifestyle you currently enjoy. Upgrade Your Home on Time Your appliances and HVAC system use the majority of energy in your home. That’s why it’s so important to replace them using energy-efficient models when the old units break down. That’s the key, though. You need to wait until the old units are no longer operable before replacing them with new models. Sure, new models are likely to use less energy, however, the energy required to produce the new model and dispose of the old one will far outweigh any energy savings you gain through early replacement. Recycle It All Recycling is, of course, a great way to ensure that the materials you don’t need anymore do not fill up the landfill. What’s crucial with recycling, however, is to truly consider how to recycle all that you can, not just those materials that are “easy,” such as cardboard, glass, and aluminum. One category that can be more difficult is electronics. Since they contain so many precious metals as well as harmful materials, proper electronics recycling is absolutely crucial. Utilize a company such as Ranch Town Recycling Center Inc. that is trusted and works to keep all waste produced in the United States instead of shipping it off to contaminate another country. A Note about Pets Pets, for people of any age, can be wonderful to release stress, build responsibility, and provide many years of enjoyment. If you’re seeking to live “green,” however, the environmental cost of owning a pet must be considered. Whether it’s a dog whose food puts a big stress on food supplies and shipping resources or fish whose tank accessories are operating 24/7, pets can do more than their fair share of harm to the environment. Taking steps like buying locally-made dog food or utilizing a fish tank that can cycle itself without electricity are good ways to lessen the environmental impact of your pet while still retaining all the benefits of owning one. Turn off Those Lights Though we all know the importance of turning off lights when we leave a room, it’s a habit few of us actually practice. If you find yourself consistently unable to remember to flip the switch, consider investing in some automatic light switches that turn off after a period of inactivity in a room. These work especially great in areas that people don’t frequent, such as a bathroom or a basement, but where lights are still frequently left on. Reach out Though the impact of the steps you take in your own home is certainly important, the biggest change happens when others take notice of the changes you’re making and seek to make some changes themselves. Be open with those who ask and have the information handy to help them make changes in their own lives, as well. The cumulative effect of many people making changes will truly make a big impact on making the world a better place.
  3. Master craftsman, eco-designer, furniture hero - words that Stephen Staples, maker and co-owner of Staples Cabinet Makers, embodies. Allow me to tell you a little bit more about our eco-superhero Mr. Staples. No, he doesn’t wear a red cape with a large S on his chest, nor can you summon him with your magic ring. But this guy really does know how to save the environment - this hardworking artisan makes gorgeous and natural looking furniture from reclaimed wood from old barns and houses found throughout the New England area. Following a Japanese philosophical style known as “wabi sabi,” which roughly translates to “flawed beauty” in the art world, Staples truly believes that the real beauty in his work lies in the natural contours, knots and stains that have naturally formed in the wood throughout time. With his dedication in using reclaimed wood to create unique furniture laced with historical and aesthetic value, Stephen Staples is our green superhero/super-artisan of the year! To learn more about his beautiful furniture pieces and about his inspirations.