5 Ways to “Go Green” in Your Home

The big trend lately is going green and making environmentally conscious decisions day to day. But it seems green doesn’t just mean the environment but also all the money spent by “going green”. Well we found a couple ways to go green in your home that are inexpensive to do.

1. Lighting:

Lighting typically accounts for around 25% of a building’s energy usage, roughly 9 million tonnes of carbon a year in the UK alone. You can dramatically reduce this consumption,  and it’s as easy as changing a lightbulb.

LEDs fit seamlessly into your existing lighting system – they produce the same quality of light as your current lamps, but use up to 85% less energy. They also require approximately 90% less maintenance over their lifespans.

LED lights are expected to pay themselves off within a year with the saving accumulated off your energy bills. after that the savings are just money back into your pocket.

Home LED Lighting

Home LED Lighting

2. Heating:

There are many different eco-home heating systems available out there but the best part is they will over time save money on your energy bills, (and who doesn’t like saving money?)

3. Paint:

Milk paint is safe not only for people, but also for the environment. The ingredients in the base paint are used in the food and pharmaceutical industries, and are all completely biodegradable.

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4. Recycling Materials:

Pallets have many uses besides shipping. A DIY mind can transform a pallet into home theatre couches, flooring, wine racks and so much more. This is just on example of recycling materials to decorate or renovate your home.

Pallet Walls

Pallet Walls

Home theatre seating made out of pallets

Home theatre seating made out of pallets

5. Cleaners:

Baking Soda

baking-sodaSprinkled on a damp sponge or cloth, baking soda can be used as a gentle non-abrasive cleanser for kitchen counter tops, sinks, bathtubs, ovens, and fiberglass. It will eliminate perspiration odors and even neutralize the smell of many chemicals if you add up to a cup per load to the laundry. It is a useful air freshener, and a fine carpet deodorizer.

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White vinegar and lemon juice are acidic—they neutralize alkaline substances such as scale from hard water. Acids dissolve gummy buildup, eat away tarnish, and remove dirt from wood surfaces.

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5 Ways to Add Curb Appeal

If your home’s curb appeal makes a great first impression, everyone — including potential homebuyers — will want to see what’s inside. Check out these simple, low-cost improvements that you can do in a day, a week, or a month.

1. Install outdoor lighting

stylish outdoor lighting

stylish outdoor lighting

Low-voltage landscape lighting makes a huge impact on your home’s curb appeal while also providing safety and security. Fixtures can add accent lighting to trees or the house or can illuminate a walking path. If you aren’t able to use lights that require wiring, install solar fixtures (but understand that their light levels are not as bright or as reliable).

2. Build a Walkway

Well-designed walkways make your home feel warm and inviting. For a dramatic improvement to a straight concrete path, replace it with a contoured one made of stone or brick. For a less radical upgrade, apply a colored concrete resurfacer to the old walkway, then edge with brick or stone borders. Brick pavers offer traditional, classic beauty to the landscape of any home.

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3. Dress up the driveway

driveway-garageIf your driveway is cracked or stained or has vegetation sprouting from it, you can upgrade it without doing a complete redo. First repair the cracks and stains (and kill the weeds), then dress it up by staining the concrete or affixing flagstones. If you need more room to move your car or park, add stone, brick, or pavers to the sides of the drive to widen it with flair.

4. Create Symmetry

Symmetry is not only pleasing to the eye, it’s also the simplest to arrange. Symmetrical compositions of light fixtures and front-door accents create welcoming entryways. This door is flanked by two sidelights. The black lantern-style sconces not only safely guide visitors to the door, but also coordinate with the black door and urns.

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5. Dress up the front door

Smith Hawken Traditional_Front_Door_Decor-prvYour home’s front entry is the focal point of its curb appeal. Make a statement by giving your front door a blast of colour with paint or by installing a custom wood door. Clean off any dirty spots around the knob, and use metal polish on the door fixtures. Your entry should also reflect the home’s interior, so choose a swag or a wreath that reflects your personal style.

Adapted from: http://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/exteriors/curb-appeal/ways-to-add-curb-appeal/#page=3

5 Easy Fixes on a Budget

Little things over time start to add up, and over time we begin to think replacing is the only way, but replacing furniture can be really expensive and sometimes unnecessary. Here are 5 easy fixes that won’t cost a lot to pull off.

1. Toothpaste for small holes in the wall!

fill holes

My mom was the first to tell me about this after she tried it in college. They had tacked up posters in college but then needed to take them down. Well now there was a bunch of pin holes all through the wall, something they thought the landlord would not be impressed with. So they grabbed some toothpaste and filled the holes. It would’ve worked if they had used white toothpaste rather than blue. It really helps if after you paint a room you save your extras in a peanut butter jar so that if you need to patch you can paint over the patch so no one is the wiser!

2. Baking soda and vinegar to clean out drains.

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We were always told to never combine these 2, but there are always exceptions to rules and cleaning drains is this one. Start by pouring a pot of boiling water down your drain. Then start sending about 1/2 cup of baking soda down. Let this sit for about 10 minutes. Then pour a mixture of 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup boiling water down the drain. Cover the drain with a plug or damp cloth, then let it sit for another 10 minutes. Finally flush one more pot of boiled water down the drain and your done!

3. Rub walnuts on wood to fill in scratches

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No seriously! This works on floors, furniture, even doors or frames! Start by rubbing the walnut in a circular motion across the whole length of the scratch. Leave for a few minutes, then polish, the scratch is gone!

4. Cream of tartar, baking soda, and lemon juice to fight stains on you tub.

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So we’re beginning to learn that baking soda can clean just about everything, so why not bathtub stains? Start by mixing equal parts of cream of tartar and baking soda, with enough lemon juice to make a paste. Use a cloth to rub the paste on the stain and then let sit for about 30 mins, rinse off and your tub will be sparkling again in no time!

5. Iron out dents in your wooden table (Caution this is not for veneer tables!)

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My mother is always going on about the dents in her table from when we were younger but now I can show her this trick! Use a small pin to prick holes in the wood in the dent. Cover the dent with a moist cloth and run an iron overtop until it is steaming. The moisture from the cloth will go into the small holes and lift the wood.

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