Home & How-To

Home and How-To Content

When it comes to your laundry it can be difficult to know how to treat a stain so your clothes aren’t ruined.  But make it easy on yourself by printing a stain removal guide and post it in the laundry room!


  

Don’t you just hate it when you drop that big glob of spaghetti sauce on your favorite pants?  And then how can you make sure that stain comes out in the wash?


Sweater Re-purpose

Nov 18, 2016

It’s my favorite time of year: sweater season!  But if you’ve found a few sweaters in your collection that have just seen better days, don’t throw them out!  Cut squares from your favorite old sweaters and sew them together to make a comfy blanket.   If you’ve got a large sweater in just the right shade, turn it into a trendy pouf ottoman or decorative pillow for your living room.  


Gutter Cleaning

Nov 17, 2016

It’s not a fun chore, but if you’re a homeowner, then you should be cleaning out your gutters one to two times a year to avoid moisture build up and mold.  So, put on your rubber gloves, grab your ladder and a bucket, and follow these steps to keep your gutters clean.  Start in the corners or tight spots where debris builds up.  


Pest Free Home

Nov 16, 2016

Insects in your kitchen can be a real pain, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to march the little suckers right back outside again.  Washing your countertops with a mixture of equal parts apple cider vinegar and water will deter ants.  A mixture of one half cup of rubbing alcohol and one quart of liquid soap can make an effective pest control for whiteflies, aphids, mealy bugs, and scale insects.  


Dust Free Home

Nov 15, 2016

For those who suffer from allergies, asthma, or any other breathing condition, dust can be a real problem.  But there are steps you can take to moderate dust in your home.  Of course, step one is to change that HVAC filter regularly.  Invest in doormats – both exterior and interior to reduce dirt being tracked in from outside. 


Dangerous DIY

Nov 14, 2016

I’m all for doing a job yourself to save a little money, but in some cases, it really is best to call in a professional.  For example, decaying trees can be a real hazard, but pruning or removing one without a pro could cost you big time.  If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could drop large branches on your home.  And there are about 400,000 power tool related emergency room visits annually in the US, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.  


Trash Day Hacks

Nov 11, 2016

You’re doing your part to reduce waste, but trash day is just a fact of life.  Here are some everyday hacks to make trash day a little less annoying.  Don’t you just hate the struggle of getting a full trash bag out of the trash can?  Put an end to the tug of war by drilling a couple of holes in the bottom of the trash bin – this will reduce suction at the bottom making it easier to get that trash bag out.  


Mitigate Mosquitoes

Nov 10, 2016

Seems like mosquito season lasts forever!  But if you’re having problems with the little blood-suckers, search your property for any standing water that could be their breeding ground.  Birdbaths are great for inviting feathered visitors to your yard, but you should empty and refill that birdbath every day to prevent it from becoming a stagnant home for mosquitoes


We see them at work, we usually have them under the sink at home, and they can be found in most public spaces; but have you ever actually used a fire extinguisher?  Could you use one if you had to?  If you have a fire extinguisher at home, keep in mind that you should check it regularly to make sure the pin is still in place and the pressure gauge reads in the “ready” zone – if not, you need to replace it or have it serviced.  


If you’ve noticed that all the products of your good intentions are creating clutter in your house, then it may be time to let it go and recycle those old magazines you just haven’t had time to read.  However, don’t be too quick to pitch these items that can be useful.  


We talk a lot about ways to re-purpose and reuse items on Earth Sense, but there are times when you should just let it go!  Magazines and newspapers are great for lining trash cans and bird cages, but if you have a huge pile of them because you can’t seem to get around to reading the articles, or using the recipes, then it’s time to just let it go!  


Wine Bottle Crafts

Nov 4, 2016

Whether you’re in the mood for decorating or just looking for a crafty hobby, using items you already have or finding items that might otherwise be trash is the best way to get your creative juices flowing and help Mother Earth. Wine bottles are fairly easy to come by, and you may have a few lying around waiting to be recycled.


DIY Furniture

Nov 3, 2016

Furniture can be an expensive investment, but if you have an eye for up-cycled materials and a little creativity, you could make your own tables rather than buying them brand new.  Some old sawhorse legs and a few wood pallets could make an industrial desk for your office.


Have you got some old dishes that just are just a little too old fashioned?  Or maybe you’re just ready for a change in the kitchen!  Here are some fun ideas for ways to re-invent that dinnerware with just a few basic supplies.


  As the days get shorter and the nights get longer, it can be so easy to drop into a seasonal depression, but you can combat the blues by simply brightening your indoor space.  If your ceilings aren’t already white, a fresh coat of paint can make a cave-like room much lighter.


Have you got a small space in your home where you’re just not sure how to maximize utility?  Whether it’s a bay window dining area or a small home office, there are a few design choices you can make so the space seems larger and serves its purpose.


Fire Safety is an important part of your family’s emergency plan, so take some time to prepare your family and your home for emergencies.  Build an emergency kit or update the one you have and make a family communications plan.


We’ve been talking about fire safety this week and while you may have a fire escape plan, there are some things you should keep in mind in the event of a fire.  When your smoke alarm sounds, get out fast!  You may have only a matter of minutes to make your escape.


Using safe practices to prevent home fires is a good start, but you need to have an emergency plan in case of a fire and every family member should be well familiar with that plan.  Sit down with your family to create and then practice a fire escape plan.


The best way to avoid a home fire is to take preventative measures.  Many home fires start in the kitchen, so stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food.  And put that grill a safe distance away from your eaves, deck railings, and overhanging branches.

Each year in the United States more than two thousand five hundred people die and twelve thousand six hundred people are injured in home fires.  And estimated annual property loss due to home fires is seven point three billion dollars!


Pumpkin Recipes

Oct 21, 2016

Pumpkins are everywhere this time of year!  And they’re such a versatile fall fruit.  When it comes time to carve those scary jack-o-lanterns, don’t throw out the meat and seeds!  Use all that pumpkin goodness for cooking and snacking.  Pumpkin is great for soups and pies, but have you ever considered pumpkin macaroni and cheese or pumpkin cheesecake?  And don’t forget about pumpkin pancakes and muffins! 


Are you looking for a way to whiten your teeth that doesn’t cost a fortune?  How about a method that is safe for you and your family?  Here’s an inexpensive and safe recipe for whitening your teeth at home.  Start with two teaspoons of baking soda.  Add two teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide, two teaspoons of vegetable glycerin and a few drops of peppermint essential oil. 


Fall Leaves

Oct 19, 2016

Those fall leaves make this time of year special, but once all the leaves have fallen, what should you do with all the debris in your yard?  While leaves contain a large amount of nutrients, leaving them on your grass traps moisture, inhibits sunlight, and harbors insects, all of which could kill patches of your lawn.  So what should you do with those leaves and pine needles? 


Our pets are four legged family members, so it’s important to keep their health and safety in mind in cooler weather.  As rodents and pests start to seek warmer indoor temperatures, the use of pesticides increases, but these rodenticides and pesticides can be highly toxic to your pet.  If you’re going to use these products, do so with extreme caution and make sure you store them (and any other toxic chemicals like motor oil and coolant) in a place inaccessible to pets and children! 

Home Insulation

Oct 17, 2016

It’s the time of year when we start thinking about sealing any holes or leaks and adding insulation to our homes.  You’ll want to be sure to check the caulking on your windows and doors as these are the most common places houses lose energy.  But don’t forget the attic hatch, any recessed lighting features, plumbing vents, behind knee walls, and basement or crawl space rim joists. 

Urban Trees

Oct 14, 2016
Stock photo of a tree.
Stock

You’re aware that trees are essentially the lungs of the Earth, soaking up CO2 and turning out clean oxygen.  But have you considered all the benefits of urban trees and community forests?  Aside from cleaner air and their aesthetic value, trees create a sense of well-being, provide privacy in a city setting, and can help reduce energy consumption because they block the sun in the summer and serve as windbreaks in the winter. 

Bad Eggs Float

Oct 13, 2016

You only have to break a rotten egg once to be wary of those expiration dates!  But if you’re unsure of an egg’s freshness, you can always try this test to avoid bad eggs.  Bad eggs will float in a bowl of water.  So fill a bowl with enough water to submerge an egg, gently place eggs in the bowl and toss the floaters!  Why does this work?  Eggs have a small pocket of air in the large end. 

Where food labels are concerned, it’s generally a case of do your homework before you shop.  And when shopping for chicken, labels like “natural” and “farm raised” don’t really help to inform you about where or how the chicken was raised.  “Organic,” on the other hand, tells you that the hen was given USDA certified organic feed and by definition, these birds are free range and have been given no drugs, antibiotics or hormones. 

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