Category Archives for "Homekeeping"

The Carbon Free Home: 36 Remodelling Projects to Help Kick the Fossil Fuel Habit

Where to buy: www.amazon.com

Some of the questions people ask when trying to reduce their energy consumption in their home is:? Where do you start?? or ?Wouldn?t it be nice to start from scratch?, i.e. build your own eco-home, off the grid, with solar panels and compost toilets etc?
For most people, though, it will stay a dream. Instead, they are looking for ways to convert their own home in a way that reduces the pollution that destroys our planet.

The Carbon Free Home is a superbly written guide to help you in your quest to remodel your home to make it more energy-efficient. It provides 36 fantastic remodelling projects, from small to large, for all budgets. I like the fact that it details the cost involved, time, the skills and the expected energy savings. It is packed full of knowledge on how to reduce your energy consumption by switching to alternative and sustainable energy sources and changing your heating, hot water system, electricity, cooling, cooking and lighting. The section on transportation and gardening also give great advice on renewable methods.

Overall, I think that this book is a must have for anybody wanting to curb their energy wasting/spending and adopt a more thoughtful way of living.

How to Choose Eco-Friendly and Toxin-Free Paint or Wallpaper for Your Nursery

Preparing your baby’s nursery can be a wonderful time of planning and dreaming. Many times, that means choosing a paint color or wallpaper (or a combination of both), furnishings, and flooring.

Today, many people are aware that the fumes from paint, wallpaper and carpet can be toxic. Babies, with their tiny, developing systems, are especially vulnerable to toxins in the air and on surfaces they touch with their delicate skin. In order to avoid these poisonous substances, you may choose to decorate baby’s nursery with eco-friendly items.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you seek to create a non-toxic environment for your little one:

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May 1, 2010

How to Introduce Your Children to Culturally Diverse Foods

The song “It’s a Small World After All” has never been more appropriate than it is today.

With the ability to travel quickly and easily between countries, people are now exposed to different cultures. This is also true due to the numbers of people moving from one country to another. You may be wondering how to introduce your children to culturally diverse foods as they meet people from other cultures.

No longer are citizens of one country simply content to live in that country all their lives. They want to see and experience the world in which they live. One way to do this is to try different foods while at home so you’ll be familiar with them when and if your family travels.

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Patio Furniture Cleaning Tips

People who have patios often have patio furniture which remains outdoors all year long. Each year they have to clean the furniture before use. These patio furniture cleaning tips you may make the task less of a problem, especially if you have wooden or teak furniture.

The last moments

Teak patio furniture is popular because of the beauty of the wood. However, because it’s a natural product it does require extra care.

Here are some of the items you’ll need to clean your patio furniture:

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Green Redecorating On a Budget

You may think that keeping your redecorating efforts eco-friendly will break your budget. While it’s true that some “green” items can cost more, there are ways to engage in environmentally-friendly redecorating and still stay within a budget. Here are some ideas.

Paint

Do you get headaches or respiratory irritation when painting a room? That is probably due to the toxic substances in the paint, particularly volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Look for paint that is VOC-free – many major paint manufacturers have VOC-free versions of their paints. While it does cost a bit more, it is high-quality paint that tends to cover better, so you will likely only need one coat. That can actually end up being cheaper than getting many gallons of conventional paint.

Painting a room can mean a lot of disposable accoutrements such as plastic drop cloths and paint trays. Consider biodegradable drop cloths, which are comparable to plastic and sell for under $4. An even cheaper option is to use an old sheet you already have. It can be washed and re-used for your next painting project.

If you use disposable paint trays and rollers, look for those that are biodegradable or made from recycled materials.

Flooring

If you have synthetic wall-to-wall carpet, rip it up and expose the flooring beneath. If it’s hardwood, it can be restored with minimal effort. If it is not hardwood, or if you just want to put down more carpet, consider modular carpet tiles. These are inexpensive and can be laid down by the homeowner without the use of toxic adhesives or chemicals. They are also manufactured with non-toxic dyes and recycled materials. When they are worn out or you just want a change, they can be returned to the manufacturer for recycling.

Appliances

Perhaps you are wanting to redecorate your kitchen and you are considering buying new appliances. If they are still in good working order, you can actually get appliance paints to give them a fresh, new look. (The same is true for bathroom tiles.) If you do purchase new appliances, look for those with the energy-star for optimum efficiency.

Furniture and Accessories

Here is where you can really save money and be environmentally friendly. Shop at antique and second-hand stores and purchase inexpensive furniture and accessories such as lamps, vases, etc. Some of these items need to be restored, or can be given a new look by simply spraying them with white spray paint.

Don’t forget your own attic, garage, closet, etc. for these items. Perhaps you have an old end table that you could re-paint, or a basket hidden away that could be used to hold magazines. Re-use bottles and jars as candle holders and flower vases.

Redecorating probably means that you are throwing out some things – old carpet, appliances, etc. Rather than hauling these to the landfill, find out if they can be donated to charitable organizations for refurbishing. Remember to report any eco-friendly changes you make to your home on your income tax return.

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