Posted by Peggy Farber on 11/16/2016

Greening up your home is not only good for the environment it is also good on your wallet. According to the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. generates about 208 million tons of municipal solid waste a year, that's more than 4 pounds per person per day. Here are some minor changes you can implement at home that will add up to real benefits. Green up your appliances Replace your old refrigerator and save as much as $150 a year. Appliances are the biggest drain on a home's total energy bill. Replace appliances older than 10 years with energy-efficient models that bear the "Energy Star" logo. Energy Star-qualified appliances use 10%-50% less energy and water than standard models. Take Your Temperature Use a programmable thermostat to keep your home's temperature on a schedule. Program the thermostat in cold weather and keep it higher in warm weather. Set the timer to only change the temperature when you are home. During the colder months, each degree below 68°F saves 3%-5%. You may also want to consider replacing older furnaces. Today's furnaces are about 25% more efficient than they were in the 1980s. Use Water Wisely Save every time you flush by installing low-flow toilets. They use only 1.6 gallons per flush, compared to 3.5 gallons per flush for pre-1994 models. Save water at your faucets by installing aerators. This could cut your annual water consumption by 50%. Let there be Light Using Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) will consume 66% less energy. CFLs may cost a little more but they last 10 times longer than a standard incandescent bulb. In dollars and cents, replacing a 100-watt incandescent bulb with a 32-watt CFL can save $30 in energy costs over the life of the bulb. Practice Plastic Placement Did you know Americans throw away some 100 billion polyethylene plastic bags? — Plastics (grocery, trash and sandwich bags to name a few) are made from petroleum. Plastics are considered one of the main contributors to global warming. Always make sure to reduce, re-use and recycle your plastics. There are many more ways to live green. If you are looking for more ideas check out National Geographic's Green Guide. Please share your tips for saving money, energy and living green.





Posted by Peggy Farber on 7/15/2015

Have you ever tried to clean your rugs? It can expensive and difficult to get the stains out. It can also be dangerous for small children and pets to put harmful chemicals on your rugs. Here is a recipe for a homemade rug cleaner that works great and is safe for your family: Ingredients: 1/4 teaspoon dishwashing liquid 1 cup lukewarm water 1. Combine the dishwashing liquid and water. 2. Use a spray bottle to apply the solution over a large area, or use the solution to spot-clean nongreasy stains. Don't use substitute laundry detergent or dishwasher detergent in place of dishwashing liquid, as they may contain additives that can affect the rug's color.





Posted by Peggy Farber on 5/6/2015

While summer brings thoughts of backyard barbecues and outdoor activities, it is also the time of year when the bugs come out. One of the worst culprits that ruin our summer fun is the mosquito. Applying smelly, sticky bug sprays full of chemicals can make outdoor activities even less enjoyable. Here is an idea for making homemade chemical free mosquito repellent that can also be used to keep away ants and fleas: Ingredients: 1/2 litre of alcohol 100 grams of whole cloves 100 ml of baby oil or similar (almond, sesame, chamomile, lavender, fennel etc) 1. Marinate the cloves in alcohol for four days. 2. Stir the marinade every morning and evening. 3.  After 4 days add the oil of your choice. The repellent is now ready to use. 4. Gently rub a few drops of oil into the skin of the arms and legs. This can also be used on pets to keep fleas away.  





Posted by Peggy Farber on 4/29/2015

Today more and more people are worried about chemicals in their home and ways to save money. Making your own household cleaners  can be a great way to save money and know exactly what you are using in your home. Here are a few tips on how to make your own glass cleaner:   Ingredients: 2 tablespoons ammonia 1/2 cup alcohol 1/4 teaspoon dishwashing liquid A few drops blue food coloring water 1. Combine the ammonia, alcohol, dishwashing liquid, and food coloring, then add enough water to make 1 quart. If you prefer a nonammoniated cleaner, substitute 3 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice for the ammonia. Here is another recipe: Ingredients: Water White Vinegar 1. Fill a spray bottle with equal parts vinegar and water. Use it as you would any other glass cleaner.    





Posted by Peggy Farber on 2/18/2015

Do you have a mildew buildup in your home? Or are you looking to prevent mildew? You can combat mildew buildup with ingredients you have around your home. Many of the ingredients in store-bought mildew cleaners contain hazardous solvents and petroleum based chemicals, which may contaminate ground water and present a problem to waste water treatment facilities. Here is a recipe to remove mildew:   Ingredients: 1 tablespoon powdered laundry detergent 1 quart chlorine bleach 2 quarts water 1. Combine all the ingredients in a pail. 2. Wearing rubber gloves, wash off the mildew. So go ahead and whip up a batch of homemade mildew cleaner. It will cost you only pennies and keep your family safer too.